Tips for Better Video Interviews

Whether it’s a promotional video or documentary, virtually all professional videographers
can agree that audio isn’t just important; it’s essential. Video interviews can add helpful
narration to move a story along and engage viewers on a deeper level.
In a business intro video, interviews help the audience understand the people behind the
company — and in many cases, the culture. In marketing videos, interviews can drive
interest and brand loyalty among viewers, who can now put a “face” to the brand.
But not all video interviews are created equally — and they’re not as simple as putting
someone on camera and pressing record. If you’re shooting any sort of video that would
benefit from audio, here are some tips to capture quality video interviews.

Whether it’s a promotional video or documentary, virtually all professional videographers
can agree that audio isn’t just important; it’s essential. Video interviews can add helpful
narration to move a story along and engage viewers on a deeper level.
In a business intro video, interviews help the audience understand the people behind the
company — and in many cases, the culture. In marketing videos, interviews can drive
interest and brand loyalty among viewers, who can now put a “face” to the brand.
But not all video interviews are created equally — and they’re not as simple as putting
someone on camera and pressing record. If you’re shooting any sort of video that would
benefit from audio, here are some tips to capture quality video interviews.

Use professional audio equipment

 

A video interview is only as good as the audio that comes out of it; that’s why investing in high-quality audio equipment is essential. Sound is an element that is often ignored in video production and it’s certainly just as important as good quality footage. Your audience might forgive a blurry, out of focus image but they won’t forgive bad sound because if you can’t clearly hear what a person is saying, then you’re not going to be to engaged with what they are talking about. During an interview 80% of the information comes from the sound, so without the audio, it is unlikely your message is going to get across to the audience.

Choose a clean and logical backdrop

A backdrop can either make or break your video interview, which why you should take the
time to think it through. If you’re filming a company video, look for a background that
reflects the vibe you’re going for (e.g., exposed brick if you’re a creative company, or a
bookshelf if you’re more corporate). The same goes for promotional videos. When you’re
filming a video of, say, a personal trainer, it doesn’t make sense for your video interview
with the founder to take place in a coffee shop. Instead, aim for a playing field outdoors or a
gym where they do their classes.

Now, sometimes you’re tight on time or limited on options; all is not lost. Just choose a clean, nondescript background such as a coloured wall. This way viewers will hardly notice the backdrop, and instead will just focus on the subject.

Share tips with your subject

 

While you’re used to filming video interviews, your subject is probably uncomfortable —
bordering on nervous — so it’s your job to put them at ease.
I start every video interview with a few tips to help them understand what I’m looking for
and what they can do to help:

 

  1. Look at me, not the camera:Interviewees with limited on-camera experience are likely to look at the camera mid-interview, which in the world of video journalism is a pretty big no-no. You want the interviewee to look at you the whole time to ensure the viewer doesn’t feel uncomfortable and the video feels natural.
  2. Try not to fidget:Moving around can disrupt the microphone and become distracting for viewers, so I ask my subjects (politely) to stay as still as they can. This also helps when I’m a one-man-band filming, because I typically focus the camera manually.
  3. Repeat the question back to me:Instead of jumping right into the answer, if your subject can start their response with the question, they’ll help move the story along immensely. For example, instead of saying “I’ve always liked cars,” you’ll have “I decided to join Jim’s car auctions because I’ve always liked cars” to work into your video.

Start off with easy questions

To put your interviewee at ease, begin the conversation with light-hearted “throw-away” questions. I typically begin with simple facts such as their name, hometown, company, etc., and save some of my more important questions (e.g., what is the impact of climate change in their country?) for later, once the subject is warmed up.

 

Try to ask your important questions twice. In every interview, you’ll have two or three questions that can make or break your video, so make sure to rephrase those questions and ask them again to have as much audio variety as possible in editing.

Gather b-roll of your subject

While your main priority is the interview, it’s nice to have b-roll of your subject in the field, actually doing what they’re talking about on camera. This could be typing at a computer, pouring a cup of coffee, or running on a track field. This adds interest to your story, as a three-minute talking head is tough (if not impossible) to watch.

 

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Tips for Better Video Interviews

Richard and his team are professionals they captured all the great moments of our high tea event and the video was amazing. I would highly recommend their videography services.
Ladies in Pink Charity Org
I used Kalki Productions to help get a short film I had wanted to make off the ground. I found that the team was incredibly professional & efficient, as they had industry standard equipment (Cameras & Their post production facilities) and knowledgable experience in this field. All round great experience with this business and a real value for money service!
Jamie Pascoe
We hired the guys from Kalki to produce our promotional video and from day one we knew they were passionate about what they do and we were in good hands the final video was better than I expected
Triggz Clothing