Documentary and Interview Style Videography | From Forensic Files to the Today Show to The Office, documentary (or interview-style shots) are a unique feature when producing an engaging piece. Whether it’s for comedic relief, dramatic effect, or professional purposes, shooting an interview-style should captivate your audience.
Go To Team’s Los Angeles DP, David Feeney Lance, and Assignment Desk’s Barden Barty recently shot interview style footage for a law firm. Here are some tips and tricks they’ve provided to help you hone your skills and own the interview style shot:
First and foremost, lighting the set is an instrumental piece to cultivating a certain effect on set. Think about who your audience is and what your shoot is trying to accomplish. Is it to create an eerie feeling? Are you trying to set a playful, lighthearted tone? Once you’ve established the effect you intend to create, you can begin to position and diffuse the light.
You could use the classic three-point lighting setup: key, fill, and backlight. That said, you do not have to set up these lights in a specific order; you could experiment and get creative! Maybe place the fill light directly in front of the talent, or eliminate the backlight.
Probably the most critical aspect to lighting an interview is diffusion. Diffusing the excess light on the set is important in order to generate the intended effect. This seems like it would be expensive, but you don’t need to spend loads of cash on a nifty diffusion device. You could simply use a curtain, blanket, or a reflector to block or deflect the light.
When it comes to a recording device, a shotgun microphone might be the best option. For optimal results, place the mic above the talent’s head. This is believed to record the best quality audio.
Throughout the production, especially when using multiple talents, you may need to adjust your devices to tailor to your talent. People have different pitches and cadences, so it is important to monitor the sound; this will help for smooth transitions in the post-production process. Also, altering the height of the camera to suit each talent – one person may be taller than another, so it’s a good idea to adjust the camera.
Thank you for choosing Assignment Desk to film the interview.
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