Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Shooting Video Interviews: How To Make The Interviewee Comfortable

Indoor-Lighting-Set-UpVery few people are comfortable with a boom microphone dangling over their head, lights in their eyes, a camera in their face and an interviewer asking probing, embarrassing or dumb questions. It’s your job to turn this situation into an informative interview and make it appear that the person is having a relaxed and informal chat with the viewer.

Your first order of business is to have your camera, sound and lighting, all ready before the interviewee arrives. Use an assistant in the interviewee’s place to determine how the lighting and background will look and how the audio will sound. Then when the interviewee gets in front of the camera, adjust for his particular height and voice levels.

Keep the situation appearing casual but as much under control as possible, even if you’re having technical difficulties. Don’t let it show if you are nervous. The interviewee will pick that up in a heart beat.

When the person sits down, and before you start shooting, engage in chit chat to relax her. Tell her what you are going for and assure her that if she stumbles or needs to take a break, she needs to communicate that with you and you’ll stop recording and do another take.

A little trick I like to do to make the person more at ease. I tape over or turn off the “record” light on my camera. That red light can make people nervous. A little piece of gaffer’s tape works great.

Action Steps

  1. Set everything up before you have the interviewee get in front of the camera.
  2. Have the interviewer or another person chat with the interviewee in advance to relax him.
  3. Hide or turn off the “record” light on your camera so that the interviewee will be less conscious that he is being filmed.
  4. Read our post Video Interviews Tips: Where Should They Sit? to find out what type of chair is best for interviewing.
  5. Do you have a good tip or a question on how to make the person more comfortable? Add it to the comment section below.


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