Film: Interviews + Documentaries

We often have a feel for what works in video and there are basic rules or conventions that are used to build a sequence such as an interview or mini documentary.

The key features to consider when filming an interview
– Medium shot with the interviewee looking out of frame, usually at the interviewer.
– Rule of thirds
– 2 cameras, one for interviewer and one for interviewee, or an over the shoulder shot.
– Background
– Engaging and open questions
– Camera focus
– Name captions
– Cutaways
– Clear and crisp sound
– Wild track (ambient sound)
– Sound bridge

What techniques have been used to make this video engaging?
– Motion graphics – especially the map ok the UK which establishes the interviewee’s different locations.
– Establishing and long shots of the interviewees in their workplace.
– Intro + background music
– Captions introducing the interviewees and highlighting important things they say.
– Shot and sound bridges with cutaways (inserts) every couple of seconds to the interviewees being proactive at their job.
– Rack/pull focusing (changing the focus during the shot to emphasise different subjects in the frame).
– Hand held filming of talking heads (only the head or upper body in frame).

What kind of planning went into a video like this?
– Open questions and what they will be + prompting interviewees
– Where to film
– Who’s going to be in it (selection process)
– Equipment (e.g. camera, lighting, sound)
– Crew
– How you’re going to get to the locations
– Translator for assistance with the subtitles

Technical aspects of filming an interview

Getting a good interview