Interview – Production

1. Arrive early and find out who at the location will help you direct all the people involved to the proper location. Sign in the camera crew and obtain any camera passes, if required.

2. The crew should light the area and test microphones with a person “standing-in” preferably the same height as the interviewee. Lighting may vary from available light only, to standard 3-point lighting (key, fill, backlight) to more extensive background lighting using colors and patterns. Microphones may either be boomed or clipped on. Typically, clip-ons are less intimidating to the interviewee.

3. The interviewer will be placed either slightly to the left or to the right of camera. Keep track of which way the interviewees are facing. You will want to alternate this from interview to interview in the finished video. The camera will zoom-in or zoom-out from question to question, but it will not need to be moved.

4. Once the interviewee arrives, break the ice and then allow him or her to be placed, miked and powdered. Remind the person to forget the cameras and just talk to you (easier said than done, you can confide to them). Begin casually discussing the interview subjects, allowing time to get used to the bight lights and to re-check the audio. But do not wear-out the interviewee before the cameras have started recording!

5. Once the camera is recording, you may want to begin by having the person say their name and title and even spell their name. This gives more time to check audio levels, eases the interviewee into the testimonial, and provides the editor with a handy reference for supering the name and title. Casually segue into the interview questions. You may smile and nod to help the interviewee, but you should avoid talking or making any noises at the same time. For optimal editing flexibility, wait two seconds after each answer before saying anything and encourage the interviewee to hold his or her focus for the same length of time. This keeps the audio clean and also gives the cameraperson time to zoom-in or out.

6. If you are not pleased with an answer, try to rephrase the question. If this subject had been discussed in the pre-interview, remind the person of something they said that stuck with you. If this still does not work, move on. You can not afford to let the interviewee lose confidence.

7. Pay attention to the answers instead of thinking ahead to the next question. You can always pause between questions to gather your thoughts. You can also ask the interviewee if he or she is pleased with the answer, but try to avoid playing back the tape after every question to speed up the process.