6 Tips For Shooting Great Video Interviews

If you go online these days, you'll see that video interviews are increasingly more and more common. Whether it's YouTube, Vimeo or other online video services, video interviews are seeing an explosion in takeup rate.

Now, filming interviews can be difficult to master - you need to understand how to go about them and not just shoot randomly.

In this article, I'll provide you with 6 tips for shooting video interviews. Practise them well and you'll be an expert very soon!

1. Get A Good Tripod

For a professional looking interview, you should always have a tripod with you. Mount your camcorder on it before shooting anything. I know that many camcorders have Image Stabilization (IS) features, but that's not enough for a full-length inteview. Invest in that tripod - it'll be worth it in the long run.

Get a good tripod for your interview videos

2. Know Your Camcorder

The next tip for shooting interviews is to know your camcorder - inside out. Some many people buy camcorders or digital cameras but don't understand 70% of the functions inside. I think that's a waste.

Get familiar with the manual controls, scene modes, zoom and focus capabilities of your camcorder. That knowledge will come in handy whether you're shooting an interview or other kind of video production.

3. Lavaliere Microphone

A friend of my mine once told me - buy a good microphone for interviews - it'll do wonders for the video quality.

That was one of the best pieces of advice I'd ever heard for video productions. A microphone, especially in a place with a lot of ambient noise - is a really important tool.

One of the best microphones for video interviews is a Lavaliere microphone, also known as a clip-on microphone. This ensures the camcorder only hears your interviewee's voice instead of all the surrounding noise. And believe me, ambient noise really ruins a video.

A Lavaliere microphone is great for interviews

An alternative, albeit more expensive option, is to get a "zoom microphone", attach it to your camcorder. You can then zoom in on a specific area of sound for crystal clear audio.

4. Keep The Background Clutter-Free

When shooting a video interview, you should focus on your subject's face. Let it be the brightest part of the video - shine some natural or artificial light on your subject if you can.

And very importantly, keep the background clutter free. Allow the audience to focus on your interviewee's face. Don't let them be distracted by a pet, or moving object in the background - that's a big no-no. If necessary, shift the interview location if needed.

5. Have Questions Ready

What's an interview without questions, right? My advice to you is to always keep a list 5 questions that can always ask any interviewee. Tape it to your camcorder if you want. But always have it handy.

That way, if you need to do an impromptu interview, you can whip out those 5 questions and just fire and film away.

6. Establish A Human Connection

The final tip for shooting a good video interview is to establish a human connection with your interviewee. I usually try to chit chat with the interviewee where possible, just slightly before the actual filming begins.

Establish a human connection before filming your interviewee

This is important as it makes you relax and more comfortable with the subject. Equally important, it makes the interviewee less nervous too.

You'd be surprised - many interviewees are extremely nervous when they're filmed. Help him or her relax and the results will show in the final video production.

Wrapping Up ...

You've seen a list of 6 tips for shooting a good video interview. Apply these tips the next time you have a chance to flim an interviewee, and I'm sure your production quality will improve significantly.

If you have any more tips on video interviews, I'd love to hear about them. Until next time, good luck and have fun shooting those videos!

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