Tips for Shooting an Interview

On this B&H video, producer Chase Kubasiak takes a look at 7 different steps that you should consider when going to do an interview.

Here are the 7 steps and some tips for each one of them:

  1. Make the space work for you – check that the space is big enough and that it is giving away what you would want your interview to convey in terms of look and feel. Do you have a sunlight which can change during the shoot, is there a clock on the wall or noise from traffic? check that you have enough power for all your gear and
  2. Compose your shot – frame the subject to the opposite to the side to where they look, you can also put them in the middle of the frame and shoot at eye level or shoot from above or below (both options will serve to give your subject a very different look – powerful/weak). Move your subject away from a distracting background.
  3. Using  a second camera – use a b-camera at an angle (say 30 degrees from the side), match camera settings to make sure editing will be easier later on.
  4. 3 points of lights – you don’t have to use 3 lights but it is a good starting point – don’t forget diffusers/reflectors/negative fill and color gels which can help nail that perfect light.
  5. Sound – sound in an interview is at least as important (maybe more) than the image. We prefer a lav mics but shotgun or even handheld (for specific situations) can also work.
  6. Do a sound and video test – make sure that stuff that you didn’t want in the frame is there and that there are sounds you don’t want.
  7. Know your subject – make sure the person you interview is relaxed, do your research and try and avoid yes/no questions and try not to talk along with your subject and keep some spaces with no sound between answers. You can even ask the person you interview to repeat the question – this can help in post!

This video has tons of good advices and tips and it is a good idea to watch it more than once to really get everything.

We have looked at many aspects of shooting an interview in the past including the best light gear for filming interviews, how to set up lighting and audio for interviews and how to shoot a documentary style interview.

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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