“What you see is what you get!” 21 Hot/Easy/Quick Tips to shoot interviews and vlogs by Jeannette Ginslov 07 May 2011


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“What you see is what you get!”

21 Hot/Easy/Quick Tips to shoot interviews and vlogs


by Jeannette Ginslov 07 May 2011


  1. Know what your camera can and can’t do. Look at manual and check out: F-stops, frame rates, (usually 50 is good for dance), formats, volume, mic - on camera and external, manual and auto functions, zooms …PRACTICE at home!  
  2. Make sure you have enough battery juice – charge all batteries before you head out. Have at least x2 fully charged batteries. Or one charging and one working.
  3. Make sure you have enough tapes or space on cards - clear and download the night before.
  4. Know who you going to interview – context, names, why they there etc - research before. Get signed Release Forms if necessary BEFORE the gig.
  5. If on the fly – decide what it is you want to say with the vlog, know where its going to be screened/released, shoot with that in mind – intention guides your (research)
  6. INTENTION is IMPORTANT – it helps you edit in camera! You don’t have to shoot everything. Saves time editing. You can also use the new editimng tool in YouTube to compile several clips together: http://www.youtube.com/editor
  7. Make sure the subject is well lit from the side or front – NO BACK LIGHTING. Make sure YOU ARE READY before you call ACTION!
  8. Make sure the background does not have too much visual noise, if shooting a longer more formal interview. If in busy venue just go closer to your subject. Don’t zoom in and do hand held – any movement will be amplified. 
  9. If using handheld camera then make sure you let us know you are using a hand held camera. Move it around – slowly, dynamically. No jerks. 
  10. Framing: Keep the subject in the frame. Decide on C/U, Mid Shot or Wide. Use the thirds division. Only ”news readers” sit in the middle of the frame reporting facts! Thirds keep the frame dynamic! If framing a moving target, keep the camera frame moving just in front of the action/trajectory of movement. 

                 Still from: Dr Richard Allan James  - The Physical Theatre TV (Aus) Interview


11.  Let the eye of the interviewee meet the eyes of the interviewer, off camera. They do not need to speak into camera. Make sure you are on same level as the interviewee, straight on, not so that the whites of the eyes are seen, looking up “imploringly” for example.

12.  Sound is SO important. 80% of the information in the video is coming through the sound. Make sure your volume is set according to the location you shooting in and not hitting the red zone. Best to use an external uni-directional mic or even a lapel mic! If using ext mic, turn off mic on camera. Try not shooting beside traffic - cars or people. Have a quick sound check! It takes two seconds. 

13.  Check white balance – automatic ones are not satisfactory! Do not     use "gain up" as it makes "visual noise". If automatic choose the best setting. 

14.  Check frame rate – 50 is best for movement or use Sports or Portrait

15.  Check lens is clean. Remember What you see is what you get!

16.  Check you not breathing or coughing too closely/loudly to the mic

17.  Use a tripod only when necessary but if you do don’t forget you can still be mobile – close the legs and walk around with the camera still in the shoe - it becomes a monopod! However you are the best tripod in the world! Just keep steady and level headed and your body will follow. 

18.  Avoid too many zooms – this is not soccer!

19.  Interviewers – don’t be shy to just approach the person with an open and relaxed manner and start with a compliment or ask a simple question. Smile:) 

20.  Back up – always always back up your footage - download onto an external hard drive as well as your computer and/or Drop Box

21. Be confident and have fun! The interviewee picks up on this and responds accordingly!

Views: 179


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