4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Rolling Camera On An Interview
We asked Tristan Pelligrino, co-owner and Marketing Director of Washington, DC based video production company 522 Productions, what he looks out for before hitting record. Follow 522 Productions on Twitter for more video production tips.
Interviews are a great foundation for a story and are especially useful in video. When looking to develop video content for your organization, interviews can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are a just a few types of videos that can feature interviews:
- Customer testimonial
- Corporate overview
- Executive leadership update
- Recruiting/Career highlight
- Product overview
- Training & development
- Blog posts (featuring video content from subject matter experts)
Ultimately, interviews are an important part of many types of videos. Interviews provide viewers with a personal connection and they help to humanize businesses. So, now that you’re convinced about how crucial interviews can be, let’s explore the four questions you should ask before rolling camera for an all-so-important interview session.
1. Do I have enough time to film this content?
Alright. You have the lights setup. The microphone is on. The camera is on the tripod and ready to go. But….do you have enough time to conduct the interview?
Before hitting the record button, make sure you have a warm-up conversation with your interview subject. When chatting, just reconfirm that the interviewee does not have any strict time constraints. Make sure you’ve clearly outlined how long the process will take and discuss the importance of undivided attention (no answering cell phones, emails, etc.). After all, one of the most frustrating things that can surface with an interview is when you have to cut it short. Especially if the interview is going well!
2. Do I have enough battery power and media space?
We’ve already discussed that interviews can have a huge impact on your organization’s videos. But if you can’t record an interview in the first place, then you have a problem.
Before getting setup and rolling camera, make sure you check battery power (on all equipment) and media space. It’s important that you check this before setup so you give yourself enough time to compensate.
3. Do I have any stakeholders that need to confirm the framing of the shot?
Let’s face it, people care about how they look on camera. If you’re developing videos for your company or another company, there are probably others who also care about how individuals appear on camera.
Before you start rolling, it’s a good idea to bring in another eye. If you have a field monitor, make sure you have other stakeholders view the framing of the shot. Confirm that there isn’t anything in the frame that shouldn’t be there (old logo, confidential information on a whiteboard, etc.). In addition, make sure someone else also checks the person’s wardrobe and overall appearance. It’s important to make sure hair is in place, collars are straight, buttons are buttoned and zippers are…um…zipped.
4. Are there any audio concerns in the area?
Audio is important to video. In a previous post, we discussed how to fix common audio problems. Well, it’s also important to try and anticipate any audio problems before rolling camera during an interview session.
If you’re in a business environment (i.e., not in a sound proof studio), be on the lookout for noisy break rooms, hallways or other high-traffic areas. Use signage to state “Quiet please. Video in progress.” A great soundbite in an interview can be squashed with a loud employee in the hallway.
In addition, have an understanding of other environmental issues. Take note of conditions outside (construction, airplanes, etc.) and make sure these do not present major problems as well.
Ultimately, each video production is different and there will be a slightly different checklist to use before hitting record. However, here is a list you can use to be more prepared for production and harness the power of interviews for your organization.
- Confirm talent’s makeup and clothing are in order
- Confirm microphone is optimized
- Validate audio Levels are clean and clear
- Confirm signs are posted on door to tell others you are recording
- Make sure everyone’s cell phone is set to silent
- Double-check framing
- Double-check focus
- Make sure everyone in room is set and don’t need a bathroom break, sneeze, cough, etc.
- Roll Audio
- Roll Picture