I’m not an expert in video production, but I do know a thing or two about how to shoot interviews on a budget. For my company’s latest project we had to produce 10 videos in 5 days without breaking the bank.

The first thing I did was hire local employees from our community who were passionate about their work and would be willing to trade services for free in exchange for credit at the end of the final video product.

This saved me thousands of dollars that could then be allocated towards more expensive items like camera equipment and lighting gear that would make shooting easier and better quality.

Next up, I found some great deals on used studio equipment online which allowed me to save money by renting it out instead of buying new equipment outright.



What Is An Interview Shoot?

An interview shoot is a type of video shoot that involves filming someone whilst they’re interviewed.

Interview shoots are popular with actors, musicians, and other public figures who want to promote themselves or their work.

The process begins by looking for inspiration from the person’s life and what makes them unique.

The filmmaker then finds a location that will capture this feeling and help tell their story.

For instance, if your subject has a love for horses you might take them to a ranch or stable where they can ride horses while being filmed.


Expert Tips for Shooting Engaging Interviews in <a data-lasso-id="473418" href="https://filmlifestyle.com/video-production-assistant/">Video Production</a>

Shooting an interview is about more than just pointing a camera at someone and asking questions.

It’s an art that combines the technical with the personal, ensuring the subject’s story shines through.

We’ll guide you through the essentials, from lighting setups to audio tricks, to make your interview visually compelling and sound crystal clear.


Stick with us to learn how to capture interviews that engage and inform your audience, every time.

Lighting Setups For Shooting An Interview

Lighting is a pivotal element in creating the mood and clarity of an interview.

We’ll explore effective ways to illuminate your subject, ensuring they look their best on screen.

Key lighting is the main light source and should be positioned at a 45-degree angle from the camera.

This approach casts a natural-looking shadow, giving depth to the subject’s features.

Fill light helps to soften the shadows created by the key light.

It’s placed on the opposite side at a lower intensity, balancing the lighting and reducing contrast.

Backlight, also known as rim lighting, separates the subject from the background.

Positioned behind the subject, it provides a subtle outline and a three-dimensional look.


Here are a few additional tips to enhance your interview lighting:

  • Control the ambient light to prevent unwanted shadows or highlights.
  • Use diffusers to soften the key and fill lights for a more flattering look.
  • Consider the color temperature of your lights to match other sources and setting.

Positioning the lighting equipment requires attention to fine details and room layout.

Moving a light just a few inches can drastically change the subject’s appearance.

When setting up your lights, also be mindful of the subject’s comfort.

Bright lights can be intimidating or cause discomfort if too intense.

Interviews aren’t just about capturing a person’s words but their essence and character.

Proper lighting setups ensure that their story isn’t just heard but also felt through the visual texture provided by well-executed illumination.

Choosing The Right Camera And Lens For Interview Filming

When filming an interview, the choice of camera and lens is pivotal.

It significantly impacts the visual quality and the tone of the content.

We’re here to break down the essentials of selecting the perfect equipment for capturing interviews.

Camera selection plays a crucial role in producing crisp and clear footage.

We prefer cameras with excellent color science, wide dynamic range, and reliable autofocus capabilities.

Cameras that offer a shallow depth of field also help in isolating the subject from the background.

For lenses, we opt for those that render a natural perspective without distorting facial features.


Prime lenses with a focal length between 50mm to 85mm are usually our go-to for a flattering look.

But, we might also consider zoom lenses for their flexibility in framing.

Let’s talk about sensor size – it’s what contributes to the look and feel of your footage.

Full-frame sensors can achieve a shallower depth of field, while Super 35mm sensors provide a more traditional cinematic look.

The choice depends on the desired aesthetic you’re aiming for in the interview.

The aperture of the lens is another vital aspect.

We seek lenses with a wide aperture – f/2.

8 or wider – which allows for better performance in low light and control over depth of field.

This choice ensures we have the creative freedom to either isolate our subject or include context from the surroundings.

Here are some factors we always consider when choosing gear:

  • Camera resolution and frame rate – as they should meet the standards of our intended distribution platform,
  • Ergonomics and weight – because a comfortable setup is key for lengthy interviews,
  • Lens compatibility – since we need to be sure the lens fits our camera without compromising functionality.

By carefully considering these factors, we ensure that every interview we shoot not only looks professional but also tells the story effectively.

It’s about finding the right balance between technical needs and creative vision.

Framing And Composing Your Interview Shots

We understand that framing and composition are fundamental to capturing engaging interview content.

When setting up our shots, we consider the rule of thirds – a grid that helps us place our subject in the most visually appealing part of the frame.

This technique ensures that the viewer’s attention is drawn to the interviewee, and it provides a natural balance between the subject and the surrounding space.

Eye contact is crucial in interviews, which is why we position our subjects to either look directly at the camera or slightly off to one side.

This engages viewers and creates a sense of connection, making the interview feel more intimate and direct.

Remember that direct eye line can be used for a confrontational style while off-center framing may allow the viewer to feel like an observer to a conversation.

We also pay attention to headroom and lead room – the space above the head and in front of the subject – to avoid a visually cramped shot.

It’s important to have just enough space to ensure the subject doesn’t appear to be squeezed into the frame, which can be uncomfortable for viewers.

Here are some considerations:

  • Minimal headroom to maintain frame integrity,
  • Adequate lead room for forward-looking shots.

The background in an interview shot should complement and not distract from the subject.

We opt for backgrounds that are relevant to the interviewee’s story or profession, but neutral enough to keep the focus sharp.

Textured walls, bookshelves, or abstract art work well in providing depth without overwhelming the scene.

Lighting plays a pivotal role in framing and composition too.

We ensure that the subject is well-lit, with a soft light source to bring out their best features without harsh shadows.

In contrast, the background often benefits from less light, subtly receding to highlight the person being interviewed.

Choosing the right camera movement enhances the storytelling aspect of our interviews.

For dynamic sequences, we may incorporate slow pans or gentle zooms to draw viewers into the narrative.

eventually, it’s our precise attention to detail in every aspect of framing and composition that elevates our interview footage from good to exceptional.

By carefully considering each element, we create visually compelling stories that resonate with audiences and uphold the highest production standards.

Selecting The Perfect Location For An Interview

Selecting the right location is critical for capturing a professional and engaging interview.

We understand that the setting can convey as much information as the subject themselves, so choosing wisely is paramount.

The perfect location supports the story or theme of the interview without distracting from the subject.

We look for places with good acoustics to ensure the audio quality is as clear as the visuals.

Natural light can be a friend or foe in filmmaking.

We aim to select locations with ample natural light, but we’re also prepared to control it with shades or screens.

When filming indoors, we consider the following points – – Room size and ceiling height for optimal sound and lighting setups

  • Availability of power outlets for our equipment – Aesthetic features that align with the interview’s tone.

Outdoor locations present their own challenges and opportunities.

We have to account for weather, ambient noise, and changing light conditions.

We also ensure the location we choose is accessible and comfortable for the interviewee.

Their ease is often reflected in a more relaxed and natural on-camera presence.

Location scouting is a skill we’ve honed over years of filmmaking.

We always visit potential spots beforehand, taking note of logistics like parking and permits.

Bear in mind the background.

It tells a story and aids in setting the tone.

We pick backdrops that add depth and interest without overshadowing the subject.

Our vast experience has taught us that a well-chosen location can make or break an interview segment.


We give it the attention it deserves, laying the groundwork for a successful production.

Capturing High-quality Audio In Interviews

When it comes to interviews, audio quality is just as crucial as the visuals.

We understand that poor audio can dismantle the credibility of even the most beautifully shot interview.

That’s why capturing high-quality audio is always at the forefront of our approach.

First and foremost, we select the right microphone for the job.

There are several options, but our top picks are:

  • Lavalier microphones – for their discreet appearance and close proximity to the subject.
  • Shotgun microphones – ideal for their directionality and rejection of ambient noise.

Once we’ve chosen our mic, we consider the recording environment.

We strive to minimize echo and background noise that can detract from the subject’s words.

We also pay close attention to the equipment setup.

We ensure the recording levels are correct to avoid any distortion or clipping of sound.

Meanwhile, we keep an ear out for any potential interference from electronic devices.

Our team always monitors audio with high-quality headphones during the interview.

This immediate feedback allows us to quickly address any issues before they become problems in post-production.

To safeguard against the unexpected, we record with a backup.

This can be a second microphone or a separate audio recorder.

It’s our way of ensuring that we have another audio source to fall back on.

finally, we coordinate with the interviewee to limit interruptions.

We make it clear that pausing to reset or address audio concerns is perfectly acceptable.

After all, getting the interview right is our top priority.

In our discussions, we’re reminded that audio can make all the difference.

Audiences might forgive a slight visual blip, but audio flaws can prompt them to disengage entirely.

And that’s something we never want to risk in our productions.

Tips For Interviewing Techniques And Questions

Crafting the right set of questions is crucial for any successful interview segment.

We focus on open-ended questions to encourage full, engaging answers from our subjects.

It’s not just what you ask, but how you ask it.

Our tone is conversational yet professional, fostering a comfortable atmosphere for interviewees.

Preparation is key.

We research our subject thoroughly to ask informed, relevant questions that bring out unique insights and stories.

Maintaining eye contact establishes a connection.

We avoid looking at notes too much, building rapport and trust with our subject.

Choosing the location sets the scene.

We pick a place that’s quiet yet meaningful, aligning with the narrative of the piece.

Here are a few techniques we value:

  • Offering a warm-up question – this helps our subject get comfortable in front of the camera,
  • Prioritizing follow-up questions – to jump deeper into interesting topics that arise spontaneously,
  • Steering clear of close-ended questions – which can lead to short, uninformative answers.

Every question serves a purpose.

We aim to gather as much richness and detail as possible, contributing to the story’s depth.

Remaining flexible during the interview allows us to explore unforeseen angles.

We listen actively and adapt our question path accordingly.

It’s imperative to read the interviewee’s body language and social cues.

We adjust our approach if they seem uneasy or particularly animated about a topic.

Technical proficiency merges seamlessly with our interpersonal skills.

This combination ensures our interviews are not only informative but also highly watchable.

Editing And Post-production For Interview Videos

When capturing interviews, the work is only half done once the cameras stop rolling.

Post-production breathes new life into the raw footage, shaping the final narrative.

The editing process starts with the painstaking task of reviewing and selecting the best takes.

It’s vital to stay true to the story flow while maintaining the interviewee’s original intent.

We then hone in on the pacing of the interview – ensuring a rhythm that keeps viewers engaged but still conveys the message clearly.

To achieve this, we sometimes employ techniques like J-cuts and L-cuts for a seamless audiovisual experience.

Here’s what we focus on during the editing stage – – Fine-tuning color grading to maintain consistency across various shots

  • Adding subtitles if necessary, ensuring they are synchronized with the audio,
  • Integrating B-roll footage to illustrate points and break up the monotonous shot-reverse-shot pattern.

Syncing audio tracks with the visuals is another key aspect of post-production.

We ensure the sound quality is crisp and well-balanced, enhancing the interview’s overall impact.

Graphics and visual effects, though used sparingly, serve as valuable tools.

They can emphasize important points or introduce segments while maintaining the video’s professional feel.

Our skillful editors also look out for continuity errors and distractions that may have been overlooked during filming.

Such meticulous attention to detail is what elevates a good interview to a great one.

Avoiding jump cuts and awkward transitions, we craft the final cut to appear as natural as possible.

This demands a sharp eye for timing and narrative coherence.

Throughout the entire post-production phase, collaboration is key.

We involve stakeholders and gather feedback to ensure the end product aligns with the client’s vision and objectives.

Shooting An Interview In Video Production – Wrap Up

We’ve walked you through the essentials of shooting a compelling interview from pre-production to post-production.

Remember, it’s the subtle nuances in editing and sound quality that can truly make an interview stand out.

We’re confident that with our shared insights, you’ll deliver content that not only resonates with your audience but also reflects the interviewee’s story authentically.

Whether you’re syncing audio tracks or fine-tuning the color grade, your dedication to the craft will shine through in the final product.

Here’s to creating interviews that captivate and inform, one frame at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Key To Capturing High-quality Audio In Interviews?

High-quality audio in interviews can be achieved by using a professional-grade microphone, minimizing background noise, and ensuring proper microphone placement.

It’s also important to do sound checks before the actual interview begins.

What Are Some Effective Interviewing Techniques?

Effective interviewing techniques include doing thorough research on the interviewee, asking open-ended questions, listening actively, and creating a comfortable atmosphere for the interviewee.

It’s essential to have a conversational tone and allow for natural pauses.

What Is The Purpose Of Using J-cuts And L-cuts In Editing?

The purpose of using J-cuts and L-cuts in the editing process is to create a smooth transition between clips that feels natural to the viewer.

J-cuts allow the audio to precede the video, while L-cuts let the video change while the initial audio continues, enhancing storytelling and viewer engagement.

How Does Post-production Elevate An Interview Video?

Post-production elevates an interview video by refining the visuals and audio for a polished final product.

This includes color grading, adding subtitles, integrating B-roll, syncing audio tracks, and incorporating graphics and effects.

Attention to detail and feedback from stakeholders are critical to meet the client’s vision.

Why Is Collaboration Important In The Post-production Phase?

Collaboration is crucial during the post-production phase because it ensures the final interview video aligns with the client’s objectives and vision.

Gathering feedback from stakeholders and possibly the interviewee helps in fine-tuning details and achieving a high-quality, impactful final product.

Shooting An Interview