How To Film An Interview

Interviews are important in journalistic and documentary style videos and there are a lot of reasons why an interview might be a valuable in your video.

  • Featuring prominent individuals in your vlog will attract viewers.
  • Interviewing locals in your profession can attract business.
  • Adding an interview to your corporate or wedding videos will really impress the client or add depth to the storyline


You’re putting the time and effort into making the video, so here are a few tricks that will make your interviews shine.

  • Find a quiet place. Background noise can be very distracting to viewers. A royalty free soundtrack playing softly in the background can be added later to minimize background disturbances, but plan ahead and choose a quiet place to conduct you interview.
  • When possible use a lavalier mic.

For more information read Adding Narration To Your Videos.

Now that you’ve followed a few simple protocols for getting the best audio possible it’s time to think about lighting, camera angle, and scene composition. Following a few basic steps will help you impress clients and create energetic, dynamic, videos that will drive viewers to come back for more.


  • If shooting indoors try to find a brightly lit room.
  • A natural light source is the easiest, but it is best to avoid shooting in the direct sun.
  • Avoid hard shadows on the face or body.
  • Position your subject at about a 35 degree angle to your light source so that it hits on either side of the face.
  • Using lights can be helpful in achieving a proper look, but are expensive and cumbersome to carry. When timing and budget allow, follow the basic principles of three point lighting.


  • Subjects gazing slightly off camera seem more friendly and accessible. Generally the subject being interviewed should gaze 10 to 15 degrees off camera. To achieve this sit in front of your subject and ask them to talk to you. Position your camera on either side of you.
  • Subjects gazing directly at the camera seem more authoritative. This can be a useful tool, but this technique should be used mindfully.


  • Subjects gazing directly at camera should be positioned in the middle of the screen or frame.
  • Subjects gazing off camera should be positioned on the right or left looking across the frame. In a two camera setup, if filming both the subject and person asking the questions, frame one on the left and one on the right for equal balance.
  • Ask the person you are interviewing to sit very still. This may seem unnatural, but is standard.
  • A medium shot is from mid chest to just above the head.
  • A tight shot is just below the chin to just above the forehead. This is done for emphasis, but don’t zoom in and out during an interview. Instead crop your video in post.
  • If possible place you camera 10 to 15 feet from you subject and zoom in. This will isolate your subject and give your background that blurred out effect.

Note: Don’t forget to set your focus.
We will be posting soon about “Manual Settings: Focus and Zoom” so do watch out.

Scene Composition

  • If outdoors try to find something interesting for your background. Movement in the background can be interesting if kept in the distance and out of focus.
  • If indoors try placing a lamp or other light source in the background. The idea is to create contrast between your subject and the background. Although your viewers will be focusing on the person you are interviewing they will appreciate the aesthetic touch.

There are a lot of factors that go into creating a good video; these are just some basics. But don’t worry even Geraldo had to start somewhere. Keep practicing and who knows… soon you may have celebrities lined up around the block waiting to be on your show!



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"I am a videographer, still photographer and musician. In addition to working in the independent film world, I enjoy playing with computer software and keeping abreast on the latest video production technology."