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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!



Adding Narration To Your Videos

One of the easiest ways to improve a video is to add music (royalty free music if possible), but after you have chosen your soundtrack a simple narration can take your video to the next level. Here’s how to record, and add an epic and compelling narration to your video.

Here are some tools that might help:

  • A stand-alone audio recorder is a great tool in the filmmaker’s arsenal.
    There are many varieties to choose from and prices vary.
  • A lav mic is another great tool.
    These can be plugged directly into a camera with an audio input or plugged directly into a computer.
  • A good quality gaming headset with microphone can often record quality audio.
  • Most editing programs are able to record audio directly to the timeline, or you can choose a standalone application.

Choosing a system that works for you takes a little time so have patience, your videos will thank you. Now that you’ve shot your footage, edited together a nice sequence and added some royalty free music, it’s time to record your epic Morgan Freeman style narration!

  • Microphone positioning is key.
    Place the microphone as close to the narrator as possible to record the best sounding audio, and do not touch the mic while recording.
  • Make sure your audio levels are correct.
    To do this avoid the red and make sure the audio levels stay in the green zone.
  • Find a quiet place.
    Before you begin record a minute of background, and listen with headphones to make sure there aren’t any problems. If necessary shut off your A/C unit or unplug your refrigerator for the duration of the recording.
  • Try to keep an even voice.
    Don’t whisper or get too excited and loud.
  • Record plenty of narration.
    If you choose you can write a script that is timed, but you can also cut and splice your audio clips just like your video.
  • Enhance with audio techniques.
    To make the audio even better put a fade transition in between audio clips.
  • Experiment with audio effects.
    Before you splice the audio file, experiment with adding equalizer, compressor or other audio effects that are available.
  • Introductions for interviews
    If interviewing someone else for the video, ask them to state their name and occupation. For example many videos start off with something like this. “My name is… (fill in the blank). I… (whatever they are doing in the video).” Get creative!
  • Import audio
    Now simply import the audio file into your editing program.
  • Work with multi-tracks.
    You should have two to three tracks of audio; one for the video clips, one for the music and one for the narration. Adjust the track levels accordingly.

People expect talking in a video.
Recording a simple narration is easy and gives your audience what they want.
Before you know it, you’ll have Morgan Freeman asking to be part of your next project!

Thirsty for more ?

Coming soon:

How To Film An Interview.