Saturday, March 24, 2012

Framing Video Interviews: Five Tips for a Professional Look

In earlier posts I explained how to get a more professional look when making videos and how to look more professional yourself when you are in front of the camera. But another way to make video interviews look more professional is to frame the image the way the pros do. You can find out how they do this by watching TV news for a long time, or you can simply follow these five tips.

HAVE THE SUBJECT LOOK TO ONE SIDE.  Making the interview subject look at the side and not directly at the camera reinforces the illusion that we are watching a dialog between two people. Everyone assumes that the subject is looking at the interviewer but they could be just looking at any reference object. Even when you don't show the interviewer or even use the questions this style gives the speaker more credibility because it looks like we are watching them talk to someone else. People are more suspicious when they see someone talk to them directly.

LEAVE MORE SPACE ON SIDE THEY ARE LOOKING. If your subject is looking to the left then leave a bigger space on the left side of the frame. This space is called "looking room" and it balances the composition, making the whole image look better.

HAVE SUBJECT & INTERVIEWER LOOK AT EACH OTHER. If you are going to show an interviewer and cut between two shots then you should show one person looking left and the other looking right. If both people look the same way, even if they are never on screen at the same time, the illusion will not work because the viewer's brain will perceive the people as not facing each other.

MAKE SURE BOTH EYES ARE VISIBLE.  When the subject is turned even more to one side always make sure that you can still see both eyes. This "two-eye" profile looks much better than a full profile where only one eye is visible.

KEEP CAMERA AT SAME HEIGHT AS EYES. Finally, for a classic interview composition always have the camera lens at eye level. Placing it higher or lower will give an effect that might be appropriate in some circumstances but is not a normal conversational position. When you are talking to a friend normally your eyes are at the same level and anything else will give a different impression, perhaps suggesting dominance or submission.

Following these classical framing rules will make your interview look more like it was shot by a pro.  In some cases you might want to break one of these rules to give a video an edgy look, but let this be a deliberate creative choice, not an accident.


Related Posts on Video, Audio, Photos
Three Simple Ways to Make Your Videos More Professional
How to Look Better in Video: Eight Easy Tips
Three Simple Ways to Make Video Event Streaming More Effective
You Don't Like the Way You Look in Photos? Here Are Five Things to Try
I Hate the Way I Sound on Radio Practical Tips for Politicians, Entrepeneurs
Recording Audio Podcasts: Five Best Practices for Fast, Professional Results
So You Hate the Way You Look Sound in Video? Here's What You Can Do About it
Recording Video Interviews Three Non Obvious Practical Tips

Coaching, Lectures, Workshops
For personal coaching in speaking to a live audience or a camera and lectures/workshops on corporate video visit http://andrewhennigan.com or email conseil@andrewhennigan.com or call 0033 6 79 61 42 81

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