Interviews and documentary-style videos are often focused on capturing the honest, unbridled reality of a person, company, or situation. Our New York and New Jersey video production teams specialize in real-world content, so we understand that the production of such content requires more than simply pointing and shooting the subject—it requires informed strategy. What are the end-goals of the video? What’s the best approach for reaching those goals?
Here is how our video crew goes about making interview videos as engaging as feature films.
Setting the Stage
The first task in setting up an eye-catching interview is choosing the physical setting. While we film interviews in rooms of all shapes and sizes, we find that the feel of the final video is often proportional to the size of the space. The more you can separate your subject from their background, the more life-like the shot will look.
Lighting also plays key role in creating the emotion and feel of a piece. When you watch TV, you’ll find that news programs typically light people evenly, which means surrounding their face with light to eliminate shadows. Conversely, when you watch a movie or TV drama, you will often see one side of a person’s face in light and the other side in contrasting shadow. The latter style is known as cinematic lighting. At ASL Productions, we frequently apply cinematic lighting in interviews and corporate videos to create a movie-quality feel and elevate brand affinity.
Green-screens are another useful tool in shooting interviews. When we want to get creative with the background, a green-screen provides nearly endless possibilities, but properly lighting the screen is critical to its use. When lighting a green-screen, we light as evenly as possible across the screen to eliminate shadows. Again, the more we separate our subject from the green-screen, the easier it is to key out the screen in post-production. We also backlight our subject from both sides to convey greater depth and separation between our subject and the background.
Crafting Interviews into Engaging Stories
All of our clients’ videos have to fit a certain length depending on the project. Our average interview runs approximately 20 to 30 minutes long, but out of that we’re often tasked with producing a 2 to 3 minute video that uses just 20 to 30 seconds of the interview itself. How do we do it? Before editing the video, we typically transcribe the interview so we have a paper copy of the dialogue. Then, we edit the dialogue on paper to construct a story, much like a journalist.
Once we cut the dialogue, we create a table on which we match audio and video to the chosen dialogue. From there, we hone it down to a well-crafted story that engages its audience by hitting the critical points cinematically, without repetition or unneeded footage. For example, if the primary theme of a story is “kind acts of love,” then we will cut from the final edit anything that doesn’t contribute to that theme. This includes editing out any “ummm’s,” “ahhh’s,” and stutters, making the subject sound as eloquent as possible, filling those gaps with b-roll footage, and using very fast, one or two-frame audio dissolves (fades) that allow missing audio to go unnoticed.
For more information on how our New York and New Jersey video production team can present your company’s story in a cohesive and entertaining manner, please be sure to contact ASL Productions today.