Here at Bold Content, one of our specialties is talking-head videos. While interview videos may sound easy to create, they are more challenging than one would think from watching our videos. A good portion of the result comes from preparation. We have years of experience filming hundreds of these type of interview pieces. In order to film an attention-grabbing video, we have developed a list of tips to help our interviewees have the best interview possible.
We will address several topics:
The very first thing you can do to prepare for your interview is to become familiar with your material. The less you need to pause and think, the quicker filming will go. Avoiding any stumbles over your words will also decrease the number of re-takes we need to have. It may sound silly, but practice speaking in the mirror. Be confident in the things you are going to say–this will help you be more comfortable on the day.
When the day of the interview comes, you will obviously be asked numerous questions by the host. This is usually one of our in-house staff, unless otherwise requested by the client. Here are some tips for answering questions on-camera.
For editing purposes, it’s a good idea to include the question in your answer. This way, in post, we can remove the question, and your answer will still make sense. For example:
Interviewer: What’s your favourite colour?
In the above scenario, once we remove the interviewer’s dialogue, the answer does not work as a standalone clip. But by including the question in the answer, we get:
Interviewer: What’s your favourite colour?
Interviewee: My favourite colour is yellow.
Once we remove the interviewer’s dialogue, we still get a complete sentence that will make sense as a standalone clip.
Wardrobe has more to do with the overall effect of a video than you think. Imagine, for a second, if the background of your interview is striped wallpaper, and you show up in polka dots. Wouldn’t be too visually pleasing, would it?
One can usually not go wrong with solid-coloured clothing. It is also usually best to avoid white unless otherwise specified, as white is a common colour for a studio or room to be painted.
One thing to definitely avoid is clothing with a small, intricate pattern, especially on ties. This can cause the footage to show wavy, patterned lines.
Generally with interview videos, we use lavalier microphones, also known as lapel mics. To help us keep the mic and wire discreet, we suggest wearing a jacket or cardigan.
Our general suggestion with makeup is to keep it simple and tasteful. Camera lights can ‘wash out’ the skin on your face, so we do suggest a bit of blush or bronzer. We strongly recommend to bring powder to set with you, and this suggestion is not limited to women. It can get hot under the lights, and you are likely to sweat and your face can get ‘shiny’. Adding a touch of powder can fix this.
Please be reassured that our sets are a low-pressure environment. Our staff have been trained to work with clients and help you feel relaxed and comfortable. Our film crew has done hundreds of talking-head interviews and so has extensive experience in putting interviewees at ease.
It can be daunting speaking in front of a camera, and especially if this is a new experience, it can be confusing to know where to look. Though the crew should direct you, please do not hesitate to ask where your eyeline needs to be. You should be looking either into the lens of the camera, or at the interviewer, who will be slightly off-camera. These two distinctions will result in very different talking-head styles, so it is important that the interviewee and crew are on the same page.
There you have it–that is our best advice when it comes to preparing for a talking-head interview. Remember to practice your material and repeat the question with your answer. When it comes to wardrobe, stick with solid colours and avoid white. Powder is a must-have on set, for both genders. Be sure to specify where your eyeline needs to be during filming.Please feel free to ask any questions you may have at any time. Above all, do your best to relax about the shoot. Our staff’s number one goal is to make sure you, as the interviewee, have a positive experience filming your interview.