In Monday's lesson I was picked at random to provide you with some tips for shooting video (no pressure there then). So here are my tips and rules to help you get that perfect interview or shot.
- Don't record footage near roads (too much noise) or in front of a window, it distorts the picture and makes the person you're interviewing hard to see.
- The adage with background is: less is more. Focus on the person you're interviewing, not that set of trees behind them.
- Try to make your interviewee focus on you, not the lens. So make sure they can see your face. This makes the conversation seem more natural and relaxed. They will find it easier to open up and hopefully provide you with a juicy scoop.
- Sometimes it is a good idea to encourage the person you're interviewing to repeat the question you've asked them in their answer. For example: Interviewer: What is your favourite colour? Interviewee: My favourite colour? Probably red. (please refer to comments below).
- Encourage people to tell stories, make it interesting.
- Try not to wobble the camera, keep the shot steady (a piece of advice I could definitely take on board!) This also ties in with the point about focusing the shot on the interviewee. If you zoom in the wobble matters less.
- And finally, it may seem like common sense, but make sure the sound isn't distorted. If it is, sort it out and start the interview again. If not, try to get some useable footage.
- If you're recording people moving around, get closer to them and try to get plenty of shots from the front. You might think you look like a bit of a stalker but if you get a great shot, who cares? Just don't get a banning order slapped on you.
- Avoid zooming in and out (again something I have a tendency to do). If you want a close-up, simply move closer.
- When you've found a shot you like, stick to it for around 10-15 seconds and then move on. Don't stick to one shot for too long.
- Try to get different views of the same shot, e.g. someone preparing food. Get a shot of their hands, then their face and also from behind. You can then cut this up and create an interesting sequence of footage.
- Finally: Try to tell a story with the footage you are shooting.
Now it's your turn. Have you got any extra tips for that perfect shot? Leave a comment below and share your expertise.