Interviewing people, as seen on TV

If you’re shooting video for a special occasion or even a family day out, you’ll usually want to have people in front of the camera to help tell the story. If you’re preparing a video to preserve the memory of an event or a special moment, these shots can become very valuable. They allow you to show the context and purpose of the video, and have your message presented by people who were there.

Ask open questions

When you put someone in front of your camera, it is always better to let that person talk freely rather than asking a new question every three seconds. Choose open questions such as "What is happening today?" rather than "Are you happy to be here?" Otherwise, all you’re getting is "Yes!"

With an open question, you get a longer sound bite. Don’t worry if it’s a little long. You can eventually “cover” the audio with images of the event while the person tells the story.

Framing the "interview"

If you frame your spokesperson in the center of the shot, the person will have to look straight at the lens. Unless they’re very experienced with vlogging or they’ve worked in television, they probably won’t last long looking at a camera.

What you should do is place the person to the left or right of the image, as long as you are positioned on the opposite side of the camera.

This way, when you ask the person to look at you, it will look like a "real" interview, just like on TV.

If you’re taping several persons, try alternating the side of the image where you place them. When editing time comes, you’ll be able to alternate sides and offer a wider variety of shots.