Interview Filming Guidelines
Opting to record the interview in your own time is generally preferred as it is easier for the interviewee to manage. However, this presents its own set of challenges.
Following these guidelines will ensure your interview looks professional and is formatted correctly for our feature section, which overlays text and link buttons on the left.
You’ll just need a basic video camera, or reasonable quality smartphone or laptop to film and we only suggest items you should already have around the office or house to help you achieve good results.
- Please film in landscape format.
- Positioning: Don’t sit right against a wall, allow at least a metre behind you if space permits – if possible, choose a location with a window to the side of you but keep the window out of shot.
- Framing: Sit to your left so you are off centre, slightly to the right of the frame.
- Eyeline: Tilt your left shoulder forward a bit and look off to the right of camera slightly – if possible, have another person sit off camera so you can maintain eye contact with them, to ensure it looks natural.
- Natural lighting: Avoid using overhead lights as they can cast awkward shadows. If you are primarily utilising natural light from a window, please ensure the lighting levels are moderate on day of filming – natural light generally looks great but if it’s too bright then it can cause issues, so draw the curtain if it’s too harsh. If the natural light source is too dim or brightness proves problematic then use lamps instead – position them out of shot and be mindful of where shadows fall. (Backlighting is preferable.)
- Backlighting: Even if you’re utilising natural light, if you have a lamp to position behind you then all the better – place it at head height or lower and remember to keep it out of shot.
- Audio: Be aware of any background noise such as:
- Birdsong – which can get surprisingly loud in some areas!
- Appliances – switch off the photocopier, washing machine etc.
- Any other voices – ask other members of your office/household to keep quiet if they are nearby – even sound in a neighbouring room can pick up sometimes.
- Some gentle background noise is fine to add atmosphere, just be mindful if it gets too loud. (You may have to pause and retake if needed.)
- Also, if you have another person operating the camera, please could they be careful of any rustling around the mic – keep hands away from the mic and keep at a distance from face to avoid picking up and sound of breathing.
- Stability: People often struggle to keep the camera steady for the duration of filming, so use a tripod if you have one, but if not, simply prop up the camera / phone on a table – you can use books to achieve the correct height or a laptop stand can sometimes work. An object like a mug can keep the device propped up.
- Filming: Try and deliver your responses as naturally as possible.
- Either read the question before you respond (with a reasonable pause afterwards) or have someone off camera do this (again pause before answering) – this makes it clear to the editor which question your response goes with.
- Film up to a minute of response per question. Try to pause slightly between sentences so shorter cuts can be made if required.
- You can film continuously – don’t worry if you go wrong at any point, just pause and restart that section or sentence as we will just edit accordingly. Or, if you prefer, you can film each question separately or break up the questions into blocks.
- Format: Please send the footage as MOV or mp4 files.
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