Filming interviews can be tricky sometimes, especially if you feel more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of it. Interviews can also be challenging because of all the factors that you have to take into consideration: all the technical aspects of the setup, such as the lighting, the camera angles, and making sure that every second are correctly recorded. Sometimes, we tend to think less about making the person we are interviewing comfortable, which is a key element for a quality tape.
Here are a few tips to help you through that process:
1 – Start by connecting with your interviewees as soon as they arrive on set.
You can achieve that by sharing a bit more about yourself, and about the project. Be honest about your expectations and give the maximum details about the shoot, which will help them understand what emotional reactions you are looking for. The more you give details about your project, the more they will be likely to articulate their answers towards what you want.
2 – Always have your micro recording
Even if you didn’t start the interview yet, you can start recording the audio before recording the video. While you are connecting with the person in front of you, the off-the-cuff audio can withhold very useful information!
3 – Smile and make jokes
It is well-known fact that human beings get more comfortable and more relaxed when they smile and laugh. The same goes for you as the interviewer: smile, laugh and relax to put your interviewee at ease. This way, the person in front of you will feel in a safe environment where he or she can be him/herself.
4 – Make their body language talk as well
Depending on your interview set-up, the person you are interviewing may be sitting or standing. Both have their advantages when it comes to technical aspects such as lighting, but it may not be the most comfortable position for your interviewee. If you have to keep your interviewee in one spot, encourage them to use their hands as they speak. It helps them convey information and it certainly helps them be more expressive.
5 – Get them in a conversation
Asking question after question is the typical interview process, but not always the best one. Instead, try to work from questions into conversations, because people respond best when they are in a conversation with another human being. It’s much more natural to explain ideas or processes to another person than it is to simply speak to a camera or a light.