Interviews are a ubiquitous component of corporate and commercial videos. So much so that we often take them for granted! But making an interview look great, and having the subject feel comfortable, requires a bit of forethought. Here, we break down a few interviewing aesthetics and framing ideas you might consider before going into production.
PRIMARY CAMERA ANGLE: WIDE ONE-THIRD COMPOSITION
This is the most common setup we employ and is a great place to start. It gives you enough space in the frame to fit a well-composed background, a lower third and the subject from the stomach up. Additionally, if you have a camera that shoots in 4K, you can use the same angle for a tight headshot by punching in while editing.
SECONDARY CAMERA ANGLE: TIGHT HEADSHOT
When you're editing an interview, you'll most likely need to make cuts, even if you're just removing a pause or a long breath. A tight headshot from a second camera will look great, while also keeping the narrative smooth and the editing seamless.
This is an aesthetic style that clients sometimes ask for. Because the interviewee is speaking and looking directly into the camera, this style can feel more personal and intimate to the viewer. It's also the same look that subjects will have if they're reading off of a teleprompter.
This setup can be a lot of fun because the two subjects can bounce ideas off one another and have more of a dialogue than they would if they were being interviewed individually. Our recent blog post goes into more detail about this setup.
This effect can be a nice addition to the other compositions above. Adding an angle that shows a bit of the crew and cameras can give your video a relaxed and fun feel. It also catches viewers' attention by giving them a peak of the magic of that set up that great interview shot!
INTERVIEWS WITH MOTION: STABILIZED OR RUN-AND-GUN STYLE COMPOSITIONS
These are best utilized for films where the interviewee does not need to stay in one place. Using a camera stabilizer, you can follow subjects as they speak. You could even stay in one place and compose your shot like a wide one-third, but the subtle, fluid motion of the floating camera will give the interview a more laid back aesthetic.