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Tips for Filming Professional
Looking Interviews

Are you looking to film a professional looking interview? It may seem like a difficult task - but it's not, really. What you have to do is take note of some special tips and all will be good.


Ideally, in my opinion, shooting a professional interview requires several cameras which can shoot from different angles.

This is to prevent a static frame from being used throughout the interview. Viewers these days are not very really comfortable with a single angle view in video footage.

If you want to achieve this effect with a single camera, it is a difficult task but not impossible. Let's take a look at how we can do this.

1. Requirements

To film a professional looking interview, there are some basic requirements that you will have to fulfill. You will need a camera, a stabilizer like a tripod, one interviewee, one interviewer, two chairs and a microphone.

Learn to film a professional looking interview like this one

Look for a quiet area with little sound disturbances like children shouting or heavy traffic. Make sure that the room you are selecting does not have too much of lights. If the external light is hampering the internal light setup, you need to you need to cover the windows appropriately so that the light is evenly distributed in the room without any bright spots.

There should not be any evident deep shadows as well. This is because, irrespective of the advanced techniques available, cameras cannot for differentiate these shadows as well as human eyes can.

Also remember that overhead lights can be responsible for raccoon eyes. So, some fill lighting is necessary to make sure that the topography of the face can be well differentiated.

Make sure the lighting is appropriate

Some kind of light reflector can be used for the purpose. It can even be a white paper and the size of the reflector will depend on the distance of the light from the face and the area to be covered by reflection.

2. Planning Before The Actual Interview

This is absolutely necessary for filming a good interview. Get in touch with the person you want to interview way beforehand. Conduct a pre-interview interview at the same place and time that you have planned for actual shot. Gauge the tone you need to use during real production.  - this will give you a chance to understand your environment and the setup you need.

Assemble and test your equipment the day before the actual interview. Make sure you're on the spot ahead of schedule. This will give you the time to adjust and accommodate any changes that you need and then set up the stage and your equipment. Identify the position for your interviewee and set up your equipment based on the position.

3. Actual Interview

During the actual interview shot, shoot the interviewee without moving even a little bit. When the guest completes the answers to all the questions, you have to shoot the interviewer by repositioning the setup for lights and camera and ask to repeat the whole set of questions all over again.

4. Shooting The Cutaways

One of my favorite tips for making professional looking interviews is to always a shoot a shot of your guest over the shoulder of the interviewer.

Remember that this shot needs to be for a few seconds. Then carry out the reverse. Shot the interviewer over the shoulder of the guest. Do this a couple of times for each position of the camera and go for extreme close-up shots as well as wider shots which can cover the subjects from behind.

5. Backup Shots

Once the interview is over, shoot the interviewer and the ask the person to nod his or her head as if he or she is agreeing to something that the interviewee is saying.

Grab a couple of backup shots after the interview

A few more cutaway shots from different angles for both the subjects is needed for creating an illusion of multiple cameras in use. Make sure that you get some solo shots but at least one of the subjects must be speaking to avoid complete silence - this is also one of my most important tips for making professional looking interviews.

6. Editing

Once you're done with the interview shoot, fire up a good video editing software program and do your post-production clean up. The primary track will be the guest footage. Break the footage of the interviewer, cutaway small clips and enter them in the primary footage in appropriate places.


Filming an interview using a single camera can be time consuming and difficult. Make sure you follow the above tips for making professional looking interviews and your work will be well appreciated by the audience. If you have any questions about filming interviews, then feel free to drop me a question or a note here.

Return from tips for filming professional looking interviews to my main tips and tricks page.

Edit Digital Videos With Ease

If you've been looking for a good video editing program, you may want to check out Corel VideoStudio Pro. This software allows you to quickly create and share a movie using built-in templates, special effects, titles and transitions. You can apply unique effects such as stop-motion animation, time-lapse and chroma key to create brilliant digital videos.

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You may also wish to read the following related articles:

A guide to converting your old videos to DVD
How to buy a digital camcorder
Some common misconceptions about digital camcorders
How to connect your VCR to the PC
An in-depth explanation of how a camcorder works


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