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Mastering Interview Videos: 6 Essential Tips

Producing a professional interview video can significantly impact how your audience perceives your brand, message, or subject matter. Whether you are creating content for your business, a client, or a personal project, a well-executed interview video can engage viewers and leave a lasting impression. To help you achieve outstanding results, here are six essential tips for producing a professional interview video.

I want the light that is in this photo

1. Plan and Prepare Thoroughly


A successful interview video begins with careful planning and preparation. Before you even pick up the camera, outline the key points you want to cover during the interview. Create a list of questions that will elicit informative and engaging responses from your interviewee. Prepare more questions than you think you'll need! Research the subject matter and the person you are interviewing to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic.


"High-quality equipment may require a higher initial investment, but it will significantly enhance the overall production value of your video."

2. Invest in Quality Equipment


The quality of your video production equipment can make a significant difference in the final result. I would recommend investing in a high-quality camera and NOT relying on your phone to capture clear and crisp visuals. Consider using a tripod to keep the camera steady and avoid shaky footage, though nowadays, video production rules are meant to be broken. But not when it comes to audio! Quality audio is equally crucial, so invest in a microphone or a lavalier mic to ensure clear and audible dialogue. Additionally, consider using proper lighting equipment to eliminate shadows and create a professional-looking atmosphere. High-quality equipment may require a higher initial investment, but it will significantly enhance the overall production value of your video.

You don't need something this fancy... then again...maybe you do.

"For the love of all that is holy...DO NOT position your subject with their back to an open window."

3. Don't Neglect Basic Framing and Composition


Effective framing and composition can enhance the visual appeal of your interview video. Follow the rule of thirds, positioning your subject slightly off-center to create a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing shot. Pay attention to the background and avoid clutter or distractions that may divert the viewer's attention away from the interviewee. And for the love of all that is holy...DO NOT position your subject with their back to an open window. Noticing these key things can make a world of difference in the end result.


4. Conduct a Pre-Interview


Before the actual recording, conduct a pre-interview with the subject. This informal chat will help build rapport, make the interviewee feel more at ease, and provide you with valuable insights into their personality and talking style. Use this opportunity to fine-tune your questions and gain a deeper understanding of the subject's knowledge and perspective. Be sure to also offer the prepared questions in advance, and find out if there's anything that your subject is uncomfortable discussing. The pre-interview also allows you to address any concerns or nervousness the interviewee may have, making them feel more prepared to be in front of the camera.

This is obviously a very intense pre-interview

5. Edit Concisely


Now, the fun part; editing. This is where you get to take the subject's words out of context and draft your own narrative, right? Of course not. Make sure you spend the time trimming any unnecessary segments, pauses, or distractions to keep the video concise and engaging. The key here is really paying attention to what your subject is saying and then editing it in a way that says the same thing, but more concise. Editing for time and efficiency will be your biggest challenge, but the more interview videos you edit, the better you will become at this. Pay attention to the audio quality. You may find spots you'll want to add captions to ensure that the dialogue is clear and easily understandable.


6. B-roll, B-roll, and more B-roll


B-roll needed it's own section and I put it at the end so that you don't forget it! Add relevant B-roll footage or graphics to complement the interview content and enhance visual interest. Make sure when you're capturing B-roll, similar to preparing questions, gather MORE B-roll than you think you'll need. You'll thank me later. Use transitions to create a seamless flow between the different parts of the video. But just because a transition is available in your software of choice, does not mean that you should use it.... I'm looking at you, Cube Spin. The editing process plays a vital role in refining the narrative and delivering a polished, professional final product.

 

Producing a professional interview video requires careful planning, investment in quality equipment, and attention to detail during shooting and editing. But by following some of the steps in these six essential tips, you can create engaging, informative, and visually appealing interview videos that leave a lasting impact on your audience.

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