Digi Know: Shooting Video Interviews

Video Camera

Author – Charlotte Ellis

Shooting an interview can be challenging but can add a lot to your learning material.

Tip 1: PLAN

It’s always a good idea to plan as this will help in getting a great interview. Plan a set of open-ended questions you want to ask the interviewee which will create a more interesting response and concentrate on the topics you want to discuss. It is important that you obtain consent from your interviewee, particularly if the video is going to be used publicly. If you need to book equipment the Media Production team will be happy to recommend equipment. Contact Video Production Team.


Get a good location for the interview. Somewhere that’s quite quiet and well lit, as the camera performs worse in low light. Avoid placing the interviewee with the light source behind, e.g. in front of a window, as this creates a silhouette. Instead place the interviewee facing towards the light. Also avoid setting up directly under overhead lighting. Move backwards or forwards to avoid the unwanted dark shadows this causes on your interviewee.

Location of light source and video camera


When positioning the interviewee use the rule of thirds to place the interviewee on one of the vertical intersections of the 3×3 grid, with their eye line one-third from the top of the image. Leaving some ‘talking space’ on the screen in the direction that the interviewee is facing (this will be the side where the interviewer is sitting). Avoid moving the camera during filming and try not to cut the interviewee off at the neck/waist/knees/ankles.



Take two people to shoot the interview, one to film and the other to ask the questions. This will also mean the interviewer can keep the interviewee comfortable and talk to them while the camera is being set up to try and take away any nerves they might have.


Get the interviewee to repeat the question in their answer, as this will give a well-rounded interview where the interviewer can be removed for the final edit. For example: “what is your favourite colour” “Red” – doesn’t give us much whereas “My favourite colour is red” – tells us what we are referring to.


When the interviewee is answering make sure you stay quiet as to not interrupt the answers given. However make sure you are still listening and nodding or smiling as your responses as this will make sure the interviewee keeps the correct eye line.


Make sure you get signed permission from your interviewee. For a copy of the form please Contact Video Production Team.

Charlotte Ellis

Created by FIM : 28/09/2015 11:31:14

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