Caleb Wojcik, who runs a video production company in San Diego and teaches video production on his site diyvideoguy.com, guides us through filming a quick interview or testimonial.
Before getting into the camera side, audio, and lighting of video production, Wojcik says he shows up to shoot interviews or testimonials with equipment that’s not intimidating for talent.
Jumping into framing, if your talent is speaking directly to the camera, center is best. This method works mostly for tutorials, educational, and sales videos. The rule of thirds, which breaks your shot into three, is best for testimonials because you can add graphics and lower thirds when someone is speaking on the left or right side of a shot.
Placing your camera at eye level for interviews typically provides the most flattering look. Wojcik suggests a “set it and forget it” approach to using your camera. He manually sets aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and focus so he doesn’t have to change anything while filming.
For audio, lavaliers or shotgun microphones are the go-tos. Lavaliers can be wireless and are less equipment for your talent. However, they’re hard to hide, harder to attach to some clothing, and tend to make videos look more produced. On the other hand, shotgun microphones have fuller sound with less setup involving your talent. Although, you may need a stand or someone to hold it.
Your interview or testimonial is called your A-roll, but you should also have B-roll. B-roll makes your interview more interesting and allows you to cover your edits. You can tighten your audio to get rid of “Um’s and Ah’s” as well as show instead of tell. When it comes to B-roll, always record your A-roll first. Your A-roll will inform what your B-roll should be.
Film action for B-roll, steady footage, and think in threes. Recording in threes consists of thinking about wide, medium, and close-up shots. Wojcik provides several other threes from beginning, middle, and end to morning, afternoon, and evening.
Watch Wojcik’s presentation to hear his full DIY guide to filming a quick interview or testimonial.