Whether you’re pre-recording one interview or a series, creating a high quality vlog is no small feat. Luckily there are some simple actions you can take before you begin to set yourself up for greatness. Pre production is key
*These recommendations are for indoor interviews.
PREPARING THE INTERVIEWEE
First, we recommend to prepare the interviewee by sending them the questions for the interview so they are prepared. Having some impromptu moments is more human so if there is a hint of natural conversation during the recording, it’s okay. However if you are trying to create something more serious or educational, having a standardized flow and set of questions will provide a cohesive program. We suggest coming up with questions that are short and direct.
We also suggest providing them guidelines for their camera, desktop or laptop camera position so they aren’t trying to figure this out at the time of the recording.
When you are ready to meet for the interview, make sure you both show up a minimum of five minutes before the interview so you can have time to say hello, go through the process, what to expect, and help set the tone.
WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE?
capturing the best angles and giving your post production crew some leeway for editing
When recording directly from a computer or plugin cam, make sure the presenter is not looking down into the screen. The video will be unflattering, looking up the nostrils at that angle. The best height for recording is at eye level or slightly above which typically gives a better look. Let them know this prior to the recording so they can situate the screen at the best angle.
VIDEO CAM DISTANCE
Make sure the speaker is not right on top of the camera. You should be able to see head to elbow distance. This will give the editor an opportunity to zoom in or out and a more overall consistent look of the vlogs and compilation if you are showcasing them all together.
If at all possible, try to film on a clean blank wall (no posters or ornamental wall hangings). White walls are easy to find and preferable as they generally give a clean, effortless elegance. Alternatively glass walls are nice as well if the post production team can blur the moving background. Of course there are a plethora of other backgrounds you can film in to get a great shot, but if you’re new to this or not creatively inclined with sets, sticking with a white, grey or black backdrop is always the way to go.
HOW DO YOU SOUND?
If the room has a cavernous sound, your post production team can typically deal with that. However, it’s great to test up front if the volume is making it worse or better. Take some time to do the testing. If you are there early enough, it shouldn’t be an issue. It also gives you some time to ground and relax your interviewee by having a light conversation through the testing process.
The tools you use to record should also have some volume options so don’t feel you have to leave it all up to the speakers computer or phone settings. Also don’t forget to recommend that the speaker find a quiet room upfront so you don’t have to deal with this at the time of the event.
With pre-recorded interviews, you have some leeway to repeat answers or questions to get the best take. The following guidance will truly help your production team.
Let the speaker know you will ask one question and they will answer it twice with a good break between. Advise the speaker to take a breath or pause between sentences if possible. Only when done the two takes should the recorder speak. Otherwise you risk ruining the take and on many webinar recording tools, when you make a noise, the video camera will jump from the presenter to the interviewer. Don’t forget to wait a moment before speaking. It may feel weird but it helps your post production team.
If you are interviewing multiple people on one interview, make sure they understand the rules and don’t have interruptions within the office. Or for a free flow conversation between multiple locations it gets trickier on this type of recording tool. In this case we do recommend having both videos up at once and not a scenario where the video jumps between speakers or you will have someone getting cut off due to the overlap issues on the video recorder. You’ll need to check your meeting tools to ensure they can capture multiple speakers at once, versus just one at a time.
Lastly, have fun and reap the rewards of your great new vlog content!
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