Being in front of a camera can be nerve racking because you are so conscious of what you are not or are doing that makes you stand out. As an experienced cinematographer/cameraman/editor I am here to give you some tips to help you look your best, relax and not piss off a film crew. Here are 5 video interview tips to help you through this!
1. Try to get a list of questions ahead of time.
Doing this affords you the opportunity to not be blindsided with unexpected questions and limit your “um’s.” Get the questions, sit down and read them over a few times, then plan out answers that can be given in two to three sentences.
2. Be concise and give breaks.
As an editor it is a nightmare to edit someone who doesn’t know how to stop and take a breath. They are ninja breathers. When a person runs a sentence together there is no where for an editor to make a cut in between breathes or points.
3. Don’t say sorry. Crews will still love you.
I’ve done this for about a minute in my lifetime so I’ve done it often. You don’t need to apologize to me, your flubs and stutters are normal, I expect them to happen. What I would like you to do is even if you mess up, keep going because something else you may say afterwards could be brilliant. Let the editor decide where to cut and what sounds good. Or the director ;)
4. During Mic checks, be loud and proud.
Interviewees tend to speak at a lower volume when doing mic checks versus when they are live. Try to speak at the volume you speak at when you speak publicly to help the crew set their levels. Of course they can adjust but having it up front is always nice.
I like to ask my clients where they were born and what year while making them believe I am recording. Be conversational while talking before tape rolls while you are mic’d.
5. Film crews aren’t so serious.
Film crews like to have fun while they do what they love. Enjoy them and get to know them, it helps you relax, look more comfortable and give your best performance. A films crew job isn’t to make you feel bad or look bad, they want the best looking product too.
Tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments below. Do you have a tip in front or behind the camera?