This year at the CIJ Summer School, Robert Miller and Martin Tomkinson offered advice for how to get the best visual and audio footage of your interviews. Their top tips have been summarised below…
1. Keep any shot still for ten seconds
Spraying the camera results in confusing pictures. To add to this, only use the zoom image in extreme circumstances as it will pixelate quickly.
2. Get cutaways of a variety of shot sizes
Such as close ups, medium close ups and wides. There could be a close up of their eyes or hands, or a detail in the room of where they are sitting.
3. Place the camera to one side of yourself
…as the interviewee talks to you. Frame so you can see both of the interviewee’s eyes and ensure the camera is at eye level.
4. Watch out for distracting backgrounds
You want the focus to be on the interviewee.
5. Ask the interviewee to include some of your question in their answer
This is because the audience may not always hear your questions. Editing and cutting will be made easier this way.
6. Place the recorder half way between you and the interviewee
Also find a quiet place to conduct the interview. This will help you receive the best audio.