Digital video cameras are so inexpensive and so easy to use even a dentist can become a TV producer. A great use of video is to interview patients and then use these as online testimonials.
People invariably make the same sets of mistakes when they first start shooting video:
- Lamps or poles sticking out of the back of someone’s head;
- interview subjects who are just darkened blurs because there was bright light in the background,
- or poor to non existent sound.
Here are some shooting tips to help you avoid some of these common mistakes:
Use a tripod to get a steady shot.
Leave the proper amount of noseroom and headroom in front of and above the person you’re shooting.
For example, don’t have a shot where there’s excessive empty space above a person’s head. That’s just dead space. There should be just a little room above a person’s head in a shot.
It’s better to have that room below the person’s face, space you then could use when you’re editing the video to add a title with the person’s name.
Use a lavalier clip-on microphone to reduce the ambient sound.
But watch for necklaces or chains on a person’s neck, or buttons on a shirt, that could rub against the lav mic and create noise. clip the mic to the outside of their shirt, about 5-6 inches below their mouth. Try to center the mic as much as possible. If you have it too far to one side, it won’t pick up the audio well if the person then tilts his/her head to the other side while talking.
Ask the person you’re interviewing to look at you, not at the camera.
Try to avoid a straight-on shot – shoot the person from a slight angle to the left or right.
Don’t have your interviewee sit in a chair with wheels or that squeaks.
Watch out for nervous activity that creates noise – like someone jangling change or keys in their pocket.
When you start the interview, have the camera roll for a few seconds before you ask your first question.
Don’t constantly pan from side to side or zoom in and out with the camera – hold your shots for at least 15 seconds.
If you’re constantly panning and zooming, the one shot you’ll really want to use will lose its impact with all the movement by the camera.
This is especially important for video you’re using on a Web site because video with a lot of movement – such as what’s created with panning and zooming – doesn’t display well on the Web – it will appear choppy and slow.