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Old March 27th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #1
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Filter or Effect for Interviews ...

I'm currently working on a documentary series that will go straight to DVD and be marketed to a specific industry.

As part of the first episode of this series I have interviews with 3 people.

When I started the project I decided that I was going to invest in some lighting equipment and a background just to add continuity from interview to interview.

The problem that Iím having is that in the first interview it was my first attempt ever at "interview lighting" and there are many major issues. Issues like lights being in slightly the wrong position which is over exposing the subjectís forehead, cheeks and nose as well as shoulders and the top of his hair.

Ultimately it's not "that bad" but by my third interview, which was some months later, my lighting skills had improved quite a bit. Though Iíll admit Iíve still got a lot to learn.

Anyway, the continuity in lighting and how my background was draped changes noticeably from subject to subject within the same episode of the series.

What Iím considering is to crop in on the footage a little and rotate it slightly just to make it look a little more interesting and then adding some filter effects to help all the interviews look a little more uniform.

Has anyone else had this problem and tried to solve it?

I want to add these effects to make the shots more uniform but I don't want them to be so extreme that they are distracting you from what's being said in the interview.

The documentary is about people who work in the fireworks industry so it is somewhat appropriate to make things look slightly "xtreme" but not so much that the piece looses credibility.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


George Tasick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2008, 07:16 AM   #2
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I don't know if any of that is necessary. Often documentaries have interviews with different people in different places and at different times of the day and night.

Just my two cents...
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Old March 27th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Yea, I understand that ... but have you ever had two shots that where almost identical and from shot to shot someone accidentally bumped the camera. Shots where you cut between them it almost looks like a bad magic trick ... like everything jumps slightly to the left. It's not so different that people's brains will register it as being a different shot or location ... it just looks like the entire frame jumped slightly.

Thatís sort of what Iím trying to avoid.

I could leave it alone and just be happy with the fact that in the second episode Iíll know enough to have all 3 setups the same. But, I like to make things look like I did them for a purpose ... and not just me not knowing what I was doing.

So if I could just tweak all three interviews to have the same effect I could make it look like I planned it that way ... that would be better!
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Old March 28th, 2008, 07:41 PM   #4
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I jumped into video with more ambition than experience and have paid the price of fixing the "I didn't know I did that". So, I can relate.

I have used some effects and filters to make things look more uniform to the viewer's eye. Without going into detail of how to use the filters, some of what I have used are:

3-Way color corrector's secondary color correction (I use multiple instances) to target specific highlights like shiny faces and unevenly lit backgrounds. Just remember to make adjustments in small increments. This is my favorite because it is so versatile, but a bit of a challenge to learn.

Lighting effects filter allows you to create some strategically placed shadows or highlights using various light sources and various color lights. This concept attempts to draw the viewer's attention toward some areas (or away from others). Be sure to evaluate this effect as the video plays because the eye will perceive the motion differently than it will a static image.

I also like to place a copy of a clip on the next layer up and add effects to that layer. Then I can adjust the blend or opacity of the adjusted layer to fine-tune the amount of effect that is applied.

These steps can be tedious, but with enough time they can get you through.

Good luck.
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