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Old May 7th, 2010, 09:17 PM   #1
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One camera interview

I have an interview coming up in a few weeks and it will be the interviewer and one maybe two being interviewed. I have one 5D mk2 and one Rode SVM mic and a Manfrotto tripod with fluid head
My idea is to take a contextual first shot of the interviewer over the interviewees then the rest of the interview with the interviewees in focus over the interviewer's shoulder.
Any gems of wisdom from those with one camera interview experience?
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Old May 8th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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spend enough time finding perfect lighting combination, don't move your camera during interview, watch your timing (12 min limit), get as much cutaways as you can before and after the actual interview, so you'd be able to edit it looking like 2 cameras shoot, anything will do, just don't show moving lips so you don't have audio sync problems later :)
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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #3
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Kicker is I won't know the conditions, lighting etc until right before the interview. Wonder if the over the shoulder of the interviewer is best or perhaps a perpendicular front angle showing both the interviewer and the those being interviewed. So put it on the tripod and leave it alone then.....cept stopping and restarting in <12 minutes sets.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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I wouldn't worry about lighting as much as I'd worry about getting a lav mic or hanging a boom mic. On-cam mic will be miserable.

Also, disagree with the previous poster - I'd get several different angles throughout the interview.... wide/med/tight based on the content at that point.

I would shoot everything from behind and to one side of the interviewer.

I'd pick up a couple of reversals after the interview.

Good luck.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
I wouldn't worry about lighting as much as I'd worry about getting a lav mic or hanging a boom mic.
What would work with the 5Dmk2 or are you talking having it rigged to standalone recorder hooked up to lav mics.
anyone ever hang the RODE SVM?
Appreciate the comments
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Old May 8th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #6
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I would probably get an XLR lav mic and a juicedlink.

Alternately, you could get a lav mic with a 1/8" jack and a super long extender.

I wouldn't put that rode mic on a boom.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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I would watch this: Take 5: Awesome Interviews - Digital Juice TV

These guys did a great job showing how to do a one-camera interview with an on-screen interviewer.

Then follow the rest of the posts to get great audio.

Audio is key. If your audio stinks, your production is ruined. That's my opinion anyway.

Good lighting is also important. If you can show up early, do it.

Do go with a side shot, do an over-the-shoulder as shown in the Digital Juice video. The profile stuff only works if you have more than one camera.

Can you bring in some lighting gear?

Also, it sounds like you're going to have more than one person being interviewed at the same time, is this correct? That's going to make it more difficult to get great audio unless you have a boom operator or lav each interviewee.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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Thanks James!

When I read the ops post I remembered that video but couldn't remember who did it or where it was. I am bookmarking it now for future reference. It's about the best tutorial on the subject of 1 camera interview shoots that I have seen.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Great video from Digital Juice!! all of this has been helpful!!
why not an extended RODE svm? I have strobes but of course need continuous if i bring my own lights - this may be on a broadway stage so the lighting may be optimal but may not be too.
I bought a quartz 500 watt light at Lowes today and goinf to play around with my softboxes...too DIY?
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Old May 10th, 2010, 01:59 AM   #10
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Too DIY? Depends on how ghetto you want to look. IMHO, lights from Home Depot look like... lights from Home Depot. As in, "where's the drywallers? We need to get this job moving!"

That said, with the right diffusion, you could get decent results with HD lights. You just look ghetto while you're doing it.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #11
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I really did laugh out loud at that one, Mike!

I think DIY lighting is generally not a good idea. Lighting is they key element in getting a great image and getting it set right can be very time consuming. Hardware store light stands are not tall enough for many things and the lack of barn doors is a deal killer. They are handy to light background elements if you have a really big shoot, but they are not impressive when put right in front of an interviewee. Your subject may initially be confused by you shooting with a DSLR so try not to add to your "unconventional" appearance on the set. I learned this the hard way by shooting great video but having embarrassing comments about some of my lights. Learn to shoot with as few as possible and buy at least two professional lights and a reflector. Just because the 5D is good with low light doesn't mean it doesn't need light. In fact, to get a more reasonable depth-of-field, it is necessary to shoot at f2.8 or higher which means you need just as much light as with any other camera except in extreme situations where you can live with f1.4.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #12
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LOL at the ghetto comments too. I'm after good results first and formost - if i can get it ghetto so be it. Not really there to look professional though I know what you're talking about. I'm pretty sure I'll have stage lighting so it ought to be optimal. The DIY light was bought since it was $20 and I love a deal. Already have added a dimmer and will put an umbrella in front - that's for my persoanl experimentation not the interview by the way.

Absolute valid point about need the light since the DOF will require higher Fstops.

Think I will boom my Rode SVM with extension back to the camera. (no i'm not going to glue egg cartons to the chairs)
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Old May 11th, 2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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Some good tips in that Digital Juice clip but I have a hard time taking anything they say seriously when they have so many egregious samples of copyright violations in that clip. Someone at Digital Juice must think that this is fair use, but I don't see how. This is a commercial venture and I doubt that they obtained permission from Harpo for the Oprah clips and all of the other shows that they hi-jacked clips from. Wow.

My clearance people would have a heart attack on the spot if they ever saw me try to get away with this.

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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #14
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I think those clips could all be considered fair use as both commentary/criticism (they are specifically addressing their use of a specific technique and it's appropriateness in specific situations) and as educational use - although the video is branded by digital juice it is substantially educational in nature. They also constitute a minute fraction of the original works, are not used with an intention to supplant the original works, and have no appreciable impact on the value of the original works - so they essentially meet all of the typical criteria for determining fair use.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #15
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New Twist
Now the interviewer is a celebrity too so I nedd to capture three people sitting in chairs with one camera and a RODE SVM mic on a ten foot boom stand. So I'm thinking the interviewer in the middle now with an interviewe on either side at 45 degrees
Shot from the front with the boom mic high in middle just out of frame. I'll have the camera on a tripod with fluid head but am very hesitant to try to pan or zoom much if at all. Lighting will be standard stage lighting.
Will set audio levels manually before the interview.
any tips past this?

TIA
Harry
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