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Old February 19th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #1
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Lecture and Interview shoots--advice?

I'm going to be filming a college professor at two locations and I wonder if anyone had any suggestions about lighting, audio, or anything in general regarding interviewing. I'm fairly new to both interviewing and the XH-A1, so I'd appreciate the advice.

The first is a talk in a library room. I've never been there so I don't know the size, but I suspect it isn't too huge, so I'll likely use my wireless lavalier system. With respect to video, I'd like to also get shots of certain audience members, so I think I'll need to be off to the side. Any settings advice for indoors? Camera placement?

The second is a sit-down interview in the professor's office. Should I also use the wireless again or maybe rig up my Rode VideoMic on a stand above his head? Should I bring my light kit? It's just me so I hope to travel with less and to therefore use available light.

Any thoughts and suggestions on the talk & interview would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 06:10 AM   #2
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I'll tell you what I was told about 40 years ago. Better to have it and not need it then not have it and die for it. Different time, different place but sage advice.
Not knowing the physical layout of the library I would definately bring lights. Bounce them off the ceiling or off white or gray cards or use scrims or diffusers but my experience in places like that is they are very dark and use overhead lighting which will give the speaker a ghost like appearance. Actually more zombie like. Great for Michael Jacksons Thriller video not so much for a serious interview. Audio with a lav should be fine, watch the level and make sure the speaker realizes he's mic'd. Deep breathes, pops, wheezes, all that stuff.
As for audience reaction stuff you'd be far better off with a 2nd camera locked down if need be to get that instead of swish panning from the speaker to the audience and back. Even an inexpensive palmcorder and cheapo tripod would be better than panning back and forth. Also if you are able to secure a 2nd camera then set up at the back of the house so you have a better chance to get a more straight on shot of the speaker and if he's a mover then you have less panning to keep him in the shot. Or at least he'll always look the same size in the shot. If you shot from the side if he walks away from the camera you need to zoom in to keep him the same size-opposite if he walks towards the camera.
When I do seminars I use a 12" monitor so I'm not looking thru the little LCD on the camera for hours on end (helps the old eyes) and I do wear headphones to monitor the audio whether I'm running the mixer or pulling a feed from the main mixer. I don't wear them all the time just in the beginning and then occassionally thru out to check. If you do have 2 cameras then start them at slightly different times so you can change tapes withou losing any one "scene" from both at the same time. You always want to have something to cut to.
Anyway that's about all I can think of at the moment,
Good luck-have fun.
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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Agreed over prepared is ALWAYS better than under prepared. Personally, when I am doing interviews and the dialoge is critical I always use a hard wired mic. Period.

I did freelance videography for several affiliates here in PHX and even with very high end wireless mic systems you will always run a risk of interference or static etc. If it's a sit down then having a hard wire should be no problem. For the lecture and walk and talk type stuff definitely use the wireless. IMHO I think using your Rode on a stand would be the way to go based upon revious experience.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 01:03 AM   #4
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Don and Kellen, you've given me great advice and many ideas to work with. Most appreciated.
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