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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 10th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #1
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Interview setup

I recently started doing some interview work..
and apperently I need to learn more on the subject..

I used pretty common 3-point lightning with a kicker.
The lightning was satisfying but the overall look of the image wasn't...

the camera was 25p 16:9 and some contrasty saturated preset.

what can one do to enhance the looks of the interviews? practice is of course the number one thing..but i just don't know how to variate myself anymore...
all input is welcome, lightning, framing, camera setup/presets
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:13 AM   #2
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Are you talking about news style vox pop interviews or professionally lit, sit down interviews with A: One interviewee or B: One interviewee and one interviewer or C: Multiple interviewees, like a talk show ?

What's the mood you're trying to achieve and who is the final customer/client/viewer?

Once you decide these things I can perhaps talk to you about style and framing etc...
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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:15 AM   #3
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its single person interviews, that will be set up...so no run and gun style.
Tripod of course.
What I want is to give it production value, since I planning on broadcasting it.
Besides that I have some ideas that are pretty hard to transfer visually.
I want it to look young, raw, cultural, inovative and perhaps not completly objective.
Maybe some of the things I'm mentioning are contradicting each other, but it's the feel I'm looking for.

thanks,
Vedran
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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vedran Rupic
its single person interviews, that will be set up...so no run and gun style.
Tripod of course.
What I want is to give it production value, since I planning on broadcasting it.
Besides that I have some ideas that are pretty hard to transfer visually.
I want it to look young, raw, cultural, inovative and perhaps not completly objective.
Maybe some of the things I'm mentioning are contradicting each other, but it's the feel I'm looking for.

thanks,
Vedran
I think the problem with looking contemporary these days is that there's a fine line between what's considered innovative and what's considered pretentious, fey and downright irritating ?

One of the more recent "contemporary" interview styles and one that's probably come along with the Mtv generation is the 'staccato zoom' technique, which kind of requires a little bit of manual play on the zoom ring, rocking it in and out to vary the shot size of the interviewee. Sometimes this style is accompanied by a second camera offering tight profile cutaways of eyes and ears or maybe hands.

Personally I'm more of a traditionalist, I think all that 'jazz' coverage sucks big time. When I shoot an interview, (for example I recently shot a series of interviews to be intercut for a 'talking heads' tv documentary...) I always like to start my interviews as a loose mid shot with a bit of discernible background. In this case we were interviewing a number of musicians who knew or worked with Johnny Cash, so the shot's had to have some sort of musical reference in them.

We shot people in recording studios, in music stores, at concert halls and places like that. Starting as a mid shot allowed us to show the location a bit and I also think it lends a relaxed feel to the shot, particularly as you the viewer can read the body language which helps to empathise with the subject. Each interview could be quite lengthy, so it's a good idea to gradually tighten the shot over the course of the interview. This is also good as a story becomes more intimate and you want to get right in close on the subject's face to really 'see what they're thinking'.

Lighting the scene can make all the difference as well. For this job I only used a single key and a coloured backlight positioned diagonally opposite the key. Keeping the barndoors boxed up and tight so as not to flood the room with extraneous light. This combined with whatever natural lighting in the room, a lit up mixing desk or a low level angle-poise type lamp in the background gave me the dark, moody intimate feel I was looking for.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:06 PM   #5
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I shoot in a manner that fits the style of the program the interview is for. Some very edgy snap zoom stuff with constant motion, some lock down well framed stuff, etc.

When you say it doesnt look good... what do you mean? Did you do a skin detail adjustment? That can help. Also, you might try a promist filter, it works for some interview applications. Any idea what your custom preset settings were?



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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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thanks for the inputs.
Actually, we will be shooting a documentary about the hip-hop music movement in Europe, and I'm sort of looking for this raw style, that in most cases is identified through the music. Primarily I havent done alot of DP work, but on this one, I have a camera operator that doesnt qualify for a dp so my input will be vital.
Good that you mentioned skin detail as it is probably the thing I understand the least, been searching a little here but found almost nothing.
I've tried to connect the cam to an monitor and tweak the settings for skin detail, But the changes seem very vague to me...
Any tip on how to master this perhaps very useful feature?
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Old August 1st, 2006, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vedran Rupic
thanks for the inputs.
Actually, we will be shooting a documentary about the hip-hop music movement in Europe, and I'm sort of looking for this raw style, that in most cases is identified through the music
Are you planning on playing some hip-hop as under-lay music behind the interviews, or will they be clean audio ?

Will the programme take a historical look at European hip-hop or is it about what's happening now?

Any idea where and who you'd like it broadcast by/on ?
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 05:36 AM   #8
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it will be contemporary, showing similarities and diffrences between the countries and also between europe and the united states.

Perhaps we will have music in the background, mostly we like to show people involved in this culture, their sourroundings and where this culture is at its peak.

Apart from it being a documentary about the music, the music should also be a tool/indicator of lousy circumstances in life.

It is made to suit the swedish national television, perhaps during broadcast hours when the most young people are watching
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 11:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vedran Rupic
thanks for the inputs.
Actually, we will be shooting a documentary about the hip-hop music movement in Europe, and I'm sort of looking for this raw style, that in most cases is identified through the music. Primarily I havent done alot of DP work, but on this one, I have a camera operator that doesnt qualify for a dp so my input will be vital.
Good that you mentioned skin detail as it is probably the thing I understand the least, been searching a little here but found almost nothing.
I've tried to connect the cam to an monitor and tweak the settings for skin detail, But the changes seem very vague to me...
Any tip on how to master this perhaps very useful feature?

Skin detail is pretty easy, the differences are subtle but you will notice them on a good monitor. This can be particularly useful when shooting people of different ages, skin tones, etc.



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