What you need to capture on your video shoot day

Advice from the Director's Chair

Should you decide you want to shoot your own corporate video (maybe even on a smartphone?), rather than hiring a company like us to do it for you, here are some tips on what we reckon you should try to capture on shoot day (aside from, you know, what's in the script!). Getting this kind of coverage will make the most of your shoot, and make your video easy to edit together effectively in the post production stage later.

So, without further ado, here are our best tips for videoing interviews, action and product beauty shots.

 
 

Interviews

It can be pretty easy to get interviews wrong and find yourself in a pickle in the edit suite with nothing you can cut away to, in order to splice out a poorly delivered line or avoid a visual issue. For interview footage, you're going to want to get:

  • Interviewee
  1. Wide version
  2. Tight version

This means that you can cut between the two camera angles if there are parts of the footage that you need to lose.

  • Interviewer
  1. Asking questions
  2. Noddies (“listening" shots)

Often you won't want to include the interviewer at all, so you can skip these, but it can be interesting to have something different for the viewer to look at, to break up straight footage of the person answering the question with a few shots of the person asking the question.

  • Vox pops

Make sure you have some pre-prepared messages for your interviewee to say, in case the off-the-cuff answers they give you don't quite do the job. You might write these up on an autocue (or texta on a piece of paper), or ask them to repeat them after you / memorise them, and unless the delivery is too problematic you'll usually find they're gold in the edit suite later.

 

Some quick tips to get the best performance from your subjects: 

  • Tell people to laugh before answering a question (so their face lights up with enthusiasm)
  • Tell people to speak loudly (so their body is energised and they don’t slouch or mumble)
  • If someone gives a rambling answer, tell them you need a shorter version and ask the question again
  • If someone sounds scripted and artificial, tell them to add “umm"s and “ahh"s, and to look around the room (as if thinking) so they can pretend the answer came to them spontaneously

 

 
 

Location / Action

When you're on location for shoots which involve action rather than static interviews, here's what you should look at capturing:

  • A wide angle of the whole scene

  • Focus on people (encourage people to exaggerate for camera; move people if necessary)
  1. Mid shots of people (e.g. groups interacting or working)
  2. Close-ups of faces (e.g. individuals laughing or concentrating)
  3. Specific “reactions" if needed
  • Focus on important objects / action
  1. Mid shots 
  2. Close ups

Before you start, ask yourself: should you be shooting slow motion?

 

 
Yes, any excuse for a picture of pancakes...

Yes, any excuse for a picture of pancakes...

 

Product / Beauty Shots

This one's a bit more straightforward – you really just want to make sure you're getting shots of both the whole product and plenty of close-ups on details that you can cut to.

Once again, before you start, ask yourself: should you be shooting slow motion?

 

Once you've got these in the bag, that's a wrap! Now you should be ready for the cutting room... your editor can thank us later.