When filming a video for a business, more often than not you will be filming someone that represents the company rather than a professional actor. Thus, achieving a succinct and high quality interview can be occasionally difficult. Those unaccustomed to being in front of the camera will often be fidgety and strained in their responses leading to a poor delivery of content and brand image. In this article we’ll be looking at a few ways to lessen the effects of nerves on non-professional talent.
An interesting case study has arisen lately, that of the viral interview between Chris Stark and Mila Kunis. Everything about the manner of the interview is awful, yet it’s by far the most natural, most enjoyable interviews I’ve seen in a long while and because of that it effectively promotes the content more than a regular Q&A would have done. So what can we learn?
To kick off, let’s start with the relationship between interviewer and interviewee. Where possible, an interpersonal dynamic needs to be cultivated that breeds motivation and interest. To do so, sit down with your subject before the cameras roll, chat to them about the content, ask questions and be interested. Not only does this allow your subject to feel motivated by talking to an interested individual, it also creates mental furrows so they can answer your question more fluently.
Secondly, If the subject remains nervous, despite all your friendly methods they may continue to fidget, either with their hands, their feet of the jewellery. If this occurs, consider framing a tight shot instead to cut out the offending tic. Do everything you can to avoid this nervousness though, a casual conversation before the interview starts can make all the difference.
Additionally, allow your subject to have a degree of choice when choosing where to sit. While you may have the perfect composition in mind, remember that many interviewees may want to be in certain rooms or away from audiences and colleagues. Work with them to find a comfortable location and then work your composition around that. Forcing your subject to endure the scrutiny of their colleagues while talking is a sure fire way to stress them out.
Once your subject is completely at ease and your shot is well arranged, a good use of light and makeup will vastly improve the shot, a shiny and dimly lit subject would be a terrible result to the hard work throughout your interview. This is vital, particularly if you’re going in for a closeup where every little facial detail is on show.
I can’t stress enough the paramount importance of putting your subject at ease, it is this that is the pivotal aspect of any interview. An uncomfortable subject makes an uncomfortable interview which makes uncomfortable viewing. So get it right.