Recording video at studio. Camera records or filming for profess

Pro Tips for Field Producing and Moderating On-Camera Interviews

We review countless experiences interviewing people on-camera for video marketing content to boil down the top tips.

Housekeeping checklist for field producing interviews

A field producer is a jack-of-all trades who can manage the minutia and curate a killer storyline for the cameras.  Here’s a simple checklist before you actually get started.

  1. The interview subject has signed a release form                                            Yes ____  No ____
  2. The interview subject has spelled his/her first/last name and spelled it?         Yes ____  No ____
  3. The interview subject has addressed his/her title as it pertains to the video?  Yes ____  No ____
  4. The interview subject has been coached to answer in full thoughts.                Yes ____  No ____

Note:  All of this housekeeping before a video interview could and should be included on the first raw recording.  In lieu of a paper release form, the field producer can ask aloud while recording, “does our crew and our client’s business have your permission to use portions of this interview for its digital marketing?”

A simple yes recorded on camera serves as a good legal backup if there aren’t paper release forms (or if one gets lost in the shuffle).

The field producer should also coach the interviewee to answer in full thoughts.  We say “incorporate the question into your response.”

For example, if we ask, “what is your favorite color?”  Don’t answer “blue.”

The interview subject can elaborate on how or why blue is their favorite color.

“My favorite color is blue because I love looking at a clear blue sky on a sunny day.”

A good field producer can read people and their comfort level on camera.  If someone is very shy and gives quick one-word answers, it would behoove the video shoot to manage some of the housekeeping towards the end of the recording.  If all four of these housekeeping items are addressed first, it might bog them down and make them eve more nervous about the video shoot itself.

Casual Vibes, Professional Results: The Art of Transforming Relaxed Video Shoots into Polished Masterpieces

Interview subjects should be reminded that “this will all be edited.”  When the field producer says goofy things and is deprecating during the recording, it reiterates the safety net of having a video editor.  The video editor will pick and choose the best moments.  Most times, that’s the best 10 or 20% of the entire recording.  Therefore, this is a casual reminder to keep your interview subjects loose.

Another recommendation is to have interview subjects talk to each other.   For example, instead of interviewing two company leaders separately, it might make more sense to stick them together.  Having leaders stand shoulder-to-shoulder might bring the natural personality out of them.  The goal is to curate authentic content.  And so if two leaders are used to talking to each other every day, their speech might come across more naturally if they’re addressing each other.  In the video below, you will see how our field producer coached two co-owners of a company to address each other and the field producer.  The field producer doubled as the audience watching from home.  Meantime, that approach curated a lot more natural moments from a relationship that has its own flavor.

Coaching interview subjects to speak in full thoughts for video

Asking people to speak in full thoughts will become harder than you ever imagined.  There’s something about turning that camera on that stops some people right in their tracks.  And so part of your job as a field producer is to sometimes treat the scene like a video shoot isn’t even happening.  Never announce when the recording has officially begin.  You might find that during some rehearsal questions at the start of the recording, the interview subject might say “something I want to say in this interview will be…”

The next thing you know, that expertise that follows the “will be” quote becomes the actual sound-bite itself!

If you have an interview subject who is struggling to form a full sentence, start it for them.

Ask:  Can you say and finish this sentence for me?
“We are interested in partnering with a larger company because…”

Giving the interview subject a head start might just get them out of their own head.  The results of asking the question in this fill-in-the-blank fashion will eliminate their tendency for overthinking it.  The result could be much better than asking, “Why do you want to partner with a larger company?”

Interview subjects (and their marketing directors) often ask if the commentary will be scripted.  Click here for some additional guidance about when and how to script questions and answers.

How to make videos conversational

The end goal for basically every video marketing campaign is to “make it conversational.”  The easiest way to produce a conversational video is to actually have a conversation!

Matty D. Media has been proudly service Lawrence, Kansas City, and the surrounding Midwest region with broadcast-quality video production services since 2015.  For a free quote on a video production or to seek out professional consultation, please call or text (785) 917-1999 or (913) 735-0783 today.

Recording video at studio. Camera records or filming for profess
Kansas video production company Matty D. Media gives tips for moderating interviews on-camera.
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