How to Prep your Video Interviewee

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.05.55 AM When you produce corporate videos and commercials, you sometimes have to work with talent or interviewees who have never been in front of the camera before. Not everyone is a confident or camera friendly subject. As the person interviewing or directing, you have tremendous influence over how the shoot goes. Here are a few tips to prep your talent for video glory.



1. “Take your time”

Assure the talent that if they get tangled up in their words they can start over. This isn’t live and no one is going to see them mess up. Explain to them the video will be edited and it’s your job to make them look good. Make it more of a conversational situation, tell them to ignore the cameras, just be themselves and share their story with you.


2. “Put the question back into your answer.”

Ask your interviewee to incorporate the question into their answer to give the viewer context to what they are saying. If they phrase their response with the question included, the answer can stand on it’s own and can naturally carry the story without disconnecting voice overs or text.


3. “Don’t hate me when I pause us during a take.”

There will be distractions, lighting issues, and noises. So make your interviewee aware that you will most likely encounter something that requires are retake. If you prepare them for it ahead of time it won’t seem quite as jarring when you have to interrupt them mid take because something ruined the shot.

Katlyn NessKatlyn Ness is the Production Coordinator for Explore Media, an award-winning digital video production company headquartered in South Bend, Indiana.  She blogs about the advertising, film and music industries as they relate to tv ads, web videos, industrial & commercial video, and branded films.