5 tips for filming a talking head style video
The “Talking Head” is commonly used in website video & video production. When someone is interviewed someone or speaking directly into the camera – that’s what we call a talking head.
You can film an impressive and professional talking head style interview if you don’t want to bring in the professionals – our packages for talking head videos start from £99, but for those of you who are keen to try it for yourselves, here’s how to do it…
1. Where are you going to film?
First, consider the location where you are going to shoot the video interview. You’ll need a spot that’s really quiet so that you record useable audio. You also need a reasonable amount of space. The person you are filming needs a metre or so of space behind them to ensure depth-of-field, and to avoid it looking very flat. Ensure the backdrop is plain – with no plants or office items sticking out of their head
2. Lighting video for best effect
The best lighting is the standard “triangle lighting” which you can Google for more info.
If this is all too fiddly just make sure that lots of diffused light is falling on the subject’s face. Make sure the light behind them isn’t too bright – if it is you’ll get a silhouette. Think about any shadows on their face or behind them and try to be kind! Ensure good skin tones and a flattering shot.
3. Using the Camera & the microphone for video interviews
The camera should be on a tripod about 2-3 metres in front of the person to get a good stable image.
They should wear a microphone. At this distance, you will need to zoom in to get a medium-close-up. However, if you have to rely on the on-camera mic for sound, you need to be closer (about a metre away) or the mic won’t pick up the sound well. However, we recommend using a separate mic every time – you WILL notice the difference. Audio on handycams (like a Flip for instance) will just about stand up inside – it will amplify the sound of wind or traffic however, so be very careful if you choose to film outside.
4. Getting the best results for your talking head.
An interview is usually a stressful situation for most people who don’t spend their lives in front of a camera. So, look for way sto relax your subject.
Build some rapport with small talk. Make sure the interviewee is well briefed and has prepared what they might want to say. You should treat the interview like a relaxed conversation; the more relaxed the interviewer is the more relaxed the interviewee will be.
5. Posing the right questions
Do you want to edit the interviewer out later and just have the interviewee talking? If so, you need to get the interviewee to rephrase the question in their reply, so it makes sense to the audience. The questions you ask and the way you ask them is essential to the success of the interview.
If the interviewer is to be included in the shot, or their voice is off camera then this often leads to a more relaxed interview. You need to know what you want the interview to look and sound like before you start to make sure you get everything you need on the day.
Here’s a talking head video used well by WeightMedics.co.uk
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