how to shoot an interview - sound and vision media

Using appropriate lighting during shooting an interview is essential for achieving high-quality video footage that looks professional and visually appealing. Proper lighting can enhance the subject’s appearance, create a mood or atmosphere, and ensure that details are clearly visible without distracting shadows or harsh highlights. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the importance and techniques of using appropriate lighting during an interview:

1. **Highlighting the Subject**: The primary purpose of lighting in an interview is to highlight the subject – typically the person being interviewed – while minimizing distractions in the background. Soft, even lighting helps to illuminate the subject’s face and features, drawing the viewer’s attention to their expressions and words.

2. **Creating Depth and Dimension**: Lighting can also be used to create depth and dimension in the video frame, adding visual interest and separating the subject from the background. By positioning lights strategically, such as using a key light to illuminate the subject’s face and a backlight to create separation from the background, filmmakers can achieve a more three-dimensional look.

3. **Setting the Mood**: Different lighting setups can evoke different moods or atmospheres, depending on the tone of the interview and the desired effect. For example, bright, evenly lit scenes may convey a sense of professionalism and clarity, while softer, more diffused lighting can create a more intimate or emotional ambiance.

4. **Balancing Natural and Artificial Light**: When shooting indoors, filmmakers often need to balance natural light from windows with artificial lighting to ensure consistent exposure and color temperature throughout the scene. This may involve adjusting window blinds or using supplemental lights to fill in shadows and prevent harsh contrasts.

5. **Avoiding Harsh Shadows**: Harsh shadows can be distracting and unflattering in an interview setting. To minimize shadows, filmmakers often use diffusers or softboxes to soften the light and create a more flattering, natural-looking illumination. Additionally, positioning lights at appropriate angles and distances can help to reduce shadows cast by the subject’s nose, chin, or other facial features.

6. **Controlling Light Intensity**: Controlling the intensity of light is crucial for achieving proper exposure and avoiding overexposed highlights or underexposed shadows. Filmmakers may use dimmer switches, light modifiers, or scrims to adjust the intensity of artificial lights and maintain a balanced lighting setup.

7. **Using Color Temperature**: Matching the color temperature of artificial lights with the ambient light in the scene is essential for achieving natural-looking skin tones and avoiding color casts. Filmmakers may use color correction gels or adjustable LED lights with customizable color temperatures to match the lighting conditions of the shooting environment.

8. **Adapting to Changing Conditions**: Lighting conditions can change rapidly during outdoor shoots or in dynamic environments. Filmmakers must be prepared to adapt their lighting setup accordingly, using portable lights or reflectors to maintain consistent lighting quality despite changing conditions.

9. **Minimizing Glare and Reflections**: Glare and reflections from shiny surfaces such as glasses, jewelry, or glossy backgrounds can be distracting in an interview. Filmmakers may use polarizing filters or adjust the angle of lights to minimize glare and reflections, ensuring clear visibility of the subject’s face and features.

10. **Considering Composition**: Lighting not only affects the subject’s appearance but also plays a crucial role in framing and composition. Filmmakers must consider the placement of lights relative to the camera and the subject to achieve a balanced composition and ensure that key elements are properly illuminated.

In conclusion, using appropriate lighting during shooting an interview is essential for achieving professional-looking video footage that effectively communicates the intended message and engages the audience. By understanding the principles of lighting and employing proper techniques, filmmakers can enhance the visual quality of their interviews and create compelling, visually appealing content.