Learn to light and film interviews with minimal time and equipment, producing high-quality professional-looking interviews that would rival "60 Minutes".

Jul 29, 2024 - Aug 2, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate,
Workshop Fee: $1895
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday to Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12

Setting up lighting for filming an interview
Image Credit: Tracy Farrell 

The production of documentaries, corporate videos, reality shows, and television news almost always requires the shooting of interviews and/or talking heads.  This workshop has been created to help camera operators, directors, and producers take their interview shooting skills to a higher level. The emphasis in this course is on using small crews (1-2 people) with minimal equipment to shoot interviews that have a high-end, news-magazine-style look, as can be seen on “60 Minutes,” “Nova,” “Frontline” and other similar programs.

This course is taught by Doug Jensen, a veteran freelance cameraman/director with over 38 years of experience shooting news, documentaries, and reality shows for major broadcast and cable networks; as well as directing and shooting hundreds of corporate videos.  Through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises, students learn various lighting techniques and styles for traditional single-camera setups in mixed-lighting situations. While tungsten and fluorescent lighting are discussed during this workshop, the focus is on learning to blend state-of-the-art LED lighting with available natural light in a wide variety of real-world locations outside of the studio and classroom.

But “lighting” is just part of the course.  Shooting great-looking interviews require more than just placing a few lights in the right places. This course goes beyond just the lights themselves and covers topics such as choosing the most appropriate camera and lenses; finding the best locations; blocking the shots; dressing the set; determining the most effective camera placement; framing a pleasing and balanced composition; audio recording; hiding microphones; how to be set up and ready to roll in as little as 20-30 minutes; tips and tricks for obtaining shallow depth-of-field; applying make-up to the talent; obtaining healthy skin tones; setting the proper exposure and white balance; how to use zebras and peaking; creating custom scene files with the camera’s menus; how to ask questions that will get the sound-bites you need; and techniques for directing professional and non-professional talent.

View various samples of footage from one of Doug’s previous Interview Lighting and Shooting workshops. View more student examples on Vimeo.

Anyone responsible for shooting interviews and/or talking heads will finish this course better equipped to obtain superior results regardless of any limitations of budget, time, or equipment.

Please note: An hour-long training session on Set Etiquette and Safety will be required of anyone registered for a workshop that involves production. Students only need to participate in this session once during their time on campus.

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Instructor: Doug Jensen

Doug Jensen is a cinematographer, producer, director, editor, consultant, and founder of Vortex Media. He is a member of Sony’s independent Certified Experts, and he brings his real-world perspective into the classroom. His various professional roles have included: freelance ENG/EFP owner-operator; hand-held camera operator for live sporting events and concerts; television news photographer; director of photography for documentaries; corporate video writer/director/producer specializing in training and promotional videos; and a development consultant for such products as Sony’s camcorders.