Learn to light and shoot an interview with precision and style
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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 the 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 requires 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.
Anyone who is 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.
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.