Keeping up the energy

Avoiding the awkward interview: 5 top tips for the perfect soundbite

So your talent walks in on set and is immediately intimidated by lights cameras mic and the hundred of PR people watching on. They look like a scared, and as the producer or DOP you see it in there eyes!

Lights beaming at 100% and the camera’s start roilling. It takes 10 takes for them to awkwardly blurt out their name and their job title. The takes are so disjointed it’s an editors worst nightmare – there is so much covering up you can do in post! Your end product is AND your on-going retainer is on the line.

How did we get to this point and how can we fix it?

Even the seasoned sales director has problems on stage or in front of a camera. The trick is to get them relaxed and use subtle NLP techniques to loosen up and get thwm to starting running with you. Here’s a short summary or how to make your interviews flow better and and so to edit easily.

Step 1 – Frankie says RELAX

You only have a few seconds to create a good impression, so greet your talent with friendly smile and offer a hot beverage. After sitting down, run through the logistics all the time reassuring they will do a good job

Step 2 – Cool Runnings

Sit them in front of the camera with the lights off for them to get use to the set up. Run through questions and offer suggestions on how to answer the questions. It’s easy to get caught up in the details but being proactive about their answer, body language will go a long way to encouraging a good sound bite.

Step 3 – Get the shot

Once you have run through script it’s time to roll the camera. Start with the easy question first, for example what’s your name and what you do for company XYZ. This is an easy question for most people and will set the style and pace. Try and inject energy in asking the questions – your talent should copy this in kind and will sub conciously mimic your actions.

Step 4 – Step repeat

I always try to get another take just in case. It might not be the same answer, but it might be better or the inflection might sound better – in any case having a second option in the edit suite is always a good thing. You may not be able to get this because your talent is the CEO of some important company, but your job is to make them look good. Make up some excuse like background noise or could you elaborate on the answer or can you compress your sound bite.

Step 5 – All warmed up

Once you have all the answer in the can, I always say “Now you’ve warmed up now, can we just redo the first two questions again”. More offen than not, your talent will be more than willing to accomodate. It’s another option for your editor to use just in case.

So there it is, just a few pointers on how to engage with your talent and get them at ease to answer in a more genuine fashion.

For more information on video production for casestudies, interviews please contact for more information.

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