Today we’re going to take a look at how to set up a 3 camera interview with a minimal crew.
I’m going to talk about the basics to give you a good foundation for a 3 camera interview.
How to set the cameras up, how to light it, what sound you should do, and last of all, the interview process itself.
Camera Set Up
If you have 2 people, you can pull off a 3 camera interview with some camera sliders.
We’ve got edelkrone sliders here, and the sliders are going to move in a parallax movement, so it gives us dynamic shots on the B & C cameras, which gives us a great look with our locked off A camera.
Let’s set up the cameras.
First off, A camera.
With the A camera, I want it to be a little wide because I want this to be contextual. I want them to see the factory in the background, with my 2 subjects in the foreground. I’m going to set them up in the middle so they can turn and look at each other, and I’m going to stand off just to the left of the camera as I do the interview.
But in this process, I’m at 24mm because on this super 35 it’s giving me almost a 35-40mm, if I see all of the factory in the background and I like that context. I’m not too shallow depth of field, I’m about 3.5 because I want to see some of the context in the background. Because on this camera I’m at 100mm and I’m going to want to be at 2.8 and then the background would just go away, but in this situation, it’s the owners of SKB and I want to see the factory where they make the cases, so I’m going a little more depth of field, and a broader lens to give context.
Our first B camera, it’s a camera on the right hand side, it’s make to capture the person on the opposite side while looking over the shoulder of the person on this time.
I’ve got 100mm on the Canon EOS R. he target tracking is keeping focus on the subjects for us. There’s not a lot of movement, so it’s just going to be a slight change in focus as it goes back and forth on the slider.
The edelkrone HeadPLUS Pro is great because you just come to position one and point it where you want to shoot. You’ve got a 3 axis move here – you can go up, down, slide across with the slider, you’ve got tilting and panning, and can set positions on the app and be able to smoothly move from position 1 to 2.
This is the C camera. This is giving me cross coverage. It’s looking across the other person I’m interviewing, dirtying the frame with his shoulder, and now each person’s got their camera view – one from the right and one from the left.
This is the sliderONE from edelkrone with the HeadONE, it’ a small light weight and easy to carry because it’s so compact. We’re going to pick our A position and our B position and just have the camera slide back and forth. Both of these sliders give us the ability to feather in and out of the stops. Once we’ve got these going, we don’t need anyone to operate them – I can be on the A camera and off we go!
For sound we’re going to have 2 sources. First lavs on each of our interviewees – those wireless lavs are going to go back to the C200. Then we’re going to put a shotgun mic between our 2 interviewees and aim it towards their chest to give us good audio from both of them.
The lavs are more present/higher end. You get more of the tone/high end treble and not as much bass, where as with the shotgun mic, it’s more bass and room, and then you mix those together in the timeline they start to sound really wonderful together.
This also is smart because you have a backup source if one of them doesn’t end up working.
It’s hard because we have 2 garage doors here – the floor was very high already. In most interviews you will have to augment the light that is already there. So we’re going to let those light sources live and we’re going to do a double back key rim and them a fill from the front.
I’ve got a rim light right here, and that rim light is going to rim this person, but it’s going to key this person. So as he turns in to speak to his partner as he’s talking, it’s going to key him, but it’s rimming his partner’s head from behind.
I’ve got a rim on the other side and it’s going to give me a nice rim light on the interviewee here, with a rim on the one further away.
None of this works unless you have something to open up the fill light in the front. So we did a large dome light, I love this box by Apture – and this is going to be a key from the front because we moved it over to the side because the door was spilling in so much light already that we cleaned it up with this from the camera left side, and then put a fill card in to open up the 2 of them.
Now for a directors point of view in this experience, there are several thing you need to know to set this up. This is not so unlike if you are doing a 1 camera shoot to a 2 – 3 camera shoot. But the first thing is,
1 Get close to the camera as you ask your questions. Most directors shooting a doc don’t have people looking into the lens. It’s more conversation if you have the person just look at you, just off from the camera.
2 Make sure to give yourself something to sit on, because you’re going to be sitting here for a while. You don’t want to be sifting around, so get a box or chair to keep you grounded at the camera lens height so you can sit there comfortably for the entire length of the interview.
3 Do your research and have your questions planned. Write down some questions that are going to make sense to them and are based around what you want to get out of the interview.
4 Have your subject repeat back your question in their answer, and ask open ended questions that provoke longer responses.
5 Listen to the things they say and take notes. Today they said the first case they ever made was a saxophone case, and I made know and after the interview was done I asked them about that case and got a shot of them holding it!
A good interview will be about 30% interview footage and 70% b roll.
6 Let the conversation b organic, and questions lead to other questions. If you ask a question and don’t quite get the answer you wanted, make note and come back to it, saying it slightly different later.
7 Let people ramble a bit. If they’re comfortable and going on about something, you’re getting moments that you can splice in in the editing process. Let them share their story in their time and at their pace.
So that is how to set up an interview with a small crew!
Let’s take a look at this interview and how it came together.
So get out there, set up your own interviews!
Big thanks to edelkrone that make amazing motion equipment. The sliders are perfect for interviews, timelapse and anything for a smooth camera shot!
We have a download that can be really helpful if you’re trying to transition from still photographer to videographer.
Hope you enjoyed all this information.
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickin.
SliderPLUS & HeadPLUS: http://edel.kr/tO
SliderONE & HeadONE: http://edel.kr/tP