One of the things that quickly marks a video interview amateurish is poor composition. You can have the very best equipment but if you don’t take time to set up your interview properly it won’t matter what you spent on your camcorder. Here are the five most common mistakes.
Placing your subject up against a blank wall. There are several problems with this. The first is that most blank walls are really unattractive and it creates the impression that your subject is being interrogated in a police holding cell. The other problem, if you’re not careful with lighting, is that your subject casts an ugly shadow on the wall. Always pay attention to the background of your composition.
Losing your subject in background clutter. This is the opposite of the blank wall syndrome. Be careful to place your subject in such a way that he isn’t visually overwhelmed by the background. Try to go for an interesting but somewhat neutral backdrop for your interview.
Too much “air” space around your subject. You don’t want a lot of space around your subject. This creates the feeling that the space is more important than your subject.
Having “odd” forms growing out of your subject’s head. This can create unintended humor. Check for wayward plants, ornaments, or other items that appear to have taken root on your subject’s head.
Leaving too little “lead” space. If your subject is facing left or right you want to place him off center in the frame so that there’s more space in front of him than behind. This creates a natural flow from your subject’s eyes to what he’s looking at off screen.
Blank wall photo by Paul
Backgound clutter photo by Mikel Daniel
Too much space photo by Laurie
Head growths photo by Jehane
Too little lead space photo by Gianpaolo Fusari