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Shooting Interviews - Introduction

Interview Terminology
IV Interview
Guest The person being interviewed.
One-Shot Shot of a single person, either interviewer or guest. Usually a mid-shot or tighter.
Two-Shot Two ShotShot of two people, e.g. interviewer and guest.
Back-Cut Question Shot of the interviewer asking a question, shown from the other side of the guest.
Noddy Shot of the interviewer nodding or showing an appropriate facial expression.

The interview (IV) is a fundamental element of video and television production, used in a huge range of programming. Interviews are a very efficient way of creating content — cheap to produce, effective for gathering and presenting information, and easy to edit into the program. In fact entire programs can be made using little more than interviews laced with cutaways and links.

Producing a successful interview requires a combination of skills. In professional situations these responsibilities may be shared by the producer, director, interviewer, camera operator, audio and lighting technicians. In other situations it is a one-person operation.


Interview shoots are very unforgiving. This is a situation in which you must get everything right first time and make the job flow smoothly and comfortably for everyone involved. Interviews will quickly fall apart if things start going wrong or taking a long time. Therefore competent operators should be able to organise and shoot interviews in their sleep. It is a skill which must be second nature, so you should be well practiced in this art before you attempt a "mission-critical" interview.

Preparing for an interview involves:

Before you begin shooting, double check everything. If you're not 100% sure that it is all working okay, stop and get it right. Don't use take one of the IV as a practice or test record.

Next Page: Interview Structure