As the uses for commercial and corporate video production continue to evolve and expand, more and more companies are turning to video interviews.
And whether it’s a customer testimonial, a company intro video, or even a documentary that requires or could benefit from interviews, they’re a great source of inexpensive, informative video content, and people are catching on to that.
However, with more and more individuals and businesses using video interviews, it’s gotten harder and harder to produce ones that stand out from the rest.
In our time in NY and NJ video production, we’ve done a lot of interviews for various projects, so we know what it takes to produce ones that will set your video content apart from the competition.
Find the right people.
There are certain elements in any film, corporate, or commercial video production which involve an interview portion that you must always try to put your own unique spin on.
For instance, you need to find an interesting setting, you need to try and create interesting and informative B-roll footage, and you can’t be afraid to break from the basic Q&A format to create a more casual atmosphere that leads to genuine conversation and more original answers.
For more on that, check out our post, 3 Ways to Distinguish Your Web Promo Video Interview From Your Competitor’s, but now, we’re talking about another area where you have to achieve some level of originality, and that’s with your choice of interviewee.
After all, you can set the perfect atmosphere and create the most interesting line of questioning possible, but if the person on screen simply doesn’t seem like he/she belongs there, it’s all for nothing.
We’ve been in NJ / NY video production for a long time, and we know how easy it is to go with someone who’s simply one of the bosses or convenient in terms of scheduling.
However, a flexible schedule and an elevated position in the company don’t make someone the right fit for a video interview. There’s a different set of requirements for that and before even considering that, you need to think about who the viewer would get the most out of, which perspective they’d best relate to.
Should it be a previous customer talking to a potential one? Or if the project’s intended for more internal business uses, would a knowledgeable employee at a similar level in the organization as that of the viewer make for a better interview?
From there, look for people who are comfortable on camera, people who aren’t afraid to showcase their personality, people who bring some energy to the interview, and people who connect with the tone or message of the content.
Get them to tell their story.
Even though it’s not scripted, trust us, as longtime NY and NJ video production vets, you shouldn’t underestimate the ability to tell a story with your interview.
And while you can try your best to create a casual atmosphere, one that allows interviewees to feel comfortable, you just can’t wait on them to start telling stories.
You need to lead the interview in that direction. Ask the subject to tell you about a time when they experienced something related to your company, the video’s topic, a product or service, etc. Don’t just ask them a closed-ended question.
You also need to be open to going in new directions when a good story starts peaking its head up. Don’t get in the way of the interviewee sharing a relevant story just because it’s not in the script.
The point is, even if the film or video production is promoting a product, the way it solves a problem can be a story. If it’s a video for a charity, their mission is a story. It’s up to you to get those stories out of your interviews.
Control the Pace and Don’t STOP Too Soon
In our experience producing video interviews in NJ / NY videography, you can get in your own way by telling the subject that they need to speak slowly and clearly.
Often, that results in a stilted speech that sounds staged or unrealistic. However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope as far as controlling the pace of the conversation either.
The best bet is to go back to that old rule we all learned in kindergarten: Treat others as you want to be treated.
So, talk slowly and clearly yourself when addressing the interviewee. If you are mindful to set the tone and pace you’re looking for, they’ll likely follow suit.
Another way you can step on your own toes when executing a video production involving an interview is to hit the STOP button too soon.
Many interviewees feel more comfortable once the official interview is over. So, do yourself a favor and don’t stop recording, whether it’s a break or the end of production.
We’ve witnessed, first-hand, some of the best material come after the official line of questioning is complete and the subject can speak freely. Make sure you allow that to happen on your production.
There are simply too many talking heads out there to make another clone.
The bottom line is, you need to do more than ever nowadays to make your video interviews stand out from the rest. It’s not as easy as letting the head boss come on camera to give a brief, humorless rundown of the company and what it offers.
You need to find the right people, and to do that, you need to consider the specific audience that the video’s intended for. From there, you need to find people with personality and energy, and people who fit in with the tone or message of the content.
Then, you need to do your part to get them to do more than simply answer questions. They need to tell stories. And lastly, remember to control the pace and to refrain from hitting the STOP button too soon.
Interviews need to be unique in some way now, so, get all that right, and your video interviews have a chance at standing out from the others.
Check out this interview-based video KVibe did for Dunyah Clothing to get a feel for what we’re talking about.
About Us: KVibe Productions, a film & video production company in the NY / NJ area offering the total package of video production services, can take you every step of the way, from development through distribution. Whether it’s a corporate or commercial production, a music video, or a feature film, KVibe creates to inspire.