Finding a great video backdrop is one of the most important parts of the production process. There are a lot of different elements that go into finding the perfect spot. Here are 6 things to consider before choosing an interview location for your video shoot.

1. Get Permission First

Before thinking about the stylistic approach to your interview set up, make sure you have permission to shoot there! If you’re hoping to shoot in a public place, you will have to check with your local government to get a permit. Also, call ahead of time to make sure that your interview location is available.

2. Make it Relevant

What background do you want behind your interview subject? Make sure it’s relevant to the style and subject matter of your video. Pro tip: Be careful with windows. A really bright background will create a silhouette effect and make it hard for you to light your talent’s face.

3. Find a Spacious Location

Choose a big location with some architectural features for added texture. Not only is it easier for the crew to work, but it allows you to set up the shot with a shallower depth of field. This allows you to blur and minimize background details and focus clearly on your subject, putting the viewer’s attention on their face.

4. Avoid Conference Rooms

They may be quiet and available, but there is nothing more boring than a flat wall behind your interview subject. If that’s your only option, shoot at an angle against the wall and try splashing some color in the background by adding a plant or art piece, etc. Another common tactic is to get as much distance as possible between the interviewee and the wall so you can blur out the drab background.

5. Pay attention to the Weather

It’s not always best to shoot on a sunny day, despite how tempting it may be. Typically, bright days also mean harsh shadows on the faces of interview subjects. Unless you’re going to blast your subject with expensive lights, or use reflector kits, you may want to avoid shooting on those picture perfect days. Believe it or not, an overcast day is typically a better day to shoot video outdoors.

6. Listen for Room Tone

Once you have found a location that is free from distractions, take a moment to carefully listen. Pay attention to the room tone. If you hear a buzz, hum, or echo when you speak, the microphone will pick it up also. There are a few remedies to a loud room tone: First, identify the source of the hum. If the hum comes from a refrigerator, air conditioner, or another device that can be turned off temporarily, do that. If not, pro’s tackle these issues by using directional microphones, recording room tone for post-production, or using equalizers, but all those require some level of expertise.

Preparation is Key

You can never be too prepared. If you do all the hard work before the shoot, you can focus on your interview subject on production day. And if you do need the help of professionals, our team has been involved in creating Emmy award winning videos for years. Contact us for more information!