Blank Slate: Interview Framing

Last Updated by Leslie Datsis | Social Media and Audience Development Specialist | PBS Digital Studios on
Blank Slate is a new 16-part instructional series from PBS Digital Studios with the production team Video Dads, made up of Emmy-nominated video producers Travis Gilmour and Slavik Boyechko. This week Leslie Datsis discusses Interview Framing.

On this installment of Blank Slate, Travis and Slavik teach us how to frame your interview subject! Check out their video for their discussion on the challenges of multiple subjects on screen and how framing a video for digital projects differs from framing for broadcast projects. Here are a couple of extra tips below:

Make sure you interview your subject at eye level. If possible, choose an interviewer that’s the same height as your subject to prevent eyes wandering below or above eye level. Your interviewer should be angled at a way that the cameraman can see both of the subject’s eyes clearly, if the subject isn’t already facing the camera directly.

If you’re using a b-camera, use your primary camera to fill in the frame. Use your secondary camera to shoot wider for variety, or you can put your b-camera on a slider to greater establish your subject’s surroundings.

Keep track of your subject’s movements. If your subject moves their head a lot or has animated arms, a medium or medium closeup shot may be the best frame for them. If you plan to use closer shots throughout all of your interviews for consistency, let your subject know of their movements.

And, most importantly of all, don’t forget the rule of thirds.

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