When Covid pushed Seequent to make their Lyceum 2021 conference virtual, they were looking to create a keynote video of an interview with Professor Chris Jackson.
We filmed in a wonderful building in Manchester, where Jackson is the Chair of Sustainable Geoscience at the University there. We were blessed with a cloudy day. Why? There was a lovely bay window we could sit their pair in front of, which made the space feel light. A cloudy day means there’s not so much light they’re getting silhouetted. Also, a cloudy day tends to mean a more constant light, rather than sun coming in and out.
Given Covid restrictions, we get the speakers further apart than we would normally, we still captured the energy between them as they had their conversation.
If you’re looking for a keynote video, get in touch.
The Challenges of Filming a Two-Person Interview
Filming a two-person interview may seem straightforward, but it brings its own set of complexities. Firstly, ensuring proper framing and composition can be challenging. Achieving a balanced shot where both individuals are clearly visible while maintaining a visually attractive composition can be difficult, especially if there’s a significant height difference or if they tend to move around during the interview. You also need a great deal of space, which is what this location made available to us.
Getting the Audio Right
Secondly, audio management is crucial. Capturing clear and synchronized audio from both participants, especially if they have different speaking volumes or if there are external noises, requires careful planning and the right equipment. We ensure the audio is consistent through careful placement of the mics and audio levels need to be meticulously adjusted throughout the interview. We insist on a dedicated sound person on shoots like these. And luckily this venue, although in central Manchester, it was several storeys high, so traffic noise was minimal.
Lighting the Scene
Lighting is another complication. Properly lighting both individuals to avoid shadows or imbalances can be challenging, especially in a dynamic interview setting. Changes in natural light or artificial lighting sources can impact the overall look and continuity of the footage. We had to balance the sunlight through the windows behind the interview a lot of lights.
Moreover, managing the dynamics and interactions between the two interviewees can be tricky. Ensuring they maintain eye contact, engage in natural conversation, and express themselves effectively for the camera can require direction and facilitation, adding an additional layer of complexity to the process. While neither were trained presenters, with a little bit of rehearsal and setting some simple cues, we got a natural conversation between the two.
Overall, a two-person interview demands thorough planning, coordination, and adaptability to overcome these complications and achieve a high-quality final product.