We film a lot of interviews and testimonial video content for our clients and they often ask “What do I need to know about filming in my office?” While all locations are different, there are some key things we’ll need to make the shoot go smoothly. So here’s our quick FAQ guide to interview filming logistics.
Napoleon Creative’s Guide to Interview Filming Logistics
What size room do I book for filming?
We suggest a board room that can seat at least 8-10 people. This means we’ll have plenty of space to give space around the contributor, set up lighting. When thinking about interview filming styles, if it’s an off camera interview you’ll need a good 2-3 metres between the interviewer and interviewee. It’s helpful if the table in the room can be moved. Windows to the outside world can be a challenge, depending on the weather. If it’s cloudy, with the sun going in and out, it can make each take look different! So ideally, the lighting can be controlled. It’s great if we can turn off the air conditioning in that room as well.
How long does it take to get set up for corporate interview filming?
It can take us an hour to get into some corporate building, between dropping the kit and parking, then getting through security and up to the room. We also need an hour once we’re in the room, so we can pick up the shots and set up the lights. So we always make our call time two hours before the interview needs to start.
How long do you need to film an interview?
For a typical 3 minute film, we usually interview for 20-30 mins. However, we need a little extra time to get the contributor settled, tweak the lights to them, and get them warmed up. We also like film a little B-Roll, which takes another 10-15 minutes. So we tell our clients to tell the contributor it’ll take an hour out of their diary, then when they get out early they feel they’ve got a bonus ten minutes in their day!
What is B-Roll?
B-Roll is the additional footage of the contributor and location that we edit with the footage, as you can see in this client testimonial footage. We film for 10-15 minutes with the client, ideally in 5-6 different scenarios, such as looking at their laptop, talking to clients, or smiling to camera. Ideally the contributor is interacting with other people in several shots.
We tend to use only a few seconds of each, but these shots make a huge difference to the finished piece.
When do you film location shots?
We usually find time within the shoot to film location shots. These might be establishing shots of the building, or logos on the reception wall. We also shoot generic office shots, without anyone clearly in shot. Note that with shared buildings, where a company say only hires a floor, rather than the whole building, you may not be able take shots of the shared areas of the building.
Who should I tell that we’re filming?
First off, you’ll need to tell security and reception to ensure we can get into the building. For some companies, it’s good to notify press and publicity, as they like to be aware of what’s being recorded. It’s really important to warn the staff that filming is taking place. We suggest an email to the department where filming is taking place, plus putting A4 posters up on the wall. Anyone who doesn’t want to be filmed can tell us, and we’ll avoid getting them on camera.
How long should I schedule for the filming?
An ideal schedule would be something like this:
08:00 Arrive on site, get through reception and our kit into the building. Park van if necessary, and get to the room
09:00 Set up the room with lights
10:00 First interview – then allow 40 minutes between each interview, plus a B-Roll
13:00 Lunch Break
14:00 Continue filming
16:00 Last interview
17:00 Finish filming, get kit out of the room
18:00 Return to base
How long before we can see an edit?
This is one of the first questions we get asked! It largely depends on the type of interview. Cutting down to an initial sequence doesn’t take long, and we can show you that usually the next day. How long it takes to complete the whole film depends on the number of people filmed and how urgently you need it!
So those are the key things to know about interview filming logistics. Hopefully that’s made things a little easier for you!