As part of shooting your documentary, you may need to film some of your interviews inside an office space.
This may not be the most ideal (or most interesting) background setting for your interview, but sometimes due to time limitations or convenience, it can often be your only option.
So you'll need to make the best of it and put those creative skills to good use!
Here's how to make the most of your office interviews with these five tips from Boston University adjunct lecturer Alvaro Congosto.
Here's a quick overview of each tip Alvaro offers.
Look for windows that let in the most light. Natural light is always better for your subject. It's softer, brighter and it comes from the side not from above like ceiling lights.
Place your subject at a 45 degree angle from the window to give one side of the subject's face a little bit more light than the other side.
Ceiling light, lamp light, window light; they all have different colors. To give your interviewee a pleasing skin tone use only the light from windows. Small lamps can be used in the background to add depth and color or just to make the background more visually appealing.
To get more depth in your interview shot move your interviewee as far from the background as possible. This will help to create more blur in the background and in turn make your subject more pronounced on screen. Got a really small office? Use an open door or move into the hallway or find a bigger office.
By zooming in or using a long lens you not only make your interviewee more comfortable (because the camera can be farther away from them) you help to create more background blur. Plus, when zoomed in your background becomes smaller which removes a lot of otherwise distracting elements.
As the person asking the questions, sit close to the camera when asking questions and have the interviewee look directly at you and not into the camera. This will give your interviewee a place to look as they are answering and will help to keep your subject's eye's from wandering as they think through their answers. It also helps frame your interview's face nicely.