When planning your corporate video, do not underestimate the importance of a good location for filming the interviews. It’s definitely worth spending a little time to find suitable locations, rather than simply defaulting to a meeting room. Depending on the time and budget, we can conduct a site recce before the filming date, or we can review photos of possible locations and make recommendations.
We’ve outlined a number of points to consider when choosing a location for filming interviews, and given a few suggestions about possible locations.
What does the background to the interview look like? What impression does it create? Is the space clean, tidy, and free of clutter? It’s easier and more cost effective to ensure the space appears as you would like it before filming, rather than trying to paper over unsightly items afterwards in post-production. Are there any third party logos you should avoid being in shot? What about personal items, such as ‘comedy’ mugs or family photos on desks? Are any props needed?
Can phones be diverted? Can the air-conditioning, computers, fridges, etc be turned off? Is the location next to a communal space noisy; such as the canteen, toilets, or lifts? Our directional microphones can reduce, but not eliminate, these noises. If you can see the source of the noise it can be more acceptable – ie, a machine working in the background. If the interview is filmed in a meeting room hearing unexplained bangs and beeps, from seemingly invisible machinery, can be distracting.
We will bring our own professional lights to illuminate the space. If there are windows in the rooms, are there blinds so we can control the natural light? Can the office lights be controlled, or do movement sensors and timers trigger them? Can you override timers and or triggers?
The location should allow some depth between the interviewee and the background to give separation and allow us to achieve a shallow depth of field, and to light the interviewee. The selected location should have plenty of space for the camera, lights, and microphone boom. How easily can any furniture in the room be moved to create space? Is there a heavy boardroom table that cannot be shifted?
If shooting a number of interviews in the same space, is there an option for a couple of alternative positions so the interviews all look a little different?
It takes time to set up for interviews, possibly 45 minutes, and approximately 15 minutes to pack up afterwards. The interviewees do not need to be present while we set up.
For an interview, a working environment background can add a touch of colour and be more interesting. What special or unique areas can be used for filming? For example are there laboratories, test centres, operating theatres, or design studios, which would provide a good background? You will need to consider if any machinery etc can be turned off, as outlined above.
Factory Floor / Warehouse
Interviews shot in these locations can look great, but there are a number of factors to consider. Factories and warehouses are often busy environments, with lots going on, but too much happening in the background can be visually distracting. In addition, they are often noisy locations, with machines, equipment, vehicles, and people at work. Perhaps interviews could be shot on the factory floor after normal working hours, when it’s quieter.
Showroom / Demo Space
Are there special rooms that show off the company products, and could make a good background to the interviews?
Offices / Conference Rooms
Filming interviews of people sat behind a big desk can look a little stale. Is there alternative seating, and / or more interesting angles? If there’s a choice of office / conference rooms, definitely opt for one with colour and character, not just plain white / beige walls. Rooms with interesting images, photos or company / brand logos on the walls are more appealing. Alternatively we can bring a plain pop-up screen or a green screen to give a clean background, so you are the focus – not the messy or cramped office behind you.
Outside / In Front Of Building
This is more of an option if doing short pieces to camera, not more extensive interviews. Obviously when filming outside you are at the mercy of the weather – with rain, wind and varying light often trying to sabotage proceedings. There could also be potential interruptions from road traffic, aeroplanes, sirens, the wind, passers-by, wildlife (birds in trees), etc… so you need to be prepared to do a number of re-takes.