3 Camera Video Interview

I posted this photo on my Facebook page and got a lot of comments. I thought I would just write here about my setup.

Camera 1 – Gesture Camera

My first camera, which if I am not using but only this camera is straight on and shooting a little loose. Always shooting interviews on 4K lets me crop in and do some Ken Burns Effects. The Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect used in video production from still imagery. The name derives from extensive use of the technique by American documentarian Ken Burns. 

This first camera lets me get some gestures when the subject moves their hands.

Subject is on 1/3

I position the subject on one of the 1/3 vertical spots in the frame and normally looking to the side with more space.

Camera 2 – Expression Camera

I usually put one camera to a side that is much tighter. I like the second camera to be tighter where I am focusing more on the subjects facial expression.

Here you can see the setup from the subject’s perspective. I have one light off at 45º to just keep me from getting raccoon eyes due to the top lighting. I like having a good Rembrandt style lighting on the face for interviews. I try and keep the cameras all on the shadow side of the light to give me some modeling on the face.

Then the 3 camera is what I call the sizzle camera. Here I am using a motorized slider that is always moving on a loop.

Couple quick tips
  • FOCUS – I trying and shoot on manual focus. To keep the person in focus when they move I shoot typically around ƒ/5.6.
  • FOCUS SETUP – Once I get the composition set I zoom in to check the critical focus on the eyes. I do this on my Cameras by pushing the + button on the back of the camera. Since both the Nikon Z6 and D5 have touch screens I can also pinch them like you would do with your smart phone.

My primary microphone is typically a wireless lavalier omni directional microphone put on shirt near the subject’s breast bone centered. This is always manually adjusted using closed headphones and the audio meter on the camera.