Thursday, January 5, 2017

First Talking Head Interview

Worked learning film making last night. Did maybe 1 hour or so of talking head interviews with mom. Had her hooked up to 2 mics (Shotgun and cheap Lav-Zoom 1) and myself to one (Lav). Had her lit with 3 lights (bought of Amazon) in the living room of her house. This was my second attempt at doing sound-lighting for an interview.

A few days back my first audio only attempt 1/2 failed, my Lav mic did not work (forgot to turn phantom power). Last night moms 2nd recording source a cheap Lav set up did not work, not sure why. Still it is coming together, I am getting used to doing audio, used to setting the gain, and the sound. For last nights session I did get was pretty good job on audio, video and lighting. Maybe a 6 out of 10, which is not bad for a beginner like myself.

Am really happy I bought the Zoom F4 sound recorder that allows me to record 2 tracks of each microphone. I can set the tracks at different gain rates which helps avoid peaking (see I can talk tech speak now!). Last night for example my first track was set too high but my second track was just right. With more experience I should be able to get both tracks more on the mark.

The video I shot yesterday also hit and miss. The flat CINESTYLE picture profile gave a nice usable picture, but I am unhappy how I composed my second camera (mark 2) at the beginning of the interview. I composed things a bit to tight and should have included moms entire chin and less of her forehead. I made that correction later in in the interview session. The white balance was OK, set both cameras at the CLOUD symbol setting (maybe a bit blue). I need to learn how to do custom light balance correctly with a portable grey card (on order from China) for the different lighting situations I will face.

My interview spoken style was also a bit off but that's OK because this is all new to me. I think I interrupted and interjected a bit too much. It is a fine line when you do these things (my 2nd or 3rd lifetime attempt yesterday). You want to be engaged with your subject and keep their answers on point but you also do not want to be cutting them off and interfering with what they are saying. Your also trying to create a relaxed-trusting atmosphere for them so they can let loose and tell good story. Lots to learn in this area.

I will be posting a bit of this interview on the blog later on, a low res file version. I need to do some editing on it, started that process but am learning that software as well so it will take time. I shot in 1080p. In the future I hope to shoot 4K video (maybe in a few years time if I can afford it).

Yesterday was a good working experience, will try a second interview session before I go back to work next week.