It is important to plan video production meetings. When you meet with your client you will want to know what the video’s main focus will be as well as where it will be shot at. Depending on where the video will be shot will determine many factors. If you will be recording indoor interviews you will want to bring a lavaliere microphone or a hypercardiod microphone. Choosing a hypercardiod mic will reduce the sound reflection when the interviewee speaks. These types of mics reduce the reverb that is created when someone speaks in a room with many hard surfaces. The best thing to do is to get the mic as close to your interviewee as possible without it being in the shot. I like to use a C-stand and boom the mic over the interviewee’s head.
Will there be two cameras during the interview? Many times I like to shoot with two cameras and sync the audio up in post-production. By shooting with two cameras you have the ability to change up shots when you do not have enough b-roll to cover the interview with. If your story deals with just a talking head and no video coverage (b-roll) to supplement what the interviewee is talking about; I would suggest two cameras. The end product will be much more easy on the eyes, instead having just one camera angle.
How about lights? Do not rely on the house lights. House lights from above cast shadows on your talent’s face during interviews and they end up looking like zombies. You need to know how big the room you’ll be in, so that you can bring the appropriate lighting. If the room is small you may be able to shoot with only two lights. One you could have as a hair light or kicker, and the other could be set at 45 degrees right or left from the camera. The mood of the story will more than likely dictate what lighting you’ll will choose. If it is a bright and happy story, you will want to use more lights. If the story is a dark or sad, you may want to leave a shadow on the interviewee’s face.
I have been working in television/media for over 16 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, and storyteller. It is my belief that you have a chance to better your skills each time you pick up the camera. I strive to be better than I was yesterday.