The Secret to Filming an Awesome Remote Interview

The Secret to Filming an Awesome Remote Interview

Filming video interviews with popular influencers in your industry is a great way to stand out as a thought leader; however, as we’ve learned here at Vidyard with our Video Thought Leadership Series, sometimes you line up a terrific interview (maybe you even have Oprah on the line! When dealing with the remote-interview-challenge, you could book flights for your video crew, outsource remote production, or even get interviewees to shoot their response footage on a webcam for later mashup with home-base footage, but some of these options are costly and you don’t necessarily want to lose a spontaneous back-and-forth interview feel by arranging pre-taped footage. Not every interview is remote but Grillmaster, Alan Quarry, certainly doesn’t let distance get in the way of a great interviewee. A great example is his chat with everyone’s favorite Marketing Prof: How AQ’s Blog & Grill Gets it Right This interview seems to borrow its approach from television and, if you’re up for it, you can incorporate some of the following techniques from the Grill in your own videos: A strong, concise intro After a quick series intro featuring the blog’s logo, Alan Quarry gives a succinct welcome to his guest. The video includes establishing shots of the office, clever over the shoulder shots of the host interacting with the guest, and there’s even some subtle effects to keep your attention. There are no distracting tech issues Filming with a webcam is a great idea, but if your connection is unstable, your audio is off, or your guest freezes mid-sentence, it’s a waste of your guest’s time and you might not score another chat with them. If you take on the approach used in this video, note that it’s best to film on a retina screen because of the high refresh rate. Watch out for glare on glasses, weird framing, background noise from vents at their location, and watch that they are not filming themselves in harsh lighting or in front of windows as this will make them appear as a giant shadow. If your host is interested, the audience will stay with you. Try out the Quarry interview technique and give your intercut shots some visual interest, especially when you’re filming a remote guest’s computer screen.

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How to film remote interviews

Filming video interviews with popular influencers in your industry is a great way to stand out as a thought leader; however, as we’ve learned here at Vidyard with our Video Thought Leadership Series, sometimes you line up a terrific interview (maybe you even have Oprah on the line!*), but your interviewee is too far away for a convenient in-person shoot.

*note: we have not been able to get Oprah on the line…(yet).

When dealing with the remote-interview-challenge, you could book flights for your video crew, outsource remote production, or even get interviewees to shoot their response footage on a webcam for later mashup with home-base footage, but some of these options are costly and you don’t necessarily want to lose a spontaneous back-and-forth interview feel by arranging pre-taped footage. Alternatively, you could record a Skype split screen, but this can be a bit boring to watch.

The remote interview is certainly tricky, but I think the folks at Quarry Integrated Communications have found a clever solution.

A Great Remote Interview: AQ’s Blog & Grill

Quarry Integrated Communications, winner of Marketing Profs’ B2B Agency of the Year Award, produces a great series called AQ’s Blog and Grill; a video blog showcasing industry thought leaders with an emphasis on branding and entrepreneurship.

With video services provided by Skylight Productions, the series has a very professional look and feel and they’ve scored high-profile guests from Gary Vaynerchuk to Guy Kawasaki.

Not every interview is remote but Grillmaster, Alan Quarry, certainly doesn’t let distance get in the way of a great interviewee. A great example is his chat with everyone’s favorite Marketing Prof:

How AQ’s Blog & Grill Gets it Right

This interview seems to borrow its approach from television and, if you’re up for it, you can incorporate some of the following techniques from the Grill in your own videos:

A strong, concise intro

After a quick series intro featuring the blog’s logo, Alan Quarry gives a succinct welcome to his guest. A lot of YouTube stars and B2B marketers seem to take forever to get into the meat of their videos, but this 18 second intro is clear and it’s all the video really needs to get viewers on board. Remember, if your audience has clicked through based on your splash screen, they’re interested, so give ’em the content already!

The interview is visually compelling

In this case, the visual style is the trick to perfecting the remote webcam interview. Although Ann is not able to be on location, the editor didn’t just intercut footage of the participants’ computer screens. The video includes establishing shots of the office, clever over the shoulder shots of the host interacting with the guest, and there’s even some subtle effects to keep your attention.

For example, the camera is on a slider, so there’s some dynamic movement to the over the shoulder shot (check…

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