Science + Tech

How to film a high-quality video interview


A great way to add quality material to your ASDA chapter website is to interview your very own members! They can be local leaders, members who have gone on international dental trips, or just a fellow classmate with an interesting story to share about their road to dentistry. Maybe you have an amazing professor you’d love to interview. The options are endless. Below are some tips designed to help you film, edit and produce awesome interview videos.

Before you shoot…

Pick a subject. Learn everything you possibly can about them. Do your research by going online, reading some past interviews for inspiration, and being familiar with who you’re interviewing. Next, prepare a list of questions. Think of the story you want to tell and ask questions that help to tell that story. Include open-ended questions as they allow for more thoughtful and complete answers.

Lights, camera, action!

To help make your interview look professional, it’s important to compose the shot. Decide whether you want a wide, medium or close up view of your subject. Wide-angle shots tend to be more relaxed while close up shots provide intensity. Also, remember the rule of thirds. If you divide your screen into thirds horizontally and vertically, make sure your subject falls in between where one of those lines intersect.

It’s also important to mic your subject using a dedicated external microphone like a lavalier or boom microphone. A lavalier mic, also known as a lapel mic, can be had on Amazon for about $35 and can easily connect to an iPhone or Android smartphone. This helps ensure you get nice crisp audio of your interviewee with minimal background noise.

Another key aspect is lighting. A simple three light setup would include a key/primary light towards the camera’s left. A second fill light can be placed opposite the key light. Lastly, a hair light is placed above and behind the subject to separate them from the background. If professional lighting gear is not readily available, just try to reflect natural lighting using a disc reflector, which can be easily had on Amazon for $15. Once all that is setup, be sure to groom your subject so they look as fabulous as possible.

The interview…

Once you have perfected your setup, you’re ready for the actual interview. Make sure to engage your subject by smiling, nodding and making eye contact. Also, resist the urge to interrupt so as to not disrupt their flow. Ask your subject if there’s anything further they’d like to add. They may just surprise you!

That’s it. You now have all the fundamental tools you need to shoot a great interview. I look forward to seeing your work.

For an example of a well-executed video, check out this predental promotional video from the Colorado ASDA chapter:

Content adapted from: Vimeo Video School

~Nicholas Bumacod, Western ’16 , video editor

Nicholas Bumacod

Nicholas Bumacod was born and raised in Burbank, CA. He attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies and earned a B.S. in Biology. He then earned his Master of Science in Medical Science degree from Western University of Health Sciences. He is currently in his senior year at the College of Dental Medicine at WesternU. He will be pursuing his dreams of becoming a Pediatric Dentist after graduation.

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1 Comment

  1. Laura Nelson says:

    Great article, Nicholas! It’s nice to know that these materials (eg: lapel mic and disc reflector) are low cost. They are great tools for local ASDA chapters!

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