- Create an overall design for your video that will remain consistent throughout:
- Size and positioning of titles and bottom thirds (the graphic near the bottom of the screen with names, titles, telephone numbers, logos and other pertinent information)
- Utilizes your color palette
- Utilizes your selected font styles
- Plan your shoots to allow open space on right, left, bottom for graphics
- Follow the “rule of thirds” when positioning the subject
- Leave room around all four sides for differences in monitor and screens so that your graphics don’t get chopped off. This is called the live area. Give your graphics breathing space. Don’t crowd from side to side or top to bottom.
- It’s usually a good bet to keep contact info (www, phone) somewhere on the screen at all times. Many people won’t watch the whole video, and you want them to be able to reach you no matter when they tune out. The exception to this is when your video tells a story that will likely be watched in its entirety and where the bottom third would be distracting. You can also tuck this info in one of the upper corners.
- Consider the size. Most web videos are around 480 pixels wide or smaller. Even HD videos on YouTube or Vimeo don’t always get viewed in full-size browser windows. Make your graphics and text big enough to read.
Foreground and Background Considerations:
- A simple, non-busy background leaves more options for including on-screen graphics. On the other hand, don’t shoot against a plain white wall!
- Make sure your talent is dressed in a color that coordinates, but does not blend into the background
- Avoid large, distracting background colors or objects.
- I prefer to shoot in a dark room, and have only the foreground subject lit with the background subtly visible, but not distracting. The subject really shines!
- If your camera is capable, consider blurring out the background using a wide aperature.
- Make sure you don’t end up with a plant, tree, or architectural element protruding from the interview subject’s head.
- Remember the rule of thirds when positioning subjects.
- I avoid having talent wear solid white or black, pinstripes or plaids. There are difficulties with extreme highlights and shadows with these colors, and stripes can drive your eyes buggy onscreen.
- Interviewing more than one person at a time can be problematic. The one not speaking often looks awkward and less than excited.