Three Steps to Improving Your Multimedia Video

  1. Video portrait. Have your interview subject stare directly at the camera. Frame a tight shot, then shoot for thirty-seconds head-on with no movement and no talking. In life, we seldom have the opportunity to peer in to someone's eyes for any length of time. Used correctly, a video portrait provides a rare opportunityfor such an intimate glimpse. Video Portraits can be used as a way to introduce a person or as a means to cover an audio edit.
  2. Insert shots. An insert shot is any visual that can be used as a cutaway when you need to cover an edit in your interviewee's dialogue. Good insert shots include hands, objects your subject discusses like photographs, and personal mementos on a refrigerator door. Whenever possible shoot insert shots on a tripod. Hold on each shot for thirty-seconds. If the object creates sound, like a coffee maker, record sound as well.
  3. Two Cameras. A great way to insure you always have coverage for your edit is to use two video cameras during an interview. A medium shot can serve as the master, or main angle. A master stays locked off on the subject, no movement. The other camera can be used more dramatically for close-ups of eyes or a tight-shot of the face. Two things to remember about a two-camera shoot. First, make sure both cameras remain on the same side of the line of action. (See the 180 degree rule on Wikipedia for a further explanation.) Second, have your subject clap his hands in front of his face so that you can line up both cameras shots when you edit the footage in Final Cut. (For more on creating multiclips, see Multicam Sync in Final Cut Pro, from