Codes and Conventions of Interviews
Conventionally documentaries tend to have the subject on the right hand side of the screen or the left hand side due to the most comfortable/natural position for our eyes to go to. They tend to switch to make the documentary more interesting. When we create our documentary we will follow this common convention to make our documentary look professional and look like a documentary when interviewing the public, vox pops and experts.
The background of where the filming is being taken place should be relevant to the topic of what the interviewee and interviewer are discussing. This helps to also show the interviewee's relevence to the interview. For example, our topic is on mobile phones so we may decide to film with lots of different phones in the background or images of them to support what is being discussed. This can also portray a particular image for the interviewee's because if we are interviewing an expert, their work environment will make them look more professional and the audience will trust their opinion more because they believe that whatever the professionals say is true.
The most common shot for interviews is medium close up, close up or mid shot. This is because it stops any distractions from occuring and the viewers can concentrate on what is being said by the individuals. Interviews are usually used to express the views of others and sometimes they will agree or disagree with the message of the documentary. However, the filmmaker usually uses them in some way or form so what they say is portraying what they wanted to. When we create our documentary we will be using interviews so we will consider the common codes and conventions of interviews so that our documentary is equally entertaining as any other.
When interviewing an individual, the place where you set up your camera needs to have lighting considered so that the best image can be portrayed when filming so that the video isnt too dark or too bright to make it look soft. If any light is behind the interviewer it is recommended to cover up the light so that you can see the interviewee perfectly and doesn't distort the image in any way. Also if any lighting is needed it would commonly be low key ligh and would be used behind the camera or infront or the interviewee so they are fully visable to the audience.
To break up the different interviews being shown, cutaways are commonly used to illustrate the topic. This is where archival footage is usually used which consists of footage that hasn't been recorded by the filmmaker or recorded specifically for the film is shown to the audience.
The interviewee is usually sitting down when being interviewed and they are usually placed as close to the camera as they can be so that they dont look like they're too far away or looking somewhere completely different from the camera.
The grapics used in interviews are conventially used to tell the audience who the interviewee is and what they do. The grapics are conventially white because it shows up clearer and is easier for the audience to read. They also commonly appear on the opposite side to the interviewee where there is space either on the lower left or right hand side.
When the interviewee is being interviewed they don't conventionally look at the camera directly straight on, they tend to look just off the camera to where the interviewer is asking them questions. This also means that the position of the camera and the interviewer is crutial due to if the camera isn't at eye level the interviewee will be at an angle and it wouldnt look professional. Also if the interviewer is standing far away from the camera when they are asking the questions, when the interviewee answers the question they will be looking too far away from the camera so it would look like they arent acknowledging that they're being filmed. When we are creating our documentary this will also be vital to remember when we film our voxpops, experts and students.
Rule of thirds
Interviews typically follow the rule of third due to the interviewee always being placed on the left or the right hand side of the screen. The individual will be in one third of the screen allowing the audience to also see the environment that they are in.