2. Midshot

Martin Johnson - Thursday, December 29, 2016

2. Framing the interviewee

When two people talk together, they 'see' each other in a mid-shot. That is from the top of their head to around halfway up the top part of their body. Therefore we frame a person being interviewed so we can see the same amount of their body.

If the shot is too close, so we just see their head and maybe a little bit of their shoulders, that's too close for a general interview. We've all seen this sort of shot when the interview gets tense or emotional, but generally we start with the mid-shot.

If the shot is too wide, we don't get as involved as we could be. It feels like we're being kept at a distance. 

I've already mentioned TV news programs and most interviews with newsmakers start with a mid-shot. You can get lots of examples of how to frame interviews from the TV news. 

The person being interviewed shouldn't look at the camera. If there is a live interviewer with them, they should look at them. (This is not the case if they are being interviewed remotely, with the interviewer in a studio. In that situation, they do look at the camera.)

It's important that the person being interviewed keeps their 'eye-line' to the interviewer. Whilst the occasional look round is OK, too many looks off, can make them look dishonest. Like any conversation between two people, there is eye contact round 70-80 percent of the time. 

This puts the interviewee at ease also as they are just having a conversation.


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