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First things first. I would start a thread about transcoding and list what version of premiere pro you have and the system specs of your computer and what canon camera you are using. I’m sure you’d find some one with some experience with similar at least to help fix your transcoding issue. Using premiere pro (even an early version) is going to give you a lot more tools to work with to make video even better. I would make that the number one priority.
The wireless mic’s I use are Samson UHF series. I’d keep my eyes peeled on ebay and other auction sites but if you don’t need the distance of a remote mic and are just looking for the freedom of movement, wired lav mic’s are pretty cheap. You can get some good quality sound and two mic’s for a 100 bucks that are 20′ long. That could work well for interviews.
I would never trust any mic though and always monitor with head phones. This spring I got into the Zoom trend with a H4N and its turning out to be the best audio investment I’ve ever made. I now use it for primary audio capture and connect my mic’s to it.
I second everything Bill said about a smooth shot. There is a ton of DIY stuff out there and some of it is actually very useful. Depends on the size of your camera though. As far as lighting goes, just search ‘three point lighting” and you will find some very inexpensive equipment. Keep in mind though that it is a cheaper build and keep an eye on wiring, connections and remember it may have a shorter life span but it will all get you started and going.
This one might sound weird to you but if you’re going to do a lot of interviews, learn something about make-up. Talk to a couple of women that you notice wear it well and talk to them about foundation and skin tones. You’re not going to have to get into lipstick, eye shadow or anything like that. Just in eliminating shiny spots or covering blemish’s. This is a tough one for some people but the use of make-up goes hand in hand with lighting and it is your job to make people look their best. The first time you apply this to a VIP you film, you will thank yourself and if you make them look good, you get to film them again and their friends as well.