Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Boring talking heads – how to make interesting? › Hi, Adding to compusolver
Adding to compusolver:
If selling is the point, give yourself a dose of nationally produced commercials on TV (as opposed to locally produced commercials about local businesses). You will find that distance to talking head is changed at the end of almost every phrase (i.e., could be several times in a sentence). Might start at medium then go to medium close-up then go to C.U. then go back to medium, etc. Also, watch local news; for no apparent reason except variety for the audience (?!?) and keeping studio talent on their toes, the anchors/talking heads are changing the angle of their heads to look at 2 and 3 different cameras on a steady basis.
Regarding B roll: Perhaps the perspective might be that B roll (normally cutaways/reaction shots/atmosphere/background shots) is really more like A roll, the main point, the product/process/ultra special keen stuff to look at that is the main point for the audience; not someone talking about it; the saleman is not for sale; is he/she? This will take more time, but 1st rate does; adjust your fee.
As an aside, Im always on the lookout for a unique approach to shoot interviews. It is odd that audiences are totally at ease with talking heads looking to the right or left of the cam, avoiding eye contact with the audience in a sense. It is, however, in this idiom, interviews in docs, an accepted convention. I was recently watching an excellent conventional doc about a unique personality in the world of film directing, John Waters; the docs title In Bad Taste. I think it may have won an academy award equivalent from the Independent Film Channel (IFC). The director of In Bad Taste made the decision to have his interview subjects shot consistently at an angle close to the diagonal rather than the standard up and down vertical. He might have been making a statement with this, or not. At first I thought it was a goof, but it was consistent throughout the film. As an aesthetic technique, I ended up liking the approach. This doc is well done and due to the subjectmatter is consistently amusing and never less than interesting. Consider it for your research! More info on this doc at imdb.com (internet movie data base); not available at amazon.
REGARDS TOM 8)