Spice Up Your Boring Zoom Interviews With These Tips & Tricks

Spice Up Your Boring Zoom Interviews With These Tips & Tricks

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 January 27, 2021

We’re about one year into this new style of reporting, where journalists are forced to get even more creative with limited resources and mandatory quarantines. With the seemingly endless number of Zoom interviews we’re now forced to resort to, the image on the screen can seem a little lackluster.

However, with a little ingenuity, your Zoom interviews can go from basic to bold.

First and foremost, it’s critical to make sure your interview subject is properly lit. That means telling the person being interviewed to turn off the lights behind them, and make sure there’s proper lighting in front of their face.

To avoid a shaky interview you must insist they record on a desktop computer, unless they have a stand for their phone. And finally, make sure the person’s camera is level to their face in a way that properly frames them for the interview.

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Instead of a typical full screen Zoom recording, why not try some simple additions to amp up the creative value. Try leaning your phone against a rock with something relevant to your story out of focus in the background.

This is a nice way to liven up what would otherwise be a regular 2D interview.

Another simple way to add some flair, with limited time, is to play the video recording back on your phone while it’s propped up in front of your computer screen. Play an audio file that generates audio wavelengths on the computer, and film the phone in front of the audio waveforms.

Pro tip: The audio you’re playing doesn’t necessarily have to be from the interview you’re airing. However, any audio or video nerd will notice the mismatch in what’s playing versus where the audio levels are hitting.

Another technique involves using key technology to insert the zoom recording into another object, such as a TV screen, a car window, cell phone screen, or billboard.

How to prepare for a video job interview. | by Lindo Myeni | Medium

Pro tip: Make sure you test this editing software out well in advance. You need to be sure you are ready to key in the video, otherwise it will look amateur. Additionally, make sure the video you use to key in your interview is stable and unmoving, otherwise your keying will be nearly impossible to keep in the designated outline.

Remember, it’s always important to take risks and see what pays off.

You can always try something out, and discover it doesn’t work. The worst case scenario is that your creative attempt doesn’t look good when it’s imported onto the timeline. In which case you simply dump the clip, and run the interview full screen.

It’s also important to note that these attempts at being unique can go too far, and come off cheesy. So be careful and really think about what you’re doing to enhance your overall story, while honoring the integrity of your interviews.

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