Lighting and cameras for a two person interview

Setting up multiple cameras and lights for a two person interview can be a lot more tricky than filming one person. It can be fiddly getting the angles just right and placing lights and mics so they’re not seen by the cameras.

The pay off is the banter which can occur betwen two people, making the video much more engaging. And whilst it is possible to get away with one camera facing the two people, it’s much better to have three cameras (one wide of the whole scene, and two direct to each subject). This setup is great for client testimonials or project case study videos which feature the business owner as well as their client. Below I’ll show two examples:

Example 1: Simple setup with two cameras and one light

In this one we faked having three cameras by starting off with camera 1 as the wide capturing both people. For this opening scene, person 2 did the introduction direct to that camera. This wide shot establishes the relationship between the two people. Then the camera was moved to be over person 2’s shoulder, facing person 1. Camera 2 stayed in the position shown in the diagram.

Thanks to the windows providing some nice back and side lighting, we only needed one powerful light which bounced off the low ceiling to fill the shadows on the camera side. The photos below show what each camera sees

Example 2: More complex three camera interview setup

In this case the client (Aurecon) was more specific about the look they wanted, being this Obama interview – a darker look with back lights creating the rim and separating each subject from the background.

interview set up

Here’s the camera/ lights set-up in plan view.

You’ll see in this case we set up lighting for each person and a third camera.

Interview setup
The actual room, when we turned up, light on and tables which had to be moved.

The room
This one was much more fiddly getting everything positioned right. Positioning the soft box lights, cameras and subjects so they all worked together.  As well as lighting the person oposite, each soft box provides a nice back-light to the person nearest to it. Then we used LED panel lights, dialed low, to fill in the the shadows on the far side. All house lights were turned off. The two subjects had to be sitting oposite each other to get the ‘over the shoulder’ look in the Obama interview.

This was the view of the wide, camera 3.

Interview setup

And here’s the final video.  In the end the client wanted the background brighter than the Obama clip:

At Clips That Sell, we specialise in making videos for professional services firms like Aurecon in Melbourne. So think of us if you fit that category 🙂 Contact us if you need videography services for your business in Melbourne.