[Video Tip] How To Make Talking Heads Look Great: Lighting

 

WHY IS LIGHTING IMPORTANT FOR AN INTERVIEW?

When you see a corporate interview or a talking head video where the person is lit badly, you'll probably recognize a few things immediately. The person in the video is the wrong color. The windows in the background are so bright that they're making the person into a shadow. The colors are muddy. And it just doesn't look professional. And that means the brand in question doesn't look professional.

These are not good things when you're trying to make a lasting impression on your viewers. There's a reason good lighting is so important - if your client, CEO, CMO or team members look good, your brand looks good, your video is more appealing and, whether they know it or not, your viewers will more easliy accept that you're a company or brand that can be trusted. So if there's one tip we'd give about lighting for video? Don't sacrifice good lighting!

Watch to see how professional lighting, a mirror and expertly-placed reflectors can make an interview POP!

IS BAD LIGHTING ACTUALLY THAT BIG A DEAL?

Yes.

Think about the commercials you see on television. Specifically, the commercials for the “old neighborhood car repair shop.” Have you ever seen one and thought to yourself, "this looks cheesy," or "this guy really seems a little untrustworthy” or, worse yet, “this company looks ridiculous”?

If so, it's probably the fact that is was filmed very badly, and probably with bad lighting. And that lack of professional video definitely affects our opinions in some way. The good news is that the reverse is true. Good production values = good branding and trustworthiness.

  • 62% of people are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video experience.

  • 23% of people who have been presented with a poor quality video experience would hesitate to purchase from the brand.

  • 60% of viewers said a poor online video experience would dissuade them from engaging with a brand across all of its social media platforms.

  • 57% of people are less likely to share a poor quality video experience. 

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW WE LIT A TALKING HEAD

When our client had three people who needed to be interviewed, the first step was to identify a space where we could position the camera, set up some lights and still have room for the interviewer, interviewee and a little bit of background. In the pictures below you can see we're in their office lobby where we identified some amazing daylight coming in from the big front windows. 

 Big windows behind the camera are providing great soft lighting for our subject. We use some filler lights to make sure we take care of any shadows on his face.

Big windows behind the camera are providing great soft lighting for our subject. We use some filler lights to make sure we take care of any shadows on his face.

Although lighting in video production is extremely important, it's never the only concern. We always make sure the background is clutter-free so that it doesn't overshadow the subject. In this case, we re-positioned a lot of books, vases, statuettes and even moved a large-screen television out the way.

 Video production has a lot to do with knowing how to use light. We're using these big windows which are providing amazing interview lighting with just a little help from our lights.

Video production has a lot to do with knowing how to use light. We're using these big windows which are providing amazing interview lighting with just a little help from our lights.

THE END RESULT OF VIDEO PRODUCTION LIGHTING DONE RIGHT...

 With the lighting balanced, a good camera position, and a constructed background we're ready to start asking questions.

With the lighting balanced, a good camera position, and a constructed background we're ready to start asking questions.

With everything in the right place, we were ready to shoot away. After a few quick fun questions to loosen everyone up, we got to the testimonial questions.

Sometimes it's hard to believe what the viewer sees on their screen when you know what the space actually looks like. It's part of that "movie magic" that is so much fun. It can be challenging, fun, aggravating or a breeze. But it's always rewarding!