The classic talking head video, one of the most common videos out there. If you’re not familiar it’s exactly what it sounds like, someone talking into a camera i.e. a “talking head”. They are the types of videos that we, and many other production companies, get approached to make most often. While there is nothing wrong with a talking head video, they can sometimes be the right fit for what you need. But honestly, they can turn out to be quite boring (that is if you don’t know how to do them right). Lucky for us we know a few tricks to spice these types of videos up, and we are about the share them, lucky you.

The first key ingredient for a spiced up talking head video: good producing! There’s a reason people get degrees in communication and broadcasting, interviewing takes skill. It’s a lot more than asking questions, and coming up with the right questions is actually the easy part. It’s getting your interviewee to respond the way you want them to, and achieving that perfectly clear and well-spoken sound bite, that is the tricky part.

Here is our master producer trick number 1: don’t go in with your written-up list of questions. Not only can your interviewee catch a peak and ruin the spontaneity of an answer, but it can limit you in creativity and disturb the flow of the interview. That perfect sound bite may not come from the answer to your original question, but instead happen within natural conversation. Now, if you really need specific answers having those questions pre-written is important, and you should memorize them before the interview. But the best way to get a natural, engaging talking head is to have real conversations, and make a connection that your interviewee can speak from the heart on.

One more thing to be mentioned before we move on from interviews is the value in the whole crew working together to capture the interview. A factor that has set us apart is our inclusion and respect of each crew member no matter how small a role they play. Before you think you’re done with the shoot, let your makeup artist ask a question. You may be surprised by what can come out of some spontaneity.

So, you’ve had a great interview, congratulations! Now how do we put this video together so that people actually sit through it?  It’s important to keep the visuals interesting. A way to do that is adding some motion graphics or animations to compliment the dialogue. Interesting angles, different lightning techniques and master editing can also be incorporated to hold the attention of the audience. Making the video beautiful and visually interesting and ultimately fun to watch is going to hold the viewers’ attention so much better than someone talking straight at a camera for a minute thirty.

Implementing these tricks will give you a really great talking head video. But in the end, the best suggestion we have is to first ask yourself if a talking head video is really the best option. Often, there are a variety of cool ways to create the video you need minus a classic talking head. At RESLV, we always want to ask our clients this question first. Then see if we can push some boundaries and expand the concept of a video into something unexpected and possibly much more engaging while still staying true to the original purpose of the video. It can never hurt to be creative and try something new, that’s what we have creative directors for!

Check out some cool talking head videos we’ve created in the past:

BHDP – IID from RESLV on Vimeo.
Macys Mentorship: Byron and John from RESLV on Vimeo.
Taste of Belgium – New Galette from RESLV on Vimeo.

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