How to film a virtual video interview remotely using Zoom
Video conferencing tools like Zoom offer a really exciting opportunity to businesses large and small, and their ability to create video to promote themselves and connect with their clients and colleagues. Next to Skype, Zoom is probably the most well known platform out there, and a great choice to filming videos remotely. Now, if you’re going to use Zoom to film interview videos then there are a few restrictions that you need to be aware of, and a couple of decisions you need to make before you get started.
PREPARING YOUR INTERVIEWEE & THE SETTING THE FRAME
It’s highly likely that your interviewee is not used to being interviewed through Zoom, they may not have used the platform before, or may have only used it for video conferencing where the composition and other video aesthetics are not as important. It doesn’t take much to prepare an interviewee for the video, just a few steps to take them through.
Firstly, help them to position or reposition their camera (i.e. their laptop or computer) so that the video frame is as visually pleasing as possible.
Secondly, help them to tidy up the background environment as best they can. If you’re filming videos for marketing purposes, then you want to do as much as you can to create a professional image as possible. We’re not trying to change the background here, merely tidy up clutter and remove anything that might be sensitive.
Thirdly, help your interviewee to position themselves in the frame, you want to make sure they have enough head room so the top of their hair isn’t cut off, but not so much that there is a massive gap above them. You’ll also likely want them sat in the centre of the image, unless you are planning on adding graphics alongside them, in which case you might want to position them to one side or the other.
VIDEO CAPTURE CHOICES
Recording video through video conferencing platforms like this obviously has some technical disadvantages and the resolution and visual quality won’t be as high as it would with a proper video camera, however for ease of use, speed and the ability to speak with and record interviews with people around the globe without the need to travel is exponentially powerful.
Now there are two different ways that you can capture video through Zoom, both have their uses, but depending on how you want to use the video later on, will define which option you go for.
Grid view is fantastic if you yourself want to be part of the video. This is especially beneficial for people looking to capture interview content for social media or record a discussion interview video.
However, if you’re going to mainly be interviewing someone else, then you’ll want to consider the normal view. However when in this viewing mode, Zoom will automatically cut between the speakers by using sound to indicate who it should cut too. This is very important when recording an interview, where you want to capture footage of your interviewee. If you make too much noise, Zoom will quickly cut to your face, then back again, which will ruin your recording and mean that you’ll need to find something else to cut too in the edit to cover this up. This might be particularly beneficial for PR and Marketing agencies who are looking to interview their clients remotely to then create a range of video content.
RECORDING AND EDITING
Before you start the interview you’ll be able to change the video recording settings both for yourself and your interviewee. Now remember, this is a webcam and Zoom is a video conferencing platform, so the settings are limited. However you’ll be able to set the recording to HD and choose to save it in a external video editor friendly format, which is great if you plan on editing the footage either yourself or through an external video editor.
When changing the settings, you’ll need to ask and guide your interviewee to do the same, as any settings you change on your computer will only affect your camera settings.
You’ll also be able to choose where the video recording is saved to, so make sure you choose someone on your computer where you can find the footage easily. You won’t be able to view the recording whilst recording the video, or whilst the meeting is still running. When you end the meeting Zoom will convert the video into .MP4 files which you can then do whatever you like with.
As far as I can tell, the footage recorded through Zoom is 720p, so it’s not quite full HD, but is more than adequate for social media and press releases, especially if you followed the steps to prepare the interviewee and the image frame. This footage can then be imported like any other video clip straight into any editing software you use.