Why do you need a corporate film or interview?

What is an interview film? What does it consist of? What purpose does it serve? Is it a talking head on screen, and that's it? OK, so you need to film an interview. You went out online to find somebody that can do it.

But why do you need an interview film? What is it you hope to accomplish with your interview film? Do you know your target demographic? Is the story you're trying to tell fully fleshed out? What aesthetic comes along with that story? Is it bright and cheerful, bold and rich, or unimaginative and simple? Cinematography is a storytelling medium, you know. Storytelling being the key word. 


The strategically worded questions. The interviewer's ability to connect with the subject. The ability to draw out genuine emotion, and steer the conversation. These are important factors to consider.  The approach you choose for your interview, the reason behind what motivates that approach is very important. Are you choosing the visual style because it's "the cool thing now"? Or does your content need to have a much longer lifespan then the 3 weeks the current trend is going to last? If your content must be exist longer, then why? What is it saying? Who is it speaking to? Is it even important enough to make? Because if it is, then we need to make sure it's done right! And that's what we do. 


The look of an interview has always been one of the most important things to consider. Skin tones, light shaping, color contrast, lenses, codecs, camera placement, movement, sound. All of these things affect the feeling and the story a cinematographer conveys before a word is ever spoken. Personally I pay close attention to all of these, as do all serious cinematographers. For instance, I pick my lenses carefully, and pay close attention to how I render the skin tones, the age, the size, the authority and body language of my subjects well before I press roll. I try and stay in a RAW workflow from beginning to end to avoid having to compromise on color fidelity and ultimately control over the finest details of an image.

Crappy lenses, with poor coatings, sub part filters, cheap LED lights which make skin look like a Martian, poor codec choice in camera are all important factors to determining the look of an image. And all of these things can spoil the quality and the story very quickly, so I try and have all my ducks in a row well in advance. Perhaps the most important of them all, however, is lens choice.

For me, using a collection of exotic Leica glass meticulously hand-made in Germany to the highest of standards is important. I liken the rendering of a lens to the brush of an artist. No true master of his craft can say that any brush will do, with a straight face. The reality is different looks create different moods, which ultimately creates a different story. How you craft that story is the art of story telling. Sensor choice, camera choice, the codec I record to and ultimately how I light the scene has undergone years of meticulous testing, analysis, adjustments, improvements, testing some more, adjusting again and testing again to come to a final result that Im happy with now.

The latest camera sensors are able to resolve an enormous amount of detail, and so the importance of lens choice, camera position and workflow are more crucial then ever. How you light is crucial. How you move the camera, and why are crucial. Getting this wrong can make your subject gain 10 to 15 pounds, look 10 years older, distract them from opening up emotionally, which ruins their authority to the viewer, making the audience loose interest and ultimately dooming your story to irrelevance. And you know what gets spoiled when that happens? Your message!


The usefulness of an asset is only attained when its purpose is fully thought through and then utilized. Your interview will be an asset. We can talk lenses, sensors, lights and codecs all day long, which are things I love and am passionate about. As a cinematographer, they're clearly important on my side of the isle. Discussing the intricacies and finesse of Leica optics and their superiority to almost everything else is a lovely conversation and all. But ultimately content is king, and the question still stands. Why do you need an interview film? What do you want it to do for you? Anyone can create content for any purpose, or no purpose at all. But creating content that strays from the herd, that has a relevant voice and is moving, I personally find to be infinitely more important.

Content is ultimately king, and having great tools helps you deliver great content. But remember this -  knowing how to craft great content is ultimately what is most important to getting your message out and heard, and that's what we do. 


Have a great day!

Daniel CurteanComment