How Post-Production Pros Create Engrossing Interview Videos

How Post-Production Pros Create Engrossing Interview Videos


Bringing an interview to life via video is a daunting task. Conducting and shooting it is difficult in itself, but what makes it watchable video content is the hours of hard work that happen in post-production. After the shooting has wound up, you are left with a lot of video content that needs to go into Post. All the footage you have shot must be meticulously edited to give a great result. Let us look at what happens after the clapperboard sticks shut.

What is An Interview Video?

The interview follows the format of a person asking questions and one or more people answering them. The focus is on the answers and those being interviewed. There is usually one underlying theme for the interview. Depending on the content, these can be classified as brand films, corporate films, feedback videos, testimonial videos et al.

Just as the thematic focus is on the interviewed person, the camera angles also focus on the personas at varying degrees. Different camera angles may be used, like close-up shots, wide shots, which usually capture the answers and the interviewees’ body language. Interviews may be shot indoors, outdoors or even in transit. It is imaginatively produced to entice the viewers.

How to Edit An Interview

The editing of an interview depends largely on how many streams you have to edit. Some interview formats employ single or double cameras only. Modern interview formats have more than two cameras. This means that the editor has to go through each footage and decide how each shot will be used. There could be multiple takes, and the video editor has to ge through all the takes and select the best one – which makes the cut in the final edit. At times it so happens that the final edit is compiled of two or more halves coming from different takes of the same shot/questions. Experienced video editors excruciatingly go through all the takes of all the shots to ensure the best ones are in the final edit.

Organize the Footage in Project

Being organized and well planned is essential to editing this genre as there is a lot of footage to be edited, and a specific chronology has to be followed. Getting all your raw materials organized gives any editor a great starting point to work. Firstly, all the footage is arranged into different folders or are color coded according to a format that makes sense and is easy to reach to by glossing over the timeline.

  • Using the B-Roll

The b-roll is very useful for editing. Professional editors use b-roll, behind-the-scenes clips, candid shots, to make an interview more lively, which also helps to make the video edit more emmersive and engaging.

  • Sync the Video and Audio

A standard practice followed by experienced video editors is to sync the video with audio. For almost every project, a separate audio feed is captured through the mic. Then there could be a multi camera set up, that gives multiple video feeds. All these feeds need to be synced up precisely in order before the final editing begins to avoid any hassles at later stage of post-production.

  • Use the Camera Angles Cleverly

If multiple cameras are used to capture an interview, you will get multiple footage streams or feeds. Different feeds need to be used cleverly to include or exclude certain things. An example could be that there could be a person coming in front of the camera or is behind the speaker, in which case the other feed needs to be used that is neat and do not have any “disturbances”.

  • Understand the Narrative

The editing process is as integral to the video production process as the production or pre-production processes. An editor has to understand what they are doing in the first place. The narrative of the interview, the tone and style, what is being communicated, and the overall feel of the conversation all come into play while editing.

  • Keep a Transcript in Hand While Editing

Interview footage can seem like jumbled bits of video. What can help you make sense of the whole process of keeping a transcript in hand? Referring to the transcript as you work through the video edit will help you focus on the narrative first. The visual aspects of the video can be edited later to get perfection. This will help you keep track of the narrative and make the process much easier.

  • Edit Out the Fluff

Part of what makes editing a powerful process is that editors know when and what to edit out. Editing out the unwanted bits, much like trimming the fat, is integral to getting all the attention on what is important. Focusing on the important parts involves impeccable video editing skills.

  • Add the Right Music

Adding subtle music to the interview footage can help uplift the video. The music has to complement the visuals, the story and the emotion of the interview. It is also important to use licensed music so as to avoid any copyright issues at any time in the future.

  • Edit to Get the Desired Quality

Editing is more than arranging the footage around. The important things is to tell the story and send the message across as it was envisioned during the production or pre-production stage. It involves putting the final cut together nicely, sound design, audio editing, color correcting and using visual effects if necessary. All of these are important to tell the story right!

  • Using the Right Software

Post-production is all about software. A lot of times it is the demand of a client or the director to use a particular software. Other times it’s the video editor who decides which software to use. Professionals or any video editing company uses industry-standard software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC, DaVinci Resolve, and FCPX. for editing.

‍The Bottom Line

An interview, unlike other video production, has a unique format. It is always shot from start to finish and maintains a linear, chronological order. Editing it may, hence, seem simple, but it is not. Editing an interview the right way makes the content seem perfect, seamless, and natural. It has to captivate the audience, maintain focus on the interviewee, and make sure what was communicated is not lost in the melee of editing.

If you are unsure of how to edit your interview videos, you can always consult a video editing agency like Motion Edits. We are a top video editing company that provides a range of post-production services delivered by expert editors. If you’re looking to post-produce interview videos with finesse, get in touch with us!
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