WHEN TO LOOK AT THE CAMERA


Hello my name is Tony Coll, and I just
wanna say a few words about something that gets a bit confusing nowadays which is when you make a video, when do you look at the camera and when do you look slightly off the
camera to an interviewer who is not seen but is actually
prompting you with questions well this is something that is getting
eroded because you often see both in the same video
quite inconsistently but the original idea was that if you
were a TV reporter you would be the host of your little
segment, so you would come on and say ‘Hello, I’m Tony Coll’ or whatever and you would introduce the subject
matter and you would then cut to one or more interviews. Now during the
interviews the interviewer and the interviewee look
at each other and they don’t look at the camera because the convention is that you the
viewer are actually eavesdropping on their private
conversation. So that’s the convention and the thing is when you cut
away from that now you’re looking at the interviewee and suddenly you look at the camera it’s as if you’re listening to somebody’s conversation on
a park bench and suddenly they go ‘What do you think you’re looking at?’ It’s a bit disconcerting, frightens the horses. So that’s the idea. Now why do you,
in this day and age, need an interviewer in the first place? A lot of people do without it nowadays, an awful lot
people are making their own videos looking to the camera and writing their
own content and so forth. If you can do that, if you know that you’re good at it, if you know that you can communicate effectively through this dead black eye that is the camera lens then go for it but I think there is
still a lot to be said for having somebody in the role of
Inquisitor. It’s a journalistic role, it’s asking the
relevant questions and getting you to give good answers. now you can do this in a truly
journalistic sense or you can do it on behalf of the client, who is probably
the person talking. It’s not any kind of compromise
because in both cases you’re getting the best performance from the client,
you’re going for the best performance. So I would say, if you want to make an
effective video think about using somebody in the
traditional role of the TV interviewer. Thanks very much.

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