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Ten Tips for Shooting a Vox Pop

2 November 08
"Vox Pop" is short for Vox Populi, in the USA we call these kind of short video interviews "Man on the Street".

  • Keep a shot list as you go.
    Include the subject's name (double check spelling) and timecode. Make notes on particularly good interviews or sections of interviews.

  • Have subject sign an appearance release form.
    Alternately, ask them on camera if it’s okay to use the video on your website and other places like YouTube.

  • Tell the subject to look at you.
    Or have them look at the camera. Just don't let them bounce back and forth.

  • Ask them to repeat the questions.
    “What's my favorite flavor of ice cream? Why, it's vanilla.”

  • It’s okay to ask the same question twice.
    Ask the subject to rephrase their response, maybe it needs to be shorter.

  • Help your interviewee self-edit.
    If they say something interesting, and then move on to something else, ask them to rephrase the interesting part.

  • Don’t record a conversation.
    It’s really hard to edit chit-chat. Let them finish their thought completely before you speak again... Don’t interrupt / comment along the way “yup”, “un hun”, “really”. If you need to cut them off, do it with the knowledge that you’re starting a new cut.

  • Get the microphone as close as possible to the subject.
    Position the subject so that nothing behind them emits or reflects reflect sound.

  • Light your subject from more than one source.
    No harsh shadows.

  • Frame your shot.
    Place your subject relatively high in the frame. Use a tripod. Do not use hand held camera. Do not zoom or pan.
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