Shooting Interviews with Phones

Shooting video during ministry events is a great way to promote and share the ministries at First Lutheran! So thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to do that!

If you are recording an interview, your interview’s ability to communicate to others will be much improved with the following guides:

  • Listen for quiet: before you even begin recording, close your eyes I listen. What is the background noise? Are people talking in the background? Is there an air conditioner or other machine running in the background? Look for as quiet of a space as possible, so we hear more of what the member is saying, and less of what is going on the background. Also: is it windy? You won't even hear the wind... but the microphone on your phone will! It'll sound like a thunderstorm and drown out the speaker. Even a breeze will sound like this. Avoid recording in wind; if not possible, do your best to block the wind from blowing around your phone, either with your body or some other object that can act as a wind screen (someone could hold a shirt near the phone, blocking the wind).

  • Keep it horizontal: Sure you can shoot video with your phone vertical, but then it looks like one of these two images below when on a TV. Since TVs can't rotate like phones can, it looks better when the phone is horizontal.

  • For interviews, keep the camera VERY close: Compose for a headshot. Why? Because your phone is not only a camera, but also the microphone! We need the microphone on your phone to be as close as possible! If a member speaks softly, ask them to speak up; we need the audio to be loud.

  • Keep the videos short: one question at a time. Makes it easier to transfer from your device to a computer (especially if you need to send it wirelessly).

  • Record every day: both of what members are doing, and interviews with members of what they think/feel about the experience. And shoot lots and lots of B-roll! What’s B-roll you ask? It’s the secondary videos that show while someone is talking, to support what they are saying. A-roll is the interview, and B-roll is the footage of people actually serving and doing God’s work; get up-close and capture footage of that paintbrush against the wall, the hammer hitting the nail, of hands held together in prayer, of smiles as kids play together. You get the idea!

  • Dig deep! Ask follow up questions: Asking "What did you do this week" and then getting a list of "I painted a house, and I played with kids..." isn't going to be as meaningful as asking "What was your favorite thing you did this week?" and then "Why?" and then "What...?". Dig deep! Use the same questions provided by morning devotions or evening small groups. Basic questions: Where did they see God today? Any "Yeah God!" moments? And not every question has to be serious nor intended for use; ask fun questions to simply get people to relax in front of the camera.

Images for Free

With the seventh commandment being about not stealing, I'm always surprised to find churches paying for rights to use music, but using whatever image they like and happen to find in a Google search, without bothering to purchase it, or at the very least, give the original artist a line for credit. So with that in mind, there are a ton of places with free imagery, but these are the sources I usually go to find quality images that one can freely use; some have licenses that don't require giving the artist credit, but most do; small price to pay for free use of quality imagery.

Design Resources

Below are links to some design resources that frequently offer free or discounted design resources, including templates, images and fonts. Subscribing to their email lists is a great way to keep up-to-date on current freebies.

Lutheran World Relief Social Media Squares

Below are images we use to promote the LWR's Baskets of Promise campaign during Lent. Feel free to download and use as you like for non-commercial use. You can also download them from Flickr and Pinterest.