An Easy Trick To Make Your Interviewee Act More Natural in Front of the Camera

Conducting an interview can be a challenging task, especially for your interviewee. There are countless reasons because of which the person sitting in front of the camera could feel uncomfortable and insecure. The main issue you might face as a filmmaker when conducting this type of interview is making your interviewee look straight into the camera that sometimes can feel too much of a performance instead of a natural conversation. So, if you want to make your interviewee more relaxed on these occasions, there is a simple trick you can utilise. The unique into-the-lens interview setup showcased in the video below will help you to build a strong connection between your audience and your talent in a very natural way.

An Easy Way To Get Your Interviewee to Look Into Camera from Story & Heart on Vimeo.

One of the common solutions that you might opt for to resolve the issue in the first place is putting a teleprompter like the Ikan PT1200 in front of your lens. The problem with this setup, though, might still be the unnatural way of presenting information due to the lack of confidence and experience of your interviewee.

That’s why the guys of Story & Heart are taking this approach one step further by swapping the text with a real-time image of the interviewer captured by another camera. In other words, the interviewee looks at the image of the person asking him/her the questions while looking straight into the lens at the same time just as shown in the scheme below.


Even though this setup might be a helpful tool,  it’s hard to find, takes a while to set up, and it’s rather bulky. As an alternative and much simpler solution, you can pick any iPadpromter that you have access to and set it up as you normally would. For the camera of the interviewer, you can either use your iPhone with a clamp mounted on a light stand or any other smart device that has a camera on board and can send video feed via Bluetooth or Wifi to the iPad.

It’s also important to conceal the interviewer so that the interviewee won’t be distracted by the presence of the person conducting the interview. Finally, you can use FaceTime or Skype to establish a video connection so that the interviewee can clearly see and hear the interviewer. Another useful tip is to utilise an extra battery pack if you are not sure whether the battery charge of your devices will be enough to keep them running over the whole interview.


At last but not least, this setup could be an excellent option for conducting interviews remotely when you are unable to be physically present at the given location.

[source: Story & Heart]

B&H Links:

Ikan PT1200 12″ Portable Teleprompter Kit – $899.00

Amazon Links:

Ikan PT1200 12″ Portable Teleprompter Kit – $899.00

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE 12.5 - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Limited Time Offer!

600x311 4KShooters banner
  • chace

    here’s some worthless trivia….did this in ’85/86 with an Ikegami HL-79 and a teleprompter…it was written up in Shoot magazine because they’d never heard of such a thing lol.

  • Great idea!

  • Devin Swisher

    The famous film maker Errol Morris invented this system, called the Interrotron, in the 1970s. He deserves the credit here.