Expert interviews or ‘talking heads’ as they are otherwise known, are a common occurrence in the world of video content. We have become accustomed to seeing the traditional shot of a person talking to an interviewer off camera with their name along the bottom of the screen.
To subvert this well known format, production houses are coming up with more creative solutions to tell stories, without relying only on cut aways to a safe shot of someone’s head and torso on screen. Capturing a person in their natural environment, interacting with their colleagues or undertaking an activity can be a great way to gain access to their world in a more dynamic, engaging way.
We can see this if we look at two award winning documentaries released last year by London production house ‘On the corner films’, Amy and Supersonic. The documentaries are filled with scratchy archive photographs and wobbly footage, which places the viewer in the room with the legends as the story unfolds, making us feel like we are intimately involved.
The great thing about these documentaries is that we never see a traditional talking head shot come up in either of these films. We hear Noel and Liam Gallagher’s iconic unimpressed voices speaking about the ups and downs throughout their music career, and we can’t take our eyes off the screen, because of the sheer visual chaos that is unfolding before us.
The traditional talking head interview is ofcourse by no means dead, and it still serves a well needed purpose; however, if the interview could be shot in a stunning location or in an exciting place, why not take advantage of that? Give the viewer what they want and show them a window into the world of the subject.