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Shooting two-camera broadcast interviews

Here is an interview with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, from a series that I recently helped shoot for The Politico.

As part of this series, we filmed interviews with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer.
These interviews were made available to broadcasters, and portions aired on MSNBC, ABC 7 (WJLA Washington) and others. Therefore - although primarily aimed at a web audience ( - they needed to be broadcast quality.
To achieve this, Washington shooter Brad Zerivitiz and I used a full light set-up to achieve the quality you see here. We used two softboxes, a fill light, two hair lights (Lowell pros) and two back lights (lowell Omnis).
In the example above with Nancy Pelosi - interviewed in the Speaker's ceremonial office in the Capitol - we achieved the dappled effect in the background by cutting small slices into a black filter covering the backlight omnis.
The books you see behind the Speaker were positioned to cover up a mirror to prevent reflection.
When shooting high quality interviews, it's critical to spend time arranging the background, and lighting the subjects properly to avoid shadows.
In a two camera shoot like this one, it's also important to make sure the cameras are set so the pictures match in terms of white balance, warmth and so on. This will help avoid extensive color correction in post production - almost impossible when working on a tight deadline.
We also tried to achieve as much depth as we could in what were often small spaces.



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