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Forums Business & Career Building Recording Interviews Remotely

  • Recording Interviews Remotely

  • Rich Rubasch

    April 16, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Hi all; Has anyone done interviews remotely? I know there are internet tools to do it via internet but there are pitfalls too. I’m thinking about using an iPad kit with external mic and send the kit to the interviewee. Simple stand, instructions for setup and they record locally. I conduct the interview remotely with the client on an audio call. They ship back the kit and I have the original recorded video and audio.

    Or have you used skype or other to record good quality video and sound remotely?

    Might be the only way to record interviews for a while.

    Rich Rubasch
    Tilt Media Inc.
    Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

  • Oliver Peters

    April 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Here’s a good webinar to watch that covers some of that:

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters –

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  • Wayne Keyser

    April 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    If the interviewee has a webcam, you can use Skype and Movavi Screen Capture (part of video suite I think) to record the call, even if it’s audio only.

    Alternatively, for audio only, use Audacity (check your settings in advance) to record what you say and what you hear.


    There is no “way to peace.” Peace is the way.

  • Rich Rubasch

    April 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    OK, what I’m thinking is to send a kit to the interviewee, most likely an iPad with stand, mic and the app all set to record. I don’t have to use the iPad to talk to them remotely…but maybe I use the iPad to do the initial setup via facetime to get the shot looking good….then they would switch to some app that can record their video and I would just conduct the interview maybe via a simple audio phone call.

    After the interview they send the gear back with a prepaid label. That’s my thinking anyway.

    I know it could also be a small camera kit, but the iPad seemed easiest. And once the shot is setup the rest of the interview would be via phone call while they recorded the AV.


    Rich Rubasch
    Tilt Media Inc.
    Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

  • Nick Griffin

    April 22, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Mildly off topic but I’ve had good success with hiring a local cameraman to frame and light to my specifications and then using FaceTime between an iPad with the interviewee and the computer on my end. The shooter then uploads the files he shot. The quality and especially A/V synch is therefore perfect.

    This has let me conduct and guide the interview without having to travel to the location (in the last case Minnesota in February).

  • Rich Rubasch

    April 23, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks Nick….yup, have done that. But I’m thinking doing these now. Actually a lot of shows are doing this. The interview segment at the end of Tiger King with Joel McHale is one idea. You talk to the interviewee with audio on a cell phone in his ear, while he records the video and audio onto the iPad/Phone. This way you are not using the iPad for the interview conversation, just the clean recording of the subject with good sound (external mic).

    The subject must use an earphone to hear the director is the only drawback I can see. Also they must train themselves to look directly at the camera and not themselves on the screen….I was going to cut a hole in a photo of myself that would attach to the iPad over the camera so they would essentially be looking at me the whole time!

    Rich Rubasch
    Tilt Media Inc.
    Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

  • Mark Suszko

    May 6, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    I find most civilians don’t get that the screen-side camera on iPhones and iPads is actually of a lower quality (this may be different on the latest model , IDK). So when I ask people to record remotely I ask that they face the screen away from them and have an assistant or themselves frame up the shot first. Then it’s easier to put an eyeline target right on the phone or off to one side.

    My biggest problems have been teaching folks not to have windows and heavy backlighting behind them, and to not shoot up their nose. That, and explaining that vertical frame composition is of The Devil.

    Thinking about your “kit” idea, I’d suggest sending them a v-flat made of white foam core, tape-hinged down the middle. If they lack a tripod, you can pre-cut slits across the corner of that v-flat to hold the phone or iPad at a good eyeline, assuming a standard desk height (this can be modeled at home before you send it out). For my indigent friends I showed them hoe to make a “box-pod” for their phone out of any empty cardboard box, even a pizza box, in 30 seconds by holding the phone up to the corner of the box, marking lines top and bottom, slicing the lines with a kitchen knife and punching the cardboard inwards… creates a custom holder. Back to the v-flat…

    The V-flat is also something you can write on with a sharpie, etc. to put up script notes, questions, place an eyeline target, what-have-you. For some of my uke video friends I tell them they can hide their sheet music right on there. with tap or pushpins.

    The v-flat makes for a nice soft face bounce of whatever incident light is already happening on location, and may create a little audio isolation, though I’d also send a lav mic along. Even a 20 or 40–dollar wired lav is going to get better sound than the built-in mic when the phone or iPad is five feet away. One could also ask them to use a second iPhone in their shirt or coat pocket to record audio using the built-in voice memos function of the iPhone.

    Audio for these things is always the more important of the two, and the thing that goes wrong most.

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