Talking head Interviews

What is a talking head video?

A talking heads video is a popular form of video content used in the business world. Usually consisting of a nicely lit interviewee talking about their brand, products or services interspersed with b-roll to support their dialogue.

Sometimes these videos can be as exciting as that opening paragraph and equally as emotive! 

Do not get us wrong, there is a reason that talking head style videos are so widely used. Whether it’s for B2B, B2C, sales, internal comms, public relations, large enterprises or SMEs, they’re a highly effective way to communicate and we are a big proponent of their use.

However, there are ways of injecting interest into what, by their very nature, can sometimes be dry subjects. As with many things it all comes down to planning and thinking beyond what most of us see as a standard talking heads video.

No 1 rule: Delivering your messaging clearly is the most important thing. 

First and foremost that is your objective and often a sit-down ‘traditional style’ talking head interview is absolutely perfect for that. At other times however a different approach can be more effective in retaining the interest of your viewer. This can be achieved by simply tweaking and mixing up the established talking heads formula.

Stand Up
Rather than sitting on a chair in an office, make it less formal, have your subject walk and talk towards, or with, the camera. Not only does it give more energy to the visuals but it’ll likely have the same effect on your subject and their delivery too. *see ‘understand your interviewees’ below!

Conversation vs Interview
Having someone talk to, or, off camera to the interviewer is a fine and proven formula. But if your video is featuring multiple interviewees around the same subject matter, why not construct a conversation between them in a round table (or similar group interaction) set-up. This offers a number of benefits. It shall give a more informal feel – as it’s more of a conversational set-up your interviewees will feel more relaxed – and it’ll make the video visually more interesting as there shall be more variety of shots available.  

Utilise Animation or Motion Graphics
If your video is featuring complex subject matter then this is a great way to break down and simplify the messaging for the viewer. It also has the added bonus of enhancing the visuals and adding variety to the video.

Add informal elements
Very simple to achieve and ideal to drop in to the final edit. Roll the camera early so that you can see the interviewee sit in, smile and get comfortable pre-interview. Shoot some wider shots where the viewer can see the crew and interview set-up around the subject, capture hello/goodbye interaction with the interviewer – all can subtly be added to the edit to break up the shots.

Understand your interviewees
Being in front of camera can be a very daunting experience. We’ve seen people with zero experience of being filmed, take to it like a seasoned pro. Conversely, we’ve seen others struggle to simply articulate their name and job role in a coherent fashion. Everyone is different and everyone reacts in different ways to the environment around them.  
If you know from experience that your interviewee struggles in front of camera but is the person you need to have in your video, then take that into account from the start and let that inform your approach to the video.

All of the above information has one thing in purpose – to help you meet the strategic objectives of your video. 

The message always comes first, these are just additional tools to enable you to achieve that. 

By looking beyond the traditional talking heads approach, you can see that there’s many more ways to engage your viewers and produce something that has a little more originality, whilst still delivering your messaging effectively.

Talking Head Interview Still, Maude

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End Frame is a video production company based in London, creating a wide range of content including; 

Commercial TVC, Branded Content, Animation, Promotional videos, Corporate videos, Explainer videos and more.