One common style of corporate video is the “documentary-style” approach– the story told through interviews. This can be in conjunction with a voice over narrator, but more commonly, told entirely through interviews. It’s called “documentary-style” due to most docs relying heavily on interviews.
The quantity of interviews can vary– a good number is a minimum of three (though there are times the one person video works, especially in a short video, or web video that’s around 60 seconds or so). We’ve had projects where we’ve shot as many as 30 people for one video. Because Dallas Fort Worth is home to many large corporations, we see many videos shot in this style in the metroplex.
The way we approach the Doc Style video at SFilms is to create one timeline of “selects.” We go through each interview, pulling good soundbites, and placing them on the timeline. For large projects, we might create a second sequence where we pare down the selects even more. For the corporate video which had over 30 interviews, we had three different timelines– the first one was an hour and a half of “selects.”
In many ways, this approach is like sculpting– it’s taking a block of marble and roughing out the statue. Then roughing out more. Then fine tune chiseling. Until the image is perfected. The same with the story in the documentary-style corporate video.
A very important element for the doc style corporate video is to have strong visuals to accompany what the interview is talking about. It’s difficult for a viewer to watch a “talking head” for a long amount of time. It’s human nature for the eye to “look around” even when talking to someone in real life. So you don’t want to lose your viewer because your image stays the same for more than 20 seconds.
One way to change this is to lay B-Roll down. These are images supporting what the person is talking about. Another way is to shoot the interview with two or more cameras and change the angle. We often use a combination of both.
Talking head videos do not have to be boring and unengaging– often they can be a strong method for getting your story out to your audience. Done right, it can grab and captivate your viewers.