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Direct to camera interviews

I'm really beginning to notice that many Docs/ Reality etc programmes have the talent looking directly at the camera. I first saw this in The Imposter (2012) also The Fog of War. I know it's not right for everything but its beginning to feel like a culture shift. Really looking at the Talent/viewer. Anyone else seeing this?

  • It's the difference between a presenter and an interviewee. A production need not be anchored around a single presenter. Clearly any piece to camera ought have gravitas and authenticity. It's not often an unprofessional presenter can do it. That why the conversational style of the interview usually works better. Where a subject has the confidence to talk directly to camera it can be more powerful, especially where a personal experience or manifest truth is being recounted

    Personally I don't much like or respect documentaries that overwhelm content with stylistic tricks. I'm of the school that believes that the best films, of most kinds, leave the viewer unaware that there's a film crew involved.

    4 months ago
  • In the right place it can be very affecting but its hard for non professionals. I do think that these days people are more comfortable looking at, albeit small, cameras. I too always prefer the original style, but I think that straight to camera will continue. Thanks

    4 months ago
  • I did a lot of community media. So, interviews. Untrained/inexperienced people are terrible at interviews, and they are even worse at straight to camera.

    If I see people doing straight to camera, I tend to assume that they are professionals or that there were many many takes.

    4 months ago
  • In a single camera/single subject scenario... a trick I find that works really well is to attach a cross (or smiley face) on a piece of card next to the lens. If you have a second person asking the questions, seat them with their head and eye-line as close to the camera as possible.

    4 months ago
  • Most docs where this is the case will have used an Eyedirect which uses angled mirrors in front of the lens to give the impression they're looking directly at the interviewers face, when in fact they're looking straight down the lens.

    4 months ago