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Talking Heads – Autocue or Interview? talking heads interview style

When planning a talking head video, clients often ask which talking heads interview style we recommend – using an autocue or interviewer?

Autocue is generally best if:

  • the content is instructional
  • there’s a lot of detailed information to present
  • there’s a short time slot to film in
  • the content is subject to approval by the presenter’s peers or regulatory bodies

Here’s an autocue shoot with Westminster Council’s chief executive; we had a few hours’ notice to shoot this, and a few minutes to shoot it in, so autocue certainly helped!

Westminster Council Chief Executive statement

If you go here you’ll see various Talking Heads videos using autocue – all ‘presenters’ are clients, using autocue, except Glen, a professional presenter, in the Standard Life Healthcare video.

The interview approach works better if:

  • a conversational style is required
  • there’s more time to shoot and edit

On this page you’ll see clients talking without autocue, to an off-camera client interviewer – often a more ‘natural’ result but also more time-consuming.

On some shoots we take the off-camera client interviewer approach, but bring along the autocue as a back-up.

Whichever route we take, clients invariably tell us we made it much easier than they were expecting!

PS Lighting-wise we’ll always use a key light that mainly illuminates one side of the face slightly more than the other, to create some shadow and definition.

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