Video-Statement: These 7 Points You Have to Keep In Mind!

Video statement for corporate films
Video statement for corporate films

In almost every image film and in most videos, the video statement has its fixed place. It provides the protagonist with the opportunity to present his own view of things authentically. This article explains what to look out for.

Although it is often the cameraman who puts the people in the picture, the responsibility for the staging of a video statement always lies with the realiser.

The director is also responsible for ensuring that the interview fits seamlessly into the image video or product film. With this comes the responsibility of capturing the interviewee from the correct angle and making them look natural. There are rules on how to do this.

You need to know

  • The camera is the eye of the spectator. It determines the height of the angle of view and the proximity to the person in front of the camera.
  • The interviewee never looks at the camera. But always just past the camera lens on the questioner. This is why it is positioned directly next to the camera.
  • A short introductory sequence helps the viewer to focus on the content of the statement afterwards.
  • The quote differs from the interview in that it contains only one statement and excludes the questioner.

The perfect video statement

The camera is the eye of the spectator. It literally determines how we see someone. Depending on the perspective, a video statement triggers different emotions in us.

People who are interviewed for a video or a film often find this an extraordinary situation. Not often this is associated with stress. At the same time, the interviewee usually lacks knowledge of the cinematic tools of the trade. Conversely, it is precisely this that determines the effect that one later evokes in the viewer as the protagonist.

This makes the responsibility for the producer and the cameraman all the greater. This does not change if the director, as a VJ(video journalist) himself, also directs the camera and is responsible for the sound.

1. always turn at eye level

The perfect video statement: Camera at eye level
Camera equipment at eye level

The position of the acquisition unit determines the angle of view. It determines the perspective from which we see a person.

Wrong / unfavourable viewing angles:

The supervision of the interviewee gives the viewer the feeling of being superior to him. The person seems dominant.

Conversely, the lower view (the camera looks down on the protagonist) gives the audience the impression that they are looking down on the interviewee. The interviewee seems unsure.

If one exposes a self-aware contemporary to this point of view, the conflict of dominance of camera perspective and protagonist often turns the latter into a shooting gallery figure.

2. choose the same closeness that is perceived as correct and pleasant in a personal conversation

For a video statement, you don’t choose extreme focal lengths. The use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses is prohibited (unlike in feature films) for video interviews in corporate films.

For the camera, you should choose the position that you would take yourself in a conversation even without an interview situation. Not too close, not too far. The average person usually speaks to those around them with an arm’s length distance.

3. the questioner is close to the camera. The interviewee looks just past the cameraman.

A good video statement maintains respect not only in terms of content, but also visually. This applies to the interviewee as well as to the viewer. The standard is the same as for the choice of the angle and the distance to the interviewee: It should be no different in the video than in real life without a statement.

The perfect video statement: look just past the camera
View of the protagonist slightly past the lens

In concrete terms, this means that anyone who talks to another person but constantly and strikingly looks past the questioner comes across as bored, uninterested and arrogant. The conclusion is obvious that this is why the interviewee should look directly into the camera lens. That’s wrong.

First, in natural conversation, we don’t stare endlessly into the eyes of the other person. The unrelenting fixed gaze without interruption into the lens feels too direct for the viewer. Especially when they are not quota, but longer sequences. Second, the gaze of people who are not practiced at testimonials in videos often flickers back and forth. It makes you look unfocused and unsure of yourself.

In the perfect video statement, the answerer looks slightly past the camera at the questioner. This person positions himself close to the equipment, with his face at the level of the lens.

In practice, the cameraman stands on one side of the recording device, the interviewer a hand’s breadth away and one step back on the other side. If the questioner asks the interviewee to look at him during the interview, all the conditions for a successful video statement are in place.

4. no manipulation in the video statement by the viewing angle

In addition to determining the angle of view and the proximity to the interviewee, light and sound naturally also play a key role in the video statement.

  • Harsh contrasts (light in midday sun, conversation outdoors in summer) combined with light supervision create extreme eye shadows. The interviewee seems distant and unapproachable to the viewer in the video statement. This is because you can not see the eyes.
  • The same is true if the subject has to look down because the questioner is positioned lower than the lens. For example, because he sits on a chair next to the camera. The interviewee does not notice this discrepancy between the camera position and the position of the realizer / journalist.

However, the effect of this subtle manipulation, whether consciously or through ignorance, has the same effect as supervision. It makes the interviewee smaller. To some extent, it robs him of credibility and reduces his humanity, thus lowering his likeability ratings.

5. the introduction of the interviewee increases understanding

Strangers must first be classified by the viewer. This program has been programmed into our subconscious for millions of years. Very simplified formulated, the brain checks thereby, whether we want or not, whether the being unknown to us means a danger or not and whether it is possibly suitable for the passing on of the own genes. Depending on the result of this preliminary examination, we then act differently.

This classification takes time.

  • Perception research assumes a period of five to eight seconds, depending on the study, during which this process blocks our cognitive thinking. A professional video statement takes this into account.

If the protagonist speaks from the first second in the video, you can safely bet that the viewer will not notice the first sentences. Cannot perceive because his brain is just unwinding the primeval process of classifying the person.

The clever video maker therefore introduces the subject, who later speaks in the video statement, for a few seconds.

  • The introduction sequence has only one goal: to show the viewer who the personality is that will later speak in the video testimonial.

This can be well observed on television. Anyone who has ever wondered why, before making a statement in TV magazines or news programmes, the person being interviewed either strides down a corridor or arranges some documents at his desk, now knows the real reason. The viewer should be given space to see her counterpart first before she speaks.

An introduction sequence lasts five to eight seconds. They come in different implementations. But it always serves the same purpose.

6. decide in advance whether quota or interview

Even more than in an interview, in a so-called quote the question decides the answer: A quote (filmed quotation, statement) is the purest form of the video statement. Here person speaks while answering a question. The interviewer cannot be seen during this process. In the montage, the quote is then inserted into a larger context. Quotations are realized in front of a neutral background or as a scenic realization (in a place that is connected to the statement).

The interview, on the other hand, is a question-and-answer situation. It takes the form of a conversation. Usually shot from a tripod, it often consists of different shot sizes. Where there is no time pressure, short statements can also be distilled from an interview.

Nevertheless, experienced TV journalists advise against mixing quota and interview as a format on principle. On the one hand, because the best answers don’t come from conversation, but are the result of thoughtful, well-formulated crystal-clear questions. On the other hand, because a professional video concept determines right from the start which form will be implemented later during the shoot.

7. release of the video statement

The interviewee, as well as the crew, should be informed about the type and form of implementation. This includes announcements about how and where and in what context the shot material will be used later.

The legal release of the contents must also be clarified. In German-speaking countries, for legal reasons, even anonymous surveys with video (anonymous quota) must explain to the participants to what extent and in what context the statements are used.

Embedding video testimonials in a larger or different context can highly alter their content for the viewer. The same applies to the combination with sectional images or symbol images.

In summary

The professional filmmaker controls the effect. To this end, technical conventions (perspective, direction of view, etc.) are taken into account, as are the perceptual-psychological needs of the viewer (introductory sequences). The successful video statement not only focuses on what the interviewer wants to say, but also ensures the integrity of the interviewee.

3D photo animation from

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

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