Over the shoulder

 The Over the Shoulder shot

This is great for interviews and family interactions. placing the camera behind the ear of one person shows the interaction of the communication.

The over the shoulder shot Wide

Length of shot
These can be up to 20 seconds if the interviewee is really interesting, but I suggest keeping the shot under 10 seconds.



The talent x2 

optional A tripod

How to Film it

After an establishing shot of an interview showing who and where the interviewees are standing or sitting, then the next most common view is the over the shoulder shot.

This picture requires the interviewers side of face and shoulder to give the illusion that the interviewers is facing the interviewee and is listening (nodding) and interacting in a conversation. 

This view can be supplemented by the opposite view over the  interviewees should and either can capture the interviewer asking a question or more commonly nodding and interacting with the interviewee. 

This breaks up the interview and makes it appear more interesting It is very important to get the talent the right way round to ensure that it looks like one talent is on side the other on the other.


Filming an Interview

The first shot is the establishing shot. It sets in place where everyone is.

So Black is on the left and burgundy is on the right. The interviewer often asks a question.
Now for the over the shoulder shot

Hopefully your interviewee looks better than mine
Now we go for the Close up shot

Head and shoulders is normally a nice shot. To get the talent to look down the lens there are various cheats. One is to use a teleprompter on the lens (we will look at this in a later blog and video) Instead of the the teleprompter showing text it has a live feed of the interviewer. This can be a wider shot is you want.
Now we want the reverse over the shoulder shot of the interviewer

This doesn't have to be done at the same time but is a continuation of the sound track with the interviewer looking like they are paying attention.
Then go back again over to the over the shoulder of the interviewer to put the scene back in place before continuing with the interviewee shot.

It is ok to switch a couple of times with both of the talents, since the audience knows where they are.

Intersperse the close up images with more distance ones or views of both in the establishing shot as you wish.


Set up a simple interview. It doesn't have to be a formal affair. It can even be just one person talking to another. User the over the shoulder shot and the reverse shot and see what you can do.


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