“Please take a seat, but not that seat!”
The reasons to avoid filming the interviewee sitting in a swivel chair are obvious; Here are my 3 tips…
1. Movement (chair on wheels)
As the subject sits down the natural reaction is to get comfortable, move around and most chairs are on wheels so that usually means after all the time you spent setting up your shot, it needs adjustment. Especially with todays large sensor cameras, focus can be quite touchy any lower than f2.8.
2. The Swivel (the mysterious mid shot motion)
As people get more excited or nervous they tend to move around and swivel chairs are ergonomically designed to give you that freedom. This creates the mysterious mid shot motion where the interviewee rotates slowly left to right, it just looks very odd and distracting.
Sound is just important as the shot and it’s a very common issue with office chairs that have been around for a while that have a flexible back piece to make distracting “creeking” noises and lower the production value of your shot.
When shooting your next interview keep these tips in mind and reach for a good old fashioned static chair to make everyones job better.
What is your tip when shooting a sit down interview on a “one man band” shoot. Let everyone know with a comment.