Remote video interviews: All you need to know
by Alan Haburchak, International Journalists’ Network
In our current moment, travel is limited and in-person interviews are often impossible for most video journalists. But, that doesn’t mean your news organization can’t still get great interview footage to broadcast and/or publish online.
Below, you will find a few simple, inexpensive technical methods to facilitate and capture remote interviews between reporters and their subjects. I also explore the importance of thinking about how we’re reshaping reporters’ interview techniques for the remote environment.
Recording a remote interview
At a basic level you need:
- A dependable audio and video connection.
- Time to troubleshoot with your video subject.
- A good method to record at least the remote subject.
- A backup recording if possible.
Basic tools for conducting and recording a remote video interview include:
- Skype for PC/Mac — Commonly used, in-app recording via Call Recorder App.
- Zoom for PC/Mac — New app with cloud recording included. Very easy-to-download.
- WhatsApp (Android/iOS) — No in-app recording method, but widely used and available.
- WeChat (Android/iOS) — No in-app recording method, but widely used and available.
- FaceTime (iOS only) — No in-app recording method, but widely used and available on iOS devices.
You can also use any of the above tools just to communicate, and record your screen to save the interview.
Basic tools for screen recording a remote video interview on your computer include:
On a Mac
- QuickTime Player — Easy to record the screen. Audio is complicated. Free.
- ScreenFlow App — Offers more options for recording. Can do editing afterwards. Software cost begins at $129.
On a PC
- Game Bar — Built-in to Windows as an optional feature. Easy to use.
- PowerPoint Screen Record — Not a commonly known feature. Very simple. Some very basic editing.
Subjects can also record themselves on their computer via the computer webcam. This is a great backup option, especially when Internet is spotty.