Dec 29, 2011   //   by adelia   //   Tutorials  //  No Comments

To consistently frame your interviewees well, you should use:

  • the rule of thirds
  • MCU

These two simple framing guides will help inform your shots.


For hundreds of years artists have realised that using the rule of thirds leads to good composition.

In the diagram we see that drawing four lines a third in from the edge of the screen gives us four points where those lines intersect.  This is what the rule of thirds is all about – this is where we should put the subject of our shots.  When that subject is an interviewee we place their eyes either side of one of the top two points.


This shot is known as an MCU or medium close up.  It is a comfortable distance from the lens while allowing the audience enough detail to judge the validity of the subject’s comments.  It is usually defined as just: ‘under the armpits’.

It is good practice to have the person look into the shot – when interviewing someone stand the opposite side of the lens so they look across the camera.  If you are filming someone presenting to camera, get them to face their body into the shot.

This leaves us with a space to the side of our subject – here we can put something relevant to the topic – in this case we have stood him next to the product branding:

You can see that the perspective lines work well in this shot – we have our interviewee looking into the shot and the fence going towards the centre of shot from the other side of the frame. This means that your eye is led into the shot and not out and away to the edge of frame…

Both of these rules can, of course, be broken – but they do allow you a quick an easy way of composing a professionally framed shot.


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