Getting The Best Audio Quality For Interviews

Our friend, Sheri Resnik, recently approached us with the opportunity to produce a series of videos for the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA). We were excited to participate because Sheri always comes up with great creative for her events, which ultimately leads to fun and engaging videos.

Check out the time we meshed animation with documentary style for a story about Ryan, a photographer with austim.

See our video animations for Share Food Program.

The concept for this year’s video was based on the popular Jimmy Kimmel Live segments, “Jimmy Kimmel Talks To Kids.” In a series of 3-5 minute interviews, Kimmel speaks to a group of kids about their thoughts on politics, love, and other high-level topics. There’s nothing like a child’s perspective and Sheri wanted to tap into that for JRA.

JRA Talks to Kids

The JRA team sourced an interviewer from the organization with an education background who would be able to speak well on camera and connect with the children. We created a set utilizing JRA branded boxes, toys, and a small table and chairs to make the kids feel comfortable and distract them from the lights, camera, and film crew standing a few feet away…

So About The Audio…

With the set ready to go, our biggest challenge was configuring the audio. It would be very difficult to capture the audio from three children and one adult simultaneously using one boom mic because they all would project sound differently and speak at vastly different volumes. Not to mention all the kids were different ages and different heights. We could have used wireless lav mics but we didn’t want to distract them from being “in the scene completely.” The video hinged on the kids being natural.

At the same time, it was important that we clearly capture the candid and sometimes overlapping conversation. Sub-par audio would ruin the experience.

Getting The Best Audio Quality

The conclusion we came to was to stage multiple mics in multiple locations on the set. In addition to the booms we placed a mic under the desk and a lav mic on the interviewer. This allowed us to mix the audio so we had a nice clean sound, no matter who was speaking.

The shoot was a success! We were able to capture some really funny, sweet, and most importantly candid moments. The kids were comfortable and happy to share their perspectives and in some cases overshare… At one point in the video the interviewer asked, “What is a mensch to you?” and one of the boys replied, “My brother is a mensch because he gave me napkins when I threw up in the car…” Maybe we made them too comfortable 😉

Check out the full “JRA Talks to Kids – What is a Mensch?” video:

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About The Author

Jon Sherman

Creative Director