You’re going to be shot – so what should you do to prepare? No, we’re not addressing whether you should carry firearms when going into a questionable neighborhood, or driving on L.A.’s crazy freeway system. We want to show what to consider if you are going to an event where you know or suspect that you might be interviewed on camera.

Tips for the Video Interviewee:

Here are some tips and guidelines to help you look your best when you are being interviewed on camera.

1. The eye goes to lighter colors or areas

If you are wearing a white shirt, that’s where the eye will go. Do you want to connect with your shirt, or your eyes?  Video even makes it more pronounced.  The best colors are mid range (blue is good) to darker – even black is O.K.

And speaking of shirts, no stripes. Horizontal stripes can make you look fatter than you really are on camera.  Vertical stripes that close together can Moiré, or dance on video, as seen in this example video.

2. The eye goes to the eyes

No shades. They might be cool, but they hide the real you that people want to know. If your eyes are real sensitive, you might convince your interviewer to not put you in direct sunlight outside. No hats – the shade will shadow your face and eyes. Depending on your image, a backwards baseball cap worn gangsta style won’t hide your eyes, so it’s up to in terms of what you want to project about your image.

3. The eye goes to the face

Make up is not just for women. Skin blotches, marks and/or shinny noses and foreheads can be subdued with a base powder or pancake in a flesh color matching your skin shade.  Don’t count on the overworked one man interviewer/cameraman/sound-man to have it.  You can purchase a small plastic case of makeup with a mirror and a pad at any drugstore for under $10.

4. The eye goes to your image

Do you want to appear formal and competent (never rigid) in a suit and tie or at the other end, friendly and casual.  Remember the guidelines above – no stripes on the tie, mid to darker colors.

5. The eye goes to logos and words

If you’re being interviewed about your company and the interviewer is O.K. with it, a shirt with a name on it might be good. But have a backup if the interviewer feels it’s too commercial.  Again – no hats with logos.

The camera’s almost ready to roll – now what?  At this point, forget everything mentioned above.  That’s right – the last thing you need to think about at this point is how you look.  If you’re prepared, you’ll look great. Once the interview starts, pay attention to the content – focus on getting your message across and expressing your views!

About our Guest Expert: Rick Robertson
The last name may sound familiar, and that’s because Rick, is my father (Mark Robertson).  Aside from the fact that I love my dad, there is a very compelling reason that I asked him to contribute to our site.  My dad, has more experience and knowledge about film-making than almost anyone – certainly more than anyone I know.  You can read more about Rick (it is odd for me to refer to him by his first name – he’s just Dad to me :) on his IMDB profile.  He has been a cinematographer and videographer longer than many of us have been alive.  He went to USC for his M.S. from the School of Cinema in 1968.

His resume is too long to go into here (and on IMDB – they only have a small portion), but some of the more noteworthy projects he was involved with include “This is Spinal Tap”, “La Bamba”, “Chuck Berry’s Hail! Hail! Rock-‘n’-Roll”, “The Larry Sanders Show”, “Michael Jackson’s – the Making of Thriller”, “Nova Science Now – SpaceShip One”, and more recently, projects with Eric Clapton and Sheryl Crow.  His specialty and passion has been in handheld, documentary film-making.

Here he is below, appearing in “Austin Power’s, The Spy Who Shagged Me.” Thanks Dad – love ya and see you on Sunday.