Talking Pictures: Preparation and Shooting Techniques for Interviewing

New Dates TBC

Talking Pictures: Preparation and Shooting Techniques for Interviewing

Date: (awaiting dates)

Duration: 4 days
Times: 10am - 6pm
Capacity: Max. 6-8 participants
Fee: £690

Are you a self-shooter or factual director? Are you moving into docs from another medium?

Do you need to learn how to self-shoot interviews? Do you need more confidence when interviewing? Do you want to create great rapport?

Do you need new ways of shooting interviews? Do you want to learn how to use lighting quickly and stylishly?

This practical 4-day workshop is the ultimate guide to shooting interviews. Award-winning filmmaker Zillah Bowes will help you prepare, shoot and interview with style and confidence!

The course is based around a series of enjoyable exercises at The London Film School and in the local area in Covent Garden.

You will learn how to:

  • Interview sensitively and confidently.
  • choose the right style and location for your interview.
  • Light stylishly using natural light and lighting equipment.
  • Self-shoot interviews and record good quality sound in a variety of situations.

You will be encouraged to stretch yourself in a collaborative, positive environment and will receive plenty of feedback on your progress.

Zillah pic

This is an intermediate workshop open to those already with some shooting experience. 

The workshop features:

  • training in interview techniques
  • training in a variety of interview styles
  • technical training in camera, sound and lighting
  • formal, sit down interviewing
  • 3 point lighting
  • natural lighting
  • informal, handheld interviewing
  • latest broadcast equipment for participants’ use
  • emphasis on storytelling
  • practical, exercise-based learning
  • individual and immediate feedback on exercises.

Professional lighting equipment will be available for all participants as a group. Camera and sound equipment will be allocated to participants in pairs, with each kit expected to contain:

  • Sony PMW-300 / PMW-200 Camera
  • Sony 32GB SxS Cards
  • Sennheiser EW100 G3 Radio Mic
  • Sennheiser / Sony Directional Top Mic with Mic Stand
  • Manfrotto 504HD Tripod

Participants are welcome to work with their own lighting, camera and sound equipment, provided it is compatible with the course requirements – please do enquire.

Workshop Outline

Day 1

  • Discussion and screening of interview styles
  • Camera and sound:  technical re-familiarisation
  • Legal issues, permissions & health & safety

Day 2

  • Selecting locations
  • Composing and shooting formal interviews on a tripod
  • Recording sound in formal interviews
  • Interview techniques
  • Exercise

Day 3

  • 3 point lighting
  • Using natural light
  • Exercises

Day 4

  • Handheld camera operating
  • Informal interviewing in a variety of styles
  • Exercises

This course is also the perfect complementary course for those who have attended Zillah's 5-day workshop, Exposed! A Practical Guide to Self-Shooting Documentary.


Tutor profile: Zillah Bowes, Writer, Director

Zillah is a director, writer and photographer. She studied at the National Film and Television School before working as a cinematographer, then as a director. Her debut as a director, SMALL PROTESTS, was nominated for a Grierson Award, and won the Current Short Cuts Award and Best Short Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival.

She has worked as a director on several documentary series for BBC, Channel 4 and online, and has collaborated on films and music videos with Turner prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed. As a cinematographer, her feature films include ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS, which won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.

Zillah won The Wordsworth Trust Prize in 2017 and Poems on the Buses in 2018. She was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize and the Alpine Fellowship in 2018, and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize in 2016. She won a Creative Wales Award in 2017 to develop a film series using her own writing.

She has recently completed her short fiction film STAYING (AROS MAE) with Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films, funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales/BFI and BBC, and is developing new fiction projects including her first feature as writer/director. Her solo photographic exhibition GREEN DARK, supported by the Arts Council of Wales, will tour in 2020-21. She has taught at the NFTS and several other institutions as well as the LFS.