When asked to give an interview on video, what do you wear on-camera? And does it matter?
It matters. At Brella, we shoot in HD and 4k, and all those pixels mean that the camera will see and accentuate any loose threads, wear-and-tear, or particulates on your clothes. Fine detail and tiny patterns that look stylish in person may be weird on the screen.
To simplify your decision-making process, we present a basic, 101-level guide to fashion, preparation, and general grooming for on-camera interviews.
Rest, Food, and Hydration
Get a good night’s sleep before the shoot; you want to feel refreshed and confident in front of the camera. Drink lots of water beforehand, and bring a bottle of water with you—those lights can get hot. Sleep and hydration will ensure you feel your best, and that will help you look your best.
Have a light meal, so your stomach doesn’t announce itself in the middle of the shoot. Avoid drinking milk or eating yogurt beforehand, because it coats your throat and has an impact on your speaking voice quality.
Clothing and Colors
Solid colors on clothing are usually safest, as patterns can be distracting to the viewer. Instead of watching you, viewers may be hypnotized by the houndstooth design shimmering on your jacket. The reason is that small patterns and thin pinstripes cause the video to waver in an effect known as moiré. This also applies to accessories, such as ties, bowties, and scarves. Neutrals, soft blues, and browns are the way to go.
Avoid high-contrast clothing like a bright white shirt and bright red pants. (In general, avoid white shirts without something covering it, such as a solid vest or blazer. Vibrant reds will give you an unearthly, shimmering glow, and are best left at home.) For red-spectrum clothing, instead opt for deep reds, pinks, or burgundies. A certain amount of black clothing will read fine, but an all-black ensemble may create strange balances of light, giving you a “floating head” effect, so mix it up. Please also leave clothes with writing, brands, and icons at home. (The post-production team may have to blur out logos and names, so spare them the extra labor, please!)
Take care to make sure your clothing fits appropriately when you are seated. Try testing it out beforehand to see if it binds or rides up when you’re in a chair.
General rule: Wear clothing that is comfortable and natural-looking, and you should be good to go.
Green Screen Shoot
Don’t wear green. Green will disappear in post-production due to the nature of the technology. Also avoid transparent, filmy, gauzy, or reflective materials, including shiny shoes and jewelry, for the same reason. (If you can see green through it—or reflected in it—the video editors will have to manually mask it out to bring it back. This is a lot of work and will incur additional expenses for whoever is paying for the interview.)
White should also be left in the closet here, too: it tends to become green from the light reflected off the green screen.
If your hair is prone to frizzing, use product to tame it as best as you can to make keying—the process of removing the green screen and replacing it with a different background—easier. Consider pulling hair up and away from your face.
Accessories, Hair, and Makeup
If you wear jewelry, keep it uncomplicated. Resist large, shiny pieces and noisy bracelets, like bangles—if you’re prone to gesturing, the sound may be disruptive. Large or flashy jewelry may catch the light in ways you cannot anticipate, so remember: the focus of the interview is what you have to say, not your bling and flash.
Style long hair away from your face to avoid light shadowing; we recommend wearing hair up for a normal shoot, too. Clean-shaven gentlemen should shave an hour or two before the shoot, to avoid having a five o’clock shadow apparent. Consider bringing your razor with you if your shoot is in the afternoon.
If you wear makeup, keep it light and natural, and bring the materials with you in case a touch-up is required. If you don’t wear makeup, the video team might put a little powder or foundation on your face to even out shadows and take away the reflective shine from on-set lighting. Wash and moisturize your face prior to arrival so your skin is healthy and nourished.
Keep these tips in mind and you will look, feel, and sound fabulous for the cameras.
For additional help with your next video project or any further questions, contact us!