Earlier this year, we began working with Cooper University Health Care to produce profile videos for each of their 500 physicians. Completing this project started in the same way as any of our other projects—planning. This time we just needed to do more of it.

We knew immediately that interviewing 500 physicians in one stretch would be unrealistic. Instead, we decided we would break the project into smaller, more manageable groups of 75 to 100 physicians and hold week-long filming sessions every few months.

Scripting and Scheduling

Our client wanted the profile videos to cover a number of themes that would help the viewer get to know each physician being interviewed. These themes included the physician’s area of expertise, as well as what drove their passion for medicine.

With that in mind, we kept our interview questions focused, but left them open-ended enough so that each physician could have a chance to personalize their interview with their own anecdotes and experiences. This allowed us to show viewers a bit of each physician’s personality and compassion.

Once we began scheduling, we estimated that we could interview about three physicians per hour, but we also included some buffer time in the schedule in case we got behind schedule. This would allow ample time for us to take care of makeup, lighting adjustments and also give the physicians some time to “warm up” in front of the camera.

Some of the physicians we interviewed spoke multiple languages (sometimes two or three languages) and agreed to answer our interview questions in english and their secondary languages. For these interviews we reserved additional time slots to ensure we had ample time to complete the interview.

 

An example of a completed profile video:

 

Locations and Looks:

Initially, we hoped to film in areas around the hospital, such as patient rooms, nurses stations and operating rooms, but that wasn’t possible given how busy the hospital is on a day-to-day basis.

We discussed using a green screen and adding in still shots as a background plate, but decided that it would have been cost prohibitive, given the size and scope of this particular project.

Instead, we reserved a medium-sized room at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, which is located across the street from the hospital. This gave us a quiet location that we could manipulate to fit our needs. In addition, we could leave our gear in place at the end of each day. This let us spend less time setting up and more time shooting.

When it came time to conduct the interviews, we had the physicians talk to an off-camera interviewer, rather than looking into the camera. In our experience, speaking straight to camera can be difficult for people who aren’t used to it, and many times they’ll clam up. We felt the off camera interviewer made the interview feel more like a conversation.

Finally, in order to keep the look dynamic and avoid any jump cuts, we set up an additional camera for the interviews. Each camera had it’s own unique angle, this way if we needed to make cuts, we could seamlessly switch between the two camera angles.

Coming up:

In part two of this blog post we’ll talk about our post production and review workflow, as well as what we learned and the adjustments we’re going to make in the upcoming filming sessions.

Click here to read part 2 of this blog post.

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