The ‘down-the-lens’ interview is quite commonly seen in documentary programmes where the subject is talking directly to the camera rather than to an unseen person off-camera. This very powerful technique is performed using a two-way mirror box setup, which allows the subject and interviewer to see each other via the mirror and maintain a natural, relaxed conversation without the distraction of the camera lens and crew.
There are various kits on the market to allow film makers to shoot down-the-lens interviews, using mirrors or, rather crudely, a teleprompter connected to a second camera pointed at the interviewer. But these kits often involve rigging clumsy adaptors, tripod plates and then trying to get wireless devices to communicate with each other. This slows down the whole filming process, particularly when location changes are required, putting extra pressure on the production schedule.
PrimeLight Design, based in Leeds, has come up with a neater solution to this. The new VoxBox Pro® is a two-way mirror box which simply slides onto the camera’s existing 15mm rails in place of the matte box. This clever design removes the need to fit a special tripod plate adaptors and means the kit can be rigged in a matter of seconds. The interviewer and subject see each other through the two-way mirror, but the subject is actually looking down the lens, resulting in direct eye contact with the audience. It relaxes the subject and allows them to deliver powerful stories and credible interviews. It can be configured so the interviewer can sit at one of four different positions which is ideal for challenging spaces. This flexibility means that that shooting PDs can interview subjects while operating the camera.
For cameras without rails, such as DSLRs, the kit comes with an adaptor allowing the unit to be mounted onto a standard lighting stand, to be positioned in front of the camera lens.
A great bonus feature is that the kit is supplied with a phone/tablet holder; the user can attach a device instantly converting the VoxBox Pro® into a teleprompter.
You can learn more about the VoxBox Pro® on the official website www.voxboxpro.co.uk