Recording Skype interviews by Ryan Bollenbach of Mograph TV

Share

bollerbach personal photo2 150x150 Recording Skype interviews by Ryan Bollenbach of Mograph TVBonjour, my name is Ryan Bollenbach and I’m the founder of Mograph TV. I created MGTV based on my passion towards the world of motion design and my desire to be a part of it. The initial phase I went through was experiencing as many beautiful short films as possible. This led me to create a tumblr account by the name of mgtv to share them with people. As I started to learn more about the companies creating these films I thought it would be fun to learn about their creative process.

Since November, I’ve had the honor of interviewing: Tom Geraedts, Erik Jensen, James Levy, Justin Cone (Creator of Motionographer), Topher Welsh, Gabriel Shalom, Jared Nickerson (aka J3concepts), Onur Senturk, David Mondou-Labbe, Shilo and nailgun*. It has been an awesome experience and I hope to meet more great people as I grow.

I’m currently located in Montreal where I work as a Web Designer for Oboxmedia. I love creating whenever I can, whether it’s a web design, motion design, something around my apartment or a new blog article.

What I’m here to share with you today is how I go about creating my video interviews on Mograph TV, like this one:

Hardware I use: My Macbook Pro’s iSight and Microphone

Software I use: Skype, ScreenFlow, AfterEffects and Photoshop

Step 1: Start video chat on Skype, or whichever other video chat software you prefer, with the person you want to film. Make sure that you don’t have your webcam enabled on the video chat, because ScreenFlow will need to use the webcam to record you. (This will mean that your interviewee will not be able to see you during the interview.) If you’re using a Macbook Pro, I suggest that you place the chat window towards the top of your screen by the iSight. Make sure that you don’t move it while you’re recording (this will be a major pain to edit).

Step 2: Test all of your audio levels and the audio levels of your interviewee. You may want to use earbud headphones instead of playing the interviewee’s audio through your speakers.

Step 3: Now comes the fun part, you’re ready to start recording! Open up ScreenFlow and set it so that the “Record Desktop From” is set to the monitor that is displaying the video chat window. Then check-mark the “Record Video from” and select “Built-in iSight”. Next, check “Record Audio From” and select “Built-in Microphone“, also check “Record Computer Audio” so that you can capture the interviewee’s voice. Press Record.

bollerbach screenflow settings Recording Skype interviews by Ryan Bollenbach of Mograph TV

Step 4: Inform the person you’re filming of the count down, and it’s time for action! Make sure to maintain eye contact with your iSight so that it looks like you’re glancing towards your audience rather than having your eyes wander all over the place (I’ve made this mistake in the past).

Step 5: Once you’re finished recording, you simply press command+shift+2 to stop the recording and voila! you’ve got your captured video.

You should now decide the desired outcome of your captured video as a final version. In the interview I did with nailgun* (see above), I wanted to do something interesting in 720p (you can use whatever resolution you want). I created a basic template in Photoshop using a frame with our logos to tie everything together. When the composition is the way you want in ScreenFlow you can do all your editing in one place.

This 720p template might be a good starting point for you.

interview template 480x270 Recording Skype interviews by Ryan Bollenbach of Mograph TV

Download the zipped psd file

Download the zipped PNG file

You can spice it up and save it as a 24bit png file. Import it into ScreenFlow and use it as a mask over your video layers in ScreenFlow. This will hide the other areas of your captured desktop in the footage.

I also created a custom intro bumper using AfterEffects and a cool plugin called Sinedots 2. It takes a bit of playing around but I was really happy with the result on my digital flowers.

This is my workflow for creating MGTV interviews which I hope to steadily enhance. If you have any feedback please let me know and I hope this article provides you with a little insight on tackling your first or next online interview.


25 Responses to “Recording Skype interviews by Ryan Bollenbach of Mograph TV”

  • 1 Rod Says:

    GREAT tutorial Ryan… thanks for sharing!

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Ryan Bollenbach Reply:

    Thanks a lot for the feedback Rob I’m glad you enjoyed it! :D.

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 2 Mattias Says:

    I’ve done similar things and it always impresses the audience. I’ve actually tried using two cameras as I have a DV-camera shooting myself.

    Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDHDI19WfTQ
    FF to 1.35

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    Interesting, Mattias. If you use the DV camera to capture your own image, then I guess you can use the iSight for your chat- so your interviewee can see you, right?

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Ryan Bollenbach Reply:

    Ah very cool, I’d like to upgrade to HD :D.

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Peter Schumacher Reply:

    Mattias,

    that’s a need idea -- why didn’t I think about it!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 3 Scott Skibell Says:

    Ryan, great job. You really helped explain it. I like how you’re using an external cam and shooting it in your office. It gives it a more “authentic” feel.

    I put together a video a few months ago talking about recording Skype interviews too. It was done using only my webcam while recording the interviewee.

    http://www.macscreencasting.com/skype-video-call-recording

    Something to consider is to use ScreenFlow to bring in graphics that compliment what the interviewee is saying. This helps reinforce their message. Ryan, you did a great job by showing the application–this is really effective too.

    Recording Skype interviews is a great way to take ScreenFlow to the next level.

    Current score: 1

    [Reply]

    Ryan Bollenbach Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Scott, they’re really fun to do :).

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 4 Steve Says:

    Excellent post. Thank you! I need to do a bunch of these for a course. I was wondering if anyone has anyone used Call Recorder for Skype by ecamm? http://www.ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder/

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    John Piercy Reply:

    Hi Steve … Call recorder Works effortlessly …
    this guy uses it here
    http://blog.therisetothetop.com/2010/02/seth-godin-what-it-takes-to-be-an-entrepreneur-way-beyond-2010/

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 5 Eduardo Ibarra Says:

    Thanks for share this! I also make interviews to people that teach others via tutorials, like me haha.

    So, I want to use this post to ask you for an interview :). You can check one of my interviews here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgy7jzBN0VU

    As you can see I need to improve a lot, and I’ll implement this tip you give us.

    Thanks again!

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 6 Chris Alta Says:

    Hey great tutorial. I managed to save it as a png file and I’ve gotten my recording placed on the left side of the box..but the third layer which is the screenflow layer won’t sit over the png layer. I need help!!!!

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 7 Chris Says:

    This is great! Thanks! However could you elaborate on how to import your .psd file as a mask? I’m a bit of a noob!

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    HI Chris,
    Actually, you wouldn’t import your .psd file as a mask. What you need to do is unzip that downloadable template file that’s in the post, and open that in Photoshop.
    Then you can turn off the white background, and save the file as a PNG (with transparency turned on). When you do this, you have a PNG file that is just the black frame area, with 2 transparent squares. You can bring that in as media into your ScreenFlow document and place it on your canvas. Then, you can crop your ‘talking head’ videos and place them on a layer under the black frame.
    In case you don’t have Photoshop, I am going to add a saved PNG file to the end of the post, (I can’t attach it to the comment) so you can download that as is, and place it directly into your ScreenFlow project.
    Hope that helps,
    Lynn

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Lynn

    You are my favorite person of all time! Seriously-thank you so much for doing this.

    I do have Photoshop, but I only know about 3% of what it can do. Hopefully I can add my logo to the frame like the video above.

    I am going to try to do this tonight, but I might be back to leave you another comment/question if you don’t mind :-)

    Thanks again!!!

    P.S. Are you a member of the Screenflow forums? I just joined a few minutes ago.

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    Wow! Thanks :)
    Feel free to leave questions any time. I’m happy to help.

    And yes, I do patrol the forums from time to time and just saw your question there. I was going to past this answer there too, so anyone interested could see the response.

    Current score: 0

    Chris Reply:

    Thanks Lynn,

    question though….i got as far as importing the template as “media”, but I’m going to have trouble with this..”Then, you can crop your ‘talking head’ videos and place them on a layer under the black frame.”

    How do I crop the talking heads? From within Screenflow?

    And how do I place them on a layer under the black frame?

    I’m sorry for the questions, but I am a bit green with Screenflow :-(

    Thanks Lynn!! You’re amazing!

    Current score: 0

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    No problem Chris,
    I just did a very ‘quick-and-dirty’ screencast on how to crop a video.
    Then you put each of your talking head videos onto the timeline, and put your frame on a layer in your timeline ABOVE your talking heads. The layers in the timeline show from top to bottom. So something on your topmost layer will show up above something on a layer below it.

    If you want your frame to mask out everything but what’s in the 2 square ‘holes’, but that on an upper layer, with your talking head videos on layers beneath it.

    Current score: 0

  • 8 Gavin White Says:

    Hi!
    Thanks for writing this up. I’m curious about how you suggest recording the person on the other end of the Skype call -- is that functionality available via screenflow, or should I rely on ecamm call recorder for that?
    -Gavin

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    HI Gavin,
    Can you clarify what you mean by “recording the person on the other end of Skype call”? The steps outlined in this post describe how to record your computer screen (which should be showing the person on the other end of the Skype call), and your computer audio (which will carry the voice of the person on the other end of the Skype call).
    What is it you are trying to do?

    Lynn

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 9 Gretchen Says:

    Great tutorial and exactly what I was looking for. I tested this today in preparation for a video interview I will be doing with a business partner and it all worked according to plan. I love that it also give you flexibility for how you want to arrange the windows, sizing, etc.

    Looking forward to creating the finished product.

    Thanks!
    Gretchen

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    Great to hear Gretchen!
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 10 Ken Says:

    Hi, thanks for this info. I’m coming to screenflow as I’ve found that ecamm is unreliable for multi-way call recording on skype -- I’m using a late 2011 macbook pro and still ecamm says it’s not fast enough! Will this set up work for multiple people on a video call?

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

    Lynn Elliott Reply:

    HI Ken,
    Thanks for you comment. I’ve never done a multi-person video call personally, but I believe that if you can get all the video-chat-ees on one screen, and all their audio is coming through the computer.. it should work the same way a single person video chat does.

    Test it out and let us know if you run into any problems.
    thanks,
    Lynn

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

  • 11 David Trees Says:

    I am starting out again in a new biz after losing a contract and a business.

    I need to learn WP from a tutor who takes me through specialised lessons of about 3 to 3.5 hours long. I have 4 more… Oh boy… It’s just too much for me to remember all we cover and we move so fast I cannot take good notes. This is OK as I agreed the intensity but I’m wanting to record some of the key elements.

    I was thinking of buying screenflow to video the shared screen side element of the class and try to record the skype (for audio only) for my own personal revision and use.

    Can I set up screenflow to do this?

    I know it is good for Skype conferencing but what about being easy to set up for audio from Skype and images from my a screen share on my iMac?

    I use OSX Lion

    Thanks for any help and tips… :)

    Current score: 0

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply