Interview Sound. Definitively something most cameraman don't care about sufficiently. If one has a soundman to worry about that topic: perfect!
Otherwise: Think about it in advance and be prepared as it easily can ruin your shot.
Over the past few years I shot many many interviews mostly with Sennheiser or Rode shotgun microphones. For ENG shoots those perform really nice in most situations but there are a few things the cameraman really has to pay attention to: Wind, Handling Sounds and Mic direction.
Last November Røde introduced the 'Reporter' microphone addressing exactly those issues and basically it minimizes all of three!
Thanks to the combination of a redesigned head and a low positioned membrane the sound is very resistant to wind. Rode itself says in a video that 'you can be in a hurricane and still don't get any wind noise'. I didn't have a hurricane at hand that but you get the idea how resistant it is.
Normally microphones are built to catch as much sound as possible. Unfortunately this mostly includes the hand grip as well. A nervous reporter who can't hold the microphone properly and rubs the handle will cause some unwanted noise. Rode included an internal shock mounted capsule to reduce exactly this handling noise.
©Drawing by Rode/ Picture by Daniel Freytag
When interviewing someone with a normal handheld shotgun microphone it is recommended to point it either at the interviewee or the reporter. The Rode Reporter however features an omnidirectional capsule. For this reason it is not always necessary to move the microphone back and forth between the interviewer and the person being interviewed.
Rode says that in a typical interview scenario the microphone should be held at around chest height between the interviewer and the person being interviewed, to ensure that the microphone picks up the speakers in the immediate vicinity clearly, while reducing the level of any background noise.
The Reporter kit also includes a flag which mounts on top of the microphone in order to show everyone the station you're working for. I'll never ever make use of it because it is horribly big and bulky but I guess it will certainly draw the interest of American stations…
Two screen grabs from a recent shoot with the Reporter Microphone
Everyone who works in the field of news gathering and reporting should have one of these microphones in their camera bags! The great omnidirectional capsule, the wind protection and its frequency response which is optimized for speech make the Rode Reporter to a state of the art microphone with clear, broadcast quality sound.
The Rode Reporter ships with the usual Rode Padded Zip Pouch and the Mic Flag for just $199. B&H is currently taking pre-orders for the microphone. Shipping will begin aprox. in the second week of April. Europe will follow one or two weeks later.