I am shooting an interview for the first time tomorrow, does anyone have any tips/suggestions for the lighting set up/camera operation? I have done some research and so far have come up with using basic 3 point lighting. I have also read that using a blue gel for the background light and an orange gel for I believe the key or fill light will produce a more interesting and lively effect. The equipment that I will be using is as follows: basic lighting kit, Canon XL2 with 14x manual lens, 20x stock canon lens, tripod, boom mic kit, and I plan on purchasing some diffusion and gels as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
A lot depends on what the interview is for as that will help determine the "style" of the shot. However, that said, there is a certain way to set this up that is fairly standard. Variations will come about based on the style and the location parameters themselves plus the equipment you have available.
Assuming you're shooting in a practical location (an office, living room, kitchen, etc), the first step is to determine which direction in the room you're going to point the camera. Avoid flat walls. Aim for a corner if you can, it's more interesting. Avoid windows if possible, especially if you don't have the tools to deal with controlling and matching the daylight from outside. To do that, you'd need some kind of ND gel to put on the glass or a net ... and a daylight balanced light with some power behind it, such as a 1200W HMI or a 1K tungsten.
That can take a little bit of work to get it right, so if this is your first interview, I'd suggest avoiding it if possible. Point toward a corner with no windows.
Now, put your camera as far back into the opposite corner as possible. This helps diminish the depth of field (makes your background softer/out of focus). The interviewee chair should be about 6 feet from the camera.
If you're shooting a male, place the key light to the right of the interviewer about 3 feet or so. Play with the positioning until you're happy with how the light is falling on the subject. Use a 650w or 1K with a diffuser, like a Chimera.
You need a backlight to separate the subject from the background. Place a smaller unit (150K or 300k with a dimmer) behind the subject (about 8 feet or so) on the opposite side of the camera than the key is placed. Use a C-stand to keep the stand out of the shot, but use the gobo arm to get the light behind the subject. With the dimmer, adjust the light as necessary until you're happy.
The background lighting will vary depending on what you have back there. Ideally, you want to NOT overlight anything or else the eye will be drawn to that instead of looking at the interviewee.
That's the rough setup. As you do this more, you'll learn what works and what doesn't and in time, you'll be setting this up in ten minutes or less. Have fun!