Up your interview game with Genie II in Bounce Back mode

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up Genie II in Bounce Back mode and why this can make a big difference in your productions for shooting interviews.

Two-camera interview setup

For shooting interviews, the camera setup, sound and the lighting are probably the most important things to take into consideration.

A one camera interview might sound like the easiest option and it usually is, but when editing the footage later you will inevitably need to cut out some audio, and you will have to either cut to B-roll or use a jump cut, both of which can be distracting and take the audience away from the story. Having the option of cutting between two camera angles gives you a lot more flexibility in post and additionally adds significant production value to your final film.

The main purpose of a 2 camera interview is to provide a second angle to cut to, to make for a more seamless and interesting edit.

– Provide another angle to cut to: You have multiple video and audio files to use.
– Add more interest to the edit: Increase production value with a smoother flowing dynamic interview setup.

Adding camera movement to your interview

Adding subtle movement to a static interview shot will take your production to the next level. Interviews are normally of a fixed subject and this can be visually boring, especially if the conversation is very long or it’s a complex subject. Introducing camera movement is very easy, effective and will add value to your film.

Using motion control for an interview for your b-camera is a great option, you want to be absolutely confident that you can achieve a slow, smooth slide and pan without bumps. Doing this manually is possible, however, it is very hard to get a smooth and steady shot every time by hand. Especially when interviews can go on for a long time.

Manually doing the tracking shot also pulls you away from concentrating on questions and story. An interview shot is just too important to mess around with. In most cases, you only have one chance to get it right. Plus you will need two people if you wanted to go without a motion controller. By automating the second camera you do not need another camera operator, saving you precious production budget!

Bounce back mode

When adding a motion controller as your b-camera, you want this device to be able to operate throughout the whole interview. Having to stop to change batteries or to repeat a movement will draw the interviewee and the interviewer attention away from the conversation. It’s also really important that the motion controller is quiet enough so that it does not get noticed on the audio later, something that was designed specifically into Genie II Linear and Pan Tilt. Also, you want the automated movement to be as dynamic as possible so having both a tracking and a panning axis is important. Bounce back mode will provide you with camera movement back and forth along your slider non-stop, without you having to monitor it. Also, by adding keyframes, you can customize every movement for a more complex setup.

This tutorial will cover how to set up this movement from the app, including the speed and length.

If you want to learn more about the keyframing setup click here.

Two complete solutions for interviews.

For this tutorial, we are using a Genie II Linear for the tracking movement and Genie II Pan Tilt (3-Axis) for the panning axis however for adding the panning axis you can also use a Genie Mini with Genie II Linear instead. Either way with both setups, the subject always stays within frame while the background moves adding that dynamic motion. This is commonly referred to as a parallax move.

If you’re mainly interested in shooting only 2-axis pan motion and mostly focused on shooting interviews, then a Genie II Linear and Genie Mini combination will likely be your best bet. It offers a more affordable solution. However, if you’re also wanting to shoot 3-Axis motion for video and time-lapse, the Genie II Pan Tilt with the Linear will be your best solution and one of the most reliable and advanced motion controllers in the market. In addition, the Pan Tilt has:

  • Integrated onboard screen
  • Removable batteries
  • Built-in quick release system for attaching to the linear
  • Quieter operation
  • A greater payload for heavier cameras
  • Ability to use Pan Tilt on a tripod stand alone (Genie Mini can also be used as a panning axis on a tripod)
  • Built-in WiFi for advanced future features like auto exposure ramping, camera control and live view (Available with future firmware update)
  • Integrated joystick for quick setup without the need for the app

Our recommended Kit options for shooting interviews:

Learn more about – Genie II Genie Mini Pan Track Kit

Learn more Genie II 3-Axis Kit

Comments (3)

  • Alan Austin

    Really good that you’ve got the bounce back feature going now. I’m anxious to get the set up and use it…It’s a lovely well designed piece of equipment!!

  • Alan Austin

    Question: If I use this setup with the extra track (2′) will the cable/string be long enough to handle that?

    • syrp

      Hi Alan,

      The Genie II Linear rope is 3m long and that slider setup is only 1.8m long, so it should be long enough right out of the box 🙂



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