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What Is An Interrotron?

The Interrotron is a clever device used by experienced filmmakers to create up-close, face-to-face interviews. An Interrotron makes it easy to create eye-catching, in-your-face, and gritty interviews that never fails to engage an audience.

This creative device allows filmmakers to streamline their interviews, allowing their talent to relax and make eye contact with them – all while simultaneously looking straight into a camera. When the Interrotron was invented, it was designed to prevent inexperienced talent from being visibly nervous on camera; eyes squinted and darting all over the place.

One of the great things about an interview style video is that you can simply ask questions, instead of spending hours on a script and the talent can simply speak from experience.

Have you ever watched a documentary and felt as if the person talking was literally looking at you through the screen? You felt as if you could feel their emotions, like they were right in front of you. This is a technique of an experienced filmmaker and an amazing production.

 But how do filmmakers create this effect?

It’s simple to achieve this amazing effect, if you know exactly what to use. The best way to do this is by using a special type of beamsplitter glass, since beam splitters allow a camera to film through them – with immaculate video clarity and quality. In addition to the beam splitter glass, you will also need a regular mirror.

If you’re making your own Interrotron, I recommend using the 30R/70T beam splitter glass, also known as the Teleprompter Mirror. This will ensure a crystal clear recording quality through the mirror.

Unlike the typical Teleprompter Mirror use where there is a speech or script displayed on the glass, the Interrotron shows the interviewee a video of another person. The concept behind this was to help the person being interviewed feel less distracted and more focused, since the production setup can be incredibly intimidating and distracting. If the interviewee becomes distracted, the person will instinctively look off camera, and appear nervous, or unsettled.

Using the Interrotron, the interviewee will see a person they can talk directly to, and this helps immensely with controlling their nervousness and anxiety. With the feeling of an in person conversation, the person being interviewed will be able to relax, and not overthink the situation. This helps the interviewer create an outstanding and smooth production.

The cool thing about this is that you can also use it as a Teleprompter by simply placing a tablet or phone within the Interrotron. By placing a tablet or phone into the Interrotron, you will possess the ability to read your script rather than seeing someone’s face – so the Interrotron really is a double win!

The Interrortron Setup

Setting up an Interrotron may seem like it’d be a difficult task, however it’s quite the opposite! To start, you’re going to attach the Interrotron to a tripod in horizontal orientation.

After you’ve attached the Interrotron to the tripod, you will put your camera onto the camera sled and adjust accordingly. During this step, you will want to ensure that the camera is at eye level with the interviewee. The camera should be placed as close to the glass as possible – WITHOUT allowing the camera to touch the mirror, all while keeping it centered in the glass.

Next you’ll put a shroud or an alternative covering over the camera. This will ensure that light can’t pass through the mirror and into the interviewee’s view.

It is also important for both the interviewee and interviewer to be the same height.

Once you’ve placed the shroud over the camera, all that is left to do is adjust your camera focus and you’re ready to roll!

If the Interrotron is going to be used as a Teleprompter, you’ll simply slide the tablet or phone in place prior to the interview, making sure the script is centered on the camera lens. Having the script centered with the camera lens will ensure the person is making continuous, direct eye contact with their audience.

Who Is The Interrortron For?

The Interrotron is for filmmakers who want to create documentaries, record interviews for various news channels, or to simply make content for their own personal channel. No matter if a filmmaker is novice or advanced, the Interrotron is a fantastic tool for everyone. The Interrotron is PERFECT for students in film school, videographers transitioning to documentary work, along with anyone who is looking to up their filmmaking game.

Anytime you are producing an interview style video, in person, or via teleconference, the Interrortron allows the recording process to feel much more natural and gives the audience the illusion of being spoken to directly. The direct eye contact will aid in helping to retain the audience’s attention, which is a crucial aspect of a great interview.

Interrotron’s History

The Interrortron was created by filmmaker Errol Morris. Morris was known for wanting to create an intimate environment during interviews, so his interviewees would feel as comfortable as possible. He found that even if when he did this, those he was interviewing would still become uncomfortable, especially if it was every day, average people. His subjects would get distracted by the film crew and would lose eye contact.

Dedicated to producing great interviews, Morris decided something needed to change, and that’s when the Interretron was created. The Interrotron’s name came from the words interview and terror combined, as his device was created to remove the interviewee’s terror during interviews. He never patented this device, so people are free to make their own!

Over time, many companies started using this device. The popular TV show “60 Minutes” is known for using the Interrotron for many of their serious interviews.

Does It Actually Work?

Now, everything we have talked about has seemed pretty great, but will it provide results? The exciting answer is: Yes!

The creator of the device, Errol Morris, used it for many of his own documentaries. His documentary, Fog of War, used the Interrotron and helped him win an academy award! People loved the authentic feel of the interviews throughout the film. If you want to create award-winning documentaries, the Interrotron will be your new best friend.

One of the great things about an interview style video is that you can simply ask questions, instead of spending hours on a script and the talent can simply speak from experience.

Is There A DIY Version?

When people find out about the magical invention of the interrotron, they often reach out to us with the question: Can I make my own Interrotron?

The answer is: It is definitely possible, but you will need to have access to filmmaking equipment!

An Interrotron is created by combining a beam splitter mirror with a black cloth or shroud that is clipped on the opposing side of the interviewee using regular, every day binder clips. Within your accessible filmmaking equipment, you will have to ensure that you have a Teleprompter Mirror with a camera setup, a monitor, and a video feeding device. The combination of these pieces of equipment will make creating an Interrotron an achievable project!

Purchasing Beam Splitter Glass

Are you lacking the beamsplitter glass needed to complete your DIY Interrotron?

If so, you can purchase your own here!


Our mirrors are hand cut, and sanded to ensure that each piece fits the specifications of the customer and that the glass is safe to handle. The advantage of using a high quality beam splitter mirror, as opposed to a two way mirror or film, is that you can record through it with flawless picture clarity. No need to worry about distortion!

We supply the best Teleprompter Mirrors in the business with quick turnaround times, and custom creations. We are dedicated and focused to provide our customers with exactly what they need quickly and efficiently, without diminishing the quality of our products

If you are on an absolute bare minimum budget, and have some time on your hands to work on the kinks – you can replace the video feeding device and monitor by having two iPads facetime each other. The disadvantage of this is the tablet or other device must be adjusted in order to make sure that the client can see your face close enough, which might take a second to figure out. However, this technique has been proven to work by various filmmakers on YouTube!


And there you have it – an in depth look at the Interrotron. Using this device, you can create a comfortable, candid atmosphere for interviews, making your videos stand out from the competition. With the use of the Interrotron, you can quickly increase the quality of your production, while also showing your level of skill and knowledge when it comes to interviewing people.