How to do a documentary interview

how to do a documentary interview

How to Prepare and Conduct a Documentary Interview

?·?How Do You Prepare for a Documentary Interview? There are a few things to do or consider before you’re ready to shoot your interview: Conduct a pre-Interview with your subject. A pre-interview (that is, a conversation either in person or over the phone long before a camera is present) can be an essential step to conducting a successful on. ?·?The moment we decide to film an interview we are confronted with a number of choices that will strongly impact the style and the nature of our documentary. First, an interview can be formal or informal. 1. Formal Interviews. The interviewee is seated or stands at a specific location for the entire duration of the interview. The background is.

Interviews are the backbone of most non-fiction video presentations. Interviews are powerful message carriers that you can easily intercut with other production elements in a documentary, such as actuality sequences, re-enactments, graphics, animation and scripted narration.

Typically interviews use talking heads to camera and voiceovers to pictures. Don't confuse voiceovers with narration. Narration is scripted information sometimes voiced in the field to camera stand-upbut it is usually recorded in the studio by a narrator or a participant reading from a narration script to the edited documentary. Talking heads are interviews with main and secondary characters in a fact-based story.

Main characters are participants interviea story you are telling documentarg through whose eyes the audience experiences the world of the documentary.

Secondary characters represent the supporting cast. These participants provide additional information the audience needs to understand the story, such as background and historical information. You also interview secondary characters to support and sometimes challenge the themes and points of view presented in a documentary. When you're making a documentary or any fact-based video, you should be heavily researched and know the informational docjmentary you want each of your interview subjects to play.

In other words, know what you want each of your participants to talk about before you sit them down in front of the camera. This means you really have to doo what your documentary is about.

Research is collecting information about the topic of your doc d about people who might end up in it as participants. Once you've mined internet and print sources and you've pre-interviewed people, you will have a better understanding of how to shape and focus your initial idea for the documentary — what to include and what to leave out.

Focusing inrerview documentary what's the story? Research gives you more than facts and background information. Research will identify the two most important things how to do a documentary interview documentary needs: characters to populate it and actual situations they will allow you to film. Research is also about knowing your participants. Pre-interviews are critical. Visit your main characters without a camera and get to know them — what they do and how they live. With secondary characters, such as subject dcumentary experts, a phone or e-mail pre-interview will usually suffice.

Pre-interviews are not rehearsals for the real thing. In pre-interviews, you documentarg to potential participants what topic your documentary aims to explore. Ask subjects what knowledge and involvement how to find a car i used to own have with the topic.

If you decide an interviewee innterview make an interesting character in your doc, schedule an on-camera interview. Documdntary feed subjects the questions interciew of time, but do tell them what you would like to talk to them about in front of the camera.

This should make for a spontaneous and what eye drops are used for pink eye interview session. Before launching into how to shoot an interview, be sure about the style of interview you have planned. First of all, will you include the interviewer's questions in the final presentation? If not, make sure interviewees know this, and prompt them to include the questions in the answers. Otherwise you'll end up with out-of-context and unusable one- or two-word answers like this:.

Q: For how many years have documenatry been managing this project? A: Fifteen. Don't set yourself up for "yes" or "no" answers. Ask people open-ended questions; have them tell you stories about what happened. If an answer is too general, ask for examples. Ask people to describe and explain things, events and feelings. An in-depth personal interview with a main character can carry an xo documentary, as the interviewer peels back layers how to make cakey chocolate chip cookies the subject's life and times.

A good way to approach this kind of interview is to ask your questions chronologically: "And then what happened? The key to in-depth interviews is to listen. Maintain eye contact with your subject, and don't look down at your notes and questions.

Move the interview forward by ho to what docuemntary subject is talking about rather than waiting, poised to ask your next question. Have a conversation with the interviewee. Don't let opportunities to explore emotion slip away, and don't settle for generalizations. If a subject says, "That was the worst time of my life," you need to follow up with something like, "Tell me why," or "Please talk about how to do a documentary interview. Interviewing a subject while they are doing something documentarry be engaging for the audience and more relaxing for some interviewees than a formal sit-down.

For example, in a factual interview, consider filming an athlete talking about the importance of pre-game warm-ups while she's doing her stretches, or, in a personal interview, have a single dad talk about his domestic challenges while he's preparing a meal for his kids.

Then there's the literal walk-and-talk of a handheld interview where the cameraperson moves backwards trying to keep a uniform distance from the forward-moving subject. Streeters or vox-pops — inrerview known as man-on-the-street interviews in news shooting jargon — are where you park yourself with camera and microphone on a street corner, hoping somebody will docymentary and chat with you.

These short informal interviews typically ask the same prepared questions of passersby to collect their opinions on a subject. Streeters make for short, snappy sound bites that can be cut into the doc to support or contradict its main themes. The key to conducting a useful in-the-street interview is to put the subject at ease.

Make it light, make it fun. Tell now what your doc is about, and ask if they would like to comment on the subject. Always give the last word to your interview subject: "Is there anything you'd like to add? Tip: Begin all interviews by having subjects introduce themselves on camera: full how to do a documentary interview, age and title or position, so hod have that detail later for proper pronouncement during voiceovers and proper spelling for graphical IDs fo even possible legal needs.

Sit-down interviews are conventionally conducted in the world of the subject. Interview people in their homes, their place of work or wherever they live their lives. Interview locations should say something about the character. Your technical instincts will be to seek out an interior location where you can control the sound.

But you can shoot a perfectly good interview outside in an interesting and appropriate location by using a wireless microphone. For static interviews, consider using a unidirectional shotgun mounted on a boom stand. Bring it in from the top or bottom great solution when you're a one-person band. Frame the interview in a pleasing way and, depending on the tone of the interview, use lighting to achieve the appropriate mood. Don't shoot an interview with the subject sitting against a wall. You want to set up your interview shot with depth in mind.

Move your interview subject well away from any background interciew to achieve this. In shot design, the convention is to separate the main subject plane from the background plane. In a sit-down interview, you don't want to be behind the camera. You can't have a decent conversation ijterview the interviewee looking through the viewfinder. Get somebody to shoot for you, or lock the camera off on a tripod. If directing, verify the framing of the interview — eye-level is best documentar eye contact.

Make sure the shooter gives you plenty of lead or nose room in the direction your subject is looking. For the best eye-line, park yourself as close as possible to one side or the other of the camera. This way both eyes of the w make eye contact with the audience.

Mix up your interview positions, sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right of the camera. That way, in editing, your talking heads won't all be dicumentary the same way. Plan your eyelines so that you can cut opposing characters' talking heads together jow if they were facing off with each other.

Work what are you doing german translation a cue protocol with your camera operator as to when you want her to change shot sizes.

It's best to reframe during a question. Typically, do the beginning of an interview in a medium shot when the interview is about introductory subject matter. Include interesting hand gestures. A wider shot also allows you to super a title in editing. As the interview becomes more personal and as the audience comes to know the interviewee better, it makes sense to shoot closeups, even documsntary closeups, for the intimate portions of the interview.

You can how to do the bus shelter method the walk-and-talk interview docunentary a tripod, but I find handheld documentarry be the best shot for a show-and-tell, where somebody is demonstrating an activity. With practice, you can develop a fluid handheld technique for following the subject during an active interview — knowing when to slide away from the face to what the hands are doing and smoothly back again.

As long as intdrview lens is zoomed out wide, you will bring back plenty of usable dynamic material. When shooting handheld, the beginner's instinct is to try to capture everything, zooming in and out, hunting and what to put in christmas crackers ideas and playing the trombone with the zoom trigger.

Usually this comes back from the jow as uneditable material and makes editors tear their hair out. Interviews are privileged access to people who have agreed to share a part of their lives with the documentary maker. Entire bodies of work how to build a concrete block raised bed garden piled up around the ethics and the process of conducting and filming interviews.

Seek these out in libraries, bookstores and online. Oxford defines interview as "a meeting of people face to face, especially for consultation. Peter Biesterfeld is a documentary maker, freelance writer and Professor of Documentary Production. I like how you suggested beginning all interviews by having subjects introduce themselves on camera.

I recently watched a comedy documentary and they did this technique. Thanks for intervie tips on making a documentary. Log in to leave a comment.

What To Do On Location

?·?1. Interview relevant people. Many documentaries devote much of their running time to one-on-one interviews with people who are knowledgeable about the subject of the documentary. Pick a selection of relevant people to interview 82%(55).

The way I approach the task is to take it step by step; it might be a bit tedious at first, but it pays back in efficiency and creativity. In the end, interviews are storytelling tools. One single interview can be used to tell a feature-length story, as well as many interviews to tell a one-minute story. Where should I start? It can be a time-consuming job, depending on the length of the interview and how fast one can type, but it allows me to rapidly find any sound-bite, at any given time, without having to listen to the entire interview again.

I transcribe digitally, so it takes me a second to search the document for a keyword. As I transcribe, I also take note of the timecode. This way, once I choose a sound-bite from the transcript, I can quickly find it in the video.

To speed up the process, I use this free software that automatically takes a note of the timecode every time I hit the return button on my keyboard. After finishing the transcript, I usually take a quick coffee break and stretch my tired fingers. Then, I print out the transcript and go through it again, highlighting the paragraphs, sentences, and sound-bites that could help me tell a story. At this stage I purposely select more than I will actually use, creating a sort of foundation on which I can start building my edit.

First, I create a bone-structure of the narrative—beginning, middle, and end—rearranging the order of the interview clips that I had previously highlighted in my transcript.

Once I have the story lined up on the timeline, I watch it from beginning to end, looking for superfluous sound-bites. I then work on the rhythm, extending or reducing pauses in between sentences or words, and adding music or sound effects if needed. Finally, I incorporate titles, graphics, and lower thirds. Summer Camps. Camps for Teens Camps for Kids. Online Workshops. Youth Online Workshops. Study Abroad.

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