When telling stories, you will most likely need to interview someone in order to progress the story and back it up with facts. So, this video I have made addresses some of the best tactics I like to use when interviewing (conversating) with your subject. I know when I interview someone, I want them to be as comfortable as possible. The lights, camera and microphones add some anxiety to some who are not used to being in front of a camera. Taking time to get to know the induvial is key for a great interview. If you cannot meet up beforehand try calling them on the phone and ask questions to get to know the individual. Doing this will build trust and give you an idea of what questions you will want to ask when you conduct your interview. One of the tips I use that I did not mention in the video is to ask open ended questions. Instead of asking “Do you like your job?” which would lead to a yes or no answer, I like to ask, “Give me a few examples of your work that brings you joy.” This allows the interviewee to elaborate.
Hello, today I'd like to talk to you about a few tips on interviewing. Many people feel very nervous in front of a camera with the lights, the camera, the microphones, so it's our job as storytellers to be able to make them feel at home as much as possible. What I like to do is I like to make sure that I talk to them before hand, and get their side of the story before we even meet up in the studio. Whatever the interview is about, I like to ask them about that off camera. This could be at a coffee house, this could be over the phone, but I wanna build that rapport, you wanna build the rapport with the individual that you're gonna be interviewing, so you can build trust, and not only that you get a sense of their story. There's nothing worse than sitting behind the camera, and interviewing someone and trying to get their story while the camera's running. That's not a good use of time. You're wasting their time, and your time, and the wear and tear on your camera. Tip number two is when you're talking to them off camera, and you're trying to figure out what the story is. Think of a beginning, middle, and an end. Every story has a plot, right? So what is their plot? Figure out what their plot is before they even sit down in the interview chair, and that will save you a ton of time when you're editing. The third tip I like to offer is listen. Listen to the interviewee. You might have gone into the situation with several questions that you wanna answer, but listen to some of the answers that you're getting from the interviewee. You might be able to find a question that you did not even think about. You gotta listen, and that might lead you to a better question than the one that you might have already had. Try not to bring notes, I always, always try to just come to the interview, and I don't even mention it's an interview. I mention that there's a conversation. I wanna make them feel as secure in this spot as possible. So when you say interview, it feels like they're doing a performance, and that's not what I want. Especially when you're doing documentary work. You don't want them to be performing. You want the real story. Who is this individual that you're interviewing? You want the real person, you don't want an act. So I say, we're just having a nice conversation, pretend we're having a conversation like we would in a Starbucks or any coffee house. Start off slow, ask them questions that can build up to the major ones at the end. You don't wanna go straight from the very beginning asking them questions, the hard questions. Don't ask them the hard questions right at the beginning. Another tip is, if they didn't answer the question, you think they may have shied away from it, ask 'em again, but don't ask them right after you just asked them. Save it for a little bit later on in the conversation. Little bit later at the end, so that they feel more comfortable, and you never know, you might get a different response. Here's a bonus tip, whenever I'm asking questions during the conversation, I always nod my head, and respond to them after they're done talking. Kinda like we would, in a coffee house. I wanna build that rapport with them, and make them feel that they're not performing. I want to talk to them, just like we would in a coffee house. They're not on stage, they're not performing, and I wanna make sure that they don't feel that they're performing. I hope this helps. My hope is that I am able to share my knowledge, and grow with you guys, and just to be able to make sure that you guys get the knowledge that you need in order to conduct a interview, so I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at cookfilms.co that's www.cookfilms.co and I will see you next time. Thank you.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.