Monday 2 January 2012

27 The Interview

Image by ilco /
Getting people to talk on camera (and reveal themselves) is an art. Mastering it is an on-going process. But at least I´ve learned (with Eki´s help) not to interrupt the subject. The following are three type of interviews with some hints on how to conduct them.

01 Just Folks: people with no claim to fame but who have something to add to the doc. Some subjects are shy but we´ve found that most them like to be filmed if you approach it in a relaxed way. Our rule in most cases is to keep the interviews to ten minutes and sharply focus the questions.

Hint: Make it fun, a kind of on-camera game

02 Semi-famous: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Finnish composer and former conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic falls into this category. Well-known enough to have handlers who earn their keep by trying to control people like us. He was hard to pin down, but once we got him he gave us a long and fresh interview (without his minders). Sadly, we had to delete one of his best lines because he used an innocent four letter word and they went ballistic.

Hint: Dig deep for fresh insights. People who are interviewed a lot are lazy and tend to repeat themselves.

03 Famous: little Margie productions has never interviewed an A-list celebrity, but I read everything I can about people who do. One reporter from USA Today wrote a cheeky article about interviewing Kate Blanchett and Russell Crowe. They all met at a posh hotel in Beverly Hills. The two old pals from Australia spent the first five minutes catching up on Aussie gossip and acted as if she were invisible. But she got her revenge when she wrote about it.

Hint: Don´t be intimidated, no matter how famous the subject is.

Lesson 31: Avoid a “puff piece” like the plague

Next week: 28 Monkey Sees Monkey Does

No comments:

Post a Comment