Conducting interviews

Conscious conversation with people in different situations, with regard to the question.

Organisation

  • Duration
    Long (more than 1 hour)
  • Complexity
    Difficult
  • Group size
    1 to 100 persons

Description Long

Interviews with professionals or people on the street tend to be face-to-face. You could also conduct them via phone, Skype, or in writing, for example, via WhatsApp or email. Interviews require good chemistry and must lead the interviewees into answering the questions. 

Preparation

Pay attention to the shooting procedure: Set up the camera, sound and light.  

 

Prepare goal-oriented questions and familiarise yourself with the topic.

Execution

As an interviewer, you need to know what questions you want to ask, and show genuine interest. Prepare questions that help to lead the interviewee. Creating an interview guideline is beneficial.

Think about the interview structure beforehand, e.g., fully standardised vs semi-standardised, structured vs unstructured, or maybe even a completely free interview. Most of the time a semi-structured interview is recommended, since you are supported by guidelines.

 

Decide on the dynamic and expressiveness of your interview. There are, for example, expert interviews, or dynamic and spontaneous interviews on the street.   

Make sure the interviewee is attractively positioned within the frame and select a suitable focal length and aperture. 

Expert interviews are best conducted in quiet and well-lit environments.

Expert interviews: Avoid backlight that leads to over/under exposure, close window blinds if needed. 

 

Sound: Interview sound quality is a top priority. It is almost impossible to fix poorly recorded sound during post-production! Therefore, check the sound quality before starting to record and, if possible, monitor it during the interview. 

 

The superimposed chat history can be used for the film if written interviews were conducted, for example, via WhatsApp.

 

There is a significant advantage in conducting interviews as a team, so that responsibilities for technology and interviewing can be divided.  

 

 

References

Video technology basics by Anita Holdener, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (PDF)

www.hslu.ch/de-ch/zll/lehr-lerninfrastruktur/medialab/

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