Interview Technique

How to conduct an interview:

  • Make sure te subject has signed a consent form (unless it is a particular situation in which you would not need a release  – eg you film somebody in a public place)
  • Prepare questions in advance
  • Ask open ended questions (starting questions with phrases such as ‘Can you describe… or How do you feel about… or Tell me about)
  • Know what you want to get out of the interview
  • Pay attention to the interviewee
  • Eye contact and really listen
  • Try not to fidget
  • Don’t speak over the interviewee
  • If you want them to elaborate on what they said, wait until they have finished answering the question then ask.
  • Nod if you want to make the interviewee feel more comfortable
  • Hold the mic close to the person
  • Find a quiet place
  • Pause the interview for a moment if there is too much noise
  • Make sure the interviewee is looking towards negative space (which should be about 2/3 of the screen)
  • Don’t film a subject right up against a wall, leave at least 5 feet between them and the wall if possible.
  • Try and make the background enhance what the person is saying.. (e.g. film maker interviewed with a camera in the background)
  • Make sure the light source is coming from behind you (don’t stand the subject infront of a bright window)
  • Finish the interview with ‘Is there anything I have not asked you that you would like to share with me?’
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