Cutting wasted time with video interviews

What was thing big Ah – Ha! moment with students during the Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Missions Workshop in Trinidad? How important it was to spend more time on the pre-interview.

Naz Mohammad [Blue Shirt] – Pastor of church plant in St Augustine, born and raised in St Augustine. He is talking with some of the students who will be doing a story on him this week. Ñ at St Helena Shiv Mandir. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 12800, Ä/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 28]

We build into the workshop time for the students to get to know their subject. This is the pre-interview. Even doing this most everyone would start their “formal interview” with the camera rolling too soon.

Lukas & Nate interview Scott Brock, missionary to Trinidad [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 9000, Ä/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 35]

They learned that if they didn’t know what the story was before they started they didn’t know how to take control. They would let the subject just talk and talk and talk. This meant they had 60+ minutes of an interview to edit and everyone of those interviews had to be redone.

Jeff Raymond helps Rachel Ingram and Miki Veness on their video project Ñ at Trinidad & Tobago Urban Ministries. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 12800, Ä/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 48]

When we teach how to interview, we teach what are the key points you are looking for to help tell an effective story.

While this storyline/narrative has been known for a long time in storytelling we still often struggle to get those key elements.

Subject
Conflict
Resource/Help
Action they took
Call to Action

Lennox Boodram – ministry partner that was saved out of drug and alcohol addiction, runs a Christian drug and family rehab center (Turning Point)that has been operating for the past 5 years. Great testimony. Ñ at Turning Point Drug & Family Resource Centre. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 4500, Ä/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 38]

Now the one thing we add to all of our stories that you don’t see in a movie theater is a call to action. Now that you have seen this story we want the audience to know how to get involved.

If the storyteller has taken time to get the story before they roll the camera those interviews are usually more of a 15 – 20 minute interview. The only reason it isn’t the short 3 – 5 minute finished project is they often have the subject do a few takes. They want to get the best emotional match to the content.

What all the students were talking about was how next time they will spend more time getting the story during the pre-interview so that the editing process will be much simplier.

Leave a Reply