After filming my 1st interview with Zoe about her practice on Vis-Com, I realised that in an interview the most important thing is for the subject to be engaging.
I decided to interview Zoe a second time, about a more interesting issue. I interviewed her (based on part of a lecture we had just been to) about how people can construct their identity through social media.
I then went and interviewed my other house mate Hannah, using the same questions. I tried to refine my technique, but having not watched the first interview back yet, I didn’t have such a clear idea of how to improve.
- Roughly, how often do you use social media? e.g. facebook, twitter, instagram etc…
- How would you feel if you didn’t use any of those sites for a day?
- Do you feel more confident on these online spaces?
- Would you say you are more, or less yourself when you interact on these places?
- Do you think that social media is good for society? Why?
- Does social media bring out the best, or the worst in people?
Here are interviews 2 and 3, edited together:
Interview 2: Zoe – Identity through social media
- Sound quality was bad again. Still had not realised the audio levels were too low at this point.
- The scene with Zoe sat at desk with her laptop worked well again – relevant to social media topic. Again could have furthered it e.g. by having her on a site like Facebook.
- To make it look more natural, had Zoe look towards me rather than down the lens. Could have had her looking at her laptop, scrolling etc to make look even more relaxed.
- I kept the lighting the same (so the same problems apply).
- She was more engaged in the topic. She seemed to give more opinionated responses, and was thinking about the issue, rather than just giving generic answers. The questions chosen invited her to share her opinion more.
- By me following up her answers with a relevant question, it helped her further her point. This was better than simply asking the next question.
- The structure became too chatty and less clear (because of the above point). Her responses made little sense when my voice was cut out (I planned to do a masked interview, cutting my voice out because I wasn’t on camera).
Interview 3: Hannah – Identity through social media
- As before, the sound was bad, due to incorrect recording levels.
- The lighting was even poorer than the last interview. The room did not have the bright desk lamp to high light the face. Half of her features ended up blending into the background.
- The scene was not as relevant either.
- I pushed Hannah, to develop her answers further, to try to get different information, that hadn’t already been provided by Zoe.
- Her answers were too long, and too waffly, and off topic. Perhaps because my questions were not clear: I phrased them poorly (often waffling myself). I could have been more precise with my words to get a better response.
Things to improve on for next time
- Check sound levels before filming – make sure capturing as little background noise as possible (by changing the levels so the audio gain meter only moves when someone talks).
- Film with better lighting… try to illuminate the face more, from more angles.
- Frame the shot better, and re-frame during the interview to get more variation.
- Try to get them to answer in fuller answers, that make sense once the question is edited out.
- Try to interject if their answers are waffly – try to make their answers concise.
- Don’t just read answers off of the sheet – try to respond to what they are saying to progress their point of view.
- Pre-interview the person, so I know what kind of questions to ask based on an idea of what their opinion will be like. Then prepare different questions for different people if their opinions are the same.