I decided to actually be in an interview myself, handing the filming over to someone else. This meant I didn’t have to multi-task (worrying about lighting, framing, sound etc), so I could really engage with the interview.
I decided to re-try the four different styles I had just tried out, interviewing Hannah again, to compare the difference when I was in the interview myself.
I asked my friend Zoe, who was interested in learning about filming, to operate the camera for me, and to organise the sound, and the lighting. We agreed that she would edit two of the videos (to develop her skills), and I would just upload rough copies of the other two (for the purposes of this blog).
Here are the two films which Zoe edited:
Interview 10: Emotional interview (me interviewing on screen)
- Tried to make the atmosphere friendly, relaxed and calm. We had cups of tea to make it seem like an informal chat.
- I tried to think about my body language, facing my body towards her not the camera, to make the setting more natural, as if the cameras weren’t important, so that Hannah would relax and feel comfortable talking about the topic.
- I said ‘um’ and ‘er’ quite a lot, which let the interview down. It broke up useful bits of speech, and made it sound unprofessional. I think if had rehearsed what I was going to say a lot more, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
- My responses could have been a bit more caring, rather than moving on to the next question. I did this because I didn’t really know what to say when she gave an emotional answer. In future I should try to anticipate what kind of answers the person will give, so I am prepared with things to say.
- I tried to nod along to what she was saying, and listened carefully, incase I needed to follow up her answers.
Interview 11: Debate style interview (me interviewing on screen)
- Was so much easier when on camera, able to focus on Hannah’s answers, and respond fully, knowing that I wouldn’t have to edit my voice out. Was able to have full discussion.
- Hannah had already done the debate once, and so this time she was better prepared: her answers were stronger, less waffly, and made more sense.
- Being on screen meant Hannah was talking to me rather than the camera which looked better.
- Questioned what she was saying a lot, to create more of a debate. Would have been good if she had then questioned what I was saying as well.
- I was too argumentative, at one point I interrupted her because I disagreed, which was really bad. I should in future allow the person to fully express their point before disagreeing.
Here are the two that I edited (very basically, only for the purposes of uploading to the blog):
The lighting and the sound was unfortunately poor. One camera’s ISO was set differently to the other, so the two videos showing the different angles have very different colour temperatures that are hard to edit together smoothly.
Interview 12: Chat Show style interview
- Worked so much better with me on screen, as it was a proper conversation. The viewer gets to see the whole dialogue between me and Hannah, this looked better than when Hannah was chatting to the anonymous camera. Now the casual nature of the questions makes sense.
- I tried to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere by the way I positioned us, facing each other with cups of tea.
- I tried to maintain eye contact with her, rather than looking at the camera or my script.
- I aimed to respond in a friendly, informal way, rather than just reading the next question off of my list: I tried to smile and laugh where relevant. I don’t think I did this enough though, there are times when it seems like I wasn’t paying attention to her answers, and I don’t really respond to what she just said.
Interview 13: News report style interview
- This was the one interview, where it probably worked better without me on screen.
- Me being in the video detracts the focus from the information Hannah is giving. There is no need for me to be there, because my responses are not relevant as it is a factual interview.
- My questions are relevant, giving context to the answers she provides, but they could be added in a better way. For example, in lower third titles, or shot separately in the form of ‘re-asks’, where I am recorded asking the questions directly to the camera, then this is edited into the footage.
- Hannah makes eye contact with me rather than the camera, which is not beneficial for this style of interview. The interviews you see on the news usually are of the person speaking directly at the camera, so the focus is on them, and the information is clear.