It may not be traditional public relations, but video production and more importantly video interviewing are great skills to know. My campaigns class client happens to be the Portland Senior Experience, and we are creating videos of past PDXSX’ers.
This project made me realize just how helpful the video editing classes in the School of Journalism and Communication sequence really were. So, here are some tips to video interviewing that will make the editing process a breeze:
Positioning: When you position your interview subject, make sure they are on either the left or right third of the frame, and position yourself in the opposite side of the camera. For instance, if your interviewee is on the left third of the frame, you should be sitting on the right side of your camera. This will give the impression that the interviewee is looking toward the camera, but not into the camera.
Questioning within the answer: This tip is one of the best ones to help your editing process. Prior to the start of the interview, first ask the interviewee to somehow restate the question within the answer. Usually you will have to ask them again about half way through the interview because they start feeling comfortable and begin speaking casually. If they can manage to do this, your editing will be really easy because you won’t have to put in some transition saying what the subject is about to talk about. Instead, they will know because the interviewee tells them.
Slow and steady wins the race: This is one of the most difficult requests for interviewee’s to follow. As soon as the camera light is on, they get nervous and become the next Eminem and rap what they’re saying. Although, if you could throw a good beat in, it might be an interesting interview. Ask them to slow it down, speak up and take their time. Nothing is worse than an interviewer that speaks to quickly and mumbles.
Give it up ahead of time: Most people aren’t able to think up good information on the spot, especially when a camera is in their face. The best way to get good information during a video interview is to give them the questions in advance. Some may say, “what about the spur of the moment babble that we all love?” Sure on the spot babble can have good results sometimes, and generally you’re not so lucky. Give the questions to them ahead of time so they have time to think and give a quality, well thought-out answer. If you’re really looking for the off-the-cuff answer, at the end ask them if they have anything else they want to share that you may have forgotten or missed. This will throw them through a loop and you can still have a chance to get your spur of the moment babble.
Just pause: At the end of your interviewee’s answer, don’t say anything and pause for a second or two. No one likes silence and most people will feel they need to fill the void, so they continue talking and that is where you get the best information.
I hope these little tips help. If you have any more ideas, please feel free to comment!
Thank you for reading.