In some ways my trip has been a crash course in interviewing and video editing. I feel like I’m becoming increasingly conscious of the right way of doing things, and I know that I’m still making plenty of mistakes. You can imagine my joy when yesterday I received a phone call from Josh Weinstein, founder of Inside Cinema. Inside Cinema is a company that uses video “as a transformative tool for individuals and organizations,” and has done very innovative work on framing issues such as women’s leadership in Saudi Arabia.
Here is the advice that Josh had for me:
Conduct The Interview
– Given that my film is focused on conversation, make sure my audio quality is as good as possible
– Don’t touch the camera while the subject is speaking: reframe the shot between questions, and it’s not as important to zoom in during moments of emotional intensity as some guides suggest
– If an important thought is not coherently stated in one contiguous sentence, re-ask a variant of the same question
– To liven up the clip, intersplice action-oriented footage (B-roll)
– At the end of my interviews, while it is still fresh in my mind, jot down notes on powerful moments
Find the Good Stuff
– View the footage in its entirety and take copious notes. If possible, transcribe the interview, print it out, and highlight important passages as I rewatch a clip
– Note thoughts that will make powerful openers and closers
– Stick to what is compelling in the video, which may be very different than what I experienced live. Let the footage guide me.
Create the Final Product
– Before I begin, articulate my agenda: e.g. is it to encourage people to take risks and lead more passionate lives?
– Search for existing narratives that appeal to me and explore using them as a framework.
– One way to organize my interviews is by theme: for example, beginner’s luck. I could then find the interviews that fall into that theme and bring two or three people together for a 5 minute clip.
– Overlaying footage from two different periods of time can have a powerful effect: for example, combining a clip with someone’s reaction to said clip. I can also experiment with having people respond to each other.
I’m super grateful for Josh’s guidance and I look forward to tracking the impact that he makes through his unique narrative style.