After obtaining feedback from our client on our film brief and interview questions (which were too broad and not specifically centered on Micah), we revised and resent the document last week. While waiting for a response, we spent the time preparing for interviews and gathering b-roll of Downtown Fredericksburg.
My team and I took advantage of the good weather and filmed some of the locations on our checklist. We shot the LOVE sign at Hurkamp Park, some murals, historic buildings, and a view of Caroline Street from the train station bridge.
During our weekly group check-in, we reviewed the video interview techniques tutorial from Lynda.com and identified specific tips that we can implement. We also checked out a lavalier microphone and a DSLR camera and practiced collecting audio.
Below are the specific equipment decisions and positioning that we’ve gleaned from the tutorial.
- We will use one DSLR camera and a wired lav mic.
- We can zoom in and out on the interviewee to vary the shots.
- We can hide lav mics inside the interviewee’s clothing, or if that’s uncomfortable, we can tape the mic down onto a table in front of the interviewee.
- We won’t be able to use a headset to monitor audio during the interview. Instead, we will sample audio before filming.
- We will position the interviewee so that they are looking slightly to the left or right of the camera, at the interviewer.
- We will find a stool for the interviewee, so that they don’t move or slouch.
- We will film the interviewee in the center of the room and not up against a wall.
Studying New Techniques
We also learned some new things as a group, including the following.
- Paper lanterns can be a good source of soft, informal lighting.
- We can place the camera slightly above eye level to expose less of the chin and make interviewees look good on camera.
- Interviewees should avoid wearing white, black, red or striped clothing. Also avoid hats, if possible.
- We should use predetermined cues to signal that the interview needs to be stopped to fix a technical issue.
- If we rearrange furniture, we can take a picture of the location beforehand so that we can place everything back where it was afterward.
- To make interviewees comfortable, we can provide them with tissues or water.
Based on our individual skills and experience, we divided up tasks for filming. Specifically, I will be responsible for timing and taking notes during the interview, so that I can record the time of any interesting conversation for future ease of reference.
Cameraman – Shane
Interviewer – Eliza
Note Taker – Sandra
Although Meghann has finally gotten back to us with potential interviewees, we are still behind in our progress. When drafting our project plan, we anticipated that we would already be editing video by now. However, we still have about two weeks to film and begin reviewing footage before our project draft deadline. Together with our two week buffer period, that should hopefully give us enough time to complete the media stories. Moving forward, we should continue to practice using equipment and visit our chosen interview locations beforehand to find an ideal set-up and identify potential issues with lighting and audio.