Prepping for a video interview

Prepping for a video interview

And… Project Two is about to begin – a video interview. (Project One was to start writing again… and, well, that’s what you’re reading.)

No, I’m not preparing to give an interview… I’m preparing to video an interview. My wife is a photographer and she’s embarking on an exciting new journey from standard portrait photography into something called Documentary Style Photography. I can’t tell you how excited I am for her to move towards this because it fits her personality so well. Our good friend Allison Eskew has graciously agreed to be the interviewer while I do my first ever videography session of a single camera interview. I have never done this before, but I’ve been interested in improving my videography chops for years and when I created the monologue video for my mom’s memorial, I discovered that I truly enjoyed the process (even though the topic was incredibly heart-wrenching) – it was something to pour myself into while I was processing her death.

My video interests began while I was a youth pastor at Grace Christian Center in Pflugerville. I took two videos of an event we called Battle of the Twitz and edited them together and gave out (and sold) some copies to people to commemorate the event. It was an Improv competition for our youth group between two Improv teams. They went through a couple weeks of training and then faced off. I had a digital camcorder at a single angle and a parent had an analogue camcorder of various parts of the evening and I took on the arduous task of combining the footage for both of these using Adobe Premiere. And that was it – I’d caught the bug.

The next thing I did was create a video montage of a youth service trip to Mazatlán, Mexico and then a montage of a church Mission to Saltillo, Mexico. I was totally into creating these things and absolutely loved them. Then, I had no more source material and I’ve never been good at just making up source material (I did try a few times to no avail). And years went by until my mom’s memorial service and, voilà, I had source material and remembered once again how much I enjoyed the entire process. I can’t post my Saltillo or Mazatlán montages because they use copyrighted music, but I will post my memorial video later.

Anyway, in light of my multiple and varied interests and my decision to just jump into each of these with gusto, I asked Jana if she would be willing to allow me to do a video interview. Hopefully, it will be good enough for her to actually use in her own promotion and it will be a great experience for me to push the boundaries of my video editing and camera skills.

I’ve done a good bit of research on conducting a single camera interview and here’s the process we’ll be following:

  1. Conduct a Pre-Interview – informal conversation with some questions. The hope is for this to do the following:
    • Make Jana comfortable with the directio

      n of questioning and for her to gather her thoughts and how she wants to answer and what she wants to focus on for her answers

    • Give Allison and I a direction to try and create a base narrative for the interview – but to keep the entire thing organic, we won’t pre-rehearse specific questions or give her specific direction for any of her answers
    • Provide some ideas to create some B-roll
  2. Do a set of B-roll video shoots (could be before or after the actual scheduled interview)
  3. Conduct the actual single camera video. I’ll be planning to use the following equipment for the video itself:
    • Jana’s Canon 7D Mark II for the primary camera
    • Two AKG shotgun mics – one to mic Jana and the other to mic Allison (even though we’ll be getting her to re-read her questions to the camera later to merge in, this will allow some organic audio and give us a good base for the re-read)
    • Three CFL daylight lamps in a standard keylight / fill light / back light configuration)
    • A Tascam audio recorder (the AKGs will be plugged directly into this to grab the audio independent of the camera audio
    • Potentially Jana’s old Rebel T1i for some additional closeup shots
  4. Extensive post editing with titling and some appropriate background music

I’ll be posting stuff as the prep work moves forward to all of my public social channels. Those are all below:

  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doulos2k/
  • Google Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/kKVmdaB5p3exEYsD7
  • Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/larrygross