In addition to “person on the street” footage, this workshop asks you to include “B-roll” footage. Before class, propose a topic, and bring your B-roll footage with you to class. I’m going to ask you to incorporate that existing B-roll footage with new interviews that you conduct during class time. (You are welcome to set up those interviews in advance, if you like.)
Our goal is simply to improve on the technical accomplishments from Workshop 2. (If you missed the deadline last time, meet it this time. If you didn’t get titles for all your sources last time, get them this time. If your interview subjects weren’t all audible last time, make sure they are this time.)
- Zoom in close on the faces of your speakers as they talk. If you want to include a shot of your speaker in his or her environment, that’s fine, but during the actual interview, make it a close-up — head and shoulders. Here are some images that show what I mean by “close-up shot.” http://accad.osu.edu/~midori/Materials/camera.html
- Make sure your source is audible. Get very close to your source. I have some small microphones that you could clip onto your source’s clothing. If someone makes a loud sound or the phone rings while your subject is answering your question, don’t be afraid to ask the person to repeat their answer.
- Go beyond talking heads. If you are doing interviewing a student-athlete, instead of just filming her talking to the camera, show her hitting the books, hitting the ball, running up the steps from the faculty parking lot, and sleeping on the team bus with a textbook in her lap.
- Identify your sources. Add titles that identify speakers, preferably by name and occupation.
- Pay attention to backgrounds. Avoid a background that is too busy (with people making faces at the camera) or too bright (with the light source putting your subject’s face in shadow), or distracting (a sign with words is partially visible, so that your viewers will spend time trying to figure out what the rest of the sign says rather than listening to what your source is saying).
If you are at a public event where people are speaking into a microphone, it may actually be better for you to stand near the loudspeakers — which may be at the sides of the stage — rather than stand near the person at the microphone. (Look for an organizer and ask where the loudspeakers are, if you’re not sure. Or, leave a handheld voice recorder on the table near the speaker, point a camera on a tripod at the podium, and use your iPad to capture crowd reactions.)