While directing an interview, how important is it to provide a comfortable atmosphere for the interviewee? How do you make them comfortable with talking to you and the crew? What are some of your go-to techniques for interviewer/interviewee interaction?
This is something that I always try to do as a director. For perspective, most of my directing consists of conducting interviews for corporate and commercial clients because that’s most of what what’s out there in this space. So I’m thrown into a situation where I’ve never met this person before, and I have to get decent sound bites out of them on 15 different topics about which I know very little, because the client hands me a spreadsheet or a piece of paper and says, “Hey, these are our talking points” and I’ll be going through like, “I don’t even know what this phrase means,” but I’m going to have to figure out how to intelligently conduct an interview on that topic and connect to that person to develop a rapport with them.The directing process starts long before you get a camera out. Click To Tweet
So for me, it all comes down to building a rapport with that person and the directing process starts long before you actually get a camera out. On that side of things, especially when you’re dealing with non-actors, but someone like Danny here who has no aspirations to ever be on camera, but we’re here documenting his process and telling his story.
So a lot of that comes down to all the talking you do beforehand when you get there and we’re unloading the car, or we’re just walking around talking, finding things that we have in common, finding points of humor, points of agreement, and kind of leaning into that to develop rapport, but make him comfortable talking with me and with whoever else is on the crew about whatever else that we’re doing. So for a piece like this, and for most of the commercial work that I do, that’s the process.