THE INTERVIEW

Questions, Answers & Retakes
The most important part of an interview, of course, is the content that the interviewee is delivering to the viewer. The standard way to get this content is for an interviewer to ask the interviewee a question and then for the interviewee to reply with an answer. However, often the interviewee doesn't understand two fundamental principles to this method of content delivery, which can make for a less than favorable interview:
1) That the interviewer's questions will not be heard by the viewer, and therefore the interviewee answers with a partial sentence or thought, and 2) That the interviewer will ask the interviewee to repeat the answer until the answer is a clear thought, causing the interviewee to become frustrated when asked to repeat the answer. Although partial answers can sometimes be edited to work within news clips or TV shows because a narrator is moving the story along, editing a partial thought doesn't work for experts, authors, business owners or similar professionals because they are the ones responsible for delivering the full sentence or thought.

Therefore, when I do an interview, I explain that the way to think of an interview is to think of writing a document: when writing, one edits the draft until it is perfected; and in video one repeats the answer over and over until it "comes out right." This process—called "takes" ("take 1" "take 2" "take 3") in the video/film industry—is a normal and expected process of creating video (e.g., there is no need for frustration).

When you watch my interviews you'll see that I dissolve from one thought to the next, but that each thought is complete unto itself. It may have taken 2, 3, 4, or more takes to get that one thought to come out the way intended before we move on to the next one, but it's worth the effort. When I interview someone, I help the interviewee deliver his or her content in a relaxed yet confident tone that's accurate to their expertise with what he or she wants to say. I have an excellent sense of how content ought to be delivered so that others understand it, and I use my expertise during the interview process.

Talk to Camera For Impact
As you can see, I have the interviewee talk directly to the video camera. The vast majority of interviews are with the interviewee speaking to someone off-camera axis because it's easier to look at a real person than to look at a video camera lens. Furthermore, looking off-camera gives the impression of talking to an interviewer; but in most shows, the interviewer is never even seen. Personally, I find it odd for someone to look off-camera if we never see the interviewer; and more importantly, if the information being delivered is for the viewer, why not have the interviewee talk directly to the viewer? When done properly, I think the viewer has a better connection to both the content being delivered and the interviewee who is delivering the content. To make this process easier, I use a Teleprompter video monitor connected to a video camera aimed at me so that the interviewee sees me, but is looking into the camera lens.

When To Use A Teleprompter
There is a different "energy" when someone reads a Teleprompter versus speaking without one. Most people are unable to properly read a Teleprompter and sound (and look) like they are not reading. However, when a lot of content must be delivered in a very specific manner, or in a specific amount of time, the use of a Teleprompter is warranted. The other time to use a Teleprompter is when working with a professional actor who is a host for a project.