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Real People on Camera

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Condensed from a workshop on best practices for working with non-actors on camera, given by Amy DeLouise at GVExpo.

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Real People on Camera

  1. 1. WORKING WITH REAL PEOPLE ON CAMERA © Amy DeLouise. All Rights Reserved. @brandbuzz GV Expo 2018 – Video examples removed – those were for attendees only!
  2. 2. Other Resources  Lynda #LinkedInLearning Courses  http://bit.ly/ArtofInterview  http://bit.ly/HowtoScript  Corporate Video Weekly  https://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/Having-pre-interview-session/590838/659164- 4.html  https://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/Researching-your-subject-before-video- interview/590838/659168-4.html  https://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/Staging-video-interview/590838/659172-4.html  The Producer’s Playbook: Real People on Camera from Focal Press  https://www.routledge.com/The-Producers-Playbook-Real-People-on-Camera-Directing- and-Working-with/DeLouise/p/book/9781315686936
  3. 3. Getting in Touch  Slides on slideshare.net/amydelouise  Slides are also on my website at www.amydelouise.com/speaking  Follow me on Twitter @brandbuzz  On Instagram: adbrandbuzz  www.Lynda.com/AmyDeLouise
  4. 4. Today How can we…  Be more effective storytellers?  Overcome obstacles?  Make the best use of technology and budget?  Bring out the best from real people?  Even challenging people (or about challenging subjects)
  5. 5. Agenda  Why Real People  Planning  Research  Preparing Your Subject  Location Scouting  What Type of Learner?  Defining Your Story Arc  Tips for Challenging People  Production Tips  Sound  Picture  Lighting  Wrap-Up
  6. 6. WHY REAL PEOPLE
  7. 7. With Real People We Can…  Enter their lives for a moment  Gain an emotional connection for viewer  Give a “window” into main issue or story theme  Have a natural narrator rather than actor  Be authentic to an issue, cause, or environment  Provide an expert with specialized information
  8. 8. Research Tells Us…  When we connect with other people on screen, we develop “Narrative Transportation”  Empathy  Proximity to content  Identification with characters  Emotions experienced  Our brain chemistry even changes when we are engaged with characters in a strong narrative!
  9. 9. When NOT to Use Non-Actors  “Because it’s cheaper.” It’s not.  Mountains of dialogue or teleprompter copy  Story is not connected to their personal experience  Not enough time  Producer doesn’t have time to get to know them/pre-interview  Subject doesn’t have time for camera set-ups, retakes  A subject who doesn’t take direction well  A subject who is self-conscious in front of others
  10. 10. PLANNING
  11. 11. Pre-Production Road Map  Get to Know Your Subject  What role will real characters play in your story?  Prepare Your Subject  How can you make them most comfortable and ready?  Avoid over-preparing  Get to Know Your Location  What role does location play in your story?  Challenges and solutions?
  12. 12. Getting to Know Your Subject
  13. 13. Why Pre-Interview?  Personal connection before on set  Phone can give you insights (better than Skype or in person)  An opportunity to reinforce WHY you want to tell their story  Understand their perspective, THEIR goals and concerns
  14. 14. Pre-Interview Keys  At least 2 wks prior to shoot when possible  Record (with permission)  Use it to…  Share the game plan  Finalize logistics (including wardrobe)  Map out key themes  Uncover visual and audio elements  Begin to build your story arc  Develop questions that elicit best answers
  15. 15. After the Pre-Interview  Create a shot list  Create an elements list  Send an email with follow-up on any wardrobe or logistics discussed  Themes will be shared prior to shoot  Begin to reverse engineer your interview questions  Consider other platforms/versions  Think about how to elicit “evergreen” answers
  16. 16. Additional Research  Use multiple background sources  Talk to validators – family, friends, gatekeepers  Read articles, blogs, book summaries  Know stories he/she is likely to tell  Who are the gatekeepers?  What are their concerns? How can you help them?  Learn views, biases, concerns
  17. 17. Preparing Your Subject to Be On Camera
  18. 18. Prepare Interviewee for the Experience Three areas to prepare: 1. Content Delivery 2. Appearance 3. The Shooting Environment
  19. 19. Content Delivery  You are the expert  We’re here to work with you  We want you to look and sound your best  Send in advance  General themes and topics  Prompts to think of examples  What NOT to send in advance  Your story arc  Your exact questions
  20. 20. Appearance  Send in writing  Repeat 24-36 hrs before shoot  Repeat day of shoot  Personal grooming  Men may need to shave right before taping  Do you want women to groom their own hair?  Explain makeup artist’s role, if you plan to have one  Ask for multiple clothing options  Extra ties, scarves, jackets, tops, accessories
  21. 21. The Shooting Environment  On camera subject prepped for seeing gear and crew  Reassured we are having a conversation  We are on their side—not a confrontational setting
  22. 22. Get to Know Your Location
  23. 23. Setting is a Character  Sets tone  Supports theme  Defines characters  Can add or detract from emotional impact
  24. 24. Setting Decisions  Interior or Exterior?  Real or Studio?  Green screen?  Impact on non- professionals  Comfortable  Distracting  Intimidating  Welcoming
  25. 25. Plan ahead for obstacles  Sirens, busy times of day, internal noise issues  Parking, load-in, staging area for gear  Location permits and permissions  Look for copyrighted images, buildings, sculptures
  26. 26. Location Scouting Tips  If you can’t scout, use tools  Websites  Flickr  Google Map street view  OpenStreetMap  Foursquare  LightTrac
  27. 27. Questions?
  28. 28. What Type of Learner?
  29. 29. What Kind of Learner?  Visual – needs to visualize; may want to see your questions or a diagram of action first  Auditory – conceptualizes; good storytellers  Kinesthetic –learns by doing; may need to walk through the process several times; or describe process if an interview
  30. 30. What Kind of Learner?  Visual – up  Auditory - side  Kinesthetic –down/right
  31. 31. Now That You Know…  Adapt question style to learning style  Consider other locations for interview  Consider how person will be most comfortable  Let them look at their notes – it depends
  32. 32. IN PRODUCTION WITH REAL PEOPLE
  33. 33. Start with Sound
  34. 34. Sound Environment  Who/what is nearby?  If noise, is it part of the story?  Room tone for long interviews  Planning for wild sound and other natural elements  Authenticity
  35. 35. Audio Tools for Filmmakers on the Move
  36. 36. Shot Coverage for Sound  Shooting sequence  Tight to wide, rather than wide to tight  Share early with mixer/designer
  37. 37. Picture
  38. 38. The Visual Environment  Minimize distractions  Plan ahead to cut lingo  Watch eye lines  In larger setups, use a silk to hide people and video village
  39. 39. Lighting Decisions  Key Light  Natural, sourced or mixed?  Lighting Options  LED Panels  Genaray Bi-colors  Nila  Kino Flos  3200 and 5500k tubes  Other Options
  40. 40. Framing Your Shot  Information that informs us about this person  Interviewer in or out?  2 camera options
  41. 41. Re-enactments  What constitutes a re-enactment?  Broll retake of action  Full-scale re-enactments  Shot coverage and multiple angles  Sliders  Hang a Go-Pro
  42. 42. 2nd Camera Options  Camera in motion  Jibs  Sliders  Parabolic  Manual
  43. 43. Plan for Assets to Support Story  “Interstitial” shots (even in studio)  BTS photos for social shares  If OK with subject!
  44. 44. Other Camera Considerations  Hand held, on sticks or dolly?  Multi-cam or single?  Always consider impact on real people
  45. 45. Releases  Use this time to connect with your interviewee  Resources  iRelease  ReleaseMe  https://asmp.org  Be careful about  Copyrighted buildings, sculptures, artwork  Logos on T-shirts, soda cans, computers  Put release PDF with your interview files!
  46. 46. Define Your Story Arc
  47. 47. Secret to a Great Interview  A list of questions isn’t enough  A great subject isn’t enough  An interesting person isn’t enough  Story plan is essential
  48. 48. Story Arc The Hook and the Climax are related. (Hook hints at Climax or Turning Point in the story)
  49. 49. Questions to Build a Story Arc  Preamble  Your first questions are throw-aways, confidence-builders  This is not really the open for your show  Exposition  What info does our audience need to know?  Challenge & Resolution (and Hook)  Ask “how” “why” and examples questions  Get a short version for your hook—”it all started with…”
  50. 50. Questions to Build a Story Arc  Impact / Resolution Get big-picture answers/Thematic  Elicit a call to action if relevant (better than using text or a narrator)  Call to Action  If you would say one thing to someone in your same situation…
  51. 51. Questions to Build a Story Arc  Conclusion  The conclusion of the interview should be a high point, but it may not be your ending in terms of the edit  Build in a satisfying end to your conversation for interviewee  Opportunity to continue relationship  Give them the opportunity to share anything additional  Don’t start throwing in extra questions or go back to the big story now  Help them wrap up by asking big picture” questions: “What’s the ONE THING you think people should know about X?”
  52. 52. Review: Questions to Build a Story Arc  Preamble/Warmup  Exposition  Challenge/Climax  Hook  Resolution  Call to Action
  53. 53. More on Story Arc  FREE RESOURCE http://www.lynda.com/Video- Shooting-Video-tutorials/Creating-story-arc-your- questions/141499/155890-4.html
  54. 54. Thinking Ahead for Transcripts
  55. 55. Transcript Workflow  Record Timecode and Track Info (speaker name, frame rate, sample rate, bit rate)  TC Recorders: Sound Devices 744t, 788t, 664, and 633 and the Zaxcom Nomad and Maxx  Mixer: Sound Devices 552  Need to record TC to audio track: Tascam DR-05 and -07 and the Zoom H4N and newer H5 and H6  Output mp3 or wav files of audio only  Outsourcing transcriptions  Note alternative sound bites for future versions or related web/social media
  56. 56. Transcript Tools  Builder by Lumberjack (FCP)  LumberjackSystem.com/builder.html  Transcriptives (PP) $299  https://store.digitalanarchy.com/vi deoplugins/263-transcriptive.html  Speechmatics – AI - .08/min  Human Transcribers - $1-2/min  Discern accents  Recognize acronyms  Noble Transcription
  57. 57. INTERVIEWING STRATEGIES
  58. 58. Build Rapport  Pre-interview chat  Introduce crew  Makeup artist can break the ice —or that might be you!  Don’t let tech issues distract your subject
  59. 59. Make a Human Connection  For interviews, don’t break eye line  Lean…sideways  Confidence-building  Show them you’ve spent the time to learn about them.  Make reference to a speech, book, etc.  Constant smiling and nodding
  60. 60. Can You Repeat That?  Try body language first  Or a quick gesture  Or a “sorry, I didn’t…”  If you must ask them to repeat, ask another way  Avoid “as I said before”  Get them to use your words  “Can you tell me why this is a bold new program?”
  61. 61. Can You Please Stop Talking?!  Try body language first  Or …break eye contact
  62. 62. INTERVIEWING TIPS
  63. 63. Interviewing Experts and VIPs  Come prepared  Writings  Lectures  Give big-picture project goals  Encourage storytelling  They may want to give a thesis  Ask “for laypeople…”  Be prepared for them to be distracted  Know the Handlers  Give them a place to sit out of eye line  Give them an opportunity to talk
  64. 64. Limited Time Situations  Build rapport during release-signing or walk to set  More like a conversation  No more than 4 questions, if interview  Maximize multiple cams for re-enactments  Keep as many handlers out of the room as possible!  Big picture wrap-up “the one thing”
  65. 65. English as a Second Language  Seated best  Q&A format may not work  Offer more background on Q  Ask for a story  Get clarifications, definitions  Be Prepared to Wait
  66. 66. Couples  Get to know their style together  Prep them on which order for interviews  Capitalize on the relationship for re- enactments
  67. 67. The Very Young  Avoid Yes, No Answers  Encourage storytelling  Ask “how,” “why” and feelings questions  Get declarative descriptors to edit into overly short answers  Interview standing up  Try to avoid parents cueing (speak with them before-hand)  Play the invisible game!
  68. 68. This slide deck is at https://www.slideshare.net/AmyDeLouise WRAPPING UP: FINAL THOUGHTS
  69. 69. THANK YOU! @brandbuzz www.amydelouise.com

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