Interviewing and interviewees – Why Nova gets the best results
One of the things we think makes Nova’s films stand out is the way our participants come across in interviews: emotionally open, confident, articulate and at ease.
We watch so many films where the voices sound wooden or scripted, terrible hard-hat walk-and-talks around building sites, managing directors reading from scripts but pretending they’re being interviewed, participants looking like rabbits caught in the headlights…
Much of our work is based on interviewing people and at Nova we pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere where the participants in our films feel they can give their best.
And unlike any of the other productions companies in the region, we’ve got trained, time-served journalists and editors at the core of the business, right alongside our excellent shooters, all the way through the process. We’ve conducted literally thousands of interviews, and we bring all of that experience to the job.
Here’s how we do it…
That starts from the moment we enter the building and start setting up the gear. Basically, if the crew are warm, kind, friendly and polite to each other to the people they’re interviewing, then we’re all off to a good start. Good manners, humour and respect go a long way toward making a great film.
TALK AND LISTEN
We speak to our participants before the interview begins, we support them and we make sure they know that they’re important to us, and we explain clearly what’s happening. Few people love getting in front of the camera; it makes most people feel nervous. Being around other normal, fallible, sometimes foolish humans like us helps some of that fear to subside.
We take as much as everybody needs. We don’t put anyone on the spot. We tell everybody there are no wrong answers and it’s just a chat. And then we talk and listen until we get there.
DON’T OVER-PREPARE PARTICIPANTS
Naturally, if you’re getting us in to make your film you will probably want clients, customers, partners, staff to be interviewed, so they’re going to want to know what’s expected of them. Tell them in the broadest terms, but please don’t be specific. Just tell them the rough direction of the conversation but please DON’T give them a tick-list of things that you’d like them to say or a list of questions you think we might ask.
PREPARE US INSTEAD
Let us know what you’d like to hear from the people we interview, tell us about their area of experience or expertise, help us to understand why you want them in the film. Please don’t give us a list of set questions – just let us know what you want and we’ll get it.
We’re really good at this. It’s what we do. We turn an interview into a conversation and then we edit that conversation – and the end result is a relaxed, happy interview where our participants feel proud at the way they’ve expressed themselves – and you get a great film you’ll love.