Everyday Media

An everyday blog about media by everyday blogger Louise Alice Wilson.

Tag: Interview

The Shoot

This week I shot my Interview with Claire Bridge. Myself and Riah travelled, I would say all the way out too Wheelers Hill, but it’s really not that far away, unless you live on the North side, which we both do. Riah and I carried our gear on two trains and 1 bus to get to Claire’s studio out in Wheelers Hill. I can see why Claire lives here as it’s a pretty beautiful place, it’s still suburban but there are trills, hills and birds everywhere, and for someone that’s passionate about the environment I can see why she lives here. Meeting Claire was awesome, after having spoken via phone or email for so long, it was nice to speak to her in person. The filming of the interview went extremely smoothly, I’d put this down to having planned out everything, such as all the questions I was going to ask prior to the interview. By this stage I had helped Riah film as well as Elise and it was noticeable how much smoother Riah’s interview went because she had pre-planned her questions. Rather than spending an hour asking various questions that you might not use anyway, it’s much more efficient to spend 20 minutes covering exactly what you want to cover. By this stage I’d also had practise setting up lights, doing sound and getting camera shots for people’s portraits so I already knew everything I wanted to shoot.

 

Our setup was pretty simple, two large lights, one on Claire’s front right and one on Claire’s front left, two Canon EOS 60D DSLR’s at different positions (one straight on, one to the side), a Sony H2N handy recorder and a lapel mic. Everything ran super smoothly, we did the interview first then myself and Riah shot various things in Claire’s studio. Whilst shooting various things in Claire’s studio we also got a chance to both speak to her which was nice, discussing what it is like to be a woman in Melbourne’s art scene and finding out who some of her favourite artists were. Overall the experience was also, I have a lot of friends who are artists so I hope to do more artist portraits in the future.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

wwwww.interview

Louise Turley gave a great lecture on “The Art of the Interview: The 5 W’s” so I decided to use it as a template  to guide me before, through and after my interview:

WHO?

1. Do they have something to say?

Yes, they have a lot to say, often too much. So i’ve ended up editing a lot of it out in order to stick to the criteria. I have found though, that I can help direct them in the right direction and keep their answers brief if I guide them on what is most relevant.

2. Are they credible?

Yes, they have years of experience as a musician, a teacher and a lecturer and they’ve also completed an undergraduate and are currently completing their honours on the same topic.

3. Can they deliver on camera?

If i’m supportive, provide the right energy and can prompt them in the right direction, then yes.

4. Are they good ‘talent’?

Yes. Sometimes too good. They play multiple different interests, so there’s almost too much good material.

5. Who is my audience?

My class members and anyone with a general interest in music or short expository films.

 

WHAT?

1. What are you going to ask them?

  • When did you start playing music?
  • Where did your parents meet?
  • What instrument did your dad play?
  • What instruments do you play?
  • What do you love about these instruments?
  • What do you love about playing music?
  • What do you love about music in general?
  • What are your favourite types of music?
  • What types of music do you play?
  • How did you get into Jazz?
  • How did you get into Ethiopian Jazz?
  • Why are you controlling your honours thesis on ethnomusicology?
  • How was your recent tour of Africa?
  • What was the best part about playing with Ethio-Jazz legend Mulatu Astatke?

2. Research – reading, speaking, observing:

I’ve known this person for a long time, so I know a lot about their musical history, experience and interests.

3. Write questions: simple, as short as possible, open ending, check wording (bias).

Check. As seen above.

4. Practise

Check. I wrote out a list of potential questions prior, informed my interview subject of them, then conducted a rough interview. After the first interview I conducted a second interview, that was informed by the positive and negative parts of the first interview. This gave the video short an overall clarity and level of professionalism it may of not otherwise had.

 

WHERE?

1. Location – home? work? other? why? permissions?

At-home recording studio, M.E.S.S Studio, The Horn Ethiopian Cafe & various street locations.

2. Things to think about: light (is there enough), sound (background noise, interruptions), background (what does it say, will it change, artworks).

All four locations have interesting light, the first two are well suited to sound recording, with the latter having a decent amount of background noise, the background in all four locations are dynamic and engaging.

 

WHEN?

When you are interviewing your subject remember:

1. Brief the subject: clothing, questions & answers, repeat your question in their answer.

Non-disruptive t-shirt, and comfortable everyday clothing, that represents the interviewee. Subject briefed on questions and was great at repeating the question in the answer.

2. Maintain eye contact

Check.

3. Listen (use nods and facial expressions not ‘uh-huh’s and mmm’)

Check. I followed this advice explicitly during recording and I’m glad I did because I heard a lot of other people spent a long time editing out mhmm’s and yeah’s.

4. Be flexible/adaptable

Check.

5. Be respectful and show empathy

Check.

6. Stay focused

Check.

7. Be quiet. It’s not about you!

Check. Can hear my breathing in some takes. Creepy. Right? Haha. I didn’t end up using these takes of course..

 

WHY?

1. Why did I interview this person?

Because they are interesting and obscure.

2. Why was the interview good/not good?

Good: I learnt new things and explored someones passion/obsession which was fun.
Bad: Learnt how long it takes to put together even a short piece of video.

3. Why did I ask this question instead of that one?

Generally speaking, because it was more specific and would more likely explore what I wanted covered.

4. Why did they respond in that way?

Generall speaking, because that is there general understanding and experience.

5. What did I learn from this interview?

  • How to be a better interviewer.
  • How to pick out the good from the bad.
  • How to encourage an interviewee to give better, more fleshed out responses.
  • How to construct a narrative from random pieces of footage.
  • How precious light is.

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

RMInTerview

The main reason we do workshop activities is to improve or skill, or to be exposed to new concepts and technology that we may have never encountered before. This was definitely the case for this weeks workshop, I could feel my brain doing things it had never done before. For this weeks workshop we had to do conduct an interview with a fellow student about a particular topic area, ours was: What I like about RMIT city campus. For my interview I was partnered with Jocelyn – http://www.mediafactory.org.au/jocelyn-utting/ – we had a pretty great time together and managed to complete the entire activity.
The first problem we faced was finding a suitable location for the interview. We decided to head to building 80 to find a nice quiet place, to ensure our audio wouldn’t be tainted by other sources of audio. We managed to find a quiet room and began recording pretty quickly. I decided to be the interviewer and Joss decided to be the interviewer, which makes sense as she’s a great talker with a bubbly personality.

Quite quickly we managed to come up with some great questions and some interesting responses. We had some pretty successful recordings for the formal interview, the most successful actually being the first one. The audio for the formal interview can be found below:

For this first interview we placed the microphone close by on a table situated between myself and Joss, we did a test run for the levels, making sure that weren’t clipping then we began recording. We listened back after each take to ensure that the levels were a-okay and that there were no interfering sounds. Overall it was quite easy to achieve good sound quality, as the space was pretty well suited towards it. We then decided to leave the quiet room and interact with the campus to obtain interesting soundscapes for the non-formal interview.

To obtain interesting soundscapes we decided to conduct the interview while heading towards the elevator, to continue the interview while inside and to continue it further once we were out on another level. We thought this was a great way of making the campus, it’s accessibility and great design a physical element of our production. It also gives a great feeling of movement, energy and lax attitude that matches with the vibe of us and other university students. We wanted it to feel like a recording done by uni students for uni students and we think this was achieved. Our most successful recording for the non-formal interview was the second one, but I combined elements from the other recordings to round it out and to use certain lines that I preferred over others. The audio for the non-formal interview can be found below:

For the second interview it was slightly harder to get good clean sound as we were going around and talking. The background audio (i.e. general hum of noise in the background) varies slightly when changing from outside the elevator to inside the elevator, to outside again mainly because of the acoustic differences in the spaces as well as the number of sound sources present. It’s also harder to keep the mic at a similar distance from myself and Joss as we were both walking, thus bobbing around. Overall though I think we managed to get a pretty good recording and I really liked the sound of students and general campus sounds in the background. It helps to underline the premise of the interview as well as clearly distinguish that we are in fact at the RMIT campus.

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

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