Mastering the Interview: Real People as Documentary Story Structure
Taught by Steve Amen, Executive Producer / Host of OPB’s Oregon Field Guide
Mondays, 6:30pm-9:30pm, October 2 – November 6
Northwest Film Center, 934 SW Salmon St. $495
The stories and voices of real people are the building blocks of documentary storytelling. The challenge for the filmmaker is to adapt their style to the person being interviewed. A successful interviewer allows the subject to share their story in a way that is not only personal, but also that is focused, engaging, and provides real insight into the subject. Through this class you will learn to direct and shoot interview subjects in a way that inspires, informs and is technically sound. You will also see how to take hours of raw interviews and condense them down to manageable soundbites which define and give structure to your story. Move an idea or existing project forward by conducting multiple interviews over the course of the class, assessing your material for story threads, and organizing the footage into a “Paper Edit” to be used for script writing and eventual editing.
Selecting interview subjects
Choosing locations for filming, setting up the room
Conducting a Pre-Interview
Basic lighting and sound recording techniques
Framing interview shots
Relaxing and empowering the interviewee
Drawing out meaningful content from subjects
Shooting B-Roll of the subject
How to log and transcribe your interviews
Story structure elements: tease, body, conclusion
Sound bites as story structure
Planning for additional B-Roll
Planning for and writing narration (if you need it)
The purpose of a “Paper Edit” and why you need it
Get instructor coaching and feedback throughout the class
Tuition includes all needed interviewing equipment (camera, microphone, lights).
Prerequisites: Basic camera operation skills helpful.