Boris Ivanov, the producer, was in Vancouver and I in Ottawa. We recorded the interview in about 20 minutes using Apple’s FaceTime and two video cameras, one recording each of us. After the interview, Boris sent me a compressed version of his recording using a download link and I then edited it together with my video footage.
Of course, our recording technique is but one of many options available. There are quite a few options to easily record Skype and other online video calls. Some inexpensive screen capture software may also work. You could also just ask each filmmaker to record him or herself answering a set of questions and then send the recording to you. We simply used what we had at our disposal, set up in the simplest configuration we could devise.
Before conducting any interviews, I suggest that film festival organizers first have the following in place:
- A video editing template that will be used to edit all interviews. This will make the editing more efficient and allow the festival to brand the interview videos.
- Have the questions written out and ready to go. The filmmakers should be sent a copy of the questions ahead of time so they can be well prepared. Remember, each question should answer what you think potential audience members want to know when deciding whether to see the film.
- Test your system and process for recording the interview. Having a preventable glitch happen during the interview just wastes time.
These preparation steps will make shooting and editing your interviews much less time consuming and more enjoyable. Post your interviews on the festival website well in advance of the festival's opening so that there is sufficient lead time to promote, watch, and share the videos.
One last thing, give the audience an idea of what to expect in the video interview. If the interview video is longer than 2 minutes, try to give the viewer a way to go directly to the part that interests them the most. For our interview, I used YouTube’s Annotation tool to make the left side navigation menu interactive.
If you are using video interviews for your organization, event, or campaign, I would love to hear about your experience!