Interviewing is an unsure process. It takes time and practice to execute an interview well. Some folks think that interviewing is as simple as asking a few questions and getting one or two video shots of the action. I can tell you first hand that this is not the case.
Interview subjects come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are finicky and with not stay still, some will not answer your questions, and some give you one-word answers. As the interviewer, it is part of our job to make the interviewee comfortable talking to us especially when field reporting. Field reporting calls for strangers being your interview subjects and it may or may not go well. As a journalist, you must not take rejection from subjects who do not wish to be interviewed personally, or get thrown by a change in the action at an event. The video below exemplifies interviews that did not go as planned I’m sure.
The best field reporters are the ones who can make conversation with almost anyone. You may receive answers you did not expect and you have to adapt your questions to their responses. However, before covering events, I’ve learned that research is your best friend. You can never have too much background information on a subject or the event because it gives you a starting point. You can storyboard in your head and think about the different shots you need to get in order to successfully cover a specific angle on the story.
Working on my STRIPES TV style video, I was more prepared than I have been for any other project this semester. I sat down and drafted what I wanted the video to look like. I was able to visually draft a way around the confidentiality policy between STRIPES and their riders. I requested access to the STRIPES office two hours before operation hours on the weekend. This way, I could capture the setup of the cars, the members signing in, and the director on call’s tasks before hand. If I had not done research on the STRIPES operation and planned on showing up at normal operating hours, I would have only capture maybe one or two shots instead of multiple.