July 10, 2012

4 successful strategies for engaging interviews

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, video producers, filmmakers, educators, journalists.

Lauren MajorVideo is a powerful tool in the nonprofit world, as it gives donors, staff and volunteers an opportunity to see and feel first hand the impact of their support. In our latest video, Deborah’s Place, our focus in on one woman’s journey out of homelessness, yet we subtly interweave information about Deborah’s Place’s programs and services throughout the film.

This type of story – one of personal triumph – is far more compelling and inspirational than an organizational video strictly about a nonprofit’s services and programs.

Below are four key steps all video producers should take when shooting interviews:

Find the right setting

1Video cameras can sometimes make people feel uneasy, so it’s helpful to interview a subject in an environment that is comfortable and familiar to them (in our case, Pauline’s apartment). Other shots to set the scene include:

  • Interior and exterior clips (b-roll) of the building (Deborah’s Place)
  • Items the interviewee makes reference to (letters, pictures, books, etc.)
  • Wide, medium and close-up shots of the interview subject from different angles when they are not talking (after the interview)

For this story, it is important to see Pauline in her apartment since it is an integral part of her journey from homelessness. Continue reading