I am a beginner video-maker for my local community foundation. My task is to create a small (5min) video story about a very successfull young sportsman. For that I would also like to interview family and friends.

In my experience people (also myself) are always rather nervous and unconcentrated during interviews in front of a camera. Most importantly, they often fail to make correct and coherent sentences that are not too long.

Now, I would like to use a similar style as Valve used for their CS:GO Player Profiles. How do they manage to make people talk in a confident and coherent way?

I thought about (besides interviewing somewhere comfortable at home)

  • scripting the interviews
  • having people prepare cheat sheets with bullet points
  • having them always think a minute about their next sentence and doing the interview one sentence at a time
  • doing the interview over and over until I like it ^^

I don't want to be too controlling but I definitely don't want nervous blabber. (this community is the best I could find. Please tell me if there's a more suitable place)

  • Althought this is a really interesting question, I'm not quite too sure whether it fits in the workplace stackexchange... – everyone Nov 14 '17 at 9:49
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it doesn't seem like a workplace question. – Bernhard Barker Nov 14 '17 at 9:53
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    Not on topic here. Maybe it's something you can take to Interpersonal Skills. – Lilienthal Nov 14 '17 at 9:59
  • I believe the answer is to get lots of raw footage and do a ton of video editing. I am not an expert in this field. I just know that NPR talks about the amount of editing they do for their interviews and it's absolutely crazy. In any case, you should really post this kind of question on a forum dedicated to video journalists. And I don't believe StackExchange has this kind of forum. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 14 '17 at 10:30
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    Just start the recording and then small talk until they forget about the camera. Once they seem comfortable you gradually switch to the real questions. – Daniel Nov 14 '17 at 11:15

Talk to people before the interview, let them get to know you and how you speak. build up some rapport so that they're more comfortable speaking to you.

Run through some of the questions and answers and ensure that they go into enough detail.

But some general introductory small talk before the interview is a good way of smoothing nerves.

Also ask what might make them nervous or whether there's anything about the upcoming interview that might cause any concern.

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