How To Avoid A Boring Video

black video camera

Interviewing people is my favorite part of creating a video.

I enjoy filming, editing and coordinating shoots, but interviews build connections. Asking a person who they are is powerful, even life changing.

Most videos should include interviews. That could be on-camera interviews with, say, your executive director, a marketing person and, perhaps most importantly, a person or two whose life has changed as a result of your organization.

A powerful interview can make or break a video. They create the storyline and overall backbone of your content.

Here are a few tips on how to do powerful interviews. Whether you’re interviewing people or a contract, you should still be familiar with the process. Otherwise, your targets may be missed.

Purposeful Planning

As I always mention, you need to have a plan before interviewing anyone. Define your goals and outline the purpose of the video. This will guide the selection of interviewees and shape the questions asked during the process.

Let’s say you want to do a video on your organization and how it is shaping the community for the better. It would be wise to find a person who has a track record of openly talking with you and others about your organization. Ideally, you want to find people who you know and trust. If they are open to talking on camera with heart and passion, they may be a good fit for your video.

Now let’s say you’re looking to tell a story with a more serious tone. These stories are important, and they may require a more delicate approach. If your organization has played a positive role in a person’s story, you could always ask if they’d be comfortable talking on camera about their life and your entity.

You can stick to talking points that the person is comfortable with, and you should navigate around topics they’d rather not discuss. Please don’t demand they reveal their entire lives on camera. That’s disrespectful.

Keeping Everyone Comfortable

To ensure interviewees feel comfortable and confident during the filming process, nonprofits should provide them with an overview of the interview’s purpose, format and potential questions. You could conduct pre-interviews to discuss what to expect.

We do pre-interviews with every person we’d like to interview. It’s basically a brief conversation. We’ll discuss the purpose, goals and intention of the video, and we’ll reference a few questions we might ask on camera.

This helps us get an early sense of what they’ll likely say on camera and how it will fit in the overall video.

It is possible these pre-interviews will reveal who your best interviewees are. If an individual seems shy and closed off in this early conversation, it is quite likely they will be the same on camera. I would then try to find someone else, so consider a pre-interview an “audition.”

Don’t feel bad not including a person. It does not mean they are bad people; it just means they aren’t a good fit for this particular project

Crafting Thoughtful Questions

Interviewing, especially for marketing videos, is all about connecting. Interviewees should feel comfortable with you and your intentions, and they should trust you with their stories, desires, wants, needs, insecurities, etc. Putting interviewees at ease can help them open up and express themselves more freely, resulting in more genuine and impactful responses.

When it’s time to interview people on camera, ask questions that elicit insightful responses and emotions related to your video. That usually means asking open-ended questions.

You can create a list of questions, or even talking points, in advance, and you can work through that during the interview. Listen to each answer to make sure key points are addressed.

You can ask follow-up questions to clarify points or dive deeper.

After that, you’ll be onto editing.

It can take time, but I promise strong interviews can make or break a story.

We’re always happy to help, too.

Published by Ryan Wilson

CEO of Team Trust

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