Always start with a killer shot

No Interviews!

Posted 2 years, 3 months ago

One of the most radical, and no doubt, upsetting things that we teach up and coming MMJs in our bootcamps is NO INTERVIEWS.


This would seem to go against everything that every MMJ or TV news reporter was taught at J school or learned on the job.

Of course, the very first thing you do in any TV news story is do the interview.

You sit down with the subject, put the camera on the tripod, tell them not to look into the camera (so the viewer is always looking at their ear) and then ask them a bunch of questions, hoping against hope that they will say something incriminating (which they pretty much never do).

THEN, you extract the most interesting things they said and cover it with b-roll, which sometimes matches and sometimes does not.

This a a dumb way to work

It is almost as though you were consciously working to alienate your viewer as best you could.

If you want to try this as a small experiment at home, try talking to a spouse or friend, but look about 30 degrees past them.  To add to the excitement, hold up a few large photos of police tape or the exterior of a building.

That should work.

In our Bootcamps, we teach our MMJs not to do sit down interviews.

What we want them to do is what we call IN SITU SOUNDBITES.

That is, have the subject talk to the camera (iPhone actually) as though the iPhone was a viewer who was standing next to (or walking with) the subject of the story.

We want the viewer to feel like they are living in the story as it happens.

This, by the way, is why you feel that you are 'in the movie' when you go to the movies (before COVID) - and lose cognizance of the fact you are sittnig in a movie theater. You are captured by the film because you feel you are in it.

Likewise with news stories.

The secret is NO INTERVIEWS.

Ever see an interview in a movie?


Here's a great example of what I am talking about. This was done by Charled Ringwalt, an MMJ with Spectrum News 1 in Ohio - and, of course, a graduate of our 5-Day Intensive Bootcamp. 

Do you see how powerful this is.

Do you see how you feel like you are on the farm with Catherine Harrison?

That's why we say - NO INTERVIEWS




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