We are looking for a series of icons that are roughly 2:1 in dimension and 200x400 pixels that represents each interview technique detailed below!
We have online training to help filmmakers conduct stronger interviews.
We are releasing a list of tips for conducting remarkable interviews and could use a graphic for each technique. These techniques are used when interviewing somebody on or off camera and help create a strong interpersonal experience so that you can do deeper with your interviewer and get a more natural energy.
The 8 illustrations total to go in a blog post as we describe these techniques. We need a graphic illustration for a the overall idea - what we call the Golden Rule of remarkable interviews, we then 6 tips that help to bring that Golden Rule to life, and then a final illustration for a technique on creating an image map.
I explained each concept below to help generate an ideas for the overall look and feel as well as each illustration.
Illustration 1. The Golden Rule of Remarkable Interviews: It's a conversation, not a performance.
We often talk to people, and they are so engaged and passionate, but as soon as we put them in front of a camera it feels completely different. We have to realize that they haven't changed, and neither has their ability to communicate, but the situation HAS changed and it went from feeling like a conversation where they could be relaxed and open, to a performance where they need to look and sound good.
Our goal then is to make them forget all of the technical stuff—the lights, cameras, etc.—and have them focus solely on the conversation. When you do this right, you can actually spend an hour talking to somebody and, as you go to wrap up, they'll say that they never knew the interview had even started.
Illustration 2. Create a Winding River
A great interview is like a winding river, as in, it flows smoothly from one point to the next. Smooth transitions between interview questions allow for natural conversational flow. Hard transitions are disruptive to the conversation and story. Before you interview, organize your questions by emotional weight. Start with easier questions, then slowly delve into deeper topics.
If your interviewee takes a question in a different direction, try adding a connecting question to lead her to the next topic. Or, bring the conversation back to yourself. Pick up where the interviewee left off, relate it to your own experience, and then connect it to where you need to go.
Always be emotionally present with your interviewee; be ready to jump down the list and follow her lead if she touches on another relevant topic. Finally, avoid an abrupt signal that the interview is about to officially begin. Instead, engage him or her in conversation that's easy and personal, and as you transition from just chatting to conducting the interview, naturally move the questions toward the content you want to talk about.
Illustration 3. They Are a Reflection of You
The energy you express in an interview plays a big role in shaping the conversation. If you bring a dull, uninterested tone to the room, that attitude will be reflected in your interview. It's important to show your interviewee the energy you'd like to see. If you're full of energy and inspired, he or she will feed off of that and be more excited to talk and have a passionate conversation.
That said, we might not want everyone to be super high energy. If someone is talking about loss and despair, we need to be willing to go there with him or her, to be open and vulnerable. If we share our own story of loss in a genuine way it builds trust, and allows for a more natural reflection of the interviewee's own experiences. It's important to guide the energy, and make it okay to be excited, sad, or serious. Also realize that this starts from your very first phone call or email with the person. You are the one who sets the tone.
Illustration 4. React, Like For Real
The best conversations aren't monologues, they're dialogues. We can't expect an interviewee to be excited, emotional, or even interested in an interview if we don't make any kind of real connection through conversation. Our reactions to an interviewee's answers are critical. They're how we let him know that we're listening and that we really care about what he has to say. So take the time to react in a genuine way—like, for real. Take a few extra moments to share your thoughts, or relate a similar story of your own. Have a real conversation and be present. The more authentic you are, and the more you connect, the deeper your interviewee will be willing to go for you.
Illustration 5. Do Your Research
Remember, how you start your interview will set the tone. If you don't even know the most basic information about your interviewee, how is that going to make him feel? Doing research beforehand will make the interviewee feel valued, while providing you the tools to have a stronger conversation, and thus a much better interview.
Doing research doesn't have to take forever. Start with Google, YouTube and Facebook to get a sense of who you're talking to. Check out their product or service, learn about the industry, and walk in with some solid information. Make a note about any connection points. This is a great way to have a genuine conversation about something that interests both of you. Know the information well enough to challenge his or her answers, because that's when you'll get the most passionate and authentic responses. It's when he or she totally forgets about the production, and is there—present and comfortable.
Illustration 6. Separate the Practical
If we're trying to conduct an interview as a conversation, we need to separate the practical and technical reminders of production from the interviewee. We separate the practical in both time and space.
Arrive early and make sure the interviewee isn't in the room when you're setting up gear. And if you have directions for your interviewee (like, please repeat the question in your answers) have someone else explain it to him well before the actual interview.
When you're ready to roll, avoid technical phrases, like sound speed or cameras rolling, that make the interview feel like a performance. Simply have the camera person touch the director on the shoulder as a more subtle cue. The same idea applies if you have any technical issues, have him tap you on the shoulder twice. The conversation should never stop.
Illustration 7: The coffee shop filter
Coffee-Shop Filter: When conducting an interview of any kind, imagine that you were just out with a friend having coffee. Any behaviors that would be acceptable and expected in that situation are fitting for your interview, and anything that would feel out of place (i.e. bringing a notepad of questions) needs to go.
illustration 8: Creating an image map.
We have a handy memory trick to quickly remember all of your questions, in order, and easily recall them during your interview with no notes. This is related to the tip above 'separate the practical', in terms of letting you leave your notepad behind to have a stronger conversation. We would need an illustration of each step.
1. Organize your questions emotionally. Begin with simple questions before moving on to the more difficult, deeper ones.
2. Turn each question into a single keyword. For example, if your question was, Why did you get started?, you might think of the word start. Or for the question, What inspires you?, you might think of the word fire. And for the question, What is the hardest part of your job?, you might choose the word hard.
3. Turn each keyword into an image. The crazier the image, the easier it is to remember.
4. Connect each image together. So for our example of start, fire, and hard we might imagine a starting line catching on fire, and then the fire hardening and falling over.
There is a hand drawing of this in practice attached. It is the cell phone photo.