How to make a 5 minute interview appealing and attractive to click?

Sarmad

Member
I have been assigned a task to make a series of relatively short 5 minute interviews, however they need not be conventional linear videos where a guy just keeps sitting and answers the questions. The videos need to be interesting enough that once a viewer starts watching them, they do not want to stop.

I thought of starting with slow motion shots of the featuring person laughing or doing some routine work, and then breaking in the main interview, with intermittent shots of surrounding aesthetics while the audio track of the conversation keeps playing in the background. But I would need to have more ideas then that to keep the whole series interesting and creative enough. If I could get any ideas over here they'd be extremely appreciated. Thank you!
 
What you’re asking about is using b-roll to frame the narrative. In other words, this is what visual storytelling - documentary filmmaking - is all about. Nobody (willingly) sits through several minutes of unedited talking head interview. Not sure which “conventional linear videos” you’ve been watching, but that’s anything but what a conventional visual story should be.

B-roll also allows you to cover edits in the interview dialog. So what about that b-roll?

What is the person talking about? Get footage of that. Are they introducing themselves to give the viewer a taste of who they are? Sure, routine tasks at home or at work can help illustrate that. Are they talking about a hobby or some sort of craftwork they do? Get footage of them doing that. It’s a pretty easy task: shoot b-roll to keep the viewer connected to what they’re talking about, to draw the viewer into the story and help them to see the story.
 

Sarmad

Member
What you’re asking about is using b-roll to frame the narrative. In other words, this is what visual storytelling - documentary filmmaking - is all about. Nobody (willingly) sits through several minutes of unedited talking head interview. Not sure which “conventional linear videos” you’ve been watching, but that’s anything but what a conventional visual story should be.

B-roll also allows you to cover edits in the interview dialog. So what about that b-roll?

What is the person talking about? Get footage of that. Are they introducing themselves to give the viewer a taste of who they are? Sure, routine tasks at home or at work can help illustrate that. Are they talking about a hobby or some sort of craftwork they do? Get footage of them doing that. It’s a pretty easy task: shoot b-roll to keep the viewer connected to what they’re talking about, to draw the viewer into the story and help them to see the story.
What I meant by conventional linear narrative was TV interviews/analysis and some podcasts where it's generally just some guys sitting around talking, but their conversation is interesting enough to keep the viewer hooked.

I looked up about the B roll shooting, and it is certainly something I can incorporate into my video. You sir have been a big help, thank you!!
 
What I meant by conventional linear narrative was TV interviews/analysis and some podcasts where it's generally just some guys sitting around talking, but their conversation is interesting enough to keep the viewer hooked.
Ah! That’s live studio interview, a la the news, or late-night talk shows. Completely different beasts from editing a 5-minute interview piece. Treat it like a mini-documentary and you’ll be in a good place.
 

WalterB

Member
Your question isn't about clicking, but abut not clicking away. ;)

'Simple': make it interesting for your target audience. If they know the person and they already decided that the story will interesting they are far more patient then when an unknown person starts about a topic. 'Percieved quality projected towards the future.' ;)

So your opening has to hook the viewer, the rest has to keep them engaged.
 
Sorry for being off-topic but how come did you join the forum back in 2004 but only posted today i.e 15 years later?
Ah, the great mysteries of the universe.

I wouldn’t bother with a 2-camera setup. If you’re shooting it like a documentary, a single camera on the interveiw subject will suffice since you’ll be covering most of the interview with b-roll.
 
Suggest you consider a two camera shoot. Also, learn about the 180-degree rule, and do not break it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/180-degree_rule
Whatever about the 180° rule, please please don't use the "90° rule" that seems to have infected a lot of recent interviews - where the interviewee is speaking directly to camera, and then for no good reason, abruptly cut to a profile shot, where the person is speaking to nobody, just the edge of the screen. :grumpy:

Saw it again today in a video of the president of Ecuador explaining why he'd booted Julian Assange out of the Embassy.
 

Adam Alake

Member
IMO the mass of interest should come from the narration or the "story". I mean, you're not watching interviews to look at pretty shots, you watch them to learn more about someone or something.

Therefore first and foremost I would focus on the structure of the dialogue in a way that will keep the viewer curious throughout, and makes them impatient to hear the answers the interview is giving them.

Pretty much like writing a speech. When the content is interesting by itself, it will inspire the rest of the production.
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
When they introduce themselves, you could just have the words narrated, while profile shooting them. Like a prisoner lineup kind of thing. Do some speed ramping, sharp cuts, their name in the lower thirds?

Like they are getting pictures taken, while they talk about themselves narrative style... And then cut into the actual interview.
 

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