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  • Pradynik Bhishnurkar

Idea #103 - The Art of Interviewing

“Documentaries are the greatest way to educate an entire generation that does not often look back to learn anything about the history that provided a safe haven for so many of us today.” - Steven Spielberg

As opposed to filming fictional films, considering all the fantastical elements and romanticised narration involved, filming a documentary can be even more challenging, considering just how little power the director holds over the circumstance but how much power they hold over the tonality and rationality of the film.

Today we watched Every Interview Style Explained, a documentary masterclass by Mark Bone, and learned a little about the technicalities that go behind shooting personal interviews with the subject/subjects involved. The interview styles proven to be most efficient are -

1. Standard Interview

Subject is sitting, looking just off to the side of the camera

2. Interrotron Interview

Subject is sitting, looking directly into the lens and the audience

3. Conversational Interview

Multiple characters talking about a topic, shot like a scripted film

4. Host + Standard Interview

Standard interview with a host in the counter shot and 2-shot

5. Host + Conversation

A conversation based interview in which we are familiar with the host

6. In The Moment Interview

A conversation based interview while completing a task

7. Standard Voice-over Interview

The Subject’s face is not revealed, but their voice is heard throughout the film

From the camera angle to the degree of involvement of the interview and the environment, every little detail influences the degree of indulgence and intimacy stirred in the audience. Filming a documentary is often a very confrontational and personal project for both the filmmaker as well as their subject. Today’s Daily Idea helped us understand these nuances a little better.

Written and Curated by Arya Kastwar

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