I have just completed the first batch of interviews for the Precursor. I still have a long way to go; 4 people out of the goal of 30! It was an interesting start. I began with friends so I could test the waters a bit.
Some initial points:
- I second-guessed my decision-making to break the game plan of breaking the audio and visuals up in the production period. It goes against my core practice of capturing everything to the highest degree, safely as possible. However, I enjoyed not wielding a camera infront of the respondent, instead, feeling quite liberated holding just my iphone to record their answers in an audio format. It is quite difficult multi-tasking audio levels, exposure, focus, and framing whilst conducting an interview.
- I experimented with mixing the control factor of my questioning. I purposefully left most of the questions out of the introduction of the doco when asking my friends to partake as I was hoping to get some spontaneous answers that would prove to be more truthful than something prepared and robotically delivered. However, I did give one question away to Soph. Whilst explaining the project I gave the example of ‘water’ as a topic to rift off. I mentioned this example the night before interviewing her. So, when it came to interviewing her I found she was quite prepared. She had some great responses, it being clear that she had put some thought into this topic. This has made me wonder whether I should advise all respondents upfront what the questions will be to enable them to piece together in their mind a response that satisfies them. I am still in two minds about this.
- I was quite apprehensive about videoing each respondent as they went about their business. Andrew was especially self-conscious. Not entirely sure how to troubleshoot this with future respondents. My unease proved to limit the amount of footage I captured. I’ll see how it all comes together in a rough edit though.
- My initial thoughts are that 30 interviews is quite excessive for this task. I feel as though I should be concentrating on 5 respondents: Ask them a series of questions, shoot a variety of footage to convey/be compatible with their responses visually, re-interview them to unpack their answers, then shoot some more footage to contrast with the original montage. Therefore a conversation will be established between the respondents, the objects/things videoed, and myself. More of a tightly woven together tapestry. Right now I feel as though I am spreading this task too thinly.
As a side note, I was incredibly honoured by the trust and faith my friends placed in me. I asked them to help me with this project and feel exceedingly grateful for their participation. What wonderful people I am privileged to know 🙂