Interviewing and Script Writing

Why is the interview important?
This is where you get the background information
and sound bites to use during your story, so it is very
Take appropriate steps
Before, during, and after the interview
Before the Interview
Get your thoughts together
 This
will help you look more professional and will help
keep the interview alive.
 If you do not have a plan, the person you are
interviewing may feel that you are wasting their time.
Ask yourself these questions when developing ideas
for your interview.
 How
do I make this story real for my audience?
 How do I make a difference?
 How do I tell this story in a compelling and clear way?
Before the Interview
Do your research.
Before the Interview
Think of the questions you want to ask each of your
contacts for your story.
Remember, while you don’t want to give the answers
to the person you are interviewing you can ask the
right questions to get the story you are looking for.
 Also,
if you start with an angle (point of view) in mind
and your contacts give you the idea for an even better
story, go with it, it’s ok to change your angle.
Interviewing Tips
Do not use the same expert all the time.
 Find
Think about all the different people that could be
interviewed for a story.
 Ex.
new sources for your stories.
Egg Recall
You could interview the producer, the consumer, or the manager at
the grocery store.
If you interview people that are affected by the
story it adds a human touch.
During the Interview
Go into your interview knowledgeable and with a
clear vision of what you want to accomplish. As
stated before this will only make YOU look better.
 Learn
about your subject before the interview.
 Ask others what they think is important.
 Have an idea of what questions you will ask.
 Write
 Make
them down and take them with you.
the interview a conversation.
During the Interview
Gather information off-camera and then use the camera or
recorder to get your sound bites (short pieces of information
from the interview).
Always pay attention to what is going on in the world around by
use of news and internet.
Remember the first question sets the tone of the interview.
Treat people the way you would want to be treated.
Don’t tell them the specific questions before hand, because it
leads to rehearsed answers.
Use both a professional, but conversational tone.
Ask questions that will be answered with more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
During the interview
Look the person in the.
Sit still.
When shooting video ask them to look at you not the
 The
camera should be placed over your shoulder.
Do NOT chew gum during an interview.
If possible try to conduct the interview at the scene
of the event or setting of the story.
During the Interview
Get a full name
Check spelling
 Get contact information incase you need clarification later.
 Ask them to pronounce their name correctly as well and get
official titles.
Remember sometimes people lie or shade the truth.
Sometimes you have to read between the lines.
Watch facial expressions to see if they really agree
with what they are saying.
Ask probing questions to ensure you have the correct
meaning. Ex. Tell me more about… or when you say
“_____” what do you mean by that?
Wrapping up the interview
Make sure that before you finish your interview you
have all the answers you need.
Ask the interviewee to summarize in a few sentences
if you need them to.
 Usually
helpful if the person is a rambler.
Take the time to get the most clear understandable
 Even
if it means asking the question two or three times
or rewording it.
Wrapping up the interview
Once you have finished asking your questions ask
the person if there is anything they would like to
If you have a photographer ask if there is anything
they want answered.
 Sometimes
others hear things differently or think of
things you might not.
Writing the Script
After the interview process, you will want to prepare a script for use
with your video. Much like you prepared for your interview, you will
want to organize all of your ideas.
Gather facts to back up your quotes from contacts.
Decide which quotes you want to use.
Write a lead and fillers that work with your quotes.
Decide what parts are going to be “live” and which “voice over”
voice over: meaning you can hear the voice, but you do not see a person just
Scripts are written in two columns.
The column on the left is for the video footage.
The right column is for information for the script.
(What’s going to be said)
Script Format
Video Description
Be detailed with directions
Audio Description
Actual script goes here and should be
double spaced.
Structure of Story Telling
Three Act Structure
 Act
One: Beginning
 Who,
what, when, where, when of the story
 Over when this is set up
 Act
Two: Middle
 Journey
that takes place
 Main part of the story or conflict
 End
 Resolution
Your script should be centered around bringing the
three acts structure to life.
Script Writing Tips
Before writing your script get all of your information
Engage in pre-writing
 This
allows you to get all of your thoughts down on
Read your script out loud.
 Viewers
will hear not read the message.
 Check closely for grammatical errors.
Organization is key to a great interview.
 Make
sure you know what information you are looking
for and ask those questions.
 Always have a plan!
Prepare a script for your video.
 As
with an interview, organization is important before,
during and after shooting your video.

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