Jul 29, 2012 11:05 PM EST

Shooting Under The Sails: What Makes A Good Interview?

Shooting Under The Sails: What Makes A Good Interview?
At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, there wasn't much for me to edit, as nothing was quite written yet. However, there were plenty of interviews to film, so I, although an SDCC first-timer, took up one of our video cameras, and shot several of the SDCC 2012 interviews you can see here on FlickDirect.

I'm not one to get starstruck, and the closest I came was an interview with Rockne S. O'Bannon (Farscape) on the subject of Cult, for which, sadly, we have no footage, and with Dulé Hill on Psych. I concerned myself more with finding sufficient lighting, color balance, and suppressing the constant drone of noise that constantly threatened to drown out the audio. Technical problems were to abound, as they always do, but turned out not to be more than we could handle.

There's a sort of evolution of process you can see on these videos. Our interview with Thomas Jane & Tim Bradstreet was an early effort, and we owe a debt to our subjects for being so honest and just handing us good material to work with. You can get a feel, by watching, for the small doses of experimentalism inherent to this kind of early effort.

Later efforts like the Supernatural interviews, set in the much higher-intensity realm of the TV press rooms, show us more in our groove, rising to the challenge of those environments. Every actor and showrunner is different, and you have to adjust your approach accordingly: different questions come from the interviewer, one reacts more or less to the presence of the camera, and the camera points more or less high according to how tall the interviewee is!

My favorite scene of the whole convention, however, must have been interviewing the stars of Femme Fatales, up on the Sails Pavilion. We knew exactly what we were doing, the dwindling afternoon sun cooperated, and we started to feel like we belonged exactly there, at exactly that time. Moreover, our subjects graciously gave us wide and varied material, and genuinely made me a fan. Conversely, we have yet to see whether O'Bannon can drag me along to Cult.

About Stephen Compall

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