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Old July 21st, 2011, 06:31 AM   #16
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Originally Posted by Noam Osband View Post
...I dont know anyone else who has shot this way, so I feel like I'll defer to that logic even though I didnt originally think of it as a necessity. Does that make it sound a bit more sensical?
Not much ... if the camera is placed so its lens is right by your ear they will be looking at the camera when they are looking at you, just as much as if they were looking at your image on a teleprompter. I can see using something like you're describing if there is some reason the interviewer can't be in the same location as the interviewee ... the person interviewed has a contagious disease or is isolated for his protection or is in an extremely dangerous environment or is in a remote location and travel is impossible, etc - but where you are in the same room as the subject it doesn't make sense to me. You said at one point you wanted the subject to feel natural and at ease ... a setup like you're envisioning is one of the least natural environments you might create for an interview IMHO and I think it would increase, not reduce, the subject's discomfort level.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 08:11 AM   #17
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Originally Posted by Noam Osband View Post
I dont know anyone else who has shot this way, so I feel like I'll defer to that logic even though I didnt originally think of it as a necessity. Does that make it sound a bit more sensical?
I don't even understand what that sentence means. The antecedent is unclear. What "logic" are you referring to? And what is "it"? Are we trying to obfuscate what's actually going on?
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:43 AM   #18
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

This doesn't seem all that complicated.

You want to do an interview where the person speaks conversationally to the camera. You don't want them looking away. The director won't be shown or heard in the final production. The director asks questions and the interviewee needs to give answers that provide context. (If asked, "where were you born", you say "I was born in Mexico", rather than, "Mexico.")

The advantage is that the interviewee will be looking at a live person who is nodding and reacting to answers, rather than at a camera lens. It will potentially help them be conversational, rather than stiff. And they won't look away from the lens to see you for feedback and approval.

The director should wear a headset mic. I would put a small powered speaker (maybe a computer speaker) near the camera/prompter to continue with the illusion that the camera is the director. That keeps an in-ear monitor and wire out of the final production shots. Just make sure that they wait a beat before answering.

Then again, if the director is in the same room behind the camera and a curtain, the director doesn't really need a mic or speaker. In fact, you could be behind the camera and curtain when you sit, but the curtain could be low enough that you could simply stand for real face to face interaction.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 02:04 AM   #19
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

I did the super-low budget version of this... I just sat with my face to the side of and behind the camera while I interviewed the subject. I arranged things so that one of my eyes saw the subject, and the other was blocked by the camera. I didn't mike myself asking the questions, which in retrospect was a mistake... just for making things easy on the editor who has to listen to all the questions in post, I should have miked myself.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #20
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

It seems unrealistic to assume that you have subject(s) who can remember to reply in complete sentences, and even to pause between question and answer, but can't remember to look at the camera. That is why I had a hard time understanding this scenario.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #21
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
You said at one point you wanted the subject to feel natural and at ease ... a setup like you're envisioning is one of the least natural environments you might create for an interview IMHO and I think it would increase, not reduce, the subject's discomfort level.
I'm not sure about it in a standard interview, but it does have a interesting effect. The BBC used it on "Our War" and the effect was more like testimony (which how the producer described it) from the soldiers involved and there were no questions used.

‪Our War: Ambushed‬‏ - YouTube
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #22
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
I'm not sure about it in a standard interview, but it does have a interesting effect. The BBC used it on "Our War" and the effect was more like testimony (which how the producer described it) from the soldiers involved and there were no questions used.

‪Our War: Ambushed‬‏ - YouTube
I wasn't commenting on the idea that only the subject's responses are to be used in the program with the interviewer's questions cut out so that the subject's speech becomes more of a narrative. I can readily see that. What I was commenting on is the strangness of having the interviewer in the same room as the subject yet hiding behind a curtain and yet having his image visible on a monitor in front of the subject and his voice coming from a speaker. It seems to me that making the subject feel at ease and more talkative is the LAST effect that sort of arrangement would have.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #23
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Re: How should I mic my interrotron set up?

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Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
It seems unrealistic to assume that you have subject(s) who can remember to reply in complete sentences, and even to pause between question and answer, but can't remember to look at the camera. That is why I had a hard time understanding this scenario.
You never know. I did a teleprompter shoot recently with five different people. (We rented the prompter and operator.) All are smart people. But the most extroverted, self-aware person of the bunch kept glancing off to the side at the crew. (He's great with an audience, but isn't as good on video.)

I've also done some interviews where the style is to ask a question but edit it out, and the talent isn't professional. You just have to listen for half answers, stop them, and do that question over. My son was shooting handheld (one eye behind the cam, one around the side) and was asking the questions, and with that setup, the talent never looked away. They were talking to my son, rather than to a camera on a tripod.
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