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Old October 3rd, 2007, 05:49 PM   #1
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Love Story Questions - need critique

I am updating my love story questions and need some critique. Below is the current list of questions that is asked to the couple seperately. We have a Love Story coming up that they are requesting to be interview'd together, but i think we can convience them otherwise. I think people can open up and talk about things when the other person is no where close. Let me know if you have any suggestions and/or new questions that could be added to the list...thanks in advance.

Love Story Questions:

1) What is the nicest/sweetest thing you can say about your fiancé?
2) What do you love the most about your fiancé?
3) What are a few little quirks that ______ has that just make you
love them that much more?
4) At what moment did you know _______ was the ONE?
5) Are you ready for the wedding? Is the anticipation building?
6) How did you first meet? The whole detailed story…
7) What is your first impression of _______?
8) What was the first date like/when/where/any good?
9) When was the first kiss? All the juicy details…
10) Tell us about your family and interaction growing up with them.
11) What are some of your childhood memories? Any nicknames /
special memories / trouble maker / shy / fun loving / tom boy /
talkative…
12) Tell us all about the day of the proposal.
- picking out the ring
- did you ask her parents
- how did the meeting with the parents go over
- were you nervous the day of the proposal or gung-ho
ready to go
- do you remember what you/he said when you/he proposed
- what was the initial reaction immediately following
- did you cry / call everybody / who did you call first

13) What are a few things that you can’t wait for on the day of
the wedding?
- to see her walking down the aisle
- how beautiful she will look
- seeing all the friends/family there
- just getting it all over and done with
- to take hold of your hand and know that this is exactly
what you’ve been waiting for

14) Wrap it up by giving a special message to the guest at
your reception.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 08:07 PM   #2
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It's a good list Zach and I use many of those too. They're kind of sappy and dry though so I try to inject some humor by asking these as well:

Who will be in charge of the finances?

Who will be the messiest housekeeper?

Who is the worst driver?

What is (bride's name) favorite color? (He never knows this)

What will be the first thing (bride's name) throws out that you own?

etc, etc,

It's funny to hear the contradictory answers. And I pick on the groom a lot.

Also... I've only done 3 of these so I'm still treading new water. :)
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:00 PM   #3
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Zack:
I have a background as an investigator so it is easy for me to have several questions as follow up to the original question. Not saying you interrogate people but you want to know information and sometimes you have to dance around a bit before getting to the meat. Here is one question guideline I use:

• A- INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

• When and where did you first meet?
• What was the state of your life before the two of you met?
• At what point did you realize you were in love? Describe the feeling.
• What inspires you about your loved one?
• What life goals and dreams do you share?
• What have you learned from each other?
• What qualities make your love unique? What qualities will keep it strong?
• How has your view of the world changed since you fell in love?
• What do you most look forward to about life with this person?
• What are some special moments in your relationship? Use them all, even the sad times as well as the happy, moving, or profound.
• What happened the day you asked her to marry you? How did you feel?

John
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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The list looks good - but it is a little long for my tastes. Sometimes being too directional with your questions can hurt the answers. Being a little more vague with your questions allows the person to take their question in the mosrt intersting direction. You can then follow up on that with the second person. For a 10-12 minute love story, I find 5-6 good questions are more than enough, with another 2-3 if we are doing an SDe too.

Patrick
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #5
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Zach,
I use many of the same questions you do. I have a sample of the last one I did here: http://cr-home-videos.com/SteveShannonPark1MG.wmv. I call it a romance video and got a lot of the ideas for it from John Goolsby's book "The Business of Wedding and Special Event Videography." It's a little long but about half way through (at 4:50) I do an interview of each one (B&G) in front of a green screen and put pictures of what they are talking about behind them. Turned out pretty well. I tend to keep the number of questions to a minimum and like to ask the same ones to each separately (without the other in the room). It's fun to compare the answers. Of course, I edit to make sure no one gets too embarrased or angry. There's usually a couple of good laughs and always heartfelt sincerity. Still refining. Comments/suggestions welcome.
Randy
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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #6
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Great list. I'll have to see if I can add anything later . . .
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Old October 11th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #7
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Sound bites in Love Story

Hi Zack,

The industry leader in Love Story sound bites is undoubtedly Randy Stubbs and I'd whole-heartedly recommend buying his video if you're serious about making improvements in this area. If you'd like a sample of how his interviews fit into his love story, see:

http://www.randystubbs.com/preview2.htm

In essence, we ask insightful, open-ended questions that focus on emotions and feelings.

Good luck, Michael
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Old October 12th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Zach Stewart;753885]I am updating my love story questions and need some critique. Below is the current list of questions that is asked to the couple seperately. We have a Love Story coming up that they are requesting to be interview'd together, but i think we can convience them otherwise. I think people can open up and talk about things when the other person is no where close. Let me know if you have any suggestions and/or new questions that could be added to the list...thanks in advance.
QUOTE]

Hi Zach,

You have had a couple of suggestions about John Goolsby and Randy Stubbs. I just spent some time with both of them this week and they are both great at LS questions. It's not only important to have good questions, but even more inportantly, you must be a good listener and know how to draw the right response from your client. You will see a great example of that on the Randy Stubbs clip.

Just because a LS tells how they met, first date, proposal, future plans, etc, does not mean it has to be long to tell a good story. You can see an example of that on the movie gallery page on our site.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 03:27 AM   #9
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Rehi Zack,

I'm not so sure this will be helpful but if you or anyone else here wants to get into serious interviewing (not necessarily weddings), I recommend the book "Creative Interviewing" by Ken Metzer. You can find it used on Amazon (still not cheap) but it is certainly an excellent book. It wouldn't be ethical for me to share all my notes from the book here, but below I'm including my excerpts from the first few chapters. For anyone that has the book, I'll be happy to PM or EMAIL them a copy of my entire book outline for their reference.

Happy interviewing, Michael

---------

CHAPTER I - What's Your Interviewing Problem?

San Jose Mercury New Nora Villagran interview with Joan Baez: pre-interview disaster and vulnerability turns into a breakthrough - “just two barefoot women talking”.

OBVIOUS PROBLEM

Lack of Self-Confidence - overcome through practice and warm-up chat.

Getting Complete Information - Listen and identify something new and different.

Know What Question to Ask Next - When in doubt, ask for expansion on prior question.

Taking Notes - When recording, take abbreviated notes to keep focus.

Coping With Taciturn Respondents - First find new topic that interests respondent.

Coping With Nonstop Talkers - No easy answer, but try rewording subsequent questions to bracket response and find pause opportunities to complete thought and move on (try to discover nonstopper in pre-interview.

HIDDEN PROBLEM

General Aversion to Asking Problem for Fear of Being Labeled Ignorant - He who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.

Failure to Define Clearly and State the Purpose of the Interview - Know the purpose of your interview, it keeps both you and respondent on course.

Lack of Enthusiasm and Natural Curiosity about People and the World at Large -

Respondents quickly sense interviewer's level of interest in a subject. Without interest, a respondent they may quickly give terse follow-up answers. Barbara Walter cites the big three for a good interview: curiosity, listening, and homework.

Failure of Listen - Respondents also notice non-verbals, including excessive note-taking, lack of eye-contact, poor body posture, talking too much, gratuitous argumentation, absence of follow-up question, deadpan demeanor, distracting mannerisms.

Lack of Preparation - Learn historical facts, what works, opportunities to uncover interesting angles.

Failure to Probe - The best interview question is uncovered extemporaneously on the spot. Be prepared for the opportunity to share new and interesting facts with listeners.
Vagueness - Nebulous questions often earn generalized responses.

Careless Appearance (phone/EMAIL prose/grammar/spelling) - Respondents make a holistic evaluation of interviewer's credentials.

Defining before Seeing - Avoid being dogmatic, instead listen with interactive responses.

Laziness - Interviewer must do homework to gain insights on what makes the respondent tick.

CHAPTER II - What is an Interview?

Any conversation with questions and answers is an interview, formal or not, provided the output is intended for an audience. However, non-verbal clues often communicate that overrides the verbal response.

NONJUDGMENTAL DEMEANOR

Respondent should be able to freely communicate what they think, not what interviewer or audience wants to hear. Interviews are not about morals, but instead a vehicle to share worthwhile information.

HOW JOURNALISTS OBTAIN INFORMATION

Interviews, research, observation.

ILLUSTRATING THE JOURNALISTIC INTERVIEW

Linear tradition: Who, What, When, Where, How, and Who?

CREATIVE INTERVIEW

Creative conversation between respondent and interviewer on behalf of the audience to produce enlightenment. Also, the interviewer's ability to identify illustrative and dramatic examples of respondent problems and resolutions.

THE CREATIVE QUESTION

The ability to continuality dig deeper and uncover new aspects of the interviewer's environment, problems, solutions, character, successes and failures, etc.

TYPES OF INTERVIEWS: DIRECTIVE AND NONDIRECTIVE

Directive - Lots of questions with short answers. Best when seeking specific answers.
Nondirective - Less is more: fewer total questions, more open ended questions. Best to learn about responder's character and personality.
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