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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #1
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Interview questions

Hey,
I have a new wedding coming up and now I wanted to do an interview with the couple in advance of their wedding.
So I will ask them some questions seperately and then it would be nice when they see the other person's answers afterwards.
But I haven't done it before, so now I'm looking for some questions I can ask.
Any suggestions ?

For example :
- Where have you met ?
- What do you like most about the other ?
- ...
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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Hi Bart,

I have done interviews both seperately and with the couple together. For me personally, I've found them to be more effective when they are done together...often there will be one person who is quieter and not as comfortable in speaking.

So usually I try to relax them and have the camera positioned slightly off to my side so they are looking and talking to me. The first question I ask is, "If you had to describe "X" either as a vegetable/fruit, animal/creature, what would you choose & why?" This tends to make them laugh and forget about the camera - an ice-breaker :) It's a tough question cause they're not expecting it and it makes them think. More often I don't use this bit but occassionally I get some good bites.

Because I prefer to interview the couple together, I end it by doing this:
"If you were to write a love letter to Y, what would you say?" I get them to look & say it to the other person...my best bites come from here.
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Last edited by Rochelle Morris; December 26th, 2009 at 07:18 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #3
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Interviews with the principal participants form a significant - and very different - part of our programmes so I'm happy to offer our experience. We spent much of our 30 years interviewing people - and at one stage teaching interviewing - so it's now second nature.

Thus my advice would be not to construct a series of questions which will in fact restrict your discussion, but to merely practice thinking on your feet, listening to what the interviewee is saying, and being meticulously careful to ask open questions.

Practice on friends and in time you'll find that not only can you devise a structure that will yield responses that are interesting to listen to but which don't need the audience to hear the question for it to be understood.

For example, "tell about me your feelings, your emotions if you like, when you first saw your fiancee's dress as she walked towards you down the aisle" will get you a lot further that "where did you meet?" It might even match a cutaway if you're lucky!

There's much more to it, not least what is sometimes called "active listening", ie your own actions which will reassure the interviewee, encourage them to elaborate and to continue expanding their answer. Keep practising and you'll soon come to despise the excruciatingly facile favourite of TV reporters, "how do you feel?" - the proper answer to which should be "how do you b****y well think" but which most people are too polite to say.

Finally, I'd always recommend doing interviews separately. Only when absolutely necessary do I do couples, though sometimes it's unavoidable.

An elderly couple (the bride's grandparents and lovely people) could clearly not be recorded separately and after a while I realised the man had said little. I tried asking him separate questions but each time the dear lady would reply, so I broke a rule and repeated to the gent a question I'd already asked his wife, "and how do you feel about that?" Before he could utter a word, his wife interjected "he thinks the same as me." There's some you don't win!
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Old December 27th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips.
I was also thinking of instead of asking the questions (Because I will cut my questions from the video anyway), is to write the questions on a cardboard and just hold them up.
With the right questions or drawings, it can also be funny. ;)
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Old December 27th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Bart

Unless you phrase your questions the right way the answers won't necessarily make much sense. As for holding up written questions you're rather missing my point about listening to people's responses and developing the conversation from there.

But you must do it the way that feels best for you.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Wierzbicki View Post
Thanks for the tips.
I was also thinking of instead of asking the questions (Because I will cut my questions from the video anyway), is to write the questions on a cardboard and just hold them up.
With the right questions or drawings, it can also be funny. ;)
Bart,
I use a slightly different approach. On the day of the shoot at the location, I hand a list of the questions that may be asked to each of the couple and ask them to think about what they will say in response. I give them 10-15 minutes to think about them while we are setting up. Then I take the questions away and interview them separately. I start by asking the first question on the sheet asking them to restate part of the question back in their response so the audience will have a reference point as to what they are responding too, and then probe a little depending upon their answer. Of course, I edit my asking the question from the video. Then I'll proceed with the next question or I might skip to another question (or ask a completely different question) if it seems to flow better. Like was mentioned in a previous post, be flexible and "go with the flow" but have a plan for what kind of responses you want to get (how did you meet, when did you know, what is it about him/her that attracted you, etc.). It's been my experience that once you get the person comfortable and talking, they will provide more than you'll need. Hope that helps.
Randy
Sample Questions:
1. What is your name?
2. When and where were you born?
3. What do you remember of your childhood?
4. When and how did you meet?
5. What were your first impressions?
6. How did you make your first date?
7. What attracted you to Him/Her?
8. When did you know he/she was the one?
9. What are some of the qualities you love about Him/Her?
10. If you had the power to give any one thing to Him/Her, what would it be?
11. What is the most cherished memory that you have while you two were dating?
12. Was there a moment when you knew that you were falling for each other?
13. How long did you date before getting engaged?
14. How did he/she propose?
15. Did you accept right then or make him/her wait?
16. What are your plans for the future?
17. What would you like to say to your love on this special day?

Last edited by Randy Stewart; December 27th, 2009 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Adding Content
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Old December 27th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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A leading wedding videographer made a comment in a presentation that I attended that he likes to conduct interviews seated in front of the couple with two cameras rolling unattended on each side of him because it tends to make them more relaxed. It also tends to make the interview more conversational as well. I'm sure that isn't always possible or appropriate but it sounds worthwhile in some cases.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #8
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Jim, I'm sure you didn't mean exactly what you wrote but as I sit here preparing the three cameras for tomorrow's wedding shoot, the idea of four cameras pointing at the interviewee making them feel relaxed brought a wry smile to my face. Happy holidays!
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Old December 28th, 2009, 04:03 AM   #9
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Great questions Randy,

I'll add another one to it ...
About their first kiss. :D

Do you all do the interview with 1 camera ?
I was thinking of setting up at least 2 and let them record
continuesly so it's easy to sync and to cut in between for a
dynamic edit.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #10
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Bart,
I interview with one camera, usually on location or against a green screen, and cut with other footage shot on location and with provided photo's that are appropriate. Often I'll shoot at a special place for the couple. Lately, we've used an actual wedding/reception location which is an old train station that has been converted into a musem and tourist location with some nice meeting/reception rooms. The emotion of the "event to come" in this place adds to the video. I left a link in a previous post about a love story video standard if you want to see an example.
Randy
P.S. Yes, that first kiss is an excellent question.

Last edited by Randy Stewart; December 28th, 2009 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Fix reference post
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Old December 28th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
Jim, I'm sure you didn't mean exactly what you wrote but as I sit here preparing the three cameras for tomorrow's wedding shoot, the idea of four cameras pointing at the interviewee making them feel relaxed brought a wry smile to my face. Happy holidays!
Happy Holidays to you as well Philip. Yeah, that's funny. We're still working on the language that we nicked from you. Be patient, we'll get it together. When we do, I'll be able to say, "One camera on each side for a total of three." - Oops, I need to work on my math next! - Cheers!

PS - My wife is English (from Gloucester) so I'm able to pick up a linguistic tip here and there.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #12
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We actually go through and ask our bride the questions and then we ask the groom the question

Then we go and ask a few of the questions to both the B + G

Works pretty good for us!!
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