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Old March 30th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #1
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Leading Q's to ask Brides Mum

OK, here is the situation.

I've never done soppy interviews or "Love Stories" on my edits.

Popular in the US apparently, but not here in New Zealand.

But I digress.

Bride coming up has requested I film lots of her Mum. Mum has been diagnosed with only a few months to live. I'd like to whip Mum away pre-ceremony, or even at reception, and film a personal message sequence which can be an easter-egg on the DVD and revealed once she passes away.

Any ideas on good leading q's that would provoke good heart-felt responses?
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Old March 31st, 2010, 12:50 AM   #2
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Ask her questions that take her through the life of her daughter:

What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?

How did you pick her name?

What were her first words?

Ask her about her learning to walk?

First day off to school?

First day driving?

First day off to college?

What did you feel when she told you she had found her mate?

Etc....

Taking the Mom back to different points of her daughter's life will evoke the emotion and memories that I think the daughter is looking to hear from her mom, and share with her children.

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Originally Posted by John Knight View Post
OK, here is the situation.

I've never done soppy interviews or "Love Stories" on my edits.

Popular in the US apparently, but not here in New Zealand. Plus, I'm hetrosexual.

But I digress.

Bride coming up has requested I film lots of her Mum. Mum has been diagnosed with only a few months to live. I'd like to whip Mum away pre-ceremony, or even at reception, and film a personal message sequence which can be an easter-egg on the DVD and revealed once she pops her clogs.

Any ideas on good leading q's that would provoke good heart-felt responses?
Mike Brice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2010, 01:03 AM   #3
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Brilliant - thanks Mike, I'll give it a crack - great advice! ;)
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Old March 31st, 2010, 02:32 AM   #4
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Sorry Mike, those specific questions will elicit only specific answers. They're what are known as closed questions. I've been interviewing and teaching interviewing for much of my time in video/TV and so forgive me if this sounds like a worksheet.

Don't ask closed questions eg "What colour was Mary's school uniform dress?" If you get more than "Blue" you're doing well - or otherwise you shouldn't be 2wasting your time reading this thread.

Ask open questions.

Those are questions to which there aren't obvious simple answers.

eg "Tell me about Mary's school uniform."

Better still, ask questions which get the question in the first part of the sentence and then follow up with expansion which isn't directly germane to the questions but leaves the interviewee time to consider their response. Alternatively set a scene which flags the question. eg "Tell me about your earliest recollections of Mary as a baby, I'm sure they're printed indelibly on your memory." or "Mothers always seem able to remember their children's earliest days as if they were yesterday; tell me what you recall of Mary's."

Precede what you consider to be the interview with some settling questions after the camera is running, eg "my it's cold today isn't it?" or "Did you have far to travel this morning?" These not only settle the interviewee's nerves but also get them talking. They think they're going to answer questions; you know that what they're going to do is to have a conversation with you.

It takes much practice to get it right but after 30 years I no longer even think about the questions I'm going to ask in the interviews and always manage to ask them so that when they're edited there's no need to hear me asking the question even once - the answers convey to the listener exactly what the question was.

Once you've acquired the knack you'll find you can occasionally ask questions which don't even feel like questions to the interviewee and are probably pretty closed too eg "What about that dress then?" (If the answer is "What about it?" you need more practice. :)
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Old March 31st, 2010, 05:58 AM   #5
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Im sure you know this but its also worth thinking about how you are going to frame her and if someone is going to shoot it whilst your asking the Q's. Its distracting if you have too keep checking the VF and it disrupts the rapport your developing. If someone is shooting it they can slowly tighten the shot during any emotional moments.

Steve
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