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Old November 17th, 2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Interviews

I filmed a retirement party recently and the client asked me to interview guests. I brought my lav mic but there was a really loud rock band playing and the majority of people didn't want to do it. How do you handle this type of situation?
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Old November 17th, 2015, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Interviews

I set up a camera with shotgun mic and light in a nearby quiet room with the lcd turned so they can see themselves and an X in tape on the floor where they should stand, make an announcement and let it run for an hour.

Get the dj to put out an occasional reminder and job done
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Old November 17th, 2015, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: Interviews

I typically go out into the hallway or step outside. People usually seem receptive to it, at weddings at least. Although I usually stick with parents/family/bridal party. When it came to asking random guests I found they usually said 'No'.

OTOH, older guests it can be harder on them, nothing worse than asking Grandma to say a few words, then discovering its a major hassle for her to stand up & walk. If given the chance I now ask elderly (grandparents) to speak in the venue, regardless how loud it is to avoid the awkwardness.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: Interviews

I have done both walking around asking guests questions on the move with someone of the family that is asking the questions and from a stationary spot where people stand in front of the camera and speak, I use a Azden 41HT wireless microphone that is super cardioid and uni-directional which gave me great results so far, even in very loud spaces.

I prefer to record interviews on a quiet location and just have the dj announce where I am, I also push the couple to motivate their guests to come and say something. I just wait there for an hour and film whoever shows up. I find this way better because people have the time to think about what they want to say, if you just walk around asking random guest they often don't know what to say.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: Interviews

I never do formal interviews as most people either say no or look uncomfortable. If asked to do interviews, I simply go round the tables with a hand held camera and ask each guest to say anything they want to the couple. Once one does it, they all want to say something, usually with some very funny comments. The best time is just before the last course is served, as they have usually had a few wines.

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Old November 18th, 2015, 07:41 AM   #6
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Re: Interviews

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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
I filmed a retirement party recently and the client asked me to interview guests. I brought my lav mic but there was a really loud rock band playing and the majority of people didn't want to do it. How do you handle this type of situation?
I typically use a hand held mic plugged into a transmitter (butt-plug). Face the talent away from the band, give short instruction of how to hold the mic if needed. I've done this a number of times at large corporate gatherings like annual meetings, awards ceremonies etc.

Recently I had a gig that was a fifty year wedding anniversary. A number of the interviews were in Italian, so I didn't know what they were saying. But since they had traveled all the way from Italy and Sicily to Florida, and judging their expressions, it was all good.

Around a year ago a pro -athlete's father died and I was booked for the memorial service specifically for interviews of friends and family members recording memories of special times with the deceased. Would have been much too inconvenient to use a lavalier when interviewing more than one or two people.

The hand held mic with transmitter has always worked well for me in situations like above. All but the funeral had a rock band playing in the background. No problem. Logarithmic fall off in volume as distance from the mic increases.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 06:07 AM   #7
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Re: Interviews

I've done this a few times and in all cases I have a radio mic on a mic stand in a quiet part of the venue and people can come up and send their best wishes etc. to the couple. It's easy to capture and edit and the couples seem to like it.

I'm amazed at the amount of people who, when confronted with a professional microphone and can't resist the urge to do their worst/best Elvis impersonation or sing some other Karaoke style song is unbelievable, i record it all - still most couples love it!

:-)
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Old November 19th, 2015, 06:14 AM   #8
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Re: Interviews

What I also don't understand is that almost half turns the microphone off when they are done, it's like an instinct of looking at the mike searching for that on/off button and switching it off, or checking before they speak if it is switched on, as if they have been a audio engineer in a past life. :)
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Old November 19th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #9
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Re: Interviews

I've learned that people often say more in groups, so I often will go around to tables and ask for a 'group shot' people are happy to pose, then I stand there and then eventually someone will say 'is this video?' everyone laughs, then someone may say something. That way I get most people and the ones that want to say something will. It's also faster. But I've sat in the hallway as well, but many people walk by. By the way, I'm usually doing the tables on my steadicam.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 06:37 PM   #10
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Re: Interviews

When people don't want to do it, I inform the customer. I do a LOT of this stuff. I film messages at virtually all my weddings.

There is, for some inexplicable reason, groups of folks where people just don't want to do it. I set a camera up in a hallway or quite room. I"m a very social person and good at talking to people, but at some weddings NO one will do a message, it's weird.

Other weddings it seems everybody wants to talk. I don't know why this is. When they do not want to I let the customer know that people weren't interested, and they are fine with it.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 06:46 PM   #11
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Re: Interviews

Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll pick up a wireless mic set that includes butt mic plug. I used an H1 attached to a lav and i was really happy with the results its just more of a barrier to clip on lav than to pass around a hand held in a group table setting. It's also weird not monitoring the recorded audio.

my last wedding I had best man turn off my h1.
There's this desire to switch the mic on/off.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #12
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Re: Interviews

I've been using the Electro-Voice RE50B for the past couple of years and it's been outstanding:

Electro-Voice RE50B - Omnidirectional Dynamic F.01U.117.391 B&H


I've been told that it's the industry standard for ENG interview mics and it does a great job for wedding interviews as well. It's very forgiving when someone doesn't hold it correctly. The sound quality is great, and I've found that I can get very good sound even in a room with a live music in the background. I will instruct the guest to hold it close to their mouth and then I can turn the level down fairly low on my camera so that it doesn't pick up much besides their audio.

I use the Sennheiser SKP 100 Plugin transmitter because I already have a G3 system:

Sennheiser SKP 100 G3 Plug-on Transmitter for Dynamic SKP100G3-B

If you don't have a G3 system already, you can look at the Tascam DR-10X unit which will probably work very well but the downside is that you cannot monitor the audio:

Tascam DR-10X Plug-On Micro Linear PCM Recorder (XLR) DR-10X B&H

Another option is using an XLR cable but that can be kind of annoying at times when you need to move around.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 11:43 PM   #13
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Re: Interviews

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I never do formal interviews as most people either say no or look uncomfortable. If asked to do interviews, I simply go round the tables with a hand held camera and ask each guest to say anything they want to the couple. Once one does it, they all want to say something..
15 years in the news biz here... I've interviewed a lot of people.

1) Once the first clown says "I don't want to, but he will!" and points to the guy next to him, and that guy says "Noooo!!", that spreads like wildfire, you should exit as if you were leaving a sinking ship.

2) As Roger states, once somebody breaks the ice, everybody will do it.

3) I go up while rolling, I speak into the shotgun mic, ask them the first question, and pop the shotgun mic to them, and let them go

4) I never start with "would you be in a video" or "can I interview you" ... just punch the record button, swing the camera to them, and ask the first question

It's impossible in a room with a DJ/band unless the band takes a break and you can get the DJ to go low-profile for a few songs. Remember, the DJ is also a paid professional and has his own agenda (keep people dancing), even when they say "of course I'll turn it down for a few!" they usually mean turning from 11 to 9, so you can actually hear yourself think, not from 11 to 3 where you could do a few interviews.

If you stand outside in the hallway in between the event and the bathrooms... I guarantee everyone will pass through there at least once.
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Old November 20th, 2015, 01:57 AM   #14
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Re: Interviews

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
When people don't want to do it, I inform the customer. I do a LOT of this stuff. I film messages at virtually all my weddings.

There is, for some inexplicable reason, groups of folks where people just don't want to do it. I set a camera up in a hallway or quite room. I"m a very social person and good at talking to people, but at some weddings NO one will do a message, it's weird.

Other weddings it seems everybody wants to talk. I don't know why this is. When they do not want to I let the customer know that people weren't interested, and they are fine with it.
Yes I've noticed this as well - one wedding the chief bridesmaid had a list and went and rounded people up - there was a long line queuing to leave a message - awesome!

I don't go around tables as I normally do my messages early evening to get the evening guests and invariably it's too noisy at that point so need a quiet area. It's a good idea to get the ushers and bridesmaids to jolly people along though :)
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Old November 20th, 2015, 02:09 PM   #15
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Re: Interviews

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Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
15 years in the news biz here... I've interviewed a lot of people.

1) Once the first clown says "I don't want to, but he will!" and points to the guy next to him, and that guy says "Noooo!!", that spreads like wildfire, you should exit as if you were leaving a sinking ship.

2) As Roger states, once somebody breaks the ice, everybody will do it.

3) I go up while rolling, I speak into the shotgun mic, ask them the first question, and pop the shotgun mic to them, and let them go

4) I never start with "would you be in a video" or "can I interview you" ... just punch the record button, swing the camera to them, and ask the first question
I like that approach start recording first. That was my experience I asked and got turned down and the rest of the people at the table got cold feet.
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