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Old July 18th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #1
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love story questions

Hey everyone, I'm in the process of making my first love story video and we're shooting the interview portion tomorrow. I've come up with some of my own questions to ask but I was curious to know some of the questions some of you veterans ask. I want to make sure the story flows well and really explains how their relationship is amazing. Any help would be great, thanks.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 01:21 PM   #2
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I think this has been asked quite a few times. I would search through the forum to find quite a few suggestions. The other option would be to find love stories from others that you really like and look for what types of questions they use.

One hint I will offer is to not let the couple know what your going to ask until the minute you ask them. Allow them to have some time to think if they need it, but ideally a coupld seconds should be enough. We interview the couple separately as well to add to the impact when they finally see it and to get more real answers that ae different from their partners. It also helps to take notes so you can follow up with the second person about something the first may have mentioned, such as "Mike mentioned that you often take much longer to get ready whenever you leave the house, and you often change outfits several times. Would you care to tell us your side of he story?"

So much for just one hint...

Have fun.

Patrick
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Old July 18th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #3
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Yes, search the forum for things to ask. There's a lot of info. Whatever you come up with though, write them down and give them to the couple beforehand (at least 90% of them). Also, your voice shouldn't be heard during the interview. Have them lead off each answer with an explanation of what they're talking about.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
Whatever you come up with though, write them down and give them to the couple beforehand (at least 90% of them).
I agree with writing them down but strongly disagree with giving them the questions before hand. I find our love stories have much more candid moments, real jokes, and a much warmer feel when we ask them the question right before they answer. If we give them the questions before hand, it would feel way too scripted and people would want to re-do things to 'get it right' a lot more.

I would also not allow them to ask themselves the questions first. If they start an answer by saying "How did we meet" Well I was at work and..." I usually stop them right away and ask them to start their answer how they would normally speak, and yo'll find it cuts together much much better.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #5
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If we give them the questions before hand, it would feel way too scripted and people would want to re-do things to 'get it right' a lot more.
Have you tried it? Trust me, nothing sounds scripted. What you get is a nice storytelling flow without the nervousness. They're completely at ease for the shoot and it shows. Nobody can memorize a script for 20 questions nor would they want to.

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I would also not allow them to ask themselves the questions first.
That's not what I meant. How silly would that look?

Something like:

Me: "How did you first meet?"
fiance: "John and I first met..."
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Old July 18th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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Hi Rick,

We did let them see questions before hand but found we got much better results now that we don't. I am sure there are ways to work with both, this way just works consistently better for us.

When I mentioned having them ask themselves the question, I should have mentioned that it happens unintentionally. We ask them to include the question in the answer and sometimes they mistakenly ask themselves the question then proceed ot answer without including the question sin the rest of the answer. If you catch them right away, it is a lot easier to work with when you start editing. Just something I run into a lot, thats all.

Patrick
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #7
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One thing you learn in questioning people is, typically you want to go from easy questions, to 'harder' questions, back to easy questions and finish with a conclusion type question. Often people are nervous with a camera, even if you smile at them the whole time. So making them feel comfortable is key. What's amazing is you can sometimes get a good vibe off of people if they are in love or intoxicated with thier spouse.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #8
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I've done lots of interviews over the years and I'm with Patrick on this one.
By all means give them an idea of the areas you'll be questioning them about - that helps put them at their ease. But try not to give them too much time to think about the answers....if they start thinking you will lose that immediacy and honesty and candid element.

It's a useful technique to start with some really soft questions, just to get them warmed up and relaxed. It helps get rid of any nerves as they get used to the camera, lights etc and then after a few minutes the answers start to flow, and the interview proper can begin.

I've done a lot of interviews with people who have been so-called 'media trained' and when it comes time to turn on the camera, sometimes they are the worst.

And, as Patrick mentioned, asking interviewees to reflect the question at the start of their answer i.e. 'How did you first meet' -- 'We first met at...' is a great device, it does make editing that much simpler and avoids the one or two word 'At McDonalds' answers!

And treat it like fun. For many people this will be their first appearance in an interview situation, so treat them gently, let them know you can stop the camera whenever they want, they can give another answer if they're not happy etc.

By inspiring confidence you'll get a much more successful response.
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