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Pre-interviewing subjects


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#1 Brian Rose

Brian Rose
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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:08 PM

For my next planned doc, I'm considering shooting on film. It's a biopic of a living individual, and his interview is the heart of the story. Think "Fog of War."

At this point I'm merely considering, because film poses a few problems with an interview heavy film...you'll burn through stock fast, not to mention processing and all the rest.

I figure, the only way I can make film work without completely shooting my budget to hell is to utilize the older practice of pre-interviewing the subject, and using this as the basis for how I direct the line of questioning, to focus the content to get all the choicest tidbits on film for the A-material.

But this also poses some problems. One, does it threaten spontaneity? I've had a lot of luck with letting the subject just free-associate for the camera, and while it winds up with 3 hour interviews, I get some great bits from it that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise if I had a heavily pre-planned set of questions with already anticipated responses.

And then of course there is the issue of redundancy. If one preinterviews, why the hell not just shoot the preinterview on an HD camera and be done with it? I honestly don't know.

So have any of you had experience with preinterviewing? What were your thoughts? Pros? Cons?

Thanks!

BR
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