The New Academic Street: Campus Store interview was shot at RMIT in collaboration with Fair Trade clothing brand etiko. This post is a reflection on the process.
The Pre-Production process of this was generally well-organised. Communication was positive and one member of the crew was involved in timetabling, schedules and communications. I talk about the importance of a centralised production organiser in this post. I went in expecting to be less involved in the Pre-Production, but learned a lot about the importance of rapport-building and timely communications from my involvement. Even made some friends of the participants!
An important lesson was preparation prior to the interviews. As in the Vox Pops project, we had an idea of what to ask and were eager to question, allowing the interview to be open and natural. We probably had more information about this subject and actually had some great, succedsful interviews. However, they are almost impossible to organise for Post-Production, because there is no structure. Also, some of these interviews were very long. Which is great for rapport-building, but troublesome for people’s timetables and Post-Production review/organisation. This is where a little interview preparation would have been handy.
Going into the interviews, I had a fairly good feeling about our ability to discuss the subject at hand (The RMIT Campus Store’s Fair Trade Certification) and to get some interesting answers. This was definitely achieved. The issues that arose were, as previously mentioned, a lack of structure and some very long interviews. These are both not absolute nightmares, but something with which to find a balance.
One aspect that needs work is making interviewees comfortable on camera. Some were very, noticeably, nervous. This made them fumble their words and use a lot of paralanguage. Perhaps there is a need for more time taken with the camera set up and the participant in position, to simply converse and make them comfortable, before the interview officially begins. Perhaps there should be no official transition into the interview, simply a warm-up conversation which eventually becomes the interview. Kind of like a doctor distracting someone who is receiving an injection!
One participant was enormously boring. The subject matter was important, however. Using techniques such as recording an interview on foot, perhaps while being shown something they are passionate, seemed to work in gettin a little more emotion out of this participant, but this is something to exercise in the future.
We had some major issues with backlight and white balance in one fo the interviews. We had used a reflector in the shoot and thought we had white balanced correctly. This was clearly a poor judgment, and more attention needs to be paid here. It was practically unfixable in post. The audio was generally good, one interview it may have been a little low. There was also some grain in some of the footage, the Gain must have been set too high.
There is some framing which could have been nicer. I’m not crazy about the mirror in the back of the interview with Marie Luckhurst, it seems awkward and makes her positioning look off, also.
All of these details point to two things: practice and attention. These are two areas to work on in the future.
The edit was a fairly smooth process. The project was very well organised, with separate bins for each participant, sequences, audio, merged files, adjustments, titles etc. Using individual sequences to divide the questions of each interview was helpful in the final arrangements.
I am not entirely happy with the colour grading, however other aspects of this worked quite well. I like the music, but I think the track is actually not completely quantized at the beginning. That’s very problematic! I will look into other music to address this, or could perhaps reach out to the artist and ask them about it/if they have similar tracks.
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*Featured Image Credit:
Nonny, Jeremy, Jason