In the McCulloch Library you can check out tripods, bloggie cameras, snowball microphones (for voice overs, don't use your computer mics)
Want to see how people have covered your topic before? Check out some of these resources to see examples of successful interviews.
What makes a good documentary? In this guide you will find resources to help bring your stories to life. A good documentary relies on good footage. Your preparation for your interviews: having good questions organized ahead of time, conducting the interview in a quiet, well lit space, and make sure equipment is working properly will go a long way in helping you to have a successful project.
From the "Preserving Community: Oral History Instruction Manual" from Jon Hunner, Daniel Villa Pauline Staski, Jon Wall and the students at Panther Achievement Center
-Be Organized! Have your questions prepared before hand or use the promps in the document below.
-Know about your subject. Do your background research so you can ask intelligent questions and expand the conversation when necessary.
-Make sure your camera has a full battery!!
-PUT YOUR CAMERA ON A TRIPOD- Nobody wants to watch shaky, unprofessional video. Make it look good.
-Record the interview in a quiet space. Try to conduct the interview in a room where you won't be interupted by ringing phones, other conversation, alarm clocks, etc
-Be aware of the lighting. Record in a well lit space. Don't position your subject in front of a window with sun glaring behind them; they will be in a shadow. Your footage needs to be usable and you might only get one chance to conduct the interview. Make it count!
-Record the QUESTION and the ANSWER. Even if you edit out the question you still need to know what the subject was responding to.
-Keep your questions short. Avoid overly complicated questions and the let the subject tell their story
-Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No"
-Don't pretend to know more about your topic than you actually do. Your interview subject will tell. Be yourself. Ask them a question if you need more info.
- Do not stay "stuck" to the prepared question set. One of the biggest mistakes that inexperienced interviewers (who themselves might be nervous) make is to just ask the questions on the sheet and not to listen to the answers. It is a common error to let the tape recorder listen while you are taking care of all the other things during the interview (like making sure the machine is still working, wondering what question to ask next, evaluating the interviewee for signs of fatigue). Do not let the tape recorder listen for you. You need to pay close attention to the answers so that you can ask intelligent follow-up questions. Follow-up questions to answers are sometimes where the most interesting answers come from. So practice with your interviewers in not only asking questions from the prepared question set but also forgetting the prepared questions and improvising new questions.
-Do not rush through the question sheet The interview is not a race. In fact, those who finish first lose since they have not asked follow-up questions and have not engaged in a free-ranging dialogue with their subject. Listen to the interviewer and pursue interesting avenues of experience with follow-up questions..