A video interview can be thought of as a conversation involving three types of people:
- The interviewer is the facilitator. (S)he chooses the topic of conversation, asks questions and guides the discussion.
- The guest is the subject of the interview. (S)he will do most of the talking and get most of the camera shots.
- The viewer is a silent observer who has been invited into the conversation.
This creates a three-way interaction. A successful interview will include all three groups in the correct mix.
Typically, the interviewer begins by setting the scene. They invite the viewer into the conversation by introducing the location, guest and topic. At this point the interviewer is probably speaking to the camera as if they were looking the viewer in the eye.
Next, the interviewer turns to speak to the guest. Then follows a fairly one-sided conversation in which the interviewer asks questions which are (usually) designed to encourage the guest to talk a lot.
The way the interview progresses will depend on the situation. A short vox-pop style interview will last long enough to get the information from the guest and then close, often quite abruptly. A more in-depth or personal interview will usually go through a settling-in stage where simple facts are discussed, then move gently towards the more thorny issues.
The interview is usually concluded by thanking the guest. The interviewer may then turn back to the camera and say goodbye to the viewer, as well as tidy up any script requirements such as leading to the next piece in the program.
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