The biggest problem when producing a video for a client is controlling expectations and while on most occasions all aspects of production are discussed prior to confirming the job, there is always something that is missed or misunderstood, and interviews can be one of the most unpredictable and time consuming aspects of film production if they are not prepared for properly.
Fundamentally, if you are commissioning a video, which involves interviews, then we can expect that the main aim of the video is to convey the message of the business/brand in a concise manner through the form of a personal testimonial, whereby the interviewee can be a customer of the client or the clients themselves. In other situations, one may interview an employee about a particular product/process (often found in public organisations) but the outcome is the same; to convey the brand image and celebrate the products/services successes – to fundamentally Sell the product/service.
Questions: How to decide which questions to ask
For the purpose of a commercial it is better to limit the volume of questions. On most occasions we are asked to be the interviewer and therefore devise the questions ourselves (this is always provided to the client to proof read then the interviewee) however, if you, the client, prefer to be the interviewer, because you know your business better than anyone else, then it is important that you limit the volume of questions to 5 main questions with 5 sub questions (these are to be used if the main question doesn’t provide the answer your looking for). It is not advisable to persist in asking the same question several times if your interviewee is not providing you with the answer you want – this will make it uncomfortable for them and frustrating, remember you want to make the video look as authentic as possible and making someone frustrated will not achieve this – hence the importance of preparation and providing your interviewee with the questions prior to filming. Furthermore, too much time spent during the session will mean a lot of unnecessary footage that will in turn mean that the editor will have to preview said footage thus incurring extra time to edit and therefore increased cost.