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Exercise Four: Recording an Interview

Page history last edited by Digital Explorations 14 years, 2 months ago

Materials: Voice recorders and/or video recorders, back-up batteries, cords, tripods, still camera, lists of questions, small notebook, release forms


Time: One hour (If you are strapped for time, this exercise can be combined with Exercise Three: Asking Good Questions/Getting Great Answers)


Set-up: Small groups of three-four should be spread out  (ideally in separate rooms) to minimize background noise.


Objectives:  To practice everything we have discussed about audio-story interviews, especially using the recording equipment; to get some stories to use on Community Almanac and to serve as examples for your community.




Overview:  Now that you have explored your stories and those of your small group, developed questions and thought about active listening, it is time to try them out with the recorder/camera rolling!  Each of you will have 10 minutes to interview one member of your small group.  Choose to interview someone you have not yet interviewed, so that the experience is fresh.


1.  Choose who will interview whom and in which order.  The one-two people not interviewing will act as the feedback loop and be taking notes on the experience--the good, the bad, and the ugly alike!


2.  Spend five minutes preparing for the interview, gathering your thoughts about how to spend 10 minutes of interview time in order to get a powerful story from the interview. Review how your recorder operates.


3.  Interview cycles (10 minutes each--do not exceed the time limit).  Record them (interviewer should be at the controls).  ideally each interviewer has a recorder (for easier editing), but it is not necessary.  If the group will share a recorder be sure to distinguish between the interviews by noting the start time and end time of each on the recorder.

Interviewer asks questions to bring out the story (Either Story A, B, or C from prepared drafts). Feedback loop group follows along, taking note of body language, the arc of the interview, anything that seems worthy of noting.


4.  After all three-four interviews are complete, give one another feedback about how things went and things to keep in mind when going out into the field. (10-15 minutes)


5.  Save the recording(s) for the editing session.


Document version for download:  Exercise Four.doc



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