Week Two -Production-

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  • Chris Climer

    So, I don’t think that he did anything wrong in the first example of Part 1 other then not acknowledging the subject. Me personally in my experience as long as I kept the subject up to date I don’t lose them. I love what is being said about the cards during the recording. I hope this makes sense.

  • John Cranman

    Thanks Chris. I really dug the part about introspective vs narrative information, and how to ask the opposite sorts of questions to people stronger in one area over another. I also really liked the awkward silence technique. Gonna have to try that one lol. My biggest issue is sometimes getting my “talent” to open up and be emotional. Oftentimes, they either cant, or wont. I try to keep asking the same questions in different ways, but they just wont crack so to speak, lol.

    On a side note, I was checking out your other video “The And, So, But Trick”. What a GREAT idea. Definitely going to use that one!

    • Thanks John!

      Yea, sometimes for whatever reason the talent just won’t go there. When working with real people and real stories, you ultimately never know what you’re going to get. I’ve found that using as many of the methods described in Week 1 to identify people who may be more prone to opening up and are more in tune with their emotions in the pre-interview/selection process and then using the methods described in this week’s lessons to help create an environment that feels warm and comfortable – is at the end of the day all we can do. I’ve done my fair share of interviews with non-emotional people that never really tap into their emotions during the interview & and those situations, whenever possible I try to find a 2nd person to interview in hopes that they will bring a different, more emotional perspective to add to the story. Like, if a husband is non-emotional, odds are his wife is probably the opposite, so maybe he could lay out all of the narrative information and then his wife could complement him with introspective information. I actually had a shoot just like this a few weeks ago that I’m going to include in next week’s lesson about editing!

      • John Cranman

        Awesome man!

    • Jessie Wilemon

      Did I miss that somewhere? I want to see “The And So But Trick” video. Where is that at?

      • Hey Jessie, just now seeing this comment….. If you haven’t watched it yet, the “And, So, But Trick” is in Week 3’s lesson.

  • Miranda Morey

    Another great lesson!! My pastor just asked to start another testimonial video and I will definitely be using these newly learned techniques. I’ll admit we tried a testimonial video for outreach and it was so bad that the videos never even went to edit due to most of the issues that you spoke of in this lesson. Thank you again!!!

    • ah bummer, I’ve been there before – never fun. Hope these new techniques do the trick this time around, good luck!

  • Jessie Wilemon

    Man this just brings back so many memories of….so what does the pastor want me to ask them?

    We do so many sermon led testimonies. So how do you do that?

    For example: Fruits of the spirit sermon series. The congregation voted for people who demonstrated that particular fruit of the spirit. Then we had the people who voted for them come in and explain why this person they voted for demonstrated that fruit to them personally, lets say compassion. I had like 6 go on about themselves and totally didn’t answer how that other person showed them compassion. Or it was closer to another fruit. I actually figured this out early in the series so I started asking them if it was more than one fruit or more than one fruit, and changed a few to another fruit.

    Or the pastor is doing a series on tribulation and one person told the pastor this amazing story about their own personal tribulation and how they came to Christ. So he asks me to bring them in and so I ask them how they came to be with Christ and it was like they forgot the whole other part that was a great example of tribulation. But I don’t know the story so they tell me about the days right before they came to be with Christ which was still good but the topic the pastor wanted wasn’t there.

    Granted I didn’t have the amazing script that you have provided and maybe I could have gotten those answers pulled out of them in those questions.

    But do you have tricks for pulling topical questions in?

    I have also had people who can’t do anything: Interviewee: “I don’t know really, it just happened.” Me: How did it happen exactly? Interviewee: “What do you want me to say?” Me inside my head….ugh. An hour later with no usable content Interviewee: “As soon as you finish that I want a copy.” Me inside my head….The Lord is my refuge….

    • (insert laughing emoji tears here)

      To be honest, the most difficult testimonials are the ones where there is a very specific goal to them (ie. a story dealing with one specific fruit of the spirit) vs. a more general encouragement for the audience. I have found in those cases to be very specific with the person right from the start during your selection/pre-interview process – “We’d love to capture your testimony, but for this particular Sunday the theme is on _________, so while we’ll talk about other things and other parts of your story, we really want to focus on ________.” This is also something that can be ironed out in the vetting process – having candid conversations with other people in the church that know them well to get a better feel for their story.

      Overall, I have found that having a testimony that needs to fit perfectly into “topic x” is more easily told through a written story where the writer has more freedom and space to make those connections and fill in the blanks, because when doing a true, authentic video testimony with someone, you can really only work with what they share with you. As soon as it starts wading into “What do you want me to say?” or “What does the pastor want me to say?” territory, you’ve moved away from sharing a testimony – a true story – to trying to share a teaching or parable.

      If the pastor is the one who is usually identifying these potential stories, maybe you could talk him into doing more of a pre-interview/vetting with the person first and then connect with the pastor on their notes before moving forward so you know any parts to the story that needs to be included?

      As far as tricks to pulling topical questions in – I’ve found that if you ask the average person a specific, spiritual question on the spot like “What’s a tribulation you’ve gone through?” they probably won’t have a good answer – I know I wouldn’t. If a specific question needing a specific answer needs to be included, I would give them that question ahead of time so they can really think about it and come up with a specific example ahead of time & then when you ask them on camera, just do a good job of asking all of those follow up narrative questions (who, what, why, where, when, how) and introspective questions (how did that make you feel?). That way, even if their original response is canned and not very dynamic, by asking all of those follow up questions you’ll cover the same information, but in a much more natural, conversational way.

      Does that make sense?

      • Yes. I lack in the pre interview which could have better prepared them for what we needed. I tend to schedule them and ask them to email me any questions. I think mostly because I am a one man band but also because I found in the beginning the same things you said which were they would start telling me their story on the phone. Then their testimony on camera would be bullet points. Plus I didn’t want them to talk themselves out of doing it on camera. I have a large percentage of people who are wary of the camera. So I try to get them to not think about it, just come and get it over with for the person who needs your testimony.

        But now that I am taking this its seems clear to me I need to change that. I also have been deep in thought about who I can ask to help do the pre interview. Hmmm?

        I also am learning that the person who can’t do anything example above, if I had prodded them with the introspective questions thoroughly as you suggested I could have gotten the answer eventually but I have always been on the fly trying to come up with questions. (I now have a list, YAY) I also find that the more we talk the more they get comfortable talking and even if they are introspective only for most of the interview towards the end, like you mentioned in the “Last Questions” they become more candid and their conversation becomes more personable.

        Can I just say that I am loving this?

        • Awesome! Yea, patience plays a huge role in these productions. I was the DP on a shoot recently and I wish the producer doing the interviews had taken this course, ha! One particular person he interviewed was so nervous and bad on camera & the producer didn’t do much to help her in that regard, but even though he didn’t do the best job, he kept the conversation going and by the end she was much better on camera and said some really great stuff – and it wasn’t even because the producer was doing the right things, it was just because they kept talking and eventually she got comfortable and loosened up. So even if you don’t do everything right, sometimes just having patience will cover a multitude of “sins”.