The ART of Interviews... 

Shooting interviews, is always as exciting as an art piece. It's about knowing another person, his thoughts, his perspectives, his mannerisms, his likes and dislikes.  It's personal as one reveals a part of them to you.

Harish Kumar

Artist, filmmaker and a professional speaker.

We were interviewing a bunch of amazing talented artists in Auroville, Pondicherry and the best moments happened when had said cut... thankfully we kept rolling...

There are a few things to remember when you are planning your interview...

Plan your Interviewee/ Location/ Time

The most critical part is finding your subject. Once you have done that you have to find a good place to shoot the interview, and schedule a time that works for both of you. Once you have done that try and get an idea of the location, light sources, windows, noises you can hear, etc. It's important to be clear about what you are getting into.

Plan your Equipment

Planning your gears is critical. What kind of treatment you are planning to give also has an impact.

  • The camera... Even if it's your phone, then is it the tripod/ gimbal is a choice.
  • The lights... Either natural or some lights that you are carrying
  • The sound... The mic.. lapel or boom.

Prepare your Questions

Do a thorough research on your subject and then create a series of open-ended questions as they tend to deliver better responses as you don't want to end in a series of Yes and NO.  Spend a bit of time, and get chatty. Also, I would recommend going easy on the early questions and then go for the difficult ones. Have a few follow-up questions as they get the best responses with a “why” or “could you elaborate on that?”

Capture the moment

Even when you have done everything right you may not get the best of your interviewee sometimes. I have noticed that sometimes its ideal to leave the camera rolling then and get into a bit of long conversation and these might give you the magic moments.

Create Engagement with your subject...

A glimpse of an interview done with artist Yugan. The interview was simple but the time spent with him was wonderful as slowly he warmed up and started discussing his journey, then he agreed to reveal how he goes about his art and it was fascinating. 

Have continued Conversation...

A glimpse of an interview done with artist Shantal Gowa. The interview was quite surreal as her place itself was of a different dimension and everything around her spoke of geometric shapes and lines like her art. We had finished the interview and then we were chatting when she began to talk again and we rolled and captured some great moments.

Explore their world...

A glimpse of an interview done with potter Supriya Menon Meneghetti. The interview was jovial and fun as took us around her place, showcased her kiln, wheel and various collections. Then we shot a montage while she was getting geared up for her work and the interview happened in the same flow while we got a glimpse of her world.

Art is not what you see, but you make others see.

- Edgar Degas

Originally published June 14, 2020