Sorry about not posting yesterday everyone, WordPress was acting up when I was trying to log on and then I got busy doing other stuff.
Blatant self promotion just ahead: watch the video I did with Colin and Justin!
Go on, I’ll be here when you get back. Sorry I couldn’t get the video to embed directly here, but the code provided doesn’t seem to work and I don’t have time just now to MacGyver it.
Okeydoke. I hope you had a giggle or two; lord knows I did.
I don’t really want this blog to turn entirely into a self-promotional vehicle. I’d rather it be a peek inside my head and what I’m thinking, so here’s a self critique of the video.
First, some background. To the crowd at the BC Home and Garden show, and HGTV viewers as a whole, Colin and Justin are rock stars — everyone wants to snap a picture with the design duo or ask “just a quick question” (which I totally understand.) At the same time, we were on a tight schedule to get the video done, and crowd control was something I was pondering.
I did a site survey and found these little cedar sheds that were part of an exhibit on ‘Chic Garden Sheds’ that would be perfect; this particular one was furnished, beautifully lit, and big enough for the three of us plus the person doing the filming. It also was enclosed enough that I didn’t need to worry about crowd noise overshadowing our voices — coming from a radio background, I’m always conscious of audio quality. In many ways, good sound is what actually makes for good video too.
Colin and Justin were whisked off the stage where they had been doing a presentation and brought to the shed, where I and the person shooting the video were already waiting. This of course meant that hordes of people followed them to the general vicinity of the shed. I’ve done live hits in front of big crowds before, so it’s not something I’m completely unfamiliar with, but having an audience always ramps up the nerves a little bit.
The boys are as seasoned performers as can be. I wasn’t worried for a minute about their capacity to answer my questions, nor about their capacity to be darn entertaining while they were at it, so I didn’t do any sort of pre-interview (there was also no time in the schedule for that.) I did warn them that we only had time for one take, so we would be recording as if it were a ‘live’ situation.
Looking purely then at my live interviewing skills in an exercise of self-analysis, here are several things I noticed.
I try to always be natural when on camera; I don’t like it when people seem stiff or wooden. By nature, I’m someone who talks with her hands (a LOT), makes funny expressions with her face, and also speaks quite quickly. I’ve been trying to tone it down somewhat, but don’t want to trim it out entirely, or else I wouldn’t be myself. I do realize that for people who don’t do the same things, they might seem a little distracting. In this case, I think I could have kept the hands a little more under control.
Although some might argue that it’s unprofessional to show emotion or crack up during an interview — and I would even agree in certain situations — I would say in this case it would be entirely abnormal not to laugh at Colin and Justin, since they’re hilarious. Also, since you don’t see/hear an audience, if I didn’t laugh, it might not leave enough of a gap, or time, for a viewer to potentially laugh as well.
I also want to actually listen to what my guests are saying, instead of just thinking ahead to my next question. This can be a double edged sword. I was concentrating so hard on screening out crowd noise and listening to one of the boys at a time, that I missed reactions from the other, especially when Colin was listening to Justin’s Canadian accent impression. That could have been a bit of fun.
I’d been originally told the video should be two or three minutes in length (it ultimately ended up being twice that) and had asked the videographer to give me a cue as to when to wrap it up. I think when I saw it, and realized I still had another question to go, I got a bit panicky and barged through a little bit. D’oh.
Finally, although I’d done some thinking ahead on what to ask, I committed the cardinal sin of not knowing exactly how I was going to wrap up. Thankfully Colin and Justin saved my bacon on that one! Phew, thanks boys!
Fun times indeed, as well as a good learning lesson. Here’s to hoping I’ll be doing some more of that for the Vancouver Sun in the future.