Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One more thing

Larry and Bill discuss conducting.


Bill: I think interview film directors can learn something from Hollywood.

Larry: Hollywood?

Bill: Interviews are pretty boring if they are talking heads. Smart editing, archive footage, text inserted, this all helps move the story along.

Larry: It’s not always about stories.

Bill: Well, you as an interviewer, and the conductor of an orchestra, you’re both trying to control unruly sounds.

Larry: Right.

Bill: So I’m just saying, sometimes you have to control what happens at the beginning, and in the middle, and how it all finishes.

Larry: Right again. BME. Know what you mean. Garrot the garrulous.

Bill: What do you do when someone grabs the mike and won’t let go? And they keep saying, “Oh and one more thing.”

Larry: Conductors have their baton. An interviewer has that cut dead question ready.



A well-structured story generally has a beginning, a middle and end (BME). An interview may also have these components. It is however, more difficult to get the BME balance right in a live interview. Indeed, too much concern with structure can lose you those revealing remarks that make your audience suspend their breathing. Conducting an interview: having that instinct for knowing when to listen, knowing when to break in.


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