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Evaluating interviews

From: Creating a Mini Documentary with Premiere Elements

Video: Evaluating interviews

Interviews are at the very heart of these sort of mini-documentary projects. Often we have one or several strong interviews that we edit to become the backbone of our story. In this case, we have one interview, and I want to take a close look at it now. First I want to evaluate it generally. I want to see what is its length? It's almost 27 minutes, so not a terribly long interview but not a super short one either. Its framing is a nice bust shot, or medium close-up, which is nice to see the expression.

Evaluating interviews

Interviews are at the very heart of these sort of mini-documentary projects. Often we have one or several strong interviews that we edit to become the backbone of our story. In this case, we have one interview, and I want to take a close look at it now. First I want to evaluate it generally. I want to see what is its length? It's almost 27 minutes, so not a terribly long interview but not a super short one either. Its framing is a nice bust shot, or medium close-up, which is nice to see the expression.

The image quality is good; it doesn't need heavy color correction. And I like to give a little listen, maybe not even at the very beginning, but somewhere in the middle... (video playing) ...just to see that we have good audio quality. So now that we've done our general evaluation, we need to start looking at the content. I usually play from the very beginning. And in this case I'm going to use a method that uses markers. And also, I'm going to take some notes on the side to remember what I've been watching.

Exactly how you proceed at this point is going to depend on the nature of your footage. For this long interview, I'm going to use the method that uses markers, and I'm also going to take some notes on the side. So I'm going to start by playing and at the first bite that's usable, I'm going to put in a marker. (video playing) So right there, right-click, Set Clip Marker, and I have a choice from Unnumbered or Numbered.

And I'm going to choose Unnumbered because the utility around the Numbered markers really doesn't add much, so Unnumbered will be just fine for us. And then I'm going to move forward in the clip 'til I find the next bite. I'm just going to skip ahead a little bit. (video playing) I'm just going to back up to before where she starts talking. So if I tap J we'll go in reverse. And when she stops, I'll tap K to start.

Now I'm at the spot where I want my marker. Same process here. And we're going to proceed through the entire interview basically putting in these markers. I'm going to skip ahead just to save us a little bit of time. And listen for the next one. (video playing) She's about to start talking again.

So let me just get a little bit of her talking, and then I'll back up and set the marker. (video playing) Sure sounds like a bite to me. Let's back up. (video playing) And again our marker. Now as I'm putting these markers in, I've also been making some little notes in a notebook or a laptop. Usually I use the first few words of what she's saying, so this one might be we call ourselves Ventura Hot Glass.

It's necessary to move through this whole interview putting in these markers, but I do want to show you one good shortcut for navigating between them. Shift+Command and the Right and Left Arrow keys jump you between these markers. This means that once all your markers are in place, it's easy to jump between them and go right to the beginning of each bite. In this project--and likely in your own projects--interviews are key.

Making good use of interviews means knowing what's really in them. And to know what's really in them, you need to take the time, evaluating and logging these interviews. It's not necessary that you use markers or the specific technique that I've shown here, but it's absolutely necessary that you learn what's in your interview well enough to edit with it effectively.

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Creating a Mini Documentary with Premiere Elements

29 video lessons · 4068 viewers

Jason Osder
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