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New Interview Strategies

I've been meaning to write about this for a few weeks, but haven't had a chance until now.  We recently took a new approach to our Local Film Talk and Das Beer Show interviews and I thought you folks might be interested in a little inside baseball.

See, I'd noticed that our model was inefficient.  It was taking all afternoon (including drive time) to do one Local Film Talk interview.  Much as we love working with Natty Greene's, it's a bit of a drive for all of us.  Also, the interviews were difficult to edit because we were just starting at the beginning of the person's career and working our way down the timeline, often with lots of skipping around.  This isn't bad when you're putting it all in one episode (Marc Maron makes it work fantasticaly on his WTF podcast), but when you're breaking the interview into several episodes is gets pretty messy.  It didn't help that I was doing a terrible job of moderating and some of our conversations were running VERY long.

We were also getting frustrated with Das Beer Show.  Because of the work schedules of everyone involved we were only able to shoot after work on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Scheduling interviews had the added obstacle of filming at the brewery in question, so we were limited by where I could ask people to drive at 7pm after they got off work.  At the same time it was very frustrating when an interview got cancelled after I'd already gotten everyone to clear their calendar on that date.  Once in the course of a single lunch break i got emails from two breweries we were scheduled to interview saying saying they needed to either cancel or reschedule.  I almost lost my shit.

So we tried something new: doubling up.  At our last LFT shoot we interviewed both the filmmakers behind Harbinger and the director of Displacement Welcomed in the same afternoon.  I also planned ahead compartmentalized the interview- one discussion was about how they got started, the next was an in-depth discussion about their current film, and the last was a fun segment where we got our subjects to recommend three films.  I have to say it worked great!  We got a lot more done in a lot less time (both interviews knocked out in 3 hours) and the conversations were tighter and more focused.  I think it's evident in our Harbinger episode, it may be long, but it's focused and chock full of great info.  There was actually very little I had to cut out.

Likewise we filmed two DBS interviews in one day.  The idea here was that if one brewery cancelled we could still do the other one and the day wasn't a wash.  It worked great, though I must say it's hard to interview two breweries in one afternoon without getting hammered.  The only downside was that we shot during the day, thus cutting out some of our crew who couldn't skip out on their day jobs.  It's unfortunate and I wish they could be there, but I think this new format its going to be far more productive.  Shooting in the middle of the day will also make it possible to visit breweries in places like Clayton and Wake Forest that we just couldn't get to on a weekday evening.  It will also make it easier to shoot in brewpubs since there won't be any customers there yet.

So that's how we're going to do things from now on, so the next time you think "Hey!  Kyle's wearing the same clothes at Lonerider that he had on at Gizmo," you'll know why.  Stay tuned for upcoming episodes of both of these shows and let us know what you think.  I'm hoping these new tactics will yeild more/better content.  Hope you like it!

Bob.