Friday, March 9, 2007

MAKING THE STORY: The Art of the Interview

-Aemon Malone (National Desk)-

Last Friday I embarked on a trek one hundred miles south to Richmond, Virginia, where I had an interview arranged with the producers of a documentary on Virginia’s American Indian population who are on a quest to gain federal recognition for all of the eight tribes that live within Virginia’s borders.

Rather than delving into the complex politics surrounding the tribes’ most recent effort for federal recognition, I decided to focus on the efforts of two documentarians (both of Virginian Indian descent themselves) who are attempting to tell the story of the often ignored and misrepresented tribes.

The interview process itself was a little less regimented than I had anticipated. I found that once one of my interviewees began talking it was hard to interrupt or redirect the conversation. A question about the documentarian’s role in a specific aspect of the film ended with a diatribe on U.S. aggression in the Spanish American War, but only briefly touching on the documentary itself. He was very passionate about what he was talking about and being my first interview of all time I was too timid to interrupt. By the time the interviewee paused to catch his breath our time had nearly run out.

I suppose the experience could be categorized as a lesson in the importance of learning the necessary composure required of the interviewer to get the answers to the questions that they have prepared. Anyways, back to DALET, I have an hour-and-a-half of interview to make sense of.

1 comment:

sood said...

best story ever!!!