Text 1 Oct 1 note The Interview

The Inter view

Television interviews: The television interview is a form of media that can, if used differently, can project different meanings and styles. An example of this would be “Vox Pops.”
What does interview mean? Inter = between  two or more parties. View = opinions / something we think about / our view on something.

You could say that interviews are used to make discussion between the journalist and the interviewee. But there are other interviews, one being the job interview. There are ways to which we approach the “job interview.” We spouse up, get nervous. They are a test in which you have to sell yourself. Another type of interview is say, a “psychology project” where the human is tested.

The interview is easy to do when you think of portability and immediacy. If you have a video camera you can go out now and interview any random people off the street if you like. Your Mediation is controlled by what technology you possess (dictated.) Whether you have a mic with you etc, or a huge video camera that might distract the interviewee. If you have a studio, obviously everyone on the other side of the camera is going to receive makeup and the interviewer’s questions way before the interview begins. If you ever think that an interview on a 
  • chat show
  • news program
  • documentary
is spontaneous, you are very wrong. Watch programs such as T4, advertisements, Parkinson and Jonathan Ross. All of these are carefully constructed programs.

There has recently been a 30 year anniversary for the famous David Frost interview of Nixon. It was done in a “Formal, set-piece” style. The interview reveled a lot about Nixon that should not have come out. That’s maybe why politicians mostly refuse to go on programs such as Jonathan Ross or Parkinson. Gordon Brown would not be seen in the bath in an interview, but he would be either on Newsnight in a comfy chair wearing suit. Another instance where you would see Brown is in a crowd of people dressed casually. Here he looks as if he is part of the crowd and not just a stiff in a suit.

Parkinson is
  • Apparently boring
  • Sycophantic (he kisses arse)
This style of a formal chat show, with nothing particularly interesting being talked about has slowly been replaced. Instead of suited up people sitting and talking, you have shows such as Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Jonathan Ross.

BBBM has Russell Brand standing up with a long microphone, chatting to people all over the place. In the audience and the group of people in the centre. He never sits down though (unlike Parkinson.) Jonathan Ross’s interviews are always flipped round. Ross makes himself look like the more talented one most of the time. It is also very funny.

"The Kumars"

What a crazy style of interviewing. You have a celebrity walk though the front door of the flat to sit down in a domestic environment.

Alfred Hitchcock created his own interview persona when being interviewed (that he obviously orchestrated himself, entirely.) He was the first to make his own character outside his films as a director.

In the interview on “Rebecca” nothing was spontaneous (even though it may seem that way.) His persona was based around the freakish way he looked. He puts himself in a couple of forced positions in the interview, example, at the beginning of the interview Alfred is seen doing up his tie in the mirror to obtain his character. But how many cameras were being used in this interview?

Probably two, maybe three.

You are completely wrong, there was only ever one. The reason you think two is that there must have been one for the journalist. Nope, infact, once the interview had been “completed” the journalist and the crew would stay behind whilst Alfred left. Here they would shoot the shots of the journalist asking the questions and of the journalist nodding away (as if he is listening.) But these interviews are shot on celluloid, which is a tad bit expensive, so nothing is wasted.

More interviews

The different types of interview you have these days are
  • Spoof
  • Vox Pops
  • Vox Populi
Does Ali G exist? No, it iis his persona. Yet his interviews are very in depth and very honest. Having his persona gets a more truthful answer as he can relate as being on the outside of normal journalism. It is a lot more powerful than news reporting in some ways.

In the interview about Religion Ali G sits leaders of different religious groups on cow hide sofas with a massive graffiti tag on the wall. The thing is though, these interviewees give him credit for it, they believe that he is genuine. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely he can ever do it again as he is internationally known as Ali G (and now Borat.) His larger than life persona makes the subject matter less serious and far easier to talk about.

Vox Pops

Are various public opinions put together to make a voice of the people. It is a convention none the less. Vox Pops are normally part of a large news story and it is always, that the interviewer is kept off the screen (a bit like my film on Mumm-ra. myspace.com/abolla.) Even though it is not Vox Pop, you can still see that there is no interviewer on screen at any interview time.

But, here’s the really cool thing about Vox Pops that will blow your mind.

How about, you ask a question at the beginning of the interview “What do the students at Brunel think of the gay community?” let’s say. Then, instead of asking the students at Brunel that fundamental question, you ask “What do you think of the gang members you recently tortured a family’s pets to get at the family?”. You take the question, and then you take the students’ answer. A very homophobic community i think, no not really. But Vox Pops have been exploited in this way many a time before, sometimes a little more subtle. Vox Pops are spontaneous, “Tell me what you think of…?” The interviewee does not have too much time to think about a question such as that, so they immediately answer.

Well there you have it, how to construct opinion.

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