The Art of the Interview

Learn how to ask the right questions and know when to ask them so you can produce a deeper, richer story.

In non-fiction filmmaking and video production, the interview is critical in telling a story. Interviewing is not a science or a formula, but an art form. Good interviewing allows for exploration and discoveries which go below the surface to tell a more compelling story.

This workshop is for reporters, documentary filmmakers, and producers who want to create a stronger story through the interview process. Students learn to research a subject, find the right questions, prepare the interviewee, and create structure for dramatic interviews. The class screens and discusses a wide range of television interviews from the investigative style of 60 Minutes to the exploratory and intimate interview. Students learn to put the subject at ease, brief the camera crew, and work with time constraints and the editing process. On-camera interview techniques are practiced every day with local artists, fishermen, farmers, and world-renowned photographers and filmmakers. Through daily critiques, participants gain the confidence and tools necessary to prepare for any interview.

Instructors

Mimi Edmunds

Mimi Edmunds has been a broadcast journalist for 22 years, working for CBS's 60 Minutes for over a decade, and then the documentary divisions of CBS, the Discovery Network, and PBS.

Mimi has a B.A. in the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in Anthropology and International Education, Columbia University; and is a PhD candidate, ABD, University of Connecticut, Storrs. She has taught at the Workshops every summer since 1986, including workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico and Havana, Cuba. Several of her films have won awards for cinematography and production. She also wrote and produced for PBS's news magazine, Arizona Illustrated, from 1999 until 2002.

With an educational background in visual anthropology, she has also taught documentary filmmaking and broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Mimi is a member of the faculty in the Journalism department at Emerson College and is a faculty member of Maine Media Workshops + College MFA program.

Judith Hole

Judith Hole began working at CBS News in 1962. She has produced documentaries, magazine-length stories, breaking news stories, live studio segments and live remote segments. She has worked on CBS News broadcasts as varied as Walter Cronkite's Universe, CBS Reports, America Tonight, CBS This Morning, (for which she created and produced the weekly, live, half-hour segment, 'At Home With...'). For the last 16 years of her career at CBS News, she was a producer for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.  In her 50 years at CBS News she worked with such notables as Walter Cronkite, Charles Kuralt, Charles Osgood, Harry Smith, Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl, Rita Brauer and Martha Teichner. In terms of "The Art of the Interview," Judith has had to prepare anchors and correspondents for interviews with Presidents, celebrities, news-makers, victims and perpetrators. And she has conducted hundreds of interviews herself for inclusion in edited pieces.