One of the schools in Keighley wanted to gather memories of cinema goers in Keighley through a series of interviews conducted by the children. Alongside this research they were to work with Artist Amy Heild to create a scale model of the Keighley Picture House – the towns last remaining cinema. The model was to incorporate a small screen on which the interviews would play. We felt this was a great way of brining the artwork and the filmmaking together in one installation.
As well at the physical installation we were also to produce a film to show at the real cinema and so the plan was to use the model as the central feature.
Most of the filming was done using small flip cameras which performed very well. The children where given some instruction on how to use the cameras and to get steady shots with clear sound.
We felt a tripod would have been useful but not essential. It forces the user to think about where it will be placed and how the shot will be framed. The framing needs to be wide enough to alow for the interviewee to move about.
The maximum distance for clear sound on the flip camera is about one metre. Much better for the children to work in pairs – one acting as iterviewer and the other using the camera.
Organise some practice sessions and break the interview session down into small tasks and objectives; setting up the tripod, briefing the interviewee, checking the light and framing, recording, thanking the interviewee afterwards etc.
During interview make notes of what supporting shots will be required – perhaps the guest is referring to an old photograph, in which case get some cutaway shots of the photo afterwards. Or if they are talking about a particular road or locatation plan to get some shots to illustrate what they are saying. This is a good reason to do the interviews early in the project to alow time for follow-up shooting.
If quality is not so much of an issue set the camera on a low resolution or you'll end up with huge file sizes (one school came back with 16Gb or material!). In any event, try to plan well and be economical in your shooting. Too much material will be difficult to manage.