I shared one of my most recent films with a fellow video producer friend. It’s not a film that’s public yet, but one that I’m most proud of because it took several months to put together, filming in different countries, many interviews (sensitive ones), and several re-enactments with hired crew, actors & extras.

“Did you film the interview and then figure out the broll you needed to shoot?” Was his 1st question.

Me: “NO. WAY.”

Here’s the thing. You cannot walk into an interview blind and hope for the best. I understand the idea of not wanting to force a conversation, or letting things progress organically, but when you’re working on crafting an engaging story this method rarely works.

What will happen is that you end up having a long conversation full of tangents that won’t actually work for the story. You won’t have the in-depth emotional connection on the actual topics that do work for the story, and you’ll most likely have several plot holes.


I thought about putting “know” twice there for emphasis: KNOW KNOW THE STORY BEFORE YOU FILM.

Because you need to not only have a basic idea of the story that you heard second-hand, but you should have:

1. Listened to the initial story from someone

2. Taken the time to pre-interview your subject and maintained a relationship with them

3. Written out the story structure based on that pre-interview

You should be walking into that interview knowing exactly what you want to hear. I’m NOT suggesting you need to have them say things a certain way or even say something that’s not entirely true. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

But you will have such a good idea of what the story is and the structure you’re going to use to tell it, that you can nail that interview.

Your interview will then be authentic, conversational, and emotive.

BOOM. An awesome interview is key for an impacting story!




Make sure you’re following me on IG! It’s a great way to see behind-the-scenes of my filmmaking and coaching life, + plenty of cute pics/videos of my toddler. :D

Lisa DiazComment