I don’t really take notes when the interview’s going on… I want to be paying full attention so I can plan what my next question will be. I often get a bit distracted by pre-planned interview questions and they work so much better when you can just chat, rather than reel off a list of questions. These are my notes afterwards, as I listen over the audio and separate into clips, labelling them as I go and filing them in an appropriately named ‘bin’ on Final Cut Express. This was I can move them around like a jigsaw in the timeline when it comes to editing.
If you’re as paranoid as I am about losing audio clips before, during and after editing, you’ll have one of these. I also save files on my desktop and Dropbox, just to be sure. Over cautious? Possibly. But better to be safe than sorry.
Editing audio - especially when the interview’s an hour long and you need to squeeze it into 10 minutes - requires a ruthlessness I struggle with. Especially when I’ve really enjoyed listening to the people I’ve interviewed.
I’m currently editing my chat with Violet Fenn of The Skull Illusion in which we chat about personal interests we have in common. And it’s easy to chop those bits out as they’re not so relevant to my project. I’m also having to edit out her snoring dog (very cute!) who insisted on monitoring our session until we bored him and he nodded off.
So I’m having t be strict. First I’ve made notes of “killer quotes” which really stand out. And then I’ve ditched anything that’s not clear, too long, or slightly off topic. That leaves me with the rest to listen over, edit into shorter, themed clips and label so I know what each clip is about. This, in theory, should reduce my interview by at least two thirds and then I can go bout ordering the clips, chopping and swapping things, and seeing how I get on.
And I’ve learned patience. When I first started editing audio I was lazy, wanted it done quickly and produced pretty naff stuff. Last weekend it took me six hours to turn my 40-minute interview with Carrie Walton into a 10-minute podcast. But it was fun and the end result (which still needs polishing) is much better than anything I’d have produced before.
So what I’m trying to say is editing is hard, but fun. And I’m learning as I go - the best way!
Also, I thought my Skype intervews would be lacking because they’re not as personal as face to face chats. But it’s actually turned out better that way; these interviews had more focus, didn’t last as long and were less about chatting and more about interviewing. So from a time saving point of view - not just because of travel - Skype interviews work really well.