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Interview / Feature Story Exercise


The feature story is a common component of news, documentaries, current affairs and magazine show programs. This exercise allows you to practice portraiture lighting and produce a 2 or 3-minute story on a person and topic you find interesting. The primary requirements are that you include an interview (artfully lit) and fitting B-roll to match the content.

Logistics: Find someone who is an expert in something and can speak articulately about their work, cause or hobby. It should be a topic that allows for B-roll shots. Make sure they are available and schedule the shoot to take place during the appropriate week in the semester. It is suggested you visit your subject ahead of time and decide on a good place to shoot the interview. Shoot the interview first, and then the appropriate B-roll. Use the B-roll to tell the story. Avoid unnecesary fades, edits and jump cuts. You should find an interesting way to open the story and a fitting way to conclude.


  • Gain experience in the planning and designing of the interview
  • Know how to set up and use portable lighting instruments
  • Know how to use lavaliere and other types of microphones
  • Can plan, shoot and edit B-roll sequences


  • Shoot about 10-15 minutes of original interview footage (Be careful not to record too much footage. If you do, you'll have too much to efficiently work with.)
  • Shoot appropriate B-roll (think: mini-continuity sequences)
  • Edit the piece to be exactly 2 or 3 minutes (not somewhere in between)
  • Use lighting equpment and techniques to enhance your subject's appearance
  • Interviewer will not be seen or heard
  • Graphics (title, produced by & identifying graphic - NO ROLLING CREDITS)

Grading/Deliverables (50 points total):

  • Pre-production (8 points)
    • Program Proposal with a treatment
    • List of questions/topics for interview subject
  • Camera & lighting (20 points)
  • Post-production (15 points)
  • Release form(s) (2 points)
  • Critique (5 points)

Be sure to check out the interview tips in the class lecture notes.

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