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Jim Krause | Classes | P351 Video Field & Post Production

P351 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 really good at something and can speak articulately about their work, cause, art, or hobby. It should be a topic that allows for B-roll footage. Make sure your subject is 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 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
  • Learn to edit a program to a specified length


  • 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)
  • Avoid jump cuts (cover edits with B-roll)
  • Edit the piece to be exactly 2 or 3 minutes (not somewhere in between)
  • Use lighting equpment and portraiture techniques to enhance your subject's appearance
  • Interviewer (you) will not be seen or heard
  • Simple graphics that don't interrupt the flow and pacing (title, produced by & identifying graphic)

Grading/Deliverables (50 points total):

  • Pre-production (8 points)
  • 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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