Legendary producer and director, Ray Farkas used to say – for every 10 feet you step away from your subject, you get that much more truth.
His signature technique integrated wireless microphones and long lenses. Ray created intimacy by disappearing, believing in the power of conversation over interviews. He said, “People are more relaxed talking to someone they know – friends, family, co-workers – than they are to strangers – us.”
I try to incorporate a little bit of Ray in every story I shoot. Sometimes just one interview. Other times an entire piece. But I always remind myself – the power isn’t in the angle of the shot, or the out of focus object in the foreground.
The power is in the content.
Is the conversation worth discussing, or am I simply trying to impress someone with artistic framing? Because if I’m not careful, I’ll soon have a story full of interestingly framed shots that have no content value whatsoever. Most often, the larger the issue, the deeper it will resonate with the viewer.
Here’s a day-turn story I produced before the Presidential election. It’s a reaction to recent national polls, showing that American’s confidence in their government is at historic lows. Innovation flourishes when we share ideas, move them forward, and adapt them to our own brand of storytelling.
(And a word to the wise, don’t let your interviewee hold the wireless transmitter).