Mac Premo’s astonishing–“The Function of Music”–teaches three keys to making a successful video interview: 1) find a person (the interviewee) that the audience might like to know; 2) have a specific subject in mind (often the answer to a question); and 3) use visual examples (“B-roll”).
“The Function of Music,” which was shown at the 2017 Disposable Film Festival, checks all three boxes:
- The interviewee Jad Abumrad is knowledgeable, well-spoken, witty, and authentic. Cofounder of Radiolab, he comes across as the sort of person you might enjoy getting to know over a cup of coffee or tea.
- The video’s title identifies the movie’s focus: “The Function of Music.” We tend to enjoy music rather than ponder what it does for us, so the filmmaker’s curiosity takes us to a new place.
- And then, there’s the video’s B-roll: an amazing smorgasbord of images that contribute to the message while adding fun. While illustrations can be perfunctory–the interviewee mentions Paris and the filmmaker shows us the Eiffel tower–Premo demonstrates that choosing visuals can be highly creative–in terms of the specific clips and the rhythm at which they appear. In discussing the creation of the B-roll, the filmmaker commented that he used “$35 in printer ink and about $189 in drunken E-Bay purchases. But mostly time.”
For tips on editing B-roll, check out No Film School’s tutorial.
You can see more of Mac Premo’s work on Vimeo.