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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 10 of 37

Interview: Setting Up for Success


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 10 of 37

Interview: Setting Up for Success


Lesson Info

Interview: Setting Up for Success

We're gonna talk about setting up for the interview, capturing good sound, and then moving on from that into kind of avoiding self-inflicted pitfalls. And this one especially, you know I'm gonna give you a sneak peek into later, but one of my cameras didn't record scratch audio. You know, and that was a huge failure on my part. I even did a test, but when I did the test I tested the footage from a card and not my Ninja. Alright, so there is huge things here that I did that were completely just failures but I'm still able to deliver even footage from that camera because, like when you stop for a second, you stop panicking, you now? You stop panicking and you realize you've got it you've just got to work a little harder. I think letting you guys a peek behind the curtain as to how I messed up and how I'm getting through this stuff is more valuable than anything. 'Cause I'm not perfect and I would never presume to be perfect. We're gonna start off and I would just kind of like throw it ou...

t to you guys. What are some challenges that you guys face? what are some obstacles that you've run into? what are some fears that you have when it comes to actually doing an interview? Let's set ourselves up for a better discussion later. Cause if I can know what you guys are afraid of I can tailor fit what I'm gonna talk about to the fears that are in the room and out in the world. Thinking about capturing quality sound in a small space with appliances nearby that create low hums and when you play back the footage you can hear... It's just horrible. Mhmm. I'm so glad you said that, because we're gonna focus in on one key concept that you're not gonna want to miss. Something called capturing room tone. Room tone does a lot of stuff for us. What it does, especially with some of the new software out there from Adobe called Audition, it allows you to take that room tone and eliminate it from your clip. There are things that have made it easier for people like us who don't have a background in sound who aren't sound technicians and audio technicians to be able to get something that we can deliver and still be proud of. Later on you're gonna hear some of the audio we got and you're gonna hear some of the huge challenges that I got with it. You're gonna hear some of the actual mistakes I had even though I checked, even though I had it right even though I knew what I was doing, there were some mistakes and things will happen it's getting out of them that's gonna be very, very beneficial. So that's a great question, we're gonna really address that. And we're gonna show you, I will show you a step by step on that in Audition to make sure that you get it right. Tonya, who's been watching us all day from the UK thanks for continuing to chime in. Says, trying to think of questions on the fly based on the answers that the person is talking about versus just a pre-planned questions list. Well Tonya, practice conversation okay? When you meet someone for the first time do you come in with a list of questions? Right, or do you have a list of questions in your head already to ask them and then when the conversation goes a different way do you refer to your list of questions or do you engage with them and ask them other questions that pertain to the subject? I think the coolest thing about an interview the most amazing thing about an interview is the free-flowing nature of the interview. You know, that's fun for us. That's fun for us to kind of get in there and be like hey, you know, so you said this earlier well what did you mean by that? Like what was the whole purpose behind that statement or what do you mean, could you explain more? I think a good phrase that I like to use a lot in interviews help me understand what you meant when you said. Okay, because those are the little nuggets that you can pull out in an interview. You know, help me understand, what did you mean by? Is there anything else that you would say if you could say it differently? I think at the end of the interview with Ivan I asked him, I said you know you just said something really really great but I need you to say it again in a different way. And calling that out and being like, you know what? I really love that statement but I need you to say it again. And in a way that is more either concise or you know, coherent or hinges more on this thematic element you can coax them a little bit. Because you're trying to get more out of them. It's not a journalistic interview, right? You're not doing something for like 60 Minutes. You're doing something for them and you want to put them ahead of anything else. So as we dive into this section I want to show you guys kind of the moment I was ready to capture some sound. So this video's again in the space we kind of pre-shot it so here it goes. Alright so here we are guys, we're at the final stretch I've actually set up all of my equipment. I've done all of the checks and all the tests I need to do. And now it's the moment of the shoot where I need to be completely unworried and not focused on my equipment so that can be their 1000% for the person that's gonna be sitting in that chair in like two seconds from now. In the last segment I talked about needing to go through and do camera tests and do sound checks and all that kind of stuff so I've done all of that. Now in the back of my head, as I start to transition from being a gear person to being a director that's going to be dealing with talent I'm thinking about questions, I'm thinking about the first few things that's gonna build rapport with the person sitting in the chair. And help me get to a level of understanding with them where I'm not just here with a bunch of equipment which is intimidating. But I'm just a human being trying to tell their story. So, I've sent questions, I try to do a pre-interview I've tried to do things that would set us up for success in this so right now it's just trying to figure out where I'm gonna go with the conversation. Cause that's all this is at this point is I'm just having a conversation with Ivan and Ivan's gonna talk to me, we're gonna talk to each other. And then out of that we're gonna get a story we're gonna get something that's really, really hopefully, fleshed out and wonderful and actually the word you're hearing a lot these days is authentic. So I want to get something authentic and I wanna get who Ivan is for real. So that's really what we're focusing on. Cool, so how do we start with interviews? We always start with a pre-interview and a pre-interview is very very very simple to do guys. It shouldn't take a lot of time it shouldn't be this production, it's just a conversation. Get used to just having conversations. My friends hate me sometimes because I'll be out and I'll be at the grocery store, whatever it is and I'll have a conversation with the person at the cash rack. You know and be like hey, how you doing? Blah, blah, make a joke or whatever it is. You gotta find what your go-to is to disarm people. So you do a pre-interview and what does it mean to do a pre-interview? It could be on the phone, it could be, honestly, right before you actually shoot. You've done enough research on the client by this point. The pre-interview isn't for you, it's for them. It's for them. So you gotta guide them through the process you're gonna get to know them. It's like, I've never done this but I've had friends who've done it, it's like speed dating. So you have a very limited amount of time to get your message across to them and receive their message to you. The trick here, the deck's stacked in your favor 'cause you already know everything about them. You know what they do, you know why they're here all that kind of stuff. So in the actual instance of my pre-interview with Ivan he got there like an hour early, you know? We kind of just sat and talked in the hallway. Whatever it is and then I just did this, you know? Like I just pulled my hair back behind my ear not even thinking about anything and he looked at it, my ear, and he's like "Oh, you rolled?" I was like wait, wait, wait, wait yeah I did. And he's like oh that's cool. When did you roll? Oh back in high school so rolling is wrestling. So I wrestled in high school and because I have what's called cauliflower ear he picked up on it right away. That's how these things happen it can be as accidental, that was not on purpose as accidental as him immediately seeing something in me that he really valued, respected, treasured something he immediately got affinity for. And that was all it took, was all it took. 'Cause the next 15 minutes of my conversation with him was about like wrestling and running, you know? And, like, all the things I used to do as a kid... that was it. That's how quick it is, that's your pre-interview. The purpose of a pre-interview is to disarm them. 'Cause they're nervous, chances are they haven't ever been interviewed before. So the minute you... imagine walking into a set lights, cameras, action, you've never done it before in your life or you've done it so sporadically over a lifetime that it's now a mountain and it's really just a mole hill. So you got to, got to, got to practice your conversational skills. You have to be able to look people in the eye and speak to them and say hey, how you doing? and then give them the elevator pitch. You're on the third floor, heading up to the fourth floor. In the period of time it takes you to get from that floor to the next you gotta tell them what you're gonna do. So it's gonna be about two blocks of 30 minutes we're gonna do two sets of questions. First ones are gonna be really, really easy just to kind of warm you up as easy as I'm talking to you right now just try to keep that conversational tone with me, okay? If you ever need to stop we can stop I gave you the questions beforehand so nothing is gonna be a surprise, we're just gonna talk. We're just gonna talk, and how we talk is how we talk and I'm gonna promise you everything is gonna be phenomenal it's gonna be great, okay? So you trust me, we're gonna have a great time. That's how I talk to people, it's reassuring. You always want to say hey, you look great. People are always so concerned about how they look. Like I pick out things, pick out things that I know are insecurities for everyone. Man or woman. It doesn't matter. Because people are always self conscious about the same things. Like I woke up this morning and had a big old zit on my face of course I'm scared, there are things that you wake up and you're just so self conscious about and you wanna be reassured. You want to have that confidence going in because if you have that confidence going in you're gonna shine, that's the exact same perspective you gotta bring to this interview. So when you conduct a pre-interview most thing that's important right here, It's for them not you and keep it fun. Keep it real fun, because if you jump into a conversation and you're like hey why are you doing this? Tell me your story. And you jump into that conversation there, one you're not ready for it, they're not ready for it they're standing, you're probably not even anywhere near a camera and you just lost a moment, so keep it fun. Talk about what you did last night talk about how you lit your hair on fire I don't know, whatever, anything that's gonna get them to kind of relate to you because you need to have them realize that you're human. You're not some automaton in here to get content to create video. You're not like that, right? So we're human and we want to exude that. Victor, I have a question for you about You talked about sending the subject the questions in advance, do you ever find that you don't get the spontaneous answers when you do that or is it always better to...? Or do you have like a list of additional questions that you're gonna throw in on them or do you think it's always good to have them be prepared to that regard? We are in the business of making our clients look as best as possible. The purpose of giving someone questions prior to and we'll talk about later, is to make them comfortable with the types of questions you're gonna be asking. I'll show you the questions in a second but I didn't ask all those questions. But I wanted him to get an idea of what types of questions I was gonna ask. And in the way of spontaneity, people are spontaneous. The things that I'm saying right now were not rehearsed. The things that I practiced this morning to say to you all I'm not saying because I'm purely reacting off of the energy in the room and off of the content and feedback that I'm getting from the people in front of me. So it's entirely organic, it's entirely unrehearsed, and it's entirely spontaneous. I did three, six months of preparation for this class but that doesn't mean I'm gonna come in here and be like okay, well, page one of my presentation is... I'm gonna look to the class and say hello, hello. It doesn't work like that. It doesn't work like that, and interviews don't work like that either. So when you set up for an interview the second part of this asking the right questions. So what are the right questions? 'Cause that's the silver lining or the golden nugget of this whole conversation is right? How do you ask people the right questions to get what you want out of them? And I think before I show you question tips on my questions what are some questions that you guys would ask? What are some questions that you would have for someone like me? If I'm trying to, I don't know, have you do a profile piece on my burgeoning taco business, I don't know. What are the types of questions that you're gonna ask someone to really dive into it. What was the passion that you had that made you decide one day to start this business? That's a great question. That's a great question. I would change it slightly by saying, tell me how you got into doing this. Okay, because when you throw words like passion in there and you throw words that are signifiers people clam up because it's like, oh god, do I have a passion? Am I really doing this? Passion, passion. There's so many inferences from the word passion. It's like hey it's a really softball it's a softball question, how'd you get into this? How'd you get into this? And then build on that, alright? What do you look forward to most in your day? That's a good one too. I would change that slightly, instead of saying, what do you look forward to most in your day it's like, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Always relate it back to something that can be very easily relatable, like what gets you out of bed. I mean, 6:00 a.m. rolls around, alarm's hitting, what makes you just open your eyes and spring out of bed? Why tacos, why not tamales, why not burritos, why tacos? That's a good question. It's like so I would take a step back from that and say what's your fascination with food? Tell me about food, tell me about why. Not what your choice was because that's going to come out of the conversation but like what is it about food? Why wasn't it craft cocktails? why wasn't it architecture? What is it about food? Can you see how I'm kind of structuring these questions to be more conversational? If you ask someone a conversational... like a question point blank it's like what is your passion? It's really hard to answer that question, it is. Let's have some more, let's get this going a little bit because what I think you're gonna see is your initial question, the initial question you're gonna ask is always gonna be the wrong question. It's the refining of that question that's gonna somehow be the better question. So earlier you talked about going to school for sociology and then your transition to photography and now film making and teaching, can you talk a little bit about some of those transitions and what prompted them? That's a good question, it's a process question. You started here you ended up here. I think that's almost, it's structurally correct for me. I would ask a question like that but I think I'd break it up. I'd break it up and I'd go, so tell me about sociology. Why sociology, what was it about that? Did you change your major six times? Did you start off with a computer science major? Did you not like computer science? Did you do economics after that? Psychology, sociology? Oh, why, because you got an A in the class? All these things, right, so you ask them the questions that's gonna get them to the point where... And it's a lot of work. So tell me about sociology. Okay, cool so you mentioned theater so you've already done your homework. You already know their pathway, that's the thing. You already know where they went so presenting yourself as familiar with them already automatically disarms them. So it's like, oh hey, so you major in sociology, so when did you start doing photography? What was that, how'd you get into photography? And make bite sized questions okay? Cool, let's keep going. So question tips. Start off with a few softballs. This is important for me okay? You gotta start somewhere and then dig deeper. You can't dive deep immediately 'cause you haven't earned it yet, you haven't earned it. This one's huge, ask open ended questions. I used to manage retail in my early 20s you know when I was trying to put together a photography gig and in my early 20s I would always train my sales associates to not ask closed ended questions, like how are you doing today? Good. Can I get you a size? Nope. Those are all closed ended questions. An open ended question is, what size are you? well my size is... Another open ended question, a better one is what are you looking for today? You gotta stay awake, 'cause immediately all of us innately go to asking that closed ended question because we want to get a fact. An example is, a lot of associates would always go can I get a size for you? And the automatic answer to that is no 'cause who wants someone to get their size who wants someone to know your size, first off? So that's something that you kind of have to train yourself into asking open ended questions that's really really important. You're not interviewing the president, guys, okay? What that means is you're not... it's not serious. It can at times, be very serious but you're not doing something so so heavy that if you get it wrong we're gonna be in a pickle, okay. So it's okay, you can ask like silly questions. You can ask things and I guarantee you when they interview the president they're always asking him silly things. It's all about personality, okay? This is something that we're gonna practice. It's something called asking follow up questions. A follow up question can easily be why? Or what do you mean by that? How? Could you re-clarify? could you say that again? See, those are all follow ups. A deeper follow up question would take that topic and spin it in. So you said sociology, well how did sociology affect photography? That's a deeper follow up, it's a redirect, it's a pivot. So you're gonna really, kind of like, really start to kind of develop a style in your conversations with people. And as you talk and as you practice talking to people and it's hard, especially when we are like this with our cell phones all the time. Immediacy is a really really important thing to me. Like putting your phone away, sitting on a subway train not looking at your phone, soaking in the moment. Immediacy is very valuable, and that type of immediacy is something that's gonna really really benefit you when it comes time to actually doing an interview. Relevance, immediacy, participation, like radical inclusion or radical participation with all these things. That's what's gonna get a good interview. That's what's gonna help you become someone who is really you're not just naturally easy to talk to. That just happens through practice and through repetition. This is probably kind of like the umbrella statement. It's only a guide, questions are only a guide what yo give to them are only a guide. Let the conversation move on its own. I can tell you I've had really really great conversations with people about things that I'd never really thought were possible because I just listened, you know, you just listen. Someone very very very very dear to me taught me a statement, 'cause I did this a lot. stop listening for the period in their sentence. The minute you stop listening for the period in their sentence you actually start listening to their sentence. Because when you're listening for the period in the sentence you're automatically ready to say something else. So don't listen to the period, listen to the statement. And that's such a valuable thing. So here were our questions. I drew up what, I think 12 or 10 questions. Yeah I think it was something like that, 14 questions. I generally try to write questions specific to the client because they deserve that. Some of them are canned, you know some of them are just like your basic run of the mill questions. Some of them are easy, some of them are a little bit more deep. Some of them I didn't even ask, do you ever see yourself stopping? Just because of the conversation. So as you kind of start to build that question list these are things you think about. And these are things that you end up honing over the period of time as you talk to the client as you kind of develop that. So now that you've seen my questions what would be some follow up questions that you would ask a result of these questions? Let's pretend... Why should anyone pick your gym over cross fit or some other kind of new forms of working out? So lets say you know, I think that my gym provides much more accessibility to personal health and I think that my gym allows anyone of any skill level of any walk of life to come and participate and feel like they've accomplished something. And I think a follow up question for that would be you want to field one? What have you done to make your gym more accessible? That's a great follow up. Can you see how that... I gave you guys a statement and as a result of that statement there was a phenomenal follow up question. What makes it different? Okay, so I would say, well we have classes for... throughout the day so that people with busy schedules, they can kind of really dive into the type of workout that they want and I think that what we provide is a great coaching staff and a great staff on hand to cater to the needs of multiple clientele. So a follow up question for that would be? A little bit more about your clientele and what's unique about them. Great. So just a constructive criticism is don't say talk about it because then they get out of the mindset just say you know what, who's your clientele? who's your clientele? Who are they? Make sense? That's the follow up scenario, that's your question. It's like going on a first date it's really going on a first date. You're like what do you do, blah blah blah and then you start to dive deeper. You're essentially just trying to get them to say something that you can latch on and then pivot off of and keep going.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video