Capturing the Interview
All right, So now we're ready to do the interview, So I will double check that we have the right audio selected. We do. So we have the road, SC six. And now I'm gonna go into the settings. I usually like to just film at 10. 80 at 24 frames per second. So you can see here on the screen that I already have those settings. But if I wanted to change it, I would just tap here, and then I would pick the resolution here and then the frame right there. But I already have the right settings. And then there are these two radicals on the screen. This left one. The circle is for the exposure, and the square is for the focus and both right now, the exposure looks good. The focus is good. So we're ready year old. So I'm gonna start asking them questions and we'll go through the whole interview. Ready. All right. So OK, where were you before the agency? What was life like? So we've been in San Francisco for about seven years now, and we started on fiction three years ago. Before that, we were freelan...
cers in the city working a different design studios, some as leaders on some as designers, depending on the need. And we got to work with very talented and very wide range of designers. And that's also gave us a lot of the trainee to learn about how other designs to use work. What works for us but doesn't work for us and start building the foundation with nonfiction is today awesome. Um and, um, if you could, as you answer the question, start with a full sentence. So I would ask you what led you to start with your own agency? What were you unhappy with? So when you start the next wide safe, we decided to start new agency on our own because Yeah. Okay. So what led you to start your agency on your own? What's what led us to start our own agency. Nonfiction on our own is, um, so many ideas. Um okay, you can let me Let me let me warm up to this. What led us to start our own agency and nonfiction was we worked around and then in the studio environment, locally and many places, and we found a few things that we loved and a few things we didn't and we felt that we could possibly do it better and do it in our own way. So it's a little bit about a passion of doing something we love in the way we want to do it and then finding a way that we can evolve the process to our own process. One. The things that we found core to what we do is we as opposed to a lot of other studios. They would put junior designers, which are great assets, to any design studio. But they put him as leads on projects because it makes it better a financial model for them, but doesn't always work out well for the design. The client. So here in non fiction, we really engage them on on a very high level creative director, senior level designer roll. And then that way we have the top level talent touching every project along the process. Awesome. That was great. Um, okay, so now I'm gonna ask you now that like when you first started your agency nonfiction, what were some of the things that were really hard and again if you could start with when we first like start with I don't know this business. You could say when we first started, we had a few struggles and yeah, okay, when we first started, we have a few struggles. Like any business owner, especially first time business owner eso. The main difference between freelance and on studio studio is that now we have to find our own clients. And we wanted a lot of variety. Which is that one of the reasons why we started the studio. So we had to pitch to start ups living in Silicon Valley. They're everywhere and also pitched two very large corporation, and we what was difficult was to convince them that are small team actually was capable of achieving of a white breath of design work. Uh huh. And they think along with that, it's really about taking again our passion, our interest, which is designed and then creating sort of model that supports that. So that's not only the business development is Phanom just mentioned, but it's also all the assets that go along with it. It's file management. It's pick procuring vendors and getting them toe kind of engaged with our clients as well as ourself in building this not just body of our own work, but sort of a whole ecosystem around how we develop large scale products. Another thing that's very important in the way we set up this company is discipline. Both Martinson I've very disciplined on whether or not we spend one day doing business or one day doing design. And the advantage of having to partners is that one can do one when the other one can do the other fully agree. So what? And there could be more than one. What has been the lowest point where you just kind of were, like, done like, Did we do the right? Did you ever question your decision to break out on your own? And again, if you could start from complete sense for what? Hey, you know what kind of me? Yeah, just trying to think I mean about the different things. What made this question? What would going out and start their own studio certainly start up costs? That's a big investment for any company, but I also think that as your our clients aren't quick turn clients, they buy a product. They move on their clients that make a commitment for several months at a time so we would have these long engagements. And then we've finished the engagement. And before we start the next engagement, there's a little dip in the work, a little dip in the finances until we come back to the next client. That was probably a really big kind of, you know, learning experience for us. Yeah. Another thing is we live in a place where there are a lot of extremely talented design studios. So the competition's pretty fierce on. Because of that, we constantly have to justify, you know, to our potential clients. Why should you work with us? We have a few, you know, things that have been very particular about the way we work, and that's what we put for us. And sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. How about emotionally? Can you think of a very specific moment? Where is just really hard? So I kind of got to feel that you know, the dip between projects. I can't, Matt. I was a freelancer, I imagine if you just talk, I want I like what's that moment? What did you feel with crying or not? You like, you know, just talk about, like, you know, one time between projects like really be descriptive. Like we couldn't pay, read or with mortgage, you know, just like if you get to like that kind of hardship emotions, I'm trying to think about it trying to basis sent about it. Um, yeah. I mean, a very low point would be, you know, every a long time between two paying clients. And, you know, we're pretty responsible about saving money and putting it in the right place. But sometimes the economy is not doing great. And sometimes, you know, we get a lot of rejection from potential clients and you know, it comes, it comes with the business and some other times will have happy times. Right way have almost too much work, and it's always wonderful, But But yeah, having this, this, this, this amount of rejection and really questioning whether or not we doing the right thing, doing it the right way, whether we're presenting ourselves in a way that actually gives confidence to a potential clients on whether we can achieve what they asked us to do is is very hard. Yeah, I'd say another thing is, as as I mentioned before, Ah, product development is a sort of long process and many different moving components. One. The big things was we would develop proposals for clients. They're very complex and identity. We would develop, start over. Yeah. Could you pick up from Okay. So product development is a very long, complex process that we try to shorten and make a sufficient as possible. So we capture that in our proposals, and we would spend days building a quality proposal that really outlines the needs and the execution from non fictions standpoint that aligns with the needs after a quick interview of the client. And then it might get taken, it might get rejected, but if you spend several days on a proposal and it gets rejected, you're like, Oh, well that I can't recover that. So we quickly bounced back and start sending email proposals, which we felt like it wasn't really doing credit to the client, but it fit our timeline better. So it this whole learning process, I think of kind of winning bids, losing beds, winning and then finding that okay, we can do way, have a formulation of developing a quick proposal that's still very unique and customized each client, and that's where we kind of hopefully ended up on top. One thing was constantly struggling with, and I think it has a lot to do with the way people use the word design. Ah, long people think of design as aesthetics as making things pretty, which is absolutely part of the job. But what we do nonfiction that is really taking those ideas usability and making sure the product is, is something that people desire and want to replace with the same product. So way designed a product in a way that makes the whole product development and manufacturing very smooth. In order to do that, we have to inject our experience, anticipate a lot of problems down the road and really communicate often with the clients in the engineering teams. And because it takes more of our time, it may appear that we actually cost more than other studios that are are size. But the value of what we bring is is so much more than just aesthetics. So we just wrapped up the interview, and so I picked this room for the interview because the light was really great and this is where they do a lot of their work and logistically it just worked out that way Because of the way things were set up. I did have to move a few things. There were two monitors here that I had to move out of the way because I was shooting this way. And then I also added a few things to their background so that it looked a little bit more interesting and they wouldn't just be the white board behind them. So I had to take a few things from the other room, move them here and then also took some of their products to add a pop of color behind them so that it was a little bit more interesting and not so drab. And then as I interviewed, I ask questions in a very strategic way. So I really believe in the hero's journey into showing not just where they are right now, but also telling the story of how they got here, cause I think that really brings out all the hard work that they put into the brand and what they had to go through in order to get here, and so that makes their success that much more meaningful. And so the way asked the question was, you know, I was really friendly with them. I joked around just to get them comfortable and also show them that, you know, they could make mistakes. They can keep talking if they wanted to. That didn't have to be perfect every time and that, you know, if there was something that they said or they messed up, that they could just start over again. And so I really wanted to make it feel casual, like they were just talking to me. And so that brings out the natural answers. And, um, you know, it's not like they're presenting to their client. It really brings out who they are, and it's a lot more of an honest interview. So one of the more important things as I set up, I want to make sure that capture the audio and that I captured the video. And so even though I had already set them up five minutes ago, right before I hit record, I always make sure that I check that the audio is working and that it is being recorded, so that's really important. And then after I feel my want to make sure that I got the footage, so I always make sure Check that, Um And if there was anything I need to redo their still here, they're still in position so that if anything did go wrong, I'd be able to redo it again. But the most important things make sure before you start that you are recording the audio, everything's go and that you hit record, which is the most important things and that you're ready to roll so a little bit, you know, 10. 30 s. So it's a little bit of ah, backstory on that one. The last point that I brought up, make sure he kept her the footage. So that interview was 1/2 hour long and I was using filmic pro, and I've never had problems with filmic pro. I have never lost footage, but for some reason, it wasn't appearing in my list and I was freaking out. Um oh, my gosh. Were to go, um so just know. But if it's a longer interviewer, longer thing that you film, it takes a while for it to it just it just it was like, maybe not even 30 seconds but I was already freaking out like where to go? Um, so that was wise. Like, make sure you check. You actually captured the footage. And so that's what I did. A couple more things to note about the interviewing process. When you saw that I asked him to repeat back the question that I asked her that they'd have the fuller the full answers in the video. When you add it, that's really important. The other thing you have to remember is as much as you want In a natural conversation, you want to chime in, you want say, Uh huh. You know, make these sounds and acknowledge their answers. But when you're interviewing like that, you don't want to speak because you want to just hear what they have to say. When you're editing, you want to hear your own voice. So as a natural is, it might feel to just, you know, not talk it work out well for the edit. So that's why I was just, you know, nodding my head but not making any sound so that that is really important. And then the last point on this one, I don't know if you could tell. But I was really trying to get them. Teoh come up with some, really, You know, sad emotional story. But there wasn't one. You know, eso At some point, yes, you can try to get your hero's journey story, and you can try to get your you know, your great, like dramatic. But if it's not happening, if there isn't one, don't force it. Um, And at that point, it felt like, you know what? They gave me enough detail so that I could include something, some of their struggles in the video. And so I was like, Okay, let's just move on to the next point and not kind of keep making them come up with some sad things that wasn't there. Yes. Although we did have a question about how you address rooms that are echoey. You are rooms where you're filming where you don't really have, uh, the options potentially, or you do the best with what you have. Yeah, So, uh, so one of the ways Teoh reduce echo is to use a love mike. That's what I found to be the best solution, because your audio source is closest to the mic, right? So it's There's not a lot to travel, so it's not gonna pick up everything else. Um, if you can use any of those sound proofing things. But again, it's hard to do that to soundproof a room when you're just bringing a backpack right? So I would say, Try to pick a room that doesn't have the echo If you don't have a lot of Mike, that is, or if what? He's just try to get as close to the mic as possible. I think that's one way to get around it. But the best solution is not being a neck over your but again love. Mike, I think, has been the best solution that I've had so far. Cool and follow question in terms of making sure that you have good audio, not just that it's there, but that its quality. Are there things to check other than just listening in your ear? There really isn't. I mean, if you want to take the time to put it somewhere else, drop it off onto your laptop. I really don't do that. So what I'll do is I'll I'll have a test and then all this intuited my ears. Um and make sure it sounds okay. And so far I haven't had any problems. Do you have stories in mind that you'd like toe help guide the the people here you're interviewing with like, Are there good questions that bring out stories? Yes, other than others, some better than others. Yeah, I think, um, and you probably heard some meat acting some of that in video. And I tried Teoh because a lot of times when you interview people, it's very hard for them to come something specific. It's all high level, high level. I always try to go like, let's think about a specific moment, you know? And I think in the story when you watch things, there's always a specific move it right they can visualize. So I think if you can guide your interviewee to be as specific as possible, then you come up with better answers from them. And I don't know if in the video I kind of gave examples so that they knew what what it was that I was trying to get. So, um, in the interview, I had asked you initially was Oh, any struggles, you know, what were the struggles and then, um, the answers weren't as specific as I wanted them to be. So then I ask, Well, what about the moment where you know, we felt really sad or given a potential example of, you know, when you didn't couldn't make rent, how did you feel? You know, always. I asked about the emotions and the feelings, so those usually bring out the good answers and just Teoh clarify. Do you have a full list of questions or just a general idea? I have a general idea. And, um, if we if we can go back to my list of that shot list, I don't know if I had it in there, but I had the story, Arc I the whole time. And as I'm interviewing, um, I'm interviewing through that story, arc. So I ask, How did you get started? Why did you decide to start it? Which was the conflict? So what was your journey like as he started your own business. So I was going through that story arc. And then at the end, I asked, Well, how did you know things were going well that you did the right thing? So that was one of the questions that I ask. So that was the climactic event I was hoping for. And at the very end, I asked and I asked this all in that order makes it easier. And that and you did not feel like back your fourth, um, so that you know, when I'm editing, I know that when I want to include that climactic event when they knew it was going well, I know it will be probably like, you know, 3/4 into the video. So, you know, I can quickly get to that part. So I do ask the questions in that order of beginning to end of the Ark. Awesome. Did you have one final question? So you're you have the interview with the your clients. And then, um do you ever like, you know, like you have, Like when product, like the interview and use it for one thing. Do you find other parts in the interview where they can use it for, like, maybe a little snippet for social media or Oh, yeah, or advertisement or yeah, whatever. Yeah, absolutely. I hope this is OK, but, um, do you have Do you have you designed your questions so that you're following the story arc. But there are opportunities, you know, like types of questions that you're asking is that there's opportunities to be able to piece amount. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, um, always feel free to ask more questions outside of the story arc or film things that won't necessarily be in the story arc. And you'll see that later in the edit that I do have some things that more part part of what I asked them. But it was really important to the video and that they could actually use that part for social media if they chose to. Um, so, yes, to answer your questions.