Person on the Street Interviews

Each team will create a Person-on-the-Street Video (Students-on-Campus). Select a topic that is of interest to teens. Clear the topic with Mr. Machtay.


  • Your team must come up with 3 questions that you will ask your interview subjects.
  • These must NOT be Yes-No questions. The questions should be prompts to get your interview subjects to talk/explain/tell stories.
  • The three questions should be on a common theme, so that when the answers are edited together there is a logical flow/story to your movie.
  • When you have 3 questions bring them to Mr. Machtay for approval.


  • Are your questions aimed at students? At incoming freshmen? At seniors? At students who are currently applying for college? At teachers?
  • What will you use for a backdrop? Blank backdrop behind everyone? Same backdrop behind everyone? Similar backdrop behind everyone? Each backdrop different?
  • RULE OF THIRDS! Do not center your subject! Subject can be on screen right (2/3 of frame) facing left, or on screen left (2/3 of frame) facing right.
  • Consistent sizes in frame. Don’t show one person in a super close up and the next person in a medium shot waist up. Be consistent.
  • MICROPHONES! Use lavalier or hand-held mics.
  • SUBJECT DOESN’T LOOK INTO CAMERA! Interviewer should stand next to the camera. The subject should look at the interviewer and not into the camera.


During interviews you need a team of 4 people:

  • DIRECTOR: Decides how shot will be framed, what to use for backdrop. Could also be interviewer.
  • CAMERAPERSON: Operates the camera
  • SOUND PERSON: Makes sure microphone is working correctly. Wears headphones to make sure sound is coming through microphone.
  • WRANGLER/TAPE LOG: This person’s job is to line up the next interview subject and to keep track of a Tape Log — which shots/which replies are best and should be used in the finished video. This person also keeps the background clear and makes sure there are no disturbances during shoot. If there are three people on the team, this could also be the interviewer.

You can also videotape with a team of three. In this case the director and wrangler are combined into one job.


  • Your team needs B-Roll, cut-away footage, so we’re not just looking at talking heads. While two of you are uploading footage of the interviews, the other two team members can video B-Roll.
  • Make sure the B-Roll is appropriate for what’s being said on screen.
  • If you’re going to use background music, make it subtle and make sure the sound levels are different enough so music does not interfere with voices. (20db difference in levels)