In short, a video producer’s job is to do exactly that…produce. The producer is the grease-man. He or she is the person that’s hiring and firing the production professionals, writing or approving scripts, and gathering other materials or talent to deliver the video’s “message”. Producers have to understand the exact idea, message, or call-to-action that the client is trying to get across to their audience. In the case where the client is not really sure about the message or their target market, the video producer’s role is to do this research so that the finished video accomplishes its intended result. Some producers edit their own videos, and some sit down next alongside an editor and direct the cut.
Good producers are also normally the ones asking the questions behind the camera. This is not as simple as reading questions from a paper when conducting the interview. Asking questions the right way and engaging the interviewee is an art, and good producers do this extremely well.
At times, though, things can get uncomfortable if the person in front of the camera does not feel like cooperating. Check out this difficult interview with Jerry Lewis at 90 by The Hollywood Reporter!
When things get rough you have to calm down and keep steady. In this example, the interviewer was wise to keep asking questions and not let Jerry’s commitment to being difficult to knock his interview off course. I was fortunate to sit alongside Emmy™ award-winning producers at NFL films and learn these interview techniques over the course of many years.
Below is a video of the medical staff at South Jersey Periodontics & Dental Implants discussing their workplace environment. This is an unorthodox edit because the footage in the first half of the video normally stays on the virtual cutting room floor. It was creatively included in this video because it juxtaposes how nervous people can be before an on-camera interview with how eloquent they can sound when they believe in what they are saying, regardless of the nerves. A seasoned producer will know how to make the interviewees immediately comfortable and ask the right questions in the right way, ultimately resulting in acquiring the appropriate footage to create an honest and compelling edit. Enjoy!