The Interviews – Filming in an Indian Slum

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Welcome to the BTS of the BTS of Shiksaan, a social service film project that I assisted in making. While I had already covered the location visuals in the recce vlog, I realized that I had not even touched the surface of the fun times and challenges that we had been through while filming the movie. So to cover those moments, I made part two of the Filming in the Slum and went for an interview format as to who better could narrate the stories than the crew itself.

The setting was simple and was conducted on two separate days. Since I did not have a script or layout while filming the interviews, I knew that editing was going to be hard.

So, for day one of the interview, I invited Disha, the director, D.O.P, editor, etc. of the film and we quickly set the interview in a weird location of my room and just dove into a thirty-minute conversation about the filming day.

On Day Two, I had invited the other two female crew members, Mariyam and Nafisa. For them, the setup was of a typical talk show. All I had to pivot my desk towards my bed and my bed would act as the guest seat. And with the recollection of some key points from the previous day’s interview, I directed this conversation.

On both days, I wanted the crew members to participate in the setup a part of which I had shown at the beginning and the end of the video. The funny part was how both interviews interlinked with each other. Some similarities were a coincidence like me sitting on the left side and some of the conversation topics that I did not insinuate like the cameraman missing and the passion in Shivani ( the bride actress in the film).

The other thing that really helped me was the guest’s personalities and the way they narrated the story. The animated and interactive nature of them really boosted the video energy and kept many people engrossed.

But not all that glitters is gold. As the primary and only source of light was my tube light and light bulbs in my room and I could have used better soundtracks to support the interview. Some overlay visuals could have been added to entertain the audience like when Mariyam talks about chai and when Disha talks about the Lions club members. 

Another thing I learned this week was that a piece of good sound equipment is worth that investment. If you have already invested in a good camera and decent editing software, go for the audio equipment.

The other issue I dealt with was during the edit when the editing software crashed. Although I tried saving the present project after every change, I lost a substantial amount of work. To add to the negative follow of events, the fever from the Covid vaccine that I had to take that morning hit at that moment. I had no energy to rebuild what was lost and had to start from the beginning after recovering.

I took a day off and started working again when I found a partially edited project. It wasn’t even close to what I had achieved but good enough to give me that boost. So, I decided to use the second chance as an opportunity to add things to the video which I would have ignored like the other overlay visuals, and fine trim the video till the end.

The quick jumps between the two interviews kept people engrossed in the videos and the quick zoom and pausing the music at certain points emphasized certain dialogues. The one hour’s worth of content was to be compressed to please an average viewer’s attention span on YouTube and well trust me the retention still dropped. Or maybe it could be because of the recommended part one video of filming in the slums.

I did notice on YouTube that while the information cards are a boon the keeps the audience longer on your channel, it does distract people and deny the content creator the pleasure of the sweet view time for that video so well still need to find a way around it.

Lastly, collaboration is key to introduce a new set of people to your channel.

That’s all for this blog and I would be talking at length about each of these segments on my latest podcast- The Eye Production’s YouTube secrets.

So if you haven’t already, Subscribe to my YouTube channel and My Latest Podcast, tie your seat belt, and get ready to take off. I know the pilot is inexperienced but trust me this flight ain’t gonna crash.

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