Instructables

Semi-Automatic Filmmaking: How to use the Android app, Documatic, to automatically pre-edit your videos

Step 8: Interview

Picture of Interview
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When the recorder and annotator are ready for an interview, the annotator, (for the long dog documentary, Mariam), collects the subjects preliminary information, like their name and title or occupation. This is the information that will appear as a text caption over the video of the interviewee. In our sample case, the name is "Henry and Spot" and the subtitle is "Long Dog Enthusiasts."

While this is happening, the "recorder" (for the long dog documentary, Andy) frames up the subject and starts the camera recording. Then the annotator begins the interview by asking questions whenever she and the subject are ready.

At this point,  the recorder's job is very simple and relaxed. All he has to worry about is keeping the person roughly in the frame (and maybe monitoring audio levels). He does not have to worry about the interviewee's responses, and is thus able to get the highest quality footage possible.

Similarly, the annotator's job of conducting the interview is made easier through this division of labor. To provide real-time annotation of the footage being recorded by "the recorder"'s continuously recording camera, the "annotator" simply taps the tag in the list corresponding to the topic being discussed by the interviewee. If the subject, for instance, begins by discussing his relationship with the pet dog, but then immediately start talking about what factors affect how cute the dog is, the "annotator" simply taps the "Cuteness" menu item, and a the video being recording during this time is automatically categorized into the "Cuteness" section and linked to the subject, "Henry and Spot." While footage is being annotated, the theme of the user interface flashes bright red to indicate that virtual clips are being recorded.

During parts of the interview that the documentarian wishes to leave out of the final product (such as when she is asking the subject a question, or there is a lull in the conversation), the "annotator" presses the large, "Stop" button at the bottom of the interface. This returns the interface to the standard "Waiting to record..." color scheme. If something terribly important happened to occur while the "annotator"'s device was in this not-recording mode, the continuously recording camera will still capture the footage, it will just not be automatically included in the final project, and this missing segment will just have to be inserted manually. Thus no permanent damage can be done by the annotation system and further pressure is removed from the documentarians. Since the "annotator" is not faced with the worry of how the subject is being framed and captured, she is able to focus more on engaging the interviewee and getting the best overall interview. The act of tapping between different sections was minimally obtrusive, and was actually found to be helpful, as the list of sections serves as question prompts for the interviewer.

If the person being interviewed begins to discuss a topic outside of the pre-established sections, such as "Fur Color", the annotator can quickly add this new section and begin annotating.

Note that Interview footage is always tied to a specific person (in this case "Henry and Spot"). Each person interviewed on a project is stored, so that more footage can easily be collected from a person during continued interviews in the future. New people can also be added to the project's person database at any time.
 
 
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