1. BulletTypes of footage needed and desired: Technically speaking: 1280 × 1080 DVCPRO HD (1080p30) HD is ideal, but if you have good video in a different format, please submit it. Please do not edit!  Raw, unedited footage will be much easier to combine with other sources.  Of course if there are bits you’d rather I did not use, just let me know. Interviews and B-roll! Great cargo bike riding footage has limited usefulness without the context of an interview, and vice-versa. Both are pretty essential. If you want feedback on a particular idea, email me.

  2. BulletKeep the camera steady. If possible, use a tripod. Don’t constantly zoom in & out or pan right to left. In general, you want to shoot more and move the camera more slowly than you think. Be patient. Remember it will be edited!

  3. BulletWide, Medium, Close-up - Footage shot from multiple angles makes editing a whole lot easier and more exciting. Great article here. For example, if you get the widest angle possible, then get close-ups of faces, etc. and then some medium shots--there is a lot I can do with that! More examples here.

  1. BulletPrepare your questions -- Think ahead about what kind of information are you looking for from this particular person. Suggested interview questions here.

  1. BulletGet well-structured answers - Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions because we don’t want “yes” or “no” answers! Ask people to describe their feelings, a story, a situation.  Be sure to get the interviewee to repeat back your question in their answer. For example, you ask, “How are you feeling about the Cargo Bike Revolution?” The interviewee says, “I am so excited about the cargo Bike Revolution...” (as opposed to just saying “Great!”)

  1. BulletPrepare, but be spontaneous - Allow yourself to veer off from questions if the interviewee says something interesting. Those can be the best moments.

  1. BulletEye contact - Stand behind and next to the camera, look your subject in the eye and communicate interest! Don’t let him/her speak “to the camera.”

  1. BulletKeep your mouth shut - Stay quiet when the other person is talking. It’s good to nod and smile, just no sound.

  1. BulletAsk for final thoughts - At the end of the interview, always ask the person if they have any final words--if there was anything you missed.

  1. Bullet Have Energy! - If you are bored and reserved, your interviewee will be too.


  1. BulletIf you are shooting riding footage, use a GoPro mounted several different places for variety, and/or an extension arm that allows for movement. More info on GoPro shooting here. Experiment!

  2. BulletWhere’s your mic? – If you are relying on the camera mic for sound, you will need to be in a quiet place and close to the person you are interviewing, otherwise you will record a lot of ambient noise and the level of what we want to hear will be low. Wearing headphones is the ONLY way to know what sound you are recording.  Remember that bad sound can make your footage unusable. Here are some audio basics.

  3. BulletDon’t forget B-roll - Visually interesting shots that help establish the scene and build character are really helpful!  Have fun with B-roll -- experiment visually.

  4. BulletSet the scene – Ask yourself, does this background "support" this story visually?" Is it a good backdrop for what is being discussed? Lighting – Same rules that apply to photography.  Don’t put an interviewee with their back to the sun, or under a shady tree with a bright scene in the background