BOB KALSEY interviews

Talking Heads

People sometimes groan about the idea of a video that's full of "talking heads," but if the heads are talking about something interesting and if the minds inside the heads are fully engaged, interviews can be magical and powerful and very effective.

Take a look at the most popular programs on television and what do you see? Talking heads. "60 Minutes"? It's an interview show. What's the hottest stuff on daytime TV? Interviews. How did Oprah make her fame? Same.

There's no better advertising than word of mouth. You can't rely on it happening by itself, but you can make it happen by putting your satisfied customers in a video. Authentic "success stories" connect with the audience and bring greater credibility to your message.

Bob Kalsey: Interviewer

I've probably done a couple thousand interviews in my career, about everything from agriculture to zoology.

I like to spend the time it takes to learn all I can about the topic. When I know the lingo, the issues, and the message, my job is a lot easier and the results a lot more useful.

I usually learn a few things during the conversation, too, because I really listen. The list of questions my clients and I prepare for each interview ensure that we'll cover the topic and see all the sights along the way. But some new information may come up that leads to an interesting detour--and that's often where the good stuff can be found. A director can't know when to turn down a new road unless he has a pretty good idea of the geography--and keeps his eyes and ears open.

I try to learn some things about the people I talk with, too: what makes her relax, how can I make him smile, what really gets this guy going? My goal is to create a comfortable atmosphere. I encourage everybody--crew, client, victim--to have fun and just be their most personable best. That's when good stuff happens.

Some Examples

Man On Street Image
"Man-On-The-Street"             (Play Quicktime Movie)

My client at Hewlett-Packard wanted to show how real people feel about personal computers, so we took to the streets of San Francisco to get people talking. Sometimes you get a better perspective from just plain folks than you do from "experts." But, come to think of it, aren't your customers the real experts about their own values and opinions?

SF Ballet Image
San Francisco Ballet             (Play Quicktime Movie)

I made a video to commemorate San Francisco Ballet's 75th anniversary, for which I interviewed dozens of current and past company members, critics, and choreographers. The QuickTime movie here includes a few scenes from the 52-minute production. Peter Coyote narrated the documentary splendidly, but it really sparkles when the history is told by those who lived it.

Definitely © 2009 Bob Kalsey ALL RIGHTS RESERVED