Listening while juggling

My advice: Always heed good advice.

So I listened with extra care last night when interview giant David Frost disclosed his best advice: Always listen. That’s what makes it fun.

A no brainer.

Listen to me

As Sir David, speaking at the Frontline Club, was jumping smoothly from one anecdote (about Nelson) to another (about Nixon), my thoughts started drifting.

Listening, right? When I lost my camjo-virginity in 2005, picked up my Sony Z1 and was about to conduct my first interview, it took a while to fire off the opening question.

First I had to get the person in focus. Then I adjusted the composition. Would you mind stepping to the left a bit? No, a bit more. Actually, a bit back to the right. That’s it, thanks. Now, audio check. Can I hear him? Can I hear myself?

Right, here we go. Actually, I’m really sorry, sir, would you mind just a tiny bit to the left again? Okay, focus. What I wanted to ask you…

And then I realized I had forgotten my question.

Numerous interviews later I believe I’ve mastered the trick, filming and interviewing at the same time. I’ve learned how to check audio, establish focus, pose the question and, yes, also listen to the answer. (Especially listening for those 13 seconds that will actually show up in the piece.)

My advice to Sir David: You should try it. Real fun.


2 Responses to “Listening while juggling”

  1. Paul Brannan Says:

    My advice to Sir David: Change that shirt. Those white collars are so 1970s.

  2. overdiek Says:

    Sorry Paul, those shirts will make a comeback next spring. Life repeats itself every thirty years. Which means that in 2033 my grandchildren will jump for joy when that gigantic retro iPod (4 gigabyte!) appears under the christmas tree. And I’ll bet you Sir David will be interviewing the young British prime minister Leo Blair, wearing the same bloody shirt.

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