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Chip Wade speaking directly to the interviewer using teleprompter equipmentWe’ve had the pleasure of working with the Georgia Tech Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering on a number of projects this year and one mission of theirs is to promote the program to other students and faculty around the country.

I suggested we use a very straight forward, minimal interview style as a way for alumni, faculty and even current students to tell their stories. I wanted the interview subjects to come across as if they are in a one-on-one conversation with the viewer.

So how do you shoot an interview that “feels” different? It’s not easy, but it is do-able.

My crew and I are all fans of the documentary filmmaker Errol Morris and for years, Morris has been lauded for his uniquely personal interview style. To capture people the way he does, we had to adapt and make our own Interrotron!

The interviewee sees the interviewer and speaks directly to him and thus to the audienceWhat’s that you ask? Morris developed a system many years ago of setting up a camera to shoot the interview, with teleprompter equipment mounted to the front. But instead of words for the person to read, they see the interviewer’s image which is being fed/projected onto the glass in place of words. He called his creation The Interrotron.

By using this system the interviewee is talking to you, the interviewer, but by looking directly into the camera lens he is therefore talking to the viewer. We figured out a way to approximate the Interrotron and achieve a great effect.

This idea of these interviews is going to be a multi-part series and each piece will be just one person telling their story with a little bit of extra footage showing them in their daily life. The title we came upon is The Story of ME. “ME” to signify the personal essence of these stories, and also to stand for “Mechanical Engineering”.

These are individual personal stories, but combined they tell the story of the Woodruff School.