How to Interview a ...


Given the headline, you might be thinking that my binge watching of Dexter has gone too far.


I’m not suggesting you literally interview the deceased. Instead, the idea is to go back in time to interview a famous person by “borrowing” from existing video footage. shows the way in creating a video in which San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum interviews the incomparable Bruce Lee on the art of pitching.

It’s pure genius.

More than feature gifted athletes in action, MLB also wants to show the humanity in its players.

And nothing says humanity like a little levity.

I particularly liked the closing exchange in which Timmy shares his dream of teaming with Bruce in a movie, “The Dragon and the Freak.” Bruce comes back with “It’s a heckuva name man,” with Timmy responding “Are you serious … because I’m going to hold you to it.” To which Bruce shuts down the idea, “I made that a joke, of course.”

So what’s going on from a technique perspective in marrying a new interview with one from the archives?

By overlaying some type of duatone over the old footage, you make it easier for the new stuff to achieve a horse-shoe-close match.

Editing the video so the camera sits on the phantom interviewer as he or she reacts to what’s been shared by the famous person also gives the illusion of a real interview.

Of course, working backwards from the famous person’s comments to create the questions ultimately glues together the narrative.

In the case of the Timmy interview of Bruce Lee, there are two shots that show them in the frame together.Bruce and Timmy 07-15I’m not exactly sure how this is done or the cost. Regardless, I don’t think it’s a must have for this type of video interview to work.

I continue to believe that levity is the killer app in B2B communications. Obviously, it’s not easy to find a humorous bent in product areas like enterprise storage and semiconductors. Yet, if you can pull it off like Qualcomm did by melting butter on its product, you gain the most precious commodity from your target audience — attention — as well as build the brand.

What intrigues me about taking a run at creating this type of video for B2B companies is that the medium carries the levity. To have Winston Churchill espousing the virtues of cloud computing or Jimi Hendrix giving his two cents on the latest on DRAM technology produces incongruence which by itself has the potential to be amusing.

If we can’t find a brave client, we have a Plan B.

Picture interviewing Richard Nixon articulating his perspectives on the PR industry.

I think we’re onto something.

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