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Life is the coffee, while jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and do not change the quality of life.

Tips Wawancara Film Dokumenter

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Saat shooting film dokumenter, sering kali kita perlu melakukan wawancara dengan subyek atau informan atau kadang disebut narasumber (Narsum). Berikut tips praktis yang dapat kamu terapkan agar wawancara berlangsung efisien dengan hasil maksimal.


Prepare your questions
Think ahead & make a list of questions you want to ask your interviewee. Just a brief pointers. No need to go crazy. 5-10 questions is usually enough. Spare room for spontaneous questions.

Prepare, but be spontaneous
Even though you have prepared questions in advance, allow yourself to steer off from your questions list if the interviewee says something interesting or unexpected that you’d like to explore further. Sometimes the unplanned ‘spontaneous’ questions & answers create the best moments.

Avoid “yes” or “no” answers
Your questions should be asked in such a way that you won’t get “yes” or “no” answers.

Create open ended questions

You need your documentary interviewees to give you substantive answers that you can use in your video edits.

Instead of “Seneng nggak sih jadi bandar judi bola?”

Ask, “Bagaimana suka-dukanya jadi bandar judi bola?”

Or even better, “Kan sudah 25 tahun jadi bandar ya, apa sih yang paling menyenangkan dari kerjaan ini?” — “Lalu, kalau yang paling nggak enaknya apa?”

Level Up or Down Your Language

Put yourself in your interviewees’ shoes. Use their language in the best way possible.

Example: use formal language when talking to a high rank officials or academics, and use casual language when talking to people from the lower class. You might need extra effort when interviewing children.


Find a good location to shot
Consider your shot size, your background, the light, the context of your interview, and the noise level. •Also consider his/her best angle, whether she/he wear glasses, what she/we is wearing, wear any head ornaments, standing up or sitting down •Also consider your microphone, what kind and where is it located? Clip on must be put is a ‘safe location’

Proper positioning of interviewee
If you are the person both shooting AND interviewing, the person may end up looking into the video camera, which gives the feeling of a personal and direct connection with the person talking. However, the off-camera approach is most common. The interviewer sits or stands right next to the camera so that the interviewee is looking just off camera.

You get your best results if the interviewer is standing right next to the camera, that way you can see the full face of the person you’re interviewing and not a profile, which can be unattractive and distracting to the viewer because you can’t see their eyes and facial expressions very well.

Get the interviewee comfortable
When the video camera starts rolling, ask easy questions to warm them up. Ask them where they are from, how many kids in their family… anything to get them talking and comfortable.

Give an overall theme of your interview

Give your interview a general idea of what the interview will be about. But just the general idea. It’s okay to warm up.

“Nanti kita ngobrol soal pementasaannya ya. Kakak ceritain aja apa adanya,”

But don’t give out specific questions in advance
If you do, they will try to memorize their answers in advance and you will lose spontaneity and freshness. Your interview will end up feeling stale, unauthentic and rehearsed.

Have them repeat your question
This can be done but not a necessity depending on your case. •This can be a great idea especially if you plan to have no narration for your documentary. Get the person to repeat back your question in their answer. This will help you with the video editing and storytelling later during the editing process. •For example, you ask, “Gimana perasaannya abis pentas?” •The interviewee says, “Gimana perasaan saya? Ya seneng banget!!” •“Oya? Apa yang bikin seneng?” (dst)”

Keep your mouth shut
Stay quiet when the other person is talking. You don’t want to hear yourself in the background. It’s good to nod, and make gentle facial expressions, just no sound. Unless of course, YOU are part of the story and the camera has both of you in the shot, or if that is the style that you chose.

Ask for final comment
Here’s a great video interviewing tip: at the end of the interview, always ask the person if they have any final thoughts. Ask them if there was anything you missed. This can sometimes bring out some great information you hadn’t thought to ask about.

Don’t stop filming when the interview is “over”
Especially when you have someone who is nervous and never got quite comfortable with the interview. •When you’re done with your official questions, say “OK, that’s the end of the interview.” Make sure the camera continues to roll at this point because often the conversation will continue. • •Psychologically, the person no longer feels the “pressure” of the interview and will loosen up. This is the time I have often gotten the best quotes of the interview!

Kalau ada pertanyaan, silakan tulis di kolom komentar. Terima kasih.


Penulis: Swastika Nohara

I'm a freelance content and script writer for movies, television, commercials and internet-related content. With a team, I also do documentaries, video tutorial, video presentation and corporate video. I'm based in Jakarta but eager to travel anywhere on earth. For me, life is like a cup of coffee. Life is the coffee while jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and do not change the quality of life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee provided…. So, don’t let the cups drive you, enjoy the coffee instead!

3 thoughts on “Tips Wawancara Film Dokumenter

  1. wow lengkap dan menarik semua ini tipsnya untuk diterapkan mbak, makasih, kadang kami bingung juga klo mau wawancara mulainya mesti dari mana ya?. Udah shooting film dokumenter apa mbaknya?

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