Whaddaya mean - umm... Transcripts?

When writing a script that contains interview footage, transcripts are a must-have road map for selecting your best sound bites that validate your message.

I love interviewing people – the only thing more satisfying than hearing that “golden sound bite” come out of your interviewee is finding that golden nugget easily among a mountain of video clips.  Enter the transcript.

Now, I don’t know if it’s a Chicago video production thing, or a universal trend, but interview transcriptions seem to be taking a back seat to the “scrub n’ dub” approach of finding the best sound bite available.  Now scrubbing is a fine search method if you are sitting in your basement working on your latest YouTube submission… but it’s not a very efficient use of limited and precious resources – time and money.

If your video production is a team effort – which is usually the case – it is absolutely essential to transcribe your interviews so that the entire team has a common road map to follow in reaching your destination without any unnecessary detours. 

Here at Camera Originals, we are firm believers in the power of the transcript.  And fortunately for us, we have a great transcription source – we transcribe in-house.  We make it a practice to record either wav or mp3 files during interviews so that the transcribing can start ASAP… and that means quick turnaround with no rush charge for our clients (time and money).

Once the transcripts are done, it’s prospecting time.  Get out your colored highlighters and start panning for gold.  I like to highlight my “like bites” and then go back and do a deeper sort of “best bites” with another color or two.  Whatever way your team goes about culling through transcripts, there is no doubt that comparing text blocks is much quicker and efficient for a group of people to do than giving everyone a complete set of video clips and scrubbing back and forth through them (again, time and money). 

And then there are the re-writes… There’s always someone in the approval process who wants to know if there’s a sound bite that talks about “whatever” in the interview footage.  Well, there is no more efficient way to find out than a word search through your transcripts… a responsive answer made easy and you’re back on the road to a final script (time and money, third time’s a charm).

I could go on, but I will say just one more thing about interview transcriptions – reading the transcripts a few times will deepen your knowledge of the subject matter and make your script only better.