I just finished a phone interview with a film director for an article I’m writing for next issue (don’t ask who, or which film, you’ll just have to wait for the mag to come out).
Phone interviews are stressful: you don’t know when the batteries in your tape recorder are going to go flat, or if it’s actually recording anything at all, despite having conducted numerous tests that are sure to drain the last life from said batteries. You want to show enthusiasm and praise for the person you’re interviewing and the work they have done, without sounding like a groupie (you’re a professional, dammit!). And you want to sound conversational and spontaneous, while still asking all the carefully scripted questions you listed half an hour before the call.
So, the interview went well and I got a clear recording and lots of good quotes. But I’ve interviewed some real shockers in the past. The one-word responders. The ramblers. The interviewee with their own agenda…
It’s a good thing we have Google.