Interview Logistics – Questions Answered

Over on the GURPS Pyramid Forum, I was asked:

Out of curiousity (and I don’t mean to pry or be untoward) can you explain at least in general what manner of expenses, challenges, and hoops and such are there in doing such an interview? How does the process work?

Quickly, here’s how I do these things,


1. Come up with some ideas. I bounce them off some of my friends and collaborators online, and see which ones seem the most interesting. I decided to start in my own backyard, so I reached out to +Sean Punch, who graciously agreed to chat with me. The Pyramid Panel was my second thought, inspired by a throw-away comment he made. I have a bunch of other concepts in mind, and one in the works that I’ll reveal later. Maybe. Kinda excited though. It’ll be my first non-GURPS interview.
2. Send out a polite request for people’s time. We’re a small hobby, mostly, and thus far things have been well received. In fact, that Pyramid Panel probably was too large, an issue I never in my dreams foresaw happening.
3. Try and ensure everyone’s got the Tech to do the interview. I have occasionally provided/bought equipment for those without it. So that’s a potential expense.
4. Do the interview. I always send out a list of discussion topics or questions ahead of time, because again, I’m not trying to score points or engage in gotcha moments. This is basically marketing, both for me and my blog and for our hobby.
5. The Hangouts On Air automatically broadcasts live. Nothing I can do about that. But after the interview is over, I ensure I have a good video feed, then take down the Google link. 
6. I use Movavi to edit the video. Largely, this is removing dead space, crazy audio, and the occasionally odd happening, like someone’s child or significant other running by with no clothes on. I try and keep this a family show. I will (and have) removed digressions that I feel will not be that interesting, as well as some pre-interview and post-interview banter that was fun but not on point.
7. When done, I use a Convert function included in Movavi to spit out an audio-only MP3 file.
8. I then send out the video (or the link) to be transcribed, a service for which I pay. The first interview used CastingWords, which cost me about $60-65 for 50 minutes of audio. That required some reasonably heavy editing, since gaming writing is technical writing, even for a rules light or narrative-heavy system. Lots of terms of art and specialized lingo. That $65 would have been more like $112 if I’d gotten it in less than a week, along with “difficult audio,” which these webcasts frequently are.
The more recent interview was transcribed by +Christopher Rice, who had it back to me in 3-4 days, and made effectively zero “technical” errors, where (as an example) he has no idea what a GURPS is (again . . . it’s technical writing). This required much less editing. Any arrangements between he and I are private.
9. After all that is assembled, I publish the whole thing on my blog. AFTER that, I go through and put in links, pictures, and other stuff that might make it more useful. One of the last things I do is provide a table of contents with links to specific spots in the video, so you can jump to what you care about.
As an example, that hasn’t yet happened on the Pyramid Panel inteview
So . . . $60 for Movavi Video Suite. About $1-2 per minute for transcription. And time. That’s what goes into these. 
Lots of time, actually. Usually at night when I should be sleeping.

3 thoughts on “Interview Logistics – Questions Answered

  1. As a participant in two of these events – and hopefully a few more in the future! – I must offer you my undying thanks. It is *hard* to get exposure for a pen-and-paper RPG (well, unless it's a D&D descendant) when the greater tabletop hobby is focused mostly on board and card games, and the RPG hobby is being consumed by CRPGs and MMORPGs. It's nice to put some of that technology to use to get the word out; people do seem to like video.

    So thanks again, and know that if you stick to old-timey RPG developers who need a soapbox, you'll very likely have no trouble finding willing interviewees and panelists!

  2. Well Doug, the interview was fantastic. Sound quality was good (even I, an foreigner who counts English as his 4th language had no issues understanding it). Everything seems very smooth (but I do not know if it's related to your postproduction or to everything being smooth a butter).

    I greatly enjoyed it, and really wish you to continue doing this. I really liked putting a face to Steven, for example.

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