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No Phones on Set

By Adam Bush on July 19, 2018

This story happened two years ago and I’m just now in a place to write about it. Here goes.

It was July 2016 and I was interviewing a lady in our church about her outreach. She was passionate about helping families stay together. She was helping families stay together. Too often parents lose custody of their children simply because they don’t have the funds to purchase furniture, items like a bed or couch. So, my lead and her crew of volunteers gather funds and furniture to keep families together.

This was an emotional interview. You can assume that anyone leading an outreach like this obviously has an emotional connection to the problem. So, about 45 minutes into the interview my lead starts tearing up…and then really crying. It was a very touching moment, not only in that very moment, but I knew it would have been a great connection for our audience. That’s right, I said “would have,” because right in the middle of this moment, one of the crew guys on set…well…started playing a video on his phone; and it was loud; and the moment was over.

I mean, seriously. The moment was dead, killed, did not resuscitate. What could have been an amazing climax in the story was gone.

Here’s the moral of this story. When you’re behind the camera, or running audio, or a producer on set during the interview, you’re going to get bored. I get it. They’re long and it doesn’t take that much work to make sure the lead is in focus. It’s tempting – as was the case for this crew guy – to pull out your phone and look at Facebook or whatever, but avoid the temptation for two reasons.  One, because you might accidentally hit play on one of the videos. Two, remember your lead feels it when ANYONE on set is bored. It’ll affect them and it’ll affect your story.

So, easy rule of thumb: No phones on set. Your story will appreciate you for it.

Happy Storytelling.

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