Workshop Registration

The Art of the Interview

Whether for news, documentary or oral history, an interview is a directed conversation for the purpose of documenting someone’s perspective and/or experience. Done right, it’s also an exchange of respect and trust where something is revealed and both parties feel they’ve benefited from the experience. This four-hour workshop will look at prominent examples and use in-class practical exercises to explore the ethical, technical and stylistic considerations of drawing out and recording someone’s personal story. Participants will explore approach, research, crafting questions and practice face-to-face interview skills. Discussion and feedback encouraged throughout.

The Introduction to Independent Filmmaking is recommended as a prerequisite. This workshop is recommended as a companion to the Documentary Film Writing, Producing Documentary Film, Directing Documentary Film and Documentary Film Editing workshops.​

Prior to the class, please create a profile on Zoom and download the free version of the application. You will receive an email from LIFT with an invitation link to join the workshop one hour before the class begins which will prompt you to open the application or web browser. Please ensure that you log in using a Zoom account with a profile name that appears as the same name registered for the class. If not, for security reasons, you may not be permitted to join. During the workshop, we advise that you keep your microphone on mute to minimize external noise and that you unmute when participating in class discussions. Please also arrive to the session on time for attendance and class participation. ONLINE workshops may be recorded for staff and facilitator assessment. Recorded material will not be made available to participants. Review all workshop policies before registering.

part 1: Tue 3 August 2021, 6 - 9 pm   
part 2: Thu 5 August 2021, 6 - 9 pm   
(Registration deadline is Tue 3 August 5:00 pm)

Instructor: Shayla Howell

Shayla Howell is a Toronto based freelance director, researcher and story producer with over 20 years' experience in documentary and factual series television. Her interview subjects have spanned the spectrum from the spectacular to the commonplace; the marginalized to the entitled; victims and perpetrators. She believes everyone has a story and most are looking for a way to share it—whether working in long-form documentary, factual series, or oral history it’s the job of the interviewer to provide and guide that opportunity. She has undergraduate degrees from both Brock University and Ryerson University (RTA) and has continued to study new and innovative ways of working with interview material at the Toronto New School of Writing, Documentary Organization of Canada’s Master Classes and Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. Highlighted projects include interviewing Hollywood’s A-list for The Independent Film Channel, three years interviewing veterans of the Second World War for the documentary series War Story and oral history archive The Memory Project. Since 2015, Shayla has been criss-crossing the country as a story producer for the hit CBC TV show Still Standing and contributing to award winning feature documentaries for festival and broadcast.

Category: Writing & Directing
Maximum Capacity: 15
6 hours of instruction in 2 parts$100 /member$125 /nonmember