Halloween News Media Interview Tips

So you have your Halloween decor all setup and then the local news media shows up.  They want to interview you.  Yikes!

No worries.  They just want to do a quick story on your wonderful Halloween display.

Here are some tips.


What to expect

  • Homeowner field interviews normally take about 10 minutes.
  • They will probably use a hand held microphone but may clip a wireless one on you.
  • Some interviews are several days before Halloween but do not necessarily air until Halloween.
  • Be prepared for a larger-than-you-expect camera with a crazy bright light pointed at you. It will be much closer to you than expected. Tight head shots are common and pro cameras have freaky large lenses. It’s like a giant unblinking cyclops eye staring at you.
  • Usually field crews are one interviewer and one camera operator. The camera operator may need to get reaction shots of the interviewer – usually just head nodding. If the field crew is just one person and a tripod, they may need additional time to setup.
  • Don’t touch the camera. They are expensive and the operators are wholly responsible for them.
  • All of your neighbors will come out and stand around watching the activity.


How to prep

  • Be ready to suggest a good backdrop for the interview.
  • You may need to turn off background soundtracks if they are very loud. Just ask for their preference.
  • The media loves soundbites. If you have a clever one, find a way to use it but be careful to not let it interfere with just answering a simple question.
  • Taking B-roll footage takes 20 minutes so be sure everything is plugged in. B-roll are the cut-away shots that normally play during the middle of the interview.
  • Think about how you come across. If you are nervous and pull away it will show. Enjoy the interview. Embrace this moment and make it your own.


Interview tips

  • It is OK to ask them for direction. They expect homeowners to be somewhat nervous.
  • This is an interview, keep your eyes on the person asking the questions. Do not stare into the camera lens unless directed to do so.
  • Take your time answering questions – you will come across better.
  • Carefully listen to the questions. It’s OK to ask them to restate the question.
  • The on camera interviewee should be in full costume but not necessarily in character. It is very important to speak clearly and enunciate.
  • They may ask a question that stumps you. Try not to get flustered. This is a puff piece, they are not usually trying to make you look foolish. If you don’t have an answer for something it is completely OK to just say “I don’t know”.
  • Relax and enjoy your moment in the spotlight.


After the interview

  • Ask when this is expected to air. It may air 6:PM but not 11:PM but the field staff may not know. It is generally not their call as to what makes the final cut.
  • Ask how you can get a copy of the broadcast footage. This is a very common question.
  • Give them a personalized prop for the in-studio people to potentially use.
  • Thank them for coming out.

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