2011-08-20 13:24:08Very interesting - and somewhat unsettling - Potholer54 video on interviews and cutaways
Alex C


Here it is.  If this version has been banned in your country (UK and Ireland, apparently), here's his modified version that gets around the copyright issues that he's apparently being blocked for (*rolls eyes*).

From the way that Peter discusses the use of cutaways and such slimmings of quotes, it would appear that this is a very common practice within the media.  I myself find it quite disturbing that such methods are even used at all, despite his quasi-assurance that it's typically for purposes of saving space.  It provides a very good lesson for all of us, to believe none of what we see, and none of what we hear (especially when it comes to scientists being interviewed or quoted by "skeptics").

2011-08-20 14:33:42
Andy S


It was very revealing. It will change the way I watch TV interviews.

2011-08-20 21:43:43
Paul D


One could insist that only one camera was used during an interview.
However a cutaway could be filmed retrospectively.

BTW The Daily Show (Jon Stewart) makes use of the same techniques to deliberately create comic interviews.

2011-08-20 21:57:00
Paul D


BTW of course it is common to use cutaways etc. Don't be naive.

The problem isn't the tools, it is the people that use them.

Even editing audio can be extremely tricky, so you need techniques to allow the sources to be edited together to produce an acceptable product that will fit into a time slot.

I don't think that the issue is a lack of trust in the audience, the issue is that the person being interviewed should be aware of the record of the team interviewing him or her (Why did Santer volunteer to do the interview for such a naff show??). I mean ultimately you can choose to be interviewed or not. Also, you will never rid the planet of dishonest people, but you can make efforts to manage what they do or achieve.

2011-08-20 23:24:43
Alex C


I remember seeing an analysis of such an example by the Daily Show actually, it was even to switch the meaning of the interviewee's point around (quite a disappointment).  It had to do with the healthy food campaign Michelle Obama was starting up, and the cutaways and splicing placed a Nazi comparison into the interviewee's mouth.  Funny interview yes, but again a disappointment.

>>>BTW of course it is common to use cutaways etc. Don't be naive.

I think you're being too harsh, I recognize Potholer's main message that these cutaways are common and for saving time.  With that in mind, to build up a better sense of trust I need some background in the reputations/records of the given, uh, outlets, something I don't have.  So, "naive," no, maybe "inexperienced."  On that note, if this needed clarification, I don't mean to reject or doubt everything you see or hear (I'll even admit the generalization, it was for the cliche), but that I think interviews shouldn't be accepted at face value without further investigation into what the interviewee has said in the past or really means.  Or, to withold agreement than express disagreement.