For editing, these tips might be useful to bear in mind:
- The content is the most important aspect of all testimonies.
- A testimony is a representation of the interviewee. Let the interviewee look nice. This means for example that he or she should not be represented with a lot of ehhhhs and images of him or her grinning idiotically with an open mouth.
- A testimony is a short clip but one to three minutes is a longer time segment than you might think. If an interviewee tells a lot of details about the infection of his or her skin it might be interesting for you but could bore the viewer.
- Always remember that as a member of Friends of the Earth you have much more knowledge and interest in the subject then the potential audience. This means that you have to keep it simple and that details are only useful if they clarify the position of the interviewee. Someone who does not know a single thing about the specific circumstances or environmental issues has to understand what the interviewee is talking about.
- If you edit an interview make sure you allow people to have their say. If you take separate sentences of an interview make sure that the content is reflecting what the interviewee intended to say.
- Make sure that the introduction contains the name or the position of the interviewee, their home location and country plus any important additional information.
- Subtitles should be clear not too fast. Most people are not used to reading them. About 8 to 10 seconds per sentence should be allowed. Subtitles in a different language need not be a literal translation of the spoken word but should express exactly what the interviewee means.
- If you use additional images for clarification keep in mind that a person who is speaking out of his or her heart about a gross injustice can be powerful in itself. Additional images can make clear what kind of pollution there is taking place, but are not always necessary. It depends on how clear the interviewee answers.
- Editing an interview must be done at the same time as respecting the person who is telling the story. Too many effects or transitions can make a film look flashy but that will distract from the content.
- At the end of the testimony do not forget the credits if the material is from other filmmakers or from a documentary. In this case permission for using the material must be requested.