10 Tips & Tricks: VOX POPS

10 Tips & Tricks: VOX POPS

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VMP teamed up with Relationships Australia this year for a multimedia production entitled ‘Couple Care’. Before launching into this project everyone had their own idea of what the perfect relationship was or at least what it looked like…

“The sun is setting, we are on the beach, laughing, building sandcastles and Chris Isaak is playing while everything is in slow motion…”

“Peace and quiet…”

Presenting these two opposing opinions side by side not only emphasises the two contrasting ideas but also opens up a dialogue as to why certain groups of people have similar answers (i.e. different generations/gender). Most researchers believe that if you ask enough people you can capture an overall ‘voice of the people’ – which is the actual definition of the phrase ‘vox pops’.

So in order to get a snapshot of the public opinion, our crew hit Queen Street Mall to ask couples to answer not only what their idea of perfect relationships was, but also a whole bunch of personal stuff which we had a lot of fun with! How did we get strangers to open up to us on camera? Here are some tips!

1. Dress to Impress

Branded uniforms have a positive impact – it puts everyone on their best behaviour and the public will respond better to a film crew who are identified and look professional. Wear a shirt with your company logo to let everyone know you mean business. This also lets everyone know where they can find the video (well, if they make the cut) plus it also doubles up as free advertising!

2. Smile…. But Not Too Much!

You aren’t trying to sell kitten calendars from 1992 or tricking anyone into signing over their soul, so look genuine. You are a here with a purpose! If your content is as light as ours was, you should try and be comical about the whole situation. If you can make someone smile you have a better chance that they will let you film them.

3. Don’t Come on Too Strong, Young Grasshopper

Don’t single out someone out and do the ‘walk and talk’ thing until you are suddenly at Josephine’s kitchen having a cup of tea while petting one of her fifteen cats. Open with where you are from and your objective (try and reduce the information to two short sentences), and if you don’t get a positive response, quit hassling!

4. Don’t Take it Personal!

You are going to get negative people saying negative things. Stay cool as a cucumber, chances are they are just having a rough day!

5. Ready, Steady, GO!

Have your crew ready to set up the shot in seconds with releases in hand when an interviewee shows a slight interest in going ahead with it. You should be keeping an eye out on your crew in case they get a nibble, so be ready to pounce!

6. Lend a Helping Hand 

It might be an everyday task for you, however, most people never get in front of a camera. Ask the easy questions first as most will be nervous and stumble on their words. Don’t be afraid to help them out. You can try for another take and ask them to start with the question as an opening statement. When you get an excellent speaker with great answers don’t be afraid to milk ’em!

7. Location, Location, Location!

Carefully plan out your shoot whereabouts. You don’t want to setup shop at 0800hrs on a Monday at the train station. You need to think about where people will be and who will have some spare time to stop and chat.

8. Know Who to Ask

Don’t ask people waiting in the line for Maccas or chase after someone who is obviously late for an important business meeting. Use your head and approach people who are ambling or look like they have some time on their hands. Seniors and the young uni student crowds are more open to speaking on camera however you will need to be persistent to get a snapshot of the public. Make sure you are keeping in mind who you have interviewed so you don’t realise in post you have missed a generation.

9. Don’t Forget About the Shot!

Get a variety of compositions, people on the left, right, wide and close. Consider placing all of the people with the same answers on one particular side of the camera (do this in post if you forget!). Creating a montage of people with different backgrounds usually makes the scene visually more interesting, so make sure you aren’t a stick in the mud and move around!

10. Stop, Revive, Survive!

To keep energy levels up you need to take a break once in a while to shake off the negativity and to keep hydrated. This is a perfect opportunity for the crew to evaluate what is working and what isn’t. Keep positive and enjoy capturing ‘the voice of the people.’

Don’t Forget! Make sure to bring your permit along with plenty of business cards to give out!


VMP is a Brisbane video production house that specialises in many forms of media production.  Our services range from television commercials to promotional videos, corporate videos, online video production, e-learning projects, and more. Discover the recent projects we’ve completed for clients and see our expertise in action.

Delivering quality screen productions for over 20 years, VMP is one of Brisbane’s leading video and film production companies.


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