How To Shoot A Vox Pop

Vox Pops or Voice of the People interviews (Man on the Street Interviews in the US) are notoriously difficult for journalists and Market Research specialists alike. The most difficult thing is stopping people in the street and expecting them to have time to answer a few questions. How many times have you stopped for market research? Being on the side of the researcher, the tables have turned! I for one stop more now than ever before.

Researchers can come in many forms, from students doing research for their dissertation, to charity workers trying to get their message across. So there is a battle on our streets for willing volunteers to stop and spare a moment or two. So you have to be a little different, particularly if you want to stop someone to appear on camera. Have you thought about bright clothing? Waving at someone? Or having a big smile? All of these can help you engage with your audience. In addition, have you thought about offering an incentive? A gift voucher or cash can go down well, or a gift from the company might be useful as well.

Where will you be conducting the research? Foot-fall is really important. You need lots of people going past so you can select the right demographic for your research. Some respondents may want to talk about equality issues, but not finance, so don’t feel bad if someone stops but really doesn’t have anything to say on the subject.

If you are shooting video, there are a few no-go’s. Don’t shoot near heavy traffic, fountains, loud music or have flat brick backgrounds. These are on-streets videos and they need to look like the streets of your town or city. Having some iconic land marks for b-roll is useful for the edit as well. And change the background each time, you don’t want the same shot for every respondent.

And then, you just have to formulate your questions for your research and get out there with your camera and microphone.  Plenty to think about, and if you need any help, give Peter Shevlin at c60media a call – number is on the contact page.

Good luck – and don’t forget – have fun out there, people do stop for big smiles!

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