‘Tell Me About Your Childhood’

By Matthew Sprung

   Ever wonder how to turn a mundane conversation into a dynamic interview? Patti Kaplan’s workshop, the Art of Documentary Interviewing, at the Applied Arts School for the Arts in Amagansett should provide some help.
    In the workshop, which starts on Aug. 20, participants will learn some of the finer points of interviewing and why a good interview matters, not just for documentarians or journalists, but in life in general. “It has a great range of life application and general appeal,” Ms. Kaplan said last week. “We do it every day.” To be successful, though, “It has to be headed somewhere, and the interviewer has to be the one in charge,” she said.
    Ms. Kaplan is an award-winning producer and director, and produced the award-winning series “Encyclopedia” for HBO.
    Her students — adults and serious interviewers-to-be in their late teens — will learn how to be good listeners and to use information as a tool to drive narrative and provide interest for an audience. The workshop will cover casting, preparing questions, learning to identify a great sound bite, shooting, playback, and critique. No prior experience is necessary, but a notebook, pencil, and a simple video camera, such as one that can be found on an iPad or smartphone, are required.
    The workshop will run on Aug. 20, 22, 24, 27, and 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost is $300.