Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yesterday's Interview

My friends were lounging by the pool when I hopped in the car to drive to Chapel Hill yesterday. While I admit I would have loved to have gone swimming, I had an appointment to interview George and was looking forward to it.

George served during Vietnam as a civilian district adviser. He traveled through Vietnam, meeting the local Montagnards and Vietnamese and told me a few of his stories as we both sipped on an unforgettable concoction of green tea, ginger and pomegranate juice. My head was still foggy from the cold, but I focused on each word he uttered, occasionally glancing at the camera to be sure I hadn't forgotten any details.

Auto-focus on? Check.
Scene picture? Looks good.
Battery power? Check.
Enough tape to record interview? Check.
Red recording light? Check.

As I unpacked, George commented that I had quite the interviewing outfit. The Pelican briefcase that carries the camera and its attachments is pretty sweet. And the loaner gear is exactly what I need for this project, I believe. But his compliment made me remember that it was not my own equipment. The twinge of regret for having not purchased my own gear was quickly erased when I realized how intimidating that set up can be for an interview. Big lights, lapel microphones and a huge camera can make one forget about the questions being asked.

I'm thankful for the loaned equipment again. Not only has it saved me $4k, it has made interviewing Charlie, EG and George a bit easier. I can carry everything with one or two hands, some stuff slung over my shoulders. And, it allows me to focus on getting to know these new people to whom I have been introduced.

Surry's contacts and work conducted already has been of tremendous importance. I am so grateful to be working on this project. More updates to come.