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  • Hans Weston

How I discovered the remarkable truth about human connection


Behind the lens of a news camera operator:


2004 to 2005: I worked for a local news station in my hometown, filming stories for the nightly news show.


2006 to 2017: I worked for national network news stations, covering several news shows.


During these years I discovered something very valuable.


Day after day after day, we interviewed an enormous range of people:


Members of the public

Small business owners

Company owners & directors

Health professionals

Educational professionals

Lawyers

Accountants

Emergency service workers

Police

Politicians

Transport drivers and operators

Homeowners

Renters

Entrepreneurs

Children

Teens

Elderly

War veterans

Grieving parents

Sportspeople and athletes

Musicians

Artists

Famous actors

Charity volunteers


I’ve had the camera on my shoulder or on a tripod, framing up a shot, moving lights around, and checking audio levels on nearly every type of person in every type of career.


One constant stood out through all the interviews.


No matter how nervous someone was, when the journalist asked them great off-the-cuff and in-the-moment questions, people would temporarily forget the lens was there.


They seemed to relax and become themselves for a second. Their answers were less rehearsed. They gave unscripted replies that stole the spotlight. Often, those ones made the cut.


It’s the humanity that shines through – that really connects to people and keeps them watching.


That’s why, when I now conduct interviews with people as an independent filmmaker and video producer, I try to abandon the questions and get off script as much as possible.


Off-the-cuff questions in news captured the essence of a diverse range of individuals and kept audiences engaged.


For me, the essence of storytelling and human connection comes down to two vital elements:



Conversation and curiosity.

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