I remember one of the first things my photo-journalism lecturer told the class in my first year of studies was that Jamaicans either really love the camera or are really paranoid about it. I have proven this to be true time and time again when trying to get somebody to speak on camera. Trying to convince students to do the voxpop section of the documentary was next to impossible, but not impossible. Luckily I tend to surround myself with people who are very outspoken and will speak publicly on almost any issue they are experiencing.
After a very short conversation my friend was ready and willing to speak on the past conditions of the student’s activity centre. She was comfortable in front the camera, to the point and spirited.
When getting untrained persons to speak in front the camera, you as the director or videographer should ensure that they are comfortable and well versed on the subject. If your interviewee is uncomfortable it will show in your video. If they lack knowledge on the subject it will take more time than is necessary for the video to be completed and when you are shooting time is everything.
Doing voxpops in Jamaica doesn’t have to be annoyingly hard, you just need the right ingredients.