Monday, 18 July 2005

A Phobic Interview-Transcribing Tendency

If there is one thing I hate more than waking up early in the morning, it's transcribing taped interviews.

It's possibly one of the most tedious and boring aspects of my job, and one that I try to avoid as much as possible by writing my notes instead of taping them.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of certain interviews (plus the fact that my hadwriting is really, really shite), I sometimes have to resort to taping the interviews instead.

When I'm interviewing a celebrity where I know most of the answers willl pretty much be rather generic (especially when it comes to Chinese entertainment), then I'll just scribble my notes. But when it's a rather complicated interview with lots of facts, science, names, and what not, I HAVE to resort to taping the interview.

While taping the interview means I can concentrate on asking better questions without being distracted by writing notes. I can also ensures that I keep eye contact with the subject AND make sure he or she does not get distracted from my furious scribbling (I don't know shorthand, see).

However, AFTER the interview, comes the hard part. TRANSCRIBING the BLOODY tape.

Depending on how long the interview is, you've got at least two hours down the drain just bloody listening and typing out the interview. Sure, I COULD get someone from Admin to transcribe it for me, but then they might not know what some of the weird names are. Plus I lose an oppurtunity to look REALLY REALLY busy when the boss walks by.

Anyway, good thing about taping an interview is that you won't miss anything that was said. But the bad thing is, you have to sit through the ENTIRE interview once again.

Sometimes when the subject is a foreigner, it's even more 'fun'. I once interviewed Jiang Wen, a Chinese actor, who spoke in a really THICK Chinese accent, and talked about some really profound shit.

Interviewing him was the easy part. BUT, it took me bloody THREE HOURS to transcribe the 30-minute interview, beause half the time I couldn't fathom what the HELL he was talking about, with all that thickly accented philosophical babble.

I've just finished transcribing half of my one-hour interview this morning. I think I need more coffee before I fall asleep doing the other half.

Or then again, maybe I'll do it tomorrow...

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