Podcast #18 – Conducting Interviews with Mike Mazzanti (UC Health)

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by on July 29, 2016 Featured, Podcast

What were you doing before your current job in higher ed video?

I ask because I don’t know many of you, but hope to change that with this blog. I’m starting to learn that there’s a broad range of professional and academic backgrounds out there. Because this is a relatively new career option within higher ed, there are still many paths that lead to a university video production role. Did you major in journalism, film, or none of the above? Ever PA on a movie? Shoot weddings or sporting events? Host a youtube show? Operate a news camera? Direct low-budget horror films? Introduce yourself and share your background in the comments section.

I wanted to make a movie about my experience playing professional basketball in France, which led me to grad film school. My colleague and Video For Colleges co-founder is a talented drummer who gained production experience filming concerts and music videos. Podcast co-host Carly Lieberman made animated PSAs and GIFs for the City of Boston’s social media accounts. The newest member of the Northeastern media team returned to his alma mater after a year on the Boston Globes video team.

The first person I ever hired was a Boston bartender at night and an amateur videographer by day. The only video on Mike Mazzanti’s reel was a self-produced promo for his current employer, Flann O’Brien’s Pub. A trusted colleague vouched for Mike, so I offered him two freelance projects as a test. First, he helped me on the set of an important interview with Avatar actor Stephen Lang (I’ve been a fan since he played Ike Clanton in Tombstone). A few days later, I left Mike in a poorly lit conference room with a group of shy Northeastern engineering students and unfamiliar camera equipment. He passed the trial by fire and has continued to work in a university setting ever since.

After producing videos for Northeastern and Harvard, Mike is now doing incredible work for University of Colorado Health. Two videos he produced this year won Heartland Emmy Awards. I have no doubt his latest short will be nominated next year. Just watch the first thirty seconds before listening to the podcast? As an interviewer, how did Mike get the subject to provide the perfect opening? Listen to find out.

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