Prepping to Interview a WWII Veteran – iHistory WW2 Student Video Contest

By: Heather Van Allen & Jeffrey Worthington iHistoryWW2contest-TuskegeeAirmen-CharlesMcGee

Doing some homework prior to your WWII interview will help the process go smoothly. Here are some pre-interview tasks to check of your list before you roll camera.

Find your angle. Before you begin the interview, determine what focus you want your mini-documentary to have. Tackle an intriguing subject that will be feasible to make into a 3- to 5-minute film.

Get to know your interviewee. Contact the veteran to collect some biographical information, using the Sample Questionnaire as a guide. Take notes over the phone or plan to meet at a public place, such as a nearby coffee shop. Help your veteran fill out the required Biographical Data Form at this time, if possible.

Gather some research. Learn all you can about the key battles and places associated with the veteran’s service. Also, ask the veteran to bring medals, letters, materials and photographs to the video interview.

Arrange your interview-day details. Select a location for your interview that will be comfortable for the veteran while being a quiet, properly-lit environment, suitable for filming. Set a date and time that works well for your interviewee, allowing plenty of time to capture at least 30 minutes of usable footage. Check your audio and video equipment, verifying that it is all in working order.

For more tips, and to download some important forms, for your WW2 project, visit the iHistory WW2 website:  To stay up to date be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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