Kelly’s War Story: Pictures are language independent
Here’s Kelly Braun, Senior Director, User Insights and Analytics at Walmart.com with a story about shooting fieldwork video and inadvertently getting the money shot.
At eBay we did a lot of field visits. We were always over-prepared with checklists, allergy meds, extra batteries, and everything else we could think of for the unexpected.
For this particular study we were interviewing people who had bought large equipment on eBay. This visit was to a store that had purchased a giant Xerox machine that had been used by big corporations. This video store specialized in Chinese language videos.
I perused the movies as we got set up. Some were American movies that I recognized by the pictures even though the titles were in Chinese. Others were films made specifically for the Chinese-speaking audience.
We interviewed the owner and he told us about the amazing deal he got on the machine and when we asked if we could see it he said “Sure, it’s in the back.” No problem, we had extension cords for the video camera.
I took the camera off the tripod and followed the store owner and my co-researcher into the tiny back office. I couldn’t really get a good shot of the Xerox machine from the door so I went inside and around the machine to get a better angle. At this point the owner says “Oh, I forgot. This is where the porn videos are…but don’t worry – they are all in Chinese”.
I look up and the side of the room I was now facing with my video camera rolling was filled with porn – all with Chinese titles, but let’s just say it really didn’t matter that the titles were in Chinese because…well, a picture is worth a thousand words regardless of the language!
My co-researcher just soldiered on asking questions and all I could think of was “Wow am I supposed to film this guy with all the frolicking nakedness on the video covers behind him?”
Lesson learned: Make sure you know how to override the auto-focus on your camera!