Do you film pre-interviews?
Scott asked: Are you usually filming pre-interviews then, or audio recording them? Or just taking rough notes? My understanding was that unless you're pre-interviewing tons and tons of people, it's a fairly casual interaction to make sure they're comfy and can open up to you. I can definitely see how quotes as part of the character brief make a huge difference.
Often we find ourselves pre-interviewing folks from outside our city or state. In this case, the pre-interview is typically conducted via Skype, in which case we record the Skype call since it's non-obtrusive and so that we can reference it for our notes later. Joseph and I have also done very early pre-interviews over speaker phone in which one of us focuses on staying present and guiding the conversation, and the other person has served as a helper to take notes of what's being said.
If we are able to do an in-person pre-interview, then we don't want to bring in any cameras that may make the person feel uncomfortable as we're getting to know them. But you're right, here we often record audio on our phone to likewise keep for our notes, and having a phone set to the side of the table face-down won't be distracting for the conversation.