Sunday, August 21, 2016
Nightcap 8/21/16 Thoughts on doing interviews, controversies, reviewing friend's films, Liar's Autobiography and Randi's links
I did an interview with Ted Balaker, director of Can We Take A Joke? On Wednesday (It’s going to run in a day or two). Doing the interview it became very clear that while it is important to know what questions to ask, you also need to have a subject who can speak well. It may seem obvious but if the person you are talking to won’t or can’t speak with you then the interview will fall apart. I can ask the right question but if the right question won’t be answered the interview will go nowhere.
In looking over the interview I realized all I did was ask Ted a question and he did five minutes. All I had to do was nudge him to say more. I think you have say as little as possible and let the other person talk. You have to make clear that you know what you’re talking about but at the same time its not about the interviewer.
With several interviews on the horizon I’ve been thinking about how to do an interview on a larger level. What is the way in? What can I ask that won’t get a by rote response. I know you have to balance the “typical” questions with new ones. Because your audience won’t have read all the other interviews you do have to ask certain questions everyone asks- unless you’re really going off the board- or have enough time to actually have a real conversation.
I know the problem is at its worst in the 10 or 15 minute interview where you have no time to really go somewhere new- especially since by the time you BS at the start you’ve lost five minutes. Sometimes you can, when I talked to Alonso Ruizpalacios who directed Guerros we started in left field and stayed there, mostly its five minutes of fumbling before you get going. The fact that you’re boxed is why I hate the five or ten minute interview. Unless its someone I really want to talk to, I try not to do them.
I’m going to make a quick statement and say that I’m going to continue to steer clear of celebrity controversies. I say this because a couple of stories broke this week involving bad behavior of an actor and a director. While I could do long think pieces on the implications, indeed I have a rough draft about viewing an artist’s work through the prism of their personal lives, I’m going to just let it lie. For the moment I’m going to take the high ground and say the works should be the focus and not the creators- especially since in the present situations the behavior is not linked to the films. I may revisit the controversy down the road if it effects the Oscar race as some suggest it might (while others say it won’t). For now I’m not going to go near it other than to say I’m very aware of the discussion but I’m staying the hell out of it at least in this forum.
I had some one ask me if it was fair to rave about a friends film.
Yes it is. That’s the way I felt and it would dishonest to say otherwise. I don’t lie about other people’s films why would I lie about a friends?
And now Randi's links
TCM and the art of falling down
Retro Daze VHS cover collection
Olympic docs you may have missed
The hill that was really a pyramid
200 years of sports photos
The secret to building sand castles
Movies and the presidency
The over priced LOTR/Hobbit super set