View Full Version : Interviewing filmmakers in NYC

07-06-2005, 07:37 AM
I'll be going up to NYC this saturday with my boss to interview some south asian filmmakers. One interview will be at on location at a set with the filmmaker and one might be in a hotel room. We're going to be using a two camera setup, with one camera on a poor man's steadicam mount (a long steel pole with weights on the bottom) and one camera on a tripod.
I myself being a southasian filmmaker have "hardcore" questions to ask of these filmmakers but my boss is really anal about pissing off "the community" or a potential monemaker so I have to ask "G-rated"(his words not mine) questions that won't offend the interviewee (or challenge their intelligence/thought process) in any way.
But I don't want to use the same old questionnaire that every E! and HBO interviewer seems to have a copy of that they got from the PR industry. I want to ask thought provoking questions (that are G-rated) without sounding like every other schmuck on television.
Could anyone suggest a few questions I might ask other filmmakers?

Boss says (reading over my shoulder he is) technical questions are out of bounds so I can't ask if they like using 24P or whether they prefer telephoto lenses etc.

Oh...the pain...

discs of tron
07-06-2005, 08:05 AM
well, it really depends on who the audience is. is it just a "general interest" audience, or is it for serious film fans? academics or fanboys? the spring issue of "bomb" magazine has an interview with jim o'rourke interviewing kiyoshi kurosawa that is one of the better filmmaker interviews i've read in a while. if you check it out, it's pretty clear that o'rourke has a very thorough knowledge of kurosawa's work. he asks some great questions about working within the japanese "genre" system, kurosawa's handling of chronology, etc. not knowing who you'll be talking to, it's hard to give any advice other than know their work very well. watch their stuff. does it remind you of other stuff? to what extent are they the "authors" of their own work- are they in a position where they have to satisfy a lot of studio demands? if so, do they still manage to be creative, or do they not care? are they interested in making films outside of the genres in which they've previously worked? to what extent do they feel personally infuenced by western cinema? "eastern" cinema?

demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the work in question, and treating it like an artfrom that is worthy of serious consideration, (however "hardcore" it may be,) is the best way to not insult their intelligence and get compelling responses.

07-06-2005, 08:58 AM
Tell your boss that it is because of folks like him that I no longer watch television.


Err... Except for Battlestar Galactica