40 interviews have been done for GET LAMP. I’d hoped to do 100 for this film, but that was a rough guess and when production wraps up later this year, I’ll have what I have. It probably makes more sense to say I’d be perfectly fine with doing 100 interviews or more, and that we’ll see what comes of my efforts.
My documentary is mostly about things that happened, not things that are happening, so as a result it ends up being a case of tracking people down years or even decades after the fact. And people have different opinions about going in front of a camera to talk of such subjects.
I’ve had a couple people flat out say no. A couple people don’t respond to me even though I know they’ve been told of what I’m up to. Others have said they’ll think about it. On the flip side, I’ve been contacted out of the blue by people, been introduced to folks by others, and successfully tracked down and gotten interviews with dozens.
With the BBS Documentary, I was spoiled because besides the “top figures”, I could also interview “anyone who used a BBS”. That makes less sense here, and I’m mostly going for people directly involved in either creation or observation (academic, review, journalistic) of text adventures. This is, you will be shocked to hear, a relatively small group of folks.
The interviews themselves, now that I am culling through them, yield wonderful insights. I’m lucky to have gotten a hold of some very brilliant, well-spoken people. They know what they know and can articulate it beautifully. When you’re conducting a (good, non-scripted) interview, stuff goes by that you don’t notice because you’re formulating the next question. Now that I’m listening to them, some of the things people have said to me are exquisite. I hope to string these jewels together in a pretty necklace indeed.
As I progress down the list, as I contact people and get back responses and talk about what I’m doing, one thing is clear: I chose a good project. How much justice I do it is another situation entirely, but the subject is there, is worthwhile, will have been worth the two years of work. I don’t get bored of it, never feel it’s not worth doing, and look forward to each and every interview.
Life could be worse, now couldn’t it.
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