Months ago my friend Dyanna Taylor asked if she could shoot interviews with her scholars at my dad's house. On her sixth application --- sixth! -- to NEH she finally got funding for her American Masters film on her grandmother, Dorothea Lange. The crew arrived with an unbelievable amount of stuff, and took over the living room, dining room, kitchen, even my bedroom. Cameras, monitors, sound equipment, black out shades and sheets, huge backdrops.
For days I watched Dyanna interview the scholars. Amazing people like Clair Brown
, Sally Stein
, Linda Gordon
, and Anne Whiston Spirn
. Even though my dad's house is huge, once all that equipment was in place, we had a fairly small hidey-hole to do the interviews. Here's Dyanna interviewing, a camera lens over her left shoulder.
Then it was my turn. First, make-up.
Get wired for sound.
Look over notes one last time while Dyanna adjusts the lights.
Keep pencil in hand for whole interview to be able to think clearly. Be serious said Dyanna, and so I was.
Now Dyanna has to go home, head for her next hidey-hole, an editing room. She has to take the interviews, the footage she's shot, the archival photos and interviews and footage she's collected, and make it into an hour and twenty minute documentary.
I'm telling you my writer friends, we have it easy. One little hidey-hole... our writing room... with our papers and books and flights of imagination. Easy street.
Thanks to Paul Marbury
and Allyson Feeney
for the photos.