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visitors since May 12, 2002
March 7, 2002
The hidden etiquette of "action!"

The interviewing thing continues. Tonight is Amarevois, the Sequel.

A while back she was putting together an Electronic Press Kit and asked me to interview her for that. Sure, I said, and was duly astonished when I arrived at her place to find that we wouldn't be using my humble tape recorder. Amarevois didn't bother putting her mockery into words, but she also made it clear that she's progressed rather substantially beyond the humble tape recorder stage.

We sat in her big flash studio, and using my keen observational skills, I noticed that there were several very large, very powerful lights present. Upon closer inspection I also noticed that they were all pointing at her.

Sometime around then I came to the conclusion that we would also be filming this particular interview. I like to think that it was the presence of a camera that really tipped me off.

It was a great experience: I found myself sitting in a studio surrounded by thousands of dollars of cool toys, and unable to resist the temptation to say things like "action!" and "cut!" and "OK, that's a wrap!"

Which was great fun until Gianfranco, the director, gently pointed out that using those words was actually his job. I'm a little murky on the details, but I'm pretty sure he put his mockery into words.


On Friday last week I got together with Hieu Doan and interviewed him for an hour or so. Over the years I've interviewed a number of people with wildly varied results, but this time I asked more-or-less the right questions, but, even more importantly, I asked them in more-or-less the right order. The result was a pretty good interview. It was also one of the few interviews I've done which seemed to have some kind of structure, and that felt good. Hieu is also a kind of enigmatic character, and he certainly got me thinking about the whole enigma thing.

The whole enigma thing?

I don't much enjoy the standard media interview, especially the ones done by journalists who are convinced that every public figure except them are lying, evil, or simply out to make a fast buck. This sort of journalist interviews people with a very definite agenda: to expose them. I don't see the value of this approach at all. What I like is the mystery.

There's a line from Everything I need to know I learned from Sandman: "People will be more thankful for a mystery than an answer." This just makes sense to me. If I'm interviewing someone who seems to be living a paradox, I'm not interested in trying to get them to explain it or justify it or apologise for it. If someone is living a life that seems mysterious, then what I want to do is get the mystery down on tape. It's far more interesting to get an accurate idea of what someone is really like. The idea is to learn, not to judge.

I wish I could find some way to get paid to interview people. At the moment getting paid isn't the main priority (or even really much of a priority at all), but it's important to be able to find some way of continuing to do it. I'm even thinking of getting a business card printed up, with something like this on it:

How would you like to be interviewed? How would you like to tell someone about your life?

I'm looking for interesting, articulate people to practise my interviewing skills on. I can't offer payment, but the idea is to make the experience interesting and enjoyable. Most interviews tend to last for about 40 minutes to an hour. I can bring my tape recorder to you or you can come to me - whatever is easier. I'd prefer to ask you about your life, what you've done, that kind of thing.

If a stranger came up to you and gave you one of these cards, what would you do?


After yoga today I went to a cafe on Brunswick St, to discover that the beautiful waitress came from New Zealand. This has become a real trend: almost every beautiful waitress I've encountered recently has a Kiwi accent. It seems that no cool Melbourne cafe is complete without one. It makes me wonder if all our cafes have joined forces for a recruitment drive.

And if they have, how can I get involved?


Anyway. Time for action. Time to go and see Amarevois. Cut. OK folks, that's a wrap.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 05:44 PM in the Amarevois category | Comments (0)
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