Well the interview for the “Life in the Universe” special went fine – not exceptionally fine, but alright enough for them maybe to use a couple minutes of, I expect. (That critique is of my own performance mind you – the producers and crew were expert of course). Sorry no chance for product placement (of musician Stuart Davis); their b-roll consisted solely of me sitting in a chair staring thoughtfully out a window. And walking down my hallway to stand thoughtfully before a window (and repeat). My acting involved whether to blink or not. I decided “yes” to the blinking. I think it conveyed a lot about how my eyes require moisture.
They say they’re shooting through the end of September and will be editing through the start of the new year, which sounded to me like an amazingly long production schedule. Two producers, a soundman, a camera operator, and possibly one more person were there (though I am not sure… they were all sort of worked down the hallway away from my room during the shoot).
They told me that Peter Jennings personally selects the topics for his specials, and said that ABC television has always approved of the topics that he’s come up with. Peter Jennings’ production company propose these special, and spend a lot of time making them. A coworker of mine loved one they did on the club drug excstacy, which seemed to endorse the drug. So who knows, maybe this hour will actually ask people to seriously consider the possibility that alien life has indeed reached earth.
No guarantee that I’ll end up in the finished piece. It is a process rather like sculpture I suppose, finding out what is inside this block of stone they chip away at.
For the interview we had to shut off all fans and even the attic fan, so after several questions and answers the heat would be getting lower and lower towards the floor. Then as they changed tapes they’d flip on the attic fan to suck out the heat, and so on. It was rather uncomfortable – more so because I was sitting on the edge of my bed with no back support, and I believe my answers were very pompous and delivered rather stifly, but maybe that is just my impression of how I was. Because I had to incorporate the question into my answer (since the questions would not be in the final piece), I seemed halting, though I did get rolling into a groove once as I went on about how our culture expected instellar aliens but we seem to have gotten interdimensional aliens instead. And I think I managed to mention David Lynch and get across the whole “theatrical” way the aliens communicate well enough.
But honestly, fact is they’re going to want to use the primo-researcher interviews (such as with my boss, Dr John Mack) to fuel the story, and using any of what they recorded with me is purely optional. I’ve got a better chance than some of being in it because I took part in a scientific experiment conducted by another doctor they interviewed – so there’s a connection there. But not an integral part, I’d say.
Last observation: The entire interview was shot with the camera looking at my “bad side” where I look most bald and my nose looks most huge (I broke my nose as a child so from one side my nose looks pretty good and from the other side it looks larger). No big deal, but wouldn’t it be nice to be surprised by everything going swimmingly? Eee gads.
Oh! I think I managed to accurately quote William Blake, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.”—William Blake
I hope they use that, I really do.