Monday, July 13, 2015

Documentary Interview

Yesterday we drove down to Salem, MA so that I could be interviewed for a documentary.

The documentary is focused on the book series Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and the original illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

I heard about this a while back on a Facebook page that one of my grad school classmates founded a few years ago. Our class has graduated, but the page has lived on, and now current Children's Literature and Library Science students join and post.

When I first heard about the documentary, I assumed it was a local student who was making it for a project or a thesis. It wasn't until a week ago that I did some Googling out of curiosity. As it turns out, this is a full-length documentary which includes interviews with descendants of  Schwartz. This fueled my excitement, and my anxiety.

I have never been on film before, and although I've always had an appreciation for the art of it, I never appreciated how exact the science of it must be. When it was my turn to sit down and discuss the books, I had a microphone wire taped to me underneath my shirt (so the wire wouldn't show), and after I was seated, it took a little while to adjust the lighting. They had to make sure that my face was lighted properly so I wouldn't look washed out, they had to ensure there weren't any shadows, and when they tried putting a light behind my head, it made my hair have an orange-y glow. I guess I'm no Technicolor Tess.

It was great to sit and discuss the books in a scholarly way; it's something that I've been hungry for sine I completed grad school.

I won't write everything I said yesterday here, but here are some highlights:

-tragic teen romances

-the enduring appeal of horror

-the evolution of scary stories in the Internet age

For more info about this documentary, please visit the official site:

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