Comments about technological history, system fractures, and human resilience from James R. Chiles, the author of Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology (HarperBusiness 2001; paperback 2002) and The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter (Random House, 2007, paperback 2008)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What Directors Want: More about prime-time interviews

After my "Call to Adventure" post about what production companies look for when lining up commentators, this note arrived from another director I've worked with several times:

"There's one thing - in my mind - that separates the good experts from the great experts, from the producer's perspective. The best ones...the ones that we like to go to time and again ... are the ones who understand our audience: the general public.

"What that means really is that the people we have to reach don't have an expertise in the topic we're presenting. They're curious, but really won't understand a lot of the more nuanced and complex aspects of a topic - probably the very things that an expert cares the most about. That's why your comment about this being closer to a 100 level than a 400 level class is spot on.

"So, boiling it's the experts who get that it's okay to make conjectures and basic assumptions, and sometimes intelligent speculation, who are the strongest. Of course, we love when it can be delivered in compact expressions, as opposed to longer expositions filled with caveats."

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