Good Morning. Gigi the Parti Poodle here once again to…
I am here too. I am Tucker the Maltese.
What do you want, imbecile?
I want to talk about all the video games I have started playing because it has been raining outside and I do not like to go for walkies in the rain.
Nobody cares about your insipid video games.
I am playing Goat Simulator. I play as a Goat and I run into buildings and things.
Fantastic. As I was saying…
I also run people over and make them sad.
You are a twit. Without further ado…
Here is our novelist!
That is MY line!
Here is our novelist!
This week I have a special treat for you. Once upon a time I was fortunate enough to take a class from Stewart Stern. He was a highly gifted screenwriter who wrote the screenplays Teressa, Rachel, Rachel, The Rack, and Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams. He penned the TV Mini-Series Sybil andthe adaptation of The Glass Menagerie (1973). He also wrote the documentary The James Dean Story as well as Benjy which won the Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subject in 1951. But you probably know him best for having written the legendary screenplay Rebel Without a Cause, one of the finest films ever made.
When I took Mr. Stern’s class, one of the things he discussed was the importance of interviewing people to help writers create their characters and write their stories. And when he did, he gave us a list of Cross Interview Questions to ask our subject.
To be honest sometimes I have interviewed people to write my stories and sometimes I haven’t. Sometimes I’ve relied more on research from reading books, studies, and other resources because of the nature of the project. But it is important I think to know the type of questions you should be asking your subject should you choose to do so. Naturally, depending on your subject you might add questions in this list to be more specific. Like for instance if you are interviewing a baseball player you are going to be asking specialized questions that pertain directly to baseball. But in addition to those specifics these are superb questions to ask any person. Here they are:
CROSS INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Describe your childhood home and the people in it. What did it look like? Feel like? Smell like?
- What were your happiest times?
- What were your most unhappy times?
- What were your three secret wishes as a child?
- Who was your inspiration while you were growing up?
- Is there some lost toy or possession you wish you had again?
- What do you do for work?
- What do you do for fun or enjoyment?
- What’s successful in your life and relationships? Do you share your life with someone?
- What’s not working that you want to change?
- What is your deepest passion?
- What’s the biggest obstacle you face in fulfilling it?
- What are your three secret wishes now?
- What else would you like me to ask you?
KEEP EYE CONTACT. BE AVAILABLE. ASK FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS
You can check out my books Chicane and the first two books in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby! and Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will will Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: CON AIR (1997)-Prime Video
All is right in the world again because Amazon Prime is streaming Con Air. Let’s face it. There are just some deep profound feel-good movies that are good for the soul and this is one of them. Nicholas Cage leads an all-star cast as U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe who comes home from the military one dark and stormy night to find three scum bags hitting on his wife Trish (Monica Potter) and does what any average American guy would do: he kills one of them in a street fight. He is sent to the big house for involuntary manslaughter and after putting in seven years hard time is paroled and has the worst luck of catching a plane ride back home with some real sons of guns. The leader Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom (played with gleeful menace by John Malkovich) and his buddies Nathan “Diamond Dog” Jones (Ving Rames), rapist extraordinaire Diamond-23 (Danny Trejo) and “Pinball” Parker (Dave Chappelle) highjack the plane with the help of Swamp Thing (M.C. Gainey) who, shock of shocks, can fly aircraft and apparently drive fire engines as well. Along the way they pick up the ever-cheery Garland Green (Steve Buscemi) better known as “The Marietta Mangler” who apparently likes to wear women’s heads as hats. Green is not involved with the gang but that doesn’t stop him from having tea with a little girl. Poe must use his skills and wisdom and the help of the young whip smart Agent Vince Larkin (John Cusack) to throw a wrench into these creeps scheme if he is to make it home in time to deliver a stuffed bunny to his little girl on her birthday.
SMART MOVIES FOR SMART KIDS: THE POINT (1971)-Amazon Prime
An older animated film but a smart one for kids ages 3-100. Musician Harry Nielson penned the story (and screenplay with Carol Beers), wrote the score and sang all the songs for this wonderful classic narrated by Ringo Star. A little boy named Oblio is born into a kingdom called Pointed Village where everyone and everything must have a point…pointed head that is. But Oblio’s head is round and when he beats the Count’s son at a game of Triangle Toss where children (and dogs) catch triangles on their pointed heads the Count talks the king into seeing Oblio’s nonconformity as illegal. Oblio and his trusty dog Arrow are banished from Pointed Village to wander through the Pointless Forest. Mike Lookinland who plays Bobby on The Brady Bunch voices Oblio.