The problem with web series is there’s just too damn many of them. Something will come along that takes the forefront for five seconds (hey there, “quarterlife”!) and then fades into the mists of time. Let’s hope the same fate does not befall “Interview Project,” produced by legendary filmmaker David Lynch and directed by his son Austin Lynch and Jason S. Lynch and S. traveled all around the country, doing brief but revealing interviews with everyday Americans. Each interview was three to four minutes long and encompasses their hopes, fears, dreams and regrets. The 121-part series will air on interviewproject.davidlynch.com, beginning June 1.
Lynch and S. were kind enough to answer a few of Blast’s questions by email.
First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me! Can you both tell me a little bit about how this project began?
Jason and I were sitting together at the kitchen table one afternoon when the initial idea for Interview Project struck us. Shortly thereafter we told my dad about our idea and he became very excited about it. The three of us spent the next few weeks developing the project and gearing up for the trip.
During filming you two traveled all around the country, just meeting and talking to people. What surprised you most during filming?
I think Jason and I were most surprised at how receptive people were to our project. The majority of the people we interviewed were genuinely excited to be a part of this series.
How did you map out where you were going? Did you have specific places you wanted to hit?
Not really, our goal was simply to cover as much of the country as we possibly could. We decided to stay away from most major cities and towns, but other than that we made our route as we went along. We would come up with our next destination or direction but never knew what would come after that.
Were there any disappointments, or things you weren’t able to do that you want to accomplish in the future with this project?
Quite honestly, and this will make more sense further down the road, our only wish is that we would have been able to get a shot of Jefferson Orwell Opal riding away on his bicycle. We are hoping to put out a DVD of Interview Project at some point if there is enough interest in the series.
How well can you get to know a person in three to four minutes?
It depends, sometimes you can get to know someone intimately in a three to five minute episode, other times, for various reason, you may not get to know the subject as well, but this short glimpse will still give you a sense of their character.
Can you give me an example of the kinds of questions you would ask?
We asked each person a series of biographical questions, like “Where were you born?” or “What was your early childhood like?” as well as a series of more open ended or subjective questions, for example “Do you have any regrets?” or “How would you like to be remembered?” We tried to structure the interviews in a very simple and straightforward manner that would allow the people to tell there story, or speak their mind, as effortlessly as possible.
Austin: You’re David Lynch’s son, who’s presenting this show. What was your experience of working with your father?
It was great. My dad was mainly involved with the development of Interview Project. He didn’t go on the road trip with Jason and I, but he was, as I mentioned before, instrumental in getting this project off the ground. He also presents each of the episodes, providing a brief introduction to each of the people that we interviewed, and it was a lot of fun for Jason and I to shoot those intros with my dad.
What are your future plans for this enterprise?
We’re not really sure at this point. Right now were waiting to hear back from Pierre Edelman and focusing on launching our website June 1, 2009.