Filmmaker Interview

Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Director Joe Lauro on Making the Film

Joe Lauro, director of Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, details the hurdles and challenges when making a film about a living legend, and a very private one at that. The first hurdle was finding archival footage of Fats Domino’s performances from the 1950s and 1960s. Lauro found the footage he needed to go forward with the […]

B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Interview with Filmmaker Jon Brewer

In this filmmaker interview, Jon Brewer, the producer/director of B.B. King: The Life of Riley, describes how the documentary came to be, his experience of working with B.B. King over the course of two years, and how his own background in the music business helps his film work. Brewer met B.B. King for the first time […]

Mike Nichols: American Masters

Filmmaker Interview with Producer Julian Schlossberg

See behind-the-scenes footage of producer Julian Schlossberg interviewing director Mike Nichols. Schlossberg speaks about Nichols’ work and  great number of successes and shares clips of Nichols and May sketches in this filmmaker interview. “He was very honest and let himself be captured,” says Schlossberg. At the time, Schlossberg didn’t know the interview would become part […]

The Women’s List

Filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Behind-the-Scenes Footage

Photographer-filmmaker Timothy Greenfield Sanders is the director of The Women’s List and The Boomer List among other “List” films. “I try to combine my portrait work with my filmmaking — the List films are my portraits come to life,” he says. Greenfield Sanders uses a large format Deardorff camera and shoots very few exposures — […]

Althea

Interview with Director Rex Miller

Film director Rex Miller’s childhood bedroom also served as his parents’ “tennis room.” A photograph there on the wall showed his mother, a tennis player, posing next to Althea Gibson at a tennis club outside Philadelphia. His mother always remembered her lost match against the champion Gibson with pride. It was Gibson’s tennis achievements that […]

Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey

Filmmakers Interview

Raymond Telles and Yvan Iturriaga are co-directors and co-producers of American Masters — Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey. The filmmakers conducted an original interview with Pedro E. Guerrero at his home in 2010 and used that as “the spine for telling his story,” says Telles. Although they filmed on the same locations where Guerrero […]

American Ballet Theatre: A History

Filmmaker Interview with Ric Burns

In this filmmaker interview, Ric Burns describes what camera techniques he used to capture the ephemeral nature of dance on film, as well as how he came to discover ballet through the process of filmmaking. Watch his documentary American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History.

Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler

Filmmaker Statement: Three Key Assets for the Documentary

Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Peter Rosen (American Masters — Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes, The Cliburn: Playing on the Edge) uncovers the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), the first truly modern violin virtuoso, for American Masters. Rosen cites three key assets that helped him decide to make […]

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

Filmmaker Interview with Sam Pollard

Filmmaker Sam Pollard’s latest documentary for American Masters is August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand. In this interview Pollard speaks about August Wilson’s relevance, interviewing actors, surprises and more. “[Wilson] stands head and shoulders with Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller,” says Pollard.

“He stands head and shoulders with Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller,” says Pollard. “People know their works and I want them to know the works of August Wilson.”

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

Filmmaker Interview with Molly Bernstein

When I first saw Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants, in a small theater in Manhattan (1994), I knew nothing about magic and I was astounded to learn this was a whole huge artistic field that is like no other. It is a totally low-tech form of entertainment. It’s a guy sitting at a table […]