Kate Tremills, the interviewer gets interviewed.

The Movie Whore no comments
Kate Tremills, the interviewer gets interviewed.

As I sit and Interview all these people I often day dream of the day some one will be interviewing me. This is one of the reasons I wanted to interview The Film Journalist, Kate Tremils at Film Industry Bloggers (FIB). I wanted to see what it would feel like from some one who is used to asking the questions. I think you will agree Kate turned out to be quite entertaining as well as informative. But to really pick her brain I would jump over to FIB sometime and check out what she has to say.

TMW: Some of my readers may be familiar with your work at FIB as I am always encouraging people to stop by and see what is going on. However they may not be familiar with your day job as it were. Can you fill us in on what exactly you do as a film journalist?

KT: As a film journalist, my primary work has been to interview film talent – actors, directors, producers, and writers – for magazines and websites. These interviews happen either in person at film festivals (when talent is promoting specific films at the press junket), in Vancouver (where I live), or over the phone. The interview either becomes part of a larger article on a film or a series of films, or sometimes is a specific profile of a person. I also write film reviews for magazines and websites.

TMW: As with every job there are pitfalls to avoid. As a film journalist what are some of specific pitfalls you have to find your way around?

KT: There have been a few pitfalls along the way. When I began as a journalist, the biggest challenge was getting over my fears. Fear of approaching celebrities, fear of throwing myself into a profession with people who had been writing and interviewing for years, and fear of just not getting the interview.

As I got more experienced, the pitfalls inevitably became connected to “personality management.” For as many reasons as you can think of, the person you’re interviewing can be uncooperative. This is more challenging than publicists, agents, and crappy films all put together. If someone is having a bad day, they can tank the interview in several ways. They can ignore you. They can respond with one word answers. They can decide it’s a game to humiliate you. I’ve had them all happen to me – and it’s your job as a journalist to handle it. Regardless of how childish or offensive the person is being, it’s on you to get the interview. Being a journalist takes a very thick skin and a lot of patience.

TMW: How does it feel to be on the other side of the interview?

KT: This question made me laugh! It’s actually a great experience – mainly because I can see how vulnerable it must feel. It takes a lot of trust to talk to a total stranger about something that really matters to you. It must be incredibly heartbreaking for actors to be honest with a journalist only to find their words twisted and their trust betrayed. On the other hand, it’s very flattering to think someone wants to hear what you have to say.

TMW: You mention people getting upset over having their words being taken out of context or twisted around. What do you do to try and keep from having these misunderstandings when you are interviewing people yourself?

KT: I’m a real stickler for using exact quotations. If I cut words, I make sure they are redundant or make the quotation confusing. I never change the meaning of what someone has said. I've also been lucky to have (and have deliberately chosen) editors that have the same approach to an interview. Many editors also request transcriptions of your interviews – to ensure you’re using exact quotations. Sometimes you finish an interview and realize that you need more content or the answer to another question to fulfill the intent of the profile. In that situation, I contact the talent’s publicist to request additional responses. Most of the time, the talent is happy to respond. If they are too busy, the publicist can provide “pre-approved” content to fill out the article.

TMW: Like my dad always said "Life is in the details." Now I have had moments in doing interviews myself where I had to make a decision whether or not to use a particular quote because it may come back to bite my guest in the you now where. How often do you have this happen and if yes, how do you handle it?

KT: I don’t think I've had this happen very often. Most people are incredibly careful when they're interviewed. Especially American actors. British actors tend to be a lot more expressive about their opinions. And then there are the folks who have been around the block so many times in that they say whatever they please. Kevin Bacon and Robert Downey Jr. for instance. They are a lot of fun to interview because they express themselves freely and have a sharp perspective on the biz. In other words, they’re able to laugh at it all.

TMW: You just made me jealous. I am a huge Downey fan. All I have to hear is that he is in it and I will watch it. Granted he has a couple that only a movie whore could love. With that in mind what are some of your favorite flicks that you should be ashamed to love, you know the guiltiest of pleasures?

KT: I think there are different movies for different moods. So I don't really consider one movie on my favorites list "lesser than" another movie. It's just whether I need a comedy or a drama at that particular time in my life. I can't say I'm ashamed of any of them - Oscar winner or not!

I really loved talking with Kate. She was an absolute pleasure. If you want to read Kate's work head on over to FIB and check her out over here as well. You just may be surprised.

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