We decided to dub this episode our “social justice edition” in honor of our amazingly talented guest, Amy Berg. Amy is known for her tireless pursuit of uncovering and exposing the truth while setting real change in motion through the medium of film. We are fortunate to have her here with us today to discuss her newest documentary “West of Memphis” as well as her previous films for which she has acquired world-wide fame.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is co-hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice, and Vladimir Radovanov, entertainment attorney, and executive producer of “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.” Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi and Vladimir share their insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Amy Berg is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker most well known for her 2006 award-winning debut documentary feature “Deliver Us From Evil”. Berg followed up with “Polarized”, one of the spotlight films for Al Gore’s Live Earth Campaign, which was released in 2009. She also produced “Bhutto”, a documentary feature that played at Sundance 2010.
Prior to “Deliver Us From Evil”, Amy produced documentary segments for CNN Investigations and the CBS News program “30 Minutes of Special Assignment.” Her work at CBS News earned her Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004.
Before that, Berg researched and developed stories for Silver Creek Entertainment. Many aired on “Good Morning America,” “20/20,” and “Extra.” In addition, she has written numerous articles for the National Organization For Women, the Jewish Journal and a number of monthly and weekly periodicals in America and France.
In 2005, Amy launched Disarming Films to produce long-form documentaries for theatrical release. Amy Berg is currently in development on her first narrative feature and is also working on a political documentary scheduled to go into production in early 2012.
02:26 Is this you first time at Sundance? What do you hope for?
03:24 Who are the Memphis 3?
04:12 Jessie’s confession.
06:35 Was Damien a satan worshipper or a member of a cult?
07:46 So “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Lost 2? had already been made. How did you get involved?
09:15 Trailer for “West of Memphis”
14:50 How did this film fit into your body of work?
16:24 When you went to Arkansas did you find that the community there were convinced of their guilt or were they questioning it?
19:38 Where you able to visit Jason as well as Damien?
20:47 ‘Stephen King’ clip from “West of Memphis”
22:49 Did you find yourself getting emotionally involved in the case and with the participants in the film?
23:45 Why are you interested in trying to tell these kinds of stories?
24:30 Trailer for “Deliver Us From Evil”
26:49 Tell us about the scene of O’Grady at the playground.
29:41 Clip of ‘O’Grady at the Park’
30:50 Did people in the community believe in O’Grady’s innocence, kind of like the converse reaction to the community in “West of Memphis”?
32:48 How did you get him to walk into the playground?
33:08 Did you explore the psychology of a child abuser in the film?
34:25 Community ‘clan’ mentality.
35:39 ‘Parents of an Abused Child’ clip.
37:47 ‘The Doc Side’ segment: Making “Deliver Us From Evil”
44:50 Being a single mother and a documentary film maker.
49:15 Do you have anything to say about shooting one of your other films, “Bhutto”?
51:20 ‘Daily Dig Down’ Segment: West Memphis 3 story.
52:48 Is it strange having “Paradise Lost 3? come out around the same time as yours?
53:50 New Jo Jackson documentary.
57:52 New Mussolini documentary.
59:10 New Alice Cooper documentary.
59:55 Wrap Up.