Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Laughter, tears and truth

Our editor Kenny Linn (pictured on the left) is a broadcast and video production teacher. When one of his students wanted to interview a filmmaker for a school project, Kenny suggested me.
Here are his questions and my answers, some of which really forced me to think and reflect on why I'm doing this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Name? Adam Knapp

Occupation? Journalist and filmmaker

How long in this occupation? 
I’ve been a professional journalist for about 25 years, but only started my first film 18 months ago. To pay the bills, I work at a radio station and co-host a sports talk show every afternoon.

How did you choose your occupation?
I had a lot of confidence in my writing ability, I knew a lot about sports, and I thought working for a newspaper sounded like just about the coolest job ever. I had been in college for a year and switched my major from music to journalism.

Financially, does it let you live the way you prefer?
Pretty much, although my teenage children would vehemently disagree at the moment.

If not, why not and what can you do about it?
Write a Hollywood blockbuster, of course! But if that never happens, I really don’t have many regrets as far as making money, other than wanting my kids and me to see more of the world. (Although they’ve seen more than most teenagers, the ungrateful rascals.)

What rewards have you experienced because of your career?
There have been many. I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the famous people in the world. My job as a journalist has taken me to awesome places like New York City and the Virgin Islands. But the biggest reward is – every once in a while – my work will invoke laughter, tears and truth. And I know that’s what my first film is going to do, too.

What sacrifices have had to make for your career? 
All kidding aside, it’s been pretty rough financially these last 18 months. I have put an awful lot of time and money into this project, and I know my kids are going to be relieved when it’s finally finished. But never for a second have I thought about stopping. It’s too important of a project. People have stepped up to help me so much (nobody more than Mr. Linn). And every day of working on this film has been so rewarding.  

What kind of commitment does this career take in terms of: Education? Energy/endurance? Stick-to-itiveness?
I am pretty self-taught, as far as writing screenplays (and of course I’ve watched a ton of movies). But I can’t imagine how valuable it would be to have a formal education in film like Mr. Linn. I have learned so much just from watching and listening to him, and the main thing I’ve learned is how little I know. True, Mr. Linn’s skills and instincts with film have been sharpened by years of experience, but it all started with a formal education. God really blessed this project when Mr. Linn came on board. With my degree and years of experience in journalism, we have made for a great team these last few months.
Energy is always a good thing, but stick-to-itiveness is way more important. I don’t know how many times we got distracted with this film because “life got in the way.” But it was never far from my mind, or Mr. Linn’s, and we kept after it when there were barriers such as lack of money, lack of time or people telling us “no.”

If you had it to do over again, would you choose this career? Why or why not? 
Absolutely! I will always be a journalist at heart because it’s a noble and important profession, even if not everyone appreciates it. My only regret is not getting into filmmaking earlier. I adore film and - even with everything I’ve done as a professional journalist - this is no doubt the most important project of my life.

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