THE QUEEN OF CONTENT - DAPHNE BARAK, Leading interviewer-turned-filmmaker is driven to the journalism profession for only one reason: curiosity. That combined with her independence, continues to pay dividends: She retains the rights to her own footage.
With a video library of more than 300 interviews taped during the past two decades, Barak now owns thousands of hours of exclusive sit-downs with heads of state, Hollywood and music A-listers, and other newsmakers. She has been approached by prominent players in the industry regarding selling all that content, but is not interested.
"I decided to repurpose this library with the right strategic partners," said Barak, who executive produced the 2013 documentary Coming Home with the Kennedys. The film showcases unprecedented access to the Kennedy family as tehy visit their ancestral home in Ireland (retracing a 1963 trip by JFK).
Next up, Barak is using her vast library to develop ICONS in their own words, a 10 episode a year documentary series to start running in 2016 on television stations across the U.S. and worldwide.
Repurposing archieved footage with new interviews, the stories are both current and richly historical.
"If you have the opportunity to maintain the rights to intellectual property, do it," Barak said. "I know how difficult it is to turn down tempting proposals. But thry to look at the big picture: Where do you want to be in 20 years, or 10? Start your journey with this clarity.
EXERPTS FROM MOVIE MAKER MAGAZINE
THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW
MASTERS OF TEH ON-CAMERA CONFESSIONAL
WITH: KEN BURNS, ERROL MORRIS, KIRBY DICK, ONDI TIMONER
AND DAPHNE BARAK
“It is not about questions and answers,"
said Barak, who has interviewed more than 300 vastly diverse subjects in teh past two decades, from Mother Theresa, Prince Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Hillary Clinton to Charlton Heston, Mia Farrow, Bono, Sylvester Stallone, Rober De Niro, and even Barak Obama's grand-mother. More often than not, she eschews standard formality in favor of friendly banter.
"I believe in detailed research prior to the interview.
Sometimes I ask my team to do it.
Yet I never come with a list of questions.
I operate in front of the cameras like I would do over lunch."