Editor’s Note: This is an article re-posted from July, 2011. Thanks so much to Jim Brunzell III for getting us this story as we remember a great journalist.
Picking up a daily paper to get updates on current U.S. events, world businesses, local news, the weather, checking the box scores in the sports page or figuring out the New York Times crossword, that might be enough for your average American. When I saw Page One: Inside the New York Times at Sundance this past January, I became more fascinated in not only the stories that were being written about but also how they evolve. The work that goes on behind the scenes for any business is always a great glimpse into a world that many never see, but with Page One, you get a rare behind the scenes at what some would consider the finest news source in the United States and, perhaps, the world. The film opens this Friday at the Lagoon Cinema.
I sat at the a table at an undisclosed restaurant with director/co-producer/co-writer Andrew Rossi and journalist (and former Twin Cities Reader editor) David Carr while the two were enjoying breakfast. Rossi and Carr were nothing short of entertaining and honest with me, which was a blessing. The two had been going across the country bringing the documentary to other film festivals, and were in town to promote the film as it was one of the three opening night films at the most recent MSPIFF.
While some of the documentary was shot in Minneapolis with Carr walking by the Skyway where he was arrested in the 1980s, the documentary, does focus on other writers at the New York Times, including Brian Stelter who founded the blog tvnewser.com and became a staff writer at the age of 21; Tim Arango and how he eventually went on to cover the war zone in Iraq; and Bruce Headlam, the media desk editor at the Times, as these editors/reporters delve into such prominent topics as Julian Assange and his arrest of Wiki Leaks, to questions about the paper itself as many newspapers across the U.S. were going under or filing for bankruptcy.
It was great speaking with Carr not only about being filmed under consistent surveillance—Rossi and his crew had cameras on most of the journalists as they were filing/writing stories for the papers—but to get an insider’s point of view on our two major dailies in the Twin Cities, the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press. It was only an opinion from Carr, but listening to him talk about the Twin Cities to see if we’re big enough for two papers or if someday they may end up merging into one was interesting.
The first question I asked Rossi was about the shooting schedule he had to work with for the doc, which was shot over 14 months and whether he was he filming every day, a few hours a day, seven days a week, or was much of the film shot on a story by story basis?
Press the play button below to hear the interview.
Photo courtesy Magnolia Pictures