Interview mit Jason und Austin Lynch - Interview Project Germany

Sorrow, Success and Failure


Die Regisseure Jason S. und Austin Lynch haben das in den USA erfolgreiche Interview Project nach Deutschland gebracht. Interviews mit zufällig auf der Straße angesprochenen Menschen aus ganz Deutschland sind seit März unter abrufbar. Unterstützt werden die beiden von Austins Vater, dem berühmten Filmemacher und Künstler David Lynch. Für die STUZ beantworteten die beiden Regisseure exklusiv einige Fragen.


You must be pros in interviewing now. How much do you love being interviewed yourselves these days?
We certainly prefer interviewing to being interviewed.


Why did you decide to bring the Interview Project to Germany?

This was a coincidence. We felt like Interview Project could work in any country as long as the right elements were in place. Stephan Balzer of Red Onion was able to put those elements in place and made it possible for us to come to Germany. We plan to continue the series in other countries in the future.


Even if we all like to pretend we don’t, I guess we all have prejudices against countries that we haven’t been to. What were your prejudices against Germans and how did your impression of Germany maybe change during your trip?

Well, in relation to Interview Project, we heard from a lot of people - including Germans - that our project may not be well received in Germany. A lot of people felt that Germans would be unwilling to open up about their lives, even if we were able to convince them to be filmed. Of course, we found this to be largely untrue. Not everyone that we approached for an interview agreed to it, but many people did agree to be interviewed and shared their stories with us. Ultimately, there were no major differences in the response to our project in Germany than in the United States.


Was there an overall difference in the way people told their stories and what they told you here and in the US or are people all the same when it comes to the really important questions in life?

It's not so much that people are all the same, but it does seem like everyone has experienced joy as well as sorrow, success as well as failure, etc. and because our project encourages people to talk about these experiences, the similarities between people and their experiences become clearer.


The Interview Project seems like it’s been incredibly interesting in the making but how can you make a living from this kind of work?

Great question! This is something that we are still trying (very hard!) to figure out.


I sometimes get the feeling that many people in Germany get suspicious when confronted with a camera and not many would be willing to talk about personal stories whereas in the US lots of people love to see their face on TV or in a film. Did you get a similar impression? And even if not: How did you manage to make people feel comfortable enough to talk about personal stories?

No, we wouldn't say that the Americans we interviewed were any more 'prepared' to go on camera than the Germans were. We met and interviewed a lot of people in both countries that never would have expected to be filmed and certainly would not have expected it to happen in this way. That said, one of the greatest mysteries about this project is how open people have been with us. There isn't any science to it - it just always feels like we are in the right place at the right time. The people that we met were the right people for this project - they told their stories openly and we are extremely grateful for it.


What was your favorite place or region in Germany?

We can't say that we have a favorite place or region in Germany although we were impressed by how diverse the regions were. We had interesting experiences all over Germany, but spent most of our time in Berlin because that is where we edited the films.


Austin, I think we are almost the same age (you are 4 years older than me), I am finishing my university studies in 3 months and have no clue what’s next. Is it easier in life with a famous dad like yours or do people not give you enough credit for what you have accomplished yourself?

As I don´t have a comparison I cannot really answer this question properly. I don´t feel my work not to be credited, but at the same time I am happy, that my dad decided to present this project, which makes it the way it is.

Mira-Sophie Potten
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