Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 7 | Nov 08, 2000

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a long gray blazer.

She says GOOD EVENING I'M
TINA SREBOTNJAK.
WELCOME TO ANOTHER EDITION
OF “IMPRINT.”
TONIGHT, KAZUO ISHIGURO.
HIS BOOKS MADE HIM FAMOUS
ALTHOUGH THAT WASN'T HOW HE
STARTED OUT.

Piano music plays.
In animation, the title “Imprint” appears against a waving background in orange hues.
Then, Kazuo appears in an interview.

He says IT WAS THE 7 '30s.
THE IMAGE OF THE
SINGER-SONGWRITER.
I WENT AROUND WITH LONG HAIR
BEING VERY SENSITIVE WITH AN
ACOUSTIC GUITAR.

Black and white pictures of Mennonites flash by.

Tina says INSIDE THE WORLD OF
THE MENNONITES AS CAPTURED
BY WRITER-PHOTOGRAPHER LARRY TOWELL.

Gerald addresses Larry and says
I'M PICTURING YOU DOWN
THERE, WITH KEROSENE LAMPS
AND WRITING.
I COULD SMELL THE KEROSENE.
YOU COULD SMELL IT.

Then, a book titled “The Duchovny files” appears briefly, followed by other books on celebrities.

Tina says AND CELEBRITY BIOGRAPHIES.
THEY MAY NOT BE HIGH ART,
BUT THEY SURE PAY THE BILLS.

A man in a bookstore shows a book and says THIS GOT ME ABOUT 40 CAR
WASHES, OKAY.

He shows another book and says
THIS GOT ME A FOUR-YEAR
LEASE ON A CAR.
THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE.
THIS ONE I BOUGHT THE CAR.
THIS ONE I WASHED THE CAR WITH.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Back in the studio, Tina says WE BEGIN TONIGHT
WITH WORLD RENOWNED PHOTO
JOURNALIST AND WRITER LARRY
TOWELL.
NORMALLY HE MAKES HIS LIVING
IN WAR ZONES CHRONICLING
NEWS EVENTS AROUND THE
WORLD.
BUT LARRY TOWELL'S LATEST
PROJECT TOOK HIM A LOT
CLOSER TO HOME.
THE MENNONITES FEATURED THE
MIGRANT WORKERS WHO LIVE AND
WORK IN HIS COMMUNITY OF
SHETLAND COUNTY.
LARRY TOWEL SPENT TEN YEARS
DOCUMENTING THEIR LIVES FROM
THE POVERTY OF MEXICO TO THE
HEART OF RURAL ONTARIO.
IMPLANT -- IMPRINT'S GERALD
L'ECUYER VENTURED OUT TO HIS
FARM FOR A VISIT.

(music plays)
Fast clips show Gerald driving out of the city and into the countryside.
He walks into a Mennonite community.

Larry Towell leans on a very old truck. He’s in his late forties, with a prominent gray beard.

He reads from a book
THE FIRST MENNONITE I MET
MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO WHO
FOR A MINIMUM WAGE WAS
SWEEPING THE FLOOR OF MY
FATHER'S AUTO BODY REPAIR
SHOP IN RURAL ONTARIO.
AT THE END OF THE DAY HE
LEANED HIS BROOM AGAINST THE
WALL AND DROVE OFF IN AN
UNINSURED AND UNLICENSED
PICKUP TRUCK.
HE AND HIS WIFE WERE RENTING
A PLACE WITH THEIR NINE
CHILDREN DOWN THE ROAD FROM ME.
BOTH IN THEIR MID 30s.

Black and white pictures show Mennonite families at their dinner table.

Larry continues THEIR OUR FIRST VISIT THEIR
BROOD LINED UP, BARELY AN
INCH APART IN HEIGHT AND A
YEAR APART IN AGE.
WHEN I ASKED WHY THEY LIKED
CANADA ONE BLURTED OUT
Because there is food to eat.

Now Larry and Gerald sit on a wooden platform by a slow murky river.

Gerald is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair.

Larry says I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON
THIS PROJECT FOR TEN YEARS.
IT IS ESSENTIALLY A BOOK OF
PHOTOGRAPHS, 120 OF THE BEST
PHOTOGRAPHS GLEANED FROM
OVER 3,000 ROLLS OF FILM
SHOT OFF IN THOSE TEN YEARS.
AND ABOUT 100 PAGES AT THIS
POINT ABOUT 75 PAGES OF TEXT,
THE TEXT IS REALLY EXCERPTS
FROM DIERIES AND SIMPLE
OBSERVATIONS OF VIGNETTES OF
THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE LIVING
WITH AND WORKING WITH THE
MENNONITES.

Gerald says TALK ABOUT THE WRITING
PROCESS, IN OTHER WORDS, HOW
YOU CAME UP WITH --

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Larry Towell. The Mennonites."

Larry says WELL, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN
A BIT OF A SCHIZOPHRENIC PERSON.
WHEN I'M A PHOTOGRAPHER I
THINK I SHOULD BE WRITING.
WHEN I'M WRITING I THINK I
SHOULD BE PHOTOGRAPHING.
AND I HAD TROUBLE WITH THAT
ALL THROUGH MY LIFE.
THIS PROJECT WITH THE
MENNONITES HAS TAKEN ME TEN
YEARS TO GAIN THE CONFIDENT
AT DIFFERENT PHASES AND
DIFFERENT LEVELS.
WHEN I FIRST MET THEM, I
MEAN FOR EXAMPLE THEY DON'T
ALLOW PHOTOGRAPHY.
BUT OVER TIME JUST SPENDING
TIME WITH THEM, I MEAN, WHEN
YOU GET IN A CAR IN A VAN
WITH A WHOLE FAMILY OF
LITTLE KIDS AND YOU DRIVE,
DO THIS ROAD TRIP ACROSS
AMERICA, SLEEPING IN THE VAN,
SLEEPING IN THE CAR,
SLEEPING ON THE SIDE OF THE
ROAD, YOU GET AMAZINGLY
CLOSE TO PEOPLE.

He now reads from his book and says
BETTE RASS RAISED IN
CANADA AND CAME BACK AS A
YOUNG WOMAN FOR A VISIT WHEN
SHE MET AND FELL IN LOVE
WITH FRANK.

Black and white pictures of young men and women, and children, flash by. They are shown working in the fields, mourning their deceased, cooking, and playing.

Larry continues SHE DECIDED TO STICK WITH
THE OLD WAYS AND TO STICK
WITH HIM BECAUSE THERE WAS
STILL AN BUTTEY AND HONESTY,
A BIT OF PARADISE IN THE
PACE OF LIFE AND THE
REALIZATION THAT GOD TAKES
CARE OF ITS PEOPLE EVEN IF
THEY ARE FACE DOWN KICKING
THE DIRT.
SHE IS THE LEAST MINDFUL OF
THE ECONOMY AND THEREFORE
THE MOST MINDFUL OF THE
NATURAL WAY OF THE SOULS
UNDOING.
YOU LEARN TO STEP OUTSIDE
THE HOUSE EVERY MORNING AND
WALK TO THE BARN AND LOOK AT
THE COWS.
YOU FORGET YOUR REDEEMERS
FACE IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL
AND SURE ENOUGH HE IS THERE
WITH AN INJURED LOOK IF ARE
YOU CAREFUL BECAUSE YOU
ALMOST DID FORGET.
AND THEN YOU REMEMBER, AND
YOU LOOK ACROSS THIS DREAM
COME TRUE AND SAY THIS IS
OURS.

Now in a photography studio, Gerald says SO THESE ARE THE
ACTUAL -- THESE ARE SOME OF
YOUR ACTUAL DIARIES AND
JOURNALS THAT YOU HAVE KEPT
THROUGH THE YEARS.

Larry says YEAH, I HAVE ALWAYS --
I'M NOT MUCH FOR LAPTOPS.
I AM STILL A LITTLE
OLD-FASHIONED.
I ALWAYS KEEP DIARIES WHICH
ARE USUALLY THESE SPIRAL
BOUND WORKBOOKS THAT TEND TO
BREAK AND I NEED TO DUCT
TAPE THEMMING TO.
I NUMBER THEM, THIS IS
NUMBER NINE MEXICO.
EL SALVADORE, DECEMBER '91EE,
NOVEMBER '91 MEXICO.
JANUARY 2nd, HOME.
EVERY DIARY ENS WITH A HOME
JOURNAL.
BUT --

Gerald says I'M PICTURING YOU DOWN
THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A
NIGHT WITH KEROSENE LAMPS
AND WRITING.

Larry says YOU CAN SMELL THE KEROSENE.

Gerald says THERE AIN'T NOTHING MORE
SERENE IN MY HEART THAN
KEROSENE.

As he flips the pages of a notebook, Larry says THEE ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I'M NOT BIG ON LAPTOPS BUT I
ALWAYS TRY AND KEEP A
RUNNING DIARY OF EVENTS
THROUGH THE DAY AND
OBSERVATIONS OF THINGS,
DRAWINGS.
THINGS THAT I WANT TO
REMEMBER LATER ON TO EXPAND
UPON.

(music plays)

Back on the wooden platform, Gerald says
YOU WERE RAISED ON THIS RIVER.

Larry says YEAH, I WAS RAISED ON
THIS RIVER.
IT IS PART OF THE GREAT LAKE
SYSTEM.
SOME PEOPLE CALL IT A DRAIN.
SOME PEOPLE CALL IT A DITCH
AND I HAVE LIVED ON IT ALL
MY LIFE.
WHEN I GOT OUT OF UNIVERSITY
I CAME BACK FROM INDIA I
DECIDED I NEEDED SHALL IT --
DECIDED I DIDN'T WANT TO
HAVE A JOB AND I BUILT A
RAFT, MY NEIGHBOR PUSHED
DOWN HIS BARN AND I SALVAGED
SOME OF THE LUMBER AND BUILT
A 12 FOOT BY 24 FOOT RAFT,
PUT A SHACK ON IF AND LIVED
ON IT FOR TWO AND A HALF
YEARS AND WROTE POETRY.
THE HUMAN BODY IS 99 percent WATER.
IT GETS IN THE SOUL AS WELL
ASPR PART OF THE SUBSTANCE
OF YOUR BODY.

Gerald says LAND IS SOMETHING THAT
HAS BEEN IMPORTANT TO NEW
EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE,
PHOTOGRAPHY, WRITING, A
SENSE OF THE LAND.
WHEN I SAY LAND TO YOU WHAT
DOES IT MEAN.

Larry says WELL, I GUESS LAND IS
WHERE YOU COME FROM.
I WAS BORN HERE.
MY PARENTS LIVE 25 MILES WEST.
AND I ALWAYS LIVED EITHER ON
A FARM OR IN A RURAL AREA IN
THIS TOWNSHIP, AS I SAY.
YOU SORT OF GET USED TO A
CERTAIN WAY OF LIFE AND A
CERTAIN COMMUNITY AND A
CERTAIN PLACE.
AND I SUPPOSE IF YOU LIVE
AND ARE BORN IN THE CITY YOU
GET PRETTY LONELY OUT HERE
BUT I GET SORT OF LONELY
ELSEWHERE.

Now Larry and Gerald walk into past a gate towards a group of cows.

Larry says THE COWS HATE -- THE BANJO
BECAUSE -- THE PROBLEM WITH
BRINGING A DOG IN THE
PASTURE THEY THINK THEY ARE
AFTER THE COWS.

Gerald says IS IT OKAY TO GO THERE.

Larry says I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO.

Gerald says I SORT OF --

Larry says I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO
RIDE ONE OF THE COWS.

He walks up to a cow and says
COME ON, COME ON, GIRL.

The cow leaves.

Gerald says UH-OH, SHE IS SCARED.
THEY ARE ALL SCARED.
THEY HAVE SEEN MY LAST THREE
INTERVIEWS.
BANJO, HOW DID HE GET HIS NAME.

Larry says I DON'T KNOW, HOW DO ANY
OF US GET OUR NAMES.

Gerald says BANJO, OH, MAN, HI?
YOU SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT SOME
BOOTS, GERALD.
I'M WEARING OCTOBERFORDS.

Larry says THIS IS NOT THE CITY.

Gerald says YOU NEVER GO OUTSIDE IN
THE RAIN WITHOUT BOOTS.

Later, Gerald says
SPIRITUALITY IS PRESENT
IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS, THERE
IS A CERTAIN SENSE OF
SPIRITUALITY IT IS IMPORTANT
TO THE MENNONITE COMMUNITY.
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR
OWN GIFTS BOTH AS A
PHOTOGRAPHER AND WRITER HOW
DOES SPIRITUALITY COME INTO PLAY.

Larry says WELL, THE MENNONITES COME
FROM A LONG HISTORY OF
BAPTISTS.
I GUESS SPIRITUALITY IS A
QUEST FOR GOD, EH, FINDING
GOD IN LIFE, IN THE PEOPLE
AROUND YOU.
I'M STILL INFATUATED WITH
THE CONCEPT OF PILGRIMAGE.
AS A WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER
I FEEL LIKE I'M ON A PILGRIMAGE WHEN I'M WORKING.

Back in the studio, Tina says THE MENNONITES BY LARRY
TOWELL IS PUBLISHED BY IT
COMING UP, CANADIAN
PUBLISHER BANKS ON HOLLYWOOD.
AND NEXT, KAZUO ISHIGURO,
THREE-TIME NOMINEE FOR ONE
OF THE TOP PRIZES IN
PUBLISHING.
AND NOW A CONVERSATION WITH
KAZUO ISHIGURO, A WRITER WHO
HAS ENVOYED A LOT OF
LITERARY SUCCESS.
THE REMAINS OF THE DAY MADE
HIM A BOOKER PRIZE WINNER IN 1989.
HIS LATEST BOOK “WHEN WE
WERE ORPHANS WAS NOMINATED
THIS YEAR FOR THE SAME AWARD.

Both books appear briefly on screen.

Tina continues IT IS THE STORY OF A
DETECTIVE, ONE CHRISTOPHER
BANKS WHO IS HAUNTED BY AN
UNSOLVED CASE FROM HIS PAST,
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS
PARENTS IN SHANGHAI WHEN HE
WAS A SMALL BOY.
I MET CAZUO ISHIGURO JUST
BEFORE THE BOOKER PRIZE
WINNER WAS ANNOUNCED.

A clip plays of Tina interviewing Kazuo.

Tina says CONGRATULATION ON THE BOOKER
NOMINATION.

Kazuo says THANK YOU.

Tina says NOW THIS IS THE
THIRD TIME YOU WON, OF
COURSE IN 1989 BUT IS IT AS
EXCITING TO BE NOMINATED
OVER AND OVER.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Kazuo Ishiguro. When we were orphans."
Kazuo is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short black hair. He’s wearing rimless glasses and a black suit.

Kazuo says IT IS.
BUT TO BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST,
NO, IT IS NOT NEARLY AS
EXCITING AS IT WAS THE FIRST
TIME.
I APPRECIATE IT.
BUT QUITE FRANKLY, I BELIEVE
THIS IS MARGARET ATWOOD'S
FOURTH NOMINATION.
SHE IS ONE OF THE GREAT
WRITERS OF THE WORLD AND I
THINK THERE COMES, I THINK
IT WOULD BE VERY ODD, COMES
VERY CLOSE TO AN INSULT IF
SHE DIDN'T GET IT THIS TIME.

Tina says YOU THINK SHE WILL WIN.

Kazuo says I DON'T KNOW IF SHE WILL
WIN BUT I THINK PERHAPS SHE
SHOULD WIN.

Tina says THAT IS VERY
GRACIOUS.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I TAKE AS A COMPLIMENT FOR
THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

Kazuo says CERTAINLY SHE SHOULDN'T
LOSE TO ME.
I DON'T THINK SOMEONE SHOULD
WIN IT TWICE.
AND MARGARET ATWOOD --

Tina says TELL ME ABOUT THIS BOOK,
YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, YOUR
HERO IS A DETECTIVE.
WHY DID YOU MAKE HIM A
DETECTIVE.

Kazuo says WELL, THE MAGAZINE ANY
FEWING LENS THING WAS KIND
OF A WAY.
SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH A
MAGNIFYING LENS.
HE CAN SEE THAT HE
IMMEDIATELY BEFORE HIM, IN A
WAY HE CAN SEE IT VERY
CLOSELY.
BUT A MAGNIFYING LENS
DISTORTS AND HE CAN'T SEE
ANYTHING AROUND HIM.
AND THAT IS KIND OF HOW HE
GOES THROUGH LIFE.

Tina says IT IS LIKE HIS
ROSEBUD, THE LITTLE
MAGNIFYING GLASS, ISN'T IT.

Kazuo says I GUESS SO.
INTERESTING COMPARISON
ROSEBUD, I MEAN THE BOOK IS
VERY MUCH ABOUT TRYING TO GO
BACK TO SOME POINT IN
CHILDHOOD.
BUT IT IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT
TO THE ROSEBUD IDEA IN THAT
IT IS ABOUT TRYING TO HEAL
SOMETHING THAT GOT BROKEN
SOMEWHERE WAY BACK IN
CHILDHOOD.
AND TO SOME EXTENT I THINK
THAT IS A UNIVERSAL FEELING.
WE MIGHT NOT ALL HAVE SUFFER
AID BIG TRAUMA AS THE
CHARACTER DOES.
WHEN HE WAS 10 YEARS OLD HIS
PARENTS DISAPPEAR.
BUT TO SOME GREATER OR
LESSER EXTENT I THINK MANY
OF US CARRY SOME THINGS THAT
WE LOST OR SOMETHING THAT
BROKE SOMEWHERE WAY BACK AT
THE FORMATIVE STAGE THAT WE
EXPEND THE REST OF OUR LIVES
WISHING SOMEHOW TO REPLAY
AND ONLY -- FOR ONLY THIS
TIME IT WOULD COME OUT RIGHT.
IT IS OFTEN THIS URGE TO
FIGURE SOMETHING OUT AGAIN,
REPLAY IT.
AND THIS TIME MAKE IT HAVE A
GOOD OUTCOME.

Tina says AS IF YOU COULD.
AS IF WE HAVE THAT POWER.

Kazuo says THERE IS A PART OF US
THAT REFUSES TO BELIEVE THAT IT.

Tina says CHRISTOPHER ALSO
HAS A VERY ODD VIEW OF
HIMSELF WHICH IS TO SAY IS
AT ODDS WITH EVERYONE ELSE'S
VIEW OF HIM.
WHEN HE MEETS HIS OLD SCHOOL
CHUM FOR INSTANCE HE SAYS TO
HIM WHAT AN ODD DUCK YOU
WERE AT SCHOOL WHEREAS HIS
OWN REGULATION IS --
RECOLLECTION IS THAT HE FIT
IN REALLY RATHER WELL.
AND YOU KNOW, I FOUND THAT
SO INTERESTING.
BECAUSE IN A WAY IS IT
POSSIBLE TO EVER SEE
YOURSELF THE WAY OTHERS SEE
YOU, DO YOU THINK.

Kazuo says WELL, PROBABLY NOT.
I MEAN I THINK IT IS VERY
DIFFICULT TO SEE ONE'S SELF.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
INTERESTS ME IS MEMORY.
MEMORY IS THE FILTER THROUGH
WHICH YOU SEE YOURSELF TO A
LARGE EXTENT.
WE ARE NOT JUST TALKING
ABOUT STARING AT THE MIRROR
EVERY MORNING BUT LOOKING AT
WHO SU HAVE BECOME OVER A
PERIOD OF YEARS, WHERE YOU
HAVE COME FROM, WHAT YOU
HAVE DONE TO BE WHO YOU ARE
TODAY.
AND TO THAT YOU HAVE TO
STAIR THROUGH THIS FOGGY
THING CALLED MEMORY.
AND MEMORY, I FIND,
INFINITELY INTERESTING FOR
THAT REASON.
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR
SELF-DECEPTION, MANIPULATION
ARE ALMOST INFINITE.

Tina says AND HE STARES AT HIMSELF
QUITE OFTEN THAT HE IS NOT
SURE HE IS TELLING US WHAT
REALLY HAPPENED.
THAT THIS IS AS WELL AS HE
COULD REMEMBER BUT IN FACT
IT COULD HAVE BEEN A
DIFFERENT TIME OR PLACE.
IT BETRAYS US, OUR MEMORY.

Kazuo says IT BETRAYS US BUT IT
OFTEN ACTS AS A VERY
IMPORTANT DEFENCE AND
PROTECTION FOR US, I THINK.

Tina says IN WHAT WAY?

Kazuo says I THINK IT IS THROUGH
MEMORY THAT WE PRESERVE
OURSELVES FROM SOME OF THE
HARSHER REALITIES OF WHO WE
ARE.
IT IS ONE THING TO BE ABLE
TO SEE YOURSELF CLEARLY IN
THE PRESENT.
BUT IF YOU SAW YOURSELF
CLEARLY THROUGH MEMORY I
THINK THAT WOULD BE A VERY
HARSHER THING.
I THINK IT IS A VERY GOOD
REASON THAT MEMORY IS VERY
VAGUE, THE AMBIGUITY IS KIND
OF -- IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY
FOR SELF-DECEPTION.

Tina says THAT IS FASCINATING.
NOW I READ ABOUT YOU THAT
WRITING, IN FACT, WAS NOT
YOUR FIRST LOVE THAT YOU
WANTED TO BE -- DID YOU
REALLY WANT TO BE A ROCK
STAR.

Kazuo says I DON'T THINK I WANTED TO
BE A ROCK STAR.

Tina says WHAT DID YOU WANT
TO BE.

Tina says I WAS A LITTLE MELLOWER.

Tina says A FOLK SINGER MAYBE.

Kazuo says THIS WAS IN THE '70s.
THIS WAS THE ERA OF, YOU
KNOW, THE SINGER-SONGWRITER
AND I WENT AROUND, YOU KNOW,
WITH LONG HAIR, BEING VERY
SENSITIVE WITH AN ACOUSTIC
GUITAR.

Tina says DID YOU GET A LOT
OF GIRLS THAT WAY BEING VERY
SENSITIVE AND AN ACOUSTIC
GUITAR.

Kazuo says PROBABLY NOT, ACTUALLY.
I THINK I PROBABLY THOUGHT
THAT WAS HOW YOU DID IT.
BUT PERHAPS EVEN THEN, I
MEAN, THAT WASN'T THE RIGHT
APPROACH.

Tina says NO, I THINK --

Kazuo says NO, WHAT I WAS INTERESTED
IN WAS SONGS.
AND I DID WRITE OVER A
HUNDRED SONGS.
BUT AROUND A TIME WHEN I
GAVE UP AFTER MANY YEARS OF
REJECTION AND FAILURE BY
RECORDING COMPANIES, I HAD
PEARED MY SONGS DOWN TO
SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR TO
WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE
CONSIDERED TO BE MY WRITING
STYLE NOW.

Tina says REALLY?
SO THEN HOW WAS IT THAT YOU
CAME TO -- YOU FOUND IT A
NATURAL PROGRESSION, YOU
JUST THOUGHT I CAN WRITE, I
WILL DO THIS.

Kazuo says IT IS LIKE A LOT OF
THINGS, YOU KNOW.
I HAD BEEN TAKING THESE DEMO
TAPES AROUND TO RECORDING
COMPANIES AND NOT GETTING
ANYWHERE.
SUFFERING THE KIND OF
HUMILIATIONS THAT MANY
NOVELISTS HAVE TO GO THROUGH
BEFORE THEY GET A NOVEL
PUBLISHED.
INSTEAD OF PUBLISHERS IT WAS
RECORDING COMPANY PEOPLE.
THEY WILL PLAY MY TAPE AND
SAY IT IS NOT GOING TO
HAPPEN, LAD.
A LITTLE DIFFERENT WITH
PUBLISHING ONE OF, YOU KNOW
IT IS NOT QUITE -- IT
AMOUNTS TO OF THE SAME
THING.
BUT IT IS LIKE A LOT OF
THINGS, YOU KNOW, THAT DOOR
DIDN'T OPEN FOR ME BUT AS
SOON AS I STARTED TO WRITE
FICTION THINGS OPENED UP
RAPIDLY.

Tina says DID IT EVER.
YOU WERE VERY DROWNING WHEN
YOU WON THE BOOKER.

Kazuo says I WAS 34 WHEN I WON THE
BOOKER.
BUT THE -- I WROTE SHORT
STORIES AND GOT THEM
PUBLISHED AND VERY RAPIDLY
MY PUBLISHERS WHO ARE STILL
MY PUBLISHERS IN ENGLAND
OFFERED ME A CONTRACT AND AN
ADVANCE TO FINISH MY FIRST
NOVEL.
SO THIS IS TERRIFIC FOR ME
BECAUSE IT GAVE ME
PERMISSION TO TAKE MYSELF
SERIOUSLY.
I COULD SAY TO PEOPLE, I
THINK THE TROUBLE IS WHEN
YOU ARE TRYING TO START UP
AS A WRITER, IT IS VERY HARD
TO TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY.
YOU WORRY ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE
THINKING YOU ARE BEING
PRETENTIOUS.

Tina says I IMAGINE IT WOULD
BE HARD TO ACTUALLY SAY TO
SOMEBODY I'M A WRITER UNTIL
YOU HAVE HAD SOMETHING
PUBLISH BECAUSE WHERE IS
YOUR PROOF.

Kazuo says YOU SAY I'M A WRITER THAN
YOU KNOW THE QUESTION THAT
COMES UP IMMEDIATELY AFTER
IT.
HAVE YOU GOT A PUBLISHER
THEN.
IF THE ANSWER IS NO, YOU
FEEL A FOOL, SO YOU DON'T.
YOU DON'T TELL PEOPLE YOU
ARE A WRITER.
IN FACT, YOU OFTEN DON'T
WRITE.
AND SO I THINK IT WAS
TERRIFIC FOR ME THAT I HAD
THIS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE.

Tina says YOU SAID ALSO I
THINK SOMEWHERE THAT YOU
WOULD LIKE YOUR BOOKS TO BE
FAMOUS BUT YOU YOURSELF
WEREN'T INTERESTED IN BEING
FAMOUS.
IS THAT DOABLE THESE DAYS
WHEN WRITERS ARE REAL STARS.

Kazuo says IT DOES CONCERN ME.
THE WRITER AS MARKETING TOOL.
IT CAN HAVE, I THINK,
SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES ON
WRITING.
BASED ON HOW MUCH IS
WRITTEN.
IT MIGHT BE COSTING SOME
AUTHORS ONE IN THREE OF WHAT
THEY HAVE WRITTEN, ALSO IN
WHAT THEY ARE WRITING.
I THINK HAVING TO LEAD THE
LIFE WHERE ARE YOU
CONSTANTLY EXAMINING WHY YOU
WRITE, WHERE YOUR IDEAS COME
FROM, HAVING ACTUALLY VERY
PERCEPTION -- PERCEPTIVE
PEOPLE FROM ALL DIRECTIONS
ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP OF
YOUR WRITING TO OTHER
PEOPLE'S WRITING, YOUR
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES TO YOUR
WRITING, YOU KNOW, YOU
BECOME VERY SELF-CONSCIOUS
ABOUT YOUR WORK.
THERE ARE VERY FEW AREAS
THAT ARE LEFT TO SPONTANEITY
AND DARKNESS AND THESE KINDS
OF THINGS IT.
A TORCH IS SHINING ON EVERY
LITTLE CRANNY OF YOUR
IMAGINATION TO TRY AND FIND
OUT, YOU KNOW, WHO ARE YOU
AS A WRITING.
AND WHEN YOU SPEND A LOT OF
YOUR TIME DOING THAT IN
PUBLIC, I THINK IT CHANGES
THE WAY YOU WRITE.
AND I SUSPECT IN YEARS TO
COME PEOPLE WILL LOOK BACK
ON THIS ERA AND THE WRITING
THAT HAS COME OUT OF IT.
AND THEY WILL SEE THAT ONE
OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL
THINGS IS NOT MEANT TO BE
ABOUT LARGER THINGS
HAPPENING IN SOCIETY, LIKE
THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
OR WHATEVER, THEY WILL SEE
IT IS SOMETHING TO DO WITH
THE POSITION OF THE WRITER
CHANGING.
THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH HE
OR SHE WRITES HAS CHANGED
PROFOUNDLY AND IT IS AN ODD
PLACE TO WRITE RIGHT NOW.

Tina says IT WAS LOVELY TO
GET A LITTLE BIT, TO PUT YOU
UNDER THE MAGAZINE ANY
FEWING CLASS FOR -- GLASS
FOR A SHORT TIME TODAY.

Kazuo says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, INDEED.

Back in the studio, Tina says WHEN WE WERE
ORPHANS BY KAZUO ISHIGURO IS
PUBLISHED BY KNOPFF CANADA.

An animated slate reads “Winner 2000 Booker Prize. Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assasin. The prize: 46000 dollars.”

Tina says FOR YEARS ECW PRESS
PUBLISHED HIGH END FICTION,
NOVELS, POETRY, HIGH END
NOVELS THEY STILL DO.
BUT ALONG SIGHT THE LITERARY
TITLES THERE ARE A SLEW OF
BOOKS FOR A DIFFERENT KIND
OF READER LIKE BITE ME, A
BOOK ABOUT BUFFY THE VAMPIRE
SLAYER AND ON MY WAY ABOUT
COUNTRY SINGER SHANIA TWAIN.

Both books appear briefly.

Tina continues THESE ARE JUST A COUPLE OF
THE CELEBRITY BIOGRAPHIES
KEEPING THIS CANADIAN
PUBLISHERS IN BUSINESS AND
PROVIDING WORK FOR CANADIAN WRITERS.

Now a man in his late thirties stands in a bookstore and shows a book to the screen.

He says THIS IS SHANIA TWAIN ON
MY WAY, A BIOGRAPHY OF
SHANIA TWAIN BY DALLAS
WILLIAMS.

A woman in her thirties says THIS IS Xena WARRIOR STAR.

A man in his forties says THEY DON'T WANT TO WAIT,
THE STARS OF DAWSON'S CREEK.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Jack David. Publisher, ECW Press."
Jack is in his late forties, with wavy white hair and a full beard.

He says AT THE END OF THE '80s WE
DISCOVERED THAT THE LIBRARY
MARKET WAS GEARING DOWN.
THERE WASN'T MUCH MONEY LEFT
IN THEIR BUDGETS AND WE
BEGAN TO LOOK FOR OTHER
KINDS OF WAYS TO SELL BOOKS.
I WAS WATCHING “THE X-FILES.”
AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF THIS
IS A GREAT SHOW.
A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO THINK THIS IS A
GREAT SHOW.
WHERE IS THE BOOK.

Very fast clips show several books on celebrities.

The caption changes to "Jennifer Hale. Writer."
Jennifer is in her thirties, with wavy auburn hair and bangs.

She says THE XENA PROJECT CAME
ABOUT WHEN I CAME TO ECW.
I WASN'T LOOKING FOR A JOB
SPECIFICALLY.
WAYS COMING TO TALK TO JACK
DAVID TO ASK HIM HOW TO GET
INTO PUBLISHING.
AND THEN HE CALLED ME BACK
LATER IN THE WEEK AND ASKED
IF I WOULD CONSIDER WORKING
FULL-TIME AT ECW AND ONE OF
THE FIRST THING IS WOULD DO
IS WRITE THE XENA BOOK WHICH
WAS A COMPLETE SHOCK TO ME.
I NEVER SAW THAT COMING.
AND THEY HAD ALREADY DECIDED
THEY WERE GOING TO DO A BOOK
AND CATALOGED THE BOOK AND
HAD TO COME UP WITH THE NAME
OF AN AUTHOR SO THEY CHOSE
THE NAME ANYTHINGY STAFFORD
AND I JUST WENT WITH IT.

Jack says WE BEGAN DOING THE KIND
OF BOOKS THAT A UNIVERSITY
PRESS WOULD DO, ACADEMIC
BOOKS, SCHOLARLY BOOKS,
REFERENCE BOOKS.
AND THE ISSUE WAS WHERE
THERE WAS A BIG JUMP TO GO
FROM SCHOLARLY BOOKS TO
TRADE BOOKS, FROM SAY A
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MARGARET
ATWOOD TO A BIOGRAPHY OF
DAVID DUCHOVNY, AND IN FACT
MANY OF THE SAME SKILLS ARE
THERE.
THE DESIGN SKILLS, TYPE
SETTING SKILLS, THE RESEARCH
SKILLS WHICH ARE PARAMOUNT
IN THESE KINDS OF BOOKS.
THE ABILITY TO FIND PHOTOS.
THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE THE
BOOK.
AND THEN THE ABILITY TO GET
IT OUT THERE.

Now a caption reads “Tony Burgess. Writer.”
Tony is in his forties, with long wavy gray hair.

He says EVERYBODY NEEDS TO PUT
FOOD ON THE TABLE.
AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG
WITH THAT.
THAT IS WHAT DOING THIS BOOK
WAS FOR ME.
OF COURSE YOU DO IT FOR THE
CASH BUT YOU ALSO DO T I
THINK, BECAUSE WELL, IT IS
FUN.
AND YOU CAN TELL EVERYBODY
YOU ARE DROING A BOOK ABOUT
DAWSON'S CREEK.
AND THEY ARE FAR MORE
IMPRESSED BY THAT THAN
ANYTHING ELSE YOU COULD EVER DO.

The caption changes to "Michael Holmes. Writer."
Michael is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short black hair.

He says YOU CAN WRITE THINGS IN A
COMMERCIAL BIOGRAPHY OR A
COMMERCIAL BOOK THAT YOU
WOULD NEVER WRITE IN YOUR
OWN CRITICAL VOICE OR YOUR
OWN CREATIVE VOICE.
I COULD BECOME LITTLE FAN
BUOY, YOU KNOW, OR I COULD
BECOME DOWN HOME COUNTRY FAN.
THERE WERE ALL KINDS OF
DIFFERENT WAYS THAT I COULD
APPROACH THE MATERIAL.
AND IN A WAY IT IS
LIBERATING.

Tony says THIS IS A NICE WAY OF
SORT OF EXPERIMENTING WITH
DIFFERENT KINDS OF
DISCIPLINES IN WRITING.
LIKE IF YOU HAVE TO WRITE
SOMETHING, I'M GOING TO
WRITE RIGHT THROUGH YOUR OWN
BOREDOM WITH IT WHEN THAT
HAPPENS.

Jack says WE FOUND WHEN THE SALES
REPS WEPT INTO BOOK STORES,
FOR EXAMPLE, BOOK STORES
WERE USED TO THE ECW THAT
PUBLISHED POETRY BOOKS OR
SERIOUS NONFICTION.
AND THEY WERE UNWILLING TO
ACCEPT THE NOTION THAT A
LITERARY PRESS COULD ALSO
PUBLISH BOOKS THAT WERE
ABOUT FORMER CHILD STARS.

Jennifer shows book cover designs as she says WHEN WE HAD DONE THE
INITIAL MOCK-UP FOR THIS ONE
HERE WE WERE LOOKING AT THE
DANA PLATO PICTURE AND JUST
BECAUSE IT IS A MUG SHOT
SEEMS TO BE SO POWERFUL FOR
WHAT THE BOOK ITSELF IS
ABOUT AND TALKS ABOUT HOW
MANY OF THESE STARS HAVE
CRASHED AND BURNED AS SHE
PUTS IT, AND WE GOT IT TO
THIS STAGE AND IT WAS DOWN
BETWEEN THESE TWO AND THIS
IS THE ONE THAT EVERYONE
SEEMED TO LIKE SO MUCH.
THE PROBLEM WAS WHEN THE
SALES REP SAW IT THEY
THOUGHT WHAT ABOUT THE
PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW WHO
THAT PERSON IS.
SO FROM THERE WE DECIDED WE
WOULD GO WITH THE GARY
COLEMAN SHOT.

Jack says EACH BOOK THAT WE DO GETS
THE SAME KIND OF ATTENTION.
OUR DESIGNER COMES IN,
DESIGNS THE POETRY BOOK,
DESIGNS THE BUFFY BOOK,
DESIGNS THE XENA BOOK.
DESIGNS THE TEXT, THE TEXT
IS EXECUTED BY THE SAME
PEOPLE.
WE USE THE SAME PRINTER.
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE
SIZE OF THE RUN, THOUSAND
COPIES, 750 OF A POETRY BOOK,
5 OR 10,000 OF COMMERCIAL
TITLE.

Jack stands next to Jennifer and says WHAT ABOUT -- WHEN DID
THAT HAPPEN.

Jennifer replies
IT WAS ORIGINALLY
AMERICA'S LEAST WANTED.
THEN WE CHANGED IT TO FORMER
CHILD STAR.
THE PROBLEM WITH THAT WHEN
YOU HAVE FORMER CHILD STAR
IT LOOKS LIKE THE BOOK IS
ABOUT WHOEVER IS IN THERE.
AND WE DON'T WANT THE BOOK
TO LOOK LIKE IT IS ABOUT
GARY COLEMAN ONLY SO WE ADD
THE S ON SO THAT IT LOOKS
LIKE IT IS ABOUT GARY
COLEMAN AND EVERYONE ON THE
BACK COVER.

(music plays)
A fragment of Shania Twain’s video “That don’t impress me much” plays.

Michael says I HAVE NEVER BEEN
EMBARRASSED BY THE SHANIA
TWAIN BOOK.
MY ALIASES WAS UNCOVERED
VERY SOON AFTER PUBLISHING IT.
THE REASON WHY I PUBLISHED
THE BOOK UNDER THE NAME
DALLAS WILLIAMS WAS SIMPLY
BECAUSE I WANTED IT TO BE
SEPARATED FROM THE WORK THAT
I WAS DOING CREATIVELY.
AT THE TIME I HAD ONLY
PUBLISHED POETRY AND I
DIDN'T WANT TO BE THOUGHT OF
AS THE POET WHO PUBLISHES
THIS COMMERCIAL BIOGRAPHY.
I AM ONE OF THE TWO TO HAVE
KIND OF DISTINCT AND
SEPARATE LIVES.
I DIDN'T WANT THEM ON THE
BOOK SHELVES DECIDES ONE
ANOTHER.

Jennifer says WHEN THE XENA BOOK FIRST
CAME OUT I WAS INVITED AS
NIKKI STAFFORD TO A XENA
CONVENTION IN SEATTLE AND I
WAS THE GUEST SPEAKER IN
FRONT OF A ROOM OF LIKE 250
XENA FANS WHO THOUGHT MY
NAME WAS NIKKI STAFFORD SO I
JUST DECIDED TO PLAY ALONG
ABOUT IT.
AND I GOT UP ON STAGE
ANSWERED QUESTIONS WITH THE
BOOK, ANSWERED TO THE NAME
NIKKI ALL DAY LONG AND THEN
THEY PUT ME AT THIS
AUTOGRAPH TABLE WHERE FOR
THE FIRST TIME I REALIZED I
DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO SIGN THE
NAME NIKKI STAFFORD.
AND I'M SURE THE FIRST ONE
LOOKED TERRIBLE.
AND EVENTUALLY I GOT IT DOWN.

Tony shows a book and says THIS GOT ME ABOUT 40 CAR
WASHES, OKAY.

He shows another book and says
THIS GOT ME A FOUR-YEAR
LEASE ON A CAR.
THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE THIS
ONE I BOUGHT THE CAR.
THIS ONE I WASH THE CAR WITH.
SO THERE IS A BIG
DIFFERENCE.

Jack says SOME PEOPLE HAVE SAID
THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND
THE DIRECTION WE ARE GOING IN.
THEY WONDER WHY WE JUST
DIDN'T STAY PUBLISHING LIT --
LITERARY TITLES AND
SCHOLARLY TITLES.
IF WE HAD STAYED IN THAT
DIRECTION WE WOULD PROBABLY
STILL BE DOING EIGHT OR TEN
BOOKS A YEAR.
WHY DID WE HAVE TO GO AHEAD
AND PUBLISH THE BUFFY BOOK
OR THE DAVID DUCHOVNY BOOK
OR AGAINIT PALTROW BOOK.
AND THE ANSWER IS BECAUSE WE
WANTED TO GROW.

Now Jack, Michael and Jennifer sit around a table in a meeting room.

Michael says MY NEW IDEA IS
VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS.
I THINK IT IS A
DEMOGRAPHIC, THEY BOTH ONE
MAJOR TOURNAMENTS.
THEY JUST WERE ON THE TEAM
CHOICE AWARD GETTING A
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.
AT 18.
THEY ARE MAXING OUT
ALREADY AT 20.
SO YOU KNOW...

Jack says THE FATHER IS A GOOF BALL.

Michael says A GREAT STORY IT TWO KIDS
OUT OF COMPTON.

Jack says LET'S DO IT.

The clip ends.

Tina says THAT WRAPS UP
ANOTHER EDITION OF IMPRINT.
JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR MORE
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BOOK
WORLD.
IMPRINT WHERE WRITERS ARE
THE TRUE CELEBRITIES.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International festival of authors, Park Hyatt Hotel, Steven Manford, Universal Video.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 7