Even though we have talked about this at quite some length before [click
here], do bring us up to
speed: Your documentary Good
Virus - Kindness Is Contagious - in a few words, what is it about?
is a documentary film about being nice
and the benefits of being nice.
we last talked, how has Good
Virus - Kindness Is Contagious evolved?
has changed quite a bit since last time we talked, most notably we
had Catherine Ryan Hyde, best-selling author of Pay It Forward, come on
board as both an interviewee and narrator. We also did a whole new opening
Ryan Hyde, probably the most high profile name in your cast - how did you
get her interested in your project?
Glaser, my producer has a knack for talking people into working with us,
so basically I give her a name and she uses here magic to get them on
board, but, that said, Good
is right up Catherine's alley, and
because of the subject matter, a film about being nice, we haven't had too
much trouble getting people interested.
Hyde's novel Pay It Forward treads quite similar ground as Good
Virus - Kindness Is Contagious - so was the book (or the film
based on it) at all an inspiration for your documentary?
It Forward was definitely an inspiration, but James Fowler's article in
Discover Magazine was probably the most direct inspiration, at least for
the topic of our film, since his, and Nicholas Christakis's, research
scientifically addressed the infectious nature of kindness. But, now that
you boring it up, I am wondering if her book had an influence on his
research? I may go back and ask him that question.
Ryan Hyde ended up not only being interviewed for your movie but also
doing the narration - so what was your collaboration like?
Her voice has such confidence and authority. But I think the coolest thing
was just being in the same room with someone whose books I've read and
loved. You know when I read the book (and saw the movie) I hated that she
killed the kid at the end, and it was pretty cool to ask her why, in
person just the two of us.
I have already seen the first version of Good
Virus - Kindness Is Contagious (an already very good one, mind
you) about one and a half years ago - why the laid back workpace since then, and what are
and disadvantages? And did you work on any other projects in the meantime?
question! I don't know if laid back though is accurate. I've come to the
conclusion that I have an Edisonian process to my work (I think it took
him 1,000 or so tries to get the lightbulb right). Some people know what
they want and make it that way, I know what I want, but have to go through
tons of iterations until it looks right to me. It's an awful way to work
and very stressful. I wish I was among the former group. In my past films
I have kept more to a schedule and they weren't nearly as good. I also
work as an advertising creative director, so I did have a lot going on in-between. I took 6 months off so I could look at the film from a fresh
to that, will Good Virus -
Kindness Is Contagious further evolve, do you have any more stuff
you'd like to include in it?
I have a
ton of stuff I'd like to put into it, but I think it will stay this way
and the other stuff will go into a follow up film.
Also related, since our
last interview, any good stories about how the good virus has spread?
bet! Here is my best one:
"Good Virus is a documentary about being nice. It seems like
a strange idea, but there’s so much more to it than simply being nice.
There are possible health benefits, and the film shows that kindness is
contagious. It was the inspiration from this film that led me to one of
the happier moments of 2012. During the holiday season, I was shopping for
books. I decided to buy The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but not
for myself. When I reached the counter, I told the cashier to take the
book and give it to the next person with a child who was shopping. Tears
began to fill her eyes, and she declared that this was the nicest thing
she had ever seen someone do. It made her holiday that much better, and
mine as well."
-William Brownridge, The Toronto Film Scene
It's even better in context of the article:
idea when and where Good
Virus - Kindness Is Contagious will finally be released onto the
general public, and any future plans beyond that?
guestimate is in a year. We have begun submitting to festivals, my
submission plan is about a year, I want it to have a good run, at which
point we will release it commercially.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
website is www.goodvirus.org,
the blog links from there and I'll have the Facebook and Twitter hooked up
to it as well.
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
the nicest thing that anyone has done for you?
for the interview!