Congressman Mark Kirk Interview Update – 4/9/10

Hi everybody!

Several weeks ago, a few of us went down to D.C. to shoot an interview with Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill) and had a blast! The team comprised Jason, Evangel, Jack the videographer, Justin DuClos, and me (Jieun Baek). As a fairly new member of the team, I went to observe the various processes that are involved in shooting a 20-minute interview. I had no idea that a short shoot necessitated so many intricate procedures.

The team met up on the steps of the Longworth Building on the Hill, and made our way into Congressman Kirk’s office by around 11:45 AM. Jason, Justin, and Evangel were really happy about the sunny weather since it’d make for good b-roll shoots outside, especially of the Capitol building. For the following 90 minutes or so, I watched the team pull out countless film equipment pieces ranging from chords, huge background lights, to a ‘dead cat.’ (When I asked what the purpose of having a duster was, Jack explained that the ‘dead cat’ served as a tool to filter extraneous sounds. Or something like that.) Jason ran through his interview questions, Justin snapped cool shots of the office, Evangel and Jack set up and readjusted the equipment, and I tried my best to keep my hands and feet to myself in order to not trip over or break anything.
After Jason prepped the congressman with interview questions, and Evangel patted some powder on the congressman’s face, we were ready to go! The handsome congressman looked great on screen. More importantly, he shared with us the history of U.S. government’s efforts to address the divided families tragedy. His eloquent delivery of the powerful narrative for the inherent urgency of this phenomenon further reminded me of the broader relevance of this project. As you all will learn soon enough via the finished documentary, Congressman Kirk spoke about how he has an adopted sister from Korea, had visited every North Korean province as a former congressional staffer who was tasked with aid distribution to North Korea, and mentioned several other poignant anecdotes that underlined his deep investment in issues that affects Koreans and Korean-Americans. He called Cha-Hee his inspirational hero, and spoke of her boundless energy. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this powerhouse of an activist—I can’t wait to meet her!

After the interview, the team shot some b-roll material in the office lobby while I poked around to check out his reading selection. He had biographies of great presidents, including President Lincoln’s, and some readers on international security. All pretty solid choices for leisure reading, I must say. After we broke down the equipment, we headed out for a quick lunch before we all split. Needless to say, this interview reinvigorated the team with energy, encouragement, and a morale boost to continue with this long-awaited project!