Yesterday, I got interviewed for featurettes for two upcoming Peanuts animated DVDs. That’s kind of odd for me in itself. After writing a bunch of books and talking at conventions and doing occasional other interviews, you’d think I’d be kind of used to people thinking I say things well enough to listen to, but no.
But there’s an extra level of oddness to these. The guy in charge of making them is nice and smart and all, but with any sort of planned piece, there’s always assumptions in the quetions, whether it’s the assumptions of the interviewer or just the stroy they’re trying to build. Sometimes you get asked a factual question where they know the answer at least as well as you do. It’s unlike a reguarl conversation where the point of asking a question is to learn the answer; the point of asking this question is getting me to say the answer, because the interviewer is not one of the “experts” they want featurette.
But sometimes, you get the question that aims to tell whatever story they’re telling, and you find yourself in your best pundit mode answering “So why did Schulz have Charlie Brown spray-paint Snoopy purple and call him ‘noodle ears’?” and you’re halfway through explaining Schulz’s basic creative motivations and what the color purple meant to him before you realize that the question is actually not true, Schulz never had Charlie Brown do that, at which point you can or bail on your answer… or you can just commit to whatever pseudoreal garbage you were spinning.
But no matter how we got there, the end result on the You’re A Good Sport, Charlie Brown was a pretty nice featurette, and one that didn’t have me saying anything I didn’t mean. Whatever the process, it worked for reaching the end point.
I guess if there’s a piece of Peanuts news here, it’s “more DVDs are on the way” (beyond the forthcoming Snoopy’s Reunion/Flashbeagle disk, which I had nothing to do with.) Forgive me for using that as an excuse to get some thoughts down.