Cake
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    • If you think about the experience they go through, they’ve never met me before. Oftentimes they haven’t talked to me before. And then I send a team to interview them, so there’s always a little bit of nerves, and like “Hi, I’m setting up a camera, trying to get to know you”, worrying about logistical details like a dog barking next door. It’s a rather intense first date type experience. But in the vast majority of cases, when we leave, people are happy. It’s hard to sum up a life in 2 hours, which is what we ask people to do. We don’t ask people to share their whole life story, we structure an interview, but it’s quite cathartic. People discover things about themselves. They cry. I think they feel honored, which is extremely important to me. And in the vast majority of cases, they are glad that they did it.

      And then we go through a really interesting process, because we’re a professional archive, we transcribe each interview professionally, and we review it internally to make sure it has no grammatical errors, and then we send the transcript back to the subject to offer them the chance to make any corrections or delete anything they aren’t comfortable with. And that’s really interesting, because people have the urge to re-write what they said, and the written transcript has to match the video - if it stops matching the video, it becomes a totally different thing. So you can delete something if you’re not comfortable with it, but you can’t rewrite the interview. It’s a really interesting process, where people say “I can’t believe I told that story!” Or it’s another way of coming to terms with the life they’ve lived.

      I think it’s really meaningful. I hear from our subjects all the times and now that the book is coming out, people are asking me if they’re included - and unfortunately not everyone can be included, but everyone will be on the digital platform. The digital platform is launching on May 21 along with the book. The Book is a sneak peek, a little taste of what the archive contains. But our pledge and our mission from Day 1 has been to make all of our content fully and freely available, like a big library you can wander into whenever you want, spend as long as you want, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. That’s our pledge, that’s essential that there’s no barriers - if someone can get on a computer, they can access our interviews, read the transcripts, look at photos, learn about who these people were, and that all launches on May 21st at the OUTWORDS Archive. We’re starting with 40 interviews just to get it up and running, and over the next 6 months to 1 year, we’ll be adding the rest of our interviews as well as new interviews we’ll be shooting in the coming months and years.  We provide mini-profiles online, but we have so much to do in terms of fleshing out all the amazing content we have.