Interviewing Frank Capra
By Rey Barry
Finally after nearly 50 years the half-hour TV interview I did with movie legend Frank Capra is available to see. Until today I never saw it, as I did not have a TV set in those years.
A bit of background. From 1964 to 1978 I was on a $35/month retainer with the Univ. of Virginia Radio-TV-Recording Center to produce TV shows and otherwise contribute to their operations. This included being on-call.
One Saturday morning at about 11:30, center Director Rod Collins phoned me at home to ask that I be at the local cable TV studio at noon to conduct a televised interview with Frank Capra. Half-an-hour was time to get there but of course gave no time to prepare. I knew no more about Capra than you do.
Rod, a recognized master of the history of Hollywood, never did explain why I should do this and not he. His would have been a brilliant interview; mine had to fall back on letting Mr. Capra carry the entire program. Capra's praise afterwards showed this was exactly what he wanted.
We owe this h.264 file to Steven Villereal and others before him who rescued a tape made on long outmoded equipment that was stored somewhere in the state capital. Thank you, Steve and others responsible; I cherish your efforts.