FA:As a cinematographer, do you prescribe to any type of style to capture
an image? Are there techniques that you have used throughout your career?
JC: I act as a person first and foremost, not as a technician. I try to minimize the technical aspect of
shooting. It makes the subjects more at ease. I have the camera with me if we are shooting or not.
FA: How has technology advanced the documentary filmmaking?
JC: Mini DV has revolutionized the field by making the subjects feel more at ease, without
having a lot of film equipment around.
FA: Do you have a subject or project in mind and research it or do
you let the story unfold throughout the filming?
JC: It depends. On "Aileen" the whole scenerio was already set up. Nick Bloomfield had
already completed one documentary on Aileen and the most recent one was her in court. Nick got a subpeona to appear in court
and he asked the judge if he could bring cameras into the court room. To his suprise the judge let him capture the court events
Lily Tomlin, for example, took months of research before the shoot began.
FA: How did you come about having Lily Tomlin as a subject?
JC: I met her at an 85th birthday party for artist Beatrice Wood. The theme for the Da-da
and Lily came dressed as Dahlia Pardon. She was the keynote speaker at the party. She was so funny that I knew she would make
a great subject. I got hold of her through her doctor, which we share. At first, she was not interested at all. Then, she
allowed me to go on shows with her all around the country. Eventually it got to the point that I had been with her so long
it was hard for her to turn me down.
FA:What is your latest project?
JC: Ugh, I can't tell you.
FA: Just give us a hint?
JC: OK, it is a spoof on reality TV. Oh, it has a really big star in it!
FA: Good enough
FA: Are you shooting this one with Nick Broomfield?
JC: No, my husband and I are doing this project toghether. I will keep you informed.
FA: Fair enough.
*Portions of this interview were paraphrased from a phone conversation in May, 2004.