Since I've gotten various reactions and queries, here are a few answers to a few questions ...
How did you come to do these things?
I got the idea for interviewing animation veterans for TAG blog last Fall, when I was running for re-election as Business Representative. Since I wasn't posting at the time, I put the execution of the idea off until after ballots were counted.
The original thought was to interview people who were somewhat younger than the "old-timers," but had been in the business twenty-five or thirty years. That policy has now been broadened, because we realize it's important to hear from artists who might not be around to interview a few years hence. (I kick myself I didn't start this up three or four years ago.)
Who are you interviewing?
We strive to interview a broad cross-section of people in the cartoon industry, folks working on the theatrical and/or television side who have made big contributions to the art form. Folks in different classifications. (Animators and directors have one story to tell, background and storyboard artists another. Kind of important, we think, to get a variety of experiences.)
How often are the interviews going to be put up on the blog?
As often as we do them, but no more than once a week. At the start, it was going to be "whenever," but we've gotten into a rhythm of putting them up on Monday or Tuesday, in thirty to forty-minute chunks. We'll work to continue that.
So where do you record these?
In studio offices. In the Animation Guild conference room. At private homes. Wherever it's most convenient for the interviewee. The sound quality varies because of the acoustics of different spaces. I use a small digital recorder placed close to the interviewed person.
How much time does it take to do an interview?
The length you hear is the length it takes. We perform minimal editing. (This is kind of obvious, yes?) I do research beforehand, and mouthe a short introduction afterhand, which Steve Kaplan (our in-house technical wiz) puts onto the front. That's pretty much it. No written questions, no windy formalities, just the ebb and flow of conversation.
How long will these interviews go on?
Two or three years. Beyond that, who knows? The over-arching idea is to put a lot of these oral histories onto the blog and the Animation Guild website and build a mosaic of recorded information about the animation industry that will be accessible to people. In the past, the guild has recorded interviews onto magnetic tape and the tape sat on a shelf somewhere, gathering dust. (Not super useful.)
Anyway, that's some of the thinking behind why we're doing these. We hope you find value in the project.