Episode 587 – DW Young

Virtual Memories Show 587:
D.W. Young

“From his time at the Village Voice, there were tremendous stories, there were tremendous adventures, but there was tremendous Work, above all.”

For more than 40 years, the breathtaking pictures of photographer James Hamilton have chronicled New York City and America (and a couple of war zones), and now the amazing new documentary UNCROPPED (Greenwich Entertainment) by director D.W. Young has launched a rediscovery of James Hamilton’s work, life & times. D.W. rejoins the show to talk about how James’ career at the NY Herald, Village Voice, and NY Observer opened the door to a a bigger story about NYC, arts/culture and media, how NYC has changed and how the culture adapts, and how young viewers react upon learning about the city’s vibrant newspaper & alt-weekly scene that preceded the internet. We get into the difference between empathy & formality in photography, how after D.W.’s previous movie (The Booksellers) he really didn’t want to make another NYC film but wound up making the MOST, James’ shift from film to digital (and why some of UNCROPPED is shot on film), why sit-down interviews in documentaries get a bad rap but why they can be so valuable, and how Wes Anderson ended up being interviewed in the movie in a largely empty room. Plus we discuss D.W.’s first post-lockdown movie-theater viewings, the relief of making a short narrative film (Dancing on the Silk Razor) in the midst of making Uncropped, what he learned from making The Booksellers (and what he had to unlearn), why it’s a travesty that the Village Voice archives aren’t digitized, and a lot more. Give it a listen! And go see UNCROPPED!

(And go listen to our 2020 conversation!)

“I don’t think of films as story so much as experience. Story may be part of the experience.”

“Uncropped comes off like a time-travel movie to younger people. It’s the experience of something they know of, but don’t know how to come to terms with, because they have no first-hand experience of it.”

“The Booksellers was about the importance of printed matter . . . and I think the same thing is there in the publications we cover in Uncropped.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

D.W. Young’s previous documentary The Booksellers, a behind-the-scenes look at the rare book world, premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2019. His other features include the award-winning documentary A Hole In A Fence and the narrative The Happy House, and his shorts include Dancing on the Silk Razor, Not Interested, A Favor For Jerry and A Body of Language. His work has screened at festivals around the world including NYFF, SXSW, DOC NYC, Woodstock Film Festival and more.

Follow UNCROPPED on Instagram and listen to my 2020 conversation with D.W.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at an undisclosed NYC location on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4 digital recorder & interface. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of D.W. by me; b/w photo in Coney Island by James Hamilton. It’s on my instagram.

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