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Q&A: "New York on the Clock" producers Daniel Ross and Bijan Rezvani

Monday, September 14th, 2009
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Daniel Ross and Bijan Rezvani are the producers of New York on the Clock, a new THIRTEEN original online video series that explores some of the New York-centric people and professions that make our city great.

Q. What was the inspiration behind creating New York on the Clock?

Ross: My work in the past has focused mostly on places. After producing The City Concealed, I wanted to work on a project that profiled people. For the last few months I’ve been following The New York Times’ One in 8 Million project, along with David Lynch’s Interview Project, and I thought it would be fun to try something along those lines.

Q. What kind of people and professions will you be profiling in the series?

Ross: So far we’ve shot a tugboat captain, a movie location scout, a street artist/vendor, and a coffee cart guy. We’ve got some leads we’re working on at the moment, but really any job in the city is worth exploring, and the list of professions in the five boroughs is obviously a long one.

Q. Who is the most memorable person who’ve filmed so far, and why?

Ross: Chris Baker, the tugboat captain (which we’ll post in two weeks), stands out
to me simply because we spent the most time with him. We boarded his ship at 4 am and stayed out on the harbor until 7 pm. Chris describes his job as long hours of boredom punctuated by moments of intense concentration. During our fifteen hours aboard his tug, we got to experience that first hand. Plus, escorting an 800-foot aircraft carrier up the Hudson as the sun rose over Manhattan isn’t something I’ll forget.

Q. What challenges did you face in filming the premiere episode in Coney Island?

Ross: The most challenging part of filming at the Cyclone is deciding what not to film. We had four 32GB memory cards, which can hold about 2 hours of HD video. We spent an hour interviewing Jerry, and then moved on to shooting B roll. There’s just an endless amount of visually exciting subjects to shoot in and around Coney Island. We kept having to remind ourselves of what shots took priority because it’s so easy to get excited and distracted by all the weird sights.

Q. Is there a job in New York that you would never want to do?

Ross: Police officer. Not because it’s dangerous, but because I don’t think I
could take the stress of making so many ethical/legal split-second decisions on a daily basis.

  • stephan morrow

    Every season Crystal Field, Executive Director of Theater for the New City writes, rehearses and produces a 70min street theater piece that travels around NYC to give free and entertaining theater to residents. Political without being preachy and with biting humor it really is a joyous piece of street theater. And for children as well. Crew would follow Ms.Field during a two week writing jam session upstate n.y. where she goes to write it and then a 3 week rehearsal process where actors are taught the techniques of street theater and rehearse the piece. This year’s show focused on water resources of NY State and fracking so it is very relevant. When I saw the show I was impressed enough especially by the humor to want to document what this amazing woman does in a very short time with limited funds – and in addition to running Theater for the New City year round. She is a NYC gem right in front of us and certainly deserves a profile on a show such as N.Y.kers on the Clock. Stephan Morrow, Artistic Director, The Great American Play Series.