Storytellers to discuss evolution of media, film
NEW CANAAN — Two veteran storytellers will address the evolving business and production models in filmmaking and journalism, while raising money for a local nonprofit.
Movie director Barry Levinson and broadcast journalist Bob Schieffer will talk about their respective professions and the state of the media during the May 15 event at New Canaan Country School. Proceeds from the event will benefit Horizons, a nonprofit that serves 400 low-income students from Stamford and Norwalk public schools.
“They’re really legends in their own careers and they both happen to be New Canaan Country School grandparents,” said Nancy von Euler, executive director of Horizons.
Levinson won an Oscar for best director in 1988 for his multiple award-winning film “Rain Man” that starred Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. More recently, Levinson directed “Paterno,” starring Al Pacino, for HBO, a rising trend in the cinematic world.
Schieffer, a television journalist, worked at CBS News from 1969 to 2015. He moderated three presidential debates and covered the White House, the Pentagon, Congress and the Department of State throughout his career.
According to von Euler, Levinson and Schieffer will interview each other about their personal trajectories and the state of the media and films. There will be 30 minutes allotted for a question-and-answer session following the guests’ conversation.
“It’s an unscripted conversation which will include their favorite stories from their career and how they feel about current events in filmmaking and journalism,” von Euler said.
Regarding the increasing number of movies that go straight to online streaming services like Netflix and HBO, Levinson said in an interview that such paths are now an important part of the film industry.
“It’s been a continual evolution. The obstacles are not going to disappear,” Levinson said. “I think theatrical is going to become sort of what Broadway is, and pieces might be either theatrical pieces or better suited to television.”
Though it’s still storytelling, Levinson said certain subject matters can fare better on the small screen.
“(Movies going to Netflix or HBO) is the only way to tell certain stories now,” Levinson said. “I chase the story that I’m interested in.”
The event will take place at the New Canaan Country School auditorium, 635 Frogtown Road, at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $100 and VIP tickets, which include a dinner with the two guests and a signed copy of Schieffer’s latest book “Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News,” are $500.