A documentarian’s note – In memories of David Carr and Bob Simon

(Feb 13th, 2015):
Bob Simon and David Carr, reporters many people and I admired, died suddenly this week on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb 11th & 12th) respectively. It was so sudden that David tweeted about the sad passing of Bob in a car crash on Wednesday and then he himself collapsed and died at the NYT office the day after. Lives are sometimes unfairly shortened and taken away from us without warnings.

On the day of his passing, David was moderating a panel about the documentary Citizenfour with Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald in person, and Edward Snowden via video from Russia. I won’t be surprised if David ensured Edward could participate smoothly live via video and made that panel discussions especially insightful.

I’ve seen many great award-winning documentaries so I’m keenly aware of my own limited skills and resources. But good filmmakers don’t make excuses. Yes, I worry that I will f*ck up the two documentaries on HKTV and Umbrella Revolution. I worry I won’t meet your expectations nor mine. But life is short and fragile. The more I worry, the more I will procrastinate. I can only do the best I can and try to make two documentaries “watchable”. As the character Fran said in Strictly Ballroom, “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”

I will do the best I can and keep trying to improve. I will try to be inspired by better documentarians and not to be intimidated by them.

P.S. If I were a betting man, I would bet Citizenfour would win Oscar Best Doc this year!


In memories of David Carr (1956 – 2015) and Bob Simon (1941 – 2015). In their own words via videos.
*) Last panel moderated by David Carr
Citizenfour: Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, with Edward Snowden (via G+ Hangout video).
*) David Carr Commencement Address to the Class of 2014

*) “WATCH: Scott Pelley Delivers Classy Tribute to CBS’ Bob Simon
*) In Search of the Jaguar by Bob Simon (posted by CBS 60 Minutes on 2011)


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