Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris was on The Colbert Report last week, promoting his new book A Wilderness of Error. Among filmmakers Morris is also popular for creating his unique interview style and method. Dubbed the Interrotron, it entails two cameras with teleprompters, displaying the feed of each other. Interviewee on one end, Morris on another, the interview is conducted with direct eye contact recorded.
Colbert asked him about this and presented his own interview device, the Ask-o-Matic. Colbert’s device gives this technique a fresh, 21st century update utilizing iPads for a real, human connection. “It makes you more approachable, more likeable,” says Morris. Watch out future interviewees. You may be talking to an Ask-o-Matic before you know it.
But seriously, I’ve watched this three times and I still die laughing.
I do think there’s a way of adapting an iPad to the Interrotron. 2 iPads, 1 iPad teleprompter adapter, and FaceTime. Only thing is I’m not sure if there’s a way to connect without internet. Could get pretty data heavy if you’re on 3G or LTE.
While doing a Google search I did come across this KISS version of the device. EyeDirect Mark II. Little pricey and limiting on movement for the interviewer, but simple and no electronics, which means less to go wrong.
As for Morris’ book, A Wilderness of Error, I have to say I’m not familiar with the murder case of Jeffrey MacDonald. But after reading this NY Times piece on the book, I want to read it soley to watch Morris go to work in disecting the case and tearing apart the conclusions of the previously written books and 60 Minute special.
“I do…one word – evidence.”