Farewell, Nick Dawson (and Cameron Crowe on Hal Ashby)
Once upon a time, every article I wrote for Filmmaker had to cross the virtual desk (email) of Managing Editor Nick Dawson. That day has since passed, which is how I am now able to write the following without Nick protesting in embarrassment or deleting my draft. That’s not to say Nick is ever one to tell someone what they can and can’t write. When an eager IFP intern (me) emailed to ask if she could contribute to Filmmaker — too shy to do so in person — Nick’s first response was “Sure,” his second, “Tell me what interests you.” Nick always encouraged me to pursue what I was passionate about, both as a writer and consumer of film, while also assigning carefully curated stories that he knew appealed to our audience. He’s made me a better writer and a better editor (subjectively speaking, of course), and for that I will miss him dearly. As of next Monday, Nick is moving on to head up the launching film section over at The Talkhouse.
I racked my brain and the internet for something to post here that was at least quasi-relevant to our mission, but could only find the above. Turns out there aren’t many Hal Ashby interviews out there, which is exactly why you should buy Nick’s book (s)! Ashby is one of Nick’s favorite filmmakers, and in the video, Cameron Crowe speaks about why the simplicity of Harold and Maude‘s story is one of its greatest strengths. I always find that my favorite films are those that are narratively straight-forward and convey their intricacies in execution.