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Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues, January 27-30, 2018 The Park Record C-5 Turning radio into film with Glass ‘This American Life’ host tells tales on any medium KIRA HOFFELMEYER The Park Record When you hear the name Ira Glass, you probably immediately think of his popular public radio show, “This American Life.” But, you might not think of the well-known radio host and producer as a movie producer. But a movie producer he is, and he premiered one of his many films this year at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. “Come Sunday” is based on and adapted from an episode of “This American Life”, which follows the story of Reverend Carlton Pearson, a distinguished evangelical pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I’ve felt for a really long time that one of the worst covered groups in America by journalism is people who have faith,” Glass said of his decision to follow Pearson’s story. “I feel like generally the way that reporters come into their world is almost like anthropologists, and often they [people of faith] are treated in cartoonish ways, and there is very little documentation of the emotional experience of what it means to have faith in America.” So, he set out to document Pearson’s controversial interpretation of Christianity. “God reveals to him that you Continued from C-4 Friends enjoy time together no written set list,” he said. “Sure there are repeats from night to night, but it’s all an effort to continue to explore how much we can get out of the songs we have written over the years.” That’s what keeps the concerts fresh, Keen explained. “A lot of times Lyle will start three or four nights with the same song, but in general he’ll start off a song and if I have played something similar with that song the night before, I’ll try to think of another angle of approach,” he said. “I’ll try to find out what else is in that song that works. And while I like to have a loose connection with what he’s playing, for the most part, we play off each other.” Keen knows these concerts are special for him, but they are also special for the audiences. “These are great songs and it’s a lot of fun, but in the world of music and performance, there isn’t a lot of tours like this, especially in the world of people who really have known each other for so long,” he said. “It’s really unique and I’m lucky to be able to do this a couple of times a year with PUZZLE ANSWERS FROM PAGE C-4 S T P A T C E L L O U N A L L A C R Y E P E L I D A S S C H E T E M D I S F P H U R E L I V P I A T O T S U E B O Y S L I F E A R F O D E D D E O R G O R E S H A R E C B A S K E N T S E S E P O R A E M C D T U J U T Z A B E I C E N O T R E B O A S P H O A T E N P R I M O E L L I I P S G G A R Y A B D O R T H B O I O R D D S R O E D M E S T S E A P E N E F L O G L A E M E R O T A N N O T E S N A C L O O O P I E C E A C E O F H E A R T S L A N G E A N D S N L O E I A R R A E D E L E M I L I T E O P T R E B E D T A B G R O F O R W U A E N T T G N E I S A S H E L C A N A O V A S Y E E O Q T H Q U E A T I D R E I T T C O M M E M A S A N W A L K O N W A T E R S E A N Y O U N G E E R S E S R E A R E N D K O S R A S N L I I K E E N T E R R E E D Y TANZI PROPST/PARK RECORD Ira Glass, right, responds to a question during a panel discussion at the Filmmaker Lodge’s Cinema Cafe on Monday. Glass was accompanied by Miranda July, left, and the two discussed filmmaking and radio with a moderator, New York Times’ contributing writer Logan Hill. can get to Heaven even if you don’t believe in Jesus,” said Glass, “and he begins to preach it. And his whole life begins to fall apart.” His followers, friends and family begin to question his beliefs and fight against what he’s preaching. “These are people arguing against him, who love him,” said Glass. “And they’re like, ‘Brother, I would like to believe, but it’s not in the book.’“ Glass said the drama around Pearson’s story and the complex relationships made him enthusiastic about adapting it to film. “Then there’s the horrible process of making it into a film,” said Glass. “I don’t know how people do it. It is a study in delayed gratification at a level I just cannot comprehend. How do you people do it?” However, it seems like Glass is in the movie business for the long haul — “This American Life” is essentially turning into its own production company, said moderator and contributing New York Times writer Logan Hill. Glass even admitted in a Monday panel that, among other things in the queue, popular podcasts “Serial” and “S-Town” are headed the way of film, too. But Glass said that’s not as easy as it seems. “Is part of the difficulty there is that they work so well in their original medium?” asked Hill. “Yeah, they’re designed as podcasts,” Glass replied. “Figuring out how to do ‘Serial’ again as a film is a really tricky process. Should it be a film? Should it be a miniseries? Is there a Sarah Koenig character? “As a radio producer, I often feel like, ‘we nailed it!’ There’s no other feelings you could extract from this,” laughed Glass. “But some of the filmmakers we talk to really have a vision of it that seems really cool… I don’t even know what stage it’s all at. I guess I should have inquired about it before talking about it in public.” But Glass preaches that figuring things out and trying new mediums is something he enjoys, despite being “bad” for most of his career. “I was bad,” said the renowned radio host. “I was not good for a really long time. It wasn’t like I was bringing in any kind of freshness, I was just not good. “For me, that was a decade of my life,” said Glass. “I know I’m making video stories, but they aren’t what I want. They’re not as good as other people’s stories and they’re not what I have in my head.” Hill also took a moment to ask Glass about sexual misconduct in the public radio industry. “Were you aware of the amount of harassment reports, not at “This American Life”, but at other public radio [stations]?” asked Hill. “No, I wasn’t at all,” Glass said. “But talking to the women on staff, some of them knew people at other public radio stations who knew what was going on. “Some of it wasn’t even the sexual harassment part, but male radio hosts just being total dicks when they got off the air,” said Glass. He said some women told him that some hosts would get off air, and then loudly berate Lyle. It’s my favorite thing to do these days.” The last time Keen and Lovett performed together was last fall during the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief, that was part of the Deep From the Heart: Hurricane Relief Concert and telethon. Hand in Hand was a threepart benefit that took place in New York, Los Angeles, and San Antonio, where Lovett and Keen performed with George Strait, Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert. The money raised from their concert, which was organized by Strait, went to the Rebuild Texas Fund. “As far as I understand, George asked Lyle and me first and then got Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert onboard,” Keen said. “It came together really fast.” The artists played the show after only 10 days. “George has full rein of the show and where the money would go, which was great,” Keen said. “George is a quiet guy, but very much in charge.” The money was given to the small towns including Rockport and Port Aransas -- that were destroyed in the hurricane. “It went off great, and I can say it was easily in the top three musical experiences in my life,” Keen said. Keen enjoys performing benefit concerts as long as there is a clear vision of the cause. “I never have felt as an artist you use or abuse your place on stage to get out some kind of message, because I really think what we do is about music and entertainment,” he said. “I do think that you can use your celebrity [status] to bring people together. When you do that, a lot of good things can happen. “There are a lot of things I turn down, but when it looks like it will work good and the goal is clear then I’m always all in.” For the past 11 years Keen has played an annual concert in his hometown of Kerrville, Texas, that benefits the Hill Country Youth Orchestra, which is composed of youths aged 6 to 18, who play violin, viola, cello and bass. “This is our 11th year doing these concerts,” he said. “All the money that comes in goes to the orchestra. This is a way for me to give back to the music, something that has been good to me in my career.” After looking back on the past 30 years Keen said he wouldn’t change a thing. “I trudged on with the things I wanted to do, even though a smart guy would have quit long ago,” he guffawed. “This is what I wanted to do. I believe in the human will, and I believe in having a passion for what you do. I think those two things that will help you along.” Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd. For information, visit www.ecclescenter.org. the women the host was just interacting with. “It’s just such a weird opposite of public radio hosts on the air,” said Glass. “They’re talking to you in this reasonable NPR voice, and the thought that the second the microphone goes off they’re abusing some 25-year-old production assistant and yelling at her — that’s the weird flip side of the nicey-nicey NPR voice … It’s disturbing and weirdly funny, too.” Overall, Glass said he’s excited to keep producing movies and trying to tell in-depth stories like he is doing now on “This American Life” and other nonfiction storytelling podcasts. “It’s about understanding what really happened and finding the other parts of it that people can invest emotionally,” said Glass. “I think so much about the beginnings of things … I think as soon as you walk into people’s real feelings, then they’ll just go with you.” Exclusive. Strategic. Refined. A great real estate brand is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Kelly Rogers Global Real Estate Advisor 435-640-7600 KellyRogers.evusa.com | email@example.com ©2016 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Engel & Völkers and its independent License Partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.