"People watching television or listening to conversation need to be told things more simply and directly than when they're reading. It's a different kind of writing. When I first started writing for the show, Thea Flaum our producer would go over my copy and shake her head because I was writing long paragraphs of print and expecting to read them on television. On TV, you don't have that much time -- you have to get right to it."
About This Interview
In his ninety-minute Archive Interview, Roger Ebert (1942-2013) speaks about his interest in the movies while growing up and his early work as a freelance writer for various publications throughout his college years. He discusses joining the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966 and being named the paper's film critic in early 1967, a post that eventually earned him the first Pulitizer Prize awarded for film criticism. He briefly talks of his early experiences on television before he was teamed with Gene Siskel on the local WTTW movie review series Opening Soon at a Theatre Near You. Ebert notes the many incarnations of the show, which went national on PBS and then was nationally syndicated, becoming the familiar Siskel & Ebert. He recalls working with his longtime colleague and sometime rival Gene Siskel, who co-hosted the show until his death in February 1999. Ebert describes the transitional period that followed until Richard Roeper was offered the job "across the aisle" from him on the renamed Ebert & Roeper in July 2000. Ebert details various aspects of the series, including the thumbs up/ thumbs down grading system, the use of movie clips on the show, and the impact the show has had on movies. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on November 2, 2005 in Chicago, IL.