The Big Picture With Avi Lewis featuring The Truth About Global Warming: Can We Save Planet Earth? on CBC Newsworld, Wednesday (September 27) at 10 pm.
THE SHOW: A one-hour documentary film followed by a one-hour town hall meeting with participants in the issue highlighted in the film, hosted by Avi Lewis.
THE PITCH: "When I pitched the show I was trying to marry both sides of my creative life. I spent three years making 85 minutes of film for our documentary The Take, and I had done 500 Counterspin town-hall-type shows."
MOST ANXIETY-PROVOKING FACTOR? "It's unscripted. We invite guests and we know their opinions, but often I'll go over to someone and not have a clue what's going to be said. Impromptu conversation can be chaotic."
FAVOURITE DOCUMENTARY MAKER? "Barbara Kopple. I just looked at Harlan County, U.S.A. She really knows how to find revolutionary statements inside real life."
WHAT ARE A DOCUMENTARY'S ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS? "There is no formula, really. But there are rants and essay films in which humour is the key, and that's a very powerful form."
WHERE DO YOU GO AFTER THE TAPINGS? "We usually go to a bar close to the CBC, but I always want to take the guests to Chinatown, where there's bad lighting and good food and we can yell at each other."
GUILTY TV PLEASURE?" Well, Naomi (Lewis's partner, Naomi Klein) is trying to write, so we don't watch much. I know you want some sluttish thing, so I have to say Steve Colbert."
YOU FEEL GUILTY WATCHING THAT? "All right, but we did kind of enjoy watching Milton Friedman's Capitalism And Freedom."
YOU'RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? "Oh, okay, Freaks And Geeks."