Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Harry Moses

Questions from the Studio: A Conversation with Harry Moses

I connected with documentary filmmaker Harry Moses recently, here are some excerpts from our conversation about producing the television show 60 Minutes, the importance of editing in documentary films and why he continues to make documentaries. Gary Komarin: What brought you to 60 Minutes? Harry Moses: I had produced a film for Motorola on the Family Crisis Intervention Unit of the Oakland, CA police department. I screened the film for Don Hewitt, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, who ran it and later hired me, with a huge assist from Mike Wallace, whom I’d never met but who liked my work. Mike became my mentor and was a father figure to me, but that’s another story. Gary Komarin: What qualities does a top producer of a news show need to produce the most excellent programs? Harry Moses: Curiosity. Creativity. Determination. Critical acumen. Not yielding to one’s own biases. Gary Komarin: Were you involved in the editing process of 60 Minutes segments? Harry Moses: Editing is where every film is made, particularly documentaries, where there is no script to follow. I was and am totally involved in the editing, sometimes going through 15 cuts of a story before I show it to anyone else. Gary Komarin: What How did growing up in New York City prepare you, if it did, for your work as a producer?  Harry Moses: New York City has more energy and more vitality per square inch than any other place I’ve been. If my youth was spent on a farm in rural Kansas, I doubt I’d be doing what I’m doing. Gary Komarin: You did a very...