Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Peek Behind the Video for BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY

One of the first things that attracted me to BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY was an author video that Ruta did, describing the path she took to write and publish the book. It made me cry--I watched it three times in a row, and then turned around and shared the video with everyone I could. Here it is, in case you missed it the first time I posted it:

Can you tell us about the production of the video? How involved were you in the process?

I created the storyboard and was quite involved in the process. My husband filmed the interview footage of me, and also my father. The interview footage of the survivors came from a film called “Red Terror on the Amber Coast” by Domedia Productions. It’s a wonderful movie about the Soviet occupation in the Baltics. Pirate Post Studios here in Franklin, TN created graphics and did all the amazing editing work. A fantastic film composer, Niels Bye Nielsen, scored the music for the video and created the opening sequence and visuals.

Did you know the survivors in the video? How well? How did you meet, contact, and interview them?

Irena Spakauskiene is one of the survivors who appear in the video. She spent hours and hours with me when I was in Lithuania and provided such vivid detail about her experience in the Arctic. A friend of mine in Lithuania, Linas, was also a great help and put me in touch with historians. The Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius assisted as well.

Were the interviews on the video done for the video, or is the video a reflection of the research you’d already conducted?

The video interviews with me were done for the video. The interview footage of the survivors came from a film called “Red Terror on the Amber Coast” by Domedia Productions.

At the end of the video, you broke down and cried—which made me cry, too. Can you tell us a little bit about your emotions at that time?

This story and the associated part of history has been in the dark for such a long time. The book didn’t sell right away, but when Philomel and Penguin jumped on board their belief was unwavering. And then Penguin’s sub-rights team and the international agents sold the book in over 22 countries. I can barely wrap my head around it. I’m so grateful and when I think of all of the people who thought this story would never be told I am overcome with emotion.

Between Shades of Gray Prize Pack:
Signed bookplate
Music download card

All this week, I'll be posting about BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. Comment on a post, you get an entry for the random drawing. Five posts = five chances to comment and win. So come back every day this week for another chance to comment and win! 

Also, I thought it might be easier if I suggested some topics for comments--you don't have to comment on the following questions to enter (a simple "please enter me!" is fine), I just thought it might be fun to get a real discussion going.

Question: I know you watched the video. If not, you better! So, what part touched you the most?
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