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I Met the Walrus’ Josh Raskin & Jerry Levitan Answer The Six Questions

George Clooney squeezed my arm a few times at the nominee luncheon. Then he asked me where the bar was. That was pretty exciting.

Would you have the guts to sneak into John Lennon's hotel room? © Josh Raskin.

Would you have the guts to sneak into John Lennon's hotel room? © Josh Raskin.

I Met the Walrus director Josh Raskin and Jerry Levitan have written in to answer The Six Questions. If you don’t already know about their film, it’s based on audiotapes that Jerry made as a teen when he snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room and asked for an interview. Josh then transformed the sound recordings into a whirlwind of images that depict and comment on what is being said. The funny and poignant film says just as much about Jerry as it does about the rock ‘n roll icon Lennon. Here is what Jerry had to say:

Rick: How did you hear about your nomination? Did you wait up? Did someone call you?

Jerry: I was stuck on a hill in a snowstorm driving my six-year-old to school. My girlfriend called me. Rick: Since the nominations came out has anything exciting happened because of the nomination?

Jerry: Got to meet some great people.

Rick: What was the thing that brought you to your nominated project? Jerry: The day I spent with John Lennon in 1969.

Rick: What made this project special for you?

Jerry: The event was so part of my life.

Rick: In the next couple weeks there will be all kinds of big events going on, is there something that you are particularly looking forward to?

Jerry: Had fun at the Nominees Lunch.

Rick: Anything else you’d like to add?

Jerry: Happy I met Josh.

Now for the man who helped transform an unforgettable day in Jerry’s life into a fantastical animated film:

Rick: How did you hear about your nomination? Did you wait up? Did someone call you?

Josh: I was in the midst of a nauseous half-sleep in Park City, Utah, when James [Braithwaite] (the illustrator) called with the news. Assuming he was winding me up, I swore at him several times, until everyone else I’ve ever met called that same minute. Rick: Since the nominations came out has anything exciting happened because of the nomination?

Josh: George Clooney squeezed my arm a few times at the nominee luncheon. Then he asked me where the bar was. That was pretty exciting.

Rick: What was the thing that brought you to your nominated project?

Josh: John Lennon, Jerry Levitan and an arseful of luck.

Rick: What made this project special for you?

Josh: Growing up, The Beatles were my breast milk, so an opportunity to work with John Lennon’s words was pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened. Also, this film provided an opportunity to work with two very close (and very talented) friends: the genius illustrator James Braithwaite and the brilliant designer Alex Kurina. Despite having to lock ourselves in a dark studio for a year with nothing but a firm ping-pong regiment to keep us sane, we didn’t once kill each other. Another thing that makes this project important is that sadly, the stuff John’s talking about seems more relevant today than when he spoke the words 39 years ago. I think it’s a timely reminder of how little we seem to have learned.

Rick: In the next couple weeks there will be all kinds of big events going on, is there something that you are particularly looking forward to?

Josh: I’m particularly looking forward to the screening tour of Bay Area film studios (headed by Ron Diamond). Mostly because I’ll get to run around causing trouble in San Francisco with James and the other nominated lads, but also cause it’ll be neat to see where movies are made. I’m also looking forward to any party Ellen Page is at. She’s adorable.

Rick: Anything else you’d like to add?

Josh: This is all completely insane. And as flattering as it is to be considered next to such amazing work, it’s important to remember that awards are not the reason you make a film. And if they are the reason… your film probably won’t be very good. You have to love what you’re doing, and if it all works out, people will respond to it. Having said that, the fact that anyone has responded so favorably to our little film blows my mind pretty much daily.

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