Frank Marshall spoke with Solzy at the Movies on the red carpet prior to the world premiere of Rather during the 2023 Tribeca Festival.
Rather kicked off a busy Tribeca Festival for the filmmaker as it was one of three projects he directed or executive produced. The other two were The Fourth Wall and The Space Race, both of which Marshall executive produced. Following the premiere, Marshall joined Dan Rather in a conversation moderated by MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle.
Rather premiered to a packed SVA Theatre on Friday, June 9.
What was the genesis behind the documentary on Dan Rather?
Frank Marshall: Well, it’s complicated. As you know, we make a lot of documentaries. We were executive producers at the start of this journey with Jennifer and Joe, and then the pandemic hit. They had to make kind of change midway because of the complications from everybody not being in the same place at the same time. They asked me if I would direct the movie and certainly, I had signed on as an executive producer, because I grew up with Dan Rather and I’ve always found him a fascinating character. I love his sense of humor and I love how he’s always got a twinkle in his eye. I thought, well, this could be interesting for me as a filmmaker because it’s different than those music docs I make. How can I tackle this one because I had such a passion for his passion? Basically, he’s always wanted to just be a reporter. I thought how cool—his dream was to be a reporter and he’s accomplished that. He’s just a truth teller. That was why I decided I’m going to do this. I want to come in and meet the man.
What are the biggest challenges of making a 90-minute documentary on this iconic newsman who’s had a very lengthy career?
Frank Marshall: Yeah. Well, the biggest challenge was what to leave out. I mean, there were many, many moments in our country’s history that Dan was at and I couldn’t cover because I was really focused on how Dan came to be there. There’s a lot of serendipity and luck. We both had our first jobs in Texas. He was in Galveston as a weatherman and I was in Archer City as a location manager on The Last Picture Show. Our careers, in a funny way, have kind of paralleled in interesting ways, being in the right place at the right time. But the biggest challenge, I just said, is tons and tons of archival footage, what do we use, those choices, all the people in Dan’s life, and how do we encapsulate that into one movie. It’s really choices, but hopefully, I made the right ones.
Thank you again.
Frank Marshall: Okay, good to talk to you.
Frank Marshall: Hope to see you soon.
Rather held its world premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival in the Spotlight+ section.
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