Identity expands and contracts. Let me try to explain. I am Jewish. Judaism can be a lens to view the eternal, to focus on ethics, knowledge, faith, ritual. Or it could be a set of curtains, the way some ultra-orthodox sects neglect to teach their children math and science. This applies to all religions, ethnicities, races. They can both expand and contract.
Get Wednesday’s column. Columbia College chose veteran director Michael Goy because he is Asian-American and the success of “All at once” brought attention to Asian heritage in Hollywood.
That was one of the reasons I agreed. But only one — the rest is because filmmaking is an interesting job. Goi was a font of razor-sharp professional acumen. Anyway, Wednesday’s column ran 50% longer than usual. However, after I turned it in, I realized that I had missed perhaps the two most interesting parts of our conversation because they were off topic.
First, what Goi said about job interviews. This is relevant as people these days move from job to job conducting continuous interviews. Goi said something I have never heard before from anyone in any profession.
“The job interview is my favorite, loved ones part of this business,” he said. “If I could get paid to interview and never have to do the job, I’d be perfectly happy. I always tell people to embrace the job interview process. The only time , when the job will be perfect is during the job interview. Because you don’t have to worry about all the things you have to worry about if you get the job.”
Don’t try to flatter the interviewer.
“People dread the job interview and try to read the room and predict what they want to hear,” Goi said. “I don’t do any of that. This is how you convince them that you are no right for the job. They can tell you’re lying. They can tell you’re just saying things to make them feel better.
Rather, the interview is a time to be honest, personal, and celebrate yourself.
“What I love about the job interview process is that it can be all, all about me and my view of what I think about that scenario and what I would do if I were hired for that job,” Goi said. “A couple of times the script inspired me to put together a two-minute trailer based on film clips that stylistically says this is how I see that move or show. Another time I will download images from the internet. I actually walk them through their entire script using visual cues of what I think it looks like. What’s more important is how it feels.”
Don’t hesitate to show your excitement.
“What you want to do is convey what your passion is,” Goi said. “Why are you passionate about a certain topic? At a job interview, the first question is always, “What did you work on?” [Applicants] they start reciting their CV which is a complete waste of time. Because they already have your resume. They don’t need you to tell them what you’ve been working on. You need to tell them something that speaks to your personal passion. This makes you an individual worth remembering. I’ve been telling people that I just built a railroad train around my house. I tell people that I finally got my magic zigzag box that I’ve always wanted since I was a teenager at Lane Tech High School. Now I can put my assistant in it and cut it into three pieces and put it back together. These are the things that make my life fun. and that’s what I want to convey to people at the job interview. After all, they only hire you for two reasons: because they like you and they trust you. Not based on experience. Do they like you? And do they trust you? To make that judgment, they need to know who you are and what makes you tick.
Second … God, there’s still no room. And I wanted to understand how, despite Chicago’s pretensions, the film industry is entirely centered on Los Angeles. “Anywhere else is a location, including Chicago,” Goy said.
A third column in a row would be overkill. We’ll have to save his remarks, perhaps for a future column when Chicago’s world-class aspirations are brought into verifiable reality.