Not too long back the British magazine "Brewery History Journal" got in touch and asked me to write an article to be included in a special edition devoted to Michael. I was shocked, honored, and intimidated, about in that order. To be included in the illustrious company of some of the world's most talented and prolific beer writers, was, quite honestly, somewhat absurd. While I graduated from college with a writing degree and published a few things over the years, I wasn't exactly a renowned author, especially on the vast subject of beer. At any rate, my mission was to write about the documentary, and what it was like to travel and film with the Beer Hunter. So, after about one hundred awkward attempts, I finally just gave in and wrote from memory and heart. I hope I was able to convey what a pleasure it was to travel and work with such an humble, generous, and knowledgeable individual.
I was also grateful for the opportunity to write about Michael. Up to that point I had only been able to edit him. Michael was incredibly articulate, and he spoke much like he wrote. But it is difficult to edit Michael. He can digress for more than a few minutes, and his digressions were always relevant and fascinating. But in these day of whip-zooms and MTV pacing, these rambling interviews were subject to ruthless application of the razor tool. In writing, however, I could transcribe his conversations in full, without worrying about snappy edits and matching up an appropriate sound track. There were no hard drive crashes, no video formatting issues, and very straight-forward media management. I could set up the context, talk about events leading up to the shoot, and cover topics that would be impossible (not to mention insufferable) through voice over.
Hopefully this collection of articles paint a more complete picture of a complex, wonderful person who literally changed the world in which we are immersed. I encourage anyone to purchase a copy of this special Brewery History edition. A great deal of labor and love went into it. Hats off to the publishers for conceiving it and making it happen. Here's a link if you're interested:
Oxford Brookes awarded Beer Hunter's papers
5 years ago