On December 17, 2008, we shot the second interview.
This one was with the articulate Charles Sinclair, who was Bill Finger's longtime friend and writing partner. They met in the early 1950s and remained in touch till Bill's end (1974).
Charles sets the bar high for class. He has devoted a more-than-generous amount of time to tell me about his old friend, first in several long phone interviews when I "discovered" him in 2006 and now again on film—often graciously re-answering questions from the first round.
Memory is unreliable. I have seen proof of this repeatedly in researching Finger, among other subjects. Yet Charles's answers in late 2008 match up very well to what he said in the summer of 2006—both of which are recollections going back between 35 and 60 years. You try that at age 84.
Charles also has the patience of a house-of-cards builder. The four-man film crew and I showed up at noon and were supposed to be out by three. It was past five when I left, and the crew was just starting to break down. We'd rearranged his living room and taken up his whole afternoon. Charles didn't grumble once. He didn't even mind taking a call from his urologist while we were all in the room. (Test result: he's fine.)
I am tempted to share much more about Charles but I have to save most of it for the project(s) at hand.
In the meantime, I will share a film-making tip I learned.
When you're shooting near a fridge, you have to turn it off so the camera doesn't pick up the hum. The tip is how to remember to turn it back on before you go, so you don't ruin the interviewee's afternoon and food supply.
The solution: put your car keys in the fridge.