Exclusive CS Video: Charles Ferguson on Inside Job


“Do you think anyone will see this?”

It was an earnest question from Charles Ferguson, director of Inside Job, following our 20-minute interview, and it was a hard question to answer, since it’s hard to determine whether anyone will see his new movie, as much as we realize how important it is that everyone should at least TRY to see it. After all, Ferguson’s last movie No End in Sight earned an Oscar nomination by unveiling the truth behind what happened in Iraq and why it all turned so bad. It barely made a dent when it played in theaters, instead taking advantage of Magnolia’s developing video-on-demand program.

Narrated by actor Matt Damon, Inside Job takes an equally tough and comprehensive look at the economic crash of September 2008, what went wrong leading up to it, how it could be avoided and how so many parties not only weren’t held accountable but in turn, were given key roles in the Obama administration, something that furthers Ferguson’s constant quest to be non-partisan in his exploration on a subject.

The film isn’t just fascinating for whom Ferguson gets in front of the camera whether it’s lobbyists, academic economists, or Elliot Spitzer–often to give them his own brand of the third degree–but also those who “declined to be interviewed,” a recurring theme where each of those who turn him down are replaced by title cards saying as much. Even without some of the bigger names behind Goldman-Sacks, AIG and Lehman Brothers talking about how their attempts to make money on the basis of lower income Americans’ inability to pay their debt, it’s still a fairly thorough study of the way things work and why some very rich people’s attempts to make even more money has hurt our country’s economy, possibly beyond repair.

ComingSoon.net sat down with Ferguson last week when he was in town to show the movie at the New York Film Festival, and some of the things we discussed in the video interview below include:

* How the idea began to make a movie about the economic crash
* How he figured out what the first step should be in making the movie
* How hard he tried to get some people to talk on film (or off the record) about what happened
* His thoughts on why some people would talk and others wouldn’t
* How he decides which interview subjects are telling the truth
* Crediting his editors as writers
* Matt Damon’s contribution as the film’s narrator
* He talks about how he’d like to make a thriller based in the worlds of finance and high technology
* We ask him if he’s ever declined to be interviewed (as a joke)
And much more!

Inside Job opens in New York and L.A. on Friday and other theaters over the coming weeks.