[It’s a Living raw #16]

Raw footage for "It's A Living." End of piano tuner William Farrell, then Studs on Michigan Avenue Bridge. 

0:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone, black.

1:55Copy video clip URL Piano tuner William Farrell describes the difficulties in tuning a piano accurately.

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2:58Copy video clip URL Back in. Farrell at work.

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4:14Copy video clip URL Farrell at work again.

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6:19Copy video clip URL Farrell talks about Oscar Peterson’s severe style of piano playing that made it difficult to keep a piano in tune.

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8:17Copy video clip URL Outside with Farrell in front of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Farrell walks with his equipment into a building.

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9:46Copy video clip URL Farrell talks with Anda Korsts and Judy Hoffman about the skills required to be a talented musician. “[Music is] like reaching out for infinity and making it.”

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11:28Copy video clip URL Farrell continues to talk with Anda and Judy about how he got started in his career.

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13:18Copy video clip URL Farrell shows his specialized tools. “I can truthfully say that it only takes fourteen minutes to tune a piano. But sometimes it takes you eight hours to get it into a condition where you can tune it.”

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15:08Copy video clip URL Farrell explains why he never tells children not to touch a piano – the time you stop them could be the last time they ever try to play the piano.

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16:46Copy video clip URL Studs Terkel walks on the Michigan Avenue Bridge with Tom Weinberg. Studs claims Chicago has more bridges than any other city in the country, while Tom seems unconvinced. Shots of some of the downtown buildings.

17:25Copy video clip URL Studs stops in front of the river to talk about the spontaneity allowed by the portable video camera and the relative possibility of capturing anything authentic on camera. Shot of the Wrigley Building. “I know I’m acting, I know I’m playing a role, but at the same time you catch me unaware, too. I know right now that you’ve got the camera on me.” Loud sirens interrupt the interview, so Studs tells a story about Benny Bearskin, a Native American who grew up in Chicago, and his inability to sleep back on the Reservation without the city sounds.

20:18Copy video clip URL Tom asks Studs what he plans to do next. Studs lists a few projects, such as a play he’s been wanting to do, and a book about power. “I like my daily radio program.” “How long are you going to do that?” “As long as I can.” Skips from topic to topic. “1912 – that’s the year the Titanic went down – that’s the year I came up.” He hedges on the idea of writing a memoir, then goes off on a story about a South African couple. The videomakers confront him on protecting himself from their questions. “Well, I don’t know myself.” “You probe everybody else.” “But not myself… Has it occurred to you that maybe there’s nothing else there?… I’ve had a pretty good life. We may have a danger in complacency at saying so. I guess so. Everything’s relative, of course.” “Do you like the fame you have, Studs?” “No, you asked me that before. I don’t know. It’s ok.” He then describes his general disgust at the indulgence of fame, and tries to answer questions about whether he likes himself. “Sometimes I clown, and the more I clown, the less of me you see. But them by that time, the clown becomes me.”

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28:47Copy video clip URL William Farrell, the piano tuner, returns. He explains the process involved in tuning.

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