In having an opportunity to analyze the politician behind the grandfather, I found a person I never knew. I found this consistently committed individual who gave so much to his country. I always thought he was a larger than life person to me and I knew he was important, but I had no clue until we started to dive into the film. The main supporting team behind this film included Producer Tani Cohen, Director Julie Anderson, Editor Juliet Weber and Archivist Judy Alley. We, as a team, worked diligently to review all sides of Barry Goldwater; politician, family man, photographer, aviator and true all American.
Doing an objective story on a family member is not the easiest thing to do. I was always very protective about the family privacy. While Tani and Julie were supportive, they, along with the HBO executives knew that we had to be objective and deliver a story that showed all sides of the man.
Our interviews with McCain, Clinton, Rooney and others provided many a night of conversation about visuals that could be added to complete the story. With no real script except for what director Julie Anderson scratched out to keep us all in line, we ran head first into the project with little fear.
I'm sure that had my grandfather been alive during the making of this film he would have called daily to say "God Damnit, I do not want a film about me"..."Use the money on someone more important and interesting like Winston Churchill."
There were many juicy little stories that could be told about the making of Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater, but I can't divulge all yet.
Just to give you a taste... We were going to do our interview with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and some nitwit flew his plane over restricted DC airspace and our team was whisked down to an underground bunker with all the Supreme Court staff and the Justices. It was so surreal being in this underground car park and peeking around the corner only to view O'Connor, Bryer, and Ginsburg leaning against Hondas, Caddies and other car bumpers just waiting to go back in the building. I only wish we could have done the interview right then and there. We had many of these near misses, but all in all everything went seamless, thanks to the experts I surrounded myself with.
I hope this movie sends a message to the young people of America that whether you agreed with Barry's political view or not, there is one thing that become apparent in this film... honesty, integrity and speaking your mind can ALMOST make you President of the United States, almost.