Jad Abumrad of Radiolab Shares What Music Means to Him in a Gorgeously Edited Film by Mac Premo

“American stuffmaker” and talented film editor Mac Premo sat down with Radiolab host Jad Abumrad and spoke with him about the meaning and function of music in a standard interview form. Premo later added in his own creative editing to form a gorgeously multi-layered short film that captures how strongly both artists value the art of music. Premo spoke with Vimeo about how the project came to be.

When we sat down together for the interview, the first thing I did was play Jad like a dozen songs, and talked to him about what each piece of music evoked in him. Then we went on to why he had the kinds of reactions he did. From there we let the conversation lead itself toward a discussion about what music is. …The job of the interviewer is to offer the opportunity for discovery. If you aren’t discovering as a filmmaker, then there’s no way in hell the audience will discover anything. As for working the camera, my objective is to play it like an instrument. This does lead to a shitload of missed opportunities. But if you treat the camera — the focal length, its movements or its lack of movement — like an entity that reacts to or anticipates what is being filmed, then the camerawork plays a role. But it’s got to mean something. It can’t just pretend to be dramatic.

A photo posted by mac premo (@macpremo) on

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.