65: Documenting the Nickelodeon Story w/ Scott Barber

In Episode 65, Dan Dissinger talks with filmmaker Scott Barber about storytelling through documentary, why Nickelodeon was such a positive creative force in the early 90s, and the role of writing when making a documentary. And who can forget GWAR.

Scott made his directorial debut with his film, The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story, featuring Kenan Thompson, Drake Bell, & Melissa Joan Hart. The film  premiered at the DOC NYC Festival in 2018, to a sold out crowd. 

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

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“We started assembling this team but it wasn’t through a production company or having a big budget, it was just people that were like, ‘I like Nickelodeon and I think it cool you guys are doing this and I want to do it with you.’” –Scott Barber

“I think it’s important for all writers to find their voice […] What stories are you going to tell and how are you going to tell [them]?”
–Scott Barber

“Whenever I became a documentary filmmaker, I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like this is how I was meant to write, through other people’s words.’” –Scott Barber

“People have high expectations of documentaries now; it has to feel like a movie.” –Scott Barber

“To me, the real writing is the editing.” –Scott Barber

“We wanted the [Nickelodeon] story to be told through people’s voices.” –Scott Barber

“I was able to use sound and vision and dialogue and all that together to tell a story, […] I just felt much more confident than whenever I’m just writing in Final Draft.” –Scott Barber

“My favorite part of this whole process is people saying, ‘I cried when I watched your movie. I didn’t know I was going to feel the way I felt when I watched your movie.’” –Scott Barber

“For an hour and a half, 90 minutes, we’re going to make you feel better, and you deserve that, you deserve to feel better. […] We’re living in a pandemic, it’s a crazy world where nothing makes sense anymore, so I hope for 90 minutes I can be your court jester and just entertain you and make you feel good for 90 minutes.” –Scott Barber

“[Nickelodeon] treated kids like people in a time where kids were not treated like people.” –Scott Barber

“When you say, ‘I love 90s Nickelodeon’ there’s no real unifying trait other than the fact that they were just all good and felt real.” –Scott Barber

“If you think [GWAR] is a heavy metal band that wears costumes, you’re wrong.” –Scott Barber

“I just love human stories.” –Scott Barber

Call for Contributors
Humanities Podcasting Symposium
October 15-16, 2021

The Humanities Podcasting Network is inviting expressions of interest for our first annual symposium on academic podcasting. Please use this survey to indicate which kinds of event(s) you’d be interested in organizing and to briefly describe your proposed topic. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2021.

This episode was recorded on June 11th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

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