Gertrude Stein Questionnaire: Richard Chisolm

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Richard Chisolm is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and cinematographer with thirty years of production experience. He recently directed and shot “Cafeteria Man,” a feature documentary on school food reform currently in national distribution and slated to air on PBS in 2014. He served as director of photography for the 2010 documentary feature “Bach & Friends” in which celebrated living musicians perform and reflect on the composer’s works. Based in Baltimore, he has shot films and television programs on a wide variety of subjects in the US and abroad. Deeply committed to the value of real stories and the adventures of real people, Richard has worked for PBS, National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel, HBO, and many other broadcast entities. He was a camera operator on the HBO series “The Wire” and the director of photography for both of ABC’s “Hopkins” prime time medical documentary series (2000 and 2008). He is also the recipient of a Peabody Award, a Columbia duPont Journalism award, two Kodak Vision awards, four CINE Golden Eagles, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Maryland. Link:

Name: Richard Chisolm
Age: 50 Something
Occupation: Cinematographer/Documentary Filmmaker
Baltimore Neighborhood: Roland Park

Obsessive Collections: Rocks, Tools, Dust

Currently Reading: Harpers Magazine, NYTimes, New Yorker. Almost never read long form fiction.

Coolest Place You’ve Ever Been: Tie between Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Greece

Hobbies or Leisure Activities: Zen gardening, Crosswords, Scrabble, Going to lunch with people.

Favorite Food to Eat at Home: Fondue or Tacos, because you can improvise ingredients on hand and because each person dining is able to custom fabricate to their own preferences. Either of these can be eaten weekly without humiliating sense of repetition.

Favorite Food to Eat Out:
Breakfast: Pete’s Grille in Waverly. Scrambled eggs, bacon, muffin and grits. It has the most happily integrated mix of people in Baltimore next to Jimmy’s in Fells Point, but more meaningfully so because there are no tables, only a long counter.
Lunch: Joe Squared. Gourmet pizza amongst the intersection of art and commerce.
Dinner: The Ambassador’s Indian food with the most elegant atmosphere for conversation—beautiful porch with fireplaces and garden year round.

Beverage of Choice: By day the winner is the wild berry smoothie at One World. By night it is the Government Mule at Woodberry Kitchen.

Political Leanings: I’m a staunch progressive liberal who believes in a society that takes care of all of its citizens, where education is nurtured, and where good government can attenuate corporate greed. I greatly admire the voices of Bill Moyers, Elizabeth Warren and our own David Simon.

Favorite Baltimore spot to hang out: My garden is adjacent to Stoney Run Park and it is my sanctuary. Sometimes it is quiet and private, but other times it is alive with joggers, hikers and dog walkers. In either case, the modest park is peaceful and relaxing. Often seen or heard: foxes, owls, herons, chipmonks and woodpeckers.

Pet: Our cat Otto (10-year-old fat Ocicat) is possibly the center of the cat universe. That sounds preposterous to people until they meet him.

Favorite Artist, Living or Dead:
Dead: Yves Tanguy or Hieronymus Bosch
Live: Philip Glass (who I now look like when I’m tired.)

Movie that Sums Up the Current State of Your Life: Triple feature of “Wings of Desire”, “20 Feet From Stardom” and “8 Mile.”

Favorite Bad Habit: Growing bamboo (9 different species)

Mantra or Favorite Quote: “In the fields of observation chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur, 1854

Photo: Otto, the Ocicat & the garden – both by Richard Chisolm

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