Interview: Barry Monush, editor of Screen World 62
By Erin V.
Enjoy this brief interview with Barry Monush, who is the editor of the book Screen World 62, which is a compiling of the films of 2010. For more, you can read my book review of Screen World 62 here.
The Screen World series compiles hundreds of films each year into one comprehensive guide. What is the hardest part of putting together such an extensive book as this? Well, two things. First, tracking down all of the movies and making sure that they actually received a theatrical release, somewhere in the U.S. There are more movies released each year than most people are even aware of. Second, finding photos, since many sites for the films are nothing more than advertisements, minus helpful press material for folks like us.
How long did Screen World 62 take to put together? It’s basically a year-long plus process. I try to type the entries as soon as the movies open, otherwise I’ll fall too far behind. Then there is checking and adding to the entries, which goes on even after the first layout is sent back to me. I always compare it to putting a jigsaw puzzle together. There are always pieces that are waiting to be put in.
When does the compiling of each new edition start? Whenever the first movies are released in January. And there are too many movies released each week (sometimes as many as 15 or 20 when you factor in quick runs in New York), so it doesn’t take very long to feel overwhelmed.
You’re listed as the editor of Screen World 62 – what specifically was your role in putting it all together? You name it, it’s mostly me. I keep track of all the openings; type the entries; find the photos and choose which ones to use; make the selection of what goes in the “A” and “B” sections; come up with promising newcomers; keep tabs on the box office figures. This is then handed off to our production staff, which is Tony Meisel, who is a very fast worker – thank goodness!
Do you have a personal favourite film from 2010? It’s hard to pick one – there were many highlights for me that year. The Social Network, The Ghost Writer, City Island, Please Give, Solitary Man, The Extra Man, Catfish, Let Me In, The King’s Speech, The Company Men, Another Year, to name just a few. Already I feel like I’ve left too many out …
Will you be working on Screen World 63? Considering I’ve got most of this year’s entries typed right up to November 30, 2011, I guess it’s safe to say yes. I’m imaging myself compiling Screen World 104 on my death bed, assuming there are still movies then.
Thanks to Barry Monush, editor of Screen World 62, for taking the time to answer my questions, and to those at Hal Leonard for setting everything up!