Isn’t it brilliant when a seemingly casual email enquiry turns into an inspiring and truly wonderful assignment?
A few weeks ago, I received an email from BAFTA asking me to interpret for an interview they were recording with a film director.
I jumped at the opportunity, but in my heart, I presumed the request had been sent to many other interpreters and agencies and they wouldn’t follow up the contact.
However, to my surprise, and happiness, they did – and I was thrilled!
The interview was with the acclaimed Italian film director and screenwriter, Giuseppe Tornatore, who is perhaps most well-known for his Oscar-winning movie, Cinema Paradiso. It was to focus on Giuseppe’s recent documentary Ennio about Italian composer, Ennio Morricone.
It was a tricky interview to prepare for as the client provided no questions for me to see beforehand (well, I did receive them one minute before the interview but had no time to read them then as the recording had already commenced!), so for three days leading up to the interview I spent hours studying and devouring all possible copy and interviews online. There was so much content to read and watch.
The interview was taken by film writer Ian Haydn Smith. I loved Ian’s interview style, he was so friendly and welcoming, and Giuseppe’s answers were so long and expressive, he was truly fascinating and full of enthusiasm and joy. His passion and excitement were infectious and I took pages of notes for his extensive and vivid answers.
The positive vibe of the interview and Giuseppe and Ian’s friendliness made the whole experience so enjoyable. The time flew and I had no idea that when we finished the conversation had been over an hour long. It was such a casual and relaxed chat.
I have the recording which I will keep forever. It is so easy to be critical of yourself and ways in which jobs could have gone better – perhaps different synonyms or phrases that could have been used.
As they say, with hindsight everyone has wonderful foresight, and I think it is important for interpreters to remember that when you’re in the midst of interpreting you are truly “in the zone” and concentration levels are through the roof! You’re on standby waiting for the next question, and ready to jump into the unknown. It is on no level comparable with translation!
So, for this assignment, I decided not to be hard on myself and consider the work and the experience for what it was – a wonderful opportunity to work with a world-famous director and a globally renowned arts charity.
The comment I received from the director, Ian, straight after the interview put a huge smile on my face:
“It was a pleasure meeting you too. No feedback beyond my thinking you did a sterling job. I am always amazed at the skill in translating live. Not an easy task. I especially liked your bringing Giuseppe ‘s humour through in your conversation.”
I was also delighted to receive super feedback from Kyle, who was my initial contact for the job:
“Thank you so much Luciana for your professional and friendly service throughout the whole process from beginning to end. Your hard work and research leading up to the session was really appreciated!”
So, thank you, BAFTA, for bringing me this wonderful assignment which truly brightened up my month! What work do you have coming up, that you expect will bring a smile to your face?