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The Roy Faires Collection, no. 15 - Interview with William D. Wittliff (1981)

Austin History Center

Sound | 1981

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  •  Malian Holloway begins her interview with writer William D. Wittliff about his film Raggedy Man (1981) 
  •  Wittliff describes his inspiration for the movie and his approach to screenwriting 
  •  Holloway asks Wittliff about past films and upcoming projects, including Barbarosa (1982) 
  •  Texas as the third coast? 
  •  Wittliff explains how he recreated the World War II period 
  •  Greetings from Irvin Kershner, director of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 
  •  How to break into the business 
  •  Holloway films her reverse shots 
 
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  • About the video
  • William D. Wittliff William D. Wittliff
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In this unedited interview for Austin’s KVUE-TV, reporter Malian Holloway sits down with writer William D. Wittliff to talk about his latest film, Raggedy Man (1981). Starring Sissy Spacek and Eric Roberts, the film was set in Gregory, Texas, and shot in Maxwell and Seguin, Texas. Both Wittliff and Spacek were born in Texas and resided in Austin at the time of the interview. Wittliff discusses his inspiration for the movie and upcoming film projects. He also responds to the possibility of Texas becoming the third coast of the film industry.
Writer and producer William D. Wittliff, also known as Bill Wittliff, was born in Taft, Texas, in January 1940. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, leading to his working for a publishing house in Austin and later as a production manager for the Southern Methodist University Press in Dallas. Wittliff founded his own publishing house in 1964, Encino Press, which focused on regional material about Texas and the Southwest. After becoming friends with musician Willie Nelson in the late 1970s, Wittliff began writing for motion pictures, penning Honeysuckle Rose (1980), Barbarosa (1982), and Red Headed Stranger (1986), all of which starred Nelson. The latter, which Wittliff also directed, was based off of Nelson’s album of the same name. Wittliff’s screenwriting credits also include Lonesome Dove (1989), for which he won a Writers Guild of America Award, and Legends of the Fall (1994). Both works won the Bronze Wrangler award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Witliff also received the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award. In 1996, Wittliff founded the Wittliff Collection of Southwestern and Mexican Photography, located at Texas State University in San Marcos. In addition to its holdings of southwestern writing and photography, the collection also features a permanent exhibition of items from Lonesome Dove.
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