SheKnows: Is that one of the most enjoyable aspects of your work is learning new worlds.
RJ Cutler: It's not only enjoyable, it's a privilege. With each project you receive this invitation to float into somebody's world and lives and their stories -- then, to tell their stories. I get to see the world through their eyes for a rather lengthy period of time. I got to experience up-close Anna Wintour's world and what a privilege.
SheKnows: One of those worlds was the War Room. As a producer behind the War Room, it's almost as if that film's title has become part of the vernacular over the years to describe documentary filmmaking.
RJ Cutler: Thank you…
SheKnows: Being a part of that…I don't know if you could even quantify the effect it's had on how people view things.
RJ Cutler: It's an interesting question. It's certainly a benchmark. You look back on that movie and you see the direction the world was pointed in, in 1992 -- especially the world of political campaigns and media, communication. But, you also you can see how dramatically the world has changed in a mere 17 years. When we were making The War Room, the whole thing about the Clinton campaign was that they were cutting edge communicators. They were going to show the Republicans that if the republicans took a swing at them, they would take a swing right back -- and by right back they meant in the same news cycle. Now, those news cycles have been reduced to 30 seconds, a minute?
SheKnows: (Laughs) Yeah, it has…
RJ Cutler: 120-character news cycles is the world that we live in right now. It's such a dramatic change. You look at War Room today -- it looks like they were working in the Stone Age. But, that's the beauty of these films. You capture a moment in time. You reflect back on that moment in time.
SheKnows: What first compelled you to make a life out of telling people's stories?
RJ Cutler: I have to say, as early as first grade I was directing plays in the schoolyard and I was also running the school newspaper. Really, the combination of dramatic storytelling and storytelling about the real world is what I do in documentaries. I see these movies as movies. They're dramatic narratives. I want the audience, when they come to see any of my films, and The September Issue is a perfect example, to have a great time at the movies. My goal is to have it be cinematic and engaging and dramatic and emotional – all the things that you think of when you go to the movies. Part of what is so exciting to me is that these stories are taking place in the real world.
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