LF: I was just looking at the American Cinematographer article you did onOTHELLO. You say in this article that you were going to do a documentary onOrson Welles?MD: Interesting that you should mention that. I was recently at a cocktail party inChicago, and I was surrounded by friends who were saying "All right Mike; it's timeto get on with the show, so to speak." Originally (CITIZEN WELLES) was thoughtof as a 90-minute feature. With Orson Welles, the material...let me give you anexample: a professor who teaches at the University of Tallahassee, was writing ahistory of radio, but he kept ﬁnding more and more material, and this just went onand on and on, and that's kind of the way the situation has been with thedocumentary. Of course, when you take on Orson Welles, it can become anastronomical Black Hole.We now have probably about 35 hours of raw footage in the can, shot in all differentformats, including 35mm. We realized we've got a three volume - at ninety minutesper volume - series of ﬁlms here. So essentially, Volume 1 is about 80 percent done.Like with anything though, when you get involved in other projects outside the ﬁlmindustry, you can get waylaid. So that's where that lies. I'm pursuing the idea of atleast releasing Volume 1. We've got some real rare stuff that I can't divulge, butwhat's interesting now is something I had asserted thirty years ago, watching thenews footage about Welles’ passing and thinking about the mythology of his declineafter CITIZEN KANE and how it should be rectiﬁed somehow. He continued tomake masterpieces, but just did so under increasingly difﬁcult circumstances. That'sbeen essentially my attitude about it.LF: So does this footage consist of interviews with people and so forth?MD: Interview footage, some rare footage from the Todd School for Boys, things of that nature. We in the Midwest have been glad to discover that he sprang from us,and had his formal schooling at the Todd School in Woodstock, which is about anhour and a half from Chicago. It's like a wonderful little oasis in the middle of thecornﬁelds, but of course, everything is always expanding.
Michael Dawson interview with LarryFrench 2012