Meet the Fort Worth Film Buff Who's Updating and Preserving the Bobbie Wygant Archive

Bobbie Wygant Interviews Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies from Atombomb.tv on Vimeo.

I could read to you from this stack of press releases for big-deal Thursday happenings ("Boone Pickens, Mayor Leppert, Chief Brown unveil New Jubilee Park Buildings" and "Mayor Leppert, Dr. Hinojosa to launch first-of-its-kind nutrition education program tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Townview"), but we'll get to 'em as they happen. Instead ... well, you remember that golden-oldie video clip featuring Bobbie Wygant interviewing Han Solo? That one. Well, like I said then, it's part of the Bobbie Wygant Archive. I know, right? Awesome.

Anyway. Yesterday the gentleman behind the endeavor, one Erik Clapp of Fort Worth, sent me the heads-up that he's updating the site as we, um, speak with golden-oldie interviews featuring a young Kevin Costner (talking Silverado and American Flyers), a very Labor Day telethony Jerry Lewis, Billy Crystal, Sir Richard Attenborough, a tightly wound (let's say) John Cusack and Heather Locklear. And: the Robert Duvall chat above, a talk about the shot-round-these-here-parts Tender Mercies that kicks off with the actor gettin' to know Bobbie.

Me, I could watch this stuff all day: I'm a sucker for old interviews, think Bobbie's a local treasure and particularly love the raw footage that begins and ends these clips -- the unedited ascending actor on true display. I asked Erik to explain himself. He responded kindly and thusly:

Well, I worked for Bobbie as her assistant producer when I was in college from '94 to '97. I stayed on till 2000. I was in charge of all the clips and interviews and all that jazz, then she showed me the archive -- 60 years of interviews on film, two-inch video, 3/4, Beta, etc. As a major major film buff I started preserving a lot of the stuff. For example, the Harrison Ford film was falling apart already so I hand cleaned that print down in the basement of NBC. Started transferring stuff to digital tape; now it's all digital no tape). So it's something I wanted to do to save it for film lovers more than anything else.

I created the website/blog with Bobbie's consent and just started using my own little short film outfit on Vimeo to host the clips. Kinda worked out, so now it gives me a place to put all this history instead of a storage unit. We just hope people enjoy it.

We don't really have a roadmap to where it will go, but with help from people like yourself we hope more people see it. I'm putting them up uncut, because I find it more interesting, and Bobbie never did get to have an entire interview before, so this gives people a little behind the scenes fun too.

Erik, we're forever in your debt. Many thanks. Below, Bobbie interviews Jerry Lewis from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Fuh. May. Zing.

Bobbie Wygant Interviews Jerry Lewis from Atombomb.tv on Vimeo.

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