INTERVIEW WITH LORA HAYS
DEPARTMENT OF FILM AND MEDIA
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
APRIL 14, 2005
Did POWER AND THE LAND lead
to other jobs for you ?
the next was at Paramount in the shorts department from
1940-42. We did everything: musicals, short comedies, Robert
Benchley series, Copacabana Girl series. This was followed
by work for the US Office of war Information, Domestic Division
where among other things I worked on foreign versions of
Frank Capra’s WHY WE FIGHT series. Then, on to the
United Nations for three or four years working on information
shorts, much heart-breaking footage of post-war children
in Holland and Italy, etc.
Later I worked for CBS Television on several
of their series including TWENTIETH CENTURY, YOU ARE THERE,
and WORLD WAR I.
Of the directors I have worked with through
the years, I feel that Bill Jersey was the best director.
I am especially proud of the work I did on his INCIDENT
ON WILSON STREET. Another memorable experience was Eli Landau’s
MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS, which I edited with John Carter.
A highlight was Arthur Barron’s SIXTEEN IN WEBSTER
GROVES, an insightful study of the values of young people
in mid-America during the Vietnam War.
Among the feature films I have edited are
BLACK LIKE ME. ALL THE WAY HOME, KEEPING ON (Barbara Kopple),
and OUSMANE SEMBENE: THE MAKING OF AFRICAN CINEMA (Mathia
Off and on, I have produced a good number
of films. A BOY WITH A BOA was a twenty part children’s
series. The film COVER ALL BASES, I made with Catherine
Egan, won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival. I
served as a consultant with the award winning filmmaker
Beverly Peterson on all of her major productions. With Chris
Pelzer I produced TELL IT LIKE IT IS on the censorship of
children’s literature, made for the National Coalition
In 1992 I won an Emmy for “years of
What are you doing today?
Today I am still deep in film, editing, teaching and producing.
© 2005 William Sloan
The above interview was conducted by William J. Sloan on
April 14, 2005. A little over a year before, Dr. Ephraim
K. Smith (Heritage Productions) and Jeff Forster (VP, Detroit
Public Television) conducted an interview with Lora Hays
recorded by David Bagnall. Present at this interview were
two of Lora's good friends, William J. Sloan and George
C. Stoney. At times, all three participants joined in the
discussion. Although the purpose of the interview was to
learn more about Joris Ivens and Power and the Land,
the discussion was so wide ranging and preceptive that segments
from that 2004 interview have been excerpted and can be
Dr. Smith would like to express his appreciation
to Lora Hays and to William Sloan and George Stoney for
their assistance with this project. He also wishes to thank
Lora Hays for allowing us to reproduce earlier photographs
of her in the documentary and on this web site.