Ric Salizzo's doco I Know This To Be True shares life lessons of notable Kiwis
When veteran journalist Ric Salizzo set out to write a book, he ended up with a TV documentary as well.
I Know This To Be True features interviews with notable New Zealanders talking about what they have learnt in life.
"As a result of talking to all these people, I've changed things about myself," says Salizzo, who is best known for his sports shows Sports Cafe and The Crowd Goes Wild. "It's been like the longest session of therapy anyone could go through."
The book is a fundraiser for Play It Strange, a foundation set up by former Split Enz band member Mike Chunn to encourage young New Zealanders to develop interests and skills in songwriting and music performance.
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Salizzo interviewed around 60 prominent New Zealanders ranging from musicians Dave Dobbyn and Neil Finn and actress Lucy Lawless to fellow journalist Judy Bailey and sportspeople such as Sir John Kirwan and Marc Ellis.
Many participants are household names but others, including surgeons and educationalists, are not.
"This is not about celebrities. In fact I find the word slightly repugnant. They're actually just people who have led really interesting lives," Salizzo says.
"People talking honestly is pretty compelling. They've all led really interesting lives. They've all done things that are interesting and learnt things as a result. They are all good people."
However, no matter how well he already knew his interviewees, they continually surprised him.
"I loved talking to Diane Robertson from (Auckland) City Mission. She really made me think," Salizzo says. "I love having a conversation with Lucy Lawless. She thinks deeply about things.
"When I interviewed people like JK and Marc Ellis, who obviously I know very well, that was interesting for me because when you've got mates you don't often talk too deeply. It's just not what we do. It was almost like 'We're not going to talk about this again. All right?'
"People like Dave Dobbyn and Neil Finn. They're just so wise. You can't write the lyrics they write without having a really great understanding of the world. It was the greatest privilege I could have had, to sit and listen to these people. All I did was listen and nod."
I Know This To Be True, TV One, Sunday October 2.
- TV Guide