5 Questions: Dan Andries

Dan_Andries Dan Andries

Dan Andries has been a producer at WTTW Chicago for 17 years, came to produce a weekly arts magazine series, Artbeat Chicago, and stayed to do documentaries.

This year he had three documentaries that premiered on WTTW, and two of them went on to be aired nationally. Architect Robert Adam: A Place at the Table, My Neighborhood: Pilsen, and Making a New American Nutcracker, an hour-long piece about the new Joffrey Ballet production conceived by writer Brian Selznick and choreographed by Tony-award winner Christopher Wheeldon.  He lives with his family in Berwyn, Illinois

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
I sleep very well, but it’s the half-hour before the alarm goes off when full panic sets in. And then it’s about the state of our national tribal dysfunction. The possibility that once again we’re facing the very real fear of a nuclear war. The long overdue reckoning of so many social ills. My kid’s college bill. My kid’s high school choices. Aging beloved parents and in-laws.

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
Listening again, after decades, to Glenn Gould’s Solitude Trilogy, three extraordinary hour-long radio documentaries he did for the CBC over a period of 10 years that aren’t about music at all. They are brilliantly constructed pieces built around the conflict between societal needs and expectations and the human need for solitude. They are very musical and, for me, inspirational.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
I’m about to start a half-hour piece about a pair of architects in Europe who’ve done some really fascinating projects which, beyond their architectural strengths, have an important role to play in strengthening the social fabric. It will air in March. I can’t tell you who they are or where we’re going because honestly, it’s top secret at this point. They are winners of a major prize and it’s not yet announced. There is also a four-part series on the history of art and design in Chicago that we’ll shoot in the spring and we’ve been researching and conceptualizing that for more than a year. I am very excited about that. Return to my roots here. It’s been years since I have been able to make anything like the old Artbeat Chicago shows which were a really cool open form that allowed us to think about art making in the city from so many different perspectives.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
Agnes Varda.

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
Resistance, Doubt & Luck