When something piques Thom Hoffman’s interest, he starts asking questions. Then he tries to work out the answers through film. The result has been an eclectic mix of documentaries (three to date) that share some common traits: his desire to educate and his love of Long Island history.
On today’s interview you’ll hear how Thom got his start working with Ray Adell on the “About Long Island” radio series and then expanded into documentaries. His first film featured the story of Brooklyn doo-wop stalwart Lenny Cocco and the Chimes. Next came his comparison of the Great Depression and the Great Recession. His latest, Shinnecock, explores the long history of the Shinnecock Nation in Southampton.
We also ask Thom about the challenges of producing and distributing documentaries on Long Island. How do you get them to a wider audience? How do you get the quality of production needed? His answers echo many of the things we’ve heard in our discussions with others involved in documentary filmmaking on Long Island.
On that note, if you’re interested in screening any of his movies or helping find a home for the “About Long Island” archive, you can contact Thom at hof565 [at] optonline.net
Stream in the player above or download audio.
- Thom Hoffman
- About Long Island radio spots from Ray Adell Media
- Lenny Cocco and the Chimes
- Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington
- Resources for Filmmakers (from POV on PBS)