25 Nov Jim Head ~ The Question Guy
A stand out attendee of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival for the past 14 years, Jim Head can always we be counted on to ask a question. At each of the live speaking presentations during the nine-day program he’s the one person in the audience ready to take the microphone and demonstrate to the person on stage that he was listening and paying attention to their every word. Though some suspected that he was planted in the crowd by the festival organizers to get the conversation started during each post event Q&A session this avid adventure film and book fan from Chicago takes it upon himself to let every speaker know that they were indeed heard.
This year a team of students in the Banff Adventure Filmmaker’s Workshop profiled Jim in a short documentary. Revealing a bit of the mystery behind this recognizable character the student’s film took second prize in the student competition. Known as the Question Guy, he’s a quintessential part of the festival that helps to break the ice in the awkward moments leading up to a conversation between an artist and hundreds onlookers who simply don’t know where to begin.
“I enjoy asking questions to find out more about what the filmmaker or the author or the storyteller or photographer is trying to communicate to me,” Jim said in the film. “I feel this obligation to the artist to make sure that they know that they captivated the imagination of one person in the audience.”
Even public speaking events that end with uproarious applause can often be followed by an uncomfortable silence or worse the sound of crickets. All presenters should be so lucky to have a guy in the crowd like Jim ready to ask a good question.