Seidelman & Company was founded 2015 under the name Èditions Moustache by Marco Siedelmann (no, no typo here!) after many years of freelance cultural journalism and film criticism for numerous (print and online) magazines in Germany. After working as a film programmer and reviewer, he became obsessed with the interview format and has recorded more than 500 conversations so far with people from the film industry, the entertainment world, and the art scene. Supported by a small but enormously talented company of loved ones, friends and colleagues, Seidelman & Company originally intended to focus on “the league of the underrated.”
The goal was – and is – to create an ongoing series of career-spanning interview books which shed light on both the complete body of work and the person behind the work. We want our long-spanning interview sessions to be personal and anecdotal, but also technical and even – hey, why not? – analytical and philosophical. We want to share entertaining stories but we want to deliver more than the usual “fanboy/fangirl” chats, or – even worse – the superficial “interview” for marketing purposes. That’s why we stay a long time with our chosen projects and interviewees, and we’re proud of the fact that we can call many of them our friends. The huge scope of the interview books is based on trust and care, and we use only first-hand archive material that was given to us by the people, companies, and magazines we work with. So, the interview books are loaded with guest interviews and quotes, rare ephemera of all kind and private pictures – some of them never seen before in public. We’re not biographers or academic scholars – and it’s not like digging for “the truth”, whatever that means. In our approach, everybody speaks for him/herself. If we find different opinions, perspectives or contradictions – we keep ‘em. As usual with oral histories and personal memories, it’s always Rashomon.
We want to accept the mystery and let the reader decide what to believe or not believe. All in all we think the world needs more interview books like Hitchcock by Truffaut or Wilder by Crowe – yes, there have been quite a number of those over the years, but even among highly appreciated studio directors, cult-favorite genre directors or iconic independent filmmakers, there are still too many voices unheard, too many stories untold, and too little ambitious work published and available – let alone all the people who worked behind the camera such as editors, producers, cinematographers, composers. We have a soft spot for the “black sheep” and – for lack of a better word – “entertaining” filmmakers out there who spent their careers partly or exclusively on “commercial” films. Every journey through decades of film, entertainment and performing arts is a unique one, so our interview books are highly individual takes. We don’t simply choose our “favorites," we’re not a “fan-driven” company - that’s why we published books about horror, action, sci-fi, and exploitation directors.
We want to present and represent both original publications exclusively created for a first edition release at Seidelman & Company, but we also have a passion for re-releases of writings we love that are out of print and shouldn’t be out of print anymore. Those re-releases are handpicked books that are currently out of print. They can be fiction – novels, thrillers, short story collections – but also journalistic and academic. We’re also strongly dedicated to the preservation of a variety of magazine work which was essential for the audience of cinema, arts and culture especially from the late 60s to the late 90s.
Ever since the market for print magazines collapsed because of the digital revolution and the tons of information made available online, an awful lot of groundbreaking work which was published in those magazines is long forgotten nowadays – a percentage is lost forever, a huge part simply went out of print and was buried in more or less elusive archives, most of them only accessible for university members, historians, and of course the collectors of the original material. In fact it’s often hard to find or only available for astronomical prices. We want to change that, at least a little bit. We think it’s important to have access to as many of those written pieces. They often built the foundation for our discourses and discussions today. Just like in our interview books we try to be as thorough as possible and to the best of our ability let the original work speak for itself.
We’re using only unedited articles, interviews, reviews, essays, etc. We’re treating the material carefully, respectfully and in close collaboration with the original writers or publishers. We’re always open for a variety of subjects, authors, and styles. As long as we think the content is still relevant and thought-provoking today we don’t care if it was originally published in newspapers, magazines or blogs; it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction or if it’s a thesis or a fanzine – we carefully edited extended compilations of historical interviews, contemporary reviews from yesteryear, etcetcetc.
We want to listen to the people who actually went out and did their best to conquer the industry, to leave a fingerprint in the history of visual arts. We want the reader to get to know our interview partners. We want to provide an illustrated journey packed with exciting images. We want to hear the whole story. We want our audience to (re-)discover essential work of the writers we’re representing. We want to use new printing, marketing and distribution tools and techniques – and combine them with old virtues of publishing and researching. It’s about the spoken word and the one written on paper. In our fast-paced digital world we want to take a look around and provide a new chronicler standard. We want our books to look good and be the best they can. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we fight. That’s why they call us “the keeper of the flame.”