About the Videos
A Q&A with Rich Shapero

Q: Your past multimedia stories have fused book, music and art, but Balcony of Fog features book and video. Why the change? 

RS: The great virtue of being independent is that we can run whatever experiments we like, and this seemed like a compelling one. A complex story is an intersection of different ideas. The videos are meant to stimulate the reader’s thinking by surfacing the ideas overtly, outside the story itself. I love the fact that, under other circumstances, many of the ideas would have no relation to each other, but in the context of Balcony of Fog, they have some coherence. We hope readers will find the approach thought-provoking.

Q: The BOF video layer comprises a wildly diverse assortment of subject matters and ideas from experts in fields ranging from political history to neuroscience. How did you come to choose such an array of contributors for this project?

A: The farther afield, the better. When it comes to understanding Ingis, seeing lightning leaders in slow motion and learning about the narcissist’s false self both help.


Chapter 1 – Source of the Faith

Chapter 2 – The Vaporous State

Chapter 3 – Words Fill the Air

Chapter 4 – King of Clouds

Chapter 5 – The False Self

Chapter 6 – Hurt

Chapter 7 – The Ethos of More

Chapter 8 – Rankin's Fall

Chapter 9 – Crooked Leaders

Chapter 10 – Lost in Fury

Videos Credits

1. Source of the Faith
Atomic Footage: Atomcentral

2. The Vaporous State
Moses Hacmon, Artist and Founder, Faces of Water

3. Words Fill the Air
Sandhill Cranes Stream Across a New Mexico Sky by Tara Tanaka

4. King of Clouds
Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author and founder, The Cloud Appreciation Society
Excerpts from The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney.
© 2006 by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Used by permission of Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

5. The False Self
Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited

6. Hurt
Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., ABPP
Excerpted from: After the Affair by Janis A. Spring
© 1996 by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers

7. The Ethos of More
Andrew J. Bacevich
Excerpted from: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
© 2008 by Andrew J. Bacevich

8. Rankin’s Fall
Read by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Excerpted from: The Man Who Rode the Thunder, by William H. Rankin
© 1960 by William Rankin

9. Crooked Leaders
Slow Motion Lightning Storms by Dustin Farrell, courtesy of Filmsupply

10. Lost in Fury
R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D.
Excerpts from Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Your Brain by R. Douglas Fields
© 2015 by R. Douglas Fields. Used by permission of Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Editing and sound design: Josh Turner
Additional post-production: Jesse Spencer
Animation: David Murray
Original artwork: Adde Russell
Directed by Jan Lindsay-Smith