Q & A    Archive
Page 101

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc@mac.com

Josh,

The funny thing about the guy who reviewed the Lopez/Ben Afleck movie is that he actually wasted that much of his time not only viewing the film, but writing far too much about it. I couldn't even get through the whole review either.

If it were me, I would have never gone either, I would have stayed home and watched one of the films I rented from Netflix.

I think sometimes you just know what to expect from certain things like and apple is going to taste like and apple, unless it is an orange, and this film is destined to be a lemon. There is no need to to even wasting your time watching it or reviewing it.

Scott

Dear Scott:

That's my basic feeling toward nearly every film made in the last twenty years. People ask me, well don't you need to know what's out there? No. I know what a shitty movie is and I don't need to see anymore of them.

Josh

Name: Michael
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

I'm new to your site and your work. I just spent several enjoyable hours here looking around and reading. If you can please take a few minute's and let us know your thoughts on the following.

Would you consider taking a great story idea and co writing it into a script?
What would you charge to work up a rough budget estimate for a low budget film, and what would you need to see to do so?
Would you consider directing an independent low budget film and how would you charge for your services?
Is Becker Films an independent film production company that does outside production work for other companies.

Thank you,
Michael

Dear Michael:

I don't know what you have in mind, but on a work-for-hire basis I'd only work through the DGA, which sets the rate at $8,150 a week, with a guaranteed two weeks prep, eight weeks shooting, and one week of cutting, and that's for a theatrical motion picture budgeted at $500,000 or less. At a budget of $500,000-$1,500,000, the weekly rate goes up to $9,263 a week with a guaranted two weeks prep, ten weeks of shooting, and one week of cutting; over $1,500,000 it goes up to $12,969 a week, also with two weeks prep, ten weeks of shooting, and one week of cutting. I don't have the Writer's Guild rate cards on hand, but those are the numbers and contracts I would be working with, too. I assume this is all a lot more money than you had envisioned.

Josh

Name: Ryan
E-mail:

Josh,

Do you ever talk to Lucy Lawless? Have you talked to Ted R. lately? Are you glad to be back in Michigan?

Ryan

Dear Ryan:

I'm very glad I'm back in Michigan. I like it a lot here and feel at home, which I never did in LA. I spoke with Ted very briefly about two weeks ago and he was just on his way out to shoot "Spider-Man 2" and didn't really have time to talk. I email with Lucy occasionally, but I haven't spoken with her in quite some time.

Josh

Name: spet@aol.com
E-mail:

Josh,

Your friend J*** worked with Spielberg for years at Amblin, did she ever say why he is so unhappy? When you lived in Santa Monica, did you ever attend Hollywood parties? Whose?

Dear Spet:

I never met him, but from what she's said he's just a naturally unhappy guy, particularly when he's not on a set shooting. And I certainly was never being invited to star-studded Hollywood parties. Some of Sam Raimi's and Rob Tapert's parties had famous people attending, like the Coen brothers, whom I sat next to at one party and couldn't think of what to say to them -- they're both kind of glum guys, too. I spent most of one evening gabbing happily with Frank Miller and his wife, who's from Livonia, MI. I've hung around a bit at Rob's parties with Ahmed Zappa, who would never shut the fuck up. Also I've been around various high-end agents, directors and execs, but so what? When you get to the high-end folk of Hollywood they're all so afraid of saying the wrong thing and having the wrong person hear it that it's all very stifled. Jane went to a party not too long ago of the very, very high-end Hollywood folk and she said the fear was palpable. Of course, once you're at the top you've got nowhere to go but down. I'd much rather go to a party here in Detroit among the regular folk who say and do what they want.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

On the subject of asshole republicans, I'm starting to wonder if the media is as liberal as it's critics claim. The media gave Clinton way more grief over his scandal than Bush has received since he entered the white house. I am starting to believe that the conglomerates that own various media companies are run by conservatives because they want to keep their money, and as far as I'm concerned Bush should be tried for international war crimes, for starting a ficticious war. Did you read Michael Moore's most recent letter to Bush? It was absolutely great. Its on his webiste, and blatantaly insluts Bush for not covering up his reasons for bringing us to war. He said at least Johnson, and Nixon tried to cover up their scandals but got caught, Bush didnt even try. He should have planted weapons, but by not putting in any effort it proves that he thinks we are stupider than he is. Anyway check it out if you have the chance. I really hope someone like Dean wins the nomination, unfortunately it may turn into a McGovern like situation.

Dear Scott:

I'll check it out. That's Michaelmoore.com, I believe.

Josh

Name: Renee
E-mail: Reneestar11@shaw.ca

Dear Josh:

Hey, I noticed that you are no longeer with AOl as the e-mail I just sent to got bumped back to me. How are you?? :) I just had to send you this review from the new (Gods! Help me!) Jennifer Lopez/Ben Afleck movie Gili....this review could have been written by you!.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
By Roger Friedman

It's not so easy to make a great howler of a bad movie. In recent years, Madonna 's made more than her share: "Shanghai Surprise," "Swept Away," "Who's That Girl," among them.

In 2001, Mariah Carey starred in "Glitter," which has only aged badly since its laughable premiere. And then there's "Showgirls," "Striptease," "The Postman," "Waterworld," "Ishtar," and the perceived king of kings, "Heaven's Gate."

Now add to the very top of the list, "Gigli" - directed by Martin Brest, who actually has another title on the list already: "Meet Joe Black."

Witless, coarse, and vulgar, "Gigli" is worse than its advance buzz could have indicated. Starring real-life tabloid lovers Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, the film - if you can call it that - is a total, mindless disaster. Sitting in a screening last night with reviewers and feature writers, I could only think of one word: stupefying.

As many who were there muttered on the way out: "What were they thinking?"

First, the acting: Lopez and Affleck may have chemistry at home, but they have none here. Affleck comes off the worst. As hitman Larry Gigli, Affleck seems to be doing a bad imitation of James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.

A thuggish Brooklyn-esque accent comes and goes, and Affleck never figures out whether he's a good guy or a bad guy. While these gears are turning in his head, you can't help notice that he's a hitman wearing a luxurious Gucci leather jacket and gorgeous silk tops. He also appears to be wearing Ted Danson's toupee from "Cheers."

J-Lo does a little better, but not much as a lesbian hitwoman who is nonetheless smitten with Affleck. She makes her first appearance wearing a midriff-revealing halter-top to show off her abs and rear end, and it just keeps getting better.

At one point Lopez is featured in a yoga position called "the crow," which is photographed as if she were a kangaroo hoisted on its hind legs and ready for mating. As I once heard Anna Wintour say of Clint Eastwood with matted hair in a rainstorm scene, "It's not a good look for you."

Like Ben, who actually says the word "heart-throb-a-rama," J-Lo is saddled with ridiculous, offensive, unfortunate dialogue, much of which can't be quoted in proper publications.

Herewith some of her declarations: "It's turkey time. Gobble, gobble." "A penis is like a sea slug or a long toe." "I thought you wanted to be my bitch."

There's a fourth line, but it can't be repeated here, concerning her offer to perform a sex act on Affleck for 12 hours. Another character, doing an unintentional Joe Pesci imitation from "Goodfellas," later describes Lopez's lesbian with a term that should have women's groups on both sides demanding a recall vote on the screenwriter.

Trust me, the dialogue in "Gigli" is so awful that the groans just come faster and faster. It is also unnecessarily vulgar. I counted the "f-word" no fewer than 15 times in the first 10 minutes and then lost track.

Lopez also makes a long speech to Affleck in which she draws analogies between her female anatomy and one's mouth, ending in a particular vulgarity that sent at least two New York Times writers right out of the theatre.

There are other actors in the film. Sadly, newcomer Justin Bartha , who plays a "Rain Man"-like autistic character stolen directly from that movie - but without the manual - makes a very bad first impression.

Will he turn out to be a "thumbless, bleeding halfwit," as Lopez's character posits? It's hard to say since Bartha, not getting any direction from Brest, slips from autism to Tourette's Syndrome to ADD to simply being annoying.

But the "Rain Man" lifts are painful to watch. Instead of being obsessed with "Wapner," for example, this character only wants to see "Baywatch." Again, what could Brest, who wrote and directed this junk, have been thinking?

Al Pacino, whom Brest directed to an Oscar in the very bad "Scent of a Woman" 11 years ago, appears in one interminable scene as a New York crime boss. This one bloated moment may completely unravel Pacino's esteemed career from "The Godfather" to "Insomnia."

His expressionless, frozen face - though included in the film's trailer as a big deal - appears about three-fourths of the way through the film. It's not clear even if Affleck and Lopez, who Brest cuts to occasionally for stupefied reactions, were even on the set when Pacino delivers his numbing monologue. The fact that it ends in his character committing a sudden act of bloody violence doesn't help.

The only performance worth seeing in "Gigli" (which rhymes, Affleck says often, with "really") is another cameo, this one by Christopher Walken as a police detective. When Walken steps into the film, "Gigli" suddenly becomes full of color and oxygen - two things that Lopez and Affleck lack.

Unfortunately, Walken's scene is meant to explain the plot. But it's pretty clear that the actor has no idea what he's saying; he just says it so wonderfully that it doesn't matter. Watch the pause he takes at the end of the scene. It's a brilliant comment on the nonsense set before him.

Dear Renee:

It sounds so awful I couldn't even finish reading the review. The only difference between me and the reviewer is that I would never watch that film under any circumstances.

Josh

Name: Saul Trabal
E-mail: ghost_kingdom@yahoo.com

Josh,

A couple of comments on Bruce's accident...

Firstly, I'm VERY glad to hear Bruce is okay-and I hope Mr. Ditz's wife gets better. As to the driver of the other vehicle-what an asshole.

To be blunt-the only reason I would care about this "person" surviving is if he has relatives that depend on him. Otherwise, I could care less if he passed away or not. Brutal POV-but there it is. And I'm sticking to it. I'm VERY hard-line when it comes to things like this.

I happen to drive a school bus for a living-and have been for quite a few years. I live in New Jersey. The amount of morons I see on the road is frightening. In fact-this state hands out driver's licenses like candy. Any idiot can get them.

I know-because I was one of those idiots. I got my license back in 1983. My road test involved driving around the parking lot of a stadium-and parking between two cones. At the time-if you made two mistakes, you failed the test. It was a frigging joke.

Amazingly, I even saw someone fail this test. The person was parking between two cones. Hitting one cone counts as a mistake. This man had a pretty big car. He shifts it into drive and floors the pedal-knocking the car in front of him a few feet away. Then he goes into reverse and does the same thing to the cone behind him!!

The examiner got out of the car and pretty much ripped this guy a new asshole. And frankly-he deserved it.

Luckily, my late dad knew better. He wouldn't let me take the car unless he was ABSOLUTELY certain I could drive it WELL. In a lot of ways, he was like a drill sergeant when it came to teaching me about driving. Smart man.

The road test for commerical vehicles is more thorough-they put you out on the road with traffic. And I'm mystefied as to why they don't do that for CARS.

Anyway-I'm rambling here. Bottom line: it pisses me off to no end that jerks like the one who hit Bruce are on the roads. And if it isn't due to alcohol/drugs, it's due to carelessness behind the wheel. Look at Sam Kinison's death. The goddamn kid who killed him was more concerned with the damage to his pick-up than the fact that he took a life. And the little shit got off with a slap on the wrist, if I recall correctly.

I hope to be getting out of this line of work soon. It sucks and it pays shit-and it's very dangerous. It was all right while I was taking care of my sick father-but now that he's gone, I've got to find something else.

Have a good one.

Saul

Dear Saul:

I see you have a hot button on this topic. I don't like bad drivers, either, and I really can't stand people who talk on the phone while driving. I can now be fairly certain if someone is driving like a complete idiot, weaving across lanes, they're on the phone. That can't ban those things quick enough for me.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

In response to your little critique of President Bush; I am convinced of two things. First, President Bush believes absolutely that the ends will always justify the means. That's why I think he is completely unconcerned about lying to whomever about whatever. The second point of which I am convinced is that Bush is, by inclination, an oligarch. He belives that a handful of very wealthy Americans know what's best for the world. Oddly, I think he considers himself to be one of those, but not ideologically the first among them. Eisenhower was entranced with American big businessmen, but his fascination pales by comparison to Bush. Eisenhower had the sense to see the potential conflict of interest when business and government get too close. Such an idea will never be seriously contemplated by Bush.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have never gotten over the failure of the "Great Society". Its failure clearly demonstrated that extending services indefinitely deprives people of the incentive to improve their lot, or even maintain it. When their big idea didn't work I think the Deomcrats have only "anti-Republicanism" to resort to. Personally, if I were a Democratic strategist, I would be focusing on improving primary education, particularly in urban centers. This whole Michigan admissions fiasco is a sideline issue. Improve the elmentary, middle and high schools in those regions and the college admissions will likely rise. For what its worth (little, I admit) I think that limiting school size, as opposed to simply class size, would be a step in the right direction.

John

Dear John:

I agree, they can't put enough money into education. If they put 1/1000th of the money they're blowing in Iraq into the American education system things would improve greatly. But that's not the Republican's priority. Ass-kicking and shows of strength are. And the fact that people are acting surprised after the 9/11 report that all of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia is ludicrous. We knew that two days after the attack. And I've actually heard Republican friends of mine (I have a few) say that the world is safer now since our uninstigated attack on Iraq. Well, Al Qaeda hasn't stopped functioning. Eight Americans were killed in Saudi Arabia recently. Hello! Has everyone already forgotten that we were the aggressor in this war, and this was entirely rationalized by the WMDs, which don't exist. We have entirely lost the moral high-ground. And as for Ike, he was certainly fascinated by big business, but he was still a poor Kansas farmboy that had spent his entire life in the army. And nobody knew what political party he was in until about a year before the election. His reasoning for running for president, oddly, was because Truman kept cutting military spending. When Ike became president and saw what the situation was, he cut military spending even more than Truman. Ike also coined the term "The military industrial complex," which he was totally against, and here we are.

Josh

Name: XenaHerc
E-mail: XLWH@aol.com

Hi Josh.


For those who don't know, Bruce Campbell was in a car accident Saturday night but is OK.

Here is a link to a newspaper report that has more details than the Associated Press version.


http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2003/0728/local/stories/17local.htm

Mike Ditz was also in the car along with a woman who's name I don't recognize.

I am glad they are OK.

The driver who hit them isn't as lucky and is in critical condition.


Take care,

XenaHerc

Dear XenaHerc:

The woman in the car is Mike Ditz's wife, Jennifer, and she broke her sternum. The driver of the other car was not wearing a seatbelt. Bruce is doing fine, but both of his hands were smashed into the windshield by the air bag -- which he was highly thankful for -- and had broken glass in them. The other driver is in very serious condition.

Josh

Name: Kim
E-mail: mrsdagle@yahoo.com

Josh,

My god, that's at least 2 people here that have no idea what the term, "politically correct" even means. It doesn't belong to the the liberals, leftists or queers. It belongs to language. Politically correct attitudes are generally false, uniform ways of expressing absolutely nothing worthwile. It's about forcing people to play nice when they'd rather make racist jokes, bash gays and burn forests.
Calling you, Josh, "PC" is like calling Mother Theresa a selfish priss. All because of that Santorum essay. There are plenty of conservatives who also take issue with Rick Santorum's insane comments, it's not just a Leftist Agenda issue. It's about decency. Homophobia is simply indecent.
Anyone who has read just a few pages of this Q & A and still believes you are Politically Correct needs to go back to Remedial English or Remedial something.
Kim
PS I showed If I Had a Hammer to my husband, who generally likes inane comedies and action movies, he really liked it. He loved Phil's "song" at the Hootenanny and basically liked Phil and the Buckley's a lot. So, the movie isn't just for arthouse geeks.

Dear Kim:

If I could just get the arthouse geeks I'd be happy. Anything. Thanks for the nice comments, it's good to know someone is seeing it now and then. There may only be 200 copies extant in the entire world and I have 50 of them. I've got it out at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood, but no word back as yet.

Josh

Name: Mike
E-mail: z@evilgeniusentertainment.com

Hey there,

Okay, no PC, Floyd, or drug related questions, I promise. I've seen you recomend Steven Katz's book "Film Directing Shot by Shot", and John Alton's "Painting With Light" for us budding film-maker types (and found them highly instructive!). I was wondering if there was an industry periodical for cinematography you thought was particularly worthwhile.

Thanks for your time!

Mike

P.S. Did you hear that the British gov't is trying to screw the Gurkhas out of their paychecks?! Apparently the MoD feels that because the cost of living is lower in Nepal, Gurkhas warrant a much lower salary, despite the fact that they do the exact same job. Sounds like the Brits are getting quite a deal - bad-ass soldiers at a fraction of the usual price. It's sad and telling that any government is taking their cue from corporations and outsourcing to impoverished countries...

Dear Mike:

Yeah, it's called American Cinematographer, and it's the official publication of the American Society of Cinematographers, or A.S.C., as you see after their names in the credits. It's the DPs union and fraternal order. It's generally pretty technical, but after a few issues you get how DPs talk. I don't get it regularly, but I've always enjoyed reading it. And old issues are particularly interesting. I read an interview with the great Gregg Toland after he completed shooting "Citizen Kane," but before it was released. He keeps saying, "This kid, Welles, had all kinds of crazy ideas . . ."

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc@mac.com

Hey Josh,

Nice reply on the PC thing. I am with you there. The problem with Republican minds is that they think just because someone isn't a Republican then they are a PC liberal democrat. This makes me laugh.

I don't care for the Democrats either, but I will look for anything better then letting Bush stay in office for another 4 years. Did everyone forget that he has the dubious distinction of possibley not really winning the election last time around becuase of the Florida votes?

This kind of shit happens in third world countries, however, as we can see it happens here too.

As to Cynthia's comment on "Revisonist History", this seems to be the new buzz word now.

I never said that Rock musicians do not do drugs, since the majority of musicians do, I have been around the music business and musicans long enough to know this.

However, I have also had the fortune of meeting both Roger Waters and Peter Gabriel, and I can say that without question Gabriel never dabbled in drugs when he was in Genesis or afterwards.This is rare indeed in Rock music, but as Josh would say, "Them's the facts".

As for Floyd, they may or may not be telling the truth, but I don't really believe that any of them has anything to lose now? Waters has never been the PC type.

That is a funny story about the South Park Guys. only in America would they ban them from speaking in universities. I think we should blame the Republicans for that one.

Scott

Dear Scott:

I just want to know why we're letting Bush and the rest of those assholes off the hook? They wanted to impeach Clinton for a blow job. Bush misrepresented all of the facts and hoodwinked the country into going to war. As a little historical note, U.S. forces invaded the Philippines in 1900, and after over 250,000 Filipino deaths and 4,000 U.S. deaths, we finally got out of there in 1947. Given those numbers we could be in Iraq until 2050. At the low, low price of only $40 billion a month.

Josh

Name: Keith
E-mail: Keithrobinson@krobin.freeisp.co.uk

Dear Josh,

Youve stated a couple of times in reply's that there are a lot of cheap 16mm cameras available on the market, what id like to know is are they blimped, crystal sync cameras at that kind of price? I used to own an Eclair NPR which was both but cost about £1500. I sold it for a Canon XL1s which Im not entirely happy with. Also, What is the main reason for paying loads of money and getting a 35mm answer print (apart from being able to screen it in a cinema), is it simply to present yourself and your film in a professional way, when you can screen it for thousands less on a DV or Betacam SP tape for much less?

Dear Keith:

No, I'm referring to MOS 16mm cameras, like the Bolex, the Filmo, or the Krasnogrosk. The Canon Scoopic I used rather extensively had a crystal synch motor, but it didn't work worth a shit. Regarding 35mm answer prints, if you're going to a 35mm film finish, meaning you intend to make 35mm release prints to show in theaters, then you must go through the 35mm answer print stage to get all of your color-timing correct. If you're not going to a film finish then you certainly don't need to do answer prints. We shot 35mm on Herc and Xena, but all of the color-timing was done in the film-to-tape transfer. However, on "Hammer," I shot 35mm and brought it to a film finish, so we did do answer prints to see what the colors looked like. Does that explain it?

Josh

Name: Lou
E-mail: digitalou

Greetings Josh-

love your website and your fresh take on story telling and the gutless (or comfortably brain-dead) takes most writers have today. Bravo for your rabble rousing! Now the criticism. Why is it that creative and insightful people often have politically-correct left-liberal politics that come straight from the factory. Of course I disagree with your Santorum bashing, but sadly I could have predicted this column from yet another Hollywood writer. In the interest of full disclosure, I am often surrounded by gay people, I have stopped two instances of violent gay bashing and I have visited five gay clubs in my life. Few staight guys know the gay life as intimately as I do and I also know this: I love gays, it's just organized homosexuality that I can't stand. Sound familiar? Just substitute the word "religion" for gay and you'll get an argument often made by people of your political orientation. My reasons for my opinions are varied and often contradictory but as a former Marine I believe in freedom of association and of speech. I can tell you horror stories of gay activists and their sympathizers run amok during my days at the UCLA film school. Stalin would have been proud of the superstition and fear the left-wing engenders on our college campuses today. But not to pick on just gays, I have a broader contempt for the liberals and their enduring quest to force the rest of society to embrace their morals. First, there is tolerance (always a good thing) and then there is the push for coercion and forcing dissenters to endorse the left's social values, gay and otherwise.
Writers are commanded to not engage in stereotyping, however, few readers or executives are registered Republicans, therefore crude or ignorant characterizations of small businessmen, gun owners or religious folks is tolerated by the wealthy liberal folks who run this town. And everyone is compaining about how predictable and boring storytelling has become- maybe a little diversity of political opinions would prove to be an intriguing experiment.

Dear Lou:

This is the second time of recent days I'm being attacked for being PC. I assure you, and everyone else, that I haven't got the slightest interest in political correctness. When I state an opinion it is my considered opinion and I honestly don't believe I'm bowing to anyone else's concept of right, wrong, fairness, or unfairness. I haven't got the slightest interest in what other movie people or what anyone else thinks. I have no doubt that there are some reasonable Republicans out there, I just have yet to ever meet one. For the most part I believe that the Republican agenda is deny poor people services, start wars whenever possible, lie to the American public at every possible turn, make the poor poorer and the rich richer. But maybe I've got it wrong. Did this Republican government flatly lie to the American public about the "imminent danger" of Iraq, their hordes of WMDs, their fleet of unmanned planes ready to drop nuclear weapons on the U.S., as well as their whole nuclear arsenal, etc. etc.? Did Colin Powell get on TV and lie for 90 minutes straight about all this crap? Have we spent hundreds of billions of dollars on Bush's paranoia and utterly faulty intelligence? I think George Bush should be impeached, and all his evil cohorts with him: Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Powell. If other liberal-minded folk are thinking the same way, that's great, but my views have nothing to do with anyone else. And quite frankly the Democrats embarrass me, but they're the only other choice and I HATE the Republicans. If that's PC, then so be it.

Josh

Name: Herb
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

Just curious, how did you get to morocco in 1973 and why did you go? What other countries have you visited?
Any other zany adventures to tell us about?
thanks, herb

Dear Herb:

I was visiting the Canary Islands with my parents. The travel agents were really pushing the Canary Islands that year and giving these huge discounts, so we went. None of the hotels were finished being built yet, however, and the weather during Christmas there is gray and cool. At our hotel there elevator hadn't yet been installed, and there were pieces of string tied to little posts to indicate where the pool and the tennis courts would eventually be. So everyone sat in the bar all day and all night planning a group lawsuit. I took a two-day side trip to Marrakech, which was certainly the highlight of that vacation. I really haven't traveled all that much. Mainly just to New Zealand and to Amsterdam.

Josh

Name: Blake Eckard
E-mail: already sent a million times

Josh,

A few questions regarding film stock.

Fairly familiar with 16mm prices, but can't for the life of me figure out Kodak's darn web site...(Where are the prices?)

How much would you count on spending on 35mm stock? I assume one would want 1,000 f.t. rolls? Also, other than lenses, what does one need to know when planning to shoot widescreen, 2:35?

I'm totally ignorant with anything involving 35mm, but have recently found a break and the opportunity to shoot with some free Panivision equipment has presented itself...But the window of opportunity is a small and fast fading one. Any other obvious info would also be greatly appreciated...Probably more questions to follow as I think of them.

Thanks, and have a good one, as ususal.

Blake

Dear Blake:

You don't have to shoot 2.35 just because it's Panavision equipment. You can still shoot 1.85 if you want, just don't use the anamorphic lenses. But if you do, then you'll have to make use of the wide frame which is somewhat difficult to compose. Generally, though, it's mostly an issue of throwing things, like close-ups, all the way over to one side of the frame or the other. As for film stock, there are several other places to check that are cheaper than Kodak, which are Steadi-Systems and Studio Film and Tape, both located in Hollywood on Highland Ave. around the block from Kodak. They both carry new stock, plus unused stock that's been sold back to them (Kodak won't take unused film stock back, which is how these places exist). They also sell re-canned film stock, which is when someone has only shot a hundred or two hundred feet of a 1,000 foot roll. It supposedly all tested and fine, but I've never used re-canned stock. I don't remember the prices, but I think it was about $125-150 a 1,000-foot roll. The choices of lenses is up to you. I like having as many prime lenses as I can afford, although I generally skip having a zoom. Let me know how it goes.

Josh

Name: Cynthia E. Jones
E-mail: cynthiaejones@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

In case your readers are interested, the trailer for "Bubba Ho-Tep" can be seen here:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/bubba_ho-tep/

--Cindy

Dear Cindy:

Thanks.

Josh

Name: Cynthia E. Jones
E-mail: cynthiaejones@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

Uh...you won't like "All About my Mother." That's just a guess, but I saw it, I didn't like it, and I generally have much more love in my heart for Pedro Almodovar than I believe you have. Just my two cents there.

Wow, I'm so excited that my offhand Floyd comment got you guys riffing on them...I'd heard rumors that "Echoes" was written for 2001, then scrapped...but anyone who has anything to say about Pink Floyd who wasn't in the band just can't be believed, as far as I'm concerned. Hell, if the members themselves are lying, how can we say we knew what they did or whatever?

Revisionist history: No drugs in the 60s (not the Beach Boys!), no coke in the 80s (or today!), Pamela Des Barres never slept with the Mothers of Invention or any other rock star (see "I'm with the Band," her groupie memoir, if you want the true version of "Almost Famous."). We live in a world where Paul McCartney, once arrested for marijuana possession, has been knighted (while 750,000 people a year get arrested for possession and are still in jail).

I may have already told you this, but I think it's funny. Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the co-creators of "South Park") used to be invited by colleges to come speak to the student body from time to time. When it came time for audience Q & A, students would always ask:

"What was your inspiration for (insert South Park character, moment, or joke here)?"

The answer would pretty much invariably be:

"Acid."

("Oh, yeah, we thought of a talking poo while we were on acid in the Colorado mountains." )

They are no longer invited to speak on college campuses. It appears as though college teachers, while valuing truth, didn't want it shared with their entire campus.

All right. That's enough about drugs for today.

take care,

Cindy

Dear Cindy:

"Echoes" wasn't written for "2001," although it may well fit at the end. This is a phenomenon called "random synch." We used to score all of our super-8 films with scores from other movies, and time and again we were astounded at how amazingly well music synched up with action it wasn't written for. But Pink Floyd just liked to do what they called "long things," which they'd already done a few of by "Echoes." And I'm sure you're right about the Almodovar film since I haven't liked any of his other pictures. And if everyone wants to believe that rock bands were really boy scouts in the '60s, '70s and '80s, then God bless 'em.

Josh

Name: August
E-mail: joxerfan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

Just a quick note on "Jack of All Trades" - it's presumably not being rerun anywhere in the US, but is turning up all over the world. I've run into people from Brazil, Russia, the Ukraine, and the Czech Republic who have seen it. Currently, I believe that Jack and Cleo are being shown on the Norwegian channel TV3 each Saturday at 4:00 pm, and in Sweden on TV3 on Sundays at 2:30 AM.

Do US directors get royalties for overseas reruns? And was that the deal w/ the NZ directors on XWP, HTLJ, et al., that they didn't get anything from U.S. reruns?

Regards,

August

Dear august:

Thanks for the info, it's good to know because, yes, DGA directors do get residuals (not royalties, that's for musicians) from overseas showings. The NZ directors don't get any residuals at all because they weren't DGA members, which is mainly why they were being hired. They didn't have to be flown in, nor put up, nor did they get per diem., nor residuals, either. But they ended up getting a lot more work than the U.S. directors.

Josh

Name: danny tembrely
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

sence you were at the filming of the first evil dead film...if you had directed it what would you have done different

Dear Danny:

I'd have fucked it up.

Josh

Name: Brian C.
E-mail: canadab@ghostshipfilms.com

Hey Josh.

Well, you can go ahead and say it - you were right. The 48 hour project was a lesson in too little time to pre-produce. We thought it was a good excercise, though. Our biggest handicap was the fact the we only make features and short story development was new to us. Our director's cut was 18:53 running time - well over the 10:00 max. We ended up throwing away a 60' crane shot, a dolly shot through Union Station, an entire scene in the Bourbon Street Bar (which we had filled with extras for a 'writer's night' show). We cut gags and performances until we had what amounted to a long trailer for an otherwise decent movie. We are going to go ahead and put the cleaned up director's cut on the web for everyone that put in a tough 48 hours for us. If you want a good laugh, I'll send you a VCD of it - it's a mockumentary about Beethoven trying to break into the country music industry.

B

Dear Brian:

It's better to have done it than to have not done it. All experience is good experience. I had my own little version of that when I was doing the re-enactments on the first season of "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" in 1992-'93. I had either one day or one night to shoot a 5-10 minute action story with bank robberies, shootings, chase scenes using multiple police cars, all kinds of stuff, using cops in all the parts, and the crew was me, the producer, the cameraman, and a sound man. You do what you have to do and make it work somehow.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc@mac.com

Hey Josh,

I agree with Andres "Y tu Mama Tambien" is not a very good film, not becuase I think it was porongraphic beciase it really wasn't, but it just wasn't as great as everyone made to be. As usual.

You might also consider getting two Pedro Almodovar films from Netflix: "Talk to Her", and "All about my mother". These are both excellent films. "Talk to her was just in theaters here last autumn, but I know both films are on Netflix and they are far better than "Y tu Mama Tambien".

Scott

Dear Scott:

Well, I've never been all that impressed with Almoldovar, but I'll give it a try.

Josh

Name: Reggie
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

I really do appreciate your advice, but I'll be okay buying my own camera. I've contacted a couple local colleges' film departments about borrowing equipment, and they haven't returned my calls or e-mails anyway, so f**k 'em. I have about $600 saved up right now, and I figure I can raise another thousand in the next month or two if I eat nothing but ramen noodles. :-) The cameras I'm looking at are around that price range ($1500-$2000).

I'm actually losing interest in the Canon Scoopic because I've read that it has an automatic exposure meter. I wanted to experiment with colorful, artsy, fartsy lighting. Wouldn't I have problems with that if I use a camera with an automatic exposure meter?

One more quick question I hope you won't mind answering:

You've mentioned before that zoom lenses don't have the picture quality of prime lenses. Would the picture quality be even worse if there's more range to the zoom lens? For example, would a 10-150mm zoom lens have lesser picture quality than a 12-120mm zoom lens? Or is that completely irrelevant?

Thanks,
Reggie

Dear Reggie:

It's pretty irrelevant. And in 16mm you probably won't even notice too much of a difference between the primes and the zoom, although there's definitely a loss of quality. The Scoopic has an automatic light meter built in, but you can over-ride it as I always did. I just saw a perfectly good 16mm camera for sale in a camera store here in Detroit, a Bell & Howell Filmo with three prime lenses for $350. The Filmo is the 16mm version of the 35mm Eyemo, which is what the military used for years and what they still use to put in crash-boxes when they drive a car over a camera. You can pound in nails with these cameras. If you bought one of those, you'd still have money left to make a movie with.

Josh

Name: Pilalidis George
E-mail: AGAMEMMNON@MSN.COM

Dear Josh:

some years ago in maroco i go with the truck on thefery boat and in the bar i begin to talk with one driver from irland.and he ask mi if i won´t one drink he mean wotka and i say thanks i don´t dring alcool and tell him, i was in all my life only 3 times drunk, and then he open hes ayes wide and he tell mi, oou very strange i was only 3 days not drunk ha ha ha.but drogs???i say NEVER, ONLY SOMETIMES ONE GLAS WINE FROM KRETA giasou.GEORGE

Dear Pilaldis:

Well, good for you. When I was in Morocco in 1973 I ate about four grams of hashish and got so stoned I could barely stand up.

Josh

Name: Garrison Bailey
E-mail: pink@garrsion-bailey.com

Hello,

I am a actress/musician in the states and I had sent all of my credentials to P.R.Pictures a couple of years ago. I love your company. Xena is my favorite T.V. show and I want to work for you in some capacity. Please email me and let me know what I can do.

Thanks,

Garrison Bailey (female)

Dear Garrison:

It's not my company, I was just an employee. It's Renaissance Pictures, BTW.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc66@mac.com

Josh,

We are seemingly becoming like the two characters in your film script for "Ballbreakers".

Floyd's acid days were primarily due to the influence of Syd Barrett, and yes I am sure they all experimented, but they also got their shit together after Syd's decline and they were not doing anything while recording "Darkside", but you will never believe that, so it is mute point to your ears.

I agree that Waters is quite an eqomanic(what artist isn't to some extent), however, even Gilmour admits to the fact that nobody wanted to take responsibility for who was going to motivate the band and lead them. Gilmour also admits that he was a pretty lazy musician and they needed Roger's energy to move the band along and write the lyrics, so Waters ego was an essential part of the band.

I agree that Wright's contribution was big in the early years to the band faded away over time, but that was partly because of him and he even admits that for a longtime he was in a creative slump beginning with "Animals" all the way through "The Wall".

I think "Animals" is a brilliant album and Wright had very little input into that one. It was all about Water's lyrics and Gilmour's great guitar playing.

Also, with regards to the "Final Cut", the reason it was titled this way is because the album was orginally intended to be a Water's solo album and some of the cuts were canned songs from "The Wall", however, Gilmour and Mason wanted to continue with Floyd, but Gilmour admited that he had not come up with any new material. He also admited that Water's approached the both of them and said that he would do this as a solo album if they felt more comfortable with that, but Gilmour said that since neither him nor Mason had any ideas at the time, they agreed to release it as"a "Pink Floyd" album.

I don't think "The Final Cut" was a great album, but it definitely wasn't the worst under the "Pink Floyd" name, I think that distinction would have to go to "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" which was Gilmour, Mason, and a bunch of studio musicians. It wasn't "Pink Floyd".

The comment by George Pilalidis is a good example of the fact that while Roger may be an egomaniac, he was also raised with a very socialist upbringing by his mother and he has donated and given a great deal of his time and money to charities, so that has become the possitive side of his egomania.

In the interview I read, he said that he had a hard time with the success of the album:" Before you acheive that much success in your life, you have all these ideas of what you will do with the money like give it away to charity, but in the end you keep the money, and that was difficult for me to grasp groing up in a socialist environment.

My mother used to volunteer for all sorts of charities, so when I started to receive the revenues form the album, I opened a charitable trust which I still have today. 1/4 of my earnings from the album go into this trust. The nice thing about being a captialist is that you can be a philanthropist."


Scott

Dear Scott:

Yes, let's drop the whole drug issue. And yes, we do sound like the two guys from "Ball Breaker." Nevertheless, I must continue this at least one stage farther. I think "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" is a better album than "The Final Cut," simply because it has one good song, "Learning to Fly," and "The Final Cut" hasn't got any. I also don't think that "Animals" is a great album, but it has one terrific, very long song, "Pigs (Three Different Ones)." I actually like "The Division Bell" better than "Animals, "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" or "The Final Cut." Did you see "Behind the Wall," which was a VH-1 show about two years ago? They interview all of Pink Floyd, all seperately, and it was very interesting. They all agreed that "Dark Side" was the peak of the band and "The Wall" was trying to get to the peak again, and failed. And there's still clearly a lot of animosity left in Rick Wright toward Roger Waters.

Josh

Name: Pilalidis George
E-mail: AGAMEMMNON@MSN.COM

hmm josh, waters like i rememer two or thre years ago,have give 120.000.000 $$ help to the people withaout selter in UK??? all the members from pink floyd was good in songs writhing there have look 30 years in the future, but wy drogs ????i'am 45 and don't even smoke,i never aundarstand this. god i have like marvel comics and don´t have left money for malbboro giasu.

Dear Pilaldis:

Maybe if you could afford drugs you'd take them.

Josh

Name: Keith
E-mail: Keithrobinson@krobin.freeisp.co.uk

dear Josh,

Not all projectionists are morons...lazy, but not morons. youve been one yourself and must know how incredably boring the job is and how badly paid it is too. I can imagine how easy it is for them to screw up important screenings, but i never screwed up anything important. Plus you know that those projectors just fuck up and go out of focus at any time and for no reason...
Id say that in all multiplexis, something goes wrong on a screening about twice a day, so if you vacate the cinema often youre bound to see a screw up quite frequently..
Its not always our fault.....honestly =)

Dear Keith:

I'd like to commisserate with you, really, but I can't. Way too often the film begins out of focus, and that's entirely because the lazy motherfucker projectionist turned it on and walked away. The most important moment of their whole job, particularly with the advent of the platter system, is right at the beginning, and if they're not paying attention then, as they generally aren't, then they're worthless pieces of shit. When I was projecting you had to pay attention at the beginning of every reel, which could be five or six times a film. Now it's only mandatory once, and most projectionists won't do that. They are a truly worthless, lazy group -- except you, of course. But when I spend years making a film, go to great difficulty to set up a screening and fill the seats, then some knuckleheaded projectionist ruins it due to sheer apathy, that's about as close to violece as I've ever feel.

Josh

Name: Andres
E-mail: antontondi@37.com

Dear Josh:

Well, I strongly recommend you watch "Amores Perros", since it is the only film out of those three that actually deserved the international attention. You can find it on any video rental store...but I beg of you to watch it, just watch it, as a favor to me....It would mean a lot to me. "Y tu Mama Tambien" is an excuse for a Pornography film, and a bad story overall. Alfonso and Carlos Cuaron's idea of character development is saying everything about this character through an anonimous voice over also known as narrator, while we watch him pee, it is disgusting and an insult on cinema. This anonimous narrator will actually sometimes say things that are completley irrelevant to the story, just to show the audience just how screwed up Mexico really is, talk about sucking the fun out of a film...worst of all, the Cuaron's idea of artistic expresion is showing the audience things other directors do not show...like floating semen on a swiming pool....and, just plain old irrelevant pornography, it shows how they both lack so much immagination, they shouldn't be in the film industry in the first place. Father Amaro is a good film, but it is no masterpiece, and definately not worthy of all its awards. But "Amores Perros", the reinassance of Mexican Cinema, and the most awarded film worldwide of 2001, became a classical film not only in Mexico, but worldwide. It seems strange how last summer I showed this film to a bunch of teenagers who weren't too excited about it, and halfway into the film, they didn't mind the subtitles at all...two hours later they were all out at Sam Goody buying their own DVD copies of the film...most of them giving it their personal "favorite film" title. I never saw a foreign film do such an impact especially since most americans are too lazy to read subtitles (and teenagers more than anyone). I strongly recommend you to watch this film, as a fellow film buff, and a friend. I agree with you since the golden years of Mexican cinema were driven by two figures...Cantinflas, and Luis Buñuel...but, as I always say, you should never underestimate modern culture and modern art....since most people think all things modern are crap, and all things old are masterpieces....and that is a human condition. Promise me you will watch this film....just make that promise. Thanks

Dear Andres:

I put it on my Netflix list and when it comes I will watch it. And I will tell you what I think.

Josh

Name: Keith
E-mail: evildead167@yahoo.com

Hey Josh,

I am an aspiring film student and I took a look at your list of favorite films. Noting your feelings on story structure, I was particularly surprised to find "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" and the film "M*A*S*H" on your list. The Meaning of Life, for me, seemed to be a bunch of separate (funny) sketches put together into the length of a full movie. MASH, which I have seen just recently, also seemed very disjointed (due in part to the great deal of improvisation) and not at all fitting into your rigid ideals of story structure. The character "Hot Lips" Houlihan was also very uneven. Besides the obvious "absurdity of war" theme, the movie also didn't seem to have much of a "point" either.

I enjoy both of these comedies, but I was wondering how they fit into the ideals of "good storytelling".
Also, what do you think of Monty Python in general? "The Life of Brian" is fast becoming one of my favorite movies.

Dear Keith:

I love Monty Python and "The Meaning of Life" slaughters me. In a comedy, far more important than story structure, is being funny. Python was never any good at writing stories, but they were brilliant at being funny. That's all I ask of a comedy. And I probably quote "The Meaning of Life" more than any other film. I just said to someone, "Bloody Catholics with all their bloody children." As for "M*A*S*H," well, I could almost remove it from the list, but it was so important of a film when it came out, and seemed so fresh and original, and I remember that feeling so clearly, that it remains. I don't think it holds up very well at all, and I don't like most of Altman's films, but a few of them in their day were sort of revelations, like "M*A*S*H" and "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," and for me, "Brewster McCloud." "McCabe" is one of those films that if you could just remove the dated, droning, dull Leonard Cohen songs and replace them with a real score, it would be an actual great film.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc66@mac.com

Josh,

You don't have to buy what Water's says, but I do and I don't believe that you can generalize that all the baby boomers lie because they sold out.

Before the "Darkside of the Moon", Pink Floyd were not making a great deal of money, however, after that album, they became millionaires almost overnight, but they did not do it by saying "I am going to sellout and make this really good album which will make me lots of money". They just were doing what they did and it came out that way.

In Fact, Waters is the last person you could say sold out. He never was the one touring and recording under the name "Pink Floyd" after they ran their shelf life. He knew better, and it's definitley not about the money to him. He doesn't need it.

That period of Rock and Roll was the most creative and productive of the genre and eventually someone is going to be successful if they are making good music, and I don't find anything wrong with that.

As I said before, what on earth would be the reason that Waters would have to lie now? What does he have to prove? The answer is nothing.

Richard Wright was kicked out of the band during "The Wall" sessions by Waters basically because he was so coked up all the time, he could not even play his parts which led to arguments and Wright finally leaving the band.

I have been around a lot of drugs in my time. I worked in a record shop for about 5 years, and almost everyone in the place smoked pot every night after we closed the store (some smoked it like you everday on a regular basis). I have been also been around otehr drugs as well and I never did any of them.

I did not try pot until I moved to NYC about 5 years ago. I only got high the third time I smoked it and it wasn't anything special for me.

First, I had to get over the fact that it burnt the shit out of my insides when I inhaled it and that wasn't pleasant at all. I smoked joints and from a bong. I wanted to try it to see what it was all about, but it did nothing for me. I never had the urge to do it again

I have seen two of my friend completey ruin their lives for a longtime with drugs.

One went from smoking and selling pot and progressed over the years to getting addicted to crack. The other enjoyed smoking pot all the time, then developed a fondess for heroin not too long ago and overdosed, flatlined in the hospital and nearly died there. luckly he was revived and survived.

I think the problem I have with your argument of this issue is that you are not very different from some of my friends who feel that every musician and artist does drugs to spark their creativity, although I believe this to be true with some artists, it is definitely not true with all artists.

Of course all sorts of drugs were always around in the entertainment business, but just because they are there doesn't mean that everyone takes them, but a lot of people do.

I think it also has much to do for with that fact that some people just have addictive personalities and you can either deal with it in a healthy way or an unhealthy one, and most people have to go through something as bad as being dead for a couple of minutes before they realize that.

Personally, I think sex is a great creativity booster and i don't have an addiction with it, but it has done much more for my creativity than drugs could ever do, but that is just me.

I was asked once why I never did drugs because I listened to all the progressive rock of the 70's and I like Pink Floyd and bands like that so much?

My answer was pretty simple, I told the guy that the music is like the drug to me and it takes me to places in my own imagination and I find pleasure in that without doing drugs. I am a pretty decent guitar player and a good drummer. If anything, I am addicted to music.


Scott

Dear Scott:

That's all great and I'm glad for your own sake you don't do or like drugs. All I'm saying is, drugs were completely ubiquitous in the music industry throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s, Pink Floyd was one of the first acid bands, and they didn't get that way by faking it. Drugs were an integral part of the scene. I'm not saying they needed them for creativity, I'm saying everyone in rock & roll did them at that time. Period. No exceptions. I will happily accept that some of them, like Roger Waters perhaps, got their shit together pretty early in the game, but I have no doubt they still all went through an extreme drug phase with Syd Barrett. And I wouldn't even be slightly surprised if Waters was doing a lot of cocaine throughout "Dark Side of the Moon" through "The Wall" phase of their career, he certainly acted like an asshole taking a lot of coke. And like Ziggy Stardust, "he made love with his ego and sucked up into his mind." He tried to fire Rick Wright during "The Wall," but he didn't have the power to fire him and Wright stayed. Certainly, Wright, Gilmore and Mason all thought Waters had become the biggest asshole of all time during "The Wall," and by "The Final Cut" the billing had become: "A requiem for the post war dream by Roger Waters, Performed by Pink Floyd." And the bottom-line is, Waters' ego-driven ascendancy destroyed the band and made some of their worst music. Back when they used to legitimately collaborate, like on "Meddle" and "Dark Side of the Moon," and a lot of the music was written by Rick Wright, they were a far better band. Drugs were absolutely part of rock & roll at that time and there was no escaping them, except in people's contemporary revisionist memories.

Josh

Name: Andres
E-mail: antontondi@37.com

Hey Josh,

I haven't returned to your site for a LONG time, I don't think you remmember me or my questions so I'm not even going to try to remind you of them. I just want to ask your opinion on the new wave of Mexican Cinema slowly gaining power internationally, mostly in the United States.....Your opinnion on "Amores Perros", "Y tu Mama Tambien" and "The Crime of Father Amaro"? I just want to know what you think of these films as an american, out of curiosity. Thank You.

Dear Andres:

Sorry, I haven't seen any of them. I did just recently watch Luis Bunuel's "Simon of the Desert," which he made in Mexico, and I liked that.

Josh

Name: Ricky
E-mail: sirturtle1@aol.com

Dear Josh:

I have noticed that every time a good clean fun show comes on the TV that it doesn't last long. I am so sick of watching shows like ER, NYPD BLUE and other shows of that nature. There's just too many of them out there and they have run them through the dirt and beyond. That's all they ever put on the TV. I enjoyed watching your show The Jack of all Trades. 1. What are the chances of getting the show Jack of all Trades back on the air? 2. How would someone go about getting the show put back on the air? 3. Is there a TV sation that you know of that aires re runs of the show?

Dear Ricky:

The show dropped dead and I'm sure it won't be revived. I haven't seen it listed anywhere, nor am I getting residuals on it, so I'd say it's not being shown. And they're not making those kind of shows anymore. Sorry.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc@mac.com

Josh,

I have read too many candid interviews with Waters to believe otherwise about his lack of drug use. He was deeply affected by Syd Barrett's decline partially due to his extreme use of LSD. Shit, the whole premise of the album "Wish You Were Here" is partly based on Barrett and his decline directly related to his use of LSD.

I don't think it is re-writing of history at all. Water's has never been a guy who hides much of anything even if he has kids (which he does).

What does he have to lose? Nothing. The series of interviews I read were as candid as can be. That is always how he has been.

I met him once a few years back and he was like this when I talked to him. I was fortunate enough to talk to him for a while, since I was doing an editing job at Sony Studios here, and he came up for some business when he was touring in 99'. My friend who worked there tipped me off, and I was able to meet him.

Water's has stated many times his personal feeling about drugs and his first and only acid trip. He wasn't drawn to them, but he also has stated that he doesn't pass judgment on those who do them. It is their choice.

Of course they experimented in th 60's along with Syd, but with the exception of Syd, the rest of the band moved on and didn't continue the practice, although, Glimour smoked pot for a time, then gave it up after sometime.

Even though I don't use them, I personally have nothing against other people doing drugs, and I also feel that pot should be legalized. Drugs go hand in hand with Rock and Roll, however, I feel that many people who do them such as yourself, feel that all Rock bands from that era where doing them all the time, and this is simply not true whether you believe it or not.

I think your bias on this issue is just as bad as Cameron Crowe ignoring the drug theme in "Almost Famous", however it is the opposite extreme.

Sure the Beatles did them, Brian Wilson did a lot of them, but as for Waters, I don't belive he did, and I know for a fact that Peter Gabriel never did LSD or anything else for that matter, and look at the creative things he did with Genesis and beyond.

In the end, I think drugs work for some, and they don't work for others, you just have to live with that, and I am sure you do.

Scott

Dear Scott:

That may be the case with Roger Waters, but I still don't believe him. I think all of those guys were doing plenty of hallucenigenics in the mid- to late-sixties, and if they didn't like LSD, then they were doing coke and speed and anything else they could get their grubby paws on. Waters may well have stopped by the time of "Dark Side," but I just doen't believe he wasn't partaking before that, as well as all the rest of the band. And all other bands of the time. By the mid-seventies coke was so prevelant you couldn't go into any recording studio or post facility without being offered lines. All the baby-boomers, who are for the most part, the sell-out generation, will say whatever they have to to keep their good names intact now.

Josh

Name: Tony Mitchell
E-mail: mitch_2209@hotmail.com

Hi Josh,

I read that there is nowhere for you to go to see old films on the big screen anymore. I count myself very lucky here in Melbourne that we have a "rescued" old-style cinema that still has the guts to show them. How's this for a list of up-coming films:
Lawrence of Arabia
The Fountainhead / Mildred Pierce
Rear Window / Vertigo
It Happened One Night / Lost Horizon
The Party / Some Like It Hot
Ragin Bull / Network
Ryan's Daughter
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Gone With The Wind
The Matese Falcon / To Have and To Have Not
and last but not least...
Robot Monster / Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Not a bad selection. Mind you, they also show a lot of crap to cater for the mindless youths. I'll mis it like hell because I'm moving to Bangkok in 8 weeks. Oh well, you can't have everything.
cheers,
Tony

Dear Tony:

For a standard revival theater it's an okay line-up. I've seen all of them so it wouldn't inspire me that much. For years there in the 1970s and '80s in LA, there were about ten revival theaters, USC, UCLA, and the LA County Museum showing old films all the time. You could catch a program of twenty films of Luis Bunuel at one theater, while at another they were showing about fifty silent comedies, while at another they were showing Louis Malle's six-part "Phantom of India, while at another they were showing all of The Beatles' films. And people used to fill the theaters. The good old days. Now we all sit alone watching TV.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc66@mac.com

Hey Josh,

I do agree that Kubrick's decision to go with the classical score was a good idea.

I don't think the film would have held up so well with Floyd's music as the backdrop, although the anomaly thing with the Floyd song "Echoes" and the film is quite interesting.

The Floyd minutia to which I spouted in my last post was straight from Water's mouth from an interview I read not too long ago. He has been scoring an opera for the past 4 years and I think it is going to be released soon.

I enjoyed your Halifax story it sounded like a good adventure even if you were told to leave Halifax. You mentioned you were smoking dope and listening to "Darkside of the Moon".

Here is some more Floyd minutia which may shatter the view of the album of all the dopeheads out there. Though, maybe not.

The band were not on anything when they conceived and recorded the album which is considered one of the greatest stoner albums of all time. (except in Australia where the band says it was voted the best album to have sex to).

It was Richard Wright the keyboard player who said in a recent interview for the albums's "35th anniverary: "We could have never made that album if we were on anything, it had taken far too much focus and it would have been impossible if we were all doped up".

In fact, Waters was never a "druggie", however, he did smoke cigarettes for a longtime. The rest of the band dabbled, but never did it on a consistent basis.

Waters said that the only thing the band did during breaks in the studio was "have a few pints(beer), watch 'Monty Pyton's Flying Circus', and play a little cricket and football (soccer) with the crew from Abbey Road studios".

He also agreed with Wright, "It would have been impossible for me to put as much as I did into this album had I been on any kind of Halucingenics. We all saw what it did to Syd and we all stayed away from it, although later on during the Wall sessions, Richard built up a fondness for cocaine which almost ruined his life and his career.

I took LSD once in my life, and it scared me so much, I could not even walk across the street, I just stood there frightened out of my mind, unable to move. Drugs like that never worked for me, however, cigaretttes were a different story."

-Roger Waters

Scott

Dear Scott:

I do believe there's some rewriting of history going on. I've heard this same tripe from a number of old rockers and I just plain-old don't buy it. I think it's because they have to fess up to the children and grandchildren now and don't want to set bad examples. The next thing we'll hear is that Keith Richards and Ozzie Osborne never did any drugs, they just had a few pints now and then. And like in "Almost Famous," the groupies didn't really have sex with the rock stars, they were just friendly companions. The bottom line is, once The Beatles started taking acid and made "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper," every other rock & roller followed suit hopping to come up with their masterpiece. And all these people, including The Beatles, were really inspired by Brian Wilson taking acid and making "Good Vibrations." And let's not forget one of the great acid-heads of rock & roll, Jimi Hendrix, who used to eat LSD by the handful. I have friends my own age that I tripped with back in the early '70s who have admitted to recently lying to their children because they couldn't own up to the sheer amount and diversity of drugs they took back then. The cop-out response is, "Well, I smoked a little pot back then, but everybody did." Since I have no kids I guess I'm allowed to be truthful and own up to it. I probably took acid and mescaline about three hundred times. I began smoking pot seriously in 1973 and haven't stopped since. I should have bought myself a gold-plated roach clip for my 30th anniversary. It's not that I'm proud of it necessarily, but those are the facts.

Josh

Name: Pilalidis George
E-mail: AGAMEMMNON@MSN.COM

no no mister brian.c.iAm real exist like you and like josh and like sam .bud iám only a truck draiver with some good ideas???And josh, for mi any one from this world have two ayes two hands and one hard and sam make not exepsion .bud i don't say nothing any more because i have make you head ful with ideas. ONLY THIS:FROM THE BEGINING OF TIME UNTIL THE BIGERST GRIME ONE MAN STANDING IN BETWEEN (ORESTIS THE KING OF JUSTICE:GEORGE

Dear Pilaldis:

Cartainly Sam has only two ayes, two hands and one hard [on?]. But he's still the Great Oz. And remember, pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain.

Josh

Name: August
E-mail: joxerfan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

I looked back over the last couple of pages of answered questions to see where the *@$# the idea that you were being "politically correct" came from. Given your typical bluntness and honesty, I think that would be about the last thing anyone would ever call you. Weird. But the notion of directors having a mission to uplift the morals of the audience is pretty scary - sound like what all those Hitler Youth training films were trying to do. Yeesh.

A couple of observations on recent discussions. You had mentioned "It's A Wonderful Life" as an example of something that was not copyrighted. Any idea why? I've read that that was one of the reasons that it gained popularity over the years - every local station in the country could run it at Christmastime as much as they wanted, and so a whole generation grew up getting used to it. I gather someone (Turner? NBC?) managed to finally get exclusive rights to it by laying claim to the copyright on the *music* used in it, and so now it's just run once a year, on that one station.

And on the ongoing "2001/Close Encounters" discussion. I was just a little too young to see 2001 n the theatres, so for me it was "Silent Running" that blew me away with the special effects. By the time "Close Encounters" had come along, I'd already been appropriately impressed by "Star Wars." And while the science in SW was ridiculous to non-existant, I was basically seeing it as a big fairy tale (lifted in part from Tolkein and E.R. Burroughs) and so in my mind I was imaginging all the great sci-fi novels that could now be brought to the screen using this new technology. Like you and several here, I was much more interested in the first part of "Encounters" - the old guy blowing everyone else's credibility when he announces "I seen a Bigfoot" still cracks me up. By the time Dreyfuss starts building the scale version of Devil's Peak and pissing off his wife, I was beginning to lose sympathy for him.

And on Kubrick and "Clockwork Orange" - I assume you know that Walter Carlos, the "Switched On Bach" guy who did all the synthesizer Beethoven stuff, later became *Wendy* Carlos?

Regards,

August

PS - I'm going to hear a lecture featuring Vilmos Zsigmond (sp?) and Lazlo Kovacs in about 2 hours. In the remote chance you read this by then, anything I should ask them?

Dear August:

Until very recently, unless you displayed a copyright notice on your film it was not copyright, even if you had registered it with the copyright office. "It's a Wonderful Life" was the only film ever produced by Liberty Pictures, a company started right after WWII by Frank Capra and William Wyler that never really took off. Wyler ended up taking the script for "Roman Holiday" from that deal and making it later. Anyway, there's a shot of a bell ringing at the beginning and it says "Liberty Pictures," but there's no copyright notice. It was strictly an oversight. The way it used to work was if there was no copyright notice and you showed the film in public, it was automatically in the public domain. That's what happened to "Night of the Living Dead," too. BTW, Turner Pictures was only able to copyright the colorized version of "It's a Wonderful Life," the original black and white version remains in the public domain.

Josh

Name: Aaron
E-mail: agraham83@hotmail.com

Hey Josh,

just curious as to your story about Nova Scotia and being kicked out? I'm from NS and I'm a big fan of this site (been reading the Q&A for 3-4 years now) and find it cool you've been to where I grew up.

PS: I hope your experience didn't sour you on Canadians from the East. I'm currently in Manitoba and help run a video store. I advocate and recommend all your films and made a nice little section to the customers.

Thanks!

Dear Aaron:

Thanks to you. No, I have no problem with any Canadians. I really like Canada, and I've seen more of it than most Canadians. I've been in every Province but New Foundland, and one of the two Territories -- The Yukon, I haven't been to the Northwest Territories. My two buddies and I were driving across eastern Canada in 1974 in my VW bug. We stopped in Halifax and were at a laundromat one evening washing our clothes. We were sitting outside waiting for the clothes to come out of the dryer, smoking cigarettes and one of us was playing the guitar (not me), when two Swedish sailors strolled up and indicated using international hand signals, that they wanted to get high. We nodded and went with them back to their ship, a big freighter down in the harbor. My buddy brought his guitar with him. We hung out in their quarters smoking dope, listening to "Dark Side of the Moon," drinking Swedish sodas and having a swell time. When we left the ship and drove about thirty feet, our path was blocked by the Halifax Harbor Police. They put us against the wall, frisked us, then asked, "What's in the guitar case, eh?" My friend answered, "A guitar." The cop opened the case and in fact found a guitar, then searched inside it and didn't find anything. We were then told to get out of Halifax, which we promptly did. Very lucky for us the cops didn't check the car, too, because we had a half-pound of weed in there.

Josh

Name: Diana Hawkes
E-mail: you got it

Dear Josh:

Surely you are my soulmate! You got an 'AMEN!" and a "Testify!" from me, my brother, when I read about you getting just as irritated as me over talkers at the movie theatre. Did I ever write in and tell you the following? At an R-rated flick- a mother, father, and I-swear-to-god, a toddler.maybe 4 yrs. old tops, were chit-chatting, babbling and fussing through the 1st half the movie, and when my "shhhing" didn't get any results, I turned around and spewed the most venomous "shut the fuck up!" rant that would've made Satan blush, all in front of the damn kid. Yes, I said the F-word at the little one, but I mean really, who brings a kid to an adult movie? Another time I shhh'ed and shhh'ed. went out and got the usher to try, no results- then I complained to the manager- and got free passes to come to another movie, but the experience was ruined by that time and the offending guy wasn't thrown out.

While I'm at it, I'll steam publicly here about the increasingly sloppy presentation of films in the theatres too. Almost *always* it seems to me they are poorly focused (I shout out "Focus!" during the previews and then occasionally see them fiddle with it and land on it being no better), and the screens have smudges, tears, or handprints across them from dust. I complained once about a stain from a big splash of a cola, and got a shrug.

Hey, I noticed you used "LOL" in a response! Look at you, so hip. Letting a little online jargon slip into your vernacular, are you?! Watch out, pretty soon, you'll be offering those smilie faces for posting! I still vote that we have an EZ BoardT message board for conversations here. That way visitors can respond more fluidly to each other's comments as well as to yours. But the topics would clip along faster probably, and drift, which you may not want. EZ Boards is also handy for posting pictures which may be fun with the topics that come up here. But I don't want to push. <insert razzing smilie here>

Regarding the Bill Mahar topic-did you know that Lucy Lawless was a guest (quite a while ago now) on his "Politically Incorrect" show? I have to wonder what she thought of him. Did she ever mention anything to you?

p.s. I tried your AOL email addy recently and it came back
"undeliverable". Did you ditch it? Just wondering.

Dear Diana:

Yes, I went to a high-speed internet connection and finally dumped AOL, who were worthless, obnoxious pricks. Trying to cancel their service was like trying to leave a communist country. They kept demanding to know why and kept offering me more and more free months. But I'm always available here.

On the talking-in-movie-theaters-front, I no longer say "Shhh" or "Could you please be quiet," which never works anyway. I go straight to "Shut the fuck up!" This immediately indicates that I'm not kidding and I am aggressive. Of course, I then spend the next ten minutes with my heart pumping overtime and adrenaline flooding my system, but that's kind of a kick, too.

Projectionist are a horrible group. They have a very easy job and never do it properly. I can't tell you how many screenings of my own films have been ruined by moron projectionists. Sam had a horrendous early screening of "Darkman" that was all based on bad projection, and he went up to the booth afterward and ripped the guy a new asshole, which I really admired.

Josh

Name: Smart Ass
E-mail:

Josh,

I believe it was Alex North who wrote the original score for '2001' (though Goldsmith wrote the liner notes on the CD release). North, who had worked with Kubrick earlier on 'Spartacus', was left uninformed of the omission of his music and only discovered it upon attending the premiere. He was rather disappointed. But Kubrick was never famous for being a 'nice guy'. Until next time....
Mr. Know it All

Dear Smart Ass:

Hey, that's my nickname. You are correct and I am wrong. Thanks for the correction. It was the liner notes that threw my fading memory. I have heard the score, and I liked it, but I'm glad Kubrick dropped it. As a little piece of trivia for everyone of this subject, the co-effects supervisor on "2001" was Wally Veevers, who had done the visual effects for Kubrick on "Dr. Strangelove."

Josh

Name: Jay
E-mail: jcschgo@earthlink.net

Mr. Becker,

How I stumbled upon your site, I can't exactly remember; but I have to admit, some of your opinions and reviews I disagree with vehemently. Still, I'm not going to be one of those who go into some tirade like "What the fuck is wrong with you?!?" or things of that nature. Hell, your inclined to your opinion just as I am to mine. I remember six years ago how I hated The English Patient, thought it was a long, overblown piece of self-indulgent crap, and my friends were saying that i was an idiot and they had lost some repect for me. All over a friggin' movie. It's like politics, there are some things people can't have an intelligent debate about.

That said, let me ask you something rather general. I am a writer and aspiring director, and I'd be intruiged to hear a piece of advice or opinion about making film. Something indespensible. Something, in working yourself, you adhere to as a rule, and that you would think is important to pass on to others. A credo, if you will.

Christ, I've probably rambled your ear off, I know, but anything would be appreciated.

Thanks,
- J.

And yes, I wouldn't be surprised if this is covered somewhere else on these boards, but I couldn't find it specifically. Also, I might be a bit lazy dealing with the internet. Welcome to the microwave society, right?

Dear Jay:

Okay, here goes: To thine own self be true. I just made that up, BTW. As Bill Cosby once said, "I don't know the secret of success, but I do know the secret of failure -- try to please everybody." How's that?

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: ssspnyc66@mac.com

Josh,

I must clarify my statement about Pink Floyd attempting to do the score for "2001". They were interested in scoring a version to send to Kubrick, and Waters has said many times that it his biggest regret that he never did that.

They were going to approach Kubrick with the music, since they ran into him quite often in the same circles in and around the London scene at the time.

Waters admits to never reading much science fiction, but he was a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke.

Waters was told by Kubrick that he was doing the film adaptation of a script that he and Clarke had been working on and that is partly what sparked Waters interest in doing the score for the film.

They were never approached by Kubrick for the use of their music until 1971 after he was interested in including parts of Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" in "A Clock Work Orange", however, the band turned down his offer for vaious reasons.

This backfired on Waters much later in his career when he asked permission to use some snippets of HAL and heavy breathing from "2001" on his 1992 release "Amused to Death".

Kubrick's people refused Waters permission to use the snippets, So Waters dubbed in his own breathing effects, and recorded a backwards message to Kubrick in one of the songs. It was quite funny actually.

When he toured here a couple years ago, he used the HAL snippet live, so he somehow garnered the permission after Kubrick passed away.

As for the Floyd being "nobodys" in 66/67, that was true in the rest of the world outside of the UK and parts of Europe, however they were big in London and in fact, they did start making trippy music along with their early singles penned by Barrett before the 70's.

Two songs on their first album which was released in 1967 were quite trippy to most people let alone the rest of the album. "Astronomy Domine", and "Intersteller Overdrive" were both songs which captured the essence of what Pink Floyd sounded like live at the time.

Their early shows consisted of long "space" jams which went over well with the tripping audiences. "Intersteller Overdrive",an instrumental, was used in the 1967 counterculture film "Tonite Lets all make love in London".

Scott

Dear Scott:

Ah, Pink Floyd minutia. I love it. But honestly, even if Waters was interested, that doesn't mean there was the slightest chance in hell that Floyd was ever going to score "2001." As I said, Jerry Goldsmith was hired to score the film, and did, then pretty late in the game Kubrick dropped Goldsmith's score to go classical. And there was a stroke of brilliance in using classical music that would have been lost with an actual score or trippy Pink Floyd music.

Josh

Name: Joshua
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

you mentioned you had 20 non-fiction books lined up. i have a set lined up as well, and tend to buy more books than i have time for. just wondering what they were...one wouldnt happen to be lance armstrongs book would it?

Dear Joshua:

They're not literally lined-up. I have thousands of books and they're all in their proper sections. But some of the books awaiting my perusal are: Miles Davis' autobiography; a bioghraphy of Chesty Puller, the most decorated U.S. marine officer of all time; "Theordore Rex," which is the second part of Edmund Morris' biography of Teddy Roosevelt (part one was great); and "Dance With Demons," a bio of Jerome Robbins. Right now I'm re-reading Alan Jay Lerner's autobiography, "On the Street Where I Live." I recently finished "Movies & Money" by David Puttnam, which was very interesting.

Josh

 


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