Phill "Hatch" Tarr
Josh, my name's Hatch, my partner Christian and I have
an underground Horror magazine in Sarasota, FL. and
we were wondering if we could conduct a short on-line
interview with you so we may put it in our magazine.
Thank you in advance for your time,
LOP (League of Pchycos)
no problem. Send the questions.
and Josh you both can go to hell, i'm glad you dident
have a part gor me in a movie or anything else, being
denied was the best thing that ever happened to me so
you can take your films and scripts and shove them up
the fuck are you? I went back through the Q&A to
try and see what correspondence between August and I
set you off, but I can't find anything. Who denied you
a part in anything? What are you talking about? I guess
you must simply be insane.
I disagree that One Hour Photo implied that single middle-aged
men are all perverts. That movie could have been just
as effective (or ineffective) if it was a girl, a bored
married man, or a teen ager. I thought, at the very
least, a one hour photo guy was an ideal way to illustrate
a lonely man, someone who looks at birthday parties
and such and wants to be a part of it.
Also, after witnessing the trend in modern society,
I am now convinced to speak my feelings unabashedly,
without pulling any punches.
One of your fans said that we have more single people
than we ever have. And we're more screwed up as a society
than we ever have. Not everyone has to get married.
But still, there has to be some form of self-restraint,
some hint of sacrifice in the minds of all of us, which
there isn't. People live by their whims, thus, we have
abortion, divorce, druggie kids, irreverence, disrespect,
etc. People don't know how to be happy with what they
have. All they know how to do is complain.
Today, we have fewer people than ever attending the
Traditional Catholic church--and I suppose you'll maintain
that we're doing better than ever before.
the thin, unmotivated writing, it would have been equally
as ineffective with someone else other than a middle-aged
bachelor. If the motivation and theme were disaffectation
from society, which it could well have been, then that
needs to be written into the script. But as it is, it's
left for the audience to insert anything they'd like.
If the writer has a point, which in this case I don't
believe he had, then it's the writer's job to get that
point across. All we get in "One Hour Photo"
is a middle-aged bachelor obesessing about a family,
getting fired for stupid reasons, then stalking a family.
The bottom line of drama is getting the audience to
believe the story you're telling, and this fails on
all counts. Regarding society as a whole, I do sense
an apathy and disregard for traditional values, but
that's just how it is. But I don't think the utterly
corrupt Catholic church is helping anything, either.
I see that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are quite
successful these days, with their work on "Alias,"
and now some other shows in the works. Did you interact
much with them when you were directing either "Kindred
Spirits" or those "Jack" episodes? If
so, any memories or impressions? I gather they were
pretty young when they first began working with Ren
Pics - what was their background, and how'd they get
(Also, I'm curious if Alex is related to Bob Kurtzman
the make-up guy.)
I don't believe there's any relation between them. I
hear that Bob just moved back to Ohio where he'll be
running a digital effects company. I dealt with Alex
and Bob very little in person, although quite few times
on conference calls from New Zealand. They were perfectly
reasonable young guys with a sense of humor and enjoyed
working with them.
planned on going to bed early but stumbled upon your
(???) screenplay titled If I Had A Hammer. I was unusually
hooked from the first scene until the ending. Instead
of focusing on something before my time (19 years) and
becoming a fossil, it remained exceptional but accurate
to how life is lived today. Music, sex and drugs were
not taken over the edge, and this was when I confirmed
that this was a well written story of modern life. Lately,
most plays I read or movies I see are tossing in way
too many characters, it is great to know somebody besides
me is still trying to create moving stories without
all this confusing mumbo-jumbo. I was able to get into
each of the characters (especially Phil of course) and
feel it as they did, well done! However I felt it would
have been better to have either cut or used a different
way of assuring us that 'Phil' was becoming a real follower.
The way he was told to say 'TUFF' instead of 'COOL'
seemed to me to be something that just did not belong
in the story, maybe even a cliche. Even without this
little bit of dialogue we already knew what was going
on. In either case, great story! I was half expecting
some rediculous 'tragic death' to occur, because I didn't
expect it to have a decent ending (and as we all know,
a stupid death is a regular ending to a regular story).
Great way to keep it real, thanks for the interesting
very pleased you liked it. Now you should buy the video
tape and see what I did with it on film. I still can't
get this movie shown anywhere.
was comparing stranger than paridise to clerks and slacker
just because they are both low budget
its true that kevin smith has no visual style and slacker
could of been 30 min shorter
the more independent films i see the more i dislike
i just watched about 40 min of 'i am sam' and it was
bad, the camera was always moving around and zooming
in and out there was not one steady shoot in 40 min.
i think all the movement was to cover up the weak script
and no plot...did you see this movie
i also watched the horror movie 'the ring' which is
'scarry as hell'...it was the biggest peice of shit
i ever saw...i mean it was bad, did you see the ring
my point is that just about every movie 'i have to see'
or is 'great' turns out to be a peice of shit, yet when
i tell people to watch a certan low budget movie all
i hear is 'its black and white that sucks or theres
no special effects what the hell'
what im saying is that i cant tell if its the movies
that are bad or if everyone is going stupid
undoubtedly a combination of the two. I did see the
first fifteen minutes of "I am Sam," and it
was dreadful, and entirely illogical. The chances of
that retarded guy ending up with that baby seemed nil.
And Sean Penn's performance was embarrassing. "The
Ring" went in one ear and right out the other,
and it certainly wasn't scary. Like I keep saying in
my recent reviews, today's version of a good movie is
actually just a bad movie.
just watched 'stranger than paridise' a black and white
90 min. low budget film about 2 guys who have no life
[1 sceen shows the main guy sitting on his bed tapping
his toes for what seemed like forever] then 1 of the
guys cousion comes to visit then leaves then the guys
take a road trip...and thats about it...the only time
i really got into the movie was about 10 min. before
it was over. whats with showing a black screen for like
5 seconds every time the sceen switches
how can say you like this movie but not like slacker
or clerks well, i guess thats your call...but i just
did not get the film
Than Paradise" actually has a story, which "Slacker"
and "Clerks" do not. It's actually got some
visual style, too, which those other films do not. I
agree that there is a certain dullness to it, as with
all of Jim Jarmusch's films, but it was actually going
somewhere and had characters whom I believed that interested
me. I also have a problem with going to black between
the scenes, but I'll deal with that happily over the
shit writing and filmmaking of "Clerks," or
the one-note aspect of "Slacker."
I agree that One Hour Photo was complete crap, and I
never believed the premise of the film was interesting
enough to be a feature. Also, the film never had a 3rd
act, it just ends without any sense of closure. I much
prefer Williams in Insomnia. His character served the
story much better than the nonsensical motives of Sy.
I also agree that the film did portray the fact that
it is unacceptible to be middle aged and single in American
society, however the reality is that there are more
middle aged single people today than ever before, and
the one wise desision my generation is making, is not
marrying young, like our parents did. A vast majority
of people are now getting married in their early to
mid 30's, which I think is very smart.
Anyway, I guess your right about bad movies being accepted
in current times. I miss going to theaters, but as you
know there's nothing worth seeing; though I hear American
Splendor is good.
Do you really think Al Gore will run again? He has said
repeatedly that he wont, and I think out of respect
to that dope Lieberman, he wont run. The thought of
4 more years with Bush is truly terrifying, but if the
American people are pissed off enough, Bush will be
history. I know many people who were too apathetic to
vote in the last election,that can't wait to vote in
this one in order to oust Bush. I have been following
Dean since the very beginning of the race, and believe
he might have a chance if he sticks to his guns.
good friend, who is a serious comic book fan (although
he hates superheroes), wasn't impressed with "American
Splendor," and I have a feeling I won't be, either,
and I'm not a comic book fan. Yes, "Insomnia"
was a better Robin Williams-as-the-psycho vehicle. I
also thought that Al Pacino was better than Stellan
Skarsgaard in the original. All in all, though, the
original and the remake are both pretty forgetable.
my humble opinion"
That is one of the last lines you wrote in your very
uninsiteful, repeat what I've read, can't think for
myself, never read the Tora, Bible, Koran or anything
else at least attempting to offer a better way essay.
Further the anger oozing from the silly words you wrote
is ironic as you talk about the evil, hateful religiuos
people, who save for them the word world would be full
of self serving biggots sitting on thier hundred foot
horses pointing fingers at all the "weak"
people, biggots like yourself. One final thought. If
you really believe all the crap you wrote at least offer
something better, make an impact in someones life, give
some money to something good instead of using your site
to pass on your uneducated pride filled bravado, you
may end up screwing up some kids head. I actually came
here to learn something about film making, sorry I did.
part of why I wrote that essay/rant. If some young folks
read it and see that religion is evil, then decide to
think for themselves instead of buying into thousands
of years old useless propaganda, I will have made a
positive impact on the world. Religion is for the thoughtless,
and orthodoxy is for the true morons of the planet.
As Bill Maher said, religion comes from early traumatic
experiences that lead to neurological disorders. You
got a problem with that, or are you too busy getting
down on your knees and begging favors from a dead Jew?
I just watched the documentary "Searching for Debra
Winger" on my "Showtime on Demand" last
night. It was done by Roseanne Arquette who has always
actually annoyed me quite a bit, but I thought the Doc
was pretty good with some good interviews and since
she is behind the camera most of the way, she becomes
It revolved around the lack of roles Hollywood has for
women near 40 and older as well as working actresses,
relationships, and the decision of raising a family
or not while still pursuing their career. There are
interviews with many different famous actresses who
fall into this category.
Towards the end of the film, there is an interview with
Debra Winger as to why she left the career of acting
I think what is cool about the film is that like life,
everyone follows different paths, and some of the responses
in the interviews are great.
One of the underlying themes of the piece is how enchanted
all of the actresses are (young and old) with Hollywood
in this age. many of them criticize the very same things
you do here on your site.
There are some great points brought up in the piece
as to why this is and I thought you might like to check
It is interesting that there is such a distaste for
all the bad films Hollywood produces, yet nobody does
anything about it.
Also, I think it is noble of you to support Gore for
running again, however, I am not sure he will. He seemed
pretty set on not wanting to do it. I just wish he had
more balls when he was running.
I think the reason the last election was so close was
because his agenda wasn't that of a Democrat and he
came off more like a conservative in many ways which
I believe to be the problem with most democrats nowadays.
His true colors did not really come through until he
announced that he would not run for office. When I seen
him on all the various talk shows in the Winter, he
seemed much more relaxed, funny, and more of what I
would like to have seen when he was running.
I hope he does reconsider running. Howard Dean is looking
pretty strong for the democrats in NYC.
We shall see.
did see about an hour of it, but I had to turn it off
(I spoke with my sister the next day and she turned
it off, too). I understand their plight, but it got
highly wearisome listening to famous actresses bitching
about their careers. It's like Rocky's response to Mickey,
"At least you had a prime." And like you say,
how about doing something about it?
biggest problem during the 2000 election, from my standpoint,
was his distancing himself from Clinton and their eight
very good years in office. This was assuredly due to
the severe attacks on Clinton going on by the Republicans
about the sex scandals. But if Gore had Clinton stumping
for him, he'd have won handily. Nevertheless, he's the
only Democrat that I believe can assuredly beat Bush,
and that's the issue. Dean seems okay, although he lacks
any big experience -- Vermont isn't really a microcosm
of the rest of the country. I like Kucinck, but he's
a tad too odd to win the presidency, I think. Al Sharpton
amuses me, but I can't see him as president, nor would
I vote for a reverend. I don't really care for Lieberman,
Kerry, Gephardt, or Graham. I think Gore's the man,
until he's absolutely out of the race.
can a statement really be considered a lie when no one
really believes it anyway? I knew all along that there
wasn't any immediate threat from Iraq. I remember that
Bush was trying to get support for a war with Iraq *before*
September 11 happened. At the risk of sounding insensitive,
it's pretty convenient for Bush that September 11 happened.
Otherwise, he never could have gotten his war with Iraq.
I never believed that there was a direct connection
with Hussein and Bin Laden, but in all modesty, not
everyone is as smart as I am. Personally, I think Bush
should have waited until he had more compelling evidence
that Hussein was hiding something. We know that Hussein
and his supporters weren't being completely honest with
us about all the weapons they had. I'm not saying that
because Hussein lied that it's okay for Bush to lie.
But sooner or later someone would have slipped up and
we'd find out that that person's story didn't mesh with
anyone else's. Then we could have taken action with
the U.N.'s support. But then again, maybe I'm just oversimplifying
the case. And as for the next election, I don't know
about anyone else, but I'm voting for Dave Barry. He
may not be a politician, but he can't possibly screw
things up worse than any of the previous presidents.
don't vote for Dave Barry. If Al Gore runs, and I certainly
hope he does, we all have to back him to be absolutely
sure that Bush and his eight trillion dollars worth
of campaign funds don't succeed. Four more years of
Bush and his 100% average of making bad decisions will
cause this country irreparable damage. I watched the
zany Democratic debates last night that kept being interrupted
by Lyndon LaRuche supporters. They were all very vehement
in their condemnation of Bush, and Al Sharpton was amusing,
but I don't think any of them can win, and I don't think
we should chance it. Gore beat Bush before and he can
do it again, I'm convinced.
When a local theater orders a print of a film, am I
correct in assuming that there is a tremendous variation
in the prices of the films? Is a Spielberg special-effects
extravaganza more expensive than is a film like "Greek
Wedding"? Assuming there is a difference I wonder
that theaters don't stagger the prices of movie tickets.
The math would say that optimizing profits would require
variable levels of pricing for movies with different
initial investment costs. Just wondering.
don't pay anything for a print, it's an issue what percentage
they're sending back. A big effects extravaganza will
probably demand a 90% return for the first couple of
weeks, dropping to 75% for the next couple of weeks,
then settling at 50%. A regular, run-of-the-mill film
will begin at 50% and stay there. I'm sure on an accounting
level it makes more sense to standardize the ticket
Thanks for answering my THOU question in such detail.
I'm going to ask you a few more questions about it,
then I promise to put a moratorium on Scoopic questions.
1) What kind of Scoopic did you shoot those THOU shots
on? The old grey Scoopic-16, or the M or MS?
2) Are any of the models particularly better or worse
than the others?
(picture quality AND ease of use)
3)I've found a "Scoopic M" for $500 that appears
to be in perfectly good condition. Should I go for it?
(so I can start making movies and stop bugging you:-)
4) On a different note, is Super-16 film simply just
single-perf 16mm film?
but I don't know the difference between the models of
Scoopics. The one I used was black. I borrowed it from
a guy who ended being murdered, by the way. The problem
you need to check into first is the batteries. Can you
get new ones? The old ones are either dead or will die
soon -- batteries don't last forever -- and I don't
think new ones are available. Super-16 is simply single-perf
16mm print stock that exposes across the optical track
and the where the second line of perfs should go. That's
it. That way you end up with 1.85:1 screen ratio. But
you don't have to shoot in 1.85:1. I shot "Running
Time" with regular 16mm at 1.33:1, and I think
it looks fine, and it transferred to video perfectly
without a letterbox. Go ahead, ask as many questions
as you'd like, and if I can answer them I will.
agree that Bush was completely pulling stuff out of
his @$$ when he was trying to get us to go to war with
Iraq. But the thing is, I also believe that Saddam Hussein
was a horrible man who needed to be taken out of power,
and I don't believe that that would have happened under
any peaceful means. (Unless he died of natural causes
in his sleep or something.) That said, I must restate
that I think that Bush was a complete moron for trying
to link Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks. He'd have
had much better luck trying to link Saddam Hussein to
Kevin Bacon. (Probably by going through Sean Penn.)
And speaking of 9/11, I don't know about anyone else,
but I plan not to watch any TV this year on the eleventh.
I think September 11th has become a simulacra. The symbol
of September 11th has become more important than what
happened on September 11th. I hate to say it, but that's
how it is. Thank you, and have a good day.
agree that there were a number of compelling reasons
to bring Saddam down: he was a murderous tyrant, he
controlled a big portion of the world's oil and wouldn't
do business with us, it's a logical, central spot in
the middle-east for military bases, it's next to Saudi
Arabia whose regime may be failing to pieces, etc. But
that's not what Bush and his administration said. They
said, "Iraq is threatening us with an imminent
attack of weapons of mass destruction." That was
their reasoning and it was false. As the British keeping
saying, they "sexed up" the threat, because
had they presented the actual reasons, and not bypassed
congress, everyone might well have said no. As bad of
a man as Saddam may be, I don't think bringing him down
was worth what it's cost us, and will continue to cost
us for years to come. I'm a citizen, I was lied to,
and I don't like the results of what that lie has brought
I honestly and truly believe that the only Democrat
out there that can assuredly beat George W. Bush is
Al Gore. Gore beat him before and I believe he can beat
him again. I also think that four more years of Bush
could be irreparable to this country, and it will probably
take Al Gore four entire years to straighten out the
shit that Bush has brought upon us. So I recommend that
everyone who cares at all about the country that they
live in right a letter to Al Gore and ask him to run
for president (as I am). His address is:
of the Honorable Al Gore
2100 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
I must agree that Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was a
good film. It had a lot of energy you know, and spirit
like you said, and looked great. I think some biographical
stuff was changed or exaggerated though. Anyway, did
you know that two martial arts trainers that worked
with Jason Scott Lee for the film also worked with Kevin
Sorbo for Hercules and Kull? I think that was really
interesting. Plus I think the role changed Jason Scott
Lee's life, I heard he's actually a jeet kune do instructor
Anyway, onto another question. You know I was sitting
around with a few of my buds the other day and we were
talking about Westerns, and how they don't make them
like they used to. Why do you do you think that is?
When did good Westerns start dying out and why? Was
it because of the times changing or because of John
Wayne's passing? Or maybe Clint Eastwood got too old
to make them. I guess you can't have any Westerns without
Western stars right.
Well, I hope you can shed some light on this for those
of us that are curious.
I hope you're doing well.
don't think people realize today just how many times
westerns have come and gone in popularity. Westerns
were very popular in the teens and twenties, then went
somewhat out of vogue in the thirties (John Ford made
one western in the 1930s, "Stagecoach" in
1939), they came back a bit during WWII, then went entirely
out of popularity in the forties, then came back again
in the fifties, mainly due to Anthony Mann and James
Stewart, then sort of hung around growing less popular
through the sixties. 1969 was considered by many to
be the last good year for westerns, with "The Wild
Bunch," "True Grit" and "Butch Cassidy."
Westerns grew less and less popular throughout the seventies,
and the basically stopped making them in the eighties.
There was a little resurgence in the early nineties
with "Dances With Wolves," followed the next
year by "Unforgiven," but then Hollywood followed
that with about ten shitty westerns that pretty much
killed the genre again. And a film like "Open Range"
certainly won't help. The thing with westerns is, in
my opinion, when they're good, they're really good,
and when they're bad, they're the worst.
I read your script "The Happiest Guy in Town"
and I really liked the concept. I spent the summer in
Los Angeles and I often wondered how people came to
the point in their lives with no where to live and no
one to turn to. I would like to use your script for
a project in a producing class I am taking at the University
of Georgia. The course focuses on the functions and
duties of the producer as she shepards an idea through
the life cycle of a "project": development,
financing, pre-production, production, marketing, distribution,
and exhibition. Like I said before, I really like the
concept and the script. I was wondering why you decided
to have Todd be found in the end. When I read your script
and when I think about the reality of the situation,
I feel as if the ending almost doesn't fit. I envision
the film as having an almost "Requiem for a Dream"
feeling of the harshness of the reality that the characters
face. If that film had ended with a happy ending and
all the characters being fine in the end the film wouldn't
have had the impact it had to audiences all over the
world. So my question to you is did you ever think about
ending the film differently and if so what would the
ending be or if not why you feel it is so necessary
to the story that it end happily. Thank you for your
was the ending I had in mind from the very beginning.
I don't think it has much of a dramatic arc without
it. I personally find it entirely unacceptable to have
a dramatic arc that goes straight down, like say, "Requiem
for a Dream," which I completely hated. But you
see that unrelenting downward structure used all the
time these days, where things start to go wrong, then
just keep going wrong. That's not good drama. I certainly
don't demand or expect that all stories have happy endings,
but in the case of this script, if I left him in the
gutter I'd only have two acts. I think that you perhaps
missed the point of the story, which is about community
do you think of the filmmaking wannabe 'climate' out
there these days? It just seems like there's so many
'filmmakers' nowadays. Was it always this bad? How is
it different from let's say the 70's? Were there as
many seminars, gurus and consultants? Not to mention
festivals and film schools? Don't you think it's pretty
obnoxious of these 'gurus' (or even film schools) to
be out there claiming to everyone that 'you too can
do it!' (when in fact they themselves haven't done it)'?
What was it like when you started as a filmmaker? Were
things worse, better or about the same?
in the 1970s when my buds and I began making films,
there was a greater sense of hope that you could make
a low-budget film, get it released and it would be seen.
There was also the feeling that it was possible to make
truly great, personal films, and that all good ideas
would not be crushed by the studios. Film still seemed
like an art form, as well as a form of personal expression,
nor did it seem utterly corrupt. There were the same
film schools, as well as many books on screenwriting.
But it all didn't seem like a pie-in-the-sky lost cause,
not when you could go to the theater and see a new John
Casavattes movie, or "Five Easy Pieces" or
"The Last Detail." Hollywood was still a giant
mountain to climb, but it did seem scalable, and it
didn't feel like you'd have to sell your soul to the
corporate devil to get there.
haven't checked out this site in years, probably since
"Running Time" came out on DVD. After reading
a Bruce Campbell interview at Film Threat that mentions
Josh Becker, I clicked over here to see what the director
was up to.
I read a few rants, and all I can say is hell yeah.
The religion one is completely spot on, as is the one
about Resident Bush.
My question to Josh Becker: Is there a political satire,
a Becker-esque "Dr. Strangelove" or "Brazil,"
waiting to be written, produced and released? I hope
so. I'll be coming back here more regularly, either
have written one political comedy, "The President's
Brain is Missing," which is available here. I didn't
particularly like "Brazil." I've thought a
lot about "Dr. Strangelove," though, and the
idea of making fun of the most serious issue of the
day, but I don't have an idea or a story.
Josh.You are okay.I have see, you have play rock musik
to.i have like and other bands, Jethro tull,judas priest,van
halen,the band amerika, you remember the song a horse
with no name,or Asia with jon Weton,Palmer,Stewe Howe
A SUPER GITARIST ,and this NECTAR was very good,and
for me the rock musik in the year 1980 have go in two
directions,bands like Aerosmith, or bon jovi,brian adams,and
more others, i don't remember now,is the pop/rock MTV
SHIT. And the other direction, is more neear to as,
the jounk people call it heavy metal,(not black+dethA
metal),bands like Iron
Dream Theater,Savatage,Megadeth,and of course VIRGIN
STELE this album HOUSE OF ATREUS part 1.2,3 it's perfect,
a rock opera album.if you have time hear this album
HOUSE OF ATREUS you gona like't.GIORGOS
liked early heavy metal, like Black Sabbath with Ozzy,
and early Ted Nugent, like "Stranglehold,"
and "Radar Love" by Golden Earring. I still
listen to those songs, too.
Could you tell us which scenes in THOU were shot with
scenes at the A&W, the wide shots are with the Arri-BL,
but the two-shots and close-ups of Stryker and Sally
in the car were shot with the Scoopic. All of the shots
inside the shed of various items getting blown to pieces.
You can particularly notice the difference in the shots
of Stryker being carried out of the Vietnamese village,
the medium close-up of Stryker throwing the grenade,
as well as the shot of the grenade sailing through the
blue sky (one of my favorite shots). Also the close-up
of an Asian guy with a bullet hole in his forhead and
his head dropping back on the ground. There are shots
all the way through the movie shot with the Scoopic,
actually. Both of the time-lapse sunrise and sunset
shots, which I did with a cable release and a watch.
Also, when Whiskey is in the woods and sniffs out the
severed arm, the POV shot and the insert of the leash
hooked on a root were with the Scoopic. That's a bunch
of them, anyway.
i'am king CONAN THE BARBAR???GIORGOS
no, Babar is a an elephant.
Josh, most of the posts you get look more like a Michael
Moore site than a filmmaker site. That in mind, I just
wanna ask if you have ever looked into the "truthout.org"
newsletters. They seem to justify every move they make
with irrefutable facts, and I know you love to refute
(what I like about you). I'm an ESL teacher and yes,
screenwriter (script doctor), living in Joymany. Looks
like you've made some good films. Any chance you went
to LACC? All the best, Bob Graham
did go to LACC for one semester in 1977. The science
fiction writer and sci-fi movie novelization writer,
Alan Dean Foster, was my screenwriting teacher, but
he knew so little about screenwriting I dropped his
class. A few questions: a). Where is Joymany? (is that
ebonics for Germany?), b). You actually doctor Hollywood
scripts? If so, which ones? My feeling about Hollywood
scripts is that they are no longer doctored, they're
embalmed by morticians. Many of those scripts may very
well have begun with something interesting in them,
and some slight shred of integrity, but that is all
quickly deleted along with all characterization, leaving
only unbearable cliches, and shallow, plot-dominated
nonsense. What are your feelings on this?
saw you used a Scoopic quite a bit. I have one of these
too and have done shorts with it, transferring the film
to video before editing. It looks nice. But now I am
thinking of making a 35mm blow-up film with this camera.
Have you seen blow-ups from your footage shot on a Scoopic?
I have heard the camera registration is not so excellent
on this camera, which introduces image problems in a
blow-up ("muddiness" or maybe image jitter).
Then lens is great and I trust it, but the camera was
obviously not designed with the big screen in mind.
Any comments on your experience with doing this, if
any? Obviously, since the Scoopic shoots standard 16,
not super-16, the image is going to be low-res and high
grain, but I can tolerate this...it's the registration
issue that concerns me.
found the Scoopic to have pretty good registration.
I shot quite a few special effects with it and they
looked fine. I shot a few scenes of my feature "Thou
Shalt Not Kill . . . Except" with it, which was
blown up to 35mm, and though I can see the difference
between the footage shot with the Arri-BL and the Scoopic
(the Arri footage looks better), it's not a huge difference.
As far as resolution and grain, that depends on what
film stock you use and how much lighting equipment you
have. Shooting with super-16 won't improve resolution
or grain, it just gives you a wider image because it
exposes over where the optical sound goes. Super-16
also forces you to blow up since you can't finish in
16mm anymore. Good luck.
enjoyed reading your article on the 99 cents stores.
Please let me where can I buy products to sell for 99cents
at my store? At least a container in variety at a time?
I would appriciated an email back.
best place to buy wholesale products for a 99-cent store
would be at a 49-cent store.
times, other wars,mister Graham i think we have larn
from or mistak's??? Neverthelast Sandam was, Tyran,and
A DIKTATOR must fall, but this act from George (I THINK
I CANCE MY NAME)Buss and Tony Blear brink as 4000 years
back.Today mister Graham we have the UNO, to take disisions,
or do you think U. S. A is one exepsion?? and can do
what she wan't, okay u.s.a have this problem with teror
act's and we all feel sory for this what hapen in 11
september, on this day, i have think i lost my hart
because i'm a optimist and think the world is going
with the time better and better, and we larn from the
past,but no there is comink mister Buss and say...lat
there by ,action and the bombs fallink and the cildren
die'n who is comink next pleese?????i have inu'f weapons
for any one.GEORGE,AH I FORGAT, I MUST CANCE MY NAME
have fallen into the realm of gibberish.
I agree with everything you said about Bush's deadly
boondoggle in Iraq, but I have to disagree with your
assessment that it's the worst misuse of presidential
power in U.S. history. I think you're overlooking some
* Lincoln's fascist behavior during the Civil War
* Truman sending U.S. troops to Korea for a "police
* Johnson sending U.S. troops to Vietnam for a "police
* Truman dropping atomic bombs on Japan -- a blatant
act of terrorism in the true sense of the word.
* FDR provoking the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor
and holding Japanese Americans in concentration camps.
* McKinley's invasion of the Philippines and Cuba around
the turn of the century, which, like Bush's invasion
of Iraq, was built on a lie ("Remember the Maine!").
Aren't these misuses of presidental power, and aren't
they just as bad or worse than Iraq? At any rate, I
enjoyed your rant. I must confess that I'm not aware
of what films you've directed (my friend sent me the
link to your essay), but if my discriminating friend
is a fan, you must have something going for you.
you for the historical disputes. I will attempt to address
them one by one. Let's begin with Truman okaying the
use of the atmic bombs on Japan. I absolutely disagree
with your assessments that it was either a misuse of
presidential power or that it was a "blatant act
of terrorism." Dropping the atomic bombs undoubtedly
saved the lives of about a million American soldiers,
and possibly as high as three millions Japanese. The
Japanese military had taken over the government and
they were not going to surrender under any circumstances.
The invasion of Japan, which was being mounted in Okinawa,
was looking like the biggest, most deadly assault of
the entire war, and nobody wanted to do it. But the
Japanese would not surrender, and certainly wouldn't
even consider an unconditional surrender. They were
busy arming all of the school kids to defend the homeland,
and I have no doubt they would have fought to the very
last person (look how they defended all of the islands
in the Pacific, like the Phillipines). The Japanese
wouldn't even surrender after the first bomb was dropped
on Hiroshima, nor did they surreder immediately after
the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The only reason
they did surrender is because they didn't know whether
or not we had more atomic bombs. Dropping the bombs
probably ended the war a year earlier and saved millions
of lives, so I think you're flatly wrong on that one.
Your contention that Abraham Lincoln was a fascist is
complete nonsense, not that some of the facts aren't
true, but that screed about him was undoubtedly written
by one more of the pissed-off southern losers who still
continue to hold a grudge that they can't sit in the
shade sipping a mint julep while the "darkies"
do all the work. The Civil War was ABSOLUTELY about
slavery, and the war began because Lincoln, who was
anti-slavery, and had been for at least ten years or
more, was elected president. No he didn't immediately
emancipate the slaves, mainly because he didn't know
how it would affect the war and the north (having hundreds
of thousands of jobless people streaming into the north).
But in fact he did emancipate the slaves, which was
a huge deal in the history of the world. Lincoln was
not a fascist, but the southerners are still sore losers.
Lyndon Johnson didn't send the troops into Vietnam,
John Kennedy did. Kennedy is the one that took our involvement
in Vietnam from a few hundred advisors up to thousands
of troops fighting a war. Johnson simply escalated and
escalated it until it was several hundred thousand troops.
Truman sending troops into Korea was our first major
move against communist aggression after WWII, and though
we ended up having to sneak out, it was still a very
important statement at the time, that we would oppose
communist expansion, which truly needed to be stated
at the time. And saying that FDR "provoked"
the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor is insane.
Japan was an Axis power on the side of Germany and Hitler
who were committing atrocities all over Manchuria, so
we blockaded them. They certainly didn't have to attack
us, and we were absolutely right in declaring war because
of it. And even though we still don't know who or how
the Maine blew up, the entire Spanish-American war lasted
30 days (more U.S. soldiers died from eating their own
badly canned corned beef than from Spanish bullets).
I think you are one of these revisionist history people
that applies today's standards to yesterday's conflicts.
It's like the opening narration of "Spartacus"
(bringing this back to movies for a moment), where it
says that Rome was stricken with the disease of slavery.
Well, so was the entire rest of the world, and would
be for another 1,850 years. But in the cases of Korea,
Vietnam, and even Iraq invading Kuwait, there were solid
reasons for our intervention. In this case of invading
Iraq, we were the aggressor nation, we did not have
the backing of the U.N., nor the rest of the world,
nobody was being invaded by anyone else, and the reasons
were all false. Nevertheless, thank you for responding
intelligently to my rant, I appreciate it.
places like sundance project movies that are on vhs
tape instead of film
believe they can, although I've never been there. Most
festivals have digital projection systems now, but they
prefer to project on film in the bigger auditoriums,
or pretty much any other video tape format, like Digital-Beta,
Beta-SP, or DVD. VHS just doesn't look or sound very
Just happened to read something you mentioned below
about your disdain for logging in the NW...My grandfather
was a logger back in the 1940's and I've lived in Oregon
for several spells myself. The recession going on in
the Pacific Northwest right now isn't entirely, but
greatly due in part to the crazed, left wingers who
essentially came in and helped shut down logging in
the early 90's. Currently, the state is broke and is
only getting further in debt. A terrible place to live,
and yet, nobody can figure out why. What anyone in the
NW was thinking when they put all the restrictions on
their own land is beyond anyone with any bussiness sense
whatsoever. Good grief, to the NW logging was a lively
hood, as farming is to the midwest. Trees are their
crop. Taken away and what is there to do in a place
that gets 80-100 inches of rain a year and is covered
with mountains? A few ranchers work in the eastern areas
but that's about it. Even the Forest Service departments
have been greatly reduced due to lack of timber sales.
You can't support a state like OR or WA on tourism.
Logging is what brought everything and everyone to the
Northwest. Logging was a good thing for the Northwest
and there's absolutely no denying it.
Infact, clear cuts do not hurt the enviornment, all
kinds of animals live in clear cuts once they've been
made, and they also serve as forest fire preventors.
Of course, nobody wants to see a clear cut directly
beside HWY 101 (which actually happened about ten years
ago and helped bring in anther nail to the Logging coffin
lid), but personally, I'd rather see jobs than protected
re-growth...Almsot 90 percent of the great Nothwest
has already been cut and re-grown...Yup, environmentalists
are protecting tree's planted by loggers who put them
there after logging. There's very little cutting of
old-growth timber, and I'm pretty sure nobody's cutting
down the Redwoods in the Redwood Nat. Forest. I don't
know what you're referring to, but I'd honestly like
Anyhow, just thought I'd put in my two cents on a political
topic since everyone else is. Is this a film site anymore?
Have a good one.
do try to bring it back to movies whenever possible,
but I'm perfectly happy to discuss politics or anything
else as long as it's interesting. Quite frankly, I think
you're being naive about logging. After having lived
for a year in an area whose main industry is logging,
I've got a lot of issues with the lumber industry. First
of all, clear cuts are HORRIBLE for the environment,
and whoever told you they're anything but horrible is
lying to you. Without the trees to hold down the soil,
the soil washes away into the streams and rivers and
kills the fish, as it has most of the fish in the Pacific
northwest. Once the soil has washed away almost nothing
can live there. Second, any rules about logging and
replanting only apply to public lands, either BLM or
National Forests (where they do log all the time). 90%
of the logging going on in America is on private land
owned by giant conglomerates like United Fruit and Boise-Cascade,
where there are no rules and they treat the land like
it's shit and it's to be nothing but abused. There are
many logical schemes regarding how to log sensibly,
but none of them are being put to use. And as a little
side-note, without those trees there's no oxygen for
us to breath. Just because someone's grandfather was
a logger, and their father was a logger, doesn't necessarily
mean they too get to be a logger if it's no longer suitable
for such industry.
the UK the expression "as rough as a badger's arse"
generally refers to women who, whilst not necessarily
ugly, are an embarrassment not only to themselves but
to others (especially us menfolk) by excessively drinking,
smoking heavily and swearing like troopers in loud and
raucous voices.Their dress sense too may be called into
Whilst this may seem a pretty fair description nowadays
of the majority of British women there are also some
actresses that I can think of who could be described
in such a fashion. I am too much of a gentleman to name
any myself but I am sure that an outspoken individual
such as yourself would not be deterred from naming names.
So come on Josh, which actresses do you think are as
rough as a badger's
you referring to how the actresses comport themselves
in the real world? I don't know any of them. And in
the movies they're playing characters written for them
by someone else. So, I'm not up on this one. Oddly,
in the book I'm presently reading about Teddy Roosevelt,
"Theodore Rex," I read today about a trip
he took out west in 1903, and some kids gave him a badger,
which he described as looking like "a mattress
with four legs on the corners."
As a moderate Republican, I must confess, that I have
been at minimum a little confused as of late. I for
one have serious doubts as to the evidence President
Bush presented in his arguments as to why it was necessary
for us to invade Iraq. Also as a fiscal conservative
I'm outraged by the increased spending and the expansion
of the size of the federal government which has occurred
under this administration.
However, when faced with making decision in the upcoming
presidential election I fear that I might have to make
a difficult decision. While I'm sure the Bush Administration
and the conservative supporters of it will continue
on their current policy path, I'm also scared as to
what message the far left will be brining to the table.
I'd like to offer a few quotes from your comments on
this site to help illustrate my forthcoming argument.
"then you deserve to have Saddam Hussein, Adolf
Hitler, or George Bush, Jr. as your fascist dictator."
"I think I'd rather have Reichsfuhrer Goering than
"As Bruce Campbell said to me recently, "I'm
not one for hyperbole or overstatement, but George Bush,
Jr. is the anti-Christ." If this asshole gets reelected
I may seriously look into moving to Toronto"
"and he didn't fuck this country up nearly as bad
as his idiot child has."
"He certainly seems more like a president than
Now I have a question. What is the purpose of these
comments? If you honestly believe George W. Bush is
horrible for this country, which I believe you do, then
I assume you would want him to lose in the upcoming
Given that, I would think that you might want to convince
the small but important group swing voters, conservative
democrats and moderate republicans, that Bush needs
Why then would you use such inflammatory language? Suggesting
that Bush Jr. is just as bad as a man as terrible as
Goering does not seem effective, and using it in an
argument against Bush might make those swing voters
reading it to ignore or reject other valid points within
your comments. My bottom line, wouldn't informing be
a more effective method then inciting. Some of the responses
on this site suggest that some other people may think
that Bush is worse then the man who created the Gestapo
and the first concentration camps (the responsibility
was shifted to himmler shortly thereafter), but from
the pratical perspective of our electoral system I wonder
how effective they might be against those of different
As always, I enjoy reading your website and wish you
the best of luck.
am in the film business, so I'm prone to hyperbole.
A film isn't just good, it's A Triumph! And things aren't
just bad, they're The Worst Ever! Nevertheless, as I
said in my little essay/rant, I don't believe I'm reverting
to hyperbole when I say that this Iraq fiasco is the
single worst misuse of presidential power in 227 years.
One could also add to my list of previous presidential
absues (to get a Democrat in there) the Bay of Pigs
invasion, but that wasn't even Kennedy's plan, Ike and
Allen Dulles dreamed it up, JFK just okayed it, then
screwed it by chickening out. Anyway, you're probably
right that comparing George W. Bush to Hermann Goering
is ridiculous (Bush is a middleweight and Goering was
a heavyweight), but someone else had quoted him and
I was just running with it. And Chimpy McCokespoon just
amuses me in a childish way. And four more years of
this administration could well induce me to flee to
Sorry if this is a silly question, but on blimped cameras
like the Arri 16BL, why does the blimp cover the lens
housing and not the motor?
usually need to wrap a blanket or a blimp around a camera
to muffle the camera noise, but the motor noise will
still come out the lens because you can't cover that
or you won't see anything. So if you have a blimped
lens housing, you can then make the entire camera quiet,
and you generally need to when shooting interiors. The
blimped lens housing, by the way, won't cover the zoom
lens, just the prime lenses.
Regarding the Hermann Goering, here is a link to a page
about the quote from a good site which debunks a lot
of urban myths and many of the annoying chain e-mails
which get passed around relating to quotes by various
famous and imfamous people including all the new one's
in relation to the war.
This particular page about Goering's quote goes into
further detail about where the quote came from and it
also references Ceasar who also had made a similar statement
which spans generations.
I like this site quite a lot and it is worth referencing,
since they do a good job at researching many urban legends
and (mis) quotes.
urban myths, there's also the books by Jan Harold Grunvand
(I think I got that right), "The Vanishing Hitchhiker"
and "The Mexican Pet," which are both fascinating
amazed to note that "Waiting for Guffman"
was not on your fav. movies list. And yet, "This
is Spinal Tap" was. To most of us who are fans
of this troupe and this genre, Guffman outshines the
to me it doesn't. I like "Spinal Tap" very
much, but I didn't like "Guffman" or "Best
in Show" at all. I can't stand films that make
average people out to be idiots, and I'm completely
sick and tired of the "mockumentary" form,
which is ultimately anti-cinema. What "Guffman
and "Best in Show" tell me is that Rob Reiner
was crucially important to the success of "Spinal
Tap," and without him Christopher Guest is lost.
Well, I suppose it's my turn to step on the third rail
- so to speak. I actually like G.W. Bush. Damn, that
sounds like an intro at an AA meeting. "Hi. I'm
Brian...(sheepishly) and I'm a Bushie." When Bruce
and his wife started working on their documentary, I
sent him an email offering the perspective of a Federal
Biologist (day jobber)of BLM and the roadless initiative.
I didn't manage to make it through his filter or he
didn't feel like dealing with some schmuck soliciting
his opinions. I agree that there are some regulatory
roll backs that are shifting too far toward industry,
but the understory thinning is not one of them. The
proposed rule would allow the clearing of understory
brush and dead standing timber to limit the effects
of an inevitable fire. Mature trees can survive a normal
fire and and recover by the following season. A fire,
fueled by excessive new growth and dead falls, is much
hotter and scorch the soil, killing mature roots, and
rendering old growth forest a smoldering ashtray. The
thinning may result in some profit for loggers, a necessary
evil if you are going to get on board to help maintain
the forest. There may also be some unscrupulous people
who illegally 'take' an old growth tree. Some people
are just like that. But in the long term, the forest
would be healthier and more sustainable with a well
managed thinning program (minus prescribed burns which
I disagree with).
Of course, that has nothing to do with Bush. He's no
Nero. He won't be fiddling while America burns. He's
just the guy that is calling the shots for now. In 8
years, conservatives will still be talking about Reagan,
and both Bushs and Clinton will be coffee table fodder
while we scream about the new guy.
Just my thoughts.
understand, I just lived up the street from Bruce in
southern Oregon for a year. I was there during the Quartz
Fire, which came up our street and within a few blocks
of my house. I helped neighbors clear underbrush when
the fire was coming right behind their houses. In fact,
George W. Bush came to the end of our street for his
photo op, where he could take one step out of his presidential
SUV and get a shot of him and blackened scorched earth
in the background. I agree that thinning is absolutely
necessary if we don't want forest fires. Nevertheless,
the lumber companies are rapacious, and when they go
in and log they log the living shit of the area. For
Christ sakes, they're still cutting down Redwoods, and
those babies take a thousand years to mature. But George
Bush is so pro-industry, anti-enviornment, I have no
doubt that any restrictions he's eliminating will all
be taken too far.
Just read your latest offering regarding our not-so-esteemed
(mis)leader. It did a good job of getting me all pissed
off again, which is actually a good thing! Seems like
the only people who haven't seen through his shit are
Americans. I don't think he has many fans in the actual
civilized nations. It looks more and more like Blair
could be taken to the cleaners for lying through his
teeth about Iraq - Bush deserves *at least* as much.
There's a quote that I think bears repeating here -
I haven't seen anyone else bring it up, so I'll throw
it out there:
Naturally the common people dont want war. But after
all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the
policy, and its always a simple matter to drag people
along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship,
or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice
or no voice, the people can always be brought to the
bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to
do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce
the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing
the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
The speaker is none other than Hermann Goering, commander
in cheif of the Luftwaffe and President of the Reichstag
of the Third Reich. And this, ladies and gentlemen,
is the example Dubya and his owners are taking. Does
this horrify anyone else? The notion of Sadam being
like Hitler, as Bush's Daddy used to imply, is patently
ridiculous. Hitler is a Connecticut yankee masquerading
as a Texan masquerading as a President. If Bush takes
the Whitehouse again in 2004 we are all fucked - what's
left of America will be dead and done. I'm not a big
fan of some of the Democrats' policies, but it's my
feeling, and seems to be yours as well, that we are
in deep shit if Bush makes it in again. As such I don't
care if the Democrats put up Satan, with the Teletubbies
for veep - I'm voting straight Democrat!
There's a pretty decent organization that does some
good grassroots mobilization, sets up protest marches
etc - it's moveon.org. I guess they have some ties to
the Quaker community, but as far as I can tell it's
a purely political organization. Besides, you mentioned
that Quakers weren't on your spiritual shit list ;^)
Anyway, just wanted to voice my support for your rant
against Il Presidente. Rave on!
quote. I think I'd rather have Reichsfuhrer Goering
than Bush again. At least he was a legitimate war hero
(the second most-decorated German pilot during WWI next
to Baron Von Richtofen). Speaking of Nazis, I just watched
the film "Max," which was recommended by a
few people, and I'm glad I saw it, but it's certainly
not a good film. The direction is lethargic and pretentious,
the pacing was poor, and every other scene was complete
crap, but the scenes in between were interesting. The
premise that had Adolf Hitler been a successful artist
he might not have become who he was, and that he had
a strong, almost mentor-like relationship with the Jewish
art dealer, Max Rothman, is interesting. This was the
first time anyone ever had the guts to show a human
side of Hitler, although they seem to quickly regret
it and by the second half make him into the standard
raving lunatic as he's always depicted. It always has
one of the worst senses of it's period of any film I've
ever seen. It absolutely did not seem like 1918-1920.
think you have an excellent point about Mel Gibson's
Jesus movie. I too, have thought that someone should
cast a jewish man as Jesus. But I'm sure that would
cause controversy from millions of uninformed Christians.
For me, though, when I think of Jesus, I will always
see the face of Robert Powell. Which brings me to an
almost completely unrelated topic. Whenever you're thinking
of classic characters from literature, do you tend to
picture them with the face of a famous actor? For instance,
when I think of Odysseus, I tend to think of Armand
Assante. (And believe me, I don't want to think of Armand
Assante.) Or when I think of Hercules, Kevin Sorbo's
face pops into my mind. And, strangest of all, when
I think of King Arthur, I picture him looking like Graham
Chapman. It gets worse, when I heard they were making
a movie of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; I
immediately thought that Alan Cumming would be perfect
for the role of Mr. Tumnus. I picture the Giver from
the book of the same name looking like Paul Newman.
Kate Winslet would play the main female character from
A Brave New World. Do you have the same tendency? Why
do we do this?
odd, I guess, but I don't envision actors when I'm thinking
about historical characters, reading a book, or a screenplay.
I have name actors in my dreams sometimes, though.
This is a side issue to the unelected president's imperialist
adventure debate, but it highlights the kind of administration
in power right now.
Did you know that Rumsfeld is responsible for foisting
aspartame on us? That sweetner that's in millions of
food products around the world and well, can kinda give
you all kinds of weird side affects including, well,
There's loads of stuff on the web about Rumslfed's conflict
of interests. Basically, Rumsfeld was president of the
Serle Corp, maker of aspartame and, as part of Reagan's
team, got aspartame legalised by appointing a defence
dept. contractor as head of the FDA.
And now aspartame is everywhere. And it's gonna stay
in our food because it's bigger than the tobacco industry.
The potential for damages is astronomical. We're stuck
So not only is Rumsfeld a war-hawk but he's directly
responsible for poisoning us... our children...
You can see that glint in his eye - Satan's little fucking
Bruce Campbell said to me recently, "I'm not one
for hyperbole or overstatement, but George Bush, Jr.
is the anti-Christ." If this asshole gets reelected
I may seriously look into moving to Toronto.
JOSH.I AND MANY GREEKS HIER WE HOPE THAT THIS BUS OR
ANY ELSE WHO IS BEHINDE HIM NOT BE AGAIN FOR THE NEXT
4 YEARS PRESIDEND OF (U S A) HE DESTROY OR ZIVILATION.I
HOPE THE AMERIKAN PEOPLE DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN.GEORGE
George Bush, Sr. lost the election for his second term,
and he didn't fuck this country up nearly as bad as
his idiot child has. At least he got us out of Iraq
with some alacrity. Of course, they're both scumbags.
have seen all of your films [except 'hammer'] and i
am very impressed of what you have done with out having
connections to 'big' people in hollywood
im am almost done highschool and i dont know how to
take the next step
i have been making short and full length movies on video
with a cam corder and using the vcr to edit it together
i want to be a filmmaker or be in the 'buisness' in
some way...but i dont know what i should do next, should
i make my own movie and try to sell it, or try to go
to sundance [etc.], or try being a screenwriter, or
go to film school, or just forget about the whole thing...do
you have any advice or thoughts
thank you for the inspiration
really think you need to be obsessed by movies to pursue
a career in the film business. If just forgetting the
whole thing is a serious possibility, then that's what
you should do and find yourself a way to make a decent
living. If you do go after a career in movies the chances
are about 99.99% that you'll end up suffering more than
otherwise. Going to Sundance isn't a bad choice, not
so much from what you'll learn as from the contacts
you might make there. If you decide to go the independent
route, then you need to learn how to write (and you
can start by learning punctuation and grammer, which
are a legitimate part of writing). You need to look
into your own heart and decide what you really want.
Good luck to you.
On your "Presidential Abuse" essay; no, I
don't think you're the only one who is outraged, but
you're also not the only one amazed at the lack of response.
When it first became evident that Bush had knowingly
lied about threat I expected Congressional hearings
and an impeachment. I think I underestimated the amount
of fear generated by September 11. The prevailing attitude
seems to be, "If Bush kills enough Arabs he might
get some that actually wanted to hurt us." Who
cares how much money Haliburton makes on this fiasco?
And whatever happened to conflict of interest?
My brother forwarded to me a picture of Bush which was
posted on the White House web page. It shows Bush reading
through some pages with a highlighter in his hand. The
caption says, "President Bush carefully reviews
his State of the Union Address." That picture is
no longer posted on the White House web page. Gee.
If I were a Democratic candidate I would be cramming
this stuff down the administration's collective throat.
Maybe the Democrats don't want to win, I don't know.
Maybe Ashcroft is holding something on them; wierder
things have happened, and that man is a bastard. He's
supposed to uphold the Constitution, not be involved
in a Constitutional holdup.
take anyone over Bush -- a fascist, a communist, a whig,
anything. I personally think Gore should step up. Hell,
he beat Bush last time, I think he could do it again.
He certainly seems more like a president than Chimpy
I wholeheartedly share your views in regards to your
latest essay. I too feel as if this country was hijacked
by pirates. While I do agree that there is an unhealthy
amount of apathy on behalf of a vast majority of americans,
I have to say that the president and his spin doctors
have done a great job of manipulating the public by
using 9/11 as a weapon. A vast majority of people I
talk to believe that Iraq was in some way responsible
for 9/11. I know that isnt true because I have done
extensive research. The point I'm trying to make is,
aside from apathy, a lot of Americans are afraid to
challenge Bush because whenever they do, he brings up
9/11 and terrorism, which once agin reinstills the fear
that paralizes a lot of Americans. The scary thing is
when someone spreads the word that Bush is a criminal,
and even presents facts supporting it, a lot of Americans
feel that you are an unpatriotic leftist lunatic. It
amazes me how brainwashed this country has become.
Since documenteries are so much cheaper to make these
days, maybe a film based on your essay could be your
next project. Michael Moore is currently making a similar
Documentary, but I say the more the better. Dubya and
Carl Rove are using the media to their advantage, maybe
you should too. I know that I and scores of other Americans
would love to see something like that. Aside from voting
this november, and signing the Impeach Bush petition,
I don't know what else to do to combat this problem.
Do you think any of the Dems stand a chance? I kinda
9/11 as a rationale for attacking Iraq is part of what
drives me crazy. There's clearly no other reason except
oil, and the assurance of an endless future source of
it. And that's a pathetic reason to attack another country
and start a war. The Muslims are right, we really are
I just read your essay
on the misuse of presidential power, and let me tell
you that you're not the only one outraged by the circus
we call our government or the ringmaster himself (Bush).
I think the man is a total piece of shit. He hides behind
his "all American" patriotic bullshit act as
he sends our military resources over seas to take out
the "bad men" that, coincidently, rule oil rich
countries, all the while holding complete contempt for
the country that he should be concerned with as jobless
and homeless rates rise and the value of the American
dollar is flushed deeper down the toilet everyday. This
countries economy is fucked - and in light of this fact
any reasonably intelligent person would think that it
is the president's responsibility - no duty to do something
As a side note, the American dollar is currently worth
seventy cents on the Canadian dollar. When is the last
time you remember that happening?
I spoke with Bruce last night and the environmentally-conscious
people of the northwest are outraged by Bush having rescinded
all of the enviornmental laws put forth in a 1994 by Clinton
(which, admittedly, went too far the other way), so now
the lumber companies can really log the hell out of the
national forests and all of the BLM land. This was Bush's
response to the wildfires of last year. His answer is,
get rid of the damn trees and there won't be anymore wildfires.
say´t josh ,i only don´t have exesise in
english writtin. I writtin and speek German very good,and
of course Greek, and very good Romanian.Ah i don't have
a problem josh,i can say i have a normal live (and pleese
don't think not even one moment i have make this contact
to you because of the money)i'm not ritch,and have the
same problems like milions of poeple: And this is abaut
religions.I BELIVE IN EVERYTHING I SEE, EVERY SECOND
IS A MIRACLE FOR ME,AND I BILIVE AFTER SUNSHINE COMES
THE RAIN,AND WHEN IT'S POURING DOWN, THE ONLY THING
I FEEL IS PAIN.This text are from the hevy metal band
Hammerfall from the album Hammerfall the song I BELIVE...AND
ABAUT SEX THERE IS NOTHING BETTER IN THIS WORLD AS TO
HAVE SEX WITH ONE 40 YEARS OLD WOMEN,ha ha ha.GEORGE
well, I like the rain. And it's always edifying having
you weigh in on each of the topics.
You must have scored some grade-A Labor Day Maui Wowie
- you used to refer to TPTB all the time. It's "The
Powers That Be." And I'm assuming that IMNSHO would
be "in my not-so-humble-opinion."
However, I'm still laughing at the notion of your buying
new dildos since you had worn out the old ones. Boggles
I'd like to join in on that last question though - have
you seen any films with good scripts that the director
totally ruined? And vice-versa - ever seen any loser
scripts that a director still managed to make a decent
film from? (I guess in a way, you had to do that with
a couple of those hastily-written Xena scripts you received.)
I'd like to believe I bailed out a few of those Xena
eps. Of course, that's because I was friends with the
executive producer who allowed me to. Other directors
didn't have the leeway I had, like rewriting the script
constantly while shooting. Let's see, well recently
there was "Tape," which actually has a good
script and top-notch actors, but was directed by a retard,
and it's still pretty good, just showing the importance
of the director. Rob Tapert once told me that he thought
my script for "Lunatics" was much better than
my direction, which may be true. However, I so rarely
see any film that I think is well-written, that it almost
always seems like the director, actors, and crew are
trying to bail out a sinking ship. Quite frankly, I
don't know that's it's humanly possible to make a good
film from a bad script. That's like saying you can build
a beauitiful building from ugly designs -- it's going
to come out like it was designed no matter what you
absolutely right. :) What can I say-I got caught up
in all this bullshit Internet jargon. I don't blame
you a bit for calling me on it.
Well, since I was the idiot who brought these up in
the first place:
TPTB :The Powers That Be
IMNSHO: In My Not So Humble Opinion
Quick shift back into film-what are your feelings about
Hertzog? WRATH OF GOD was an interesting film, although
I feel it dragged on in parts.
really liked "Every Man For Himself and God Against
All" or "The Mystery of Kasper Hauser,"
which is by far Herzog's best film. "Aguirre: The
Wrath of God" was okay, but it dragged a lot, and
the final shot of him on the raft covered with monkies,
which was cool for a second, you can so clearly see
the motorboat wake behind the camera as it keeps circling
that it just seems like a huge mistake. I've actually
met Werner Herzog several times and he's a very pleasant,
Jumping back into the "Religion is Evil" discussion
for a moment, here's
something I've thought about quite a bit lately.
I think the Catholic Church is an organization that
supports criminal behavior by hiding pedophiles-and
they're only "sorry" because many people got
fed up and spoke out. And I believe anyone who participates
in the Catholic Church's ceremonies while condeming
what TPTB did in regards to protecting these pedophiles
is a hypocrite. TPTB dicates policy in both cases. IMNSHO,
it's like complaining that a dog bit your right hand
while you're petting it with your left.
Have a good one.
admittedly I'm a bit buzzed, but what's TPTB and IMNSHO?
Could we just stick to commonly used English here. I
know Georgio has his problems, but he's a Greek living
in Germany, he's got his excuses. Anyway, back to good
old Bill Maher, who said the Catholic Bishops and Archbishops
keep meeting to decide whether or not they should stop
fucking kids, and they can't decide to stop. They always
got to fuck kids before, and it's really the highlight
of the job. Maher said that he grew up Catholic and
his priest didn't molest him because he supposed the
priest didn't find him attractive. "But I am,"
he adds as an aside. And I'll repeat this so everyone
can think about it again -- all priests, rabbis, ministers,
mullahs, and all other "holy" men are liars.
Their selling myths as truths that they know aren't
necessarily true. They're lying and they know it, that's
why they're so creepy to be around.
Josh. Kit again.
I came across this interesting article, http://www.truby.com/3act.html
and I thought you might like to comment on it. (Personally
I think he's trying to sell software... He later goes
on to say you need software to write a good story these
days. LOL. Thought you might be interested in reading
And another question. have you ever read a good, solid
script that a director completely fucked up in every
I ask, cause, searching for advice for good writing
(same reason I came here), I stumbled on this one writer,
who had the script he sold to HBO on his site. It was
a Western, funnily. It reminded me of Sergio Leone when
I read it and, if directed in his style (complete with
an Enrico Morricone score) it would have rocked. I came
across the movie in my local video store, rented the
DVD, and was amazed at how BAD it turned out to be.
(For those interested (I recommend staying away at all
costs) It's called Blind Justice, starring Armand Assante,
Robert Davi and Elizabeth Shue) I was wondering if you
ever encountered anything like this?
Oh and nothing personal taken, Cindy. I enjoyed Phone
Booth cause I bought Colin Farrel's motivation for being
there. Keifer Sutherland stole the show, though. I only
mentioned Phone Booth because Josh liked Tigerland,
and for the fact that the concept was originally pitched
to Alfred Hitchcock (even though Larry Cohen didn't
write the script until the 1990s.)
As for One Hour Photo? It's no more valid a character
study than Taxi Driver. (Although Taxi Driver is a much
better film) What I liked about it was the little things
the Sy the Photo guy did: The care and attention he
takes to such a mundane task, his creepy obsessions
and the relationship he has with his boss. That's what
I found interesting. Both films, in my opinion, had
some interesting character developments, etc.
But I only asked if Josh had seen em. nothing more.
Don't rush out to see them, Josh on my account. LOL.
(although I do stand by the claim that A Night We Called
It A Day is a good film!)
Sorry for the very long post,
Truby is a moronic idiot that's never written anything
good or salable himself, gave up, and now foists his
lack of knowledge and success on other gullible fools.
He knows nothing. If you don't understand the three-act
structure, you don't know how to write a screenplay,
and obviously Truby doesn't. The three acts are absolutely
not arbitrary unless you don't understand the concept,
which he clearly does not. As for "three plot points
or twelve plot points," that's arbitrary nonsense.
But if you don't know which act you're in, you have
no clue what you're writing. If a script is well-written,
no scene from act one will go into acts two or three,
and no scene in act two will go into one or three, etc.
Telling a story is a like telling a long joke, and if
you don't know if you're in your set-up or your punchline,
you're a bad comedian. The three-act structure is the
bottom-line understanding of screenwriting, and to have
an idiot like Truby telling you it doesn't matter is
one more reason why movies suck so bad these days.
said about religion. I like Robert Henlein's line "One
man's religion is another man's belly laugh. As an Atheist
I'm too horrified to laugh too much but I get his point.
Some of my best creative work (on something relevant)
are my covers for American Atheists Magazine. Sadly
the "imbeciles are in charge and this fascist country
deserves all the misery is is getting.
to hear from you. I hope you're doing well. That's a
good quote from Heinlein. I like Bill Maher's recent
quote (that I've already quoted, but what the hell),
that religion is based on early childhood trauma that
led to neurological disorders.
I'm always interested in hearing folks talk about the
realities of the business, I have a question in regards
to Lucy & Renee-and I'm not sure that you're able
to answer this, given the time constraints involved
shooting a TV show-as well as your individual schedules.
But what the heck-I have nothing to lose by asking.
Can you share with us-no need to get too specific, of
course-what Lucy and Renee dislike about the film business?
Did the subject ever come up at all in discussion?
Again-this is probably a ridiculous question to ask
in the first place given the realities involving a shoot
and everyday life-but if you can't answer that, no sweat.
Thanks anyway-and enjoy your weekend.
can't speak for Lucy or Renee. I don't know what they
like or dislike about anything, and I haven't seen either
one in years. I did write to Lucy recently and I told
her that I miss working on Xena and she said she didn't
E-mail: upon requst
heart leaped when I read that you have/had a TMJ dysfunction,
because I have been suffering with one as well, for
about 16 yrs.
My jaw dislocates when I yawn or open it too wide. When
I first showed the trick to my soon-to-be husband, he
got quite aroused, as he thought it would make for some
awesome blow-jobs. It has deteriorated to inexplicable
pain, my latest X-ray shows the ball in the TMJ socket
is worn down to a flattened nub, and the disc is stretched
out and hanging out of the joint, and the one on the
other side is ground up into bits.
Oddly, I don't get headaches with it, just a lot of
arthritic phenomenon. I too went through the doctor
after doctor, specialist-this and specialist-that, and
got the old "it's mental" excuse. Infuriating
as you well know.
I just recently got health insurance, and so have been
contemplating pursuing help again with my TMJ. I thought
maybe the knowledge out there has improved. May I ask-
what therapies, procedures, doctors, etc... you went
with that helped you? I am so desperate to cut out the
crap and deal only with those who have a history of
really helping, that anytime the subject comes up, I
am compelled to ask folks about their experience. I
understand that the surgery efficacy rates are alarmingly
bad, so that makes me wary.
Have you had soft and hard mouth guards made for you
to wear at night too? I've had them for years, and they
don't help me.
So, what'd you buy at the Medford porno store? LMAO
a couple of dildoes, no big deal. I'd worn out the old
ones. Anyway, you need to see a TMJ specialist. The
appliance he made for me, after giving me several regular
ones that did nothing, had a flange that locked my jaw
and wouldn't allow it to go from side to side at all,
and that's what cured it, after wearing the thing every
night for about fourteen years. I do hope this helps
Cynthia E. Jones
Please, for the love of God, do not see "Phone
Booth." It sucked. It had no story. Colin Farrell
is inexplicably famous. (He reminds me of Ron Livingston
from "Office Space," whom I'd rather watch.)
He is unbearable to watch for a solid hour and a half
in a phone booth. Very few actors could pull off a one-man
suspense film. Besides that, the whole reason for him
being in the booth makes no sense. I'm begging you.
Don't watch it.
"One Hour Photo" wasn't good, either. Not
creepy, but supposed to be creepy. That whole premise
was the whole "be afraid of a single guy over 40"
thing--like, "He must really want to be married
and have kids and look like he's in a Ralph Lauren ad.
Who wouldn't?" Bad. Bad movie.
Sorry, just had to form a rebuttal to those recommendations.
(Nothing personal, Kit.)
Have a swell weekend.
for the warnings, although I was obviously not rushing
to see either one. Being single and 45-years old, I
do get a strong sense of if you're not married with
kids by this age, and not gay, ergo you must be a perverted
creep. I had sort of an amusing experience in Medford
when I was living in Oregon. The local Kinkos is across
the parking lot from the one store that sells pornography
in that town, and it's enormous, like an old K-Mart.
So, I used to go to Kinkos all the time, which was nearly
an hour drive from my house. I was having literally
hundreds of dollars worth of copies made -- my still
unpublished filmmaking book -- and I had some time to
kill waiting for the copies to be done. So I wandered
into the porno store for the first time. It has a one
hundred yard long aisle of dildoes, thousands of them,
which I found impressive for such a small town. After
a bit, I wandered back to Kinkos to see if my copies
were done and one of the Kinkos employees saw me walking
from the porno store to my car, which was parked in
front of Kinkos. This guy ripped into me with such vehemence
it was shocking. "You sick perverted assholes!
You perverts use up our parking spaces because you don't
have the guts to park in front of that horrible porno
store, which should be burned down! Don't you dare fucking
do that again!" Of course, I was born for confrontations
of this sort, and said, "No, fuck you! I'm having
the $300 worth of copies made right now in Kinkos and
I'm killing some time. But even if I wasn't, you can
still go fuck yourself because I have every right in
the world to go into that store if I want to, and going
in there doesn't make me a pervert." That guy then
had to see me come into Kinkos a hundred more times
over the next six or eight months, and always looked
away ashamed. Anyway, I think the married folks of the
world, most of whom are miserable, have to defend their
positions because they're deeply afraid that they made
a huge mistake and the single people may very well be
having more fun than them.
people submit movies to places like sundance do they
send a vhs tape of the movie or reels of film
have to send a VHS tape for them to review. You can
make arrangements, I believe, to project film, but you
don't just send it. And they don't do it for most films.
Last word on "La Mancha," I promise. The impression
I got was that whoever the funding people were (a S.P.E.C.T.R.E.-like
conglomerate of European investors, it seemed) were
wary of Gilliam's "vision" to begin with,
and he was willing to put up with whatever shit they
gave him in order to get his film made. And as soon
as they saw that he wasn't coping with basic problems
(like the atmospheric changes, and none of the stars
being on hand 'til right before shooting started) they
yanked the money, and cut their own losses. (There seemed
to be some weird idea that maybe if they just blamed
it all on the 1st Asst. Director, and fired him, all
So for all the reasons everyone has discussed, the documentary
is interesting to see in a way, as it shows a hundred
things *not* to do when making a movie.
OK, changing the subect - the actual question. You've
often said that you don't care for sequels too much.
I wonder how you view sequels that come from books?
It seems that sometimes a series of novels can have
some decent continuity of quality. And accordingly,
sometimes movies made from them are pretty decent. I'm
thinking of the early Bond films, for example - many
people feel "From Russia With Love" is better
than "Dr. No," although I guess the book of
the latter came out much later than the former. "The
Godfather, Pt. 2" is often hailed as a sequel that
was better than the original, but the best parts (to
me, anyway) are the flashbacks to young Vito, which
all come from the original novel. And same with "Bride
of Frankenstein" - it reminds me more of Mary Shelley's
novel than the first film. And not that there have been
any incredible Huck Finn movies, but that novel is a
sequel sometimes considered to be better than Tom Sawyer.
And I guess almost any detective series is a string
of sequels - Miss Marple, Shelock Holmes and so forth.
Any thoughts on this?
liked the first several James Bond movies, mainly because
I was a kid at the time, but also because Sean Connery
is very good in the part and the films were taken somewhat
seriously at the beginning. By the time Roger Moore
came in the films were awful, and to me, unbearable.
Yes, "The Godfather Part II" and "The
Bride of Frankenstein" are both terrific sequels.
When you get to Miss Marple or Tarzan or Sherlock Holmes,
those were a series of books to start with, as was Bond.
But they don't necessarily directly follow-up on their
predecessor. Even still, I don't much care for any of
them. For the most part, however, making a sequel is
a failure of imagination and originality. It's a throwing
in of the towel before you've even started. As William
Goldman wonderfully overstated it, "Sequels are
whore's movies." They are produced exclusively
to make money and for no other reason, and that's just
a piss-poor motivation.
have not read your thoughts on the lord of the rings
im going to guess you did not like it...so why did you
not like it
i mention lord of the rings because i just got the two
towers on dvd, along with animal house, what did you
think of animal house
im thinking of getting the upcoming scarface dvd...did
you like that movie
in their enormous length they didn't feel it was necessary
to do any characterization. After two hours I didn't
give the slightest shit about anyone in "Lord of
the Rings" so I turned it off. It's one more example
of modern filmmaking, where I'm supposed to care more
about the special effects than the people. And Elijah
Wood is a bore, and plays every scene like he's got
a stomach ache. I enjoyed "Animal House" in
its day, although I don't think it holds up very well.
And I'll take the 1932 version of "Scarface"
over the heavy-handed, overdone remake.
JOSH. I THINK THE TIME HAS COME TO NOT HAVE ANY MORE
IDOLS, BECAUSE, YOU CAN MAKE A FILM AND AFTER SOME YEARS
SAY´S OTHERS (AS JOSH BECKER SAY'T)OR DU YOU NOT
TRUST YOURSELF FOR A BIGER PRODUCTION? I MEAN RELATIONS
YOU HAVE, IN THE FILM BUSINES YOU ARE,FRIENDS YOU HAVE,
WERE IS THEN THE PROBLEM???AND I DON´T TELL THIS
BECAUSE OF MY IDEA FOR A FILM, MEABY I HAVE MORE FANDASY
AS SAM OR SPIELBERG BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA, WHAT
THEY NEED TO MAKE A FILM PRODUCTION .AND I'M SURE YOU
HAVE YOUR OWN IDEAS, AND PLANS.FRIEDLY GEORGE
your English isn't very good and I have difficulty deciphering
your meanings. You think because I know Sam Raimi I'm
automatically entitled to make big Hollywood films?
It don't work that way. I'm not on the A, B or C list,
so I'm not in line to direct any Hollywood films. Them's
Just read your piece on Monsterization. Your line about
TV being Monster Island made me laugh. (Or is that LOL?!?)
I've been through the mill here in children's TV in
the UK. There are SO many people involved in the development
process and they're scared. Heck, we're all insecure.
But nobody has the guts to say, "That's fine. Leave
it." Everyone has to justify their fucking existence
and pay-cheque and EVERYTHING gets changed. They can't
leave a thing! When this first happened to me my head
was reeling. I was playing catch-up with the story -
and I was meant to be the fucking writer! I was chasing
that big old story juggernaut up hill and down fucking
dale until I didn't know where I was.
I realised why some of the more experience TV writers
were adopting an aloof demeanour. If you're a writer
and you go into development with an open-mind, really
wanting to collaborate and do some good work and make
the work the most important thing, you get rewritten
until you don't know your arse from your elbow. But
go in their with a bit of a fuck-you attitude and they
leave you alone.
The one time where I found the development team to be
true professionals was on Bob the Builder. They were
on the ball. They trusted me as a writer and were confident
enough to realise the episode was the most important
thing - NOT their egos and their insecurities- such
a contrast to that fucking yellow bear and his middle
management, climbing the greasy pole, I started in admin'
and now I'm a fucking script editor assholes. Wow -
kid's TV made me a bitter boy!
Again, buying that Arri BL was the best thing I've done
in a long time.
And I'll tell ya, the best thing I did as a director
was to learn how to write. It was a break-through for
me. Before I was running around making these little
shorts based on scripts that weren't that great (hey,
I was a teenager in love with film language and all
it's possibilities). But it all starts on the page.
As Capra siad, what people want to see is people. We're
endlessly fascinated with ourselves. Once I'd been through
all that lerning film langauage as a teenager, I'm so
glad I discovered the screenwriting craft. Directors
that aren't writers, or don't appreciate the craft,
are little more than choreographers for MTV sweepers.
They've got no soul and they don't care about characters.
They just want to point cameras.
I'm two thirds through my first 16mm short. Strangely,
it's about a writer who realises that his richest writing
comes from living life, not locking himself away from
humanity. Man, lighting for film is SO different to
lighting for video. It's about what you DON'T light.
It's been a steep learning curve. You really can paint
with light on film.
Love it. And I'm DOING it. And the best part is: I don't
have to ask anyone's permission AND my script hasn't
Make your movie your way. That's another part of the
film business that's completely failed, the committee
writing process. Committees can't fix scripts, they
can only ruin them. Yet every film script now is going
to be put through a series of committee meetings where
the only one who gets no say so at all is the writer.
As John Gregory Dunne said in his book "Monster,"
every film executive thinks they're a better writer
than the writer, but they simply don't have the time
to write. Anyone that does have the time to write must
be an asshole. And writers are consistently treated
like assholes, even though in many respects they are
the most important person involved. I just finished
reading "Afterglow: The Last Conversation with
Pauline Kael," which is a long interview she gave
in 2000 right before she died. Many people, including
me, thought she had stopped writing for The New Yorker
in 1989 because she had Parkinson's Disease, but that
wasn't the case. She'd already had it for ten years
at that point and had learned how to cope with it. She
quit writing film reviews because movies had gotten
so horrible that the whole thing just depressed her.
It was wonderful hearing her voice again, and having
a severely intelligent person agree with some of my
own assessments. Regarding Steven Spielberg she said,
"He pushes buttons. And because people like that
button pushing, they think Spielberg is a great director.
But he's become, I think, a very bad director. I thought
his Peter Pan movie was just awful. It was closed-in
and mean-spirited. And several of his recent movies
have really depressed me. 'Always' was a shameful movie."
The very last line of the book is, "What you see
is a movie industry in decay, and the decay gets worse