you were a kid in this day and age would you still start
making movies on film or would you use digital video
how many prople were on the evil dead shoot when you
started and how many were left at the end
I a kid, I'd definitely start with DV, which is way
cheaper and easier to use. After I got the hang of things
I'd probably switch to 16mm. On "Evil Dead"
i think we started with 18-20 people, and by the end
there were 5 of us: Sam, bruce, Rob Tapert, me, and
As much as you dislike both directors, I still enjoy
Wes Anderson's stuff and I enjoy the fact that he uses
Murray in all of his films, and Murray's characters
are characters which suits him very well.
I thought "Rushmore" was a lot of fun and
I wasn't distracted by the music being cut short in
scenes at all. The fact is, very few films carry songs
in this manner through their entirety.
I also like the fact that he uses one of the songs as
the theme and carries that process through the film
which is a cohesive way to bridge the narrative.
You might find it a cop out, but I think it is creative
and it works for me.
I also enjoyed "Bottle Rocket" as well and
I think if the Owen Brothers would have stayed in that
direction instead of doing mostly shitty films, they
would be much more interesting.
Even though Hollywood puts out crappy movies now, I
still think guys like Wes Anderson are still doing cool
stuff within the restrictions of Hollywood.
I wholeheartedly expect you to disagree with me and
tear me a new asshole, but I like Wes Anderson's movies
with the exception of "The Royal Tennebaums".
Have fun in Bulgaria and I am sure you will get plenty
of news that we will not get here. That always happens
outside of the US and I always find it refreshing when
I go to Europe and forget the stupid shit that goes
on in this country.
I remember being in Italy during the OJ trial, I had
been in Europe for three weeks already and I passed
by a news stand and just happened to see the headline.
"OJ found not Guilty" on the front page of
"USA Today". I remember feeling so far removed
from the bullshit news and goings on in the US. It felt
refreshing to be given a different perspective on life
outside the US.
wouldn't rip you a new asshole, I'm a nice guy. And
hey, that's why they have horse races, we'll all bet
on different horses. I found both "Rushmore"
and "Bottle Rocket" simply unbearbale they
were so poorly written and conceived. I mean, why would
Bill Murray be friends with that kid, who was really
a drag of a character and an actor? perhaps in this
world of utterly shitty movies Wes anderson's crap is
a bit better -- I mean, I don't think so, but you do
-- but I still won't grade on a curve.
mistake on confusing Paul and Wes Anderson.
Either way on the note of video game to movie adaptions,
I believe that the only way that they could work is
if one was to basically take the elements of the game,
and create an entirely knew story around it. Anyhow
about sequels, yes three fourths of them suck. Yet we
can't forget about the rarities that are just as good
or even better then the original.
you have to create an entire story, why bother starting
with a video game? And other than "The Godfather,
Part II," what other sequels do you think are as
good or better than the originals?
Hallo josh, welcome to the balcan,if you don't finde
englisch speaking actors,meaby i can be one??? i mean
if the character that i can play, is not dificuld???
or do you still thinking, that i'am bother people out
there.and something else, you are not the only one who
have like William Wylers films.George
you don't bother the other people here, then you don't
bother me, just don't ask long, dumb questions. I thought
you were in Germany, which isn't too far (I flew in
through Frankfurt), but it's still a two hour flight
away from Sofia, and they ain't flying anyone in.
say some university hires you to teach a class about
the art of film. And for this class you must choose
7 films for the class to watch in their entirety (and
as many other films as you want to show clips from.)
These 7 films must be what you would define as filmmaking
at its finest. 7 movies that defined the way that later
films were made. Which 7 films would you choose to show
in their entirety? (In chronological order by year released)
What are some other films that you might show clips
from? And once again, good luck with Alien Apocalypse!
hell with chronological order (I'm at an internet cafe
in Bulgaria, for goodness sake). So, let's see . . .
"The Birth of a Nation" -- for the first time
someone figured out the language of cinema and montage.
2. "The Docks of New York" -- for the height
of silent filmmaking.
3. "Gone With the Wind" -- for the pinnacle
of filmmaking in the 1930s
4. "Citizen Kane" -- for the height of filmmaking
5. "The Magnificent Ambersons" -- because
6. "Black Narcissus" -- for the peak of color
cinematography (I'd also include "The Conformist"
in this category).
7. "Lawrence of Arabia" -- because it's as
good as epic filmmaking ever got.
Four quick comments/questions:
First, I disagree with you about the worst ending ever.
My vote goes for "Dune" where the damn planet
is covered by a rain storm in the final scene. That
wasn't just stupid or wrong, that was completely bass-ackward.
I wish that people who adapt a book into a screenplay
would read the book involved.
Second, while I don't know what levels are appropriate,
we should remember how hard early democracies fought
to get adequate pay for legislators. The original fear
was that "volunteer" legislations would descriminate
against those who weren't independently wealthy. The
high cost of advertising, particularly on television,
has also served as a filter for the rich, but even if
that problem were solved the need for relatively good
pay for legislators would still exist. As long as the
Supreme Court interprets spending money as an exercise
of free speech rights, solveable only by constitutional
amendment regarding campaign finance, we'll never solve
the money filter.
Third, what kind of English do your local actors speak?
Are you going to end up with a Bulgarian-accented movie
or are you going to do a lot of dubbing?
Finally, what is Bulgarian food? I'm guessing it ain't
informed the casting director that I only want actors
who can speak English well, but I haven't seen any actors
yet, so this remains to be seen. I have a feeling there
will be a lot of looping, or ADR, which is what they
now call dubbing. The nice restaurants serve international
cuisine, which, so far, has been very good. During the
day, however, we keep ending up eating McDonald's on
the road, which is just like MacDogDoos anywhere. Also,
since "Dune" was such a complete and utter
misery of a film, I didn't think the ending was any
worse than the rest of the film. I just loved that book
in high school, so the film was a huge disappointment
to me, particularly the Baron Harkonnen, who was supposed
to be about a thousand pounds with little jets on his
fat holding it up, being nothing more than Kenneth MacMillan
(usually a fine actor) wearing a jet-pack.
I'm in the middle of Bruce's book right now, and it's
really cool to hear all the bullshit that went on during
the making of Evil Dead. Funny as hell, too (impaling
your foot must've hurt like a bitch)
Anyway, I was skimming through your site here, and I've
noticed that you hate quite alot of what's out there
right now, movie-wise. Now, there's nothing wrong with
that (I hate lots of shit too), but I was wondering
then........what do you like? What movies inspire you?
Which filmmakers do you admire in one way or another?
just watched "East of Eden" again last night
on TCM (which comes from France here in Bulgaria, although
most of the films are in English), and that inspired
me quite a bit. It's an excellent film, with a great
cast, beautiful direction, and a very good use of the
widescreen. I just keep watching old movies and that
does it for me. Luckily, there are many, many movies
I haven't seen yet. As I've mentioned numerous times
before here (and wrote an essay about, "An
Ode to William Wyler"), all of William Wyler's
films inspire me a lot, as do most of the great, old
make films on a camcorder but want to learn about using
real film before i buy a cine camera, and as an 18 year
old in England there's not many places I can go and
ask (none that I know of). The questions: What processes
does the film go through? When loading the film is it
similar to a stills camera where light fecks it up?
Does it have to be sent to be developed? If so do you
edit before development or afterwards?
On dvd extras the deleted scenes are often really grainy
and ... well, rubbish looking compared to the real deal
film. Whats the reason for this?
don't mean to be snotty (although I often am), but you
need to read some books on production. Anyway, yes,
light will fuck up your film, feck it up, as the case
may be. You load movie film in a changing bag, which
is a black bag with two arm holes with eleastic around
them; or in a darkroom. You must send the film to the
lab to be developed before you do anything to it, then
you either have it transfered to disk or to positive
workprint, which is what you edit. In both cases, when
you're done cutting the workprint or digitally, then
you have a negative conformer cut the negative exactly
as you cut the it. Once the negative is cut, then you
go through a lab process called color timing, where
you sit with a color timer or colorist to get all of
the colors just the way you want them. Since the scenes
that were edited out don't usually go through this process
and are often transferred to video right off the workprint,
that's why it looks so bad.
think I read that you're shooting your sci fi project
in a 2.35 format? Is that correct and are you shooting
anamorphic or Super 35?
I always heard that shooting widescreen (at least in
anamorphic) costs more. Mainly due to focus being more
critical, which slows things down a bit. Am I wrong
Does the Sci Fi channel have a say in which format you
shoot? Especially if it increases the budget. Do they
Personally I love the anamorphic Panavision widescreen
format. Always have, even when I didn't understand quite
what it was. It gives movies a 'bigger' look and feel
Anyway, good luck and I look forward to seeing it.
only does SciFi have a say in what format I shoot, they
nixed the 2.35 idea. To shoot 2.35 for TV, if it's never
going to be shown on film, doesn't cost an extra penny
because you don't need to use anamorphic or Super-35,
you simply compose for the widescreen, then just letterbox
it. Anamorphic is more expensive because you have to
rent special lenses. There used to be this terrific
widescreen system in Italy called Technoscope (through
Technicolor Rome), that only used half of the 35mm frame,
which came out to 2.35 without anamorphic lenses, and
it gave you 20 minutes on a 10-minute roll of film,
which is the system Sergio Leone used for all of his
Italian films, but since it was such a money-saver,
Technicolor stopped doing it. Ain't that a bitch?
Are your actors out there with you in Bulgaria? Or do
they just show up like the day before the 18 days of
actual filming starts?
only getting three American actors: Bruce Campbell,
Renee O'Conner, and someone to play the former president.
Renee and the president will show up right before they
shoot, Bruce is showing up a week early, thank goodness,
that way I'll have a bud to hang with.
recently heard on the news that the police busted 140
people in Dallas for child pornography (out of 20,000
found through credit cards via website). that means
there are 19,860 pedophiles out there that were dumb
enough to use their credit card and now know that its
just a matter of time (or they're ultimately fucked)...
the ones that were busted were mostly priests and teachers.
that's way past spooky. that would almost make a good
controversial film about paranoia.
is evil, and priests, rabbis, and mullahs are the devil's
minions who do little else but spread hatred, discord,
and prejudice. And I never liked or trusted most of
my teachers, either.
don't need no education, we don't need no thought control,
no dark sarcasm in the classroom, teachers leave your
kids alone." -- Roger Waters.
just stumbled upon your page this morning!!! Thanks
for the uplifint laugh. It was so funny to hear someone
else has had the same luck I have at the Dollar store...and
keeps going back!
I'm glad people keep enjoying that essay. I guess I
should write more essays like it.
This is a correction about Jim Birch's post on "Punch
Drunk Love". It wasn't directed by Wes Anderson,
it was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Yes, two different
A little piece of trivia; Paul Thomas Anderson's father
was the original "Ghoulardi" The famous Cleveland
horror movie host which "The Ghoul" pretty
much ripped off.
I actually enjoy Wes Anderson's films, however, I thought
"The Royal Tennenbaums" wasn't very good,
but it had its moments. I am actually looking forward
to his next film "The Life Aquatic" were Bill
Murray is going to play a crabby old Marine Biologist.
I don't agree with you that he uses music innappropriately,
in fact, I like his use of music and choices. To me,
it moves the scenes and it is cool that he picks artists
like Nick Drake and the 60's band "Creation".
I connect to that stuff, but not everyone does.
Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, who cares, they're both
bullshit. And though you may "connect" with
Wes Anderson's music choices, they simply don't fit
the scenes they're scoring, and three-quarters of the
time the songs run out before the scene is over and
he just starts another one with no rhyme or reason.
"The Royal Tennenbaums" was absolute, utter
garbage without a single redeeming aspect, in my humble
opinion. As for P.T. Anderson, the fogs falling from
the sky at the end of "Magnolia" may well
rank as the worst ending ever put on a film since motion
pictures were invented.
I think the vast differences in compensation between
victims of the September 11 casualty and those who are
serving the country in Uniform are profound. No one
is really talking about it either, because you just
don't criticize anything having to do with September
11. Well, I just can't let the numbers pass by because
it says something really disturbing about the entitlement
mentality of this country. If you lost a family member
in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average
of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000,
all the way up to $4.7 million.
If you are a surviving family member of an American
soldier killed in action, the first check you get is
a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.
Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the
surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry.
And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child
under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come
to a screeching halt. Keep in mind that some of the
people who are getting an average of $1.185 million
> up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not
enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they
were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers
put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they
and their families know the dangers.
We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims
from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization
asking for the same deal that the September 11 families
are getting. In addition to that, some of the families
of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for
compensation as well.
You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this
is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics
in this country. It's just really sad.Every time a pay
raise comes up for the military, they usually receive
next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is
in combat in the Middle East while their families have
to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing.
However, our own U.S Congress just voted themselves
a raise, and many of you don't know that they only have
to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that
is more than $15,000 per month, and most are now equal
to being millionaires plus. They also do not receive
Social Security on retirement because they didn't have
to pay into the system. If some of the military people
stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, you may
receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very
people who placed you in harm's way receive a pension
of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected
officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they
start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our
sons and daughters who are now fighting.
"When do we finally do something about this?"
If this doesn't seem fair to you, it is time to forward
this to as many people as you can.If your interested
there is more.......................
This must be a campaign issue in 2004. Keep it going.
SOCIAL SECURITY: (This is worth the read. It's short
and to the point.)
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election
years. Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into
Social Security. Many years ago they voted in their
own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson
has felt the need to change it. For all practical purposes
their plan works like this:
When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay
until they die, except it may increase from time to
time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former
Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may
expect to draw $7,800,000 - that's Seven Million, Eight
Hundred Thousand), with their wives drawing $275,000.00
during the last years of their lives.
This is calculated on an average life span for each.
Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. These
little perks they voted for themselves is free to them.
You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for
this fine retirement plan come directly from the General
Fund--our tax dollars at work! From our own Social Security
Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into -- every
payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our
employer) --we can expect to get an average $1,000 per
month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would
have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits
for 68 years and one month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's
benefits! Social Security could be very good if only
one small change were made. And that change would be
to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under
the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social
Security plan with the rest of us and then watch how
fast they would fix it.
If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness
will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.
WE, each one of us, can make a difference!
from Rush Limbaugh? Pretty Goddamn long-winded for a
guy that takes 30 Oxycontin a day. Regarding things
to be pissed-off about, here in Bulgaria they get news
from a variety of places, Britian, Germany, Turkey,
France, and more. I seriously doubt (since I already
asked my sister about this) that the US news media reported
that yesterday, May Day, there were major demonstrations
around the world against the USA and our involvement
in Iraq, in almost every major city. A million people
showed up in Havana to hear Castro rip the USA a new
asshole, and rightly so, I might add. Castro said that
every single year the USA condemns Cuba in front of
the UN, yet the USA has 600 prisoners in Gauntanamo
Bay, none of whom are being given any of the basic human
rights afforded prisoners almost anywhere else in the
world. Also, we have absolutely no right to to the base
at Guantanamo -- we took it and won't give it back,
yet we continue to embargo the Cubans because they're
communists, even though we do more business with red
China than any other country in the world. Being in
a very foreign country here I get a very strong feeling
of how much Americans, particularly GW Bush are flat-out
hated. Don't for one second believe that we have a free
press in the USA; we have the most censored news in
the world, probably worse than China.
don't understand why a theme in a movie or piece of
literature must be contraversial for it to be 'good'.
theme doesn't have to be controversial, but it's WAY
better have a theme than to not have one. Then at least
you know what you're trying to write about.
of all, good luck with your movie. Second, I watched
the Piano for my film class. I think the best description
of the movie is that it's a series of non-sequiters
and Post Hoc fallacies. Little or no set up is given
for anything that happens in the movie. Holly Hunter
doesn't seem to display any sort of affection toward
Harvey Keitel, and then, out of nowhere, she falls in
love with him and wants to have sex with him. Perhaps
it would have been better if Holly Hunter had used more
than two facial expressions in the film. I definitely
don't think she deserved best actress. (Although Anna
Paquin did a terrific job.) Am I wrong for thinking
this is a horrible, dark, depressing, perverted, and
unsavory film? Or am I just not "mature" enough
to accept it? Why did Jane Campion think that *anyone*,
women or men, would want to see Harvey Keitel naked?
agree with your critique, and I certainly don't ever
need to see Harvey Keitel naked again. And yes, Anna
Paquin was good. However, like many other child actors,
I don't think she's grown up into a very good adult
E-mail: crashpix - yahoo - com
A couple of things. Firstly - I finally got to see Running
Time, and enjoyed it immensely. The heist genre is one
which is very good, if done correctly. Sadly it hasn't
been done much justice of late, so it was refreshing
to see a good heist movie. From a technical standpoint
I really have to hand it to you, your DP and AC. You
managed the transitions from interior to exterior shots
quite handily. There was one point toward the end of
the film, when Patrick shows up at Janie's apartment
where the focus seemed off, though - Bruce and Anita
were sitting on the bed, and then the camera tracked
out through the door and into daylight. Was that softness
due to having to shoot a few seconds indoors with a
slower stock which was intended for exterior shots?
In any event, it was a good script, terrific concept,
and a very good, solid film. Is there a DVD version
on which you do a comentary?
Secondly - I was also completely unimpressed with Lost
in Translation. It felt like a poorly written short
film which somehow escaped into feature territory and
grew fat and bloated on masturbatory cinematography.
Another failing is the fact that they completely failed
to convey how damn tiny many of the spaces in Japan
are. I spent a couple of months there and was blown
away by how small most of the cars and all of the taxis
were, and how cramped almost every resturant, nightclub,
and apartment was. There is one shot in the entire movie
which gives you some idea of this smallness - in the
strip club there's a long shot of Bill Murray jammed
in a small couch with the stripper about a foot away
from him. So they didn't even capture one of the more
uniquely Japanese aspects of the environment. Seems
like they figured if they showed a bunch of Japanese
people, and a temple or two, that would suffice - never
mind that most of the time it looked like they were
in New York. Long story short, it sucked.
Finally, is there a tentative air date for for your
upcoming sci-fi feature? Did you make changes to the
script to allow for commercials (i.e. altering the pacing
so you go to comerical at a cliff-hanger moment)? As
someone who's written for both TV and film, can you
comment on the differences between writing for those
That's about it. Good luck, and keep on keeping on!
soft shot you're referring to was simply a mistake on
the part of the AC, who otherwise did a very good job
-- hey, thanks a lot for pointing out the mistakes --
just kidding. Meanwhile, yes I did have to alter the
script for the eight-act TV movie format, and try to
get cliffhangers at the end of each act, which really
wasn't all that hard. We'll see what everyone thinks
about it when it's done. I guess it will air in or around
September. We're just scouting locations, and it's going
pretty well. Everyone is very nice here in Bulgaria.
I'm currently going to be making a production for my
school, I was wondering if there was an easy way that
you have heard of to make a makeshift squib.
there is, but if you injure someone I had nothing to
do with it. First put a thin foam-rubber pad on the
person, then a thin piece of wood, like paneling. Take
a firecracker, remove the fuse, stick in an Estes rocket
starter for a model rocket (a single strand of steel
wool will work, too, but not as well), then seal the
end of the firecracker with hot glue. Tape a condom
filled with fake blood over the firecracker with thin
strips of duct tape, then attach two wires to the rocket
starter and connect them to a battery and boom!
a doctor from india. iam trying to enter the field of
short films. but iam not having any previous relavant
experiences. please tell me the channels through which
i can become a director like u. eagerly expecting ur
reply mail. thank u.
a short script, shoot it and edit it and you'll learn
a great amount about the process. With each film you
make you'll learn more and more. After three or four
you'll have it. But definitely try to think up a decent
story first. As the old theatrical expression goes (which
completely applies to films, too), "If it ain't
on the page, it ain't on the stage." Good luck.
heard of people do shot lists, and I've heard of people
do storyboards, and I've heard of people who do both.
What do you think is the most beneficial? I know you
will be storyboarding your shots for your next movie
so you can better communicate what you want to your
crew but what if you're not a really good drawer? I've
seen some people even use stick figures but I think
it just comes off looking sloppy and childish.
are the best because they really make you think about
what shot you want and how it will cut with the next
shot. Stick figures are just fine, as long as you place
them in the frame in the composition you're envisioning.
Sure, they may look childish, but who cares? And the
storyboards are mainly for you, to get your ideas solidified
and down on paper. You really don't have to show them
to anybody. Being a good artist, which I'm not, has
nothing to do with good storyboards. Hell, Sam Raimi
can't draw at all, only uses stick figures, and his
storyboards are great. It's also very easy to pull a
shot list off the storyboards.
much control will you have over the final digital look
of the aliens? I've seen so many Sci-fi Channel films
that use cg for most of shots of the "monster"
and then cut to a close up of a puppet head that looks
nothing comparable size or scale or texture of the cg
beast the audience has been seeing the whole film.
With the schedule everyone ran on xena, the cg used
in the series was leaps and bounds better than anything
i've seen on scifi.
i guess i'm asking, for you as a director, and this
being a sci-fi channel budget, how do you approach cg
as to not take the audience totally out of the film?
do you accept it won't quite be up to par, do you plan
your shots around hiding, in a way, the cg look of things?
i like getting a laugh out of most the films i've previously
seen on sci fi, but you have made such beautifully shot,
well orchestrated films, and well i guess i'd hate to
have a laugh at the cg in your stuff.
can you step in and say thats not good enough? where
doesa director have to draw the line for this kind of
I'm not doing the CGI FX myself, and I've never worked
with this company before, but they seem like reasonable
folks, and they've done good work before. What I've
done is: first, I storyboarded every effect so they
know exactly what I want; second, I worked with the
practical FX supervisor on the design until I was happy
with it, then just gave it to the CGI guys, and since
the practical, rubber alien was built first, the CGI
alien must match it, which it will because the CGI alien
will be created based on photos of the rubber alien.
I'd venture that in most other cases it's done in the
opposite order, and it much more difficult to make a
practical effect to a digital effect. Also, I will rarely
be using the rubber alien for anything other than over-the-shoulder
shots, which will be slightly soft focus, as well as
tight shots of alien hands, and close-ups of aliens
getting stuck in the guts with knives and things. It
should work out, but of course, we'll all see.
are you saying that you don't want to see Hellboy? Or
The Punisher? Or Kill Bill 2? Or Walking Tall? Or Scooby
Doo 2? The top ten movies right now are 5 action/revenge
movies, 3 teen girl movies, and 2 family comedies. And
the summer hasn't even started yet. Summer movies are
now basically all year round except for a brief flurry
of dramas around November. I don't really mind though,
since there are still quite a few movies out there on
DVD I haven't seen. It's kind of a relief actually,
because if there was a great lineup in theaters I'd
be emptying my wallet pretty quick. There literally
hasn't been a movie in like 5 months that I genuinely
wanted to see in theaters. I did see The Passion, which
was actually not a good movie at all, regardless of
your thoughts on the subject matter. The screenplay
was a mess, with flashbacks that felt completely out
of place and brutally violent scenes that just went
on and on. I guess it was meant to be some sort of an
'experience', but as a 'story' it was just extremely
weak. Plus Gibson had these demon kids with vampire
teeth that just seemed weird. Are there any demon kids
with vampire teeth in Alien Apocalypse?
no demon kids with pointy teeth. Just seven-foot alien
bug creatures that bite off human heads. Movies really
are completely in the shitter. This is the worst phase
of filmmaking in their over 100 year history. I wouldn't
see any of those films if they gave out hundred dollar
bills and blow-jobs.
only comment that i have is that you site does not really
tell me where to go to learn how to become a stunt man
I would really like to know how to become one but can
never find info. on what ways i should go about it
u help me
I've worked with many stunt men and women, I don't exactly
know how you go about becoming one. Many of them are
martial artists, some were rodeo riders, and others
were race car drivers. You really have to be pretty
fearless, and very good at planning how to do these
crazy things without getting hurt because anyone getting
hurt on a movie set really screws things up. You need
to contact a stunt coordinator. Maybe you can locate
one on the internet. Good luck.
anyone else think Wes Anderson is a hack? I recently
saw Punch Drunk Love. Why is it that critic praise movies
like this? Are they suppose to capture the internal
struggle of man. Like "Lost in Translation"
it's just lethargic crap. The people talk like they
don't want to be in the film and the plot drags out
so slowly it's pathetic.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think he's utterly
talentless, he can't write at all, and he uses music
in his films more inappropriately than almost anyone
else working in films.
just saw "Starship Troopers 2" Saturday. It's
pathetic as hell and even if the first one was nearly
as bad, this one is an insult to Roger Heimlein. Roger
Corman and Ed Wood would have done better to say the
On another note I'm in the middle of "Run Like
Hell" it's a video game about some commando trapped
in a space station infested with this virus that produces
aliens. It's actually pretty interesting and would make
a good flick. You know, something on the sci fi channel.
Just thought I'd put that out there for any screenwriter
who reads it.
think video games are an even worse source for movies
than comic books. Movies need complete stories with
full-fledged characters and you won't get any of that
from a video game.
come on, the first "Starship Troopers" sucked
the big one, why would the sequel be any good? And since
you paid to see it, in essence you told Hollywood, "I
love this movie, please make another one." I suggest
boycotting all sequels and remakes, I certainly have.
This way I'm sending the message, "Fuck you!"
regards to the diminishing quality of Hollywood product,
I was wondering if you see a solution anywhere in sight?
It seems to me that the MBA's have taken over, and every
decesion is made by both fear and committee. I understand
that films are expensive, and even the lowst budged
feature is a high risk investment, but that is no excuse
for such awful filmmaking. Nothing lasts forever, but
I was wondeing if you see a return to decent storytelling.
I don't think it will happen in the near future, and
I believe that Hollywood will have to destroy itself
before it gets any better. Good luck in Bulgaria tomorrow.
When do you actually start shooting?
start shooting May 19. I don't know what will change
the state of filmmaking, but it's not just the young,
MBA executives who are to blame, it's everybody, but
particularly the young people going into filmmaking.
If you haven't studied film and watched all of the great
movies, but are just basing your desire on what you've
seen in the past few years, as well as wanting to be
rich, you'll never make a decent film. I didn't going
into movies because I wanted to get rich (which is lucky
for me since I haven't gotten rich), it's because I
love movies, I love the form, I love the possibilities.
But until young people start to really care for movies
again, and love them for what they could be, they'll
just get worse and worse. And that goes for foreign
One of the funniest in "Ed Wood" is the scene
where Wood (Depp) comes out in a dress for a scene and
he keeps asking everoyne what they think of the color?
He finally gets to the Cinematographer and the guys
says "I don't know, I am color blind".
Martin Landau is very believable as Bela Lugosi. "Let's
shoot this Fucker!"
I thought Bill Murray's character had some funny lines
got its moments. And compared to the shit I've seen
lately, it's a bloody masterpiece. "Lost in Translation"
won Best Original Screenplay? It may be the most offensive
Oscar ever given. It's for nepotism and NOTHING ELSE.
I noticed you didn't have "Ed Wood" or "Edward
Scissorhands" as favorite movies. I guess you didn't
even like "Ghostbusters". Ed Wood and Ghostbusters
are top of my list for favorite comedies of all time
and I was wondering if there was any particular reason
why you didn't like those movies.
must say honestly that the first time I saw "Ed
Wood" I was seriously unimpressed. It's beautiful
production, with a great cast, but a rather flat, uninsightful
script, and a one-note performance by Johnny Depp. Well,
all of that is still true, but given how bad movies
have gotten since then, and having seen it several more
times, I must say that do enjoy it, and parts of it
have gotten funnier and funnier, which is mainly due
to Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. My big gripe still,
though, is that to be "the worst filmmaker ever,"
a title I believe Ed Wood still holds, I need to know
more about him than he was just in a hurry, since nearly
all filmmakers are in a hurry. It simply could have
been a much better film had there been a more perceptive
script. "Edward Scissorhands," on the other
hand, I just thought was a flat-out bore that made no
sense. I mean, why does he have scissors for hands?
Was he designed to trim Christmas trees? To cut people's
hair? To trim hedges? How about a reason. It's a film
about nothing. And "Ghostbusters" is okay,
but it runs out of jokes about halfway through.
friends and I are thinking about making a fan remake
of Shemp eats the Moon. Information for this film is
very scarce and I was wondering if you knew anything
Anyway, I loved Lunatics and Thou shalt not kill...
except. What will your next project be?
don't you make your own film, "Shemp Eats the Moon"
wasn't very good the first time around. Remakes are
a bad idea, or worse, no idea at all. And if you read
back a few Q&As you'll know what I'm doing next.
Where exactly in Oregon did you live? What was it like?
Did you have many restaurants or fun things to do in
town, or was it mainly a touristy type place? Do you
lived outside Jacksonville, which is outside Medford.
Jacksonville is a tiny touristy town with a little main
street with brick storefronts, some with the old, fading
ads for chewing tobacco still visible on the exterior
walls. It's very woodsy and quite pretty around there.
The people were very nice, too. But it was just too
darn rural for me. And L.A. was too urban. So I settled
on my old hometown, Detroit, which is just right.
I looked up your DP at the IMDB, and you're right -
he has an extensive career, both as cinematographer
and director. So is "Nu Image" the production
company then, that's doing this for Sci-Fi, and Avi
Lerner the producer?
this has nothing to do with Nu Image. My buddy, Gary
Jones, who is the 2nd unit director/practical FX supervisor
on this film has made two films for Nu Image, and my
other friend, Sheldon Lettich, has made a number of
films for those guys. The production company on this
is Fresh Water Ent. and the executive producer is Jeff
Franklin, who has produced many, many TV shows.
Name: John Hunt
Regarding "Lost in Translation", I thought
it looked and felt like I was watching somebody's "trip
to Japan" home videos. I imagine either of the
two main characters going home and telling someone about
the trip. It would be boring as Hell. If their best
friends wouldn't be interested, why should the rest
of us be?
I think about how I would summarize the movie; Two Americans
meet in Japan, look around a bit and go home. There
wasn't even a foundation to that movie. You can't sit
back and think, "How would I have done it better?"
When I think about the scenes where the two are running
through the streets it seems like they were shot to
make the characters seem unimportant. They are small
in the scene, you have to work to pick them out, and
they are no more interesting then any of the other arcade
patrons or pedestrians. And yet, as you say, this is
the future of movies.
It's too bad about Majors, I was looking forward to
seeing him. Is there a short list for replacements?
Have a great trip and show them how it's done.
in Translation" is a really a miserable, terrible
movie, and a prime example of a writer that has no clue
of what she's doing. Ms. Coppola didn't have a good
idea or even a sliver of a story, then added another
scene, then another scene, then another scene, and when
she got to 120 pages stopped adding more scenes and
called it done. It's the worst excuse for screenwriting
I've encountered in a long time. And if it's supposed
to be an examination of loneliess, she chose the wrong
characters. Both of them are married and have been away
from their mates for a few days, so neither one is experiencing
real, deep, intense loneliness. And Bill Murray's character
is being paid $2 million for a week of easy work, what's
his big problem? Giovani Ribisi keeps telling Scarlett
Johansen she can just go home, but she doesn't. Why?
And meanwhile, if this is supposed to be a sort of touching,
"Brief Encounter"-like, story (which is clearly
the film's main inspiration), then having the Murray
character screw the band's singer blows the whole deal.
Obviously, the guy's an asshole and his marriage and
kids don't mean shit to him. But worse than any of that
to me is that you've got two long hours for characterization,
but instead we get them running around, going to parties,
watching TV, etc. and never learn shit about them. This
is really the worst film I've seen in months, possibly
in the last year or two. That it won the Oscar for original
screenplay just goes to to show how utterly fucked up
the film business is.
that Lee Majors is out, who are you pursuing to play
the president? Also, in regards to your DP, did you
hire him based on a referal, or was he hired through
a below-the-line agent?
offered up many names to potentially play the fromer
president, such as Tony Curtis, William Shatner, Hal
Holbrook, and James Whitmore, among others, but it's
entirely up to the executive producer. The DP is part
of the executive producer's regular crew -- as is the
line producer, the production designer, and the editor
-- and he's already shot four films in Bulgaria, so
he clearly knows the ropes there.
What is your budget on this film, and how do you know
if you are going over budget? Who handles finances on
a set? Do you get DGA minimum or more because you wrote
the screenplay? How does that work? Thanks for answering
my questions. I've learned a lot from you.
Wishing you all the best,
budgeted eighteen days to shoot the film. If I bring
it in in eighteen days, without going into overtime
very much, it will be on budget. The line producer and
a the 1st assistant director's main jobs are to make
sure we stay on time and on budget. This is a non-DGA
shoot, so I had to make my own directing deal, and the
script is yet a whole different deal.
I know that D.P. that you are working with and I know
of "The Serpent's Egg" book as well, but it
is very hard to find. Great film though.
I have always been a big Berman fan. He and Nykvist
's work are the main reason I became more interested
in filmmaking as a career.
I became obsessed with their work in High School and
never looked back.
Have you ever read Bergman's autobiography "The
Magic Lantern" ? It is very good.
I realize that "more is more" will be he motto
on many set-ups with the Sci-fi channel film, but I
just wanted to give you some good vibes and karma my
I agree that quite often less is more. But that's when
subtlety is called for, and it won't be called for too
often on this piece. Yes, I did read Bergman's "The
Magic Lantern," and when he talked about his films
I found it interesting, but he spent most of the book
discussing theater in Sweden, which I must admit, means
nothing to me. Can you imagine anyone making "The
Seventh Seal" now? It's almost unimaginable.
I watched "Lost in Translation" last night
and it's just dreadful, and terribly written, so it
naturally won the Oscar for original screenplay. It's
about two bored people stuck in Japan, and that's it.
I seriously believe that boredom is not an appropriate
subject for drama, call me a stick-in-the-mud. And it's
almost a complete waste of Bill Murray. Modern movies,
Jesus! What crap.
I just rented the documentary "Light Keeps me Company"
about the Cinematographer who has inspired me the most
I am not sure if you have seen it, but it is very good
as documentaries go.
I can clearly see why I was so influenced by his work.
A good mantra for you on the set straight from Nykvist's
mouth; "Less is More".
I don't if this is possible with the effets youy have
to acheive, but it is something I have always strived
for when lighting.
Good luck again next week!
Nykvist is one of the greatest DPs ever, and one of
the few to work equally as well in black & white
and in color. Nobody's seen it, but I just love the
look of "The Serpent's Egg," Ingmar Bergman's
one Hollywood film. But do keep in mind that I'm not
making a Bergman drama, I'm making a sci-fi film for
TV. I've got a very experienced DP, David Worth, who
shot two films for Clint Eastwood ("Every Which
Way But Loose" and "Bronco Billy") among
many other films and sounds like he really knows what
he's doing, so I'll leave the lighting to him. There
will certainly be a few scenes where less will not be
more, more will be more.
Do you like rehearsals? Will you have time to rehearse
before you shoot your film?
like rehearsal, but I won't get any on this. Generally
there is no rehearsal in TV, the schedule is too fast
and the actors don't arrive until it's time to shoot.
Barb Weisman Hoffman
hate to bother you with this sort of thing, but you
were the first person I thought of when I saw this.
We're having a "stump the librarian" contest
at my kids' high school, (I volunteer in the library),
and someone submitted this question.
The line, "Salvation does come from the Bible,"
used in the movie Shawshank Redemption, is a spoof of
a line from what movie and is said by which actor?
Got any ideas, oh great movie trivia guru?
All my best,
time no hear. Sorry, I haven't got a clue. Perhaps one
of the other intrepid movie geeks that visits here knows
When you are hired to direct a film, does the studio/network
give require you to do specific things? Or do they just
ask that you "direct the project the best way you
For instance, you storyboarded every shot and supplied
each hired crew member with them. Is that required?
Does the network make sure that you're doing your prep
work? Do they feel you're doing more than most directors,
or less? Or do you not get that feedback?
I suppose that's all in the contract you sign, but for
instance, if you wanted to send each actor who is playing
a creature a clay statue of their character -- do you
ask to hire someone to do it?
Basically, I'm just curious about how much like a regular
job it is, where your boss tells you what to do and
you can't really do extra things without permission.
really none of that. SciFi doesn't actually produce
many of their films, they sub-contract them out, as
they've done in this case. There are no rules for prep,
and I don't think any of these people have ever seen
a director storyboard a film before. The last director
they worked with, who apparently didn't do a very good
job, didn't even make a shot list, which wouldn't have
been tolerated on Herc or Xena. Most directors do a
shot list, they don't bother to storyboard. The contract
makes absolutely no reference to how I will direct the
film, it's just the deal I've made. I don't even know
who I'll be getting to play all of the secondary roles,
let alone the creatures, and the practical effects guys
are too busy building the full-size alien to make me
little ones. Oh, and Lee Majors can't do it.
question: Are you an idiot? I only ask this because
I read that "Saving Private Ryan"/Spielberg
bashfest of yours, and you seem to be quite the idiot.
Please answer promptly, thank you.
take it you disagree with my review. However, since
you seem to be an even bigger idiot than me, you were
obviously unable to form your opinions into writing
and share them with us. It means nothing to call me
an idiot regarding a review, if you disagree say why.
Are you nervous about going to a new country to direct
with a crew you don't know? If not, how do you keep
from getting frazzled?
question. I do all the prep work that is humanly possible
for me to do, like in this case I storyboarded the entire
film -- every single shot. Now I have a solid plan for
every scene, I know which effects are CGI and which
are practical, and which are both, and I have a very
specific, strong sense of what's needed in every scene.
I then got my storyboards to everybody in the crew (that's
been hired) about a month ago, so nobody can pretend
they don't know what I want. If I know for a fact that
I am more prepared than anyone else, and I have a visual
schematic that can be understood in any language, I'm
ready. And if I'm ready, then I can't get too frazzled.
Besides, most of the department heads are American.
I think this might help the person who was doing the
project on Sam; you mentioned this one time when asked
about why you thought ED was so successful: "I
think it's entirely based on Sam's direction, which
is somewhat audacious for such a low-budget movie. His
sense of camera movement is pretty impressive. Also,
the film has a lot more coverage (meaning individual
shots) than many higher budget movies." Not an
in-depth analysis by any means, but a quote that I still
Hey best of luck in Bulgaria. (I hear it's loaded with
tomatoes.) You may not recall, but back in the dark
ages of the previous millenium, when you were doing
"Kindred Spirits" and the two "Jack"
episodes, there were a lot of us who'd check in daily
just to see if you'd posted any update, no matter how
small or insignificant, on how shooting was going. Since
this is such a different project for you, and can potentially
open up so many doors, I know a lot of your fans would
appreciate anything you are able to share along the
way, even if it's observations on using a foreign crew,
or logistical problems, or frustration with network
bureaucracy, etc. etc.
And a totally unrelated question - did you ever get
into any of Roger Zelazny's work, especially his short
stories from the '60's?
for the quote. Yes, I will be checking in. I joined
AOL again just for this purpose, since they're the only
ones that have access numbers all over the world. I'm
not sure about the phone jack, electrical outlet situation
yet, but I'll deal with that there. And though I can't
specifically recall any of Zelazny's stories, I know
I've read several in sci-fi collections, in which he
is frequently included. Quite honestly, I don't see
how this film can open up many doors, other than possibly
another film for SciFi.