Q & A    Archive
Page 121

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

Dear Josh,

Tell us more about the whole looping process. Are there one or two big companies that specializes in that, and different production companies come in and use their facilities, project-by-project? Or does every production company have their own little sound studio for this?

And what sort of actors will they use for the replacement voices? Does SAG apply here? Or is there a special category for voice-over actors? Will you get to audition any of them or will someone just sort of assign them?

And how did it work with the "Jack" looping, when three of the leads were in NZ? Did they re-record their lines in a NZ studio, then send them to LA?

Thanks,

August

Dear August:

There are several looping groups, the most famous being Barbra Harris' Loop Group (she is not the Barbra Harris who's in "Nashville"). They show up at whatever sound facility you're using -- generally about four men and four women who are all SAG actors, and they just do every voice that needs to be replaced, or background voice that needs to be put in. One of them is in charge and sort of assigns the parts, but they know who is good at what voice. I love watching them work because they're so good and they don't fool around. I've personally never hired a loop group for my indie films so I don't know what they cost, but I guess it's a flat fee for a day, and probably not cheap. When we replaced the voice of the Minotaur we got a specific voice-over actor named Al Chalk, who did the front voice pieces for Herc and Xena ("Born in fire . . ."). He asked what I had in mind for the Minotaur's voice and I said something like Orson Welles. He then did a terrific Orson Welles impersonation and put in almost every line on the first try. It was very impressive to watch. Bruce, meanwhile, does his looping from wherever he is. He did "Jack" down in NZ, but he does most of it in Meford, OR, right near where he lives. I had to have Anthony Quinn replace some of his dialog and he did from Technicolor in Rome.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I was watching Trio tonight and I saw a documentary on "Heaven's Gate" which is a movie I have not yet to see. But it was a documentary on how it was such a bad flop. And since you have seen close to 4000 movies or more I was wondering if you've seen it and if you have a reason why you don't like it.. I heard it has an awful story but is beautifully filmed. I know how you generally hate films that have a lack of story but is that the only reason you didn't pick it as one of your favorite films, or is it more than that?

Your fan,


Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

"Heaven's Gate" is severely dull, poorly written, very badly cast, and goes on for eternity in both of its cuts. Yes, Vilmos Zsigmond did a wonderful job photographing it, and that will get you through about 10 or 15 minutes. Everything else is a disaster. The bottom-line is that Michael Cimino is not very talented at writing or directing, and all the money in the world won't change that. Absolutely his best film, and his only watchable film, is "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges, and it's pretty insignificant.

Josh

Name: Alice Schultz
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

Going back a few posts - I actually never knew till now that in Saving Private Ryan, you're supposed to mistake the man in the cemetary for Ryan. A friend had told me the whole plot before I ever saw the film, not drawing any attention that I can remembered to this twist, so that when I finally saw the film I already knew it was Ryan and never even noticed the ruse!

It sounds to me as though, in part, someone may have been trying to make Gallipoli with a difference - having your protagonist die at the end had been definitively done in that movie, so in Ryan, maybe, if they were going to revisit the idea they wanted to revisit it with something added on.

As to what exactly is really added by this, here's a thought: I doubt that the beach battle scene is as extraneous to the plot as your review said. All the agony of the movie, from first to last, is meant to give substance to Hanks's dying words, "make sure you're worth it" (or the like). What is striking about the aging veteran at the gravesite is his complete ordinariness - unquestionably, this person is neither rich nor "important" nor has won any Nobel Prizes. All he has left to hope for, then, is that he's been a good man. Is the single ordinary good human life then worth the sacrifice? That question would be the theme of the movie? And the tragedy, the irony, and the affirmation of the story all at once. If there's anybody whose life looked "worth" such a sacrifice by worldly evaluation, it's the educated and gifted and resourceful Hanks character. Therefore, the identity twist may actually exist to intensify the theme.

All in all, I find this a nobler not-quite-success than you do. If only, as you've said, they'd found a less confusingly irresponsible basic story line! OF COURSE people would never have sent a bunch of men off on such a mission. Meanwhile, surely there are adaptations of the same basic premise that might have worked.

Good to know that things went so well with the shoot in Bulgaria.
Best,

Alice

Dear Alice:

Making us think that Hanks is old man is a cinematic trick and nothing more. Throwing out a line like, "Make sure you're worth it," does not a theme make. The Normandy Invasion has nothing to do with the plot of finding Ryan, so it's therefore extraneous. Not to mention that those guys invading Normandy would never have been sent to find that guy in the Airborne. Nor would anyone have been sent to find him under any circumstances. It's shit garbage storytelling.

Josh

Name: Steve James
E-mail: stephen.james9@ntlworld.com

Dear Josh:

Great article - my only slight difference with you would be over Buddism and the Buddha - as this is more of a philosophy of life than a religion - no God is involved.

Having said that (hope you don't mind!) I think your article hits the nail on the head - and yes I totally agree that the world religions that each claim to have THE only answer to God etc are evil.

Best wishes

Steve (Fareham England)

Dear Steve:

If I had to choose one it would undoubtedly be Buddhism, but it too is a religion, and all religions are philosophies of life. To say there's no God in Buddhism isn't accurate, either, because you and I are God, which is a much more practical, workable view, I think. But God is the cosmic consciousness, which is what I think it is, if it can be explained at all. But I have several good Buddhists friends, and they take all of the folderol very seriously, like reincarnation, which is no more provable than Zeus's powers. So they all have their downsides, too.

Josh

Name: Nic
E-mail: agentcastle@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Are there any plans to release "Lunatics" on DVD? My pre-rented (stolen from ex-girlfriend's father's shop) copy has begun to show it's age...

I'll pay for it this time, promise.

Dear Nic:

Nope, no plans that I know of.

Josh

Name: kdn
E-mail: jericho_legends@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I watched A.I. the other night. It says on the inside of the box that Kubrick spent 20 years developing it... and spielberg only spent two months writing it. yup, that explains it. I thought the film had a good first act, but then it goes to shit halfway through the second act when you realize it has nothing to do with the stated theme or the characters from the beginning (I still like the idea that david was crazy and that it even freaked out the gigolo robot at the end. the kkk rally for robots reminded me of people going to guillotine beheadings for entertainment cause everyone went peacefully, but then this one lady went kicking, screaming, and crying all the way and people were immediately horrified and didn't want to attend anymore. that would've been funny if they slapped david on the face and it turned red)... that and the movie should've stopped once David tried to kill himself (a big hunk of metal is saved by a school of fish, then transported 2,000 years into the future... if spielberg was trying to give a nod to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY his story wasn't properly set up for it). I noticed FULL METAL JACKET went back to its theme, in the middle of the movie, Gomer Pyle says he's in a world of shit, blows away the drill instructor, then blew his brains out, at the end of the movie Joker's retort was he's in a world of shit but at least's he's alive. or BEN HUR, you can tell everything in Act One is going to come full circle by the end of Act Two when he thinks his family is dead and enters the chariot race to kill. Now back to A.I.'s theme, if a machine can love us back, what do we owe it in return. well if treating David like a machine drove him crazy, shouldn't that story come full circle on that and his family, not go out into la la land with the crazy robot getting his way (or worse than that, getting saved by a school of fish and traveling 2,000 years into the future). yup... two whole months on the screenplay... that explains it.

Dear kdn:

Not to mention it wasn't a great story to start with. And having a robot for a lead character is probably a mistake, too. I really found the whole film to be a deadly bore, and very, very poorly written.

Josh

Name: Sarge
E-mail: del23dtu@excite.com

Dear Josh;

Best of luck on Alien Apocalypse. Can't wait to see it. Having directed several episodes of Xena, I'm sure you heard that there are people (lots of them) who want to see a Xena movie on the big screen. With Lucy and Renee on board to star in it, Katherine Fugate to write it, would you be interested in directing if asked? What are your feelings about this and do you think there should be a Xena movie at all because of the way it ended?
Also I am curious as to how directors were chosen to direct episodes of Xena? Did it have to do with the content of the script and the director chosen because the script fit the style of a particular director? (in other words, why were you chosen, for example, to direct "Fins, Femmes and Gems" as opposed to John Fawcett or another director?) Take care.

Dear Sarge:

I could care less about a Xena movie, and since they couldn't get one up and running when the show was a hit, why would they bother now? Also, should it ever possibly be made, I sincerely doubt they'd get Lucy and Renee anymore. They'd probably get youngsters to play the parts. My little niche on Xena was the wacky comedy episodes, mainly because the Kiwi directors, though competent, just weren't very funny. But after about the 3rd season, they had switched mainly to Kiwi directors because they were about a 3rd of the price of Americans and didn't get residuals.

Josh

Name: Jim
E-mail: jeaganfilm@aol.com

Josh,

You actually have to loop all the Bulgarian actors? I hope they don't have too much to say in the film. It always looks weird to me when an actor has his/her voice replaced by another actor. I've never seen it work well. A Bulgarian accent sounds sort of russian, right? Anyway, best of luck with post. A month seems fairly reasonable to get a fine edit, assuming there aren't too many montage scenes and what have you. By the way, I've started putting together my own movie website, check it out if you get the chance: www.infusefilms.com.

Jim

Dear Jim:

Since the Bulgarian actors are all speaking English, you probably won't even notice that their voices have been replaced because it will sync up. The folks that do the looping in LA are real experts. They replaced voices constantly on Herc and Xena, and on "Jack of All Trades" they looped every single line no matter what, which I found insane. I replaced one of the actor's voices with another on "Hammer" and no one ever noticed. It's when the actors are speaking a different language and are dubbed that you notice.

Josh

Name: Brian Kilby
E-mail: Johnmichealk15@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Oh Sorry, i mean Fuck Yeah. he! he!

Dear Brian:

Not that I took it seriously, but there is a difference between fuck ya and fuck yeah.

Josh

Name: Juan
E-mail: juan_m_puig@yahoo.es

Dear Josh,

I have just bought your first movie (Thou shalt...) just because I was browsing through Mr B. Campbell page and I found it. I did it again, my girlfriend is going to be shouting at me when it arrives in the post. I hope it is worth it.

And I will have to buy the rest too at some point, oh nooooo!!!

Will my friends kill me if I make them watch it?

Dear Juan:

Maybe. Why don't you watch it first and see if it's worth showing your friends. Perhaps you'll want to stomp on it after you've seen it.

Josh

Name: aviv wolkowicki
E-mail: avivw1@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

how do you control the actors so they don't give you a hard time?

Dear aviv:

I don't control actors, I work with them. I have a job to do and so do they. We all do our jobs. When you shoot a feature film in 17 or 18 days, there's no time for shitting around.

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: thisisjohnrambo@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

I'm glad to hear the film went so well and that it was cut early, will definitely be looking forward to its release. And I am so glad you have a sex scene with Renee in there- I can't wait to see the film! Foreplay can be very hot I'm sure!

Also, I have a question about Renee's part. Since it was originally written for Lucy, did it remain exactly the same when Renee accepted it or were there any changes? Curious.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

The part wasn't written for Lucy. Hell, Lucy was probably still in high school when I wrote the script. I don't really write with actors in mind, although Bruce playing the lead occurred to me pretty early on. And no, I didn't change anything when Renee was cast.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: Jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I was watching "Russkies" the other day and noticed that your buddy Sheldon Lettich wrote it (as well as all my favorite Jean Claude Van Damme vehicles and "Only the Strong" my favorite martial arts movie ever) and while I was watching "Russkies" I noticed that there is a guy named Raimey in it. Was that a reference to Sam? "Russkies" was fun but I felt some of the acting was bad. Are you planning on ever working with Sheldon on something again? Cause that would be cool.

Your fan,
Jon

Dear Jonathan:

No, I doubt it. Sheldon's and my political points of view have become so divergent over the years -- he to the right; I to the left -- that we now have difficulty talking. Besides, he sticks pretty exclusively to martial arts films -- he's shooting "Bloodsport 5" right now -- and I can't even watch those kinds of films. And yes, I'd say his naming a character Raimey is homage to Sam.

Josh

Name: DS
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

What are some of your all-time favorite film scores?

Dear DS:

Bernard Herrmann's "Taxi Driver," "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad," "Mysterious Island," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "Farenheit 451;" Jerry Goldsmith's "Patton," "MacArthur," "Alien;" Elmer Bernstein's "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Great Escape," "Walk on the Wild Side;" Jerome Morros's "The Big Country," Alex North's "Spartacus;" Hugo Friedfofer's "The Best Years of Our Lives;" John Williams' "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Fury," "Jaws;" Maurice Jarre's "Lawrence of Arabia;" Nino Rota's "The Godfather, "Romeo and Juliet;" Isaac Hayes's "Shaft;" Alfred Newman's "Airport;" Quincy Jones's "In the Heat of the Night," to name a few.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: **********************

Dear Josh:

Will the final cut on Alien Apocalypse be 2 hours including commercials??? If commercials are included in the total run time, do you and the editor have to take into consideration where the commercial breaks will be so that they don't come in the middle of a very intense scene. That must really add a lot of complexity and time to the editing process

Dear Warren:

Yes, it will be 2 hours with commercials, which is 88 minutes without. That's eight 11-minute acts, all of which were broken up in the script, and all of which were accomodated for in the shooting. If my pre-planning holds true it shouldn't be an issue in editing.

Josh

Name: Jo
E-mail: jo.field@ntlworld.com

Hi Josh,

In reference to your last reply...Renee should really set up her own website, it would be great for all her fans to have some way to show her our appreciation of her and her work!! Would you mind asking her when and where i can get a copy of her film "Dimonds and Guns" (I live in England and cant seem to find it anywhere on the internet to buy!!)
So how much longer are you guys going to be Bulgaria for now that the filmings comming to an end, will all the editing process be done out there or are you going back to the US to do it? I also wanted to know if you, Bruce or Renee will be attending the Spiderman2 premire? (Sam Raimi's work is legendary) I know that Bruce is in the film and wondered if he would be back to go to it. I would also like to know if you have worked with Lucy since the end of Xena? or if you've got anything lined up for the future that she will feature in...would you consider directing a film with both Lucy and Renee in? Cuz it would be great!!! A sell out hit no matter what the story line!!!
thanx for your time
All the best and lots of love
JO xx

Dear Jo:

All of the post will be done in L.A. I won't be seeing Renee anymore, or until we work together again. She might have to come in for some dialog replacement, but I certainly won't bother her about inconsequentia. Bruce will undoubtedly be at the "Spiderman" premiere, but not I as I have nothing to do with it. I'd love to work with Lucy and Renee in a film, I just have to come up with something that they both like, that I can get financed.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Josh,

I'm glad to hear that your experience on Alien Apocalypse was a positive one, and it sounds like all of your preparation in pre-production paid off. Did you approach pre-production like Hitchcock did, where every shot was meticulously story boarded? Did you ever find yourself improvising shots on the fly? Wraping a day early must have impressed the EPs. My last question is, have you seen most of the dailies, and are you happy with the way the DP shot the film? Good luck with the looping sessions. BTW-I'm glad Peter Jason worked out, i've always admired his work.

Dear Scott:

Yes, I storyboarded the whole film, and reasonably soon I'll post all of them, too. I guess I stuck to them about 90%. I really don't like to improvise, certainly not on this kind of schedule and with this sort of sprawling action story. I came up with the rare new shot to accomodate something I couldn't envision while boarding, like a wide side angle of the bughouse -- the alien's main building -- which was built so huge it deserved a shot to show it's immensity, which everyone will no doubt think is a digital effect. I've seen all of the dailies and they look great. David Worth is a wonderful, fast, no bullshit DP, and I'll work with him again in a second. He also has a great sense of humor and laughs like a maniac when he finds something funny (Bruce cracked him up just like he does me). Peter Jason was a real. true pro, and complete pleasure to work with.

Josh

Name: Mel
E-mail: **********************************

Hello Josh, just wanted to say your work is great, and its really good to hear your working with Bruce again(The guys a legend!)Please send him all my love and keep a bit for yourself while your at it!! All the best with the new film,im sure it will be as good as the others! Mel. x x

Dear Mel:

Thanks.

Josh

Name: Amber
E-mail: amberhanson1984@hotmail.com

Hey Josh,
I was just wondering about a few things...

1. How much responsibility do you believe the director has to have when it comes to things such as paperwork and other such things like release forms?

2. How much money do you think is the minimum for putting into a small indie film of about 40-50 min mark or is it just all up to the director and judging by his vision?

3. Do you think that a smaller film should go to larger artists for the soundtrack or just stick to smaller, even local, bands.

Thanks for your time.

Dear Amber:

If you have any thoughts of bringing in a real distibution company, then you'd better try to get all the paperwork necessary, like release forms for everything. If you work with SAG actors then there is a new shit-load of paperwork. It's all part of the fun. Meanwhile, why make a 40-50 minute film, it's too short for release. You need at least 75 minutes, I'd say, but 80 is more practical. Below 60 minutes is considered a short anyway. You can go to any musicians you can get to, but who can you afford? They don't give their music away, you have to pay for it. At the end of "Lunatics" we have the song "Strangers in the Night." The actual Frank Sinatra recording cost $75,000, so we just got the lyric rights, which were $7,500, then got a Sinatra sound-alike.

Josh

Name: Cath
E-mail: mscl@ix.netcom.com

Josh -

Did you have a moment to ponder that you were filming "Alien Apocalypse" in Bulgaria -- once Thrace?

And that Spartacus was Thracian?

And that you described your movie as a "blend" of "Spartacus" and "Lawrence of Arabia" meet "Planet of the Apes"?

Maybe you were too busy, but I find it kind of "karmic" and just had to point it out.

Hope all is well and that you're recovering from the experience and ready to move the film along to the nextsteps in the process. Any idea when the SciFi Channel plans to air it?

BTW: I have always liked "Friendly Persuasion" (per recent message from another poster), both for Gary Cooper and for Dorothy McGuire's performance as the Mother. It is a film that wears well. I can even tolerate Pat Boone's singing during the opening score, because the movie is that entertaining and solid.

Also, thank you for your reply to my previous question on curbing "runaway production." I was not aware of the issue with residuals and now have a new avenue for my research. I'm interested in the way the film industry creates direct and indirect jobs and its effect on local economies.

There are some efforts in Congress no less to curb the rush to make films in cheaper locations. This is a "bread and butter" issue for some areas of California.

Boxer and Feinstein (California's Senators) are supportinga $170 billion corporate tax bill with a provision promoted by the Gov (Ahnold S.)that would give American movie producers a tax credit of up to $15 million to do their filming at home. This is per a "Sacramento Bee" newspaper article on 5/24/04.

Anyway, thanks for providing this venue to discuss and learn more about one of my favorite subjects -- movies.

-Cath

Dear Cath:

Yes, yes and yes. Yes, I knew I was in ancient Thrace, and I also knew that the common perception is that Spartacus was Thracian, although Colleen McCullough seriously disputes that in her Roman books -- she says he was Italian, a Roman citizen, was in the Roman army and his company mutinied, they were caught and were all sold into slavery and he ended up as a gladiator who fought in the Thracian style. And yes, I did know about the producer's tax credit bill, but these were certainly all worthy, interesting subjects to bring up. Tax credits are great, but they still need to address a lot of other things, like the in perpetuity residual obligation to producers. The main issue, of course, is labor costs. A grip in the U.S. gets about $500 U.S. a day; a grip in Bulgaria probably doesn't make that per week. That's the difference between being able to make the film and not being able to make it, not to blame it solely on grips, mind you. American crews, I've found, can kick the ass of any other crew in the world, but they've priced themselves out of the market. Last year of the 88 TV movies made for U.S. television, 83 were shot outside the U.S.

Josh

Name: james gordon
E-mail: half_life282000@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I must completely disagree with this review, Your comment on General Marshal is false, there was an incident like the events in the movie, thus inspiring the events of the film. Also you comments about the movie being complete Bull shit, is a bad way to put it, you are either to immature or just plane dumb to see Spielberg was trying to get the emotions of war. The old man has every right to cry about what he saw, next time dont be so fuckin dense and take if from someone who was there that year, someone like me

Dear James:

A. I suspect you're referring to my review of "Saving Private Ryan," B. if you want to call someone immature and dense, you might try forming a complete sentence, learning to spell, and not writing like a 5-year-old, C. General George Marshall did not ever say anything of the sort, what was said, regarding the Sullivan brothers, who were all on the same ship during the war, which was sunk and all five lost their lives, was that brothers could no longer be stationed on the same ship, which is a far different thing than the idiotic plot in the film, D. I had no issue with the old man crying at the beginning, I have a big issue with tricking the audience into believing the old man is Tom Hanks, which of course it isn't, which I believe is blatant, horrible manipulation of the worst sort and really bad storytelling technique.

Josh

Name: Nick el Ass
E-mail: therealnickelass@yahoo.com

Hi,Josh

I'm a huge fan of Bruce Campbell(and member of deadites.net)I was just wondering what made you pick Bruce for Alien Apocalypse and if he was your first choice for the part.Sorry if this has been asked before.

p.s Good luck with the movie we are all looking forward to seeing it.Say hi to Renee for me and Tell Bruce to hurry with his new book,lol.

Dear Nick:

Bruce was my first choice and Bruce agreeing to do it was what made the deal happen. He's really good in it, too. So's Renee.

Josh

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

Dear Josh -

Just wanted to wish you a "good luck" on your production. Movies are a little bit better now that there's a new Josh Becker film in the works! Also, I'd actually prefer Peter Jason rather than Lee Majors. He's on the commentary for John Carpenter's "Prince Of Darkness" and does indeed sound very funny.
Oh yeah - now on to the question.
How long will you get to edit the picture?

All the best!

PS: picked up your man Wyler's "Friendly Persuasion" - you're right! It's quite a picture, and now my favorite Cooper performance.

Dear Aaron:

Yeah, "Friendly Persuasion" is a great film, and there's nothing else like it, either. And what a great premise -- a Quaker family that believes there is never a reason to fight who then get caught in the middle of the the Civil War. It's one thing to have beliefs, and it's a whole different thing to have those beliefs tested. And Coop's as good as he ever was in films, which is pretty damn good.

Anyway, I'm supposed to get the editor's assembly in three weeks, then I'll probably have a week to do my director's cut. I'll also supervise the looping, which will be extensive, since every Bulgarian actor, which is most of them, will have their voices replaced, as well as the sound mix.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: **********************

Dear Josh:

I did look up Peter Jason and you're right. I've seen him in a lot of things. He really does get around.

It's great to read your description of working with Bruce and Renee as real Pros. I hope that, someday, any folks I have the priviledge of working with in the industry will describe me in the same terms. Always prepared, a good actor, fun to work with and a real pro. That would be reward enough for my efforts. To be know in that way. Thanks again for repsonding to these posts.

Dear Warren:

So I worked with Peter Jason today and he's a consummate pro, making something out of nothing with complete conviction. He also has a great sense of humour and tells terrific stories about the endless amount of people he's worked with, which is just about everyone.

Josh

Name: David
E-mail: kilroy@juno.com

Dear Josh:

Sex scene between Bruce and Renee huh. Imaginations will be running wild I assure you.

But i have to ask.......where they clothed during the filming of this scene, and were they comfortable doing it; just curious how much modesty was present on set?

Also, do you know how Renee's family is doing.....are they with her over there or are they back home?

Dear David:

It's not even a sex scene, it's the foreplay leading up to one, and they are both fully clothed. But I think it's very well-played, and even possibly touching.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

For the "fugitive filmmaker" who was curious about fake sex scenes - a scene in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" comes to mind, where the bad guys see Heather Graham and Mike Meyers in silhouette, appearing to be doing all sorts of kinky stuff - when in reality, she's simply unpacking a knapsack.

There was a similiar bit on Saturday Night Live years ago where a couple is putting grocery items in the 'fridge, and the power goes out - so we're treated to all sorts of lines in the dark about "let me grab those melons" and "that cucumber is so big" and so forth.

Come to think of it, Renee had a scene with Tim Thomerson like that in the Xena episode "The Prodigal" - she makes all sorts of ecstatic moans from within a tent to distract some guards.

Anyway, glad shooting went so well. What's the story with this Rossi girl? What's her full name, and has she done anything else?

Regards,

August

Dear August:

I wrapped the film a couple of hours ago. It was scheduled for 18 days and I pulled it in in 17. The footage looks just fine, and now if it all cuts together, and the CGI FX look good, all will be well. I have no idea what Rossi's last name is, but she sure is attractive, particularly in the sexy, Pebbles outfit she wears in this film. She's been in several of the cheap-shit Millenium, Nu-Image films they shoot here in Bulgaria.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: **********************

Dear Josh:

I had heard, somewhere, that Lee Majors had to drop out of the project and was wondering whom you had picked to do the part. Haven't heard from you for a few days and hope everything is still going well.

Dear Warren:

I didn't pick anybody, the executive producer picked Peter Jason, who seems to have been in every movie ever made. I just had breakfast with him and he's a real character, and very funny. I have no doubt he'll be great in the part. If you look him up on IMDB you'll immediately say, "Oh, him, I've seen him a million times."

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Running Time was great. I really loved it.

(SPOILER)...


I was expecting Bruce to come out of the closet anytime when she was putting her clothes in the laundry basket and say, "I thought I was going in to the laundry business" or something like that.


I'm trying my best to work on my new feature. It's going slower than I hoped but thats actually to be expected. I'm hoping since it's a sketch comedy and lots of characters that I can get everybody together at seperate days to work on the scenes. I can't do a big rehearsal so I'm just kind of meeting with all my actors and going through the script one by one to see how they're doing the lines and if they are doing it like I wanted them to. It's tough but in the end it will pay off considering I like the script alot and its one I've been wanting to do.

Once again good luck to you, Renee, and Bruce out there. May you guys get many more offers and I can't wait to see, "Thou Shalt Not Kill Except..." and I'm gonna go listen to the commentary on "Running Time" now... Have fun out there. Your fan,

Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

My good buddy Paul made a comedy film that all occurs at one party, and he shot it over the course of a few years. He actually threw two big parties and got a bunch of wide shots, then shot individual bits with two, three or four people when he was able to, and it all went together very well. It's a smart way to make a feature film.

Josh

Name: L. D. Jones
E-mail: ldjones1@mindspring.com

Josh,

RE: ALIEN APOCALYPSE
Thanks for your last response. You have been very good about providing bits and pieces about Renee during filming and I have been consolidating them and feeding them on to Mary Brooks for her “What’s New at AUSXIP” web site. I’ve run into one small glitch. I can’t find any pictures. I know you didn’t bring a camera but maybe one of the crew did. Renee usually always takes a digital with her. If you could come up with one or two digital (Renee in a NASA space suit would be AWESOME) and email them to me, I can promise you they will be on “What’s New at AUSXIP” the very next day for all her fans to enjoy. And if you can't, what the hell at least I tried.

You said: “This film is certainly not testing her strengths very much, it's just a silly sci-fi action piece, but she's doing great, as always.” I agree with you 100%. The question is; “What does she have to do th get the kind of role that will show the world what a great actor she is”?

Thanks for all your feedback and all of you have a safe trip back home!

LD

Dear LD:

Well, I guess she has to work more. This is the first film she's made since Xena went off. She did get married and have a kid, which is meaningful stuff to most people (I assume, since I don't know for a fact). But it's not easy getting work in films or TV, that's just how it is, and getting good parts is almost impossible now since almost no one makes anything that's any good at all. It's not Renee's fault, she's up for anytuing that's thrown at her, and handles it all like it's easy. So does Bruce. That's what being a pro means.

Josh

Name: Fugitive filmmaker
E-mail:

Hey Josh.

I'm a very small time filmmaker who has ended up in a potentially messy legal battle. As such, I have an odd question for you: how many movies can you name that include instances of characters appearing to have sex but not actually simulating intercourse? All I can think of now are the scene you dislike in "American Beauty" where the guy thinks Spacey and his son are screwing around, and the little bit from "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" where Robin and Marian are behind a curtain and appear to be getting busy, but are actually just fumbling with her dress or something.

Ridiculous, I know, but my ass is on the line and I'm trying to cover every angle I can. I know you're extremely busy, and I appreciate your continuance of this Q&A even while working. Can't wait to see your film, and I hope you continue to enjoy your time away from the "land of the free."

Dear FF:

It's an interesting question, and I'll bet there are clearer minds reading this who can come up with other examples, as I'm sure there must be. Sadly, my mind is too cloudy to focus right now. I hope you work out your legal issues.

Josh

Name: Jon Kenworthy
E-mail: monsterkilledbylaser@yahoo.co.uk

Hi Josh

A year or two back I asked some lame questions regarding film making and you were polite enough to reply (I thank you Sir Josh of Beckershire). Anyway that said I think its great that your getting to make another movie, I just hope it gets a DVD release as your commentaries (w/ Bruce) on Running Time and TSNKE are potentially the best I've heard. Anyway ass kissin' aside, I noticed Trainspotting was on your list and wondered if you'd read the book or any of Irvine Welsh' other novels? Also I vaguely remember you mentioning 24 Hour Party People on the board sometime back and wanted to know what you thought of it?

Sorry for the incessant rambling

Jon Kenworthy

Dear John:

There's nothing incessant about it. No, I haven't read any of those books. I liked "24 Hour Party People," and I'd say it's one of the better films of the past few years, although I have no interest in watching it again. It did make me laugh several times.

Josh

Name: Eric Rosenthal
E-mail: eric30202002@yahoo.com

Hey Josh,

Thanks for answering my questions on looping dialog a while back. Your tip about performance being the most important thing was good. One thing I learned is that looping is a pain in the ass and I'd like to get better production sound. On a low budget set I visited there were 2 sound guys, a boom guy and a mixer. Why do you need a mixer on the set, can't you just record the sound on set and mix it later? Are booms or lavalier mics preferrable in general or does it depend?
Thanks and best of luck on Alien Apocalypse!

Eric

Dear Eric:

Sound levels go up and down, different actors speak at varying levels, and you want to keep them all in the right range. This is what makes production sound good or not. Sound mixers definitely prefer boom mics to lav mics becuase lavoliers, which are placed on the actor's bodys, always pick up clothes rustle.

Josh

Name: Cath
E-mail: mscl@ix.netcom.com

Josh -

Thank you for keeping us updated on "Alien Apocalypse" and for your comments on film and politics. This in the middle of making a movie!

Enjoyed your essay on Bush and his lies. Iraq is a disaster and we need to "fire" Dubya come November. (Actually, justice would demand something stronger than not allowing him another term, but I don't see that happening.)

Anyway, three questions for you, if you have time:

1. In addition to lower costs, what are the other advantages to filming in Bulgaria (not including the lovely women)?

2. What can the U.S. film industry do to curb this runaway production (the flight of film production to other countries)? Too late maybe?

3. I've read about Bruce's imitation of Kirk Douglas, and understand that he can do a great Elvis. But, does Renee O'Connor do any imitations? (Not of Elvis or Kirk, of course, but I know she's talented, so I wouldn't be too surprised.)

Hope all continues to go well and the film comes in on time and under budget. And that you have/had a good time making it.

-Cath

Dear Cath:

I've had a great time making this film. It's been wonderful getting to bring a story I've had for 14 years to life, and I simply love this process, even if it's really kicked my ass this time -- I feel like I've been running a marathon everyday for the past six weeks. No, Renee doesn't do any imitations that I know of, but then most people don't. Bruce just happens to be very talented at it, and it makes me scream with laughter every single time. I also do imitations, but not as well as him. Bruce's Sean Connery is hysterical. He does him as though it were near the end of the shooting day when his dentures are so loose that he slurs so badly you can barely understand him.

Regarding your other questions, many films are shooting in Eastern Europe strictly because of the costs -- everything here is cheaper, particularly labor, which is the main issue in film production. I wrote Michael Apted, the president of the DGA, a long letter before I left to make this film making a number of suggestions to curb runaway production. Not only did I not get an answer, I find that Mr. Apted is here in Sofia making a film. Well, if the president of the DGA is in Bulgaria making films, why shouldn't everyone else? One of the biggest problems, I think, is all the guilds (DGA, SAG, and WGA) sticking the producers with "in perpituity residuals" obligation. No low-budget producers will take on any lifetime obligations and it's just plain-old stupid to try and stick them with it. These rules were conceived 30 or 40 years ago when the producer was also the distributor, but that's no longer the case. It's the distributor who should be paying residuals since they profit the most from the films and the TV shows. Good questions.

Josh

Name: Jeff Burr
E-mail: JeffCBurr@AOL.com

Josh...I have been talking to Goody recently and he has told me you're heading into the homestretch of your shoot. Just wanted to say kick arse in the final week or so, and it sounds like you've broken the back of the film. (a term Clu Gulager taught me from his Universal days) Sounds like a fun picture, and I read you have peter Jason. Do you know he worked on Welles' Other Side of the Wind extensively? I always liked his work. And please tell Bruce to break a leg on the rest of your shoot and his film too! Can't wait to see 'em...and knowing TV post schedules, I won't have to wait long! Knock em dead. Best, Jeff

Dear Jeff:

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it. I have one day left, so I can't fuck it too badly anymore, unless I already have, that is. I know you took it as a back-handed compliment, but still think you set up great shots, and the more I work the more I admire that ability, which is perhaps not my strongest suit.

Josh

Name: Jo
E-mail: jo.field@ntlworld.com

Hi Josh,

It is so nice to recieve a reply from you, it is very rarely that people take the time to reply to their fan's questions and comments...thanks so much for passing on my comments to Bruce & Renee, your a quality bloke!
I wish you all the best
Luv Jo xx

Dear Jo:

It's my pleasure, and Renee was happy to hear it. I suggested that she start her own website so she can get her own fan letters, and she's considering it. Working with her again has been great.

Josh

Name: Gwen
E-mail: deadgirldown@yahoo.com

Hi Josh!

So I'm a member of this Yahoo group about filmmaking, and somebody sent a post with a link to a screenwriting website. I clicked the link, and they wanted $2.99 from me to read an article about story structure using Andrew Kevin Walker's "8MM" as a model. Frankly, I was appalled. I hope you don't mind, but I sent a post with links to your wonderful essays on structure in the hopes that no aspiring screenwriters in the group would lay down their hard-earned $2.99 for advice from the man responsible for "BrainScan" and "Sleepy Hollow". (He also wrote "Se7en", which was just fine and dandy until it imploded in the third act.)

You have said that one of the reasons movies are so ridiculous these days is that the writer is basically ignored in Hollywood. This is probably true, but another big reason is that quite often bad writers are trumpeted as good writers, and bad screenplays are held up as models for aspiring screenwriters to follow. This I can attest to with certainty. When people who are supposed to know this stuff swear to the novice that bad is good, it only seems logical that the average novice would take that as truth. I am so incredibly grateful to have > found you. Hopefully, instead of paying $2.99 to be fed a steaming load of excrement, the people to whom I sent the links will take your very good (and very FREE) advice and write something worth their time and effort.

Funny you should mention "The Vikings". I just watched that the night before last. Ye gods, Janet Leigh's bosoms are conical in that picture.

I hope all is well with you. Please send Bruce my undying love and devotion, and keep a little for yourself while you're at it. ;)

Kisses,
Gwen

Dear Gwen:

I'm very pleased you enjoyed my story structure essays and got something from them. Send the links to anyone you'd like since that's the point, everyone who wants to write screenplays needs to know this info. And it shouldn't cost anything. I must disagree about "Seven," which a friend of mine termed, "A mystery for idiots," which I heartily agree with. The cops never figure anything out, they keep getting calls saying, "There's been another murder," they show up at a room covered in blood, then go back to the police station and scratch their heads, never find a clue or figure out anything, then the killer turns himself in. Now that's a bad plot. And the big twist at the end has FedEx delivering to the 137th phone pole in the middle of the desert. Shit, they won't even deliver to a P.O. box.

Josh

Name: Rich
E-mail: parselmouth73@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Hi, Are you ever going to try and make "above the line" a movie again? I read the script and I could deffinately see someone like Angelina Jolie as Cathy

Dear Rich:

There's this thing called financing, which I don't have. However, I'm glad you think it should be made, But I think Angelina Jolie is too young for the part.

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: thisisjohnrambo@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

How's it going? It's great to hear Alien Apocalypse is going so well, best of luck on that. I was wondering is Bruce playing the role in a more serious manner or is there any comedy involved in this? I thought he was awesome as Autolycus and he can definitely do serious roles too. Also it's great to hear that Renee is doing so well and that she is so gorgeous...with all due respect...I just have to ask...will there be any sex scenes? Please tell me there will be sex scenes!

Anyway great movie it sounds like, the plot sounds awesome and you have a very stellar cast with Bruce and Renee. You know you remind me of a friend I have, sometimes he sounds like you and might have a similar sense of humor. But you sometimes get some odd characters asking questions here and I'm surprised they come here to insult you, they should know better. I'm glad you don't let it get to you.

Also about our earlier discussion I know what you mean, I guess we all have our opinions. I saw Walter Conkrite once and asked him a couple questions, he has a very deep voice I remember.

Well, best wishes on the film.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

In fact there is a sex scene between Bruce and Renee, but it's handled very discreetly, and I think it turned out rather sweet and touching. They both played it wonderfully. I have one more day of shooting and that's all she wrote. I will then have brought the film in a day early, too. Oddly, once I got ahead of schedule they used the money for day #18 elsewhere, so now I can't have it even if I want it. That'll teach me not to shoot too fast. I think it's all turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself, but we'll all see soon enough. The film is already being cut.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Bruce doing Kirk Douglas, I would pay to see that. He's absolutely got the chin for it. All we'd have to do is CGI in the dimple, he he he.

Dear Warren:

Bruce does a dead-nuts perfect Kirk Douglas impression, which slaughters me every single time. He did it for Janet Leigh once, doing the lines from "The Vikings"--"Bite, kick, scratch!"

Josh

Name: Brian Kilby
E-mail: johnmichaelk15@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Hi I'm Kilby, I met Paul at the Kroger Bank maybe about 2 or 3 weeks ago, pretty cool guy, I was talking about Bruce and then he came along and said he knew him, i said so do I, bla bla bla. Anyway he mentioned he was working on a film, and asked if I would be intrested, Well Fuck Ya. I thought you would be working with him and if you are I want you to know that some of the best movies I have ever seen have been yours, the work you two do together, Running Time is fucking sweet, Lunitics gave Ted the chance to rock, these are the reasons why I do film.
So continue on to create inspiration.
Brian Kilby.

Dear Brian:

Well, thanks, and fuck ya, too. That's a compliment, right?

Josh

Name: Jo
E-mail: jo.field@ntlworld.com

Josh, loving all your work and i cant wait until the new film comes out...with two of my fav actors as the leads and a quality director, its gunna be a winner!! I would be very grateful if you could pass on my admiration for both Bruce and Renee, I love them both and think that they should be in more films/TV show cuz i miss them loads.
Thanks luv Jo x

Dear Jo:

Well, they're both great to work with, and I'll pass along your regards.

Josh

Name: Dooley
E-mail: iamdooley@aol.com

Hey Josh,

What was it like working on Hawg Wild in Sturgis? Are you a Harley fan? Who did you work with?

Cheers Mate,
Dooley

Dear Dooley:

I don't own a Harley, or any motorcycle for that matter (I'm too big of a klutz and would kill myself), but they do interest me. I enjoyed working on that film, and liked all the bikers I met. And, of course, the women all keep pulling up their t-shirt and showing their breasts, which was an extra. We shot a guy called The Shit-house Jumper, who had a wooden outhouse, had 100 people shit in it, set it on fire, then drove his motorcycle through it, which was unique. The whole thing was an experience.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

Glad shooting is going so well, and that Bulgarian babes are making such an impression on you. Told ya the place was loaded with tomatoes.

Two quick questions: What sort of hair style is Renee doing for this film? (Blonde? Brunette? Short? Long?)

And - when you did your two "Jack of All Trades" episodes, did you ever have any interaction with Eric Morris, who's credited as "supervising producer," but I gather worked on the original concept of the show?

Regards,

August

Dear August:

I never met the guy. Renee's hair is blonde and kind of long, and she looks very cute.

Josh

Name: Amber
E-mail: amberhanson1984@hotmail.com

Hey Josh,

How many projects would you recomend taking on at one point? I am currently beginning filming on one film but the problem is, I didn't write it so I don't feel that drawn to it, but it's work. Do you think I should begin pre-production on my own film which I wrote or hold off until this movie is over?

Dear Amber:

If you're not drawn to it, why are you working on it? And since you are, give it your all, then do your own film. One at a time seems sufficient to me. Good luck.

Josh

Name: Magdalene
E-mail: xeenah47@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

My name is Magdalene and i just saw your behind-the-scenes pictures with lucy lawless on xena and i was just wondering how is it like working with her? im a really big fan of her. =)

Dear Magdalene:

It was great, but the show was canceled three years ago, so I don't work with her anymore. I am working with Renee O'Conner right now and she's wonderful.

Josh

Name: George Pilalidis
E-mail: agamemmnon@msn.com

Thanks josh,I'll get one Power Dictionary in Englisch,and i try to pay more attention, in this what i'am written for.Ha!ha!ha!josh 12 years ago i have say... that i like Romania to,and in the end i have married there,my wife is half Romanian, and half Hungarian.Can i ask, how much long time you stay there Josh? George.

Dear George:

I have 6 more days of shooting this week, one day off, then 2 more the next week, then I leave the next day. It's been a wonderful experience, so far (knock on wood). There sure are a lot of pretty girls in this neck of the woods. The girl who plays the babe in this film, Rossi, is ridiculously pretty, and giving a pretty good performance, too.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Thanks for passing the message along to Bruce. Also thanks for taking the time out of what must be an incredible hectic schedule to not only read the posts but to answer them. Good onya!!!!

Dear Warren:

I told Bruce, and he smiled and nodded. Meanwhile, between takes Bruce keeps playing the part as Kirk Douglas and making me scream with laughter.

Josh

Name: Kristie
E-mail: mtkg@juno.com

Dear Josh:

i don't have a comment i have a question, you see i have a scriped i wrote and i was wondering if you could help me make it good enough to put it into movie form, my family and i are having some problems and i thought this might help them out. I know this sounds dumb please i would really like the help with it because i love your work that you do and i think you could do a great job dircting it if i could get some help from you to get it to be good enough for a moive. Thank you for your time. please get back to me a.s.a.p please.

Dear Kristie:

If you've got a movie to make, go make it. I'll make my movies, thank you very much.

Josh

Name: George Pilalidis
E-mail: agamemmnon@msn.com

Dear Josh.

Troy??? ha! Homer and Aeschylus,if they see that movie, they turn in one's graves ,why they don't ask me, to write the story and the script.But never minde,there is never to late.George

Dear George:

Your grasp of English seems to increase with every email. I'll see "Troy" on cable, I'm busy making a movie right now which is WAY better than watching them. I like Bulgaria a lot.

Josh

Name: kdn
E-mail: jericho_legends@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Just watched BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE GREAT ESCAPE, RAN, THE SHINING (I hope you liked the shining, I don't know), THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD... no wonder you hate CLUE. If the rest of the movies on that list are as good as these you can shoot down all my favorite films. Still working on the movie count, I read through 10,000 bad movie titles on imdb and only came up with 81 (which is bullshit I've seen more than that, they were all either bad movies or title listed between 1910 and 1940 or films I've never even heard of I've mostly seen films from 1960 and up (only a few lower than that). I'll have to get to get a film book or something cause there has got to be a better way to count this shit than this). for a rundown on all these awful titles even you've never seen, go to imdb and do a search on film titles: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z. it'll pop up with 50,000 titles of shit. Is it just me or was there a musical number in BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (the whistling march,goddamn that's a cool movie) Also, do you know if THE SHINING was ever released in widescreen? It said on the dvd that Kubrick intended it to be released in fullscreen, which makes sense, it makes the film a little more claustrophobic. also, on the bad movie release: I saw LEONARD PART 6 recently... I was would say its better than PLUTO NASH but damn man, this is too awful. It made me cringe.

Dear kdn:

I compiled my list in 1979, when I was 21 years old, at the behest of my late friend Rick, who would not take me seriously as an obsessed film geek until I sat down and made the list. I used Leonard Maltin's book, Steven Sheuer's book, and Rick lent me his Academy Award reminder lists from 1927-28 through 1978. I then went through them all and checked them off, with the criteria that I had seen the entire film, not just part of it. I included films I had seen on TV, as long as it was in its entirety and without commercials. It came to less than 1,500 titles, which really shocked the hell out of me because I thought the total would be twice as high. Since then I've seen another 2,500 entire films, and I've written them down as I've seen them, so those 2,500 are in the order watched. I have sat through many, many films just so that I could put them on my list.

Josh

Name: dustin
E-mail: dustglas@hotmail.com

hey josh!

have some fun and shoot a fun feature while you are over there! screw that last guy that wrote in. there is so much room for a fun "low budget" movie about an alien apocalypse in a culture run amuck with > big budget bull crap, complete with no plot and/or characters.

keep on keepin' on.

back when i had read the script, i know the president was kind of a pussy, afraid of coming out of hiding, but eventually rallies the people. i could be wrong but i think i'm right. it's been a while since i've read it. any worries at all that this might make people think you are pro gdubyah? i know i'm kinda pulling that outta my ass but you know, people can read way too into things. i'm just stoked about

Josh Becker's

ALIEN APOCALYPSE

Dear Dustin:

I'm clearly a liberal Democrat, but my favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt, was a Republican. So was Abe Lincoln, so there not all bad. The Republican presidents of the past 20 years or so have been a horror, but I don't condemn them all (hey, my dad's a Republican). But George Bush, Jr. is really a stupid, evil man, and the sooner we're rid of his creepy, lying ass, the better.

Josh

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

Josh,

I watched "Fins, Femmes and Gems" the other day with my two sons and they were rolling on the floor laughing. I've said it before and I'll say it again; you have a flair for comedy. It also brought to my mind that it's too bad Ted isn't able to showcase his talents more. Good vehicles are just hard to come by, I suppose.

I also wanted to ask you, if you don't mind, about Alexandra Tydings. She was briefly in "Fins" but it seems to me you worked with her several times. I've long thought that she is in part responsible for global warming and wondered if you have any reminiscences of her. She seems to have rather disappeared lately.

I see that "Troy" is "...loosely based" on "The Illiad". Morons. I suppose they didn't think the story as written would have enough staying power. It wasn't that long ago I could at least be intrigued > by movie trailers. Now even the trailers are designed to make the thinking person stay away.

I hope your enjoying your time in Bulgaria. My mother would have added, "Don't forget to take pictures." I guess you're covering that bit.

John

Dear John:

I don't have time to take pictures, nor did I even bring a camera. We are using several large 35mm cameras everyday, so that's enough for me. Alex Tydings is a babe, and a sweetheart, too. She's an intellectual stuck in a playboy bunny's body (what a problem!). I enjoyed all the episodes we did together, which were several.

Josh

Name: Renton
E-mail: Remer84@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

A few Q's
Well I always wanted to know if killing off the "hero" in a story is a good thing?I want to but it seems almost like I shouldnt do it... I mean we never see Bruce Willis die in a movie... And how do I as a young author and hopeful scripts write stay away from the type of crap movie that is made today?


Thanks-

Renton

Dear Renton:

Write what you feel is truly good, not what you think will sell because you'll probably be wrong about that anyway. All the leads die in "Bridge on the River Kwai" and it's one of the greatest movies ever. Good luck.

Josh

Name: warren serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

I met Bruce at a book signing up in Portland, Ore. Good actor and all around nice guy. If you get a chance, tell him the tunnel digger says hi and "break a leg" thanks

Dear Warren:

OK, I will. I'll see him in a few minutes.

Josh

Name: L. D. Jones
E-mail: ldjones1@mindspring.com

Josh,

After reading the following two story plot write-ups I find myself asking "Who's on third?"

ALIEN APOCALYPSE
The following is from PR Newswire about upcoming SciFi Channel movies for release in 2005.

"A team of deep space explorers returns to Earth after decades of travel, only to find that Earth has been conquered and all of mankind have been enslaved. The cruel Bounty Hunters force them to harvest Earth's most precious resource-wood-for the aliens to feed on. As the astronauts piece together what happened, they try to rally the spirits of their fellow men, and mount a resistance to the alien invaders."

ALIEN APOCALYPSE
The following is from www.leemajors.co.uk

"Originally called "Human in Chains", this Josh Becker and Robert Tapert written work has an astronaut doctor and his partner uncovering a government conspiracy and leading alien slaves to freedom."

You wrote it ... which is correct? And/or are they both off the mark?

Also how is your shooting schedule going and ... are there any production pics or on-set pics available yet?

Hope you are having decent weather!

LD

Dear LD:

The weather has been great (knock on wood), and I just completed day #10 out of 18 a few minutes ago. Those synopses are sort of what it's about, although there's no government conspiracy. Alien termites take over the Earth and are stripping off all of the wood. Astronauts return from a deep space mission and the doctor on board (Bruce Campbell) leads the slave revolt of the future, sort of like Spartacus.

Josh

Name: Dylan
E-mail:

Hello Josh,

I have a question, have you ever met any of the great cinematographers?

And one more question, not that I'm in the position to do so (not unless I win the lottery), but how much money do you think it would take to hire a cinematographer like Vittorio Storaro on a single film? Would it be in the millions? I read a recent interview with Storaro and he said that "...I haven't been working very much recently, like everybody in Hollywood." Thanks.

Dylan
PS- Hope you're having an exhilarating time on your new film.

Dear Dylan:

I don't know Storaro's rate, but it's certainly not millions. Maybe $25,000 a week or something like that. I've met Vilmos Zsigmond, who couldn't have been any nicer. I sat and spoke with him for about 2 hours and he happily answered all of my questions. I've also met Matthew Leonetti, who was also very nice, as well as Ralf Bode. The DP I'm working with right now, David Worth, is the ballsiest, fastest DP I've ever worked with and I admire him greatly.

Josh

Name: Geoffrey Hill
E-mail: warriorbard@cwgsy.net

Hi Josh from one of your fans in the UK :)

I hope every thing is going smoothly over in Bulgaria with the film I have an question about directing Renee since you have worked with her before on Xena a few years back on the episodes you directed :) comparing the Renee of now working on your film to the one back then what are your impressions of how Renee has matured as an Actress.

Good Luck with the film ;)

P/s Please tell Renee that all her fans in the UK miss seeing her :)
yours
Geoffrey Hill

Dear Geoffrey:

Renee's a doll. She was wonderful to work with then, and she still is. This film is certainly not testing her strengths very much, it's just a silly sci-fi action piece, but she's doing great, as always. I'll pass along the info.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Since becoming an "aspiring" actor about a year ago I have gained a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for a part of the business that goes largely unrecognized by the general public, the film editor. I never really noticed before that a movie or tv show is made up of a large number of very short scenes all expertly (most of the time) by the editors. As a director are you able to choose your own editors or is that usually done by the producers or someone else. Hope all is going well on the shoot. With pros like Bruce and Renee it must be.

Dear Warren:

Yeah, Bruce and Renee are making this film a helluva lot easier for me, let me tell you. Bruce gets in there and knocks off 8 pages of speeches like they're nothing. He gets better and better as he gets older, like William Holden. Meanwhile, I choose the editor on my own films, and take who they give me on everything else. Yes, the editor is crucial because they must choose all of the good moments and string them together. I get to do my cut, too, so if they miss something I can correct it, but still, editing is tremendously important, and very creative. Gotta go and shoot a movie. Bye.

Josh

Name: David
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

What are your favorite Bogart films? I recently got the "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" special edition DVD and am loving it. They mention the mystery of B. Traven's real identity. Know anything about it? And can you tell me a bit of what you think of the film in general. Thanks

Dear David:

I think it's a seriously great film, and Bogart is at his very best. So is Walter Huston, and Tim Holt, too. I absolutely love when Bogart throws his drink in little Bobby Blake's face. It's also one of those weird Oscar years when "Treasure" got best director and screenplay, but not best picture, which went to "Hamlet," which is pretty darn good, too. They don't make films like that no more.

Josh

Name: Dale Richardson
E-mail: dsrichardson@firstam.com

Josh,

Have you seen 'Prisoner of the Mountains', or any other Sergei Bodrov films? If so, what do you think of them?

I agree with you on Rodriguez. 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico' is beautifully shot crap (to borrow a phrase).

Enjoy your time in Bulgaria doing what you love,

Dale

Dear Dale:

Nope, never seen it, nor even heard of the guy. The camera operator on this film is Russian, so we've been discussing Russian films lately. His name is Andre, he's very tall, has wild grey hair, a big grey mustache, and is referred to as "The Mad Russian." He has a wonderful, happy vibe to him.

Josh

Name: ronk@aol.com
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

Tell that Texas beauty we all miss and love her! Can't wait to see her in a new project. What has she been doing with herself lately? Keep up the great work, Josh.

Cheers,
Ronk

Dear Ronk:

Let me tell you, Renee looks great in her NASA space suit, and she's just as sweet and wonderful as ever. I shot with her for the first time yesterday and we had a terrific time. I know she had a baby, but you certainly wouldn't be able to tell for her figure. It's very amusing hearing her do a Texas twang, which I asked for for the part.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Hey Josh,

I'm excited to tell you that this June me and my friends are working on a sketch comedy called, "The Life and Deaths of Tony Balogne". A silly little feature that we plan on making just for fun and getting movies done (on DV of course). Practing, practicing, practing. We want the movie to come off as good as possible but we're not getting anyones expectations high. It's only going to be about an hour long. I'm writing you to know that I plan after the movie is done on actually co-writing with my buddy on an actual good script to do with most of the same actors later next year. I wanted to tell you that I'm printing and reading all your articles on writing and filmmaking I can and I ordered "Thou shalt not kill... except" and "Running time" from my store and I'm excited to watch them. You have been very helpful to me and I appreciate all your words or wisdom that I have read. Hope all is going well in Bulgaria and I can't wait to see, "Alien Apocalypse" as well. Best of luck to you all! Your fan, Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

Good luck to you, and I hope you make a terrific film. Break a leg, that way you'll be in the cast.

Josh

Name: Raoul
E-mail: pharris@lear.com

Josh-

Sounds like your new production is rolling along nicely; did you think about doing a daily diary of the filming? Or are you doing it, but not posting it on-line? My question is a technical one: I'm shooting a 16mm film with the intention of blowing it up to 35mm at some point. A friend, Tom Chaney ( I believe he shot "MOSQUITO", didn't he?) told me that if you overexpose the film a stop, it makes a better blow-up. Have you ever heard of this? It seems backwards, since a darker image on the neg potentially has more information on it. Maybe you could ask your D.P. about this. Break a leg (Bruce's) and let us know how the film goes ("If he has the time, Doctor...if he has the time!")

Dear Raoul:

Yes, Tom Chaney did shoot my bare-assed epic, "Mosquito." And yes, you ought to keep your image as bright as possible for a 35mm blow-up because of the contrast build up -- a brighter image is less contrasty. This is because blowing up from 16mm to 35mm doesn't double the contrast, it quadruples it. Good luck and I hope you get you film finished soon.

Josh


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