Q & A    Archive
Page 122

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

Hey Josh,

I was just reading how you said that you didn't like Spiderman 2 because it had nothing to do with you (and I am sure you are probably sick and tired of talking about it, but I have to bring it up again). What kind of movies do you think have to "do" with you? Is it a matter of identifying with the characters? I was looking at your favorite movies and I couldn't figure it out. Thanks.

Amber

Dear Amber:

On a basic level I have to believe the film to have any fun. So, my type of film is one that is dramatically believable. I was a major sci-fi fan as a kid, and from very early on I simply hated fantasy as well as comic books, which are stuck somewhere in between sci-fi and fantasy. Comic books aren't really fantasy, they're really just bad sci-fi, but either way I can't stand the genre. Just like I have no patience or interest in the "Lord of the Rings"-type fantasy, with wizards and dragons, and basically anything goes. If you want to tell me a science fiction idea then you'd better have a logical possible future, or a scientific development that causes something dramatic. Just saying a kid gets bit by an atomic spider and now he's a spider and a superhero, too, is stupid. It's for little kids, and I happen to be an adult. I resent this whole kid-oriented society we're living in and I won't support it.

Josh

Name: Calvin Gray
E-mail:

Josh -

Actually, you are wrong about "Almost Famous." There are certain moments, though few and far between, that pretty much indicate that those girls were humping on the band. There is the scene when Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup retreat to a hotel room; and the young journalist, Patrick Fugit, sticks a "Maid, Please Service" sign on their door to hinder their fun. And after that strange "girls dancing around kid in his underwear" bit, a conversation with Crudup's character reveals that the kid lost his virginity to them - I guess prancing about like pixies is their idea of foreplay.

I think that whole "we don't sleep with the band" line was something of a thinly-veiled lie, either to prevent themselves from immediately coming off as sluts, or simply because they were in denial. But yeah, there was some sex going on, it was all just behind closed doors.

- Calvin G.

Dear Calvin:

Yeah, it's bullshit. Groupies fuck rock stars, that's what makes them groupies. And all the groupies go down on the rock stars before the show, but I guess I missed that scene. And in 1973 they were all taking drugs like they were going out of style. "Almost Famous" is revisionist history, and therefore I despise it.

Josh

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

Josh,

Just an afterthought. I was reading your review of In and Out and I just thought you might find this new movie coming out as disgusting as I do.

Gay Secret Agent feat. Brenden Fraser
http://www.cinecon.com/news.php?id=0406154

Amber

Dear Amber:

It certainly sounds stupid.

Josh

Name: John
E-mail:

Mr. Becker,

I have read your comments on your site about the state of Hollywood has been in for the past twenty-five years or so, and I found it a breath of fresh air compared to the opinions of film critics that seem much too easy to please.

I'm in college now and spend a lot of my time thinking about film. I desperately want to understand better why American movies nowadays seem to be worse than they used to be. Here are some questions, the answers to which would help me very much in helping me develop my ideas about film:

To me, film combines the great artistic traditions of literature, theater, music and fine arts with a fifth: the moving image. I would argue that the backbone of film is the literary component, since film is a form of storytelling.

Would it be fair to say that filmmakers, moviegoers and critics have, over the past twenty-five years, neglected the importance of the literary component, and inflated the importance of the visual components, thus decreasing the standards for what makes a good movie?

If so, is this because of improvements in camera technology over the years, as well as the relaxing of restrictions on violence, sex, language etc., allowing filmmakers to do more and more visually, distracting them from the literary backbone? It seems to me that the films considered good in the 30s through the 60s and 70s were more literary, and, with many famous masterpieces as exceptions, were not as visually powerful as they were intellectually and emotionally powerful, making them more meaningful and memorable.

Nowadays, we have films that are gorgeous to look at and have visual power, but little to no literary power, producing no memorable characters or movie moments. Is this a sign of changing styles and aesthetic choices, or have movies simply been going down the toilet for the past twentyfive years?

Do my musings make any sense in your mind? Do they hold any water?

Am I leaving out any important reasons to why film quality has decreased, such as the end of the old studio system, or the decline of major studio platform release films? How much are films such as Jaws and Star Wars to blame for the current state of American moviemaking?

Thank you very much for considering to answer my questions, it is greatly appreciated.

John

Dear John:

I think you see the contemporary landscape quite clearly. It's all those things you've stated, as well as a larger population, with less discrimating tastes, and with most films targeted to the 8-14 year-old market, which is more obsessive about the films they like. If a film for adults breaks a $100 million gross, it's a big deal. A film for kids, like "Spider Man," say, can do $115 million in its first five days. Hollywood wants the big scores, and they're seemingly easier deals to put together, too -- buy the rights to a comic book and put at least $50 million into the visual FX -- than to actually find a good story and get a good script out of it. Hollywood executives understand precendents and formulae, not originality and quality.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

I am very glad that Mr. Stallone would be very good casting in "Devil Dogs". I like Rocky III a lot too, it seems most revered besides the first Rocky film. But I also think that with the sequels they kind of tied into the renewed Cold War feelings during part of the 1980s, with Rocky IV and Rambo II having plots inspired by that.

Also, I noticed you said you weren't very interested in seeing Spiderman 2, well I can understand if superhero movies aren't really your favorite genre, but some of them can really be pretty good (like the first Superman film for instance). So I was wondering why you're not as interested in them, are they usually more for kids and not serious, and are there any superhero films that you do like? Personally I thought Spidey 2 was pretty awesome. It was also very funny with Bruce and Ted's cameos. The only thing missing was Lucy, I wish she was in it, I loved her in the first one. Lucy is so hot and beautiful I love her! Maybe she will be in Spiderman 3. We can always dream.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

To me superheroes can never be good under any circumstances -- they're idiotic and childish. Guys and gals in leotards jumping around, which does not hold the slightest shred of interest for me, and never did, even when I was ten. The key to stories for me is "If I can believe it I can have fun; if I can't believe it I can't have fun." I can never believe that there are any kind of superheroes, it's simply a stupid, idiotic, childish concept and I can't and won't go there. The fact that the average Hollywood film is now geared down for eight-year-olds deeply insults me. I'm not eight, and don't want to pretend I'm eight. I'm an adult and I want to be treated like one.

Josh

Name: chris winder
E-mail: volcomo2@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Hey smart guy the girls did have sex with the band, way to watch to move!

Dear chris:

That's movie, with an 'i', and, referring to "Almost Famous," no they don't have sex with the band, so way to pay attention, dumkopf.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

Two unrelated questions.

On editing - you've said that you feel very comfortable now allowing the editor(s) to work on their own, and then submit the equivalents of first drafts to you. My question is - assuming that you do a couple of takes of everything if not more - if you want to add something, how do you remember where it is, in all the footage that was shot? In other words, if you think you need a close-up of a reaction from Bruce at some point - how are you able to convey to the editor *which* close-up it is, if you aren't physically there in the editing room? Or do you make a note as you shoot of which take and shot was the best? (And forgive my ignorance of the editing process if this is a dumb question.)

Question 2 - I caught Spider-Man 2 over the weekend, and enjoyed playing "Spot the Shemps" all through it. I see that Tim Quill has a bit part in the big subway scene...as well as Jill Sayre (who played Ania, the fiance of Iolaus in "Amazon Women.") She doesn't have too many other credits, but has turned up in a couple of Sam's earlier films. Is she an old Detroit bud?

Thanks,

August

Dear August:

No, Jill Sayre is not a Detroit shemp, nor have I even heard of her. I did go to high school with Tim Quill, though, and he's in a bunch of my early movies. Regarding the editing, it's not that hard to remember what footage you've shot, and for the most part, the last take of everything is the good one, that's why you stopped shooting. But there are script notes, taken by the script supervisor, that contain any comments I may have made at the time of shooting, like "The third take is the good one, not the fourth take." But I conceived and shot the stuff, so I know what's there. Also, good editors watch all of the footage and they know what's there, too.

Josh

Name: mike
E-mail: mike@wsai.net

Dear Josh:

The New Zealanders seem to be more laid back than lazy. You could've used Renee to the guys them off their butts. She can be quite scary when she gets a bee in her bonnett. :-P

Dear mike:

Renee? You're kidding, right? She's as pleasant and sweet as they come. And the New Zealand crew members are bright and talented, as "Lord of the Rings" proves, they're simply not motivated like Americans. Honestly, without the threat of being fired hanging over your head people just don't hustle. In places like NZ or Bulgaria it would be very hard to replace someone if you did fire them. Whereas in America, there are many people waiting in line for your job.

Josh

Name: Carrie
E-mail: carrierosser@hotmail.com

Hi, Josh!

My brother (a film student) had me watch "Running Time" last night. I enjoyed it very much. Having seen Hitchcock's "Rope," I have to say I felt that you did a much better job of hiding your cuts. Was "Rope" a point of inspiration?
Two more unrelated questions...
What kind of music do you listen to?
You are kind of cute...Can I buy you dinner?

Dear Carrie:

Do you live in Michigan? Yes, "Rope" was my inspiration for "Running Time." I always thought it was a great cinematic idea and I never liked the film. I figured out what it was that I didn't like, and it was the fact that the story has nothing to do with time. Why bother shooting in real time if time is not the issue? So I tried to come up with a story that I felt would be more appropriate in real time, which was a heist. Thus "Running Time."

Josh

Name: mike
E-mail: troutline247@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

So I screwed up buying a digital camera? I have heard people talk about the Super-8's, but went digital instead. Christ. Oh, well.

Dear mike:

You certainly can do a lot more with a digital camera these days than with super-8, which is difficult to get, expensive, and hard to edit. Enjoy your new camera.

Josh

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

Hey Josh,

Quick question. Do you have a project you are particularly proud of or do you view all your projects equally?

Thanks in advance,
Amber

PS. A few questions back I was talking to you about Abbott and Costello and you said they weren't your favorite comedians. I was just wondering who were or do you shy away from that entire genre. (I remember that Sam and Bruce were huge Stooges fans but I couldn't remember for the life of me if you were)

Dear Amber:

By projects I suspect you mean scripts or films, which I do not view as though they were my children and love them all equally. Film-wise, I think my last two films, "Running Time" and "If I Had a Hammer" are better than my first two films, and script-wise, I spent the longest time working on "Devil Dogs: The Battle Belleau Wood," so I'm quite fond of it.

Yes, I am a Three Stooges fan, although not to the extent that some of these other guys are. I also very much like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Preston Sturges, and Woody Allen, up to about 1980.

Josh

Name: Mike
E-mail: mike@wsai.net

Dear Josh:

Were the local crews on Apocolypse as good to work with as I've been told, and was there a language barrier you had to bust through, that made things a little difficult?

Dear Mike:

The best film crews I've ever worked with are Americans. We're the only ones that understand how to hustle. In both Bulgaria and New Zealand there's this socialist concept that you simply don't fire people, which breeds apathy and laziness, in my opinion. If you know that if you don't do your job well you'll be fired, you do a better job, very simple. These foreign crews can do the job and get the film made, but they need to be poked a lot to get them moving. Thank goodness on this last film I had a top-notch Hollywood 1st assistant director who really knew how to kick ass, but was still a very friendly, nice guy. But without the American department heads (producer, 1st AD, production designer, DP), I'd probably still be in Bulgaria shooting.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Josh,

So now that Alien Apocolypse is in post, is Bruce currently shooting his film in Bulgaria? What stage of post is your film at now?

Dear Scott:

Bruce started shooting Wed., so today is day #4 for him. "Alien Apocalypse," meanwhile, is nearly done being cut. The editor assembled the film and sent it to me, I made notes, he made the changes, I made more notes, and he's presently making those changes. It's really just fine-cutting and trimming now to get it down to its proper length.

Josh

Name: james
E-mail: hobgoblin3@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I am interested in independent film makeing and I was wondering where you would get funding for projects, and how would you go about sumiting them to film festiviles?

Dear james:

Getting funding to make films is the big trick, and you need to figure that out on your own. As to submitting films to festivals, just go to any of the festivals' websites and they have the entry forms and rules available.

Josh

Name: Nate
E-mail: vlad1377@aol.com

Dear Mr. Becker,

Regarding Charlie Kauffman, did you have a chance to see Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. It is far and above his other work, though that probably doesn't mean a great deal to you.
Nate

Dear Nate:

No, I haven't seen it, but I didn't hear much good word on it, either. I'm not saying Kaufman is talentless, I just don't think he's done a great job with any of his scripts yet.

Josh

Name: Richard
E-mail: filmfan_1@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

"There's no way I could possibly be pleased by a film about a guy romping around in a unitard shooting webs out of his hands. It has nothing to do with me."

Regarding your response: Well that's not a very compelling argument for not seeing a movie. So what, an archeologist looking for the Ark of the Covenant had something to do with you? A bunch of guys hunting a shark had something to do with you? Or how about a guy leaving his family to pursue the dream of seeing aliens had something to do with you? Come on! It's entertainment!

I'm sure Alien Apocalypse has nothing to do with me either, but I still can't wait to see it!

Richard

Dear Richard:

Then perhaps you're more open-minded than I, but I never need to see another comic book superhero movie again in my life -- I hate them all. I didn't like comic books when I was a kid and didn't read them, and I don't need to see films made out of them now. Just because the intelligence level of most "entertainment" these days is now geared for eight-year-olds doesn't mean I have to go along with it. And you know what, movies aren't just entertainment, they can be a whole lot more than that, and have been on many occasions, too. Movies can be meaningful and important, but not when they're based on comic books or kid's books. Hell, I didn't want to see kid's movies when I was a kid, why would I want to see them now? And BTW, I didn't shit about "Raiders of the Lost Ark," either.

Josh

Name: Nick Roll
E-mail: nickroll44@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Are you or have you made a film about Belleau Wood? My grandfather fought there with USMC 96th Co. I'm 36 and he died in 1994. Anyway, I wrote a small article about it and saw something on your website. Sure hope a film does get made because it's an interesting story and often overshadowed by WWll. For a relatively young person WWl has significance as my grandfather told me about being mustard gassed as well as showing me scars from a high explosive shell when I was young. If you have made the movie how can I get it? If you haven't I wish you the best in your undertaking and anxiously await its release!

Sincerely,
Nick Roll

Dear Nick:

I haven't made it yet, but I'm still hoping to. It's posted here on the website and you could read it if you'd like. So, did your dad think up your name while he was shaving?

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

A while back you mentioned that the vast majority of the 88 (I think that
was the number?) films made for tv last year were done outside the US. That number seems awfully low, since quite a few cable channels seem to have a new tv movie almost every week. Was that the main 6 networks only?

Thanks,

August

Dear August:

I got that number from Lou Dobbs on CNN on the "Outsourcing America" section of his show. It sounds like a rational number to me, but I can't confirm it.

Josh

Name: JohnnyO
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

How difficult is it to master the techniques of filmmaking? It seems so complicated: choosing cameras, lenses, sound equipment, editing, etc.
Seriously, after all the years you've been making films, what in your opinion is the best way to get started? What is the most important thing for a beginner to focus on mastering?

Thanks so much!
Keep up the great work!
JohnnyO

Dear JohnnyO:

As a friend of mine once said, "Technically, filmmaking can be taught to monkeys, it's all what you do with it." And that's the point. The technical side isn't really all that complicated, and people have been making feature films for nearly 100 years, and sound films for nearly 80 years, so how complex can it be? But are you making a film that's worth watching? Ah, there's the rub. So, what's the most important thing to know about filmmaking? Writing. What is a good story, what is a good character, what is a worthwhile motivation, what point are you trying to make? This is the crucial part about filmmaking that no one is paying any attention to. If you haven't got a decent script, you have no reason to be making a film. There are hundreds of thousands of films out there and most of them aren't worth watching, so we don't need anymore of those. Filmmaking is storytelling, plain and simple. So study stories. There aren't that many lenses, take my word for it.

Josh

Name: Matthew
E-mail: meh_eh@hotmail.com

Hello Josh,

I was just wondering what your opinion on M. Night Shyamalan and Charlie Kaufman were. They seem to hold their own originality, but many don't look close enough to see it. What do you think?

Matthew

Dear Matthew:

I enjoyed "The Sixth Sense," which was very tricky, and after I saw it a second time I never need to see it again. His next two films were just crap, not very original, and very poorly written, so I have no hope for him anymore. As for Charlie Kaufman, I don't think he really knows what he's doing. I will give him that he's trying to be different, but his stuff doesn't add up to anything, has no depth, and no point.

Josh

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

Josh,

I think you are spot on with your about "The house of Sand and Fog". The only story that existed was on the Kingsley side of things and I just wanted to smack Jennifer Connelly's character and say "wake up snap out of it!" I agree tht she is pretty, but more than aloof with her roles.

I could not connect with her character at all and it wasn't developed very well which made the film difficult for me to sit through, but I felt that Kingsley was superb as usual, and the actors who played his family were very good as well, but the story just didn't add up for me either.

Scott

Dear Scott:

Like most films these days, good or bad, it doesn't have a sufficient act one -- why hasn't she gotten out of bed in eight months, or answered any of her mail? And in this day and age evicting someone, particularly from their own house, is so much more difficult than the film depicts it immediately made everything else unbelievable. Also, throwing in that she's being evicted for not paying business taxes when it's a residence makes it even more unbelievable. And I needed more set up on Ben Kingsley's side, too -- why is he so stubborn that when he sees this deal falling apart he simply won't give in? And whatever that motivation is, that's what causes his undoing. As it is, I didn't understand why it ended the way it did.

So, last night, in my endeavor to stay up with contemporary sci-fi, I watched "The Core," mainly because I think Jon Amiel is talented director. It's a good-looking, expensive production, with a pretty good cast, and makes almost no sense from the word go, then continues to make less and less sense as it goes along. By halfway into the film it's impossible to care what's happening.

Josh

Name: Richard
E-mail: filmfan_1@hotmail.com

Josh,

I wonder if you have seen your buddy Sam's SPIDER-MAN 2 yet?

I caught it at a sneak last night, and I think even you would be pleased. It was a fantastic movie! It was rich in character development, human emotion, genuine feeling...as well as some great action set pieces.

This film was leagues above the first one (which I still liked.)

Sam Raimi should get a big, hearty pat on the back for a job well done...and I LOVED Bruce's cameo.

Richard

Dear Richard:

There's no way I could possibly be pleased by a film about a guy romping around in a unitard shooting webs out of his hands. It has nothing to do with me.

Josh

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

Josh,

I have no doubt that the city hopes to make money on the convention and I am sure some businesses will do well.

There was a funny story in the post about how the escort services are going to thrive during the convention and that escorts from all around the country are going to fly in anticipating a great deal of work and I am sure they will get it too.

Seems like everyone will be getting a piece :)

I hope the concert takes place too, since it will be held close to where I live in Brooklyn across the river from downtown.

Meanwhile, I spent last night under the stars watching "The Thin Man" in Bryant Park as apart of the free movies in the park summer series.

It was a joy to see and I forgot how funny William Powell and Myrna Loy were in that film. Also, you know I just finished that Biography on James Wong Howe, and of course he shot it.

An uneven film lighting wise, but the Warehouse scenes are great. It was a joy to see the film again in this atmosphere. The weather was great!

Did you ever see the "Thin Man" TV series from the 50's with Peter Lawford? I wonder if it was any good?

Scott

Dear Scott:

Nope, I never saw the series. I must admit that I really do love Myrna Loy, I think she's charming and funny and a really terrific actress. She was an amazingly big star, too, which I don't think most people remember anymore.

I saw "The House of Sand and Fog," and I was interested and thought it was intelligent, and obviously based on a novel, but it just didn't add up to anything. I liked the Ben Kingsley side of the story much more than the Jennifer Connelly side, which didn't exactly make sense. She's strange, anyway. She's very pretty, but sort of a shape-shifter, and she plays the whole film like she doesn't know where she is and is about to cry.

I also saw "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," which also doesn't add up to anything, and they never got me to give a shit about Chuck Barris. And that I'm just supposed to accept that he was not only a game show host, but a hitman for the CIA is pretty far-fetched, even if it's true.

Josh

Name: Kevin Kindel
E-mail:

Howdy,

Please tell me ten examples of great characterization in cinema.and also what emotions and/or feelings were you able to invest in these dramatis personae and why?

Thanks.

Dear Kevin:

No, you go first.

Josh

Name: Erin Oborne
E-mail: emo806@truman.edu

Dear Josh:

Hello. How are you? I was just wondering what happened with the movie Biological Clock that you had wanted to make with Ted Raimi?

-Erin

Dear Erin:

Nothing happened to it, it just never got made, and probably never will. But I've now shot five of my thirty scripts, so I'm moving along.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

Fahrenheight 9/11 is a great movie, I agree. I don't remember who but I loved the part where they gave that guys real life number out. I thought they said alot of neat stuff and he really knocked on Bush by just letting Bush say the most dumb things I've ever heard. You know all my friends are republican (except me, I'm undecided) and a bunch of them went to see the movie on Opening weekend. So you know how you say in your last structure essay that life has alot of ironies... well there's one: A bunch of die hard republicans just helpped give Michael Moore number one in the box office. Of course they all hated the movie. Go figure.

Your fan,
Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

I didn't say it was a great movie, I said it was politically important and I'm very pleased it has come right now. As for me, though, he's preaching to the choir. Let's just see if he gets some of the undecided off the fence.

Josh

Name: Robert Silent
E-mail: wado1042@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

First off, thanks for hosting this cool site & answering our stupid questions.
Now, I'm a film-maker (largely audio engineer) and want to know how you recorded/synced sound back in your super-8 days. I've taken to (in addition to the slate) using the "flash" control to send a pulse to one channel of my recording device (usually Hi-Fi VHS but sometimes hard drive) & just recording the actual sound on the other channel....or we'll just do ADR later. But in your experience, I figured you might have a better way.
Thanks

Dear Robert:

We used single-system sound on super-8 which recorded the sound directly onto the mag track on the film. This was slightly complicated in that the sound and the picture were 18 frames apart so editing became something of a challenge. Anyway, that's how it was done 25 years ago.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Josh,

I too liked Farenheit, and am glad that it is doing such incredible business. I found certain facts shocking, like the puppet we proped up in Afganistan having ties with large oil companies. Did you know that before seeing the film? Anyway I hope this inspires more independent filmmakers to go out and make more politically charged documentaries, that express different points of view on subjects that are pssed over by the media. Either way I hope Bush gets what is hopfully coming to him in November. BTW-What's the story behind the Elm Street Scripts. Were they speck outlines for the old TV show?

Dear Scott:

I guess I should have put an explanation along with those story outlines. The word went out that whoever it was was going to begin making the "Nightmare on Elm St." TV show and they were looking for stories and writers, so I wrote those story outlines and took them in. That was the last I ever heard of them. And no, I didn't know that about the head of Afghanistan. And what was the deal with all of the black congress people saying that there districts hadn't been counted, but couldn't get a senator to sign the petitions? Why wouldn't a Democratic senator sign them? And what happened to all of that? Also, I think the entire film should have been a flashback from Bush sitting in front of that class during the 9/11 attacks.

Josh

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

Josh,

I have a figure here that is ghastly. The cost the city of New York has to shell out for security at the Republican National Convention this year is almost $50 million.

Where do you think that money comes from? Me and all the rest of the hard working people paying taxes in NYC.

The Bush campaign made so much money this time around, I don't understand why they don't use those funds if they want a convention here.

My tax money has to pay for security for the convention, yet I don't even support Bush at all. Let's waste more money and drive our deficit even further into oblivion.

I am tired of paying for the Bush administration's agendas. He is wealthy enough to pay for his own fucking Security and all the other bullshit he has wreaked on this country.

Scotty

Dear Scott:

But I suppose NYC believes that they will make more money from having the convention there than it will cost them, between hotels, flights, restaurants, and bars. I hope that guy pulls off having a big concert the same day.

Josh

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

Hey,

I wanted to say that your JFK screenplay is wonderful. One quick question, what is the biggest obstacle you have faced so far while making a film? Was it financial? Something to do with the actual filming?

Thanks in advance,
Amber

Dear Amber:

The financing has always been the hardest part, by far. If I've got the money making a movie is not that big of a deal. And I'm glad you enjoyed the script.

Josh

Name: christina
E-mail: xenawb21@msn.com

Hi Josh,

I just wanted to tell you that I loved the episodes that you've done on Xena. "Fins, Femmes, and Gems";"Kindred Spirits" and "In Sickness and in Hell" turns out to be some of my favorite episodes of all time!!! I love your work and think you are very original as well as genius. I have been reading the archives to find out when "Alien Apocalypse" comes out on the SciFi channel, but I can't find out when it comes on. I am a big fan of Renee and you both, and was really wanting, desperatly to watch this movie. Please help!!!

Christinaxx

Dear Christina:

I believe it will air in January. I'm very pleased you like my Xena eps, I think we achieved some good, funny moments in them.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

I've flip-flopped on the best approaches to blocking a scene. As I got into filmmaking, I was very cinematic in how I wanted to shoot a scene. Then I took a directing class in which the teacher advocated the on-set approach, which at the time I thought was great. Then I began to shoot scenes this way for short films by blocking and essentially storyboarding off the rehearsals. It just doesn't work. The shots that I have in my head when I'm writing the script are much more cinematic. They also edit together properly. 9 times out of 10, the on-set storyboards just wont edit together well at all. Pre-production is where great films are made. Sometimes magic happens on the set, but I've found that most of the magic happens in pre-production or rehearsals. Directors waiting for it to happen on the set will probably end up with a bad film. Same thing applies to documentaries. Michael Moore scripts his films, I think he won the WGA for Columbine. You cant expect a great film to come to you. As a director, you have to create it. Somehow planning has become the antithesis of creativity, particularly among younger filmmakers. This kind of lazy approach is interesting because it almost never works. You can immediately tell when a filmmaker has not properly blocked a scene. The pacing is always off, the edits dont work properly, and you usually get taken out of the film. A well-constructed scene brings the viewer in and guides them in a certain direction, referencing other scenes in the film. Unless you're a genius, this can only be done in pre-production.

Dear Jim:

I wholeheartedly agree. The bumbling-your-way-through-it-on-the-set approach stinks, and it's what most directors do now. And yes, I can see right away which directors have planned their scenes and shots, which is very few, and which are winging it, which is almost all of them. That's not to say that you shouldn't have your eyes open all the time to see if something interesting occurs on the set, but for the most part when you're shooting is not a good time to be conceiving the scene. By planning all of my shots way in advance, this allows me to be somewhat calm and focused during shooting because I know if I get my planned shots it will go together properly. And, as much planning as you can possibly do, the crazy filmmaking process will still undermine parts of it.

Josh

Name: DS
E-mail:

Hello Josh,

What did you think of Fahrenheit 9/11? Thanks.

Dear DS:

I liked it, and I think it's very important that it was made and came out when it did. I did get a sense that it wasn't as well worked-out as Moore's previous films. This may be due to him trying to be as up to date as possible, and editing right up to the last second. There's also a sense of descretion that I understand since he didn't want the film dismissed out-of-hand by folks saying it was in bad taste, but I felt he could've gone farther in places, like showing us more gruesome war footage from Iraq, as well as some of the footage of 9/11 that they didn't show on TV (he handles the actual planes hitting the towers in black with just sound). Nevertheless, I think many people will see and hear things they didn't know about Bush, Cheney and co. and wouldn't believe otherwise unless they get to see it.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

Not a question but a comment. I read, with great interest, your answer to CD about dealing with actors as a director. Sounds like exactly the type of director I would love to work with. Someone who treats his actors with respect and as individuals and human beings rather than as someone or something to be barely tolerated until the production is finished and then dismissed. Hope I have the opprotunity to work for you some day. Thanks, again, for taking the time to repond to these posts and for providing some very interesting and informative insights into the art of movie making.

Dear Warren:

It's my pleasure. You must enjoy working with actors or there's no point in being a director. It's not about cameras or Steadi-cams, it's about actors acting, which you happen to photograph. Yes, how you shoot it matters, too, but not nearly as much.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: scott_rock@hotmail.com

Hi Josh,

I am shooting a low-budget movie on DV and some of the script takes place in a high school. Do you know how much it costs to rent out an actual school? I figure I'd need one for at least three to five days. What kind of schools do most people rent out, anyway? Private high schools or junior highs? What about trying to use a college? I'd basically just need one hallway with lockers.

In LA, are there studios or companies that rent out sets, such as a single school hallway?

Thanks...

Dear Scott:

There are standing sets in Hollywood, like jails and airplanes. I've shot in schools by just asking them if we could after school was over or on the weekend. Try asking first.

Josh

Name: Rhonda
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

Have you lost weight? You look good in your pictures! How tall are you? Keep up the great work!! Can't wait to see your new film. :-)

love,
Rhonda

P.S. How much would it take to make Devil Dogs into a good film? Just curious.

Dear Rhonda:

I'm 5' 10" and I've recently entered the heavyweight category, so now I can officially fight Mike Tyson and Vitaly Klitchko. Regarding "Devil Dogs," it completely depends on who stars in it. If you get a movie star, they take most of the money. And also where you shoot it, like Bulgaria or New Zealand, for instance, where one gets more bang for one's buck.

Josh

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

Josh,

I don't agree with you that all Republicans are evil, and I disagree with your assessment of Reagan. I do think, however, that Bush and Company need to go. Their disregard for anybody anywhere is disastrous. However getting rid of the Administration is only half the battle. I don't know what you know about Tom DeLay, but that guy is corruption incarnate. An 187 page indictment was just submitted to the Senate ethics committee concerning his activities (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/25/opinion/main626150.shtml). Bush is out front and visible, but DeLay is insidious, operating behind the scenes. Delay and his ilk are far more dangerous than folks like Bush because so few will ever know what he does.

Just two cents (adjusted for inflation).

John

Dear John:

I don't think that all Republicans are evil, I just think that they adhere to an evil doctrine based on paranoia and money, with people possibly coming third. I think many Democrats are rule-crazy lunatics. I'm not a big fan of the masses, if you want to know the truth. I think the masses have bad taste. As G.B. Shaw said, "If more than 10% of the population likes a painting, it must be bad and should be burned."

Josh

Name: Jana Overbo
E-mail: janao@earthlink.net

Hello,

I read almost everything on your site and found it really helpful. I can't believe the amount of people who expect you to help them break in , get an agent, sell a screenplay etc. I have debated about writing and only hope you will see I have tried and this is not my lazy way out.

I have always wanted to work in film production but as a wheelchair user from North Dakota I was told I would never be able to succeed in that type of career! Recently a well known Indie Producer/Director even said that a wheelchair has no business being on a film set!

Once I got to the SF, CA area I chose to try television production first and fought really hard to even be considered for an internship. In my 8 years at CBS I worked on everything and acquired a good range of skills doing every type of production from live audience talk show to documentaries, huge sports remotes, weekly magazine format etc.

From approx. 1992-1996 I was part of a crew that was filming a documentary (about me when I left CBS and the Bay Area to move to Ireland to help the Irish disabled community) . It was a small production so although I was primarily "talent" (on camera), I also did various P.A. duties and assisted the producers. I did everything from booking travel, negotiating with airlines and hotels to give us free flights and rooms in exchange for screen credits, filing location permits, to booking crew, catering, logging tape and other logistical tasks.

Film production and making movies is the only thing I have always wanted to do. I have been trying to find entry level production position and usually can not even get an interview. Saying I will work for free for the experience hasn't helped and that is really depressing!

I am mostly interested in doing production work but I have been taking any roles as an extra or other small parts because it gets me on a film set where I can learn and network... I have worked as an extra on TV and film and I am currently in a state wide PSA campaign running on TV, in newspapers, etc.

Most of the better casting related web sites require fees. I joined several and have gotten No work from any of them. I think one of my biggest problems right now is that I need to network with people in the industry .

Once I can get to L.A. I have several offers of informational interviews with various production companies tentatively set up and I would really like to go to some of the LA film festivals or other film industry events to maximise my networking time. have to pay all the costs for myself and my attendant and I would like to stay at least 10-14 days once I get there....The only way I can do a trip like this is if I can get some of the costs covered.

I am seriously considering moving to the LA area but I know it would be really stupid to make a move like that without having things in place and a solid plan in place.

I have tried to be creative and bought Final Draft 6 thinking a really low budget indie would be willing to give me a chance and they could also use my great software. Another reason to get Final Draft was so I could try writing a screenplay to really understand what is invloved. I found your articles on structure to be the biggest help so far and I am reading many, many books on film making.

I have offered my wheelchair as a "dolly" becasue they are light weight, smooth and free!

Since people seem reluctant to hire me as an on set P.A. I have tried to exploit my other strong points hoping to at least get near a movie and show people what I can do. I have really good PR skills, I can write a solid press release and am great at pitching media to get publicity stories done on films coming out. I am a natural sales person and am good at development (fund raising).

I totally value your time and I know you are busy. I also know this letter is probably much longer than you appreciate. If you have any tips, advice, possible contacts or any thoughts on good resources such as web sites, books etc I would really appreciate it.

Any ideas you have no matter how far fetched would be welcome at this point!

If you are still reading this far thank you very much and again thank you for all the information on your web site.

Sincerely,

Jana Overbo

telephone 510-757-8263

cell: 510-757-8263

email:janao@earthlink.net

Dear Jana:

I think you need to think bigger. You sound intelligent enough and driven enough to make your own movies. Don't wait for someone to give you a break, make your own break. You say you're a natural salesperson and good at fund-raising, so get a film financed. Make a feature on digital video for $25,000-$50,000. Go for it, what have you got to lose? Your dignity? As Laurence Olivier said, "You think you're an artist, prove it."

Good luck,

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

I noticed that you like to collaborate with friends and fellow screenwriters. When you collaborate how do you work on the scripts together with the person you're collaborating with? I only ask this because my friend Nick and I are going to collaborate on a couple scripts when we get the time and I'm not quite sure how to work it out.


Your
fan,

Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

I don't collaborate on the actual writing anymore, and I haven't in many years. I like working on stories with other people, where it's mainly a verbal process. But for the actual sitting-there writing, I like to be alone. Some people have made writing collarborations work, but not me.

Josh

Name: Klaus
E-mail: mydtf@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Could you please give me some advice about approaching an actor to do a voice-over for my short film? The fictional film is a grant-funded piece and the actor I'm hoping to use is very experienced, but not at all famous (in other words, he's more approachable).

Since the payment I will be offering in exchange for the voice-over will be small compared to industry standards, I worry that if I contact the actor through his agent, the agent will toss the proposal out since there would be little profit in it for him/her.

Also, do you know if the SAG rules concerning members appearing in non-union productions are the same for voice-overs? Thanks.

Dear Klaus:

If you're using a SAG actor you really can't expect them to work for less than SAG minimum, it's not logical. Check the rates at SAG's website, but it can't be much more than $600. And if you can't afford $600, you probably shouldn't be talking to real actors.

Josh

Name: Hannah
E-mail: ************************************

Hi Josh, I just had to say that i love all your work and its great to hear that the filming for "Alien Apocalypse" went well, i cant wait to see it!!

Keep up the good work mate!!
love Hannah xx

ps. I love you man!!

Dear Hannah:

Thanks. The way you use xx's and !! makes me think you might be a cute chick, and if you are, I love you, too.

Josh

Name: CD
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

So when you direct actors, do you find that the less you say to them (in terms of performance), the better?

Also, will you ever put the Humans in Chains script back up to read?

Dear CD:

There's no rules as to how to deal with actors, nor does the same approach apply to all of them. Each actor is their own deal. Some actors don't need much direction, others need a lot. But no, on the whole, I don't think the less you say to them the better. I think actors want and need direction and are very eager to get it. It's the lame fuck directors who never speak to the actors, then just take whatever they get. Just like many directors don't block the scenes, they let the actors go wherever they want, then just cover their movements with various camera angles. This seems like a total cop-out to me and I never set up a scene that way. I have already pre-visualized the scene and pre-blocked it, and now the actors are going to go where I tell them to. This is the Hitchcock method and it's what interests me. This contemporary concept that you must work from pure spontaneity and freedom is a big load of crap, as far as I'm concerned. My concept as the director is what's important.

Josh

Name: Joel (Rosenman) Ross
E-mail: joel@rossmediagroup.com

Josh,

About 25 years ago, when you were working at a camera store you helped a 16 year old kid buy a super 8 movie camera. For a very short time you took him under your wing and exposed him to the fine art of film and film-making. From the super 8, three stoogesesque films that you and your future Hollywood mogul friends shot, to the Godfather Parts 1 and 2, the exposure was broad, enlightening and much appreciated. Thanks Josh. I'm happy that you have been doing what you always loved to do.

Dear Joel:

Of course I remember you. Do you still live in Michigan?

Josh

Name: Dr. Geekenstein
E-mail: Geekenstein@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I'm planning on shooting a film (using a digital camcorder) with a budget between $12,000-$17,000. With that kind of budget, how much money should I pay the cast and crew? How much should I offer the director of photograghy, the male and female leads, supporting cast, sound ops etc. (what do you think is fair/reasonable)? I can't seem to find a book/article that discusses those sorts of rates for a low budget movie anywhere. It'd be great if you could at least give me your opinion. Thank you...

Dear Doc:

Here's the minimum my esteemed producer, Jane Goe, used on my last two features -- minimum wage, and if no one making less than minimum wage you can get cheap worker's compensation insurance through the state, and Jane won't shoot without worker's comp. Basically, everybody got minimum wage, except for the department heads. I think I paid department heads between $1,000 and $2,000 a week. However, if you intend to go even lower-budget, I understand, you just have to set your own rates, although it's not easy to pay people less than the minimum wage. Good luck.

Josh

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

Josh,

Blowing up a car is definitely alot more difficult than most people realize. I tried to do it late last year for a music video. We were planning to use an old beater in a local junkyard, but we never managed to figure out a decent way to do it without putting dynamite and gasoline all over the body, and trying to cut it into explodable pieces. Also, I think there might be laws as far as blowing stuff up (like having to pay for safety people to be there) but we never got that far. On a different note, I'm planning to F9/11 this weekend, the first time I've actually wanted to see a theatrical release in awhile.

Dear Jim:

Yeah, me, too. I plan to go tonight. The way to blow shit up is to hire a pyrotechnician. I blew a bunch of things up in this new film. Apparently, in a previous film, the pyrotechnician, Vasco Boom-Boom, sent a car thirty feet in the air.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

I was reading one of your answers and your essay about Mr Liar, I meant Mr President Bush. I just wanted to say "Amen!".
In Spain (where I come from) we "fired" our president, among other reasons, for being an allied of Mr Bush.

I though that american's were mainly fools (with good taste for movies), but watching people like Michael Moore or reading your essays changed my mind. There's still hope.

All the best with your new movies!

Juan

Dear Juan:

Thank you. If all goes well maybe Mr. Moore and I will get our druthers and George Bush and his evil klansmen will be shit-canned in November. And with all this silly hoopla over Ronald Reagan's death, I'd just like to add that he, too, was a shitty president and fiscally irresponsible, just like all Republicans. They talk the talk, but they never walk the walk. All Republicans go paranoid bug-shit the minute they have power and spend all the money and more on utterly wasteful military garbage, like Star Wars, and this meaningless war in Iraq. Republicans cannot be trusted with your money or your country.

Josh

Name: Tarik Dragonblood
E-mail: tarikdragonblood at yahoo dot com

Dear Josh:

Dude, admittedly I know your name from your work on the holiest of shows, Xena, and most recently from the new SciFi movie you've worked on with the goddess herself, Renee O'Connor...

But I'll be paying more attention in the future (and might even take a step into your time capsule of rants and scripts when I get the chance).

Why's that? Your article on the evils of religion had me up and cheering! I wonder if an anti-Passion of the Christ movie (such as toying with LaVey's concept that Satan is a Gentleman) would do well. Probably not, but it would be fun to make, eh?

Great simple site, man! Nothing worse than an over-loaded, unnecessarily graphic-heavy webpage!! I'll be checking back with ya! Thanks again for the boost I needed in my morning!

Dear Tarik:

Read my short story "The Gospel According to Judas," it's my anti-Passion story. And my "Ballad of Jehosus" poem. Let me know what you think.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

Well as for a convicted felon running for President you can't do it but that dont stop people from write- in ballots(im sure you would be impeached if actually elected).If your George w. Bush who was reported to have been arrested for cocaine possession in Houston Texas 1972 had his record expunged with help from his family's political connections(i must say this is simply a allegation).I liked Bowling for columbine and some of the stuff Michael Moore has done but most likely will not see Fahrenheit 9/11,Because Moore's interviews in Fahrenheit 9/11 were edited to support his ideas for lack of a better term.


Peace,
Nick el ASS

Dear Nick:

Of course the film was edited to support his point of view, it's his film. There's no such thing as a "true" documentary, they all represent the POV of the filmmaker. There's no such thing as truth in film, since the filmmaker decides what's going in and what's being left out. The entire process is a lie. But Michael Moore is the ballsiest man in America and needs everybody's support. Nobody else has had the guts to call a spade a spade, meaning calling George W. Bush a lying, crooked, self-serving sack of shit. If I have to hear one more fucking poll that Bush is doing a good job handling the war in Iraq, I'll just scream. We absolutely shouldn't be in Iraq and every death there is utterly wasted and for nothing. We have killed over ten times as many Iraqis as people were killed on 9/11, and the Iraqis had nothing to do with it. So who is the bigger monster? I think we are.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

I'm still kinda new at understanding the whole Hollywood thing but when a movie goes in to TurnAround can you get it back? Or do you have to buy it back? I know it was yours to start with but its their property now, right? And by the way have you seen, "Saved!" yet. I found it kind of fun and entertaining.

Your fan,

Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

No, I haven't seen it. I sold the script to a company (not optioned, sold), they developed it for quite a few years, then they sold it to someone else. That's tunaround. I could buy it back from the new owners, I suppose, but I ain't got the money.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

(Puts his arm around Josh's shoulder and says: "I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about 'I expect a legitimate answer'"). I think it was poorly worded and I meant that it was possibly a dumb question that probably had a very simple answer. I hope I didn't sound rude.

Anyway, I am glad you feel the same as I do about the wet roads in films these days. It annoys the hell out of me, especially when underground car parks are also always wet!
On the same topic, is there a law in Hollywood that says that all action films (wherever and whenever set) must contain at least one large fireball-type explosion? I am fed up seeing cars rolling down hills and then blowing up, cars being shot at and blowing up, buildings being set on fire and then blowing up, etc, etc, etc. I resent being treated as a moron by people from Hollywood - or do they just think everyone in the world is 14 years old?
OK, end of rant. Carry on.

Dear Tony:

I'm not offended. I did find it a tad forward, but what the hell. Hollywood just wishes everyone was 14 years old. As I've said before, Hollywood would let 14-year-olds write and direct the films, if the insurance companies would allow it. The idiotic explosion I'm most amused by is when a car goes off a cliff and explodes in mid-air, as though the air pressure was too intense. Meanwhile, getting a car to actually explode is almost impossible. Cars start on fire everyday of the week and don't explode. You can shoot a hundred bullets through the gas tank and it won't explode. Anyway, Hollywood and the films they make are a dead issue. They've hit rock-bottom and there's nothing left to discuss. Hollywood can't make a decent film, let alone a good one, under any circumstances. It's no longer possible.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

How's it going? It was very interesting to hear that you might have Stallone star in your film. I think his acting ability is underrated since most people think of action, but I'm glad you liked Rocky. I think he was great in his films and also glad you liked the first half of First Blood, that is my favorite film with him. He is older now but still in very good shape I hear, I think he keeps his weight between 170 and 180. I've heard of his Rocky 6 project and also a Rambo IV, both very cool, I think Rambo may have less of an action role and may be more into thinking and planning (like in parts of First Blood) if it comes to fruition.

Also I was curious if there will be a sequel to Alien Apocalypse? I hope no one has asked that yet. Also do you know if Lucy is a Stallone fan? That would be very cool!

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

I suppose a sequel will be based on the film's ratings, although I certainly don't have one in mind. I told all of the story that there was to tell. A sequel would be entirely unnecessary, in my opinion. You think "Rocky 6" and "Rambo 4" are "both very cool"? Rocky already went two films past where it absolutely should've stopped, and Rambo never needed any sequels at all ("Rocky" didn't, either, but I do have a fondness for "Rocky 3," I must admit, although I do think it's a giant step down from the original). As to whether or not Lucy likes Stallone I can't say. Still, I think Mr. Stallone would be very good casting in "Devil Dogs."

Josh

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

Josh,

Did Andre the Russian camera operator tell you anything interesting about the film industry in Russia?

Thanks,

Dale

Dear Dale:

The guy barely spoke English. When I was using the Steadi-Cam, which has its own operator, Andrey would just have to sit there. I had several days that were mostly on Steadi-Cam, so Andrey just sat around all day. I suggested that he bring in "War and Peace" and read it. Bruce interjected that what he really ought to be reading was "How to Operate a Steadi-Cam," which I'm still laughing about.

Josh

Name: Lou
E-mail: louissilvestri@hotmail.com

Josh,

Not that I support Bush in anyway or that this negates anything else that you have stated, but a convicted felon can, in fact, be President. Michael Moore's show, T.V. Nation, actually funded a campaign for a convicted felon for the 1996 Election. People have run for President from prison. It would be nice if G.W. was running from prison.

Dear Lou:

Are you sure? I thought if you were a convicted felon you couldn't vote or run for public office. But I could be wrong. I hear in "Fahrenheit 9/11," during the section discussing GW's youth, it's scored with Eric Clapton's "Cocaine," which is pretty funny.

Josh

Name: Bird Jenkins
E-mail: bird@jjandbird.com

Howdy, Josh.

When I read there was a slight chance Sylvester Stallone would play Gunnery Sgt. Dan Daly in "Devil Dogs: The Battle of Belleau Wood," I had to write. I hope to God Stallone has the good sense to sign on for this one. I've always felt Stallone was a fine actor, and it pisses me off that his acting abilities are underestimated for the most part. I think he's smart to try to expand his repertoire beyond just action movies, but many of his failed attempts at comedy have left even me, a daily visitor of stallonezone.com, with a bad taste in my mouth. This is just the type of role I'd like to see him in. Any more details you can share?

Thanks Josh, and keep on keepin' on.


Your friend,
Bird

Dear Bird:

There's nothing more to share. The executive producer I'm working with is trying to set up a deal with Stallone and asked me if I had any scripts that would be appropriate for him, that could be shot in eastern Europe. I sent him "Devil Dogs." That's where it is. Considering how good "Rocky" is, I think Stallone has had a truly shitty career, with each film worse than the one before. This would be a complete departure for him, but I don't know that that's what he thinks he ought to do. I hear he's developing "Rocky 6," which couldn't be less necessary under any circumstances. He really should have stopped that franchise at three.

Josh

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

Josh,

I, too, liked "Holiday" more than "Philadelphia Story" though I think they were both terrific films. I read a recounting of a conversation between Hepburn and Grace Kelly following the release of "High Society". Kelly tells Hepburn that she watched "Philadelphia" many times to get ready for her role. Hepburn, cool as you like, responds, "You didn't watch it enough." They don't make 'em like Kate anymore. Great music, though, in "High Society". From what I understand Armstrong was there at Bing's insistence. Though now remembered for his ballads, Bing was, at heart, a Jazz man, and was very influential in early recording techniques.

Isn't Stallone getting a bit old for that sort of role? Still, Stallone can still generate attention and can be a good actor when someone is around to control him. "Copland" may not have been a great movie but I thought he was good in his part.

When do you get the air date for "Alien Apocalypse"? We'll want to start programming our TIVO's.

John

Dear John:

January is what I hear. There's still about four months worth of digital effects to be done. Yes, Der Bingle was hugely important to early recording techniques, and to jazz. People don't realize now just how popular he was. There's nobody around now that's nearly as popular as Bing Crosby was in the early 1930s. The only ones that come close since then are Elvis and The Beatles.

Meanwhile, everyone made a stink about Stallone's performance in "Copland" and I thought he looked like he was right on the verge of falling asleep.

Josh

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

Hello Josh,

I expect a legitimate answer to this question but can you tell me why, whenever there is a night street scene in a movie, the streets are always wet as if it had just been raining?
Thanks mate,
Tony

Dear Tony:

You expect a legitimate answer, eh? Anything else you expect or demand? The reason they wet down the streets is that they think it looks cool. It also allows for less lighting because the light is being reflected up from the street. Personally, I think it's a visual cliche that's been beaten into the dirt. I opted not to wet the streets in "Lunatics" in 1989 because I already thought it was a cliche, but that certainly hasn't stopped anyone else.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I'm glad to hear that "Farenheit" is on your must see list, and I sure hope that it influences the undecided voters to back Kerry. There is also a great looking documentary about corporations that will be released sometime in early July which looks interesting. I believe it is about the pros and cons of capitalism, but the title escapes me. Have you seen Super Size Me? It is a pretty good documentary about the fast food industry, and it's relation to the American obesity problem. BTW-In regards to Bush, I love what Ron Reagan Jr. said about him; which was, "What makes this guy think he's capable of running the country, the fact that he no longer an obnoxious drunk?!" That cracked me up, and it's also very accurate.

Dear Scott:

I think Bush has made it imminently clear in his over three years that he hasn't got a clue how to run the country. The street I was staying on in Sofia had the American consulate at the end of the street, which had been permanently blocked off and had 24-hour guards. No other consulate or embassy there had that kind of paranoid security. Is this because we're so loved around the world?

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

If you could direct any one of your scripts (at a decent budget), which one would you direct next? And what's more important to you, a character you can identify with, or a character you don't identify with but you can respect their decisions?

oh yeah, I'm shocked to say the new Harry Pothead movie is actually about something (no no, you'll still hate it cause its Harry Potter). Its a dark as hell teen angst film about overcoming your fear despite trauma and parts of it reminded me of Rocky 3 (no, not the boxing). and Harry's (for once) the guy that drives the story instead of the guy that sits in the background and lets the story go on around him. Well you never promised having structure would make it a good movie, but it is a better movie than the first two just because its about something and the characters are a little more grown up.

Dear KDN:

Well, it's good to know something's not just getting worse and worse. I don't give slightest little shit about Harry Potter movies (or books for that matter), but for those that like them I'm sure this will be good news.

I think I'd like to make "Devil Dogs: The Battle of Belleau Wood" the most. I've got it out right now with the very slight possibility of having Sylvester Stallone star in it, but it's an extreme long-shot. Still, I think Sly would make a creditable Gunnery Sgt. Dan Daly. I won't hold my breath, however. I would also like to shoot "Cycles," my script that's in turnaround.

Josh

Name: Lucy Lawless
E-mail: claudiaxenalucy@yahoo.it

Hi!

I'm a big fan of Xena, and I'm a big fan about Lucy Lawless! But I whont see Reneè O'Connor! Can you takeme some photos about Reneè on te set or behind the scenes?
Thank you very mouch and congratulation, when this film will exit in Italy I will go to see it!
I'm sorry for my English but I'm Italian!
Goodbye!
Lucy Lawless

Dear "Lucy":

I was hoping to have more photos at this point, but I haven't received them yet. By the way, I've met Lucy and she's not Italian, she's a Kiwi. I bet your name is really Claudia.

Josh

Name: Mike
E-mail: crashpix at yahoo

Hey Josh,

Welcome back to the states, for what's is worth (which is not much these days)!

Told Eric Maurer, who was the AD on Mosquito, what you had been up to. He was pleased that you're getting work, and we're both eager to see the fruits of your labor!

On the election front I just wanted to bring something to your, and your readers', attention. A New York concert promoter is trying to put together a massive televised show on September 1st - the "Concert for Change" - right across the river from the Republican national convention.

The reasons for this are three-fold. First, to distract media attention from junior's grandstanding. Secondly, to make a point that there is a huge contingent of Americans who are completely dissatisfied with the direction this country is taking. Finally, the proceeds will go towards get out the vote efforts aimed at ousting Bush. This fellow, Andrew Rasiej, wants to get Bruce Springsteen on board, figuring that he'll encourage other acts and bring in a broader TV audience. Rasiej has set up a website - www.draftbruce.com - with an online petition asking Springsteen to sign onto this effort.

While I'm not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, I think it's a good cause and would like to see more folks get behind this. If you think this is something that would interest you and your fan base I'd love to see this on your forum.

Aright, I've rambled enough. Again, congrats on wrapping Alien Appocalypse, and keep fighting the good fight!

Mike

Dear Mike:

I already signed up at draftbruce.com and I do hope he does the show. I think it's a good cause. And I am a big Bruce Springsteen fan.

Josh

Name: Robdog
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

What is old Robert Tapert up to these days? Have you talked to him lately?

Dear Robdog:

I spoke with him a few days ago. He's got two horror films coming out pretty soon, "Boogyman" and "The Grudge."

Josh

Name: Henry
E-mail:

hi josh! how are you doing. im doing great
i just saw running time at my video store and i rented it. i loved it!!! it's now on my favorite movie list of all time so far it goes like this:

1. matrix reloaded 2. running time 3. rollerball

i was wondering why arent you fameus yet? you are certanly a great filmaker!

sincerley,
henry

Dear Henry:

I appreciated the compliment a lot more before I saw the company I was stuck in. I don't suppose you mean the original "Rollerball"? And "Matrix Reloaded"? Not even the first one? It's like one of the kids on "American Idol" saying her favorite movie was "Sister Act 2."

Josh

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

Josh,

It may be too early to ask this question, but you can revisit it later if you'd like. The question: "Alien Apocalypse" is a Josh Becker film, written and directed, but had outside funding and (I assume) influence. How satisfied are you with the project and how might it have been different had you funded it yourself? Given that you don't "own" the movie, what is your sense of ownership over it?

I watched "Holiday" again the other night. For a romantic-comedy, that's about as satisfying a movie as I can think of; great script, great cast and great direction. The pacing of that film is just great. It's also somewhat poignant. When Grant is talking about taking his holiday and says that it has to be when he's young, I think a lot of us can feel a tinge of regret or longing. Great movie.

John

Dear John:

I think "Holiday" is wonderful, and it moved me a lot when I first saw it. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are at their young, gorgeous best, and who else could do a backflip anytime they wanted? That whole same team made "The Philadelphia Story" two years later (George Cukor, Phillip Barrie, Hepburn, Grant), which I also like a lot, but I think "Holiday" is better.

We'll see what these folks do to the film once I turn in my cut, but so far it's very much the film I wanted to make. I saw the first rough-cut yesterday and thought it went together very well, if I do say so myself. I still think it will be the best film ever made for the SciFi Channel.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Josh,

What are your thoughts on Hitchcock's Frenzy? I caught it for the first time last night and really enjoyed it. It was well structured, acted, and directed, and I also loved the ending, for it was abrupt but perfect. I don't think the film could have ended a better way. I thought it was interesting that Hitchcock focused on working class blue collar characters, as opposed to his usual stock of the white collar upper class. That aspect added a different dynamic to the story, and it also had an irreverent sense of humor, which surprised me. Was this his last film before Family Plot, or was there another made between the two? Anyway, I was just wondering what your thoughts were. Are you going to catch Farenheit 9/11 this week? It's a new film I'm actually looking forward to.

Dear Scott:

Yes, I absolutely intend to see "Farenheit 9/11" and support it any way I can. Thank goodness there's someone out there with the balls to bring up what horrible crooks and monsters this administration is comprised of. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft are really horrible people, and the censored American "free" press has basically given them a free ride. Anyway, I liked "Frenzy," and was very impressed with it when it came out. After "The Birds," Hitchcock's career basically went into the toilet, and "Marnie," "Torn Curtain," and "Topaz" were all bad and flopped. I and everyone else thought he was all washed up. But he came back with one more good film, "Frenzy," showing he still knew what he was doing. His next film was indeed "Family Plot," which sucked, then he died. I absolutely love the shot when he's raping the woman and the camera backs out of the office, down the hall, down the stairs, out the front door and across the street. That's filmmaking!

Josh

Name: Tamara Somerville
E-mail: tamgidget@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Just read your essay "Bailing Out on LA." Reads to me like an outline for a good film.

I recently bailed out on DC after 18 years there, and am now settling in Oregon (Portland). The reaction among friends has been interesting, with west coasters enthusiastic and east coasters largely perplexed (and anticipating my return from a certain crushing boredom).

They've never sat on the ridge overlooking Mt. Hood where my dog and I hiked this weekend. It was not boring and does put Capitol Hill in perspective -- literally and figuratively.

Best wishes to you in realizing your dream of making good films, from your Oregon base. I'll hope to add them to my DVD collection. Or maybe you'll get me back to a theatre.

And thank you, as well, for the interesting web page.

Dear Tamara:

I bailed on Oregon, too. I've been back in Detroit for nearly two years now. I might be close to bailing on Detroit, too, particularly if Bush gets reelected, in which case I may have to bail on the USA. We've gone rule-crazy here. It was a real pleasure to be in a place, Bulgaria, where there are very few rules -- you smoke anywhere you want, period; there's no such thing as a liquor license and there are little cafes every twelve feet; a big bottle of good beer is about 30 cents; a pack of cigarettes is a buck; you can run a business out of your garage if you'd like since there's no zoning laws. And there are people all over the place, walking, sitting and drinking and smoking and it's all designed for adults, which society ought to be. I miss it already and I'm trying to figure out how to get back to Europe this summer.

Josh

Name: Christian Swift
E-mail: ahodgk@aol.com

Hi...

I was very interested in your essays on George Bush's abuse of power..it seems like a classic case of 'like father like son'...don't get me wrong, I'm so patriotic my girlfreind recently asked me "who do you love..England or me more?", but I know the English and American people deserve better than the cynical illuminati style inteferings of a conservatively estimated 3.5 bn secretive buisness group I've just learned about this morning, the Carlyle group.
Amongst their ultra powerfull members are George Bush Snr., the last English Prime Minister John Major, and, get this, Osama Bin Laden's estranged brother (as well as the Bin Laden family) in law was also an investor..on 9/ll all three of these gentlemen were in a buisness conferance together when the planes hit the WTC..
for more information, please go to
http://www.hereinreality.com/carlyle.html and Micheal Moore.com, the director of Farenheit 9/11's site for indepth exposure on the buisness side of this war..
But more importantly, please write about it on your site!.. BTW, Evil Dead is my favourite all time movie!

Dear Christian:

I've been trying to tell people this information about the Bush Family for years now. The fact that the bin Laden family was the single biggest investor in GW Bush's oil company, Arbusto, and that George Sr. was with the bin Laden family on 9/11, and how we then ended up fighting a war in Iraq that has nothing to do with 9/11 and basically is just smoke and mirrors to cover up the connection between the Bush family and the bin Laden family. Here's another bit of Bush trivia no one is discussing -- the grandfather, Herbert Walker Bush, did more business with the Nazi government than any other American company, even after Pearl Harbor and our going to war against Germany. Finally, the U.S. government had to file suit against Bush to get him to stop doing business with the Nazis. The Bush family is a really nefarious, awful family. And let's not forget that GW was busted for cocaine possession and his father had the records buried because if they weren't we'd all know that he was a convicted felon and ineligible to be president in the first place. And he's a fucking draft-dodger. I reiterate for the 100th time, George W. Bush is the worst president America has had in 228 years.

Josh

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

Hi Josh,

Will Alien Apocallypse just be released into the cinemas in the US or will it be released in the UK too? If it isn't then that will be a great shame because if it not being released on to DVD then everyone in the UK (including me) will miss out!!
How is it decided/who decides if the film will be released on to DVD or not?

Thanks for your time
loadsa love Jo xx

Dear Jo:

It's a TV movie, so it will be shown in the US on SciFi Channel. I don't know what the deal is for the rest of the world. The executive producer will make those decisions and deals.

Josh

Name: Carla
E-mail: javajulies@sbcglobal.net

Dear Josh:

Thank you! Thank you! One of my son and husband's favorite movies is Saving Private Ryan and I HATE IT! The only thing I liked in it was the storming the beach segment which I thought was the only reality based part; soldiers never making it to the beach because of they drowned under the weight of all equipment and the confusion when under heavy fire, etc.
I agree that you cannot begin a movie with an old man's remembrances when half the movie aren't even his memories! And Spielberg was so proud of Matt Damon adlibbing his "story" about his favorite memory of his brothers and the best he could come up with is catching his brother banging an ungly chick in the barn! That is the heart warming memory of brotherly love he's carrying into every battle? I now believe that Matt Damon never wrote even half of Good Will Hunting; he's either an idiot with no imagination or an only child with no concept of what it means to share your early years with a sibling.
And that contrived bit about the letter? Soldiers are more superstitious than baseball players, after the second guy carrying it ate a bullet, they would've ditched it or left it with Ted Danson.
I also agree with your assessment of "Almost Famous", I didn't buy the chaste groupie crap either. Yes, it was a more "innocent time" in the early to mid 70's; but not because they weren't giving it up left and right but because they were screwing everything that sat still long enough. They were innocent to the consequences of their actions as opposed to the eighties when AIDS scared the crap out of those that thought they were invincible. A more believable scenario would've been Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson and that kid in a drug-soaked three way; with the kid attempting suicide over his sexual confusion. But of course, that didn't happen because his mother kept finding out where he was and called him to tell him not to have sex or do drugs. A neat little "PSA" wasn't? In the vein of the Reagan era "just say no" campaigns, which didn't work at all! But find him she did, in every town he was in--how did she do that? The worst thing Cameron Crowe ever did was get married and become a father, he's totally lost his edge. They billed Almost Famous as semi-autobiographical, do you think Crowe would document his own drug use just before his kids are at the experimental age?

You and I also agree with most of the movies on your list, with the exception of the ones I haven't seen. Some films I saw lacking are those of John Sayles, who is my favorite living director. I suggest, Brother From Another Planet (ET without the syrup); Limbo; Men with Guns; Matewan.

I was also impressed with the variety of films on your list, so many people limit themselves to one genre and then have the nerve to call themselves movie buffs.

All the best to you and yours,
Carla Knobloch
Arlington, TX

Dear Carla:

Well, what a nice change of pace having someone agree with me about crap like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Almost Famous," both with really rotten screenplays and both Oscar-winners for Best Screenplay. John Sayles is an intelligent filmmaker, but, in my humble opinion, not a very interesting one. The key adjective that describes most of his films is "dull." His films aren't stupid, they're simply not all that interesting, and they're usually pointless. "Sunshine State" is a good example, and I actually watched it a second time to make sure--it's bright, the characters are sort of interesting, but it's about nothing. How he wasn't able to get a better film out of the story of "Eight Men Out" still boggles me. Still, John Sayles is one of the better filmmakers working, but that certainly isn't saying much.

Josh

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

Hi Josh;

With every movie, tv program, movie of the week, etc. going to dvd, is it possible that once Alien Apocalypse is aired that it might go to dvd? If it does, will you do a directors cut version, or possibly with outtakes, commentaries, etc.?
I, along with countless other fans of both Renee and Bruce, would love to see that happen.
Hope all is well with you.

Dear Sarge:

There are no plans for a DVD release, but we'll see.

Josh

Name: Rohan the Thunder Chick
E-mail: starbase101@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Now that your movie is finished filiming, do you have a say in the editing or music, etc?
Thanks,
Rohan

Dear Rohan:

After the editor assembles the film, I do the director's cut making any changes I want. Then it's turned in and the producers can do whatever they'd like to it. They have hired my friend, Joe LoDuca, to score the film, and Joe has scored everything I've ever shot, including Herc and Xena. So I know it will have a good score.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

<<I didn't make it two weeks, just one. I'm an extra in a few scenes and that's all I did. That's Joel and Ethan Coen's first credit. And most filmmakers don't think they're making a bad movie when they're making it.>>
I did show that movie to my friends 20 times though (gee, I wonder where they went, I haven't seen them lately... just kidding). I think I've watched RUNNING TIME 40 times before I had to sell it. I had about 1,000 DVDs and 150 Vhs titles (not counting the 200 or above I sold over time), and I made the mistake of writing a few checks early after I quit my job. My last paycheck wasn't debited to my account, and BAM! I owed like $700 in bounced check fees. That killed me, I had to pawn almost my entire collection including the good ones (and I bought them all on credit card too, and still had to pay the debt). Damn man, you fooled me the first 10 times, I really thought it was all in one take. Since CRIMEWAVE was all chopped up, I wonder what the original film would've been like had they kept Bruce as the lead, kept the original score and left it alone. You think they still have the original script somewhere? That's the sad part, the whole film just looks so enthusiastic. Are you back from Bulgaria yet? I'm still waiting for my copy of Hammer? thanks.

Dear kdn:

I'm back from Bulgaria and your tape is on the table with a padded envelope and a mailing label, so it's very close to going out.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

Oops I'm sorry, I forgot that you had wrote the script for Alien Apocalypse years ago and that was before you had worked with Lucy. She was in high school then? Wow! I wish I had known her back then and that we were friends, that's just a little dream of mine.

I was wondering if in the future you plan to write more, or direct more, or do both? I think you're definitely awesome at both, is there one that you prefer more?

Also, this is probably none of my business, but I heard that you had a little falling out with Rob several years ago and later reconciled with him at Bruce's house. I was wondering what that was about if I can ask? Did it have anything to do with Xena? Just curious. Personally I thought your episodes were great but there are a few fans who insult them even today.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

Rob and I have had a number of falling outs over the years, that's what happens when you're friends with someone for over 25 years and end up working for them, too. But we get past them. Bruce and I have had a few, too. As have most of my friends. Meanwhile, to direct more I need to write more. I need to create the projects so I can direct them.

Josh

Name: Dave the Knave
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

Have you read David Mamet's book "On Directing Film"? When he talks about directing actors, his advice is that an actor should perform the physical actions of the script as simply and unemotionally as possible. This seems counterintuitive to me -- I can see how it could work for a silent short film, but I don't know about most narrative features, including his own dialogue-heavy films.

So, what do you think about that? And could you comment on how you get performances out of your actors?

Thanks. Can't wait to check out Alien Apocalypse.

Dear Dave:

I thought Mamet's book "On Directing Film" sucked. I think he knows damn little about the subject, and certainly not enough to write a book about it. It's like he picked up one theory about film direction -- the uninflected juxtaposition of images -- and that became the word of God. Let's face it, Mamet was an okay writer about 25 years ago, but now he's neither much of a writer, nor much of a film director. Nor was he ever much of a director. You get a performance by casting an actor in the part and letting them play it. If it's too much, you ask them to bring it down; if it's too little you ask them to bring it up. And images can be highly inflected, if you've got the ability to think up those kinds of shots.

Josh

Name: Jmalt
E-mail: malterjk@email.az.edu

Dear Josh-

How was to work with a first time actor like Remi Franklin? I know that kid pretty well and I honestly want to know how he was... be honest And hows was Rene?

Jmalt

Dear Jmalt:

Remy was great. He paid attention and got better every single day. Renee is a pro, just like Bruce and Peter Jason, and they carry the picture. Many of the Bulgarian actors were quite good, too. Now we'll see how it goes together.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

Were those Elm Street outlines you posted pitches for the old Freddy's Nightmares TV series? If not, what is the genesis behind them?

Getting off the subject, like you, I barely go to the movies anymore because I too feel as if there isn't much watchable material out there. A friend of mine convinced me to see a film called Napoleon Dynamite. He was hyped to see it because it had been well received at Sundance, and was receiving a lot of praise in the mainstream press, yada yada yada. Knowing nothing about this film, i took a chance, and boy am I sorry. The word inept is an understatement in describing this film. There was no story. A cardnal rule of storytelling is that the lead character has an objective or a goal which kick starts his/her journey. Not only did the lead character not have a purpose, but every character was borderline retarded. There wasn't an intelligent character in exisitence, and the film was just another lame comedy trying to be quirky, but wasn't funny. The scariest aspect of this experience is that the audience ate it up, they loved it! I looked at my friend and his wife who enjoyed the movie, and told them how wretched I thought it was. They realized that it had no story but didn't care, they still liked it. I am now under the impression that the downfall of the film industry doesn't solely belong to the filmmakers and executives, the contemporary audience is also accountable. I believe that a vast majority of the audience no longer cares if films are nonsensical or stupid, as long as there is at least one element that appeals to them, they seem to enjoy modern films as a whole. I can't speak for everyone obviously, but after seeing napoleon dynamite in a packed house, and listening to the audince's reactions afterward, I was genuinely depressed. What are your thoughts in the audience's role in why modern movies are so terrible?

Dear Scott:

Clearly, the audience will take what they're given. People like to go to the movies, and whatever is playing is what they'll see. I think horseshit like "Titanic" and "Lord of the Rings" proved that.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

I read somewhere that you were on the set of CRIMEWAVE for 2 weeks then you bailed. Oh please enlighten us with your story. Also, you probably couldn't answer this, but if Sam Raimi didn't want Reed Birney from the get-go, did Reed know this? Damn that would be fucked up to work on a shit movie where you know you're not wanted. On the other hand, I like the falling doorways, and came close to laughing at the exterminator trying to stuff a dead body in a Salvation Army collection box ("give a gift to a needy child"). I liked the fat guy exterminator in MAVERICK (I think that was his last film).

Dear KDN:

I didn't make it two weeks, just one. I'm an extra in a few scenes and that's all I did. That's Joel and Ethan Coen's first credit. And most filmmakers don't think they're making a bad movie when they're making it.

Josh

Name: Lela
E-mail: nlela02@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Josh,

I have three questions to ask.

i) As director, do you think that story structure is important for a film to success?
ii)Hollywood films prefer tight story structure as compared to the art house films. What's your opinion?
iii)Do you prefer Character over action or Action over character in your film? why?

Thank you so much.

Dear Lela:

Read some of the essays on this website and get back to me.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

Yesterday I just ordered "Intruder" on VHS at Amazon.com. And I'm actually kind of excited to see it. Have you seen it yet? Last time I heard you still hadn't seen it. Next I will be purchasing "Lunatics- a love story" because it sounds like such a great concept. And like "Intruder" its not something I can rent in my town. Too bad there is no plans for a DVD for either of them or I'd purchase them in a second.

Dear Jonathan:

Nope, I've never seen "Intruder." I worked on the super-8 version, "Night Crew."

Josh

Name: CD
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

So why do you think Techniscope hasn't made a huge comeback? It's definitely a great format and if you're shooting direct to TV or video, you don't have to worry about anamorphic prints, etc. Post production methods have changed tremendously since its demise.

With letterboxing becoming more common on cable and accepted among the general public, I wouldn't think the widescreen image it yields would be too much an issue either. It's too bad, because I like the format as well.

Techniscope has made somewhat of a small comeback in Australia under the
new name Multivision 235. Maybe it'll catch back on.

Also, I was wondering if it's possible if you could give a general breakdown on where the budget money for Alien Apocalypse was spent (sets, CGI, etc). Were there a lot of sets built or was bluescreen mostly used? Is it cheaper to use bluescreen and CGI effects or 'real' sets, models, etc.

Thanks.

Dear CD:

There were many sets built, including a sawmill compound, an alien bughouse, interior bughouse, a slave cellar, and more. Blue screen was only used to put aliens into the same shots as the humans, not to create sets. That would be very difficult at this point since when you use blue screen you either have to lock the camera off so it doesn't move at all, or use motion-control, which is very expensive and a major hassle. As for the actual budget breakdown, that wasn't my department.

Yes, Techniscope was a great process, although they wouldn't let me shoot 2.35:1 for TV. I used 1.85:1 instead, which correlates nicely with HD 1.69:1.

Josh

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

Dear,Josh

Whats next after Alien Apocalypse?Are we going to see anything else from you or are you going to take a break from directing.thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my/all of our questions.



PEACE,
Nick el Ass

Dear Nick:

Now I have to whip up my next project, that's how it works. I'll take a break because I have no other choice.

Josh


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