Q & A    Archive
Page 164


Name:              Mark Fairclough
E-mail:            
Date:               01/07/11

Hi Josh:

mark from the uk. Could you tell me the synopsis the story for the bruce campbell film short spring cleaning and sam raimi film short terror at lulu's and good luck josh for the following year. Thanks Mark Fairclough.

Dear Mark:

Are you writing a filmography of us Detroit guys? "Spring Cleaning" was another student film Bruce made for college and I barely remember it. "Terror at Lulu's" wasn't really a movie, it was just test footage to see what a super-8 to 35mm blow-up looked like, which was crap. As Rob Tapert said as we watched it, "It looks like a South American snuff film."

Josh

Name:              John
E-mail:            
Date:               01/05/11

Dear Josh:

I'm sure there's not really a simple, flat answer to this, but... For completely independent filmmakers, what's a standard or common fee for a "known" cult actor? Like, what would be a reasonable offer to make to someone like Ted Raimi for a supporting role in an indie film?

Dear John:

Even if you're shooting non-union, a place to begin is to use SAG rates.

Josh

Name:              Jonathan Moody
E-mail:            
Date:               01/05/11

Dear Josh:

Happy new year my friend. Hope you have been well. I see someone asked you how to get out of debt and then when you gave them an honest reply they thought you were being mean. The truth is nobody wants to hear how they may never get out of the debt that is filmmaking. I spent 3 grand of my parents money on a short film that pretty much fell apart. And now I keep asking for more money on a feature/web series that will hopefully get finished. It's a tough cruel world out there these days. You gotta just keep at it and hope for the best. My question to you is has anyone ever made an offer to buy any of your scripts that are on your site? And would you sell them if someone did offer to buy it? I bet you get alot of producers here but most wouldn't know a good script if it bit them on the ass. Thats all I wanted to know. Take care and may you have a great 2011!

Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

Happy New Year to you, too. I did sell my script "Cycles" back in 1994, but that before I had the website. I've had a number of inquiries regarding my scripts over the years, but nothing that could be taken seriously. Since Bruce Campbell and I made "The Final Round" in 1977 when we were 21, I have been raising, borrowing, earning, weaseling and cajoling money to make movies. I took it as far as you can go with "If I Had a Hammer" by putting a $100,000 on credit cards, which anyone else can also do. I don't recommend it, but the possibility is there for everyone. My only advice on that would be to immediately declare bankruptcy, as opposed to spending the next seven years attempting to pay the cards off, and at 22% interest I could never get ahead. It all comes down to how much do you really want to make movies? For most folks it's just a passing fancy.

Josh

Name:              Mark Fairclough
E-mail:            
Date:               01/04/11

Hi Josh:

mark from the uk happy new year. Could you tell me the synopsis the story of the bruce campbell short film fish shticks and scott spiegels short film night crew and are they available. Thanks Mark Fairclough

Dear Mark:

The basic premise of "Fish Shticks" was that Sam Raimi was a goofy fisherman who goes fishing, then funny gags occur. We had a pretty good plastic fish that stuck its head out of the water and squirted water in Sam's face. Meanwhile, Scott's film "Night Crew" was remade as the feature "Intruder," which I believe you can get. Basically, a killer is stalking the night crew at a grocery store.

Josh

Name:              David R.
E-mail:            
Date:               01/04/11

Dear Josh:

Someone sent in those Ricky Gervais articles and they were indeed great (I loved the stat on God-fearing Christians in prison versus atheists in prison). Anyway, are you a fan of any of his TV or film work? He has some children's books called "Flanimals" that are hilarious too.

Dear David:

No, I'm not really a fan of his. I haven't made it through either of his "Out of England" stand-up routines. I liked his response to the question, "Isn't being an Athiest just another belief system?" He said, "No, because Athiests don't believe. That's like saying not skiing is my hobby."

Josh

Name:              Jeff Q.
E-mail:            
Date:               01/03/11

Dear Josh:

Given that you are knowledgable about both the oscar's and boxing, what is it about boxing dramas that make them such Oscar bait? This new film "The Fighter" looks likely to score multiple nominations. Boxing must be the sport with the most movies based around it to have Oscar wins and nominations, right? Finally,what do you think is the best boxing movie post-Rocky? Thanks! Jeff

Dear Jeff:

That's easy, "Raging Bull." It's the best boxing movie of them all. Not the most fun, but the best. It's got the best filmed boxing scenes, then Act III is utterly excruciating. And though I have yet to see "The Fighter," I hear it's not about the boxing, it's about his family. But it's not like a lot of boxing pictures have gotten a lot of nominations or wins. "The Champ" was nominated for everything in 1931-32, and won Best Actor and Best Original Story. "Body and Soul" was nominated in a number of categories in 1947, but only won Best Editing. Then you have to wait until "Rocky" in 1976.

Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            
Date:               01/01/11

Dear Josh:

Happy New Year to you and yours, Josh. May it be fruitful and prosperous. Please extend my wishes to Shirley as well. I miss having her around this site.

Dear Joe:

Happy New Year and New Decade to you and everybody else.

Josh

Name:             Danielle
E-mail:            
Date:               01/01/11

Dear Josh:

"Is my humor so obscure that I must put LOLs and happy faces around it to make sure everyone gets it?" Hahaha. I haven't been here for awhile and (after reading through the past few posts) I find that I've missed you greatly, Josh. Happy New Year. I've been thinking about themes today because I came across a quote from a political activist named Bernadette Devlin: "To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else." I know it's a very basic notion, but it struck me as being worthy of constant artistic consideration. It's a theme that must have been addressed again and again in countless plays, novels and just as many movies and yet -- it's the kind of idea that can stand to be retold well into the future. When I hear people say, "all of the stories that can be told have already been told," I think ... yes, but the themes (and the personal details a writer/director can bring to a movie) are what matters and you can keep tackling the same theme -- as long as it\'s a good one -- for an entire lifetime without necessarily creating art that is redundant. So, my question is: what movie (or movies), in your opinion, have best addressed this particular theme? If it doesn't interest you, then maybe you can share some of your favorite movie themes. Thanks.

Dear Danielle:

Happy New Year to you. In my opinion that's not a theme, that's a plot -- something causes something else. A theme is generally expressed in one word: trust, duty, success, responsibility, etc. You can take any point of view on a theme, either pro or con, or even wishy-washy, but a theme allows you to go in any direction you want depending on which character you're paying attention to. One character is very trusting, another doesn't trust anyone. I feel like a ought to be able to think of a story with that plot -- maybe the Charlie Sheen character in the first "Wall Street." It's a variation on the "Gain the world and lose your soul" idea. Regarding, "all of the stories that can be told have already been told," well of course, that's just ridiculous. Millions of people may have had substance abuse issues, but the second you make that the problem of a believable character, it's specifically their story. Nobody has gone through it exactly the way that specific person did. It's like saying that all of the combinations of notes have been used and all the possible tunes have been written, and that's a lot more limited than all of the stories. Millions and million of people have had their hearts broken, but the second you tell that story believably about a specific character, once again, it's a brand new story. Anyway, I don't have any favorite themes. A theme is an overarching concept to hold your story together and to hopefully bring you to a point.

Oh, how about "Citizen Kane"? That's the basic plot, "Gain the world and lose your soul."

Josh

Name:             Danny Busitino
E-mail:            
Date:              12/29/10

Dear Josh:

Wait... so you're not creative?

Dear Danny:

Is my humor so obscure that I must put LOLs and happy faces around it to make sure everyone gets it?

Josh

Name:             Chuck
E-mail:            
Date:              12/27/10

Hey Josh:

hope you enjoyed the holidays. Are there any Christmas or Hanukkah movies that you just can't miss during the holiday season? Speaking of religious holidays, I thought you'd get a kick out of Ricky Gervais's recent WSJ article and follow-up:

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/12/19/a-holiday-message-from-ricky-gervais-why-im-an-atheist/

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/12/22/does-god-exist-ricky-gervais-takes-your-questions/

Dear Chuck:

Are there Hannukah movies? "That Schlamazol That Stole Hannukah"? Actually, no, there aren't any Christmas I just can't miss. I like "Miracle on 34th Street," but I've seen it plenty. Meanwhile, those Ricky Gervais articles are great. Thanks so much for sending them. He's a very bright, funny guy.

Josh

Name:             Richard
E-mail:            
Date:              12/27/10

Dear Josh:

Your religious freedom essay is interesting. I agree with everything you said about Islamic religious sensitivity and the failure of moderate Muslims to speak up. However, I do sort of respect the fact that Muslims still highly respect the sanctity of their prophet and scriptures. They go way overboard, obviously, but you can't doubt their dedication to their religion. The commercialization of Christ and the generral laziness of most Christians, on the other hand, kind of flies in the face of Christ's suffering and his challenge to his followers. I can't imagine many American Christians letting themselves be killed like the early followers of Christ (although Christians are probably still persecuted elsewhere), but a lot of Muslims seem to be ready to lay down their lives for Allah. You also mentioned owning the Book of Mormon. Have you read the entire work? If not, what do you think of the parts you've read? I think it's a classic American text, totally grounded in 1830s America. It's obviously not ancient Hebrew scripture, as the Mormons believe, but it's impressive nonetheless.

Dear Richard:

Respecting your prophet and you scriptures is one thing; saying that everyone else who doesn't believe what you believe is an infidel and if you kill them you go straight to heaven and get 72 virgins is entirely something else. Christians may very well have commercialized their religion and have become lazy, but they're not killing other religions for not believing what they believe (at least, not anymore). Right now the Muslims are persecuting the Christians in Iraq, who are known as the Chaldeans. The Detroit metropolitan area is teeming with Chaldeans and they're one of the nicest, hard-working groups of people I've ever met. But Muslims even persecute each other, blowing up each other's Mosques because one is Shiite and the other Sunni. I'll take a lazy Christian over a fundamentalist Muslim any day of the week. Regarding the Book of Mormon, no, I haven't read the whole thing. It may possibly represent America in the 1830s, but it's trying very hard to sound like a biblical text from 2,000 years ago. Verily. Maybe I'll give it another look once I'm done with Keith Richards' autobiography.

Josh

Name:             Tom Blucas
E-mail:            
Date:              12/27/10

Dear Josh:

Wait wait wait... what do you mean store the film in the garage? How is that going to help him get out of debt? I was just asking for practical advice on how to make money quick in order to pay for his maxed out credit cards and loans from family. Jeeze, thought you would have advice since making your movies has made YOU broke at different times in you life. BUT NO of course you have to give a mean-spirited and sarcastic response. Fuck!

Dear Tom:

There was nothing mean spirited about my response. You either find the money or scrap your project. You can always put the ten grand on credit cards, which is what forced my into bankruptcy, so I didn't suggest that. Otherwise, there's no magic way to get money. Go raise it, beg your family for it, have a bake sale. Do whatever you have to do.

Josh

Name:             Brooke Valera
E-mail:            
Date:              12/24/10

Dear Josh:

"...our President, the Secretary of State, and one of our highest-ranking soldiers, all appear on the world news begging this nut not to burn the Koran. Gen. Patreus said, "It will put our soldiers in harm's way." Well, for Christ's sake, you don't want to put our soldiers, our army, in harm's way! Except that's why they're there, isn't it? Protecting our freedom? Including our religious freedom?" Fucking brilliant point. I followed that debate on TV and not a single person made that point on any of the talk shows.

Dear Brooke:

Thank you. Maybe I'm just cranky, bored and old, but I must admit that I really did want to see what would happen if that pastor burned a pile of Korans.

Josh

Name:             Tom Blucas
E-mail:            
Date:              12/24/10

Dear Josh:

My friends just made his first feature film. He thought it would cost a certain amount but they went $10,000 over budget. What should he do?

Dear Tom:

Find 10,000 more dollars, or put his film in a box and store it in the garage.

Josh

Name:             Danny Busitino
E-mail:            
Date:              12/24/10

Dear Josh:

Do you still smoke pot? How often? Why do you like it?

Dear Danny:

Yes. Regularly. It gives me the delusion that I'm creative.

Josh

Name:             Linda Ludwig
E-mail:            
Date:              12/24/10

Dear Josh:

Just saw True Grit. Hated it. Walked out after 40 minutes. The Coen brothers directed this film. You know them. What did u think?

Dear Linda:

I don't really know them, I've just met them a few times. I'm not a fan of their movies. I am, however, a fan of Henry Hathaway, and I've always loved his film of "True Grit." If there was ever a film that didn't need to be remade it's this film. You can't do better than John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, Robert Duvall as Lucky Ned Pepper and Jeff Corey as Tom Chaney, nor could you possibly improve on Lucian Ballard's photography or Elmer Bernstein's score. Just from the trailers I can see that they've dropped the best lines from the original film, like Cogburn seeing Mattie Ross swimming her horse across the river and saying, "She reminds me of me," or in the battle at the end him saying, "Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" Also, I dare say, it seems that Jeff Bridges has a mouth full of marbles. Hopefully, it's a chaw of tobacco, otherwise he's just a horrible ham.

Josh

Name:             Bob
E-mail:            
Date:              12/23/10

Dear Josh:

The recent census disclosed that Michigan lost population from 2000 - 2010. The problems facing the City of Detroit have been well documented. I have heard that the Mayor of Detroit has been advocating, basically redrawing the boundaries to pull in Detroit to a smaller area since there the habitated areas are becoming so dispersed that it is inefficient to deliver city services to these area. The current residents within the current boundaries would be relocated at no expense, to the smaller redrawn city if they so choose. I was wondering where you have an attachment to Detroit, whether you favor such a proposal?

Dear Bob:

Although I was born in the city of Detroit, I haven't lived there since I was two years old. First, my family moved to the suburb of Huntington Woods (about two miles outside the city), then when I was nine we moved to Franklin (five miles outside Detroit), and now I live in Bloomfield Township, which is 12 miles outside the city. Detroit has been in a state of total disaster since since the riots in 1967 from which it has never recovered. In 1966 Detroit was 70% white and 30% black; by 1970 it was 70% black and 30% white -- the largest ethnic change in any major city ever. What this ultimately meant was that it lost its tax base. The white people took all of their money and split, leaving the poorest people behind. Detroit has never figured out how to lure the white people back, so year by year the city's population keeps dropping and dropping. Once they dropped below a million people they lost a lot of federal funding. So, in answer to your question, anything the city can do to improve its status is a good thing. The French took the city from the Indians, maybe the Indians will buy it back. They could make the whole city into one big casino. I don't have the answer, nor does the Mayor, but at least he's trying.

Josh

Name:             Jeff Q.
E-mail:            
Date:              12/17/10

Dear Josh:

I just read your review of Hell's Heroes on the True West site - http://www.truewestmagazine.com/stories/forgotten_film_classics_1929_s_hell_s_heroes/1693/

Rape! Poking a real baby with a stick! What was possible pre-code is crazy when you think about how restrained most "classic" movies are. It does seem that restraint made the best scriptwriters/directors/actors/etc get even more creative to tell their stories. What are some of the craziest things you've seen in pre-code movies that would be hard to believe they could get away with back then? Thanks!

Dear Jeff:
 
I don't know about pre-code, but I just watched "Across the Wide Missouri" (1951) with Clark Gable, which is a pretty good picture, and there's a scene with a baby in a papoose dangling from a saddle on a runaway horse, and it's a real baby -- they didn't have radio controlled babies back in those days -- and there are plenty of shots close enough to see that baby's face contorting. But they used to just regularly kill animals for movies because it was the easiest way of achieving the effect. "The Naked Prey" begins with shooting a whole bunch of elephants, and you know they just shot those elephants for the movie. In the movie "Heartland" (1979) there's a close-up of a pig being shot in the head, and I just stood up and walked out. I absolutely can't tolerate cruelty to animals in movies. How many times have we seen a cowboy shoot a rattle snake in a movie? I can assure you in pretty much every case it's a real snake being shot with a real bullet. It's WAY easier to shoot a real snake than to have the FX department make a believably fake, exploding snake. And I don't even like snakes. Meanwhile, most pre-code stuff was simply alluding to sex, or perhaps a glimpse of breasts; none of it was all that shocking.
 
Josh

Name:             Barry Lamp
E-mail:            
Date:              12/17/10

Dear Josh:

Curious to know if you've seen a film called "Big Night" (1996), directed by Stanley Tucci. Caught it the other night and was impressed. It does not feel at all like a typical American picture. I had no idea Minnie Driver was once so attractive, either.

Dear Barry:
 
I bailed out, although I may well have not given it a chance. Minnie Driver always had chipmunk cheeks.
 
Josh

Name:             Paul
E-mail:            
Date:              12/17/10

Dear Josh:

Just read that Blake Edwards passed on. Any thoughts on his work?

Dear Paul:
 
Blake Edwards made me laugh many times. Although I don't think he ever made a great movie, he had scenes of comic genius in quite a few of his films. The scene of Inspector Clouseau playing pool while George Sanders watches in "A Shot in the Dark"; any number of scenes in "The Party" ("Birdy Num-Num"); the scene in "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (probably the best of the bunch) where he tries out the parallel bars, then falls down the stairs; the whole sequence of Dudley Moore trying to call Julie Andrews in "10", then falling down the hill; the first 10-15 minutes of Ellen Barkin having magically become a woman in "Switch". Edwards also got great scores out of Henry Mancini. Any filmmaker who made me laugh that hard deserved and got my respect.
 
Josh

Name:             TJ
E-mail:            dripper25@hotmail.com
Date:              12/16/10

Hey Josh:

Happy Holidays, dude; hope things are well with you. Whats your take on shooting with the red camera? One of The Dead Beats ;)

Dear TJ:
 
Welcome, sir. Happy holidays to you, too. I've never shot with the Red camera, but it seems very good.
 
Josh

Name:             David R.
E-mail:            
Date:              12/15/10

Dear Josh:

Have you seen a late John Huston spy film called The Kremlin Letter? I've read good things about it but it's not been available on home video -- although being released as a limited edition dvd early next year.

Dear David:
 
I saw it on TV about 30 years ago and it seemed really bad, like as bad as a John Huston film could be. "Annie" seems worse, but that might be it.
 
Josh

Name:             Jon Mancie
E-mail:            
Date:              12/13/10

Yo Josh:

Why does your website suck so much these days? What ru being lazy or something?

Dear Jon:
 
Hey, I answer the questions as they come in. Sometimes there's a lot, sometimes there aren't all that many. If you've got a movie question, go ahead and ask it.
 
Josh

Name:             Mandy
E-mail:            
Date:              12/13/10

Dear Josh:

Did you ever see "The Bank Dick" with W.C. Fields? I didn't see it on your favorite films list, but I heard it was good.

Dear Bob:
 
I've never seen it. It sounds great. I love W.C. Fields' short films, and I own a couple of collections on DVD, but I've managed to never see "The Bank Dick." Some of his features, however, are a tad dull. A very funny one that nobody mentions is "Million Dollar Legs," about the 1932 Olympics. Fields plays the president of Klopstokia, where all men are named John and all women are named Mary. Jack Oakie meets a girl named Mary, then goes out looking for her. He keeps calling, "Mary!" and every woman in Klopstokia turns to look, including all of the female animals. Fields has these great little bits with his hat and his cane that nobody could do but him. Although nearly forgotten, W.C. Fields was the greatest juggler in vaudeville.
 
Josh

Name:             Mark Fairclough
E-mail:            
Date:              12/13/10

Hi Josh:

mark from the uk. It said in your book rushes that you had written and storyboarded a samurai revenge film but could not figure out how to do it. Why was that and what was the story to that unmade film thanks.

Mark Fairclough

Dear Mark:
 
I was 17 years old and I was going to Eastern Michigan University, where I hardly knew anybody, so I couldn't figure out how to put a crew together. I actually didn't write a script for that film, I just storyboarded it, which is of course the wrong way to go about making a movie. I don't remember the story or the title, I just remember that it ended with a big samurai fight on the roof of the dormitory. I do recall that it was going to be silent with no title cards, just music.
 
Josh

Name:             Mandy
E-mail:            
Date:              12/02/10

Dear Josh:

Facebook really is great. I don't think your week on it was really time enough to really get to know it. The first week or so, it's just a boring website, but then after a little bit the appeal of it starts to kick in. It's a great networking site. You don't have to have a million friends or anything. As few or as many as you like. It's good for finding people you used to keep in touch with who you'd maybe like to get back in touch with. Plus it can just be fun as hell. I hope someday you give it another shot.

Dear Mandy:
 
I'm sure it is fun for a lot of people. It just didn't appeal to me.
 
Josh

Name:             Nick
E-mail:            
Date:              11/29/10

Dear Josh:

Here's an interesting article. Actor Billy Bob Thornton says Hollywood is currently making the worst films in history: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8156395/Hollywood-is-making-worst-movies-ever-says-Billy-Bob-Thornton.html I'm sure this is pretty redundant to you, but then, that says a lot, doesn't it?

Dear Nick:
 
It says a lot? Like what? And Billy Bob's some kind of expert? He's certainly been in his share of crap, including "Bad Santa." DirecTV sent me coupon for a free, new, on-demand movie, and there isn't one of them I want to see, even for free. Luckily, there are still thousands of old movies I haven't seen.
 
Josh

Name:             hallo josh becker
E-mail:            
Date:              11/29/10

hallo josh becker:

i am julius. why you no have facebook profile to keep in touch with your lovers of the cinema? is a tool of the ages for you to connect around the world with lovers of the cinema with every country with the globe. please have

Dear julius:
 
I was on Facebook for a week and I didn't like it. I honestly don't feel the need to be in touch with every person I've ever met or everyone I went to school with. And just because everyone else is doing it is a perfectly good reason for me not to do it. As my Mother used to say, "Just because everyone's jumping off a bridge doesn't meen you have to do it, too.
 
Josh

Name:             Pablo Riquelme
E-mail:            
Date:              11/25/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

It knows something about your next film? I think I read it will be with Gary Jones and a B movie, right? Can you tell something about it? The name, actors, producer...? I hope it will be soon and good luck! Thank you.

Dear Pablo:
 
Until I have some money, there is no next film. I'm in the midst of attempting to put the financing together for a script Gary Jones and I wrote called, "Insurgent," but nothing says we'll get the money. Getting a film financed is always an extreme long-shot.
 
Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            
Date:              11/25/10

Dear Josh:

Happy Thanksgiving, Josh, to you and yours. And to Shirley as Well.

Dear Joe:
 
Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone else.
 
Josh

Name:             Kevin Neece
E-mail:            winedrinkingcritic @ yahoo . com
Date:              11/25/10

Dear Josh:

I wasn't attempting to spam or send viruses to anybody. I was trying to see if I could calm the situation down before it escalated, and was going to offer to delete Joe's posts (and the insult responses). But in the end, it's not my website and that really isn't my decision. I don't like being the middle man when a fight breaks out, which is what I am, but that's my job, and at the present, it's the only job I've got left.

Dear Kevin:
 
As I said, I appreciate you trying to mediate, but honestly, I don't really need any help. I stopped taking the bullshit people say here personally a long time ago. Some folks are just waiting to go nuts at the slightest provocation, which, in this case, was the incredibly insulting comment, "calm down." It all makes no nevermind to me.
 
Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            Biteme@fu.com
Date:              11/23/10

Dear Josh:

Hey Kevin, you think I want you to spam my ass or send my viruses? No thanks. I don't know why this has turned into a war, I'm one of the good guys but Josh has just got to mouth off all the time it's not cool.

Dear Joe:
 
There's no war here.  I simply called you out on your bad behavior and you wigged out.  Remember, I did take your question seriously.  So just calm down.
 
Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            jjluvalma@gmail.com
Date:              11/23/10

Dear Josh:

Fuck off? How about you fuck off. I don't even know where you get off telling someone who supports your movies and your website that they have no right being here. Wait, wait, Brian Williams has a NEWSFLASH: Josh Becker is Not God! He's not even The President! He's just a guy like all the rest of us. Thank you, goodnight.

Dear Joe:
 
As William Munny said in "Unforgiven," "I'm just a fella, like anyone else."  Maybe you should invest in some Xanax.  You're the one who came here and started calling people a douchebag.  Does that seem like polite behavior?  All I said was that no one was a douchebag, and then you had to go and prove me wrong and act just like a douchebag.
 
Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            jjluvalma@gmail.com
Date:              11/22/10

Dear Josh:

Yeah, no one's a duchebag but you, you mellow out asshole. And to think I used to pay to watch your stuff now I'll just download it illeagally and stop lining your fat pockets. Thanks...for nothing!

Dear Joe:
 
My, my, but aren't we wound a little tight.  I answered your question, you dumb asshole.  Do everyone a favor and fuck off.
 
Josh

Name:             Joe Luvalma
E-mail:            jjluvalma@gmail.com
Date:              11/22/10

Dear Josh:

Haha, he called you John! What a duchebag. Serious question for you Josh: Have you ever had to pad the running times of any of your movies for distribution? Any tricks or anecdotes you can provide about extending a film for as long as 5-10 mins?

Dear Joe:
 
Nobody's a douchebag, mellow out.  The way to pad out a film is with the credits.  You can easily do a 2-minute title sequence in front, then run 4-5 minutes of titles at the end.  Many big films have 10 minutes of titles at the end, but then they have a lot of people to give credit to.  "Running Time" came out at 65 minutes, so I put a 2-minute title sequence in front, then a 3-minute title crawl at the end, bringing it to a perfectly acceptable 70 minutes.
 
Josh

Name:             James
E-mail:            micro_cuts@tiscali.co.uk
Date:              11/21/10

Hey Josh:

Firstly, love your work, watched as much as I can, and was very pleased to stumble across your website and see you've put more of your work for sale (speaking of, could you confirm how much shipping of them would be to the UK?). I'm trying to break into film making myself, mainly as a writer/director. I love to watch your early work and it inspires me, showing that anyone with the right passion and dedication can accomplish. My first screenplay was largely inspired by some of those shorts. My question however, is a simple one. Do you find you write better when tackling a simple a story as possible, or when you challenge yourself to write something a little more complex?

Best of luck with future projects,
James.

Dear James:
 
The shipping rates are the same for here or Europe.  I'm glad I've inspired you a little.  Every screenplay is its own challenge, whether it's simple or it's complicated.  It certainly becomes more complicated the more characters you have, but getting to the heart and soul of any character is a big job.  What makes them tick and what motivates them?  Personally, I don't like complex, tricky plots; I like lean, clear, simple plots that know where they're going.  The Key to good plot, no matter how simple of complex, is that it knows where it's going.
 
Josh

Name:             Keith
E-mail:            
Date:              11/21/10

Hi Josh:

I'm trying to pay close attention to the structure of movies when I watch them. I just saw Fellini's film "Amarcord". I enjoyed its humor, quirkiness and energy very much. I'll definitely watch it again in the future. However, I didn't perceive a three-act structure or even a particular "point" to the story as a whole. In your second Story Structure essay you list "Amarcord" as being one of the great films that came out between 1967 and 1974. Am I misreading the film, or would you say that it is one of those rare good movies that lacks like a proper structure?

Best,
Keith

Dear Keith:
 
There are exceptions to every rule and Fellini is one of them.  I'm not one his biggest fans, but when his films work, they work on their own level and by their own rules.  He likes vignettes -- sequences that are complete in and of themselves -- and if he can get enough of those working next to each other he made a good film.  I like parts of "Roma" very much, but it's anything but a whole story.  Another filmmaker who worked exclusively in his own genre was Luis Bunuel.  Both Bunuel and Fellini were both working more in a dreamworld than in a narrative world. 
 
Josh

Name:             Gray
E-mail:            
Date:              11/20/10

Hi John,

I'm starting to work on a biopic script. My question is, though the main character is a public figure, how concerned should I be about creating scenes with people who are part of the story, but not public figures? For example, if you were writing a story about President Obama in high school, is it fair to include real characters who have been interviewed about their time in school with him even if they are not public figures? What about the children of public figures? I am not trying to write a defamatory story, but I am wondering whether it is better to change the names of characters if you are using creative license to add dramatic scenes that are not well documented. Thanks,

Dear Gray:
 
First of all, my name is Josh.  Second, you can write anything you want in a screenplay, it's not being published.  If someone actually buys it and wants to make it, then maybe you'll have to change the names to protect the innocent.  Maybe not.  But don't hinder yourself in any way when you're writing -- just write it.
 
Josh

Name:             Mark FAIRCLOUGH
E-mail:            
Date:              11/20/10

Hi Josh:

Mark from the uk. could you tell me about the Bruce Campbell super 8 shorts Fish Sticks and Spring Cleaning starring sam raimi if you've seen them. Could you tell me a little bit about them. Thanks.

Mark Fairclough.

Dear Mark:
 
That's "shticks," BTW.  Those were both 16mm shorts Bruce made for a filmmaking class at Wayne State University when we were about 20 or 21.  Bruce's crew on the films was me.  They're both cute little slapstick shorts, 5-10 minutes long.  Bruce never seemed to care about them very much, but I always thought "Fish Shticks" was kind of funny, and Sam was funny in it.
 
Josh

Name:             Nick
E-mail:            
Date:              11/18/10

Dear Josh:

Just wondering, have you seen Werner Herzog's version of "Bad Lieutenant?" Yes, I know it's a remake, and I hate them as much as anyone, but at least in this case it's a remake in name only, and it was made by an intelligent, talented director who has actually made several good films (imagine that). I strongly preferred it to the Abel Ferrara version, which to me was just a third-rate "Taxi Driver" which relied more on shock value than anything (if I never see Harvey Keitel naked again, it'll be fine with me). Also, I thought the last ten minutes of Ferrara's version were AWFUL (when it suddenly becomes a religious movie), and that Keitel didn't kill the two rapists seemed like a huge cop-out. At least Herzog has a sense of humor, which Ferrara does not. He makes Cage's character, who is basically Klaus Kinski, out to be as corrupt as humanly possible, to the point where it becomes severely absurd. It's a much more interesting approach to the subject, IMO.

Dear Nick:
 
I like Werner Herzog, and I have no doubt he did a better job than Abel Ferrara, who stinks.  Sadly, I saw Ferrara's version.  I'll catch Herzog's when it pops up in front of me on cable.
 
Josh

Name:             Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:            
Date:              11/17/10

Dear Josh:

Thanks! your shorts are great!

Dear Eugen:
 
Thanks a lot.  I guess that means the DVDs got to Germany.  Excellent.
 
Josh

Name:             Rob Blanchard
E-mail:            
Date:              11/16/10

Dear Josh:

Thoughts on Manny Pacquiao destroying Antonio Margarito? It was quite the beat-down. That said, I'm extremely jaded with athletic accomplishments after all the scandals in cycling and baseball. When someone goes up seven weight-classes (as Pacquiao has done), and keeps winning, it makes me a bit suspicious, especially since he won\'t agree to the testing Floyd Mayweather proposes.

Dear Rob:
 
I knew that's how the fight would turn out, and I said so to my buddy the day of the fight.  The only reason for Pacquiao to fight Margarito -- other than filling in for Floyd Mayweather -- was to kick the crap out of him, which he deserved for putting plaster in hand-wraps while fighting Shane Mosley.  If I'm not mistaken, all fighters have to have blood tests at one point or another.  I can't imagine why Pacquiao won't test right before a fight with Mayweather.  But that's the fight everybody wants to see, including me.
 
Josh

Name:             Brandon Young
E-mail:            
Date:              11/15/10

Dear Josh:

Not a question, just merely some comments. Although I am not familiar with your works as a writer/director, I have stumbled onto your site by accident and I have found myself reading your articles and essays. It is nice to finally read such works from someone working in the industry who wants writers and directors to follow the rules of what makes a good script and thus a good film. I feel as if I have been on a soap box in my neck of the woods, preaching to indie writers and filmmakers alike that not only are their works garbage but their works are single handedly pulling our indie film society into the toilet. We need better works out there. While I am a writer/director myself, I am not immune to such things. But the difference I am noticing about myself and my peers is while I have a lot to learn, I am at least on the path of learning and growing and am applying what I've learned on each new project. I'm not seeing this type of change in the community around me nor am I seeing it in good ol' Hollywood (minus a film or two per year). At any rate, what I'm telling you is congratulations and keep it up. Maybe your rants and raves (as well as mine) will inspire and hopefully change this or nexts generation of filmmakers. We can hope, can't we?

Dear Brandon:
 
Indeed.  And I appreciate your acknowledgement of what I'm trying to get across.  It's sort of like Buddhism -- either you're on the path to enlightenment, or you don't even know there is a path.  If you think structure doesn't matter in a screenplay, you're a bad screenwriter.  There's no more it to than that.  "Screenplays," as William Goldman said, "are structure."  I just watched Steven Soderbergh's "Che," which certainly isn't a terrible movie, and Benicio Del Toro is terrific as Che, but the script never stops introducing new characters, right up to the end, which made the proceedings incredibly wearisome.  By halfway through a movie you should be done introducing new characters.  Really, you ought to be done with that by the end of Act I.  38 scripts in, what makes screenwriting rational to me are the three acts.  When I can see my three acts, I know I have a script.  Anyway, I'm glad you agree.  It's you and me against the world.
 
Josh

Name:             Wowzer
E-mail:            
Date:              11/12/10

Dear Josh:

Did I just see you say something good about Tarantino? Amazing. Regarding Herc and Xena people. What did you think of Kevin Smith (Ares)?

Dear Wowzer:
 
Yes, I did say something nice about Quentin Tarantino because I finally kind of liked one of his movies.You see, anything's possible.  Regarding Kevin Smith, he was one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life, particularly for someone as handsome and ripped and talented as he was.  None of it went to his head.  He was a truly sweet, warm, funny guy.  I only worked with him on one episode, but I'm so glad I did.  Kevin Smith was a joy to work with.
 
Josh

Name:             russ
E-mail:            
Date:              11/11/10

Hello Josh:

Do you have any idea why Kevin Sorbo would say derogatory things about Lucy and Rob? In yet another interview he says the only reason that Lucy got the role of Xena was because of Rob and then slyly says Lucy might be gay! I read Bruce's book "If Chins Could Kill" and believe Bruce about how Lucy was cast. As a director for both actors, what is it with Sorbo? Jealous that Rob got the girl maybe?

Dear russ:
 
I don't know why Kevin says or does anything he says or does.  Of course Lucy got the role because of Rob, he was the executive producer.  Whoever was going to get the role would be because of Rob.  But the reality of the situation was that I was the one who kept recommending Lucy for the role, having worked with her on "Hercules and the Amazon Women."  Rob cast someone else, who, at the last minute couldn't make it, and Lucy got the part because she was local in Auckland and was there.  As for Kevin, I completely enjoyed working with him and haven't a single gripe.  He always knew his lines, always seemed to be in a good mood, and did anything I asked him to do, which is all I ask of an actor.  Kevin's a really easy-going, nice guy, I don't know why he gives dumb interviews.
 
Josh

Name:             Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:            
Date:              11/10/10

Dear Josh:

I've paid money for Stryker's War and Cleveland Smith dvd's by paypal.you get the money? and when I get dvds?

Dear Eugen:
 
They've been sent out and you should be getting them soon.  They did have to make their way to Germany.  Patience, my friend.
 
Josh

Name:             John
E-mail:            
Date:              11/10/10

Dear Josh:

So do you think that Tarantino is improving as a filmmaker? Or do you think he just got lucky with "Inglourious Basterds?" Also, from what I've read, "Basterds" isn't a remake of "Inglorious Bastards" but rather it just uses the same name, though bastardized. Pun intended.

Dear John:
 
To me, "Inglorious Basterds" was like a Jodorowsky or Bunuel film -- something that came from directly inside his head to the screen -- a fantasy having very little to do with reality.  I don't think Tarantino got lucky; I think he's moved to the place where he ought to be.  So, yes, I think he's improved.  And if it's not a remake, then it's certainly "inspired by" and should say so.
 
Josh

Name:             Brian
E-mail:            
Date:              11/08/10

Dear Josh:

I read the story you wrote about how you had a falling out with Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino. Very interesting. What's your opinion of Quentin's movies? Do you think his "homages" are just rip-offs of movies he knows that his audience hasn't seen?

Dear Brian:
 
From what I've heard, "Reservoir Dogs" is a complete rip-off of a Hong Kong film.  "Pulp Fiction" supposedly owes a lot to several foreign films.  I haven't seen the 1968 Intalian version of "Inglorious Bastards" (with an A), but I'm curious.  QT doesn't even give that film credit on his version.  I must admit, however, that I thought "Inglorious Basterds" (with an E) was Tarantino's best film, which still didn't make it all that good, but it is unique.  It's 90% more absurd than I thought it would be.  It's too bad it's not more focused on the Basterds and less on the girl and the movie theater.  And if you're going to go to the trouble of setting up the fact that these guys like to scalp Nazis, why didn't they scalp Hitler?  At least he doesn't shoot hand-held all the time.  I thought his shot selections in IB were pretty good, and Robert Richardson's photography was beautiful.
 
Josh

Name:             Pablo Riquelme
E-mail:            
Date:              11/06/10

Dear Mr Becker:

I have been reading the names of your favourite films and I have a question: Do you have some favourite tv movie? I think there are many good tv movies and all of them are not bad as many people think. I love two: "Point Last Seen" with Linda Hamilton, 1998. It's based on true events. I think it has a very good structure. And, of course, as you know, I like so much "Alien Apocalypse". Have you seen "Point last seen"? Thank you!

Dear Pablo:
 
No, I haven't.  But I like a number of TV movies: "Duel," "The Night Stalker," "Tribes," "A Cold Night's Death."  Then you've got the HBO movies, which are some of the best movies being made these days, like: "Bernard and Doris" or "Temple Grandin."  Showtime made a movie I love, "Elvis Meets Nixon."
 
Josh

Name:             Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:            
Date:              11/04/10

Dear Josh:

no,i'm not agent..i'm biggest fan of you,bruce campbell and sam raimi..i respect you. I buy soon Strykers War

Dear Eugen:
 
It's good to know you're not KGB.  I didn't really think you were, I was joking.
 
Josh

Name:             David R.
E-mail:            
Date:              11/04/10

Dear Josh:

I remember in the past you've mentioned that you're boycotting all TV series featuring cops, lawyers, or doctors. So what are you watching these days? I started "Breaking Bad", about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has lung cancer and decides to start cooking meth to pay for treatment and support his family. Can't believe they actually made a TV show with that premise, but they did. And it's damn good too.

Dear David:
 
I don't watch TV shows, other than Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, but no dramatic or comedy series.  If I'm going to actually sit down and watch TV for a while, which I do all the time, I watch a movie.
 
Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            Nativeblood66
Date:              11/04/10

Good Morning Josh!!!

Happy Hallowed Eve!!! MUWAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice touch with the Eileen Dietz dream sequence flash. That was always creepy wasn't it? Trying to watch "The Exorcist" has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I saw it when I was 11 and it just stuck with me. Have you ever read about all the "mass hysteria" and increased outpatient therapy that became apparent after the release of the movie? The color scheme in some of it actually makes me feel like I'm going to blow grits and that's no joke. What do you think made "The Exorcist" such an awesome film Josh? Was it the idea of good vs. evil? Or maybe that most viewers develop a sort of empathy, maybe even sympathy, for Regan? Possibly just the idea of demonic possession? In your way of looking at stories would you say the story was that good? Do you think Friedkin "blew his wad" with this film or do you find anything he was involved with post-Exorcist as compelling? Be mindful of those creepy little night creatures. You know the ones I'm talking about? The ones behind you lurking in the shadows... Be safe.

Tim

Dear Tim:
 
Excuse the delay, but we had a technical glitch.  "The Exorcist" is a very well-made movie.  It does an incredibly good job of setting up the characters and the situation before turning on the horror so that you actually give a damn.  And then it really goes all the way.  Regan slamming the crucifix into her crotch is still shocking.  The film scared me and I'm not Catholic.  Also, it has really great actors, like Ellen Burstyn and Lee J. CobbWilliam Friedkin most definitely shot his wad by "The Exorcist" and nothing that came afterward was worth a damn.  The bridge scene in "Sorcerer" is terrific, but that's it.
 
Josh

Name:             Scott
E-mail:            
Date:              11/04/10

Hey Josh:

I just wanted to post this link to support the conversation about the manufacturing of the disappointment of Obama's administration. I have to agree that the Democrats failed with regards to being blowhards like the Republicans and showing their pride in their achievements since Obama became President. http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/ I for one am happy that my family and I are going to benefit from a repercussion from the healthcare bill because my wife lost her job at the end of the year and fortunately has been receiving a year's severance after working for the same company for 10 years, however, in January, we will lose our medical benefits which we were receiving from her job and we will have to go on COBRA and pay for our health insurance. We have two children, and I am a freelancer so it's not cheap, but because of the the Healthcare reform and the period in which my wife lost her job, 65% of our monthly COBRA premium will be paid by the Government for 18 months. I think that is fantastic and it helps us tremendously until we can find an alternative to the situation which may have to do with me joining the Camera Union during that period, so I can carry the medical benefits As we all know, Obama's administration was handed a mess 8 years in the making and things are slow now, but it will take time to fix things and I think they are doing a fine job, but also not being loud about it because they are actually working instead of being mouthpieces and actually getting things done without credit where credit is due.

Dear Scott:
 
It took Bush 8 years to completely screw the pooch, it's going to take a while longer to clean of his enormous mess.  And now that the Republicans have the House, maybe they'll do something other than piss and moan and say no.
 
Josh

Name:             John Hunt
E-mail:            chowkidar@aol.com
Date:              11/04/10

Dear Josh:

I hope we've got all of this sorted out now. Josh, I was wondering if anyone ever did a good incorporarion of actual space shots taken from real telescopes and integrated them appropriately into a picture. We often get the comp-gen starfields, but the real thing is just up that way. I ask becasue the astronauts often talk about how great the sky would look in high earth orbit, how many stars could be seen. Is this a resource for a budding scifi director? I ask because I have a burgeoning interest in astro-imaging and it always puts me in a mind of ST-TOS Also, do you hear from Ted recently? I had hoped that he might turn a corner and get bigger roles. I'm really happy to be able to write to your blog again and wish you every success in all your endeavors. That I really mean sincerely; Keep the faith and don't let any bastards drag you down!

Dear John:
 
Not that I know of.  Shots of space or starfields, or just the night sky, have always been FX shots.  My good buddy Rick, who loved "Lawrence of Arabia," always hated the shot of the stars in the sky when he's camping out in the desert near the beginning because it was a matte painting.  I think it would be nice to have shots of real stars and actual shots of space in movies.
 
Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              10/27/10

Dear Josh:

tell me please Date of Birth of : Bill Aaron,Bill Kirk,Tim Quill,Richard DeManincor (Hal Delrich) thanks!

Dear Eugen:

Are you some kind of KGB agent or something? I don't know these people's dates of birth.

Josh

Name:            Chris
E-mail:           
Date:              10/27/10

Dear Josh:

I've noticed that throughout the year you have made appearances at various conventions and even have a few more lined up. How have these been for you? I understand you haven't been to many conventions in the past to promote your films or for things like Xena. What are most people who stop at your booth interested in? I hope your books and less known films are getting some attention!

Chris

Dear Chris:

As my former girlfriend said, "It's good for you to get out of your crazy box occasionally," and of course she's right. It is good to get out of here sometimes, and I make a little bit of money, too. It's also interesting to meet the end-users of my products. It's also fascinating to find out who your peer group is At the Motor City Comic Con, which was a really good convention, I found myself seated beside special effects maestro, Tom Savini, across from Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, Linda Blair, Adam West, Eric Roberts and the female boxer, Mia St. John. At Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland, also a very good convention and extremely well-run, I was directly next to Herschell Gordon Lewis, who is a very sweet, friendly man, who had 99% more people lining up for his autograph than I had for mine. Because he was perfectly happy to sign anything put in front of him -- and some fans show up with 100 lobby cards and posters -- many people were stuck in line in front of my table for hours and ended up buying my shit because they didn't have anything better to do. As I told Mr. Lewis, "If I were just selling Herschell Gordon Lewis movies I'd being doing great."

Josh

Name:            Steven Millan
E-mail:           
Date:              10/27/10

Dear Josh:

What is your opinion of Nevada Senator candidate Sharron Angle,who is not only a far right wing Repulbican candidate but has also said some pretty insane things about abolishing Social Security and Medicare,that Canada is helping terrorists into U.S. borders,avoiding interviews with the press and the mainstream,said that God is on her side and has a plan(for her to win),and refered to a roomful of Hispanic students as "half of you look Asian". And do you think that she will win or lose ?

Dear Steven:

It proves that there's no shortage of nuts here in the U.S. But I suppose per capita we don't have any more crazy people than anywhere else, they just all seem to be coming out of the woodwork right now and running for office. It's not like Harry Reid is a bundle of personality, but he doesn't seem crazy. I guess we'll see just how crazy Nevadans are.

Josh

Name:            Pablo
E-mail:           
Date:              10/27/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

Hi, I'm glad to write you one more time. I have a question about the acts of a script. Your screenplay of Alien Apocalypse is made with 8 acts, but in your essay: "The Need of a structure", you're talking about 3 acts. Is the meaning of this that there're 3 lead acts but each writer can make his screenplay with the acts that he want?

Thank you!
Pablo Riquelme.

Dear Pablo:

You ask a very rational question. Stories are told in three acts: set-up, confrontation, resolution. TV movies are broken up to allow for commercials every 12 minutes. Those aren't legitimately act breaks, they're commercial breaks. Theoretically, in TV movies or TV shows, each commercial break is supposed to end with a cliff-hanger, thus compelling the audience to tune back in after the commercials. That's not always possible, but you do your best. Nevertheless, stories are, for the most part, told in three acts no matter how many commercial breaks they may have.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              10/23/10

Dear Josh:

I mean if bruce campbell is fight against other people in strykers war

Dear Eugen:

In "Stryker's War" Lt. Stryker, played by Bruce Campbell, fights the Manson family (or a facsimile thereof). In "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except," Sgt. Stryker, played by Brian Schulze, also fight the Manson Family. In the new "reboot" Sgt. Stryker (to be played by Bruce) will fight someone else, but I'm not telling who.

Josh

Name:            Brian Severin
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Hello Josh:

About three weeks ago I arrived home for my lunch break from a hectic morning at work to find my recently ordered Stryker's War DVD in my mailbox. I had to open it right away, and I was elated by what I found inside. (See attached photo.) This really made my day and helped give me something to look forward to after work.

I really enjoyed watching the movie. It was all the best parts of TSNKE in one compact, classic film. First and foremost, I want to thank you for making this available to the fans, and for your autograph and kind note. The fact that Bruce was able to autograph it as well is just the icing on the cake! Thank you for making that possible.

Take care and Cheers!
-Brian Severin

P.S. This will make a wonderful companion piece to my autographed TSNKE DVD.

Dear Brian:

It was just a coincidence that Bruce happened to be over, so I got him to sign the DVD, too. I love the fact that his signature is such a scrawl -- like someone bumped the table -- that he writes below his signature, "Stryker" or "Ash" or whatever. Anyway, that the only DVD like it.

Josh

Name:            Jack
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Dear Josh:

In relation to Halloween FIlms, over here in the UK BBC4 are doing a Horror Season and I have so far seen Bride of Frankenstein and Cat People (42) within a couple of days of each other. Heaven! Also, I'm working on a Screenplay for a Happy Ending/Comedy version of Romeo & Juliet. A good idea or a horrible tavestry? It has Comic elements already in the first couple of Acts and it's working well so far as a Farce. I'd just like to thank you as had I not found by chance your "Complete Guide to Low Budget Filmmaking" Book and, subsequently, your Website, I would have remained in the mindset of Writing like a 12-year-old and thinking that the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy were amongst of the finest Films ever made.

Dear Jack:

I'm glad you got something out of the book, that's why I wrote it. In the past few years I've watched "The Shining" a lot. I think it's a film that can't be watched too much. The helipoter shots at the beginning are astounding. Anyone know what lens he's using there? It's really wide. Good luck with your R&J story.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Dear Josh:

fought(fight) bruce campbell in strykers war?

Dear Eugen:

I don't know what you mean.

Josh

Name:            Mark Fairclough
E-mail:           mfairclough1@hotmail.co.uk
Date:              10/22/10

Hi Josh:

mark from the uk. Could you tell me a little bit about your film short imp of the perverse and about the story that you did for a college film class. How are you by the way hope your well thanks. Mark Fairclough.

Dear Mark:

I made "The Imp of the Perverse," based on an E.A. Poe story, in college in 1974-75. I shot it MOS, then had the edited film sound-striped and I narrated it. It turned out all right. At the end the character becomes so agitated that he passes out. Poe's narration said, "I fell prostrate in a swoon," which I've always liked.

Josh

Name:            Gordon Bombay
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Hi Josh:

When making a low-budget indie, if there's something in the script you're not sure you can pull off, would you reccommend going for it or just cutting it?

Dear Gordon:

That's a pretty vague question. Are you talking about crowd scenes or effects or performance? And why don't you think you can't pull it off? Money or lack of ability? Please explain.

Josh

Name:            Don Keen
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Dear Josh:

You really should remake Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except! I mean, if Bruce wants to do it, why not do it? I'm sure a remake starring him could get some funding. What's holding you back, brosef? Be a chum and remake the fucker. Yeah! Love you to pieces!

Dear Don:

If Bruce wants to do it, and he seems to, then we'll remake it. But this version will be different than "Stryker's War" or TSNKE, which are very much the same movie. This will be modern and more of a reboot than a remake.

Josh

Name:            evil dead fan
E-mail:           
Date:              10/22/10

Dear Josh:

hi when you make evil dead does it scare you?

Dear evil dead fan:

No, not at all. We were just cold and uncomfortable, working many late nights covered with sticky fake blood.

Josh

Name:            jeffers
E-mail:           
Date:              10/21/10

Dear Josh:

is u gey?

Dear jeffers:

Me no gey. Sadly for me, I like women.

Josh

Name:            Paul
E-mail:           
Date:              10/15/10

Dear Josh:

I agree with the coments on "Seven". It is style over substance with the style being mostly dim lighting. Plus it brought to mind the two Vince Price movies that had the same murder by the numbers plotline "The Abonimable Dr. Phibes" and "Theatre of Blood". Any thought on Vincent Price ? Have you seen "Champaigne for Caesar" his advertising comedy ? As for Kazan I was reading the book "Movie Wars" by critic Jonathon Rosenbaum and he makes the point that while people attack him for naming names, the studio heads that did the actual blacklisting get a free pass.

Dear Paul:

Good point. And what about all of the friendly witnesses, like Gary Cooper, Adolph Menjou, C.B. DeMille, Jack Warner, etc.? But whatever Kazan's politics were, he was a great film director. He was a great artist. Beethoven was apparently an asshole. So what? Anyway, I've seen "Champagne For Caesar" several times, and I saw it first as a little kid of like 11 and loved it. A good late part for Ronald Coleman, as well. It's one of Vincent Price's great comedy parts. And I like "Theater of Blood and "The Abominable Dr. Phibes," too. Price was really good. He's also great in "Laura," "Song of Bernadette" and "His Kind of Woman" with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.

Josh

Name:            Trey
E-mail:           
Date:              10/14/10

Hi Josh:

I'm digging the new background on the main page, hah. Keeping with that theme, do you have any Halloween film related traditions, such as watching a favorite horror film? I try to watch one or two favorites along with scary movies I've never seen. For example, last year my Halloween marathon consisted of "The Exorcist" (for the third time), "Frankenstein"('31), and "Dracula('31), the latter two films for the first time. This year I'm treating myself to a showing of a 35mm print of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" on the big screen in Atlanta. I'm very excited about that.

Regards,
Trey

Dear Trey:

Seeing "Psycho" on the big screen for Halloween seems like a fun idea. I just hand out candy to the few kids who make it to my door while watching some movie or another. I liked Halloween a lot as a kid, but it don't mean that much to me now. Maybe if I had kids.

Josh

Name:            David R.
E-mail:           
Date:              10/14/10

Dear Josh:

Interesting trivia about "The Social Network": Aaron Sorkin's screenplay was 166 pages. David Fincher was under contract to bring the film in at or around two-hours, so he had the actors speak the dialog faster (the opening scene for example, which is four minutes, is a nine-page scene as written).

Dear David:

That's what Ken Russell did with Paddy Chayefsky's script for "Altered States." It upset Chayefsky so much he removed his name from the screenplay credit, but I thought it worked great. I was just thinking about line from that script as I floated off to sleep last night, and I'm sure I don't have it exactly right, but William Hurt's character says of his estranged wife, "She prefers the meaningless pain we inflict on each other, as opposed to the pain we would otherwise just be inflicting on ourselves."

Josh

Name:            Brian
E-mail:           
Date:              10/14/10

Hey Josh:

ha! so true about FedEx...I just thought there were some decent dialogue in the movie...but I'm sure I think that only because I'm a cynical misanthrope. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that my favorite movie is Taxi Driver.

Dear Brian:

I'm not saying that David Fincher is not an accomplished director, nor am I saying there weren't a few good lines in "Seven," although I can't remember any of them, I just thought it didn't add up to anything. I do like "Taxi Driver" very much. I just watched Martin Scorsese's homage to Elia Kazan on PBS that was pretty interesting. It pleased me that folks were willing to stand up for the man because he was a severely talented director.

Josh

Name:            Brian
E-mail:           
Date:              10/13/10

Hey Josh:

I was reading about your thoughts on David Fincher's work, and you mentioned you didn't like Seven. Can you explain why?

Dear Brian:

Because it's stupid. As my friend said of it, "It's a mystery for idiots." The cops keep getting calls in the middle of the night saying, "There's been another murder," then they're at the crime scene and there's blood all over the place. Having detected nothing, the killer finally turns himself in. The utterly absurd finale is FedEx delivering Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box to the 137th phone pole in the middle of nowhere. FedEx won't even deliver to a P.O. box.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              10/11/10

Dear Josh:

What month is holding it come out? and what year? What month is acting & racting get out? and what year? which month the final round came out? and what year? Stryker war month and year? bruce campbell fighting in Strykers war?

Dear Eugen:

I don't remember the months these films were completed. "The Final Round" was shot in 1977, "Acting & Reacting" was 1978, "Holding It" was 1979, "Styker's War" was 1980.

Josh

Name:            Jeremy Milks
E-mail:           jeremy@jeremymilks.com
Date:              10/11/10

Dear Josh:

Hey. I thanked you back in March I believe for all the help your website has given me in regards to screenplay structure and all that jazz, and how it helped me secrure my first professional gig (I didn't think I was gonna get paid, but it turns out I did. Not much, but hey, a check is a check is a check). Anyway, in case you were interested, I thought I'd post up the IMDb link to the movie (it's shooting now in LA). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731702/ The screenplay was rewritten some by the director (and he changed the title as well), so I'm not sure how much of my material stayed in, but I'm told quite a bit of it did, whether that's for better or worse though, I don't know. haha

Thank you again,
Jeremy Milks

Dear Jeremy:

Good for you. It's not easy getting a film made, good or bad, so congratulations.

Josh

Name:            Chris
E-mail:           
Date:              10/11/10

Hey Josh:

Were the Joe Lo Duca scores for your films ever going to be released? There was talk a while back of a box set or something. Would be great to have them on CD. Also, managed to track down a copy of the "Lunatics" theatrical poster! Yus!

Dear Chris:

There was talk of releasing Joe's score for my movies on CD, but alas, it didn't happen.

Josh

Name:            Nick
E-mail:           
Date:              10/11/10

Dear Josh:

I really haven't seen much disappointment with Obama, aside from the general disappointment and malaise everyone has in the U.S. with the way the economy is going and all (which is understandable). It's just that the Republicans are far more loud and obnoxious and, as you said, do not like bi-partisanship because the concept of intelligent discourse damages their fragile egos. If yer not with 'em 1000%, yer wrong! I honestly think they're struggling far more with their image than the democrats, it's just that we're not seeing it expressed in the national media because the news networks obviously get a lot of money from the party (or are owned by Rupert Murdoch, an extremist neo-Conservative). The level to which the media is exalting the republican party I find offensive, particularly considering how badly they're failing at it. An excellent example of this is their constant ennobling of Delaware constituent Christine O'Donnell, apparently the new figurehead for the Republican Party, who is failing *miserably* in the primaries (she's 19 points behind her democratic opponent, Chris Coons), yet they keep emphasizing the fact that "that could change at any minute." Yeah, right. I'm actually glad they chose her to be their representative, since she seems to have the mentality of a 13-year-old girl, which seems to express the philosophy of the Republican party in a very eloquent manner. And, of course, they keep pushing Sarah Palin to run for President in 2012 (dear God!), even though polls keep consistently indicating that something like 22% of Americans think she would make a good president, but of course, "that could change at any minute." Really, the Republican Party's national image is far more manufactured than the "disappointment" with Obama. I do agree with your disappointment in how he handled the book-burning situation, though. He should have just told them to go fuck themselves and get a life.

Dear Nick:

I agree. Christine O'Donnell is running on an anti-masturbation platform. Republicans are ridiculous. The fact that they've made "progressive" a dirty word is insane. A progressive is looking forward, a conservative is looking backward.

Josh

Name:            Tim
E-mail:           Nansemondnative
Date:              10/08/10

Evening Josh:

Enjoyed reading your new essay on religious freedom as I enjoy most of your writings. In the essay you seem to have included the current U.S. General Manager in the category of spineless wimps. In one of your post responses though you write that disappointment in him is manufactured. Did I misinterpret anything here? You have no disappointment in him? Can you support the idea of manufactured disappointment with examples of how this was done and possibly why? I know you are extremely strong in the logic department so I am looking forward to your response should you decide to.

Tim

Dear Tim:

I just did in the previous Q&A, and yes, I did find that incident disappointing, but it was ubiquitous amongst everybody in power, left and right. Al-Qaeda has set the rules of discourse and everybody follows those rules because everybody is afraid of them. But given the steaming bowl of shit Obama was handed upon becoming president -- two wars and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression -- I think he's doing a great job and not getting credit for it.

Josh

Name:            Lanning
E-mail:           
Date:              10/08/10

Dear Josh:

What do you mean by, "This tremendous disappointment in Obama is manufactured"? Who is manufacturing it and for what reason?

Dear Lanning:

There's no bi-partisanship in the Republican party; they're the party of "no." I'd also submit that there's a big racist streak through them, too. Add to that the Republican media mouthpiece, Fox News, that spends 24 hours a day bad-mouthing the president and all Democratic politicians. Obama has achieved more in two years than George W. Bush achieved in eight, yet he's a "huge disappointment." Bullshit! That's what I mean by manufactured.

Josh

Name:            Nick
E-mail:           
Date:              10/07/10

Dear Josh:

Just out of curiosity, have you been following American politics lately? What do you think of the "American Tea Party?" They seem like the minions of Satan to me. CNN, the Conservative News Network, has been pushing them like crazy so they'll get elected to the senate (they report on them practically every half-hour), yet they do not seem to have enough collective brain power to form complete sentences, much less run the U.S. I think it should be against the law for Republicans or conservatives to hold public office after eight years of George Bush. I enjoyed your recent piece on the Florida Koran book-burning. What a fiasco. I find it impossible to believe anyone with the slightest modicum of intelligence could get so worked-up over something as hilariously pathetic as inbred hillbillies burning books like Nazis to show what patroitic, flag-waving Americans they are. All it showed to me was that religious fundamentalists don't understand the concept of irony.

Dear Nick:

I read the NY Times every day, so I have a fairly good idea what's going on. Anyone who thinks Goerge Bush was a better president than Barack Obama needs their head examined. This tremendous disappointment in Obama is manufactured. And anyone who thinks "progressive" is epithet is a moron. A progressive is looking forward; a conservative is looking backward.
The Tea-baggers are disappointed with their own miserable, foolish little lives and blaming it on the government.

Josh

Name:            Trey
E-mail:           vgntrey@gmail.com
Date:              10/07/10

Dear Josh:

Do you have any interest in seeing "The Social Network?" I know you aren't a big fan of David Fincher's films, but it was penned by Aaron Sorkin and you seem to like most of the films he's written ("A Few Good Men," "Malice," "The American President," and "Charlie Wilson's War"). In fact, with the exception of "Malice," all of his films are on your Favorite Films list. I saw it this past weekend and was thoroughly surprised at how good it was despite the misconceptions everyone seems to have about it being "a Facebook book movie," which it really isn't. I thought the script was fantastic and incredibly witty and intelligent, with rapid fire dialogue that sort of hearkened back to Howard Hawks' comedies like "His Girl Friday." It was just a well-made, well-acted, and very straight-forward film about a story that is really a lot more interesting and insightful than one would originally think.

Hope all is well,
Trey

Dear Trey:

I think Aaron Sorkin is one of, if not the best, screenwriter working, so I am interested in seeing "The Social Network." And I don't hate David Fincher; I think he sets up his shots extremely well. I didn't like "Seven" or the final two-thirds of "Fight Club," but I liked the first act, and I was also interested, if not blown away, by "Zodiac."

Josh

Name:            David R.
E-mail:           
Date:              10/07/10

Dear Josh:

Are You Alive?

Dear David:

Yes, I'm alive. We've had some website issues, but I think they're all cleared up now. Thanks for asking.

Josh

Name:            Godrick
E-mail:           
Date:              09/04/10

Dear Josh:

What are your thoughts on Wallstreet and the upcoming sequel?

Dear Godrick:

I thought "Wall Street" was pretty good, and certainly the best performance Michael Douglas has ever given. I would write off Oliver Stone entirely at this late date were it not for "World Trade Center," which I thought was a good, solid film that was very well-handled. So, the "Wall Street" sequel could be good, it's possible.

Josh

Name:            CD
E-mail:           
Date:              09/03/10

Dear Josh:

What is your best advice on directing actors?

Dear CD:

On a basic level it's: learn your lines and hit your marks. I often add: pick up the pace or more energy. On many occasions I've suggested to actors which word in the sentence should be emphasized. However, I'm not an acting teacher so I leave up to the actors to give the performances. I cast them, now they have to do their job.

Josh

Name:            David Kashfi
E-mail:           davidkashfi@yahoo.com
Date:              09/03/10

Dear Josh:

I heard that you devised the lyrics to the Joxer the Mighty song. They are very creative. How did you come up with them? Thanks.

David

Dear David:

Adding songs to the Xena episodes that I directed was a little bit of a trademark. In the case of the "Joxer the Mighty Song," I came up with the first verse and chorus, "Joxer the Mighty/ Roams through the countryside/ Never needs a place to hide/ He's Joxer/ Joxer the Mighty." Then Ted began adding verses, like, "With Gabby as his sidekick/ Fighting with her little stick," which I think is very funny. Then Joe LoDuca ran with it and added a half dozen more verses at the end. I also wrote the Gabriel song in "Fins, Femmes & Gems" and "I'm in Heaven" in "If the Shoe Fits..." I also wrote the rap song, "The Reynolds Rap," in "Lunatics." I'm a wannabe songwriter with very little talent. Luckily for me I've had Joe LoDuca to back me up on all these songs.

Josh

Name:            boo-boo bear
E-mail:           
Date:              09/02/10

Dear Josh:

I think it's time to put up some more new reviews or new/old reviews...don't you?????????

Dear boo-boo bear:

New reviews of mine will begin appearing monthly in "True West Magazine" next month. I've already written about 8-9, so I'm covered well into 2011. Perhaps after the reviews are a couple of months old I'll post them on my website.

Josh

Name:            Dean
E-mail:           
Date:              08/26/10

Hey Josh:

I have a slightly amusing ( to me at least ) story/rant regarding the always "fun" world of film production, that I just wanted to get your opinions on as a fellow independent producer/glutton for punishment. I am finishing up a feature next year, that I started in the UK, just setting up to do the last two/three weeks of shooting on it, as additional funds needed to be raised, these portions of the script are set in the USA. So, I figure these short portions are set in the USA, why not film in the USA ? Instead of trying to use a city in Canada to double for the United States, like so many productions, help the economy, free trade capitalism in action. Ok, so there I am searching through all the things I need as a producer to hire US crew members to work on the shoot. Anyway, long story short, everything I have read seems to suggest that I would need a work permit to film in the USA ( even though I am using, entirely my own funds and not taking any employment from any USA agency ). OK, so I have to get a work permit, no problem here comes the next snag, you can only get the work permit, if you are an artist of distinction ( won major awards, earned massive salaries, etc, etc ), you can't get these Visas if you just want to shoot a temporary project, there is no visa program that fits my situation as an independent producer. So I find myself yet another film-maker using Canada to double for the United States, "welcome to small town usa, just ignore the mounties in the background, they are working on a big case down here" ( Short of the usual shooting permits, insurance etc, you do not need an actual work permit as a self funded Producer to film in Canada providing you are not actually being employed by a canadian organisation ). My question is ( given you are a USA based film-maker, working in todays tough economic climate ). Do find it morbidly amusing that the USA while keen to encourage film-making and job creation actually restricts film-making and job creation for any but the super rich/already established/corporately funded ? Do you think it would be a good idea to create a temporary work permit that applies specifically to the film industry for short term projects, so that as an independent film-maker you can legally hire US crew members and create jobs without ( potentially ) being imprisoned ? I could if I wanted to be fine legally to shoot in the USA and not pay anyone, but the second I pay people to work, even if I paid employment taxes on their wages, its a no go. Essentially this is a chunk of money that will now be spent elsewhere and while it is not exactly a mammoth sum, no film is cheap to make and I would have thought even on a small scale employment is important, no matter how temporary. Due to favourable exchange rates the USA is actually a viable option for european independent productions, but it seems as if there is no encouragement for this, which is kind of a shame. Anyway, I am going to be ordering your DVD's soon, as I have been a long time fan of your work ( asked questions a good couple of times and you have always been more than helpful ), hoping to see you get a few more projects off the ground and hopefully get a few more books published, above all else, you are a great writer. Take it easy Josh.

Dear Dean:

Canadian cities have been passing for American cities for minimally the last 20 years. Up until we got this 40% rebate in 2008, nobody shot in Detroit even when their story took place here. The "Robocop" movies used Houston, and Mike Binder (a native Michigander) shot a couple of films that took place here in England (and pulled it off). The one that really amused me was "Narc" with Ray Liotta. It all took place in Detroit, but was shot in Toronto. They would be driving up Yonge St. and say shit like, "Keep going up Woodward, then make a left at Grand Blvd," and all I could think was "That sure isn't Woodward or Grand Blvd." When Ray Liotta got depressed he went out and sat on a bench with the Detroit River and the city of Detroit in the background. Apparently, when we get depressed here we go over to Windsor, Ontario and stare back at Detroit. Anyway, I think you'll be fine, but it is ridiculous you couldn't shoot your film in America. I always needed a work permit to shoot in New Zealand, but I was working for someone else. I didn't need a work permit in Bulgaria, however.

Josh

Name:            Jack
E-mail:           
Date:              08/26/10

Dear Josh:

Just seen a Making of of the South Park Film with Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in which they said that when Paramount signed them up to make the Film they sent them on on a Class on how to Write one properly, including the Three-Act Structure and all that. Question: if the Major Studios know about these Classes and that the people making Films need to know this info then why do all of their Films ignore the rules and suck (except South Park, that's good.)

Dear Jack:

I don't know that all films ignore the three-act structure. Certainly the big action movies seem to follow the three acts, they just don't do it well. And no one outside of the one-hour TV shows seems to understand the concept of the theme. There would be no better training for feature film screenwriters than to write TV shows, but it doesn't work that way in Hollywood. Once you start working on TV it's automatically assumed you're a TV person, not feature film person. As far as the Director's Guild is concerned, I'm a one-hour TV director even though I've directed seven features. Regarding the three-act structure, I can teach that in a sentence: set-up, conflict, resolution, and make the ends of the acts definitive. La! Regarding Trey Parker and Matt Stone, I think "Team America" is one the best films of the past few years, which saying one whole helluva lot, but it's still something. And they did it with marionettes. Most filmmakers these days can't get you to give a crap about actual humans.

Josh

Name:            Ryan Meade
E-mail:           ryanmeadesmovies@yahoo.com
Date:              08/26/10

Josh,

Recently met you at motor city comic con 2010. We talked about doing some DVD sleeve art production... I have a new job as a camera operator/editor at www.atreidesmedia.com Swank equipment and office space downtown pontiac. Im shooting another film in Waterford, Tom Sullivan is to come out and make an apperance.Hint Hint, you could too, but anyway...I read the rules. so...If you still have my contact info I'd love to help you achieve your DVD sleeve goals!

Thanks again!
Ryan Meade

Dear Ryan:

I remember you, I enjoyed meeting you, and I thought you had some interesting suggestions for the DVD boxes, although I'm OK with the ones I've created. I wish you all the best of luck with your movie. My office is also located in bustling downtown Pontiac, where they've been shooting "LOL" for the past few days with Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus. Unfortunately, I've never enjoyed being in front of the camera, just behind it (where I can hide). I'm not a good actor, I'm very self-conscious in front of the camera, and my eyesight so bad that I can't see my marks. Anyway, good luck.

Josh

Name:            August
E-mail:           joxerfan@hotmail.com
Date:              08/17/10

Dear Josh:

Would you believe I just watched your film Acting and Reacting for the first time, thanks to YouTube. It's really enjoyable, and not what you'd expect from either its title, or from watching things like Cleveland Smith. And look at little Ted, acting up a storm! If I recall correctly, you filmed this after coming back from Hollywood by way of Alaska, right? It really does reflect a lot of the sort of existential wandering that you've written about in various stories and essays. And that next-to-last scene, with Bruce alone and isolated in the middle of a crowd, as the music swells and the camera pulls away, is just as good as you'd see in any 35-mm big screen project from anyone. And lest we forget, have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 17th! The clip below says it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWe9axdr3Ko

Regards,
August

Dear August:

Always a pleasure to hear from you, and thanks for birthday wishes. "Acting & Reacting" does sort of stand alone within the movies we were all making at that time, which were mainly slapstick comedies, although there were a few action and horror films sprinkled in. A&R gives a reasonably honest view of what we actually looked and sounded like at the age of 20. The film was somewhat reviled in its day for being too "artsy fartsy." I personally quite like the follow shot right before the party with Bruce and Scott talking on that weird, zig-zagging walkway, which ends with the lone pull-back of Bruce, then the pull-back at the party, then the pull-back at the bookstore.

Josh

Name:            Jay Kwon
E-mail:           
Date:              08/08/10

Dear Josh:

I was wondering if you'd seen "Remember Me"? I just recently watched it on DVD and thought it was great. There's a little bit too much shaky handheld at the beginning but that seems to go away completely by the ten minute mark. There are some cliches and it gets a bit convoluted sometimes, but the characters are so good that you get past it quickly. As far as young romances go, I think it's much better than any of the new ones coming out these days. Even better than The Notebook. Please check it out and tell us what you think.

Dear Jay:

I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Josh

Name:            Jack
E-mail:           
Date:              08/08/10

Dear Josh:

Hi. I just Read in Total Film about the new Film they\'re doing about the Burke and Hare Murders in Victorian Edinburgh and it lists 14 Producers! 14! How many people does it take to get a Film a Budget and Crew? Maybe they think that by logic the more Producers there are the better the Film. What are your thoughts?

Dear Jack:

It's not like anyone hires 14 producers, it's all about how a deal comes together. A production company has a script they're trying to get financed so they hook up with another production company, who hooks up with another production company, who then connect with a group of financiers, etc., and everybody wants a producers credit. It's very difficult getting a movie financed, and it generally takes two, three or four production companies to pull it off these days. That's how that comes to be.

Josh

Name:            Pablo
E-mail:           
Date:              08/06/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

Hi again! I've just seen that my mother (Begoña) is your fan too. I'm glad she said you that there is a french copy. The mistake of PETER JASON and SCOT VALANTINE is true, but the poster is very good and there are phrases that compare "Harpies" with "army of darkness" in the back. I only I missed extras like "behind the scenes" or "interviews".

Pablo Riquelme.

Dear Pablo:

I'm glad your mother is a fan, too. It will be nice to have a DVD of the movie. At the moment I only have a VHS tape I made off TV. I'll only be able to watch the DVD on my computer because it'll be PAL, but I don't care because I don't want to watch it.

Josh

Name:            Begoña
E-mail:           cuarteroalonso787@hotmail.com
Date:              08/05/10

Dear Josh:

Didn't you know that your film is on DVD? Is that possible?? Anyway, you can find it with this link: http://stores.ebay.fr/ASdiscount

Dear Begoña:

I bought a copy already, thanks. Not a bad cover.

Josh

Name:            Tim
E-mail:           NansemondNative
Date:              08/04/10

Good Afternoon Josh:

Just got through reading "Luck of the Draw". You have this knack for incorporating a lot of different real life elements into your stories that I think 95% of most people can easily relate to. I would venture to say you might have lived out a few of these things or know somebody who did. Like consistently fooling yourself into thinking that you're getting ready to win big at the Poker table! HaHa! What about "Jew-Woppy"? All that is real life stuff. This guy Abe...Geez! You might have called him Job with all the trials and tribulations he went through huh? Abe is clearly his own worst enemy. He is self-defeated. Self-flagellation, negative self-talk...He is his own vicious cycle 'eh? His wife and kid nags him all the time. Why? Because they know he's a walking talking accident waiting to happen. Could it get any worse? Damn right and it sure did! I like the way you blend the comedy elements into the story to provide a litle vacation from this guys oppression. For example, the way Abe has been to the lock box and got the money. He's put it into his book and is on his way to the vault! BAM! Shit! There's the boss! What now? It goes on with Abe getting back to his desk for the big cover his ass scene and there is money falling all out on the floor! This clown is one second away from being busted big time! But he always seems to pull it together at the last second doesn't he? You can easily see the comedy being played out here. Very entertaining. The seamless incorporation and recall from the start of the story involving the "poker face" plays out well when Abe is confronted by the agent. Is this now kind of a game for Abe? Again, it looks like he is seconds away from being hung-up balls first when we found out from the agent that the boss just got his ass busted for the really big money that was disappearing. Abe, being in the position he is in, can intelligently predict the outcome and tell them what they need to hear and pin every bit of on the boss! Bye Bye Boss man! Hello promotion! Hello vacation and hello new found respect from the wife and kid. One has to wonder if Abe will finally overcome his addictions/demons and keep his ass straight considering his new found lease on life. Bottom line...This story is about fate. I think it would make a fine short visual story Josh. Thanks again for offering these stories to everyone.

Tim

Dear Tim:

Your reponse is as long as the story. Note: **SPOILER ALERT** this email gives away every story point. Anyway, I'm glad you seemed to enjoy it. You seem to have gotten everything out of it that there was to get. Read the other stories.

Josh

Name:            Begoña
E-mail:           
Date:              08/04/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

I have the film HARPIES on DvD. It's the french version and where are the names of the actors Stephen Baldwin, Kristin Richardson, etc, is also PETER JASON and isn't Scott Valentine...I'm sure Peter Jason isn't in the film...so Why is his name on the DVD??

Dear Begoña:

There's a DVD of "Harpies"? I had no idea, French or otherwise. No, of course Peter Jason isn't in "Harpies," it's Scott Valentine, as you said. Peter Jason plays the President in "Alien Apocalypse." It sounds to me like what we call in English a "mistake."

Josh

Name:            Pablo
E-mail:           pablocampbell2@hotmail.com
Date:              08/02/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

I'm not sure if I understand you... Have you said that you would like to get the films that Declan is receiving like: SHARKTOPUS?? I think you can do better movies than that type of movies. A clear example of this is all your filmography. The only good reason to do those movies is the money. There is a difference between the Cience Fiction and SHARKTOPUS. Your film ALIEN APOCALYPSE is very good. However, SHARKTOPUS...Well, I have no words... Thank you.

Pablo Riquelme.

Dear Pablo:

The only one who gets to make "Sharktopus" is the guy who thinks it up, gets it to the right people and wants to make it. I'm sure Declan can do better than "Sharktopus," too, but the point is, he keeps getting movies made. I've got the scripts for several SyFy Channel movies that I think would be really good, they're simply not slam-dunks "Sharktopus." When I read Declan's script, "Harpies," my first thought was, "Why didn't I write this?"

Josh

Name:            Pablo
E-mail:           pablocampbell2@hotmail.com
Date:              08/02/10

Dear Mr. Becker:

I have finished the reading of your book RUSHES. I think it's very very good. On the one hand, beacause of you write without fear your problems and feelings in the making of a movie. That help me when I have problems in the same point. On the other hand, I think you show the most important to make a movie is the courage and the conviction of it is possible to do a good work. It's impossible to make a movie where the director is sitting without "to fight". That's the moral that I think the book transmits. My favourite two parts were DIRECTING ANTHONY QUINN and THE MAKING OF HARPIES. I laughed a lot with how you deal with the point: STEPHEN BALDWIN. By the way, have you seen the trailer of the new movie from Declan O'Brien whose name is SHARKTOPUS. I would like to know your opinion about this type of movies... I hope your next film is cooming soon. Thank you very much for the signed of the book.

Pablo Riquelme.

Dear Pablo:

I glad you both purchased and enjoyed "Rushes." Yes, I have seen the trailer for "Sharktopus," and was amused. It's a very logical follow-up to "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus." Declan's a sharp guy, I really liked working with him and I'm very pleased he's now got such a booming directing career. He's taking all the jobs I wish I could get. Regarding my opinion on that type of movie, the whole point is how stupid can it be? You're trying to make movies that cause drunken people to throw beer cans at the TV.

Josh

Name:            michel
E-mail:           mbeggimann@hotmail.com
Date:              08/02/10

Dear Josh:

hi! great! bruce campbells first fims on dvd! question: which region codes are they? 0? 2? im from switzerland (europe) thanks for answering! greez michel

Dear Michel:

The DVDs are NTSC, which I believe makes them region 1.

Josh

Name:            Ed
E-mail:           
Date:              07/30/10

Hi Josh:

Big Fan. I was doing some research of Family history involving my great uncle and "two gun" Crowley cause I think there is a real story there. Your page popped up with a treatment for a movie I\'m guessing never got off the ground. Do you think you will ever get around to making it? I think its a great real story.

Dear Ed:

Yeah, I like the story, too. Do I think I'll ever get to make it? Probably not, just like most of the scripts and stories I've written. C'est la vie.

Josh

Name:            Just Another Fan
E-mail:           
Date:              07/30/10

Dear Josh:

Speaking of Bruce Campbell and Aeuteur Theory, I found this neat compilation... "Quotes on the Aueteur Theory" Part One http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uABMio1QR2U&feature=related Part Two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJf0cLrumY4&feature=related

Dear JAF:

As someone who has written, produced and directed, as well as just directed, if I didn't write the script, it's not "mine," I'm not the auteur. I think I added my own little personal stamp to the Xena episodes that I directed, but I'm certainly not the author of them. Rob Tapert, the executive producer and creator, was far more in control of what would finally be seen on TV, then came the writers, then the directors. On some level, when a director comes onto a TV show the crew doesn't even take them seriously because they'll be there next week and the director won't. I'm the author of "Alien Apocalypse," but I'm not the author of "Harpies."

Josh

Name:            Thomas
E-mail:           
Date:              07/27/10

Hi Josh:

can u please change the picture of bruce cambpell staring at me? its like hes giving me the evil eye or something.

Dear Thomas:

He is. He's saying, "Buy 'Stryker's War' or I'll kill you!" Do as he commands.

Josh

Name:            Mark Fairclough
E-mail:           mfairclough1@hotmail.co.uk
Date:              07/26/10

Hi Josh:

Mark from the uk. I read about your film short "the long walk" made in 16mm it was a gangster story shot in black and white. Can you tell me a little about the story and why that film never got released.

Thanks
Mark Fairclough.

Dear Mark:

"The Long Walk" was a film I wote and directed for a college class in 1975. One of the other students stepped up and said he knew how to run the camera and take light readings and wanted to do it, so I said fine. We shot over the course of 4-5 days, then all of the negative went into the lab at the same time. When we got the workprint back it turned out the fellow running the camera didn't have a clue what he was doing and the exposures were all over the map, from way too dark to way too bright and everything in between. Since the footage wasn't any good I never bothered editing it.

Josh

Name:            Scott
E-mail:           
Date:              07/24/10

Hey Josh:

I thought I chime in on the Auteur Theory conversation and throw in original "The Thing" as an example. That film is almost always credited to Howard Hawks even though Christian Nyby directed it. I did hear that Hawks directed a significant portion of it but I can neither confirm nor deny. Even so, it definitely feels like a Howard Hawks film and I would attribute a lot of the credit to him. I also heard that Ben Hecht wrote a pass of the script, but is of course uncredited. What are your thoughts?

Dear Scott:

Yeah, exactly. Is "The Thing" A Christian Nyby Film? Or is it a Howard Hawks Production? Who's making the biggest contribution? It's not always clear, and it's not always the director. I can tell you that for a fact.

Josh

Name:            Jeff Q.
E-mail:           
Date:              07/23/10

Dear Josh:

I read your latest book, “Going Hollywood” awhile back and have been meaning write in for some time. I really enjoyed it. Right from the start I got a feel for LA. Maybe it’s because I had just visited there for the first time but your descriptions really brought to mind the hazy, slightly off feel in the air. Maybe it’s just that I grew up in the Midwest, but there really are times it has that gauzy “Chinatown” look and feel. If I to pick out a theme, and I’m probably wildly off, I’d say loneliness. Every person encountered there seems to be around for a brief moment and the craziness of being 18, alone and with no real plans is pretty striking. When you finally head back to Michigan it seems obvious that you’ve finally found where you need to be. Not Michigan, but a place where people are as passionate about moviemaking as you are. Anyway, I enjoyed it and enjoyed the sense of place of LA in the 70’s.

Dear Jeff:

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, L.A. has its own weird feel and I tried to get that across. And the weirdness there was different in the 1970s than it is now. To me the theme is direction. Where are you going and why? Just going isn't good enough. Anyway, thanks for reading it.

Josh

Name:            A.v.E
E-mail:           
Date:              07/22/10

Dear Josh:

I don't think it's possible to make a blanket statement that the director or producer or writer owns it. Each is a unique determination of style. One of the criticisms you hear most about Hitchcock is that his movies are great because he remade the same movie over-and-over again. (I can sort of agree with this as most of my favorite movies by a director are usually the ones that are most against type. Dersu Uzala being a great example.) I think there's a grudge-match between the writer and director (and at one time producer) about whose work is going to own each scene. With someone like Chayefsky, Mamet, or Allen no matter who directs, their style bleeds through and puts their stamp on everything - for better or worse. With a director like Altman, or Scorsese you know within seconds whose movie you're watching - even if the sound is off. What makes the director's style can be everything from lighting, to casting to the music in the background. In the case of the writer slang, how they use expletives as punctuation, or if each character speaks in full sentences or just a few words. Some movies (like Gone with the Wind) are just too close to call and completely subjective to the viewer. So let's not fight, people (Bitterling). On another topic that was brought up, is it bad that the most memorable scene for me in all of Schindler's List isn't the red dress of the finale - it's the continuous shot of the man making the door hinge? The same reason that there are so many home repair and cooking shows on the air - I think there's something in us as people that is drawn in to someone displaying some type of craft or skill. The only reason people talk about Rififi is the 32-minute heist scene and only then it's because it's an honest sequence showing the amount of work and intellect it takes to pull such a job. Now, most movies would simply employ a character with glasses and a laptop to crack the safe from a plush hotel room miles away.

Dear A.v.E:

Yet the Auteur Theory is a blanket statement saying "The director is the author." This certainly can be true, but I'm contending that it isn't always by any means. And "Play It Again, Sam" is a perfectly good place to throw down the gauntlet. My contention is that the movie fits perfectly into Woody Allen's ouvre, right between "Bananas" and "Sleeper," and if you didn't know Herbert Ross was the director, you'd never guess it. As far as I'm concerned it's absolutely a Woody Allen movie, it just happens to be the one early film where the studio didn't trust him to direct it. Mr. Ross did a solid workman-like job of bringing Woody's play to the screen in a form that he approved and he managed not to screw it up. That's a lot, but it doesn't make it A Herbert Ross Film to me.

Josh

Name:            David Kashfi
E-mail:           davidkashfi@yahoo.com
Date:              07/22/10

Dear Josh:

What are your fondest memories of working with Lucy Lawless?

Thanks.
David

Dear David:

Working with Lucy was always a pleasure, and the same goes for Renee O'Connor. They were both always prepared and always in a good mood. All six years of "Xena" is a fond memory for me.

Josh

Name:            Jeff Q.
E-mail:           
Date:              07/21/10

Dear Josh:

I had to chime in with you and agree that to truly take ownership of a film through the auteur theory you should write and direct the movie. The script is such an important part of a what a movie is that it’s hard to see thinking of it otherwise. On a unrelated note, I was recently rewatching The Train and The Professionals and was amazed at Burt Lancaster’s ability to "do" things so realistically. Specifically, when he’s making replacement train parts or setting explosives. Each film has these very long single shots of him doing those things. Can you think of any other actors that had some sort of skill (real or newly learned) shown like that and it looks like they'd been doing it their whole lives? Normally you get those obvious cutaways. I guess it helps that Lancaster always looked like a real person and not a model.

Dear Jeff:

Burt Lancaster was an acrobat. He was really strong and really coordinated. I love that scene in "The Professionals" when he climbs the rope right up the side of the mountain to plant the dynamite. Man, he just goes right up there like it's nothing. Kirk Douglas wanted to be like Burt and tried to do many of his own stunts and riding, or walking along the oars in "The Vikings." One actor with a great talent was Ben Johnson's ability to ride horses. Victor McLaglen was a professional boxer and actually fought Jack Johnson for the World Heavyweight title. He lost, by the way. Bust Keaton was an acrobat, whch was obvious. James cagney could dance, as he showed in "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Josh

Name:            Chuck
E-mail:           
Date:              07/21/10

Dear Josh:

This Bitterling (what an appropriate name) just seems angry that you're winning the argument. But I sort of agree with him/her. In my opinion, a film--the finished product--belongs to the director, regardless of how deeply it has been affected by a particular actor or writer or designer or key grip. The film is, ideally, the director's clear vision. If you disagree, what are the parameters? Certainly people saw Born on the Fourth of July because it's a "Tom Cruise film," but it undoubtedly belongs to Oliver Stone. True Romance and From Dusk till Dawn are both written by Quentin Tarantino, and he's even in Dusk, but Tony Scott and Robert Rodriguez both left their respective stamps on those (awful, yes) movies. Play It Again, Sam is in a little more of a gray area, but, since it was based on Allen's play, it needed that Broadway touch that Ross could lend to it. Together with Ross's other works as a director and choreographer, the movie belongs to him. But that's just how I see it.

Dear Chuck:

See? I knew it was an interesting subject. Kevin the webmaster just sent me this:

This is making me think about the time the press asked Samuel Goldwyn, "When Wyler made WUTHERING HEIGHTS--" Goldwyn yelled, "I MADE WUTHERING HEIGHTS! WYLER ONLY DIRECTED IT!"

What about "Gone With the Wind"? Is that David Selznick's movie or Victor Fleming's? And George Cukor directed for the first month. On the other hand you've got Alfred Hitchcock who didn't write his own scripts, worked with many different writers, yet somehow always ended up with Hitchcock films. The possessory credit is an interesting issue. I must say it bugs me when an unknown director takes it.

Josh

Name:            Pat Bitterling
E-mail:           
Date:              07/21/10

Dear Josh:

No offense, but it looks like you are grasping at straws. Quit while you are behind.

Dear Pat:

And I thought I was bringing up an interesting topic. Oh well.

Josh

Name:            Pat Bitterling
E-mail:           
Date:              07/19/10

Dear Josh:

And I think it is an insult to the actual director of the film to suggest as you have that it is Woody Allens film. Then again, he is dead, and his ghost probably does not read this blog, so what does it matter?

Dear Pat:

Considering Woody Allen wrote the play and starred in it on Broadway, then wrote the screenplay and starred in the film, he certainly had a lot to do with it. What we're discussing, in essence, is the auteur theory, which states that the director is "author" of a movie. I'd say that in some instances it's true; in other cases it's not true. Is John G. Avildsen the "author" of "Rocky"? He directed it, but Sylvester Stallone wrote it, starred in it, choreographed the fights, then subsequently directed "Rocky 2, 3 & 4." Don't get me wrong, I think Avildsen did a great job, but did he create "Rocky"? Is he the author? William Wyler's response to the auteur theory was, "When directing scripts by Lillian Hellman or Bob Sherwood, Sidney Kingsley or Jessamyn West, I could hardly call myself an auteur." I mean, is it Gene Saks's "The Odd Couple" or is it Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple"? To me, to really be the author of a movie, I think you need to both write and direct it. Anyway, I wasn't trying to insult Herbert Ross because I think he did a great job with "Play it Again, Sam."

Josh

Name:            Pat Bitterling
E-mail:           
Date:              07/17/10

Dear Josh:

Maybe you were not aware, but the film "Play It Again, Sam" was not directed by Woody Allen. He scripted the film, based on his stage-play of the same name. He also starred in it. It is, rather, a film by Herbert Ross. Ross was a great director of the 1970s and 80s and I suggest you watch some of his other films. But I appreciate that you are a fan of this one.

Dear Pat:

I'm entirely aware that Herbert Ross directed "Play It Again, Sam," but it's still a Woody Allen movie -- he wrote it and stars in it -- and I think it's one of his best, perhaps because he didn't direct it. Also, it doesn't take place in NYC, which was in the midst of a strike, so it was shot in San Francisco, and it has a completely different feel than his other movies. But to say it's not a Woody Allen movie is taking the possessory credit a bit too far, I think. It has way more to do with Woody Allen's career than Herbert Ross's career, the highlight of which (beside "Play it Again, Sam") was "The Goodbye Girl."

Josh

Name:            Mark Fairclough
E-mail:           
Date:              07/17/10

Hi josh

mark from the uk. Why was your film short "The Magnificent Severed" not featured in your film short collection to buy and can you tell me a little bit about that film.

Thanks
Mark Fairclough

Dear Mark:

I still have a number of shorts that I haven't transferred, like "The Magnificent Severed," "Imp of the Perverse" and some others. I just didn't have the money to get them transferred at this moment. "The Magnificent Severed" is a silent film without any title cards -- which was a big cinematic breakthrough at the time -- about a guy with an awful wife, whom he kills and chops to pieces, then she returns as a monster. The end. It doesn't have any of the usual suspects in it because it was made for a college film class and I used people from the class, although the awful wife was played by my mother. It's about 10 minutes and it's OK. The best thing about it is the lack of title cards.

Josh

Name:            Tim
E-mail:           NansemondNative
Date:              07/16/10

Evening Josh.

I just read your short story "Hurricane Season". It seems to draw inspiration from quite a few human emotions doesn't it? Betrayal or perceived betrayal, fear, suspension of rational thought brought on by a strong self-preservation drive, fear of not being in control,loss of compassion, years old festering combined with outright anger and resentment. It was striking how these friends from 5th grade on up turned their backs on each other in the face of this encroaching storm.Happens in real life all the time though and a hurricane isn't even required.Maybe these guys would have eventually stopped being friends anyway even as old as they were. Very nice story Josh loaded with real human perspective. Thanks for writing it and sharing it.

Tim

Dear Tim:

I'm very glad you liked it. Please read the other two and report back.

Josh

Name:            Brian
E-mail:           mackbrockton@aol.com
Date:              07/15/10

Hey Josh,

What's the funniest movie (or movies) you've ever seen and still hold up?

Dear Brian:

I'd have to say Woody Allen's "Love & Death" and "Play It Again, Sam." I've probably seen "Kentucky Fried Movie" 100 times, although not lately.

Josh

Name:            John Hunt
E-mail:           
Date:              07/15/10

Josh,

I'm looking for some reading suggestions and thought you might be the guy to ask. I'm looking for biographies. Henry Fonda, Kate Hepburn, John Ford, maybe even Ward Bond. Niven, Grant, McLachlan (father or son), Gable, Davis. Anyone of that period (you know the list better than me). I'll rumage, obviously, but wondered if you knew some I just shouldn't miss.

Thanks as always,
John

Dear John:

My suggestion is to read any autobiographies you can find first before resorting to bios. I haven't read a movie star bio in 20 years. I did enjoy Kirk Douglas's autobiography, "The Ragman's Son," Gloria Swanson's, "Swanson on Swanson," Marlon Brando's, "Songs My Mother Taught Me," James Cagney's "Cagney By Cagney." I've also read pretty much every director autobiography, as well as producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. I'm just now reading George Stevens, Jr.'s, "Conversations With The Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age," which has a terrific line-up of interviews, although Mr. Stevens doesn't ask very incisive questions. I also highly recommend all of Peter Bogdanovich's book about filmmaking, particularly "This is Orson Welles."

Josh

Name:            Kev Blart
E-mail:           
Date:              07/15/10

Dear Josh:

No offense, but you got some shit ass posters for a film lover! Hahaha.

Dear Kev:

I suspect you're referring to the posters for my movies. What's wrong with them? I must say Blart sounds like someone with bad gas. Hahaha.

Josh

Name:            Dan Weiss
E-mail:           danweiss@btinternet.com
Date:              07/15/10

Hi Josh

Have you ever considered adapting a book into a screenplay? if so are there any particular ones? P.S Finally tracked down TSNKE on DVD after a long time searching (not available in the UK) and thought it was brilliant, definitely worth the wait. thanks Dan.

Dear Dan:

I honestly don't have any interest in adapting books into screenplays. For better or worse, I'd much rather just shoot my own original scripts. Meanwhile, this may be the first time anyone's ever used the word brilliant in the same sentence as TSNKE. Thanks.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/15/10

Dear Josh:

in the final round bruce was 18 or? very young..

Dear Eugen:

When we made "The Final Round" in 1977 Bruce and I were both 19. Bruce is two months older than me.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/11/10

Dear Josh:

do you have the first short with you and bruce campbell?except oedipus rex.

Dear Eugen:

Yes. That was "The Final Round."

Josh

Name:            chas. stillo
E-mail:           
Date:              07/09/10

Dear Josh:

if you knew actor lawrence tierney, i am trying to find out if he was married, nothing i bio's mention that, but he had 3 children/tnx

Dear chas.:

I never met him.

Josh

Name:            Luddie
E-mail:           
Date:              07/09/10

Dear Josh:

Hostel 3 for real? Do you know because you\'re renting equipment to them?

Dear Luddie:

No, I just heard through the grapevine.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/08/10

Dear Josh:

I will have six months to live by sam raimi did you short them? you know where I can get this short? because the man from bookofthedead has six months to live.. but he writes me back anything

Dear Eugen:

I don't have "Six Months to Live," that was directed by Sam and Scott Spiegel. Scott's supposed to be in town here next month to direct "Hostel 3." Maybe I'll even see him, who knows?

Josh

Name:            James
E-mail:           
Date:              07/06/10

Hi Josh,

To answer Eugen's question about the whereabouts of The Happy Valley Kid: Rob Tapert mentioned in a Xena online webchat that he has an 3/4 inch tape and a vhs copy in New Zealand. "The only Super-8 print was virtually destroyed (all the sprocket holes shredded in the projector) in April of 1979 when they we showing the movie to John Cameron, at NYU. That was the night that the US helicopters crashed while trying to go into Iran and get the hostages. Sam still has the film in a bag and is going to restore it one day. Peter Jackson has a special machine in New Zealand that will transfer super eight with bad sprockets to digital. It is the only machine like this in the world. I need to convince Sam to preserve the Happy Valley Kid." Anyone interested can read all about the Super-8 shorts at the excellent Book Of The Dead fansite - http://www.bookofthedead.ws/website/super_8_full_shorts_list.html Oh, and Don May Jr posted an update regarding the upcoming Synapse DVD of Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except on the AV Maniacs board: "Our master is done, with all the audio remastered with commentaries, etc. Right now, we're just waiting for the interview segments, etc. to be done. RED SHIRT PICTURES is working on it, so the featurettes will be awesome. When RED SHIRT is done with the featurettes, we'll be ready for the announcement. We even got a couple of the Raimi/Campbell/Becker/Spiegel short films that haven't been seen in decades as possible extras."

James

Dear James:

Thanks for the info.

Josh

Name:            Mark Fairclough
E-mail:           
Date:              07/05/10

Hi josh

mark from the uk. It said in your evil dead journal to kill time you watched the sam raimi film shorts clockwork and william shakespeare the movie. Could you tell me what them shorts were like and are they available.

Thanks
Mark Fairclough.

Dear Mark:

Those are Sam's movies so I don't know where they are. "Clockwork" was Sam's practice horror film, maybe 7-minutes long, starring Scott Spiegel and the lovely Cheryl Gutteridge, and it's got a couple of great shots and a couple of good scares. "William Shakespeare the Movie" was Sam's class project for his Shakespeare class at MSU. He dragged Bruce and a girl from the class out into the snow and shot one lengthy scene from "Taming of the Shrew," which devolves at the end to Kate beating the crap out of Bruce, cracking all of his knuckles, then smashing him in the face with a cardboard box until he's literally bloody. The first time I saw it I thought I was going to laugh myself sick. I think it remains the finest integration of Shakespeare and the Three Stooges ever attempted.

Josh

Name:            Kristie
E-mail:           
Date:              07/05/10

Dear Josh:

Have you seen Francis Ford Coppola's "Tetro" yet?

Dear Kristie:

Not yet. I should go check HBO and Showtime, maybe it's showing.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/05/10

Dear Josh:

So you not have the film happy valey kid? The Case of the Topanga Pearl. bruce campbell's playing well?

Dear Eugen:

I don't think anybody has "The Happy Valley Kid" anymore. I think it got completely worn out and lost. There's probably a shitty video version. And Bruce isn't in "The Case of the Topanga Pearl." It stars me, Sam, Scott and Ellen Sandwiess.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/04/10

Dear Josh:

what about The Happy Valley Kid ?

Dear Eugen:

Sam directed that. I'm in it, and I ran camera and did some of the lighting. I always liked that movie.

Josh

Name:            Kev Blart
E-mail:           
Date:              07/02/10

Dear Josh:

Lol, it was pretty good, figured you'd seen it. The main dude looked and acted exactly like Sam Raimi in TSNKE, maybe he saw it somewhere along the line...there were a few other similarities, but it just might be because they're both low budge exploitation movies going for shocks and thrills. I got a question for you: what posters do you have up in your house?

Dear Kev:

All of my movie posters are in my office. I've got a 1930s Italian poster for Martini, with martini glasses receding into the distance, Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks," Van Gogh's "The Pool Room," Art Kane's "Jazz Portrait, 1958."

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              07/01/10

Dear Josh:

I've watched many short movies starred Bruce from bookofthedead site.I guessed that you perhaps have got them too. Or do you have got those where you ware the director? what about Shemp eats the Moon?

Dear Eugen:

I had nothing to do with "Shemp Eats the Moon," other than it seemed like a remake of my film, "The Case of the Topanga Pearl."

Josh

Name:            Kev Blart
E-mail:           
Date:              07/01/10

Dear Josh:

Did you rip-off Thou Shall Not Kill from I Drink Your Blood? Don't lie...

Dear Kev:

Honest to goodness, I've never seen it. The blurb in Maltin's book sounds horribly intriguing -- for revenge a kid gives hippies meat pies infected with rabies. Yuk! How was it?

Josh

Name:            Jack
E-mail:           
Date:              06/30/10

Dear Josh:

I'm surprised to Read your comment about "Jurassic Park" being a good Film. It's one of those that I Loved when I saw them as a Kid (well, a younger Kid) but, since Reading your "Complete Guide to Low Budget Feature Filmmaking Book" have found many flaws with when I've watched it since: firstly the Structure, in that the Point-of-No-Return end of Act One, which is surely the moment the T-Rex bursts out it's enclosure, happens a full half hour after it should, and also the fact that it's just a Hollywood-standard Summer Blockbuster "Popcorn Movie" like Indiana Jones - lots of People running/screaming/Dying etc. with no Deeper Meaning or Themes. Would be interested to hear what you like about it.

Dear Jack:

I don't think it's a great movie, but I do think it works exactly on the level it intends to. I just saw it again in the last six months and it holds up, too.

Josh

Name:            Mark Fairclough
E-mail:           
Date:              06/30/10

Hi josh

mark from the uk. Could you tell me a bit about your new script your working on "INSURGENT"

Thanks
Mark Fairclough

Dear Mark:

No, I don't want to discuss it yet. I'll jinx it.

Josh

Name:            Santo
E-mail:           
Date:              06/30/10

Dear Josh:

You got blu-ray yet? Why not--what\'s your excuse? It\'s how movies need to be seen.

Dear Santo:

No, I don't. Not yet. But movies REALLY should be seen in a movie theater, in the format in which they were shot. Next best might well be blu-ray, but it ain't first.

Josh

Name:            Just Another Fan
E-mail:           
Date:              06/30/10

Dear Josh:

What is your take on the current state of American comedy films ? Stuff like "The Hangover", Judd Apatow flicks, ect. etc,

Dear JAF:

I find it entirely unfunny. I didn't get a single laugh out of "The Hangover" or "40-Year-Old Virgin."

Josh

Name:            Stanley Barnes
E-mail:           
Date:              06/30/10

Dear Josh:

You ever see The Color Purple? Goddaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, why does Spielberg suck so much ass and never get called out for it? I'd give a left nut to have seen his face on the morning they announced the Academy Award nominations, and Color Purple got 11, and he didn't even get fucking nominated. What a jerk. What a God awful movie!

Dear Stanley:

I couldn't agree with you more. The film is complete garbage. As far as I'm concerned Spielberg has made three good movies: "Jaws," "Close Encounters" and "Jurassic Park," and the rest are a total waste of time. I'll give him "Duel," too, but that was a TV movie. I feel like I'm the only one who's been calling him out for years. Films like "The Terminal," "Always," "1941," and "Hook" are really, really bad films. Then again, I think "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" are really bad films, too. Admittedly, he often has his moments, but for the most part his films stink.

Josh

Name:            Zlatko
E-mail:           
Date:              06/28/10

Dear Mr. Beckers,

I wish to greet you nice and speak I am your fan. You is very smart and artist. I love Evil Dead and all its many. Horror is best film in the world and Bruce Campbell is sexy and great. You can give me his e-mail please?

Love and wishes,
Zlatko Tyshkov

Dear Zlatko:

I is smart and artist, although I didn't make "Evil Dead," I just worked on it. But thanks anyway. Yes, Bruce is sexy and great. His website is www.bruce-campbell.com. You can contact him there. All the best.

Josh

Webmaster:  Kevin Neece
E-mail:           
Date:              06/25/10

Dear Josh

What about the Bridge scene in APOCALYPSE NOW?

Dear Kevin:

They built that bridge and that village. It doesn't have to be an interior set. If you built them, they're sets.

Josh

Name:            Ray
E-mail:           
Date:              06/25/10

Hi Josh,

Can you tell me what the origin and meaning of the term "set-piece" is? I've heard directors talking about the big action or horror scenes in their films as "set-pieces" and I don't quite understand why the don\'t just call it a big action scene.

Thanks,
Ray

Dear Ray:

Because a big "set-piece" is on a set that had to be built. A car chase isn't a set-piece, nor is an exterior battle scene, but a big barroom fight in a saloon would be because they had to build the saloon set, or a shoot-out in a cave because the cave is a set. It's a misused term sometime, but that's the idea.

Josh

Name:            Eugen Buturlakin
E-mail:           
Date:              06/24/10

Dear Josh

I've got your shorts I like your shorts and respect you have you got what shorts with bruce campbell? please look after

Dear Eugen:

Pretty much all of my short films are with Bruce. Which ones have you got and where did you get them?

Josh

Name:            Vicrum
E-mail:           
Date:              06/24/10

Hey Josh,

Hope you feel better. We missed you!

Best wishes,
Vicrum Boonton,
New Jersey

Dear Vicrum:

I feel fine, it was the website that needed some work. But we're back open for business. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

Josh


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