Q & A    Archive
Page 169

 

Name:              Joe
E-mail:           
Date:               10/24/13

Hey Josh :

Brent Hershman was killed driving home one night after working several 19 hour days in a row on the film "Pleasantville." He was a camera assistant. So, Josh, who was/were the amateurs on that film? Was it the director that wanted 20 takes of a close-up of someone picking up a fork? Was it the actor who wouldn't come out of this trailer until he had sushi hand delivered to him from his favorite restaurant 100 miles away from location? Was it the actress who wouldn\'t come out of her trailer until her guru came and assured her that the "vibe" was right for her to come to set? Was it 1st AD who came up with a completely unrealistic shooting schedule? Was it the heads of the network/studio that unilaterally decided that they would change this to that and then change it back again the next day? Who, statistically speaking, are the most unprofessional and amateurish on a film set?

Dear Joe:

They need to enforce the 12-hour limit on shooting days. In New Zealand on Herc and Xena we got 12 hours. Period. Going into overtime was nearly unheard of, and if it possibly occurred (I never needed it), it was one extra hour. Ultimately, it's the director's and the producer's fault: the director for not having their shit together to achieve what's scheduled for that day, and the producer for allowing the shooting day to run that long.

Josh

Name:              Pete Mellin
E-mail:           
Date:               10/16/13

Dear Josh :

What's the greatest remake of all time?

Dear Pete:

I'd say "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" for a number of reasons: 1. sound, 2. they put the chariot race in the proper place, 3. color, 4. wide-screen, 5. Charlton Heston who was MUCH better than Ramon Navarro, 6. William Wyler was a far superior director to Fred Niblo. As a little historical note, Wyler was an assistant director on the 1925 version.

Josh

Name:              Joe
E-mail:           
Date:               10/16/13

Dear Josh :

Several years ago (probably over 10 now) there was a big budget film called "PleasantVille." As usual, the rank and file "PleasantVille" crew worked long hours. After one 19 hour day (they had worked several 19 hour days in a row) one of the 1st ACs fell asleep behind the wheel on his way home and ran into the other lane of traffic killing himself and two of the passengers in the car he hit. What are your thoughts on this? Was the art of that film worth it?

Dear Joe:

It was actually the production manager. Was it worth it? Abso-fucking-lty not! It's a goddamn movie. And a shitty, worthless, piece of crap movie at that. We have this thing called the 8-hour work day here in America, which excludes Hollywood. Movies think they get a 12-hour work day. That's called 7 to 7. If you can't get your shit in 12 hours then your are a fucking asshole! Overtime, otherwise known as O.T., is for amateurs.

Josh

Name:              Bob
E-mail:           
Date:               10/16/13

Dear Josh :

Do you think 'Captain Phillips' looks good?

Dear Bob:

What kind of question is that? Yeah, it looks OK, but what do I know?

Josh

Name:              Martin
E-mail:           
Date:               10/16/13

Dear Josh :

You really need to see Gravity in 3D on the big-screen. It is the best way.

Dear Martin:

I'm not walking, I'm running.

Josh

Name:              Chad Childers
E-mail:            programming@detcon1.org
Date:               10/16/13

Dear Josh :

Detroit won the bid to host the 2014 NASFiC, next July: www.detcon1.org I'm on concom, guest liaison for some of our old dudes, and I just put a suggestion in to ask you to be on programming (talking about whatever you want, and/or on some panels). If you're interested please send a note to Kim, the head of Programming, at the email above. If you're REALLY interested please feel free to stop by ConClave this weekend, which is a much smaller con, but we'll have Detcon1 parties tonight and tomorrow night - ConClave is at the Doubletree on the corner of Southfield and Ford in Dearborn www.conclavesf.org If you want to attend the whole con you can buy a membership, but if you just want to go to the Detcon party tonight or Sat after con programming is over, just ask someone where it is. Parties usually tend to run from 9pm to 1am. PS: I'm a fan of Lunatics: A Love Story, saw it at the opening at the Magic Bag.

Dear Chad:

Too much info. What would you like me to do?

Josh

Name:              Joe
E-mail:           
Date:               10/09/13

Dear Josh :

What's the hardest job on a movie set? What's the easiest?

Dear Joe:

It depends on how you want to look at it. If you're a costume designer and there's a big cast all in costumes, that's a tough job. It's easy to say the director has the hardest job, but that ain't necessarily so. It was probably a lot easier being William "40-Take" Wyler than being an actor in one of his films. On a union crew, the person who's on the spot the most is the 1st AD. It's their set. Everything must be running properly or they have to explain to the producer why it isn't. On my film "If I Had a Hammer," which is a period film taking place in 1964, hair and makeup were on the spot a lot. Also, I had all of these old cars that had to run when I needed them to run, so the mechanics were suddenly on the spot when it was time for the old cars to run. If the scene calls for 20 guys on horses, then the horse wrangler is on the spot. I worked for 20 years as a PA and you have to be there before anyone else and you leave after everyone else, but in between you spend a lot of time with your thumb up your ass. When everything is said and done, I'd rather be the director.

Josh

Name:              Bobby
E-mail:            Theater.is.a.sport@gmail.com
Date:               10/05/13

Dear Josh :

It's been quite a while sine I've been on the site. I hope all is well, and I wish you all the best with "Spine Chillers". I read your screenplay, "The Happiest Guy In Town" and really enjoyed it. I appreciated the homage to "It's a Wonderful Life", and, as always, appreciated the structure of the story and how it moved. It is nice to read a script with 3 distinct acts (I am a playwright, and am grateful for all of your essays about structure on the site). Have you investigated Kickstarter at all? Now that folks like Zach Braff and Spike Lee are raising over a million bucks for their films (despite having the clout to get financing by traditional means, but I won't get into that), I would imagine you, a true independent filmmaker, could raise some money for a film there. Just a thought... You have some really nice screenplays here, and I'd love to see some of them get made the way you would like them to be made (no monsterization). The thing about Kickstarter, from what I've seen, is that it not only helps you raise money, it gives the project immediate exposure. Anyway... Hope all is well. Take care of yourself.

Dear Bobby:

I've been to Kickstarter several times and I understand how it works. But my problem is that I don't understand how to get an indie film distributed and actually make some money. And the idea of actually communicating with distributors seems offensive to me. As Woody Allen said, "Being a film distributor is one step up from being a child pornographer." The beautiful thing about "Spine Chillers" is we don't have to deal with any of these idiots. Anyway, I'm pleased you enjoyed "The Happiest Guy in Town," which was indeed inspired by "It's a Wonderful Life." Obviously so, I guess.

Josh

Name:              WDC
E-mail:           
Date:               10/04/13

Dear Josh :

Here's my 31 Days of Halloween movie list: 1. Night of the Demons 2. Hollowgate 3. Return of the Living Dead 4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch 5. Candyman 6. House of 1000 Corpses 7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 8. Idle Hands 9. Hellraiser 10. Hocus Pocus 11. Friday the 13th Part 6 Jason Lives 12. Dracula AD 1972 13. Pumpkinhead 14. Night of the Creeps 15. Wishmaster 16. From Dusk Till Dawn 17. Child's Play 2 18. Evil Dead 2 19. Leprechaun 2 20. Maniac 21. Basket Case 22. Stephen King's It 23. The Skull 24. Torture Garden 25. Asylum 26. Tales from the Crypt 72 27. Tales from the Crypt Demon Knight 28. The Abominable Dr Phibes 29. Theatre of Blood 30. Madhouse 31. The Last Man on Earth

Dear WDC:

You've got to be kidding me. "Halloween III"? "Candyman"? I mean, shit, Ted Raimi's in it, I'll give it that. "Friday the 13th Part 6"? Holy moly.

Josh

Name:              Brian
E-mail:           
Date:               10/03/13

Dear Josh :

Is Kirk Douglas the toughest Jew ever? He's also 97 and still kicking.

Dear Brian:

Toughest Jew? What about Moses? What about Jesus? Just living a long time does not make you tough. Living along time makes you full of grizzle. It makes you obstreperous.

Josh

Name:              Tom-Tom
E-mail:            rckylvsemly@hotmail.com
Date:               10/03/13

Dear Josh :

Since it's October, please provide us with 31 horror movies to watch, one to watch each night. Thank you.

Dear Tom-Tom:

1. Carrie
2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
3. Freaks
4. Alien
5. Aliens
6. Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
7. Frankenstein
8. The Bride of Frankenstein
9. The Wolfman
10. The Dead Zone
11. The Sixth Sense
12. The Shining
13. More to come . . .

Name:              Joe
E-mail:            jjmantanona@yahoo.com
Date:               10/03/13

Dear Josh :

Is Sam Raimi like Sammy Glick from that book What Makes Sammy Run? I'm just about finished with it and then I'm onto your book Rushes. Bought it on Amazon, hope you make a couple of bucks from the sale. Joe

Dear Joe:

Sam is nicer and funnier than Sammy Glick, but made from the same material.

Josh

Name:              David R.
E-mail:           
Date:               10/01/13

Dear Josh :

Re: Your essay "Hangin' With the Old Dudes" and nobody caring about old people: it's interesting because I was just reading part of Jarod Diamond's "The World Until Yesterday" and in many native cultures old people were valued because they were the best at making things like hunting weapons and tools. Now, since almost everything is made by machine, they've been put to pasture earlier.

Dear David:

Old people used to be great babysitters. What else have they got to do? "Don't touch that, and, oh, yeah, here's funny story about your great-uncle Stan . . ."

Josh

Name:             WDC
E-mail:           
Date:               9/25/13

Dear Josh :

A question to ponder: Why does BALLAD OF A SOLDIER look like a '40s movie when it was made and released in 1960?

Dear WDC:

1959, as per Leonard Maltin. I haven't seen it, but it sounds good. The Russian film industry wasn't at its peak at that point, but it sounds like the director wanted it to look that way. It does take place during WWII.

Josh

Name:             DGA
E-mail:           
Date:               9/25/13

Dear Josh :

For the record...I am not insulted. And "John" can suck on that curling iron til' he gets electric jism down his stupid fucking throat! Spine Chillers rules!!!

Dear DGA:

Where's my fucking pension? You cocksuckers sent me a piece of paper every month for 20 years saying I could retire at 55 and I'd get this much per month, but now you say I have to wait ten more years. What kind of horseshit is that? I'm going to come to Hollywood and stick a curling iron up your fucking ass you pricks!

Josh

Name:             john
E-mail:            john@gmail.com
Date:               9/27/13

Dear Josh :

dude, i watched the first one minute and twelve seconds of your first "spine chillers" webisode and had to stop because it was so ungodly awful. the opening titles look like an 8th grade av kid designed them after spending 15 minutes on premier. the acting is worse than standard undergrad first semester acting exercise films with roommates and friends. the music sounds like some idiots 4 track garage band rehearsal. the lighting looks like the camera work which looks like the production design which looks like the wardrobe which looks like complete no skill, no experience, no talent, no nothing just pure crap. you\'re in the dga? i guess you skated by on hookups and other people\'s talent because plenty of people with no money, who have talent, can make something that works. this is a complete failure in every respect of cinema; entertainment, indy, genre, no-budget punk genre... this is garbage shit what the fuck? how the hell did i even waist over a minute of my fucking life watching this? you are the least talented dip shit i have ever waisted my time on. why the fuck did i listen to my buddy who said it\'s entertaining to watch your crap because your arrogance is funny to read after you defend your crap, but there is no fucking response you can provide that makes me think that investment of time can be redeemed. i\'d rather get fucked in the ass with a curling iron then ever see another second of your garbage. you must be completely retarded. go fuck yourself and stop insulting the dga!

Dear John:

We aim to please.

Josh

Name:             James
E-mail:           
Date:               9/25/13

Dear Josh :

Any theories as to why women like assholes?

Dear James:

Yes, I do. I once began writing a script called "Women Prefer Creeps." Women think they can change men, but, of course, they can't. Men are what they are, then, with age, become moreso. Women like a challenge and nice guys are no challenge. It takes a real woman to turn an asshole into a nice guy, which can't be done. Ah, irony.

Josh

Dear TJ,

Perhaps I was flippant in my response. Let's take your points one by one . . .

Name:             TJ
E-mail:           
Date:               9/25/13

Dear Josh :

Your latest essay... oh dear... where to begin? First, it's simply you rehashing tired, and in some cases, way out of date left wing hack talking points, such as calling Bush an idiot (how original) and engaging in the typical liberal class warfare bullshit (trying to rekindle that epic fail that was Occupy Wall Street, are we).


JB: Yes, I recall now, some concerned citizens got together to voice their objection to the fact that 5% of the people have 95% of the money. Go on . . .


You say the rich pay the least amount of taxes, that is pure nonsense, they pay at least 70 percent, if not more, of all federal income taxes, and that's not even bringing up the fact that these evil rich fascists are the ones who, ya know, create industry and employ people. In all my life, I've never been employed by a poor person, I, like most rational human beings, work for those who have money to pay me.


JB: The rich people have 95% of the money, yet only pay 70% of the taxes. Those cocksuckers are stealing 25% of the taxes.


Then you moan about "the poor little guy" who can't get by on two jobs... who is this person, exactly? He's non-existent, that's who he is, your example is a pure hypothetical.

JB: It's a good thing I don't live one block from Pontiac, Michigan, which has gone bankrupt, is in the hands of an emergency manager, has dissolved their police force, and is considering dissolving their school district. Those assholes are living high off the hog, with their minimum-wage jobs, food stamps, and welfare. I only wish I was one of them, then I'd be stylin', but at the government's expense. Oooooh, baby!

What are his two jobs? Busing tables and jerking off at the local sperm bank? Let me guess, you're one of those who think that McDonald's employees should be getting at least fifteen bucks an hour. For one thing, that would make McDonald's, and all other fast food chains, food unaffordable. Secondly, fast food workers work a peasant's job, they get a peasant's cut. Period. It's an after school job for teenagers to get spending money and work experience, it\'s not meant to be a fucking career. But if it were up to the bleeding hearts, they'd be getting paid more than your average U.S. Army enlisted man.

JB: The Army never did pay great. Regarding fast-food employees, the average age of whom is 28 years, I know that's a job I've always coveted, but sadly never had. To hold those hot burgers, to smell those fresh French fries, to enjoy the swirl of a chocolate milkshake as it descends into the cup, it's undoubtedly indescribable.


Moving on to Bush, I was against invading Iraq from day one, but you say he ignored intelligence on Bin Laden. You know this how, exactly? This is what you presume he did. But state it like it\'s a proven fucking fact, which it Goddamn isn't!

JB: Can't you just take my word for it! I wouldn't shit you, you're my favorite turd.

Besides, I'll remind you that Clinton had two chances to take out Bin Laden, and both times he refused. But what I love about your essay is how you focus so much on Bush, when he's been out of office since 2009... going on five fucking years, Josh!

JB: As I already mentioned, sometimes you have to delve into the distant past to find the examples necessary to make your case.

Meanwhile, where's your homeboy Obama been up to? Huh? where's your fucking essay about Obama's drone and domestic spying programs? Huh? This is something he's taken farther than Bush ever even imagined.

JB: Yes, there's so much that Bush never imagined. Darwin, the English language, others beside Christians, who's blessed and who is the "axis of evil," not treating human beings like piles of dog shit, why, my head is simply spinning.

Then there's Syria, which he personally has backed off on, even though he still sends his man-bitch John Kerry to try and drum up support for that bullshit mission.

JB: Yes, diplomacy, what a vile concept! We could have bombed the living shit out of those towel-headed, Allah-worshipping, backward motherfuckers and we missed our holy chance. Damn Kerry, that man-bitch, for shooting his mouth off with a non-lethal resolution.

Then, I remember something you once said, amongst many charming statements you've made, about how we Americans are the assholes and how we deserve to have nukes dropped on us... and yet you claim that conservatives hate America.

JB: Did I say conservatives hate America? I meant, I hate America. We're the only assholes to ever drop an atomic bomb on other human beings (a decision I whole-heartedly agree with), we're the ones who do shit like "Shock and Awe" and kill tens of thousands of civilians in an evening, we're the ones who have over 50,000 shootings a year because stupid, fucking, conservative nitwits won't let control the weapons, we're the only ones who spend half of our health care expenditures on doomed senior citizens with fatal illnesses because Jesus wouldn't like it (how little conservatives know of this Jew named Jesus), but I go on. Please, finish your thought.

Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII, my father and three of my uncles fought in Vietnam... and they're all conservative. You're a liberal, and what the hell have you ever done for this country?

JB: Did I mention that I directed quite a few episodes of "Xena: Warrior Princess"? I think I've done my bit.

Name:             TJ
E-mail:           
Date:               9/25/13

Dear Josh :

Your latest essay... oh dear... where to begin? First, it's simply you rehashing tired, and in some cases, way out of date left wing hack talking points, such as calling Bush an idiot (how original) and engaging in the typical liberal class warfare bullshit (trying to rekindle that epic fail that was Occupy Wall Street, are we). You say the rich pay the least amount of taxes, that is pure nonsense, they pay at least 70 percent, if not more, of all federal income taxes, and that's not even bringing up the fact that these evil rich fascists are the ones who, ya know, create industry and employ people. In all my life, I've never been employed by a poor person, I, like most rational human beings, work for those who have money to pay me. Then you moan about "the poor little guy" who can't get by on two jobs... who is this person, exactly? He's non-existent, that's who he is, your example is a pure hypothetical. What are his two jobs? Busing tables and jerking off at the local sperm bank? Let me guess, you're one of those who think that McDonald's employees should be getting at least fifteen bucks an hour. For one thing, that would make McDonald's, and all other fast food chains, food unaffordable. Secondly, fast food workers work a peasant's job, they get a peasant's cut. Period. It's an after school job for teenagers to get spending money and work experience, it's not meant to be a fucking career. But if it were up to the bleeding hearts, they'd be getting paid more than your average U.S. Army enlisted man. Moving on to Bush, I was against invading Iraq from day one, but you say he ignored intelligence on Bin Laden. You know this how, exactly? This is what you presume he did. But state it like it's a proven fucking fact, which it Goddamn isn't! Besides, I'll remind you that Clinton had two chances to take out Bin Laden, and both times he refused. But what I love about your essay is how you focus so much on Bush, when he's been out of office since 2009... going on five fucking years, Josh! Meanwhile, where's your homeboy Obama been up to? Huh? where's your fucking essay about Obama's drone and domestic spying programs? Huh? This is something he's taken farther than Bush ever even imagined. Then there's Syria, which he personally has backed off on, even though he still sends his man-bitch John Kerry to try and drum up support for that bullshit mission. Then, I remember something you once said, amongst many charming statements you've made, about how we Americans are the assholes and how we deserve to have nukes dropped on us... and yet you claim that conservatives hate America. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII, my father and three of my uncles fought in Vietnam... and they're all conservative. You're a liberal, and what the hell have you ever done for this country?

Dear TJ:

What have I done for America? I wrote this essay. I make "Spine Chillers." Is there more that I could possibly do? I don't think so. Yes, using George W. Bush as a reference is a far reach into distant history, but sometimes we historians must reach into the extremities of our civilization's past to find the true meaning of things. Oh, and the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln.

Josh

Name:             Paul
E-mail:           
Date:               9/24/13

Dear Josh :

"Hanging with the old guys" was sweet and almost brought a tear to my eye. Just when I thought you are mostly a crabby macho intellectual you showed us all that deep down inside you have a heart. And speaking of heart what are your picks for great romantic films (not rom-coms as I already saw the list in the archives). Secondly since that fifty shades of shit movies are coming out what are Josh's erotic film favs (not porn but you can chime in on that too.

Dear Paul:

The romantic film that immediately jumped into my mind was "Goodbye, Mr. Chips." Greer Garson in her debut is breathtaking. And of course Robert Donat got Best Actor, over Clark Gable for "Gone With the Wind." Greer Garson also did another of my romantic faves, "Random Harvest," with Ronald Coleman. Let's not forget "Casablanca" which is a romance in several directions, Rick and Ilsa, Ilsa and Victor Laszlo, the Bulgarian couple, Rick and Louis ("If I were a woman, I'd be in love with Rick"), who go on to a beautiful friendship. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is two separate romances, Sidney Poitier and Katherine Houghton and Tracy and Hepburn. There's too many. I love serious romances. "Friendly Persuasion is many things, but at its core it's a romance between Gary Cooper and Dorothy Maguire. William Wyler particularly enjoyed showing functioning marriages, like "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "Mrs. Miniver,"which is its own kind of romance. I could go on . . .

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:           
Date:               9/24/13

Dear Josh :

Oh, I re-read this and of course you saw plenty of doctors. Dang man, I hope you're okay.

Dear Justin:

I just shot episode #7 of "Spine Chillers" this weekend and it went brilliantly. My pot crop is ready for harvest and is stinking up the entire neighborhood. I have one plant that's Maui Wowie and it's 10-feet tall. I'm OK.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:           
Date:               9/24/13

Dang Josh :

That's hard core. Are you okay? Have you been to a doctor?

Dear Justin:

I recently saw an ottorhinolaryngologist, but he couldn't find anything wrong.

Josh

Name:             Andrew Escalante
E-mail:           
Date:               9/24/13

Dear Josh :

You have some nerve talking that way about our U.S. Senators and elected representatives. Have you no shame?

Dear Andrew:

No, I have no shame.

Josh

Name:             Nick
E-mail:           
Date:               9/24/13

Dear Josh :

As per your new essay; it seems to me conservatives (who really should be called "fascists" at this point) hate America so much because there are too many rules and guidelines in that pesky constitution to allow them to do what they really want, which is to turn the U.S. into a totalitarian Christian theocracy. But they seem to ignore so much of it anyways (except, of course, for the part about guns) that it doesn\'t seem to matter. What brings this to mind is Ted Cruz, a Canadian-born politician who\'s vying to be president. Well, um, I\'m pretty sure there\'s something in that document about how you can\'t be president if you weren\'t born in the U.S. But it doesn\'t matter, because the 2008 GOP nom. John McCain Pizza Pockets (TM) was born in Panama. Had McCain become president, along with astrophysicist Sarah Palin for his VP (who I\'m honestly surprised hasn\'t become a porn star by now), I\'m sure Donald Trump would have become rabid at anyone who dared question AMERICA\'S fearless leader (though, to be fair, if McCain was born in Kenya, he might have felt differently about the matter). You can bet your ass McCain would have been disqualified immediately had he tried to run as a democrat. You forgot to mention in your essay that the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal largely distracted Clinton from dealing with Al-Qaeda, and was spearheaded by conservatives like Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, etc., who may even have done it squarely because Clinton wouldn\'t bomb the shit out of Iraq (or maybe they were just thinking of his cock the whole time, who knows?). Is this not an act of treason? Had a scumbag like Newt Gingrich (a man whose name manages to successfully combine \"lizard\" and a portmanteau of \"The Grinch Who Stole Christmas\") become president, and had a ninth or tenth affair while his last three wives were dying of AIDS, the conservatives would have become enraged at even the lowliest criticism of him. Rick Perry (a duplicate of G.W. Bush who was accidentally cloned with three or four chromosomes missing), the most virulent pro-lifer imaginable, executed over 200 people during his tenure as governor of Texas, and wanted to bomb the shit out of Iraq a third time (murder is only bad when it\'s done to American citizens, you see). Ron Paul and the demon-worshipping Paul Ryan are \"libertarians\" that want to take away all reproductive rights for women, and all gay rights (they seem to think libertarianism is strictly an economic philosophy). The level of double-standards and hypocrisy these people have is ludicrous, and completely outrageous. And to top it all off, their guy for the 2012 nom. wears magic underpants. No matter how badly Obama fucks up, he can\'t fuck up even an inch as bad as a Republican. To quote John Stuart Mill, \"Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative.\" Are you sure you\'re not worried for 2016? As for Bush, I want to think of him as nothing more than a distant memory, but his policies seem to be continually fucking up the U.S., and probably will be for a long time. I really think the Bush presidency was a conspiracy engendered by the Neocon think-tank \"The Project for a New American Century;\" they instilled him against the will of the American people so they could finally bomb Iraq, for reasons I still can\'t figure out, which is also, historically, the biggest disaster in U.S. history. I think they invaded Iraq just because they really wanted to invade Hungary, but couldn't find it on the map, but they knew Iraq was close to it, so they bombed that instead. P.S. Do they screen "Eraserhead" in the psych ward over and over again?

Dear Nick:

No, they watched "Patch Adams," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "Iron Man 2." One evening in the psych ward I had the audacity to put on "Casablanca." Every nut who came into the day room groaned, saying, "Oh, man, it's black and white, put on something else" (like "Patch Adams"), to which I replied, "Shut up and sit down if you'd like." One by one they sat down and began watching, and goddamn if they didn't eventually all shut up and pay attention. At the end several nuts said, "Hey, that was a good movie."

Josh

Name:             Polly-O
E-mail:           
Date:               9/23/13

Hey Josh :

You're a pretty liberal guy, and I know you also have big problems with religion in general, as do I. But are you the type of liberal who looks at all the atrocities committed by the maniac fringe of Islamists in this world (which may be a small percent of overall Muslims, but with 1.2+ billion Muslims, that still leaves tens, if not hundreds of millions of radical maniacs) and dismiss it as, "Well they're no better or worse than us." I'm a liberal, but I don't understand the mentality that "Christians kill abortion doctors and the Phelps family pickets hold nasty signs so they're just as nasty as the radical Muslims." Because it's too un-P.C. to point out that at this point in history Islamists are uniquely troublesome to maintaining order in this world. Liberals who are otherwise staunch defenders of basic human rights, and who screed against Israel every chance they get, but have no condemnation for the Muslim worlds treatments of women, gays, Jews, Christians, and branches of Islam that don't conform with theirs. Just curious as to your general thoughts on the subject. Polly-O P.S. Tell Justin he once again proves he's an asshole and can suck my dick.

Dear Polly-O:

There's no shortage of crazy people in the world, and as the population continues to increase, so does the amount of crazy people. I am reminded of when James Cameron's lame movie, "True Lies," opened and there was an outcry from Muslims at the depiction of terrorists in the film as Muslims. As my buddy Paul said, "If some other group beside Muslims committed terrorist acts then maybe somebody in Hollywood would choose them as the terrorists." Islam is a tough religion developed in the desert and embraced by nomads and Bedouins. But it's an exceptionally backward religion. Then again, most religions are backward, believing that all the good shit occurred 1,500 - 5,500 years ago, back in "biblical" times, back when monsters roamed the earth. I have no particular venom for Muslims, per se, but I hate orthodox anything. Orthodoxy implies that they know something the rest of us don't know, which I think we can all agree is horseshit. My house is Party Central and there's a party going on here most every night. For a while there was this one young man hanging out who, among other things, was a former junkie, jailbird, jazz trumpeter (quite good) and Orthodox Jew. He's one of those folks who replaced heroin with Jehovah. Well, any time the topic of religion came up he got all hot under the collar because he thought he things the rest of us didn't know. I finally had to throw his Hassidic ass out of here for good. Here in the Detroit metropolitan area there are more Arabs than anywhere outside the Middle East, and we really don't have any issues regarding that. You see a lot of women wearing head scarves and, unlike the French, I could give a damn less what anyone wears. Here's yet another of my silly anecdotes: when I was living in Hollywood on Hudson St., right near the Cinerama Dome, the nearest 7-11 on Cherokee St. was owned by Sikhs from Pakistan. As close-knit immigrant families often do, one by one they brought over their relatives. So one day there is this magnificent Sikh man behind the counter with a turban and long curled and waxed mustaches. Over the course of the next few months I watched as his mustaches got shorter and shorter until he just had a regular old mustache, then his turban was replaced by an L.A. Raiders cap. Ah, assimilation. I personally enjoy diversity, although I must admit that I have no Arab friends. I like the Chaldeans who run the liquor store on the corner quite a lot, but they're Christian Iraqis, not Muslims, and can therefore sell and imbibe booze. Anyway, taking the long way around, I forget your question.

Josh

Name:             Stan Wrightson
E-mail:           
Date:               9/23/13

Dear Josh :

No questions...just writing in to say that I am enjoying "Spine Chillers" very much, and I loved your essay "Hangin' With the Old Dudes." It is one of the finest pieces of writing you've ever done. Thanks.

Dear Stan:

Thanks so much, I enjoyed living it and writing it. I tell you what's a fucking shame is that medical science keeps figuring out ways to keep people living longer and longer, yet society has absolutely no use for them. Senior citizens are just clogging up our entire system, and should definitely have to take the driver's ed written and road tests again at 80. I'm presently watching my aged, ailing parents slowly disintegrate. I include a photo of my family from 1974 at my sister's Bat Mitzvah, when my mom and dad were at the peak of their power. My mother, age 43, is magnificent (check out her nails), my father, age 44, is King Shit of Turd Mountain. Left to Right: Louis "Roscoe" DeMars (my sister Ricki's first husband), my gorgeous mother, Shaggy from "Scooby-Doo," my sister, Ricki, my sister, Pam, and my father, Arnold, otherwise known as Ozymandias, Ruler of Everything He Sees.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               9/22/13

Dear Josh :

Dude, is "Polly-O" you?

Dear Justin:

No.

Josh

Name:             Polly-O
E-mail:           
Date:               9/20/13

Dear Josh :

Great episode, Becker. You didn't disappoint. Loved the twist. And it looked amazing. Now I'm depressed because I'll probably have to wait another YEAR for your next episode... ...by the way, being that your other two hombres are a couple of ugly old dudes who aren't that great at acting, when do we get to see you in an episode? You're far more entertaining, and not as ugly, so it seems like a no-brainer.

Dear Polly-O:

I'm pleased I didn't disappoint you. I assure you that, at this late date, I'm no more attractive than my partners, and I'm certainly older. I do make a cameo appearance in Paul Harris' upcoming episode, "Exit Interview," as a detective with no lines. The bottom line, though, is that I'm not an actor and don't want to be. I won't learn lines under any circumstances. I did play a character in an animated feature called "Sticky Fingers" that's not completed yet, but, of course, I got to read the lines and didn't have to learn them. We shoot my next episode, "Estate Sale," tomorrow.

Josh

Name:             David R.
E-mail:           
Date:               9/20/13

Dear Josh :

Loved the "Hangin’ With the Old Dudes" essay. This is like the old articles of yours I used to read regularly and thoroughly enjoy. I particularly liked the part about the 80 year-old wife babe, and how you\'d arm wrestle for her. Hope you keep posting more essays.

Dear David:

Thanks. I love writing them. I finished the first draft of my next book, "Going Crazy," but there's a lot of rewriting in my future. It's a shame that no one gives a damn what old folks have to say, since they know so much and have experienced so much, but them's the breaks.

Josh

Name:             Frank
E-mail:            jbfutures@yahoo.com
Date:               9/18/13

Dear Josh :

I absolutely loved your article, " Religion is Evil." You spared no rod in your insightful and logical look at the horrific ashes that organized religion continues to leave in its wake. And this is coming from someone who is still trying to break his (my), "church addiction." I guess, "opiate," is strong, indeed. What I liked best is you didn't state specifically whether you believe or disbelieve in some form of, "God." To tell you the truth, I don't care to know, as it is your own business. Besides, hardcore Atheism is just another religion that separates us, as you so elequently say about religions, in general. Well done and best of luck in all of your endeavors!

Dear Frank:

I'm glad you enjoyed the essay. I've had my arguments with atheists who can be every bit as orthodox as any religion. If you think you KNOW that there's no god, that's the same unproven belief as believing you KNOW there is a god. What's the difference? I'm just reading a terrific book about Joseph Stalin ("The Court of the Red Tsar" by Simon Sebag Montifiore) and those Bolsheviks were as orthodox about Communism as any religious person who ever lived. In one's orthodoxy just about anything can be substituted for god: drugs, booze, baseball, anything. Quite frankly, the only thing I come close to being orthodox about is movies. I do believe in them strongly, although I don't like bad movies. The only place where orthodoxy doesn't bother me is in boxing, where they misuse the word to mean a righty as opposed to a lefty ("South paw. South Jersey. South paw").

Bless your thoughtful little heart,

Josh

Name:             Polly-O
E-mail:           
Date:               9/11/13

Dear Josh :

Thanks for the response, Becker. Consider yourself pardoned...for now. By the way, the guy giving you shit about cinematographers doesn't know jack shit about low budget filmmaking.

Dear Polly-O:

That's true, but he's a nice guy all the same. I appreciate the pardon. As god is my witness, "Spine Chillers" episode #4 will be posted within a week.

Josh

Name:             Michael Vavrek
E-mail:            iviaverick@hotmail.com
Date:               9/10/13

Dear Josh :

Once upon a time I went to an enjoyable seminar you gave at the Bloomfield Library. I live in Waterford. A few years ago I used to be best friends with Joe Falls, the sportswriter (who knew Elmore Leonard). I read your remembrance of Mr. Leonard, and had to laugh, as Falls notoriously also had chronic problems remembering to zip his pants. I noticed your Spine Chillers web-series and guess that you occasionally need SOME material. I have a story "Tokens" that I wrote that I believe could be adapted to such a format. http://www.IVIaverick.com/tokens.html is the web address where you can find it. From time to time I used to TELL part of this story and people would always say it gave them the chills, so I expanded it a bit and wrote it down and readers report the chills are still there. But it can be cut down to just the bare essentials, requiring few actors and locations, and still be effective. Best Regards, Michael

Dear Michael:

I don't have a chronic problem with leaving my fly open, only when I'm around the women whom I admire most. Meanwhile, that presentation at the Bloomfield Township Library sucked. The DVD machine didn't work. I had more pants around my ankles the whole night. Sadly, we do not need any material at this time, we are loaded with material, I have so many scripts and ideas it would take 157 years to shoot them all. Same with my fellow hombres, but thanks anyway.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:           
Date:               9/10/13

Dear Josh :

So what you're really saying is slow DP's are not "worthless", they are actually worth way more than you've ever been able to afford. Good, I'm glad we got that cleared up ;)

Dear Justin:

Yes. I've worked with some very talented slow DPs. Ivo on ("Stan Lee's) Harpies" was a talented slow DP. John Mahafee on "Hercules" was a talented slow DP, which, of course, I never worked on. Mahafee was perfectly fine Steadicam operator on "Minotaur," but anyway. Vittorio Storaro, the greatest living DP, with 4 Oscars, is famously and notoriously slow. I'm not saying that slow DPs have no talent, I'm saying they're worthless to me. As you said, I can't afford, on the schedules I've had, to dick around for one second. And if the scene is illuminated, I'm shooting. And, in my book, it takes one cigarette to illuminate a scene. Finesse is for rich people.

Josh

Name:             Reg
E-mail:           
Date:               9/10/13

Dear Josh :

I'm with Justin. The lighting on Alien Apocalypse was great??? It was lit like a fucking soap opera. Do you really think the truly great DPs working today, like Robert Richardson or Roger Deakins, only spend ten minutes lighting each shot? COME ON!!!

Dear Reg:

No, Robert Richardson and Roger Deakins, both great DPs, don't light in ten minutes, but guess what? They have big budgets to work with so they don't have to light in ten minutes. If you have all the money in the world, then you have all the time in the world. I've never had that luxury. When you're shooting seven pages of script a day, as I generally do, you move like your hair is on fire. I'd much prefer to achieve my schedule, and have it look OK, then to achieve half of my schedule and have it look great. That's reality. Xena always looked great and the DP had ten minutes to light. I didn't dream up the schedule, that's just how it was. By the by, my old buddy, Sheldon Lettich, hired Richard Kline to light "Double Impact," and if you're not aware, Richard Kline lit such unknown films as: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," "Camelot," "Body Heat," "The Boston Strangler," "Soylent Green," "King Kong," etc. and Sheldon said he was the fastest DP he ever worked with. Sheldon said, "Richard Kline could light all of Hong Kong in ten minutes." So, you don't have to be slow to be good.

Josh

Name:             Polly-O
E-mail:           
Date:               9/10/13

Dear Josh :

Wow, Becker. You take the cake. What's it been, ONE YEAR since Spine Yawners was announced? And you've only had three episodes, all released at once? How the FUCK do you expect to build any kind of fan base? How the FUCK do you expect to earn any kind of goodwill with your fans? How the FUCK can you and your hombres be so slow? You should change your name to Three Geezers. You're not The Wild Bunch, you're The Golden Girls. First of all, if you weren't such a moron, you'd know that you should be taking bits of the footage you've got in the can (I don't care if it's not scored by Joe LoPuke-a) and put together some kind of promo. Second of all, if you're going to be releasing one set of episodes every 8 months, be smarter about it this time and release one a month or so, instead of throwing them all out at once and then taking a fucking year hiatus. And finally...you should cast Sam Raimi's parents in an episode. That is all.

Dear Polly-O:

If I didn't agree with you I might take offense. Had I not just said the same thing last night I'd call you a bitch or something. But alas, you are correct. Nevertheless, we have three more episodes shot, and we're shooting ep. #7 weekend after next. Getting these things made has been like herding cats, but we're still at it. And the quality has markedly improved. And the next three will all be coming out at once. Please pardon me for the lengthy delay.

Josh

Name:             Justin
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               9/09/13

Dear Josh :

You remember you can't see your movie without light, right? Why do you have to be so insulting? It seems the producer of "Hercules" thought a slow DP wasn't' "worthless" because he chose him to DP over you directing… And what job have you ever worked on that spent "most of the day lighting"? Are you assuming the people that claim to have an eye for composition and lighting that take longer than ten minutes to light… are simply faking it?

Dear Justin:

Jeez, I've gotten your ire up, which has never occurred before. The bottom line is that there is a schedule that must be adhered to. It's not just the director and assistant director's responsibility, it equally applies to the DP, though a number of DPs I've worked with think it has nothing to do with them. That's plain old irresponsible. And, having been a PA for 20 years, I've worked with many DPs who were slow as molasses in January. Lighting is important, but as I've already said, it's not the most important thing in filmmaking. The fastest DP I've ever worked with was David Worth on Alien Apocalypse, who was also the oldest. David did not fuck around, was always ready on time, and his lighting looked great. This shouldn't be special, it should be the norm. My good buddy Kurt Rauf, who lit Running Time and If I Had a Hammer, is also fast and good. Donny Dunkin, the main DP on Xena, was also fast and good. There's no good reason that lighting should take a long time, but it usually does.

Josh

Name:             Nick
E-mail:            nickfalzone256@yahoo.com
Date:               9/07/13

Dear Josh :

should we be going to war in Syria?

Dear Nick:

We shouldn't be going to war anywhere. Nobody attacked us. This bullshit about crossing a "red line" by using chemical weapons to kill people is the height of absurdity. The statement we're making is that killing people with: atom bombs, missiles, rockets, bullets, and knives is totally cool, but chemicals are inappropriate. If we go in and carpet bomb Baghdad, slaughtering tens of thousands of civilians for no reason, well, that's within the rules because we gave it an awesome name, "Shock and Awe." But chemicals are the ultimate no-no. Congress can't accomplish anything but war. We are lame fucks.

Josh

Name:             Nick
E-mail:           
Date:               9/07/13

Dear Josh :

Nice essay on modern tech, Josh. I was reminded of your essay "History of Writing Machines," wherein you said you'd never purchase another Apple product ever. Was this some strange twist of fate, or were you just unconsciously eschewing the irony of the situation? I've never purchased an Apple, or anything from Apple, though I've used one professionally. I think they're only popular because they're so much more expensive than PC's and seen as a status symbol (as I understand it, both Apple's and PC's are made by the same company, Daewoo). I think a much bigger problem with today's tech is how ephemeral it's made everything - instead of hard copies, everything is stored electronically. Well, one short circuit or extended blackout, and entire libraries of the stuff could disappear forever. Granted, most of today's music and film is meant to be disposable like everything else, but what about the classics of yesteryear? On the other hand, that most of that stuff has been preserved at all is amazing. Tech-wise, I've never owned an Ipod or cel-phone (one of the few left). My 20-year-old CRT only recently zonked out, and my VCR/DVD player and stereo, both ten years old, work fine. Aside from this laptop, I don't bother with most any other tech crap, and I kept my CD's (for the above stated reasons). As for the 2016 elections, which you mentioned, I must admit I'm worried, even though it's ten Blackberries away. Since the democrats have fucked up recently with the NSA scandal and Syria (thoughts?), it's entirely possible Americans, in their short-sightedness, could elect another Romney or Bush or McCain to the White House. I really don't think America could handle another one of those, a president who desperately wants to be John Wayne but can't afford to anymore.

Dear Nick:

The pendulum swings back and forth and somehow we live through it. Hell, if we could make it through eight years of Bush we can get through anything. I believe Obama is a good man, but he's not a distinguished president, which, let's face it, is a thankless job. There hasn't been a great president since Truman. Eisenhower liked to golf, Kennedy liked to fuck, LBJ liked to listen to bad advice (and lift his dog up by the ears), Nixon liked to tape and drink, Jimmy Carter liked to smile benignly, Regan liked to blow hot air, Bush Sr. liked to wait for his term to end, Clinton liked to stick cigars in women's pussies, Bush Jr. liked to fuck up everything he touched, and Obama likes spying on everybody. What a bunch of jackasses. Meanwhile, Apple may not be a good company anymore, but it's a fuck of a lot better than Microsoft, and doesn't get viruses because who'd bother coming up with a virus for 10% of all computers. Our job is to grit our teeth and persevere, should we care to.

Josh


Name:             Bob
E-mail:           
Date:               9/07/13

Dear Josh :

Why does Obama want to bomb Syria?

Dear Bob:

He can't get any legislation passed, so why not bomb Syria? It's something to do.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhay@gmail.com
Date:               9/07/13

Dear Josh :

As a director, why are you so comfortable slamming a whole and crucial department of filmmaking??? Saying people that you've worked with are "worthless"?

Dear Justin:

Slow DPs are worthless. Filmmaking isn't about lighting. If most of the day is spent lighting, most of the day has been wasted. Making movies is about actors acting. As my late buddy Rick said, and he was a union stand-in on sit-coms, "They spend all day lighting and it still looks like they just turned on one giant light bulb." When I took over the lighting on "Evil Dead" I mainly used one light, which I set up in one minute, and it looked a helluva lot better than the other lighting. As the Oscar-winning DP, David Watkin, said, "One light is a statement, two lights is sort of a statement, three lights is no statement at all."

Josh

Name:             Jake
E-mail:           
Date:               9/06/13

Dear Josh :

Two new essays posted on your website in one week! I'm getting deja vu to the late 90's.

Dear Jake:

I'm back, baby, and better than ever. I'm 100 pages into a new book, too.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               9/06/13

Dear Josh :

You allow the cinematographer to light a scene the amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette? Isn't that like five minutes?

Dear Justin:

Maybe ten. Hey, I've got a schedule to keep. Some deluded filmmakers think that most of the day ought to be wasted on lighting, but I heartily disagree. Most of the time should be spent working with actors and shooting. Lighting ain't rocket science, nor is it all that difficult. Slow DPs are worthless. That's why I never directed an episode of "Hercules." Rob Tapert, in his infinite wisdom, felt that the DP, John Mahaffey, who was notoriously slow, and I would butt heads, as we undoubtedly would. John, BTW, was the Steadicam operator on "Minotaur" and we got along just fine, but then again, he wasn't lighting. Any DP who thinks lighting is why everybody is there is wrong. Ivo, the DP on "Harpies" was kind of slow. It was taking him fifteen minutes to light a close-up of a fat guy. I took Ivo aside and said, "You're going to slow. If I just shot
an over-the-shoulder of the fat guy, then move in for a close-up, you should be able to flick a barn-door and be done in one second. This guy ain't Greta Garbo." Ivo replied, "If I can't take my time, then I don't care." I said, "Uh-oh, we have an artist on the set. You think I'm the slave-driver and you're the artist. Look, pal, I'm as big an artist as you are, but the schedule applies to both of us, so speed up." A few minutes later I come to the set and Ivo is lovingly lighting a close-up of a fat guy, or whatever. I said, "I thought you didn't care." Ivo said, "OK, I do care."

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               9/05/13

Hi Josh :

Do you think the director should design the shots for his or her film, or should the DP take that traditional role?

Dear Justin:

The director chooses the shots, as I have always done. The DP chooses the shots if the director is lame. I've worked with DPs who've had difficulty with this concept, but I've whipped them into shape. One of the DPs on Xena, John Cavill, a particularly talented guy, had problems at first. The first shot on the first day of "Blind Faith" I said, "The camera is right here, on the dolly, on an 18mm lens," then I went and smoked a cigarette, which is how much time I allow the DP for lighting, the length of a cigarette. I returned to find the camera on the crane. I said, "John, could I speak to you outside for a moment?" He and I went outside and I said, "What part of on the dolly didn't you understand?" He said, "I thought it would be better on the crane." I said, "John, if I say it's on the dolly, then it's on the dolly." John said, "I thought this was a collaboration." I said, "You're mistaken. You work for me." And from there on out he was cool, and his lighting was outstanding.

Josh

Name:             Elise
E-mail:           
Date:               9/04/13

Hey Josh :

I finally got around to finishing Rushes. I tend to get sidetracked a lot so I haven't been able to read the majority of it until now (I have too many handheld games, books, and comics). It was such an easy read which is always a huge plus for me and I loved learning about your experiences in the film industry. I do however have one question. You stated that you met Bobcat Goldthwait if I'm correct on the way/at a film festival. I actually met him last month after seeing his new film, Willow Creek which I thoroughly enjoyed. What are your thoughts on his work and how was your experience meeting him?

Dear Elise:

I'm glad you enjoyed "Rushes." Yes, I met and sort of hung out with Bob Goldthwait at the Boston Film Festival. I was there with Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi and we were showing "Lunatics." Bob was there showing his film, "Shakes the Clown." "Lunatics" got 100% positive reviews and "Shakes the Clown" got 100% bad reviews, so Bob was a bit depressed. He was a pleasure to hang around with, even in his depression, and a good time was had by all, except the viewers of "Shakes the Clown."

Josh

Name:             Sonia V
E-mail:            sonia2020@yahoo.com
Date:               9/04/13

Dear Josh :

I don't have questions, I just wanted to tell you that for me "Lunatics a Love Story" is a masterpiece. Today it would be listed in the category of independent films.... by the way it is kind of painful to see good directors and actors in crappy films, lots of action, special effects, no argument.... it makes me wonder why the society has gone so low in taste. This story is magical; it has something that pulls my strings. I’m so happy I was able to get the CD last year, through this site. I kept it to “watch it later” and when I did, I experienced the same emotion I felt when I saw it in 1996 (VHS). Sonia

Dear Sonia V:

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. It's been 23 years since we made it, and it wasn't an easy film to make. Bruce Campbell was a tough-as-nails producer who grabbed me by the hair and pulled me kicking and screaming into the world of professional filmmaking. You ought to check out my other films, maybe you'd enjoy them, too. Regarding society, as the population continues to increase, the proportion of idiots continues to increase and most of them become film executives who wouldn't know what a good film was if it bit them on the ass. Good films do get made, but just by the lower budget, art house divisions of the film companies. Thanks again.

Josh

Name:             Bob
E-mail:           
Date:               8/31/13

Dear Josh :

Do you think that Ricky Gervais is funny?

Dear Bob:

When he's being interviewed, otherwise no. His stand-up routines are abysmal and I don't watch sit-coms.

Josh

Name:             Jason Roth
E-mail:            oxboy30@gmail.com
Date:               8/30/13

Dear Josh :

First off, happy belated birthday! I haven't written in on the Q&A in a while, figured I was due. I recently watched a pretty good documentary on Netflix called The Last Mogul, covering the life of Lew Wasserman. Interesting stuff, since I wasn't very familiar with Wasserman's career and influence. Have you seen it? Still keeping an eye out for the next wave of Spine Chillers. Hope things are good with you! All the best, Jason

Dear Jason:

Yes, I saw it. Wasserman was an interesting guy, for a Hollywood schmuck. It was his take-over of Universal that was the beginning of the end for Hollywood. Suddenly a bunch of assholes from the music business were in charge of movies, a topic of which they knew nothing. Next thing you know we're getting one crappy disaster movie after another. When I started on Hercules Lew Wasserman and Syd Sheinberg owned Universal. Soon thereafter Bronfman and Seagram's took over. Then came Matsushita, then Vivendi, then NBC. Ah, for the days of the real moguls, who came from rational businesses like clothing and gloves.

Josh

Name:             Z.X.
E-mail:           
Date:               8/28/13

Dear Josh :

i really dig your films and your intelligent commentary...i wish i could be around for more...but i have decided to take my own life...which has become anguished and intolerable...i urge all the rotten people of the world to follow my example...do they know who they are???

Dear Z.X.

That's damn near everybody, and I don't suppose they do know who they are. How do you intend to kill yourself, if you don't mind me asking?

Josh

Name:             Chris Staggs
E-mail:            chramy01@yahoo.com
Date:               8/26/13

Dear Mr Becker :

I recently purchased Thou Shalt Not Kill....Except on Blu-ray and I loved it! The short film "Stryker's War" was also great. For the budget available, you did an awesome job on these films. I really enjoy the old Super 8mm shorts from the Evil Dead team. If I purchase the shorts you are selling, do you still autograph the disc? Also, do you have a Facebook page for fans? Thanks, Chris

Dear Chris:

I'm pleased you enjoyed my films. I sign every single DVD I sell.

Josh

Name:             Kristie
E-mail:           
Date:               8/26/13

Hi Josh:

Happy belated birthday! How's the progress on that script you were working on earlier this year? Also - because we're always dying to know - have you watched any films of note lately? Best, Kristie

Dear Kristie:

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I'm pleased to be done with it. The afore mentioned script I was writing for Bruce and Ida is done. I think it turned out very well, too. They and I were quite pleased with the results.

I've seen a number of good films recently: "Firecreek" (1968) with James Stewart and Henry Fonda, both in fine form. It's a good, serious western, and I wish the two of them had made more westerns like it; "The War Lover" (1962), an early leading role for Steve McQueen who is just great as a prick, hotshot bomber pilot during WWII. The film is pretty standard stuff, but McQueen couldn't be better; "Wise Blood" (1979), certainly John Huston's weirdest movie, about a preacher in the deep south who preaches of "whole truth, without Jesus;" "The Impossible" (2012), with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, a very well-made and tense film about the tsunami in Thailand, that poops out before the end, but still works very well; "The Streets of London" (British title: "St. Martin's Lane") with Charles Laughton and a very young, beautiful, and extremely talented Vivian Leigh as street buskers. I'll leave it at that, but I've seen many more good movies recently, as well.

Josh

Name:             August
E-mail:            joxerfan@hotmail.com
Date:               8/18/13

Dear Josh:

Just a quick note to wish you a very happy birthday - may your day be filled with ganja and dancing Rossis bearing mooch potato likor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6C7QgSUW7g

Regards, August

Dear August:

Thank you so much. I didn't get any Rossis, but I had ganja a-plenty and we spent the day shooting ep. #6 of "Spine Chillers," which went swimmingly, if I do say so myself. Today we shoot the other half of the ep. This will be our biggest day of shooting yet. Fingers are crossed. Cheers.

Josh

Name:             Alien Termite
E-mail:            NativeBlood
Date:               8/14/13

Dear Humanoid Josh:

What do you make of the latest Hollywood trend of making two movies out of one single book? "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1 & 2", "Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 & 2", "The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, Part 1 & 2", and the worst offender, Peter Jackson making three movies out of one book, "The Hobbit", which I hear is a fairly short book, at that. Some say this is a good thing, as fans of those novels are getting more complete adaptations, I say that not everything that works in a book will work in a film, and that condensing is a good thing. I won't even go into this being an underhanded way for studios to get people to pay twice. What say you?

Dear Alien:

All of the movies you mentioned were made for one purpose and only one purpose and that's to make money. What's the problem with Hollywood finding every possible avenue for making as much money as humanly possible? Nobody's forcing you to see all the sequels, nor the original for that matter. The good, lower budget, movies that Hollywood makes these days (facetiously called "indies"), like say, "Argo" or "Silver Linings Playbook," won't have sequels; they're complete stories that have no room for a sequel. But horseshit like "The Hobbit" or "Twilight" are open-ended and can go on forever. I guess "The Hobbit" has to eventually run into "Lord of the Rings," but necessarily. You can just have hobbits wandering around aimlessly forever. And the boring teenage vampires must eventually grow up, but you can keep following them into college and law or med school, then into married life, or simply recast the part and keep them teens forever. The short answer is, I don't think it makes any difference.

Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            NativeBlood
Date:               8/14/13

How's it going Josh?:

Almost a month later and I think we have moved forward about 1/2 inch on that "virtual tour" project. What they have in mind is to get a collection of shots inside this huge warehouse. Typically I'll have the use of a digital camcorder with the incorporated dynamic microphone. That microphone picks up every little thing. With equipment running in the background it overpowers anyone attempting to speak for their part in a shot. After I explained the sound obstacles that are apparent when you shoot inside a warehouse where lots of people are working the idea of a narrative voice over was brought up. I can definitely yank a recorded file off my DAR and drop it on the time line. Overall, I think it's the best way to approach it. How do you get that great sound in videos and the more ambitious movie projects? I'm reminded of a reporter that was standing right in the middle of Hurricane Katrina as it barrelled ashore. You could see the effects of the wind ripping across flooded areas and trees falling over but as far as his voice went - It was like he was standing right beside you with no biblically proportioned hurricane anywhere nearby - crystal clear. As always your time and feedback are greatly appreciated. Have a great day. Tim

Dear Tim:

For good sound you get a good microphone as close to the actor as humanly possible. If you haven't got a boom man you put it on a C-stand. It's certainly not brain surgery. As for reporters, they're speaking directly into a good microphone. And of course there are very directional mikes, like shotgun mikes, and there are omni-directional mikes that pick up all the sound in every direction. If there's a lot of ambient noise then a shotgun mike is preferable. If you put in voice-over narration, as you suggested, then you've completely solved the problem. Good luck.

Josh

Name:             Bob Hummel
E-mail:            topnga1@aol.comD3
Date:               7/27/13

Dear Josh:

Is there a way to purchase your film, "If I had a Hammer?" Would love to obtain a copy. Thanks, Bob topnga1@aol.com

Dear Bob:

Coincidentally, you can purchase "If I Had a hammer" on this very same website where you just contacted me.

Josh

Name:             Jeff Missinne
E-mail:            jmissinne16mm@gmail.com
Date:               7/27/13

Dear Josh:

Enjoyed your history of the Hollywood studio lots. One minor point: Though MGM and Turner currently own RKO's film library, they were not the original buyer. General Tire & Rubber Co, who bought RKO from Hughes, sold the films to the C & C Corporation, a soft drink company. Their division\'s C & C Television logo replaced RKO's name on prints circulated for years; and the films passed thru several hands over time. RKO still exists as a producing company, licensing remakes of its story properties; in its present form it is owned by Dina Merrill.

Dear Jeff:

Glad you enjoyed the essay. Thanks for the info. Hollywood has a wonderfully convoluted history. Since I wrote that I'm sure my final summary of who owns what is now out of date.

Josh

Name:             Ray C
E-mail:           
Date:               7/27/13

Dear Josh:

At the end of a film I often see a number around when the MPAA logo is shown. What does that number represent?

Dear Ray C:

When you submit your film to the MPAA to get a rating you get your rating and an approval number, meaning you actually did submit it to the MPAA and you're not just putting your own rating on the film. My only film with an MPAA rating is "Lunatics" and it got a PG-13.

Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            Nativeblood66
Date:               7/27/13

Dear Josh:

I'm not really sure what these fellas want Josh. I've done safety videos and the like for them before. This is the first time "Virtual Tour" has been mentioned. I'm going to wait for an upcoming meeting specifically concerning this video. I'll certainly be picking your brain on it. As always - Thank you for your time. Tim

Dear Tim:

I'm kind of interested to find out. If you actually go somewhere and shoot, then it's not virtual. If you don't actually go there then what are you shooting?

Josh

Name:             Dean
E-mail:            dean0gray@rocketmail.com
Date:               7/20/13

Hi Josh:

Dean here from the UK. I just watched "sorry I couldn't make it", I really liked the episode, with its "o henry" style ending, I particularly liked the closing shot over the graveyard, which in comparison with the prior, shots in the short, created a sense of enormity to the revelation at the end of the story. I feel the shorts are getting better and better as they go along, you can really get a sense that the creators behind the films are starting to really find their groove. I am not a critic, so I have no criticism to make, however I didn't expect as much handheld from you, as it does not ( in some ways ) fit the style I am used to seeing from you, but I am guessing the point of the handheld was to emphasise the chaotic nature of the argument between the couple. I found the characters to be well written and I really enjoyed the lead actors performance, the shorts seem to be geared at adults, but still keeping that twilight zone style accessibility, they are not gritty and violent, they are more all audience horror tales ( I couldn't help but notice a smoking theme running through the episodes ). I will share the films on my Twitter/Tumblr page if you don't mind, might get you a few hits ( who knows ) but don't count on it. Keep them coming Josh.

Dear Dean:

Thank you for the nice review. We just cut in the effects for ep#4, kindly provided by my pal, Gary Joes. And with a few more tweaks it ought to be posted within a couple of weeks. Ep#5 is shot and being edited and ep#6 shoots next weekend. I didn't do anywhere near as much hand-held in my next one. I guess I was just sort of enamored with that Canon DSLR. We have switched to the Sony EX-1.

Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            Nativeblood66
Date:               7/15/13

Dear Josh:

Thank you again for your feedback. It is always appreciated. Have you ever done any Industrial type videos - Virtual Tour type stuff? If you had to, from your experience, how would you approach it? If you haven't - no problem. Just looking for your strict discipline type feedback again. I'm really glad you have this website. It's a very valuable tool and a great way to vent and ask questions. Have a great day Josh. Tim

Dear Tim:

When I was a production assistant (for 20 years) I worked on many industrial films, but I never directed one. I'm not sure what you mean by "virtual tour type stuff." What are you specifically referring to?

Josh

Name:             CHEECH
E-mail:           
Date:               7/07/13

Dear Josh:

Speaking of another kind of smoking, what is your take on "stoner" films or films to watch while high. Do you a favorite or is the whole thing stupid ?

Dear CHEECH:

My favorite stoner character is Spiccoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." The whole stoner genre isn't much of a genre. I enjoyed "Harold & Kumar Go to the White Castle." "Pineapple Express" had some funny moments. Regarding watching movies stoned, I'm stoned so often that it doesn't matter, nor does it effect anything. "2001" in 70mm used to be an LSD favorite in my youth. Quite frankly, I like mine and Paul Harris' stoner comedy, "Buds," which is available on this very website.

Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            Nativeblood66
Date:               7/07/13

Evening Josh:

I feel like discussions about the "Evil Dead", especially the first one that you were so heavily involved in, aren't really to your liking. I do want to respect you and at the same time I have some comments about the remake that came out a while back. Before I write this I want to say that first of all I\'m a nobody for sure in the world of films - not even a blip on the radar - and certainly cannot hold a candle to the likes of you guys that have made a life out of making movies. I feel I'm as qualified as any one though to offer an opinion on a flick. My effort here is not to crap all over the film makers or insult them or anything to that effect. I'm just talking here. Concerning the movie remake - It was some what true to the original but overall Josh it really wasn't all that spectacular. The gore was over the top and I do mean way over the top. At what point do gore shots take over the telling of the story? It had heavy doses of profanity in it which were not needed to move the story along. It also had one mistake that kept cropping up concerning the use of a pneumatic nailer - It seemed to shoot nails incredibly without the benefit of the air compressor to drive it. It's purpose was to hurt the viewer and it pulled that off I guess. The original one you guys made was the best one and it had the most energy and "youthful enthusiasm" I guess you could call it. Everything was in-camera and CG wasn't around at that time to ruin the movie. The original had something intangible that is totally lacking in the remake. Mr. Sullivan's original Book of the Dead was also superior to the one in the remake as well. It also became heavily contaminated with mega-doses of profanity. It was not totally without merit though frames of merit were difficult to find. On the flip side - Kudos to the writers and producers because it apparently made millions at the box office which translates to who gives a damn about my opinion? HaHa! I won't be buying it when it hits the stores though. I'll just keep the original trilogy up on the shelf to enjoy. All that being said how have you been doing lately? What's new in the world of Josh Becker and Tres Hombres? Have a good one. Tim

Dear Tim:

I haven't seen it. As is well-known on this site, I'm not an "Evil Dead" fan. Sitting through "Army of Darkness" was a misery for me, although admittedly I first saw it in a much longer version, with Sam, Bruce, Rob and Dino DeLaurentiis sitting directly behind me so I couldn't even squirm like I so badly wanted to. Part of my reasoning for no longer attending horror cons, beside not making much money, was that I became sick to death of answering "Evil Dead" questions. That many people were not pleased with this remake means absolutely nothing to me. Regarding me and my fellow hombres, we're still chugging along making Spine Chillers. Ep#4 is being scored, ep#5 is shot and ready to cut, and ep#6 will shoot in about three weeks. I'm going to try my best to shoot ep#7 a few weeks after that. After a bumpy start we're trying to get our production machine running smoother and faster.

Josh

Name:             Keith
E-mail:            alwayslikethis882@gmail.com
Date:               7/02/13

Hi Josh:

How much does smoking tobacco relate to your writing? Back when I smoked, I found that it made the creative process much easier. Maybe it was just that going outside for a cigarette forced me to take breaks at a regular intervals, which in turn helped settle my thoughts. Or maybe the stimulating nature of nicotine was boosting my cognitive abilities. I remember in one of these pages years ago you mentioned that Colleen McCullough, author of the thoroughly enjoyable Masters of Rome series, refused to quit stating that “the words are in the cigarettes”.

Now that I have started writing again, I’ve considered taking up the new E-Cigarette fad. How you ever tried an “electronic cigarette”?

Best, Keith

Dear Keith:

First of all, I wrote an essay on this topic a number of years ago, cleverly entitled, "Smoking Cigarettes," that's posted here on the site. Like you used to do, I regularly take a break from writing and have a cigarette. Since I roll my own cigarettes one at a time I can't type and roll (nor can I drive and roll, although I can rock and roll). Generally, halfway into the cigarette I'm back writing. Of course this is totally non-PC, but I honestly do believe that nicotine is a creative stimulant. And yes I have tried E-cigarettes, but without the nicotine, what's the point? If you read the essay you'll get my unexpurgated view of the topic.

Josh

Name:             Matheson Fan
E-mail:           
Date:               6/27/13

Dear Josh:

As a Richard Matheson fan, I was sad to learn he passed away yesterday. However, being that he was 87 years old, I can't feel too bad. Thought I'd write in because I suspect you have many thoughts on his work. Personally, the Matheson pieces that will always mean the most to me are: Duel (story & film, which I still think is Spielberg's best), I Am Legend (novel, it's a crying shame they never made a great movie out of it, though I think 1964's Last Man on Earth was the best of the three tries), The Incredible Shrinking Man (novel & movie), and, of course, The Twilight Zone...of his 16 episodes, my favorites were Steel, Nick of Time, and A World of His Own...which maybe had the most surprising conclusion of any episode. Truly one of the greats. How about you?

Dear Matheson Fan:

It is sad to lose someone you really respected, and I really respected Richard Matheson. As I've mentioned, he was the inspiration for my first Spine Chillers episode, and he's also the inspiration for my third episode. I have no doubt that he will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. I love all of the films and TV shows you've mentioned, as well as tons more, like: "The Night Stalker," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Dying Room Only," "Trilogy of Terror," on and on. As Edgar Allan Poe ended his story, "The Cask of Amontillado," which Matheson adapted for the film, "Tales of Terror," In pace requiescat.

Josh

Name:             Elise
E-mail:           
Date:               6/27/13

Hey Josh:

An interview with Bruce has been released here: http://www.podwits.com/2013/06/24/bruce-campbell-the-interview/ Where he talks about working with you. I got to say, I am intrigued to see what you two have up your sleeves with these four genres that Bruce gave you to work with. Best of luck.

Dear Elise:

Thanks for sending the link. As always, I enjoyed Bruce's interview. Regarding the scripts I wrote for Bruce, he wrote the stories for the first three and his wife wrote the story for the fourth one. They're all very different, which made the whole process intriguing to me. Not to mention I just like working with Bruce, and his wife, Ida. I certainly hope that Bruce can pull off getting them made, but even if he can't, it was a terrific experience writing them.

Josh

Name:             Jonathan A. Moody
E-mail:            sickflickproductions@gmail.com
Date:               6/23/13

Dear Josh:

I was just watching some interviews with Bruce from different horror conventions and each time he was as hilarious as ever. Since you guys are still friends and chat with one another have you guys ever thought of writing a straight out comedy together. You two I think would be perfect for a broad comedy. What do you think? Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

I've written several broad comedies with Bruce in mind for the lead, like "The Horribleness" and "It's a Lost, Lost World" (both co-written with Paul Harris). I don't feel like any feature or TV show he's ever done has fully taken advantage of his comic abilities. Bruce has been making me scream with laughter my whole life. He used to do this terrific Chaplin-esque routine of bending over to tie his shoe, then having his lighter fall out of his shirt pocket, going to pick it up, then mistakenly kicking it and this could go on forever. Bruce can touch the end of his nose with his tongue, which I've always found to be sure-fire hilarity, particularly when we were kids. Anyway, it's difficult to write with somebody who doesn't live in the same city as you.

Josh

Name:             Poncho
E-mail:           
Date:               6/21/13

Hey Josh... :

if you were given a 3 picture deal at Paramount and told you could make any movie you want (with a budget up to $50 million) what would they be? They don't even have to be scripts you've written, just ideas you've had or outlined. question part 2...if you were given a 3 script deal at WB and they were going to buy 3 scripts of yours but you could NOT direct them, but you could pick the directors, what three scripts and what three directors would you choose? I know it is fantasy but I am curious of your thoughts. Thank you

Dear Poncho:

I'm not a fan of fantasy and never have been. I like a lot of my scripts and I'd enjoy to seeing many of them made into films, which is why I wrote them. As for other people directing my scripts, that doesn't interest me. If it's not me then I don't care who it is. But if I must choose three scripts I'd choose: "Grit," which I just wrote; "The Horribleness" and "Devil Dogs: The Battle of Belleau Wood."

Josh

Name:             lou
E-mail:           
Date:               6/21/13

Dear Josh :

Jesus, Becker, come on! You fucking announced this web-series back in 2012, promised it in early 2013, and here we are halfway through the year and you've only put out 3 episodes. No offense, but you and your hombres need to get your shit together. That means: Fuck Joe LoDuca up his stupid ass. He sucks anyway. You guys waiting months at a time for him to grace you with his presence is just murdering your brand. The key to gaining an internet following is regular product. FACT. You guys are busy opening joint bank accounts, so clearly you want to make money off this. Start acting like it. It's time to deliver a regular monthly product. And if you can't, YOU LOSE.

Dear lou:

Thanks for the inspiring pep talk. Ultimately, though, I agree with your sentiments, but not about Joe, who isn't holding anything up. My second episode, #4, was shot during the winter and for various reasons still isn't done. Joe already scored it, then I decided to recut, so it's my fault. Ep #5 is shot and needs to be cut, and we're almost ready to shoot ep #6, but we still haven't got this machine running smoothly.

Josh

Name:             Danielle
E-mail:           
Date:               6/14/13

Dear Josh :

Sometimes I just want to punch Steven Spielberg's billionaire face. http://flavorwire.com/397674/the-laughable-hypocrisy-of-spielberg-and-lucas-diatribe-against-blockbusters/

Dear Danielle:

Yes, those two guys are seriously disingenuous. And most of their movies are crap to boot. Well, I've been bemoaning this state of affairs since "Star Wars" in 1977 so the whole issue is old and wearisome to me. As I've mentioned several times recently, I think the mid- to lower-end movies are pretty good these days. Big Hollywood movies are strictly for kids now. Meanwhile, I watched 45 minutes of "Zero Dark Thirty" yesterday and it's terrible. Non-stop depictions of torture, no characterization at all, and entirely hand-held. I can't watch one more second.

Josh

Name:             Juno Jakob
E-mail:            junojakob@hotmail.co.uk
Date:               6/13/13

Dear Josh :

What's the possibility of you letting me make your Evil Dead Journal into a film?

Dear Juno:

What are you offering? And how do you expect to get the rights to the name, as well as getting Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, etc. to sign off on this?

Josh

Name:             Daniela Cox
E-mail:            cox@hawinkels.de
Date:               6/13/13

Dear Josh :

Thanks a lot for the DVD of Running Time and especially for signing it as well. It's very much appreciated. I hope you like my review http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120042/reviews-29. Kindest regards, Daniela

Dear Daniela:

That's a very nice, well-written review. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the film, and also glad that you bought it. With the advent of digital, making it much easier to achieve the one-shot, real-time effect, you'd think there would be more films like it, but alas, I don't think there have been. "Running Time" is a film that I'm particularly proud of, and Bruce thinks very highly of it, too.

Josh

Name:             Martin Spinoli
E-mail:           
Date:               6/02/13

Dear Josh :

Can you talk more about what you thought of "Take Shelter"? I remember thinking it was powerful, the sense of dread was palpable, but not an especially pleasant movie to sit through. Also, it has the visual hallucinations, which I thought you ripped "A Beautiful Mind" for having since those supposedly don't occur in schizophrenia

Dear Martin:

Of my many issues with "A Beautiful Mind," the hallucinations were not one of them. In fact, I think they were one of the best things about the film. My biggest problem with that film was how much they fictionalized a living person. Regarding "Take Shelter," the film gripped me so much I barely remember it, which is odd. It kind of just shot right through my brain. But I know schizophrenics hallucinate. I have a cousin in the nut- house due to that. But I'd have to see "Take Shelter" again, which I wouldn't mind doing, to really discuss it cogently. My mind is no longer beautiful, it's now shot full of holes.

Josh

Name:             Paul (not Harris)
E-mail:           
Date:               5/30/13

Hi Josh :

Two more things about "Spine Chillers". Any plans to work Ted R into an episode and since you mentioned being taken as an old curmudgeon, how about one of the hombres doing a take on character based on yourself or on your image. Kind of like Bruce did in "Call Me Bruce" where he plays on his snooty actor schtick. just a suggestion

Dear Paul (not Harris):

I'd love to work with Ted again, but he lives in L.A. and we certainly don't have the budget to fly anyone into Detroit. I don't know the last time Ted was here, but in any event, he didn't contact me. I did have lunch with his mom and dad a few weeks ago, though, and they're wonderful people. Regarding "Spine Chillers," whatever the other hombres do is up to them. As for me, I've already got eight more scripts written, and since I only get to do my episodes every three months or so, well, you get the picture. But thanks for the suggestion. We finished editing my latest episode and it will go out to Joe LoDuca for scoring in the next couple of days.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               5/29/13

Dear Josh :

Re: Robert Osborne's mistake - it's very possible he was combining "The Godfather" I and II as one movie, as people often do (and they were combined on the 2002 Sight and Sound list, but the rules changed for 2012), particularly to wipe away the existence of the third one... but it's still incorrect, so you're right. I've noticed that you're liking more of the contemporary (2011/2012) movies you've seen lately - particularly from people you haven't enjoyed in the past like Payne, Affleck, Zemeckis, Spielberg even which I didn't think I'd live to see! - which is nice to read. Do you have a favorite early Bette Davis movie?

Dear CDC:

He didn't list the Duvall/Caan films, but I have no doubt the missing one was "Godfather Part II" since James Caan only appears in the last scene. Nevertheless, you can't combine parts I and II as one movie; they're separate movies that each won Best Picture in their respective years, 1972 and 1974. It's an honest mistake, it's just that I've never heard Robert Osborne make a mistake. Regarding me liking recent movies, I think it's a miracle. Having lived through the horseshit of the 1980s and 1990s, I thought movies were screwed forever. But now I think they're really on the upswing and it makes me very happy. I honestly don't want to be the curmudgeon who hates everything; I'd much rather be the guy who's always just seen a good movie and is trying to get everyone else to see it.

Josh

Name:             Jonathan Moody
E-mail:            sickflickproductions@gmail.com
Date:               5/27/13

Dear Josh :

Yeah 15 mins on the internet is usually more than some people can handle so I've been told before if you're gonna make something short for the web make it short and sweet. Most of my shorts that have been put on the web are from 2-11 minutes. I don't think I've ever even put anything on the net more than that. To be honest there are some shorts I've seen on the net that I can watch for longer than 15 minutes. It just really has to catch my attention. If you don't mind looking at one of my shorts that was for a horror anthology film I did called, "Scary Story Slumber Party"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MojARMwSrS8 the shorts called, "Unlucky Night" and you can actually see me act as the bartender. That part has actually helped me get a few parts out here in Virginia. Anyway, can't wait to see the rest of the series! Keep up the awesome work. Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

That's a well-made film and I enjoyed watching it. It's very Spine Chiller-like. The short, suspenseful/scary, twist-ending story is a time-honored form, going back to at least Edgar Allen Poe, O. Henry, Saki, Guy de Maupassant, etc. I remember reading Saki (really H. H. Munro) in elementary school and basically being blown away, and he could do it in two pages. I've wanted to make "The Interlopers" into a movie since probably sixth grade. I adapted it into a screenplay when I was maybe seventeen, but alas, I never shot it. When I was just figuring out how to make movies when I was seventeen or eighteen I shot several twist-ending stories, but I screwed the filmmaking up so bad they were never watchable. Anyway, I love this form. We finished shooting most of Paul's episode #5, "Exit Interview," yesterday, and it went very well. It will definitely be a cool episode.

Josh

Name:             Scott
E-mail:           
Date:               5/27/13

Hey Josh :

Hope all is well with you. Glad to see Spine Chillers is up and running. I've enjoyed them quite a bit and am looking forward to the next batch. Have you shot Bruce's episode yet? I've been watching a lot of older films lately and was wondering what you thought of The Long Goodbye. I'm not a huge Altman fan and can only tolerate a couple of his films. I have to say The Long Goodbye was incredibly odd, and I don't really know what to make of it. Everything from Elliot Gould's stilted performance to some very strange nonsensical scenes, made it seem like some bizarre joke that only Altman and his team were in on. What should have been a straight forward detective story seemed like some weird existential take on Philip Marlowe and film noir. Although, It was kind of amusing seeing a young Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a hood/henchman with no lines. What was your take on the film?

Dear Scott:

I enjoyed "The Long Goodbye" and have seen it several times. I saw it when it came out. I was amused that Phillip Marlow was in 1948, but everybody else was in 1973. It was certainly an odd, almost spoofy, approach, but interesting. I liked John Williams' score, which re-orchestrated the theme twenty different ways. The scene with Mark Rydell (director of many films, like "On Golden Pond"), the girl and the coke bottle was great. I also liked him attempting to feed his cat the wrong brand of cat food. And I'm a big Sterling Hayden fan. It was also shot by the great Vilmos Zsigmond. I appreciated that Robert Altman found a new approach to an old genre. It was also written by Leigh Brackett, who had co-written Howard Hawks' 1946 "The Big Sleep" (with William Faulkner) and would subsequently go on to co-write "The Empire Strikes Back." Yesterday I watched Robert Altman's first big film, "Countdown," with James Caan and Robert Duvall, which was very interesting. I actually caught Robert Osborne on TCM in a mistake, which has never happened before. He said that James Caan and Robert Duvall had made four films together, but in fact it was five: "Countdown," "The Rain People," "The Godfather," "The Godfather Part II" and "The Killer Elite." Take that Mr. Osborne.

Josh

Name:             Jonathan A. Moody
E-mail:            sickflickproductions@gmail.com
Date:               5/24/13

Hey Josh :

Congrats on Spine Chillers! They were really done well. I laughed at the right places (I'm pretty sure they were the right places) and I got spooked by all of them in some way or another. I like what you've all done because you made it an awesome version of The Twilight Zone. I didn't see any of the endings coming and I enjoyed that. Btw tell Christopher I really dug Jessika's performance. I told her already because before then I was already friends with her. She said it was her first time but I thought she did an excellent job. So did Paul! You guys really know how to cast/crew. Great job! Looking forward to more of them! Jonathan

Dear Jonathan:

Thanks a lot. I'll be sure to tell the other hombres. We've mutally decided that 15 minutes is too long for these episodes. My next ep, with titles, probably won't come to 10 minutes. 15 minutes was a purely arbitrary decision and they seem a bit long for the internet. I think Jessika did a fine job, particularly for her first gig. Paul's a good actor and I think he gives a nice, subdued performance in my next one, and a big, big performance in his next one. We're finishing Paul's ep, "Exit Interview," tomorrow and John Manfredi, of "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except" fame, will be in it. I think John is a really terrific actor and I'm very pleased to be working with him again, after only a mere 30 years. This series is coming along just fine, in my humble opinion.

Josh

Name:             Paul (not Harris)
E-mail:           
Date:               5/23/13

Dear Josh :

Just watched all three Spine Chillers in a row. Not bad at all. Catchy theme too. Are you planning to appear in one. How about Carol IIku, Is she going to make one as well ? Also is that really your swinging bachelor pad ?

You are one wild and crazy guy Josh. Imagine the fun you guys would have shooting at Bruce's compound in Oregon.

Dear Paul (not Harris):

I did a voice part in the next episode, "Are You On Your Way?" but I'm having another actor loop it. I haven't got the slightest interest in acting. I'll leave that to the actors. And yes, that's my swinging bachelor pad, now with new carpet. Carol certainly will be in more episodes. I just wrote a script for her to star in, actually kind of based on her. And Bruce has a lot of wooded land, but I'm perfectly OK with shooting here in Michigan. I just hung out with Bruce yesterday because he's here in MI. He's one terrific guy, and the funniest person I know.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               5/21/13

Dear Josh :

Do you have a favorite 1930's Joan Crawford movie? Seen anything interesting lately?

Dear CDC:

I really don't like most of Joan Crawford's movies from the 1930s. The best, in my opinion, was "Grand Hotel" (1932). However, from the 1940s I really like "Mildred Pierce" (1945) for which she won her Oscar, "Strange Cargo" (1940), "Humoresque" (1946). After that there's: "Johnny Guitar" (1954), "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" (1962), "Straight-Jacket" (1964) and "I Saw What You Did" (1965).

I just saw "The Words" (2012) with Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons and Dennis Quaid (as well as three gorgeous women) that I thought was terrific; "Take Shelter" (2011) with Michael Shannon, who is one my favorite actors working, which was weird and interesting; "Downfall" (2004) with Bruno Ganz giving a great performance as Hitler; "Seven Angry Men" (1955) with Raymond Massey and terrific cast telling the very interesting story of John Brown; "being flynn" (2012), which wasn't great, but once again interesting, and Robert DeNiro is great, as always; "Eskimo" (1933), a fiction film shot in the Arctic with an all-Eskimo cast that's just fascinating (and won an Oscar for Best Editing; "Argo," which I liked a lot; and "Flight" which I thought was extremely good and Denzel, as always, is great.

Josh

Name:             Nativeblood66 - Tim
E-mail:           
Date:               5/20/13

Good Morning Josh :

It's interesting sometimes to note how vicious some people will get with their comments on here. I guess the dynamic exists of being able to hide behind the keyboard. I've watched all the Spine Chillers episodes and have found them all entertaining in their own groove so to speak. You guys have done a great job putting this together on a super tight budget. I think even after you stated up front that the budget wasn't there perhaps some were expecting a Hollywood quality outing or something. It looks like to me you guys were having fun with it and that's part of what it's all about. Just keep plugging Josh. Rome wasn't built in a day. One tech question for you. It refers to a segment in "Frontier" starting at about 8:20. The blue lighting,reminiscent of the Exorcism scenes in "The Exorcist", was pulled off how? Filters? Actual blue lights? That particular lighting lends to a feeling of uneasiness and I find it interesting. Have a great day Josh. Tim

Dear Tim:

Thanks for the encouragement, it's always appreciated. I think we may have already found our groove, and as I've mentioned several times, the next three episodes are a quantum leap ahead. The key was to just get this machine up and running, which we have. Regarding the blue lighting in "Frontier Style," that was achieved with blue gels on the lights. I believe the DP's concept was to put you in mind of "Blue Velvet," not that that film was lit in blue. I think Paul Harris' performance really kicked ass in that scene.

Josh

Name:             CELKali
E-mail:           
Date:               5/20/13

Dear Josh :

I'm in film school at the moment, hopefully going to major in screenwriting next year. I say hopefully because my teacher seems to really dislike my writing style, and that's seriously dragging me down. My question (more of asking for opinion) here is, what do you think is more important in screenwriting: A flat but specific and easy to follow script, or a wordy script that leaves a lot of interpretation for the actors/director/etc.? I'd rather hear from someone who's actually written and filmed their stuff than what I get in school. I mean, this teacher is really making me feel like a terrible writer, and making me hate doing it, too. Also, just saw Lunatics and loved it. I read the script here on your site and it was great.

Dear CELKali:

It's a shame you have such a crappy screenwriting teacher. Writing screenplays is one of the great joys in my life, and the process ought to be a joy to anyone who does it. I disagree with the word "flat," but "specific and easy to follow" is the way to go. There's no reason to get too wordy in the descriptions, nor, as I constantly see in other folks scripts, is there any reason to describe how it ought to be shot, which is not the domain of the screenwriter. Regarding the dialog, I put in every single line I think the actors should say. That doesn't mean that if it actually gets shot the actors, with the director, won't improvise to some extent or another, but, once again, that's not the writer's issue. I say state the action as simply and clearly as possible. "INT. LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT Frank and Olivia sit in the living room talking." Then we get the dialog. Why make more out of it than that? Good luck.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               5/15/13

Hi Josh :

Why do all the main characters in the Spine Chillers episodes talk to themselves explaining everything they\'re doing? Is that a motif you all are exploring? And if so, why? Thanks

Dear Justin:

I detect a note of sarcasm in your question. No, it's not a motif, it's a coincidence. I just had to do a quick mental review of ep #4, and it doesn't occur in that one, nor in ep#5.

Josh

Name:             Francie
E-mail:           
Date:               5/14/13

Hi Josh :

Are you going to be at Motor City Comic Con this year?

Dear Francie:

No. I stopped doing the conventions because I never made any money at them and generally lost money. If you're a big enough bigshot to get an advance, then it makes sense. If you're just selling DVD-Rs, posters and stills, as I was, it just didn't work out.

Josh

Name:             Kelly
E-mail:            Mahar888@gmail.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

Don't worry about the quality of the first couple being less than stellar (do you REMEMBER the first Simpson's episodes?), the important thing is that they will get even better with time, resources, and experience. I enjoyed the first episodes and oddly enough, I think Paul Harris is a natural in front of the camera. I'm serious. You should use him more. Keep up the good work!

Dear Kelly:

Paul has the starring roles in both ep#4 and #5. It's funny that you bring up the first season of "The Simpsons" because so have we quite a few times. All the characters looked weird and sounded weird, and it wasn't until the second season that they straightened things out. I wrote the story for the very first Xena episode shot "Chariots of War" (although it wasn't shown until #3 or #4) and there wasn't even a Gabrielle character yet. Most shows take some time to get things figured out. I'll make sure to tell Paul what you said.

Josh

Name:             JesseMartin
E-mail:            jmartinez1992@gmail.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

So your episode of SPINE CHILLERS was pretty good up until the twist. How is it possible that the man had not heard about his ex-girlfriend, who lives in the same town, or one town over, hanging herself just five years prior? Especially if his current girlfriend had heard about it, don't you think she would have mentioned, "Hey, your ex killed herself today."

Seems like way too big of a stretch to believe.

Dear JesseMartin:

SPOILER ALERT. As I've mentioned earlier, the character of Leigh is based on a girl I went out with in high school who actually did kill herself. I didn't find that out until quite a bit later when an old friend happened to mention it. You'd have thought, given that she was my old girlfriend, that someone would have told me earlier, but they didn't.

Josh

Name:             Weird Hal Blumberg
E-mail:            hal@mexicodirect.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

Watched your episode of "Spine Chillers" (will watch the rest later). (Spoilers within, so nobody read this if you haven't watched yet.) I thought it was a good story and the actors had charisma. The only real quibble I had was that the transition between Chad getting stood up at the bar and Beth's return was a little confusing to me as I didn't remember what Chad's car looked like so I assumed that was him returning to his driveway from the bar, and wondered why it was suddenly daytime (so I rewound the video to see if I was remembering correctly that the previous scene took place at night, to see if this was a continuity flub). That reaction could be totally idiosyncratic on my part, though. I think the story had some extra resonance for me because I recently met a woman I hadn't seen in 20 years and was waiting for her looking over my shoulder at the entrance in the exact same way (though fortunately I was only drinking coffee and she did show up). It also seemed to me that the story had a nice melancholy feel to the ending. It wasn't just a cheap gotcha because it resonates with how we leave behind people we might have connected with and often never quite know what happened to them. There was a bittersweet sadness to the idea of the spirit of this woman who died in mental and emotional suffering being touched by him reaching out to her. Felt like a nice commentary on life rather than a meaningless scare.

Dear Weird Hal:

Thanks for the interesting and insightful comments. I've been stood-up enough times in my life to understand what it feels like. Regarding the cars, you see her car first when she leaves and it's a white Toyota, then you see him go to the bar in a blue PT Cruiser, so I felt from a directorial stand point that it was sufficiently set up.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

I thought your episode of "Spine Chillers" was solid. I wanted to relate a personal experience in response to the premise of this episode (which has something to do with the twist so SPOILER ALERT to those who haven't watched Josh's episode): long after high school had ended, and single like your protagonist, I found my old notebook of hand-written phone numbers. There was an elusive, statuesque beauty who was always kind to me, who I even kissed once, but whom I hadn't thought of in many, many years. When I saw her name and her number I gave her a call, and while I didn't reach her, it was her old house's landline so I did reach her mother, and the girl had committed suicide. Did you go through a similar experience, or was this an idea you came up with yourself? In any case, what I went through made your tale all the more haunting.

It was a little rough visually, but I thought that was intentional in most cases, and you also had some very nice, wide long shots in there and it

Regarding the music, it doesn't "suck" the one guy below me said. It is, however, a very different approach than I was expecting from Joe. It's a combination of hard rock and ambience. Not a direction to sneeze at, but perhaps not the expected approach.

Your episode was definitely the best of the three, but the others were fun. Please keep this up.

Also - does Jessika Johnson have a modeling page? I wasn't able to find one but I was thinking either you or the Tres Hombres know. Of course she's a babe, but I'd be pressed to assume that she's not out there doing commercial modeling of some sort.

Dear CDC:

Glad you liked it. Interesting that you had a similar experience. I've had several and then I'm not sure if I should erase or cross out the late person's from my phone book. Jessika can be found on Facebook as Jessika Alaura, and yes she is a model and there are some great shots of her.

Leigh Henderson is actually Leigh Anderson and we went out in Junior high school.  I've written of her before and you can read a bit of her story in my book, "Going Hollywood."  But yes she did kill herself which I didn't find out about until quite a bit later when my friend Jim said, "Hey, did you hear?  Leigh Anderson killed herself."  Everybody doesn't always find out everything right away, or even soon.  But anyway, it's a story.

Josh

Name:             Brian Dotan
E-mail:            bd4567@hotmail.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

Wow. I just wanted to write in and tell you how "spine chilling" your short film was. It was really ominous and creepy. I like how you didn't go for the cheap scare. What is the current schedule like regarding future episodes? How many have you written at this point? Also, how much input do you "hombres" have on each other's pieces? One final question...why did you leave Ernest Borgnine out of your logo???? Is Bruce Campbell the unofficial fourth "hombre"?

Thanks,

Brian

Dear Brian:

I'm glad you got your spine chilled. I've written at least eight other scripts. We hombres decided up front to stay out of each other's way regarding the scripts. And since there are tres hombres, but four in the wild bunch, someone had to go. As we've rationalized it, Paul Harris is Warren Oates since both of them are from Kentucky, Chris Dinnan is Ben Johnson because he has the thick black beard, and I, of course, am Wlliam Holden, which doesn't make me in charge, but I did come up with the whole thing. Bruce isn't part of Tres Hombres beyond that he'll appear in an upcoming episode. Regarding future episodes, ep #4 is nearly done--it's shot and cut and just needs some tweeking and to be scored--ep#5 is half-shot and ep#6 is being written.

Josh

Name:             Diego
E-mail:            diegiedo@gmail.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

With 159 or so hits after several days of play, I don't think you're going to be needing that bank account, mate.

I remember someone writing in when you first announced this venture and they asked what your release/promotion strategy was. You didn't have much of an answer, said Bruce Campbell was going to tweet out the link. Did you just expect that when you release something on youtube, people are able to find it on their own? Do you have any idea how crowded the world of web series is? You need a publicist and a social media expert if you hope to get anyone near your project. Probably also an aggregate site, something like Funny or Die that can promote your video (that would certainly not be right for Spine Chillers, but something of that ilk.) Unfortunately, the product you put out is inferior to what's on sites like Crackle and Funny or Die - quality wise - so no one is going to flock to see it.

Dear Diego:

You may be right. Who knows? We do have a plan, however, that will go into effect once we have six episodes posted. That's when Bruce Campbell will tweet about the show and the EPK will go out to everybody. The reasoning is that we believe having gotten our machine up and running with the first three eps, the second batch is turning out better. Also, we're just going to keep making these things no matter how many hits we get. The process is the point.

Josh

Name:             Jim K
E-mail:           
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

Hey, enjoyed the first episode. Nice to see some locations obviously not California or New York. The final little beat was effectively humorous/creepy. Good luck with it.

Dear Jim:

Thanks. Michigan is a great location, and a nice place to live.

Josh

Name:             Russ
E-mail:           
Date:               5/13/13

Hello Josh :

Roadkill was great. That one really reminded me of Twilight Zone. A lot of suspense. Is that really a true story? The hysterical woman was very funny in this one.

Hello Russ:

It was certainly the most complicated of the first three episode. The hysterical woman, Carol Ilku, my former girlfriend and very good buddy, is also the associate producer of the series.

Josh

Name:             Nick el Ass
E-mail:            therealnickelass@yahoo.com
Date:               5/13/13

Dear Josh :

Congratulations on Spine Chillers & especially "Sorry I couldn't Make It." It was well worth the wait. I really got a kick out of the cigarette frowny face thing... mostly because I have been there before.

Dear Nick:

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. The cigarette frowny face was an improv by Chris Dinnan. As I've mentioned, the next episode, which I wrote and directed is about 75% done, so it shouldn't be a very long wait.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhay@gmail.com
Date:               5/10/13

Hi Josh :

Very interesting work on Spine Chillers. Were there any films in particular that inspired, "Sorry I Couldn't Make It"? And if so, what were they? I did notice the sound dropped out a few times. Was that a consequence of the ultra low budget? Did you have a sound editor? Thanks and I'm excited to see more.

Dear Justin:

My inspiration for that episode was "Twilight Zone," specifically the episode about the old lady who keeps getting calls at night and then you find out the phone lines are down and the wire is running directly into the grave of her late husband. I haven't seen that in maybe 40 years and though I could look up the title I'm simply too lazy. But Richard Matheson is my main inspiration for this show. Regarding the sound, that was entirely recorded with the little mike on the DSLR. By the time you get to "Frontier Style" we actually has a sound man and a boom operator.

Josh

Name:             Russ
E-mail:           
Date:               5/10/13

Hello Josh :

Pretty good stuff on the two videos. I liked the first one the best. Is that your PT Cruiser in both? Will it be in all of them like Sam's Delta 88?

Dear Russ:

Yes, that's my PT Cruiser and it's already in another episode, but I'm not nearly as attached to it as Sam is to that silly Delta 88.

Josh

Name:             Elise
E-mail:            elise-holmes@hotmail.com
Date:               5/10/13

Hey Josh :

I got around to watching both episodes of Spine Chillers today and I enjoyed. I've spread the word around on my Evil Dead blog and a few other places since more people definitely need to know about it. I'm also currently reading The Egos Have Landed: The Rise and Fall of Palace Pictures, but when I finally finish this book since I'm a slow reader, I have Rushes here to read next. I bought it awhile back but I had already started the last book by then. I did cheat however and read a few things in it and I already know that I'm going to fall in love with this book. Looking forward to it.

Dear Elise:

I really had to think for a second about who is/was Palace Pictures. Then I remembered, "Oh, yeah, they released 'Evil Dead' in England." Anyway, once you've read "Rushes" please write back with your thoughts and impressions.

Josh

Name:             Nicholas La Salla
E-mail:            nicholaslasalla@yahoo.com
Date:               5/10/13

Hi Josh :

I am thrilled to see the Spine Chillers online. I write for the up and coming blog, Forest City Short Film Review, and I'm going to be posting a review soon. I'm a long time fan and I was hoping to maybe exchange some questions via e-mail for an exclusive interview to appear alongside my review. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best, Nicholas La Salla Forest City Short Film Review http://forestcityshortfilmreview.blogspot.com

Dear Nicholas:

I would be more than happy to answer you write me.

Josh

Name:             Daniela
E-mail:            cox@hawinkels.de
Date:               5/10/13

Dear Josh :

I sort of like Spine Chillers episodes so far. At first I was a little put off by some of the cinematography and the acting, but then I came to realize that it sort of satirizes on some TV formats, like scripted reality. And yet there are these shots that show that you most certainly know your craft. I also love the wry sense of humour :D. Daniela

Dear Daniela:

Thanks. They were all shot on a shoe string and I know it shows, but we got the series off the ground which is the important thing. And, as I've mentioned before, they get better and more interesting as they go along. At least I think so. Episode #4, which is shot and cut (though it needs a bit of recutting), will be ready very soon. Episode #5 is half-shot and is entirely different than the previous episodes. We all knew that this series wasn't going to start right off with a big bang, but we're hoping that what we've done is interesting enough to keep people tuning in as the new episodes keep coming. Anyway, thanks for watching.

Josh

Name:             lou
E-mail:           
Date:               5/06/13

Dear Josh :

thank u 4 finally posting spine chillers! i can't believe it has finally arrived. i just watched ur episode and havent had a chance 2 watch the others yet. ur episode was amazing. its good 2 have u back josh.

Dear lou:

I truly appreciate your kind words.

Josh

Name:             Ryan V.
E-mail:           
Date:               5/06/13

Dear Josh :

Duuuude. Loved the first couple of Spine Chillers. Especially your episode. It was really creepy and well done. Some amazing shots in there like out of a Hitchcock movie. The other episode was much weaker. Who is that actor who starred in both? He is not very good. Looks like he is Sam Raimi's twin cousin. And the music sucks, it is the weakest link. You should use some Skrillex or something next time. When will the next episodes be posted, including the next one that you directed? I think the other guy could take some tips from you. Who was that chick though? She was hot. Ryan

Dear Ryan:

Thanks for your comments.

Josh

Name:             Diego
E-mail:            diegiedo@gmail.com
Date:               5/06/13

Dear Josh :

I got 5 minutes into the first episode of SPINE CHILLERS directed by you. How is it possible that someone who is as particular and sophisticated and experienced and critical and has SUCH GOOD TASTE in most films...HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that such a horribly shot, poorly edited, poorly sound-recorded piece of amateurish web junk could come from YOU - a true cineaste if there ever was one? It is simply baffling that even with the no-budget model, that is the best quality you could come up with. Now I'm not AT ALL criticizing your writing, which seemed to be fine...but when your cinematography, editing, sound, and composition are so undeniably shoddy, it's impossible to see beyond it. I'm sorry dude, I was really looking forward SPINEC CHILLERS as a fan, but even on a web-level exercise, you have GOT to put more into it than that. Always your fan, Diego

Dear Diego:

Thanks so much for your comments.

Josh

Name:             LolaFalana
E-mail:            notyourordinarygrandma@gmail.com
Date:               5/05/13

Dear Josh :

Why can't you start a bank account again? I thought that just took money and ID.

Dear Lola:

Apparently we can. They turned us down with our DBA, but we went live anyway.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               5/05/13

Dear Josh :

There's an idea! Get Tori Black for a future episode of "Spine Chillers."

Dear CDC:

No, I've got a perfect part for Tori Black in this script I'm writing. The Russian keyboard player, Maria.

Josh

Name:             Stan Wrightson
E-mail:           
Date:               5/02/13

Dear Josh :

I can't wait for SPINE CHILLERS. I love horror and I'm eager to see your take on the genre. I just re-read your essay READING BOOKS. Like all of your writing, it's terrific. What have you been reading lately?

Dear Stan:

I've been reading "Plain Speaking" by Merle Miller, which is an oral biography of Harry Truman, one of the great people who ever lived. He was the Kwisatz Haderach. There has never been anyone since Harry Truman who spoke their mind so plainly. What he liked he liked; what, or whom, he didn't like, he was perfectly happy to tell you. As an example, he only refers to Eisenhower as "that fella that followed me in the white house," and Truman couldn't stand him and referred to him as "a coward."

Love,
Josh

Name:             lou
E-mail:           
Date:               4/30/13

Dear Josh :

wtf already? where is spine chillers? at least give updates if u r going 2 fuck us over.

Dear lou:

I agree, WTF? We have three completed episodes and a fully built website. We have a fully-shot fourth episode, and we just shot ep #5 this weekend. Yet somehow the button won't get pushed. We attempted to open a bank account yesterday, and though we have a DBA, we didn't have a federal tax ID number, thus no bank account. Now Paul's going out of town for a month. We don't actually need him here to start this, but we still can't start the fucking bank account. That's what's going on.

Josh

Name:             Bob
E-mail:           
Date:               4/29/13

Dear Josh :

Did you ever hear of a 1959 West German movie called Stalingrad: Dogs do you want to live forever?

Dear Bob:

Never heard of it. I did just see "Downfall" with Bruno Granz, which was terrific if you like a dramatic arc that goes straight down.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhay@gmail.com
Date:               4/29/13

Hi Josh :

Do you still feel the same about some of the films you literally smashed in your old reviews on this website? I'm curious about all of them, but I'll ask you specifically about "Saving Private Ryan". After your years of experience and exposure to the hollywood system, would you acknowledge (In my humble opinion) the superior craft of photography, performance, and writing behind "Saving Private Ryan"? Or do you still think its a crummy film? Thank you.

Dear Justin:

It's a great first twenty minutes, then none of the rest of it makes any sense. General George C. Marshall never said, I know this is the D-Day Invasion but save that guy because his brothers died, which is the whole plot of that film. It's asinine, and it didn't happen. I do not forgive it its trespasses.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               4/22/13

Dear Josh :

Do you have any favorite pre-code Hollywood movies?

Dear CDC:

I quite like "Babyface" (1933) where Barbara Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top of a company, bypassing young John Wayne along the way because he's just a secretary. I just watched "Eskimo" (1933) which has a crazy, wonderful sexual code for the Eskimos, who have their wives fuck visitors, as long as the husband says it's OK. If they haven't given permission then all hell will break out. Excellent stuff.

Josh

Name:             Trey Smith
E-mail:            vgntrey@gmail.com
Date:               4/19/13

Dear Josh :

Any chance you'll ever post "Film: The Lost Art" online? Maybe free or as a cheap PDF or Kindle file for sale? I'd like to read it and I'm sure others would as well! And fantastic cover art, by the way. Hope all is well, looking forward to "Spine Chillers." -Trey

Dear Trey:

Every essay and review in it is or was on the site. It's all just a bunch of negative essays and reviews that don't fit together all that well. As I said, the best thing about it was my cover art.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               4/19/13

Dear Josh :

Whatever happened to that book you were writing called "Hollywood: The Lost Art" or something of the ilk? Will you ever post one of the earlier, more r-rated drafts of "Lunatics" online? It sounded interesting from your description, with Nancy being the phone sex operator. I saw "Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except" for the first time, and just speaking strictly of the script, boy did it move. Very refreshing to see a legitimately well-paced low budget film. I wonder if any of the soundtrack labels have ever expressed interest in release LoDuca's orchestral score? I can see it now - "Thou Shalt Not KIll... Except" the complete score, plus suites from other Josh Becker films ;-) You have a lot of admirers and we're all looking forward to your latest work. That script you're writing sure sounds promising. Crossing my fingers you get to direct it!

Dear CDC:

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, a record company called La La Records expressed interest in releasing a CD of all of Joe's scores for my films, but alas, it never came to be. Meanwhile, I wrote "Film: The Lost Art," but it was mainly a lot of bitching about bad movies so I didn't pursue it's publication. I did, however, like my cover art for the book, which I include. Regarding earlier drafts of "Lunatics, I have every draft on paper, but the ancient floppy disks, which can no longer be accessed, don't exist. Therefore, I'd have to scan the scripts into the computer, which I certainly don't feel like doing.

Josh

Name:             Peter Siegel
E-mail:            peteyseegs@gmail.com
Date:               4/19/13

Dear Josh :

Fair enough regarding your answer to directing more of Xena and Herc, but how do you explain Jack of All Trades? You say you were more instrumental and yet guys like Chris Graves and Charlie Haskell had two times the amount of episodes you did. I\'m not look to instigate a fight I'm just saying it doesn't seem right for them to not give you more work. Even now. You\'re a childhood friend. I mean, they keep putting Bruce and Scott Spiegel in their movies!

Dear Peter:

I was the only American director to work on "Jack Of All Trades." American directors cost four times as much as New Zealand directors, with first-class flights, car rentals, per diem, etc. Meanwhile, I'm not an actor and don't want to be in anyone's movies. What those guys think is right or is not right hasn't got a damn thing to do with me. You can't play off childhood friendships your whole life.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               4/18/13

Dear Josh :

Also, never saw this linked on here, but the very positive review of "Lunatics" by Kevin Thomas is online: http://articles.latimes.com/1992-02-21/entertainment/ca-2428_1_low-budget


Dear CDC:

Yes, that was a wonderful review and my vindication at the time (as were the other, mostly positive, reviews). "Lunatics" was sold to Columbia Tri-Star before is was finished being edited, then went straight to video. The producers were perfectly happy with the deal. I was aghast, so I arranged the screening in L.A. Kevin Thomas's half-page positive review made it all worthwhile, although I still didn't get a theatrical release.

Josh

Name:             CDC
E-mail:           
Date:               4/18/13

Dear Josh :

I am looking very forward to "Spine Chillers" and anything else you do. How is Joe LoDuca's score coming along? Does the series have theme music? And as a complete aside just because I'm really curious: do you have any favorite movies starring Myrna Loy?

Dear CDC:

I love Myrna Loy. My favorite is "The Best Years of Our Lives," but I also like: "The Prizefighter and the Lady" (with World Heavyweight champ Max Baer giving a very good performance), "The Thin Man," "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," "The Red Pony" and "Cheaper By the Dozen," to name a few. Meanwhile, Joe's music is coming along fine and yes, there is a cool main theme.

Josh

Name:             Steve
E-mail:            mccoolster@yahoo.com
Date:               4/17/13

Dear Josh :

What do you make of the people who visit this site? Seems like a mix of people you know (or knew), maybe a handful of regulars, and then random passerbys who like to razz you or push your buttons... How do you think the jackasses find your site? For the record, I'm a long-time reader, first time writer. Thanks, Steve

Dear Steve:

Welcome, sir. In its heyday there used to be hundreds of regulars. Way back when, when I said that I didn't think that Xena and Gabrielle were gay, I got hundreds emails calling me a homophobe. But alas, unless I'm working on something that folks can actually watch my popularity wanes. Honest-to-god, "Spine Chillers" will be on very soon. I'm also writing an absolutely wonderful script that could possibly get produced, hopefully with me directing. But of course, that remains to be seen.

Josh

Name:             Peter Siegel
E-mail:            peteyseegs@gmail.com
Date:               4/17/13

Dear Josh :

I feel like Sam and Rob gave you the reins on Hercules or Xena and then sort of took them away. Why didn't you become showrunner or series director? Or at least have MORE episodes to direct...not to bite the hand that feeds or anything, just a question, but were they unhappy with your work?

Dear Peter:

If they were unhappy with my work they wouldn't have kept hiring me. I was the only director who made it all six seasons on "Xena." I believe that I was the only American director to get hired after the fourth season. Meanwhile, I was never given "the reins" of those shows for a single second. Rob Tapert was always the boss and completely in charge. Also, I'm not a show-runner, which they already had, nor were there any series directors. I had a bit more to do with "Jack Of All Trades" because I directed the first two episodes, so I sort of got to set the tone (when I got the script Jack was British and Emilia was French). As an aside, I just saw the "Star Trek" prequel, written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orcci, who wrote "Jack Of All Trades," and co-starring Karl Urban as Bones, who I directed in "Xena."

Josh


TO Q&A Archives Page




Click Here To Submit Your Questions or Comments



BECKERFILMS SITE MENU

[ Main ]  [ Film & TV Work ]  [ Screenplays ]  [ Old Stuff ]
[
Reviews ]  [ Articles, Essays & Stories ]  [ Ask the Director ] 
[
Favorite Films ]  [ Scrapbook ]  [ Links (& Afterword) ]  [ Web Team ]