Q & A    Archive
Page 4


Name:              Pastor Deb Grant
E-mail:             revdeb@compuserve.com

Dear Josh:

After watching "Deja Vu" the Xena episode which was directed by Renee O'Connor, I realized I don't know squat about how to judge the work of a director versus the work of an actor or a film editor. Got any tips for movie watching for someone like me who would like to know how to critique a film a little more intelligently before I inevitably reveal my stupidity?

Thanks,
Deb

Dear Deb:

That's an interesting question without a readily available answer. It would be a lot more difficult to judge such a thing on a TV show since there is a format in place and the same crew working on all the episodes. But for instance, on both Herc and Xena a director named T.J Scott has directed many episodes and they are pretty apparent in that T.J. likes cock-eyed angles and tilting the camera back and forth. Sam Raimi is known for his moving P.O.V. shots. Jim Jarmusch is known for his lack of cutting and flat tone. Robert Altman is known for having all the actors talk at the same time. As I said in my recent essay, "An Ode to William Wyler," what I admire so much about Wyler is that the connection between his films is that they are all intelligent, well-done, good movies, and that's pretty apparent, too. The answer comes down to, how much did you like (or, conversely, hate) the movie or episode? It's because the director was holding all the elements -- the acting, the cinematography, the editing -- in place or not.

Josh

Name:              Hung So Lo
E-mail:             Hung@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Josh, I have a question for you: why not get into directing pornos? With todays adult entairtainment budgets, the skys the limit. You could use your expertise to set up some interesting angles and money shots. You will make a profit. You can than use this profit for your legit projects. No more povery, no more worrying about raising dough. it sounds like your work on Misquito would make you a natural for such projects. So what do you say?

Hung

Dear Hung:

I bet that's not your real name. I don't watch pornography, why would I want to make it? If my point was simply making money I'd go into real estate.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

Hi. I was wondering if you could give me some infrmation on the Canon Scoopic and Bell & Howell 16mm cameras. Are these good types of cameras. Thanks.

Dear Drew:

Bell & Howells are cheap, though durable cameras. I think the Canon Scoopic is a terrific camera. I shot two films with it -- including quite a lot of single-frame -- and everything looked great. Although you can't change lenses, the 10 to 1 zoom is a darn good lens. It sort of like a Super-8 camera on stearoids.

Josh

Name:              Kristy Bodin
E-mail:             kristybodin@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Is Hercules and Xena going off the air?

Dear Kristy:

Definitely not Xena. I don't know what the deal is with Hercules.

Josh

Name:              Patty Whitworth
E-mail:             pattyjo@netdoor.com

Dear Josh:

No question, just compliments. I recently bought Running Time (thanks for the autograph), and have decided to make watching it mandatory for admittance into my circle of friends. Thanks for making something worth watching and for writing stories worth reading. Both are difficult to find these days.

-patty

Dear Patty:

Thanks, I do try.

Josh

Name:              Joe Ball
E-mail:             surgebot@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Josh-- Is it alright if my newsletter (The Circuit, portland, oregon) runs an ad for your film RUNNING TIME? We think it is a great film and want it to be seen. Bruce Campbell sent me here. Can you help?

Dear Joe:

You can run an ad, but I'm not selling it anymore on the internet. Anchor Bay Ent. will be distributing it on video and DVD and it will be available at a fine store near you.

Josh

Name:              Peter Moore
E-mail:             pvmoore@syr.edu

Dear Josh:

Hello, I'm a film student at SU and as I near my senior year, I realize the opportunities to make films may be few in far between from here on out. The fact that you can go several years between features is inspiring. What is that down time like? Are you in a perpetual state of pre-production? Thanks for your time, and don't forget to autograph my copy of your latest meisterwerk!

-Pete
ps- Your production notes for Evil Dead were bitchin and ring quite familiar. :)

Dear Pete:

The downtime between "Running Time" and my new film, "If I Had a Hammer," wasn't bad because I've been doing Xena. The downtime between "Lunatics" and "RT" was horrifying. I left L.A. in 1992, went back to Michigan and worked in a furniture store for a year. The day that I was laid-off from the furniture store I got hired to direct the re-enactments on the first season of "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol," which led directly into Hercules. The downtime between "TSNKE" and "Lunatics" was the worst period of my life. As the Beatles said, "It's getting better all the time." And no, I'm not in state of pre-production all the time. I am writing all the time, though. I only shoot one out of seven scripts that I write.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I just wanted to tell you that my friend and I rented a really awful movie called "The Dead Next Door", and saw that your associate Scott Spiegel was in the cast. Have you ever seen this movie before? Also, is your new film in 35mm. Thanks.

Dear Drew:

Not only was Scott in it, but I was in it, too. None of mine or Scott's footage turned out and Scott went back for re-shoots, but I did not. Yes I did see it and yes, it's a piece of crap. Also, yes, I am shooting 35mm.

Josh

Name:              Campbell Cooley
E-mail:             shihtzuman@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

'Euryalis' here from IN SICKNESS & IN HELL. Wanted to know what your next major film project was and how you're doing in general? Hope you're well.

Kindest regards,
Campbell Cooley a.k.a 'Junior Evil'

Dear Campbell:

Odd, I was thinking about that episode today, specifically when Gaby drools in your face. I like when she goes to whistle later on and spits all over her hand. As for me, I begin shooting my next film, "If I Had a Hammer," on Aug. 2. As to it being "major," that remains to be seen. Good hearing from you, dude.

Josh

Name:              Christine
E-mail:             bcimiar@aol.com

Hey Josh,

I just saw Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except last night. And I just wanted to tell you that it was really cool....i'm very proud to say that I have now seen Running Time, Lunatics, and TSNKE, and I can't wait for your latest projects :) No questions, sorry.

- Christine

Dear Christine:

I can live with only praise and no questions.

Josh

Name:              Bryant Duncan
E-mail:             grecoduncan@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Just perusing your list and had a question. You have Monty Python's Meaning of Life and Life of Brian, but what about the Holy Grail? I'm not a huge Python fan, yet I always find time to watch the Holy Grail. Just curious. I also really enjoyed your "making of" Running Time letter. Any chance I can order a copy? And lastly, Bruce Campbell will be in my town of Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse sometime this June '99, anything you want me to pass on to him?

Dear Bryant:

I like "The Holy Grail," and I also like "And Now For Something Completely Different," but not as much as the two films listed. My favorite stuff is in "Meaning of Life," like Mr. Creosote and "Every Sperm is Sacred." "Life of Brian" holds together as a movie the best of the bunch. I really, really love when Jesus is giving the sermon on the mount and we zoom way back to the edge of the crowd where no one can here him. "The Greek shall inherit the Earth?" "Blessed are the cheesemakers?" And someone else adds, "I'm sure he means the makers of all dairy products."

As for ordering a copy of "Running Time," there are ten left. Just enter your credit card number and push "Order Now." But I'd say these last ten will only last another week or two at best. And as for Bruce Campbell, tell him to pay me the money he owes me or I'll be compelled to beat him up.

Josh

Name:              Tony
E-mail:             Chakram71201@sprynet.com

Hey Josh.

I was wondering, does the time constraints involved in directing episodic television(Xena) make it more difficult than directing a film. I know you only have like seven or eight days to shoot an episode of Xena so you have get on set, shoot the scene and move on. For films you have more time and may be able to go into more detail and take longet to get a scene just right(or so it would seem). So does the quicker pace make it more difficult in any way, or is the same and you just deal with what you got.

Thanks.
Tony

Dear Tony:

I've never worked on any other kind of schedule. I'm about to shoot my new film in 18 days, which puts me at just about the same rate as a TV show, which is 6-7 script pages a day. A friend of mine is working on "Flintstones 2" right now and it's a 68-day shoot. If it's a 120-page script, then they aren't covering 2 pages a day. Is what we do on Xena, or any 1-hour TV show, more difficult? By a fucking mile. If you don't have your shit totally wired you cannot make it through 7 pages a day, particularly if, as you always do on Xena, there are fight scenes and other action and effects scenes in those 7 pages. I could very easily go in and get 2 pages a day on "The Flintstones," I doubt that Brian Levant (the director) could come in and do well on Xena, or even get through a day.

Josh

Name:              jamie syme
E-mail:             jamie_syme@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Josh... I have approached Bruce about doing a surreal psycho-drama called 'Preacher,' he seems interested, I am currently trying to get funding, but we'll need an accomplished director.

Could you please contact Bruce, to talk it over, then e-mail me if you are interested in finding out some more.

Thank you for your time!

Dear Jamie:

Thank you very much, but I only direct my own scripts. Good luck.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I was wondering if you would clear something up for me. I was just on the Internet Movie Database, looking up trivia on The Evil Dead, and they said that the voice on the tape recorder is American Movie Classics host Bob Dorian. Is this true? Thanks alot.

Dear Drew:

I forget the guy's name now, but it's not Bob Dorian. He's a friend of Joel and Ethan Coen's and he's done some work for them on their pictures (Joel was the assistant editor on "ED"). He always gets the credit that begins with "The Amazing Voice of . . ." but I can't recall his name.
["...William Preston Robertson" -webmaster]

Josh

Name:              Michael Middleton
E-mail:             Mikey1281@aol.com

Dear Josh:

I emailed Bruce awhile back and asked him how did he get that scare on the left side of his face. He told me that he'd never tell. Did he by any chance tell you how he got it?

Dear Michael:

I expose one of Bruce's deepest secrets -- he got hit in the face with a swing when he was a little kid.

Josh

Name:              Tony
E-mail:             Chakram71201@sprynet.com

Hey JB.

Thanks for you answer to my previous question. About Lonesome Dove, I can't really compare the book to the movie since I've yet to read the book. Honestly from all the books I've read that have been made to movies I've yet to see one where the movie outdid the book. I'm curious if you have.

Anyway my main question is in all the time you've worked behind the camera whether for a film or an episode of Xena, have you ever had instances where in your opinion you made mistakes. Or I should say after making a film or a Xena, after sitting back and seeing the finished product have you had times where you said to yourself "I should have did that differently" or "I should have shot that scene differenly." And if so do you feel realizing these mistakes have in some way made you a better director. My dad always said, and I've found it to be true, that sometimes the best way to learn and get better at something is to make mistakes. Have you found this to be the case in your profession.

Also if you don't mind me asking, since I'm a huge Xena fan, are there any scenes in any of your Xena projects that you would do differently if you could do it over.

Thanks for your time, and also thanks for your blunt honesty in all your answers. I really appreciate honesty opposed to answers that cater to what some may feel fans want to here.

Tony

Dear Tony:

If you liked the mini-series of "Lonesome Dove" then you really ought to read the book, it's easily twice as good. Oddly, sticking with the same author, Larry McMurtry believes that the film is better than his book of "The Last Picture Show." I disagree. I think they are both equally as good. The same goes for his book "Horseman, Pass By." The film version, "Hud," is equally as good as the book. I think that the film version of "The Godfather" is better than the book.

In regard to mistakes, that's exactly how I learned to make films--I made every mistake imaginable and vowed never to make THAT mistake again. Luckily, I think I got most of my big mistakes out of the way in Super-8. There are some particularly lousy cuts in TSNKE, as well as a number of poorly staged scenes. That's life, but with released feature films the evidence is there for everyone to see forever. Honestly, there's stuff in all my films that annoys me. In the Xena eps I have done, given the constrictions of how they're made, I'm pretty pleased with all of them.

Josh

Name:              cliff
E-mail:             screemerzz@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I'm writing a transcription of the Evil Dead. It's pretty good and I want to put it on my site. Am I breaking any laws or anything by doing that? I'm not making any money off it, it's all for entertainment.

Dear Cliff:

I'm not a lawyer, but if you're not charging anything then I don't think it's a problem.

Josh

Name:              Mike White
E-mail:             mwhite@impossiblefunky.com

Dear Josh:

Can I get a copy of Running Time for review for my zine, Cashiers du Cinemart?

- Mike White
http://www.cashiersducinemart.com

Dear Mike:

Sure, just send $49.95, plus $4.00 shipping & handling. There are 20 copies left.

Josh

Name:              Tony
E-mail:             Chakram71201@sprynet.com

Hey JB.

I was wondering what your opinion is on the making of follow-up movies to those that are considered classics.

An example is Lonesome Dove. I'm using this because I consider Lonesome Dove one of the finest epics ever made, with great performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall. It seems to me that making several follow-up movies based on the original was a no win situation. No matter how good Return To Lonesome Dove was, and I thought it was pretty good, it was going to be compared to the original and would undoubtedly fall short. Also Jon Voight seemed to be in a no win situation because even though I feel he did a great job, he was going to be compared to Tommy Lee Jones in the original.

It just seems to me that if you have a movie that most consider a classic you should leave well enough alone and not try to continually follow it up. Just wondering how you felt about it.

Thanks
Tony

Dear Tony:

That makes perfect sense, but it hasn't got anything to do with Hollywood. Since the bean-counters have taken over the film business and would like to produce films the way they make cars, if muscle cars sold last year then muscle cars are what you'll get this year--and next year, too. Regarding "Lonesome Dove," which I quite enjoyed, it's still a pale imitation of the book. Larry McMurtry began writing it as a screenplay in the early 70s for Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Since it took him over 15 years to write the book, Fonda and Stewart became too old for the parts of the Texas Rangers in their mid-sixties. When I read the book I envisioned Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster in the parts. Even though Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall are both terrific actors, they're both miscast because neither one is old enough. Giving Tommy Lee Jones white hair and a white beard made him look albino, not old. Casting Fredric Forrest as the renegade Indian, Blue Duck, is just plain old awful casting. Anyway, it's still darn good TV. Nevertheless, the book is MUCH better.

Josh

Name:              Keith Hawkins
E-mail:             keith15@inreach.com

Dear Mr. Becker,

A while back I happened to catch the major portion of "Lunatics..." on Encore's Love Stories Channel (of all places) and I noticed Bruce Campbell's character had a line, "Dames, Sheesh!" which was also a line spoken by Jack Stryker in TSNKE. Is there some significance to this or do you just like that line?

Also any plans for "Lunatics..." on DVD? What I saw I really enjoyed. I haven't seen "Running Time" yet but 2 of my fellow Stockton TSNKE meisters have and enjoyed it. Any plans for "Running..." on DVD? I would just assume not buy any of these films on VHS (they deserve better).

Never touch the sacrificial fluids, okey dokey?
Keith

Dear Keith:

Very observant of you. When I first got out to L.A. in 1976 I became friends with Sheldon Lettich, who has since gone on to write "Rambo 3" and write and direct Jean Claude Van Damme's films "Lionheart" and "Double Impact." Anyway, "Dames, sheesh!" was an expression we had between us. It amused me, so worked it into two films. As far as "Lunatics" coming out on DVD, I can't say. Sony owns the film and will do what they want with it. "Running Time" will be on DVD in September through Anchor Bay Ent. Bruce and I will be doing the commentary track in a few weeks.

Josh

Name:              John Forde
E-mail:             jforde@wppost.depaul.edu

Howdy Josh,

How's life on the edge? Stay focused (pun intended).

My question involves blocking. I 've heard that word/term used often, what does it mean?

!Adios Amigo!

Howdy John:

Blocking is how you move the actors.

Josh

Name:              Jo-Jo
E-mail:             snoogans@hotmail.com

Hey Josh:

whats your opinion on independant filmmaker/photographer Larry Clark?

p.s.-what are those 5 tab settings needed for screenplays? I think you mentioned these twice but I'm not sure. Thanks.

Dear Jo-Jo:

I couldn't finish watching "Kids." That which I did watch has completely vanished from my mind. The five tab settings that I use for writing screenplays are, from the left margin: 20 spaces to the beginning of dialog, 25 spaces for the parenthetical emotional description (angry) (frowning), 35 spaces to the character's name, 65 or 70 to the transitional description, such as DISSOLVE or FADE IN. As a note, dialog should not go all the way out to the right margin, but should not be more than 35-40 charcters wide.

Josh

Name:              Annie Parmenter
E-mail:             subzero@iaa.com.au

Dear Josh:

No question's here, just a note of Thannks for all the wonderful episodes. The off beat left of centre attitude is wonderful, and best of all it brings a smile to my mother's face, even a fully fledged *Snort*n*Chuckle*. So on behalf of mum and I... Thank-You!

Annie & Jen

Dear Annie & Jen:

I do appreciate getting nice notes from halfway around the world. Thanks.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

Does black and white filmstock come in 400 speed. If not, can you still light with ordinary practicals? Thanks

Dear Drew:

Yes, black & white film stock does come in 400 speed. I believe it's called 4X negative. Although any black & white probably has to be special ordered at this point. Call Kodak and check. Practicals, meaning regular old lamps, can only take so big of a bulb before you fry out the socket and set the shade on fire. You really do need a few bright movie lights, but try not to aim them directly into anyone's face--light from the side or above or below because it looks better. You might consider investing in a light meter. I picked up a cool old light meter at a garage sale 30 years ago for a quarter that I've been using ever since. Another very worthwhile item to have is an American Cinematographer Manual, which can be purchased from Samuel French bookstore here in L.A. or through the ASC, which is the American Society of Cinematographers.

Josh

Name:              Sean Cornett
E-mail:             scornett@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I have read the making of "Running Time" and "Lunatics" posted on this web-site, and am very interested. Are these readily available for rental, or only available to purchase?

Also, regarding TSNKE: What exactly is a dilly dog?

Thanks for your time, sir!

Sincerely,
-Sean "How Was I Supposed to Know" Cornett -West Coast TSNKE Fanclub

Dear Sean:

"Running Time" will be out in September. As far as "Lunatics" goes, I'd say "readily available" isn't the best description. It is out there, though. A Dilly Dog is a fictiously named hotdog from A&W.

Josh

Name:              Eva Bauche-Eppers
E-mail:             Eva.Bauche-Eppers@t-online.de

Dear Mr. Becker,

Sometime ago I asked for permission to translate your Evil Dead Journal -thanks for granting it. However, there was first some other job to finish but now I've turned to it and - being not an expert in the realm of filmmaking - come across some problems. When you say "...'Book of the Dead' is theoretically one-ninth shot...", what does that mean? And the reviews you were going to have to read to Rick over the phone - did they pertain to the books you read at that time or the movies you went to? Apparently it got very cold during shooting - are the temperatures you give Fahrenheit oder Celsius or just a means to express it was VERY cold: "40 degrees"?

I hope I'm not bothering you too much and that you can find the time to answer my questions.

All the best,
Eva

Dear Eva:

Thanks for buying a tape, it's packaged and ready to go out. Let's see, what's to not understand about the phrase, "'Book of the Dead' is theoretically one-ninth shot?" Well, "Book of the Dead" was the original title of "Evil Dead" and if the script were 90 pages long, we'd have shot 10 pages--although we never did have a finished script. In regard to the reviews I had to write, they were movies reviews for a defunct local Detroit newspaper, oddly called Magazine. The Rick I made reference to is my sister who was the newspaper's editor (I had my job first). The movies I reviewed at the time, in case you're interested, were: "The Black Hole," "1941" and "Going in Style." Also, all American references to temperature are always in Fahrenheit--we never went metric and never switched to Celcius. Good luck on the rest of the translation. I hope you like the film.

Josh

Name:              Tony
E-mail:             Chakram71201@sprynet.com

Hey JB.

I have a question about the production of "If The She Fits." It's a known fact that Renee cut her hair soon after filming this episode. Knowing this I noticed one scene in the episode where Renee's hair didn't look exactly right. It was a scene where Xena was sitting and talking and we saw Renee walking back and forth then sat down behind Xena with her back facing us and started rumaging thru her pack. Her hair looked a bit redder than it did in the rest of the episode, and I noticed it looked very similar to the wigs many body doubles wear.

The reason I'm asking is I've read before where there have been times before where there were problems and they had to go back and shoot scenes a few weeks after finishing production of an episode. I was wondering if this was the case here and she had cut her hair and had to wear a wig to reshoot a scene. I figure it had to be one of three things; either it was Renee in a wig, or maybe the light was reflecting differently on her hair, or maybe it wasn't Renee at all and a double since her back was turned to us.

I have been wondering about this for a while and figured I would go ahead and ask since you should know the answer.

Also with all the rain problems in New Zealand, how do you film scenes outdoors while it's raining and have the actresses remain dry. I noticed a scene in "ITSF" where I could see the rain coming down but Renee was totally dry thru the whole scene. Do you film under a tent ar some other sort of contraption.

Take care.
Tony

Dear Tony:

You were right the first time, it's Renee in a wig. That little scene was picked up several weeks after the main shoot. To keep the actors dry while shooting in the rain they set up an item called a silk, which is a big piece of parachute silk stretched out in a frame--it keeps the rain off, but lets the light through.

Josh

Name:              Bobbie Willes
E-mail:             willesb@n-link.com

Dear Mr. Becker:

This is just a short comment, and one that i really do not expect a reply to. Thank goodness there is someone else out there who works with the typewriter. All those fancy, smancy programs makes what should be a simple task(that of writing a script) into a most tedious and oft traumatic experience. Writing with the typewriter also keeps eyestrain away as well as being much easier on ye olde checkbook.

I wish you well and may you have great success.

Bobbie Willes

Dear Bobbie:

I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. I do not write on a typewriter. I used to, way back when. My first typewriter was manual. But I switched to computers almost as soon as they came out. My first computer was an Apple 2C with 128K of memory, no hardrive and one floppy drive. Anyway, what I said was that one does not need any special software to write a screenplay, the entire form is five tab stops.

Josh

Name:              Bobbie Willes
E-mail:             willesb@n-link.com

Dear Josh:

I must say that your comments on cigarettes were most appealing and to live in California with all the barriers is appalling to another smoker, one who was born and raised on a tobacco farm in North Carolina. Keep on smoking and a pox on the non-smokers!

I have downloaded some of your commentaries and found them to be full of intelligent, logical advice so one question and it may appear to be a bit dumb...BUT is there a place for a woman over forty in the field of horror/supernatural thrillers nowadays. I have written two books and found naught in the way of a publisher and have completed two screenplays but was unable to follow through due to blindness which has recently been corrected so I want to really get back into the writing of scripts. Any advice would be much appreciated. Have a grand and glorious day.

Bobbie Willes

Dear Bobbie:

You make your own place, you don't ask permission. As Virgil said in the Aeneid, "They are able because they think they are able." Was there a place in horror for a goggle-eyed screwball like Stephen King until he made a place for himself? Nobody in the film business gives a damn whether I stay in the film business, or TV for that matter, I just won't give up. If you have a story to tell, then you'll tell it no matter what anyone else thinks.

Josh

Name:              I would prefer not to say
E-mail:             I would prefer not to say

Dear sir,

While trying to decide what to do one night, I said to myself, "why not go onto the internet and see what other fans of Batman think about the Batman movies?" I expected to find a devoted following to this classic 2-movie series (I don't concider either FOREVER or BATMAN & ROBIN part of the series, since they are incredibly stupid). But no, instead I find people who are not satisfied with anything but perfection. I admit, no movies are perfect, but how can you think that the first Batman movie "sucked"? It was a classic movie, made back in the time when not everyone was obsessed with sex and just wanted to see a good movie with good acting and a good plot. However, it appears that God has not delt farely with you in the area of wisdom. Nicholson WAS the Joker, and Keaton WAS Batman, not Kilmer or Clooney. And as for the second movie, which is the best of the entire series, I find The Penguin to be the best character, not Catwoman. Your review of this movie is another sad addition to the people who only mention how good Catwoman looked, instead of how good the movie was.

I must say that this sight is a grave dissapointment to me, and that whenever I think of a person who obviously needs to get his head out of the gutter and quit griping, I shall think of you.

Dear I Would Prefer Not to Say:

"Batman" is a "classic movie with good acting and a good plot?" For the low, low price of $19.95 I'll teach you how to bend a paper clip so that you can use it as a toothpick. Don't wait, send before midnight tonight.

Josh

Name:              Shirley
E-mail:             nocturna@iname.com

Dear Josh:

About your favorite sport: have you ever done any boxing yourself?

--Shirley

Dear Shirley:

Yes I have. I made a boxing movie called "The Final Round" in 1977 and to get the use of the boxing ring I had to join their boxing club. I convinced Bruce, his brother Don, and Tim Philo, cameraman from "Evil Dead," to join with me. We were the only white people in the club and I'm convinced the coach told all the other kids to not kill us. After about four or five weeks we gave it up as we had all gotten hurt at one point or another. I got creamed a few times.

Josh

Name:              Keith Hawkins
E-mail:             keith15@inreach.com

Dear Mr. Becker,

I know it's been 15 years, but since my last dog lived to be 17 I have to ask: Is Dandy still around? On a side note my current dog Whiskey is named after Dandy's character in TSNKE and the significance of this is not diminished by the fact that my last dog was named after the German captain stuck on the Japanese submarine in Spielberg's "1941". "I can't get out of this maze!"

Thank you very much.

Dear Keith:

I'm sorry to tell you that Dandy is long dead. My older sister got Dandy when we were in high school, in the early 70s. By 1984 Dandy was already rather old.

Josh

Name:              John Forde
E-mail:             jforde@wppost.depaul.edu

Howdy Josh,

How's the search going for your instrument playing authentic teen aged actors? What instruments do you want played? Thanks for your webpage, I check it daily and find a ton of useful info.

Howdy Pard:

They must be able to sing, too. We've begun the casting process by engaging a casting agent and getting the word out. Our casting sessions are June 22, 23, 24, that's when I'll see what's what. I really have no doubt that I'll find the people I need here in L.A., the place is lousy with talent.

Josh

Name:              Sean Cornett
E-mail:             scornett@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Just wondering: was Michele Poulik in charge of all the costume work for TSNKE? I couldn't help but notice the pants on the "secondary Jart tosser". Was that her idea, or was it just what the actor happened to be wearing? Oh, do you know if Dandy has played other characters besides "Whiskey"?

One more thing (if you don't mind me asking): what was the extent of Bruce's influence in TSNKE? Please, don't ever stop doing what you do, baby!

Sincerely,
-Sean "Die Slow" Cornett

Dear Sean:

Michele was in charge of the costumes, so either the guy wore those and she OKed them or she put them on him. It's been 15 years, so I don't recall. Dandy, which was my sister's dog, played Whiskey twice, once in the Super-8 version and once in the feature. I believe that was the extent of Dandy's acting career. As I explain in "The Making of TSNKE," Bruce and I rewrote the story. I knew where I wanted to go with it, but Bruce helped me get it there.

Josh

Name:              MQBlank
E-mail:             Starion106@aol.com

Hey Josh,

I've got screenwriting (and heck, even directing) type question here. How important do you think it is to include homages/references to other films? I'm still working on developing my storytelling ability, and for the most part haven't considered referring to other films in my treatments for scripts. It seems to me that stealing elements from other films is the lazy way out of coming up with my own original ideas. What is your opinion on this? It seems like the horror genre of films is rooted in winks and references to other films. Sam is certainly no stranger to this type of filmmaking ;-) But I just don't see how incorporating elements from other films is BETTER than coming up your own solutions. And I'm not really talking about popular devices of the genre, like noir formula or anything. I'm talking about the specific references to (sometimes classic) scenes in other films. The worst guys now seem to be Devlin/Emmerich in this department. Their method has basically become cut&paste, not a single creative idea of their own other than how to string everything together. But at the same time I see it being used in critically praised, successful films. Is it a good thing? And if so, when would you recommend incorporating these elements? I figure if I ever bothered it would be in the final draft stage, dropping in a couple references when everything else is in place, rather than relying on other's elements to build my own script.

MQBlank

Dear MQ:

I think that homage for the sake of homage is bullshit; I absolutely hate that stuff. However, the old expression goes something like this: If you're not directly inspired by something then you're stealing. But inspiration is not the same thing as homage.

For instance, with my new film, "If I Had a Hammer," I am directly inspired by "The Magnificent Ambersons," although if I didn't tell you that you'd never know it. There is not a single reference or homage to Welles and "Ambersons." On the other hand, in "Lunatics" I have one shot that is most definitely an homage to director Michael Curtiz. I didn't steal a shot from Curtiz, I used his style to tell my story at one point because it seemed like the best, most visual way to do it. Now that I think about it a bit, I drop in little homages all the time, but they're so obscure generally that no one knows they're there but me. An easy one is that I named my lead character in TSNKE Sgt. Stryker, which is John Wayne's name in "The Sands of Iwo Jima." Bruce's charcter name in "Running Time," Carl Matushka, is Shirley MacLaine's brother-in-law's name in "The Apartment." I really just liked the sound of the name. However, if your homage distracts from your story, then it's being misused.

Josh

Name:              Sean Cornett
E-mail:             scornett@yahoo.com

Dear Mr. Becker

Regarding TSNKE: While glancing through the script for Stryker's War (I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing, yet) I noticed some differences between what was printed, and what actually was used in TSNKE. Was the script changed for TSNKE specifically, or were there just improvisational changes done during the making of TSNKE... or something else entirely? Let me know!

Sincerely,
-Sean (of the West Coast TSNKE Fans)
*TSNKE for all mankind*

Dear Sean:

We improvised a bit here and there in the attempt to enliven the proceedings somewhat. When we were shooting the big scene where all the marines return and tell what they've seen and Stryker says, "Let's go cleam 'em up!" in the middle of winter in Bruce Campbell's garage in Southfield, Michigan, I just couldn't get that scene to come to life. After five or six takes I was almost ready to throw in the towel--it was cold and late and nobody really seemed to want to be doing this. I asked the actors, "What do you suppose the problem with this scene is?" Robert Rickman pointed in Brian Schulz's face and said, "He's the problem!" Schulz became furious, hollering into Rickman's face, "Oh Yeah?" And Rickman said, "Yeah!" and I said, "Let's go again," and that's the take that's in the film. You do what you have to do to get something happening. In this case, thank God for Robert Rickman.

Josh

Name:              the hank and ray show
E-mail:             sbertheaud@vaxb.woodbury.edu

Dear Josh:

We have always wanted to know what you think of editors. Is it better to have a male editor because you can "bond" with him or do you think that a female editor is the way to go? Indeed the female editress is a more mature, nurturing type of employee but is this an important issue in this crazy business?

also, what's your favorite sport? what's xena really like? can you read my latest script?
Just Kidding.

Dear Hank & Ray:

Those are the character names from "Lunatics." Anyway, I don't think the sex of any crew member matters. I work with a female producer and have worked several times with a female editor, as well as female 1st and 2nd A.D.s, female 1st and 2nd A.C.s, female coordinators, etc, etc. It's only an issue of who can do the job.

My favorite sport is boxing, particularly heavyweights (P.S. Lennox Lewis won the fight with Evander Holyfield).

Josh

Name:              Patrick Eves
E-mail:             the_one7@hotmail.com

Hey Josh:

Love web sites such as this one and Bruce Campbell's, they really offer insight to the film making industry.

I have a quick question, I remember reading that the apartment at the end of Running Time is, in fact, your apartment. If I were to go ahead with my dream and film the script I'm working on, should I just go ahead and shoot in my apartment or do I need to notify any officials, such as the landlord? I understand that the laws could be different in California than in New York (where I would be filming), but I just want to know where I can look into this. The lease says nothing but the land lord might try sticking something to me.

Thanks…

Dear Patrick:

I told my landlord I was shooting here. The one thing I will not let happen when I make a film is being thrown out of a location. If you haven't got permission, then this can easily occur. However, when I made many of my early films--including "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . .Except"--I simply snuck onto a number of locations. I couldn't get permission to shoot the exterior of the veteran's hospital in Detroit, so I went and shot there anyway. No problem. Crazily enough, I snuck onto a military base and shot, too, and didn't get caught. Ultimately, you must decide what's right for you.

Josh

Name:              Kristin & Christine
E-mail:             DARKTOWER14@yahoo.com, BCiMiAr@aol.com

Hey Josh:

In response to your question no they don't teach us anything in school never mind things that we might actually need in life. We know that you read a lot so we were wondering what your favorite book is? Well thats it.

Love ya, you're the best,
Kristin & Christine

Dear K&C:

That's a shame about school. I didn't learn much there, either. Since I rarely re-read books--as opposed to movies which I watch over and over again--I don't really have a favorite book. Instead, I have many favorites. Lately, I have particularly enjoyed Colleen McCullough's series of books on the fall of the Roman Republic, which begins with "The First Man in Rome" which is the first of five books (there's supposed to be two more coming). I also like the historians Robert Massie and David McCullough (no relation). I am also a big fan of Willa Cather. And, of course, any movie director autobiographies.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I was wondering if 400 ASA color film is a good filmstock to use.

Thanks.

Dear Drew:

It depends on what you're after. The ASA number refers to the film's speed. The higher the number, the faster the speed, the less light you need to expose the film. This is because the chemicals on the film are thinner, thus light can get through easier. But, the faster the speed, the grainier it is. If you are primarily shooting outside in the sun, you can easily go with a slower speed film. If you don't have a lot of lights and you're shooting inside, go with a faster film. A big part of the choice, though, is how the film looks. If it's a gritty, inner-city story you might want more grain, or if it's a pretty, panoramic western you'd probably want to go with slower film to get more color. I personally prefer slow film stocks because I like clarity and deep colors. On my new film I'm going to shoot ASA 100. On "Running Time" I used black & white ASA 64, which is sort of shockingly sharp. Also, if you intend to blow the film up from 16mm to 35mm then it's a good idea to make it as sharp as possible because it will lose clarity and definition in the blow-up. Then again, on "Thou . . ." I shot ASA 400, knowing I was going to blow up, but also knowing that I had very few lights, no generator and I would be shooting a lot in the dark, shady woods. I decided that it was a gritty-sort of story and the grain would asthetically fit. I think it looks fine, too.

Josh

Name:              Kristin
E-mail:             DARKTOWER14@yahoo.com

Hey Josh:

My friend Christine (BCiMiAr@aol.com) and I have a good Idea for a script(well we think it's good) and we are going to write it but we want to outline it first cause it seems that when you do that you get better results...but the problem is we don't know how to out line a script. I write all the time and have never written from an out line. If you don't mind could you give us a brief overveiw of how to out line a script. Thanks a lot.

Kristin

Dear Kristin & Christine:

Haven't you guys ever had to write a paper for English class? Don't they teach kids how to outline a theme paper anymore?
1. How to write a theme paper.
     A. The many uses of a theme paper
     B. How a theme paper will help you in further life.
     C. Origami that can be made from theme papers.
     Etc.
All you're doing, really, is making a list. Your three headings are the three acts and the list beneath each is the scenes in the act. You can write it backward on toilet paper with disappearing ink if you'd like. It's simply figuring out in advance what you intend to write as opposed to winging it in front of the computer.

Josh

Name:              Danny Cork
E-mail:             paulcork@swbell.net

Dear Mr Becker,

I (like everyone else) intend to go into making films. My parents seem to think that going to college for four years will give me instant access to a job in this. I however, think I'll have to spend time raising money for a film whether I go to college or not. So my question for you is this : Is it worth spending four years in some school being taught how to make films (when you feel you already know how) to get some degree that will supposedly do you a world of good? I mean I'll still have to raise money for a movie anyway right??? So what reason have I to go to college other than to appease my parents? I know ultimately only I can make the decision, but I would appreciate your opinion on this.

Thanking you,
Danny Cork.

Dear Danny:

I had to deal with exactly the same issue. I ended up going to seven colleges and not graduating before throwing in the towel on school and moving on to life. I honestly don't think a degree in filmmaking means anything. As a friend once said, "You can teach the technical aspects of filmmaking to monkies; it's all what you do with it." My parents wanted me to get a degree in something other than film so that I would "have something to fall back on." I realized pretty quickly that in my case if I had something to fall back on, I'd fall back on it. As a little note, neither myself nor Sam Raimi nor Bruce Campbell (nor Steven Spielberg, for that matter) have a college degree. I think you're right--get to the money-raising and make a movie.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I have a question regarding sound.If I was to make a movie and I didn't have enough money for a Nagra, what other alternatives might you suggest. Thanks, and good luck on your next film.

Dear Drew:

I'd say there are three choices: 1. Make a film with no dialog and put in the sound effects afterward, 2. Make a film with minimal dialog and loop (dub) it later -- if you do this make sure you know exactly what the actors are saying so you'll know what to put back in later. Improvising under these circumstances will kill you. Also, too many dialog close-ups will mess you up. Try to stay back in at least a medium shot so that the lips are not that visible, or 3. Run a decent tape recorder with a decent microphone--make sure to use a slate or clap your hands on camera at the beginning of each take for a synch mark--then diddle the sound around in post until it fits, or fits as best as you can make it. As long as there are no long lines of dialog, like say over a sentence, you should be OK. I did this with one film and it's fine, although it took a lot of diddling. Once again, staying further back than close-up helps with slightly rubbery sound. Good luck.

Josh

Name:              Brian "Otis" Severin
E-mail:             bseverin@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I am communicating on behalf of the West Coast TSNKE fan club. Since 1992 our small, yet loyal, band of cronies has been... Well, all but obsessed with this little film of yours...

You may have a dificult time accepting this work as something significant, but it has touched our lives in a very special way... Although some of our aquaintences may not agree, there is one *simple* fact that must be kept in mind...

Here it is: "Hollywood" craps out movies that cost exponentially more to make than this film every day, and in reality, aren't any better...

"Ohhh!.. That Leonardo is Soooo Cute!..."," Tom Hanks gave his best ever!...","The Special effects were Flawless!..."

Bull!... If there is ever a movie to appreciate it is TSNKE... There is nothing wrong with it... TSNKE is warm and sincere... Like an old pair of jeans, or socks...

One of our members owns an original Prisim (SP) release of TSNKE, while all of us own Starmaker (EP) versions of TSNKE... Recently I purchased several copies of the Anchor Bay release for distribution to some of our members...

In Short: We Demand *more* TSNKE!... We don't need music clearances for display in a private, non-profit organization... Do we?... 16 MM Stryker's War... Give... Will pay for a copy or VHS transfer... Long Live TSNKE!...

"Oh little one... There is much for you to learn..."

Dear Brian (or Otis, that is):

You're absolutely correct in saying that you and your cronies have the God-given right to find significance where I don't necessarily see it. What I can say at this late date (I wrote the first draft of that script 20 years ago), is that I gave the film everything I had at the time. You must also keep in mind in regard to me and my reaction to the film, that no one would buy the damn film for a very long time, nor would anyone give me a decent price for the film, then I got a lot of bad reviews. I do very much appreciate that there are folks out there that like the film. It does represent for me, however, a fair amount of heartache. The film still hasn't made its money back. I also sued and got four judgements against the distributor and still got no money out of him.

Regarding "Stryker's War," which was shot in Super-8 (TSNKE was shot in 16mm and blown-up to 35mm), it's not an issue of what you do with it once you have it, it's about me selling it to you. I'm very easy to find and if you found me then the music publishers will find me, too. I don't need any judgements against me, thank you very much. Maybe someday when I'm rich I'll work all this crap out.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

How much does a Bolex usually cost, and are they of good quality?

Thanks.

Dear Drew:

The Bolex is almost the standard of low-budget and student 16mm filmmaking. They generally work very well (if they're in decent shape). You can't shoot synch sound with them, though, since they wind up and don't run off electricity. I paid $1000 for the camera itself, along with a 25mm lens and a big mother zoom with an electric motor (I think I said 3 lenses in the previous answer--sorry). I picked up two more lenses on the internet from a place in Las Vegas called Cameras-Pro. I paid $75 for a 75mm (a great deal) and $50 for a somewhat trashed 10mm lens.

Josh

Name:              Tony
E-mail:             Chakram71201@sprynet.com

Hey Josh:

I have a question about Renee O'Connor who I'm a huge fan of. I've noticed in some of her TV interviews she seems a bit quieter and more laid back than Lucy. She has also said that she can be shy when around people she doesn't know and she is very modest.

My question is since you've worked with her several times, is she more laid back on set than Lucy. Also when doing scenes that show a little more skin than normal(I know they don't do actual nudity) like the showering scene at the beginning of "If The Show Fits" does she seem to be modest or a little shy when doing this.

Thanks.
Tony

Dear Tony:

As I've said before, I haven't hung around very much with Renee beyond work. On the Xena set, however, she is very much at home and quite forthright. Renee is definitely a quieter sort of person than Lucy (not that Lucy is loud, mind you). Since the two of them fake nudity so frequently on the show, neither of them has ever seemed particularly bothered about getting into the flesh-colored outfits they wear for doing this. They are both very easy actors to work with because they're both bright.

Josh

Name:              Nubert Glean
E-mail:             nubert58@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I have an idea of making a film, where can i find a used camera(16 arriflex) to shoot? what advice would you give me if I have done any film or direct it.

Dear Nubert:

I bought my 16mm Bolex through Java.com in Atlanta. It's a reflex model (which means you can just barely see through the lens) and I got three lenses for a grand.

If you want more choices just put "Bolex movie camera" in a search engine. You can't afford a decent a Arriflex camera, even used. My main suggestion would be, don't spend too much money on your first film since you will make every mistake imaginable and your second film will be much better, if you have some money to make it with.

Josh

Name:              P.E.
E-mail:             mcgonz0@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Hey I only have one comment about your Big Lebowski review. When you said the running joke through the film was just an excuse to avoid developing Steve Buscemi's character, that was kind of the point. It was set up so when he died, we didn't really care too much because we never knew him. This ends the movie on a mutual note and we continue on, just like the Dude. By the way, what did you think of the movie Gummo by Harmony Korine?

Dear P.E.:

Not having a point is not a point and not developing a character so I won't care is not a good reason for not developing a character. Getting the viewer to not care is the world's easiest goal, and the worst filmmakers in the world can just as easily achieve it. No, I haven't seen "Gummo" (but I did see Groucho, Chico and Harpo).

Josh

Name:              Amber
E-mail:             warriorbabe79@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I really really enjoy watching your work on "Xena". You are my favorite director!!! Are you going to be at any up coming Hercules and Xena conventions?? You're the Greatest!!!!!

Amber

Dear Amber:

Jeez, thanks a lot. Since I didn't go to the Herc/Xena convention right here in my hometown of Santa Monica I doubt that I'll go to any others. Bruce and Ted and Renee and Bob Trebor all get paid to go to them, I don't.

Josh

Name:              Keith Hawkins
E-mail:             keith15@inreach.com

Dear Josh:

I really enjoyed your Spielberg diatribe but I do have one comment on Amistad. To me, the "Give me free!" sequence with the over-the-top John Williams music blaring out was hilariously entertaining. Granted, that's not the reaction Mr. Spielberg was trying to evoke* but that does lead me to my question for you.

You seemed uncomfortable with Tim Burkman's e-mail assessment of TSNKE being a "great American film". I, myself, enjoyed TSNKE and apparently got a lot more out of the film than you seem to think is actually there (it truly is a tale of morality with the "bad-ass" Marines getting their ass's kicked for killing where they "Shalt Not" (Viet-Nam) but successfully killing where it is "...Except" (at home vs. the bloodbath cult). So I am curious as to what your thoughts are on what is more important, the director's intent or the viewer's reaction?

PS: I am looking forward to TSNKE on DVD. (Sucker's confirmed...)

*(I want to be clear that I found humor in that Amistad scene because of its execution and not its content).

Dear Keith:

I am not trying to infringe on either you or Tim's enjoyment of my movie, but being a very big movie fan it's rather difficult for me to envision this film in the ranks of "Great American Movies." I just discussed some of the aspects of the script for "Thou . . ." in my newest essay, "The Need For Structure, Part 3." As I say in the essay, I think the script, it's intentions and it's subtext are the best aspects of the film. The production itself was so painfully low-budget that quite a bit of it still makes me wince. Keep in mind that the house where I grew up in Michigan is just out of frame for much of the film, so it's still not possible for me to suspend my disbelief enough to not believe this is all occuring in my parents' backyard. I am pleased with a number of sequences: the encounter between Stryker and Miller in the bunker, the Manson family's initial attack, the fight outside the bar, Jackson and the fat biker fighting with the garden shears. In regard to your question about the filmmaker's intent versus the viewer's reaction, I don't think it matters. If you create something, then toss it out into public view, people can make out of it whatever they'd like.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I was wondering if you have heard of the Walchowski Brothers, directors of Bound and the Matrix. If so, what do you think about them and their work.

Dear Drew:

I haven't seen any of the pictures. The trailer for "The Matrix" was sufficient for me. As Bruce Campbell summed up the film, "You can't believe for a second that you're making an original film if it's loaded with automatic weapon fire and martial arts," and I must agree.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Thanks for answering my question. You have a very good point.But now I have a question about film. I've been making shorts for awhile now, and I love being behind the camera.So much in fact that I don't like anyone else filming my shots. I love being my own Director of Photography, and I was wondering if you felt the same way. Thanks.

Dear Drew:

I like operating camera, but not when I'm directing. I operated camera on "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . . Except," and I found that I was paying more attention to that than directing. As I was shooting an important scene, the film seemed to be having some difficulty passing through the gate. I was listening very carefully to make sure it wasn't completely screwing up, when suddenly all of the actors in the scene turned and looked at me. I thought, "What the hell is everybody looking at me for?" Then I realized that the scene was over and not only had I not called cut, I hadn't paid the slightest attention to the scene. "How was it?" they wanted to know. Not having a clue, I made them do it again. Anyway, to be a good camera operator you have to pay so much attention to that job that you cannot give sufficient attention to directing. That's my view.

Josh

Name:              Kristin
E-mail:             DARKTOWER14@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

hey Josh how are ya? I have read every article and Short story on your site. I think that you are a very very talented writer. I was wondering about your Short Stories though...they are so good. Have you ever had any of your short stories published anywhere? Well thats it from me

You Rule!
Kristin

Dear Kristin:

Nope, I've never had a short story published anywhere. I began sending my short stories out to magazines when I was about 14 years old. I have rejection slips from many, many magazines. I have, however, had articles and movie reviews published.

Josh

Name:              Drew
E-mail:             SuperDrew123@webtv.com

Dear Josh:

I was just wondering if you had any views about the shootings in colorado that took place last week. I'm just interested in what you have to say. Thanks.

Dear Drew:

This isn't a movie question, but in a way it is. We live in a society that constantly attempts to convince it's citizens that violence is not only good, but the obvious answer to all problems. If the answer to all problems in the movies to to spray the bad guys with automatic weapon fire, then the only real question is--where do I get an automatic weapon? Those kids in Colorado had to use single-shot weapons, which must have been a great let-down for them. Most people can watch all of that killing and maiming and let it go as "entertainment." With 260 million people in the country, some people are not going to take it as mere entertainment, but as a blueprint to answer their own problems. However, with 260 million of anything-- people, ants, butterflies, potatoes--some percentage are going to come out aberrant deformities, as were the assailants in Colorado. If one lives in a society where weapons are as easy to get as candy and violence is extolled as a virtue, then no one ought to be surprised by such events. They will undoubtedly just become more and more commonplace.

Josh

Name:              Christine
E-mail:             bcimiar@aol.com

Howdy Josh,

What's up? Not much here....My friend's and I while reading a Fangoria today, were wondering what exactly is Karo (sp?) syrup? And where the hell we can get it? You are the expert on everything so I thought maybe you would know...if not, no sweat. :)

Luv ya lots,
Chrstine

Dear Christine:

You get Karo syrup at the grocery store. The stuff is like clear liquid sugar and I guess you bake with it or something. You will also need red and blue food coloring. Add red coloring to the Karo syrup until it looks bloody enough, then add one or two drops of blue for depth. I was a blood-blower on "Evil Dead," so I do know all about it.

Josh

Name:              Chelsea Ryan
E-mail:             marie_rjd@yahoo.com

Mr. Becker,

I was wondering if you knew anybody who is accepting scripts. If you know anybody who might be interested please contact me. I apprecite your time and consideration. Thank You.

Thanks again,
Chelsea

Dear Chelsea:

I'm sorry to tell you that nobody wants unsolicited scripts, not even me.

Josh

Name:              Jean Valjean
E-mail:             khank@rcsn.nb.ca

Dear Josh:

You did not like thin red line? man...you need to earm more about spirituality in life..then youll get it..try watching this movie when youre 80..i bet your point of view will be different

Dear Jean:

I'll be 80 in 2038. I'll send you an e-mail.

Josh

Name:              Tim "Any Brand" Burkman
E-mail:             scornett@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Hi. Would you buy for us?

...I have a Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except (T.S.N.K.E.) related question. Has Perry Mallette done any other films besides "Going Back"? More importantly, is he still alive?

Otis is one of my favorite characters of the American cinema.

I have watched T.S.N.K.E. at least 200 times in its entirety since 1992 and I was pleasantly stunned to receive a copy of its re-release from a fellow T.S.N.K.E. fan.

No, I am not interested in comics or Star Trek conventions either...just great American films like Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except. I was going to use the phrase "B-movie", but really, it has been in the front of my video collection for 5 years now.

Congradulations, Mr. Becker. Viva la T.S.N.K.E., baby. There it is G.I. - Yeah, there it is.

Dear Tim:

One of the "great American films?" Wow! Anyway, I haven't seen or heard from Perry Mallette in about 15 years. Bruce Campbell and his first wife used to live in the same house as Perry. I certainly hope he's still alive, he wasn't all that old.

Josh

Name:              Christine
E-mail:             bcimiar@aol.com

Howdy Josh:

How are you? My friend Kristin (darktower14) and I are making a film (as we've told you before) and we'd like to know if you have any tips for script writing. If you have any info it'd be a big help, since you're the best :)

Thanks a lot,
Christine

Dear Christine:

Please read my series of Structure essays, everything I know is in them. The bottom line, though, is tell a story that's worth telling. If you can't verbally tell your story to someone else and keep them interested while telling it, it needs fixing or changing. Take a character through an important change.

Josh

Name:              Kristin
E-mail:             DARKTOWER14@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

I just got done reading the Running Time script and i have a question...In the begining it says the Carl was in prison for 5 years but then through out the rest of the script it says he was in prison for 10 years which one is correct? It was really confusing and I figured who better to tell me wich is correct then the writer himself.

Thanks a lot,
Kristin

Dear Kristin:

Yes, this discrepancy came up while shooting. It's 5 years. I ought to have fixed in the script, but forgot. Whoops!

Josh

Name:              Dana Hlusko
E-mail:             dhlusko@series2000.com

Dear Josh:

I read in Suite101.com the information concerning JRR Tolkien's books coming to film and the possible need for outside actors. I am very much interested in working on X:WP. What would I need to do to make this happen? I acquired the work permit papers but of course need a job before they'll even consider them. Could you give me some leads on what types of skills you need for X:WP that you are having trouble getting in NZ?

Dear Dana:

Considering that they have now done over 100 Hercules episodes, 75 Xena eps, and 50 Young Hercs, do you feel there's something they're specifically lacking? Some specialty that only you can fill? Go convince them.

Josh

Name:              Lenny Bruce
E-mail:             LennyBruce@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Do you ever hang out with Renee O'Connor on a personal level? How would you describe her personality? And lastly, do you have a favorite directing moment with her that you can share?

Thanks,
Lenny B.

Dear Lenny:

No, I've never really hung out with Renee. I've gotten together with her and several other people for coffee on Sunday morning once or twice, but that was back when she had an apartment in Auckland. She now lives out of town.

Renee is a sweet, nice, bright, wonderful person and a hell of a good actor. I absolutely love working with her.

One amusing moment that comes to mind was in "In Sickness & in Hell." Both Lucy and Renee and very good at knowing when a line reading didn't come off so well and will just pick back up a line earlier and do it again. Lucy was having trouble with a line--she gets the most difficult, expository dialog--and had done it a few times. Lucy got through her third try and was moving on, but Renee stopped her and gave her the cue line again. Lucy began to deliver the line for the fourth time, then stopped and turned to Renee, "What's the matter, you didn't like the last one?" Renee was embarrassed and blushed, "Well, no, that is, I . . ." Everyone burst out laughing.

Josh

Name:              Kristin
E-mail:             DARKTOWER14@yahoo.com

Hey Josh,

Ok I'll keep it quick... While I was watching Running Time yesterday (I've seen it 8 times so now I have to ponder the little details)I was wondering if The white car that Patrick has at the end of the movie belongs to someone working on the movie or if you just borrowed it from someone just for the film? I know it's a dumb question and that most people could care less but I need something to keep my intrest now that I've seen the movie so many times I can practicly recite the entire film with the movie.

Thanks again,
Kristin

Dear Kristin:

That happens to be my car and I still have it. It's a 1989 Chrysler LeBaron. Good car, too. I suggest for your own sanity that you purchase another movie to watch. For me, "Lawrence of Arabia" has withstood about 100 viewings.

Josh

Name:              Christine
E-mail:             bcimiar@aol.com

Hi Josh!

How are you? I hope you're doing great :) After watching Running Time again, I was wondering what character Craig Sanborn plays as a fake shemp?.. I know all about him working for Bruce, and was just curious.

Thanks a lot,
Christine

Dear Christine:

Craig is the drug dealer whom Donny, the junkie, scores from. That is not Craig's voice, however, it is me.

Josh

Name:              Tony Brooks
E-mail:             

Hey Josh.

I read down below where you were talking about Xena and mentioned a "read-thru" done the night before you started shooting. I was just curious what exactly is the purpose of the read-thru and what takes place. Also since it's done before shooting where does this take place and who is needed to be present.

Just curious about all aspects that goes into directing one of these shows.

Thanks.
Tony

Dear Tony:

It's the closest thing we get to a rehearsal. All of the actors are there, the director, the producer and the script supervisor. You read through the script scene by scene and any problems are voiced and hopefully addressed. This occurs either at the Pacific Renaissance office or at the Carlton Hotel, where most vistors stay.

Josh

Name:              Heath Opper
E-mail:             heo96001@uconnvm.uconn.edu

Dear Josh:

Hi. Are you going to try and cast Ted Raimi in your next movie? You and Ted seem to work so well together judging from 'Lunatics:A Love Story', 'Thou Shalt Not Kill ... Except', and 'Xena'.

Thanks,
Heath

Dear Heath:

I'm shooting with non-SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) actors this time, so I can't use Ted or Bruce.

Josh


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