Possible to order running time?
Not anymore, at least not from me. It will be available on video tape
and DVD from Anchor Bay Ent. in Oct.-Nov., here in America, that is.
Just a quick note; I've enjoyed your directing of the Xena episodes.Have
you ever thought doing a letter box episode of Xena? Take care have
a great day.
That's how they've been shot for the last season, in the 1:1.85 format,
just like movies at the theater. This is being done for the slowly emerging
HD-TV. However, even though they are using a widescreen format, the
actual picture is framed within the TV frame (1:1.33) and the sides
are left empty. A decision of this nature has nothing to do with a menial
little director like me. I shoot in whatever format I'm told to shoot
Back during your "Evil Dead" days - I gather that the film itself was
shot fairly quickly, in 1979. The money that was raised presumably went
for production costs - like paying and feeding you guys while you were
making it, right? So once the film was shot - your part was over, I
assume. But what went on for the producers (i.e. Raimi, Tapert + Campbell)
over the next 2-3 years? Did it take them that much time to edit it,
find distributors, etc? Or were they already working on their next project?
I know you've talked about moonlighting at "day jobs" in the early stages
of production for your own films - did they ever do that as well?
There was nothing quick about that shoot. It was scheduled to shoot
in six weeks. We shot for eleven weeks in late 1979, early 1980, then
we did a week of pick-up in Marshall, MI, then another week in Gladwin,
MI, then probably five more weeks at Sam's house over the course of
the next year. The "Evil Dead" shoot, when all added together, was probably
as long as the "Titanic" shoot. I did most of the lighting on these
reshoots. Then it probably took another year to shoot all of the special
effects, which I assisted on -- blowing fake blood and green oatmeal
through tubes. It took Sam, Bruce & Rob another two years to get the
distribution deal. All the while all of us were working any jobs we
could get, although mainly as production assistants on commercials.
Your essay on structure has proven to be a breakthrough in my writing
approach. You've cleared the air for me. Thanks.
My pleasure. That's why I wrote it. Good writing.
Name: Scott S.
I have a few questions:
(1) You always say that A CLOCKWORK ORANGE was Kubrick's last good
film. I disagree. I think it was BARRY LYNDON (although I still haven't
seen EYES WIDE SHUT yet). What do you have against BL? Do you think
it's boring? I have the attention span of a five-year old and I think
it's a great movie.
(2) For your upcoming film, "If I Had a Hammer," did you have to ask
permission to use the song title as the title of your film? If so, did
they make you pay for it? I only ask because I was planning on using
a song title as the title for my first film. I sent a letter quite a
while back asking for permission but haven't gotten a response yet.
(3)You say that transferring 16mm to video for editing is cheaper ONLY
if you have access to a non-linear editing system. Why?
1.) Ryan O'Neal is a weak lead with a poor accent and can't carry the
picture. And at 183 minutes, I'd say it's solidly an hour too long.
Marisa Berenson is a very weak female lead, too.
2.) Yes, you have to pay for the use of a song title as your film title,
unless it's a public domain song, that is.
3.) If you have to rent and editing system, be it non-linear or video,
it costs money. You can always cut 16mm film with rewinds and viewer
for nothing or nearly nothing. That's how I cut a bunch of my films.
just finished reading your EWS review. Reminded me of your Thin Red
Line review, which I also partially disagreed on. Is it possible that
maybe you put a little too much emphasis on narrative structure? It
just seems like you don't watch these films with an open mind. I'm not
saying that I disagree with your comments. You're right that EWS is
messy and at times dull. It really felt like a rough cut to me. Obviously
many edits, shots, and even complete scenes did not work at all (Pollack/Cruise
pool table scene a very obvious example). But like TTRL I still felt
that there was alot of redeeming value to this film. Intellectually
it doesn't necessarily offer much, especially if you watch the film
looking for some sort of deeper subtext beyond the conservative values
Kubrick seemed to be pushing. What the film DID offer to me was atmosphere
and some great images. You felt that there was no one 'great shot'.
I agree. It was more the consistent look to the film. The dreamy Christmas
imagery in the opening party scene, the contrasts of the blue and creamy
white in the Harford's apartment, and the menacing look to the entire
Mask/orgy sequence (which has a near-great shot of Bill in the taxi
pulling up to the gate at night). These images came together for me
to make for a memorable film experience. In your way of looking at the
film the orgy sequence was redundant after 30 seconds. In a narrative
sense you're correct. However, Kubrick's long (or jerk-off) extenuation
added several elements of involvement for me. As it went on, and on,
a sort of brooding, menacing quality started to emerge. I felt I came
to understand more and more about what Bill was going through as it
progressed. Alot of that personal searching/contemplating would have
been cut short in 'your' preferable version of the scene. I guess I'll
leave it at that. I'd like to hear if you found any aspect of the film
at all redeeming :) Seems like you hated everything about it. I'd suggest
taking a second look. But maybe you're more confident in your opinion
than I thought.
Look, if you had a good time, that's great. I'm entirely confident
that my stated opinion represents my true feelings. I wouldn't sit through
that picture again on a bet. As far as I'm concerned, pretty photography
is a purchasable item and will get me through the first two or three
minutes. And yes, I do put a lot of value on narrative structure; it's
what makes a story compelling. Dullness is entirely unacceptable in
my book. I'll live without the structure if there's actually something
being said (like "My Dinner with Andre," say), but Kubrick has nothing
to say. Out of sheer politeness, if one has nothing to say then one
ought to be brief. Rambling on for almost 3 hours with nothing to say
is an insulting waste of time.
- How's the folk music film coming along?
- relating to what you've referred to in the past as that "incestuous"
Detroit connection that you and a lot of your colleagues have, going
back to Evil Dead or earlier, where did you guys first encounter John
Cameron? I gather he worked on ED, has done some Xena/Hercules work,
and does a lot with the Coens now? Is he one of those guys you grew
up with? Any good stories about working with him? Also, your friend
Jane (Coe? Goe?) who produced "Running Time" - had you worked with her
Also - I'm curious - has "The Phantom Menace" hype been what you expected?
Is the film pretty much what you thought it would be? (I enjoyed it,
but you're absolutely right - there's nothing original in there. At
times it seems like a scene-by-scene remake of our favorite moments
from the first three movies. At others it seems like an ad for the "Phantom
Menace" thrill ride theme park, which I'm sure will turn up pretty soon!)
The folk thing, "If I Had a Hammer," comes along fine. I begin shooting
in two weeks.
Regarding Mr. John Cameron, I (and Bruce) first met him in high school
in 10th grade in Detroit. I first worked with John on my film, "The
Final Round," in 1977, where he played a sports announcer (John has
a big, radio/TV announcer voice --he's also six-foot-five). And actually,
John did not work on "Evil Dead," although he did come down and visit
the location in Tennessee while we were shooting. John was also the
1st assistant director/unit production manager on "Lunatics: A Love
Story." John has a very acerbic wit. One day on the set of "Lunatics"
the 1st assistant camera operator, Art Brown, came moping onto the set
and sadly muttered that his girlfriend had dumped him. As we were about
to shoot the first shot of the day, John stated, "Quiet on the set,"
pointed at the sound man and said, "Roll sound," pointed at Art and
said, "She's never coming back," then pointed at the camera and said,
"Roll camera." Art just sort of slumped against the side of the camera.
I'm laughing now as I think of it.
As for Jane Goe, she is presently co-producing "If I Had a Hammer"
with me. I've known Jane since she was the accountant on Sam's film,
"Crimewave" in 1983. Jane was the production controller for Steven Spielberg
for quite a while and did such rinky-dink little films as "Schindler's
List" and "Jurassic Park."
And finally, regarding "Star Wars 4" (I call it that to A.) be honest,
and B.) to annoy everyone), I never saw it. If they were giving away
money I wouldn't have gone.
Name: Kelly Steglith
Have you met Daisy Lawless, and if so, what is she like? Does she seem
to resent the fact that her mother spends such long hours at work, rather
than with her?
I've known Daisy now for half of her life. I don't know what she resents
or not, but it has to have it's own problems being the child of probably
the most famous person in the country. Daisy is very bright, looks a
lot like her Mum (as they say down there) and is quite a good artist
for her age.
I just saw ROPE the other day. It seemed at first that Hitch was going
to pull off the real time concept without a flaw, but towards the end
he did that annoying zoom for no damn reason into the peoples backs.
What was the difference between the beginning and the middle to end
part of ROPE that caused Hitch to go to SUCH a low?
I have huge and tremendous respect for Alfred Hitchcock, but I think
"Rope" is one of his lesser films and failed experiment (which is a
big reason why I made "Running Time"). Quite frankly, I think Hitch
was bored with the whole damn thing by the time he shot the film. The
thing Hitchcock really did best was his cutting and "Rope" hasn't got
any, or very little. My biggest problem with the film is that there
is no good reason to be shooting in real time since time is not an issue
in the story. If the trunk with the body in it was going to automatically
pop open at a certain point, then it would have made sense. That's why
I did a heist story with a ticking clock element.
Name: Joakim Hammarström
I just happened to find this webpage when I was checking out Bruce
Campbell on imdb, and this film seem to rock! Have you sold it to Sweden
yet? That's where I live, or do I have to get the american DVD on import?
I don't have an overseas deal as of yet, but I am working on it. The
American release of "Running Time" is supposed to be in September.
Name: Scott Symons
I am an aspiring filmmaker from the Flint area. I would like to know
if there's any way you can help me contact Brian Schulz from "Thou Shalt
Not Kill..Except." Although you didn't seem to be happy with his acting,
I think he'd be great for a role in my film. I have a bad feeling you
probably haven't spoken with him in 14 years, but is there any info
you can give me to help me find him? I'd appreciate any help you can
give me. (By the way, this site kicks booty [although I disagree with
75% of what you say]. Keep up the good work!)
You are absolutely correct in that I haven't spoken with Brian Schulz
in about fourteen years. Sorry.
Name: Carlye Archibeque
I bent your ear at the recent Anchor Bay thing. And after talking to
you and going over film likes and dislikes, then reading over your favorite
films, I have to ask...Apollo 13?
You got a problem with "Apollo 13?" I think it's a very well-done picture
that is completely succeeding at the story it's trying to tell. I think
Hanks, Paxton, Bacon, Sinise and Ed Harris are all very good, as well
as Ron Howard's direction. I've watched it four or five times and it
really holds up, too.
Now that you're all set for your film to shoot within a month, how
do you prepare yourself for the task? Its obviously more than a job,
like a Xena ep., in this case. Its a personal project. I would think
that this would add even more pressure to the whole thing. Even more
so since its your money thats on the line. How do you mentally prepare
for a shoot like this? Is every waking minute over the next couple weeks
spent obsessing over the pre-production? Or do you try to relax and
save up your energy for the shoot? There's no specific question here
I guess. Just interested in what goes on in your mind as you get ready
for such a major endeavor.
To paraphrase Burgess Meredith in "Rocky," "I eat lightning and crap
thunder." I am completely obsessing. There are a million details and
they'd all better be worked out by the time I shoot. I'm feeling like
the ringmaster at the circus: when I point up in the air and say, "And
now presenting the Flying Walandas . . ." there had a better be a wire
for them to walk on and bunch of Flying Walandas ready to walk on the
tightrope. Then, when I say, "And now the elephants . . ." there had
better be a herd of elephants ready to come marching in. It's really
just an issue of intense planning, then putting your faith in that planning.
I've got a cast, crew, and all of the locations. Now it's time to shoot.
Name: Heath Opper
Hi. Recently I was able to watch two of the films you directed, 'Running
Time' and 'Hercules In The Maze Of The Minotaur'. I thought both movies
were terrific. I was wondering how much longer did 'Maze of the Minotaur'
take to make compared to an average episode of Hercules and Xena.
"Minotaur" took three weeks to shoot. The other four Hercules TV movies
had five weeks each, by the way. Herc and Xena episodes take seven days
Name: Patrick Gough
My brother Joe and I are Michigan-bred(Clarkston/Waterford area) wanna
be filmmakers/screenwriters and I was inspired by your tales of a local
yocal made good. It gives me hope, really. Our work has been really
well-accepted and we continue to plug away with our material (2 finished
scripts, 5 specs) but the fund raising has been a continuously ball-busting
procedure. I wanted to ask for your advice and/or covert methods you
used in MI. to get cash. I was also wondering if I could possibly send
you our 2 finished scripts and maybe... whenever you get a free minute,
you could give 'em a look. I know I ask alot but if I don't ask I could
be stuck in cold-ass Michigan for eternity. Thanks for your time and
Pat Gough/ Gough Bros. Films
Figuring out how to get a feature funded is what seperates the (metaphorical)
boys from the men. The feature film that I begin shooting in 24 days
is half financed by myself -- that's three years worth of Xena episodes
-- another quarter financed by friends (out of sheer guilt) and the
other quarter will be put on my nine credits cards, which I have been
nurturing for years for just this purpose. Where there is a will there
is a way, so to speak. Here's a thought to keep in mind -- 100 feet
of 16mm film (2 1/2 minutes) is about $30, plus another $30 to process
and another $30 to either workprint or transfer to video. In and about
$100 for 100 feet. A feature film in 16mm is 3500-4000 feet. And you
can always easily blow-up to 35mm later if you need to. Just shoot it
a hunk at a time.
As to reading your scripts, thanks but no thanks. And by the way, aren't
your 5 spec scripts finished? And what makes the other 2 non-spec?
Name: Iggy Kaufman
On the Bruce official website it says you can order a copy of Running
Time here. But I can't find where to buy it, if it is true, then I'm
definitely interested, please email me back with the price and info
if it is
Sorry, you missed it. I was selling the tapes here for six months.
I have since made a deal with Anchor Bay Ent. and it will legitimately
be available on video and DVD in September.
Name: Deseret Frye
I am researching the career of a director. Could you please tell me
some of the various duties that you perform and what type of schooling
or degree you had?
The director transfers the written word to the screen. They do this
by breaking each scene down into it's smallest components, which are
the individual shots. The director also blocks the actors movements,
as well as giving the actors his interpretation of the characters and
their motivations. I went to six colleges, never graduated and have
Name: Mr. Snrub
You always bitch about how Hollywood sucks. Yet you liked L.A. Confidential?
YOu actually liked a hollywood film?? Please explain this to me because
I am very confused about your opinion.
Dear Mr. Snrub:
I enjoyed most of it the first time I saw it, although the big shootout
at the end seemed like a mistake. When I watched it a second time on
cable it didn't hold up very well and I was immediately tempted to remove
it from the list, but didn't. But I do like the look, the period, and
What do you think of J.R Bookwalter's films?
I've only seen "The Dead Next Door," which I actually appeared in and
none of my footage turned out. My feeling is that J.R. is completely
inept and hasn't got a clue what he's doing.
You've said that you really prefer to write your own scripts, and that
you would not care to film anyone else's work, nor really to be involved
with the Hollywood "system." (OK, OK - over simplification
I know.) But I'm curious - suppose someone came to you with serious
money already committed, a script in hand, maybe even a name actor committed.
And they were to say "We'd like
you to direct this film." (I'm assuming that's how Sam Raimi has
gotten involved with some non-Renaissance films recently.) Would you
take a look at it? Would you consider it? (No, I'n not going to send
you a script - just curious!)
Second question: Since obviously you still work well with Renaisssance
Pictures, would you ever approach them about producing another one of
your films, or do you really prefer the complete indie route now?
Third question: Would you ever consider adapting something for the screen?
A novel, for example, or a play, or even a non-fiction work? For that
matter, are there any you've already thought about?
Answer #1: It's relatively easy for me to say I won't be involved in
something that no one is offering me. Look, if someone offered me a
lot of money to direct a script that I liked, that's one thing. The
chances are, of course, that I wouldn't like the script and the money
would be the entire incentive. Since this has never occurred to me I
don't know how I would actually respond. It's easy to have integrity
if it's never put to the test.
Answer #2: Renaissance Pictures does not produce movies anymore. Their
last film was "Time Cop" in 1994. All the films that Sam has
directed since then have been for other companies. So there would be
no real point in asking.
Answer #3: There are many books and stories that I would like to see
as movies, but since the first step in adapting something is purchasing
the rights, this would be highly prohibitive to the tiny budgets I have
on these indie features. Quite frankly, I'm happy to stick with my own
stories and scripts.
Name: Kristin Ellis
I am from a small town, and I know I have what it takes to act,but
in my small town there is nowhere to go, but small theatres. Is there
any way I could seriously audition through a tape for you. I can do
Thanks for listening.
P.S. People are always saying to me, "Kristin go for your dreams." So
I am trying.
I finished the casting for my new film, so you're too late, sorry.
If you really want to be an actor then you'd best get your ass out to
L.A. or N.Y. because that's where all the jobs are. Quite frankly, 90%
of the work is in L.A. If you're not out here competing with all the
other actors then you're not really trying. You can't do it from your
small town and you're kidding yourself if you think you can.
Name: •^°v[ Ryan Slavinksi ]vº^•
I was wondering If you know of any film directors Who might need some
suggestions on a Movie I have some very good ideas I would very much
appreciate it if you would get in touch with me. I have been thinking
about good ideas for movies for awhile now just never got around to
telling anyone people always hold back on good things and let out bad
but I just wanted to ask you if you could help me out i would very much
Ryan A Slavinski
also known as RaS
You might as well just accept that no one in Hollywood wants your movie
ideas -- or mine, either -- and the only way you're ever going to get
anyone to look at anything of yours is to write the scripts and prove
to everyone that you're a good screenwriter. Nobody buys treatments
or outlines anymore, just completed scripts that will subsequently get
Name: Mark Morris
I am a friend of Bruce Schermer who referred me to you. I recently
shot a micro budget horror comedy, DIE HARD DRACULA, for a producer
friend. He is thinking of distributing it over the net. Are you selling
your films that way, or know someone who is? Any tips for starting up
such a venture? How do people find out about your site, are there places
to advertise? If you are doing distribution this way, what kind of response
have you had.
I sold 200 copies of my film "Running Time" from this website. I ran
an ad on IMDB.com (a very big website, now owned by Amazon.com), for
$1000, and I don't think it generated a single sale. I also sent out
several hundred postcards to video stores across the country and that
may gotten me 5-10 sales. Most sales came from fans: folks that had
seen my first two films, or had seen the Xena episodes I had directed,
or were Bruce Campbell/"Evil Dead" fans. Also keep in mind that it cost
several thousand dollars to set-up the ability to take credit cards
over the internet, over a thousand dollars for dupes and nearly a thousand
for postage and mailers. Quite frankly, I don't think it was worth it.
What film guides would you recommend to a person who wants to study
the history of films and filmmaking? What trade magazines do you subscribe
to, or would you recommend?
If this is Richard, I think you're one hell of a great photographer.
If not, you have a good name. As far as film guides go, I'm very partial
to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, which I think is by far the
best of those kinds of books. For filmmaking I enjoyed Richard L. Bare's
"The Film Director," as well as Steven D. Katz' "Film Directing Shot
by Shot." Regarding film history, Peter Bogdanovich's newest book, "Who
the Devil Made It," was terrific.
Josh, it seems unfortunate to me that I've never heard of you. I just
stumbled across this sight while looking at some Evil Dead stuff. But
from what I've read, you sound like a good film maker. How rare. My
girlfriend and I are both writers and aspiring film makers. But some
of the content of your responses seems rather discouraging. However,
we will not forfit our dreams. It is horrible to think that those who
try to create should be stiffled at every turn by those who have no
imagination, and only hope to profit from those who do.
I'm struggling to think of an appropriate question to ask you in light
of these recent doubts. The only question that comes to mind is whether
or not it is worth it to "suffer the slings and arrows of outragous
fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end
them." I've never been a fan of Shakespeare. I think iambic pentameter
kills acting, but that is just my own bias. In any event,is it unreasonable
to think that two intelligent and creative youths with no experience,
no money, and nothing more than their wits can create a worthwhile film
together? If so, it seems far too much for a reasonable minded individual
to stomach. I wish, as silly as it seems that we were friends, and could
discuss such matters in an open dialogue. Honestly, I don't know if
or when I will return to this sight to find your answer. I seldom use
the internet. But perhaps I will have the oppotunity again soon. And
regardless, it might be worthwhile to post for your other fans and!
admirers. Thank you for your time. And I hope to familiarize myself
with your work.
My favorite quote these days is also from Shakespeare: "Be bold and
mighty forces will come to your aid." You ask, is it worth it to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? What else have you got
to do? You can live a nice, quiet life and make no noise or trouble
for anyone, then die without leaving a trace; or you can try for something
more. Let's face facts, shall we? They make movies in every country
in the world--you don't need Hollywood. You do need some money, but
that can be found in a lot of places, all of which are easier to deal
with than Hollywood. If you and your girlfriend have the drive and ambition
to get a movie made, then you will. If you proceed with the idea that
someone in power must bestow a film on you, then you'll probably never
make one. Be bold, what have you got to lose?
P.S. Write to me personally anytime you'd like.
I'm eagerly awaiting the DVD release of your movie Running Time. Now
you announced your deal with Anchor Bay awhile ago, so what's the current
status of this DVD. Possible Release Date? Special Features? Is Bruce
on the Audio Commentary?
September or October is the word I have. Bruce and I will both be on
the commentary track, which we record the week after next. We're both
doing "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . .Except" the same day.
I know this might be a better question for Sam but I figured I'd ask
you anyway. Have you seen Blair Witch? My impression after seeing it
a couple days ago is that its an obvious, gimmicky attempt to make an
Evil Dead for the 90's. There's alot of hype on this film, and after
seeing it I'd say that its 'mostly' undeserved. Basically the deal is
that the filmmakers came up with this great concept of a pseudo-docu-horror
film. But they (not surprisingly due to their inexperience) screwed
it up in execution. The narrator/actress is horribly annoying and fake,
and really the film ends up being totally a setup for the last 5 minutes.
In a more experienced director's hands (yours, Sam's) this interesting
concept could have truly made a great little film. It seems to me that
there are alot of young directors rushing out there thinking they can
make good, professional movies with little or no experience and/or film
background. Really a shame. I think you should still check out this
film though, definitely has some interesting aspects to it.
For example, it disproves your earlier comment that film is always
better to use than video. In this case the visual quality of video actually
enhances the audience experience and 'drama' (if you can call it that).
So anyway, comments on the film? Or was this all pointless since you
haven't seen it?
No, I haven't seen it, nor will I. I pretty much stopped going to the
movies several years ago and that certainly won't get me started again.
What you're calling a "great concept" sound like a total rip-off of
part of "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." Personally, I think the
idea of a fake documentary at this point is a lousy, tired, unoriginal
concept that nothing can be done with. This certainly does not disprove
my statement that film looks better than video. However, if it's supposed
to be on video than that is an obviously appropriate choice, but it
doesn't make it better looking or more visually interesting.
Hey, I'm just interested in any adcvice you could give me on writing
short (500 word) pitches. I'm currently writing my first screenplay,
and the whole selling thing is still a big mistery.
Obviously spelling is something of a mystery to you as well. My feeling,
after farting around this dumbass business for 20 years, is that scripts
do not get sold or made based on pitches--that is, unless you have an
in with a top executive. All of the low-end execs, the kind that most
of us would end up pitching to, do not have the power to say yes or
greenlight anything. Their entire job is to tell you no, and to make
themselves feel powerful they will string you along for three or four
months before saying no. Having pitched every studio in town, I have
never written out my pitch. I simply tell the story and try to keep
it short. Nevertheless, most film execs are assholes and won't give
you five uninterrupted minutes. I actually had one stupid disgusting
shithead of an exec take off his shoes and socks and begin cleaning
the fuzzballs from between his toes while I pitched. I think it's a
complete waste of time, but good luck to you.
- the Raimi club that you chatted with a few months back is now going
to line up a chat with Campbell Cooley - the guy whom Renee drooled
on in "In Sickness and in Hell." Any good stories about him you'd like
- speaking of chats, Ted Raimi just did one via Yahoo/TV Guide. So
of course I had to ask him about you. He said the same thing you said
about him - that you were very funny! He also commented very favorably
on how prepared you are on the set (something about how you would have
20 answers as far as what a character should do) and that of course
your knowledge of film was amazing!
- which brings me to this question? Ever see "Kind Hearts and Coronets?"
Any comments on it, on that wacky-but-dark-but-stylish style of comedy?
Or on Alec Guiness? I see a lot of similarities between that film and
some your work! (I think you should re-make it with Bruce, Ted, and
I only worked with Campbell Cooley for a couple of days. He did his
job so well and effortlessly that there really aren't any amusing tales
to tell. Tell him I say hi.
Regarding "Kind Hearts and Coronets," I saw it once 25 years ago and
it went in one ear and out the other. It seemed like one of the less
impressive comedies to come out of Ealing Studios at that time. I am
a big fan of "The Lavender Hill Mob," which I think is hilarious. I
also quite like "The Man in the White Suit" and "All at Sea." As far
as remakes go, I don't like them and I will do my best to never be involved
with one if I can help it.
What do you think of Pal's direction in "The Time Machine"?
Do you think he did justice to H.G Well's book? What would you do differently?
A). If you run into Weena, give her my web address, and B.) I think
George Pal did a geat job with "The Time Machine." I think he completely
did justice to Wells' book. I particularly like the use of the dress
shop across the way to show time going by. Also, the rotting Moorlock
is one the really great, simple special effects. I also think that Rod
Taylor and Yvette Mimieux are both very well-cast. I also quite like
George Pal's production (with Byron Haskin directing) of "War of the
Worlds." These films were made back in the days when SF films did not
have to be so painfully stupid that anyone over the age of nine couldn't
watch them. These films were made for both kids and adults.
What do you think about John Waters' work? Have you ever seen "Pink
Flamingos"? Keep up the great work, hun.
Hugs and Kisses,
I like "Pink Flamingos" and "Female Trouble" quite a lot. Sadly, Mr.
Waters peaked early, but no one has since come close to reaching his
level of depraved fun. I particularly enjoy when, in "Pink Flamingos,"
the postman delivers a box (with a turd in it) to Divine in her trailer
and she yells, "But we don't even have a fucking address!" Or in "Female
Trouble" when Dawn Davenport asks the audience, "Who wants to die for
art?" a guy eagerly raises his hand and she shoots him.
A couple of questions. First of all, what do you do if you are hired
to direct something and you find that the script is crap? What steps
can you take to try and change things to make it a bit better.
Second, do you feel that there is only so much a director can do if
the script they are working with isn't very good? The reason I'm asking,
and I'll use Xena as an example since I'm a fan and you've been there,
is I know there many directors who've done several episodes. I've seen
several episodes from a certain director that I've loved while other's
I disliked. For example I loved "Blind Faith" and "Femme, Fins, and
Gems" which you directed but I really couldn't stand "For Him The Bell
Tolls." Now don't worry, I'm not critisizing you, but it was the story
for "FHTBT" I didn't like. I don't care for the Joxer character and
I'n not too crazy for Lucy-lite episodes(I know it couldn't be helped
here), but the point is it seems no matter how you or anyone else directed
this episode I wouldn't have liked it because the story just didn't
fit my tastes. So what i'm saying is, is it fair to say there is only
so much a director can do with the story they have to present? After
all, it doesn't matter how good of a job the director does, if a fan
doesn't like the storyline, then they won't like it.
One final question, do you feel it is a necessity for anyone in the
entertainment business to take an attitude where they don't take the
fans too seriously? I was over at the Xena netforum not too long ago
and found a post where someone was taking shots at you. This was obviously
a disgruntled fan who said some very rude things because of the "Fins,
Femme's, and Gem's" script and considered you to be homophobic because
of some changes; note I don't share this opinion. Don't feel bad though;
there are much worse things said there about Rob Tapert and you even
find negative things said about Ted, Lucy, Renee, etc. Is it necessary
to just say that these things come with the territory and not take it
The chances are these days that whatever you get hired to direct the
script will be crap--most writing for TV and movies stink. In most cases,
you take what you're given and go do what you can with it. Most directors
are not writers and make no attempt at any rewriting, nor would they
be allowed to. I, on the other hand, have a bit more latitude in that
I am friends with Rob Tapert. On some other show I wouldn't even consider
making the changes that I do on "Xena."
The old expression goes, "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the
stage," meaning the show will never be any better than the script. If
you don't like episodes without Lucy--and neither do I--it doesn't really
matter who directs, Lucy still isn't in it.
And as a little note, don't feel apologetic about not liking something
I've done. If you feel like you want to critisize something of mine,
go ahead. I'm critical of most everything all the time.
Speaking of being critical, I don't give a shit what any fans say about
me. I don't do what I do to please fans. If they like what I do, great;
if not, fuck 'em.
Name: Brian Stavig
Remember me at the writers guild seminar- I had the screenplay about
my life with a traumatic brain injury?Should I do it as an independent
film? How should I start?
I remember you. If you've already got the script, then you have to
get the money. Once you have the money, check back.
What do you think about the low budget filmmakers that shoot on video?
You do whatever you've got to do to get a movie made. I just read,
however, that it cost $58,000 for some filmmakers to get their film
that they shot digitally back onto 35mm. That's a lot of money. considering
they spent that same amount shooting the picture. My film "Running Time"
was cheaper, shot on film, and, I have no doubt, looks 100% better.
Never forget that this is a visual medium. So far, both video and digital
don't look anywhere near as good as film, even 16mm. As soon as digital
or video resolution get anywhere close to film they will begin shooting
the sit-coms with it. On "ER" they shot an episode on video as though
it were being covered by a TV crew. Utilizing the same set and lighting,
we got to see what the difference between, I would just guess it was
Beta-Cam, and 35mm film. The difference is the world. Film is rich,
has depth and is enjoyable to look at; video (and digital) is flat and
somewhat offensive to look at. I have no doubt that it will get better.
Nevertheless, at this point in time, film is still much better looking.
I'm new to the xenaverse and I've been reading some posts over at the
Studios USA netforum that bash repeatedly Rob Tapert. I read on your
web page (I think in the evil dead article) that you know him. What's
he really like?
What can one say about someone they've known for 25 years? What I find
most ingratiating about Rob is that, given he's a bigshot TV producer,
if David Kelly and Steven Bocchco were standing on one side of the room
discussing the future of TV and a toothless Canadian fisherman holding
a flopping Walleye was on the other side, Rob would eagerly go speak
to the fisherman wanting to know where the fish were biting, then spend
an hour discussing lures.
Do you like Sam Fuller? If you do, what's your favorite film of his,
I like a number of his films, but I don't really love any of them.
I'm fond of: "Fixed Bayonets," "Pick-Up on South Street" and "The Baron
of Arizona." I went to Fuller's memorial at the DGA last year and Robert
Stack told a funny story. He came up to Fuller and said he had trouble
with one of his lines. Fuller responded, "Talk to the director." Stack
said, "But you're the director." "Then talk to the producer." Stack
said, "But you're the producer, too." Fuller replied, "Then I guess
Hi there, I just wanted to tell you that I just love your work on "Xena".
I think that you are one of the best directors for the show, well next
to Renee, she is pretty good too. Anyway, I was wondering if you are
going to be directing any of the season five episodes.
Thanks Your The Best!!
I certainly hope so.
josh, is there a sound track for strykers war if yes where can i get
it and if no where can i get it
You can't get it. Nor Joe LoDuca's scores from any of my films. It's
too bad, too, because they're damn good scores. Oh well.
Can you save money if you transferred film to video and then edited
on this format? Also, can 35mm be transferred straight from the negative?
That's how just about everything you see now is done, shot on film,
transfered to video (from the negative), then cut digitally. That's
how we cut Herc and Xena, that's how I cut "Running Time." It's only
cheaper if you have access to a non-linear editing system and someone
who knows how to use it. Cutting on film is still the cheapest method,
but it's complicated.
What kind of filmstock was Evil Dead filmed on?
I'm sure it's some 16mm Kodak stock that no longer exists, but it wasn't
very fast film. No more than 200 ASA, probably more like 125 ASA. Given
that, it sure looks lousy. The 35mm blow-up didn't help much, either.
Name: Maria Cruz
I absolutely loved the Xena episode you directed called "If the Shoe
Fits". Could you please tell all of us xenites out here what Lucy Lawless
is like in real life? Do you have any funny 'behind-the-scenes' stories
that you could share with us?
Lucy is a pleasant, funny, very bright person that's a complete pleasure
to work with. I can't think of any behind-the-scenes stories to tell.
One thing she does in that episode, that she thought up, that slaughters
me everytime I see it is in Aphrodite's version of Tyrella, when Lucy
is watching her mom with four beefy studs with her tongue hanging out
and says, "I'm dry as a lizard." I guess a funny behind-the-scenes story
with Lucy is when I first met her in 1993 when we were making "Hercules
and the Amazon Women." Lucy plays the second-in-command amazon to Roma
Downey of "Touched by an Angel." Anyway, I was the 2nd unit director.
The first time I saw Lucy I just thought she was incredible and I began
following her around the set--pretty obviously, too. And I kept saying
to her in a Cuban accent, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do." After
two days of this she finally came up to me and said, "That's from the
'I Love Lucy' show, right?" I nodded and smiled. She went on,"Oh, we
never got that down here in New Zealand." It seemed like a good time
to stop imitating Ricky Ricardo.
Name: Maria Monte de Rey
Hi Mr Becker,
Im deaf, I do speak very well. Im learning to write the script something
to do with hearing impaired among with hearing people on tv show or
movie. What spec script look like? is it long or short? I would be appericate
your comments. Thank you
I have five scripts posted on this site. Download "Cycles," which I
wrote as a spec script and sold for $68,000. A feature script is generally
between 100-130 pages.
Name: K. Black
I am in Houston and am finding the theatre/film/video community very
closed. I haven't gone to film school, just a B.A. in French and Theatre.
I am not meeting the right people or taking the correct courses to learn
about film & video. I love directing theatre and have a hard enough
time figuring out the community in that genre. My question: Do you have
any ideas on a "self-study" method of learning to become a film director?
I cannot do anything else. Hence, I am unemployed. :) Any response will
There are three things you can do: watch movies (and pay attention),
read books about it, and make your own films. Two books that I enjoyed
were "The Film Director" by Richard L. Bare and "Film Directing Shot
by Shot" by Steven Katz. Since there are innumerable reasons why you
would be better off not going for this, if you accept any one of them
then you're not a film director. I seem to quote this a lot, but Virgil
said, "They are able because they think they are able." I will also
now include Shakespeare's advice, "Be bold and mighty forces will come
to your aid."
I'm not sure if this movie is in your all time favorite movie list
yet, or not, but I think you absolutely NEED to see the classic "Zardoz".
Sean Connery brilliantly portrays Zed the "Exterminator", If anything
falls short of the mark in this movie it is the costumes, which aren't
extravagant enough for my tastes Regardless the nudity is itty, and
the plot makes you think. I want to hear your opinion on this masterpiece.
How would you have done things differently? Can this movie be any better?!
Look, you like "Zardoz," God bless you. I saw it when it came out,
and haven't seen it since, and it seemed to my 17 year old mind to be
a complete piece of crap. My problems with most SF movies is that I
was a SF literature fan for about ten years and something like "Zardoz"
seems like SF writing from 1931. It's unsophisticated, simple-minded
stuff. The big pay-off is "Wizard of Oz." I'm sorry, but that's stupid.
Name: Red River
Who do you think I am? Give some initials and I'll tell you if you
are correct. Okay, here's my question: If you could choose just one
film that embodied the sum total of what you think is great filmmaking,
what would it be, and why?
or you can just
call me Red
Perhaps because you won't give your e-mail address, it seems like you're
hiding your identity. Anyway, I suppose "Citizen Kane." It seems like
the last time someone really pushed the medium to its limits.
Name: M. Morningstar
Glad you liked the book. My question is: where do you buy stock news
footage from? And, how much does it cost?
If you purchase a copy of the "L.A. 411" book or "The Hollywood Flip
Book" (which I just bought), they have a complete listings of stock
footage houses. All of the TV networks sell stock news footage, too.
It's sold by the second and it depends on what rights you want, U.S.
video, worldwide video, U.S. TV, worldwide TV, theatrical, etc. It's
not cheap no matter what rights you want, but I don't recall the rates
I was just wondering if, as of June 4, if there was any copies of "Running
Time" left. I'm a big fan of both yourself and Bruce Campbell and I
would hate to find out that I waited too long to order the film. Thank
The notice on the front page says there are 10 tapes left; there's
10 tapes left.
Name: Red River
When you first left Michigan for Hollywood, what was your ultimate
goal? What did you want to achieve? And, what do you think your weakest
link with regards to filmmaking is? What area would you most like to
Are you someone I know hiding behind anonymity? Let's take this one
question at a time: My goal when I left Michigan for Hollywood was to
be a great writer/director. I wanted to achieve fame and fortune, as well as the respect of my peers
-- I ended up as a cashier in a delicatessen. My weakest link to filmmaking,
at least the Hollywood variety, is my inability and complete disinterest
in schmoozing. I would most like to improve my skills at getting a good
If you weren't a filmmaker, what other profession would you want to
be involved in? What are your other passions?
That's an interesting question and I appreciate interesting questions.
I think I would be a novelist or a playwright. If I could stay in the
film business, but not be a director or a writer, I'd be a cinematographer.
If I didn't smoke like a chimney, I fantasize about being a cruiserweight
boxer, although, having had TMJ problems my whole life, I probably have
a glass jaw. I suppose I could always open a hotline and answer movie
Name: Red River
I would like to know what steps you took to acquire an agent at ICM
when you were just starting out?
Dear Red River:
I hooked up with Jonathan Haze, star of the original "LIttle Shop of
Horrors," who was interested in getting "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . . Except"
made. He connected me up with the agent at ICM. This guy was exactly
the Martin Short character in "The Big Picture," "I don't know you,
I don't know your work, but you're a genius." Of course, after the first
meeting he never did shit and basically wasted 6 months of my life.
Name: Red River
I know that Bruce Campbell is writing a book about his experiences
in Hollywood; have you ever thought about writing a book like, "Rebel
Without a Crew" detailing your experiences?
Dear Red River:
If no one has heard of you no one wants your book. People have heard
of Bruce and Robert Rodriguez, they have not heard of me.
Name: Richmond Hargreaves
I was wondering about the movie 'Who's Afraid of Virginia
Wolf?' I am unsure what the relevence of Martha pretending that her
son has died? Also the game that George and Martha are playing, is it
really a game, or are they really cheating on each other.
I simply consider it an acting piece for four good actors. Perhaps
you should try getting in touch with the playwright, Edward Albee.
How much does it cost to make a movie? Actually, I’m curious about
average minimums for the type of movies you make. How much does it cost
to make a direct to video movie? Can you recommend a couple of good
books on the subject?
My film "Running Time" cost $120,000, "Titanic" cost $200 million,
all other films fall somewhere between there. You could even go cheaper
than "RT," but would be difficult to shoot on film. A friend of mine
is making a severely low-budget feature right now that he's mainly shooting
silent with his Bolex and I bet he ultimately doesn't spend $100,000,
maybe not even $50,000. There's all kinds of books on low-budget filmmaking
and film budgeting, but I have no suggestions since I don't read them.
Name: Sebastian Stzuk
I just wanted to say I am the biggest fan, not of your directing, though
it is good, and definitely not of your pathetic writing (thou shalt
not kill except) but of your bitching. You are the supreme belly-acher.
You should start a country band. I have never heard better pissing or
moaning! Abandon the rest of your psuedo talents immediately and take
up a full time job complaining. People could just come to you house
and you could bitch about any topic. Never before have a seen such a
pissed of person with so many views. Any newspaper would take you on
in a second. You could have your own regular column. It could be like
dear Abby and you would take people's letters and write how insignifigant
their problems are. Or, just have a little editorial and write about
how fucking shitty the world and especially entertainment is. I'd definately
Nearly 11,000 hits can't be wrong.
I just read what you wrote about some of the qualities it takes to
be a director. I know you may not have a definate answer to this question
but I was just looking for your opinion. As you may know Renee O'Connor
who you've directed many times recently moved behind the camera on Xena
and the episode was on just last week.
I know this was her first effort and she jumped right into the fire
so to speak doing a Xena, but you've worked with her and know her work
ethic and how she handles things on set. Do you feel she has the qualities
to be a good director if she focuses her work their later on. Also did
you see the episode and if so how do you think she did in her first
effort. I'm not sure how to judge directing, but I would have to say
in my opinion she did a heck of a job given the script she had to work
with especially given it was her first time.
I didn't see her episode and there's no way I could possibly judge
without seeing it. Renee's a wonderful, bright person, but those aren't
necessarily prerequisites for being a good director. Many good directors
have been complete failures as human beings. Being nice may not produce
the result your looking for. Luckily for me, I can be a total prick
anytime I want. I've never seen Renee be anything but sweet to everybody.
However, my grandmother used to say, "You get more flies with honey
than with vinegar."
When are you going to film a new "Xena" episode?
Sadly, I just turned one down because it conflicted with the film I'm
about to make. I hope to do another one ASAP, but it may very well not
be this year.
What is your screenwriting process? Does a story just come to you and
then you write it down? Or, are you the kind of person who writes on
a regular schedule; like a couple of hours every day? When you begin
writing a script, do you use a formal outline? Do you use note cards?
Do you usually have a three-act structure in mind? Do you listen to
music when you write? If you do, what kind? Are there any new screenwriters
in the Indie scene that you really like?
Thanks so much guy,
I am a writer so I write all the time: stories, essays, screenplays,
answers to questions like this. I sit and stare into space thinking
about stories all the time, which is where they usually come from, although
hot showers are a good place, too. I'm also a fan of marijuana, which
I find greases the imagination wheels, as does coffee and cigarettes
(alcohol, cocaine and all other drugs have never been of any help to
me so I don't like them). I outline everything, and until I know what
my three acts are I don't start the actual writing. I listen to KUSC,
the classical station, most of the day. I do switch over to jazz at
some point most days. I generally switch to rock & roll in the late
afternoon as a pick-me-up. And no, there are no indie screenwriters
that I admire. In fact, are there any indie screenwriters? Most low-budget
films are written by the director, most seemingly as an afterthought.
How come you've never gotten married? Do you have a serious girlfriend?
I'm not entirely sure. Probably because I have been so obsessed with
making movies. I haven't had a serious girlfriend in ten years. Some
guys are just bachelors, I suppose.
Name: M. Morningstar
Do you think being in Hollywood has tainted your view of filmmaking?
If you could go back and do it all over again (your career, that is)
what would you change? And, what have you wanted to achieve in your
career that you haven't yet? Lastly, do you consider yourself successful?
P.S. Oh yeah, who is your favorite screenwriter and why?
Dear Marjorie (I enjoyed Wouk's book, by the way):
22 years, on and off, in Hollywood has tainted my view of everything.
There just can't be a bigger, more poorly-run business in the world.
On the standard $60 million Hollywood film, $50 million is completely
wasted. If you grabbed every executive at every studio and put guns
to their heads they couldn't come up with one decent idea between them.
The last thing on Earth I'd want to do is go back and live my life
again. Between the ages of 5 and 35, life was a complete misery. It's
only started to get good in the past five years. Therefore, I wouldn't
change anything because I'm happy where I am.
In regard to achieving things I have yet to achieve, I have quite a
few scripts that I'd still like to shoot. Each of these independent
features is such an ordeal, and none of them has really made any profit
yet, so I never know if I'll ever make another one. I'd love to achieve
a good solid source of financing and distribution, with no knuckle-headed
strings attached, but that's probably just a dream.
I am a success because I make the films I want to make. Thank God for
"Xena" so that I actually make a living.
I don't really have a favorite screenwriter. I admire: Paddy Cayefsky,
Dudley Nichols, Horton Foote, William Inge (who was mainly a playwright,
but his plays made terrific movies), Michael Wilson, Carl Foreman, Robert
Bolt, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (and his brother,
Herman), John Huston, Edward and Edna Anhalt, William Goldman, Irving
Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., Daniel Taradash, Dalton Trumbo, Robert
Towne, Howard Koch.
Name: John Robie
I want to know what qualities you think a good director
should have? More specifically, what do you think it is that makes a
director great? Lastly, what kind of training would you recommend to
a person who wants to be a director? Film School? Internships?
The main quality, I believe, is taste. What actually is good? To achieve
this I believe that you must have a critical facility, the ability to
say, "I like this and here's why" or "I don't like this and here's why."
Being a director is making decisions and imposing your point of view
anywhere and everywhere all over the film. Since theoretically every
department is carrying out my wishes, now, what the hell am I asking
for? Is it rational or is it stupid? To have a critical facilty, I think
you need to try to see every movie ever made and read every book ever
written, and short of that, just do the best you can. Film school or
internships are better than not doing anything at all, but you'll get
more from watching everything on Turner Classic Movies for a year, if
you pay attention.
GOOD LORD!!! HOW COULD IT BE PUT BETTER? I could not stand out of sight.
Unfortunatly i work at a video store and since i get free rentals i
decided to take a look at "OUT OF SIGHT" which was being rented too
much. I watched it and it made no sense. They switched times without
captions which confused me they switched scenarios without telling you
and it confused the FUCK out of me. i could barely understand what was
going on. Besides the story was almost totally boring, it seemed like
just a ploy to make money off of the recent fame of george clooney and
Jennifer Lopez at the time. Cant movies be made for artistic talent
anymore? Im gonna agree on the leangth of movies also some movies are
just totally too long for pace. The only movie that actually kept me
seated for the whole time was THE MATRIX which i was surprised that
it was actually good. I left the theater not realizing id just sat for
2 and a half hours thinking it was only an hour. it seemed TOO SHORT.
thats how good it was. Josh if i were to recommend a movie id say see
the matrix. and if youve seen it id like youre opinion on it.
I haven't seen "The Matrix," nor do I want to. As Bruce Campbell said,
"If you have to fall back on five big set-pieces with automatic weapon
fire and martial arts, you cannot make a good movie." He said that there
might have been a few interesting ideas, but the were squashed beneath
producer Joel Silver's need to give the audience the exact same shit
every single time. I must also add, having been a big science fiction
fan in my youth, "The Matrix" sounds like a really dumb SF idea. We're
all trapped in a computer or video game is a stupid idea. SF literature
moved past where SF movies presently are in about 1935. But if you liked
it, God bless you.
Name: Leo G.F. Landry
Am enjoying your website, which I just "discovered." No questions,
except one quick one at the end. When I read your article about the
Walk of Fame, my reaction was: well, with all the steady work you've
been doing over the years, surely by NOW you have the 4800 bucks. After
all, you wrote that piece in 1991, so after 8 years if you'd saved $600
a year for each of those 8, you'd have the cash ready to hand over to
the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce!
Or has the price gone up since then?
No doubt it has gone up. I need all of my money to make my movies.
Well to elaborate on my earlier comment on TSNKE. What I meant by "very
different I haven't seen anything like it before" is that the idea was
very original and there isn't any other movie with a plot like that
and it was quite enjoyable to be able to see an movie that didn't have
a plot that's been done somany times that you know everything that is
going to happen before seeing the movie. Sorry if the comment sounded
negitive it was late and I probably wasn't paying too much attention
to what I was writing. I really enjoyed TSNKE and i hope i can find
it somewhere so I can purchase it...but so far no luck with that.
It's not that you sounded negative, which you certainly have the right
to sound if that's how you feel, I just wanted more of an explanation.
When I set up this website and posted these articles and essays and
scripts, I was sort of hoping people would read them and discuss them
-- as well as possibly seeing my films and discussing them, too. That
hasn't been the case. As for getting "Thou . . ." try blockbuster online.
Well I am proud to say that I have now seen Running Time, Lunatics,
and TSNKE. I just got done watching TSNKE it was very good. Very Different
I have never seen anything like it before, so it was a good change.
I do love my video store they have both Lunatics and TSNKE so thanks
to them i got to see both. I don't have any questions sorry. Keep up the great work and i can't wait to see your next film. Good
luck with it.
Perhaps you could elaborate a bit on "Very different, I have never
seen anything like it before."
I apologize for the amount of questions up front, I have been saving
them for a while.
Thank you for your time.
OK, you win for the most questions I've ever gotten at one time. I'll
take them one by one . . .
|1) If you used ASA 64, how did you light the shot with BC going through
|I didn't light it, it's entirely natural lighting. I did, however,
walk through the tunnel numerous times in advance with a light meter
to convince myself I'd get an exposure.
|2) After reading your piece on William Wyler, I see you admired him
for his diversity, what do you think of film makers who work within
the same boundaries for the majority of their career?
|Generally, I think it's a drag. There is Alfred Hitchcock, whom I
admire greatly, but the least interesting aspect of his career to me is his
material. Admittedly, whenever he made anything other than a suspense
film it sucked, so he was much better off sticking to the genre he knew
best and loved. Nevertheless, I am a big admirer of diversity.
|3) Having an obvious distaste for all current films, how do your filmmaking
peers react to your opinions? And have you had any confrontations?
|They think I'm slightly crazy and somewhat hysterical. My good friend
and co-producer, Jane Goe, says that I occasionally sound like a crazy
man standing on the corner screaming about socialism. I used to have
so many confrontations that this was one of the major contributing factors
to my stopping seeing new films. Like right now, I do not need to argue
with everybody about "Star Wars." The last thing on earth
I'm interested in seeing is a sequel to a sequel to a sequel.
|4) Can you take anything away from a film that you did not like? ie,
it was well edited, the music was emotive etc...
|Sure, but who cares? As I've said before, all reviews now begin with
"The story sucked, but the effects were great" or "The
story blew, but cinematography was beautiful." For instance, "Wyatt Earp"
is a dreadful, awful, overlong mess, but Owen Roizman's photography is stunning. What
I learn from that is, if you can afford Owen Roizman your film will
|5) No pun intended, was the running time of "Running Time"
a major factor in the film not getting theatrical distribution? If it
was did you think about shooting additional material? And do distributers
give reasons why films are or are not picked up?
|The running time of "Running Time" was undoubtedly a factor
in it's not getting a theatrical release, as was the black and white, and the 16mm.
This was my most extreme example of thumbing my nose at convention.
If what "they" want is not a consideration, then the only
consideration is what's best for the film. "Rope" is 80 minutes
and it's too long. I wasn't going to do that. I worked from a 73 page
script and got a 70 minute movie. I would like to think that the film
is refreshing in its not being too long, as I find most movies to be.
And sure, distributors seemed all too happy to explain why they didn't
want the film.
|6) Have you ever liked a film for technical accomplishment alone?
|All the time, but not a lot.
|7) Would you ever take a job on a project that was developed by someone
else, under any circumstances?
|Look, I'm like an old, one-eyed whore that nobody wants to fuck. If
I have any integrity at all it's because all the rejection forced it
on me. Nobody else wants to make my pictures so I have to make them
myself. If Walter Hill offered me "Alien 5," for instance,
even though I am adamantly against sequels and hated Alien 3 & 4,"
I'd take it in a heartbeat. The fee would undoubtedly be more money
than I've ever seen in my life. Then I'd take my new found riches and
go make more independent films. Does it seem like I've thought about
|8) Have any of the people who have asked your advice on filmmaking
come to you with a finished product yet?
|No, no movies. A few scripts which stunk, but that's it.
|Lastly I realy enjoyed Running Time and hope the film gets seen by
a wider audience. I would like to thank you for sending and signing
my copy. Good luck on your next film. Would it be possible to add an
addition to your site dedicated to your new film, with updates on progress
and maybe even a journal.
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