I'm really interested in getting into film making when
i get older, but im not sure where to start. I have
a friend whose uncle produced some indie movies, also
Rumble In The Bronx. And she said I could get a job
as a PA or something this summer on her uncle's set,
if he gets out of this trial he's in cuz some chinese
guys are ripping his movies onto DVD.
I hope I can get a job on that set this summer, but
what after that??? I have TONS of ideas for sketches
and movies, but I'm just too busy as it is to really
start anything big. But I'm wondering right now if I
should bother going to film school after High School.
I know Bruce hated it, since he said so in his book,
but what should I do?
Anyways, I just want to let you know of a nice little
indie movie that was on CBC a few years back. (That's
right; way up here in Canada.) Anyways, this guy I knew
in Grade 4 was in it. It's called 'Little Criminals'.
I know you're busy and all, but if you get a chance,
check it out. It's amazing. I'm not going to say alot
about the movie, but it's great how Canada, of all places,
decided to finance a GOOD movie. It's about this kid
whose in a gang, and he came from the wrong side of
the tracks. My jaw dropped when I saw what was going
on in this. This guy I knew in Grade 4 gets payed to
swear at people and light houses on fire! SWEET! It's
really dramatic and intense, so you should take a peek
if you ever get the chance. (Good luck though, because,
being from up here in Canada and all, the tapes made
of ice or something, and it probably melted a long time
Anyways, just want to tell you you rule, and keep doing
what youre doing. Anyways, I'll cya later Josh.
"I hate McDonalds" Jones
keep my eyes peeled for it. I grew up watching CBC in
Detroit. Back in the 1960s when everyone else in the
U.S. only had three channels -- ABC, NBC, and CBS --
we in Detroit felt very lucky to also have CBC. Anyway,
take the PA job and see where it leads. Being a PA is
Diane & Jeffrey Heinz
seems that you know so much about .99 cents stores as
indicated by your enlighting and humorous monologue.
Would you happen to know how to get one off the ground.
Where do they find the products they sell? Your help
would be greatly appreciated.
Diane & Jeff
don't officially know anything about them, it was all
based on observation. I do think they're a good idea
and the one I lived across the street from was always
jammed. They finally had to start opening an hour earlier
and staying open later to accommodate all the customers.
That seems like a good business. Good luck to both you.
E-mail: not important
hey Josh ....
just read your comments to "stephanie". Is
it a figment of my imagination, or isn't the oldest
Raimi a female? And... is it true (or not) that she
has a bit part in Spidey?
Andrea is the oldest of the Raimi kids. Andrea and my
older sister Ricki were good buddies in high school
and were two of the biggest troublemakers in the neighborhood.
I don't know if Andrea is in "Spiderman" or
saw "The Quiet Man" on your list of films
you watched the most and was wondering if you've ever
seen a good print of the film. I got the DVD and it
looked like a second generation VHS copy. So I rented
the VHS and it looked even worse; ditto for it on television.
the negative destroyed or something? It's a really beautiful
film and I'd love to see a clean print of it someday.
Hopefully it'll be restored for it's 50th anniversary
and given a limited theatrical release but I doubt it.
I really think you should just delete all questions
about "Memento" until you actually see the
film. I don't know what kind of answer people are expecting
from you but if someone feels the need to write about
the film, they should at least spell the title correctly
since their statement loses all credibility if they
don't. Also, try to see it in wide screen if you can
because it was filmed in scope and looses some of it's
effect (and a lot of picture) panned and scanned.
have seen good prints of "The Quiet Man."
It's a bitch that the DVD doesn't look very good. I
checked if there was a Criterion version, but didn't
see one. Meanwhile, every film looks bad panned and
scanned and I avoid them all like the plague.
you think "Diabolique", the 1955 can be considered
a classic? have you seen it? if so, can you tell me
what you think?
is this Soul Possession that people talk about? I am
just curious on what it is about and details about it
because I haven't heard of it before I went to this
site and the archives.
know, I haven't seen "Diabolique," either
version. I do like "Wages of Fear," though,
which is by the same director, Henri-Georges Clouzot.
"Soul Possession," by the way, was the last
episode of "Xena" that I directed.
Dear Josh and Bill,
personally think that Memento is a film that simply
does not need to be a film that has to be using the
house analogy. I do not even think that structure should
be used in a film like Memento. What I am trying to
make clear is, if it used the structure, the film would
of been practically boring and dull. The premise for
it has been used over and over again. And frankly, I
am tired of it. I am sure that Christopher Nolan knew
himself that it would have been pointless to use the
structure because it would have been just another film.
When he put things upside down, he used a sort of style
that is never ever used. The backward/reverse style.
He stunned the viewer, pure and simple. He surprised
the viewer, that is all I have to say. Films like that
are sussposed to be without the structure with roofs
four walls and a foundation for a ceiling. As far as
the the film consisting of the same scene being repeated
over and over for 90 minutes. That is an untrue statement.
Like I said, Christopher Nolan used his own style to
put the story to screen. He wanted the audience to think
and think over again. Because that is what you got to
do, you have to think. I can gaurentee that watching
that film once is not enough. You will miss out on everything
if you view it once. So many things go on, that it is
impossible to catch it all. If you have watched it only
once and understood every aspect, I will have to give
you credit. Along with that, Christopher's independent
debut, Following, Dead Ringers and Insomnia, they are
films that are just wholly original, untouchable, and
deserbed to be considered fantastic in every sense.
love this whole raging debate over "Memento,"
which I haven't even seen. I personally don't think
any film is "untouchable." If it can't stand
up to criticism, it's got problems. Nevertheless, clearly
you like the picture and that's nice. However, since
I haven't seen the film, this is probably an inappropriate
place to be discussing it.
non-fiction list, but the fiction list is highly idiosyncratic
and mostly looks like it was referenced from films made
out of the books. Now, what I'd really like to see is
a film made out of Gravity's Rainbow. It would have
to be on a scale like Berlin Alexanderplatz, however!
Maybe then the book would make your list...
I found your web site because I was looking up info
on the battle of Belleau Wood for my ex-father-in-law.
His father, and therefore my daughter's great grandfather,
was D.E. Gardner, said to be one of the higher ranking
U.S. soldiers who survived Belleau Wood. D.E. was a
personal favorite of Gen. Pershing. I am hoping to learn
more about him for the family archives. So how did you
get interested in that particular battle? What do you
think are the best research sources? I have been to
Verdun and other battle sites (Normandy on the 50th
anniversary in '94 was unbelievable) but not Belleau
Wood. I hope to get over there in the next couple of
years. Enjoyed your screenplay. --Richard G.
haven't read "Gravity's Rainbow." The only
Pynchon I've read was "The Crying of Lot 59"
and I didn't like it, so I wasn't about to approach
his other enormous tomes. The best book I found about
Belleau Wood, as well as being the only book specifically
about it, was "At Belleau Wood" by Robert
Asprey. I found a surprising lack of information about
that battle in all the major books on WWI. The whole
thing is generally shrugged off in a page or two. My
interest in that battle began many years ago when I
ran across a reference to it in some other book. It's
a very important battle, nobody knows anything about
it, and there's never been a film on the subject (King
Vidor's silent classic, "The Big Parade,"
is supposedly set at Belleau Wood, but you wouldn't
necessarily know that from watching it). I say it was
the turning point of WWI, but that's my assessment.
E-mail: Have it already:)
looved your "anserr" to Ben (you are too funny!).
I have emailed before and just wanted to say that I
just saw Running Time and loved it! Well done! The cast
couldn't have been better! Now I have seen it and Lunatics,
and a few episodes of Xena. I must say-I do like you
as an actor though. I saw "Mosquito" purely
by accident once and though I didn't care for the film-I
thought you were a doll!:) And I usually don't like
older men (I'm only 23). Anyway, I have a few questions-I
hope you don't mind. Some may be dumb to you but I am
so so curious. How old is Ivan (I know he is the oldest-I
think) Raimi and what sort of doctor is he? Does he
practice currently or is he "in the business"
(writing, etc.)??? Has Bruce's wife, Ida ever done any
acting? Just wondering because I have never even seen
a picture of her and can't help but wonder since I've
read so much about her. Do you know when Lucy is due
(pregnancy)? And last (I don't mean to "stir"
anything up either and hope you don't get bombarded
now) but is there a way to obtain an autograph from
you? Anyway at all??? I have looked on ebay before and
never come up with anything. Please let me know. Ok,
that's it... Thanks bunches!:)
for the kind words. Let's see, Ivan is two years older
than me, so he's 45. He is an emergency room doctor,
and is presently living in North Carolina with his wife
and two children. Ivan and Sam still write together
occasionally, too. Bruce's wife Ida was a costume designer,
which is how they met. She's now back in school and
running their lavender farm. Bruce is the actor in the
family. I'm not sure when Lucy is due, maybe four or
five months. Regarding an autograph, when this has arisen
before Shirley, the webmaster here, has supplied an
address for you to send a SASE, which she'll forward
to me and I'll send you an autograph.
have the Postal Service deliver it to:
c/o P.O. Box 86
East Vassalboro, ME 04935
I'll forward it to Josh.
am an asian american. I would like to know what you
think about all the recent films using kung-fu action
scenes. I'm tired of movies with no plot but lots of
huge big-budget action scenes. i apreciate your time
that Kung-fu crap bores me to tears. I never cared for
it to start with, but after shooting a hundred Kung-fu
style fights on Herc and Xena, I now really, really
don't care. I like the films of Akira Kurosawa and Zhang
Hey there Josh!
you please tell me what are some good indepedent films
that you would recommend (short list here, something
good)? Keep on making the movies and essays...they're
awesome! Thank you
liked "Pi." I just saw "The Incident,"
and interesting independent from 1967 that was Martin
Sheen's film debut. Two thugs take over a subway train
car and terrorize everybody in pretty much real time.
Otherwise, I've got no recent recommendations.
to what many have said, Momento is not the masterpiece
that everyone is saying it is. First of all, if your
using the house analogy, Momento is a structure with
roofs for walls and a foundation for a ceiling. The
film consists of the same scene being repeated over
and over for 90 minutes; with slight variations that
do little to propel the story. Guy pierce is also one
of the worst actors I have ever seen. He couldn't hold
an American accent to save his life, and he is as dull
as a rice cake. through out the entire film, Pierce's
character doesn't change, grow, or evolve. In the opening
frame of the film, his character has already passed
the point of no return,thus he never changes or has
a need to. Finally,the repetition of the same three
scenes is just annoying. If you must see this trash,
then definitly wait for cable, but I can almost garantee
that you will hate it and Chris Nolan.
I was watching the Billboard Music Awards and saw Scott
Speigel's name in the credits. Do you have any idea
what he might have done for it? I didn't catch the actual
position credit, just his name. Take care.
have no idea what Scott might have done on an awards
show. Perhaps he was one of the writers. I'll catch
"Memento" on cable and not a second before.
Quite frankly, it sounds awful to me.
Lee A. Chrimes
real questions, just saying that I spent a day reading
pretty much every script on your site and thought they
were pretty good! I particularly liked "Running
Time, " "Lunatics" and "Cleveland
Smith." Hopefully we'll see "Cycles"
on a screen and not left in a studio somewhere, too..
You're an inspiration to indie filmwriters and makers
everywhere, Josh, keep it up!
fear that "Cycles" is in a shit-heap somewhere
and will never be resurrected. I'm glad you enjoyed
your Q&A, you said you've used the Canon Scoopic
16 and you made 2 movies with it. What's the tiles of
those movies and how can I obtain them.
shot both "Torro, Torro, Torro!" and "Cleveland
Smith Bounty Hunter" with the Canon Scoopic, and
neither film is officially available except for bootleg
copies at conventions. Sorry. I also shot a few pickup
scenes for my film TSNKE with the Scoopic. I think it's
a good camera, with a sharp lens (that's not changable),
and good movement for animation.
recently reading a Bob Dylan biography, and especially
enjoying the parts about the folk movement of the early
1960's. Anyway, I then got to thinking about your film
and I highly am looking forward to whenever (and if
ever) it should be released.
anyway, my questions. What kind of research did you
do before writing the screenplay to "If I Had A
Hammer"? (if any) and are you in, any respect,
a fan of Dylan's music?
such an original idea to set it in that time period,
lots of drama and I really don't think i've seen a film
that took a look at that particular folk scene of those
early 60s years.
take care, and though i've not asked many questions
within the last few months (mainly because all the good
ones were asked), I still check the site usually weekly.
I am a fan of Bob Dylan. My alternate title was "The
Times They Are A-Changin'," which is a Dylan song,
but a tad too on the nose for the film's title. Dylan
is made reference to several times in the film, and
a song he covered on his first album, "In My Time
of Dyin'," is also performed in the film. Since
I happen to be a fan of that music and have a number
of folk records, like The Weavers; Peter, Paul &
Mary; The Kingston Trio, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie,
etc., as well as the fact that I was alive in 1964 and
remember it, researching the time period was easy. I
spoke with the kind folks at Anchor Bay the other day
and they said they were ready to do the deal on "If
I Had a Hammer." I'll let everyone know when it
am sure you have heard this question before, if not,
then I will shoot it to you, if you do not mind.
am postive that my two ideas for films are pretty good
ones. Now, in order to share these ideas with producers,
how must I do it? Do I have to present them with a first
draft screenplay of the ideas? Or do I have to present
them with the idea and if they like the idea, then do
they give me the go ahead to start writing? I am sorry,
I just do not know how it works. And I thought if I
went to someone who does know, it would be more informative.
got to write the script. Nobody will do any deals based
on a treatment or a synopsis anymore -- that's called
a development deal. They might with very well-established
people, but certainly not an unknown. So, good luck
with the writing.
was just wondering if you could narrow down your favorite
films. I know you've got the other list, but do you
have a top ten or maybe even an all time favorite?
P.S. Has there ever been a film that you once loved
but now absolutely hate?
actually constantly impressed with my own taste at younger
ages. If I liked a film when I was 12, I will generally
still like it when I see it again. This just happened
with a film called "Popi," which I saw when
it came out in 1969 when I was eleven and quite liked.
I saw it again last year and it was pretty good. I am,
however, ready to remove "Jurassic Park" and
"ET" from my fav list, which I don't think
hold up. Meanwhile, here is a list of films I've seen
more than any others:
1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather Part 2
3. Lawrence of Arabia
4. The Bridge on the River Kwai
5. The Best Years of Our Lives
6. The Big Country
7. Friendly Persuasion
8. Black Narcissus
10. From Here to Eternity
12. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
13. The Member of the Wedding
14. The Quiet Man
15. How Green Was My Valley
list goes on and on . . .
E-mail: u already have it
1 of ur epps fins fems and gems gabrielle was lying
on the ground and xena was about 2 give her mouth to
mouth. it looked like rennee spat in2 lucy's mouth.
did either of them comment on this? plus r u always
present in readthroughs of epps that u have made.
thanx sooooo much
was business that Lucy and Renee worked out. I must
say that I really do like that episode, it has many
good laughs. And yes, I was at all the read-throughs
of all my eps. I don't know about other directors, but
I really ran my read-throughs, as I read all the stage
directions and the parts of any actors not present.
We would also quickly discuss each scene after reading
it, which is when I'd make many of my suggestions for
got this Rob Tapert quote he said at the Anchorbay Evil
"I've sort of been authorized to make some sort
of statement... and Sam, Bruce and I want to make a
good, old fashioned independent film. Sam directing,
Bruce starring. Whether or not that will be an Evil
Dead sequel, I don't know if any of us know that. But
this project is something we are definately moving forward
Will you be involved w/ this project? It's very cool
that you guys are still in touch and able to speak well
of each other. That is very rare.
don't know what he's talking about, and he didn't mention
my name, did he? If they ever do make ED4 it's got nothing
to do with me, I didn't work on 2 or 3.
Daniel B. McMillan
not sure whether to be sorry, or appreciative of you
leaving LA. You see I had the same dream, worked for
10 years in Detroit doing FX, looking for a way to become
a Director on other peoples money. I met Bruce and Sam
in 1981, and met you at a pajama party in Bloofield
Hills. Nathan White, many others. In about 1991 I took
a sabatical from art, design and FX and joined IATSE
in Reno. Then went on to work in computer games. However,
the old love never dies - if in fact it was true love.
Never give up, in fact, it is time to re-invent Hollywood
(the best things about the craft) all over the states
now. Technology has provided the path, and DV has provided
the low-cost high quality method. Now it's just finding
the funds which, no matter where/who you are is always
the staple challenge. I have periodicall looked at your
aite over time, because you were a name I remeber, and
a friend of Bruce (who I like to think of is my friend
also - I mean at least he still keeps in touch) and
hey, if you ever get a chance - I've got a project that
is gaining some momentum, as continue to develop marketing
for it, check out http://cosmicorigins.com
(click on Film Development). As you will see, I never
did the LA circuit. Decided to find another path less
wanted to thank you for posting your heart here, so
that I could realize perhaps I did make the right choice.
There really needs to be an awakening of intelligence,
and by slap or by being dilluted it is coming (and has
been for quite some time). It's never really been about
power or money. It all started with simple inspiration.
Someone was first, and the rest didn't want to be left
out. But the heart of the matter, please don't lose
heart, or if you do for a little while, re-group, and
look for another open door. God pours out his blessings
upon all. Peace, and Happy Holidays.
remember the pajama party, that's where everybody's
wallets got stolen, if I recall correctly. I do agree
that it's time for Hollywood to be reinvented, although
I don't think digital video has anything to do with
it. Anyway, I haven't lost heart. I'm just doing my
own thing in my own way. Good luck to you on your project.
it going over there? I wish you the best of luck with
"Warpath". Anything new about it? Is it the
project definite? If so, I really would not be able
to wait. I mean, come on, its Josh Becker taking on
a Western. It does sound like it would be an appealing
absolutely nothing definite about it. It's simply an
idea right now. The script isn't even finished. There's
a good, solid chance it may never happen. We'll have
was asking question abot yur work and how much munney
you make for jobs?
thanyou for anserring
sometimes make many munneys, then other times I make
not so many munneys. That's my anserr.
just want to start with saying that I am a big fan of
your work and you have really inspired me to become
a screenwriter and directer.
was just thinking about this not so long ago and I have
this theory that I cannot explain but maybe you can
help me with my ideas.
I recently watched "Death Wish", "Death
Wish II", and "Death Wish III". "Death
Wish", the original was okay, but nothing great.
And I know the rest are nothing special. But it did
make me start thinking. While I viewed I & II, I
realized that there were very, very interesting camera-angles
and shots. I was surprised because if someone can direct
shots and everything that perfect, then how come they
do not work well with other aspects of directing. Yeah,
my thoughts are nothing much, but I just felt that was
a bit of something interesting thing, so I shared it.
I hope I didn't annoy you with it.
What do you think about foreigner filmmakers? Some say
that they can make the best films if they wanted to.
What would you say?
who, for instance? There have certainly been great foreign
filmmakers over the course of time. Now, however, I
think that's just a standard response when someone says
movies stink, someone else will say, but the independents
and foreign films are still good. Admittedly, I haven't
seen many foreign films lately, but the independents
are no better than Hollywood dreck, and I don't think
there's very much going on in foreign cinema, either.
And I must say that I don't really know what the heck
you're talking about regarding the "Death Wish"
movies. The first one is an okay if somewhat simple-minded
film. The others are complete shit. That they have decent
photography is no big surprise, they're Hollywood pictures
with real cinematographers, why wouldn't they look professional?
know this might be completly random, but do you ever
get horribly stupid questions that you just wish whoever
wrote the question would spontaneously combust? i'm
sure you have but have any been funny in anyway? or
question that was worth answering, and many that weren't,
are all available in the Q&A
archives. If I don't answer a question it's generally
because it's stupidly insulting or just plain dumb,
meaning there probably wasn't a question there.
site. Love the writings. Maybe its just me but as I
see it the only good thing to come out of today's entertainment
industry is the commentary tracks on DVDs. For instance
take Willy Wonka , a pretty entertaining movie but not
one I'd really go out of my way to see again. However
the commentary track by the five kids who starred in
it is surprisingly entertaining and funny. I enjoyed
the commentaries on your Thou Shalt Not Kill Except,
which I think is one of the craziest movies I've ever
seen (I mean that in a good way)... glancing thru your
movie selections I would like to see commentary tracks
for Year of Living Dangerously--Harold and Maude--Ghost
and Mr. Chicken--Rosemary's Baby--mainly ones with at
least one main star still living.
wouldn't care to elaborate on your "one of the
craziest movies I've ever seen" comment, I'm interested
to know why.
E-mail: upon request
Josh and his "Peaceable Kingdom" !
am so smitten with you and your little
feline minions right now! I flatter myself to think
you went ahead with getting all 3 siblings 'cause my
pesky post was in the back of your mind, heheh. Tell
us about their first day home. Were they nervous, or
confidently curious from the get-go? Do they jump on
your lap while you're typing, or plop themselves on
your papers when you try to work?
Bridget's little white slip on her nose is sweetly ridiculous,
the perfect bullseye for smooching. And that Anna's
got a gleam in her eye, I'd keep watch with her.
So, is a Staywell pet door in the cards for them?
glad to see we're talking about Soul Poss. again. I'd
had some questions about what you mentioned, the issue
of filling in plot holes. But, then thought you wouldn't
want to be bothered because you'd requested no trivia,
and you were only shown Sacrifice and Deja Vu (as I
recall?) for primers, so you wouldn't particularly be
knowledgeable about the die hard fans' continued puzzlement.
After all you didn't write the ep. LOL, you've probably
gotten some crazed vicious mail @ it anyway. I loved
the comedy of it.
my guesses for the improved lines:
--Josh wrote on the set: "Well, we asked for Bruce
Campbell but he wanted too much $$$." (by the way,
did you tell him about that, and did he laugh?)
--Joxer: "Hey Jelly Butt..." (my guess is
several nastier terms were tried in rehearsal!)
--Meg: "Hey these cherries cost 2 dinars a bushel
!" (by the way, her whip cream bikini went for
auction online, minus the cherries nipples! I guess
they were indeed valuable!)
--Mattie checking the mail: "...S & M catalogs..."
--Annie: "Harry and Harry's Ho"
the cat door is coming. I was looking at them yesterday,
but it's so cold and rainy I don't want to work on it
now. Besides, I only let them out for a few hours a
day at this point because they're still babies. They
are on the table in front of me at this very second.
The best spot it appears is on the shelf on top of the
scanner, right in front of my face -- it's warm, they're
right near me, and they can see out the window, too.
Meanwhile, your guesses at some of the improvised lines
is very accurate, although they're not all mine. The
BC line was, of course. I never told him about it, so
I don't know if he's aware of it. Ted and I worked out
the "Jelly butt, I mean buns of steel" line.
Kevin Smith had another funny improv line there that
got cut. He appeared and said, "Why are you talking
about my ass?" Yes, the "Cherries are 2 dinars
a bushel" was my line, as was the use of the cherries
to start with. When Rob Tapert saw it he nixed the cherries,
then Lucy demanded they be put back, God bless her.
The S&M catalogs line was Renee's, and the Harry
ho line was Lucy's, but you're very right, they were
all additions to the script.
Cynthia E. Jones
reading your statement on Soderbergh's "jerking
off," ("Out of Sight," being the Clooney
film I believe you are referring to) I have a comment
for you. Some filmmakers, like Peter Greenaway, think
of film as yet another art form, literally. Like Andy
Warhol's "Sleep," or recent pieces being shown
in art galleries in New York and San Francisco, where
the film itself is like a painting. Greenaway feels
that American filmmakers are obsessed with 'story,'
and that isn't always the only thing that exists. As
such, some people working today (Aronofsky, for one,
and Soderbergh--see "Schizopolis" for a pure
version of his "jerking off") think that blending
'art' and 'story' are acceptable. As a visual artist,
I yearn for moments of art in film, and wonder where
they are most of the time, particularly in American
cinema, independent or otherwise.
understand your view. You remind me of my filmmaking
teacher in college, a realism fan who loved Cassavetes.
He hated Greenaway for the exact same reason I love
him: 'too theatrical.' Sometimes, I WANT to know that
I'm watching a movie, just like I WANT to know that
I'm looking at a painting. Sometimes I like freeze frames,
extreme close-ups, and the like. I don't know if it's
good storytelling, but I do consider it to be art, when
it's done well.
I think it's perfectly fine to make five or ten minute
films that do absolutely anything, like the artsy-fartsy
films of Stan Brakhage or Norman McLaren. I'm referring
to the feature film form, meaning over an hour long.
Artsy-fartsiness will NOT carry a feature. The feature
film form is about story. Within that one can get arty,
but it must serve the story. When someone like Soderbergh
is telling us an utterly run-of-the-mill Elmore Leonard
story like "Out of Sight," then does dumb
crap like freeze-frames for no good reason, that's called
pretentiousness. To me there's nothing worse than being
pretentious, I think it's worse than being inept; at
least there's an honesty in ineptitude. I personally
can't stand the films of Peter Greenaway, which I find
pretentious and dull in the extreme. My one absolute
contention is that being dull is being bad and a failure.
Period. Dullness is the easist affect to achieve in
film and the worst filmmakers achieve regularly. A friend
of mine wrote a script, which I read and commented that
it was pointless. He lit up and said, "That's the
point! There is no point." Well, whether you arrive
at pointlessness on purpose or by mistake, you've arrived
in the same place. And pointlessness and dullness are
for the birds. A true film artist was David Lean--he
could tell great stories witt a tremendous visual flair
that aided in the storytelling. I'll take "Lawrence
of Arabia" over all the artsy-fartsy films any
day of the week. Lean actually achieved art in film;
Greenaway is pretending.
for the wooded north lands of OR Monday. Looking forward
to life in the Cascades. Weather gonna kill us on the
way out? Heard 84 is full of snow around Pendelton.
the way, do you have any distribution ideas for "Warpath"
or are you just making another movie to keep your sanity?
Perhaps with Bruce in it that'll bring it a little extra
something. Also, I'm curious, you said with "Hammer"
the one picture that got you up and writting the story
was Welles' "The Magnificent Ambersons" and
that with "Running Time" it was Hitchcock's
"Rope". Is there a picture that inspired "Warpath"?
a good one.
sure is a lot of weather up here. It's been four different
days already -- pouring, drizzling, clear & gorgeous,
and pouring again -- and it's only 10:00 AM. The inspiration
for "Warpath" is Anthony Mann's "The
Naked Spur," although the stories bear very little
resemblance. Basically, though, they're both the story
of three people out in the middle of nowhere in the
old west. Three people is more than sufficient for plenty
of good drama, and the rest is beautiful scenery. In
"Warpath" we're implying that there is a huge
Indian war going on just outside our frame, but we don't
get to see it, just remnants of it: arrows in trees,
a burnt-out wagon, smoke on the horizon, distant drumbeats,
etc. The idea is to make a high quality, seemingly high-budget,
picture with no money. It's an interesting challenge,
I read your piece on bailing out and I sympathize completely.
I made most of my living doing visual effects and I
agree totally that there is a tail wagging the dog approach
with effects that has nearly destroyed the cinema. What
is worse for the effects artisans is that they are no
longer regarded as craftspeople who take pride in there
work. The corporitization of this business has dehuminized
a lot of very talented people. Young people who want
to get into effects at ILM have to understand that it
has turned into putting hubcaps on fords and the days
of the lone animator slaving away to contribute to a
good film has become a romantic notion of the past.
You and I are contemporaries that entered Hollywood
at the same time and I feel that I've seen the best
of it ,in my field anyway, in the late 70s. People could
express themselves, be artisans have a pride of authorship
and most importantly BE APPRECIATED!
cannot tell you how much I enjoyed being in your film.
As you know acting is allways a struggle to get parts
and I lucked out with you. it was a pleasure to me to
get the chance to act in a well planned and thought
out feature. While I was doing it I couldn't help but
think to myself how lucky I am to be doing this becouse
I knew that this method of making film was quickly vanishing
in Hollywood and I felt I was in on the tail end of
a great era. On the bright side I do know that films
can be made anywhere. John Hancock who directed Weeds
with Nick Nolte now is based in his home town of Indiana
and continues to make films with far more freedom than
is possible here. I am confident that you will do the
same. I am dismayed that distribution is so sown up
for the independent. Maybe the answer is to burn your
own DVDs and do it yourself as many recording artists
are doing with music.
any rate I do hope Hammer gets to be seen by the public
because it is a worthwhile film that has things to say.
Keep us all posted on your progress.
was a total pleasure working with you. The expression
on your face while you listen to your son badly play
"If I Had a Hammer" is priceless. I really
and truly wish I could get the film released if, for
no other reason, to bring a sense of completion to the
project. I also think it ought to be seen, and that
it actually has a relevant point. Oh well. Thanks for
writing in. All the best.
disliked your character in the script, but I liked him
in the film. It must be what you brought to the role.
Best of luck to you in your future projects.
you don't mind, Josh, I would like to mention some films
that I think I thought were enjoyable and I do not know
if you have seen them or heard of them.
am a big fan of foreign films. I like John Woo's early
Chinese pictures. Namely, "The Killer" and
"Hard Boiled", I think that they are spectacular
on every level. Directing, writing, and acting.
foreign film that I love is "The Vanishing"
aka "Spoorloos". This was George Sluizer early
version of his remade film, also entitled "The
Vanishing". It was horrible, terrible and tedious.
Very bad. The original was better.
of GREAT films, have you seen "Deliverance".
I have to say, it is not only a very disturbing film
(In addition to the disturbing list btw) but it has
a great character study and a well written premise that
a moviegoer should be interested in, immediately. Well,
that is what I think. What is it that you think about
my examples of great films.
absolutely agree with "Deliverance." It's
a great film on every level, and very disturbing too
("you got a pretty mouth, boy"). I also quite
liked the original version of "The Vanishing,"
although I wouldn't say it was a great film (although
far superior to the stupid Hollywood remake). However,
I do not like John Woo's films, the old ones or the
new ones. To say that "The Killer" or "Hard
Boiled" are well-written is a joke. They are dumb
scripts that make very little sense that are riddled
with cliches and weak character development. Here's
where I really run into problems with modern viewers,
I don't like the way John Woo directs. He's totally
self-conscious, you're always aware that there's a director
at work, his use of slow-motion is painfully pretentious,
and everybody gets to shoot a million times with six-shooters
and never has to reload. His films just put me to sleep.
John himself is a very nice guy, though.
up w/ 'Hammer?' When is Anchorbay going to release it?
I play guitar and nothing screws up a movie more than
when actors are faking playing. It's so obvious when
soembody can't play. I especially like when they show
a close up of their face and then cut to somebody elses
hands playing. Or when directors assume that nobody
will notice so the actor just strums away like they
know what they are doing.
Another dead give away is wrong era instruments. If
a movie is set in the 50's they better not be playing
modern guitars that were made a few years ago. Did you
spot check the guitars to make sure they fit the correct
era? I know this is just me being a vintage guitar snob
but it's so very noticable and just doesn't help suspend
don't know when Anchor Bay will release "Hammer,"
I still haven't received the contract. I really like
those guys, but they've become somewhat difficult to
deal with in the past year or so. It seems the the home
video/DVD business has been going through some severe
difficulties -- almsot everything switched to DVD, but
people aren't really buying the machines, nor do they
seemingly want to own any of the new movies on DVD (they
call this "a content problem," which means
Hollywood just makes shit now and no one wants to own
these lousy films). Anyway, regarding the musical instruments,
I may have screwed that up a bit. There's a scene in
a music store where we went out of our way to try and
make sure there were no overly-contemporary guitars
showing, but the actor/musicians are mainly using their
own guitars. Look, I had very little money. I went with
what I had.
am a real big fan of your essays and your scripts. I
have not read all of your scripts but I am going to
try to read every one. I have a good question for you.
Nowm I now you can't stress enough of the three-act
structure and I cannot agree more about that. I just
have a question about this and I do not think you encountered
it before. Okay, I am starting to write a screenplay
and it involves me to totally forget about the three-act
structure because it relies on a plot that is mindbending
and puzzling. This is sort of like "memento"
and "following", two Christopher Nolan films.
Is this a bad idea? Can it make the film be a bad one??
and another question came to mind.. Do you think leaving
a lot of questions at the ending of a film is a bad
questions in the viewer's mind is one thing, leaving
untied plot threads is another. The former is fine,
the latter is a bad idea. I will state this for the
millionth time: if you don't know how to work with the
three-act structure you cannot move beyond it. You cannot
begin with deconstruction; you must first understand
construction before you deconstruct.
heartily agree with you about Hollywood movies. It's
nice to know that there is at least one artist in the
movie industry still concerned about the finished product,
and not just trying to push some explosive, no brainer
on us to line their own pockets. I am also a filmmaker,
trying to get my first project around. I am from Michigan
as well, so I got a kick outta reading "The Happiest
Guy in Town" and "The Winds of Fate".
Have you noticed that a lot of "big time"
Hollywood directors are not concerned about how their
shots look as long as they get them in the can? I have
seen off-center and close-up shots in movies that didn't
give the actors enough room to move, thereby they would
bob in and out of camera view, and these are the films
that had budgets big enough to feed some third world
Hollywood directors are trying so desperately to appear
hip, young, and with-it that they'll do anything they
see in commercials or music videos to try and prove
it, whether it's good for the scene or not. I feel like
everything Steven Soderbergh does is for this reason.
All the stupid freeze-frames and jump cuts in that stupid
George Clooney picture, or everything he did in "Traffic."
It's all jerk-off filmmaking.
is the best(or most humourous) peice of improv u have
heard. and which actor and actress do u most enjoy working
with, thanx :D
been doing this stuff for a long time now and I've heard
and seen a lot of funny improvs, most of which I can
no longer remember. Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell have
each made me laugh a million times with funny, made-up
lines. Kevin Smith made me laugh a bunch of times on
the last Xena ep we did with his improvised lines. When
Xena kicks him in the head during a fight he reaches
up, checks for blood and says, "That's gonna leave
a mark." There are too many actors I've completely
enjoyed working with, like Bruce, Ted, Lucy, Renee,
Michael Hurst, Kevin Sorbo, Angela Dotchin, Stuart Devinie
(both from "Jack of All Trades"), the entire
cast of "Running Time" and "If I Had
a Hammer." I just like actors, most of them are
funny, outgoing people.