just read that sam raimi gave alot of money to jr bookwalter
to make the dead next door. campbell adr'd the voice
of the main guy if my sources are correct and scott
spiegal was in it. wasn't this going on about the same
time as though shalt not kill, exept? it seemed as though
one guy in the film looked just like raimi's character
in your film. can you shed any light on what made him
get involved and why he is never credited?
was in "The Dead Next Door" as a zombie and
none of my footage turned out. I had a fucking head
mold done and everything. I spent about twelve hours
in that make-up, too, and gave a good performance, I
might add. No, TSNKE was already done. "The Dead
Next Door" was shot at the same time as "Evil
Dead 2." After we did our parts in DND, in Akron,
Ohio, Scott Spiegel and I continued south to North Carolina
and did bits in ED2. Why did Sam give J.R. the money?
He felt magnanimous, I suppose. Dino De Laurentis had
just financed his picture, so he financed somebody else's
Hello Mr. Becker,
am writing from Lyon (France) just to tell you that
I loved your script "The Biological Clock".
This is the very first time that I have visited your
site (my boyfriend had told me that it was brilliant).
I think that "The Biological Clock" is very
witty and funny and it has some of the best sex scenes
that I have read lately. Their presence is justified,
they are well-written, and they are sexy, if you don't
mind if I say it. Are sex scenes very hard to shoot?
I haven't seen many erotic scenes that I've really liked.
My favourite one belongs to "Les Amants".
Jeanne Mourreau was incredible. You can't see anything
but her face, but the shadows and light lets us know
what is happening. Maybe it was due to censorship. Directors
had to find other ways of showing sex and sometimes
I think that their scenes are more interesting than
sex scenes in contemporary movies. I'm sorry this is
so long and I'm sorry that I bored you with this email.
I wish you the best and I will promise to read the rest
of your scripts.
a great name. I'm very pleased you enjoyed my script.
In all honesty I must agree that I also think it has
good sex scenes, and someday I'd love to shoot them,
too. As for the sex scenes I've done, which is mainly
the one in "Running Time" between Bruce Campbell
and Anita Barone, was a well-rehearsed scene and all
of their vital parts were out of frame, so it was just
acting and it was easy to shoot. It was very hot in
the truck we shot in, however. The sex scene I acted
in in "Mosquito" was difficult because we
were both really naked at times. I didn't enjoy shooting
it, and I don't think I'd ever do one like it. I must
say that I appreciate discrection. Let me know what
you think of the other scripts.
E-mail: upon request
since when can we italicize here? Cool. What are the
codes? Aw hell, I'll try the typical ones on a quote
that follows and see if it flies...
had enjoyed the interactive challenge you got going
a while back--
Name a 5 Star film made in the past 20 years, and Name
a truly "disturbing" film.
was hoping we'd get another discussion going,
I'd like to hear more about your understanding of IRONY,
since you mention you appreciate it so. So how about
you give your best example and we'll all try to offer
I'll start with an easy one:
"The Godfather", and Part 2. The Irony--By
trying to protect his family, he destroys it.
here's perhaps a waltz down memory lane for you, I came
across an old New Yorker article on Sam Raimi where
"We made 'Six Months to Live,' the story of
a guy who finds out he's got an incurable disease and
decides he is going to spend as much money as possible,
and then, of course, he learns that he is not going
to die, and he has to kill himself.
and later in the article,
Rob Tapert had this to say about Sam's "A Simple
"But the film is less ironic than "Fargo,"
more heartfelt. To an eye accustomed to Raimi's signature
cartoon violence and oversized characters, "A Simple
Plan" is the picture of restraint.
I'm going to assume Rob means William H. Macy's character
holds the irony.
(Here's the entire article:)
the way, that's very nice of you to have a link to Kevin
Smith's Fund. I still can't wrap my brain around the
tragedy. And of course, whatever I'm feeling as a fan
is but a drop in the bucket compared to what those truly
close feel. For those that don't know, he completed
a role for the pilot of a show called "Riverworld"
that should be airing spring/summer. Although now that
I think about it, would they edit out his participation
since he cannot continue the character? Oiy, I hope
they don't edit him out of "Warriors of Virtue
II", I want to see him vital again. Never mind
that its based on a video game or some such frivolity,
hey, its Kevin.
to hear from you. I hope Kevin doesn't get edited out
of "Riverworld," but as it's a pilot, they
might have to. For a big ripped handsome masculine guy,
the best word to describe him was that he was a doll.
He was always happy, joking, and funny, serious when
he needed to be, and sincerely interested in his work.
Well, anyway . . .
I think that's a swell suggestion of yours, Diana, why
don't we discuss ironic movies. I'm all for it. And,
as I completely agree with you about both the first
and second "Godfather" films, let me add another
favorite, "The Bridge on the River Kwai,"
with two duty-obsessed colonels in each other's face,
and in the name of all that's right, the prisoner ends
up building his captor a far better bridge than he could
ever build for himself, and on time, too. Anyone else?
you watched either the "Sharpes" or "Horatio
Hornblower" series from A&E? They are, to me,
consistently good, very much in the tradition of Golden
Age films. I don't know what the budget for these films
are but I would guess they are fairly conservative,
at least by today's Hollywood standards. How do these
productions get made, and why are they able to resist
"monsterization"? (If you haven't seen them,
they're worth a look.) Are they just a different species
I haven't seen either one. It does seem, though, that
the only intelligent films getting made these days are
for cable TV, particularly HBO and Showtime. I'd surmise
that the lack of monsterization is due to: A. Having
some intelligent executives, B. keeping the budgets
reasonably low, and C. because it's TV, once they've
greenlighted the film, the time slot is filled, it sort
of doesn't matter if anyone watches it since revenues
on cable TV aren't based on who's watching, but who
has subscribed to the service. There's a pretty good
Showtime film on right now called "Keep the Faith,
Baby," about the congressman Adam Clayton Powell,
Jr. The lead actor, Harry Lennix, is very good.
Robert c. Rogers
just wanted to say its been so much fun and a learning
experience from watching your work. I am getting ready
to shoot my first independent film in colorado and am
dedicating it to you and sam and bruce for showing me
and my friends that if you believe in your dreams of
making everything from a good quality three stooges
movie to an alfred hitchcock omage then by god just
do it. Failure is only a word you use when youve never
tried. I would also like to know if you ever do conventions
or autograph requests.
for the nice letter, and I wish you all the luck in
the world on your film. No, I don't go to conventions,
but if you want an autograph, Shirley, the webmaster
here, will tell where to send whatever it is you'd like
signed. Please enclose a SASE.
send it to me and I will forward the package to Josh.
Here's the address:
c/o P.O. Box 86
East Vassalboro, ME 04935
Can you please tell me about any websites etc. that
would help me put together my production book. I would
greatfully appreciate any help!
a production book? Are you writing a book about film
Haha! Is this a fake website? It's awesome!
I laughed my ass off.
The idea that the "director" of Xena thinks
that the "thin red line" sucks is brilliant!!!
And those funny "big hollywood" photos. The
idiotic fake F.A.Q. rounds the experience up nicely!
Two thumbs up to the creator of this Hollywood spoof!
all here for you amusement, dude, so laugh on. I, too,
am endlessly amused that a few of the simpler folk coming
here seem to think that my TV credits somehow negate
my opinion. As though one has to have any actual credits
at all to be a film critic. And if you want to see a
good film adaptation of a James Jones novel, watch "From
Here to Eternity."
this point, are you not interested in coming down a
bit from the high-end, low-budget feature? Do you really
need a lot of funding to do another one of your scripts?
I'm guessing you already have a camera. Wouldn't it
be possible to go back to the basics just to get a few
more features done?
absolutely intend to make another, cheaper, low-budget
feature at some point in the future. I'm still working
on the distribution for "If I Had a Hammer,"
and I'm still in debt due to that film, so making another
film isn't in my immediate future. Quite frankly, I
now see that $350,000 was too much to spend on a low-budget
feature without a "name" actor in it.
this is the first time for me to write to you. I have
to say this first: thank you for making me see the big
picture. When I first came to this site, I was amazed,
shocked even, at your writings, your stories, your reviews,
and your accomplishments over the many years. You are
surely my biggest inspiration to get off of my ass and
start writing. Your theories are quite interesting and
is great that you follow them. It is just a shame because
many writings in the forties, fifties, and in the sixties
used that structure. It's a bummer because just think
how effective Hollywood would be having good writers.
It would be fantastic to see Hollywood filmmakers who
can actually make a film and write. It is good that
you are not a part of Hollywood. You are better without
it. What has Hollywood ever done to you? Imagine if
they got a hold of "Running Time". The film
would of still been a piece of shit, without your visions,
your writings and your colorful directing. I do wish
you so much luck in the future. Not that you are going
to need it.
this is my first priveledge to write in and ask a question,
I have to ask you something that can really help me
further in my writing. It is a story that I just came
up with, that may or not be derivative or original.
The only original part about it is that it is based
on a true story. It is going to be about me and my friends,
the shit we got into the last few years, and many other
things. Since there is a lot of material to use in the
writing of it, I do not think believable characters
and situations would be a problem. I am not sure if
a screenwriter has wrote about them and their friends
and their problems before. I am not particulary sure,
but it may have been done before. I have problems with
it, though. Some things, viewers may not grasp at or
enjoy. But, you have to remember most of the things
are true things that actually happened. I think I can
do this. To avoid this problem, I am going to have to
write the characters so tautly that I am going to have
to make the viewer fall in love with the character,
so if something tragic happens to one, they will care
about them and gasp at something bad that happens to
you can give me insights on the objectives and the keys
to write a true story, I would be very grateful. Anything
can help me and I find it an honor for me to write to
you. I am young, just starting out, and almost ready
to write a matured first screenplay. Again, thanks for
a few points about writing a true story: 1. Just because
it's true doesn't mean it's interesting, and 2. just
because it's true doesn't mean it's believable. To end
up with a decent script you must still follow all of
the same character, motivation, and structural rules
that apply to fiction. Good luck.
have many different Evil Dead posters hanging up in
my room, and after many months of owning them, i have
found an unusual thing. On an Army of Darkness poster,
it credits Joe LoDuca, as Joe DoLuca, yet on everything
else, his name appears as Joe LoDuca, which i beleive
it is(Correct me if Im wrong). Anyways, is this just
a simple mistake made by the poster company, or does
he go by many names?
he just goes by the one name, Joe LoDuca, although his
credit ususally reads Joseph LoDuca. Anything other
than that is a mistake.
think I am an asshole or anything like that, but I am
merely trying to understand something. Can you please,
for my sake (and my friends) explain the ending of Running
Time and explain why you chose that other than something
else more inventive. If you ask me, the film's ending
is an absolute cop out and it leaves some viewers unsatisfied.
I am not saying that the film was a failure. I think
it is your best work, best screenplay, outstanding acting,
and unforgettable camera-work. The film really deserves
more than it got. Me and my friends love it... excpept
for the ending. It seems hokey and it seems as if you
wanted teh viewer to imagine what happens next. What
is the story behind it? I am curious.
obviously, I think it's the appropriate ending that
fulfills the point I'm trying to make. I believe, given
what we know about Carl, that he would come back. And
the idea of switching POVs at that late date in the
story really interested me. It's worked like gangbusters
on audiences I've watched it with because no one is
expecting Carl to return, and when he does it's gotten
an audible sigh of relief from the audience, including
several hundred tough-looking New Yorkers, which I took
as a triumph. Sorry you and your friends didn't like
a couple of questions for you, matey!
1. Did you ever make home-movies as a kid? If so, what
were they about?
At what point during the making of SOUL POSSESSION,
did you realise the Chakram should've been the old one?
Are there any series' like Xena, that you'd want to
direct for? For example- Buffy or Relic Hunter?
care, Mr. Lights Camera Action!
I didn't really make "home" movies, but my
buds Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and I made a lot of
super-8 films with stories and characters and gags and
stuff. Between us we made about 75 super-8 films, ranging
from 10 minutes to 85 minutes long, with titles like:
"The Blind Waiter," "Six Months to Live,"
"The Final Round," and "It's Murder!"
2. I never realized anything about the chakram, it was
the art department who made the mistake, then corrected
3. Hell, I wouldn't have worked on "Xena"
if I hadn't of known the folks behind it. I haven't
seen most of the "Xena" episodes, just the
ones I directed or wrote. Personally, I think all those
shows are stupid.
no reviews for Lord of the Rings or A Beautiful Mind
haven't seen LOTR, nor do I want to, and "A Beautiful
Mind" was okay, not great and not terrible, but
didn't inspire me to write a review. Since these aren't
assignments, I go by what inspires me.
Anchor Bay (most likely) isn't picking up "If I
had a Hammer", because of a star name, why not
shoot some new scenes with Bruce Campbell. Maybe have
him telling the story in the present, then flashback...
you could shoot it on video than have it "Filmlooked".
It'll give it a different feel than the sweet 35mm "If
I had a Hammer" print, but since it's all time
travel at that point, it might be more of an benefit,
than an bad distraction.....
Bay may release "Hammer" yet. I just spoke
with them the day before yesterday. Bruce is a SAG actor
and anything I do with him will be through their auspices.
"Hammer" is non-SAG and I don't need to drag
SAG into this. Also, "Hammer" is finished
and locked and I'm sure as hell not going back and messing
with it. Thanks for the suggestions though.
have a few questions. 1. My friends and I make amateur
films in our spare time. We've made several, but how
the hell do we get people besides the people in our
group of friends to watch them? 2. Have you seen any
big mainstream Hollywood movies recently that you really
liked? Or any independent films? I really liked Requiem
for a Dream, for example. 3. What do you, as a filmmaker,
think of the now defunct show Mystery Science Theatre
Try sending your films to film festivals. 2. No, I haven't.
3. I never cared for Mystery Science Theater 3000, it
seemed like the lazy version of sitting around getting
stoned and making fun of bad movies, only now you didn't
have to have a sense of humor and do it yourself, you
could sit quietly and have someone else do it for you.
a detroit area truck driver from monroe, four years
ago a metallica song brought out my first screenplay,
now i have this whole world waiting to explode, and
i have no clue where to light the fuze. i can volunteer
alot of time. thank you and God bless. jon
there just aren't nearly enough screenplays based on
heavy-metal lyrics. Good luck with it. When I worked
on "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" we
shot in Monroe with the Monroe police, who were all
very nice and accomodating.
josh collins -pearson
do film work i'm 13 and i'm going to the childrens film
festaval in Egypt.I'm from the UK.
What of it?
am a big fan of all your films, but the gem in the bunch
(for me) is "Running Time"
As a project conceived and executed it is, a complete
work of art!!
two of your films are released from Anchor Bay..
How is their contract? Fair?
Did they pick up "Running Time" because it
had Bruce Campell's face on the cover, or because of
the concept of the film?? (Please say the concept..)
How did you get their attention, or did they come to
think you are an amazing filmmaker, and I'm glad you
left the armpit called L.A. county..
I'm in the final editing stages of my first feature
and my producer is heading out there at the end of the
month for some meetings, blah, blah, blah.... he can
have a good time......
I'll raise my daughter in the midwest thank you very
for your time - Dave Coulter
bay has been perfectly fair with me, I just wish I could
get them to send the contract for "If I Had a Hammer."
You may have hit the nail on the head regarding my present
problems with them, which is that Bruce Campbell is
not on the cover of my "Hammer" video box,
nor does he have anything to do with it. I thought they
liked me and my films, but apparently it may just be
my connection to Bruce and "Evil Dead." They
came to me originally about TSNKE.
effective is dubbing and when is it used? If you are
in a windy or otherwise noisy location, do you dub the
dialog in? Or if someones dialog runs over a cut, doesn't
that mean that you have to record that line individually
and then dub it in?
to get the terms straight, dubbing is what is done to
foreign films. When dialog is replaced it's called looping
or ADR (automated dialog replacement). Dialog is looped
constantly, and a lot of the dialog on Xena and Herc
was looped. Those first two episodes of "Jack of
All Trades" were almost entirely looped, for no
good reason. I personally am not a big fan of looping
and I avoid it as much as possible in my own films,
but on TV they do what they want. As far as dialog going
over a cut, which it very often does, you don't need
to loop for that.
watching Xena and Hercules blooper tapes, I noticed
that the beginning of scenes is marked by someone with
a "clapper". (I don't know the name of it,
so I'll call it a clapper).
question is - sometimes the clapper person turns the
clapper upside down when clapping it and other times
they keep it right side up.
it a personal preference of the clapper person or does
it mean something to the editor if the clapper is turned
upside down or left upright?
used to call it a clapper or a clap-board, but now it's
a slate, and the electronic ones are smart slates. If
it's right-side-up, that's at the beginning of the shot,
if it's upside-down it's because it's at the end of
the shot, and it's called a "tail-slate."
Sometimes it's just easier to tail-slate, particularly
if the camera is starting off really high up, or very
close to something and there's no room to stick in the
slate. The reason it's upside-down at the end is so
that the editor doesn't confuse it with the next head-slate,
which will be right-side-up.
"Videohound's Cult Flicks" book, they have
a great summary of Lunatic's, yet I found it funny that
they placed your name as being Josh Beck. Have you seen
I've tried straightening them out on their typo, too,
and they don't care. Any book loaded with "facts"
that isn't interested in getting things right doesn't
is the Sitges festival held?Are film festivals really
useful?Which are the best in your opinion? Thanx
is in Spain, just south of Barcelona. Film festivals
certainly haven't mattered a bit to me. I enjoyed going
to a few of them, like the Helsinki Film Festival, but
otherwise I can live without them. If you can get your
film into one of the big, highly-commercial festivals,
like Sundance or Telluride, it may well do you some
good because there are a lot of Hollywood folk there.
Otherwise, it's simply a chance to show your film.
been a long while since popping in here. I was hoping
to read some recent, good news about "If I Had
A Hammer" and it's distribution status, but no
such luck yet.
mentioned (I believe in your "Bailing on L.A."
essay) that no distributors will look at "Hammer".
Who? Which people have you tried to generate interest
in the picture that refused to watch it? Do you have
a rep? I've heard that's the only way an indi picture
can sell...(I sure don't know, since my first feature
is now 4 years old and still without any deal)
also curious as to which film festivals (if any) you
applied to. I was rejected by nearly 20 before getting
into a really shitty one that did nothing to help me
sell or even fill the theatre for my picture.
And I can honestly say that the film that won best picture
at the fest was honestly one of the top ten worst movies
I've ever seen.
any rate, I hope all is well down in OR's southern half,
and that Anchor Bay is the right outlet for "Hammer".
It would, however, be better to see it with a company
that would give it some sort of theatrical release,
no matter how small or limited.
a good one.
still talking to the folks at Anchor Bay. Sure, it would
be better to get a theatrical release, but they're very
rare for low-budget films these days. I honestly think
that "Hammer" not being an action or horror
film has Anchor Bay seriously confused, as it probably
would be to most low-budget distributors. I'm talking
to a film rep now, so we'll see what comes of that.
They haven't seen "Hammer" yet, but they want
to rep "Running Time" overseas. So far, though,
we haven't agreed on the contract. As for film festivals,
I sent "Hammer" to Sundance, Telluride, and
Toronto, but didn't get in. I'm not really bothering
with the low-end festivals this time, though, as I don't
think they accomplish anything other than giving you
a chance to show your film.
you kidding me? I just read a few of your reviews, and
I have to say your overt cynicism is overwhelming. I
respect the fact that everyone has their own opinion,
but come on. I am a fan of your film "Running Time",
but American Beauty it's not (apples to oranges aside).
Come on, I agree movies are in a major slump, but some
do shine... Lighten up, or better yet put something
better out there instead of directing t.v.
my cynicism is overwhelming, and I appreciate you noticing.
As yet I have no reason to lighten up, and I have stopped
directing TV. As for "American Beauty," since
I don't think it's a particularly good, or a well-thought-out
film, holding it up as a comparsion to me means very
dustin t glasco
the best way to go about copywriting a script? is it
wise to use a "poor mans copywrite" and just
mail it to myself? thanks, dustin
that really doesn't mean anything, although it's probably
better than nothing. First of all, state on your front
page, at the bottom, Copyright (c), your name, and the
year. Stating that this is copyright material is the
most important aspect of the process, because if you
say it, it's true. If you don't say it, even if you
copyright it, then it's not true. Write to the Library
of Congress in Washington, D.C. and request a form PA.
Fill it out and send it back with a check for $20, and
a copy of your script without any bindings, as they
will be microfilming it, then throwing it out. You'll
get the stamped form back in three or four months.
I just read your screenplay for "Lunatics: A Love
Story". I have not seen the movie, but did enjoy
reading it. The part about the crockpot was my favorite,
especially since I have about 5 of them myself, and
will never use them all in my lifetime! LOL Also, I
liked the sense of irony, where Hank said to himself,
"Good God, these people are all crazy! What's a
normal, healthy young man supposed to do?".
All in all, great work, and now I am geared up to buy
it on VHS. Looks as if the movie itself, will be just
as good, if not better, according to the screengrabs
I don't think I could do a screenplay myself, I'm more
into writing short stories and poetry. Yet, you have
got me interested, and I intend to do some further reading
on your website.
you can rent "Lunatics," or find it used,
you'll be much better off since the tape still costs
$79.95, due to really bad distribution by Columbia.
It never came out in a $19.95 version. If you do decide
to write a screenplay, here's a thought to keep in mind,
try being sincere. Tongue-in-cheek, camp, and cynical
all kind of suck. Very few writers have the guts to
be sincere anymore, as though they'll be laughed at
or something. Good luck.
is a great town, but it's growing too quickly. My biggest
fear is that too many people will continue to move down
here and it turn into LA.
you ever have a chance to come down, though, you should
definately swing by the Alamo drafthouse (where bruce
did his 'fanalysis' screening.) It's a great theater,
and they cover a pretty wide spectrum of films.
p.s. are there at least good restraunts in LA? has to
have something going for it.
a million restaurants in LA, particularly fancy ones.
A place I really like is Killer Shrimp (which isn't
fancy), and there's one in Venice and one in the San
Fernando Valley. It's owned by Lee Michaels, pop star
of the early 1970s, whose big hit song was "You
Know What I Mean." You get a giant bowl of shrimp
in a terrific sauce (mainly butter and garlic) and a
colander full of good bread to soak up the sauce.
me, I just posted a question but forgot to ask; any
thoughts on the passing of Chuck Jones? Also, your films
often incorporate animation, have you ever considered
directing animated features? Thanks again.
of my films have any animation, except the stop-motion
animation of the giant spider in "Lunatics."
Directing an animated feature holds no interest for
me. I don't even enjoy watching animation anymore. I
loved cartoons as a kid -- not the features, the shorts
-- particularly the Warner Bros. cartoons, so I was
definitely a fan of Chuck Jones. I met him at the Houston
Film Festival in 1992. I also really liked the work
of Max and Dave Fleischer.
looked on your site and maybe just missed it, but what's
the current status of "...Hammer"? I've read
the two "Making of" essays and feel like the
last chapter is missing from the book. Thanks.
hope the last chapter of the "Hammer" story
hasn't occurred yet. I'm still talking to Anchor Bay
about releasing the film, but they're not being very
reponsive. Personally, I think I have as good of a soundtrack
as "O Brother Where Art Thou," which just
won the Grammy for best record of the year. Film distribution
is a rough game, let me tell you.
Dear Mr Becker,
am a Spanish fan of yours and I would like to know if
you have ever been to the Sitges film festival. I would
also like to know if you have seen any work by the Spanish
film director Jesús Franco, I think he is known
as Jess Franco in the States.
P.S. It´s very hard to find your films in Spain
but I think you should know that there are many people
who admire your work here.Thanks again.
never been to Sitges, but my film "Lunatics: A
Love Story" showed there, and I heard it was a
very good screening. And no, I've never seen any of
Jesus Franco's films. Sorry.
other than a digital camera, can everything else on
a super-low/no-budget production be faked? Let's say
that the goal is not to make a finished movie, but to
have something for you to look at to see what the movie
could look like, kind of like a video storyboard. Would
the experience be worth it to just get a decent camera
and computer for editing, and just sort of deal with
everything else as it comes? I guess I'm answering my
own question: If I'm not trying to make a perfect movie,
then there's no harm, right?
you've gone to all the trouble of writing something,
planning it, getting actors, places to shoot, props,
etc., what are you faking? My point is if you're going
to go to all that trouble, why not try and shoot it
accidently I happen on your site, and I want that your
screenplay "The President's Brain is Missing",
is a wonderful work. A piece like this should be made
into a movie, and it's a shame is hasn't been. The craft
is much, much, higher than 90% of what's being made
in Hollywood, and even in "independent" cinema
these days. Bravo on writing such a fine script.
I think it would make a funny movie, and be a good part
for Bruce Campbell. I honestly don't think a script
being any good has the slightest meaning to anyone in
Hollywood anymore. Quite frankly, I don't think anyone
there would recognize a good script, or a good movie,
if it bit them on the ass. But if I could bring you
a moment of enjoyment while you read it, then it was
am a big fan of all your work. When are you and Bruce
going to write another screenplay together? Do you two
have any more collaborations together? I think the two
of you make an awesome team.
and I enjoy working together, as well as brain-storming
together, but we don't write together and never have.
I stopped writing with other people about thirteen years
ago. I personally think writing is a thing you do by
you ever do another film in pontiac michigan? And why
did you pick pontiac to replace down town Los Angeles?
And do ever go to Pontiac anymore?
doubt that I'll ever make another film in Pontiac, although
the folks in Pontiac could not have been nicer or more
helpful when we shot "Lunatics" there. We
chose Pontiac for a few reasons, mainly it has a little
downtown area, which is what I was looking for. And,
it was right near the school were using as a stage and
offices in Auburn Hills. Also, my dad's office is in
Pontiac and we shot a number of scenes in the alley
behind his building, which we got for free.
live in pontiac michigan and have heard a lot about
you and the Raimis and was wondering if there were a
i could send a head shot to be evaluated for some of
your projects? I recently was a featured as a rapper
in the Eminem movie called 8 Mile.
have no use for head shots or resumes, and when I get
them I throw them out. Good luck to you.
say that Bette Davis never won any Oscars for Wyler
directed films - she did, for Jezebel, her second and
never said that. I know which films Bette Davis won
her Oscars for, the other being "Dangerous"
in 1935. She certainly should have beat Judy Holliday
in 1950 for "All About Eve," but alas, she
was also up against Gloria Swanson for "Sunset
Blvd." That both of them lost to Holliday is one
of the great crimes of the 20th century.
majority of writers who I've read interviews of are
generally asked the question "When is a script
done?" and they usually reply "The day of
shooting." You have a lot of screenplays on your
site, and I was wondering when you decided when they
were "done." Is it when your interest transfers
to another project, or is it when you can read through
them once without wanting to change anything? Another
quesiton would be, if you were to make any of your posted
scripts into a movie, would you feel the need to make
any new changes, or are you satisfied with them as they
on a completely unrelated note, I have a friend who
wants to shoot an independent feature on DV. He says
his goal is to get it into a festival and hopefully
get a distribution deal. He doesn't want to have to
bother with film because he doesn't want to worry about
renting equipment and devoloping film. Since he can
shoot and edit DV more cheaply, he thinks it's a better
choice, even though having a print made from DV is incredibly
more expensive than getting one made from 16mm. My question
is, do you think it's worth it to shoot a movie digitally,
or should you go all the way and shoot on film? Are
projects on film considered more seriously, if at all?
scripts are done when I'm satisfied with them. The second
you hear actors speak your dialog, though, things do
change at least a little bit. Nevertheless, I'm one
of the few filmmakers on the planet, I believe, that
thinks it's a wise idea to lock my scripts before I
shoot them. Both "Running Time" and "Hammer"
went through very few changes between the final script
and the finished film. Certainly "Xena" scripts
weren't done until you shot them, being rewritten right
up to that second, and sometimes even beyond. But it
is possible to finish a script without shooting it,
you just have to feel satisfied, declare that it's done,
and be willing to stand behind it.
shooting on DV, if you intend to make a 35mm print out
of it, which will probably look like crap, you really
must light the hell out of it. That means you need a
professional cinematographer and full compliment of
lighting equipment, and the grips necessary to haul
all the stuff around and set it up. If you're going
to go to that trouble, why not shoot film, too, which
looks so much better? Also, if you want it to look halfway
decent you can't shoot with one of those little home
DV cameras, which don't have great resolution, you really
need to rent a professional DV camera, which will probably
cost more that this point than renting a 16mm camera.
A much bigger issue is, I think, will you be using SAG
actors or not? If you are, and that's the only way you'll
get top-notch actors and potentially a "name,"
which is kind of critical to distribution these days,
that costs WAY more than shooting on film. If you've
gone to that expense and trouble, once again, why not
shoot on film? One of the biggest issues with shooting
DV is that you don't have a decent original. If you
rent a good DV camera, your original will be on Digital
Beta. If you shoot with a home-use camera, your original
will be those tiny little tapes. Either way, it may
just be entirely outdated in five years. If you have
at least a 16mm negative, you can make both great video
copies and a good-looking 35mm blow-up. If you're not
going to be working with real actors, you don't care
if your movie looks any good, and you have no real hope
for distribution, go ahead and shoot DV. It's better
have a friend whose uncle produced Barb Wire. Now, it
wasn't legitimate filmmaking, but he has worked on Sleepers
and The Game also. I looked him up, and IMDb lists him
as production supervisor and unit production manager.
What is that? Is that an influential position? I have
no problem locating a microscopic hole in the Hollywood
cloak and boring my head through it persistently until
I sell a script, but is a production manager worth my
don't know that a production manager can get you anything,
except possibly a job as a production assistant, but
it is a somewhat powerful position. A production manager
is the top-end DGA position below director, meaning
it's above 1st A.D. A production manager runs the production,
for the producer, from the production office. Whereas,
the 1st A.D. runs the set, for the producer or the director,
depending on who influences them more. A good production
manager in Hollywood would be a well-connected person
that could probably get you to a producer, if you had
a reason to get to them. Good luck boring your head
you or would you ever lie for sex? this question was
on a little test at thespark.com. just wondering
used to tell women that I was Sidney Poitier's son hoping
they'd have sex with me, but apparently they didn't
believe me. Huh.
advise me on how one can enter the film editing world.
what career opportunities are available for one who
enjoys movies. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
seems to me that Hollywood is just teeming with editors,
or at least people that know how to run an Avid, anyway.
Kaye Davis, who edited my last three films, as well
as "Evil Dead 2," finally left LA after she
kept only being able to get trailers to cut, and not
even a lot of those. And she's a darn good editor. Anyway,
I guess you need to learn all the newest editing softwares,
and perhaps even buy an Avid or something (maybe an
Apple G-4 with Final Cut Pro would suffice at this point,
I don't know). Good luck.
just read your essay "A Lesser Form" I thought
of a few things. I am musician, of sorts, and in that
field the better one becomes at one's instrument and
the more one develops an individual style, the more
one alienates the general audience who preferences are,
naturally, varied. The ability of Britney and company
to sell millions of records reflects their appeal to
a least-common denominator. That is one reason why mass
appeal generally also means an appeal to the young.
As individuals age and develop personal taste, the ability
to market to them en masse decreases.
Music is able to deal successfully with this situation
because capital investment is declining. Any moron with
a computer and a midi keyboard can produce a polished
product. As a result, while the amount of junk multiplies
so, too, does the quality stuff. The best music is being
made in basements. Movies, on the other hand, are becoming
more capital intensive. This may change with advances
in digital cameras and appropriate software but we really
haven't seen it yet. Consequently we get the increase
in the amount of junk but without a corresponding production
All of this having been said, I still believe that movies
are the one remaining art form where it is still possible
to produce a classic. I mean here a classic in the sense
that it can define a discernable portion of a culture's
identity. Some might argue television, but what ratings
did "Seinfeld" ever command as compared with
"Lucy" or even the CBS Evening News? Literature
is overwhelmed by sheer volume for much the same reasons
as is music. One might find quality, but not classics.
The complexity of movie making as yet, I believe, maintains
a window for true classics. That is not to say they
will be made, only that they still can.
What do you think?
agree with you that classic films could be made, but
I don't think they are. I don't think that very interesting
music is being made, either. Our culture is in an artistic
lull. People don't seem to be very interested in looking
deep within themselves for what might be new or interesting,
only outward at what others have already done and copying
it. We are absolutely overrun with remakes and sequels,
and that which might be considered original is just
painfully dull. No one is trying to be "deep"
anymore, and that's where the good, original art comes
from. Everything is now product and geared to the marketplace.
And digital cameras won't change anything with movies,
because the camera is not the expensive part of filmmaking
and never has been. Once you've gone to the trouble
of wrangling a cast and crew together, you may as well
shoot on film because it looks better, and that does
matter. Rock & roll music hasn't gone anywhere interesting
in many years, all new jazz is just rehashed older stuff,
and classical music only exists as movie scores now,
and there's about eight guys that do all of them. It's
a sad state of affairs.
is dead. In the early 1950s and 1960s the whole family
would go to the cinema every week of the year. Now you're
hard-pressed to find someone who goes once a year."
British director PETER GREENAWAY, in Britain's Times
true. In the last 5 years I've gone to about 10 first
run movies. I feel that's the norm and I guess I'm not
I've been to movies three times already this year, so
it's a banner year. But for me it's been almost ten
years since I became utterly disgusted with the state
of movies and severely backed off from my crazy old
film-going ways. I used to see at least 150 movies in
the theater a year, and sometimes as many as 250. Everything
I did was based around what movies I was going to see
that week. Now I'd rather read.
read your "Bailing" essay. Which was probably
a bad idea, since I got here two months ago and have
yet to find anything resembling work. One remark really
caught my eye, about post houses being snotty. It's
true! I am a veteran, award winning art director with
a great reel and resume and I can't get shit going,
because no one gives a rat's ass enough to return my
calls (after I have sent reels to them). So I can commiserate
in that regard. LA is a shithole, and I am feeling very
discouraged. Plus, we pretty much leveraged everything
to come here. I gotta call ripoff, but consider it a
cautionary tale for any one that might read this. Thanks
for letting me vent & best of luck with your post-LA
sorry to hear about your plight, and I honestly do commiserate.
I've heard that things are hopping in Austin, TX, maybe
that's worth checking out. I wish you all the luck in
Unlucky Tim Sharpe
know, that is actually true. "The Edge" did
have a pretty predictable, inept ending. I did actually
think it should of been handled better. I will always
like the acting by Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.
I usually do not enjoy the two, but I did in this film.
About "The Verdit", it is funny because, I
actually read the screenplay that Mamet wrote. It was
alright, I guess. What I cannot stand about his scriptwriting
is that every other sentence, he always writes the word,
'ANGLE', every chance he gets. That gets pretty annoying
after a while, don't you agree? About his film, "State
And Main". I cannot agree with you more. That was
a TERRIBLE film. When "Hiest" was out, I went
to go see it, of course. I never imagined that I would
sit in absolute boredom throughout. That was a very
TERRIBLE film as well. I am not sure if you've seen
it. The reason why I admire "American Buffalo"
is that it has a very simple look to it, you know? I
never went to go see the play, but the film had excellent
acting from Franz and Hoffman. I don't think I have
seen Hoffman so over the edge in a while. But then again,
some of the story wears out after a while. What do you
think? Ok...to end my message regarding Mamet, I just
have to say that I am a big fan of "Wag The Dog".
Since I admire DeNiro, I saw it...and laughed until
the very end. It was unusual Mamet. But it blew me away.
face it, you and I have different tastes. I thought
"Wag the Dog" really sucked. It's such a lame,
unbelievable premise, I was in misery from about fifteen
minutes into the film. This whole deal is top secret,
but they're going to hire a Hollywood film crew and
expect it stay quiet? Come on. And then they completely
misrepresent the filmmaking process which really pisses
me off. They're shooting a film commercial (which are
shot with one camera, like movies), but they're using
multiple cameras like it's a sit-com, then they have
the kid hold a bag of Doritoes and it becomes a cat
through special effects? Bullshit. then the film just
drags along for the next hour with Hoffman repeating
his same lines over and over again, then they have possibly
the most absurd end of act two I've ever seen. They're
all in a small jet, which develops engine trouble and
crashes, fade out, then fade in and they're all standing
beside the wreckage of the jet. People don't live through
jet crashes, certainly not everybody, and certainly
not unscathed. It's really a dumb movie.
Unlucky Tim Sharpe
know you get sick and tired of "did you see this?
if so, what did you think" questions, but I'm gravely
curious on what you think about a few films, which are
films in which I have recently watched.
don't know if you like Mamet, but I just Got done watching
two films that he wrote. One films, "The Edge"
and the other film, "American buffalo". I
loved them. He can totally write (not saying that you
can't). and after reading my TV guide, i found that
"Breakdown" is going to be on television tonight.
I am not sure which channel, but if you have a minute,
you should check it out. I thought it handled its three
act structure well. It is a situation that is believable.
I enjoy films like that.
thought "The Edge" was kind of lame, personally.
It was one of those films where we spent an hour over
coffee afterward rewriting it in attempt to improve
it and make sense out of it. The ending really blew,
and Bart the bear was looking rather old and decrepit,
unlike his halcyon days in "The Bear." I saw
the film in New Zealand with Rob Tapert, Lucy Lawless,
and her daughter, Daisy, who was then about eight years
old. After the film Daisy said snidely, "Why did
everyone get hurt on the leg?" which I thought
was an observant comment. I wasn't crazy about "American
Buffalo" as a play and didn't think it made a very
good film, either. While we're discussing Mr. Mamet,
I thought "State and Main" blew, too -- Oh,
aren't those goofy, Hollywood filmmakers funny? No!
"The Winslow Boy" was okay, but truly didn't
need to be remade. And "The Spanish Prisoner"
was utterly insignificant and forgettable. I really
do like his script for "The Verdict," though.
But that was ten years ago. The last essay I read by
him was incomprehensible -- he has become a severe sesquipedalian
(I don't often get to use that word).
you really that handsome, or is that just a good photo?
just a good photo. I'm really three feet tall and have
bad acne. Thank God for PhotoShop.
how can you talk about the greatest director ever, like
that. Its just because you can`t make good movies yourselves,
don't even know who you're talking about. Since you
started with fuckhead and worked your way to faggot,
is that supposed to be worse?
Hey josh, thanks for the responce, it's just everywhere
else I have wrote to have given me a big fat nothing.
was just wondering about any behind the scenes infomation,
such as influences (and how they were influences)
anything about the techniques used,
about how this film influanced your career and any other
films you have been a part of.
it fit the genre of film making at the time, and why,
(i.e, a lot of horror films being made, yet it fit a
gap in the market...)
any other general infomation that you think may be handy
to my paper, thanks again
are you talking about? "Evil Dead"? If you
think I remember our last communication you are mistaken.
isn't really a question; just a general fyi for anyone
who lives in the SF bay area. One of the local theaters
in Berkeley - the Landmark Act 1 & 2 - is having
a special midnight showing of Running Time on March
23. Apparently it's the East Bay premiere (or so the
site says). Either way, I, for one, am way excited.
up the rockin good work,
for mentioning it. Considering the film only played
in a theater in LA, everywhere it shows will be a premiere.
like to find out more about looping. I heard there are
a dozen loop groups around town, but how can I find
the LA 411 book or the Hollywood Flip-Book. Keep in
mind, however, that you must be a SAG member to join
most of these loop groups. Also, these are very skilled
actors that do this for a living, it's not really a
place for young actors to train. The biggest one, I
believe, is Barbra Harris' Loop Group.