is sort of a follow-up to the discussion on funding.
Your buddy who made the film "Mosquito" -
how easy or difficult was that to find funding for,
to get distributed. etc.? Did it help that it fit into
an easily identifiable genre, and had a genre star (of
sorts?) Granted, it was low-budget, but the special
effects muct have been pretty pricey. Did it ever see
theatrical release, or was it straight-to-cable/video?
was made by my friend Gary Jones, who did the effects
on TSNKE, "Lunatics," and "Evil Dead
2." I think the whole picture came in at $250,000,
that's with a million effects. It took Gary from 1987
to 1994 to get the film financed and made. Then he sold
it to Orion who promptly went bankrupt, Gary never got
a cent, and the film got caught in Orion's bankruptcy
proceedings and he can't even get his hands on the negative
and sound elements. It's as ugly of a indie film story
as there is. But I just spoke with gary two days ago
and he keeps on keeping on. His newest film, "Crocodile
2" has just come out on video/DVD. He shot the
film in India. Check it out.
I take it "Hammer" has drawn pretty good interest
if you've moved to the second dubbing. I'm certainly
looking forward to it.
A movie I haven't seen mentioned that I really liked
was "The Full Monty". Tom Wilkinson has been
good in everything I've seen him do and I really like
Robert Carlisle as well. I liked the fact that the movie
was not about the end of the world, but about the end
of a way of life. It was interesting in the way it worked
gender-role reversals yet it did not fall into cliche.
Watching it I had the impression that it was not the
work of a major studio, though that was an impression.
I could check with IMDB, I suppose. Anyway, I was wondering
what you thought of that film.
was a British picture, so I don't think any major Hollywood
company was necessarily involved in the financing, although
one might have been involved in the distribution. I
didn't really care for the film, and I never cared about
Robert Carlyle. I never gave a damn about seeing out-of-shape,
middle-aged guys strip, and I didn't believe the women
would care, either. And to have them practice and practice,
then be as bad as they were seemed unbelievable. High
school productions are better than that. It was too
calculatedly cute for my tastes.
out of curiosity, which one of your films had the easiest
time finding distribution? I guess I'm talking about
TSNKE and RT since "Lunatics," was sort of
made with studio money. How quickly did these other
two attract attention from the acquisition people, and
what ever happened to the producers rep that was going
to handle "Hammer?"
a good one.
"Lunatics" was made independently with money
raised in Michigan, then sold to Sony. The easiest was
"Running Time" because it was the cheapest,
I had the most the money personally at the time, and
I had the job on "Xena," too. It took a couple
of years to set up the deal on TSNKE, from 1985 to 1987,
and we talked to a lot of people in between. Sony made
an offer on "Lunatics" when they saw a demo
reel at Cannes, and bought the film when it was done,
so that was quick. I made the video/DVD deal on "Running
Time" about a year after it was done. The sales
agent I presently have is representing "Running
Time." I'm trying to get them to watch "Hammer."
that one can finally buy "Hammer" and I'm
interested in that. Since paying with credit card is
much easier since I live in Sweden, I got a little confused
when it looks like only people in US can buy with credit
card. Is there a way to fix this?
don't know. I also don't know how much it would cost
to send to Sweden, certainly more than $3.00 US. Shirley
and I will do some checking. [And
I will contact you via email when we have the answer
to your question. --webmaster]
just read what you had to say about prisons in one of
your posts and found it very interesting. I have had
the very unfortunate experience of watching and waiting
while many of my family members have "done time."
It's a plague that curses the male members of one side
of my family. And the really sad thing is that it has
become some sort of fucked up right of passage among
them. When one of my cousins gets arrested and sentenced
it is just accepted. They serve their time and get their
tattoos and stay out of jail for a year if they are
lucky. I have visited my cousin Erik (yes he spells
it with a K) in jail more times then I would like to
remember. He actually compares prisons now! i.e. This
one had better food or this one had better beds etc....
And to top it all off he has always been very proud
of the crimes that he has commited to land himself in
jail. He is 25 now and he has been in and out of juvy
and prison since he was 12! He feels like he has no
other options but I think that he has no interest in
the "other options" that may be out there
for him. The notion of working for a living is completely
foreign to him. It is very, very depressing. He worships
ganster rap, yet he is a blonde haired, blue eyed white
kid from the sticks in Western Maryland. I would be
very interested to read your essay on prisons. Thanks
for letting me rant. On a lighter note. I just got my
cable guide for the month of September and I noticed
that "Lunatics" is showing on the Encore channel
about a dozen times during this upcoming month. Just
thought you would like to know.
if only I got residuals on "Lunatics." You
should be getting your copy of "Hammer" very
soon, and I hope you enjoy it. Please write in and tell
us what you think. The prison issue is a big one, I
think, considering we have the audacity to call this
country the "land of the free." [Especially
considering that the incarceration rate for black adult
men in South Africa under Apartheid was 851 per 100,000
population, while last year in the U.S. it was 7,226
per 100,0000!] And the fact that non-violent criminals
and violent criminals are put together is particularly
insane. Get arrested for having a couple of joints,
which wasn't hurting anyone, and you're now going to
a place where you may very well be killed or raped,
or you may have to kill someone else to stay alive.
If, once again, you removed the 30% of the prison population
that shouldn't be there in the first place, then you'd
have the space and money to seperate violent from non-violent
just ordered "If I Had a Hammer".
know, I got the order. Yours will be the last of the
remaining dubs I have, which will go out today. I have
a hundred more coming this week. I hope you enjoy it,
but definitely tell us what you thought. Thanks.
just read your essay on "the need for structure".
A very entertaining read with great points throughout.
question. I am curently writting a screenplay and have
run into an act 2 problem as follows.
lead character has a two year window in which his goal
is to be as rich as possible before he meets his wife.
Now the first problem I am running into is how does
he go about getting rich without any knowledge of how
to do so(no education ad such). Now keep in mind that
he went back in time a couple years as to "right
his wrongs" and get afforded this oportunity. The
only things I have came up with is sports gambling and
a more tricky solution is stocks.
also hve a question about time. How could I effectivly
show the passage of time (the two years) without resorting
to three or four big forward leaps in time. It seems
that one would be acceptable but after that I would
be pushing the readers involvement to the edge. Since
it is a low budget movie and not some biblical epic.
about technology. Having two years of advanced knowledge,
he'd know what technology is going to become popular,
and he can invest in it. Or perhaps something like those
razor skateboards. Obviously, you could just go to a
title that says "Two years later," but you
could also come up with a visual schtick, like "Citizen
Kane," where his banker says to ten-year-old Kane,
"Merry Christmas --" it cuts to grown-up Kane,
so about fifteen years went by, and the much older banker
finishes the statement, "-- and a happy New Year."
Or perhaps he got something brand new, like a book say,
then he sets it down and it's all torn and dog-eared.
Or he plants a tree, cut, it's ten-feet tall. Something
good that I came across this wesbite. I found it out
of accident, and now it's one of my favorite websites
to visit. I've been reading your essay's a lot. Got
a kick out of all of them, especially the structure
essay's, which couldn't be more accurate and insightful.
Well, the main reason why I decided to write in is because
I wanted to tell you how much of an inspiration you
are to my writing and direction. I also wanted to ask
you a few questions, if you don't mind.
Can you tell me your thoughts on Roman Polanski's A
KNIFE IN THE WATER? I realize it's on your list of favorite
films, but can you elaborate on why it is? You obviously
dig it and that's perfectly fine with me, but the film
is, in my opinion, one of Polanski's worst. I love mostly
all his other films, films like REPULSION, CHINATOWN,
and THE DEATH AND THE MAIDEN. This one's just way off.
The characters are idiotic, so horribly written to the
point where we don't know why they are doing what they
are doing. Besides, I didn't care for any of them; the
husband was obnoxious and annoying. And the visuals
were dull and uninspired. Can you convince me on why
Why do you think of Kurosawa's work? I think they're
a few films on the list like DERSU USALI, HIGH AND LOW,
and SEVEN SAMURAI. RAN is currently my favorite film
from him; perfect in every way, flawless, a masterpiece.
I love foreign films, also.
glad you like the site, but I don't feel very compelled
to defend Polanski's "Knife in the Water."
I will say that it seemed like a particularly mature,
well-crafted first film. I didn't care for "Death
and the Maiden." And I don't care for "Ran,"
either, which was like watching paint dry. Kurosawa
seemed so old at that time that the only way he'd make
a cut was if the camera was about to run out of film.
His films were always kind of slow, but there's a snappiness
to his films of the 1950s and 60s, which, as he got
old, went away. Sadly, film direction is not an old
do you get a (professional) film directing job and 2)What's
a line producer? Thankyou
getting a professional directing job is based on having
weasled your way into some production company, usually
by kissing a lot of asses. When I asked Rob Tapert,
exec. producer of "Herc" and "Xena,"
why I was directing the lowest-budget of the five Hercules
TV movies (I had three weeks, everyone else got five
weeks), and that the fellow that had been Sam Raimi's
storyboard artist was directing one of the higher-budget
films, Rob replied, "He's kissing the right ass,
and you're kissing the wrong ass." Anyway, a line
producer is a snazzy alternate name for a production
manager, which is a DGA position above 1st AD. They
basically do what the producer ought to be doing.
need the honest deal from you again. I have my screenplay,
I want to direct it....but if I am playing producer
do you think that would be too much.
I mean I am multi-faceted, pretty good at it too. But
I realize there are other things that need to be maintained
that if you are directing you can't be handling.
I don't want to lose control of my project by selling
it to some producer, but I am aware that wearing so
many hates may be a serious mistake.
What do you suggest?
you've got someone you totally trust to not screw you
up, I say do it yourself. I've been a producer on three
of my four films, and it's not as difficult as also
being the camera operator. If this is your first film
then you really need to be on top of where all the money
is going and why. You sound bright, you'll handle it
just fine. Not to sound too much like a Nike ad, but
go for it. And good luck.
been reading the essays in your site. Met Bruce Campbell
the other day at a signing of his book, and he told
me about your site. I'm a an actor-writer in San Diego,
and have been putting the ideas you express in your
Land of the Stupid Cowboys essay into my scripts and
novels. I'm going through your stories: great information
and insight to what's happened to the film industry.
glad you're enjoying it. "Stupid Cowboys"
is my only political/ sociological essay on the site,
but I have more brewing in me. Right now I am deeply
offended by how prison-oriented our society has become.
Kids all dress like they're in prison, shows about prison
come up on TV constantly, stuck between the shows on
cops, serial killers, and forensic science. I feel that
we are being inculcated from early on to accept that
sooner or later we're all going to prison for a while.
I'd say there are 30% too many people in prison in America,
which is every single person that's there for drug possession.
[The 2001 United States rate of incarceration
of 690 inmates per 100,000 is the highest reported rate
in the world, now ahead of Russias rate of 676
per 100,000. -sentencingproject.org] If you drive
up or down I-5, which runs the length of California,
next to agriculture, the next biggest business is prisons,
and there's one in every county. It scares me.
you for the answer on DVD dubbing. I'm curious, though:
how is an original film transferred to DVD in the first
place? Does the 35mm print have to be transferred to
video first, or can the actual celluloid print be scanned
directly into the computer and recorded on the DVD?
could be, but it's not. At this point everybody transfers
from film, negative, IP, or a print, and it goes through
a Rank-Cintel transfer machine (which is what remains
of the old J. Arthur Rank film company), and onto Digital
Beta tape. From the Digi-Beta (as they call them) you
then dupe to either tapes or DVDs.
excited to see "Hammer". I may have asked
you this before so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.
But are there any plans to release "Lunatics"
on DVD? It would but cool to hear commentary from you
and Ted Raimi or Bruce Campbell. Also, have you ever
thought about writing a book about your filmmaking experiences?
I think a lot of young filmmakers would be interested
in your story. Just a thought.
have written a book and it's in an agent's hands right
now. Will they rep it, or will it get published remains
to be seen. Sony doesn't even know they own "Lunatics"
and has no plans for it all, at least that I know of.
am intrested in directing Dark of the Moon. How would
I buy the rights to it?
you intentionally trying to remain anonymous, or do
you not want to reveal your identity. You can write
to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
sir! I just saw your answer to another post about HAMMER
distribution, and had no idea that DVD reproduction
cost that much, at least in this country (the Chinese,
of course, do it for about $2.00 a copy, but they don't
worry about all that pesky, international copyright
crap). Have you considered making your own DVD copies?
I know that you can buy DVD machines that make dubs,
although the technology is still a little new (and expensive).
Right now you're experimenting with direct marketing,
but this may be a move to consider in the future, particularly
if the current plan is successful. In any case, the
videophiles would be happy.
My compliments to the webmaster. I like the new look
of the site. D.J.M.
the deal with DVDs, which both my good buddy Bruce Campbell
and the webmaster here, Shirley, have the capability
of making. They won't look any better than the source
from which they coming from. Therefore, if you feed
in a VHS it will look similar or worse to the original.
Until someone has at least a Beta-SP deck to feed off
of, it won't look very good. The VHS tapes I'm having
made are coming off of a Digital Beta master, which
is the highest quality master around these days. Sadly,
it was a one-light transfer off of a release print (that
still cost $1,000). And it looks okay. To do a top-notch
transfer off of a color-timed IP right now would cost
me $12,000 for the IP and another $5,000 to $7,000 for
the transfer. Then I could make really good-looking
cost effective VHS copies try Film Craft Lab in Farmington
It supposedly has the cheapest video dubs around. Don't
know for sure myself.
DVD may still be worth checking out. I sure as hell
don't think my friend, Mark, payed 40 some odd bucks
to put his film on DVD. Have you shopped around for
the best DVD prices?
luck. Looking forward to getting "Hammer,"
no matter what medium it comes out on.
a good one.
will continue to check DVD dupe prices. I may have a
way to do it myself, with Bruce's Apple G-2, if he buys
a Beta-SP machine, which he may. The point is to have
them look okay. I've worked with Film Craft, they did
all the processing for "Lunatics" way back
when, and though they're nice folks, I didn't like their
work. I'm using my usual duplication facility, Santa
Monica Video, where they do very good work and are all
nice folks. I came to them after years of using Lightning
Dubs, the biggest place in LA, where they consistently
treated me like a jerk. Anyway, I've already ordered
a hundred dupes, and we've set up the PayPal thing so
people can pay with credit cards if they'd like, so
we're ready to go. [You should
be able to order it from the website this weekend; I'll
put notification on the main page. --webmaster]
what I gather Dark of the Moon's project was dropped.
I as a aispiring director wish to direct the script,
with your consent of course. I know that this is very
unproffessional and I understand the copyright laws.
I wish to direct the film because as I want to be a
writer and director I find it troublesome to write entire
scripts. Would it be o.k if I picked up the Dark of
the Moon project?
I'll just give my scripts for free to people with no
names that write into my website. Wake up and grow up.
The first thing you need is about $28,000 to purchase
the rights, which is approximately the Writer's Guild
minimum fee for a low-budget film. Sadly, without the
money you get nothing.
glad that the problem of overseas sales has been solved.
As for the way I sound, what can I say? After seven
years, I find little pieces of jargon creeping into
my speech involuntarily. Roger? :-)
Anyway, here's my latest question: what do you think
of reality-based TV shows? For the most part, they seem
deliberately UNrealistic (once you poke a highly visible
camera into a situation, untrained people will react
to that, and the reality of the scene is lost). There
are a few exceptions (I particularly like that new show
on the History Channel called BASIC TRAINING, mainly
because it's filmed at Fort Jackson, SC, where yours
truly went to basic training many long years ago - check
it out if you haven't seen it yet), but this seems to
be the case, most particularly with those deliberately
contrived shows like ROAD RULES, THE REAL WORLD, or
BIG BROTHER where the situation is unrealistic and set
up from the beginning. What do you think?
whole thing bores me to tears. I have no more interest
in reality TV than I have in game shows, which is zero.
Now drop and give me twenty, maggot!
thought I'd chime in with a little rebuttal to these
claims that "no one is buying feature films shot
on DV." Well, recent releases prove that theory
few prime examples:
1) Steven 'Pseudo-Independent' Soderburgh directed his
latest star-bloated claptrap "Full Frontal"
using what appear to be incredibly El Cheapo commercial
miniDV cameras. The trailers and commercials all appear
in the most wretched visuals I've seen; grainy, awkward,
and replete with horrible color quality. Pity the poor
bastards who see this movie on the big screen - I can
only imagine that the poor cinematography will induce
the most rampant cases of nausia since The Exorcist
A recent independent DV film, "Tadpole." Yet
another film with a few known actors, but at least making
an effort to capture a more reputable indie-vibe. I
assume that the picture quality is somewhere on par
with "Full Frontal" though, as news articles
describe the film's director as being incredibly displeased
with the efforts of his DP: This crew was also working
with normal home DV cams, which require a lot of adjusting
in order to manually control the focus, color balance,
et cetera. It seems the cinematographer, who wasn't
used to all that tinkering, simply stopped caring and
did his shooting (which was confined to a very short
schedule) on auto-pilot.
A film that personally annoyed the piss out of me with
its shoddy handheld antics, "The Anniversary Party."
That kind of phony documentary-style shooting might
work fine for TV shows like NYPD Blue, but it's simply
agonizing to watch for two straight hours.
And a few more that I can think of (The Short List):
"Bamboozled," "The Original Kings of
Comedy," "Dancer in the Dark," and "Chuck
and Buck." Also, I could be wrong, but wasn't "In
the Bedroom" shot in DV?
of note: The Independent Film Channel hosts a series
of films for a block of programming called "DV
Theater." Most of these "Feature" films
haven't actually been released in distribution, but
I'm sure the filmmakers get a little dole from showing
their product on a premium cable network.
food for thought...
forgot to mention the last "Star Wars" film.
If you've got an all-star cast, like "The Anniversary
Party," or you're making a sequel to one of the
biggest money-makers of all time, or you just won the
Oscar for best director last year, you can shoot on
whatever format you want. I'm just telling you that
if you give a distributor a reason to not release your
film, or to even look at it, they'll take it. Just like
Rodriguez getting his post production paid for by someone
else, you're looking at minor exceptions to the rule
and not the rule. If you intend on making a feature
film with some chance of being released somewhere, shooting
DV at this point is a bad idea. You've shoved yourself
into a less than one percent category. "In the
Bedroom," BTW, was shot on film.
El Mariachi, have you read his book, 'Rebel w/o a crew?'
Pretty interesting, even if you don't like his films
just to read his struggles to raise $7,000. And from
what I remember in there was that he shot the scenes
MOS then had the actors record their diologue on a DAT
and a regular microphone. Or maybe it wasn't even a
DAT, it's been a year or 2 since I've read it. Also
I do remember he got some sort of discount from Kodak
on filmstock because he told them he was shooting a
student film. But I do remember him saying that when
Columbia bought it, they did in fact pay for the blow
up 35mm print, and just about everything else just so
they could show it at Sundance or whereever saying this
was a 7,000 film. So technically Rodreguiz himself made
'el mariachi' for $7,000 but yes someone did pay the
subject has obviously piqued people's interest. Once
again, post-production counts as part of the cost of
a movie. A big part. That Rodriguez didn't have to pay
it himself makes him a very lucky guy, and not a good
example for the rest of us. "Evil Dead" is
a much better example, where principal photography cost
about $90,000, then probably another $100,000 was spent
on reshoots and pick-ups, then another $200,000 was
spent on post production, as well as about another $100,000
in interest on all the loans. That's reality. Just putting
a film in the can means shit. Finishing it is the game,
and Rodriguez lucked out.
this whole film festival thing. You know... it's not
that "Running Time" wasn't good enough to
show at film festivals - I think that it wasn't *weird*
enough to show at film festivals. While very inventive,
it was a well-done, good ol' fashioned caper movie,
the kind that Cagney and Raft and Alan Ladd cranked
out every couple of months. I can really imagine Raoul
Walsh or Michael Curtiz doing it with Cagney, Anne Sheridan,
and maybe William Bendix or someone in the leads. The
kind of film that we need more of, but the kind that
no once cares about any more. Not that I know anything
about film festivals, but the winners on those circuits
usually make it to the indie movie house here. And they're
all like "Ghost World" - interesting notion,
maybe some good characterizations....but all kind of
with "Warpath" - truly a classic, simple,
straightforward story. These days, you'd need a graphic
sex and violence scene with the young Indian girl, a
political statement on Native Americans, a punk rock
singer cast as one of the bad guys, and a non-linear
time frame for people to pay attention to it. Oh, and
Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder in the leads.
guess then is that "Hammer" is a straightforward
story that captures a moment in time. No controversy,
no risks in its message, no sex and violence.... probably
the closest you've come yet to a William Wyler-style
film. And accordingly ...no interest. Whatever the case,
it will be good to get a glimpse of it. You've got my
Rodriguez and the $7,000. I've seen "El Mariachi,"
thoroughly enjoyed it, and think it would be what we'd
get if someone got you stoned out of your brain on speed,
gave you a hand-held camera, and said "You've got
6 hours to shoot a film."
read his book, but really just skimmed through it one
evening when a friend lent it to me, and this was maybe
6 years ago. But as I recall, he said the *only* expenses
he had were film stock, tranfering film to videotape
and back, and blanks (caps?) for guns, explosions, etc.
The actors were all his friends, and were not paid;
they provided their own costumes and props; the camera
and sound and light equipment was borrowed from the
U. of TX, and he was a crew of one; and he edited it
on 2 vcr's in his living room. As I recall, he said
that was his one big expense - tranferring all his film
to videotape so he could (amateurishly) edit it on a
VCR, then transferring it back. I remember he said that
he had these shots of a pit bull that he would cut to,
basically to cover a bad edit.
a lot of the plot and settings were developed based
on what he knew he could get for free. There might be
a scene in a bar, but only because he knew the owner
would let him film there. I remember he said the main
bad guy - a hit man named Azul - was willing to act
for free... with one stipulation: he wanted a scene
where he was in bed with three girls, which he could
provide. Rodriguez shot it, and it's actually rather
gather his goal was to try to sell it to Mexican cable,
for maybe $20,000 - because he felt they were so lame,
they'd air *anything* . So maybe this overseas thing
might be the way to go.
way, I think that "Mariachi" is closer in
production values to "Stryker's War" or "Cleveland
Smith" than to "TSNKE" - just longer.
When I saw it, I REALLY liked it, but truly wondered
how he had spent more than maybe $100 on it.
already answered that one today, regarding "El
Mariachi's" actual costs. $7,000 in the can is
not completion. Anyway, envisioning Cagney, Sheridan,
and Bendix in "Running Time" is kind of amusing,
although I'm not sure Jeremy Roberts would appreciate
being likened to William Bendix. Bendix, BTW, is just
great in Wyler's film "Detective Story" --
better than I ever suspected he could be. Regarding
the lack of acceptance of my films at festivals, I have
a feeling you've hit the nail on the head. My films,
whether they're good or bad, are far too understandable
for today's festivals. My big problem, I think, is that
everything that's considered "hip," I consider
stupid. Like "Ghost World" or "Memento,"
both of which were seriously painful for me to sit through.
Even "Monster's Ball," which I liked, still
had aspects of modern filmmaking I didn't like, such
as many interior angles being shot from outside through
windows for no good reason, and a droning electronic
score covering everything. I'm an old-fashioned guy,
I guess, in that I want to see what I'm looking at and
hear what's being said. Call me a stick-in-the-mud.
was interested to see the posting by Ravi who thought
some of the personal names in "Hyderabad"
were inappropriate. I actually felt uncomfortable about
them myself (I lived in Delhi for three years) and so
consulted my father who was an Attache Officer there
over two tours (five years). His thinking was that names
of Muslim origin would not be inappropriate given the
political history of the area. Hyderabad was included
in the Moghul Empire and long had Muslim leadership.
I think he said that he had only known of one "Ravi",
that being the sitar player, but obviously the Ravi
who posted with you clears that name for use. Naturally,
if the post-sender, Ravi, has recommendations I'd go
with his. Nothing is as true-to-life as reality.
I has a hypothetical question for you regarding SAG
rules. You have entertained projects with BC and TR
where either or both would serve as producer as well
as star. Since they must recieve SAG pay, are they able,
as producers, to just feed that back into a feature
they themselves are producing? Or is there a prohibition
against that sort of thing? Just wondering.
is touchy about producers being actors, although if
they've been dues-paying actors for a long time, then
become producers it's more acceptable. SAG just doesn't
like the idea of a producer casting themselves and taking
away a real actor's job. An actor can put their pay
back into the production, but if they're being paid
through SAG, then health and pension will be subtracted,
plus taxes. There are some other arcane rules regarding
being both a producer and an actor (Bruce Campbell ran
into these on "Crimewave"), so you ought to
check with SAG first.
am 13 years old and my cousin Carol "ck" Kravetz
lives in Los Angeles. She has been a production coordinator
for quite some time.
has done work on tv and movie sets. She just left on
Monday for Memphis, Tennessee where they are shooting
a movie for 3 months.
exactly does a production coordinator do? I know she
has contact with the director, cause he called her.
your interested this is the link to my cousin's credits...
you, Jessica Goodman
production coordinator mainly deals with the talent,
meaning the actors, and makes sure they are where they're
supposed to be, and are happy about it, too. If you
have any size cast, wrangling all of the actors is a
just purchased a Sony HVC 2400 camera that hooks up
to an SL-2000 recorder (it uses Beta tapes). I cannot
find too much information on it. One fact I found out
was that its resolution is 525. Since that is more than
many digital camcorders, is its picture quality that
much superior? Also, do you know any other information
on this camera (was it ever used for broadcasting)?
U DA MAN, DAWG.
regarding this, I'm not da man. I really don't know.
hear ya. The drafts of "Cycles" are all over
the place. It would just piss you off. Just thought
I would offer. I read your essays on your various life
adventures and I think that you should write an autobiographical
script. From what I read it seems as though you have
had a very interesting life. Have you ever thought about
writng a book about your life in the film business?
I'm excited to see "Hammer". When are the
copies going to be available?
working out a few more details, like PayPal, and the
fact that DVDs are still too expensive to make -- the
duplication place wants $65 for the first one, and $43
each for the next 50 of them -- so I'm skipping DVDs
and only selling VHS tapes. We'll see if we can't have
this up and running by next week.
read "Rebel Without a Crew" and here's why
"El Mariachi" was so cheap.
shot on film then made a print straight from the negative
to video. The final print was made by the studio after
he sold the movie to them, so he didn't count that.
-He recorded all the audio on a cassette recorder after
shooting the scene.
-He had a low shooting ratio because there was little
dialogue and if someone screwed up, (dropped their gun,
etc) he would just cut right before that to a different
-He didn't pay any actors or crew members, as far as
I guess he made a finished movie that he sold for only
$7000, but the studio plugged in a lot more for it's
Unfortunately, I read the book before I saw the movie.
If I'd seen how insanely dumb that movie was beforehand,
I never would've bothered to read it.
the big answer is that he simply didn't count the money
the studio put in, which was easily a couple of hundred
thousand dollars. Like I said, using that logic TSNKE
cost $18,000 -- except that it really cost nearly $200,000.
And since 99.9% of the time the filmmaker must bring
the film to final completion themselves just to get
anyone to look at it, $7,000 to make a feature film
is a lie.
you seen El Mariachi?
looks like a $7000 movie.
you tell me why you don't think Rodriguez made it the
way he made it (a one man crew) on that budget.
I've made too many movies and there are too many processes
along the way that cost more than that, if you want
to actually look at the film, let alone have sound,
too. He's either lying or simply skipping the fact that
money was put in by someone else. I can say that I shot
TSNKE for about $18,000, except that I owed another
$40,000 when I was done, and it still took over another
$100,000 to get to a release print. Just doing the 35mm
blow-up was minimally $40,000. Just having an optical
soundtrack shot so you can make a release print is $4,000.
may want to try this route of possible distribution
Germany there are T.V. stations that have payed between
$10,000 and $50,000 to show independent films. I'm actually
having some luck with them and they are very friendly.
If you want, contact Florence Kluge at Florence.Kluge@DasErste.de
She can provide you with contact info on all 10 of Germany's
television outlets that might be interested.
there's an extremely interesting indi theatre in Vancouver,
B.C. that shows nothing but films by independent directors,
many of which are first timers. Really good folks. You
may want to look them up. www.blindinglight.com
just out of curiosity, what would "Hammer"
be rated? Is it a "lighter" film that your
previous efforts, or still an R? Seems you said a while
back there is no nudity or sex in it. It would be nice
to see a PG or PG-13 again in this era of entertainment
that is seemingly obsessed with violence, sex, and foul
language. How else to you get a "Fuck" in
a Robin Hood movie?
a good one.
that's interesting info. "Hammer" would be
rated PG-13, I suppose. There are a couple of "Goddamns"
and one "Shit," but that's it. No sex, no
nudity, no violence. I'm very interested in what the
folk that frequent this site think of the film. I certainly
won't make any money on this venture, but I'm very eager
to get some response.
done some searching around and DV is actually becoming
alot more common on the festival circuit. Even the bigger
festivals like Sundance have installed digital projectors
in their theaters. The smaller festivals have been showing
movies with video projectors for awhile and have easily
adapted to DV. I don't know if the problem is so much
the format, but rather the content and marketability
of the film. I know a guy that worked on the Miami film
festival last year and there's an incredible amount
of pressure to make sure the indie films are commercial.
Often times the people choosing the movies are not even
film-lovers, but rather people that have business clout
to run a large festival. I'm not saying that "Hammer"
isn't commercial, but perhaps it just didn't click with
the people looking for the next Memento or In the Bedroom.
not seen the movie myself, I'll admit that my initial
impression is that it sounded vaguely tv-movieish to
me, with a cast that I wasn't familiar with. I really
enjoyed Running Time and thought TSNKE was fun, but
I probably wouldn't run to see Hammer. I'll admit I'm
fairly ignorant about the era of music though, and I'm
guessing that movie-goers 10+ years older than me would
have much more interest in it. Lately I've actually
stopped watching movies to some extent and just tried
to brush up on my history and literature. I think part
of the problem these days with younger filmmakers is
that they're completely influenced by television and
action movies, which tend to be lacking in the story
and character departments.
no real questions here, just a few comments. Having
seen your last few movies I will probably buy Hammer
as well, but any chance you could put a trailer up for
it on the website? Take care,
a trailer is a big deal, and one I haven't done for
"Hammer." So no, there won't be a trailer.
I know that DV is shown at a lot of festivals, which
is good. And the image from DV projectors look quite
good, too. Sadly, though, no one is buying feature films
shot on DV. Period. Overseas they still won't buy a
feature shot in black and white. On a strictly marketing
level, shooting DV means you will not make any sales
anywhere, unless it's a documentary. That's just how
it is. As for "Hammer," whatever it's problems
may be, being like a TV movie isn't one of them.
read the story 'Huderbad". I just wanna suggest
that names are all not quite right. I'm from Hyderbad.
doesn't surprise me since I've never been to India.
Other than the names, what did you think of the story?
And the evocation of the place?
only draft that Beacon has with your name on it is a
draft by Dario Scardapane dated May 24, 1993. I have
a copy of it and I compared it to the one that you have
on this site. It is almost a completely diffrent story.
There is a bunch of diffrent characters and situations.
The drafts by Phillip Kaufman which are from 1998 are
much closer to your original story. And if I remember
correctly the Fishman brothers drafts which are from
1999 are a mix of everything. Kind of like a cut and
paste job. Let me know if you want copies.
but no thanks. I glanced at Dario Scardapane's rewrite
years ago and got so pissed-off I don't need to see
any others. As I said, my original draft was never looked
at or considered over at Beacon. That's how Hollywood
works, the first thing that's done is to remove any
integrity or inspiration. Oh well.
I thought Tim Burton's Ed Wood Biopic was probably one
of the ten best films in 90's, IMO. I'm sure some people
thought, "who'd wanna watch a 90minute film about
a guy making shitty movies?" Just the cinematography
and camp feel alone made it a great flick to watch,
and it's not like Johnny Depp could do wrong on screen.
so just so you know, I'd definatly check out your autobio
(if you decide to make it) about the high expectations
of moving tinseltown to make your 'Last Picture Show'
and the downfall of Hollywood how they'd rather make
The Mummy Returns than pick up 'Hammer.'
"If I Had a Hammer" stinks, maybe that's the
problem. Those with a spare $20 bucks can now find out.
And yes, I agree that "Ed Wood" would certainly
be one of the better films of the 90s, but unlike you,
I think Mr. Depp is boring, in a severely underwritten
part. To be that bad, and to also be good friends of
with the dying Bela Lugosi, brilliantly played by Martin
Landau, deserved a better script. The photography is
you want to send an S.A.S.E. from Canada to the U.S.
you go to your friendly neighbourhood post office and
ask for an IRC (International Reply Coupon) and slap
that sucker on your envelope.
think a while ago you said you were reading Cassavetes
on Cassavetes. What do you think about what he has to
say on filmmaking?
for the info. I knew there was a name for the item,
IRC. And by just using regular mail, the postal rates
shouldn't be very much, particularly for a DVD. Hell,
Netflix sends them for 37 cents (without the case).
I got bored with the Cassavattes book and dropped it.
I didn't get very far, either, so perhaps I'll try it
again at some later date.
pretty cool that you might be distributing "Hammer."
Anyway, I was browsing through your site and noticed
the you worked as a process server while writing the
final drafts for "Lunatics". I know this isn't
a film related question or anything, but I was wondering
what that was like. Did you have to camp outside of
people's houses and wait for them to come home at 3AM?
Did you ever have your life threatened?
Quite honestly, with your pot-related commando missions,
you're hitchhiking to Alaska and your highly ironic
life, I think your life would make a really interesting
You probably wouldn't want to make an autobiographical
movie, (disregarding "Biological Clock) but wouldn't
it be even more ironic if you made the most money off
a movie that showed you making "unsuccessful"
movies? (I put in the quotes because sometimes not being
in demand by the status quo is a good thing)
good luck with Hammer,
you're right. Bruce has nudged me several times to write
an autobiographical script. It's just been such an aggravating
bore living my life, I can't imagine making a film out
of it. Process serving was an interesting job. I did
have to camp out in front of someone's house to serve
them, and I was a threatened a few times, but no fights
resulted. I liked the fact that I was usually done by
I just read "Worst
Case Scenario". For what it's worth, I wasn't
aware there was such a show. But the response you got
to your comments seemed awfully familiar. I've been
involved in debates concerning reparation payments for
descendants of slaves, a tremendously complex issue,
and met with similar difficulty. I wonder if the average
person today can distinguish between a direct and an
indirect object. Personally, I've found it best to avoid
pronouns of any sort as they seem to be a source of
intense confusion. Unfortunately people then think that
I'm talking down to them, which of course I am. I don't
know the answer. If people would read more that would
be a good start.
The other thing that strikes me is how economic principals
so clearly demonstrate the purpose of "Hollywood"
today. If Hollywood exists to produce product, be it
films or television, then it is horribly inefficient
and should suffer as a result. That fact that the machine
of Hollywood continues to grow almost exponentially
demonstrates clearly that, in Hollywood, the product
is a mere by-product. The goal of Hollywood is to try
to incorporate as many entities, be they corporations
or consumers, into its structure by convicing them that
the structure itself is the thing.
Foreign objections to the export of American culture
through popular media, i.e. film and music, only illustrate
this further. Hollywood has become similar to the stock
frenzies of recent years. The buying of Hollywood is
driven by euphoria rather than tangible returns (quality
entertainment), or even the promise of them. From what
I understand, major Hollywood releases make their real
money in international release. Recent immigrants always
tell me that they came here expecting to live episodes
from "Miami Vice". They watched the movies
and commited to the culture. The quality of the movies
are, to them, largely irrelevant. The same principals
drive domestic sales. The dream is no longer "I
want to be a star" but "I want to be like
a star". Give me the lifestyle, essentially.
Hollywood, like those overvalued stocks, produces little
of real value. The question is, will the investment
bubble burst or will it remain immune to reason?
This turned out longer than I intended and you can edit
it (dump it) as you will for posting. I could probably
state my case better but I think you can get the gist
of it. Thanks for letting me vent.
the overseas market is about the same size -- money-wise
-- as the US market. What's amazing to me is that "Spider-Man"
can make $300,000,000. in two weeks, and become the
fifth highest-grossing film of all time having only
been number one for two weeks. That was an eye-opener
read a quote from Orson Welles. He said, "Everything
you need to know about filmmaking can be learned in
two to three days." Any thoughts on that quote?
have you heard of the filmmaking crash course by Dov
S-S Simens? If you did, is it worth the $$$?
if you're Orson Welles. I've been studying it my whole
life and I sure as heck don't have it figured out. I
don't know a thing about Dov S-S Simens, although I
have seen the name and thought, "How odd."
want to shoot a movie using a Beta camcorder from the
'80s. (The beta version of the ancient camcorders that
used vcr tapes.) The reason I want to do this is because
it comes out more film-like than digital and 8mm camcorders.
Is that true? THANKS, BOSS!
you like it then use it. It's what you shoot, not what
you shoot it with -- unless you intend to make a feature,
but that's a different story. Just use it, and do your
you for answering my question on first-person perspective.
It does seem contrived in the few examples that I've
seen; sort of self-consciously cinematic, like a kid
showing off a trick ("Watch me, Mommy, watch me!").
I had an idea on the shipping situation outside of the
U.S. for your film. One possible solution would be to
have customers from outside the U.S. send you an UNstamped,
self-addressed envelope, then include the price of postage
along with the purchase price in their check or money
order. This would probably require that you invest in
a mail-metering machine (like the one that Pitney-Bowes
makes), otherwise you would be buying alot of stamps
or going to the post office every day. The customer
would also have to find out the cost of postage prior
to sending a check; you could post a link to the U.S.
Postal Service's website on this site for that information.
Just a note to your webmaster: when I scrolled down
to the bottom of this page and clicked on the menu option
to go back to the main page, I was brought back to an
older version of the main page, without any updates
just sound like you're in the military. I'm going to
stick with my scheme of making everybody send their
own SASE. It's sort of a challenge. I'm sure as heck
not getting a Pintney-Bowes machine.
for taking the time to give me a heads up. The menu
did take you to the right page (There's only one; the
both point you to the same file.). Your browser must
have had the old version of the page cached. Next time
just hit "refresh" or "reload" on
your browser, and it will load up the current version.
wondering what you think about music videos. Are there
any videos that you have been impressed with? Would
you ever consider directing music videos? Just curious.
they still make music videos? I haven't seen one in
years. It doesn't interest me at all. I'm sorry, but
it still kills me that my original draft of "Cycles"
was never even considered as one of the drafts. Oy vey!
Dear Josh -
still mystifies me as to what's going on with these
film festivals not wanting to show "Hammer,"
especially since there seem to be a ton of indies without
name brand stars. Maybe not ones that see wide release,
but they turn up here and there. They get shown, anyway.
But I'm excited to see that you are exploring other
options now. I wonder if you couldn't market directly
to indie theatres - but maybe that would take more time
than it's worth.
- I see "Running Time" is being shown at a
drive-in! Bruce is doing some appearance in IL, and
they're showing a double feature of RT and "Escape
from LA." Any plans on showing up?
day late, but ... as Porky Pig once memorably said to
that little Martian dude...."Happy B-b-b-b-b-b-birthday,
you thing from another world you!"
got Bruce showing up at the festival, they're happy.
And they didn't ask me. Yeah, every time I get turned
down by a festival I really do figure, what the hell?
My films aren't even good enough to see? You've seen
"Running Time." That wasn't good enough to
be shown at most festivals? And thanks for the b'day