have you caught the greenlight project on HBO?
caught a few eps of the first series and that was sufficient
for me. It's just one more aspect of what's wrong with
the film business. The last thing on earth I give a
shit about is watching inexperienced idiots getting
to direct multi-million dollar movies for which they
are clearly and obviously unqualified. No question,
any of the directors that worked on Herc or Xena are
much more qualified to direct a feature film and would
absolutely do a better job. The whole Project Greenlight
concept is bullshit.
god your an idiot...the species of sheep whom self absorb
snazzy camera angles and good "sex scenes"
are the reason we must endure "Charlies Angels
2" advertisments on our "big gulps".
i stopped reading your garbage review of Eyes Wide Shut
the minute you blatantly mentioned that old directors
arent note worthy...Kubrick is adored by the strong,
and condemned by the weak.
directors aren't noteworthy? You think that's what I
said? Good God, what kind of idiot are you? Considering
it was quite a short review, perhaps you ought to have
finished reading it before writing in. I have much more
respect for old directors than new ones, that's for
sure. My point, that you clearly missed, is that many
great old-time directors ended their careers with a
stinker: Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, Billy Wilder,
and Stanley Kubrick as well, which doesn't take anything
away from their earlier, better films.
Hey there Josh,
Your response to the IFC question gave rise to a question
that I have to preface with a story...
I'm going to write the music for a documentary that
a couple of ex-coworkers of mine are doing on George
A. Romero, the "Dead" films, the hardcore
fandom thereof and its relationship to the cultural
fabric of Pittsburgh.
Based on what you've said, in order to sell the TV rights,
they'd need "cue sheets", which I assume are
the cues written in standard notation (please correct
me if I'm wrong). Problem is, everything I've done so
far, and everything I plan on doing, I've written in
my head and performed myself, so there's nothing like
that to submit.
I'm probably thinking too far ahead, since the only
distribution-related info these guys have given me is
that they'll be submitting the finished product to film
festivals (never a sure thing, as you well know), but
do you think there might be problems in the future should
they get the chance at a deal similar to yours?
In other words, should I write it all down anyway, just
in case, or should I wait and see how it all turns out?
p.s. For what it's worth, I'm glad I finally have a
practical question to ask you.
music cue sheet simply stated the names of the various
music cues and when they occured in the film. It was
on one piece of paper and didn't look very difficult
to whip up. If you need to see one I'll send it to you.
it comes to determining whether a feature film's copyright
is no longer in effect and, therefore, in the "public
domain,", is The Library of Congress the ultimate
Also, do you know if there is a legal distinction between
different kinds of rights -- video, theatrical, broadcast
-- when it comes to "public domain" material?
not a copyright expert or an attorney, but I believe
that once something has gone into the public domain,
it's there in its entirety. The classic examples are
"It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Night
of the Living Dead," neither of which were copyright
to start with and neither has a copyright notice, which
was mandatory at the time. Anybody can duplicate those
films and sell them since they're in the public domain.
It's probably worthwhile, though, to check with a lawyer.
Cynthia E. Jones
The "Detroit: Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten"
shirt can be bought here:
I ran across it a couple of months ago and was thinking
about buying it, just for the hell of it.
Jesus, all of MY friends are telling ME to see "28
Days Later," too, so I guess I'd better see it.
The ads looked like fuzzy digital video to me (not too
good-looking on the big screen when I was dragged to
"X-Men 2"), and Danny Boyle really doesn't
excite me too much--but hey! It's either that, or "Capturing
the Friedmans," (the documentary about a man accused
of pedophilia), so what can you do? Oh, yeah, there's
about a zillion sequels to crap out, too, and "The
Hulk," but damn! It's getting so I just don't ever
want to go to the theater, and I used to want to go
all the time.
Renting a bunch of Netflix and staying at home,
what I do, and watch the documentaries on Sundance.
I hear that "Capturing the Friedmans" is good.
My friend Jack read a screenplay that he thought was
very good and he told me about it. It's the standard
story of an extreme movie fan from the midwest that
wants to make movies, so he goes to Hollywood and plays
the writing game for the next several years. Even though
he does get some stuff made, by the end he declares
that they've so kicked the life out of him, combined
with how bad the movies he's worked on are, that he
no longer wants to go to the movies anymore, either,
just like us.
When IFC picked up Running Time was that deal handled
through a producer's rep? Do you see any money from
that, or did the rep take a huge percentage? The reason
I ask is that I have dealt with many producer's reps,
and most were either crooks or incompetent. I find that
its almost better to become your own rep and create
the relationships yourself. How did your rep work out?
they made the deal. IFC could have made the deal with
me years before, but they didn't, nor would anyone else.
Once the sales agent stepped in they've made deals with
IFC, UK TV, German TV, and Indonesia video/DVD. Will
I ever see any money? That remains to be seen, but I
haven't yet. After a particularly horrible expereince
with a sales agent on TSNKE, I was so gun shy that I
wouldn't sign on with a sales agent for many years.
Guess what? I made very few sales. It's nearly impossible
to be your sales agent since we filmmakers haven't got
the contacts. Also, places like cable TV stations absolutely
do not want to deal with individual filmmakers, and
they have their own good reasons. To complete the deal
with IFC there was a slew of delivery elements: a broadcast
quality master, copyright assignments, statements of
copyright, music contracts, music cue sheets, a dialog-continuity
script, etc. IFC, or any other cable channel for that
matter, will not hound a filmmaker to get all of these
things, but a sales agent will. Anyway, when all is
said and done, I'd much rather have my films in distribution
and be seen than wait around for an honest agent, which
is probably an oxymoron anyway.
I forgot I also wanted to take a guess at the "kinetic"
director you mentioned from Xena--are you speaking of
I remembered you told me that folks either love or hate
his style, and you didn't care for it though he was
quite popular with the powers that be. He happens to
be one of my favorite t.v. directors, having directed,
among many Xena eps on the top of my list, a "La
Femme Nikita" ep I particularly was spellbound
by, but I have to admit it was saturated with: "Attention
out there! Director at work!" I think maybe his
stunt background <I think I have that right> colors
his choices too much, even for the gals-kicking-ass-action
not mentioning any names, but you could be right.
E-mail: upon request
I wanted to let you know that I thought of you over
the July 4th holiday. Yep! I've been away for the week
spending it with the in-laws. Tell me Josh, does a cereal
bowl in the sink trump a spoon in the sink? I dare say
I think I caught you mentioning that your parents divorced
rather late in the scheme of things. didn't you say
it'd have been better for all if a divorce happened
much earlier? I think a divorce even now that my in-laws
are in their late 60's would salvage some peace and
happiness for at least some involved. But I gather that's
the irony you were shooting for with the piece. I just
wish my mother-in-law could come to the conclusion that
some milk in a bowl left in the sink is not cause for,
say, an afternoon of misery. But I guess if we don't
abandon her then she'll never learn the moral of the
story, eh? How does one anonymously or "accidentally"
send someone a link to a "Spoon In The Sink"?
Having been away without IFC, I hadn't seen the "Pulp
Indies" commercial until just last night-I caught
a snippet of Running Time! I'm excited to finally see
it! What's your understanding of this "Pulp"
theme IFC is promoting for their Friday night summer
fare? Was it explained to you? Do you find it silly?
Hey, as long as they're showing your film, it's a payday
and exposure, right?
Catching up on old posts here-just wanted to mention
that I half-remember hearing a blurb in some news commentary
that Colin Powell is pronounced like the defecating
organ not because that is how his parents intended the
name to be heard, but rather the media, when he was
becoming news-worthy later in his career, simply mispronounced
it and it snowballed with others covering him, and he
never took the initiative to correct them.
I really doubt that it the case, because, well, why?
Why wouldn't he correct it, and what is the likelihood
of journalists mispronouncing a common name like Colin/Collin?
Is the one "L" the problem? Naaa. I think
he was born in Jamaica.is the pooping slough really
an actual name down there? .We talk about the weirdest
things here sometimes. Hee.
abhors a vacuum, therefore if someone hasn't got sufficient
troubles in their life, or just not enough of a life
in general, then they will create troubles for themself.
That's what "A Spoon in the Sink" is about.
for Colin Powell, I thought Cecil B. DeMille was pronounced
see-sil as opposed to ses-il simply because I grew up
watching "Beenie and Cecil" and they pronounced
it see-sil. So I've been corrected many times.
for Pulp Indies, no, of course IFC didn't explain anything
to me, or even speak to me, for that matter. But I guess
it's a way into showing less artsy-fartsy films, and
stuff with potentially more action. I don't suppose
they'd go so far as to show TSNKE, but I'm happy to
have "Running Time" finally showing on TV.
I saw "28 Days Later" over the weekend, and
thought it would have been adequate for a made-for-Sci-Fi
Channel or direct-to-video film. About a hundred times
better than the latest X-Men and Terminator films, but
nothing incredibly new or scarier than usual.
Your friend was right about the similarity to "Omega
Man" and "Triffids," plus you gotta throw
in the original "Last Man on Earth" and "Living
Dead" films, plus a little known British werewolf
movie called "Dog Soldiers." But a lot of
that is due to the genre itself; just like cavalry vs.
Indians films, there are always going to be some similarities.
I'd be curious to hear your impressions - one thing
that jumped out at me is that the film doesn't seem
to have a theme; it takes the documentary aspect just
a little too far, and so we watch people struggling
to survive, but that's about it.
I think all the reviews have commented on there being
some gaping plot holes and unanswered questions (like
why no one tries ham radio to contact other countries,
why the zombies never seem to eat anyone once they kill
them, can they live off animals or not, etc.) but at
least it does keep one's attention. There's a particularly
good scene that will change your impressions of changing
a tire forever.
The digital video thing is interesting - the daylight
scenes seem just as rich and colorful as regular film,
but the night time scenes are extremely murky and difficult
to follow. (Although that may have been the director's
intent.) There are some weird effects with flames, raindrops,
and specks of blood - I'm not sure if it's on purpose,
or an effect of the digital shooting, so I'm curious
if you know what's going on, or why it looks that way.
Anyway, catch it if you need to get out of the house.
I will, if I need to get out of the house. Luckily I
don't. I just watched the 1964 "The Last Man on
Earth" the other night and and it really is the
immediate predecessor to "Night of the Living Dead"
in 1968. I still like "The Omega Man" better,
though. I love him watching "Woodstock" all
by himself at the beginning, coming out and saying,
"They don't make pictures like that anymore."
don't understand; you know so much about movies and
have seen a few as well (!!!) over the years and directed
some well known TV shows- how is it that you have not
been picked up in Hollywood yet? Have the other directors
watched more films then or what? What are the criteria
when selecting a director in Hollywood? I don't understand
because some directors are very old when the direct
their debut and some like the "X-Men 2" and
"Resident Evil" directors are young as #@&$.
Is it a matter of "who-you-know..."? These
flicks have some serious big budgets so experience should
count as a factor and as you know, directing is a never
ending learning curve. I can't figure out what producers
want. Is it a good story or just the thing that'll make
them rich? Sounds all freaky to me though.
hit the crucial downfall of Hollywood. As I just heard
George Romero commenting on the other night, when a
business has hit a point where it venerates youth so
completely that it no longer values experience and knowledge,
it's all gone to hell. That's what's happened to Hollywood.
They will always give the job to a 25-year-old that's
made a few music videos over someone who has years of
experience and actually knows what they're doing. That's
because the executives honestly don't care how the film
turns out because the marketing overrides the critisism.
They will make as much money as they will make in one
weekend, and that hasn't got a thing to do with what
anyone thinks of the film, it's entirely based on advertising.
When the product no longer matters, then the manufacturer
has got their head up their ass. The system in Hollywood
has completely failed, but since movies have been so
bad for so long, it's just taking a while for people
i have only seen one of your movies that you have writen
and driected "Running Time" and i loved it
so much that i went and searched around and bought it
the next day i have been looking around for some other
film that i have easy acses too that i can rent and
have found some information. But my quetion is do you
have any plans to be realesing a new movie anytime soon
only film I'm still hoping for a release on is "If
I Had a Hammer," which is only available on this
website. For you folks in Europe, though, "Running
Time" ought to be popping up fairly soon on UK
and German television.
we gonna get a review of 28 Days Later or was it just
not worth it?
haven't seen it yet.
Penn makes one highfalutin comment on a self-promoting
tv show, and all of a sudden he's quotable? Does he
think Fast Times at Ridgemont High was an important
I hope you don't think I'm stupid or narrow for liking
films such as "Steel Magnolias" and "Gremlins",
Josh. I just allow myself to enjoy the enjoy-able. If
I lived up north, I could bring over a couple of good
DVDs and some microwave popcorn... and I would also
have a thing or two to discuss with you about the merits
of living in L.A. ;-)
it weren't for differences of opinion there'd be no
horse racing. And though I haven't liked any of the
films Sean Penn has written and directed, he is trying
to make his own personalized films. I've seen a lot
of movies, nearly 4,000 at this point, and "Gremlins"
would never have been in my "enjoyable" category.
It's poorly written crap from the Spielberg shit factory.
Which isn't to say I don't like a lot of purely entertaining
movies, but they have to be a whole better than "Gremlins"
for me to like them. To me something like "Singing
in the Rain" is pure entertainment. It's bright,
witty, it's actually about something (the coming of
sound to movies), and it was obviously made by talented
people. Nobody needs me to point out that Joe Dante
isn't a terribly talented director. And LA can drop
off into the ocean for all I care.
reading "The Virtue of Selfishness" right
now. I'm surprised what the general opinion of her is.
A friend of mine saw me reading it said: "Wasn't
Ayn Rand a Nazi or something?" Since then I've
heard several more comments from others to the same
effect. "Wasn't she a communist?" also seems
to be popular.
A few months ago I tried reading "The Romantic
Manifesto" but I couldn't grasp it because most
of the authors and literary concepts she wrote about
are completely foreign to me some fifty years later.
I have a copy of "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal"
that I haven't read all the way through, but I did note
that in it Alan Greenspan completely denounces the FED
and blames it for causing the great depression. Ironic?
our society to be selfish is to be bad. In Ms. Rand's
philosophy, to be selfish is the first step to awareness
and happiness, and I quite agree. If you haven't figured
out your own needs and desires how on earth can you
be of any use to anyone else? On the other hand, I think
unmitigated capitalism will almost always run amok.
I do think it's the best system, but I do think it's
ultimately flawed. Capitalism left unchecked naturally
moves toward monopolies and giant conglomerates, which
are against the consumer. Nevertheless, I don't think
Ayn Rand was a communist or a Nazi. She was entirely
for the individual. As a friend of mine rather snottily
put it, Ayn Rand had to stand in a couple too many food
lines in Russia in the '30s and developed a huge chip
on her shoulder. She worked as screenwriter in Hollywood
for a while in the '40s, but didn't cut it.
again Josh --
I agree that films can be, and should aspire to be art,
I go to the movies first and foremost to be **entertained**.
A movie like "Gremlins" is a far cry from
art, but it sure as heck is entertaining. You watch
A LOT of movies... I'm curious to know how you feel
after you've watched something that's obviously not
"good", but managed to entertain you for a
couple of hours. a waste of celluloid? or a worthwile
effort from a screenwriter and director who've managed
to take you away for a couple of hours?
bored out of my mind with that concept that film is
just entertainment. At it's very lowest level, sure,
but that doesn't interest very much anymore. Something
like "Gremlins" never interested me, nor did
it ever entertain me, either. As Sean Penn said on "Inside
the Actors Studio," movies are too important to
just be thought of as just entertainment, if you want
entertainment go get an eightball and a hooker. The
look on Robin Wright's face at that moment was priceless.
But it takes a bit more thought and consideration to
entertain me now than to just say "Gremlins are
loose and wreaking havoc." Snore.
time permires on ifc at midnight tonight [july 4] ...dont
you know when your own movie is on t v
I just watched it, or part of it anyway. It premiered
at at 6:00 AM Eastern Time on July 5th, which would
have been 3:00 AM Pacific Time, unless IFC somehow has
a different eastern and western feed.
Don't get me wrong, I am with you on this one ("director
at work") and I think Matrix Reloaded is a bad
story, made an overwhelming flick by 'all the new SFXs'
and made for the gasps of the masses. I think that jib
arm and steadicam worked over- over time. It just becomes
too much when the camera flies all over the show to
amplify not-so-significant events. I think, no, I know,
it is just a showcase of the new technology. What would
this flick have looked like in 1987 I wonder. All the
action is so hectic and spectacular that it becomes
too much to absorb and you drown in it.
I just want to know how\when do directors understand
that the camera moves too much? I think it is just a
matter of talent or common sense (that you gotta have),
don't you? Matrix directors pay attention... And secondly,
who do we make films for; the masses, ourselves, the
box office tills or the 'Best-film-ever-Award'?
questions. I emphatically say, you make your films for
yourself. If you can be truly honest with yourself and
fulfill your own standards -- given you have any --
then it ought to be good. If you're at the point of
making a $150 million film for Hollywood, then it's
not your film anyway and you're clearly making it strictly
for money -- that's what Hollywood is now all about.
Quality is not the issue. To Hollywood movies are nothing
more than a commodity, like pork bellies. But to the
rest of us, particularly you bright, kind folks that
frequent this site, movies are a lot more than pork
bellies or iron ore, and ought to be treated like what
they can be, and aspire to be, which is art.
camera moves, as I said before, the trick is to put
them in the right places so that they amplify the drama
and make the story stronger. If I get a sense of the
"Director at Work" sign going up, I'm out
of the story and that's bad. As an example, there was
one director on Xena who never stopped moving the camera.
He was always on the crane and the double-Dutch head
(so you can tilt the camera side to side) and the producers
thought his episodes were great. I, on the other hand,
couldn't sit through them, they made me feel sea-sick.
For a short time they tried to force that "kinetic"
style on all the directors, but I simply wouldn't do
it. My excuse was that I was generally directing the
comedies and non-stop camera moves would just detract
from the laughs, which they would. Anyway, the executive
producer told me after the show went off the air that
my episodes were much more watchable and held up a lot
better than the kinetic ones. Quite frankly, I agree.
The bottom line is, if the scene sucks you can move
the camera until the cows come home and it will still
suck. If it's a good scene then you don't have to move
the camera at all and it will still be a good scene.
If you can figure out how to get a nice camera move
into a good scene and make it better, that's art.
I just read your article about Patriotic Orientation.
I think Santorum was saying that homosexuals should
recognize their desires and actions as evil and resist
them, almost as a therapist would say to a pedophile.
Not that I agree, homosexual sex is a purely consentual
act whereas pedophilia is an act in which one party
is psychologically unable to give their consent.
wouold like to quote two people on this. First of all,
sex columnist and homosexual Dan Savage-"There's
no such thing as a gay sex act. There's nothing two
men or two women can do in beds, bushes, or butts that
a man and woman can't also do."
And Rachel Mills, a libertarian in New Hampshire-"Living
in a society that entirely subscribes to your moral
code is not a right."
Those are just my thoughts. Anyway, I was going through
your archives and saw that you got halfway through Atlas
Shrugged before throwing it across a room and never
reading it up again. What was it that got to you? I
liked the book up until we find out all the heads of
industry are in a valley with portable x-ray machines
and heat shields disguising them from view. I think
at that point Ayn Rand abandoned reality. I was even
able to accept the existance of an engine that runs
off drawn static electricity. But maybe you didn't get
as far as the valley. Do you remember where you stopped
I don't remember. That was almost thirty years ago,
for goodness sake. I did enjoy "Anthem" and
"The Fountainhead," and I also got something
out of her non-fiction books, "The Virtues of Selfishness"
and "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," but "Atlas
Shrugged" sunk me. But then I was seventeen at
the time, too.
just watched Ken Burns' "American Stories"
on the sufferage movement, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth
Cady Stanton. They started the movement in 1843 and
neither of them lived to see women get the vote in 1919,
even though they both lived long lives. The point, though,
is that the USA was one of the last civilized nations
to give women the vote. Women already had the vote in
New Zealand, Australia, the UK, France Czechoslovakia,
on and on. The USA is not all that quick at recognizing
people's rights, and gay people have just as many rights
as the rest of us, which America will sooner or later
come to realize. Homosexuality is not the same thing
as pedophelia because the latter includes minors, and
the law has to look out for those who are still too
young to be considered responsible. Homosexuality is
between consenting adults and is nobody's business but
their own. As long as the USA continues to allow idiotic
religious beliefs into politics, as Bill Frist, the
senate majority leader keeps doing, it will continue
to be a somewhat backward nation.
I saw a guy on the street today wearing a T-shirt that
said "Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten".
Is that true?
in rare cases.
just wanted to tell you that you're a damn goodwriter,
and "The Biological Clock" is possibly the
greatest unproduced script I've read in recent years,
and I very much hope that it gets made someday. I'm
surprised it receives any negative criticism.
Your writings/stories/scripts on this site are very
impressive to me, I just wish that you had the opportunity
to make more movies. You could be the high priest of
today's modern film, if Hollywood would let you. Someday,
Somebody asked about beautiful photography for black
and white. My favorites are certainly Citizen Kane,
Magnficent Ambersons, Last Picture Show, In Cold Blood
('67), Seconds, Night of the Hunter, and many others.
That's interesting that you believe Magnificent Ambersons
is greater than Kane. I can certainly see why, I love
Ambersons immensely, along with Kane it's certainly
on my top ten list (in fact, every film I mentioned
above is near the very top of my all-time favorite films).
Though Josh, what do you think of all of the cuts made
to Ambersons? Are you one who believes that the cuts
were a 'blessing in disguise?' As much as I love the
movie (and I LOVE it), I certainly don't believe that
the cuts made the movie better, and I would love to
see Welles' original ending with Eugene and Aunt Fanny
in the boarding house (with that last shot, which was
supposedly a matte painting of the city the small town
had become by the end of the film, with some particularly
large bulidings towering above eveyrthing else (symbolizing
gravestones, a motif not in the version of the film
we have now), signifying the end of an age...if that's
acurate, that would've been a powerful closing shot,
and an ending
it would have been. But I get that allegory very strongly
from Georgie's walk home and seeing all of the phone
lines and the factories belching the soot into the air,
then he gets run down by an automobile, which is the
perfect metaphor considering Morgan was an early manufactuerer
of cars. But since the film is only 88-minutes long
and is pretty damn heavy as it is, Welles' original
cut of two-and-a-half hours was probably excruciating.
But none of that footage seems to exist, so we'll never
know. The script still exists, and I see why all of
the cuts were made based on that. There is so much of
that film that constantly rings around inside my head.
Like when Georgie insults Morgan at the dinner table
and says that cars are just a nuisance and should have
never been invented. Morgan has that wonderful speech
about how cars probably haven't added to the life of
men's souls, but they're here to stay, then he leaves.
Ray Collins then has that great little speech, "By
Jove, Georgie! That's a new way to win a girl's hand,
insult her father's business. By Jove, you're a puzzle."
you made a few other very good black & white suggestions,
like "The Last Picture Show," "Night
of the Hunter," and "Seconds." I commend
Mr. Becker -- what's your opinion of one of my favorite
films, "Steel Magnolias"? you'll probably
say it was a piece of crap, but it made me laugh hysterically,
and it made me cry. so what's the difference between
"entertaining" and "good"?
or excellence, is in the mind of the beholder. If I
recall correctly, and the film didn't stick with me
very well, you had a bunch of northern actresses all
poorly pretending to southern, so some of them sounded
like they were from Mississippi, some from Georgia,
some from Tennessee, etc. and some were just imitating
Scarlett O'Hara. And this was the story where Darryl
Hannah chooses to die so she can have the baby, right?
I completely didn't comisserate. But if you like it,
God bless you.
One comment I forgot to make in the last email...
I don't think there was anything wrong with the script
itself, because there are certainly people like this.
It just wasn't my thing. Anyway...
A question-what do you think of Orson Welles' OTHELLO?
I **love** the way the scenes are composed. When I was
at the School of Visual Arts in New York City years
ago, I once took a cartooning class with Carmine Infantino-who
if I recall correctly, created The Flash. He talked
about how important it was to watch black and white
movies to understand composition and use of positive
and negative space.
I liked CITIZEN KANE, but I preferred OTHELLO even more.
The way Welles used positive and negative space to hammer
home certain aspects of Shakespeare's play just blew
my mind. I haven't seen this film in a long time, and
I need to see it again.
What are some B&W films you can recommend that make
interesting use of the medium, in terms of composing
Have a good holiday.
forget Welles's "The Magnificent Ambersons,"
which I think is better than "Kane" or Othello,"
which is indeed beautifully composed. Also "Touch
of Evil." Hitchcock has some great compositions
in "Notorious" in B&W. William Wyler and
the great DP Gregg Toland did some brilliant B&W
work on "The Little Foxes"
you say directors have to guard against shooting in
such a way that will have a sign up that says "director
at work". It makes sense BUT a flick like MATRIX:
RELOADED has billboards saying that then. So I am confused...
Have you ever directed children? My next film has a
small boy (8-10yrs) in the lead role and I could use
some advice. He has no dialogue, just actions. What
are the do's and dont's when directing children? I look
forward to it though, perhaps because I think I expect
did you think "Matrix 2" was well directed?
But if a director keeps jerking around with the camera
all the time, it's usually because their insecure and
don't understand their script. If the script has any
value at all, you shouldn't need to do endless camera
tricks. This may be a lost concept, but camera moves
are all in regard to the scene, and it's the director's
job to sell this material, if you will, not overshadow
it. The point is to meld the story with the camerawork.
At least, that's my opinion. Anyway, yes I've worked
with children and I've always enjoyed it. I just treat
them like adults, but then that's how I treat all kids
and I think they appreciate it.
I read "Biological Clock", and I have to be
honest-I didn't care for the characters. They didn't
strike me as being particularly likeable. I thought
Kate was an annoying, whiny bitch. In the end, the story
left me cold. I guess it's because I'd avoid people
like this in my life. I don't know if that's what Lucy
had to say, but that's my call, anyway.
not what she said, but I accept your criticism.
So Lucy did not like "Biological Clock" huh?
Bummer, I still think that's a kick-ass script. I remember
when I first read it last summer. I was 3 months into
a gig doing script coverage for a living and it was
really nice to read a script that actually had a story
and solid characters. Ted Raimi would be great for Aaron.
He has a really endearing "regular-guy" thing
going on. I still don't understand why he doesn't work
more. Lucy would have been cool for Kate but she is
so stunningly beautiful. I pictured Kate as being beautiful/hot
but in a more girl-next-door kind of a way. Know what
I mean? Anyway, I hope you get to make it.
I also saw "28 Days Later" this past weekend
and it scared the fuck out of me! I really enjoyed the
film aside from the fact that I was completely freaked
out the entire time. I must admit that I am a bit of
a chicken when it comes to horror films. But this is
the first horror film that I have seen in a really long
time that actually scared me. You may want to check
it out. It was a fun movie-going experience. I saw it
in a crowded theater in Westwood and the audience reaction
was crazy! And then I had to drive home by myself at
2am which was not cool. I turned on every light in my
apartment when I got home. I'm a dork!
right, I'll go see it. I need to get out of the house
I just saw 28 Days Later last night, and was actually
surprised at how good it was. You and I share the same
views on the current state of affairs of the industry;
which is why I'm surprised I enjoyed it. The theme of
28 days is fairly simplistic, it is survival, but it
was done very well, and accomplished what it set out
to do. It was also scary. Yes that's right, it is scary
as hell in parts, and I applaud it for its realism,
and applaud Danny Boyle for telling an honest story
without being pretentious. Is the film perfect? Far
from it, but at least an honest effort was made to tell
a descent story. The quality of the DV cam looks shoddy
in parts, but I understand the method, and why he chose
the medium. It is similar to the technique Tobe Hooper
used in Texas Chainsaw. It is shot like a documentary,
and succsessfully sucks the audience into the film's
surreal world. As a guy who pretty much hates 90% of
the films that have come out in recent years, I highly
recomend 28 Days Later.
glad to hear it. It sounds like it's the best movie
of the year so far. Nevertheless, when the review for
the best film of the year begins with (as per my friend,
Paul, who really liked it and said it was the best film
of the year), "It's 50% 'The Omega Man' and 50%
'The Day of the Triffids'," that doesn't leave
any percentage of originality. So, even though it may
be good, it's clearly a blatant rip-off which flatly
turns me off.
Cynthia E. Jones
Alas, the Great Kate has finally moved on to the next
plane of existence. Such is life. She was 96...she lived
an amazing life. Watching her with Spencer Tracy ranks
up there as the most enjoyable romantic comedy team
ever, as far as I'm concerned. Their chemistry was so
palatable, it was fun just to watch them fight! Great
actress, great lady, and one of the few women I have
truly looked up to.
Also, I read "Biological Clock," and really
liked it. Your writing has gotten more mature, more
fluid. I really liked Aaron. It was also nice to read
about protagonists over the age of 20. Keep on keepin'
I just sent that script to Lucy Lawless, but she didn't
like it. C'est la vie. I was thinking of she and Ted
in the leads. Anyway, I love Katherine Hepburn and I
always will. Ninety-six is a wonderful old age, and
she lived a fuller life than most of us. She's so beautiful
when she was young, between say 1933 and "Morning
Glory" and 1935 with Alice Adams," that it
almost hurt. That combination of beauty, intelligence,
grace and sophistication are unequaled.
watched my(Autographed)copy of "Thou Shalt Not
with some friends the other day and it immediately became
one of their new favorites. The Marines vs the Bikers
is the funniest fight scene ever! Where's the DVD of
question. Why not ask Sony or Columbia Pictures, they
own the film.
feature that was shot on DV was Spy Kids 2. I'm going
to take a wild guess and say that you're probably not
going to like the movie itself :) but Robert Rodriguez
talks a lot about the benefits and differences of using
dv over film on the director's commentary.
"28 Days Later," too.
Could I ask what the basics of your new picture idea
may be? I get the feeling it's still way up in the new
development stage, but still interested in a few things.
Will this be a Detroit set film? Will you get SAG actors
again? What about genre? Proposed bottom line budget?
As a side note, if you can swing shooting on 16mm I
sure would do that over DV. Video just looks like shit,
plain and simple. As a side note, I thought "The
Anniversary Party," looked like camcorder footage.
Star Wars 5 wasn't any better. C'mon, cheaper isn't
better, folks. Cheaper looks cheaper.
It's all about what you can do with little money, but
nothing looks as professional, as rich as film does.
How about a way to send money donations to support the
cause of getting seed money started on another film?
There's talk of this, and has been for some time, with
George Romero and his fans (who are some of the most
die-hard fans of any direcotr in the world) sending
donation money for a new Zombie film. If it's not against
the law, some money could probably be raised. Enough
to get the ball rolling.
Have a good one.
and I appreciate your concern. Honestly. But I've shot
enough film at this point, both 16mm and 35mm, to understand
the basic costs of things. The point to me of using
DV is to make a feature film that's so cheap it doesn't
matter if it makes money or not. It's sort of like going
back to the super-8 methods where nobody gets paid for
anything. And if the equipment is all borrowed, there's
no effects or sets to build, it's all on real locations,
and the editing can be schmoozed, which I have no doubt
it can be, the idea is to spend nearly nothing. I just
want to see how inexpensive a decent feature can be.
A couple of questions, neither related to the other.
First off, you've mentioned at least a passing interest
in documentaries; have you seen Ghengis Blues? If so,
what were your thoughts? If not, you may want to check
it out - it's not a bad watch. It follows a blind blues
singer (whom I'd actually never heard of before seeing
the film) who has taught himself to sing in the traditional
Tuvan style (singing 3 notes simultaneously). He is
invited by the top Tuvan throat singer to compete in
the Tuvan national throat singing competition and he
makes the trip, along with an assortment of semi-fringy
weirdos. Granted it sort of drags in places, but it's
a very compellingly unique story.
Second question - with all the emphasis you place on
story over hip, flashy cinematography do you find theatre
more interesting than the vast majority of the dross
that gets sent out to the cineplexes these days? (Granted,
finding more interesting things than 2 Fast 2 Furious
or whatever isn't hard, but still...)
That's it. Thanks for your time!
seen "Ghengis Blues" several times and I like
it quite a lot. The blind singer's name is Paul Pena,
and his claim to fame, as I'm sure you'll recall, is
that he wrote the Steve Miller song "Jet Airliner,"
which is a darn good song. Meanwhile, theater is in
worse shape than the movies. Everything on Broadway
now was once a movie, and often a Disney cartoon. There
are no great, or even good, playwrights around. The
last playwright to have any impact at all was David
Mamet, and he hasn't written anything worthwhile in
twenty years. Now he just makes dull movies.
for the advice. No I never plan to use those shots "often",
especially in 5 minutes. In 5 minutes I use it once
but my question is if "once" is too much or
not suitable. So, in a 5 minute film it will go like
this: Establishing shot, problem is revealed, character
goes to another location with mates to solve problem,
establishing shot of location, "describing shot,
resolution. Use it once in a 5-er and get out. It doesn't
mean that in a longer film I will use it more but I
will certainly use it where a significant event will
take place, shoot it and get out. Somehow I think it
fits, but you now more so I am open to your suggestions.
Is it possible to perhaps have a section where just
directing issues could be discussed on your site? I
am not interested in reading about "what you think
of a director" or "...this movie" or
"buy cigarettes", just straight forward directing
PS: ZA is from Zuid-Afrika since South Africa was a
Dutch colony (we spell it Suid-Afrika). It is also used
not to confuse us with Saudi Arabians, which we certainly
sorry you have to trudge through the boring stuff, but
them's the breaks. It sounds to me like you know what
you want to shoot, and how you want to shoot, so that's
how it ought to be. Trust your instincts; if it seems
right, then it is right. A great example, I believe,
of what you call desribing shots is in "Raging
Bull" when it first goes to the coffee house where
the mob boss hangs out. The first few shots are of coffee
cups, then just the handles of the cups, and I think
it's beautiful. And if you don't over do it, I think
you understand your approach. If you can supervise your
edit you should be okay on that, too. Good luck. Meanwhile,
I stayed in the same hotel in New Zealand as Nelson
Mandela once and saw him go by a few times, but I never
got a chance to speak to him.
Cynthia E. Jones
HO-TEP" GETS DISTRIBUTION
(2003-06-18) Don Coscarelli's King of Rock and Roll
vs. the King of the Dead epic, Bubba Ho-Tep is finally
getting a theatrical release thanks to American Cinematheque/Vitagraph
Bubba Ho-Tep stars Bruce Campbell as a geriatric Elvis
who rids his Texas nursing home of an Egyptian mummy
with the aid of Ossie Davis (who thinks he is JFK).
The film will be released nationally to theatres in
September beginning with New York and Los Angeles.
Just wanted to let you know about this item I stole
Threat" online. I'm happy.
Regarding "A Mighty Wind," I'm willing to
bet that you won't like it--I'm starting to think that
Christopher Guests' schtick is running out of steam.
Folk music is so amusing already, "Mighty Wind"
just made me want to watch "Hammer" again
(mostly for that great Iggy Pop-like part near the end).
Have a great weekend!
great news. Maybe now I'll actually get to see it.
What are your top 10 favorite romantic comedies?
let's see . . .? Here's fifteen, in chronological order.
Hour With You" (1932)
"Love Me Tonight" (1932)
"It Happened One Night" (1934)
"The Philadelphia Story" (1940)
"The Lady Eve" (1941)
"The Palm Beach Story" (1942)
"Adam's Rib" (1949)
"Pat and Mike" (1952)
"Roman Holiday" (1953)
"The Apartment" (1960)
"Father Goose" (1964)
"Annie Hall" (1977)
"When Harry Met Sally . . ." (1989)
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if you're interested for a corporation, please contact
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We wait to contact us.
Thanks a lot.
buy my cigarettes up at the corner, I don't need to
get them from Cyprus. Thanks anyway.
With 'describing' shots I mean filming textures and
objects AFTER establishing shots to indicate to the
audience that the next scene will be a hostile location
and event, like, a master of the factory, a panning
ECU shot of rough textured bricks, cutting to perhaps
a steaming pipe, then cutting to the door in the background,
then a medium of the sillhouette in the door then wee
see the action taking place. That then being 5 shots.
I just can't do with just mediums and CUs. I want to
keep the audience engaged with stimulating their senses
at all time with the what-will-happen-now? shots. Why
I ask you if you would recommend this filming style
in a 5-er is because my last film 5 min flick had 53
shots as you would see it on screen. It told the story
since most shots where reaction shots and "describing"
shots (that's my word-I don't know how else to put it).
I told you about my bad editors so should I sacrifice
or press on in a 5 -er, that has to be shot in 12hrs...
with bad editors? M
By the way, "za" means South Africa.
sounds pretentious to me. I can see doing them occasionally,
but to always use "describing shots" sounds
wearisome. My feeling is just tell the story and get
on with it. Too many of those describing shots is the
same thing as posting a sign that says "director
at work." And don't you get to supervise the editing?
And why would ZA be South Africa? Do they spell it Zouth
E-mail: blah blah blah
As far as I can tell, there's two movies shot on DV
currently showing on the premium cable channels: "The
Aniversary Party" and "Star Wars Episode 2",
or as you would say, episode 5.
I haven't seen the first one yet, but it was co-written
by, co-directed by and co-stars the kick-ass actors
Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, so it probably
won't be all THAT bad. I did see the new Star Wars,
and it was pretty awful. I was exactly the right age
to love the first three Star Wars flicks the first time
around, and it seems to me upon reflection and the advent
of adulthood that all the cool stuff I love which George
Lucas put into them happened by accident. Sometimes
critical thinking sucks. I'd love to think of old George
as a god among men, ,but it's just not an option at
To play devil's advocate to myself, however, there may
well be a generation of 8-year-olds right now that will
have legitimate critical faculties in fifteen years
who will be able to tell you and I exactly what was
wonderful about the new SW movies, and we'll be speechless
and unable to retort. Just a thought.
you can get an all-star cast or $100 million worth of
special effects, you too can shoot in DV and have it
shown on cable. And "The Anniversary Party"
blew, even with it's all-star cast. It looked fine,
but then it was shot by the great DP John Baily, so
why wouldn't it? Anytime it panned past a bright area
like a window, however, there was slight strobing. But
the point to shooting DV, as far as I'm concerned, is
to keep cost so low that anyone can afford them. The
second you have to have name actors means you have to
have a SAG shoot, which means having an AD that's doing
nothing else beside actor paperwork, it's not going
to be all that cheap. SAG actors cost more than shooting
Seeing as how you're considering dv for your work I
was wondering if you had taken a look at any dv equipment
in particular and/or if you were leaning towards one
camera or another.
not thinking about equipment at all. The script is what's
important, not the camera. Besides, there is DV equipment
all over the place. But until I have the right story
and a decent script, the equipment completely doesn't
matter to me.
do you feel about Bruce Campbell hardly mentioning his
involvement in Running Time in his book If Chins could
did mention it and there's a picture, too. Bruce wasn't
a producer or anything, so he only worked on the film
for a few weeks. But I know he thinks it's one of his
better movies since we talk all the time, and we had
a great time making it.
E-mail: see the archives
I'd just like to say that I like your semi-changed attitute
to DV filmmaking. As you say, that's the way it appears
to be going, so why not go for it - it's the story telling
that counts, not the way you shoot it.
I believe that one can draw a parallel between DV filmmaking
and the advent of CDs and current (hard disk) recording
technology: tape, or film, has an aesthetic quality
that's very unique and, frankly, sounds/looks better,
but modern production values have taken advantage of
the digital format in the music field and I have no
doubt that film will soon do the same.
I don't know that I explained that correctly. Most albums
made in the last ten years have been either recorded,
mixed, mastered or edited on a computer, and as a result,
there are new aesthetic qualities only available with
the new methods of making a record that you can't get
on tape. The drawbacks of tape vs. hard disk haven't
quite been eliminated, or replaced, but there's a new
set of rules, and I think that there will eventually
be a digital equivilant of that "warm" sound
you can only get with tape. Likewise, I think that there
will eventually be a digital version the "warm"
look you can only get with film.
Yours in Gibson-style prediction,
sure you're right. The first step has already occurred
with the advent of 24 fps DV. There's still an enormous
difference between DV and film, and it's not just a
"warmth" issue, film has MUCH higher resolution.
I haven't changed my opinion that if your intention
is to make a movie you can sell to as many markets as
possible, and hopefully get your money back, it still
has to be shot on film. Them's the facts, I didn't make
them up. To make sure I'm not lying, just click through
the premium cable channels and see if anyone is showing
features shot on DV. And the second DV looks good enough,
TV shows will be shot with it. Nevertheless, it's better
to shoot on DV than not at all.
i've been trying to locate torro torro torro also and
haven't had much luck. Thanks for the title of the bootleg
but any idea where i could get a copy? ebay and the
download sites (napster, kazaa) dont seem to have it.
believe that "Torro, Torro, Torro!" is included
on the new DVD release of Scott Spiegel's film, "The
Intruder." At least, that's what I've heard.
you had a chance to see A Mighty Wind yet??? If so,
what did you think??? Thanks for your time.
I haven't seen it yet. But I'm not a fan of "Waiting
for Guffman" or "Best of Show," so I
don't hold out much hope. I'm sure Eugene Levy is funny
because he's always funny.
been hearing about people using digital film and a camcorder
to make movies for theatrical release. Is this really
the way to go if you have no money to use standard 35mm
film and stationary equipment? It seems to me that digital
film is okay for making short music videos but for a
feature length theatrical film? I don't know about that.
What do you think?
rather make a movie on digital video than not at all.
I'm still brewing up a feature idea to shoot on DV.
That's the direction independent production is clearly
moving, just nopt all that fast. Still, the difference
in cost is vast. My suggestion is to treat DV exactly
as though it were film, meaning don't hand-hold the
whole thing, compose your shots well, do cool camera
moves, interesting lighting, and it will look good.
I honestly don't think the recording system is the point,
be it film or video or digital, it what story you tell
and how you tell it.
was looking to try to locate this cleaning product that
I swear by,(really, this is THE BEST all purpose cleaning
product I have ever used) however, I have been unable
to find any place that sells it anymore.
if you still have those broken squirter bottles of the"XCELL
Simple Orange" you should put it in a bottle that
does spray because that stuff is awesome for cleaning
any and everything (literally!) Otherwise, if you still
know where there is a 99 cent store that still has a
supply of it, I would really appreciate if you could
please tell me where.
I would never have remembered the "XCELL"
part of the name, so now hopefully I will have an easier
time finding some. Thats all! And thank you for reminding
me of the full name.
threw that out years ago. But I'm glad I could help
you remember. I bought it at the 99-Cent Only store
on Pico Blvd. and 28th St. in Santa Monica, CA, if that
It strikes me that a lot of well-meaning people these
days are missing the point about a number of things.
For example, I don't think many people today in or out
of Hollywood have the least understanding about how
the World War generations approached their respective
wars. "Pearl Harbor", for instance, is at
least anachronistic in its characterizations. That generation
was heroic essentially without meaning to be. Terrified,
determined and mad as Hell is how my father describes
it, and I agree. They had a job to do and were going
to get it done, come what may. That is heroic, but not
how in the way popular culture today understands the
term. I don't know any WWII vets who are calling for
a specific national monument to their efforts. That
movement is the product of the boomer generation and
is alien to their parents whom it is intended to recognize.
In a similar vein, it seems that many well-meaning fans
misunderstand the point of the Evil Dead series. My
impression has always been that those movies were made
because they were the movies which could be made at
the time. I think BC describes the motto of the first
film as "The gore the merrier" or something
like that, a description of the "hook" of
the film. It was the angle which would give entre into
the larger world of films. The one person I could see
actually wanting to do a fourth film would be Campbell
himself as "Ash" has something of a franchise
identity, and BC seems to have enjoyed playing him.
The funny thing is that movies like "Blackhawk
Down" actually do get the point of the current
popular sensibility. The movie is shallow, monochromatic
and gratuitous which describes popular culture fairly
well. The great shame is that the soldiers who were
on the ground in Somalia weren't the nameless, interchangeable
faces that the movie (and culture) make them out to
be. Circumstances forced those men to be real, and they
should have been memorialized as such. "Devil Dogs"
does much more justice to men in similar straits.
On a lighter note, I saw a preview of Rowan Atkinson's
new spy movie and it looked funny. Such movies notoriously
end poorly but I hold out hope. Thanks as always,
partially why I wrote "Devil Dogs," to say
that there are actual heroes out there that performed
valiantly under the toughest of circumstances for a
cause that meant something. Since Vietnam, however,
the reasons for war have become muddier and far less
clear than they were during the two world wars, and
war films are no longer patriotic or heroic. This probably
really started during the Korean War, when, for the
first time, we couldn't win and weren't entirely sure
what or whom we were fighting for. The same goes for
Vietnam. Fighting the German's hegemony was a clear
goal. Fighting the ideology of Communism, which may
well have been the best system for places like Korea
or Vietnam (at least they should have had a chance to
find out), was none of our business. Spending $400 billion
to bring down Saddam Hussien was probably a bad idea,
too. Not that Saddam didn't deserve to be brought down,
mind you, but not at a cost of ruining our economy,
or killing our young men and women, which continues
today even if our mighty leader has declared the war
to be over.
AM DOING A TERM PAPER ON "THOU SHALT NOT KILL"
THE BIBLICAL SIDE. WHERE DID YOU IDEA COME FROM FOR
YOU VIDEO TITLE "THOU SHALT NOT KILL..EXCEPT"
AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR EXCEPTION.
didn't come up with the title, my old sales agent, Irvin
Shapiro, did. My first title was "Bloodbath,"
the second was "Stryker's War." In this case
the exception is when innocent people are being killed
by Manson Family-like psychos. Given these circumstances,
if it were the actual Manson Family, and they'd already
commited the Tate-LaBianca muders, but hadn't been caught
yet, I'd have no problem with four war-hardened marines
going in and killing all of them.
I was wondering if you were planning to rent or review
'One Hour Photo'? I would be interested in reading your
analysis of that film. It seems to get either positive
or negative reviews, without much middle ground. In
particular the ending gets a lot of flak. My opinion
was that it was well done, and one of the better movies
of the last few years, although I have only seen a few
movies in the last decade or so, since most don't interest
me. The ending was somewhat weak, but I found it ambiguous
enough that it could almost be ignored. Describing a
movie as having a bad ending might not want you to rush
out and see it, but I didn't think the ending was that
central to the movie, if that makes any sense. Other
criticisms of the movie have involved inconsitencies
or implausibilities, but I have thought of counterpoints
to several of these. Not being trained in film, I cannot
explain the film on the technical level, that you and
many of your reader may be able to, but I that 'One
Bottom line: Worth it if only for the music.
I haven't seen it yet. I did see the remake of "Insomnia"
and Robin Williams wasn't bad as the bad guy in that.
and by the way, where can I ssee your flick "Torro,
Torro, Torro"? I'd love to see how you directed
the effects with the "new" 16mm and a low
only available on a bootleg tape entitled "The
Short Films of Sam Raimi."
I am a student director in my second year and I have
to make a bunch of 5 min. films. My question is how
simple should one keep the shots in terms of the number
of intercuts? I have a very visual style and love to
show characters reactions and "describing"
shots. I think it is perhaps not suited for 5 min. plays,
since time is a factor. I know it depends on the story
but if there is actor moving from building to building
etc. shot describing the location and mood is not needed
in a 5 min. flick. I look at fellow student's work and
it is all mediums with a CU here and there. The reason
for this is not because they think about economy but
they lack imagination. See, I like to get texture and
feel in shots to engage you before the scene takes place.
The trouble is we don't have much time to edit and I
have CRAP editors, so eliminating these shots will make
things happen with less complications, sacrificing intensification.
I just want to know if you would do these kind of shots
"describing" shots I believe you mean establishing
shots, which are the wide shots of the locations. I
like them, and I'd say you certainly can do one or two
in five minutes. Let's face it, five minutes is short,
but if the film stinks it can seem like a half an hour.
I say, shoot the scenes the way you think it's best
no matter what the length of the piece. You don't have
to dwell on the wide shots. Editing is not literal.
You don't have to see someone walk all the way up to
a house, go through the door, then enter the kitchen.
If they're walking toward a house, you can always have
them take two steps toward it, then just cut in to a
tighter shot of the door and have them step into frame,
or you can even go from the establishing shot directly
to entering the interior scene. But get the shots you
feel you need, the ones you like. By the way, where
is "za," which is at the end of your email
The thing that I find funny is that Sam actually liked
Pearl Harbor. I think that film is one of the worst
films I have ever seen in my lifetime. There were so
many historical inaccuracies and if I never see Ben
Afleck in another movie again I would be one of the
happiest film fans on earth.
I think he is one of the worst A-list actors I have
ever seen in a lontime, if not the worst.
Michael Bay is an arrogant prick. I have worked with
him on some Victoria's Secret commericals. He hasn't
changed his style since he was doing bad 80's music
videos. Everything he does looks like a cheesy 80's
music video. His stuff is shit.
wholeheartedly agree, Michael Bay is a shitty director,
and "Pearl Harbor" was a miserable piece of
crap. And, as far as I'm concerned, Ben Afleck, B-fleck
and C-fleck can all jump in a lake. Why Bruckhiemer
and Bay didn't just steal the story structure from "From
Here to Eternity" still boggles me. James Jones,
who was stationed in Pearl Harbor during the attack,
clearly understood that it was a sneak attack, and that's
how the audience has to view it. If we're cutting to
the Japanese on their battleships right from the very
beginning (saying complete nonsense like, "This
is a terrible day for Japan"), there's is absolutely
no surprise or suspense. Of course, they had no idea
how to create a single believable, empathetic charcter,
either, so it was an utter waste of time.
am only 14, but I am very interested it film making.
The first thing that interested me in this was plays,
and broadway. Such as RENT and Caberet. I found the
acting and motivation very intresting. I soon looked
to become an actor on the stage, no movies or anything.
After snooping around I figured it wasnt for me. My
Father and i discused this to find that I always loved
to film things take pictures and write short stories.
So now...me and my dad are making short animated films
like Pixar, and such. I was wondering if you could give
me some advise on how to go farther and maybe some day
work myself to be a assistant director, or just some
type of volenteer work. I would REALLY apreciate just
a name or title of ANYTHING that you think would help!!!
I am very confident that i will make it somewere someday,
even as a women, I have no doubts...just waiting for
that push to the next level. Please Email me at Missmolly1000@yahoo.com
. If you don't..I understand, thank you for just li
THANK YOU!!! MERCI!!!
of all, read the five structure essays I've written
that are on this site. Another very useful book is "Shot
By Shot" by Steven Katz, which explains film direction
clearly and in great detail. I also recommend seeing
as many quality films as possible, many of which pop
up all the time on Turner Classic Movies. My "Favorite
Films" list will give you about 750 films to look
out for. And just start to read any and every book that
looks interesting to you. The more stories you read
the more you'll understand storytelling, which is what
filmmaking is all about. If you're still interested
in being an assistant director when you get to be a
bit older (I guess at least eighteen), you should contact
the Director's Guild of America and check out their
AD training program. Good luck to you.
read your comments on superhero movies in the Q&A
section and i totally agree. What i was wandering is
have you spoken to Sam about your views, because me
more than anyone thought that Spiderman was a total
let down. I'm only hoping that a return to the Evil
Dead franchise is on the cards after the imminent spidey
sequel. Something a little more artistic and creative
is whats needed for Sam's directing abilities, not just
the standard hollywood cgi and standard two-shots, master
shots e.t.c. I suppose you've been asked whether you'd
be part of another ED film a thousand times so i'll
put a different spin on the question. If another evil
dead were to be made would you recommend sticking to
original make up effects dodgy blue screen shaky cam,
vaso cam e.t.c or would you cop out and go for cgi and
sams current hollywood style. No doubt whatever is decided
for the fourth film will always be controversial, but
it would probably be the most succesful regardless.
Martyn. P.s thanks
only worked on the first ED film. I was just a Shemp
in EDII and AOD. Quite frankly, I hope there never is
another ED movie, three seems like more than enough.
And why on earth would Sam return to making cheap horror
films when he's a top, A-list director? In Hollywood
you do your very best to never take less of a fee than
you got the last time. Well, Sam will never get the
kind of fee he's getting now on an ED film. ED4 will
only occur if Sam's fortunes crash and he has to make
it. Meanwhile, I almost never speak to Sam anymore.
The last time I saw him was when we went and saw "Pearl
Harbor" in 2001, which he liked and I didn't. But
he never took suggestions from me anyway, not that I
So, how about this whole Spike Lee vs. Spike TV thing?
What a no-talent, asshole douche-bag! I know of people
who are loosing their jobs because he won't change his
fucking diaper and get over himself. He says that Viacom
is hijacking his talent and prestige by using the name
Spike. What talent and prestige? I've never been able
to sit through any of his films. I walked out of Malcolm
X after I checked my watch for the 100th time during
the first hour of that piece of junk. What a dork!
Deep breath, OK...I'm cool now. I wanted to give you
a heads up about some hilarious movie reviews by an
awesome stand-up comic named Doug Benson. You can find
his reviews at www.bobanddavid.com
under Doug Benson "I Love Movies". His X-Men
2 review slaughtered me. And when are you going to make
another film? Anything in the works?
Spike TV is a pretty stupid name, but then so is Spike
Lee. If I recall correctly, The Spike was a gay bar
in Hollywood (I never went there, I just drove past
it, I swear). Originally, that station was The Nashville
Network, then The National Network, now Spike TV. And
it's supposed to be aimed at straight men? Man oh man,
have they got their heads up their asses. That's like
asking guys to watch Erect Penis TV. I'd be much more
interested in, say, Pussy TV or T&A TV, or, quite
frankly, just listening to the radio.
Cynthia E. Jones
I went to see The Dead (everyone except Jerry Garcia,
and with Steve Winwood singing from time to time) on
Wednesday night in Maryland. As I was swaying with the
crowd, listening to the endless jam sessions in the
middle of songs ("What? We're only on the fourth
song? But they've been up there over an hour!"),
and watching people pass blunts, pipes, joints, and
mini-bongs around to one another (completely being ignored
by the really cool security dudes), I thought, "Hey!
This is the hash bash!" and wondered if such a
thing ever really did exist. I'm glad to know that it
did at one point. That's too freakin' cool.
Have a great weekend.
said the Hash Bash still exits, but I'm not so sure.
It was all based on the fact that for quite a long time
Ann Arbor had lowest penalty for marijuana possession
in the country, which was a five dollar ticket which
they never gave. But that law got changed. I went to
U of M for one semester, winter 1976, and when I was
walking to class one day I turned the corner into the
diag, the center of the campus, and there were hundreds
of people smoking dope. My whole world lit up (literally)
as I thought, "It's the Hash Bash!" I never
did make it to class that day. It also looks like pot
is imminently going to be decriminalized in Canada (as
well as same-sex marriages). As one cab driver says
to another in "Taxi Driver" (regarding same-sex
marriages), "They're way ahead of us out there."