Raynold Gideon [Interview]

This is Kandi & Bear. They allow today’s guest to live with them. They are much younger and a whole lot better looking than Raynold Gideon, according to today’s guest. We cannot confirm this, but would probably guess it to be true based on the adorableness of Kandi and Bear.

 

Welcome back Folks to another very exciting week here at Trainwreck’d Society. In fact, this is a week that I am EXTREMELY excited for, for so many reasons. Sometimes it is so much fun to know the line up before it comes out. It’s the little things, I guess. Today’s guest is an absolute genius storyteller, to say the least. It’s Raynold Gideon, Everyone!

Raynold Gideon is a man who has a wealth of experience in the world of film and television as a writer, producer, actor, and more. For over 50 years, this man has been on a mission (whether he knew, or believes it, or not) to put out some wonderful work. He has received two well deserved Oscar nominations (both projects will be discussed in the text below, as you know we have an unhealthy and unreasonable love for these “awards”). Along with his long time writing partner Bruce A. Evans, penned what can only be referred to as the single greatest coming-of-age films of all time when they adapted, and dare I say bettered, the Stephen King story that would become the film Stand By Me.

Stand By Me is a god damned classic. We all know this. But, when the chance to share some words from the great Raynold Gideon came to fruition, I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite stand up comedians and podcasters out there, Daniel Van Kirk, who I have heard, on more than a dozen occasions, say that Stand By Me remains his favorite film of all time. So I thought, why not see if he had anything he would like to ask Raynold about the film. And lo and behold, we managed to steal a few moments from Daniel to throw a question together for Raynold in order to join in on the fun. So just a delightful bonus to throw out there for you all. Thank you so much to Daniel Van Kirk for helping us out today!

So Folks, please enjoy this incredible interview we have for you all with the amazingly talented human being that is Raynold Gideon. He is a brilliant writer, the roommate of some very beautiful canines, and just an all around delightful human being. We talk about his coming up in the business, his long term partnerships, the disrespectfulness of Disney, and of course, the glorious film that is Stand By Me. Enjoy!

 

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What was it that initially that made you want to get into the world of writing and producing films? I understand that you initially entered the world of entertainment as an actor. What prompted you to make that shift?

Getting into writing was a total accident. A friend needed an idea for a short film. He was a theatre director and wanted to show he could direct film. I sat down one morning and sketched out what I thought would be a fun short. Other than dissertations at University I’d never written anything before. The director liked what I had written. I said he could have it if I played the lead, he said you can play the lead if you put up half the money to make the film, I did, we shot it and got an Academy Award nomination. It was called Frog Story. The actress we cast was dating Bruce Evans at that time and that’s how I met Bruce. Some months later Bruce and I wrote a short film together, we shot it, it was called James Sloan Private Eye. Bruce and I got along and said why not try to write a feature script together, we did and have been writing ever since.

 

How did you manage to team up with your writing partner of 40+ years, Bruce A. Evans? And what do you believe it is about you both as team that has worked so well in regards to bringing some wonderful stories to the big screen?

I somewhat answered this as part of the first question. Bruce and I like the same kind of movies, we’re good friends and we’ve had some success as a team. Why fix what’s not broken.

 

 Several of the projects that you have worked on have been adaptations from previous works, and many have been original scripts. I am curious to know which form of writing that geniuses of their craft such as yourself prefer. So, do you have any preference between the two? And which do you tend to find the most challenging?

Adaptations are a bit easier because you have the idea, the story. Originals are blank page time and a lot of ‘what if’s?’ We’ve mostly done originals. A Man A Woman and a Bank, Starman, Kuffs, Made in Heaven, Mr. Brooks

 

 

One very specific project that meant a lot to me as a child growing up in the 90’s that you wrote was the 1997 fish out of water tale Jungle 2 Jungle. As a 12 year old kid at the time, this Americanized remake of a 1994 French film was very special to me, and I still enjoy it to this day, if not only for nostalgic reasons. I am very curious to know what drew you to this project? What made you want to bring this story to American audiences?

Disney. We got a call from an executive at Disney. Would we be interested? We screened the film, loved it, said yes, and then were told we have Tim Allen, don’t lose him. So we wrote the script, we didn’t lose Tim, he loved our script. We were invited to a special afternoon Premiere, and everyone, cast, crew executives, all had reserved seats, we the writers did not, did not have a seat anywhere. To apologize, next day the executive sent us a case of ok wine.

 

A question from the wonderful & acclaimed comedian Daniel Van Kirk (Dumb People Town, Pen Pals podcasts): Throughout the 30+ years since the release of Stand By Me, what storyline, character trait, or moment in the film seems to still resonate the most with audiences?

Innocence. It was the age before those kids discovered girls, and rubbers and all that. It was an “Ah to be that free and happy again; also it was a terrific adventure for kids and for the young girls who came to the film again and again, it was “I always wanted to know what my brother was doing in that tree house with his friends”. Also everybody seems to remember Gordie to Ace…“Suck my fat one you cheap dime store hood’.

 

 

After so many years in the world of storytelling, I am curious to know what you believe to be your most prized accomplishment in the business? Not necessarily one singular project (could be though, if you so choose), but when you look back on your decades spanning career, what would you say you are most proud of? 

Stand By Me. Stand By Me. Stand By Me. Rob Reiner captured the innocence, the adventure, the humor of our script and I believe we captured the essence of Stephen King’s novella.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

We have three projects that we like Sisyphus are pushing that rock up the hill to potential green lights.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Sunrise this morning at Runyon Canyon.

 

And for a clip of one of the greatest scenes in American cinema:

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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