Saturday Special: 3 Lives [Film]

 

“Emma wakes up to find herself trapped in an abandoned bunker. She soon realizes that there are two other victims trapped with her, Ben and Jamie, who she knows from her days in high school. Now Ben and Jamie are Emma’s only means of escape from their savage captors, three ex-soldiers. Faced with the choice to stay in the bunker or to escape her kidnappers with the help of her former rapist and his old friend, Emma chooses the latter. Ruthlessly the ex-soldiers chase the group through the wilderness. While Emma tries to find out why Ben, Jamie, and herself have been kidnapped in the first place. Slowly matters start to spin out of control, facades start to crack and Emma has to learn who her real enemy is.” – High Octane Pictures

 

******

 

I am truly a sucker for a good thriller. As much as I appreciate the world of horror for horror’s sake, there is just something so wonderful about experiencing a film and not knowing who to trust and what to truly believe. A well done thriller with a smattering of plot twists and developments can be one of the best film-watching experiences you can have. And 3 Lives is especially that. It is a well-rounded thrill-ride that will keep you guessing right to the very end. Like literally, the last few minutes. It is quite an adventure to watch three people who are, for reasons I won’t mention, not exactly fond of each other, being chased through the woods for unknown reasons. Thus creating a plot twist at what feels like every damn 10 minutes. It’s simply great writing, Folks. I truly could gush over what the amazing artist Juliane Block has given the world.

 

 

Actress Mhairi Calvey is at her absolute best in 3 Lives, that I can say with zero hesitation. She has a lead role worthy set of skills that are put to the test in this mind-bending thriller, and she absolutely killed it! The aforementioned Juliane Block and co-writer Wolf-Peter Arand crafted something very special with this film, and I would honestly love to see more like it! And with that, this is actually the type of film that will easily drive you to want to know more of the filmmaker’s work, and if you are an uninformed viewer, you simply cannot go wrong with Juliane Block. 3 Lives may be her best film yet, but in the long run of things, it is just another prime example of what Block is capable of and what she will continue to do. Watch 3 Lives, Folks! Tell a Friend!

 

3 Lives is available now VOD.

 

Becca Lish [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And a happy Friday to you all! Today we are sharing some words from the absolutely incredible actress, both on screen and in the world of voice over arts. On screen, Becca Lish has wonderful roles in hit shows such as Orange is the New Black, the recently returned to life hit series Murphy Brown, and will be appearing on the acclaimed series The Deuce. And so much more. But, if I am being completely honest here, the project that she intrigued me the most is, as a 90’s kid, one of the greatest animated series (geared to children, that is) Doug! That’s right Folks! The voice over actress behind the original hipster herself, Judy Funnie, is gracing our digital pages today! Aren’t you just the luckiest readers on the internet right now?

While I absolutely loved her work on Doug, I felt a strong need to learn a bit more about Becca Lish, and reached out. And boy am I glad I did! Becca is a delightful human being, and has some wonderful responses for you all below. We discuss her work on other projects like Celebrity Death Match & more. And we are so excited to have her here today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Becca Lish!

 

******

 

What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it a passion that you had since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My mother took me and my siblings to see a great deal of theater when we were growing up. The regional repertory company near us in San Francisco did great work and I decided very young that I wanted to make my living working at a theater like that one. I didn’t waiver from that career goal. I acted in plays at the local recreation center starting at age 7 and continued straight through college.

 

While you do a bit of on-screen work, you have done some pretty incredible work in the world of voice-over work. We have spoken with several VO artist over the years, and I am always curious to know how you enjoy this line of work in comparison to on screen work? Do you have a preference for either one? 

In many ways, acting is acting no matter what the medium. I sometimes say that my job is pretending to be other people. Working in voice over just broadens the range of people I can pretend to be. All the elements of me that might distract from the character (age, gender, species, nationality) are erased when you can only hear my voice. I’ve voiced all sorts of people and animals through the years. Working on camera, I’ve been limited to characters that are plausible given my appearance. Voice over work can be much more fanciful.

 

What was your very first paid gig as a performer that you can remember getting? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

About a year after graduating from college, I started work as a member of a resident regional theater company called Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island. It was my great good fortune to work in an average of five plays a year over the ensuing decade, with a wide variety of excellent actors and directors. Resident acting companies are rare but having grown up as an audience to a great one in San Francisco, I was thrilled to become part of one as my first job. One of the most important lessons I learned was that the community of actors benefited from collective action onstage and off. It was a union job and from that day to this, I have remained engaged in union service, working toward the shared goals of our community.

 

I have to tell you that I grew up in the 90’s, from being a toddler to a teenager. That being said, I absolutely LOVED two specific shows that you worked on, for two very specific reasons. The first is, of course, Doug, in which you brilliant voiced Judy Funnie and many others. With that in mind, when you were working on Doug, where you ever under any impression that the you were a part of something that would have such a cult following so many years later?

I am not very plugged into a cult following but, certainly, working on Doug was a very special experience. It was my first animation job and a wonderful opportunity to stretch creatively. The writing and direction felt very true to the experiences of kids growing through those challenging middle school years so I was not surprised that it was successful at the time (though in a different way than the other shows in that block, Ren & Stimpy and Rugrats). I also think that the episodes Doug himself lived through are universal and timeless so the staying power of the show makes sense. Does the cult have a secret handshake I could learn or is it one of those creepy things with chanting and blood sacrifice?

 

 

The other project I loved came towards the end of the 90’s, in my teenage years, and that was Celebrity Death Match. It was such a gem of a show. I am curious to know how you enjoyed working on such a wild program. Was it as fun to work on as it was for young Ron watching in his room hoping mom doesn’t walk in?  

I did just a little bit of work on Celebrity Death Match so I wasn’t really a part of that family. I think they brought me in to replace someone else who was gone. I remember I played a zombie but I don’t recall that it was any different from most voice-over jobs. I hate to burst any bubbles but with rare exceptions you are hearing an actor standing relatively motionless in front of a microphone, alone in a recording booth. Nickelodeon’s Doug, in the early days, was a rare exception. Often Billy West, Doug Pries, and I would record the family’s scenes together as a group rather than wild (solo without context). Similarly, groups of kids like Doug, Patti, Skeeter, Beebe, Connie might have a group scene so several of us would be in the booth together at Pomann Sound on West 46th Street, where we recorded the show. I learned so much from Fred Newman and Billy West in those sessions.  They were very generous colleagues.

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

Lately I have been doing quite a bit of television work, playing small parts in some of the many shows that shoot in New York. This winter I did little bits on episodes of Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, Younger, New Amsterdam, Sweetbitter, the Murphy Brown reboot and a handful of other series. These roll out slowly over time so some of the others won’t air until later in 2019.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

African dance class – a very sweaty smile!

Michael C. Maronna [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. Today’s interview subject began his acting career at a very young age and in some pretty recognizable roles. But, he then would shift gears to take a bit of a different approach whilst still remaining very much at large in the world of film and television production. It’s the great Michael C. Maronna! Michael may be best known for his work as a kid as older Pete, in the brilliant and now legendary Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Now, Trainwreck’d Society historians (is that happening? Write in if it is!) would be able to tell you that Michael is actually not the first of Petes to appear on these digital pages. In fact, it was the month of August when the other Pete was on the site. And again, it was August…..7 YEARS AGO! I promise you I nearly shit when I realized this. Younger Pete, Danny Tamberelli, was actually one of our first guests. Actually, our 15th interview subject of the closing in on 500 that we have done. I know this because it was early on, and then the records get a bit hazy after a while. Anyway, 7 years have gone by and after 7 years of periodically making attempts to get Marona on the site, we have finally done it!

And I will be god damned if it wasn’t well worth the wait. We dig into The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Michael being a part of the legendary Home Alone McCalister family, His reunions with Danny which involves a wonderful podcast, and just so much more. Oh and because I feel like I forgot to state it earlier, Michael became involved in the world of electrical work in the entertainment world. And as a former electrician in a fairly recent past life, I am very impressed and feel like this man has/had my dream job. He has worked on projects like Kevin Smith’s Cop Out, Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, and the wonderful Woody Allen as a pimp masterpiece by John Turturro, Fading Gigolo.

It is absolutely wonderful to have Michael grace our digital pages today, as it is a long time coming and I can not believe we finally made it happen. Thank you so much to Michael, and I hope you all enjoy his amazing answers as much as I did. Enjoy!

 

******

 

You began your career in the world of acting at a very young age. What inspired you to want to get into the world of performance so very early?

I was the first grandchild in a big family and I quickly grew to need attention! I liked to read and talk, and my parents weren’t crazy about paying for college, so these interests quickly coalesced…

What was your very first paid gig as an actor that you can remember getting? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that continued to affect your work as an actor?

My first commercial was for Scott Toilet Tissue and it was a very simple set in a studio, a camera pointed at the back of a station wagon. I had to carry a bag of groceries. I clearly remember the director Sol had a big King Kong built out of Legos in the studio. He pulled off Lego King Kong’s head to reveal a can of Hawaiian Punch stored inside. Sol told me he came from the planet Lunch and proceeded to pull scarves from his mouth. As a five-year-old, I was enchanted. I’m recalling that initial wonder – and remembering how it felt in that moment like being the most important person on the set.

 

 

In 2008 you appeared in a music video by one of my favorite bands of all time, Nada Surf. The video was for the catchy and brilliant track “Whose Authority”. How did you find yourself working with Nada Surf? Where you previously a fan of the band?

Chris the locations manager for the video was roommates with my friend Mike and recommended me to the director Jonathan as a bicycle riding guy. Simple as that! I met the wardrobe supervisor, decided on lots of layers for the weather and a coupla days later we shot on the lower east side with bicycles. Nada Surf had a cool debut song with “Popular” which I knew from radio play in high school but I didn’t get that album. It turns out they shot the video for “Popular” at Bayonne HS in New Jersey where we also shot Pete and Pete episodes including “Valentine’s Day Massacre” so I was psyched to be involved in a video with the band.

It was a brief bit I did with some of the actual Nada Surf members riding around in Manhattan. I like ”Whose Authority” a lot and I really appreciate the triumphant feeling. I can also remember getting sick after riding around for two days!

In more recent years, you have worked in the electrical department on some of pretty amazing film and television projects. How did you manage to find yourself in this line of work? Would you say it was your true calling in the entertainment industry?

After the first season of Pete and Pete, the grips gave me a belt and some essential tools as a wrap gift. That was great! I was in high school and I didn’t use them much. The gaffer from the third season of Pete and Pete gave me a shot after the show ended. My first full job with him was a feature that I auditioned for the lead of and ended up driving the electric truck for $50 a day. Six Ways To Sunday starred Norman Reedus, Isaac Hayes, and Debbie Harry. I was 19. It’s tough to say what my true calling is – I’ve spent a lot of my life on set, I’m not done yet, and being a member of local 52 for the last 11 years has been a great time so far!

You are a member of the now legendary fictional family that once flew away without one member of the family being left behind. That family is the McCallisters. And the film was Home Alone. The film has since become one of the most acclaimed holiday films of all time. I am curious to know how it feels to be a part of something so historic? And what was the set life like on this project? Where you aware at the time that you were a part of something very historic?

Chicago life was a lot of fun. My dad was there part of the time and my grandparents as well. That was when I went to a big cathedral for Mass for a few weeks – my grandparents. I remember lots of pizza and video games besides that. The cast parents seemed to have fun in Chicago and since we were all in school the production was often dispatching us to tutoring five or six times a day between setups. The assistant directors were great at wrangling us in the group scenes. As I said, I’m from a big Irish family so I felt at home in a crowd, vying with Devin Ratray to entertain us between takes. He was really funny and I saw him in my local comic book shop earlier this year while working on The Good Fight. It’s nice to hear randomly from someone watching the movie that they’re seeing me run with determination in the airport or that they love watching it with their family. That’s sweet. I didn’t have an inkling at the time that it was historic, but I didn’t know too many John Hughes movies – not that I would have been allowed to watch too many!

 

 

You’re former on-screen brother and friend Danny Tamberelli was actually one of our first interviews here at TWS. Over 6 years ago! Since that time you guys have seemed to reunite a lot more. Including the creation of a podcast entitled The Adventures of Danny and Mike. How did this project come about? What influenced you guys to collab regularly once again?

We had been doing Pete and Pete reunions in various locales around the country and after a really fun one in Portland we decided to recap it in a podcast. I’m guessing it all started up again in Brooklyn when I stepped out of McCarren Park after a soccer game in my cleats and found Danny by the pool, puking between two cars. It’s been pretty consistent with us since then, even though we’ve both been married since the podcast started! We’ve been able to get some great guests and record good studio episodes and fun live shows along with our producer, Jeremy.

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

The Danny and Mike machine will return to the road in 2019. Look for us in the southeast, the northwest, and one other direction.

@michaelcmaronna on Twitter @dannyandmike

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Watching my son looking at the NYC skyline out the window of an Amtrak train I got stuck on trying to find seats for him and his mom.

 

New Music Tuesday: Honey Gentry – Dreamlover [EP]

 

 

Have you all ever had that experience where you hear something that is so intriguing, you can’t stop hearing it even when it’s not playing? A sound so sweet and captivating that it seems to seep deep into your subconscious and just sort of live there for a while? I’m sure you all have. Even if you don’t know that you have, it’s likely that it has happened, but you just hadn’t really thought about it before. I know that is how I feel sometimes. And I know that is how I felt after just one complete listen to Honey Gentry’s incredible EP entitled Dreamlover. But, to be fair, when an album this great comes around, there is no way that a sound like this can just come into your life and then be gone the next day. It’s just not possible with something this damn intriguing.

Honey Gentry is the type of artist I have personally been dying to hear for quite some time. I have always had an affinity for the power that a female singer/songwriter can bring to the world of music. And there have been so many wonderful artists to create such magic over the years. But, every few years, I am fortunate enough to become privy to some absolutely incredible artists that transcend the idea of “amazing”, and seem to move into a whole new dimension of fantastic and become an artist that I simply cannot imagine having never entered my life. Their sound so serene and perfect that it’s almost as though they are put on this earth just to bring me to tears based on their talents alone. Only a handful of artists of this nature have ever existed in this realm. Of course there is our beloved friend Lotte Kestner. Then there is Maddy Wyatt, Sara Schneiderman, Laura Gibson, etc. And now, Folks, please know that Honey Gentry is amongst the list of truly inspiring and absolutely brilliant singer/songwriters that have completely rocked my world with some truly brilliant talent that is undeniable and deserves to be the center of attention for decades to come.

Dreamlover is a beautiful depiction of incredible talent in Honey Gentry’s ability to write the shit out of a song based around a feeling of despair that still seems hopeful about the possibility of happiness. I love the EP as a whole, but I do have to say that there is without a doubt possibility that “Now I Wait” makes into our top ten singles list this year. Holy shit, it’s just so damn good.

So dive in, Folks. Dreamlover is an absolutely incredible EP that is sure to leave you wanting more. It is an incredible taste to what Honey Gentry has to offer, and let me tell you all, it’s ALOT. If Honey Gentry is not a household name in the upcoming decade, something is absolutely wrong with the world. I will forever stand by this statement.

 

Dreamlover will be available on August 22nd wherever you listen to music. 

 

Sunday Matinee: The Bromley Boys [Film]

 

“Welcome to England, welcome to 1969 and welcome to the worst football team in Britain. Dave Roberts  is your average 14-year-old boy, but there’s nothing average about the adventure he’s about to embark on. Dave is in love with his local team, but each week Bromley FC slide further and further down the league, suffering humiliating defeats and facing the double-edged threat of bankruptcy and relegation. When a chance discovery throws Dave’s world upside down he is presented with the opportunity to take the fate of the side into his own hands by becoming the club’s new manager. In the ultimate underdog story of friendship, first love and football fanaticism can our hero avoid the wrath of club chairman (Jamie Foreman), win the hearts of the players and the love of the chairman’s daughter all in time to save his beloved team from going down?” – October Coast PR

 

******

Do we have something amazing to share with you all today. Other critics are calling The Bromley Boys the “feel good movie of the year” and I am very inclined to co-sign on that. For football fans, you are going to really dig this heart-warming film. But even if you aren’t a “soccer” fan, there is still so much depth and heart to this lovely little true story. Brenock O’Connor is an absolute delight in his role as Dave Roberts. And having resided in the UK for close to 3 years as an American outsider, I can truly attest to the fact that these people are SERIOUS about their clubs, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem to the league around them. It’s a passion and an entirely different set up than I believe any Americans could truly understand. We may be big fans of our local single A minor league baseball team, but I’ve never seen an obsession such as this. Not to mention this film takes place over 50 years ago, and the obsession has never ceased.

 

 

Screenwriter Warren Dudley has done an incredible job in bringing Roberts’s memoir to life, and Steve Kelly has managed to direct a film that is simply poignant and dare I say brilliant. And while O’Connor deserves the recognition he has been getting for his appearance, it be a shame not to mention the star on the rise Savannah Baker in her role as Ruby McQueen, a girl who just can’t seem to give a boy enough hints. It also behooves us to mention that the grown ups of the film were actually quite delightful as well! The likes of Jamie Foreman and Alan Davies absolutely crush it with their performances and should be commended as well.

Go see this Folks! Any which way you find yourself able to view it, I can not recommend it highly enough. If you like to feel good after watching a film, The Bromley Boys is the film for you.

 

The Bromley Boys is in select North American theaters now, and on VOD soon.

 

 

Cambridge Comic Con 2019 [Event]

PHOTO BY SHERWYN MABUTE

 

From the Cambridge Junction website:

After 20+ years of attending Conventions all around the globe, and meeting some incredible people along the way, it was only a matter of time before a band of illustrious likeminded geeks pulled together, along with colleagues from theatrical and festival worlds, to create one of our own.

The knowledge the group has gained from being ‘on the other side’ of the convention/event scene has helped us turn the idea of Cambridge Comic Con into reality. We spent hours laughing (and crying) over stories of missed photo shoots, queuing hell, parking woes and general convention nightmares to build this one to be the best of the best. We are going to do our best to pay tribute to Film/TV and Comic worlds, the Cambridge Comic Con way!

We will be bringing stars from many entertainment genres to the Cambridge Junction, a modern venue with character and charm in abundance. A perfectly sized arena that will allow everyone to feel the family atmosphere, to get closer to your favourite guest and for them to be able to interact more than ever before. More interaction, less conveyor belt is our motto!

 

******

 

It’s an usually warm day out here in the heart of Cambridgeshire, and the warmth is only matching against the warmth that the 2019 Cambridge Comic Con is bringing to its attendees. This highly organized, and while still in it’s infancy as an even, heavily populated with film & TV stars, insanely talented artists, and vendors selling you everything from handmaid stuffed “Carl” from Up figures, to Notorious B.I.G. Funko Pop Dolls, and right back to everything you can imagine from the likes of Stranger Things, Harry Potter, and of course, the Marvel Universe and Star Wars. A TON of Star Wars. My dear friend and photographer (as well as a personal educator in all things geeky), Sherywn Mabute, and I found ourselves very impressed with some old original Master of the Universe action figures. Which is probably a nice pin point as to how old we are! There truly was a little something for everyone!

I have to say that I firmly agree with one of the talents that was showcased at the event, author of the Karrak series, Robert J. Marsters, when he mentioned that the event has a very friendly vibe to it that felt very different from the other Cons they have attended across the UK. Again, I would highly agree. While I enjoyed myself at an MCM event in London, this felt a bit more organic and homegrown. And for a person who is not the biggest fan of large crowds, the set up at the wonderful Cambridge Junction is incredibly accommodating for the mass numbers who have already flooded the event.

We spoke with several attendees, donned in brilliant cosplay ranging from a Batwoman and Wonder Woman duo, to one of photographer Sherwyn’s favorite, a gentleman donned in Red Hood gear. Erin Bellamy (aka “Wonder Woman”) told us that she was pleasantly surprised by the Game of Thrones collection, as she was not expecting it. And I would again agree! While I’m not the biggest proclaimed GoT fan, even I was very impressed with the set up that was adored with crowns, swords, and even an actual throne replica itself. And what better to accommodate it than getting your photograph with the Night King himself, Richard Brake!

We have to give a huge shoutout to Gavin and the entire staff who are making this incredible event possible. And I encourage EVERYONE to get yourself out there tomorrow, August 25th. It’s a star-studded yet cozy event with everything you could want to see, purchase, and enjoy. And maybe even best of all, it’s VERY reasonably priced, Tickets start as low as £10, with discounts available for families coming all together.

Head on over to the Cambridge Comic Con 2019 website to book your photograph sessions and to BUY TICKETS.

 

Below you will find some wonderful photos taken by the great Sherwyn Mabute, who was kind enough to show me around the event, and not only tell me what I was looking at as my knowledge is limited an obsession with the Fallout video game franchise, and Stranger Things, but he also is a genius behind the camera and took of some of our favorite Cosplayers, vendors, and more! The entire Con is a beautiful thing, and he captured it brilliantly. Be sure to check out the descriptions to see who these specific folks are who are making the event so special! Again, there was SO much to love here, but here were some of our highlights. Enjoy!

 

#ASCENSIONOFKARRAK author ROBERT J MARSTERS!!
LEARN MORE AT WWW.ROBERTJMARSTERS.COM

 

The ART OF FISH –
FIND MORE HERE:
https://www.facebook.com/ArtOfFish/

 

The man behind The Art of Fish himself! Check out more of his work, and where you can find him:
https://www.facebook.com/ArtOfFish/

 

SEEN HERE:
ERIN as WONDER WOMAN
MARIE as BATWOMAN

 

SEEN HERE:
ALEX as RED HOOD
MEGAN as RAVEN

 

SEEN HERE
ALICE as LOKI
LUCY as DEKU

 

SEEN HERE: DANIEL TUCK as MORAG from XENOBLADE CHRONICALS 2

 

GAME OF THRONES GOODIES!

 

GAME OF THRONES GOODIES!

 

GAME OF THRONES GOODIES!

 

GAME OF THRONES GOODIES!

 

 

 

 

THE COSPLAY PROS!

 

COSPLAY PROS!

 

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE TOYS!!

 

SOME LOVE FOR CHEWY

 

THANKS FOR HAVING US CAMBRIDGE COMIC CON!!

 

Rich Wilkes [Interview]

 

Happy Friday, Folks! We have an absolutely amazing interview to share with you all today! I love all of our interview subjects in their own way, but this one is very special to me. Today we have some words from the brilliant screenwriter Rich Wilkes! Rich is an absolute genius when it comes to storytelling. I say this because his work is some brilliantly varied, beyond anything you could imagine. We discuss this a bit in the interview, but far be it to say that Rich’s work has a range from writing one of my favorite coming-of-age-what-the-fuck-do-I-do-now? type of films, Glory Daze featuring a perfectly goatee’d Ben Affleck, to a Hollywood blockbuster starring Vin Diesel with a title that would be permanently engraved on my asshole step dad’s arm for the rest of his hopefully sad and miserable life….oops, got a little personal there. Sorry. Anyway, it all wraps back around to one of his latest stories that has completely shocked the world in terms of content and just down right damn good writing, the amazing Netflix Original film, and one of the most well done biography adaptations ever, The Dirt. And, shit, dude wrote fucking Airheads! And he so humbly doesn’t even realize how important of a film it truly is, which just makes him even more of a god damned GOAT in the world of storytelling in the world of film.

So Folks, I shall stop my fanboy gushing and airing of step-daddy issues and just ask that you enjoy these wonderful words from the absolutely wonderful human being that is the great Rich Wilkes!

 

******

 

What was your initially ambition to get into the world of film? Was it a passion that you have had since a youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in the business one day?

I always loved movies, but I never knew you could actually work in movies. I always thought of it as a distant, insider industry you had to be born into. This was pre-internet, and I had never even heard of film school. I went to college to be a writer, a novelist I guess, which I figured you could become by just writing a book. The notion of screenwriting first came up when I met kids from LA who demystified Hollywood for me, and made it sound like a real thing you could actually do if you tried hard enough. So even though my school didn’t teach screenwrting, I wrote a screenplay for my senior thesis, and kept pushing from there. Unless you’ve got family connections, I don’t think you can just “find yourself” working in movies. The movie business is like any other specialized industry. You have to fight your way in. Say you want to be a breakfast cereal box designer. You eat cereal, you study box design, then you move to Battle Creek, Michigan, and start banging on doors. No one offers you Count Chocula. You go to war for Count Chocula.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of film? And where there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that affects your work to this day?

I was first paid for a script I wrote during my first year of grad school at the American Film Institute. I had submitted for a fellowship at Touchstone Pictures, and they liked my script enough to option it for $10,000. That was a fortune, because at the time I had a $500 car and was surviving on the Taco Bell .69 cent menu and gas station hotdogs. I immediately dropped out of school and the ten grand kept me afloat long enough to get the next job, which was a pitch for a movie called Airheads. That was 28 years ago, and I’m lucky enough to still be doing this for a living.

 

25 years ago, the incredible film you penned, Airheads, came into the world and has had a cult following ever since. Looking back over the last quarter of a century, how has it been to watch the impact on fans of the film over the years?

I’m not actually aware of a cult following for Airheads. Every once in a while someone will say they liked it, or they grew up with it on cable, which is awesome, but that’s about it. Is there money in cult followings? Do you get acolytes? I’d love an acolyte.

 

 

The following year, you made your directorial debut with a film that was one of my absolute favorites films growing up, and still remains one I can always go back to. And that film is Glory Daze. I’ve always thought that it felt like a very personal story, so I am curious to know where this story came from? How did you know that this was a story that you wanted to tell?

Oh, thanks for saying that. Yeah, it was a personal story, based on my own graduation weekend with my friends at UC Santa Cruz. To put the most pretentious spin possible on this, I drew from Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat and tried to make the simple vacating of a house feel epic (to the characters, anyway). Leaving college is a distinct turning point in the lives of many young people. It might seem like a small thing to the outside world, but to you and your friends, it can feel monumental. That’s what we were trying to get at, without too much added adornment. See, at a certain point the script was set up at a studio. The big studio note was to have an evil fraternity full of obnoxious jerks buy the house and evict our crew. Throughout the movie our guys have beef with the frat, until they finally destroy the house, leaving the frat boys with a smoking ruin. That might be awesome,but that wasn’t the movie we wanted to make. We wanted it to be more Diner, less Revenge of the Nerds. It seems to ring true for certain people, so at least some people get it. Oh, and the script for Glory Daze is the one I mentioned earlier, that I wrote at AFI and that got me on my way.

In recent years, you worked on the acclaimed biopic about the notorious Motley Crue, entitled The Dirt. It was definitely a very interested adaptation to some larger than life events. So with that, I am curious to know what drew you to work on this project?

I grew up on Mötley Crüe, but had long outgrown their music in favor of punk rock. Then Neil Strauss’s book The Dirt came out, and it was the most brutally honest biography I had ever read. They go hundreds of pages without ever talking about the music. There are entire albums they don’t remember recording. Every other book about a rock band is a hagiography. This one made no bones about the fact that they were more into the lifestyle than the art, and I found that fascinating. It was written at a time when the band was broken up, so they just didn’t give a shit. So I petitioned for the job, and wrote a chaotic script with four contradictory narrators, most of whom are suicidal, and back in 2004, David Fincher was set to direct it. It was going to be like Fight Club, with these lost, fucked up guys doing fucked up shit.

Unfortunately, the Movie Gods saw fit to kill off that version, and the script floated around and got rewritten by other writers for another fifteen years before finally getting made. During that time, Motely Crue wound up reuniting and put out two more albums and toured the world, and consequently started reevaluating their legacy. I don’t think they would write the same book today. Anyway, the finished film (which is AMAZING) isn’t as nihilistic as I originally saw it. But it’s a decade and a half later. The script had to evolve or it would stay dead. And Jeff Tremaine, who fought for years to direct it, has much more experience making movies people actually go see than I do. I wish Jeff would direct all the other scripts of mine that have blown up over the years.

You’ve written and worked on projects in a plethora of different genres. From screwball comedies, to big budget action films, right back to the aforementioned indie drama. So with that, I am curious to know what you believe they all have in common? Whether it’s Airheads or XXX? What is your ultimate end goal in penning these stories?

Here’s the truth: you work on a miriad of things in your career, but you are untimately judged by what actually gets made. I love writing movies like Airheads and XXX. I also love writing period dramas and quirky comedies and baffflingly experimental stuff. Not surprisingly, the bafflingly experimental is hard to get financed (even with Fincher attached). So I become known for a certain kind of film, but that doesn’t necessarily define me as a whole. It’s frustrating to not have your more snooty, “intellectual” stuff out there, but what can you do about it?. It’s like Tarantino said, In the end, all you have is your filmography.  You just keep writing and try to improve and hope that one day you get to show your other colors. As for what these disperate projects have in common, everything I write has at it’s core an identical thematic that only I can see. Trust me, it’s not worth thinking about…

 

 

Of all the sets that you have spent some time on, in whatever capacity, what would you say was the best crafts service you have ever experienced on a set?

Airheads had a crafty who always had dogs ready, with all the fixin’s, at all hours of the day. Dude should be running a studio.

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

After waiting 17 years to get The Dirt made, I realize I have zero insight into the future.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Danny DeVito in It’s Always Sunny.