Peter Rowe [Interview]

 

Today’s interview subject is a man who did one specific thing that initially made want to have him on the site. And oddly enough, it was an acting gig, which turns out to not really be his main gig. It’s actually Canadian filmmaking legend Peter Rowe! And the acting gig I am speaking of was also wildly specific, which was his portrayal of the late and brilliant Hunter S. Thompson in the docuseries Final 24. I will admit, it’s not the best interpretation of the final days of HST, but I was still so intrigued to ask the man who was tasked to portray the ailing Thompson in this series how that experience was to do so. So, I hit up Mr. Rowe and graciously enough he accepted our invite. Which is something we are always so grateful for here at TWS. Tomorrow, Feb. 20th, is actually the 15th anniversary of Hunter taking his own life, making many of the events that Rowe depicted on screen, 15 years ago today. It’s so hard to think about such a loss, but knowing it was Hunter’s choice should give us a bit of peace, I suppose.

And as I began to do a bit more research on this fella, I came to learn that Peter has done some amazing work in just about every field imaginable in the world of film and television. From writing and directing to special effects consulting and cinematography, there really isn’t anything that this man can’t do! For over 50 years, the 3-time Gemini Award nominated Peter Rowe has been bring so much joy to the world through his work, and we are so excited to be able to share a few words from him today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Peter Rowe!

 

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What initially inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it something you had dreamt of doing since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

There was very little local filmmaking going on in my youth. Instead I first worked in live theater – three seasons of Summer Stock theater in the U.S. and Canada as an apprentice and Assistant Stage Manager and Lighting Technician. There were no film schools at that time, except for UCLA, USC and the Lodz School in Poland, and since none of them were in the cards for me, I instead attended McMaster University  in Hamilton, where I pretended to study philosophy and in reality became film reviewer for the student newspaper, and then one of the founders of an underground filmmaking group we named the McMaster Film Board. We managed to scam some money together from the university to be able to make a number of films, some of which I directed, others I photographed. Our group attracted a number of budding actors and filmmakers, some of whom, such as Eugene Levy and Ivan Reitman went on to Hollywood fame and fortune. One of our sexy wilder efforts led to some notoriety, including a lead story in the big newspapers and on the CBC National News, which led me to…

 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

My first job in the film biz was working as an assistant film editor and projectionist at the CBC. Realizing that if I stayed there it would be a very slow rise through the network, I left after three months, and then, with the help of my calling card underground experimental film made at McMaster, joined a wonderful film company / film co-op called Allan King Associates, run by iconic doc maker Allan King and his filmmaking partner Richard Leiterman. I got to work on many films there, and most especially got to produce and direct my first feature, which was titled The Neon Palace. From there I continued to work as a freelance filmmaker both on projects I initiated and ones I did for others. I’ve made over 190 films, including ten features, such as Treasure Island, with Jack Palance, The Best Bad Thing with George Takei and Lost!  with Ken Welsh, Helen Shaver and Michael Hogan. In the 80’s and 90’s I mostly did dozens of episodes of dramatic television series. In this century I mostly have done documentaries. My most notable was 49 episodes of the series  Angry Planet. In 2013 I wrote a book about it all titled Adventures in Filmmaking, that is available on Amazon. The book gets lots of great reviews, and so did most of the films.

 

 

I recently caught an acting performance you gave on the series Final 24 in which you portrayed a personal hero of the mine, the late Hunter S. Thompson. I am very curious as to how this experience was for you? What kind of research went into the process of becoming such a legendary figure?

Through my career on stage and in film I continued to dabble in acting. In 2006 I learned of the series Final 24 and that the producers were planning a one hour special on the last 24 hours of the life of Hunter S. Thompson. I auditioned for the lead part and got it. I simply researched the part by re-reading the books of his I had read, and reading the early ones (like The Rum Diaries) I hadn’t. It was generally a ball shooting the film. Snorting  cocaine (icing sugar), guzzling bourbon (apple juice), berating my “wife” and generally behaving like an asshole, improvising wild dialogue, shooting guns (blanks, but still fun) and blowing stuff up – what’s not to like? It was a strange shoot for me, because my own father had died in hospital the day before the first day of the film, and Thompson killed himself, he claimed, because he didn’t want to end up like his father, lying in a hospital with a dozen tubes stuck in him. I did it in tribute to my father, a writer himself, and though no fan of Thompson or television, was a big supporter of my filmmaking and a believer in the showbiz adage that the show must go on. The film is available on YouTube.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to create a biopic, with unlimited resources, of any legendary figure in Canadian history, who would it be? 

It isn’t a hypothetical question. For years I have been trying to make a film about the world’s first movie star, Canadian born actress Florence Lawrence. My film is not a biopic but rather a re-imagination of Lawrence’s life, based on the novel by William J. Mann, titled Biograph Girl. Instead of our story ending with a Hollywood suicide in the 1930s, as the real one did, our film imagines that she did not die but instead was rediscovered in the 1990s and then turned, by a down-on-his-luck documentary filmmaker into a star (of TV and tabloids) all over again. My partner on the project is Canadian star actress Jennifer Dale, who’ll play Lawrence. We’ve had fun doing about 15 drafts of the script. It’s a good one. Who knows, at this point, whether we’ll find the financing to make the film, but we keep working on it.

 

When you look back on a career spanning over 50 years in the business, what would you say you are the most proud of when you look back on it? Not one project in particular maybe, but your career as whole.

I am very pleased that in the sometimes shaky world of filmmaking I never had to “get a real job” and instead continued to keep working and have fun in a biz where every day is different from the last. I’m also pleased to have two daughters who have continued in related fields, one as the co-anchor of the evening news at WKBW-TV, in Buffalo, and the other making expedition films and teaching adventure filmmaking on National Geographic Society student expeditions. As for my own projects I’ve enjoyed almost all of them, but probably none more than filming adventurer George Kournounis as he hosted my series Angry Planet, filming in the most remote parts of 40 countries on all seven continents. Its available on Amazon Prime.

 

 

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

I’m focused these days on two things – painting – I paint mostly pop art work that I display in Toronto galleries and on my Instagram (peterrowepicsandpaint) and Facebook (peter.rowe.123276) sites, and writing. I am deep into a new book titled Music vs The Man, that is about the long-running contentious relationship between musicians, singers and bands, and the authorities – police, border guards, mayors, the FBI, the Kremlin, etc. Hope to soon have a publisher for it.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Probably an episode of The Simpsons (over 30 years of brilliance) or maybe Jiminy Glick (Marty Short, also a McMaster alumni, is the greatest ever). Or maybe Colbert or one of the other late night comic geniuses. We live in a crazy age of politics that has led to a golden age of both comedy and journalism.

New Music Tuesday: Eamon Ra – Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity [Album]

 

Hello Folks! And welcome back to our latest (and far too infrequent) edition of New Music Tuesday. Today we are showcasing an absolutely brilliant singer/songwriter who is bringing the brilliant pop rock vibes of yesteryear back for your patient ears. It’s Eamon Ra, and hot damn if he doesn’t have a sound that you all should have been begging for over the last few years. This Emerald City legend is putting out his first solo album after so many years working with some of Seattle’s finest artists, as well as around the globe. Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity is actually a rather appropriate title (go figure, haha) for this scattered yet very organized feeling album. With blends of psychodelic 60’s rock with noticeable Folk centric core. And it’s all wonderful, Folks.

 

 

There are some things about this incredibly unique for our time album that will not surprise the avid music listener. And this is a compliment. Beautifully sung songs about sad thing, good thing, and all of the little messes we make in between. Eamon writes the hell out of a pop song that perfectly infiltrates lyrics into a signature sound. I say signature, because in this day and age, musicianship doesn’t seem to be a factor that anyone cares about any more. His sound harkens back to the 60’s when experimentation was key, yet stuck to a folk rock format that was recognizable and delightful. Thus to say, Eamon Ra is a musician still stuck on the idea of creating a great sound for the sake of great art. And we truly appreciate him for it.

While the entire track list is solid, I feel in my heart of heart’s that nothing encapsulates the sound that might very well define Eamon Ra himself like ” Simple But So Complicated”. It’s not the final track on the album, but I truly feel as though it real sums the entire concept of Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity as a whole. The eccentricity and the catchiness collides to form a beautiful cloud of sound that is absolutely delightful.

So check it out, Folks! I know it may feel like it’s impossible to find new music to get blown away by, but if you dig deep enough, I promise you it is out there. And Eamon Ra’s Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity is sure to be exactly what you are looking for.

 

Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity will be available on March 6th wherever you purchase great music.

 

Harris Goldberg [Interview]

 

Folks, we are kicking the week off right with an interview subject who is an absolute legend in the world of film and television, especially (but not limited to) the genre of comedy. It’s Harris Goldberg, Everyone! Harris may be best known for penning the screenplays to modern classic comedies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Master of Disguise, and the semi-autobiographical comedy-drama, Numb. He also has a story credit alongside our old friend Mitch Rouse for his work on the hilarious buddy comedy we know and love known as Without A Paddle. He is a damn fine writer and filmmaker, who we are so honored to be able to steal some time from to tell us about his career thus far, and what the future holds for him.

So Folks, without any further babbling on my part, please find some wonderful words from the great Harris Goldberg!

 

What initially inspired you to get into the world of screenwriting? was it something you have had as a passion since your youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My older brother was/is a very successful screenwriter/producer. I witnessed his journey to Los Angeles and two back to back hit movies at the time (Meatballs & Stripes). That inspired me to follow in his ‘quite large’ and daunting footsteps. I had also been doing some stand-up at a very early age.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? and were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

My first paid gig came very fast. within weeks of being in L.A. It was a writing assignment for National Lampoon and producer Matty Simmons (who had produced Animal House & Vacation).  After I got the job, a more experienced writer friend in town said, “Don’t get too cocky. It’s not usually like this. The dips are so low you’ll need a shovel to dig yourself out.” I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just a bit bitter. Ten movies later, I realized exactly what he meant.

You made your feature film directorial debut in 2007 with the brilliant film Numb, which I heard was quite a cathartic experience for you on a personal level? Can you tell our readers a bit about the making of this film and how the story came to be?

Before Numb I was known as a broad comedy guy. I was branded in the Adam Sandler, SNL camps of comedy. the stress of L.A. was taking a toll. I was dealing with some profound anxiety, depression, etc… as a way to settle myself, I began to write a screenplay about the experience. Before I knew it, I was writing a screenplay – a screenplay I did not intend to show anyone really.  When I completed it, I was almost embarrassed to show it. I slipped it to a producer of note I had worked with before. He called back the next day and wanted to make it. Matthew Perry came on board in a big way and I was suddenly directing this very personal, autobiographical story.

 

 

While you have done so many amazing projects and I would like to ask about them all, but i feel like we would be going on forever. so, i would like to ask about just one more of your films that i truly loved as a kid, and that would be 2002’s The Master of Disguise. i have been a huge fan of dana carvey for as long as i can remember, so i may be biased. but, i am curious to know how this story was developed? what was it that made you want to create this very zany story?

Adam Sandler & Sony asked if I would write a  feature film for/with Dana. I was a fan of his as well. Same producers of Deuce Bigalow, which I had done in ’98 I think it was. I met Dana and we really hit it off. He could go into so many characters so quickly, I thought taking advantage of this skill could make an entertaining picture, as well as tap into his comfort zone for characterization. The first draft was a hilarious, R-rated comedy we were both pretty ecstatic about. The producer called us the next day with, “You have redefined comedy,” so he must have liked it. In any event, the studio executive in charge of the project hated it, wanted a PG version of the story to tap into the massive youth market. I assumed the project was dead. On a flight up to mill valley, where Dana lives, I came up with the idea of this Disguise Master, and a tamer storyline I thought would appeal to the studio executive. Dana slowly got on board and we wrote what is now the movie.

If you were handed an unlimited budget & free range to create the biopic of any famous figure in world history, who would it be?

Actor, Steve McQueen. I was very friendly with his wife of 15 years who told me incredible stories about this mercurial, charismatic icon. I’ve always been a McQueen fan. In particular, I thought I could really show who this man was and why he had such an impact.

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

I’m currently doing a Sci-Fi thriller for Miramax.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

A dream last night where, for 24 hours, everyone in L.A. were honest, kind and not trying to rip your head off.

Saturday Special: A Perfect Host [Film]

 

“Four friends rent an isolated lake house for a weekend getaway. While the dramas of the friends’ relationships unfold, they are continually interrupted by the home’s owner: a health-obsessed bodybuilder named Tad. Throughout the group’s short stay, Tad’s seemingly affable gestures take an eerie and sinister twist, turning their dream vacation into a nightmare. Mystery entangles this tale that questions the blind acceptance of modern-day practices.” – October Coast PR

 

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Happy Saturday, Folks! Today we are showcasing a suspense thriller for the ages. A Perfect Host is an intriguing film littered with suspense and ultimate pay off that is simply not to be missed. With some twists and turns, I will decree here and now that whatever you are expecting to experience whilst watching this modern gem of a horror film, you will definitely receive more than expected. Filmmaker Chad Werner hit the proverbial nail on the head in terms of keeping the suspense tight, while keeping the attitude a bit light and somewhat comedic at times. He’s an obvious mastermind of his craft and I am very excited to see what the future holds for him.

 

Brady Burelson Johnson is absolutely incredible in is portrayal of the film’s protagonist, Tad. Just superb. And might I had that the name Tad says so much about the character he is playing. I sincerely cannot think of a better name for this somewhat charming psychopath. KoKo Marshall is also a stand out performer in this wonderfully casted film that I recommend to anyone obsessed with great horror and suspense projects. A Perfect Host is simply brilliant. Check it out!

 

A Perfect Host is available now on DVD and VOD.

 

 

 

Chelsea Gilson [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! We have a wonderful interview to share with you all today. We have the inspirational and immensely talented actress, traveler, yoga instructor, and so much more. It’s Chelsea Gilson, Everyone! In 2019 alone, Chelsea worked on two of our favorite films of the year, which will be discussed below. She is a star on the rise and has an incredible future. We are so excited to have her join the TWS alum. She’s incredibly kind with her time and just an overall incredible soul. So please enjoy some brilliant responses from this incredible performer. Enjoy!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that has been ingrained in you since you were a child, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I live to create.  There is nothing that fuels me quite as much as an opportunity to pour myself into a role and become rooted in a new character.  I wouldn’t say I always dreamed of becoming an actress or television host – or travel blogger or yoga teacher for that matter –  but I always had an inclination for the limelight. I was a pageant kid who realized quite young that the energy of being on stage, of being seen and heard, it’s pretty damn liberating.

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

I can’t recall my first paid entertainment gig, but my first big break was when I booked a show on Travel Channel called Scambushed.  I can vividly remember getting the call that I was selected as one of four hosts for the show.  I was driving home from a fitness shoot, and I had to pull over to catch my breath – I was seriously too excited to drive!  That experience gave me the self-confidence boost I needed to pursue a career in this crazy whirlwind of a business.

We are huge fans of the universe that the legendary Kevin Smith has brought to the screen, having interviewed literally dozens of folks from this world. Including yourself! I understand you can be heard the most recent installment, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. I am curious to know how your experience was working on a Kevin Smith project? Was there anything that set it apart from the variety of other projects you have worked on?

I only worked as voiceover on Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, so I never got any set time with Kevin!  Everything was recorded in a sound studio 🙂 Voiceover is such a fun avenue of the entertainment world I’m just now starting to explore.  I’d really love to try my voice (see what I did there!) at an animated movie one day, how cool would that be?!

 

 

Another incredible project you worked on was the brilliant Dolemite Is My Name, which was high on our list of the best films of 2019. Same sort of question. How was your experience working on this incredible film? And what was it about this legendary story that made you want to be a part of it?

There were so many world-class actors on Dolemite Is My Name, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t star-struck on set.  I really loved how everyone was so professional during the takes – never missing lines, conscious of their blocking, grounded in their character.  But the second the director yelled cut it felt like one big party, with everyone cracking jokes and laughing it up like a backyard bbq.  It really was a dream experience and I’m so grateful I had a small part in such an iconic film.

If you were handed the opportunity to create & star in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be? 

I’m smitten with Dolly Parton and would love to give tribute to her remarkable life story.  She is beyond talented and so fiercely grounded in her sense of self, it would be an honor to walk in her shoes!

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

This week I’m headed to Temecula to film a movie.  I can’t share any details yet, but if it turns out half as good as the script, you’ll be hearing about it soon!  Other than that, I stay busy blogging away at www.travelingfig.com, stop by anytime to connect or collaborate!  You can also find me on IG at @chelseagilson and @organictravel  & on Twitter @chelseagilson

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I am obnoxiously optimistic, so it’s pretty rare that I don’t have a smile plastered on my face.  But if I had to say the last thing that evoked a big grin, I would pick this morning when I was teaching yoga.  I always cheese during the whole class – I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to share the practice with my students!

Allen Strickland Williams [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Happy Wednesday to you all! We have an incredible interview for you all today. We’ve had some wonderful comedians on the site in the past years, and today is absolutely no exception! Today we have some amazing responses from the brilliant Allen Strickland Williams! For comedy fans, Allen is a true household name, and one of the best in the game. For those sad few who aren’t quite familiar with Williams and his unique and brilliant brand of comedy, you are in for damn treat! You’re seriously going to LOVE him. He’s been hard at work with a brand new series that we will all hopefully get to see for ourselves soon! Until then catch him at a live show! Listen to his podcast The Male Gaze he does with Steve Hernandez each Monday! And because I know our readership is loud and proud in our homeland of the Pacific Northwest, he’s coming your way in March! More information below! Be there!

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Allen Strickland Williams!

 

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When did you first discover that you are a hilarious human being, and that you wanted to make people laugh for a living?

I ran a semi-successful blog when I was still in the womb called Baby Speak. Got some traction around the third trimester. Once the influencer opportunities started rolling in I thought, “Goo goo gah gah. Maybe I got a shot at this thing.”

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work to this day?

Besides getting paid 20 bucks here and there for some live stand-up spots, I somehow got a gig to write an entire season of an animated show about a dog who, get this, was a little bit of a potty mouth. I wrote an outline and a bunch of episodes about this dirty—and when I say dirty I mean DIRTY—dog. I think the dog’s name was Pussy? Thank god it never got made. At the time it was a lot of money to get all at once, the most I’d ever seen on a check with my name on it. But, it took me forever to get paid, and the money went away pretty fast. That was a lesson in how work can come from anywhere, there’s a lot of bad shit that needs writing, you can get paid even if something doesn’t get made, and that one gig or check isn’t gonna change your life. Which sucks. Because all I want to do is get paid in one of those big checks and take it out to the desert, never to be seen again.

 

We always like to ask comedians who make their way across the country one thing: What are so unsuspectingly wonderful places for comedy? What are some of those “fly-over” cities that simply don’t get the credit they deserve as wonderful places to perform stand up?

DAVENPORT, IOWA. I cannot stress this enough. Daniel Bush and Sean Moeller have put on some of the best shows I’ve ever done anywhere. And it’s a beautiful town, no matter the season.

 

 

I recently heard you on our friend Amy Miller’s podcast, Who’s Your God?, talking about an upcoming project you are working on entitled Unmatched. Without giving away too much, can you tell us a bit about this project? What sort of hilarity should our readers expect to see when the show is finally made?

It’s a show about a world where everyone is monogamous because an app’s algorithm can match you to your perfect soulmate. But the algorithm isn’t perfect, and some people can’t be matched, so they’re living non-monogamously in a world that’s completely built for everybody else.

 

If you were handed the opportunity, with unlimited resources, to write and produce the biopic of any well known figure in American history, who would it be? Why?

George Washington. And I’d just make him look like an idiot who got really lucky.

 

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

I’ll be headlining in Washington, D.C. at the Drafthouse Comedy Theater on 2/7 and 2/8, and at the Funhouse Lounge in Portland, OR on 3/20 and 3/21.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Remembering I had my weed vape at my office.

 

 

Craig Hamann [Interview]

 

Hot damn do we have a good interview for you all today, Folks! We are kicking February off right with some words from an absolute legend in the world of film. It’s Craig Hamann, Everyone! Craig has been involved in filmmaking for almost 40 years, and is actually one of the reasons you may know the likes of one Quentin Tarantino. That’s right, Craig worked alongside QT on his very first film, My Best Friend’s Birthday, which has a making of story like no other, that you simply must learn about. In the interview Craig will talk about a great book by Andrew J. Rausch regarding the making of this film. And while I have not read it myself, I plan to. And if Craig is willing to co-sign on this venture, then I am totally down to do so as well.

Beyond the one memorable venture, Hamann has worked on many other awe-inspiring projects, including working with some of our old friends at Full Moon Entertainment, which he will tell us about in his answers below. He has an exciting new series in the works that we hope gets to see the proverbial light of day soon. And overall, he’s just a genuinely kind man and we are so grateful that he could take some time out of his busy schedule to share a few answers with us here today.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Craig Hamann!

 

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What initially inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking? Was it something you had dreamt of doing since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Two things inspired me. The first happened when I was maybe five or six years old. I always liked seeing movies, even when I was that young. As a result, my parents would take me to matinees on weekends. One day they took me to a double feature with Bela Lugosi in Dracula and Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. I was immediately hooked on horror and genre films, and the possibility of one day writing for film.

The second inspiration came while I was attending Eastern Michigan University, which is a good writing school. I just happened to notice screenwriting was being taught and so I took the class. I loved it. It completely erased any doubts I had about getting into the film business.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

The first paid jobs were uncredited rewrites for a few low budget indie films. A couple didn’t even get produced. I also did some martial arts fighting stunts in a couple films best left forgotten. But my first paid gig where my name was seen was acting in The Tomb, directed by Fred Olen Ray. The experience itself was dope. Another big plus was I met Sybil Danning during the filming. She was drop dead sexy and such a nice person. During the shoot, I spent as much time as possible talking with Sybil about the independent film industry as I could.

If there is one thing working on The Tomb  taught me, it’s filmmaking is a job. A fun job. But still a job. Everyone is working hard to complete the shots on schedule. 

 

 

A number of years ago, you created a film with Quentin Tarantino entitled My Best Friend’s Birthday in the early days of both of your careers. I am curious as to how this relationship came about? I believe I’ve heard that you originally began the project? How did this all play out?

A great book by Andrew J. Rausch recently came out titled My Best Friend’s Birthday: The Making Of A Quentin Tarantino Film. It really goes into depth about the film. Quentin, Roger Avary and myself all participated in interviews for it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the film. 

Quentin and I had become close friends at the James Best Acting School. We decided one day to basically hold our noses and take a plunge into making a film. It was a trying but rewarding time in our lives. Of course, the best part is I got to work with Quentin. That’s an experience I will always cherish. As for me originally beginning the project, make no mistake, despite what some people have said, Quentin and I originated and made the film together. We worked hard at it. As Quentin likes to say, it was his film school. I agree with that sentiment. It was the only sort of filmmaking school I ever attended.

I also like the idea of simply saying, “We’re gonna make a movie.” We didn’t know at all what we were in for and we didn’t really know what we were doing while we were filming. It was trial by fire. But what a learning experience! 

By the way, the camera we used to shoot the movie was a 16mm Bolex that Fred Olen Ray lent to us. He did us a real solid. I’ll never forget it.

I came across something pretty interesting whilst scanning the internet that I was wondering you could give some detail about. I understand that you reunited with Quentin a few years later as a consultant on Pulp Ficiton. I am curious to know what kind of consulting work you provided to the film? And how was your experience working on this project?

I am a former substance abuser. That’s a fancy way of saying I was a drug addict many years ago while living in Detroit. I talked in depth with John Travolta about the heroin use in the film and I met with Quentin and Uma Thurmond to talk about her overdose scene. I also talked with Quentin about what the overdose would look like. He did a superb job with it.

I would come to the set and always end up in John Travolta’s trailer talking about film, life, whatever. He’d make us iced tea and we would just sit and shoot the breeze. A couple times Quentin joined us for lunch. Quentin also had me present while he shot Christopher Walken’s incredible “watch” scene. It was amazing. Walken is blow away amazing as an actor. And Quentin wrote a brilliant scene.

My apologies for all the Quentin praise here, but I find the guy’s talent to be astonishing. He has to be looked at as one of the greatest signature writer/directors to ever grace the big screen. Of course, yeah, I’m a bit biased.

We’ve spoken with quite a few folks who have worked in the Full Moon Entertainment world, especially writers, which you did yourself in 1993 with Dollman vs. Demonic Toys. We love horror films around here at TWS, so I am curious to know about your experience working on this very specific type of horror camp-like genre?

My buddy Courtney Joyner introduced me to Charlie Band. We hit it off well. I ended up writing Dollman vs. Demonic Toys. It was great writing for Full Moon because of their colorful approach to films, but equally fun was having two friends on  board with Courtney as an associate producer and Tim Thomerson in the lead. 

One project I really was hoping to do with Full Moon was going to be their version of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It didn’t happen. I believe they had difficulty securing the rights to that one at the time.

 

 

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

Right now I’m excited about a project called Smokers, which I’m doing with my good friend Sam Dobbins. Sam is a smart and experienced actor/producer. We’ve put a lot of time and hard work into this one. To be honest the project is fairly fresh off the presses, but it’s ready to start being shopped. One of the reasons I’m so crazy about this action/horror/revenge story is because of the streaming TV shows on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Shudder (among others). We have 10 episodes already written and a complete story/character bible for Smokers. Admittedly, it’s gritty stuff, very violent, but it’s an intriguing plot with wonderfully offbeat characters. I firmly believe the cross pollination of genres in the story would be fascinating to viewers.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Here, right now answering the interview questions. It brought back a lot of cool memories. Thank you for doing that for me.