Friday, July 24, 2015

Screenwriter Bill Martin on HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS (1987)


Harry and the Hendersons (1987) interviews

Voice-Actor / Screenwriter Bill Martin talks with TV Store Online about HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS...

William Dear Harry and the Hendersons
TV STORE ONLINE:  So let's talk about HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS (1987)...I just revisited the film for the first time in about 20 years or so...

MARTIN: Well, the film runs too long...

TV STORE ONLINE:  The thing that really struck me about the film all of these years later was just how funny it is but also how well Rick Baker's 'Harry' creature holds up on film.. I mean, there is nothing in the realm of CGI that could ever rival what Baker did with the design of Harry for the film....

MARTIN:  "They" say that Harry looks like me actually.    Rick's first design for Harry was a little too scary for kids.   They asked me what I had thought about it.    In fact, the Producers shot a little video of me popping out of a hedge looking at the world--that was how I envisioned Harry.  In fact, at the premiere of the film, my Mother came up to me afterward and said, "You know, Harry kind of looks like you..." (Laughing)  The joke, became, Bill Martin looks like a bigfoot...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Director Tommy Lee Wallace on FRIGHT NIGHT II (1988) and his new film projects

Tommy Lee Wallace Fright Night (1988) Interview

Director of Stephen King's It (1990) and Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982) talks with TV Store Online about his sequel Fright Night II (1988)...

Tommy Lee Wallace Director
TV STORE ONLINE:   How did the Fright Night 2 project come to you?

WALLACEFright Night 2 came to me via a friend, Miguel Tejada-Flores, who was on staff at Vista Pictures, Herb Jaffe's boutique company.  Having produced Fright Night (1985), Herb wound up with the sequel rights.  Miguel ran Herb's story department.  Looking for a writer/director, Miguel called me in, we kicked around ideas and collaborated on a rewrite of a sequel script which had been originated by Tim Metcalf.    

TV STORE ONLINE:   I was curious to know about the progression of the screenplay...Did you re-write Tim Metcalf's original script for Fright Night 2 and what contributions did you make to the story versus what was already on the page?   Were there things that didn't work in his first draft of the script?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Director Sam Firstenberg on BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO (1984)

Sam Firsteberg Breakin' 2 Interview

Any fan of BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGLAOO (1984) likely, by now, has picked-up the wonderful new Blu-Ray of the Sam Firstenberg and Cannon film.     On the recent release Director Firstenberg sheds some light on the making of the film via a Directors' Commentary track.    But, we here at TVStoreOnline.com felt that they were still some unanswered questions regarding the film.   Here's a few more answers to some questions that you might have had too about the film...

Breakin'2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)
TV STORE ONLINE:  Since you took the time to record a commentary for the recent release of BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO--I won't ask you too many questions about some of the background relating to the making of the film...But, damn, it's such a great film....

FIRSTENBERG:  We all love it...  And let me mention about that commentary...I had to track down Shabba-Doo [Adolfo QuiƱones) for that...

TV STORE ONLINE:  I think I like BREAKIN' 2 much more than the original BREAKIN' (1984) because it seems more organic in a way? If that makes sense...    It feels like there aren't as many actors in the sequel...

FIRSTENBERG:  Let me explain something about that...  It has that sense of community because of the two female writers who wrote the script.  I wasn't involved in the first BREAKIN' whatsoever--and the two ladies that wrote the sequel didn't have anything to do with the first film either.   They approached BREAKIN' 2 from that community perspective.   And Shabba-Doo had a lot to do with that feeling of the film as well.    Really, because he felt more confident in BREAKIN' 2 then he did in BREAKIN'.   Shabba-Doo was a dancer that came from the streets and in many ways he was 'Ozone' in those movies.     He came up in the street-dancing scene of Los Angeles.    During the shooting of the film he always had dancers from all over Los Angeles visiting him.    That was who he was.      He had had a part in the film DISCO FEVER (1978).      He really wanted the film to highlight the community of that time.  He wanted the hip-hop dancers in it.     I like stories about communities and big groups of people--so I liked the approach.  Shabba-Doo and the choreographer (Billy Goodman) on BREAKIN' 2 were good friends and they worked together to find all the dancers that are seen in the film.   And all of those dancers were Los Angeles street dancers.    They are responsible for that organic feeling that you mentioned.      The only professional dancers we had in the movie were the four girls who played the nurses in the hospital sequence.  They came in from Las Vegas, we shot that, and they flew back in the same day.

Menaham Golan Breakin' 2
Producer Menaham Golan (L) with BREAKIN' 2 Cast
TV STORE ONLINE:     You've talked about how you did the 'Turbo' on-the-ceiling dance sequence in BREAKIN' 2--but was that in the script?

FIRSTENBERG:  No, it wasn't in the script.    But it was our take on Fred Astaire's dance sequence from ROYAL WEDDING (1951).    At that time, all Cannon Films went to distribution through MGM, but BREAKIN' 2 went through Columbia.    We already had the music in place through Russ Regan over at Polygram Records, so when Cannon showed Columbia some of the early footage from the shoot--they got excited and bought the rights to the movie only two weeks into the shooting.   Once that deal was put into place--the expectations for BREAKIN' 2 went through the ceiling.   It put a lot of pressure on the film.   So Menaham Golan (Producer) became more involved in the shooting of the film.  He would call me over to his house on the weekend and he'd run ideas by my for the film.   One weekend I went over there and he said, "I have this idea..."   He's suggest things past the script.  He'd want a joke added here or a dance number added here.    He said, "Let's redo this Fred Astaire number..."    I liked the idea because I've always loved musicals, and I knew right away how to do the sequence technically.

TV STORE ONLINE:  I feel like the sequel is more of a musical than the first film...

Breakin' 2 Shabba-Doo
FIRSTENBERG:  I would agree with you.  I think with the first BREAKIN'--they didn't know where they were going with it.     They just made it and it became a success.  They realized that what the audience wanted was the break dancing.    And that movie created a phenomenon.   There were other companies that tried to capitalize on the success of BREAKIN'.   There were films made like BEAT STREET (1984) that tried to make money on the success of BREAKIN'.      The most interesting aspect of the film for me was that musical aspect.      The two writers and I worked together to shape it like a musical.    And the movie has a bunch of singing as well.   Don't forget, it's not just dancing, it's singing.    We had Ice-T even!       We shot the film out in the streets as well in East Los Angeles. It wasn't shot in a studio.  
 
TV STORE ONLINE:  Where was the Miracles building?

FIRSTENBERG: It was in Boyle Heights--east of the Los Angeles river.    Today, it's one of the biggest Hispanic neighborhoods of Los Angeles.   It was a synagogue, and while we were shooting you could see many symbols still carved into the stone walls inside.   I believe it's still standing today and being used--and I think it actually is a community center now!

Interview Conducted By: Justin Bozung

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why Breaking Bad Was in a League of Its Own

 

Television Series, Breaking Bad, AMC, shows, audiences, characters, Jesse, Walter, ranking

Never has there been a show so alluring that dragged the audiences in and had them wanting more, than the way Breaking Bad had done so.

There’s no doubt or question in the minds of more than 99% of the people that’ve watched the AMC hit television series Breaking Bad, that it’s not only the best show that has ever aired (personal opinions), but has totally changed television as well. Never has there been a show so alluring that dragged the audiences in and had them wanting more, than the way Breaking Bad had done so. They captured things in such a way that made audiences drool for the next episode. There was simply a great deal of beauty in the show due to the way they connected the episodes together and built awesome suspense.

Shows in the past have been able to build a great deal of suspense heading into the next episode. Previous hit shows like 24 and The Wire did this pretty well and were successful as a result, but Breaking Bad took things to a new level, and was so intelligent in the way that they connected characters across separate episodes that it was almost poetic. Despite the fact that the two main characters, Jesse and Walter were methamphetamine dealers who had committed multiple murders and were flat out, by all means criminals by the general public's typical standards, they built such a connection with the audience that had you rooting for them at every turn. They both experienced such adversity throughout their lives and together they formed such a tumultuous and edgy bond that you couldn't help but hope that they succeeded. This was only bolstered by the fact that Walter's brother-in-law was the local drug enforcement agent and was on their trail the whole time, without knowing that he was truly, in fact chasing his own brother-in-law. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Director of RAMBO 3 Peter Macdonald talks with TV STORE ONLINE about Sylvester Stallone's version of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA


Peter Macdonald Rambo 3 Interview

Director / Director of Photography Peter Macdonald (Batman, Harry Potter Films, Excalibur) talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about directing Sylvester Stallone in RAMBO 3...


Behind-the-scenes Stallone Rambo 3
TV STORE ONLINE:   1987 was a busy year for you...You worked as the Director Of Photography on one of my all-time favorite films SHAG (1989) and then immediately went on to direct Stallone in RAMBO 3 (1988)...

MACDONALD:  Yes, that's about right.   I literally finished SHAG, took a plane back to England, said hello to my family, changed my clothes, and then jumped on a plane to Israel to shoot the film with Stallone.

TV STORE ONLINE:  How did you come to direct RAMBO 3?

MACDONALD:  Originally, I was hired to shoot Second Unit Photography on the film.  When I got there you could sense that there was a lot of tension between Stallone and the original director Russell MuLcahy.    MuLcahy had only shot on it for about two or three weeks before he was sacked along with the all of the First and Second Unit Camera teams and a couple editors.   I had worked on RAMBO 2 already-so I knew what I was getting into! (laughing)      I had directed and photographed on the second unit on RAMBO 2.  When I arrived in Israel for RAMBO 3, my assistant was ahead of me--so I landed, and went directly to the desert.  I started right away shooting some helicopters in the desert.     I took over as director during the third week of shooting--and that was fine with me because both of my kids were in school at the time so I needed all the money I could get.    I was never a great fan of the RAMBO-image, so I guess I became a whore and sold myself to it.   But, it was quite an  experience, because I thought that if I could survive that type of film with that type of pressure on me--and to work with Stallone who thought he was Rambo at that time--I thought that I could handle anything.   When I took over at the three week point, they were already behind two weeks in the shooting. It was a mess.   

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Photos From The Set For the Upcoming Season of AMC's The Walking Dead

Walking Dead Shooting Locations

Have you ever wondered what a movie set looks like?   Specifically, The Walking Dead set?  Well, if you love The Walking Dead as much as we do here at TVStoreOnline.com, then you wouldn't be able to resist the urge to go for a set visit either if given the opportunity.

Well, okay, we didn't really have access to the set of The Walking Dead, but we did have a friend of the TV Store Online Blog drive down to Senoia, Georgia to see if he could get us something from the current shooting of the upcoming season of the hit AMC Series.

It turned out that he was able to grab some great photos outside the set itself!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Frau Farbissna / Actress Mindy Sterling on The Groundlings and the first Austin Powers movie

Mindy Sterling Austin Powers Interview 
Actress Mindy Sterling talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the influential Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings as well as her role of 'Frau Farbissina' in AUSTIN POWERS (1998)...

Actress Mindy Sterling
TV STORE ONLINE:   You've been super busy!

STERLING:  I know!  I've been super busy and I'm doing a project right now that I'm really excited about...

TV STORE ONLINE:  Being that we're talking today, of all days, on Father's Day--let's talk about this comedy that is coursing through your blood...   

STERLING: Yes, my dad was a performer.   He [Dick Sterling] was an actor, singer, and comedian. I definitely think that I got my goofy side from him, even though my mother was pretty goofy too.    They got divorced pretty early in my life but I don't think you can run away from something like that...

TV STORE ONLINE:  And Dick worked with Jackie Gleason...Did you ever met Gleason?

STERLING:  You know I don't know if I ever met Gleason, but I do remember going to see my Dad at the Jackie Gleason Theater. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Director John Hancock on his criminally-underrated ode to absurdist theater WEEDS (1987)


John Hancock director
Writer/Director John Hancock talks with Justin Bozung for TV Store Online about the criminally-underrated film WEEDS (1987).

director john hancock weeds
Director John Hancock
TV STORE ONLINE:  I wanted to ask you about your film Weeds...I believe the inspiration for the film came out of your days working in the theater...

HANCOCK
:  Well, my first experience with the subject matter was when I was the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Actor's Workshop--which was the big regional theater in town around that time. My predecessor in that position had gone into San Quentin  every week, or every other week, to work with their prison drama group.    They had taken a production of Waiting For Godot in there.    Their production became pretty famous and it won an award in Brussels.    The inmates got very excited about it, in  particular, one inmate named Rich Cluchey.   He was in San Quentin for armed robbery for life without the possibility of parole.    So, I, in that role of Artistic Director started going in to work with the group in San Quentin myself.  I liked Cluchey.   He was very sympathetic and soft-spoken.   Plus, I felt that he had some talent as an actor.    Cluchey wrote a play called The Cage and I put it on at the San Francisco Actor's Workshop.    Cluchey, obviously couldn't attend, but the play got good reviews and it did some good business.   

When members of the San Quentin drama group would get released I would employ them.   Either they did well, or they did badly,  got drunk, and I had to fire them.    I got to know many of them though.   One of them, Bobby Poole, wrote the screenplay for Richard Pryor's first movie The Mack (1972).    He was a very colorful and extremely interesting guy.   Poole had wanted me to get involved as a producer and director of his subsequent scripts, and as the years pasted, and as I started to make films--it occurred to me that the Cluchey story could make an interesting film.   So I got together with my partner, who was the Managing Director for the Actor's Workshop, Ken Kitch, and we tracked down Cluchey and acquired the rights to his life story.   My wife [actress Dorothy Tristan] and I took out a second mortgage on our house in Malibu so that we could have the time to write the script for Weeds.   We researched it extensively with all the different members of the ex-con drama group.   We wrote the film with Robert De Niro or Al Pacino in mind for the role of "Lee Umstetter."    And Bobby De Niro wanted to do the film.   We had the film set -up with United Artists  for a year or two but then it all fell apart.   Then we tried to set it up with Mickey Rourke but no would buy him.   Finally we got it going with Nick Nolte...