With this episode, I’m going to bring Season 1 of “The How NOT To Make A Movie Podcast” to an end – but only because there’s a sequel coming – a Season Two of “The How NOT To Make A Movie Podcast”! It’ll be about the same thing but sorta different! Before I get too deep into sequels though, I need to finish with all the old business first. I’ve still got a few last Season 1 stories to tell.
Music From The Crypt
When we were running “Tales From The Crypt“, one of the elements that mattered a lot to Gil was music. Gil has mentioned that he starts his “directing process” by trying to imagine what the music would be. It sets an important tone in his head. Literally. Gil reached out to feature film composers. In part, that was because our mandate was “don’t look or sound like a TV show!” When we made Crypt, TV shows sounded one way and feature films sounded another.
Gil brought in big name feature composers like Chris Boardman (“The Color Purple”), Jay Ferguson (“Terminator”), James Horner (“Titanic”) and Alan Silvestri (“Forrest Gump”). We got those feature composers to do our “dumb little TV show”. Actually, getting them often just involved picking up the phone. Everyone wanted to “do” Crypt.
It had a “mystique”.
The first Crypt episode Gil directed was called “What’s Cookin“. It’s about a couple who own a failing cafe. When their landlord goes to evict them, the homeless guy who sweeps up for them steps in “to help”. When the couple show up the next day, expecting to be locked out, instead, they find the doors open and a pile of fresh steak in the fridge. Unsure what this means, the wife throws a steak onto the grill and the smell brings more customers in the door than they’ve ever had. Success! She throws more steaks onto the grill. The problem – the steaks all came from the landlord who’s hanging in the meat locker in back!
Having executive producers like Joel Silver, Bob Zemeckis, Walter Hill and Dick Donner gave us huge advantages when it came to casting. Dick Donner – director of “The Omen“, “The Goonies“, “Assassins” and the “Lethal Weapon” movies among others – asked Gil who he was thinking about for the lead. Gil mentioned Christopher Reeve – who Dick had worked with on “Superman” (1978). At that moment, getting Christopher Reeve to do any TV show was impossible.
But, we got him to do our episode of Crypt. We got Bess Armstrong to play the wife and Judd Nelson to play the homeless guy (who kills the landlord and cuts him into steaks). The best casting was the actor Victoria Burrows wanted for the landlord – the source of those steaks: Meatloaf (the musician and actor – not the actual meat)! I mean, how hilarious is that?
Even if Meatloaf had sucked in the part, we had to cast him!
How To Break Bad News To People
Anyway – among the stories you’ll hear in this episode – working with Christopher Reeve. We’ll tell two stories about another episode Gil and I wrote and that Gil directed – “Death Of Some Salesmen“. The first will be our music story – the one where Gil got Oscar-nominated composer Michael Kamen.
Among Michael’s credits: “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, “Brazil”, “Die Hard”, “Last Action Hero”, “The Iron Giant” and the “Lethal Weapon” movies. Getting Michael was a coup. We were thrilled about it. And then we went to listen to the first pass at the score he’d written for us.
And that’s when things got uncomfortable.
There’s also a near-disaster story – Todd Masters tells a harrowing tale about makeup special effects, a schedule gone awry and actor Tim Curry who was playing three roles! Finally, Gil will tell us what it takes to get a big feature film green lit. Gil’s done it in the room. It’s a great story.
Finally, there’s “our” story. The one we’re telling right here in this blog and podcast. As I said up top, though this episode marks the end of Season 1, it isn’t the end. We’re doing a sequel!
In Season Two, we’ll swap our “The Making Of Bordello Of Blood” subtitle for “Horror Stories From The Movie Making Trenches”. So, they’ll be the same tales of “film craft turning to crap” from the first season where we described making Bordello. We’ll just get to tell them about other movies.
By “we” I mean my old creative partner Gil Adler and I. We’re putting the band back together!
Together Gil and I will tell even more stories from our past (we’ve but scratched the surface!) and invite in guests with “Bordello-like” stories of their own where film making craft turned into crap. Between Gil and I, we know an awful lot of interesting (big name) film and TV people with an awful lot of amazing stories about film making fiascos.
No one climbs the show biz mountain without getting bruised. We’re going to tell you the stories of those bruises – from the inside.
So, please – joint us for Season Two. Make us a habit. Better yet, tell your friends. Tell your enemies even (they’ll become your friends). Tell everyone you know. Share the good times!
We’re already looking forward to it!