(Part one of the interview)
You played Brad’s set-up date, Timothy. What were your intentions behind that character?
A scene I kind of regret or wish I could have re-edited. It is a homophobic response from Brad used as a bridge. But I played it for comedy. Which turned out to be, ‘whose comedy?’
I performed it myself, one less person to cast. I used the popper line to signify all that was wrong with Timothy according to Brad’s ill-conceived notion of what a good mate should be.
I was on a dance floor once in the eighties at a bar (straight bar, mind you) when someone handed me a bottle of poppers. I didn’t know what they where. They told me to take a big sniff. I did. My legs buckled, I was down for the count. Had to be carried off the floor. Just the mentioning of them is foul.
However, I brought Timothy back when he goes off on Wilber Dent, head of ‘Christians against anyone who disagrees with us’ organization as he anchored Hardnews. Normal was filmed when shows such as Hardball and the like were just starting to own the airwaves.
A little sophomoric. Yet I brought him back and followed through with his going girl on ya! Championing the cause like a Robert Zemeckis button. And Dwayne Twillis is now alive! That was discussed a lot on the blog sites. For good reason. There is an omitted scene where Brad tells Dwayne something bad is coming our way in the future. ‘…Sex? Always wear a rubber.’ Hence, Dwayne is now alive in the future.
We took it out for it sounding too preachy. Yet it also disrupted the story.
What are some of your favorite films?
I think the perfect film is To Kill a Mockingbird. A perfect transformation from novel to film by Harper Lee and Horton Foote. No better father existed than Atticus Finch as performed by Gregory Peck. Elmer Bernstein’s haunting score. Robert Mulligan’s direction. Its themes, hidden themes; clear, even story structure. And Boo Radley was Robert Duvall!
Every character, no matter how small, had their fifteen minutes. Aunt Stephanie leans in to Rosemary Murphy declaring ‘Oh Maudie!’ after a prowler was said to be shot at, delivered perfectly as the spinster small town, part time Aunt raising her nephew Dill Harris, also known as Truman Capote, played by Alice Ghostly our soon to be Esmeralda on Bewitched.
‘He would be in Jim’s room all night. And he would be there when Jim waked up in the mornin’’. It doesn’t get any better than that.
My favorite film is probably Breaking Away. One summer morning I viewed Gene Shalit give high marks to this sleeper film on The Today Show. Saw it with my best friend. We both were nineteen years old with nothing else to do which was pretty much what the story was about.
After we walked out of the movie theatre, I said, ‘I think that is the best movie I have ever seen.’ I cannot tell you why, it just was.
When Barbara Barrie talks about using a passport from time to time at the A & P she holds up that passport with the flip of the hand and gives that look (what got her that Oscar nomination). Has nothing to do with the story, yet it has everything to do with it.
It was the first time I ever cried watching a movie (slightly) when Dennis Christopher hugs Paul Dooley after losing the race with a broken heart. …Ree-fund!?
I was lucky to grow up in my formative years during what is now called The Hollywood Renaissance. I liked Coppola and Scorsese, but gravitated more to Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich, Neil Simon screenplays, Bob Fosse, Robert Benton, Paul Mazursky. But mostly Steven Spielberg. I still think 1941 is a masterpiece.
What are your thoughts on queer cinema?
Pros and Cons. There is a movie for everybody these days. A far cry better than having to quietly pretend David Soul and Michael Glaser in Starsky and Hutch were lovers.
But we now live in a world where there is so much of everything; you never have to step out of your safety zone. Everything is ‘preaching to the choir’ downloads.
I feel queer cinema was at its best in the 90s and early 2000s; The Living End, Desert Hearts, Plata Quemada. Even films made for laughs had better execution and purpose; Another Gay Movie, Eating Out (The dueling pianos, page turning scene!).
Today, the really good films seem to be from other countries: Marco Berger’s Hawaii, Haim Tabakman’s Eyes Wide Open and Stephan Lacant’s Freier Fall.
When you share about reviews of the film and finding it uploaded by others online, how does that affect your future plans of releasing content?
I do not know. I am not sure Hollywood does.
How would you describe your creative process when considering digital content/releases?
My only creative process is the same as when I was fourteen standing outside watching a tornado as I write a screenplay about tornados.
You uploaded a trailer for another film project titled UNION, what are the plans to release that as a full-length film?
Some years back I began wanting to do a story on two con artists who are lovers with the American Civil War as the backdrop. I came up with a story about two card sharps and their pet chicken who hide out in the Union army after being busted from cheating at cards, their relationship challenged by many forces when after one is injured in battle they become separated causing our flawed hero to take an epic journey to reunite with the other. UNION is paying homage primarily to two films. Jimmy Stewart’s Shenandoah and William Wyler’s Friendly Persuasion with a dash of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
I researched the era. Even began participating in Civil War Reenactments. I am now a brevetted Captain in the Union army. Soldiers salute me when walking through the camps. I got a ‘period rush’ once. You feel like, for just a moment, you are back in the 1860s. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. I entered the screenplay UNION twice in the Academy of Arts and Motion Pictures (The Oscars) Nichol Fellowship screenwriting contest. Made semi-finalist twice placing in the top 30 out of 6,700.
If Hollywood or heavy funded independent producers was ever going to make an epic film with two of its central characters gay (a term used quite differently then) this is it! It is my mission. I am doing everything I possibly can to make it happen. I filmed a trailer, put it on a website for interested parties to watch, click the request button for me to send you the feature screenplay.
Other revisited queer cinema: Adam and Steve : Un Chant D’amour : The Boys In The Band : The Next Best Thing : Naked Fame : Saturday Night At The Baths