PJ FAQ


Sections:

QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS UPCOMING PROJECT


I'm sorry, but I'm still not able to discuss what I'm working on at the moment. I've signed a confidentiality agreement with Miramax. I'm still writing the screenplay for "something" with Fran Walsh and Stephen Sinclair, who has recently joined the writing team. Stephen worked on MEET THE FEEBLES and BRAINDEAD with us.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope it won't be too much longer before I can talk about things little more freely.

One word of warning: there is a lot of crap being published on the net as "fact". It has been a lesson for me in how untrustworthy the net actually is. Don't believe anything unless it comes from me!

"Your current project; you could tell us what it isn't couldn't you? Is it not The Hobbit? Is it not Lord Of The Rings? And is it not a King Kong re-make? You could tell us which ones it isn't."

Gee that sounds like a trick question, or am I just getting paraniod? I'm not making a lot of films, including WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S 3!

"If the new movie is Lord of the Rings and you turn Sam into Samantha as some rumours have suggested, just know that you will die. That isn't a personal threat, but these Tolkien fans are nuts. And whatever happens, you're the man for King Kong and Kate is perfect for it."

Sam? Who's Sam?

"Okay Peter, I apologize if I made any statements that alluded to your directing of 'The Hobbit.' I seem to be mistaken. I realize now what you meant when you said you had no involvement in the LOR movies, which I guess has a lot of truth to it since you're not officially involved. But maybe you can shed some light on this: you're not involved with the Hobbit or LOR, but can you flat out deny that you're working on a 'Tolkien-related' project for Mirimax? It's really none of our business before things are made public, so forgive me for prying and feel free not to answer. i'm just a curious fan."

I have been very careful to make no statements about what I am or am not involved in ... and unfortunately a month later nothing has changed.

I have never denyed or confirmed anything. I have said that most of what I've read about my 'next movie' has little connection with reality.

You have every right to be curious, and I wish I could be in a position to talk about my next film. I will one day, and in the meantime, I strongly suggest that you take what you read on the net with a grain of salt ... and a healthy sense of irony.


KING KONG


"I've heard when you were nery young you made your own sequel to KING KONG with your home movie camera and a toupee. Out of curiousity, do you still have it and watch it from time to time, perhaps to remind you of how far you've come or something like that?"

I never shot any footage, but I built a few models, which I still have.

"Who would you cast as Carl Denham in your remake of KING KONG?"

We never did any casting on KONG, but I was hoping that we could get George Clooney or Robert DeNiro.


FORGOTTEN SILVER


"So when the heck is Forgotten Silver going to get an official release (theatrical or video) in Canada?"

I have no idea. I haven't been that tuned into FORGOTTEN SILVER'S distribution. I know that a video is currently on sale here in NZ, and that this web site has information about ordering it (I think). You would just have to organise yourself a PAL-NTSC transfer.

"Were you first interested in parodying "ken burns' style", telling this story, or just generally doing a farse?"

I wasn't thinking of Ken Burns in particular. The Bio-doco genre has been around a lot longer than Ken. I did want to make it as authentic as possible and use all of the familiar doco conventions.

"The first screening of Forgotten Silver, Oct 28 1995, strikes me as more than a fluke. Clearly the intention was to produce an end-of-series effect like Country Calendar spoofs, but how much choice did you have? It seems awfully close to Oct 31 (when the heat came on) and thus not only a birthday present to yourself (perhaps) but also a mirror of the War of the Worlds programme (also a Trick or Treat show). Or was it all a fluke, decided by TVNZ without any input from you?"

It was a fluke, with no input from us ... although I know that TVNZ decided to play it at the end of the series because it was so different and didn't really fit into the mold. They didn't want to confuse viewers about the basic intent of the rest of the dramas.

"How much of the project was from Costa Botes and how much was from you?"

We pretty much planned and made it together. I directed all of Colin's footage (the old stuff) while Costa did most of the interviews. The interviews I did were Sam Neill, Harvey Weinstein & Leonard Maltin. Costa handled most of the editing and post-production because I had to start THE FRIGHTENERS.


FRIGHTENERS


"How did Robert Zemeckis get involved with the production of The Frighteners?"

He was looking for ideas for a possible TALES FROM THE CRYPT feature film. Our agent showed him a 2 page FRIGHTENERS treatment we had written. Bob didn't think it was right for TFTC, but wanted to develop it with us as a stand alone movie.

"Are you two going to be working together again in the future?"

I'd love to. It's great to have the support of another film maker. I pitched an idea to Bob the other day, which he liked, so maybe something will happen in the future.

"I express my deepest sympathies to you that your in-joke filled FRIGHTENERS didn't become the studio blockbuster Universal hoped it would be. Did you realize you were releasing it on Opening Night of the Olympics? That HAD to hurt it!"

We asked Universal if the opening of the Olympics would be problem, and they said it would have no impact. These people are highly paid professionals. You have to trust them.

"What are the current stats of the Frighteners Signature Collection set? Will you be doing an audio commentary for the movie?"

Yes, it's finished.

"If so, will this shorten the four hour documentary you said would be included?"

No. The doco's 4 and a half hours long.

"Are there any scenes that will NOT be put back in the movie?"

Yes, a lot.

"If so, will these be in the supplements?"

Yes, all of them are covered in the doco.

"Will the movie be presented in a new transfer from the old one?"

No, the old one was pretty good.

"THX?"

No.

"Dolby Digital Sound?"

Certainly DTS ... I'm not sure about DDS.

"When will it be out?"

It's late. I'll find out and report back.

"I got a copy of the script to The Frighteners, and I noticed a lot of things different in the movie and my script. The script I have says July 20, 1994, 3rd Draft. Anyway, I noticed that Dammers is killed at the "Bartlett" house. My question is, if this is the final draft, why did you make the changes? Did you talk to Fran about it first, or did you go ahead and do it?"

THE FRIGHTENERS reached a 6th or 7th draft before we started shooting, and then went through many changes during the shoot. So the 3rd draft you have was changed extensively.

Fran is very much involved in any script changes that are made. The Dammers death you mention was changed during the shoot. When we started seeing dailies and being blown away by Jeff's performance, we delayed his death and wrote new scenes for him in the hospital at the end. That was a good question, and something I forgot to mention in the FRIGHTENERS documentary!

"Did Melanie Lynskey not have a speaking part in Frighteners due to her accent?"

There was no speaking role we could give her. She is currently working in Cinderella with Drew Barrymore. I'm sure she will have a flawless American accent.

"Victim #12, Judge, Cyrus and Stuart are all from more than a year ago, so they evidently didn't take the tunnel the second time. So what, they just rot? What happens when they rot down to nothing?"

I guess they continue rotting til they fall apart.

"In the novelization (which is based on an earlier draft) it mentions ghosts being able to take the corridor at any time if they decide to. Is this true or was the already pathetically lame author screwing around with your screenplay?"

That's not based on our logic.

"What determines what "kills" an emanation? Stuart gets sucked through a fan, but then dies when the Reaper stabs him through the head."

Only a spirit can kill an emanation, i.e the drill sergent or the Reaper.

"And finally, just out of curiousity, is the ectoplasm a physical presence that Frank can pick up and clean up, or is it just there on the ghosts and kind of linger around them."

I guess it just hangs around.

"Why is The Frighteners called the 'The Frighteners?' "

The FRIGHTENERS is an English Cockney expression. It was the name it had during most of it's life.

"How did you do that great shot right after Frank comes home? The outside shot of the house, where it changes from night to day?"

It was a motion control shot that we filmed (in real time) with 3 passes ... one in the day, one at dusk, one at night. We then just did a slow dissolve between all 3 passes.

"Who is Bryce Campbell?? Thanks for your time."

Bryce Campbell is a friend of ours, who also works in movies. Fran and I sometimes use names of friends for fun.


HEAVENLY CREATURES


"What is the ultimate cut of Heavenly Creatures?"

I don't know what you mean by "ultimate". The longest cut is the one that was released only in NZ. There are several scenes that never made it to any cut that I would like to release on laser at some time in the future.

"Widescreen video version?"

Regarding the widescreen HEAVENLY CREATURES - ask Miramax. It's out of my hands.

"Different versions of Heavenly Creatures?"

Good question. Let's clear this up:

Version 1 (longest). My "final cut" for release in New Zealand. I can't remember what other countries had this cut, but there weren't many.

Version 2 (shortest). When Miramax acquired the movie for the US, they ran some test screenings and asked me if I could take about 10 mins out. They made special reference to the dinner scene where Pauline imagines her parents dying.

Miramax sent their "hatchetman" Charlie McClelland to New Zealand to work on these cuts with us.

I also took out some of the more "English" feeling stuff. I had final approval over all cuts. You have to realise that I have no problem "dabbling" with the cutting, so long as I retain control. I quite enjoy it. In fact I liked working with Charlie so much, I poached him off Miramax, and he now runs WETA DIGITAL here in New Zealand!

Version 3 (middle). When Miramax were prepping the UK release, they were going to use the US version. I suggested we put some of the cut footage back in, especially the "English" stuff - as this was England! About 5 mins was stuck back in, and I think this is the version that most other countries saw ... but I have lost track of it a bit after 3 years.

"After making your masterpiece HEAVENLY CREATURES,where you contacted by the real juliet and pauline about the film?"

We've never had any contact with them, before, or after the movie.

"I wish i could honestly say that you were the greatest director, but i am afraid that (in my little world!) you take a close second to Sir Alfred Hitchcock. With that in mind, as you may see it coming, did he have any influence or inspiration over the directing of Heavenly Creatures?"

I like Hitchcock too. I didn't really have him in mind during HEAVENLY CREATURES.

"Will there ever be a Heavenly Creatures Special Edition laserdisc?"

Having just done the FRIGHTENERS SE, I discovered that they do take a lot of time. I'm sure I could twist Miramax's arm into doing a HC SE, but I'd have to do it after my next movie.


BRAINDEAD/DEAD ALIVE


"What is the ultimate cut of Braindead / Dead Alive?"

Apart from local censorship cuts (which I have no control over), BRAINDEAD was released in most countries at it's full length. In the US, DEAD ALIVE was a few minutes shorter.

"Is BRAINDEAD's "Skull Island" a homage to King Kong?"

It sure is.

"Am I just hearing things, or is the church organ in DEAD ALIVE/BRAINDEAD playing an instrumental version of the decidedly non-Christian-values homosexual intercourse anthem "Sodomy" from MEET THE FEEBLES?"

Good listening ... well done! 10 points.

"About Skull Island, I talked to someone who lived in malaysia for 3 years and he said he had seen Skull Island exactly where you say it is in the movie. Since you have since told me the name is a homage to King Kong, does that mean the island used in filming is actually named something else and that the fellow that told me this was lying?"

The BRAINDEAD Skull Island is a New Zealand mainland valley, about 100 miles from my house. Could be your friend's a bullshit artist!


MEET THE FEEBLES


"Additional cast info"

"Is there anything in there that you now regret doing?"

I regret not being able to spend more time on the script.

"Was Dennis *ahem* wanking it when he was watching Harry and the bunnys?"

Drooling from his mouth and nose ... white snot!


BAD TASTE


"Is Bad Taste 2 still a possibility at some time in the future? Hurry, before you're too old to play Derek!"

I would love to do a BAD TASTE 2 ... it's just the problem of finding time to do it. It's something I'm starting to think seriously about, maybe in a couple of years time.

2 years? Hell, I'd better start work in the gym right away!

"Where can I purchase an original of Bad Taste?"

As far as I know, the only country in the world where you can walk in off the street and buy a copy is the UK. It is on the shelves at the Virgin Megastore, or HMV in London. I'm sure they would send you one. It is PAL, so you would have to arrange a transfer.

"Do you still "keep in touch" with Peter o«Herne, Mike Minnet, Terry Potter and those guys?"

We talk from time to time on the phone, but haven't seen each other in a while.

"Have they got any money from the success of bad taste?"

Yes, they continue to earn royalties.

"A company called elite entertainment has done a great job of digitally remastering movies for LD, (and then to VHS and DVD by anchor bay), I bet they could do a great job of reprinting Bad Taste."

Elite have discussed doing BAD TASTE with me, but they were unable to meet the costs of a new documentary, so I declined. I'm thinking of making a BAD TASTE documentary in my spare time, so if I get that finished, I would certainly talk to Elite again.

"I am currently writing a script and I was wondering how long it should be? It is in the same vein as your masterpiece, Bad Taste so I was wondering how long the actual scipt for Bad Taste is. Also, Do you know where I could get a copy of it? I would love to read it!"

There never was a script for BAD TASTE. It kind of grew as we went along, and was never committed to paper. Normal scripts are about 90 - 120 pages.

"Was it dangerous filming the cliff scene in Bad Taste?"

It was dangerous ... balancing on the edge of the cliff with no safety wires. I was always disappointed with the footage, because it felt way more scary being there, than it looked on film.

"When the panicked person calls from Kaihoro at the very beginning of Bad Taste just before he is cut off there is a splattering noise and a scream. It's my opinion that the extraterrestrial low-lifers have slaughtered him (hence the blood in the phone box), and during the ensuing massacre the phone (ripped out of the box) has been flung, and that is simply where it ended up; wrapped around the power lines. Although it could be just a gag. Hopefully Peter can tell us."

Scott's kind of right ... that is the theory. The odd thing that the phone was real ... ie, it was actually hanging up there when we turned up to shoot! Knowing that we were cutting from the phone call, I thought it would a good image to open on.

"When Derek-Jackson and Robert-Jackson met each other, who wasn't you? I mean: Who stabbed you?"

A guy called Ken Hammon.

"Who were you stabbing?"

Ken Hammon!

"Would you still use the original crew in the main parts or would you subsitute them for 'real' actors?"

Same cast.

"Has Bad Taste changed anything in the lifes of your co-actors (Pete O«Herne, Terry Potter,..)? Has anyone of them started acting for a living or did they return to be 3rd class human workers like most of us :) Or are they constantly harrased by movie freaks like myself whenever they show their faces in public :)"

They lead fairly normal lives! None of them have had film careers.

"My roommate swears he's seen Mike Minnet in other films and/or on TV. Has he?"

No ... Mike works as a compositor at a local newspaper.

"In Bad Taste, at the beginning, there is a spectacular travelling (when the first alien is running after the guy with an axe near a beach) that starts from the ground than flies away to stop over a small wood cabin. Did you use professional equipement to do that or was it homemade"

The shot you refer to was done in two parts: Hand held up to the back of the alien's head. Then we cut to a crane shot that started on the alien's head. The cut is reasonably well disguised.

The crane was a simple home made one.

"What IS that stuff you spew into a bowl in BAD TASTE?"

Yogurt, musli and green food colouring!

"I know that you've covered this topic a number of times, but several members requested that I address it one more time--there have been no less than 10 messages within the past few days regarding a sequel to Bad Taste. If you get some spare time, you may want to check out the message board...."

There's not a lot to report, other than the fact that I do have a genuine desire to make a BAD TASTE 2 one day. Nothing is being planned at the moment, and it would be a couple of years away - at the earliest.

I would want to make it over the weekends like the first one. That was how we made FORGOTTEN SILVER and I loved working like that again. I had my interest in a BAD TASTE revved up at the time.

I would obviously use a lot of CG splatter.

Only one thing is certain: 'The Boys' would all have to hit the gym six months before the cameras rolled!

"Was 'Bad Taste' originally shot in stereo?"

Back in 1987, we could not afford any kind of Dolby Stereo soundtrack, so the theatrical release was in mono.

However, we did mix a two-track, left & right stereo version strictly for video release.

I remember (and it's a long time ago) that the NZ Film Commission failed to tell many video distributors that a stereo track was available, and the video was released in mono in many areas.

I'm afraid I can't confirm where it ended up in stereo and where it's mono. I know the US video release was mono.


HIS FILMS IN GENERAL


"Although some would call it ludicrous to rank all six of your masterpieces, I'm sure it would be very fascinating to see how you do compare them. I'm sure that none of your films are even close to mistakes, can you even pICk from all of your "babies"?"

I would never attempt to rank my films. They are all the product of the time in which they were made, I am proud of them all and have no interest in comparing them. The film that excites me the most is always the one I'm currently working on.

"I am curious to see how you feel about working for a studio versus doing things completely on your own. From what I've read, you've been afforded a great deal of freedom from the studios. Has it presented you with any problems/complications?"

Universal is the only studio I've worked for, and that experience was good because Bob Zemeckis kept the studio at arms length and let me make my movie.

Miramax is not really a studio, and it's a very different experience. I understand and connect with the Weinsteins much better than the corporate "suits" that populate the studios. In the end, working for yourself is the best option.

"Screenplays?"

HEAVENLY CREATURES was published in a US magazine called SCENARIO. The others are not really available.

BAD TASTE was the only improv movie.

"I've always wanted to know if you identify with any of the characters in your films. If so,why?"

I've never given it any thought, so I guess the answer is no. Not consciously anyway!

"Your cinematography in your films is very much of an inspiration to me. Were these shots inspired by other filmmakers and films?"

I think that any film maker reflects the films they have been influenced by, to a greater or lessor degree. However on set, you are best to forget all you have seen and focus on the particular needs of your script and drama.

"...the theme that interests me most is that of matricide. Patty kills her mother in Frighteners, Juliet and Pauline kill Paul's in Heavenly Creatures, Lionel kills his in Braindead, Sid shoots his wife and mother of his child and her head pops off and blood squirts on the face of her child in Feebles, and you're "born again!" after killing your "mother" as Derek in Bad Taste. I haven't seen Forgotten Silver yet but I doubt you could've worked that idea into it."

It's not a theme that particularly interests me, but it does interest Fran a little more. I'm happy to use it as it's a simple way to add an interesting drama edge to a script.

"You should give yourself bigger parts in your movies! (I am refering to Heavenly Creatures and Frighteners) Or are you aiming for the impossible-to-spot cameos of Hitchcock?"

No plan. I make it up as I go along.

I've got great behind the scenes video footage of BRAINDEAD ... about 40 hours of it. I will do a laser disc doco one day, but you will have to be patient. I'd like to do a BAD TASTE one first. We've also got a stack of MEET THE FEEBLES behind the scenes footage too.

"Do you have any plans in working with Zemeckis again?"

Funny you should say that ... I was talking with Bob Z two days ago about a possible future project!

The answer is yes, I'd love to work with Bob and his producing partner, Steve Starkey again. Nothing is set in concrete, but it's possiblity.

"If 20th Century Fox asked you to direct the next ALIEN movie, would you jump at the chance? I think you would do a great job."

I was asked to direct Alien Resurrection but I passed. I just can't get excited about doing an Alien film.


OTHER FILMS IN GENERAL


"Which directors inspired you?"

Buster Keaton, Kubrick, Stuart Gorden, George Romero, Sam Raimi, Scorsese.

"Which movies are your all time favorites ?"

King Kong, The General, Goodfellas, old Bond films, Nightmare Before Christmas, Harryhausen films, Dawn of the Dead

"Are you a fan of....... Any of Kevin Smith's films?"

Yes

"Any Dario Argento films?"

I've only seen a couple of his films.

"Any Lucio Fulci films?"

Not that familiar with his work.

"Any other films or director you are extremely fond of or can't stand?"

I posted a list earlier ... I forgot to mention James Cameron as a favourite director.

"Do you ever find it silly that studios always want the films the have in the works to be somewhat secret?"

No. Does Stephen King publish chapters from his manuscripts a year before his new book's due out? Does Ford reveal details of it's next generation automobile?

The film business is competitive ... corporate secrets and strategies have to be protected by the studios.

"I must ask as a director and fan, what is you favorite cut of Dawn, 126m, 140m, or Argento's cut?"

I haven't seen Argento's version. The 126m cut is the one I'm most familiar with.

"I absolutely love Robert Zemekis as a filmmaker. What's it like to work with him?"

He's great. Because he's a director himself, he's very sensitive about letting me do my own thing, yet he would always have great advice if I asked.

He has a love of movies, with I connected to immediately.

"What happened with Jack Brown Genius?"

It looks a lot like Braindead because of Timothy Balme and the WETA fx. You wrote part of the script (with Fran) and you executive-produced the film. It is presented as a Wingnut film? What happened? It's not a bad film at all, just some intrascendent adventure, but not rubbish. Why did you say that film really hadn't to do nothing with you?"

JACK BROWN GENIUS was the brain-child of Tony Hiles who helped me as consultant producer on BAD TASTE.

Tony developed the script with another producer. Fran and I were asked to do some work on the script prior to filming, a favour that we were happy to do.

Sadly, the original producer died before the film was ready to move forward and I kind of inherited the job of producing it for Tony.

I thought it worked out ok, and plays really well with 6 - 10 year olds as a kind of wimsical fantasy.

It was a project that I became involved in without ever really wanting any involvment - which is why I made the comment I did. During my time with the project I tried my best to let Tony make the film he wanted. It's not my film.

"How does it feel seeing directors like Tarantino and Rodriguez ripping of (err.. paying hommage to) your work? (This is a stab at the weapon-gets-pushed-through-vampire«s-body-to- shot-the-other-vampires scene)"

As I said earlier, they didn't rip me off - no more then I ripped off Re-animator or Evil Dead 2. I was just happy to see another splatter film.

"What were your favorite films of 1997?"

"Worst films of 1997?"

It hasn't really been a great year in my opinion. I'm not into naming "worst films" ... it's hard to make a film and some don't come off as well as the film makers hoped.


MUSIC


"Are you going to be working with Danny Elfman / Peter Dasent again?"

I'd love to.

"Any other film composers you're considering working with?"

I love Howard Shore's work. I'd like to work with him at some stage.

"Where can i get the soundtrack of bad taste?"

A German friend of mine, Thomas Hartlage, released CD's of BAD TASTE, FEEBLES and BRAINDEAD. He is based in Hamburg, and his label is called QDK MEDIA.

I don't have the address at my fingertips right now ... can anybody else help?

It was also sold through Aron's Records, a cool store in LA.

"Why did you choose to have Danny Elfman score THE FRIGHTENERS over Peter Dasent? Or did the studio force you to choose a more mainstream composer?"

I wouldn't call Danny mainstream, but I know what you mean. It was partly studio, partly Bob Z, partly Danny's razor sharp black comic wit we badly needed for the film.

"Do you ever listen to the scores of your own movies? Or are you a more lyrics-oriented guy?"

Not really. When a movie is finished, you've heard everything so many times, it ceases to give you much pleasure. I listen to other people's scores.

"Also, as a filmmaker, how do you approach the composers for your movies? In other words, how did you express to Mr. Elfman what you wanted in terms of feeling and types of music? Did you have examples of music from other movies to show him?"

You talk with the composer, describe what you want, in what's called a spotting session. At that point you agree on where music should start and stop, and what type of music it should be. In Danny's case, he gets it straight away, and needs little direction. In fact, he constantly surprises you with clever ideas.


TECHNIQUES/TECHNICAL INFO


"Why do you did you shoot Frighteners and Heavenly Creatures in Super 35?"

1. Super 35 lets you shoot with prime lenses, rather than anamorphic. In the tests we've done, Super 35 looks as sharp, if not a little sharper.

2. It is also more user friendly with CG effects.

3. We can't rent anamorphic cameras here in NZ

"Scheduling software?"

We use scheduling software called MOVIE MAGIC. I suggest you get that and read the manual. It should tell you everything you need to know.

"What do you use for blood?"

Maple syrup and food colouring

"Could you please tell me what you used to make the spurting blood sound featured in most of your films?"

The sounds are achieved in many ways, often using a cabbage, or squeezing yogurt between the palms of your hands.

"If I put a year or two and all of my effort into a fifteen minute film, but used a camcorder (hey, a NICE camcorder), do you think it could be watchable and decent? I hear people laughing already, but this is 100% hobby and just 2% business (I'm putting 102% into this!) so I can't afford "real" equipment."

Camcorders are fine. The only important thing is your talent, and that will triumph no matter what format you use. I'd rather watch a great VHS movie than a boring 65mm film.

If you have film making talent that will be recognised on VHS ... and you won't be stuck with Camcorders for long. Go and do it!

"What is Derek«s piece of brain made of? I«ve done many attempts to make something like that but I can«t figure anything out how to do it."

Sheep's brains.

"How long it takes you to think of an idea for a movie until you actually finish the script? It takes me about two years!"

It varies. There are no rules. Fran and I usually try to write the first draft of a script in 3 weeks, then spent much longer on revisions.

"How much control the director of photography has over movement of the camera? I would think the actual director would want totall control on where it goes."

The DP is usually in charge of the lighting. The Camera Operator works with the director on camera movement. In the end the director has control over everything - if they don't like something, it changes.

"why do you (as it seems) prefer to use Super 35mm ? I'm always happy to see that a movie is shot on Super 35 so the video version will be "full screen" (if not letterboxed) instead of Pan&Scan.;"

Super 35mm gives you an anamorphic ("Cinemascope") final print, but you shoot it "flat". The big advantage is that you shoot with regular, not squeezed, lenses. The choice is far greater and the quality is crisper, sharper, with better depth of field.

It's better for CG work and the whole video transfer thing is much easier. It means that there is little artistic difference between a full frame and letterbox transfer. It removes the "pan & scan" for the process. Rather than having the full frame transfer show you less picture, it actually shows more.


APPROVED US CUTS?


In terms of the US, any editorial changes to my films have been made with my consent - the "R rated" DEAD ALIVE being the only exception. I remember playing that video to Tim Balme and a bunch of the effects guys. We had a great laugh.


REISSUES?


I have turned down recent requests to reissue BAD TASTE and MEET THE FEEBLES on video in the US. This is because I want to release them "properly", ie, with new digital transfers and a long documentary. The companies that have approached me have been unable to afford these costs.

I will wait until someone can finance the sort of package I would like to give the fans of those films.


VIDEO PIRACY


I don't mind if fans seek out "foreign" versions of my movies. Pirating them is something that I'm not too thrilled about however!


PERSONAL LIFE


"How did you start directing ?"

With a Super 8 camera at the age of 9.

"Is it just a rumor that you and Fran w. live together?"

Yes.

"On a personal note, my father is not to thrilled about my going to film school. He wants me to major in business. Did you ever encounter these problems?"

No, I had very supportive parents.

"What is your major attraction to the splatter film? Do you remember the first one you saw and whether or not it made you sick to your stomach?"

I saw Dawn of the Dead in 1979. I did feel a little sick, but amazed too!

"Do you have your own 35mm copies of your movies? (and the equipment to play them?)"

I have a screening room ... and I have HC & the FRIGHTENERS on 35mm. I'll get the others in due course.

"Which do you look like more often? The dude in the Frighteners with the beard and chains? Or the Derekish type look; no beard, glasses, etc."

I usually have a beard ... but no chains!

"What kind of music do you enjoy? I always find it interesting to discover what my idols like to listen to."

I don't have particular tastes really ... although I do like 60's music, with the Beatles being a favorite.

I find some classical music and film soundtracks are a useful inspirational tool when you're sitting in front of the word processor trying to think of ideas.


TROUBLE WITH THE CHURCH?


"Have you ever gotten in trouble with church people for your occasional not-very-serious portrayal of priest people?"

No, thank God.


THE FAN CLUB


"Were you inspired by Kevin Smith and his web board over at www.viewaskew.com where he answers posts from his fans, to do this?"

I wasn't aware of Kevin's website, but I'm having fun. Some of you know more about my movies than I do!

"Is this Q&A; board something you will try to keep going, or will it only be for a limited time?"

I should be able to keep this up for most of the next week, before I start getting busy again. I'll try to do it as often as I can. I'll also try and warn people when I'm heading into a "blackout" period.


MISCELLANEOUS


"I happen to live in Wellington but I am not a member of any drama groups - how would I go about applying?"

Wait until you hear that we're definately making another film, then send your photo, with age, height, contact details, etc to the "Extras Casting Director" at WingNut Films.


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