This afternoon I began porting old video from a cache of VHS-C tapes sequestered deep in the bowels of the Drewcave. One of the first tapes I wanted to “take digital” was footage we captured from the 1991 production of the movie “Robocop 3”, a lackluster sequel to the original blockbuster. This footage is from actor Robert Burke being sealed into the Continue reading Robocop the Cosmonaut
The year was 1998.
The place was a bend in the Yellow River, just south of Porterdale, about 40 miles east of Atlanta.
The movie was False River, a film best viewed while intoxicated, being savaged by weasels or in the throes of a malarial fever dream.
We had just returned to work after a weekend of torrential rain and the river was high. Really, really high.
Dark shapes keep appearing along the top of the churning, rock-strewn rapids then slipping below again.
Those were turtle heads.
Snapping Turtle heads to be precise…. and they were everywhere.
Dozens of them covered the width of the Continue reading Give Me the Barrel
Fox is about to release a remake of the Hollywood classic “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in a week or so and I realized that this is as good a time as any to tell you the story of my connection to the original 1951 version of that film. Be warned: it is a long and rambling story, filled with teenage nudity, a strip club, a Waffle Continue reading The Day That Drew Stood Still
This year I made it my goal to share all of my on-set photos with all of you via my Flickr account. The most recent batch of photos I’ve uploaded are from an ABC made-for-TV movie originally titled “Saratoga Summer” (released as “A Horse for Danny“). Shot in Lexington, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana, the movie tells the heartwarming tale of a spunky girl named Danny (a spunky young Leelee Sobieski) and her horse-training Uncle Eddie (Robert Urich) as they struggle to make their mark in the hurly-burly world of horse racing. Young Leelee was Continue reading Saratoga Summer
Due to the untimely demise of actor Heath Ledger and the recent one-car accident by beloved entertainer Morgan Freeman, the American mass media has gleefully started pushing the idea that the latest Batman film “The Dark Knight” is cursed. And, while I do have my own infinitesimally tiny connection to Tim Burton’s original Batman picture, I know nothing about this latest Batman show and its potential damnations. I do, on the other hand, have the scoop (including photos!) on a Patrick Swayze film that was absolutely, positively cursed†; from an aneurysm at the beginning to an accidental explos Continue reading The Curse of the Black Dog
This is a photo of actor Jeff Garlin holding a box of doughnuts, standing next to Leo Murphy, the Propmaster from Robocop 3 (shot here in Atlanta back in 1991). Now, I know that it’s Jeff Garlin, because I remember taking the photo. But… there’s no way that you can tell that it’s Jeff because the film was “skunked”, obliterating part of the image, which was often the case of Polaroid film on set..
Yes, the title of this post sounds exciting and dirty, but it is in fact a very accurate description of some special effect chairs that were built over at Scenario Custom Scenery a few years ago for a set of commercials for Badcock Furniture. I personally worked on the first chair shown in this video…. check it out and I’ll explain a bit more afterward:
Okay, in the first part of that video you saw a chair’s upholstery being sucked up into a vacuum cleaner, right? Well here’s how it worked…. Continue reading Spinning, Flopping, Bucking & Sucking
Are you worried about the Writer’s strike? Not me, buddy… I’ve got my mailbox.
You know, that dumpy 40 year-old black metal box at the end of the driveway? Mailbox? The thing into which my Federally-sanctioned mail carrier typically inserts the mail I love (paychecks, magazines and the occasionally mis-delivered Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog) and mail I do not love (bills, bills and bills). But lately, our mail carrier (let’s use a little creative license here and call her “Betsy”)…. Betsy has started bringing me the most unusual mail for the past week or so and I must confess that I’ve become quite hooked.
Tonight my Dad gave me an old program to a puppet show that he took me to in Atlanta back in the 1970’s. I remember that it was a production of one of Aesop‘s fables: the Fox and the Grapes. What I didn’t know about the show hit me right between the eyes when I opened it… the very first person listed in the credits was the Technical Director, Dwight Creel… as in my friend and former boss, Dwight Benjamin-Creel. If you’d like to see the program in its full glory you can download it from this link!
I finally had the time today to sit down in the living room floor and set up an old-fashioned film titling system that filmmaker Troy Miller FedEx’ed to me this fall. I totally owe him several T-shirt designs even if I never exactly figure out a use for this thing other than as a nutty desklamp. But for now, read on and let me take you for spin around this contraption…
Continue reading Bolex 8mm Titler