Your new movie Doomed!
The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four - in a few
words, what is it about?
It’s a behind the scenes look at the development and fallout from the
production of the ill-fated, 1994 version of Marvel
What got you interested in the
subject in the first place?
I’ve always loved comic
books, movies, and comic books movies. I’ve also always loved
behind the scenes documentaries and “lost” films. This story had
Maybe connected with the
last question, are you at all a comicbook geek, and a Fantastic
Four-fan at that?
I grew up as, and still
am, a DC guy. I may never have been a regular reader of
but I recognize them as one of the most important group of comic book
characters out there. It’s really a shame how they’ve been
treated on the screen.
How would you describe
your approach to your subject matter?
As a celebration of
the original film, and as an opportunity to honor the cast and crew of the
Oley Sassone’s movie. I wasn’t interested in exposing the ugly
underbelly of the industry, of what happened to them (though we absolutely
deal with that), but rather to finally acknowledge the work they produced
over 20 years ago. They all deserve at least that.
How hard or easy
was it to find the right interviewees for Doomed!
The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four, and when it
comes to cast and crew of the original The
Fantastic Four, did you find any bitterness regarding what had
Because my executive producer, Mark Sikes, is a
casting director, it was fairly easy to connect with all of the
principals. And because their story had never really been told, they
were all on board to get it out there.
Any facts and stories that actually did not
make it into the film?
Unfortunately, yeah. I had
about 90 hours of interview footage to get through for what ended up being
an 87 minute movie. There was a 2012 convention called Contamination
that brought together the cast and Oley for a screening and panel that I
would have loved to include in the movie. I just didn’t have the
space for it. They all told some wonderful stories about it.
Now you did manage to stay very
objective in Doomed!
The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four - so let me
ask now, what are your personal thoughts about why the movie was shelved?
It was a business decision, and I can respect that. But the
problem is that information was kept from the cast/crew for too long. The
people who MADE the movie were disrespected in a profound way.
My intent with this film to determine “who knew what when”. And
while I got most of the answers I was looking for, I was hampered by the
fact that the one man who had ALL of the answers passed away in 2011 – the president of
Constantin Film, Bernd Eichinger.
I'm supposing you have actually watched the movie in question, the
original The Fantastic
Four - have you also watched any of the later blockbuster
iterations, and how do they hold up to their low budget predecessor?
film is my favorite, and while I don’t actively hate the others, they
certainly lack the theme that an Fantastic
Four movie needs – and that’s family.
Craig Nevius’ script for The Fantastic
Four understood that. You can tell that
Craig, not to mention Oley, really understood the characters, understood
the comic book. You can tell they both actively read Fantastic
Four comics. The
same can’t be said for the reboots.
$64-question then, any idea when this first The Fantastic
Four might officially be released
onto the general public?
I think I can say with certainty
that if our film doesn’t help facilitate the release of it, then it will
never come out. We’ve been SO lucky with the press that we’ve
been getting. We’ve been covered by press from all over the world
Fox, Constantin Film… they all know we’re
out there, and they all know that we’re raising awareness of the
original film. NOW would be the time to release it. We’re
playing with the hastag #ReleaseCormanFF in hopes to continue to raise
awareness. I really hope it works!
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Doomed!
The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four?
are just starting to come out and they seem to be very favourable.
It’s very validating to see this. I had been in such a bubble for
so long, having edited the film myself, that I was never really sure if I
was telling the story in a way the audience would appreciate and with
which to engage.
future projects you'd like to share?
Nothing really to mention,
no. I just need time off from production (after nearly 4 years!) to
teach and be with my family. I know I’ll catch the bug again, soon
enough, though. I DO love the documentary form, and suspect my next
feature will be another doc.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
I went to Boston University’s film program (my
concentration was screenwriting) in the mid-90’s (I’m 47 years old),
and got into the commercial/corporate video world for nearly twenty years
before settling into teaching higher ed.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four?
is my directorial debut, but I have several credits as a screenwriter and
would you describe yourself as a director?
As a documentary filmmaker, I have pretty good interview skills, having
come from the corporate world where I grew up interviewing people for
training/educational videos. But I believe my job is most important in the
edit, in post production. It’s here that you have to consolidate,
compress and tighten without losing the focus of each story. And
then it’s juggling the individual stories to serve the greater story of
the entire film.
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, David
Cronenberg are the top three.
Your favourite movies?
Now, Blue Velvet, Dr. Strangelove, Dead Ringers.
and of course, films you really deplore?
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
DoomedFF on Facebook and Twitter.
for the interview!