Friday Questions back on Friday.
Horror is one of my favorite genres but I've noticed you almost never mention horror. Are they just not your thing or are there some horror films you like?
No. Never liked horror films. There’s enough real horrors to be scared about like politics.
At first, as a kid, I thought they were fun. Frankenstein and Dracula and Vincent Price in spooky haunted houses.
Maybe forty years later I saw it on the Late Show and could almost tell you what scene was next and what was going to happen next – it had left that much of an indelible impression on me.
Seeing it again, I finally understood what terrified me. The film was a metaphor for the Cold War and the US and Russia were squaring off to destroy the whole world. A blood sucking vampire who over acted and spoke with a funny foreign accent did not keep me up at night. The threat of being dead myself at any moment did.
Never liked horror films since. I should probably seek therapy, huh?
Have you ever written a script that you would have hated to direct?
I talked about it in a recent post. As proud as I am of that episode I can never mention it without heaping enormous praise on director, Charles Dubin (pictured: right)
Adding to the difficulty of creating this first-person look and getting remarkable performances out of actors not used to talking directly into the camera, Dubin was severely hampered by the bulkiness of the equipment. It’s not like today where you can literally shoot a movie with your iPhone. The cameras were big and heavy and not easily maneuvered.
Oh, and the whole show was shot in only four days.
We owe the success of that episode to Charles Dubin and the fact that I did not direct it.
Here’s a sugar free question from Splenda:
Lets say that a network greenlit a remake of Almost Perfect, under the condition that you use all new actors (can't bring back Nancy Travis, etc.). Who do you cast (assuming they are available and interested)?
Jason Dechert and Jules Willcox who starred in my play, A OR B? at the Falcon Theatre last year.
You have mentioned many times that being a TV writer requires putting in long hours, sometimes until dawn. Is it possible to have some kind of semi-normal family life when working in such a profession?
Absolutely. But it takes organization, preparation, the willingness to make decisions, and not having a showrunner who is going through a divorce and would rather spend his nights in the office than alone at the Oakwood Gardens Apartments.
Time management is the key. Even on a multi-camera show it is possible to go home at 6:00 or 7:00 and still turn out an excellent product. EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND writers were almost always home for dinner.
On the other hand, there are some truly dreadful shows where the writers worked around the clock. And for what?
But if you have a showrunner who keeps changing his mind, or takes forever to decide which new line to add, or just has nowhere else to go because he’s got an unhappy home life, you could be checked into the Hotel California.
You want a happily married showrunner or one who has Lakers season tickets.
From Jeff :)
I have a baseball question Ken. Who is your favorite player both currently and of all time. Also, your pick to win the World Series for this year?
All-time: Sandy Koufax. All-time that I had the pleasure of working with: Tony Gwynn. Currently: A. J. Ellis (he used to actually listen to Dodger Talk when I hosted it.)
Who will win the World Series? Whoever is not favored. Or whoever I pick.