Twenty-Five Things About Jim & Movies You May Not Have Known…

  • 1. The first movie I recall seeing was JAWS (1975) at the Bethlehem Drive-In in Pennsylvania. Honestly, it was a triple feature and the first movie was THE CAT FROM OUT SPACE (1978), followed by JAWS and then The Beatles in YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968). My father didn’t understand why they would show the cartoon at midnight but my father didn’t understand The Beatles or potheads.
  • 2. In 1985 I wrote three pitches for Steven Spielberg’s television series AMAZING STORIES. They sent me a rejection letter and I was so excited I rode my bike to bus stop to show my brother. I was twelve.
  • 3. My parents seldom took us to movies as children. I can count the times on one hand. The first movie I was allowed to see by myself was POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE (1985).
  • 4. I have no problem watching movies alone in a theatre. I don’t consider movies a social situation. I prefer not to go on weekend evenings because I think people are looking at me.
  • 5. I seldom eat at movies. In 1997, a friend saw me by popcorn, candy and a drink once and in ten years of knowing me had never seen that done. I replied, “It’s Star Wars.”
  • 6. I almost failed a Cinema History class in college because I hated the teacher, and honestly, was bored and cocky. To pass with a ‘D’ I had to write a ten page dissection of the shower scene from PSYCHO (1960). You do not want to argue with me about the shower Scene in PSYCHO.
  • 7. While promoting the film revival of LOST IN SPACE (1998) at the Orlando Megacon, I asked the then eighty-four year-old Jonathan Harris (Dr Zachary Smith of the 1960s television series) to sign my Lost In Space poster “Gary Oldman sucks.” He was very kind and refused because “the good people at New Line Cinema would be quite upset with him.” He really did talk like that.
  • 8. I have a copy of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) signed by director George A Romero. It’s signed “Fuck running zombies.”
  • 9. I used to have over three hundred laserdiscs. I still have two. One is a signed copy of BOYZ N THE HOOD (1991) by director John Singleton (who I snuck backstage at a lecture to meet). The other is a signed copy of THE KILLER (1988) by director John Woo a friend who used to work at ICM Talent Agency in Los Angeles got for me.
  • 10. I auditioned for the movie JEEPERS CREEPERS.
  • 11. I worked at Universal Studios in 1991. I would wake up at 7:00a, write screenplay until 10:30a and go to work. I would work my shift, go to the locker rooms, change clothes, and then sneak back onto the sets and watch them film very bad television shows like SWAMP THING and SUPERBOY for several more hours. The next day I would do it again.
  • 12. I have had two letters printed in Entertainment Weekly. Ironically, they both are about Batman. After the second letter I got an email from Paul Dini, producer of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (1991). He appreciated my compliments so much he offered to send me some free stuff. I asked for some signed stuff from him and the staff and he did.
  • 13. At fifteen I didn’t drive but had a military ID from my father with the misprint of his birth month, my mother’s birth date and my year. I made up a story how the year was wrong also and used it to get my first job at a movie theatre because it was the only way I could figure out how to see Rated R movies. I worked there for eight months and then got fired. It’s the only job I have ever been fired from.
  • 14. At the age of ten I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker. I have written eight screenplays and am rewriting number nine (MORTAL SAINTS) because I accidentally formatted a hard drive with seventy pages of it four years ago. The agency that reads my stuff also represents The Wachowski Brothers (THE MATRIX TRILOGY, SPEED RACER) and Steve Niles (30 DAYS OF NIGHT). Ironically, once I am done writing, I usually send them to six people, throw them in a drawer and go on with my life. I just need to get it out of me. I really need to be more motivated.
  • 15. In 1998 I had writer’s block and wrote a screenplay for Warner Bros then-stalled Superman project as a sample. To get an objective opinion, we leaked it into the internet with a fake story that it had been rejected by the studio. A website in Australia found my contact information through the Writer’s Guild of America and asked for an interview and I agreed. I threw out the name of a comic store in town I frequent. Some guy from Gainesville used to drive in every few weeks hoping to get some screenwriting advice from me (I was actually in the store once when he came in).
  • 16. I have bought the STAR WARS TRILOGY six different times.
  • 17. I have only walked out of three movies in a theatre. A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988) which I watched on prom night when a girl who agreed to go with me got a better offer (SEE YOU IN HELL, RACHAEL!). I actually own this movie now because when I saw it with a clear head, I liked it a lot. THE CRUSH (1993) with Alicia Silverstone (there is only so much pouting one man can take) and HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING (1991). I have never watched a HIGHLANDER movie or TV show since.
  • 18. Every year I buy one issue of Vanity Fair. It’s the Hollywood Issue that comes out in March. It used to have very clever awe-inspiring pictorials. Recently it has become a showcase of “Who’s Hot” but I still buy it anyway.
  • 19. I have theatre rituals. I always park on the sides of the theatre, seldom in the front (more open spaces, shorter walk). If I eat candy, the only candy I eat are Whoppers, Raisinettes and M&Ms. I always enter a theatre through the left door (people tend to move to their right so that side of the theatre always has less open seating. I always try to sit two thirds from the screen in the center. I used to like the back row because I didn’t have to worry about idiots behind me but found I couldn’t properly hear the surround channels.
  • 20. I remove the copy protection from DVDs, rip the audio commentaries to my hard drive, transfer them to my Zune and listen to them in my car like a book on tape. It’s much easier than it sounds.
  • 21. My bathroom has a framed poster of PSYCHO and is decorated completely in white to look like a motel bathroom. Consequently, I don’t have a shower curtain, just a transparent liner. I have to know who’s in there with me.
  • 22. I was in the hospital when I was fifteen and asked my father to bring me some books. He brought me Roger Ebert’s 1986 Movie Yearbook which is a collection of the majority of his reviews from the mid-sixties to that point. I read this book… not referenced it. I read it… cover to cover. To this day there are movies I know the plot, cast, screenwriters and directors of that I have never seen.
  • 23. I saw my first animated Disney film when I was seventeen.
  • 24. I was once at the Orlando Megacon and a booth was giving away promotional items for people answering trivia questions. After the first dozen I started asking little kids what they wanted and was winning gifts for them. To shut me down, the guy asks am I familiar with Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon. My friend immediately warns him he doesn’t want to do that. He does it anyway. He searches his thoughts and confidently comes back with, “John Belushi.” “Animal House,” I respond and walked away with my prize.
  • 25. I can remember every movie I saw, what theatre I saw it in and who I was with. I actually use movies to reference events in my life (so I know I lived in Orlando in 1991 because that’s when I saw THELMA & LOUISE).

2 thoughts on “Twenty-Five Things About Jim & Movies You May Not Have Known…

  1. wow jim you know your stuff! =) those are very fasinating things about you. i never knew you wrote screenplays or anything. I really don’t want to ask you every movie you’ve seen or where or who with because that might take a day or two. LOL well catcha l8tr, kiki. PS: as you may have noticed, I fixed my spelling from text to um well….regular typing I guess you could call it. byez

  2. i remember you kiki… and i appreciate you using english. as for every movie i have ever seen… someone pointed out to me that i own about 1,200 movies and those are the ones i deemed worth keeping… not the ones that i have seen.

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