Richard Janes Part 2The Movie Whore no comments
When we left off yestrday Richard was about to some advice from Producer, Selwyn Roberts about film school. Let's see what he has to say. You can see the first part of the interview here in case you missed it.
RJ:He said "The national film school is great but you sort of have to be in your 30's to go there. There is another place where they will teach you absolutely nothing but they have most the equipment there. When you are going to graduate there give us a call and we will produce your graduation film for you."
"That sounds brilliant." So I went off to film school and within 3 months I was so bored I called them up and said "I want to make my graduation film now."
They said "You only get one shot at this so if you think your ready fine, You only have one chance."
So I shot my graduation film and it got nominated for a Royal Television Society Award and I finished my course and while working as a runner on commercials and a PA (Production Assistant) on commercials. I got to be an assistant to Tarsem, Terry Gilliam and people like that. From a very early age I knew directing was really what I wanted to do and I used the acting as a way to soak up as much of the information as I could.
TMW: You got the advance hands on course.
RJ: It was brilliant. There were 2 things I realized I wanted to do while I was at film school. One was go and work in in commercials so I had understanding more of the visual side of filmmaking which was great when I got to work with Terry Gilliam and Tarsem. The other thing I wanted to do was go work in theater because I had never done theater as an actor so I went out into the West End and directed a first world war anti-war play. It went down really really and we got a west end transfer. We were going to start rehearsals in 3 weeks time and 2 of the Amercian owners turned around and said they did not want to do an anti-war play as America was getting ready to go to war with Afghanistan and I said "This is the perfect time to do a an anti-war play."
This was the play that was written in 1919 and made Laurence Olivier. It's an amazing play but they didn't want to do an anti-war play. I was told this at a dinner table with an investor that was putting $500,000 into it. And she said "You have got to spend this money in the next 8 weeks. If you don't spend it on a production I am going to lose it. It is going to be tax money going to the government and I am using a tax shelter to invest in this. So if you put it off then I can't give the cash."
I said "Well we don't want to lose the theater."
The others went out for a cigarette and I said "Tell me more about this tax shelter you are using."
So she did and I said "I have got this brilliant script, absolutely fantastic and if it is going to work for theater I am almost positive it will work for film. So why don't you give me the half a million and I will use it to shoot this movie and it will be great."
She said "Brilliant! Tell me what's the story?"
"I am not going to talk about that now as we have a few glasses of wine but I will come to you at the end of next week and pitch it."
So I went home and got on the Internet and put 'Richard Janes Script Wanted' all over the Internet because I didn't have a script. I started to get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of scripts through. My initial way of working out whether I was going to read it or not, was it in English. 40% of then were in German or Japanese or God knows what else I just knew it wasn't in English. I started reading and reading and found this one script that was a bit cockney gangster lock stock. I wanted to make something that was just lighthearted and fun, you know a popcorn movie that would be very very different from the low budget stuff that was made in England at the time. I found the script and ran up to her and said "This is what I want to make and this is what it is."
And she said "Fine. Can you make it on this money?"
I said "No I am going to need a little bit more." So I went around and contacted everyone I knew and said "put me in contact with anyone else you know who has made some good money because I have a company and I have this tax shelter they can use." And before you know it we had our office and we were casting.
TMW: This is a great story of how you got into directing. You know there is something of great personal interest to me. I see you are working on and Erroll Flynn biopic. I love Erroll Flynn. How did this project fall into your lap?
RJ: It was one of those things of so many perfect situations coming together at the right time. Starting with Corey Large who is an actor and a producer that is going to be in it. Every time I have ever talked to Corey in the past he has always said he is working on making a movie and every time he made that movie so I feel very comfortable working with him on this. My closest friend is Erroll Flynns grandson and he owns the rights to BEAMS END which is the book the screenplay is based on that we are using. He is also a an actor and is the spitting image of Erroll Flynn and wouldn't it just be phenomenal to do a movie about Erroll Flynn with his grandson playing him.
TMW: That is awesome. I looked Luke up and compared pictures with him and Erroll and the resemblance is astonishing. I look forward to seeing what you do with this one. Speaking of good movies, there are also movie whore movies. Each of us has our own inner movie whore. We have those movies we should be ashamed to love but love anyway. What are some of your guiltiest pleasures?
RJ: Any Kevin Costner movie. I think the Postman I could watch that over and over again. The Bodyguard, I could watch that over and over again. I think he's great I really do. The Bodyguard, I just love everything about that movie. The Postman I really enjoyed and Waterworld I really enjoyed as well. I think Kevin Costner really is my guilty pleasure. Not too guilty a pleasure is stuff like The Negotiator or The Peacemaker and S.W.A.T. are all movies I could watch repeatedly.
Not a movie but a TV thing is Dawson's Creek. Now that is a British thing. Grow up at university and on the weekend get absolutely trashed and wake up and watch Dawson's Creek. It was like "Wow this is what being a teenager in America is all about, its Dawson's Creek. How cool is that." We would sit their with stinking hangovers and take it all in.
As long as this interview is, realize that there is quite bit that was cut that was just great conversation about film and everything around film. Richard is a great guy and a talented filmmaker that The Movie Whore strongly recommends. I also recommend heading over to FIB and adding to your list. You never know what great stories from the film industry you are going to read next. Tomorrow will be an interview with one of the bloggers from FIB, The Casting Director, Matt Lessall. Tune in kids and have good one.