Ahh the good old days...
Almost 10 years ago when I started this blog, my first three posts were dedicated to the last film I ever directed called "Tales Of The Damned". I was talking to someone the other day and we started reminiscing about childhood, and the topic of film was, of course, brought up/
I was asked by him if I was ever going to market my films. I told him I had, but he was talking about my Super 8 film wonders from the late 70's. I haven't ever mentioned those films on this blog, but because this has come as a rush of nostalgia for me at this point I am going to open this door and let those memories out.
Since 1964 I have been obsessed with monster movies and when I was growing up there were a lot of films on TV and as anyone who reads this knows, I was influenced for my entire life so far by these films.
When I was working for United Artists in 1978/79 I bought a Super 8 movie camera, and while working on a soon to be 40 million dollar epic called "Heaven's Gate" I was working with friends on the set and writing scripts for horror movies.
The first of these came in the summer of 1978 called "The Unknown World". This film centered around a scientist who is suddenly transported to another dimension on a planet just like Earth, but this time all of his friends are his mortal enemies and want his dead. This was a 2 week wonder that cost about $500.
The next epic was entitled "Blood" and was about a homicidal killer and a living corpse. I shot this in 3 days using both color and black and white film. This was also 1978. When I got the film back from developing I edited this is one day.
By this time I was working about 17 hours per day 6 days a week with UA, but on my day off, which was Sunday, I continued to churn out movies. My next film was a 2 day wonder called "Parallel Universe" which was followed by a quickie sequel also shot in 1 day called "Parallel Universe 2". Both sci-fi extravaganza's featured alien beings who turn people into fire.
Both the previous films I mentioned were also done in 1978, and as we moved into 1979 I was getting busier working on films as my transition from UA to other studios was coming up soon. I made three films however and all were rip offs of one of my favorite films, "The Blob".
"The Intruders" featured a green alien slime monster that devoured everyone in sight. It was shot in 2 days using only $300. Suddenly the job with UA ended and I moved to another small town in Montana, but that didn't stop the movie making I wanted to do.
Within a few days I wrote the script for "The Intruders 2" which again followed the same plot as the earlier film, and finally "The Intruders 3" which finally ended the alien terror. These were all done frantically and quickly, but I learned a hell of a lot.
Working with film taught me to edit, compose music and add music tracks when appropriate. I fell in love with editing during this stage in my life and I find it sad that this is a lost art.
I stopped making my own little epic when I finally got too busy working with Turner Productions, but in the mid 90's I started again with the new medium of video, and that you know about.
The films I made back in the wonderful late 70's will always be special to me. It was a world free of insane liberals and PC junk. Anything went and kids were encouraged to be creative, now such creativity is all but banned.
Anyway, it was a good time to be growing up as a monster obsessed kid and I have been asked a few times if I ever plan on releasing any of these Super 8 wonders to DVD or Blu-ray. Well that is a good question. Someday I might if there is enough interest.
Back in these wonderful times you really had to use anything you could as a prop, and that is where the imagination came into play. We had to use a lot of ingenuity but it worked. I see kids today that have zero imagination and creativity and it seems all they will become is gamers or politicians.
I thank God that I was able to grow up and prosper in a time when I had the freedom to make the kinds of little films I wanted to make, and I managed to forge a LOT of friendships from those films. Some of the people who acted in them are still around and when I mention these films to them I get a wry smile and then we start laughing and going back thru the years.
Yes, film making back in the late 70's was MUCH different than today, even for Super 8 films. All gone today, but alive in my mind and on DVD.