Tag Archives: Cameron Crowe

Meet the Crew: Scott Robertson – 1st Assistant Director

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Aloha 1st AD Scott Robertson surveys the scene from a unique vantage point. Picture courtesy of Andy Fischer. © 2015 The Uncool.

Scott Robertson has been working in the film industry for more than 25 years. He’s worked on a great mix of comedies (Superbad, I Love You Man, Eastbound & Down) and dramas (Moneyball, Foxcatcher, Zero Dark Thirty). In addition to Aloha, Scott’s work will also be seen in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant starring Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio.

You’ve had a long film career dating back to 1991. Tell us how you broke into the business?

I was working in a record/video store called Music Plus in Hollywood. This was 1989 and I was 20 years old. Back then directors/producers and assistants would come in and rent movies so that they could reference other films while shooting or editing their own movies. Well before YouTube. Anyway, one of my usual customers came in and asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Asked me if I would be willing to work long hours with no pay. I jumped at the chance. I was given an 8:00am call time the next day at 20th Century Fox. The job was a movie called The Abyss and I was hired to be a film runner. Eventually I found myself working as Jim Cameron’s second assistant. That’s a whole other story.

How do you see the role of a 1st AD on the film set?

To support the director and the film. Every director and movie is different. I find myself taking on whatever role best fits both.

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Sep 3, 2015

Doobie Brothers – Rock Magazine 1973

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The Doobie Brothers, July 15, 1973 Balboa Stadium, San Diego California. Photo by Julian Baum.

Cameron has a quick chat with The Doobie Brothers for this 1973 interview with Rock Magazine.

Nice Guys Don’t Win, But Doobies Do

Nine months ago, in a Warner/Reprise mail-out by the name of The Circular, a contest was declared. The Doobie Brothers, owners of an obscure first album, were about to finish a second and needed title for the LP. Readers were encouraged to send in their suggestions, and the winner, besides receiving credit for the verbal creation, would have his picture plastered on the album’s cover.

“We had a tough time deciding what the name of the album should be,” Tiran Porter, Doobie’s bassist reminisces. “That particular contest for the name never worked out. We had a lot of “Doobie Doo” and some clown even thought up “Dickey Doo and the Don’ts.” Needless to say, there was no winner. The album was simply called Toulouse Street after one of the album’s cuts.

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Aug 31, 2015

Eagles: The Million Dollar View

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Cameron reflects on his 1975 Rolling Stone Eagles cover story just ahead of its 40th anniversary. He discusses his first encounter with the band in 1972 (for The Door) and his unprecedented access for the ’75 piece. Enjoy!

Cameron Crowe Looks Back on His 1975 Eagles Cover Story

Writer-director recalls unlimited access he enjoyed during research of definitive piece on California rock icons

“Take It Easy” had only been out a few months in the summer of 1972. I was a big fan of the song, and was still in high school when the Eagles came to the San Diego Civic Theatre. They were the opening act on a bill with Procol Harum and Cold Blood, and the Civic Theatre was a few blocks from my house. I bought a ticket, and brought my tape recorder. The idea was to slip backstage and talk the band into an interview for a local underground paper, The San Diego Door.

The Eagles opened the evening without an introduction. The lights lowered, and they began with an a cappella version of “Seven Bridges Road,” quickly adding instruments and swinging into “Take It Easy.” They were fierce and joyful, playing with all the piss and vinegar of a young band hitting its early stride. I slipped backstage with my photographer friend from high school, Gary Elam, and asked their road manager if I could interview the band. They were eager to talk. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner all hung out in a tiny dressing room and spent hours detailing their history and their dreams of hitting the big-time. “If you like us, you should check out our friend Jackson Browne and John David Souther,” Glenn Frey said excitedly, clutching a long-neck Budweiser. They posed for a photo by the amps, arms around each other, and we exchanged phone numbers. I stayed in touch with them. (Little did I know, that fuzzy group shot would be one of the only known photos of all four original members hugging each other. Looking at it today, it has the same slightly surreal quality of one of those photos of the Loch Ness Monster.)

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Aug 24, 2015

Teenage: An Introduction

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Have you read Cameron’s introduction to Teenage?  The 2003 book by Joseph Szabo is very collectable, but worth seeking out if you are lucky enough to find one. It includes an amazing collection of photographs that Szabo took while teaching on Long Island in the 70s, 80s and 90s. More information and details over at Szabo’s official site.

Teenage Introduction

Okay, so let’s just momentarily forget the eloquence and the longing and the intangible truths about high school that shape our perspectives for all time. Let’s set aside the images and the feelings so beautifully documented in timeless detail by Joseph Szabo. Just for a moment, let’s talk about things that truly matter.

Like I knew a guy named Sam Schumacher who somehow could give the finger better and more powerfully than anybody else alive. His fingers would snap into position, both hands at the same time, forming two passionate machine guns, single-digits blazing. And Sam’s legs would bend at the knee, where they would stay as he brandished his double “fuck yous,” at adults and kids alike, and anybody who challenged him. In those moments he was a one-man Iwo Jima, unforgettable, a symbol. Iconic.

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Jul 31, 2015

Bob Marley – A Shower of Bullets

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Bob Marley, Santa Monica, 1979. Photo by Neal Preston.

In this piece from the archives, Cameron reports on the shooting of Bob Marley in a Rolling Stone story from January, 1977. Miraculously, Marley played a festival in Jamaica just days later.

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Bob Marley: the shooting of a Wailer

Los Angeles – Bob Marley, one of the world’s best-known reggae performers, and three other persons were shot December 3rd when seven gunmen burst onto the grounds of Marley’s home in Kingston, Jamaica, where he and his band, the Wailers, were rehearsing. Miraculously, amid a shower of bullets, there were no fatalities.

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Jul 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Linda Ronstadt!

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We want to wish Linda Ronstadt a very happy birthday today. Let’s celebrate with a look back at her December 2, 1976 Rolling Stone cover story with Cameron.  Pictures were taken by the amazing Annie Leibovitz.

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Linda Ronstadt: The Million-Dollar Woman

LOS ANGELES- “Miss Ronstadt’s line is busy. You’ll have to wait. I gotta check you.” The beefy guard at the front gate of Malibu Colony waits and dials again. Still busy.

Twenty minutes later, the guard gives up and waves me through. “You could be here all day,” he cracks mirthlessly. “But listen . . . if I don’t hear from her within five minutes” . . . he pauses for effect . . . “you’ll meet the sheriffs. You don’t want to meet the sheriffs.”

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Jul 15, 2015

Vanilla Sky Blu-ray – Out Now + Behind the Scenes

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We hope you’re as excited as we are that Vanilla Sky is finally (finally!) out on Blu-ray!  We put lots of TLC into the release — which is why it took so long — but we hope you’ll find that the wait was worth it!  There’s new artwork and menus, and a slew of new bonus features, all to accompany the original extras that were on the first DVD release back in 2002.  Let us know what you think of the new deleted/extended scenes, especially the Alternate Ending.

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Jun 30, 2015

A Comment on Allison Ng

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From the very beginning of its appearance in the Sony Hack, “Aloha” has felt like a misunderstood movie. One that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact they knew very little. It was a small movie, made by passionate actors who wanted to join me in making a film about Hawaii, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and around the island of Oahu.

Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng. I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice. As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud ¼ Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one.  A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaii.  Extremely proud of her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets. The character was based on a real-life, red-headed local who did just that.

Whether that story point felt hurtful or humorous has been, of course, the topic of much discussion. However I am so proud that in the same movie, we employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, both before and behind the camera… including Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele, and his village, and many other locals who worked closely in our crew and with our script to help ensure authenticity.

We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months. Emma Stone was chief among those who did tireless research, and if any part of her fine characterization has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame.

I am grateful for the dialogue. And from the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring. So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity, more truth in representation, and I am anxious to help tell those stories in the future.

Thanks again

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Jun 2, 2015


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