Tag Archives: Say Anything…

Movie Mastermind?! Maybe not…

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UK movie magazine, Empire, runs a monthly column entitled Movie Mastermind. The object is to stump a filmmaker or actor based on questions from their own films. Cameron was the lucky target for April and here’s how it went…

1. In Singles, Citizen Dick’s LP, Smarter Than You, is released on which label?

Oh man . . . is it not Sub Pop? Ah, you’re killing me. I’m trying to visualize the review on my wall where I used to hang it. Was it . . . Real Clever Records? We wrote a whole review you know. It was a compilation of every hideous Creem magazine review I remembered ever being written.

 Correct

2. In Say Anything…, Lloyd drives past the Guild 45th theatre, which is showing another John Cusack film. What is it?

Tapeheads.

 Correct

3. In your cameo in Minority Report, what newspaper are you reading?

USA Today. I’m a terrible actor, as you already know from my cameo in Singles, but I went for it. Instantly Steven Spielberg realized how bad I was and put me in the background with a newspaper to read. At one point during the rehearsal, I looked up and (Tom) Cruise was giving me this venomous look. I was like, “What are you looking at me like that for? Come on man, it’s just a rehearsal…” Then I heard from Steven, “Okay, cut, we’ve got it!” I was like, “You fucker! You pulled the bad actor trick on me!”

 Correct

4. In Almost Famous, what the full names of the band members of Stillwater – and the actors who played them?

There’s John Fedevich, the drummer, Mark Kozelek is the bassist, Billy Crudup is the guitarist Russell Hammond, the great Jeff Bebe is Jason Lee. But now I need the other names. . . Silent Ed Vallencourt is Fedevich! So now we’re down to the bassist (laughs). Now, Mark Kozelek plays LARRY FELLOWS! (laughs) Man, do I feel good about that!

 Correct

5. In Elizabethtown, how much money does Drew’s company lose from the Spasmodica shoe?

It was almost a billion dollars, my friend. [Hears precise answer] Oh, well, come on, what’s a few million dollars between friends?

1/2 point. The correct answer is $972 million.

6. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, what book is Arnold reading while at the pep rally?

Shhhhhhhhit. Don’t have it. Love Arnold, forgot his book.

The correct answer is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. 

7. What is the first line of Paul McCartney’s Vanilla Sky?

(Starts humming the tune) I’ve got to visualize the end of the movie and I’m there. Right, here is is: “The chef prepares a special menu for your delight.”

 Correct

8. Warner Bros. didn’t initially approve of Singles‘ title – can you name three of their original suggested alternatives?

Come As You Are, that’s one. (Chuckles) They always suggest One Hot Summer, that’s a given. Fuck, were they all Nirvana songs? I have to think about this carefully, much pain was attached to this. Was something like Addicted To Love one of them? (Hears the answer). Man, you went deep for that question, didn’t ya?

1/2 point. The correct answer is Addicted to Love, Come As You Are, In The Midnight Hour, Love in Seattle, Leave Me A Message.

9. Finish the line from Jerry Maguire: “I am out here, for you . . . “

I want to say, “Doing it…” Goddamn it! (Hears the answer) Oh, man, SHIT! For the sheer pleasure of rediscovering that line with you, I will accept the loss of question nine

The correct answer is “You don’t know what it’s like to be me out here for you. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, okay?”

10. In Rod Tidwell’s advert for Reebok, eventually cut from Jerry Maguire, what is tattooed on the side of his head?

Crap. you guys are good. I know I don’t have it, you know I don’t have it . . . Now why on earth did I work so hard to stop that advertisement? (laughs)

The correct answer is “IN ROD WE TRUST”. 

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Apr 20, 2012

A Playlist Shortlist

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Cameron shares some of his favorite songs from his own films for the March issue of Shortlist magazine. Without further adieu…

Film: Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Track: “We Got The Beat” by The Go-Go’s

“It says many things about life, love, hormones and the power of a mighty groove.”

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Film: Say Anything…

Track: “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” by Mother Love Bone

“I also used it again in Singles. It’s like a recurring character.”

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Film: Singles

Track: “Drown” by Smashing Pumpkins

“Corgan’s reaction was, ‘Sh*t! That’s the one I wanted to keep for myself.’”

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Film: Jerry Maguire

Track: “The Horses” by Rickie Lee Jones

“This gets me feeling the emotion on Renée’s face.”

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Film: Vanilla Sky

Track: “Freur” by Doot Doot

“This had lived in so many of my mixes, it deserved to reach the big screen.”

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Film: Vanilla Sky

Track: “Nothing Song (aka njósnavélin) by Sigur Rós

“Found on a bootleg.”

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Film: Almost Famous

Track: “Cabin In The Air” by Nancy Wilson

“Never on an album, but I’m always asked for an MP3.”

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Film: Elizabethtown

Track: “Come Pick Me Up” by Ryan Adams

“One of the best songs from the past 30 years.”

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Film: We Bought A Zoo

Track: “Go Do” (Remix) by jónsi

“jónsi is the Brian Wilson of his era, and this is proof.”

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Film: Vanilla Sky

Track: “Rez” by Underworld

“Every mix needs a song that says ‘keep driving’.”

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Mar 25, 2012

New Beverly Double Feature

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Say Anything… and Almost Famous will be the double feature at the legendary New Beverly Cinema on March 18th and 19th in Los Angeles. If you are able to attend, please let us know how it went!

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Mar 15, 2012

Meet The Crew: Clay Griffith – Production Designer

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We are pleased to present a new feature entitled Meet The Crew. A chance to meet some of the unsung “behind the scenes” heroes who help make the films. First up is We Bought A Zoo Production Designer, Clay Griffith. Clay has been working with Cameron in a variety of roles since Say Anything… We talk about his history and the monumental task of building The Rosemoor Zoo and Mee house.

Your career began by working for directors such as Jonathan Demme (Something Wild) and James L. Brooks (Broadcast News), what did you learn most from those early experiences?

My very first film experience was with Jonathan Demme on ‘Something Wild’……..I remember him saying to everyone in the Production Meeting, “Let’s talk about what we can do, not what we can’t do.”……..I was hooked on the movie making process from that moment on. It was like a lightening bolt had struck. There was nothing else in the world that I wanted to do other than to work on movies. I went to work for James L. Brooks when I first moved to Los Angeles. I was a production assistant at his film company Gracie Films. I read a lot of scripts in that Bungalow on the 20th Century Fox lot……when I wasn’t answering phones, or taking lunch orders for producers. Jim showed me about what it was to be a true writer/director. You had to immerse yourself in the story and the characters…..you had to breathe it.

I was in heaven!

As a Set Decorator on such films as Singles, Jerry Maguire, Sleepless in Seattle and Seven, what are your main duties? For those that may not know, what’s the collaboration like between Set Decorator and Production Designer?

My main duties as a Set Decorator was to help the Production Designer visualize the tone and environments of each set within the film. Visual collaboration is a very gratifying experience once you make that connection with someone. Ultimately, the Set Decorator is in charge of dressing both stage sets, and location sets with the appropriate furniture, art, light fixtures and various textiles. When I became a Production Designer, I would immediately spend large blocks of time with the Set Decorator in order to ‘synch’ up the visual roadmap of the film. I like to create a backstory for each character and location.

What were you most proud of from a set decoration standpoint on Jerry Maguire?

Wow! That is a good question…….I think the interior of Dorothy Boyd’s house was pretty great…….it felt very real to me when we finished dressing it. I had to get into the mind of a single mom and her little boy…….I must have drawn on my own childhood in some way. The SMI sports agents offices were at the opposite end of the spectrum from Dorothy’s house. The set literally took up the entire stage. It was a sea of desks and sports paraphenalia. Our goal was to make each cubicle tell us something about the person’s life who was working there….I think we succeeded in that effort.

You moved on to Art Direction on Almost Famous, what was that experience like?

It was like being shot out of a cannon! I had so much fun making that movie……..finally getting to run free with my own vision and truly collaborating with Cameron. I was actually hired as, and acted as the Production Designer on Almost Famous……but due to a few lawyers and some other choice people at the Art Directors Guild, I was not allowed to have the Production Design credit on that film. I ruffled a few feathers by making the jump from Set Decorator to Production Designer. It’s all good….I know the work on the screen was straight from my heart.

Rites of passage, baby. I cried when we finished making that movie. I did not want it to end…….and I think I was most likely exhausted.

Did you always want to be a Production Designer, or was it something that you gravitated towards once you were exposed to all of the different possible careers in the film industry?

When I got the job on Something Wild, as an assistant to the art department……I didn’t even know what an Art Department was!

Rosemoor Zoo Site Plan

As the Production Designer on Cameron’s last two films (Elizabethtown and We Bought A Zoo), what were your main responsibilities?

Every film that I have Designed for Cameron starts in a room with just the two of us and the script. We always begin the visual process of the movie talking about every character in the story….from that point on, our meetings become a running visual dialogue of artwork, photography, literature, films  and any ocular research that inspires us with the vision of our own film.

After that, it is all about finding the right locations for the project. Concurrently, I will be putting my key staff together of Art Directors, Set Decorator, Property Master, Graphic Designers, Set Designers, Lead Scenic Painter, Construction Coordinator, Lead Greensman, and Illustrators…….I know I am forgetting some positions here.

Making a film is a collaborative art form by nature. I think one of the main responsibilities in being the Production Designer for Cameron is that I am able to convey, and explain the visual tone of the film to just about everyone on the entire production.

Were you involved with Chris Baugh (Location Manager) and Lori Balton (Location Scout) on finding the location in Thousand Oaks where the Rosemoor Zoo was ultimately built?

Oh yeah. We spent a lot of time in the car together scouting just about every available ranch in the Los Angeles area.

What was the biggest challenge in designing and building the Rosemoor Zoo?

The biggest challenge in designing and building the Rosemoor Zoo……was designing and building the Rosemoor Zoo!!!!!  I was so happy once we found the Greenfield Ranch as our primary House and Zoo location……and then reality set in. Oh my God, I thought, now I actually have to pull this off! Aside from encountering a few large and disgruntled rattlesnakes, one of the biggest challenges was dealing with the constantly changing weather. We experienced winter, spring, summer and fall at that construction sight. Rain, frost and scorching heat makes it a little difficult to build a set sometimes……but my construction, paint and greens crew were absolutely up for the challenge, and they executed the build flawlessly.

Tiger Enclosure Design

Did you attempt to mirror its real life counterpart, The Dartmoor Zoo?

Yes, but only with particular animal enclosures, namely the Tiger enclosure. For the most part we tried to mirror the spirit and essence of what The Dartmoor Zoo really is.

Talk about the main objectives designing the Mee house.

The first objective was to design and build both the Mee House and the Zoo at the same time. We wanted the shooting crew to have the ability to be able to move the Zoo to the House, or the House to the Zoo whenever need be. Cameron and I agreed very early on in our meetings that the Mee House should have an inherent soul about it. Yes, it should be old and a little rundown around the edges….but someone used to love it, and that love should still be evident in the house.

 

I grew up in an old farmhouse in New York state……I immediately dove into my old family photo albums and started pulling tons of reference pictures of that farmhouse. It was a love letter to my own childhood in designing the Mee farmhouse.

An Inspiration from Clay’s Childhood Helps Build the Zoo

You seem to have a special relationship with Cameron that dates back to Say Anything… Tell us about your working relationship.

We have developed a shorthand with each other over the years. Cameron is a great communicator, and a great listener….I know that after I read the script for Say Anything… I was so overwhelmed by the dialogue and the true soul of the story, I had to meet the guy who wrote this script! Fortunately for me, I was working for James L Brooks at the time, and Cameron was in an office directly across the parking lot from Gracie Films. I got up from my desk and walked to his office and knocked on his door. I can’t even remember what the words were that came out of my mouth…..something about how amazing the Say Anything… script was, and I know it will be your first directing job, and I have some film experience already (Something WildDirty Dancing), and would you please consider me as your possible assistant on this project because I could help you out with some of the on-set stuff. It was like my voice was coming from somewhere else far away. He looked at me and said, “Well, thank you, man….I’m glad you dug it.”

Got the job about 4 months later. I guess that is my 20 seconds of courage story. Makes me smile when I think about it. I’m not sure if i answered the question….but that’s how the working relationship started.

Did you ever think you and Cameron would have this strong, long-lasting working relationship – think back to driving to set on Day One of Say Anything… – would you have ever imagined you both would be where you are now? 

Ha, Ha! I remember that day very well. When we were getting close to our exit Cameron turned to me and said, “I’ll give you Fifty dollars to keep driving down the freeway and pass that exit.”

And I replied, “No,no,no. This is the day that you will Direct your movie. You are my Director, and I am driving you to the set!”

To answer the question, I think in my heart I hoped that we would always have the relationship that we had at that very moment. Happy that we have arrived where we are now.

Last question, where did your nickname, Yeti, originate?

You sure have done your research! It is a nickname that I picked up from my sister actually. We moved to the Virgin Islands when I was around 8 years old……to make a long story short, it is derived from the local West Indian phrase, ” Yeah, you de Mahn!”…..somehow, along the way my sister fashioned her version of the phrase and applied to her unwitting brother, Yetimon….Yeti for short. It’s pretty funny when people call me that for the first time…..it’s almost like they are not sure of how to say it. Cameron had no problem adapting it to me at all.

© 2011 Vinyl Films/The Uncool. All rights reserved.

 

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Dec 20, 2011

Big Screen News: PJ20, Fast Times, Famous & Say Anything…

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There’s a few upcoming chances to catch a Cameron film on the big screen.

  • The Hillcrest Cinemas in San Diego will be showing Pearl Jam Twenty tomorrow night only at 7pm. More information on their site.
  • Pearl Jam Twenty will have a free showing as part of College Radio day tomorrow at the University of Florida. More details here.
  • Almost Famous will screen on October 24th as part of their “Movies That Rock” series at the Shadowbox in Columbus, OH. Find out more at their site.
  • Lastly, catch Say Anything… on November 4th and Fast Times at Ridgemont High on November 18th at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. They are both playing as part of their “Back to the 80’s: Teen Edition” film series. Get all the details over at the TIFF website.

 

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Oct 10, 2011

Say Anything . . . Deleted Scenes

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We are going to end the month with a bang. Over the next few days, we’ll be adding a collection of extended and deleted scenes from the Say Anything… final shooting script dated January 18, 1988. Enjoy!

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Aug 30, 2011

Share Your Thoughts, We Are Listening . . .

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One question I’ve received numerous times since The Uncool’s resurrection is whether the Town Hall (i.e. message boards) will be returning. The answer is no. In today’s day and age, I feel that using social media and especially the comments section of each post is the best way to share your thoughts, enthusiasm, criticism, etc. Plus you never really know who might be reading and responding to your comments.

Case in point was this past weekend as Cameron himself was browsing the comments in both the Say Anything 2 and Stillwater posts. He shared some thoughts and was generally moved by your comments around the possible further adventures of Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court.

We have thousands of people visiting the site each and every day, so please join in on the discussion. We are listening . . .

 

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Aug 8, 2011

Say Anything…2?

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As you probably know, Cameron mentioned on Saturday at the TCA press conference for PJ20 that Say Anything… was the only film of his that he’d ever consider for a sequel. Here’s the direct quote:

“It’s the only thing that I’ve written that I would consider doing that with. “I’ve thought about it from time to time and talked about it with John Cusack once and just said this is the only story that I kind of think there might be another chapter to that at some point.”

It seems that every online site has taken the story and run with it. I find the whole thing pretty amusing. This is not the first time it’s been discussed. As far back as this interview in 2000, Cameron has mentioned that the film has characters that he wouldn’t mind revisiting. Here’s a more recent quote from Paste magazine in October, 2005.

“I used to think for a while that it would be the one movie I’d do a sequel to, because there was more to be said about Lloyd. Then I went to see High Fidelity, and I thought, “You know what, that movie says a lot of the things that I would probably want to say in a sequel to Say Anything…, so congratulations, it exists.”

That quote seems to suggest that Say Anything 2 hasn’t ever really been close to reality and was merely something he considered at some point. Bottom line is that I wouldn’t get too excited about this either way. There’s no Say Anything… 2 script lying around and my opinion is that another adventure with Lloyd Dobler probably isn’t in the cards. Just an honest answer to an interesting question…

 

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Aug 2, 2011

Mike Finger’s The Blue and the Black