Staying up all night in the editing room … Cutting film on a flatbed … Never having to cut film on a flatbed ever again … Ever.
The strange dude who wore a leather jacket, looked disturbingly like a young George Lucas and made really bad movies.
Meeting new friends … Watching their short films … Working on their short films … Getting them to work on my short films … Listening to the teacher tear apart all of our short films.
Screenwriting workshops … Reading great scripts … Reading terrible scripts … Writing … And writing.
The surly Russian gentleman who worked at the equipment room who guarded the broken old non-sync Arriflex cameras like they were made from gold-plated rhodium.
Having big dreams … Having those dreams crushed … Getting new dreams … Having those dreams crushed … Not caring … Not getting any sleep … Not needing any sleep.
My first memory of USC was going to Tom Holman’s class and watching reels from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars; my two favorite movies as a kid. I just remember sitting in Norris Theatre and thinking how insane it was that I should be so lucky to be there.
Then there was the time that we were shooting my 581 and one of the stunts didn’t go exactly as planned. We were filming a car hit and Brian Hite, the stunt man (whom we later hired for Special), was supposed to hit the front of the grill and then bounce backward, rolling toward camera.
Only when we did the take, his shin caught on the grill, flipping him up onto the hood instead. He then hit the windshield like a launch ramp and shot up over the car, upside down.
I honestly thought we’d killed him. But then the medic went out and checked him out, and by some miracle he was OK.
Special releases in select theaters Nov. 28.