Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The exciting life continues. Yesterday, my friend CHRIS WYATT, producer of the $100 million-plus grossing cult sensation NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, dropped by to interview me about co-writing and directing the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES episode for NOW PLAYING Magazine.

Chris and I go way back as friends. I first met him when he interviewed me about the first MAGIC TIME novel for CINESCAPE Magazine. I was impressed with what he wrote and invited him to join the Round Table I run. At the time, Chris was a grad student at the USC film school. He started coming to the Table, graduated USC, then one days announced, "I'm going to be gone for a few months -- I'm heading off to produce a movie in Idaho."

"Idaho!?" we all said. "Who's ever going to see THAT?"

Well, it turned out to be NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, which played Sundance, sold for millions to Fox Searchlight and went on to become one of the biggest hits ever. None of which didn't surprised me, because I knew from the start that with his intellect, drive and charm Chris would be a huge success.

After interviewing me, Chris and I went to a meeting at a thriving film production company to discuss the possibility of affiliating with them on the four-picture deal we're setting up to make some of the unmade RAY HARRYHAUSEN films, whose rights we've acquired. We'll see where that leads...

By the way, on the George Lucas front, I showed the photo of me and the big G to someone at the gym, who told me the following story: Years ago, he'd been an actor and auditioned for AMERICAN GRAFFITI. It was just him and Lucas in the room. At the end of audition, Lucas said to him, "I'm sorry, but you're just INCREDIBLY wrong for this role." Then he added, "Listen, you're the last audition of the day and I'm all done here, so how about I take you to lunch, by way of apology?" They had a wonderful lunch together, and he said that Lucas was just a terrific guy.


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