Like Watching a Laurel & Hardy Short through a Fog of Deep Depression An Interview with Adam Resnick By Mike Sullivan. Along with his sometime writing partner Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick could be considered one of the forefathers to today’s alternative comedy movement...
Along with his sometime writing partner Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick could be considered one of the forefathers to today’s alternative comedy movement. Starting off as a writer during the golden years of Late Night with David Letterman, Adam went on to co-create Get a Life with Elliott, write and co-executive produce episodes of The Larry Sanders Show and, most significantly, serve as the writer/director behind one of the most underrated films of the ’90s Cabin Boy. A talented comedy writer with an uncanny knack for producing material that is both absurd yet cynical, Adam’s projects tend to be overlooked (The High Life) or needlessly demonized by critics (Death to Smoochy and Lucky Numbers). Although he rarely gives out interviews, Adam was kind enough to candidly discuss his incredible career with me.
Mike Sullivan:How did you become a writer at Letterman?
Adam Resnick: I started out as an intern and began slipping material to Dave’s assistant. She passed it along to him and he really liked it. Eventually I was hired as a writer. The office felt like a clubhouse in those days. It was so much fun. Working for Dave will always be the greatest job I ever had.
MS:I take it this is where you first met Chris Elliott?
AR: Yeah. At a certain point, Chris and I built up a close friendship and we started writing his stuff together. I got there around the time he was doing "The Guy under the Seats" and was already a big fan of his from watching all those early characters he did on Late Night. It was such strange shit. I had never seen anything like it.
MS:Which sketches did you and Chris collaborate on?
AR: We wrote all the Marlon Brando pieces, Morton Downy Jr., and tons of stuff that I can’t even remember. Chris was a total original. He wasn’t like Andy Kaufman, but he had that same polarizing effect on an audience. When I first met him I was kind of stunned to realize how much acting went into that character he did on the show. I expected him to be brooding prick in real life. You know, a Michael O’Donoghue type. But he’s nothing like that. I’ve always felt that Chris was ahead of the curve; he was the beginning of something. Years later a lot of guys were doing the "cocky idiot" thing that Chris had sort of created and became very successful. They took it and made it more user-friendly...added a few fart jokes for the kids. Guys like Chris and Andy Kaufman were really pure. It was comedic performance art. But performance art won’t buy you a Porsche. Farting does. I think Ayn Rand said that.
MS:It’s always farts and money with those Objectivists. After your days on Letterman you went on to create Get a Life with Chris Elliott. What can you tell us about its development?
AR: Back in 1989, I guess it was, Fox approached Chris about doing a show for them. Chris asked me if I would write it with him and I said yes but didn’t think anything would come of it. Truthfully, I had no interest in writing sitcoms and didn’t want to leave New York. But a sitcom with Chris, maybe it could be something cool. The other big problem was, Late Night had been my home for so many years and the thought of leaving it was really difficult. I had grown really close to Dave and to this day I think about him a lot. He changed my life. But then you start getting paranoid that you’re passing up an opportunity and all that shit.
Anyway, Chris and I started tossing around ideas. One of our first ideas was Marlon Brando living with a family. Basically Mr. Mom starring Chris as Marlon Brando. I think that was for our own amusement more than anything. Eventually we latched onto the notion – I think it was Chris’s idea – of a take-off of a 1950s family sitcom like Leave it to Beaver. Once we zeroed in on that, the rest came pretty quickly – the surreal tone, the characters, the idea of a thirty-year-old paper boy still living with his parents, using music montages in each episode, everything fell into place. Chris even came up with the title and the idea of using "Stand" [by R.E.M.] for the opening credits. It was all there.
MS:Did Fox commit to the pilot at this point?
AR: No, but I seem to remember that they green-lit it fairly quickly after the first draft. You end up pandering to the network on a pilot script because you want them to pick the show up. So there were notes and stuff that Chris and I weren’t happy about, but we did them. Personally, I always hated the Get a Life pilot. It’s cutesy and kind of sweet at times...not at all what we envisioned back in New York.
MS:Fox seemed to like it enough to go ahead with the series.
AR: Right, that was the problem. They liked the sweet nature of Chris’s character in the pilot. They wanted more of that. Chris and I knew we had to establish the tone of the show we envisioned or it was going to be an embarrassment. So, over a weekend, we wrote the male model episode. For us, that was Get a Life. That’s also when the problems with the network started. They were very confused. There was a sequence at the end of that script where Chris struts down a fashion show runway, and after reading it, one of the executives called up and said, "I don’t get it. So he turns into a fag at the end?"
MS:Yikes. So I guess it was a little too weird for them?
AR: I guess, and apparently a little too faggy. But a lot of the episodes were based on something real in Chris’s life. Like the episode where his character was trying to get his driver’s license. In real life at that time, Chris was just getting his driver’s license. He grew up in New York, he never needed to drive before. The executives hated the idea and told us it was unrealistic and pathetic. The word "pathetic" came up a lot. One of them said, "What thirty year old man would just be getting his driver’s license"? Chris raised his hand and said, "Uh, that would be me."
MS:What can you tell us about the creation of Cabin Boy?
AR: One day, out of the blue, Tim Burton called Chris. He wanted to meet with us about doing a project together because he was big fan of Chris’s from the Letterman days and he really liked Get a Life. At the time he was prepping Batman Returns and for his next movie he wanted to do something small again like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Chris and I came up with an idea that was a mix between Captains Courageous and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Tim really liked it so Chris and I fleshed out the story and then I went off and wrote the script.
MS:It sounds like a typical Tim Burton movie.
AR: Well, we designed it to be a Tim Burton movie. He was loving the idea every step of the way. But by the time I was finished, he had changed his mind about wanting to direct a small film. He loved the script, though, and really wanted to get it made. He championed the idea of me directing it instead. I never asked to direct it, never thought about directing it... This is where everyone says to themselves, "Boy, how cool would it have been if Tim Burton had directed Cabin Boy." I’m one of those people, by the way. When Tim told me he wanted me to direct it, it was pretty exciting, but I distinctly remember thinking this could be a mistake. The script was written specifically for him. If I never met Tim, and had set out to write something for myself to direct, the last thing I would’ve written is Cabin Boy. It was a big lesson: Never do something just for the opportunity.
MS:It sounds like it all came together pretty quickly.
AR: Well, during that time, Disney was desperate to make a deal with Tim, so they tried to entice him over by making a few of his odd pet projects. Ed Wood was one, The Nightmare Before Christmas was another and Cabin Boy. They did fine on the first two.
MS:Well, I think in the long run it’s going to work out for them.
AR: Actually, I think it’s still considered an embarrassment over there. Perhaps the darkest moment in Disney history, I don’t know.
MS:Tell me a little more about how you came up with the look of the movie.
AR: The film was always supposed to have a tacky, artificial look but there were times when it was too tacky and artificial looking for my tastes and that was mostly due to the budget; particularly the scene where Chris is going delirious on the raft. The backdrop is right up against the tank and there was a seam running down the middle of it. You can kind of see it in the movie. There was always something like that. It was always like, "Wait a minute – why did the cave that we designed to look really cool end up looking like something from Gilligan’s Island?" There would be a lot of shrugging and double talk and I was too green and naïve to know better.
MS:What was the shooting process like?
AR: It was not a good time. When we went into pre-production, I heard through the grapevine that the executive producer absolutely hated the script and was only doing the job as a favor to someone. So we were off to a wonderful start. Keep in mind; I was a first time director. There were lots of times I needed help and wished I had a little more support from some people that were around during the process. Having said that, anything that sucks about the movie, or anything that people don’t like, I take complete responsibility for. If only Tim had directed it.
MS:Oh, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. I was re-watching Cabin Boy recently and the film has this unique storybook quality to it. The sets are artificial and fake but in a good way. There’s a proto-Wes Andersen quality behind Cabin Boy.
AR: Actually I was going for a storybook feel. Like the opening shot of the gates revealing the school courtyard. Fuck, maybe I am being too hard on myself. Is there a chance Cabin Boy was actually a hit?
MS:Over the years Cabin Boy has evolved into a respected cult hit. How does that make you feel?
AR:Cabin Boy is a tough one. I still don’t know how I feel about it. It’s hard to lose sight of the fact that so many people have an intense hatred for it. Or at least they did when it came out. Chris and I sometimes talk about writing the behind-the-scenes Cabin Boy book, which I think would be really funny, but I don’t think there’s anyone clamoring for that.
MS:I would read that book.
AR: I suddenly smell money.
MS:When did the Disney executives see the finished film?
AR: I remember showing the first cut to Jeffrey Katzenburg and a few executives in a screening room at Disney. There were some people who legitimately laughed throughout the screening but when the lights came up there was dead silence. You could just tell that something was off. I was sitting four seats down from Jeff Katzenburg and he announced, "Well, it’s the weirdest movie we ever made," and then he turned to me said, "You’re a sick fuck." There was a bit of humor in his voice, but it felt ominous in that room. I really knew something was up when he declared he had no notes. I remember thinking, "Gee, really? No notes? Did the first cut of The Lion King go this well?" I asked one of the producers what it meant and they gave me some answer like, "We’ll have to wait and see." So that’s what we did until the first preview screening. And then we saw, very clearly, that we had a fucking disaster on our hands. Or rather, my hands and Chris’s hands. All the producers and everyone else connected to this thing ran for the hills. In the annals history, I don’t think people have ever disassociated themselves from anything so quickly.
MS:What exactly happened in that first audience preview?
AR: I’d say at least half the theater cleared out during the first 20 minutes. I remember feeling like I was going to puke. The funny thing is, I actually thought it would play well! But they brought in a Pasadena audience who thought they were going to see Splash or something like that. It wasn’t like they saw the movie and thought, "I didn’t care for it" or "Boy, that sucked"...they actually felt violated. It pissed them off. Guys grabbed their dates by the arm and dragged them out of the theater like the movie had just raped them. Very, very strange. To this day, I don’t really get it.
MS:I take it Disney wasn’t pleased after the test screening?
AR: They were a little cross, yes. Keep in mind, it was a cheap movie to make, but for them, there was the embarrassment factor. But it gets even better – soon afterwards, Tim decided to blow off Disney and set up a deal at Warner Brothers.
So basically now Jeff Katzenberg is looking in my direction and thinking, "How the fuck did I get stuck with this guy and his weird movie?" And I can’t stress this enough: Cabin Boy was only made because they were kissing Tim’s ass hoping he’d make a deal there. There is no way that movie would have been made anywhere under any other circumstances.
MS:Tell me about the reaction when the movie finally came out.
AR: I’d have to do some research on the internet, but from what I recall, it didn’t do very well.
MS:Is that something you expected?
AR: Chris and I knew it was going to tank, but I don’t think either of us was prepared for the venom, the absolute anger over this silly little B movie starring Chris Elliott. It’s not like it was some huge event that was highly anticipated by the movie going public like Godfather 3 and didn’t meet their expectations. It wasn’t a big movie like Ishtar or Heaven’s Gate. Why did so many people make a big deal out of it? I still don’t know. Somehow Cabin Boy struck a nerve in the collective conscience of the American public and reminded them of everything they hate in life. That’s just my theory. I’m still waiting for a proper study.
Then there were the reviews. Good Christ. They were so proactively vicious. What bug did we put up everyone’s ass to deserve that level of cruelty? The press department at Disney kept faxing me each bad review which really pissed me off.
MS:Why did they keep doing that? Was it just to be spiteful?
AR: I don’t know. My heart would jump every time I’d hear the fax machine click on. I’d watch as it slowly came out, usually headline first: "CABIN BOY SINKS." Oh, they had a field day with those nautical puns.
MS:Nautical puns are difficult to resist. You gave them a very special gift.
AR: Yeah, I’m always thinking of others. I was actually embarrassed to leave my apartment for a while. My neighbors in the hallway would avert their eyes when they saw me. I don’t know, a lot of it was in my head, I guess. I was going nuts, like Roman Polanski in The Tenant. But on the other hand, there was a reality to it. There was an unusual and unnatural spotlight on this movie. Chris felt it too.
MS:Which is insane. I mean it’s not like you guys were these huge –
AR: Exactly! Even Pauley Shore movies were allowed to come and go, but Cabin Boy continued to be referenced for quite a period after it came out. Just when I thought I’d heard the last of it, there’d be something else. I remember reading some article I think it was in The New York Times it was a cynical view of the idea of extended director cuts that were popping up on laser discs at the time. And the last line of the article said something snarky like, "I suppose it won’t be long before we’ll even see the director’s cut of Cabin Boy." That kind of shit happened all the time.
MS:Is there hope for a deluxe DVD in the future?
AR: A few years ago, I asked my agent to check in with their home video department and see if there was any chance they might put out a newer edition of the DVD. For me and Chris, it’s mostly about the cover. The artwork is so horrible. They slapped his head on another guy’s body and he’s hanging from an anchor. So shitty and stupid looking. Anyway, the guy at Disney basically said that they don’t sell enough copies of Cabin Boy to justify the expense of redesigning the artwork. I think they took the matter directly to the shareholders.
MS:That artwork is awful. It has this early ’90s, hastily photo-shopped by a ten year old feel.
AR: That’s an insult to ten year-olds and the early ’90s.
MS:Everybody seems to love that Letterman cameo.
AR: Every audience went nuts for that scene. They’d applaud at the end. But it was at the top of the movie and a sort of tension would set in as things went on and people realized Dave wasn’t coming back. Dave is so fucking funny. Chris and I will never be able to thank him enough for agreeing to be in it.
MS:What did you think of that "Wanna Buy a Monkey" sketch that ran during the 1995 Oscar telecast?
AR: Dave was hosting the Oscars and he called me about this idea he had to get a bunch of actors to recite his "Wanna buy a monkey?" line from the film. He wanted to know if it would bother me, which was really considerate of him. So I said sure, go do it, because, you know, to this day, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Dave. He also asked me if I’d shoot some of the actors for the piece, and I did that.
MS:Seems like you were a little ambivalent about it.
AR: Yeah, I was because, truthfully, it did kind of bother me. I just wanted Cabin Boy dead and buried at that point. I didn’t want people to be reminded of it.
MS:That must have been tough since you felt so close to Dave.
AR: For Dave, it was just about making fun of himself. He probably didn’t realize how fucked up I still was. And he did ask me first. I could’ve said no. Ultimately, there was just no upside to it for me and Chris. We weren’t able to score "cool points" – to use the slang of the street – for poking fun at ourselves. You know, look at Robert DeNiro at the Golden Globes, cracking jokes about Little Fockers...
MS:Scoring cool points.
MS:Which actors did you shoot for the piece?If I could torture you a bit further.
AR: I kind of forget. Tom Hanks, Madonna, I forget who else. Michael Keaton. Hanks and Keaton are really nice guys.
MS:What about Madonna?
AR: She was actually kind of cool, which I didn’t expect. I remember asking her if she got her dress from The Limited which seemed to amuse her.
MS:So after all these years, how do you feel about Cabin Boy?
AR: I guess the best thing I can say about is, I don’t think about it anymore. Chris and I are really happy that there seems to be a small cult of Cabin Boy fans out there. The Onion did a few screenings here in New York not so long ago and Chris and I did a Q&A afterwards. The place was packed – not a huge theater, of course – but there was such a big response to it. And the audience was so nice afterwards. We went through the whole story, the whole Cabin Boy ordeal, and I remember a girl coming up to me afterwards and telling me I should feel proud and not to be so hard on myself. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. But since I’m crazy, those kinds of things never stick in my head. Just the bad stuff.
MS:You should be proud. Cabin Boy was one of the best comedies of the ’90s
AR: Jesus, you really think that? Dude, if only you wrote for The New Yorker. But thanks.
MS:When was the last time you watched Cabin Boy?
AR: I haven’t seen it since the last color correction in post-production. And that was without sound. I’ve caught a few minutes of it here and there when it’s on cable. And honestly, I kind of like what I see. But I don’t watch too long. I get out fast. It’s like sticking in blackjack.
It took a long time, but I think Chris and I are both fine with it now. Even proud of it, I guess. We set out to make a strange comedy and that’s what it is. It absolutely could have been better, but maybe the rough edges work in its favor. We used to talk about things like, "Was the Freddy Bartholomew accent the thing people really hated? Or maybe the short pants and wig?" Who the fuck knows? It’s just great not to think about it anymore. I’m gonna put a gun in my mouth.
MS:I like that foppish accent.
AR: Well, there you go. A happy ending after all.
MS:I think it’s one of the things that adds to the overall weirdness. In a fun, silly way.
AR: I suppose we’ll never crack the enigma of the accent. I do think even some Get a Life fans had a problem with it, but at the end of the day, I think Chris’s performance – and the accent – are hilarious. I think he’s brilliant in Cabin Boy. I’m still his biggest fan.
MS:Just for a moment I want to talk about The High Life. During a brief time in the ’90s this clever, pitch black parody of fifties sitcoms used to follow Mr. Show on HBO. To me, it was the strongest comedy block on television at that time.
AR: Thanks. Not many people saw The High Life. I was really proud of that one. Plus I was working with Dave again. His company produced it, so that made me feel really good. We only did eight episodes. I remember The New York Times gave it a glowing review and the last line was, "Adam Resnick can now almost be forgiven for Cabin Boy." Why was Cabin Boy even mentioned? See what I mean? And God forbid it said I was forgiven, but no, almost forgiven. There was another High Life review I really liked that said it was "like watching a Laurel and Hardy short through the fog of a deep depression."
MS:Was it always your plan to recast Steve Mellor as a different villain every week?
AR: I love what Steve did on that show. He was great. The decision to keep recasting him wasn’t planned. It sort of came to me during the pilot. I loved his performance as the lead Klansman so much I started thinking about how I could bring him back. Obviously there can’t be a Klansman character every week. So I decided to make him a different antagonist each episode. That guy is so funny.
The whole cast was great and I really loved being able to work with people like JK Simmons and Jane Krakowski. There were a lot of people like that. Real New York character actors. Of course, they’re now big time actors.
MS:What can you tell us about Lucky Numbers?
AR: For me, that one didn’t work. I was really pleased with my script, but, you know, if you sell a script you have to realize that’s pretty much the end of your involvement. I had nothing much to do with it after that. The title, by the way, was Numbers. I always hated that "Lucky" they put in front of it. Anyway, not my movie.
MS:Did you originally write Lucky Numbers with Chris Elliott?
AR: No. Although, there was a part I wanted Chris for but I was powerless to do anything about it. I wrote Bill Pullman’s role for Chris. Bill Pullman was actually funny in the role. Anyway, the movie really doesn’t feel anything like what I wrote. It was supposed to be a dark comedy, but...whatever. Wah wah wah. Fucking writers. Buncha crybabies.
MS:I think it still reflects the feeling of a dark comedy. I don’t think that Nora Ephron was the best choice for it but I still say that the movie works in a lot of ways.
AR: That’s nice to hear. I don’t think I agree, but I guess there’s a couple of scenes that work. I know what you mean about Nora. She’s great at what she does, but my script was not what she does. I guess she wanted to try something different, but it was a mismatch of sensibilities. It wasn’t right. Nora was always nice to me though.
Numbers should have been a very inexpensive indie movie. But I sold it to a studio, and it ballooned into a big expensive star vehicle with a star director. The tone of the material didn’t call for all that. That was my fault. I didn’t have to sell it to a studio, but I did. The studios are not in the business of making small movies. I completely get that and respect that.
MS:I know the movie as supposed to take place in Harrisburg but when I watched it I thought it was shot in Chicago and they were just saying it was Harrisburg.
AR: You’re killing me. I grew up in Harrisburg and the movie is set there because it’s based on a true story of some people who rigged the state lottery. It took place in Central Pennsylvania. The script was very specific in describing the locations and gave a real feel for the area, which of course, I was very familiar with. During pre-production I went back to Pennsylvania and took a lot photographs of the news station, where most of the film is set, and the squat little buildings in the neighborhood and stuff like that. All very authentic. But Nora obviously didn’t want to go for that kind of shabby realism, so she did the impossible – she made Harrisburg look beautiful. She found a gleaming black building across the river and made that the news station. Again, it’s her movie, but it’s not what I had in mind.
MS:I do really believe that the writing really shines through on Lucky Numbers. It’s a smart funny movie.
AR: You’re the first person who’s ever told me that, so I fear you’re just being a gentleman. But that’s okay. It’s an ugly world. We need more gentlemen.
MS:When I told people I was interviewing the guy who wrote Death to Smoochy, nine times out of ten their eyes lit up and they told me they loved that movie. Critics seemed to have missed the point. They assumed Death to Smoochy was a Barney parody when it really wasn’t.
AR: The Barney stuff surprised me because I never thought about Barney when writing that movie. It was just supposed to be a generic looking kids’ show character. I never pictured him looking quite the way he ended up. In the script, I think he was orange, sort of a New Zoo Review generic puffy animal suit type guy. But whoever decided to make him purple...anyway, I can see how it screamed Barney.
Interestingly (or not) when I first started thinking about the idea, it was about a man and a woman, two hippie types, who come up with a costumed animal character that performs at charity events and children’s hospitals. It wasn’t about money or anything. Just to do something nice. Then, somehow, the woman winds up in the Congo as a missionary. Why, I don’t know. Meanwhile, back in the states, the guy she worked with sells the character to TV and it becomes a huge hit. He becomes rich. Eventually word of this reaches the Congo and the missionary abandons God to claim her share of the profits. Then it turns into a big courtroom drama like Inherit the Wind. For some reason, I decided to keep thinking.
MS:Wow, I like that idea! How did that turn into what we know as Death to Smoochy?
AR: Actually, there was another version after that. It kept evolving. It was about a rivalry between two puppet shows. Back in the fifties there was Howdy Doody who was really popular and another puppet show, Rootie Kazootie, that was less popular. I was going to write a movie about two fictitious puppets and the bitter rivalry between the two shows, the creators and producers and stuff. I wanted it to feel like Sweet Smell of Success in the world of 1950s children’s television.
MS:That’s a great idea. That could have been a cool movie too.
AR: Yeah, maybe I fucked up. But I knew I could never get that movie made; a period piece about rival puppet shows. As I kept thinking about the idea it evolved into what it finally became. I was really happy with the script. It retained the Sweet Smell of Success thing that I liked. But the movie, well... Here we go again.
MS:It didn’t turn out the way you had hoped?
AR: Again, I have to be clear, I didn’t direct the movie, so that’s how it goes. Danny [DeVito]’s sensibilities didn’t always match mine and vice versa. Smoochy was closer to what I intended than Numbers, but it’s frustrating. When you’re writing a screenplay, you hope the movie comes out the way you envisioned it. Or even better – you hope the director brings his own thing – something special – that elevates the material and the movie turns out superior to what you originally imagined.
MS:What didn’t work for you in Death to Smoochy?
AR: Oh, I don’t know. I really hate talking about this. At a certain point you gotta put this shit behind you. It just wasn’t what I pictured. It’s kind of shrill. I’m sure there were some script problems too that never got solved. It’s a flawed movie. Some of the reviews used terms like "missed opportunity" and in my mind that’s what Smoochy is.
MS:I do agree with you that Smoochy is flawed. But I do believe that the good elements outweigh the bad. It’s a movie I keep coming back to.
AR: No, it’s not a complete piece of shit, I’ll give you that. But it ain’t Dr. Strangelove either.
MS:Here’s how I see it. I think comedy by its very nature is inconsistent. Even the best comedies can be very hit or miss. For me if there’s enough funny bits in a comedy then it’s a good comedy.
AR: That’s fair. I totally agree with that. There are a lot of movies I like that I watch over and over that aren’t perfect. But when it comes to stuff I’ve been involved with I can’t be that rational. I can’t feel anything other than disappointment. But there is a lot in Smoochy I think is good. Edward Norton, Robin Williams, Katherine Keener – great performances all around. I don’t know, maybe a near miss is harder to deal with than an out-and-out disaster. I should watch it again sometime.
MS:I love the songs you wrote for the movie particularly "My Step-Dad’s Not Mean He’sJust Adjusting."
AR: I really enjoyed writing those songs. They always got big laughs in the test screenings which I never expected.
MS:I get the sense you’re not in love with the film industry.
AR: Like a lot of writers, I’m stuck between trying to write what excites me, and having to make a living. Usually what excites me may not be commercial enough. So you end up compromising. Maybe you write a spec that you think will sell even though you’re not 100% creatively invested in it. Things like that. But overall, I’m lucky that I can make money doing the only thing I know how to do. And despite the Hollywood cliché, most of the people I’ve dealt with over the years, the studio people and so forth, have been pretty decent. With the occasional prick tossed into the mix to keep things lively.
MS:Would you like to direct again?
AR: Ultimately I consider myself a writer. With Cabin Boy – even before I knew how things would end up – I realized I didn’t like directing. I’m extremely asocial. Always have been. With directing, it’s all these fucking meetings and questions and problem solving and "how big should the ice monster be in relationship to the Filthy Whore [the name of the boat in Cabin Boy]..." I’m not managerial by nature. I hate people asking me questions. I had enough of that in high school.
MS:For all its intentional tackiness, Cabin Boy still had a fair amount of special effects to contend with.
AR: Right, I mean, we’re not exactly talking Inception, but there were effects and a lot of technical decisions that had to be made. And I’m the least technical person you’ll ever meet. I still have an AOL account. But I do sometimes wonder if my first shot at directing had been something simpler – and less retarded – maybe I would have had a better time. I don’t completely rule out taking another stab at it, but it would have to be something really small. Still, I’d much rather have a great collaboration with a director where we’re creatively in sync. If a writer is lucky enough to find that relationship, that’s the home run.
I’m gonna jump out the window.
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