Saturday, October 24, 2009

Return of the Native, Part One

Well, I'm back. After an eventful eight months, I have returned to blog occasionally about life and career developments. To say that 2009 has been a turbulent year for me personally is a massive understatement, as practically everything in my life has shifted underneath me without warning (seems to be kind of a global trend, huh?).
I don't want to go into specifics, so I'll just say this: never get too comfortable in life, because security is almost always an illusion.
Anyway, let's pick up where I left off: about to leave for the UK to film Cut. Arriving at Heathrow on a bleary, cold March morning, I am impressed by the filmmakers quiet confidence and "no worries" attitude, and hope it portends for good things to come.
Fortunately, I am correct, as rehearsals at Pinewood Studios and the BBC show that writer/director Dominic Burns and producer Simon Phillips have both connections and balls aplenty. Amazingly, the cast has all their lines down pretty pat, and the film starts to gel immediately. Everyone makes huge strides even in the course of a single day, and by the end of the rehearsal period, cast and crew are all dead chuffed (English slang for pumped up).
Off to Leek (about three hours outside of London and one hour south of Manchester) for blocking rehearsals and shooting. The cast and crew are comfortably ensconced in a cozy farmhouse, with other smaller buildings creating a snug, yet somewhat claustrophobic compound. After only one day of blocking rehearsals, we decide to attempt a Steadicam run through, expecting to stop/start incessantly throughout the process. To our amazement (and probably due to the cast's extensive theater background), we nearly complete an entire take without cutting the camera. Emboldened, we decide that although we have planned for safety cuts, the cohesive cast, combined with the dazzling technical expertise of Steadicam operator Dominic Jackson and crew, have convinced us of the possibility of achieving cinema's Holy Grail: an entire film- with special effects, costume changes, etc.- shot in one take.

Part Two: Shooting Begins


Anonymous J.D. said...

Look who's back!

For a minute there I thought you might have stopped blogging after you actually met the deranged lunatic behind the blog comments last year, lol! I know i am very strange... especially in person!

The main reason that i am always the first to comment is because whenever I go online (about once a day), I ALWAYS visit my top 5 on my "Favorites" list, your website obviously being one of them. Other favorites are Myspace and Internet Movie Database (which suprisingly for some reason, all these years, I STILL have not gotten an account on to join in on the message boards, and you would probably know what two boards for what two films would be overflooded, lol! I read a lot of the comments there but for some reason haven't gotten around to commenting myself yet, unlike here).

I guess I cannot argue with you about what you say about the feeling of always be comfertable, secure, and stable-- you almost all the time get thrown some rather unexpected (and sometimes downright horrible) difficulties, that come right out of nowhere. Somehow, i have managed so far to stay in one piece despite some of the crazy obstacles I have dealt with over the years. Fortunatly, so have a majority of the population.

This film you just finished sounds like it will be a different genre pic, seeing how you guys shot it in such a unique way. Looking forward to seeing it. I see you have another one out called Nightbeats coming out soon, you definitly keep busy, must be pretty hectic----probably why Phoebe Cates decided to basically retire at age 30!

Speaking of which, I went to another two special "Gremlins" engagements over the last year, one in May at the American Cinematheque Aero Theatre, and one in August at the New Beverly Cinema. Joe Dante spoke to the audience at both showings, and at the one at the Aero, Glynn Turman also joined in for a chat with everyone. The thing about these two showings is that this was a different version of the film-- the "preview print", with six additional minutes. This is probably the version you would have preferred to be released, because in this one it is actually YOU who ends up saving the day rather than Gizmo alone (Gizmo pulls one blind, Stipe starts to melt, then you crash through a fence, and pull the other blind, and that gives the final blow to Stripe). That was how it was meant to be before the Boss took your moment of glory. But whatever Spielberg wants, he obviously gets! Maybe that was part of the reason he sent you the Millipede game later, he may have felt a little guilty! Being the nutcase that I am, I noticed at least 40 different and insignificant changes in this version, but I will not take up any more of your time---you can breathe a BIG sigh of relief (Doesn't this guy ever shut up? LOL)

Well, another rant from the lunatic is finally over!



October 25, 2009 12:40 AM  
Blogger JP Cupertino said...

Nice to see you back again Zach! Hope things are working out for you, as turbulent as you say they have been.

November 23, 2009 2:02 AM  
Blogger JACLYN said...

Hi Zach,
Gremlins is on right now in our house, we just love it! Hope you're doing well.

December 15, 2009 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

January 03, 2010 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Lenny said...

Well, you know... Anonimous is right!))
I'm reading this blog from Russia (and really sorry for my English, because I've learned German and speak Russian...). But what can I say - Internet is still alive! It was interesting to read all the blogs, it was... like a drink of water! with a lot of pictures :)

OK. Nothing you can say, but... (c) But
Thank you for these posts, Zach! I'll be very glad, if you write much more, although I can't read it very often.
Thank You one more time! Good luck.

Lena from Russia
Always On! ;)

January 05, 2010 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey zach I AM A HUGE FAN OF GREMLINS!!!!!!!!!!! and wanna know who made the gremlins puppets and or if you could send me one (i can ony hope) my emaail is and my adress is 4/102 george street singleton nsw 2330 australia :D thanks

February 04, 2010 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 08, 2010 4:16 PM  
Blogger LoyalKK said...

Happy Birthday Zach!! Hope it's a rockin' one.

February 14, 2010 9:29 AM  
Anonymous J.D. said...

Hey Zach---

I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't make a post wishing you a happy birthday! 46 years and counting... you'll probably actually look 46 when you are in your late 70's, lol!

Can you believe all these spammers that have invaded your comments board? They have probably read your post from June 1, 1996--- and decided to do the next best thing to entertain themselves with invading your comments board rather than your email. Unless of course they are not really spammers, but some green guys who are trying to get a message across to you that they have been waiting too long for a third installment to showcase their goofy antics again, lol! I don't believe they have invaded Joe Dante's Myspace page yet, you would think they would target him more than you since he says he has absolutely no interest for a third!

Well, once again, Happy Birthday!

Best Wishes,


February 14, 2010 8:21 PM  
Anonymous オテモヤン said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 04, 2010 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog Zach!

Wish you all the best!

Have a wonderful year...


March 19, 2010 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zach...would you be interested in staring in an independent film, if you would like me to send you the script please email me at

Take care buddy

June 04, 2010 4:51 PM  
Anonymous The man who came from Russia said...

Hi Zack!!!I'm from Russia and know English language not very well but I always wathing your films and respect you like an actor!!! And I believe? that someday I will see Gremlins 3 with your participation =)

August 20, 2010 3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wishing you all the best. thanks for deleting, it was a bad time.

September 18, 2010 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 05, 2010 7:19 PM  
Blogger Alain said...

Dear Zach,
I'm looking for your mail or agent/manager as it's impossible to find online.
A french production company would like you to play in an english speaking horror film, but we can't find your address to propose you the role.
It's a fully payed gig, second lead role.
If interested, shoot me (or via your agent) a mail at

February 09, 2011 9:34 AM  
Anonymous J.D. said...

Hey Zach----

I know you do not come here anymore (hope its not on account of me commenting on every post)--- but just wanted to drop by quickly to wish you a Happy 47th Birthday. Hope you are doing well.


February 14, 2011 8:24 PM  
Blogger DC said...

Hello. I realize you may not blog here or even venture here anymore, but I wanted to say THANK YOU. I am sure you get fans of Gremlins gushing over you...that isn't me exactly. I really just wanted to thank you for doing a wonderful job in the films. I enjoyed them as a child, and within the last two months was able to acquire both films on DVD (just found G2 on Dvd today). I've had a rough 4 years and these films are helping me reconnect with the person I used to be before I found myself in an abusive relationship. Very few films and actors make me feel involved in the story and you are one of the few. So thank you for helping create a film that can make me feel enjoyment again. Props to you and Phoebe Cates for a job well done.

March 05, 2011 1:23 AM  
Blogger dp said...

Belated Happy Birthday, Zach! Hope yours was a good one?

February 17, 2012 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Sampath said...

wishing you all the best. thanks for deleting, it was a bad time.

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January 11, 2014 12:41 AM  
Blogger Monique Buckner said...

Hi Zach, I recently met you at the Salt Lake Comic con. You were very kind to me. I was able to get a picture with you and I'm going to treasure it forever. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I hope to meet you again some time in the future. ~Monique

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