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I needed a jolt after the July 4th weekend to get back in the saddle and I found it yesterday listening to Marc Maron’s interviews with Carl Reiner (2013) and Jerry Seinfeld (2020). It was like a mini-lesson in peak history in American comedy for the past 70 years.

Before Seinfeld became the most financially successful comedian in the history of the world he had to learn a key lesson when he was starting out:

I realized I have to have a way of growing that’s more than just hanging out bullshitting with other comics. I need a better system than that. And so I set about creating that for myself. And believe it or not, I got it from George Burns. Fred Raker gave me George Burns’s first book which was called Living it Up, or They Still Love Me In Altoona! And I read about him starting in Vaudeville and his struggles and and his love of the business. But I read that he sat and worked every day for at least two hours on jokes, which I had never heard of or done. Didn’t know anybody who did that. Nobody sat down and said, you know, I want to do something on dogs. Let’s really explore this on a piece of paper, and then explore it on stage. Let‘s do both. Everyone was [just exploring ideas] on stage. And I think to this day, most people do. They catch hold of an idea, they take it on stage—that works for a lot of people. It wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to dig deeper down the hole. And I wanted to take my time doing it. And then take it on stage. It was the back and forth, the stage and the pad. And then I found I was coming up with a lot of stuff. And then I started progressing and going past people. And I thought this is my way. I thought, if I’m going to get on The Tonight Show three times a year and crush every one of them, this has got to a bit of a serious endeavor.”
Jerry Seinfeld
WTF with Marc Maron, June 8, 2020

Related post:
What Changed Jerry Seinfeld’s Life 
Jerry Seinfeld on What Drives Comedy
Jerry Seinfeld (Part 1)
Jerry Seinfeld (Part 2)
Jerry Seinfeld (Part 3)
Jerry Seinfeld (Part 4)
Jerry Seinfeld (Part 5)

Scott W. Smith

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
—Martin Luther King
(Rephrasing a 1853 sermon by abolitionist minister Theodore Parker.)

Over the weekend I saw the screenwriter Paul Schrader posted on his YouTube page this interview with Marlon Brando and Johnny Carson from May, 5, 1968. Except that these two entertainment icons are long gone, the content feels like it could have been recorded yesterday—rather than just a month after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed.

P.S. And interesting side note  is Marlon Brando was born in 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska and  Johnny Carson was born in Iowa in 1925 and as a youth moved to Norfolk, Nebraska as a youth (about 2 hours northwest of Omaha).  Toss in actor Montgomery Cliff (born in Omaha in 1920), and investor Warren Buffett (born in Omaha in 1930) and you have quite a few of accomplished people coming from one area somewhat around the same time.

Scott W. Smith 

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“I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues. There’s a phrase in West Africa, in Ghana; it’s called ‘deep talk.’ For instance, there’s a saying: ‘The trouble for the thief is not how to steal the chief’s bugle but where to blow it.’ Now, on the face of it, one understands that. But when you really think about it, it takes you deeper. In West Africa they call that ‘deep talk.’ I’d like to think I write ‘deep talk.’ When you read me, you should be able to say, Gosh, that’s pretty. That’s lovely. That’s nice. Maybe there’s something else? Better read it again. Years ago I read a man named Machado de Assis who wrote a book called Dom Casmurro. Machado de Assis is a South American writer—black father, Portuguese mother—writing in 1865, say. I thought the book was very nice. Then I went back and read the book and said, Hmm. I didn’t realize all that was in that book. Then I read it again, and again, and I came to the conclusion that what Machado de Assis had done for me was almost a trick: he had beckoned me onto the beach to watch a sunset. And I had watched the sunset with pleasure. When I turned around to come back in I found that the tide had come in over my head. That’s when I decided to write. I would write so that the reader says, That’s so nice. Oh boy, that’s pretty. Let me read that again. I think that’s why Caged Bird is in its twenty-first printing in hardcover and its twenty-ninth in paper.
Maya Angelou
the Paris Review interview with George Plimpton

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“I love the idea of catching ideas. And they’re out there, millions and millions of ideas, and we don’t know them until they enter the conscious mind. And then we know them. And we see them and hear them and feel them. We know the mood of them, even if it’s just a small fragment of what could be a whole film or a painting or whatever. We fall in love with it for some reason. Something inside of us says, ‘This is a great idea for me.’ And then you write that idea down on a piece of paper in such a way that when you read what you wrote, the idea comes back in full. . . . I do equate catching ideas with the thing of fishing. You have to have patience. And I say a desire for an idea is like bait on a hook. So you are desiring or focusing. It could be daydreaming. Even when you’re walking around or moving about or talking, part of your mind is desiring ideas.”
—Filmmaker David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Twin Peaks)
MasterClass

Related links:
Where Do Ideas Come From? (A+B=C)  
Inside the Breaking Bad Writers’ Room and How Bad Ideas Can Lead to Good Ideas
Postcard #182 (“You get ideas from being bored.”—Neil Gaiman)
Filmmaking Full of Magic & Ideas 

Scott W. Smith 

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Note: I can’t think of a week in the past 12 years where I haven’t written a single post on this screenwriting and filmmaking blog. But that’s what happened in the last week of May. George Floyd died on May 25th shortly after being detained by police. The video of an officer with his knee in Floyd’s neck and Floyd saying “I can’t breathe” is disturbing. We don’t have all the facts at this time, but we do have one dead man, heart’s aching, anger, protests, riots, looting, and physical violence across the country. This is just me trying to process the last week.

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. . . . No, we are not satisfied. And we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
—Martin Luther King Jr. quoting the prophet Amos in his “I Have a Dream Speech” in August 1963.

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Directing Chip in a 1984 Student film

When I was 22 years old, I directed a student film starring Chip McAllister. I met Chip in acting classes in Los Angeles and knew that a few years prior, he played Muhammad Ali at age 18 in the film The Greatest (1977). He’s one of the most upbeat and charismatic people I’ve ever met. (And I’m forever grateful to him for introducing me to chicken curry at a Thai restaurant in Hollywood.)

Chip went on to have roles in the TV shows Highway to Heaven, Police Woman, and The Facts of Life, and in the film Weekend Pass. In 2004 he and his wife Kim won the fifth season of The Amazing Race.

But back in 1984, one day before or after acting classes I was talking about a setback of some sorts and Chip smiled and said, “Man, you’re white, you can do anything.” There’s a good chance he doesn’t even remember saying that, but for whatever reason, that line has stuck with me for decades.

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Chip in the 1980s

I remember thinking, what does “You’re white, you can do anything” mean? It was the beginning in a shift in perspective for me. Though I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s in Florida, I did not witness much overt racism around me.

Personally, I wore #42 playing high school football because of Miami Dolphin great Paul Warfield.  Playing second base in baseball, Joe Morgan was the player I most wanted to emulate. My favorite and most inspirational teacher in my entire education was Annye Refoe, Ph.D. Warfield, Morgan, and Refoe are all black. My favorite all-time baseball team, the 1975 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds, is  a case study in peak diversity: César Gerónimo (Dominican Republic), Tony Perez (Cuba), George Foster (Alabama), Dave Concepcion (Venezuela), and Johnny Bench (Oklahoma) among others.

A brief stop as a walk-on football player at the University of Miami did not expose any racism that I could see. (But I could do a documentary on the differences between Overtown and Coral Gables. I’d call it 7 Miles— the distance between the two areas.)  My first 8mm student film used Michael Jackson’s She’s Out of My Life from his Off the Wall album. The 1982 NCAA championship came down to North Carolina beating Georgetown 63-62 and featured three players later voted to the list of the 50 top players in NBA history;  Patrick Ewing, James Worthy and Michael Jordan. All black.

In 1984, Eddie Murphy was at the peak of his powers finishing his SNL run and the release of Beverly Hills Cops. In 1984 Prince and his Purple Rain album and movie made him the first person to have a number one album, a number one song, and a number one movie at the same time. The only person even more popular than Prince and Murphy was Michael Jackson. From February 1983 to April 1984 Jackson’s Thriller album sat at Billboard’s number 1 spot. A record 37 weeks. The Thriller music video, the moonwalk, and the Victory Tour cemented Jackson as the King of Pop.

Also, in 1984 the Los Angeles Lakers, lead by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, put together an amazing run where they finished the season as NBA champs. From my limited perspective of sports and entertainment, black people in 1984 seemed to be doing phenomenally well.  Chip’s “Man, you’re white, you can do anything” comment confused me.

There were a lot of things I couldn’t do. Be as funny as Eddie Murphy, play the guitar like Prince, sing like Michael Jackson, play football like Jerry Rice, or basketball like Magic Johnson. Heck, in 1984 I couldn’t even afford tickets to see the Lakers and the Celtics play .

But that comment worked on me over the years, and I began to realize that there were more Arthur McDuffies in the United States than Michael Jacksons. Who was Arthur McDuffie? While at Miami during the 1981/82 school year, I became familiar with the events surrounding the 1980 Miami riots.

Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance agent,  was said to run a red light on his motorcycle at 1:15 a.m on December 17, 1979, leading police on an 8-minute high-speed chase.  A scuffle ensued, and McDuffie died four days later from head injuries. Police claimed it was from his motorcycle crashing, but the coroner said the injuries weren’t consistent with an accident. Instead, he said, it appeared McDuffie was beaten to death.  It resulted in manslaughter and tampering with evidence charges for six officers. This was in the days long before cell phone videos, and after a four week trial, the officers were acquitted.

Within hours Liberty City erupted in what turned into four days of violence, over $100 million  in damages, and leaving more than 15 people dead. Colin Kaepernick would not even be born until seven years after the Miami Riots.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
Line from Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner

It took a while, but I realized what I think Chip’s passing comment meant. That after graduating from film school in 1984 I could meander around the country by myself for six weeks and not think twice about being confronted by racial tension. I got pulled over by police in Moab, Utah and Nashville, Tennessee, during that trip in routine and courteous stops for minor infractions. (And maybe both exploratory pullovers since I was driving an out of state vehicle. But never was I concerned that I might never see my mom again.) I could hike and camp freely, or stop in any store in any town, without a single suspicious glance.

If I started a whole list, I might never finish. Like anyone, I’ve had my share setbacks, and believe I’ve worked hard for my successes. And while it’s not true I can do anything I want—I do understand the sentiment behind that comment. I didn’t grow up in a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood, but the roads in front of me were paved in ways that they weren’t for Chip and his friends.

So I’m committed to listening to the experiences and stories of blacks. I will listen to conversations and debates knowing that there are perspectives that are foreign to me. (I am reminded of a 1997 debate between playwright August Wilson and Robert Brustein that touched on should black actors perform work by white writers.)

Here’s a prime example of “You’re white, you can do anything.” You may have heard the account six weeks ago when NFL great Tom Brady accidentally walked into—yes, walked into—the wrong house soon after he moved to Tampa, Florida.  Realizing he was in the wrong house he apologized and quickly left. The local press, TMZ, the owner, and Brady got a good laugh out of the situation.

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No harm, no foul.

Chip is now a realtor in Southern California and in 2014 when he and his wife accidentally went to (to, not in) the wrong house (because they’d been given the wrong address) in an upscale neighborhood in Yorba Linda what do you think happened?

Several Orange County sheriffs came to the scene.

No harm?  No foul? Just a misunderstanding, right? One time, maybe. But if that’s what you and your friends have experienced to one degree or another, time after time, you might think there was a pattern. This is Chip’s video today where he talks about these things from his perspective.

I will gladly stand up when human rights are violated. Every situation has its own circumstances. In time, hopefully, the truth surrounding the death of George Floyd will come to light. Justice can only follow truth. And I do hope the truth prevails, but it’s not going to happen in a few days.

“What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.”
—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
LA Times Op-Ed, May 31, 2020 

May we all take steps toward making this world a place with a little more peace, love, grace, and harmony.

We shall overcome…

P.S. So that’s some of the context behind my 2014 post:
25 Links Related to Blacks & Filmmaking

Scott W. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“While there have been better-made horror movies in the 50 years since, some even directed by Romero himself, and there have been bigger budgets, better actors and more scares, there may not be any single denouement and message more frightening than the one George Romero leaves us with at the end of Night of the Living Dead.”
Richard Newby
The Hollywood Reporter, Sept. 28, 2018

“I went to Pittsburgh to go to college at Carnegie Mellon University and met some people. I‘d always loved movies – I was always a fan – but I never imagined I’d be able to work professionally in film; I thought you had to be born royalty or something.”
George Romero
BFI interview

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One of the projects I’m working on at home the movement during this lockdown is archiving old tapes. I game across a talk that producer/writer/ director George Romero did in 1995 that was sponsored in part by the Florida Motion Picture & Television Association, Metro Orlando Film & Television Office, Valencia College, the Enzian Theater.

Years before Flashdance, Silence of the Lambs, and Hoffa made Pittsburgh a production hub, Romero’s Night of the Living Dead set the early stage for Pittsburgh’s feature film production in 1968. Lesser known is who provided the unusual assist in Pittsburgh became a hub for horror films.

Part of the answer is Mr. Rogers—at least according to Romero.  The public television station WQED in Pittsburgh is where Fred Rogers began working in 1953 on children’s shows.  In the early ’60s Rogers  developed a show called Misterogers in Toronto, but returned to Pittsburgh in 1967 and started taping Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood beginning in 1968. Except for a five year hiatus starting in 1979,  it ran until 2001.

Here’s a snapshot of what Romero said in 1995 about what made Pittsburgh a production-friendly town.

“There’s a community in Pittsburgh that started around  the time I did and we were just tenacious about wanting to work in this medium.  Luckily Pittsburgh had a very active PBS station which was originating some programing. And I think Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers, is responsible for a lot of the crew people that work in Pittsburgh. Though he probably wouldn’t admit it when he sees some of the movies out there.  Because of things like that and KDKA was a very active station doing it’s own production as a Group W station there. And we were starting to make features. We had a production company there that initially was making commericals and industrial films and the like. And there were also big corporations there like Westinghouse, GE, US Steel that had in house production service arms, so there was a lot of hardware and equipment. Much of it left over from a time that immediately predated videotape when film was being used for everything from news broadcasts to commericals. So for me, I was sort of at the right place at the right time.”
—George Romero

But Romero said success did not come quickly, and until his commercial/industrial business took off he worked on productions where “he got people coffee, brought their cars around, and worked for free basically….and it was rough for several years.”

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A Not So Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The odds are good that anyone working in production  on any level for more than six months has an eclectic mix of projects on their resume.  So it’s not unusual to think that some of the same PAs, grips, gaffers, set builders, camera assistants, and camera operators who helped put together iconic children’s programing in the Pittsburgh, were some of the same crew that helped put together iconic zombie films. Here’s a partial list of Romero’s films:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
There’s Always Vanilla (1971)
Season of the Witch (1972)
The Crazies (1973)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Monkey Shines (1988)

Other Hollywood films shot in Mr. Rogers’ general Pittsburgh neighborhood:
Flashdance (1983) 
All the Right Moves (1983)
RoboCop (1987)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Hoffa (1992)
Wonderboys (2000)
Rock Star (2001)

And the Hollywood—Pittsburgh connection continues to this day. Here are some more recent films shot there:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Concussion (2015)
Southpaw (2015)
Fences (2016)
Last Flag Flying (2017)
Sweet Girl (2019)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2019)

Romero attended Carnegie Mellon University, but his archives were acquired by the University of Pittsburgh.  The same school where Rogers  did some extra graduate studies work in child development with child psychologist Margaret McFarland,  According to Wikipedia, McFarland “was his consultant for most of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhoods scripts and songs for 30 years.”

And it’s worth pointing out that there were actually films shot in Pittsburgh before either Romero or Rogers were born— even before there was a film industry in Hollywood. Visit the website for Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904.  

Some of those were shot by Billy Bitzer who went on to work with “the father of film” D. W. Griffith. 

P.S. Back around 1999-2000 I did a three day video shoot in Pittsburgh and actually worked with a cameraman who was related to George Romero. I didn’t have the insight back then to asked if he’d worked on any of the Dead movies or on any of Mr. Rogers’ 895 programs shot there. And I did cross paths twice with Mr. Rogers himself on the campus at his alma mater Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

Scott W. Smith 

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When I heard yesterday that actor Jerry Stiller died, I didn’t immediately think of his Emmy winning performance on Seinfeld, I went to Broadway and Chekhov. It was 1997 and my first trip to New York City and seeing my first Broadway play. And it was magical.

I don’t have anything to add to the many obituaries on Stiller, but as a way to celebrate his life in theater, I’ve scanned the Playbill from his performance as one of the actors in Three Sisters.  

Stiller was joined by an incredible cast that included  Robert Bogue, Billy Crudup, Calista Flockhart, Paul Giamatti, David Marshall Grant, Ben Hammer, Amy Irving, Betty Miller, Eric Stoltz, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Justin Theroux, and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Never before or since have I seen more talented people on stage in the same play. And since it was a matinee performance they did a Q&A with some of the actors afterwards and I snuck in a question.

It was a weekend of not only connecting with actors, and the writings of the great Russian playwright, the crew, the Roundabout Theatre Company, and a Times Square building that was built in 1895, but it was a whirlwind weekend of being fully alive.

We celebrated my wife’s birthday weekend and Valentine’s Day by with a horse carriage ride through central park, ate at an Italian restaurant, went to a concert at Carnegie Hall, made a stop at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, did a boat tour with glorious views of the Stature of Liberty and the Twin Towers, toured Ellis Island and went to the top of the Empire State Building and somehow found time to sleep at Waldorf Astoria.

I was 36-years-old and had dreamed of a trip like that for probably 10 or 15 years. I was a long way from my youth of playing football barefoot on a dead-end street in Central Florida.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen or read Three Sisters, but I remember it as a play about spiritual longings for hope the the midst of despair. A time when all of the mysteries of life will disappear. At the end of the play Irina is comforted by her older sister who says, “It seems as if a little while more we shall know why we live, why we suffer … If we only knew, if we only knew.”

And that is why Chekhov’s writings from the late 1800s could resonate on Broadway in 1997, today, or a hundred years from now.

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P.S. It appears that Stiller’s 1997 performance in Three Sisters was his last stage play performance and the same year he won an Emmy for his role on Seinfeld. 

Scott W. Smith

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“Chasing greatness is a forever thing. I don’t know if you ever achieve it, you just continue chasing it and hope that one day you get a fistful of it.”
—Tim Howard

Since there aren’t any sports being played at this time, the above video on soccer goalie great Tim Howard is a good follow-up to my last post on football coach Don Shula.

If you’ve followed this blog for years you may remember a 2011 post I wrote called How to Get Started Working in Production. 

It’s about how cameraman/editor Josh McCabe started working for me when I had a production company in Iowa and he was still in college. He went on to do some work for TBW/Chiat/Day and Smashbox in LA, before moving to Denver, Colorado to work for TransAmerica. He edited the above video and shot some of the footage.

He’s got a nice corporate production job with a large company in the Midwest that has an an annual revenue of $10 billion.  (A secure job in production where he can work from home is a valuable thing at the moment.)  And he continues to do freelance shooting and editing for various national brands such as NBC, Vail Resorts, and Red Bull.

I write a lot on this blog about using your production skills in ways beyond just narrative fiction. There are only so many of those jobs at any given time (and even fewer right now with the lockdown due to the coronavirus).

In the last chapter of my book (more info coming soon, I promise) I talk about people like directors Sean Baker (The Florida Project) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) who paid the bills and picked up production experience doing everything from wedding videos to insurance interview videos for lawyers.

No one starts at the top of the pyramid. And, honestly, few get actually get to the very top of the pyramid. Tim Howard has had his share of individual accomplishments—even fistfuls of greatness—including his record 16 saved shots (a World Cup record) against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. But they didn’t make it to the pinnacle losing to Belgium 2-1. Sports are full of those kind of gut-wrenching losses. Quarterback Dan Marino had 40 NFL records when he retired, yet he never played on a Super Bowl winning team. Two-time Super Bowl winning coach Shula once said he greatest regret as a coach was not winning a Super Bowl with Marino.

All that to say, aim for the pinnacle—reach out for a fistful or two of greatness—but know that there are lots of fulfilling opportunities on the pyramid.

Book by Tim Howard:  The Keeper: A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them 

Scott W. Smith 

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“You know it’s only 50 miles from Grand River to Canton, but it took me 67 years to travel that distance.”
—Don Shula (on the area where he was raised in north east Ohio to being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame)

 

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If you’re fortunate in life, you get a few chances to meet greatness. One of my opportunities came in 1989 I went to grand opening of the Shula’s Steak House at Disney World with the intent of securing Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula’s  autograph (which is in the above photograph). Shula is not only the winningest football coach in NFL history, a two time Super Bowl winner, but the only head coach to lead his team in the NFL to an undefeated season—the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Shula died today and left behind quite a legacy. Part of which is the Shula Chair of Philosophy at his alma mater John Carroll University in Ohio. But football is where he made his name. CBS Sports stated that “Don Shula’s coaching tree is one the most impressive in NFL history. ” The coaching tree is sports lingo for assistants who worked under Shula who went on to head coaching careers themselves. (And then their assistants when on to be head coaches.)

In Shula’s case that list includes Don McCafferty who went on to be a Super Bowl winning coach with the Baltimore Colts, Chuck Noll who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Stealers, and by extension, a branch of the Shula tree includes Super Bowl winning head coach Tony Dungy (who coached under Chuck Noll.)

Howard Schnellenberger, an assistant for Shula during the Dolphins perfect season.  was the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first of five National Championships (and was the original architect of the most dominate college football program from 1983 to  2001).

Don Shula’s life story is about a man of character having a positive impact on the world of sports and beyond.

P.S. Yes, my football does need some air.

Scott W. Smith 

 

 

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“For more than a century, movie theaters have been a refuge, a communal escape, a place for popcorn-chomping-dreaming-with-your-eyes-open transportation away from everything else.”
—Jake Coyle
In coronavirus shutdown, a glimpse of life without movie theaters

Major League baseball stadiums are unusually quiet for this time of year. Theme parks are quiet. And movie theaters, night after night, are indeed a quiet place, too.

Today is May 1, 2020. One thing that means is I did not see a single movie in theaters for the entire month of April because of COVID-19. I can’t think of a single month in my adult life where I didn’t go to at least one movie in theaters in any given month. And even if there was a month here or there, there haven’t been many.

Because the weather is warm here in Florida I thought about going to one of the drive-ins within a two hour drive that are still operating;  Ocala Drive-In , Silver Moon in Lakeland (playing Stand By Me and Field of Dreams tonight), or the Ruskin Family Drive-In south of Tampa (that allows dogs).

I don’t know how many of the 300 drive-in theaters in the United States are currently open, but it seems like a cool retro thing to do now—especially if you’ve never watched an outdoor movie in your car.

The Washington  Post reported that The Family Drive-In in Virginia sold out  tonight and tomorrow. (I wondered when the last time that happened.) But it still wouldn’t qualify as going to a movie in a theater. Even as some movie theaters open in May, (Today, after being closed for 43 days, Santikos theaters in Texas is opening at 24% capacity.)  I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to see anything. (Others say don’t expect most movie theaters to open until at least July.) 

“MGM and Universal led the pack in the decision to move the latest James Bond pic, No Time to Die, from early April to late November. Paramount Pictures pulled A Quiet Place Part II just a week before it was set to land in theaters.”
Variety, “Hollywood Braces for Coronavirus Financial Hit That Could Change the Industry Forever“ (March 18, 2020)

I can’t imagine going three or four months without seeing a movie in a movie theater, but it’s a possibility.  Back on April 8, Variety published the article After Entertainment Venues Reopen, When Will the Public Feel Safe Enough to Return?That’s a big question.

I hope it is safe to see A Quiet Place Part II soon. Writer/director John Krasinski says the movie is one that should be experienced with a big audience. Who knows when that will be? At first he wasn’t interested in doing a second film based on the successful 2018 film A Quiet Place. But then he had an idea.

“[Emily Blunt] was like, ‘No way, don’t do a second one,’ and then I pitched her my idea and she was like, ‘So you’re definitely doing that.’ She said, ‘But it’s not a sequel. It’s the second book in a series,’ she said, ‘It sounds [like] semantics but it’s true, it really is—you’re not doing anything that’s like, alright I’m gonna take all the things you love and just kinda repeat them but in a different way.’ It’s not A Quieter Place, it’s sort of an exploration of getting to live in the circumstances, and that’s really fun.”
—John Krasinski
The Big Picture Podcast via Collider

P.S. After extensive edits to my book based on my blog, my new goal is to have it available before A Quiet Place Part II is in theaters. So the coronavirus at least bought me a little time to hit that goal. I now think I could write a book about writing a book based on a blog. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to condense 3,000+ posts (based on hundreds of quotes from screenwriters and filmmakers) into a concise 250 page book.

Scott W. Smith

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