BACKGROUND Q & A
Q: How did you arrive to Hollywood
A: The Summer after College, I worked for The Chicago International Film Festival, as a Greeter for the guests of the Festival. I met Directors and Actors at O'Hare Airport, and chatted with them in the back of the TownCar on the way back into the City. Notable conversations included Atom Egoyan, Robert Altman & Karen Black. My assignment one day was Shelley Winters. Unaware of who she was, I made a huge poster with her name and held it up high at the gate. Upon exiting the plane, she laughed loudly and gave me a huge hug. We became fast friends, and I was invited to stay at her house in Beverly Hills. So I did. Fun Fact: Shelley's first housemate in her 20's was Marilyn Monroe. Lacking in culinary skills at the time, I was often compared to MM while Shelley and I cooked together. Apparently when asked to clean the lettuce, Marilyn scrubbed the leaves wih a Brillo Pad.
Q: What was your first job in Film Production
A: After Beverly Hills, I moved to Venice. Someone suggested two directors in my neighborhood: Roger Corman and Joe Pytka. Both unfamiliar names to me at the time. I took a walk down Main Street with resume in hand. Since I couldn't locate the door to Roger Corman's Studio, I kept moving and discovered Joe Pytka's Office, clearly marked. I rang the buzzer and - Voila - I was employed as in-house PA for the next year. I am grateful to have fallen into TV Commercials rather than Low-Budget Horror Films. I doubt I would have persued this career, if my early experiences involved borrowing sand off the beach and volunteering my car's headlights to illuminate a night scene. Sorry Roger. Thank You Joe. Fun Fact: Joe is a really nice guy who appreciates hard work.
Q: What led you to the Art Department ?
A: I next explored Feature Films, initially working on Oliver Stone's "The Doors", The Casting Department added me into a few scenes, as an extra in nightclubs & driving old cars in the streets of LA. I was also a student in Jim Morrison's class at UCLA Film School. Oliver Stone appeared as the Professor. They actually cut to a close-up of my negative reaction when Jim / Val Kilmer screened his student film. The Art & Prop Department did such an amazing job, providing us with tools to help transport us back in time. This was a great introduction to the Art Department and how it's contributions affect the production in ways that often times don't appear on screen. Fun Fact: Originally not considered for the role, Val Kilmer submitted a video of himself performing as Jim Morrison, which landed him the gig. And. . . Mr Mojo Risin is an anagram of Jim Morrison.