On Friday, BTFB was proud to unveil the first part of our exclusive interview with director and Millennium fan, Brett Hart. Today we bring you the second part of this highly enjoyable interview and hope you will keep your comments coming. Interviews come and interviews go but we were delighted by the unprecedented outpouring of praise for Brett's work and thoughts, we knew that Bone Dry enjoyed a high degree of popularity amongst supporters of Lance's career, we never knew how unilateral or passionate that support was.

To all of you who have yet to see this gem of movie we urge you to check it out and join the legion, no pun intended, of fans this movie has secured. Till then, kick back and enjoy, once more, more from the man himself. Brett A Hart!

BACKTOFRANKBLACK.COM: When your wrote 'Bone Dry' did you do so with Lance Henriksen firmly in mind and, if so, was this primarily because you admired his portrayal of Frank Black?

BRETT A HART: We did have Lance in mind but at that time I was so broke that I wasn’t sure what type of budget we could raise. In fact, that’s why I created the role of “Jo-Anne”, our waitress, played by the amazingly talented, Dee Wallace. She bookends the picture like a morality play. When I was unsure if the leads would be names or not I figured we could still get distribution by casting a name for “the waitress” and one of the drug dealers played by Tiny Lister. When raising money, I had a series of head shots on the wall. Most of my investors and producers were not “Millennium” viewers and it took a little persuading on my part. By the time they met Lance and were on set they ‘got it’. He was the only “Jimmy” I could envision.

One very interesting note though; on day one of principle photography, in Death Valley, I finally started seeing “Jimmy” come to life. This wasn’t Frank Black, this WAS Jimmy. Frank Black (through Chris Carter’s suggestion) had restricted hand movement but our “Jimmy” was very physical. Lance is an amazing actor with a great deal of range. He can play a villain and a good guy, he can do comedy and tragedy and I found myself battling the catch 22 of executing what we had written and the marketing of our film. Since “Bone Dry” was influenced by “Duel”, I consciously chose to obscure Lance’s face for 60 minutes of the film. It was all part of my efforts to transform “Jimmy” from a ghostly stalker to a living, breathing, tragically flawed human being by the end of the film. When we wrapped shooting and I was editing, I discovered that I couldn’t watch “Millennium” for months. It was too surreal. Because I was living in “Jimmy’s” world and it pulled me out of my desert oasis whenever I’d see Lance portraying “Frank”.

BTFB: I read a fascinating interview with Lance in which he described his own approach to building a character. His description, in this instance, of seeking out the perfect hat for a character he portrayed showed such remarkable intensity and attention to detail. Did you enjoy a similar experience when the two of you were in discussion about the character of Jimmy?

BH: Whenever I think of Lance and his character’s props, I think of a consummate professional. He’ll bring props from home that have emotional and sentimental value to assist him in becoming the character. I DO remember two hat experiences. The first was Lance’s lighter side. He came to a script meeting with this straw hat that looked like something Gene Hackman would have worn in “The French Connection” and though I appreciated his attempts at creating a unique character, I think Lance could quickly tell that I hated it. It was one of our first meetings and I was trying to be as diplomatic as possible. The next day he and I went around shopping for several hats. What I loved was watching him smear Vaseline on the brim to age it.

He has an expression, “I never want to be caught acting on screen” and that’s what my cast and I all shared. To borrow from Luke Goss, we all wanted to find “The Truth” of each scene.

BTFB: I was absolutely fascinated, and delighted I must say, to hear that the Millennium episode "Beware of the Dog" is inspiring your current project. Are you able to tell us anything about it and why that episode in particular became a source of inspiration for you?

BH: “Beware Of Dog” is a very cool episode. I always found myself going back to it and I can’t explain the allure. In many ways it reminds me of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, the animals acting independent to rhyme or reason. I love the opening attack with the paradoxical Carpenter’s music playing. The stranger in a strange land kind of reminded me of “Wicker Man”. I believe the dogs they used were Belgium Malinois and I was interested in using a single White Shepherd. Tom Holland (Child’s Play) and I are dog lovers, we both own Shepherds, mine is named Poe after Edgar Allen and initially I drove out to L.A. to discuss working on a project with Tom entitled “Caesar”. The story of a Seeing Eye dog that slowly turns on his blind female master and becomes the Alpha Male of the home. Jeff O’Brien and I had envisioned this as a modern “Little Red Riding Hood” and I’ve been talking to Dee Wallace about reprising her role with a dangerous canine.

Currently, however, Tom and I are looking at another approach and it’s more along the lines of “Beware Of Dog”, a thriller with a wild pack overtaking an isolated area. He’s 30 pages in and writing ferociously. Once he’s completed the first draft, I’ll know which way I want to go. Tom and I have a great deal of respect and admiration for each other and have agreed to be co-producers on whichever canine thriller we go with.

BTFB: What can admirers of your work keep their eyes open for with regards to your continuing career. I know the intention was to expand Bone Dry into a trilogy with Lance and Luke reprising their roles, is this still your intention?

BH: The idea of a trilogy to Bone Dry is something Luke, Lance, Jeff & I have discussed on several occasions. This is largely due to the bonds we formed while making the picture as well as a nod towards other trilogies such as the “Sergio Leon” and “Road Warrior” pictures. Lance recently told me that “Bone Dry” is gaining “Cult” status so time will tell. Currently on the slate are several projects that I’m very excited about. Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Total Recall, Lifeforce) is wrapping up writing chores on “The Pain Clinic”. The synopsis is, “After repeated medical failures to fix a bad back, the lead character, Harmon, finds himself in so much paralyzing pain that he unwittingly signs over his rights in hopes of a cure to the pain experts at the cutting-edge clinic. Harmon is not only haunted by memories of a family he no longer has, he finds himself in legal limbo, confounded by pain and subject to unorthodox experimental procedures. Paranoia, torture and some dark secrets fill the halls of ‘The Pain Clinic’, but seven stories underground lay all the answers Harmon doesn’t want to know.”

Tony Caballero is working on “The Aberrant”, a ghost story that Niall Browne, John Henry Roberts and I have been working on for some time. “The Aberrant” is the story of a woman who receives a heart transplant after a car crash, then finds she has also inherited the ghosts that haunt it. But she slowly realizes that if she doesn't find a way to appease them, the consequences may be deadly to her, her daughter, and the traumatized soldier she has fallen in love with.

As mentioned, Tom Holland and I are collaborating on a canine thriller and finally, John Henry Roberts and I are shopping around “Alter Ego”. Written by Emmy Winner Alan Brennert (80’s Twilight Zones), “Alter Ego” is an unnerving thriller about the capacity of the human heart for love, betrayal and redemption; in the tradition of Hitchcock’s “Marnie” as well as the stylized blockbuster “Basic Instinct”.

Then there is, of course, the film we all want to see on the screen. “Millennium - The Movie”. I’d direct that for free!

BTFB: Thank you, Brett, for taking the time to talk to us and for affording this campaign such enthusiastic support and friendship.


James McLean said... April 19, 2009 at 6:18 AM

Thank you Brett for speaking to us! The first part of the interview has been archived into the website for easy finding along with all our other great interviews!

Please show your support for Brett's time by a) writing a letter to FOX (details on our website) and b) buying a copy of Bone Dry!

Robert Sharpe said... April 19, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Absolutely brilliant, been waiting to read this. So excited to hear there is more of Brett's work to look forward to in the future, a movie inspired by Beware of the Dog eh? Count me in!

Anonymous said... April 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Once again a great interview, boy is this man busy, can't wait to see what he comes up with next and hopefully we will have a chance to see him work with Lance again some day, Lance really shone in Bone Dry! Best of luck Brett, we are all rooting for 'ya!

RSWehman said... April 23, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Wonderful interview, AGAIN! Thank you BTFB for the intriguing information and thanks to Brett. THIS IS WHO WE ARE!

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