Comments (0) | 8:23 AM
Benjamin J. Szumskyj is an Australian horror editor, author and much more besides. He is also a valuable friend to this campaign and one who champions the brilliance of Millennium. He is also responsible for getting this campaign into print for the very first time.
This is one man's campaign story so far, and one which suggests one way by which YOU can make a huge difference with very little effort. Read on, be inspired and, more importantly, turn that inspiration into action. FRANK BLACK NEEDS YOU!
I like challenges. Take for example, the following: the return of Millennium, a television series that was cancelled several years ago after a thoroughly entertaining three seasons. Like most television shows, once it's been cancelled, that's it. No more. From time to time, you might squeeze out a film, but generally it's the end. This of course, can be hard to deal with. For some fans, having been there from the beginning, they feel lost as they come to the realization that their beloved characters will no longer return for another adventure. Sure, other shows replace the timeslot but there's nothing quite like the original. Personally, I don't watch much television but I have been a fan of particular television series over the years. I liked The Twilight Zone. I liked Xena: Warrior Princess. I liked The X-Files. I also liked Millennium. As a latecomer to the series, I never had the chance to truly experience it as each episode counted down to the year 2000. In fact, I remember watching a few minutes of the first episode as a teenager and declaring "this is boring". But, time passed, tastes changed and after purchasing the entire series of The X-Files on DVD last year, I took a gamble and purchased Millennium on DVD. Watching them one by one, night after night, I became an instant fan. I came to befriend Frank Black, his wife Catherine, daughter Jordan, and the myriad of friends, colleagues and enemies he encountered from the beginning of the series until the very end. Before I pressed PLAY on that final episode of Season Three, I hesitated as I knew this was it. No more Frank.
Why the trip down memory lane, you ask? Simple. I want to explain to you how much I loved the series. How much I enjoyed the characters, the mythology and the suspense. Most importantly, being that I like challenges, in hearing through the grapevine that there might be a chance that a film, even season, of Millennium could make a return to the small or large screens made me ask "How can I help?" Through the TIWWA forum, I met fellow fans and soon enough found out about the BacktoFrankBlack campaign. In doing so, I wrote an article about it all and had it published in an Australian horror magazine, Black. But I wanted to do more, despite my limited time. Then it hit me; flyers! But where would one disturb them? It was then that I was reminded that SWANCON, the annual science fiction convention and writers' festival held in Perth, Western Australia was soon approaching. It was then that I put one and one together and within a short amount of time, I downloaded a flyer from the BackToFrankBlack website, printed several hundred copies up and with a small fee, had them inserted into every convention bag handed out at SWANCON. It was easy as that. The challenge had been easier than expected and rather than talk the talk, as too many of us do in the world, I walked the walked (so to speak). So if you have ever asked yourself "How can I help?", simply look at my story and follow suit and know that on the day when Millennium: The Movie is released in cinemas worldwide or another season debuts on television, it was in some small part, because of YOU.Cheers & God Bless
Teacher & Editor
Comments (2) | 5:59 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's the night! After weeks of anticipation and promotional efforts on our part, the date is finally upon us, Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz and Matt Hurwitz will be in attendance at Barnes and Noble, The Grove LA in an exclusive book signing event to promote the excellent X-Files tome, The Complete X-Files: Behind the Series, the Myths and the Movies.
A word of advice, if you are planning to attend this event, and we do hope as many of you as possible get the chance to do so, then plan to arrive there early. This event is hotly anticipated and sure to be popular so to ensure you have a chance of getting a copy of the book signed you need to 'get your skates on'.
We are sure all those attendance will have a blast and we are delighted that, in some small way, we were able to contribute to the promotional drive in association with Palace Press Publishing, our thanks to them once again for their generosity. On a final note, if you do attend we would recommend you take a camera, a sizeable amount of well prepared Millennium questions and a willingness to play reporters for we poor souls across the sea. Here's hoping you can be Frank Black's ambassadors and our eyes and ears in the process. Have a great time!
Comments (0) | 5:47 AM
An early heads up on a new feature coming soon...
BacktoFrankBlack: Millennium Group Sessions is a podcast run exclusively by BacktoFrankBlack. We've been chatting and musing as to doing a podcast since last year, but after ThaDarkSideVibe.com podcast early last week, we found the right man to steer the ship and navigate us through the audiophonic eddies of digital broadcasting.
Troy Foreman's confident and commanding tones will be the host of the show. Troy's a big Millennium fan and for those who didn't catch ThaDarkSideVibe.com podcast (shame on you, click the link, download podcast #55 and switch on your humiliated ears) was once a campaigner for the ill-fated (but much loved) TV show Brimstone. His campaign was successful enough to get Sci-Fi to pick up the episodes already produced. I personally couldn't think of a better ally for this all new BacktoFrankBlack podcast.
Myself, Jim of the clan McLean will also be present. Troy will be on hand to help translate my Britty linguistics that might trip off my tongue as I deal out the latest information as to the campaign. I'll be there to prompt suggestions as to how you, the soon-to-be dear listeners, can help us help you help Millennium.
That being said, we're not wanting this podcast to be a dry info-burst of promotional news and campaign requests. Each podcast will be at the very least, a themed informal chat about an aspect of Millennium, and at best - if we can - we'll see if we can get some guests on the show to speak to you all. Early days, we'll see what we can muster.
So stay tuned. Any ideas, advise or comments about the show, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your ideas.
We hope this will a chance for the campaign to talk about its favourite show as well as promote and encourage its return. More info as it comes - but I will say we're hoping to record the first episode very soon and provisionally, it will be themed around the pilot episode. So any comments you have on the pilot episode email me them to me and we might discuss them on the podcast.
We will provide podcast links here, but we will make sure its also on ITunes for easy subscribing.
Update: We'll record next weekend - so any comments or ideas, send them to us for the first episode before Sunday!
Comments (0) | 2:33 PM
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.
Comments (4) | 5:36 AM