S.S. Wilson, the screenwriter of such films as Tremors and Short Circuit, has just finished his second novel Fraidy Cats. Wilson also wrote a book on special effects, stop-motion animation, PUPPETS, AND PEOPLE. In 1983 Wilson and Maddock sold their spec script SHORT CIRCUIT. Directed by John Badham, it was their first produced feature. In quick succession, they wrote SHORT CIRCUIT 2, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, GHOST DAD; and served as consultants on Steven Spielberg’s animated THE LAND BEFORE TIME.
In 1990 they sold another spec, TREMORS, on which they also served as producers. Directed by fellow USC alum Ron Underwood and starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire, the film became a revered cult classic, spawning three sequels and a TV series. Wilson and Maddock joined with Nancy Roberts (producer of all the Tremors sequels) and Ron Underwood to form Stampede Entertainment in 1992. The first Stampede project was HEART AND SOULS at Universal, starring Robert Downey, Jr.
The TREMORS franchise grew with Wilson debuting as a director on TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS for Universal Family Home Entertainment. During the same time period, he and Maddock wrote the green-light draft of Warner Bros. 1999 tent pole release WILD WILD WEST, starring Will Smith.
In 2001 it was TREMORS 3: BACK TO PERFECTION, with Stampede partner Brent Maddock directing and Wilson handling the second unit. 2004 saw both the debut of TREMORS: THE SERIES for the Sci-Fi Network (Wilson co-created and co-executive produced with Maddock and Roberts) and TREMORS 4: THE LEGEND BEGINS, with Wilson again at the helm.
In addition to screenwriting, Wilson is branching out into fiction. His first book is an action-adventure tale Tucker’s Monster.
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Alex Ferrari 1:34
Enjoy today's episode with guest host Dave Bullis.
Dave Bullis 1:39
Hey, Steve, thanks a lot for coming on the show, sir.
S.S Wilson 1:41
You're welcome. You're welcome.
Dave Bullis 1:44
So you know, Steve, just to get started, I wanted to ask, what got you went to the film industry? Was it? No. Did you like films growing up? Or is it just sort of one of those things where one day you found yourself, you know, sort of writing screenplays or on set somewhere? Well, as it tends to happen, right,
S.S Wilson 2:01
My story is a little different. I did love films, I was a huge film buff as a kid. And my dad supported that in the early on when I was I don't know, 10 or 11, he bought a eight millimeter camera. And I was one of those kids who made movies in the backyard and tried to do special effects with gunpowder and gasoline, which he also supported, interestingly enough. And then my dad, then, when I went off to college, actually changed my life. I went off to college and said, I don't know what I should do. I guess I'll be a psychologist, like my dad. That's what he was. And he came up after I'd been there a week or so he said, What are your courses? And I said, I was what I signed up for? And he said, Wow, this makes no sense. You've been making movies in the backyard for 10 years, that's going anywhere to my advisors. And he said, Do you have anything like film or movies or television and he changed my whole course schedule? This is absolutely true. And I had never thought about actually trying to do it for a living, even though I've been making movies for years and years doing stop motion animation. And then I never looked back I went Oh, well. Yeah, cuz then, you know, then there were people in the departments. We didn't have much of a film program at Penn State all those years ago. Like, tell it one television course and like to film courses, and you had to borrow cameras from the local PBS station, what not? But yeah, but that's how it happened. And then then I got drafted. Then I went to USC, film, graduate school. And, and there met a lot of the people that I still work with. And even though it took almost 10 years from graduating USC to actually break in and make short circuit, we were working in the film business making short films and little short animated things and films for schools and libraries, TV commercials and whatnot.
Dave Bullis 3:55
You know, it's funny, Steve, that your your dad was able to change your whole curriculum, because, you know, I actually used to work at a college and grades and all that stuff was so secretive. They actually fired a professor one time because he told a student's father when he got in the class as a as a final grade, before the kid with the kid did, and they actually just fire the professor on the spot because of it. Wow. Yeah. It's just that just it's funny, though. You know, it's funny how college has changed so much. But but, you know, you went to Penn State. And, you know, I've actually, you know, been up there. I actually attended a Penn State football game. I didn't go there for college. But you know, I've been there once
S.S Wilson 4:35
Dave Bullis 4:37
Small world, right? Because you're out in LA now, right?
S.S Wilson 4:40
I'm actually I live in Arizona.
Dave Bullis 4:43
Oh, okay. You know, I actually have a few friends out there
S.S Wilson 4:46
I go to LA when as needed.
Dave Bullis 4:50
I see these, you know, just to ask this Penn State ever asked you to come back to me talk about screenwriting or directing or anything.
S.S Wilson 4:56
I've been bad i It's funny. Ironic timing. You know, occasionally send me alumni stuff. I've never let them even know what I do, I should do that. But no, they haven't, they haven't tracked me down, they have no idea, you know who I am or wearing, I was kind of an invisible student geeky guy, and I just went through and left.
Dave Bullis 5:19
I thought we did have some kind of alumni, you know, sort of Headhunter who kind of kept track of all this stuff.
S.S Wilson 5:26
You know, but I have, I've never responded to any of it. So I actually have it on my desk as we speak. So I should let them know, they probably would like to know.
Dave Bullis 5:36
Well, then you could just sit on this podcast instead, go back to this podcast, I'm talking to Dave. So you brought up short circuit, by the way, I watched that movie religiously as a kid, by the way. So I want to ask you know, about your whole writing style. I'm actually always fascinated by people's writing styles and their approach to their own art. So I wanted to ask you, Steve, how do you approach writing? You know, do you subscribe to any sort of methods? Do you do very long treatments first, or you just sort of jump right into writing?
S.S Wilson 6:08
Brent and I who have written practically everything together, at least certainly everything has been made. And we've been working since the days at USC, both in the short films, and then we wrote short circuit, which was our big break, we have a very, our approach is, is outline outline outline, we don't normally write a treatment for tremors we did only because we were trying to sell it and we couldn't sell it as a pitch for because when we couldn't, and that didn't have the treatment didn't sell either, by the way. But let me go back. So we outline in great detail. We are not comfortable until we know where the story is going. And we're very story oriented. Some people can start, you know, sort of with a character, they'll just say, oh, there's this character. And he's a drug addict. And he's got these problems. And I'm just going to think about what he does, because he's a drug addict. We can't do that. We got to know where we're going. So and we can't really get excited about something until we know we're doing even if it's a rewrite, which you know, you get offered quite a bit in Hollywood is pretty much all Hollywood does anymore. Even if it's a rewrite, we will sit down before we even say yes to a job, we'll say, Okay, we got to go through this movie, figuring out what we would change. Or maybe they're telling us what they want change. We got to be sure that we can make that work. And we got to know where it's going. Because your ending is, is so important in a movie, in our opinion. In fact, somebody well known, maybe one of the Zucker brothers said, your ending is 50% of your movie, somebody said that, we kind of believe that. So we got to know where we're going, what what the surprises are, where the twists and turns are. So long answer to that question is we outline like crazy. In fact, we used to drive studios crazy back in the day early on, when we were getting started. You used to get 12 Weeks was a normal time to write a script. And we would outline for eight. And they'd be calling us. So you're writing or you're writing well, now we're still outlining, like, Are you out of your mind? But then we would write it in, you know, four weeks because it was done.
Dave Bullis 8:19
So, you know, you mentioned tremors when you finally started outlining, you know, did was there ever sort of an impetus for that movie where you said, You know what, this is where we want to take it. So you know, you know what I mean? So we already know, you know what the monster is going to be? And we sort of know where the location is going to be. It's going to be imperfection. Is did that was that a part of it? Or did that sort of come in during the outlining phase?
S.S Wilson 8:42
Well, there again, we outlined it in great detail, worked on it with Ron Underwood, because the goal with tremors was to become producers. We were frustrated that everything we had written up till then we just covered naive that we writers that we were that writers aren't really welcome on this. Once you're done with this grip, they don't want to hear from you again. And we would go to movies and that we had written and go away. That's that's not what I would have done. And our agent told us look you guys want to produce then you want control. And to get that you're going to have to control the material from the get go. You can't be rewriting the studio's material, blah, blah, blah. So she said what do you have in your portfolio and your piles of notes. And we came up with, we came out of our piles of notes with we got this underground monster idea. And she said that's kind of cool. I've never heard of that before. And so first we sat down with Ron and we outlined the whole story figured out who the characters were where it was gonna go and then we pitched it all over town couldn't sell it. And then she said well that's maybe you should write A treatment room very detailed like 25 Page treatment did not sell send it to everybody. Socially Well, I guess you're gonna have to write it on spec. So in between, you know the regular Hollywood movies we were Writing. We were writing tremors on spec.
Alex Ferrari 10:03
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S.S Wilson 10:13
And then took that over to us a huge, our agent was a huge part of getting this done. She was central we call her the mother of tremors. This is Nancy Roberts, later our partner in stampede entertainment. She hand picked, you know who this grip was gonna she did what an agent really is supposed to do. She handpicked to the script. If she knew the studio people, she told us in advance what they were going to say. You know, there were there were situations where, because of her relationships, there were certain times if she had a spec script, she couldn't not show it to certain people, because then they would be mad that they were shut out of the process. So she said, Okay, this is going to be weird. I have to send this to Disney. They are going to say we we hate this because it's got so much dust in it. They had dust and we're like what? Sure enough. That's exactly what came back. And all of this was a purse off the record, you know, under the wire. But I actually got off the phone. I think I was there at some point. No, no, she was on the phone to somebody Disney and they were passing in a very polite way. The world is not right for us at this time. And she said, come on. Eisner doesn't like dust. He was on the other end. But that's all really true. And then she hand picked Jim Jack's wonderful, wonderful executive classic old school executive. Who, who at Universal, who loved movies, loved all kinds of movies knew exactly what tremors was he saw exactly it's be movie monster movie routes. And she knew that Jim would get it and he would fight for it at Universal which is exactly what happened. And then she enlisted Galen hurt she was on a rock Galen hurtin because Gail and looked at our buddy wrongs, short movies, which is all he had, at the time, he had not done a feature when we did tremors. And the studio was like, wow, we're gonna hand off this movie to a guy who's only directed films for schools and libraries. And Gail looked at the movies upon as a filmmaker, don't worry about it. And then she shepherded us, especially at the beginning. Made sure we weren't going off the rails some way to get her in trouble as she was executive producer. She saw the dailies and said good is gonna work.
Dave Bullis 12:34
Yeah, you know, I really like tremors. I'm gonna say why Steve? Because, you know, first, it just seems everything happens naturally. You know what I mean? It's, you know, and I again, when you said you were you started with characters, you know, when you were working with the idea is because, you know, all those characters seem like they they're real people who live in that world. And they all seem, you know, and when they you know, when some of them finally die, for anyone listening, I'm not who hasn't seen it yet. I'm not going to spoil it. But when it was when they finally die, you know, you actually say, oh, my gosh, you know, there isn't a ton of guys, you know, that are just getting mauled, these are all the characters right here. So when they finally die, when not when some of them die. They go, Oh, my gosh, you know, that actually is impactful in the story. Thank you. So s escalating circumstances, you know what I mean? It's very easy to hear. Oh, well, my you know, you're very welcome. And, you know, and because when, when you see the world for the first time, you think that's the monster and then it becomes bigger, and you're always escalating that further and further and further. And it's always, you know, they they find a solution, the problem escalates, they find a solution to the problem escalates. I mean, that's just, it's phenomenal. And I don't know if you know who Red Letter Media is, but they actually are a popular online review group. And they actually gave it a you know, they actually have this one segment where they talk about movies they like, and they actually review tremors, and they they said, it's one of their favorite movies so great.
S.S Wilson 13:55
As always, to hear all of the things we're saying we worked very hard on, they were all very important to us. We my partner is not a big movie, monster fan. I saw them all up until the mid 70s Or so I saw everything. And I knew all the cliches we hang with. My partner is just all about character. And again, in both of us, it was very important that yes, the characters matter that they they seem that the plot things that happen seem to come naturally out of the situation. And end even though the monsters are consistent in what they do, you know, they don't change the rules. They don't suddenly become indestructible or anything like that.
Dave Bullis 14:39
And one other comment I want to give you too is the way that you constructed this was sound. Because you only mean like in the beginning when Earl and I forget Kevin Bacon's character. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. About Earl Val when they're looking for, you know, the doctor. There's, you know, they're not yelling his name. They're just sort of walking around and you can really, you know, they're hearing the planks walk, you hear the bucket kick, and you're you know, and then you know, Val says, We know, where's that music coming from? You know what I mean? And you know, and it just, it always asks for that sound. And then when you have Chang's drugstore, you have that, that that refrigerator that's always makes that noise. And then that causes, you know, further conflict. I mean, that's really, really good writing and using that audio for filmmaking.
S.S Wilson 15:24
Oh, yeah, sound was, well, we knew sound was gonna be critical. We were a low budget movie. And we that's why we, that's part of the reason we picked underground monster. That was one of the ideas that we decided to develop. We thought, oh, hell and underground, most of the time, we'll never see them. Heaven knows we had endless problems, even even though we in theory weren't seeing them. But we knew that sound was going to be critical. We had great sound people. And it was, you know, years ago, people have asked me, you know, what, what is the bass sound of a Graboid? I'm sadly I don't know. And I have lost track of the people who invented that sound.
Dave Bullis 16:01
You know, because for everyone that's seen the movie, you know, that that sound that they make, you know, and it's, you know, it just all ties in very well together and everyone I'm gonna link to tremors in the show notes to buy off Amazon or BestBuy? Because it's right. It's totally recommended watching. I remember seeing tremors years ago, Steve, and it just blew me away. But But see, and I didn't know what I was watching. Because I know now, you know, I've studied filmmakers, I've studied this when I go back. Now I can I can sort of go through with a surgeon's scalpel. And I can pick out all this stuff. Oh, this is why I found this so fascinating. You know what I mean? And this is why I found it so entertaining. And then I get to talk to the guy who wrote it and made it so. So now you could tell me how wrong I am. No, I'm just kidding. But no, no, it's just, you know, it's just it's a phenomenal film. And that's why I'm so glad you know that, you know, I got to see the franchise, you know, the me like tremors two times three. You know, I know you guys you did for as well. And you also did the TV series. And it was always great to see you know, this sort of franchise expand. And you know, because, you know, I always talk to you know, my friends I always say, you know, some franchises, you know, they they sort of go this way some go that way. You know, I mean, finally 13th Nightmare on Elm Street, but tremors always sort of kept it in perfection one way or another because it was always you know what I mean? There was always a sort of reason why that, you know, you know, like like tremors three, when it's called back to perfection, right. And that's where Melvin's creating that whole town. Right? And that leads into a whole TV series, but it's just stuff like that, you know what I mean? That's it's all comes organically
S.S Wilson 17:37
Yeah, it was very important to us to make the world consistent. And it wasn't easy. You know, we never expected even to do tremors to that came along years later. Only because of the success of VHS you know, tremors one was not a huge hit. I mean, you know, kind of big and review, viewed it as a flop and he absolutely disowned it for many, many years. And it wasn't a flop per se but it but it did not do nearly what the studio hoped it would do. And, and they were disappointed. And so we were floored. And we got this call from video department who said hey, what about tremors too? What about it? They said we want it? What? So and we all had to sit down because we were busy doing all kinds of other stuff at that point in our careers. And God, can we come up with a tremors too. And then you know, then we said, Well, alright, we cliche is there's a queen Graboid. And we all went okay, no way we're doing a queen grip. We're not going to do it. And what do we do instead of that? Then finally, I guess. I'm gonna say it was me. I think it was me. I was driving along in the desert as I often am. And I said, I wonder if they just turned into something small. How weird would that be? And then we ran with that idea.
Dave Bullis 18:50
Yeah, and I remember seeing that too, because that's when they were actually walking on land. I forget the name that that in the movie that that the character is given to a Shriekers That's right. Yeah. And then because it's the third that they're called as plasters. Right?
S.S Wilson 19:04
Well, that's the third incarnation that gave us that told us where to go with the third one we thought okay, well, they'll change into a third form. And then at the time again, it was really important to us to keep the characters consistent the rules consistent other than but but still come up with surprises. You still can't You can't just do the same thing over and over. So that's how we came up with the S blasters. And I in fact, the effects guys, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis of amalgamated dynamics are the ones who came up with as plasters because they were were just as invested in we were in protecting their monsters and making them consistent. And they have a wonderful design approach. It's very real world based in volumes and volumes of books about animals and creatures and skin textures. And they literally came in one day said, Hey, are you aware of the bombardier beetle? And we're like, No, we're not. They said that's a beetle that mixes chemicals in its butt and makes us sound like a firecracker.
Alex Ferrari 20:00
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S.S Wilson 20:10
That's a real thing. Absolutely. We think that's what asked blasters should do it. We're like, we're totally on board with that. Something else I was gonna say Oh, yes. And then we got thrown occurred by Universal because they said okay tremors through definitely be the last one. There will definitely not be anymore we understand our market perfectly. And we know exactly how the DVD world works. And this is it. So we said okay, we'll wrap it up. That will be that's cool. We'll say that this was the last form that creatures take boom, the end goodbye perfection. And almost immediately was, well, we we did really much better than we thought we must have tremors for
Dave Bullis 20:52
Yeah, cuz I, you know, I actually sold tremors for. And I actually was kind of shocked because I thought, because I was like, Oh, well, I didn't know they made another one. And you know what? This is funny. Steve here, you know, as you can kind of tell I'm a movie buff. I didn't even know you did a TV series. I actually didn't know you did a TV series until last year?
S.S Wilson 21:11
Well, it's easy to do. I mean, there's so much material now. That's stuff that I don't know. I mean, the stuff that's being you know, I'm probably not even up on half of Netflix's shows and all this stuff. But anyway, I don't blame you.
Dave Bullis 21:25
Because, you know, I'm such a movie head. And I'm always, you know, looking for different stuff. And I said they did a terminus TV series before I said, Wow, I didn't notice that. So I actually I actually bought it offline. And I actually went through and I was like, oh, okay, so it sets up. It's, you know, it's three in the TV series. And then four is a prequel. Yeah. You know, I have to ask, you know, when you make these travel movies, Michael Gross. Seems like the coolest guy in the world. Is he? Is he the coolest guy in the world? Because I mean, he just seems like he would just be an awesome guy to hang out with.
S.S Wilson 21:57
Yes, he's just a wonderful, funny intellectual, not full of himself. actor. He's very. He's great on the set, you know, at understanding, you know, who has the scene, you know, he's not trying to steal other people's lines or anything. He's an actor's actor and and he's so he's become, you know, he became Bert. He took over Burke, you know, from us. And, and he would always on tremors, two and three and four, even though he wasn't playing Burt. He would, he would always come to the set with little pencil, delicately penciled lines in the script, and then he wouldn't sit down and then we'd sit down with us before we went he said, Okay, I got this idea for a change here and change here. And then we can go back and forth. It was well if you say that, then we won't know this. So you're right. Nevermind, nevermind. But a lot of times, you know, especially with a bird character, he's he defends the character. And any any loves it. I thought at some point, I thought he was gonna get tired of it. But I always like to tell this quick story of, you know, he was a huge television star when he did tremors one, he had just finished years and years on family ties, playing a guy who could not be more different from Bert. And they asked us to read him because he was a big television star. And they felt like that would help the movie. And we went read the Father on family ties. Okay, we'll do it because they want us to do it. Like blew us away. You know, he came in, because he's an actor. And he completely just ran tells us that he was actually jumping up on his desk at one point being showing how afraid he was of the monster underground. Anyway, then, some years later, Michael told me the story of walking down the street in New York and getting that look that fans get when they start to recognize you. And the guy who was walking toward him and he sees the look, he knows the fans gonna say it. And then the fan says you're that crazy gun guy. And Michael said, Yes, I finally escaped family ties.
Dave Bullis 24:07
I thought you're gonna say oh, yeah, I was the dental family ties, guy. Yeah, you know, it's funny because I introduced a friend of mine to tremors. And he actually goes, Wait a minute, that's a dad from family. And I said, Yes, he's with the Heaton family. And I'm sorry, Keaton. And I said, Yeah, you know, and he goes, Wow, he goes, this is a different role for him. And I said, Yeah, and I said he fits it like a glove. Because one of my favorite shots of the whole movie is where Reba McIntyre and Michael Gross are in their underground bunker, and the wall starts to shake, and they see the Graboid come through, and they start to fire those rifles, those bolt action rifles, and they're out of ammo very quickly, and the camera just pans over to the wall of guns. They literally just are pulling guns off the wall. And I mean, it's it's so again, oh, Organic characters, and that fits so well because I would actually be disappointed Steve, if they did not have a wall of guns.
S.S Wilson 25:06
Oh, that was a key moment in the movie. And it was great at the premieres. And at the test screenings, you know, the audience would, they would laugh through the next all the way through the next scene.
Dave Bullis 25:20
And, you know, it was, you know, a phenomenon tremors is definitely one of my favorite movies. And I think, you know, when I, when I go back to, you know, writing, writing my own stuff, you know, I always like to dissect movies, and I've, well, I've watched, you know, and I like to dissect movies that I've really liked. And, you know, and now because this podcasts get to talk to people who've written great stuff that I like, so you know, it's just, it's, you know, it's just great being able to talk to you, Steve, and, you know, finding out these little entrance anxious cities. I think I just butchered that word, by the way. But, but, but you know, and I want to ask you, though, Steve, you have such a great career, you know, you did short circuit Batteries not included, short circuit to tremors as we all just talked about. I did go, Stan, you know, is there any sort of writing advice you could give to anyone listening? Who's writing a screenplay right now?
S.S Wilson 26:07
Well, if you like our style, and that's step number one, if you liked the movies, we've done, then do what you're doing. First of all, analyze the Stuff You Like, that's a lot of, you know, pros, if we'll call ourselves that, would say that, because you won't be copying the stuff that you like, you'll be learning from it. You know, you obviously understand setups and payoffs, for example, it's a big thing for me in print. setting something up early in the movie having a payoff later in surprising way. Those are hard to do. It's hard to do those correctly. And without cheating. And a lot of times you see movies cheap. I feel a little at odds with kind of the current moviemaking steam giving anybody advice, because film after film, that has no plot and makes no sense is wildly successful. And I've begun to wonder, you know, I rail at this and I go, Oh, my day and blah, blah, blah. And yet, you know, at this is three years now I've been seeing this, I've started to think, well, the audience has really changed the I think the younger audience maybe does not care as much about what I think is important in storytelling. And they truly do enjoy these movies. You know, part of me says, well, they don't really enjoy them. It's just that's the only that's the only thing they you know, that's the only thing on this weekend. So they go I'm less than less sure of that. But anyway, I would say analyze the stuff you like, whatever it is, you know, if it's ordinary people analyze that. And, and write a lot, by the way, you'll hear this too from other people. Don't get hung up on your one script. Brett and I did this early on, we would write a script and go over and over and over and over. And then we looked at one of those early scripts. This is like four or five scripts before short circuit, you know? Well, it wasn't very good. And none of the versions we did prepare just wasn't very good. You got to you got to move on. Right, something, get it done. Say goodbye to it. Right, something else. If you're if you're a writer, you have plenty of ideas. And the worst worst case is you find out well maybe I don't like it. You know, you do four or five scripts. I don't like this, that's fine, too. But right a lot. Don't get hung up on one thing and you don't beat it to death. You know, push yourself to, to a degree you look outside your comfort zone. Although I do think that, you know, if you like emotional. What's the Julianne Moore pictures you just did? Where she was a lady with Alzheimer's? I can't think of I'm I can't remember the name of it. That's a very emotional picture that I would never try to run. Right. But maybe, you know, other people would they would say that's exactly the kind of movie I wanted to study those. And write a lot. I already said what I'm gonna say.
Dave Bullis 29:07
You know, that's great advice. You know, Steve, I, you know, just going through and analyzing your movies that you like, and why you like those. And like, for instance, I had Victor Miller on here. And Victor Miller wrote Friday the 13th part one, by the way, which also starred Kevin Bacon, by the way. Wow. Yes. Yes. Small world, right. So, you know, and we were talking about, you know, how do you, you know, how do you break it down? And Victor said, listen, he goes, I've been doing this for 30 years now, whatever. He said, I'm still always looking for different ways of writing and telling a story. He goes so. And he said to me that, you know, he's always looking for a different method, something to sort of crack the story, or another way to write.
Alex Ferrari 29:51
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Dave Bullis 30:00
And, you know, it's just, it's just very reassuring and uninsured at the same time to hear veterans like you and him. You know, just talk about screenwriting and always say, you know, that even with hits because tremor, you mean because again you have you've had tremors, you've had, you know, short circuit and you know even and he's, you know had Friday 13th part one, he's had a few Emmy award winning pieces. And it's still it's again, it's reassuring, and it's it's a little worrisome to hear that, you know, there's always they still don't have it all figured out. Oh, you I mean, oh, we even have to these hits
S.S Wilson 30:32
Every script. Yes, every script has its own life, that it takes on its own problems that it throws at you and you suddenly find yourself going. Why did I even like this idea? I feel so trapped now. And, you know, sometimes you're beating your head against the wall. But but you know, that's that's the great thing. It is a creative process. That yeah, they do. They do. Each one is different with Brett and I are doing one right now. As a matter of fact, that is that is very different than anything we've ever done. Ron challenged us. He said, You know what I would really like to do another low budget movie. Ron has begun television right now he's directed every TV show you've ever heard of. And he goes from show to show to show and he said you know, it'd be fun to do another low budget movie like we did tremors Why don't you guys write a sci fi movie with no special effects? And we went really wrong. And then we thought about we sat down. And so we actually have come up with an idea. We're about I don't know, halfway through the process. Now our anguishing process. It was really hard. I mean, we just you know, because we just, we just had to throw out idea after idea after idea until we came up with this idea. And I don't want to talk about but anyway, yes. Good. Good note. Yes. Good. Writers are always questioning what they're doing. And always, a lot of times, I think, calendaring quietly in their dark corners.
Dave Bullis 31:50
And you know, I'm not even a professional writer yet, Steven, but I often feel that way. View, I always feel like what the hell did I start? Yeah. But it's funny, I actually pitched an idea one time, and the producer hated it. Right? And he came back to me later on, and he goes, you know, what, go back. And this is late months later, and he was already working on something else. But he goes, you know, what, I was driving down the doubt down this, this interstate, and he goes, you know, and all of a sudden, they couldn't stop thinking about your script idea. And I started laughing to myself, and he goes, you know, is a lot better than I thought it was, like I said, see? It's always those rose colored glasses,
S.S Wilson 32:28
A rare producer. That's great.
Dave Bullis 32:30
Yeah. But but you know, Steve, you know, we've been talking for about 30 minutes now. And I just want to ask you, in closing, is there anything that you know, we we didn't get a chance to discuss that you wanted to? Or is there any sort of thing you want to say, sort of put a period in this whole conversation? Oh,
S.S Wilson 32:50
I'm writing novels. Now. I'd like to mention that to plug them. Among the other things I'm trying to do. But but as far as was anything else? Advice wise? I would say nothing springs to mind. I'm much better the questions.
Dave Bullis 33:14
We'll find you out online.
S.S Wilson 33:16
Oh, well, stampede. Entertainment maintains a website. No, and we always have hopes that we will sell something of our own and ramp up into production. Stampede belief in entertainment.com. And then I'm on Facebook, of course, as SS Wilson. And then the books are available at Amazon Tucker's monster Friday's free cats.
Dave Bullis 33:43
And I will link to all that in the show notes. Everyone. My pleasure.
S.S Wilson 33:47
Impressive list of podcasts by the way, there's like 150 of them or something.
Dave Bullis 33:55
Yeah, like 127 or eight? Now..
S.S Wilson 33:57
I overstated a little bit, but I was quite impressed. I went to your site. And I listened to a few things, of course, before I agreed to do this. And so I was impressed with your, with your polished approach.
Dave Bullis 34:09
Well, thank you. I've actually been proud of that. Because I had somebody, I won't say who but they came on and they said, Dave, thank you for not being that guy. And I said, What do you mean, they said, you know, they said, like, there's so many people have podcasts now. And they said, you know, there's sort of like in their mom's basement and they they get people on the podcast, and they can just like sort of like, be malicious. You know what I mean? And it's just like, Oh, so you made a movie? And I'm like, No, I would never be that guy. I hate people like because I actually Steve real quick. I was on a podcast with a friend of mine. And he asked me to be on his podcast. So I went to his house, which by the way, we went to his mom's basement to record this. And then he started going like, Oh, so you made a TV pilot and pitched it to NBC. Hmm. And I said, Yeah, what is that is that bad? And he's like, Well, I didn't do it. This is the podcast, by the way, and he's like, who couldn't remove me to watch a clip? I said, Oh, I said, Yeah, I was like, and, and honestly, Steve, I'm pretty good at thinking on my feet. So what I did was I started, you know, I was like, if I started insulting you right now, dude. I said, believe me, I said you would cut this all out. And then finally he started to like, ease up a little bit after we exchanged a little words, but But yeah, I never would would it would bring somebody on just to insult them. And I thank God that I've never had one bad podcast. I've never had anybody had bad feelings. Everything's always been great. So I'm proud of that
S.S Wilson 35:32
Good well, you should be that's that's good to hear. I'm forewarned. I haven't had that experience.
Dave Bullis 35:39
So I can put you Yeah, give you that warning. I'll be like the harbinger of hair of heart. You know what I mean? Like always warning you about things that are coming, kind of like old Fred and tremors. But he was he didn't tell them he just he's put his dead body showed them. Steve, I want to say thank you very much for coming on the podcast, sir. And please stay in touch with me anything. Let me My pleasure.
S.S Wilson 35:58
Alex Ferrari 36:03
I want to thank Dave so much for doing such a great job on this episode. If you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, head over to the show notes at bulletproofscreenwriting.tv/290. Thank you so much for listening, guys. As always, keep on writing no matter what. I'll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the bulletproof screenwriting podcast at bulletproof screenwriting.tv
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