BPS 090: How to Write a Successful Horror Franchise with Final Destination’s Jeffrey Reddick

Today on the show we have screenwriter and director Jeffrey Reddick, who is best known for creating the highly successful Final Destination horror film franchise. The franchise has grossed over $650 Million world-wide. Not bad for an idea that was first conceived for an X-Files episode.

Jeffrey also co-wrote the story for, and executive produced, Final Destination 2 (2003). Jeffrey made his first connection to the film industry at age 14 when he wrote a prequel to Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) and mailed it to Bob Shaye, the President of New Line Cinema. Bob returned the material for being unsolicited. But the young man wrote Bob an aggressive reply, which won him over.

Bob read the treatment and got back to Jeffrey. Bob, and his assistant, Joy Mann, stayed in contact with Jeffrey for over five years. When he went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age 19, Bob offered him an internship at New Line Cinema. This internship turned into an 11-year stint at the studio.

Aside from Final Destination (2000), which spawned four successful sequels, Jeffrey’s other credits include Lions Gate’s thriller, Tamara (2005), and the remake of George Romero’s classic, Day of the Dead (2008). Jeffrey’s directorial debut is Don’t Look Back.

When a young woman overcoming her traumatic past is among several witnesses who see a man fatally assaulted and don’t intervene, they find themselves targeted by someone, or something, out for revenge.

Jeffrey has had an amazing career so far and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Enjoy my spooky conversation with Jeffrey Reddick.

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Alex Ferrari 0:52
I'd like to welcome to the show the legendary Jeffrey Redick, how are you doing Jeffrey?

Jeffrey Reddick 3:43
I'm doing well. How you doing? Brother?

Alex Ferrari 3:44
I'm good man. I'm good, man. It's as good as we can be in this horror script of a year.

Jeffrey Reddick 3:52
I know. I know. It's just like when you think you hit the final act, killers dead killer pops back up again. And it's like,

Alex Ferrari 3:59
I mean, like I was talking to another guest the other day about is like this is so on the nose. Like, you know, studio would produce the script of 2020 it's just too It doesn't even make sense.

Jeffrey Reddick 4:11
Yeah, absolutely. No, it's been. It has been like, you know, you try to stay stay grateful and you try to stay positive about stuff but you can't not take in the fact that like the world is like suffering through something really. Absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 4:26
Absolutely. And getting getting crazier and get it getting crazier but but we as filmmakers and screenwriters are insane enough to go yes, I know the world is burning. But how do I get my my screenplay produced? I need the budget for my film.

Jeffrey Reddick 4:44
We can still make this movie we can do it safely.

Alex Ferrari 4:48
This insanity of the psychosis of a filmmaker or screenwriters you're just like how do I get this movie made this crazy this is that I imagined there filmmakers in the Mad Max world and I know we have no gasoline, or cameras, but we got to shoot something.

Jeffrey Reddick 5:05
Yeah, I would say no starting an only fans page, not not doing the stuff that they normally do on there, but just only just me typing just to somebody. I'm sure there are some people out there that will be like, Oh, that's so relaxing to watch every type all day. Just pay me a couple of bucks a month.

Alex Ferrari 5:23
You could just walk why, exactly. It's the it's the new generation of the burning log or the fish tank video. Yes. So Jeffrey, how did you get into the business?

Jeffrey Reddick 5:37
Um, how I, how I got in business is a pretty funny story. It all started when I was 14. And I was a, you know, 14 year old hillbilly living in eastern Kentucky. And I saw this movie A Nightmare on Elm Street that blew my mind. It's still my favorite movie ever. And I went home and I banged out a prequel on my little typewriter. And I found out who owned new lines in it, who ran New Line Cinema, Bob Shea. And I got the address. And I mailed it to him. And he sent it back to me. And he's like, you know, we don't take unsolicited material. Thanks for sending your thing. So I had to look up unsolicited because I'm 14. I didn't know what that meant. And then I wrote him back. I sent it back to him. Because I was kind of perturbed. I was like, Look, sir, I've seen three of your movies. And I spent $3 on your work. So I think you can take five minutes to read my story. And he actually read it.

Alex Ferrari 6:29
But this is so what yours is so we're talking like at this was at five. So this is the time that you could actually call up Bob Shea's office, get a receptionist or get her his assistant and actually maybe possibly get through.

Jeffrey Reddick 6:44
Why didn't get through to him on the phone, but I okay, yeah, I got it,

Alex Ferrari 6:47
but even get through them, period.

Jeffrey Reddick 6:50
Yeah, I think but then I wrote the letter. And and, you know, once I wrote that second letter, he wrote me back and he's like, thank you for your aggressive introduction. And he read the story. And he was very constructive. And basically his assistant joy man who was a wonderful woman, she's not with us any longer. She her and Bob kind of took me under their wing from afar. And so they would send me scripts, and movie posters and just things that, you know, a 14 year old kid in Kentucky like flips out over. And they stayed in touch with me till I was 19. And I went to college in Kentucky at this great University College called Berea College. And I went to New York for study for a summer program to study acting, and Bob and Joyce said, Well, how do you want to intern at new line? I'm like, Are you kidding me? Of course I do. And I got an agent and decided to stay in New York. And you know, my internship turned into a position at new line. And I ended up working there for 11 years, and they ended up you know, producing final destination. So

Alex Ferrari 7:46
that little thing yeah, that little little film that you liked what you just dropped that into? Yeah, that's the final destination. Well, one of the more successful horror franchises in history. Now, how did you get well, first of all, how did you come up with the idea for final destination?

Jeffrey Reddick 8:05
The, the colonel for the idea came when I was I was flying home to get a lot of stuff was as Kentucky base, I was flying home to Kentucky, and I read an article about a woman who was on vacation. And her mother called her and said, don't take the flight you're on tomorrow, I have a bad feeling about it. And so she changed flights. And then the story, they said the flights that she was supposed to be on crashed. So that put the idea in my head, but I didn't know the story to go with the idea. And then, you know, years later, I was trying to get an agent for writing. And so I had to write a spec script for something that was on TV. And I loved the X Files. So I use that idea is a setup for an X Files episode. And I got the agent. And then my friends and newline were like, this is a great idea. Like don't, you know, don't send the script in, like for an X Files episode, like make it a feature. So I ended up writing a treatment, you know, because back in the day, you could sell treatments for her projects are no pitch or a pitch. Yeah, you can do that back then. And now it's like, hey, pitches the story and tell us who your star is.

Alex Ferrari 9:04
And you have and you have 50% of the financing in place already. And you have distribution in place.

Jeffrey Reddick 9:07
Yeah, it's like, yeah, the business is, is changed so much. But But you know, I one of my friends, Chris bender that worked at New Line had just started working for Craig Perry and Warren Zeid, who were producers that had to deal at new line and I knew that even though I worked at new line, and I had a straight kind of pipeline to the creative team, I knew that it would give me more juice if I had producers on board because they would just take it more seriously. But it was a hard Honestly, it was a hard sell. Like they were like we don't get death being the killer. Like you can't see it. You can't fight it. And we're like, that's the point. And so it wasn't until we threatened to take it to Miramax or like we'll buy it. All right, well buy it. It will take a chance on it.

Alex Ferrari 9:54
No, it's a great it's a it's a great idea. It is such a you know in your And you're right. I can only imagine back then, because there was like you had Jason, you had Freddy, you had Michael Myers, you had Chucky and all these, like, you could put that on the poster, you can't put death that has no figure on the poster. So it must be it must have been a difficult sell for the marketing team.

Jeffrey Reddick 10:19
It was and I think they did a great job with Oh, yeah. But, you know, the whole reason that we, you know, the whole reason that I, I want, and I'm glad that when James Wong and Morgan came on, they fought to make sure that that that death never had a forum, and they came up with some some other amazing thing, like the whole Rube Goldberg aspect of it. But the reason that I wanted to not give death a form is because I wanted it to be as universal as possible. And if you put like, if you put like a Western kind of Christian version of death, you know, like Grim Reaper with sickle or something like that, then then it doesn't appeal to people who either are have different religious beliefs or spiritual beliefs or don't have spiritual beliefs. So I thought it was very important to not do that. And, and I think that's why it's been as successful as it has been.

Alex Ferrari 11:05
Yeah, it travels very well around the world, because everybody has death in their culture, that is something that concept is in every culture, the figure of it is different from culture to culture, right. But that's it. You can project they can project their own version of what death is on to the movie, which is fantastic. And I remember the trailers of that film. They just as the sequels kept coming, they kept focusing more and more on the deaths. Like that was like, that was the selling point. Like, what is the craziest way we could kill? So?

Jeffrey Reddick 11:38
Yes.

Alex Ferrari 11:41
That became the the hook I guess, as as these kept going, how many? There was five? Right?

Jeffrey Reddick 11:47
Yeah, there have been five of them. And there will be a sixth one. There. It was definitely in the works before COVID hit and now COVID just kind of put the brakes.

Alex Ferrari 11:56
Are they? Are they good? Are they going to kind of reboot the whole thing? Are they going to just make a straight up sequel? Or you don't know? You can't tell?

Jeffrey Reddick 12:03
I don't Yeah, I mean, I don't. I don't know if reboot. I think reboot is too strong of a word. Um, you know, because it's the final destination, you know, films have their formula, you know, a big set piece at the beginning and then death comes after people. So I don't know if reboots the right word, because that that intimate,

Alex Ferrari 12:23
but bring a new generation, I guess. I mean, but but every but every cast was like you didn't have one cast member that ran through the whole thing.

Jeffrey Reddick 12:30
Did you remember Tony Todd is the is the recurring has been the recurring character and Ali Larter was in the right and second one. Yeah, Tony Todd's been, you know, he hasn't been in every single one of them. But he's been in like, a lot. Yeah. Yeah, he should be in every one of them. There are a few where they can put him in there. And they they they got they got the message that people love Tony Todd. And

Alex Ferrari 12:54
now I do remember when you and I originally met 10 years ago on a panel here in LA, a horror film panel. And I remember you saying on the panel that like, Look, I they can make as many of these as they want. Because every single time they make one I get a check. So yeah, I know. residuals, residuals

Jeffrey Reddick 13:16
know what that sounds like. Good. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds better on a panel. There are people there, then I sound like a douchebag.

Alex Ferrari 13:25
No, no, no, and I don't even I don't mean to make you sound like that. I completely. And I know that and I listen, I look, I know a lot of I've had a lot of screenwriters on board that like they work on a few of the first ones. And then I had the guy who did Air Bud, who created air bug. And they made 12 of those films. He was only involved in the first two or three but every single time they make a new one, he gets a residual check. So that's nothing to be ashamed of as a screenwriter. Well,

Jeffrey Reddick 13:56
I know when it will even as a horror fan, though, it's like I want there to be yes, the money is nice, but I want there to be more because I can't think of any other franchise that's been this successful. And they've only made five of them in 20 years, like every other. There have been like 20 Halloweens and 20 Friday you know there have been like even you know even nightmare downstream there have been like it's like come on, make some more because the fans want it and I need to get some new shoes.

Alex Ferrari 14:27
As we were saying residual checks are nice. They're very very nice. Now how did I wonder I always like to ask this of a screenwriter who has a hit because when Final Destination came out it was a fairly large hit for for the but it was a fairly small budget to I'm imagine it wasn't a huge budget.

Jeffrey Reddick 14:44
No, that was that one. I have to say they It was 20 million which is actually big for a horror movie back then. Big Four horror film. Um, but yeah, it was a it was a big hit. sleeper hit it opened it like number three or four and then the next week it went up and then the next weekend. Number one, so it was definitely a word of mouth hit two, which was nice to see happen. And that rarely ever happens. Especially with horror. Yeah, usually they open big and then they drop. Right, exactly.

Alex Ferrari 15:10
So I always like to ask screenwriters who had that kind of success? How did the trap the town treat you? What was the experience of being in the final destination? hurricane, if you will?

Jeffrey Reddick 15:22
Well, the funny thing is I, I missed the hurricane because I was in New York. So I worked out of the New York office of new line. So I wasn't in LA, we're kind of all the, you know, the hurricane like action happens. So I was, I was aware of how well it did. But I was in a different world. And so I stayed at new line because I, I just loved the company so much. I'm just one of those people, you know, creatures of habit that gets very comfortable. I actually stayed at New Line, until I sold the sequel, the story for the sequel, in 2000, in 2000, and then finally, my bosses were like, you know, everybody knew I was like, we love you to death, Jeffrey, but you sold two movies. Now it's time, it's time to

Alex Ferrari 16:09
go out into the world, Jeffrey, it's okay. Like they were pushing you out of the nest,

Jeffrey Reddick 16:14
out of the nest. And, but I was happy in New York. So I was going to stay in New York. But unfortunately, you know, 911 happened. And I lived in Battery Park City, which is not far from the World Trade Center. So once that happened, I then I decided to move out to LA. So you know, typically, when something like that happens, even when you sell a project, you kind of, you know, looking back, you kind of you know, you move to LA immediately, you milk that movie as much as you can till it comes down. And if it's hit, you're out here, but I kind of missed all all of that stuff. So by the time I got out here, it was funny because people, my agent, you know, I got an agent, he pretty much had to introduce me to the town. Because, you know, James Wong, Lynn Morgan, who, you know, co wrote the movie and also directed it, you know, they were out here in the hurricane. So people didn't really know who I was until I actually got out here. And then they read my script. And they're like, Oh, I'm like, Well, my name is all over the poster. But they don't you know, it's a town where if you're not sitting in a room with somebody, they don't actually go and look at a movie poster in the credits.

Alex Ferrari 17:19
Yeah, out of sight, out of mind,

Jeffrey Reddick 17:20
basically, out of sight out of mind. So, so I missed the craziness of the hurricane, which I think was probably a good thing. For me, just as a person, because I think if I got out here, I may have got sucked into like, just the world of craziness that I wasn't prepared for I I got sober like 15 years ago. So I think if you know, and mine was my my advice was drinking and it was, you know, just wasn't anything like super crazy. It was just kind of more like, sitting at home being sad, drunk and not being happy. So I think if I had been out here, in that celebratory party kind of scene, healthy. I think it would have been very unhealthy for me. So I think it was a it was probably, you know, God looking out for me in that that that way. But um, it's funny now kind of, you know, as the years go by, though, seeing how much of an impact the movie has had, like, you know, when I hear somebody say, this is a final destination moment, like, even when I'm not around, like, they don't know that I'm involved with it at all. I'll just be out in public and somebody's like, Oh, it's like, final destination. And it's like, holy shit. Like, this is like part of the culture now like,

Alex Ferrari 18:31
Oh, it's in the it's in this guy. So yeah, it's it's definitely transcended, like, I mean, I'd argue kind of like a Freddy or a Jason or a Chucky or Michael, but in its own its own very unique space. I mean, you have a final destination is a very unique niche within the horror genre, because there is no killer. Yes. Visual killer. It's a very, you know, very, very unique in that has more than one movie. It has five movies, you know, so that it's in itself, and I guess they kept being successful because it kept making them.

Jeffrey Reddick 19:07
Yeah, absolutely. You know, and it's, you know, it's, it's just as somebody who's been a horror fan my whole life. It's been, it's been very gratifying, you know, it's but it's also a dragon that you're chasing, you know, you find yourself chasing that dragon dragon. Something's like, Well, why don't you bring to something like Final Destination? And I'm like, What? idea and they're like, Oh, that's too much like final destination. Well, that was not enough like final destination.

Alex Ferrari 19:28
So that is something that is something that's real because a lot of filmmakers and screenwriters don't realize that but when you're you're a hit in town for something. That's the box you get put into and you a lot of times have to fight your way out of that box. I know. I know, for a fact that Wes Craven, one of the greatest horror directors of all time, I knew his personal assistant. That was his personal system for many years and he was dying to get out of he wanted to do something different. He'd been doing horror for such a long time. And that movie music The heart which was called 500 violins. The only reason he got that was because they wanted scream to He's like, what do you want me to do scream to Harvey? I need Give me the budget to make. Yeah, to make this. And that's how he got it. But he was I felt that he was, from what I understood. He was frustrated that he was only able to do horror. I know he wanted to venture out as an artist. Yeah, and that happens, doesn't it?

Jeffrey Reddick 20:27
Yeah, they it's it's it's it since I love horror. It's I don't mind being in that box as far as writing goes. But yeah, the idea that it's like, we need you to bring us something like, final destination, that unique thing that you created. But then we didn't actually we were very concerned about it because it was unique until it became a hit. It's just a hard place to be in but you know, I The good thing is I find myself like branching out a little bit like right now I'm working on two animated series for the car for Netflix. You know, in their, their their kid animated series, and one of them has some creepy, fairy tale dark fairy tale elements and the other ones like a spin off of the saga Yojimbo, the Japanese comic. So that's like Samurai rabbits, you know, and it's so much fun to do it. So I'm finding myself Finally, branching out a little bit, but I always will come back to genre like I love this genre so much that

Alex Ferrari 21:22
well, if you love it, you love it. But you but you also want to break out from like, I don't want to write another final destination. I did that. Let's, let's move on.

Jeffrey Reddick 21:29
Let's do something else.

Alex Ferrari 21:31
Now, were you involved with the sequels? I know you were involved with a second sequel? Did you? Were you involved with the other sequels at all?

Jeffrey Reddick 21:37
No, not not not physically involved. I mean, I I'm very good friends with a producer Craig Perry. So, you know, he'll call me up and a lot of times and bounce ideas off of me and let me know what's going on. So I definitely kind of know what's going on with the franchise. And it's, it's actually been fun to see. Other people kind of come in and put their their mark on the brand. I mean, the first one, it's always been this almost incestuous circle with the first four. It's like, you know, I worked on the first one in the second one and James Wong and Glen Morgan worked on the first one and the third one, Eric brass, and Jay maca. Gruber worked on the second one, and then Eric rested the fourth one. And then we brought in somebody due for the fifth one. And it was like, you know, I love the fifth one. But it's just fun to see, like other people kind of come in and take that concept and put their spin on it.

Alex Ferrari 22:21
Right? I'm imagining what the George Lucas feels like with what they've been doing with Mandalorian. And, and all the other cool films and stuff that they're doing with his his baby that he had put out so many years ago? Yeah.

Jeffrey Reddick 22:38
I think it all depends probably on personalities. Like if I like I'm not sure like that, cuz I know some people get very protective and precious of their work. But you know, I think that's part of working at a studio, what that helped me kind of separate my ego from a lot of that stuff. Because I realized, like, you know, once you write a movie and somebody else buys it, you're kind of handing it over to other people. So you just hope to create a good enough relationship with those people that you can have some say and how they execute it. But again, it's a quality problem. It's a quality problem to have if you have other people doing sequels to your stuff. So I definitely don't complain about

Alex Ferrari 23:15
writing first world problems. As I say it's first world problems. Now, you are such a fan and a student of the genre of horror films, what makes a good horror screenplay?

Jeffrey Reddick 23:28
I mean, I think for me, it it all, it starts with the basics of, you know, having relatable characters. I think if you make me fall in love with these characters and care about them, then I will follow the journey wherever it takes me. Sometimes scripts go off into bizarre directions, but if it's grounded in characters that I can really relate to and care about. That's always the most important thing for me. I do think, you know, for horror, you know, you want to, you know, you want to have some kind of hook that can bring people into the story, some kind of concept that doesn't feel like we're reading the same story of, you know, a family moves into a house and, you know, something horrible happened there. And now a ghost is like haunting them. It's like, we've seen that so many times, it's like, you do want something that we haven't seen 100 times unless you're putting a very unique spin on it. scares and suspense are obviously important. And if you're doing a straight up horror film, obviously, the kills in the set pieces are important too. If you're doing a movie, because you you, you're also you're writing something for for people, but you're making it for an audience out there. So there's certain things that the audience expects in a horror film. So you either want to deliver on those expectations or subvert them in a cool way.

Alex Ferrari 24:47
So very cool. Now, what are the biggest problems you see with horror protagonists? Because, you know, it's almost a cliche. You're like, why are you doing like you're yelling at the screen. Don't go in there. The Killers in their The what? What is the biggest problem you see with protagonists in horror films in general?

Jeffrey Reddick 25:06
I think that you pretty much ended on the head. I mean, I think a lot of movies require and you know, and I'm sure, like, there, there are movies that I've written where this happens to. But you know, when you require, because the thing is audiences, I read this somewhere where a psychologist said that that film audiences always think that they're braver and smarter than the people on screen. So like, you know, when a character wouldn't do something in the film, they're not, they're like, well, if I was there, I'd have jumped on that killers back and done it. But the worst thing you can do is have like, an I've seen so many good movies just get undermined by this, where they just have the main characters, stay in a location when any rational person, right have left and do stupid things that any rational person wouldn't do. So if you have a character that keeps making bad choices, just to keep the story going, that's the biggest mistake I see are I wrote somebody scripts where it's like, you know, this is the city, this is any good movie talking. This is like a human being like, I cannot think of any person, no matter how tough they are, that would stay here after what they just saw. Right? You know, like, you know, I read a script recently, where, you know, a person gets invited to like, some mysterious party and doesn't know who invited them and walks in, and there's like, some weird orgy going on. And, you know, she backs up into some strange guy. And he's like, Oh, don't worry about that. Follow me, I'll show you what's where the host is. And I'm like, Oh, this would be gone at that point. You know, she's, she was horrified by the origin wasn't like she saw the orgy was like, that looks fun. She was like, horrified. And so who's gonna follow some strange man, you know? So when I see stuff, like when I read stuff like that in scripts, especially when that happens over and over again, I think that's the biggest mistake I see in horror films is making your characters continually do silly things just to keep the story going. Well, when

Alex Ferrari 27:00
I when I was thinking, thinking of three films, specifically that are horror films that are so good, that they transcend the genre, almost, which is Jaws, Exorcist and Silence of the Lambs. The stories, the characters, everything is so well constructed. There's never a moment in Silence of the Lambs. I'm like, don't don't like why are you doing that? Like jaws is perfectly it's as as perfect of a film, it's period as you can get. And the actresses like, those, the situation is structured in a way where, well, the priest is trying to get the devil out of this girl. So he has to be in there. Because that's his job as opposed to, you know, oh, let's get this all split up in the woods. Yeah, so the killer could knock us off one at a time.

Jeffrey Reddick 27:52
Right? And you don't get a pass because I see a lot of this in the scripts to where people will be like, really? Now you want to split up now? Have you seen a horror movie and then they still split up? It's like, that doesn't give you a pass by

Alex Ferrari 28:04
exactly now, and that was the perfect thing. Well, that started with scream when scream actually was so self aware of its own faults. Yeah, I mean, that is a brilliant script. And that's Yeah, love scream.

Jeffrey Reddick 28:16
I that's one of my favorites.

Alex Ferrari 28:18
I mean, so brilliantly done and the first opening sequence with Drew Barrymore I mean, it's it's the psycho and you killing it. I mean, spoiler alert first 10 minutes drew dies. But, but it like it was shocking for a new generation. It was basically what what psycho did back in the day, but it was so brilliant. I remember when that came out. It was just like a revelate like everybody, it was such a monster hit

Jeffrey Reddick 28:44
at the end because I went to a screening of it and I didn't I you know, I saw the poster in the trailer. I thought Drew Barrymore was the star of it. I just went in there with my sweet ass going, Well, I can't wait to watch Bruce. Bruce scream for like 90 minutes and get and I was like,

Alex Ferrari 28:59
What? What? What's going on?

Jeffrey Reddick 29:01
Oh, it's like one of the most brilliant 10 minutes of cinema.

Alex Ferrari 29:06
Yeah, it's it's amazing. Now, with the blue we know what the problem is with protagonists. But what can you do as a screenwriter to make a horror villain legendary? Because we've already rattled off a handful of names that are all you need to do is just say their first names and in the horror genre, they know what it is. So what do you do? Like what makes Michael Meyers Freddy? Jason you know, those characters so so legendary, as opposed to other horror, you know, other horror either franchises that either come and go, that have those kind of looks from the poster. The same elements is Jason or Freddy, but they don't live up to it and they don't what's that magic? What's that thing? In your opinion?

Jeffrey Reddick 29:54
You know what I think? I don't think that there's I don't think that that that's almost an answer because it's it's almost like catching lightning in a bottle. Because sometimes the characters are so like you mentioned Simon lamb like Hannibal Lecter is such a delectable like, you know with its with just the portrayal and the way that he was filmed and everything is that it's mesmerizing that so you have sometimes you have villains like that, or Freddy Krueger, I think is probably the best example of the of the slashers. Because especially in the first movie, like he was so feral, and so there was just something so wicked about him, like he cut himself, he cut it, people he was just horrible. Like, we'd never seen anything like that. And Chucky had such a distinct, you know, it's a toy, you know, it's like, look like a little toy. You know, you almost had as much fun with the Chucky movies when the dolls getting knocked around, knowing that, knowing that it's possessed, like, so it's, there's something about that. But, you know, I think, you know, with Michael Myers, he didn't say anything. And it was just, he was an embodiment of evil. But also that movie came out at a time, you know, we were kind of in, you know, the suburbs, everything was about the sub suburbs and how the suburbs were safe and the last bastion of safety in America. And, you know, Michael Myers came in and kind of took that over. And with Friday the 13th, you know, like people forget, you know, Jason's mother was a killer. And the first one, he wore like, a sack over his head. And the second one, he didn't get the hockey mask on the third one. And I think that that, that by that point, it you just were our culture was at the time. slashers are so hot. And that just happened to be the one that like exploded Friday, the 13th exploded. I don't know if it's necessarily because of Jason per se. Time Bomb.

Alex Ferrari 31:38
It was timing,

Jeffrey Reddick 31:39
I think with timing on that one. Because again, most people think of him with a hockey mask. It's like, well, he didn't have the hockey mask till the third movie. And he wasn't the killer in the first one. So I think timing has a lot to do with when certain movies take off and when certain movies hit but I think good. No, I was gonna say, but I think when you create a villain for a horror film, especially if it's like a slasher film, you do kind of want to come up with some kind of iconography, some kind of look that's unique, where people will like, they'll remember that, that that killer if your movies fortunate enough to like, really strike a chord with people and take off. Like, that sucks about finals nation. It's like, we could have had a Halloween costume and a toy line, but we don't because it's we don't have a killer. So

Alex Ferrari 32:25
we have five but we have five movies. And hopefully, yes, yes.

Jeffrey Reddick 32:29
But it's funny because it's Yeah, because I love like collecting, like, you know, stat you know, movie posters and statues and tchotchkes. So it'd be nice to have one for mine. But that's our

Alex Ferrari 32:41
they should they should actually sell the statues of the kills. So like the, the sequence of a kill like that chap.

Jeffrey Reddick 32:50
That would be awesome. Like the log going into sheriff's car. Exactly. All those kills a B on the balance beam. And the fifth one, like I love that kill, too.

Alex Ferrari 33:00
Yeah, but you look at things like leprechaun, and I'm like, how did that thing become? How did that become a thing? Like they ran off? Like, how many of those are the things that they just took off? So and then something like candy man did it? Like there should be 20 candy men?

Jeffrey Reddick 33:15
Yeah, there should be. I mean, well, you know, what's interesting, too, is we have to also look at the time when these movies came out as far as what was accessible. So, you know, back when, when I was young, you know, there were like three networks in HBO. So everybody was watching the same things. And so people were seeing the same movies. There weren't as many movies that were coming out as there are now so, you know, you didn't have a, you know, when scary movies came out, like everybody rushed to see them. But everybody across the country was seeing like the same movies and watching the same things on television. You know, like, back in the day, it was like 60 million, you know, viewers was like a hit for a network show. And now it's like, well, we got 10 million viewers, it's a hit. So you know, the country used to be much more the choices used to be a lot more limited. So a lot of the people would get around, especially the horror fans with with reading Fangoria. You know, you'd see what was coming up and Fangoria, and then all the horror fans would rush out and see those movies. And they're, you know, they're cheaper to make and they turn a profit. So I think that's why you have a lot of horror franchises. You know, they seem to have burned themselves out a while ago. Just because I think the marketplaces got bigger with like the streamers and so many theater chains now with so many movies coming out like it's you really have to like rise above all the clutter out there.

Alex Ferrari 34:32
Right and and I can't imagine being I think it's in the camera ready that Jordan Peele remake

Jeffrey Reddick 34:38
Yes, Kenya is gonna come out but they had to push it but you know, Candyman is one of those movies I mean, it's it's it definitely appears in like the top rated you know, as far as it's a it's a beautiful movie. Um, but I do think you know, people you know, I don't I like to say delicately because people get their hackles up when when you start talking about at all, but you know, you have to look at the time when that movie came out. Right. And, you know, it's basically an interracial love story. And, you know, people weren't quite ready for that. I mean, I just read an 85. You know, there was when they put up commando, there was a love scene between Arnold Schwarzenegger's character and the female lead. But when they cast right on Chong, they cut this loveseat out because they're like, the country's not ready for this yet. And there was there was still a lot of that I think itchiness that people had about interracial relationships. And I'm like, screw you. Because if it wasn't for interracial relationships, I wouldn't be here so.

Alex Ferrari 35:37
Exactly,

Jeffrey Reddick 35:38
exactly. But But, you know, it was a different time back then. So I you know, but that I mean, that movies from the acting directing?

Alex Ferrari 35:47
Yeah, I remember it.

Jeffrey Reddick 35:49
I mean, everything is like, it's a I mean, it's a masterful movie, like you. Such a beautiful movie. And I thought the sequel was good, too. I liked I liked the sequel a lot. But yeah, it did. I think the reason it probably didn't take off as it was, it was, it was it wasn't the, you know, hot teenagers getting slashed up. You know, it was like dealing with like, you know, racial inequality and racial injustice. And it also had an interracial love story at the center of it. So I think people you know, I again, I just think people weren't quite ready for that at the time that it came out.

Alex Ferrari 36:22
So how do you see from from the moment that final destination was released to now and moving forward? How has horror changed because I don't see as many slasher films anymore. That's not as in vogue as it used to be. Right. You know, it's not like the 80s the golden the golden era of slasher films and that kind of horror, what kind of and then there was the Was it the horror porn or not poor porn, but, um, so I saw it torture. Yeah, the saw and the hostel and that that whole era of, of kind of horror, where do you see horror going? And it Are we going to come back to some of this, you know, nostalgic slasher, because I know they tried to remake Friday, and they did it. They did as good of a job, but you can't catch that. Robert England is ready.

Jeffrey Reddick 37:12
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think right now we're, we're very much in a supernatural kind of

Alex Ferrari 37:19
write up, contract,

Jeffrey Reddick 37:20
kind of horror kind of world. But but I honestly, you know, because I know that the business tries to the business tries to stay ahead of the curve and kind of run the ball about what's going to be popular, but then something popular comes out and then they everybody tries to start making that so everybody's, you know, trying to make the next get out now, like socially relevant kind of horror films. So I think we'll be seeing some more of that coming out for a while, but I think we're just one, you know, fresh slasher film away from having any of these genres come back. I mean, I still love it good slasher movie. You know, I, you know, there have been a glut of zombie movies, like, you know, and I get on Netflix and Amazon Prime and Hulu and everything. I'm like, you know, from every country, it's like, there's a good zillion zombie movies out there right now. So I don't know. I mean, I think people go to see horror films to escape, though the horrors going on in the real world. So I feel like escapism or like supernatural kind of stuff, is probably going to always be popular, and slasher stuff, because that's still escapism if it's not sadistic. You know, like, just mean spirited. I certainly know when COVID first hit, you know, all my friends were like, we're writing a COVID script. I'm

Alex Ferrari 38:41
like, No, no, I said the same thing. And like I had, I talked to some executives, like we got 20 COVID scripts a day, and nobody is going to produce a COVID script. Because the last thing I want to watch is a COVID script. Like you didn't want to watch a 911 movie after 911 or Vietnam movie while Vietnam was going on. Yeah,

Jeffrey Reddick 39:00
yeah. So I think that um, I think the escapism horror You know, I think supernatural still goes strong for a long time, but, you know, I think slasher movies are always going to be popular, it's just you got to, you know, you got to hit that right slasher kind of combination with characters in the slasher together.

Alex Ferrari 39:17
And in the end, that's the one thing I love you said that said something a second ago mean spirited with those those slasher films of the 80s that we all kind of love and grew up with. They're not mean spirited. I mean, Freddie is funny. Like, he got funnier, he got a lot funnier, after sec, the second and third and fourth, he became almost a comedy act, you know, killing people towards the end and towards the end of that series, and, and, you know, it wasn't mean spirited, even Michael and those in Jason who are kind of basically voiceless, they don't say anything. And when Freddy vs. Jason came out, I mean, that was hilarious. That was so much fun, but That is a key isn't it not being mean spirited in the way you do it and I think a lot of those torture kind of torture porn films, kind of, I think a little bit were a little bit mean spirited, like salt one was amazing.

Jeffrey Reddick 40:13
Yeah. And I think that's it, you know, it's all a personal it's a matter of taste for sure. Like I don't, you know, cuz I know certain people, like certain types of movies, but I shouldn't there's, there's a difference, like, and I'll just use hostel as an example. Like I thought the first hostel was very entertaining, like it had an add humor to it. You had, you know, male antagonists for the first time in a long time in horror movies. So and it was also kind of commenting on how like, you know, you know, American men will American anybody will travel internationally and they're just we have an arrogance about it. Like we, you know, we go to like France, and we're like, annoyed that people don't speak English. And then we're here demanding that everybody speak English, but when we travel, we're like, why does anybody speak English everywhere? So they kind of played up that whole thing and made the character you know, the characters were kind of, some of them were sympathetic, but some of them were kind of jerks. And the torture didn't come to later was I think, if you watch saw too, you know, in my humble opinion, I like it. It kind of did everything right that hostile did I think hostile to did wrong? You know, because it had, you know, women it had the, you know, Heather amaszonas character who's like, tied up naked, hung upside down, like begging for life as this woman like, slowly like, slices her for, you know, it's just, there's a difference in tone. Like, there's a Yeah, there's just a mean spiritedness about, like hostile to and there's a mean spirited is about certain of these kind of torture porn movies, where it's, you're not just you know, because you want to go have fun at these movies. It's not like, it's not like watching it. You don't want to go and watch somebody you know, you don't want to watch a mortician dissected the body correct in real life. So for a horror movie, it's not like you want to sit there and watch a killer slowly like to torture a person to death. You know, it's like watching somebody torture academ you know, online it's like, that's not entertaining. That's just feels gratuitous and is mean spirited. And I think that that's why those films don't tend to have as big of an audience because even the Saw movies they're, they're not I don't feel like they're mean spirited. there's a there's a sense of like, with jigsaw, you know, giving people a choice to like, save themselves or save somebody else. You know, sometimes, I don't feel like they're, you know, they're gruesome but I don't feel like they're mean like it feels like you're like

Alex Ferrari 42:30
I remember hospital being like costal was a hostile to specifically was I agree with you was mean. Yeah, like, there there was just like, I don't want to watch this like this is, then you watch Friday. And you're like, well, this is fun. Like it this is this is just fun. Chucky is you know, like, when when my wife saw Chucky the first time she's like, and she watched it years later after it was really she's like, this is ridiculous. I would just kick the damn thing. It's a doll. Like, it's so it's a doll. What's wrong with you people like it's like, but that's kind of what makes it funny, and that he's so wonderfully written and his dialogue and everything is so yeah. And the bride of Chucky and all of that. It's amazing. Now, what do you feel? Because you've I'm sure read a lot of scripts in your day. What is the biggest mistake you see young screenwriters make?

Jeffrey Reddick 43:24
Um, I don't know if this is a quantitative light. If this is like a literal mistake, I can say I think the problem that I find with a lot of young screenwriters is they think they're great. writers are a script. Right? Right away. Yeah. And, and any, in any, you know, just if you think logically, no matter what if you're no matter what you're, if you're an artist, whether you're a painter or a writer, thing, or you get better with practice, and the more you do it, and if you're a craftsman, if you make stuff out of wood, you get better, like the first thing that you carved out of wood isn't going to be the best thing that's ever been carved out of wood before. So I think the biggest mistake that I see with a lot of young writers is they kind of come out with this attitude. Like, I understand that you have to believe in yourself, because trust me, this business is like, you get rejected, you know, 1000 times and then you get one person saying yes. So you have to keep your ego. You know, you have to keep your spirits up and your ego right sighs but I just see a lot of young writers where they're like, this is the best script, you know, I've ever written and you got to read it. And if you read it, you start giving them notes, they start arguing with you. And you know, not that I think that my notes are the end all be all, but it's like, there's an unwillingness to recognize that they're young, like, trust me my first couple of scripts, I went back and read them. I'm like, wow, these are, you know, years later, like, these are crap. You know, these were awful. I can't believe I thought these were great. But you have I think the biggest mistake young writers make is they don't understand that. You know, it takes You've got to keep doing it to get better. And you know, every script that I write hopefully is better than the last script that I wrote. Because I've learned something in between. So I think being open to that process and realizing it takes time, like there's a lot of people that think there's some easy shortcut, like, and I'm sure you've heard this, too, every time. You know, I speak at a, you know, any place, whether it's a high school or a college or a horror convention, or a screenwriting convention. The two questions that people ask me are, how do I get my script to a studio head? And how do I get financing? How do I get an agent? Yeah. And how do you know and it's like, there aren't any. think that there are like, it literally, like I heard, there was a 10 year old somebody, and I can't remember who it was, I wish I could, somebody very smart and famous at the time, it said you have to be if you're an artist, you have to be willing to dedicate 10 years of your life to struggling before you finally succeed. And they said, we say succeed, we don't mean that you're going to all of a sudden be rich and you know, have all the money in the world, we mean to get something done. And, you know, I thought that Rose Bowl, when I went to you know, New York as I was 19, I got an agent, I was interning at New Line, I was like screw that 10 year rule, it was 10 years to the to the year I graduated high school that I sold final destination. So it took all that time of me writing scripts, getting them rejected, almost getting jobs, not getting them, it took 10 years to actually get my first project like produced and made for when I graduated. So people have that's, you know, I think that's a rule that people need to keep in the back of their head. Because there's so much clutter in the business, where you have people who are like, Alright, I'm going to try this acting thing for two years, because my dad has a lot of money, and I'm pretty, or handsome. And if I don't make it, I'm going to quit. So you, you have like people who are dedicating their lives to this plus, you have all this clutter of hundreds of people coming to Hollywood every day, you know, with with rich families, and you know, their good look, the best looking person at their school. So there, they've got to be the most beautiful. And so you have to outline it's almost like survivor, you have to like Outlast

Alex Ferrari 47:04
What is it? What is it? I'll think out last?

Jeffrey Reddick 47:07
Yeah, it's like, You got it, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta be in it for the long haul. Like, you know, this, this isn't a business, you know, like that you that can be kind of a side hobby. You know, it's something you really have to like, jump into the pool, and you have to, like swim in that pool for up to maybe 10 years. So there aren't, there aren't any shortcuts. You know, because it's even this stuff. Like when I wrote that letter, Bob Shea, I wasn't I didn't have any grand plan about oh, this is going to lead to this. And this and this in the future. I was just like, I have a story I want to tell and I want this. He He owns the he does the Friday movies. And I want him to read it. You know, like that was my only goal. Because I had a story to tell that I wanted somebody to read. So I could never have planned that, oh, he's going to kind of take me under his wing. And then I'm going to get it Yeah, I could I you know, I never planned any of that stuff. So I found that what people call like luck has, has often been years of me working really hard over here and it not paying off like I thought it would but then somebody else on this side of the you know, this side of town reads a script. And they're like, oh, let's call Jeffrey and, you know, so there's been a lot of that. So all the work that you put out there will benefit you somehow, but you just don't always know how it's gonna be. So you can't expect like a shortcut, like, somebody at a convention is going to, you know, have their agent sign you and then all of a sudden you're gonna sell your script and then that's it, you know, it's just

Alex Ferrari 48:40
it's no it there is no shortcut. I completely agree with you. And and I, I we both got wrapped up lots of it in our business, lots of shrapnel, lots of wounds, lots of wounds. And when you say put work out there, you know, when I with this podcast I've been, you know, that's why a lot of podcasts fail because they just like I'm gonna do 20 I'm just gonna keep dude like after 20 they're like, well, no one's listening. I'm not making any money. I gotta go. And it's the outlasted almost all of my contemporaries. And by putting out these episodes, it's amazing. Who listens to this stuff. Yes. And all of a sudden, I get a phone call or I get an email going, Hey, I listened to this one obscure episode. And this guy who directed some of the biggest movies ever wants to be on your show, because it'd be a good fit for what he's doing. Right. I'm like, like, what? Like, how is that? But that's the thing. It's it's putting work out there without any attachment to the outcome? I think is I think the biggest piece of advice.

Jeffrey Reddick 49:38
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 49:40
Now, can you tell me about how you transitioned from just being a lowly screenwriter to now being a writer, director of a new film?

Jeffrey Reddick 49:54
Well, yeah, it's so funny because you know in features Yes, the writers are like look slowly at TV.

Alex Ferrari 49:59
But yes,

Jeffrey Reddick 50:00
I started, I worked, I worked. I started working in TV recently, I'm like, I've been missing out. On the party, like the good stuff is in TV, oh my god. But you know, it's it's funny, like I, I had a couple projects that I said, I have to direct these because if I give them away, I already know how people are going to change them. And I These are things I want to direct. And when I first went out with good samaritan, I just went out with it as a project I didn't go out with, you know, with the idea of me directing. But the thing with this story is, you know, you're not sure if it's a supernatural force that's after them. Or if it's a killer that's after them over, it's all on the main character's head because she's had some trauma in her past, and every place that wanted to do the movie was like, just make it straight up supernatural, or just make it a straight up killer. And then we'll do it. And I'm like, but that's not the story, I want to tell like, that's, that's kind of the easy story until like, I want to tell something a little different. So I realized that if I wanted to do this movie, the way that I wrote it, then I would have to direct it myself. And I'd been on enough sets and been a have been in the business long enough that I knew the basics, I directed a short in a in a, you know, like an indie music video for a friend. So, you know, I knew that I knew the basics, but you definitely don't know what you don't know until you actually get on a set and start directing yourself. So, you know, that was a little that was some hubris on my part. I'm thinking, well, I've been on a lot of sets. And I did a short, so I'm ready. That's awesome. But I have to say it was like, such, you know, now that now that we're done, it was it was such a fulfilling experience. And it was such a learning experience, too, because now I know the areas that I need to fill in that I didn't know before. So I'm excited to do it. I'm glad that I did it. It was you know, again, and my friends, always, my director, friends were like, well, you trust me, when you direct your first feature, you're going to be like, screw that I'm never directing again. Or you want to do it again. So I definitely want to do it again. But yeah, the reason the reason for me doing it was out of necessity of not wanting them to change. You know, the story into like, just a straight up supernatural movie or straight up, you know, slasher movie. And it's, you know, like Final, but I mean, this definitely didn't have anywhere near the budget of final destination. But like final destination. It was a, it was a concept where the people that wanted to do or like well, it's not horror, supernatural enough to sell it as a horror movie. And if we sell this as a thriller, then you need a list stars. So we have to get a list stars attached so that, you know that whole all that business kind of crap that came up with even with final destination where people weren't there, like, Oh, you can't do something that's not easily put in a box. I'm just kind of motivated me to like do it myself.

Alex Ferrari 52:50
Yeah. Because you were you were trying to go down the road with the film, like traditional like, go to the studios trying to get financing, do it a little bit, you know, do it the normal way. But you kept getting so much stuff, so much resistance on your vision, you're like, well screw it, let's just go do it indie. Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about first of all the name of the movie, what the name of the movie is? And what is it about?

Jeffrey Reddick 53:11
Oh, yeah, the movie is called don't look back. It was originally titled Good Samaritan. Some people might get confused by them. It's called don't look back. And it's about a group of people who see somebody getting fatally assaulted in a park. And they don't help and one of the people and it gets the video goes public, the victim's brother outs, the witnesses and somebody or something starts killing them. So our lead character is a woman named Caitlin who's gone through some trauma in her past. And she's convinced that something supernatural is after them. So she's trying to solve the mystery of who killed the guy in the park. And everybody else is like, there's a killer after us. And then she kind of ends up popping up but a lot of the scenes where the dead people are because she she's kind of seeing these supernatural signs around her that are pointing her into a direction of It's Supernatural, but you're not sure if it's in her head or not. So yeah, that was a bad elevator pitch because I kind of jumped around a little bit.

Alex Ferrari 54:09
I can't I'm gonna have to pass on this one. I can't I can't, I can't I can't finance this one. Jeffrey, I'm sorry. Yes.

Jeffrey Reddick 54:16
Five, six sentences. And, but, but yeah, it's, um, it was it was a really fun film to make. And, you know, again, what was great for me too, is I got to, I just had a lot of creative control, like, again, and there were definitely areas like, with locations and things like that, where we had to, you know, compromise because we didn't have a budget to do certain things. But, you know, I got to work with a wonderful cast. You know, our lead Courtney Bell is a wonderfully talented black actress. And, you know, I got to find the Best Actress for the film who was, you know, a black actress, which, you know, if I done this with a studio, the people that they were throwing at me were, were not, they were like, you know, and you know, that's, that's Always an important that's been important to me for so long because I've written, diverse cast in my films before. And they always end up being cast with all white actors and actresses. And I just tried to explain to people because again, people, when you talk about diversity, it's again, like certain, you know, hackles start rising because people start getting like defensive. But it's, it's, it's more about, you know, when people read scripts in Hollywood, or when they cast movies, their default for every character is a white actor or actress. So that's just the default for a leading, like, we'll send out a casting notice for leading ladies or leading men, and we'll say, you know, all ethnicities, and 99% of the submissions will be white actors and actresses. And even if we send out, you know, note saying, we were looking for black actors and actresses, they'll send us a lot then but then, you know, they're still throwing in more white people at us being like, look at these people first. So for certain roles, people of color are just not in people's brains, even the casting people's brains when it comes to leading roles, and so we're starting to course, correct that now. But it is frustrating when they've cast like, you know, white actors and actresses in roles that were written for people of color. And they always say, well, we just went with the best person. But I've seen so many, I've been in the rooms with casting with people casting projects, and their thinking is what is going to be the most palpable to people across the United States and across the world. And that's why they make that decision most of the time. So now we're seeing that course corrected a little bit. And I've just seen so many wonderfully gifted, lead talented actors and actors of every race, you know, white, Latino, man, you know, Asian, black, it's, there's so many talented people, that just giving people an opportunity that, you know, like Courtney would not have been cast as the lead in a horror film, if it was done by a studio, but I think what people see your performance now they're gonna be like, holy shit, who is this girl? So I'm really excited about that.

Alex Ferrari 57:00
Well, I'm looking forward for it to get to released and I will put links to all of that in the show notes. I am going to now ask you a few questions. I ask all of my guests. What are three horror screenplays every screenwriter should read?

Jeffrey Reddick 57:17
Um, well, I am going to say A Nightmare on Elm Street. I think that's a really, really strong script. I think the A because I consider aliens or a sci fi ish.

Alex Ferrari 57:31
It's it dances the line of horror I get you, I get exactly where you're coming from. There's a monster. a predator arguably is is a monster film. I mean, if you think of monsters of the Frankenstein, and Dracula of our generation is aliens and predators. Yeah. But they they danced the line between action sci fi horror. But yes, aliens. Aliens is just an amazing film period.

Jeffrey Reddick 57:54
And it's a it's such a great script. And that's a script where you can tell a director wrote the script, because when you visualize the movie, you visualize exactly what ended up on the screen. So that's how James wrote that script. But that's probably not a good rule, because I always tell screenwriters not to direct in their scripts.

Alex Ferrari 58:13
But alien, the alien script also was terrifying. Yeah, the original the original alien was terrifying as well.

Jeffrey Reddick 58:21
And what's another great script? I feel like I'm cheating because it's just like, I just think of silence the lambs to like, that was another script that I read that, you know, I'm trying to think of those obscure horror scripts. Like, you know, the scream script is really fantastic.

Alex Ferrari 58:37
Yeah, but extra ILOG extra extra cyst obviously, is is a good screenplay. jaws. I'm not sure if the screenplay is as powerful as the film. I haven't read the screenplay. Have you read the screenplay now? Yeah, I don't know if that translates. But But I think the exorcist if I remember correctly reading that script. That was pretty terrifying.

Jeffrey Reddick 58:59
Yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 59:02
Okay, what advice would you give a screenwriter wanting to break into the business today?

Jeffrey Reddick 59:11
Write a lot. By, you know, reading scripts online, I think finding a genre that you're passionate about is very important, because they again, the business does tend to pigeonhole you or put you in a box based off your first kind of hit. So I think, you know, if you like, horror, if you like sci fi, feel like action. Find some of your favorite movies in that genre and find the scripts online because reading scripts will give you a lot of, you know, a lot of inspiration and, you know, even instruction on how to write stuff. So I think that's really important. And I tell people to it's like, you know, we live in an age now where people can shoot movies like 4k movies on their iPhone. And, you know, the reason you write a script is because you want to get it made. And if you're I think if you're a young screenwriter, especially surround yourself with the creative people like find a good friend of yours who's a director. You're especially if you're in like school, studying screenwriting, you know, like, I was talking to Craig Perry at UCLA to like their screenwriting class and Craig asked the class you know, screenwriters, raise your hands, directors, raise your hands. And he's like, how many of you all hang out together, and none of them did. And Craig's like, guys, you're crazy. Like, you're a writer, you should be a director, you should be hanging out with the writers because you need scripts to write. And I think people don't think that way. When you're, when you're younger, it's like you think a little bit more myopically. And I think if you think about that, you know, connecting yourself with a good director writing a really amazing short and having a director direct, it can get you a lot of attention. You know, I think that that those are the things like it's, it's continued making sure that you keep growing as a as an artist, like, have friends who will give you honest feedback, you'll, you'll find out your friends pretty quickly, you'll have the friends that hate everything you do, like, you don't need those friends to give, because they just hate it, they're gonna hate everything you do. And you don't want your mom reading your script, because she's gonna love everything you write. But you'll find that right balance that people who give you constructive criticism, and it's just be open in that to be open to learning more, because you're always going to grow as an artist.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:13
And what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Jeffrey Reddick 1:01:21
What if I haven't learned it completely. Trying to control things that I have no control over? is, is, is the lesson of life that I still also struggle with? You know, I still try it. I try not to, but I think it's a very important lesson is to, to, you know, let go and let God because there are certain things, you know, you can beat your head against the wall for 20 years trying to do something or, or be angry about something that you have no control over and kind of letting that go as much as possible, I think, let you have a much less stressful life. And you can kind of go along with the flow of life. Like when you know, when the acting thing hit a wall for me. I didn't quit the business. I started writing, you know. So it's kind of going with that flow and seeing what life brings your way being open about. Jeffrey, I

Alex Ferrari 1:02:09
really appreciate you being on the show. Thank you so much. I want to congratulate you on making the jump from screenwriter to Writer Director and finally getting I know that's a big step. It is a big step. It's not done very often. It's definitely not done well very often. So I am I am I congratulate you. And thank you for bringing Final Destination into our into our world into the Zeitgeist. It is still very entertaining when I go back and watch those films. So thank you so much for everything you do my friend and I continue success.

Jeffrey Reddick 1:02:45
Thank you for all your support. And yeah, yeah, just now you got me all like blushy Yeah, I just really, I do. I appreciate the support. You've been a great supporter for so long. So and you know, you know, I've got your back on this side, too.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:59
Thank you, my friend. I want to thank Jeffrey for coming on the show and dropping the horrific knowledge bombs on the bulletproof screenwriting tribe today. Thank you so much, Jeffrey. Please don't forget to check out his new film, don't look back and get links to that. And anything else we spoke about in this episode, after show notes at bulletproofscreenwriting.tv/090. And if you guys haven't checked it out already, please head over to ifhacademy.com. And check out all of our amazing courses, including screenwriting courses, how to get money for your film, how to produce a film, film distribution, blueprint and so many more courses and education to help you guys on your path. So thank you again for listening. If you are going to go trick or treating, please, please be safe. And as always keep on writing no matter what. I'll talk to you soon.


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