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The Experts

MOVIES

I was really more of a writer than an actor.  But I could make people laugh and there are often little comedy roles in movies for people who are funny.  So my first experiences in film were playing little roles like that. Most notably was a TV movie called "Home to Stay" (a terrible title that they later changed to Grandpa and Frank – only marginally better).  The movie was directed by Academy Award winner Delbert Mann and I played an agricultural student who came to Henry Fonda's farm to pick up a pig - I can't remember why.  But I made the producers and director laugh in the audition and so I got the part.  Then, a few weeks later, there I am shooting a scene with movie giant Henry Fonda.

 

On the writing side, I got my first feature script writing job in 1978.  Eugene Levy and I were hired to write a script for Columbia Pictures based a book by Calvin Trillin called Runestruck. After that, I worked on a couple of scripts for Joel Silver - most notably The Big Broadcast of 1980 - a terrible idea even for a comedy in 1980.  That script was for Universal Pictures and I got pulled off it during the revisions of the first draft to write another script for Universal entitled "Spies Like Us" with Dan Aykroyd. (MORE TO COME HERE).  

 

After Spies I went back and did another season of SCTV.  Then I got onto a film rewrite circuit for a little while, punching up scripts for producers Mike Medavoy at Orion Pictures.  Mike like one of my rewrites and then gave me an original script assignment that had the working title Buddy Cops. 

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