I love movies and TV. I love to write movies and TV. I’m assuming you do too, and that’s why you’re here.
I think I always knew I wanted to be involved in the business. After realizing there was no Santa, or Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, for me, TV and film was the only place left where magic still existed.
I can still remember vividly the first time I watched THE MUPPETS and couldn’t sleep because their opening number scared me. I can recall being mesmerized by THE WIZARD OF OZ for the first time and insisting that my new tap shoes be red glittered ones. It seems just like yesterday when, emotionally gutted during SNOOPY COME HOME, I sobbed and shook silently while covering my face so no one would see me. And everyone in my family remembers the time I sat on my Aunt’s lap while she and my Mom were talking, paying no attention to the inappropriate movie on TV where some teen was going nuts during a bad acid trip, and my arms fell asleep. The tingling sensation freaked me out and I ran to the bathroom screaming, convinced that my Aunt had drugged me. Dramatic? Yeah. But she’s not a very nice person who could just be capable of such a thing.
Then there was the time my Mom came back home from watching FRIDAY THE 13TH with my Dad. I could tell the movie they watched had made an impact. I begged her to tell me about it. She refused. Too scary. Good Mommy. But after a little more goading she took me step by step through the entire film. Bad Mommy. I was riveted. So much so, that when she told me about the very last shot of the film I practically jumped out of my skin. That night I had nightmares. Turns out, Mom wasn’t a bad storyteller. And though I hadn’t seen the movie, I could see the movie. Point is, my imagination was vivid and I was affected. I was infatuated.
Infatuation turned to true love when the Drive-In became my babysitter. I’m NOT kidding. When I was 9 and 10 years old, though my mother may have the sense to deny this now, she and my father would drive my best friend, Mindy, and I to the Drive-In in then leave us there. Alone. They’d take us in two vehicles. My Dad would set up the speaker. My Mom would give us ten bucks for all the Ppopcorn, soda and candy our little hands could carry. They would leave us to it and drive back home. When the movie let out, my parents would show up again to drive us back home in “our car.” But for those four hours – double features rock – we were free! Not bad for a third grader.
Evidently my parents didn’t check the ratings or what these movies were about. Call me lucky. Call me scarred. Or both. At my tender age I saw NORTH DALLAS FORTY, SCANNERS, POLTERGEIST, SCARFACE, RISKY BUSINESS, ROSEMARY’S BABY, THE BROOD, THE SHINING, CARRIE, TESS, URBAN COWBOY, CHEECH AND CHONG 2, the list goes on…
I had some pretty cool babysitters, but the Drive-In was my favorite. I have my parents to thank for my love of movies. And I have the era to thank for leaving me on the planet intact. There weren’t a lot of kidnappers and serial killers in my one-horse town back then.