A Public Apology

I just watched Electric Boogaloo. It’s a terrific documentary on Cannon Films, fascinating and very funny. I was totally up for this doc, as I made two movies for Cannon: Invaders From Mars and Masters of the Universe. I also heard lots of stories about other Cannon film projects.

I was interviewed for the documentary and appear in the film.

Unfortunately, I repeated a story I was told about when Sylvester Stallone visited our set and made a disparaging remark regarding Dolph Lundgren‘s acting abilities.

It was not my story to repeat. If it needed to be told at all (and it didn’t), it should have been told either by Stallone or the person to whom he made the comment (the guy who told me the story).

I felt deeply ashamed hearing that snark come out of my mouth. My deepest apologies, Mr. Lundgren.

3 Responses to “A Public Apology”

  1. Diane O says:

    A brave apology Bill. Speaking off the cuff in real life is one thing, when it is captured on film it becomes so much worse for the poor speaker, who is just being human for a moment. Dan always regretted when his casual words came out and landed much much harder than he had anticipated.

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks, Diane.

    I met a very energetic and charismatic airplane pilot a few years ago. He was in his 90s and still going strong. I thought he’d be a perfect person to ask for some life advice or about regrets, so that I might avoid some of life’s pitfalls that maybe I hadn’t anticipated.

    His reply was to the point: ” I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut.”

    Looking back, I realize I’ve often gained much more from silence than from speaking — especially speaking without thinking first.

    While trying to make my way through the tangles of Hollywood early in my film career and trying to learn the Unwritten Rules of Hollywood as fast as I could, line producer Buzz Feitshans gave me a great bit of advice in that regard (that I wish I had followed much more often than I have): “Never say anything bad about anybody. If all you feel or know about the person is bad, then just stay silent.”

    I found the value in this philosophy pretty quickly when I found I was recommended for a high-paying film job by a person I loathed — and whom I thought loathed me! We may have hated each other but the guy respected my work. I was very, very glad I had never said anything bad about him. The Film Biz is a very small world — and there are no secrets (except those kept from the public). Word gets out about who’s dissing whom.

  3. Rick Catizone says:

    Bill,

    Unfortunately we are never given the opportunity to view or have input in those things. The ones I have done have been very off-the-cuff, not always knowing specific questions. When they throw one at you, sometimes the memory bank hasn’t been thoroughly searched, and you wished you could correct something. While I have been lucky as far as I know on ones I have given, there was one that mentioned me, but got it wrong.

    I was watching the Evil Dead 2 video with special features track by Greg Nicotero (an nice guy from Pittsburgh, who occasionally stopped in my studio…and now I think he does something about the Dead…LOL). While they did mention me animating the hand, when it came to Henrietta’s transformation and some other shots I had done, they were pretty sure Doug Beswick had done that. When the credits rolled, I did have a separate credit for the Henrietta stuff, and Greg did say, “Sorry Rick”, which I thought was nice. Point is, none of us have time to really dig about each area before they run up and shoot us. And I am not quite an in-front-of-camera guy, and I tell them straight-out, “Tell me what you aren’t getting visually, because I am NOT an actor.”

    Same goes for newspaper coverage and trade mags. I still recall being incensed that a magazine had asked how I did a particular shot, and then then “abbreviated” my answer. And because they had no clue, they made me seem like I had no clue, and I thought “people in the field are going to think I don’t know anything.”

    But it only proves that none of us are perfect. So while your art is, and I think you are really a great guy, in a small way it’s nice to know you aren’t “completely” perfect.

    Best,
    Rick

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