To celebrate the Shout Factory release of The Thing, I reached out to see if I could have a small interview with the master himself. I obviously had no expectations that he would be willing to lend me any of his time. I was very pleased to find out that he was willing to answer a few questions for me. Considering that he is one of my very favorite directors, I can not express how much of a thrill it was to have responses to my questions. The entire interview is listed below.
Q) John, Your work is some of the most impactful out of the filmmakers that arose in the seventies along counterparts like Spielberg, Lucas, and De Palma. You were always working under budgetary constraints that in my opinion helped your shots to be more tactful and effective. Can you give an example where a budgetary constraint made you form a scene that worked even better than originally planned?
A) In Halloween there’s a dialogue scene between Jamie Lee and Nancy Loomis. I designed a dolly shot and the scene played in one. The scene flowed smoothly. I was happy.
Q) Snake Pliskin is one of the greatest on-screen badasses to ever be put to celluloid. What was this character based upon?
A) Snake was based on several things, mainly a guy I knew in high-school.
Q) Big Trouble in Little China is a staple at our household. My son and wife love it as much as myself. There is a cheers in the film: “Here’s to the army and the navy and the battles they’ve won. Here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run. May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather.” Did you come up with this on your own?
A) My friends and I use this every time we toast one another, so thanks for that! This is a famous toast, I believe from the 18th or 19th century.
Q)Your compositions in your film are absolutely iconic. I recently had the opportunity to hear you perform with my wife while we were in Barcelona, and was amazed at how well it worked in concert form. How does it feel seeing audience reaction in a concert versus in the theatre?
A) The concert in Barcelona was fantastic. My place is usually behind a camera, not out in front of an audience.
Q) Shout Factory has been doing a great job of releasing your films. They are now releasing The Thing on Blu-Ray and I had it preordered the first day. Have you been pleased to see the diligence and reverence afforded to your films? Out of those films, is there a particular sequence that you are most proud of?
A) I am very proud of the blood test scene in The Thing, and I’m pleased about the re-releases of my movies.
Be sure to check out our review of John Carpenter’s The Thing!
John, Thank you so much for your time. It is an absolutely unique thrill that you would give me any of your time. I wish you continued success and a great tour!