One of the great things about Twitter is the people you run into – and I was thrilled to discover that Larry Blamire was on Twitter. What’s more he actually was willing to be interviewed by me despite being busy . . . well doing everything. I was a fan of his B-Movie homage “Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” and was glad to talk to him.
He actually does more than many people are aware of, and I wanted to get his insights on media and related geeky jobs.
1) You’ve been/are an illustrator, actor, writer, filmmaker, and more. Can we have a complete list of what you’re doing/have done?
Wow. I’ve kinda been all over the map, but if I kind of (sort of) shorthand it:
- Wrote, drew and published underground comic BLAZING VIOLENCE.
- Scifi illustrator for years, in magazines GALILEO, GALAXY, ABORIGINAL SF…
- Acted lead roles on stage in such plays as ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, IN THE BOOM BOOM ROOM, EXTREMITIES, BURIED CHILD, OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD, BETTER DAYS, HENRY IV, PART ONE, as well as hosting hit Boston stage show, A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE.
- Wrote and produced plays IN THE NATIONS, INTERFACE, JUMP CAMP, ROBIN HOOD, BRIDE OF THE MUTANT’S TOMB (directing the first three). ROBIN HOOD (which I also starred in) is published, and has been performed hundreds of times. My Irish gang play WHYO won a grant from the Mass Council on the Arts and Humanities.
- Wrote and directed LARRY BLAMIRE’S SKETCH-O-RAMA, a sketch comedy show.
- For Bali Hai Interactive, created (with lots of art) animated interactive kids adventure THE WISE-EYE GUYS.
- Wrote, directed and acted in films THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA, JOHNNY SLADE’S GREATEST HITS (later MEET THE MOB), TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD, THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN, DARK AND STORMY NIGHT.
- Wrote, directed and sometimes acted in series of web shorts TALES FROM THE PUB.
- Published book of western-horror short stories TALES OF THE CALLAMO MOUNTAINS, with second volume on the way.
- Last year, storyboarded mainstream Hollywood movie, THE BIG WEDDING, starring Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Topher Grace…
- *Continuing to develop STEAM WARS project, epic steampunk action-adventure film, with series of paintings to punch visual ideas.
- Currently painting, painting, painting, between film projects.
2) With so many different things, how do you make your living – if there is one thing?
Nope. Absolutely everything I can!
3) What are the lessons you’ve learned in your many experiences that you wish you knew, career-wise?
Focus. Even if you a enjoy a whole bunch of different things. Try to focus on one. Okay, maybe two.
4) What advice would give you aspiring “media professionals?”
Besides focusing, I would say measure your compromise against your integrity. You need to find a balance between what’s commercial and what’s unique to your voice. But don’t give up.
5) You’ve done a lot of unusual and personal things that are very original. Do you feel that the modern media is more or less open to innovation these days?
You know, it always is, and yet it never is. That “new thing” you come up with is something no one wants to see. Until that one person/entity recognizes it and is in a position to facilitate. Media tends to only recognize “good and innovative stuff” in the past tense.
6) What do you think of the current age of “enabling” technologies like Kickstarter, Lulu/POD, and more?
It can only be/do good. It’s terrific for indie folk. I’ve used Lulu and found it quite good, and I’m looking into KS and other crowd-funding sources. Though the least we can do one of our films for is (maybe) 200k and that’s pushing it. DARK AND STORMY NIGHT was a million. We don’t want to just “make a movie” like the original LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA, don’t want to simply repeat the intentional “bargain basement” thing (which is why the sequel became a jungle adventure), we’ve done that. We have very specific films in mind. It just ain’t cheap. And yet of course we’re still super low-budge by Hollywood standards. But, as I say, we are looking at KS.
7) What is your next big project, what should we know about it, and how do we buy/contribute/purchase in order to give you a large amount of money?
Great question, Steve, because our fans can help by buying DVDs, particularly DARK AND STORMY NIGHT and THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN, our two most recent. If our investors (on those) make their $ back they would invest again. But sales are reeeeeeaaaally slow. We’re also trying to get a TV sale, as in a movie channel–though there’s nothing much fans can do in that regard. As to what we do next–it’s anyone’s guess: THE LOST SKELETON WALKS AMONG US, THE RESTROOM, TV LIFE are all projects with ready scripts, all different. It depends where our next angel comes from. And there’s that Kickstarter thing…
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.