Free-ads - Forum News and columns Features & Interviews Film links Calendar dates for festivals Contact details Statistical Info Funding Info
site web
About Netribution Contact Netribution Search Netribution


interviews / reviews / how to / short shout / carnal cinema / film theory / whining & dining

netribution > features > carnal cinema >

by dr andrew cousins

Joe Silverman's Olympic Pool

Joe Silverman is a producer-extraordinaire. His films are quite simply the biggest and loudest things that Hollywood has to offer. He first came to prominence as the man behind the ‘Lethal Action’ series of buddy cop movies and based on their success he has become a very wealthy man indeed. He is also highly aware of the marketplace and is very aware of giving audiences something new. For example who else would have thought of combining virtual reality and kung-fu in ‘Crouching Filesystem, Hidden Server’? I went to Los Angeles to talk to him.

AC: Joe sitting here as we are beside your Olympic-sized swimming pool I’m reminded that you are a staggeringly wealthy man. Just how rich are you?

JS: Listen kid. Lets get one thing straight. I don’t know. My accountant knows. Hell, my ex-wife certainly goddamned well knows. But I don’t. Yeah it’s a lot. A hell of a lot. A goddamned hell of a lot actually. But I never talk money anyway. There’s only two kinds of people I talk money with; movie makers and hookers.

AC: Your wealth is based entirely on the fact that your films are so supremely successful. Why do you think they are so popular?

JS: I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I’ll tell you what I’ve learned. It’s real simple. In fact get a piece of paper write it down and maybe one day you’ll be as successful as me. Ready?

AC: Yes.

JS: Then I’ll tell you. I give people what they want. See? I told you it was simple. I give people movies they wanna come and see. That’s it. Bottom line.

AC: But surely there’s more to it then that? What about the scripts or the acting?

JS: Forget all that. Forget all the film school crap. Did you go to film school?

AC: Yes. Yes I did.

JS: I knew it! The moment I set eyes on you I said, "film school". I don’t know what the hell they do to you guys. It’s like a goddamned concentration camp. You come out scarred for life. Anyway forget everything they told you there. It’s all worthless. Give the people what they want. That’s the key. Let me put it like this; MacDonalds sell a lot of burgers, right?

AC: I suppose so. What’s this got do with film though?

JS: Quiet film school, you’re learning here. Anyway like I said MacDonalds sell a lot of burgers. But they don’t sell burgers made of dogs do they?

AC: Well obviously they don’t.

JS: But they would if people wanted them to. See? Give the people what they want. They don’t make burgers made out of dogs then don’t sell them. Except in Korea. They go nuts for a MacDog burger with cheese. But that’s Korea for ya.

AC: You have had some criticism though. Joe Queenan wrote an article in Movieline magazine entitled ‘Joe Silverman is single-handedly destroying Hollywood (and he’s a gigantic asshole too)’

JS: Joe Queenan can kiss my extensive backside. I listen to the chink of the cash registers in cinemas. I don’t take any advice from dickless pen pushers. No offence.

AC: None taken. But what about the accusation that your kind of high-concept, highly simplistic approach to storytelling is largely responsible for the dumbing down of Hollywood?

JS: That’s bullshit. Hollywood always was a stupid town. It was originally called Hollywoodland for Christ’s sake. How clever a name is that?

AC: But shouldn’t you be trying to fight against that stupidity? Instead you seem to be encouraging it.

JS: Look at my great big house one more time and then tell me how stupid I am. I make films in which girls get naked and cars blow up. I don’t pretend to make some huge artistic statement. I’m not Martin Scorsese. Look at Francis Ford Coppolla. He used to make that kind of crap until he couldn’t get any more work and he was forced to make crap like ‘Jack’ and ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’. The difference is people come to see my films. How many people saw ‘Jack’?

AC: You’ve also been accused of wringing every last drop of creativity from your films by making an endless chain of sequels.

JS: Listen film school, you just don’t get it do you? If people want more I give ‘em more. Do MacDonalds turn you away if you want a second burger? No. They keep stuffing you full until you don’t want any more. It’s the same with films. We’ve just finished shooting ‘Lethal Action 9: Pension Day’. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that it’s as good as the first one.

AC: Leonard Maltin called the first one "moronic in the extreme".

JS: Leonard Maltin has a two inch dick. He never shouts about that though does he?

AC: But ‘Lethal Action 9’ is credited with having fourteen writers working on it. Weren’t you just trying to cover the fact that the script is just a lazy re-hash of old ideas?

JS: There’s no such thing as an old idea. There’s just old ideas told in a way that seems new. The reason that we had fourteen writers was that we wanted every single sequence in the film to be the best that we could do. Sometimes a writer will only contribute one line to the finished script. One guy only wrote one word for us.

AC: What word was that?

JS: I believe the word was "shit".

AC: You’ve always been an innovator. You were one of the first major producers to make a Hollywood movie in Australia. Why was that?

JS: People talk about economics. They talk about tax breaks. That’s a crock of crap. The reason I went to Australia was because it’s a country that’s going places. Britain is finished. I tried making a movie in Britain once. Jesus. Do you know that you’re eight hours behind LA? What kind of two-bit, one-horse town is eight hours behind LA? I’m surprised you’ve even got electricity. Now Australia, they’re a whole day ahead of the States. Imagine that. They’re living in the future. It takes some brass balls to be ahead of America my friend.

AC: Joe Silverman, thank you.

recent carnality...

54 Robbie Wooliams - 'Singng Thru the Tears'

53 It's a Spielberg Kinda Christmas

52 Anthony Hopkirk - "I've had enough, I quit!"

51 George Mucus - May the courts be with you

50 Jayne Dyvine from BBC Films

49 Vinnie Savage

48 Willy Wonka aka Barrett Stevenson

47 September 11th: The Musical

46 "Film: Does it Influence Real-Life Behaviour?"

45 "How to Make Cool Movies" with Quentin Terrentino

44 SFX Gurus - Industrial Might & Tragic

43 Paul Verhervervint

42 The Equity Strike Explained

41 Robert Dooley Jr - Out on the Wiley, Windy Moors

40 James Macaroon - King of the World

39 Mike Fungus - Brit-film's digital jazzman

38 Sebastian Kilmer's World of Marketing

37 Joe Silverman's Olympic Swimming Pool

36 Britney Starr

35 Minister for Film - Oliver Nemisole

34 The Video Art of Francine Germaine Wilson

33 Screen Legend's Origin Shocks Hollywood

32 Christopher Tulkinghome - The East Anglia Film Commission

31 Sydney Banderfield - Stan's DoP

30 The National Student Film Festival

29 Jocasta Meridien - Thespian Angel

28 The Reverend Aloysius Tork: The Lord's Critic

27 Dr Andrew bullies Michael Bayne after the premiere of How America Won The War

26 Arturo Bannetti tells Dr Andrew about winning the Palme D'Or for his film, Mamma Mia

25 Doctor Andrew gives us the true Cannes competition line up

24 Brick McCracken - star of Termiliser and Total Recoil reads poetry to Dr Andrew

23 Dr Andrew gets the latest on the WGA strike from Layton Bridges. Sorry, that's Loy-ton Bridgeys

22 Dr Andrew transcirbes Simon Bates' lament for the love tryst between Barry Norman, Sky and the Beeb

21 At the 10th Anniversary of Film! Magazine, Editor Brent Morgan tells all to Dr Cousins

20 Dr Andrew 'swims in Lake You' with Julia Ribbings, recent Oscar winner for White Trash Lawyer

archive >>>

Copyright © Netribution Ltd 1999-2002
searchhomeabout usprivacy policy