PART ONE OF FOUR
As Tom from Night of the Living Dead 1990
If you are wanting to act, write, direct, do make-up, special effects, or any aspect of Hollywood then this interview should be extremely useful to you.
William Butler is a veteran actor/writer/director who has more then 60 film credits including acting credits for Friday the 13th part 7, Night of the Living Dead (remake), Buried Alive, Ghoulies 2 and more. He also worked on Demolitian Man, Army of Darkness, Small Soldiers, Village of the Damned, From Dusk Till Dawn, and more. He has written several sceenplays including Return of the Living Dead part 4 and 5, Furnace, and Madhouse. Mr. Butler was generous enough to take out over an hour of his time and let me pick his brain going over 25 years of his Hollywood career.
TM: You have many credits for different aspects of film making including acting, directing, make-up, special effects, and writing.......
Which one do you enjoy the most and which do you enjoy the least?
WB:I know this sounds lame but I just love everything that I did from mopping floors on John Carl Buechler's shop on the set of Eliminators to when I was a slime jockey for Charles Band where I did nothing but paint slime on hand puppets. Can you imagine being 18 years old, flying to Madrid Spain, and getting paid $800.00 a week to put slime on puppets? Maybe I'm crazy but that was my Idea of Heaven. I just loved every minute of it. So I was always interested in acting but I didn't think I could do it because I thought I was rather plain looking...so I thought there was no way I could make a living at it but it turned out that I auditioned and ended up getting on this role that never
stopped for 15 years...
Furnace which he wrote and directed...www.furnacethemovie.com
TM: What was the hardest part of acting for you?
WB: Well I've said this before it was hard to say thin, that was the hardest part for me...you know starving yourself all the time. The studying and the discipline I loved. Now that I'm a director behind the camera I've definitely learned to partake in eating a little bit more.
TM: What about directing and writing do you enjoy that?
WB: I love directing its really fun but its also really difficult. Directing and writing is hard especially to someone like me that considers himself a "Fanboy," I know what I like to see when I write stuff but the thing you don't know as a fan is that when you write something you think that you are just going to turn a script and then their going to shoot it and that's not the way it is. The script will go to like 6 other people and they put spins on it which may make the movie better or make it way worse. This is really hard to deal with....really really hard, especially when having to face the fans and feeling like I didn't pull something off, but the HARDEST thing is facing someone that does not like what you do and them not knowing that you had nothing to do with it!
The hardest thing about directing is even though you are incharge of a movie your spending millions of dollars therefore people are watching every move you make to ensure that you are spending their money wisely. In many case some of those people are people that have no experience and its really a test of your will power to keep your mouth shut and to focus on your job. If I do not like someone I usually tell them so it's a challenge for me. In my 23
years of doing this the most difficult thing is having your work messed with by people that do not know what they are doing.
Good Looking guy? What does he mean he thought he was plain looking?
TM: Do you agree with other people in Hollywood that make statements that the "suits" making the decisions do not know what they are talking about?
WB: Its not just that I am one of the guys that feels that way, uh that's just the way it is......There is 2 different types of people there is the creatives that create and the business people with business degrees that only look at projects from a money standpoint.....Two separate personalities which do not always get along. On my last film FURNACE my producers and I had several differences about the film the whole time the film was being made...and as it turned out I watched the screening of the film and it was great. So I sent them an email and said you know despite our dis-agreements some of your notes raised the bar on the quality of the movie, so you know it's a good thing to have the ability to acknowledge that they have good intentions. My idea of a great horror movie as a fan is to see as much blood and gore possible because that's what I like to see but the guys running the business do not like that type of stuff so they do everything they can to cut it out.
Check out the rest of the interview in my next columns where William Butler discuss's working with Tony Todd, Danny Trejo, and Lance Henrikson, Living with Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen, being raised on the carnival circuit, and working on various other films....This column does not scratch the surface of his film career!
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Tim Malcolm got his first job at a movie theater in 1996 working as a projectionist. He quickly learned that there was no better job then getting paid to watch movies. Since then he has been an advid film watcher, collector, critic and writer.|
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