April 25, 2010
Wayne Coe writes and directs "Grim Prairie Tales”. On set Warner Brothers backlot, 8th day of shooting, 1988.
For a week, Academy Award winners: Janusz Kaminski, Mauro Fiore, Wally Pfister, all worked ont he third story of Grim Prairie Tales
James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif gave splendid, cross-casting performances in “Grim Prairie Tales”. Most reviewers say they’re the best part. Do to the vagaries of production, the four stories got butchered as we waited & cut for months before the narrators were cast. Their footage made sense of the stories, suddenly the film was “commercial”. Nothing was trimmed from James and Brad, but the stories were hacked down a quarter to a half trying to solve the phantom problem, of why they didn’t work without the narrators, James and Brad. While I picked a miraculous cinematographer and a great cast, the producer and editor were mistakes. Did well, for a first film, age 28.
Will was a peach. He couldn't ride a horse to save his life, which created some drama -- but he could act to take over a scene like no one on the picture.
The Mojave dessert, bleak, 35 degrees in the winter, 120 in summer; we shot both. These scenes were trashed as "no good, uncuttable" by the editor. When a talented editor came in he declared they were the best footage in the film, that the windy sound was the only problem, all we'd needed was to ADR, rerecord sound. The film suffered from a bad editor, almost 9 months wasted.
Wayne Coe directing during during first week of shooting.
Marc McClure, who was a very sweet neighbor, we goofed around on music together and Michelle Joyner who was a trooper, took this unusual part and bounded into cinema history. No one who saw my story forgot it. HOLLYWOOOD REPORTER love it, VARIETY said “vulgar”.