Macabre World Of Lavender Williams
Night At The Museum:Battle Of The Smithsonian
…not sure why you’ve chosen these titles. Some of my bigger credits that might interest folks are are “Ring of Steel” (Starring), “Army of Darkness” (Swordfighting), “X-Men”, “Fantastic Four”, and “Watchmen” (Visual Effects).
1) So, Your reputation was from stunts…Now, You’re doing all these special effects. So, Is it okay you evolved ?
It didn’t quite start with stunts and it didn’t really evolve. It was more parallel development. I’ve actually got a degree in computer science and started swinging swords at renaissance fairs about the same time (1982). I was also involved in acting the whole time and I had a music scholarship my first two years in college.
But all that kinda confuses people. Surely you can’t write, act, swordfight and do visual effects while playing a trumpet and balancing on a slackline. It took me four years to convince IMDB that the actor / stuntman / visual effects artist / writer were all the same guy.
I like being able to mix it up a bit – keeps me out of trouble. If anything is evolving, it’s the fact that everything is coming together. More stunts are being done with CG these days and I’m currently working as a Visual Effects Supervisor at New Deal Studios where I’m hoping to develop my own projects – writing, acting, directing, producing.
In fact, my internet series “The Hunted” was my way of learning what it takes to run a production company. Here was my chance to do whatever I wanted – acting, writing, directing, swordfights, music, editing, visual effects, web design. Now I just have to find someone who will give me money to do all that.
And when it comes to the internet, you have to evolve since it’s changing on a daily basis. It’s interesting that all of Hollywood knows that it’s the future, but no one yet knows how will will unfold.
2) Why nicknamed DR. BOB ?
One time, when I was in band camp… actually, it *was* in band camp that someone came up with the name and it stuck through high school. I used it on one of my film credits (for Armageddon) but then I realized that sort of thing really messes with IMDB.
3) THE HUNTED,This seems like a dream project…A webseries about
vampires and swordfighting…Right ?
Sounds like a dream project – with the potential to become a nightmare (as anyone in production can tell you), but so far it’s just been a lot of fun. I originally started the show as a class project for my stage combat students, but the show became far more compelling than the class and 10 years later (perhaps one of the longest running internet shows) we’re still cranking out episodes.
And yea, it’s a sword-slinging, vampire-hunting internet series that’s a cross between “Buffy” and “Cops”. It’s all about people who have been bitten by vampires and their attempts to prove to the rest of the world that vampires exist. The vampires, however, have developed an immunity to everything over the years and the only way to kill them is to cut their head off. So that’s how we’ve justified the swordplay.
The most exciting thing about the show is that fans have started creating their own content. For most shows, this would be considered fanfiction and wouldn’t even be acknowledged. To date, there has yet to be a show that not only embraces fanfiction, but makes it part of the show, which is what we’ve done with The Hunted.
This is how Youtube became an overnight success – user content. And the beauty of The Hunted is that the concept is so simple that virtually anyone can shoot an episode. What’s more, we’ve encouraged this idea by sponsoring a series of Youtube contests with cash prizes for best episode. It’s a whole new concept and I think it could be big.
Another problem with most internet shows is that they run out of money and time to crank out an episode every couple weeks. Truth is, there’s still no way to successfully monetize an internet series. The reason we’re still in business is because we have no budget. The show has been produced for years on virtually nothing but friends and favors. And now that users are creating their own content, we no longer have to worry about cranking out an episode every week. Like Youtube, there’s new content all the time.
So will the show eventually find paying sponsors? I have a few ideas including incorporating “micro finance”, but right now, content is king, so that’s what we’re concentrating on. That, and spreading the word.
4) Have you ever got seriously hurt, Doing stunts ?
Thankfully no, but the potential has definitely been there. Just doing swordfights is dangerous enough, but there was one gig where I almost got run over by a train.
5) BEST of Robert ON/OFF sets ?
I think I’m at my best when I’m working on set. Or snowboarding. Or snowboarding on set. Hey, it could happen. Movies are a hoot. Where else could you get paid thousands of dollars to do a commercial sitting on a tropical beach somewhere sipping a beer while girls in skimpy bikinis cavort around you. OK, so that hasn’t exactly happened yet, but I do have my share of stories. And I like to think I’m a nice guy.
6) WORST of Robert ON/OFF sets ?
That usually depends on the people around me. It takes a lot to rile me, but when I do, look out. And I usually have a trunk full of swords in the car.
7) You’re doing the effects for’U.F.O. Movie’, Ever watched
the Gerry Anderson Sci-Fi series ?
HUGE fan when I was 12 years old riding down the street on my bicycle singing the theme song at the top of my lungs. All I can say so far is that I’ve read the script and it rocks!
How many countries have you worked in ? Favorite besides US ?
I’m actually not big on traveling, but so far I’ve worked in the UK, Bahamas, Mexico, Jordan, and India. Nothing like seeing the world on someone else’s dime. What’s more, you get treated like royalty – literally! In Jordan we were guests of Prince (now king) Abdullah and had a royal seal stamped in our passports which allowed us to shoot in some amazing locations including Petra (where Indiana Jones, Last Crusade was shot).
It’s all very exciting stuff, but I still prefer shooting in the US. I only wish California would make it easier for us to shoot in our own back yard.
9) One sentence descriptions:
Jack Black – Crazy fun serious talent – I just hope he doesn’t burn out.
Anthony De Longis – True swordsman, self-promotion master, always willing to learn new skills, friend for over 20 years and a great dance partner.
Ben Stiller – Brilliant but unfortunately developing a bad rep on set.
Michael Pare – A trooper – if you only saw what he went through on 100 feet.
Tim Storms – True renaissance man and goofball – we need more like him.
10) What else, Could you possibly say to the ‘Fans Of Robert
I’ve got fans? Sweet. If there was anyone out there interested in
what I was up to (other than stalkers), I’d try to inspire them, and
tell them to listen to the words of Steven Soderbergh on his 2008
Academy Award acceptance speech:
“Rather than thank some of them publicly, I think I’m going to thank them all privately,” he said. “I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music. Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. I think the world would be unlivable without art.”