header


Crispin Hellion Glover
On Tour
By: Jeff Liberty
About 6 months ago I e-mailed in my opinion, the remarkable Artistic giant of film, and every other artistic medium he touches Crispin Hellion Glover about his current projects,fixations and to find out if he was working on any new music. Well it took some time, but a couple of days ago, SURPRISE! Crispin got back to me about his tour dates he was kicking off in style for January 2012. I was elevated to hear he is on tour and wanted our Punk Globe readers to know. Glover is a multi tradesman being a popular actor, screenwriter, director, recording artist, author and even publisher. Glovers company Volcanic Eruptions published his books and is the production company for his own films. The movie going popcorn eating masses know him as the quirky character George McFly in the blockbuster film Back To The Future, Layne in River's Edge, "Thin Man" in Charlie's Angels (and the sequel), Willard Stiles in the classic remake Willard. Most recently Glover worked with Tim Burton in Alice in Wonderland as The Knave Of Hearts. More recently Glover is also the voice of Fifi in Open Season,and Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine which I have watched about a dozen times! Phew, now! With all said the tour is about Glover's movies and books which will make for an incredible show, which will consist of both the second part of the "It" trilogy. Yes a movie will be screened, a reading and slide show coupled with a Q&A and book signing at the end will all happen! Or to understand better just go to this link about the show http://www.crispinglover.com/slideshow.htm You will also find all of his current up coming tour dates at this link so grab some friends and make it out. There is a couple dates in my old hometown of Ottawa, Canada which I want to attend! Here is the Cyber interview I had with Crispin while he was in London - get a coffee, put your feet up and Enjoy the interview!
Punk Globe:
You have a number of your dates to kick of the new year in style. In reading about the tour it says you will either feature a screening of the film It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. Or What is it? What determines what film the audience experiences and why?
Crispin Hellion Glover:
I am extremely proud of both the films. Officially “What is it?” is part one of what will be the “IT” trilogy “It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.” is part two of what will be the “IT” trilogy and “IT IS MINE.” will be part three when that film is completed.

For various reasons more people have seen “What is it?” than have seen “It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.” Sometimes venues only want me to show one film. If that is the case at this point in time I show “It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.” so that more people get to see that film as well.

I am very careful to make it quite clear that What is it? is not a film about Down’s Syndrome but my psychological reaction to the corporate restraints that have happened in the last 20 to 30 years in film making. Specifically anything that can possibly make an audience uncomfortable is necessarily excised or the film will not be corporately funded or distributed. This is damaging to the culture because it is the very moment when an audience member sits back in their chair looks up at the screen and thinks to their self “Is this right what I am watching? Is this wrong what I am watching? Should I be here? Should the filmmaker have made this? What is it?” -and that is the title of the film. What is it that is taboo in the culture? What does it mean that taboo has been ubiquitously excised in this culture’s media? What does it mean to the culture when it does not properly process taboo in it’s media? It is a bad thing because when questions are not being asked because these kinds of questions are when people are having a truly educational experience. For the culture to not be able to ask questions leads towards a non educational experience and that is what is happening in this culture. This stupefies this culture and that is of course a bad thing. So What is it? Is a direct reaction to the contents this culture’s media. I would like people to think for themselves.

Steven C. Stewart wrote and is the main actor in part two of the trilogy titled It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. I put Steve in to the cast of What is it? because he had written this screenplay which I read in 1987. When I turned What is it? from a short film in to a feature I realized there were certain thematic elements in the film that related to what Steven C. Stewart’s screenplay dealt with. Steve had been locked in a nursing home for about ten years when his mother died. He had been born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and he was very difficult to understand. People that were caring for him in the nursing home would derisively call him an “M.R.” short for “Mental Retard”. This is not a nice thing to say to anyone, but Steve was of normal intelligence. When he did get out he wrote his screenplay. Although it is written in the genre of a murder detective thriller truths of his own existence come through much more clearly than if he had written it as a standard autobiography. As I have stated, I put Steven C. Stewart in to What is it? When I turned What is it? in to a feature film. Originally What is it? Was going to be a short film to promote the concept to corporate film funding entities that working with a cast wherein most characters are played by actors with Down’s Syndrome. Steve had written his screenplay in the late 1970’s. I read it in 1987 and as soon as I had read it I knew I had to produce the film. Steven C. Stewart died within a month after we finished shooting the film. Cerebral palsy is not generative but Steve was 62 when we shot the film. One of Steve’s lungs had collapsed because he had started choking on his own saliva and he got pneumonia. I specifically started funding my own films with the money I make from the films I act in when Steven C. Stewart’s lung collapsed in the year 2000 this was around the same time that the first Charlie’s Angels film was coming to me. I realized with the money I made from that film I could put straight in to the Steven C. Stewart film. That is exactly what happened. I finished acting in Charlie’s Angels and then went to Salt Lake City where Steven C. Stewart lived. I met with Steve and David Brothers with whom I co-directed the film. I went back to LA and acted in an lower budget film for about five weeks and David Brothers started building the sets. Then I went straight back to Salt Lake and we completed shooting the film within about six months in three separate smaller productions. Then Steve died within a month after we finished shooting. I am relieved to have gotten this film finally completed because ever since I read the screenplay in 1987 I knew I had to produce the film and also produce it correctly. I would not have felt right about myself if I had not gotten Steve’s film made, I would have felt that I had done something wrong and that I had actually done a bad thing if I had not gotten it made. So I am greatly relieved to have completed it especially since I am very pleased with how well the film has turned out. We shot It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. while I was still completing What it? And this is partly why What is it? took a long time to complete. I am very proud of the film as I am of What is it? I feel It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. will probably be the best film I will have anything to do with in my entire career. People who are interested in when I will be back should join up on the e mail list at CrispinGlover.com as they will be emailed with information as to where I will be where with whatever film I tour with. It is by far the best way to know how to see the films.

After Charlie’s Angels came out it did very well financially and was good for my acting career. I started getting better roles that also paid better and I could continue using that money to finance my films that I am so truly passionate about. I have been able to divorce myself from the content of the films that I act in and look at acting as a craft that I am helping other filmmakers to accomplish what it is that they want to do. Usually filmmakers have hired me because there is something they have felt would be interesting to accomplish with using me in their film and usually I can try to do something interesting as an actor. If for some reason the director is not truly interested in doing something that I personally find interesting with the character then I can console myself that with the money I am making to be in their production I can help to fund my own films that I am so truly passionate about. Usually though I feel as though I am able to get something across as an actor that I feel good about. It has worked out well.
Punk Globe:
I loved hearing you narrate one of your books from the video on your site. You narrate 8 books over an hour. Do you change it up every night in delivery and sequence? How much of it is about spontaneity and feeding off the energy of the audience?
Crispin Hellion Glover:
Thank you! The live aspect of the shows are not to be underestimated. This is a large part of how I bring audiences in to the theatre and a majority of how I recoup is by what is charged for the live show and what I make from selling the books after the shows.

For “Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show” I perform a one hour dramatic narration of eight different books I have made over the years. The books are taken from old books from the 1800's that have been changed in to different books from what they originally were. They are heavily illustrated with original drawings and reworked images and photographs.

I started making my books in 1983 for my own enjoyment without the concept of publishing them. I had always written and drawn and the books came as an accidental outgrowth of that. I was in an acting class in 1982 and down the block was an art gallery that had a book store upstairs. In the book store there was a book for sale that was an old binding taken from the 1800's and someone had put their art work inside the binding. I thought this was a good idea and set out to do the same thing. I worked a lot with India ink at the time and was using the India ink on the original pages to make various art. I had always liked words in art and left some of the words on one of the pages. I did this again a few pages later and then when I turned the pages I noticed that a story started to naturally form and so I continued with this. When I was finished with the book I was pleased with the results and kept making more of them. I made most of the books in the 80's and very early 90's. Some of the books utilize text from the biding it was taken from and some of them are basically completely original text. Sometimes I would find images that I was inspired to create stories for or sometimes it was the binding or sometimes it was portions of the texts that were interesting. Altogether, I made about twenty of them. When I was editing my first feature film “What is it?” There was a reminiscent quality to the way I worked with the books because as I was expanding the film in to a feature from what was originally going to be a short, I was taking film material that I had shot for a different purpose originally and re-purposed it for a different idea and I was writing and shooting and ultimately editing at the same time. Somehow I was comfortable with this because of similar experiences with making my books.

When I first started publishing the books in 1988 people said I should have book readings. But the book are so heavily illustrated and they way the illustrations are used within the books they help to tell the story so the only way for the books to make sense was to have visually representations of the images. This is why I knew a slide show was necessary. It took a while but in 1992 I started performing what I now call Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Side Show Part 1. The content of that show has not changed since I first started performing it. But the performance of the show has become more dramatic as opposed to more of a reading. The books do not change but the performance of the show of course varies slightly from show to show based the audience’s energy and my energy. People sometimes get confused as to what “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show (Parts 1&2)” is so now I always let it be known that it is a one hour dramatic narration of eight different profusely illustrated books that I have made over the years. The illustrations from the books are projected behind me as I perform the show. There is a second slide show now that also has 8 books. Part 2 is performed if I have a show with Part 1 of the “IT” trilogy and then on the subsequent night I will perform the second slide show and Part 2 of the “IT” trilogy. The second slide show has been developed over the last several years and the content has changed as it has been developed, but I am very happy with the content of the second slide show now.

The fact that I tour with the film helps the distribution element. I consider what I am doing to be following in the steps of vaudeville performers. Vaudeville was the main form of entertainment for most of the history of the US. It has only relatively recently stopped being the main source of entertainment, but that does not mean this live element mixed with other media is no longer viable. In fact it is apparent that it is sorely missed.

I definitely have been aware of the element of utilizing the fact that I am known from work in the corporate media I have done in the last 25 years or so. This is something I rely on for when I go on tour with my films. It lets me go to various places and have the local media cover the fact that I will be performing a one hour live dramatic narration of eight different books which are profusely illustrated and projected as I go through them, then show the film either What is it? Being 72 minutes or It is fine! EVERYTHGIN IS FINE being 74 minutes. Then having a Q and A and then a book signing. As I funded the films I knew that this is how I would recoup my investment even if it a slow process.

Volcanic Eruptions was a business I started in Los Angeles in 1988 as Crispin Hellion Glover doing business as Volcanic Eruptions. It was a name to use for my book publishing company. About a year later I had a record/CD come out with a corporation called Restless Records. About when I had sold the same amount of books as CD/records had sold it was very clear to me that because I had published my own books that I had a far greater profit margin. It made me very suspicious of working with corporations as a business model. Financing/Producing my own films is based on the basic business model of my own publishing company. There are benefits and drawbacks about self distributing my own films. In this economy it seems like a touring with the live show and showing the films with a book signing is a very good basic safety net for recouping the monies I have invested in the films.

There are other beneficial aspects of touring with the shows other than monetary elements.

There are benefits that I am in control of the distribution and personally supervise the monetary intake of the films that I am touring with. I also control piracy in this way because digital copy of this film is stolen material and highly prosecutable. It is enjoyable to travel and visit places, meet people, perform the shows and have interaction with the audiences and discussions about the films afterwards. The forum after the show is also not to under- estimated as a very important part of the show for the audience. This also makes me much more personally grateful to the individuals who come to my shows as there is no corporate intermediary. The drawbacks are that a significant amount of time and energy to promote and travel and perform the shows. Also the amount of people seeing the films is much smaller than if I were to distribute the films in a more traditional sense.

The way I distribute my films is certainly not traditional in the contemporary sense of film distribution but perhaps is very traditional when looking further back at vaudeville era film distribution. If there are any filmmakers that are able to utilize aspects of what I am doing then that is good. It has taken many years to organically develop what I am doing now as far as my distribution goes.
Punk Globe:
You do a Q&A after the show. What in recent memory has been the most interesting question for you from an audience member and why?
Crispin Hellion Glover:
For me personally because I have toured so much for so many years there are certain core questions that need to get asked and responded to. Every once in a while someone will make an insight in to something I had not realized about the films myself and that is always very enjoyable. The last comment I remember that happening with was something about the psychology of Steven C. Stewart and possible reasons for certain difficult aspects of the film that could possibly have stemmed from his physical imprisonment at the nursing centre he had been virtually locked in to for about a decade.
Punk Globe:
Your seem so prolific in constant creating? Would you consider that accurate or a figment of my own imagination?
Crispin Hellion Glover:
I am glad that my work and lifestyle let’s me work as an actor and create other artistic endeavours. While it is true I am privileged to continue creating there is also the business of distribution I am involved in with my films and books. This distribution portion of my business is more business in the standard sense as opposed to a creative endeavour. Something I am actually very proud of is the business model I have created for distributing my own films. Back in the 90’s when I figured I could do it, I only was going on that I had toured with my Slide Shows successfully. It is very satisfying for it to be continuing to work.
Punk Globe:
What are you working on now that we can look forward to? Also, What is your personal current fixations?
Crispin Hellion Glover:
The sets for my next film productions have started construction. At the same time the sets are being built I am in the process of continuing to develop the screenplay for myself and my father to act in together on these very sets. He is also an actor and that is the next film I am planning to make as a director/producer. This will be the first role I write for myself to act in that will be written as an acting role as opposed to a role that was written for the character I play to merely serve the structure. But even still on some level I am writing the screenplay to be something that I can afford to make. There are two other projects I am currently developing to shoot on sets at my property in the Czech Republic. The cost of the set building will determine which one I actually shoot next. They will all be relatively affordable yet still cinematically pleasing.
Punk Globe:
Thanks again! It's been a privilege!
Crispin Hellion Glover:
Thank you!

jeff@punkglobe.com




Name:

(30 Characters Max)

Comment: @ 1:26:22 21/08/17

(255 Characters Max)

Leave this empty:


Comments on
Crispin Hellion Glover

Fatal error: Call to undefined function database() in /home1/punkglob/public_html/footer.php on line 37