Wes Craven AOL Chat

KaufNYC: Welcome, Wes Craven. It's good to have you here.

Wes Craven: It's great to be here!

KaufNYC: Anything you'd like to say to everyone joining us, before we begin?

Wes Craven: I am very glad to be here, and I'll answer any questions you have to ask. I'm especially glad about "Scream 3."

KaufNYC: The trailer is great. Has it been done for long?

Wes Craven: It's not done really, it's shot as of about a month ago and we just sent the first cut to New York today. We are still cutting and defining, but in 4 weeks we'll be doing the final mix.

Question: Wes, I admire all of your work. Youre a great screenplay writer. I have written a script myself, and I was wondering if you knew a number or e-mail or any way to contact New Line, so I can see if they want to buy my script. Thanks, Mike, Florida.

Wes Craven: This is one of those questions I get asked... in general, a producer won't accept a script unless it comes from an agent. Another way is through a personal acquaintance.

Question: When is the big movie coming out? I'm really excited to see it. I'm a "Scream" fanatic... I have seen it 67 times!!

Wes Craven: It's coming out February 4th to a theater near you!

KaufNYC: Were you excited to get back to horror after doing "Music of the Heart?"

Wes Craven: Yes, it's always a lot of fun to do scary movies.

Question: What is your fixation with the horror genre because you display the ability to do more than just direct those kinds of movies?

Wes Craven: Well, it took most of my career to get the chance to show that I could do other things. I don't think it's so much of a fixation. Having done "Music of the Heart," I hope to be able to do other types of material as well as horror.

Question: It seems that no one really heard anything about "Scream 3" until it was almost finished filming. How did you manage to get this filmed with so much secrecy, as opposed to "Scream 2," where the rumors were running rampant from day one?

Wes Craven: One, we have a lot of practice in doing it secretly; we're better at it. And two, the major acting sequences were done on stage and do not involve a lot of extras. It's usually that one in 200 that goes home and puts the info on the Internet.

Question: Do you miss Jamie Kennedy on the set, and the scripting of Kevin Williamson?

Wes Craven: Yes. Jamie is a lot of fun, and we do miss his kind of crazy energy. And we did also miss Kevin's writing on this one. We are, however, very excited with Ehren Kruger.

Question: Wes, what do you prefer... "Nightmare" or the "Scream" movies?

Wes Craven: I like the fact that I was able to write and direct the two "Nightmare" movies that I did, but since the "Scream" scripts have been of such a high quality, it has been a pleasure doing them as well.

Question: Has Kevin Williamson been to the set of "Scream 3" to see how his creation is going?

Wes Craven: No. Kevin didn't do this one because he is very busy, and between his writing on other projects, "Dawson's Creek" and "Wasteland," he has been too busy to do anything but work on those.

Question: Wes, after completing the "Scream" trilogy, will you decide to take a break from the horror genre?

Wes Craven: Possibly, the next project will be the film verson of my novel, which is called "Fountain Society." However, our present contract with Miramax films calls for us to produce four new genre films. The possibility of at least one more scary picture that I would direct myself, also.

Question: Do you surf the web a lot? Do you check out sites about Scream or yourself? Do you really read the notes on WesCraven.com?

Wes Craven: Yes, as much as I can. I answer a lot of fan mail. My webmaster is very selective of the letters. I also enjoy surfing and checking out any cool news that lets me know what people are thinking about my films.

Question: Hey, Wes Craven! Did you feel pressured trying to make "Scream 3" top its predecessors?

Wes Craven: I feel it's a challenge. I take that as a positive thing. Pressure seems to suggest a negative thing, which I don't have about this.

KaufNYC: What do you feel is your best film?

Wes Craven: The last one I made! That's how directors always feel, and you are always learning. At the same time, you hope the next film will be even better.

Question: Hello. What made you want to go into filmmaking?

Wes Craven: Films. When I was teaching college, I began seeing many wonderful films at film festivals and theaters that played the best of American and foreign films. I was so inspired by what I saw that I quit my job as a teacher and went to New York to learn how to make movies. It took about a year and a half of very hard work before I was given the chance to direct my first film, which was "Last House on the Left." The budget was only $90,000 but it started my career, and I have been going ever since.

Question: When you do your movies, is it important to have fun in the process?

Wes Craven: Yes, I think it is important to maintain an environment on the set that is relaxed and open. If you couple that with a good script and thorough preparation, you can have a lot of fun, even when making a very diffiicult movie. The results are better when everyone looks forward to coming to work.

Question: What is more difficult, writing or directing?

Wes Craven: Writing is more emotionally and mentally difficult because you are working with nothing and usually working alone. It's quite an isolated feeling. The only good thing to say is that you are home with a cup of hot coffee and comfortable as one can be. The difficult thing about directing is that it is done under a great deal of pressure, and you get no sleep for 10 weeks or so, not to mention being on your feet, and either too hot or too cold. But you have a lot of help, so it adds up to more fun than writing. All that being said, there's no better feeling than writing a script that you feel really works.

KaufNYC: Why was "Scream 3" moved from this year to February?

Wes Craven: I think it was just we felt that if we had released it in December, we would have not had the time to do the production work to do the film that we wanted to release. If we had released it on December 10, the time for my editing and director's cut would have been one day. Not enough to do it right.

Question: Who was the hardest character for you to part with from "Scream" or "Scream 2"?

Wes Craven: Randy.

Question: Are there any films, actors or directors that inspired you?

Wes Craven: Too many to mention! Certainly all of the great European filmmakers of the '60s and '70s -- Fellini, Bunuel, etc. But I am also inspired by current actors and directors. Spike Jonez' "On Being John Malkovich" made me happy just to be in the same business.

KaufNYC: Time for one more question.

Question: Is "Music of the Heart" the first in a step to broaden your directing to other types of films?

Wes Craven: I hope it is. The reception has been very positive, and I hope it will open doors that were previously closed to my producer Maddalena and me. I'd love to be able to go back and forth between genre and straight films. It's good for me, and I think it is good for the genre. Sam Raimi and David Lynch did very different movies, so it's good to think genre directors are into other things. It's good for everyone.

KaufNYC: Thanks, Wes, for taking the time to join us tonight.

Wes Craven: It has been a lot of fun.

KaufNYC: We're looking very forward to a great scare once again.

Wes Craven: Thank you all for your questions, and I hope you will reserve February 4th for a scary and fun night with "Scream 3."

KaufNYC: We look forward to it.

Wes Craven: Good night.

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