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Sunday, October 2, 2005

Harvey Selleck, Independent Producer

Big Damn Funny: So, Mr. Selleck...

Harvey Selleck: Call me Harvey.

BDF: OK. Harvey. What is it like being an independent producer? Do you find it difficult to compete with Hollywood?

Selleck: There are times when Hollywood makes life hard, sure. They don't seem to like competition from outsiders. Even though they spend so much time ripping each other off, they will pounce on you with a thousand lawyers in a heartbeat when you aren't one of the big guns.

BDF: For example?

Selleck: Well, look at Antz and A Bugs Life....same movie. But when I attempted a female empowering off-broadway play called The Vagine Soliloquys I got hammered by The Vagina Monologues people. I tried to explain the subtle difference between a soliloquy and a monologue.

BDF: Um....there isn't really a difference.

Selleck: Sure there is. A soliloquy is when a person talks to himself revealing his thoughts without actually addressing a listener.

BDF: And?

Selleck: A monologue has a listener. There are other characters around.

BDF: Not always.

Selleck: Well, sure. Not always....that's what the Monologue people said, too.

BDF: OK. Moving on.

Selleck: Right. I also tried to put together a film called Pink Black Panther about a homosexual militant African-American. That didn't fly. Couldn't get the funding. I pitched a television show idea to all the networks called Kidnapped!, but they wouldn't bite.

BDF: What was the show about?

Selleck: It is a reality show where we choose two families at random and kidnap their children. The audience watches in real time as the two families compete to finish the guidelines set forth by the kidnapper to rescue their children. Of course, only one family can win. That's where the networks got really hung up on it.

BDF: What happens with the losing family?

Selleck: We keep the kid. Sell him on the black market or something. Hell, we gotta fund this show somehow.

BDF: I'm guessing the networks didn't like that idea.

Selleck: Hell no. Bunch of pussies. After that I decided to stick with films. I wrote a spec script for a sequel to Big called Small. It is kind of a reverse of the first film. Now the kid is all grown up and it sucks, so he decides he wants to be small again. Only something goes horribly awry and he is still an adult, only he is three inches tall. You know, comedy ensues.

BDF: What happened with that?

Selleck: Hanks dug where I was going with it. The studio shot it down. Said nobody wanted to see a really tiny Oscar winner. Maybe they were right. I don't know.

BDF: Have you ever successfully produced...well...anything?

Selleck: Sure! I had a nice run with an off-off-broadway musical version of Fight Club. Until I got sued. Turns out the guy who sold me the rights didn't really have the rights. I shoulda known better. I met him in a barbershop. Not a lot of Hollywood players hanging around barbershops selling DVD players that have "fallen off a truck", you know?

BDF: I can imagine.

Selleck: Well, I gotta get back to work. I'm trying to raise some funds for an animated film about a family of cannibals. It's gonna be killer. Hell, I should use that as the tagline. That's really good.

BDF: Actually, no it isn't.

Selleck: What the hell do you know? What have you produced?

BDF: Yeah....anyway....it was great talking with you. Good luck with your projects.

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