Tim Everitt has a virtual phonebook of movies that he was worked on, from The Italian Job to Blood Diamond, as well as his own cult 1980’s favourite Furious. The latter was directed by him and will finally see its release on home media. The martial arts fantasy science-fiction comedy that has been illegally copied and downloaded thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of times on the internet, is about to be released for the first time this month. We caught up with Tim last week to discuss Furious and more…
Hello Tim, how are you?
It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything from Furious. Why did it take so long to hit the finish line and appear on DVD?
The film has always been pirated, from the time it was made. But in the last few years it was re-discovered by retro VHS collectors, which is a new, very hip audience. That, along with the internet, made the film go viral. Suddenly there were reviews and mentions all over the place. People started showing it in theatrical showcases, using only the VHS tape. Crazy. So we thought that if there was that much interest, we should make the effort to remaster the film in a modern digital format and get it released. Then at least, people can see a good version of it, if they want.
Do you feel vindicated now that it’s officially ready to release?
Well, it’s always nice when a film finds it’s audience. It just took 25 years for this one to get there. But the audience finally caught up to Furious. The film has an off-the-wall sense of humor, and this post-Python generation seems to go with it. So we’re very happy that people like it.
How was the remastering process, paintstaking, fun?
Painful, because the original elements were in kind of marginal shape. It took a lot of color correction and noise reduction, and that’s hard work on any feature. Each shot gets walked in, and that takes a long time.
As well as directorial duties, you have a strong resume in visual effects from The Last Samuari to Pirates of the Carribean. Personally though, I think the art is becoming tainted
by beastly computer processors doing suspect duties. Is CGI having a negative effect?
No, there’s more FX work in any typical film these days than you know, because the results are supposed to be invisible. People only complain about big comic-book movies because they are driven by effects, so they’re really obvious. But major effects are now getting more thoughtful treatment, thanks to Lord Of The Rings. Yes, Golum was CG, but there were a ton of miniatures and physical effects that were so successful they made producers re-think CG. I think it’s good, because you have to use the right tool for the job, and I’m glad that puppets and giant miniatures (my favourite oxymoron) are back in favour.
Speaking of Furious, we just heard that Phillip Rhee is going to rejig The Best of the Best. That would be a nice team up for you and him again…?
Phil is releasing a new film this year that’s kind of Best of the Best meets Bad News Bears. It’s a very nice, mature, family friendly film. I can’t wait to see it. And yes, Phil is extremely talented, on both sides of the camera, so I would love it.
What was it like working with Michael Ironside in Too Fast, Too Young…? He’s a cult favourite of ours, just got to ask!
Micheal was extremely cool. He brought Marshall Bell and Richard Reilly to the film, who are probably the two greatest character actors in Hollywood today. We owe him a lot. Funny story, the distributor came to the set the first day Michael was shooting and was giving Verna, the producer a hard time about every little thing. Michael casually walked over and had a little word with them and they went away. He stuck up for us, and that’s something rare. He’s a man’s man.
Remakes that you have worked on are The Italian Job and The Manchurian Candidate. To me, those are two rare instances where a remake worked just as good as the original. What are the ingredients of a good remake?
The same for any movie. A good director, a good cast. The fact that the film worked before means the script probably worked, but style and feel and star chemistry always win the day. Any good film is a miracle of kismet. So you never now, but both those films had a cast that really clicked.
Finally, what’s next for Tim Everitt, any irons on the fire?
I’m working hard to get a new picture off the ground. It’s a comedy, too! But it’s the best script I’ve ever seen, so real. Every line is honest. It’s not over-the-top, it’s a movie about real people. It just happens to be hilariously funny. We’re raising independent money, but are looking at a serious studio release. If the cast is right, it will be huge. That’s the plan, anyway. We’ve got a couple of commitments, and will announce very soon. Wish us luck!
Good luck! Furious can be found on DVD on Amazon.