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Moviehole’s 10th Birthday! Weeksy quizzes Clint!

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Hi there Boys & Girls, Adam Weeks here to kick off our celebration for “10 Years of Moviehole”. Over the next few months, we’ll be talking to various staff members past & present, taking a look back at the entertainment events of the last decade and a whole lot more, and we think you’re gonna have a great time with it.

Like Jesus, the Moviehole story begins with a Man, a Woman, and a Donkey – I sat down with one of them to get the lowdown on what the hell this place is all about – the one, the only, “Hollywood Movie Star” Clint Morris (also, coincidentally, celebrating his OWN birthday today!):

Q. So who are you again exactly?

The guy that put on a ridiculous fake “man” voice in order to sneak into a screening of Sliver before his 17th birthday.

Q. Billy Baldwin watching Sharon Stone doing naughty things aside, what was your background prior to all of this fame & fortune?

Guy that hands out the buckets at the nudie theaters. Nah, after High School I pursued a career in commercial radio, and announced for a few years – right up until the mid 90s when the networks didn’t so much care for your “personality” as they did your “ability to push the right button”. From copywriting I transgressed into the marketing and advertising field – working for such companies as Mattel, Ausmusic, a Paint Store (exciting!) and Disney.

Q. What made you want to start an entertainment website?

I was spending a lot of time on the internet at work – the internet was new then, and only the rich could afford to have it at home, so I milked the shit out of it whilst I was at the office. Some of my favourite sites to visit – the ones I can mention here – were Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News and MovieWeb. I got to know most of the guys running these sites – occasionally slipping them some insider info.

I decided to start one up for three reasons:
1). I’d usually eat lunch in my office – so I could play on the new-fangled internet contraption and crack onto chicks over Yahoo! Messenger
2). I was getting lots of insider info and decided, why should I pass it off to someone else?
3). I wanted to learn something new. This Internet thing looked fun!

Q. How did you come up with a name like “Moviehole”?

It was either that or team up with Garth Franklin for “Dark Hole”. Beth Chick and I originally envisioned doing a small movie review website where we would review films from the perspectives of both sexes – kinda like a “He Said, She Said” deal. That idea lasted about a month before I retooled the whole site. But even then, and for the first year or so, it was only a couple of pages long, with all the news and reviews on the front page. Very basic. It wasn’t so much a site as it was a place-holder for content that’d eventually be visible five years from now.

Q. So for the record, who was there with you from the beginning, and what did they do?

My ex-girlfriend was there from the beginning – and I think she appreciated me working on the website at night about as much as Tommy Lee does when Pammy leaves teeth marks. But I digress…. Beth and I did mostly everything. We’d constantly quibble over who gets to review a movie like “Babe : Pig in the City” or whatever Melissa Joan Hart had coming out that month.

When Beth decided to go back to school (Not as in “Billy Madison” – where she started from first grade again, more so, she went to study something a little more important than a “Party of Five” episode guide), I started taking on some extra help. Lori Kapes got involved, Gareth Von Kallenbach jumped aboard and a couple of folks from Melbourne, also volunteered to write stuff – whenever “Buffy” wasn’t on.

My wife, Tosia, was also one of the first writers to volunteer her services – yeah, yeah, you know what I’m saying – and had one of the first columns on the site, Topical Tosia. Most of the conversations we had back then used to revolve around “cute boys”, “hair” and “David Duchovny”. Funny how things don’t change.

Q. In the bible, they say something about God lazing about & taking a week to create the Earth – how long did it take from start to finish to get the “Original” Moviehole up & running?

The original one? Probably an hour – I hooked up a Commodore 64 to a hairdryer, inserted some software into the disk-drive, and joined up on a free ‘Tripod’ site… easy as Lindsay.

Q. Being in the business of Film news – it’s nice to have friends in the same field. Who are the other “Webmasters” that you’ve built friendships with?

I’ve known Garth Franklin for over 10 years, Brad Miska probably just as long (I still remember giving Brad tips for his very first online interview – it was Halle Berry for Catwoman, wasn’t it Brad?), and Robert Sanchez for many years too. I also get along well with Josh Tyler, Devin Feraci, Stephen Clark, Bill Ramey, Ryan Rotten… the list goes on. They’re all a good bunch – though Franklin pinches my ass a little too often; he’s gotta cut his nails. We’re all one big community…. And aren’t taking any more membership registrations for the meantime.

Q. Of all the Movie / TV related sites out there, which is your personal favorite?

Besides ChickswithHorses.com? Moviehole. But that’s a given. I enjoy Dark Horizons, CHUD, JoBlo, Bloody Disgusting… too hard to pick a favourite. I used to visit TVGuide.com a lot too, but I have to admit, it’s really dipped since Michael Ausiello jumped ship.

Q. Moviehole is celebrating 10 years in business this year, so let’s get some decade questions going – What’s the best film of the last 10 years?

Since 1998? Undoubtedly, it’s “Sphere” starring Sharon Stone and Dustin Hoffman….. Not. Hard to pick a favourite but “The Departed” is pretty damn special. I also fall in love with films like “Almost Famous”, “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “Knocked Up“ the more I watched them. Comedies have been getting better and better it seems. Superhero movies too. Can’t say the same for John Travolta movies, anything starring a pop singer, or Michael Bay’s attitude.

Q. What’s the worst film?

It’s a three-way between “Catwoman”, “Son of the Mask” and “Battlefield Earth” – with the Pussy in the middle.

Q. The most over-rated during your reign of terror?

I always thought “Donnie Darko” was strangely overrated – that was until I watched it again, I appreciated it a lot more after repeat viewings. Now, I really like it. Thought “Shakespeare in Love” was dreadfully overrated, also didn’t go for “The Royal Tenenbaums” – thought it was as boring as sitting through a Renee Zellweger interview on Larry King, nor were those bloated “Matrix” sequels worth got ass-sitting time.

Q. The most under-rated film?

Quite possibly, “Office Space”. It’s one the decade’s funniest films…. Yet nobody went and saw it! There was also a great little Brad Pitt movie, released in the late 90s, called “Meet Joe Black” that I absolutely loved… and everybody else hated.

Q. Best & Worst TV Show?

“Entourage” has always been a favorite…. I hate reality television, so that essentially means there’s been 4000 shows I’ve hated since 1998, right?

Q. Putting it to rest once and for all – how do you address the rumor that you were once admitted to an Emergency Room with a Gerbil inserted in an…. Unusual place?

Cindy Crawford put it there. Don’t look at me.

Q. Who has been the best interview you’ve had, and why?

That’s a hard one…. But it might be Harrison Ford, if only because it’s a wicked feeling sitting across from Han Solo. Interviewed about two or three hundred people since 1998 – I loved talking to The Rock, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Josh Brolin, Amber Tamblyn etc. There’s some ‘special’ ones too that I won’t soon forget – like my chat with the late Bob Clark (conducted only a few months before his death), anyone from “Twin Peaks” that I’ve chatted to, Eddie Furlong, Sam Raimi, and of course, for obvious reasons, Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Q. And the worst?

Let’s just say she’s definitely had work since Empire Records.

Q. What’s the best thing about running a site like “Moviehole”?

The free mini sausage-rolls, the free over sized T-Shirts, the excuse that you’re at Comic Con “for work only”, and getting to see, er, “D-Tox” a month before everyone else.

Q. The worst thing about it?

That you’re open to attack. Trash a film? You can guarantee yourself some hate mail from not only readers, who loved the same film, but sometimes the director or writer of that film. As Malcolm X knew only too well, you can’t keep everyone happy. And the day I start gushing about every film I see, awarding them all 4 or 5 stars, is the day someone needs to inform me that it’s time to quit. My opinion would have dissolved like Andrew McCarthy’s film career.

It also feels a little bit like you’re a paid walking billboard for a film studio some days – but that’s the price of transforming into a massive website where everyone’s quite aware of how big your audience is. It’s inevitable that you’re going to be used to some extent. But the whole “give and take” ratio is a bit unbalanced. I’m sure every webmaster will attest to that.

Q. What are your big plans for the future with Moviehole – what’s the next big thing to come along?

Well, the big thing for the moment is the redesign that David and I just did. That used up enough energy. Don’t really know what the future holds…. but I’ve a feeling it’ll be more superhero movies, 3D features and stinky Martin Lawrence comedies. How could I leave now!? With so much to look forward to!

Q. You deal with publicists all over the world. Have you developed friendships with them outside of work? how important are these people to Moviehole as a business?

Very important – you can’t run a film website and not deal with studios (many have tried). You’d be stupid to try and do it without their support.

You can’t expect to have a good relationship with every PR Betty or Barney – relationships are generally soiled because someone doesn’t understand the balance, they’ll take, but rarely give; we’ve had a couple of clashes with studios/publicists because of this – but by-and-large, we have great relationships with those scheduling the media screenings and allotting interview time to the ‘hole.

There’s way too many to name, but I’d consider Tamar Teifeld one of the best (she had me at ‘let me buy you some pasta!’) and one of the most honest, Mandy Confoy is a long-time friend (I’ve seen her rise the ranks at Roadshow to become one of the best in Australia) and we have a bit to do with each other, Loretta Mercuri (from “Sony”) and I go way back, Whenever in town I do lunch with Olivier Mouroux (formerly of Dreamworks, and now Disney) – if only so I can get my hands on some stuffed toys for my kid ,Mac McLean is a top guy (and he’s done it all!) too, Tracey Taylor (of “Hoyts”) is one of the nicest and smartest of the biz (and again, love her honesty!), and Joel Pearlman, though not a publicist (he’s head honcho of Roadshow), is a long-time friend – and has been a wonderful support to Moviehole. She checks it daily. I’d be happy to buy any of them a Freddy Fudpucker anytime.

Actually here’s a good example…. Tania Martin – who was actually the publicist for The Movie Network, who we still deal with – is actually one of my best friends now.  After she left her job in PR, we stayed in contact – and now talk nearly every day. I’m expected to be the bridesmaid at her wedding – my dress fitting is coming up… sooo exciting!  Pink! Pink! Pink!  (Tan has also been doing publicity for Moviehole for the past couple of years).

Q. Now for the most important question of this interview – A little over 8 years ago, you met a devilishly handsome man with the looks of a young George Clooney and the charm of Don Juan – was it in fact one of the defining moments of your adult life meeting up with Adam “Weeksy” Weeks, and his reluctantly agreeing to come on board the site?

Which one is he again? Is he the one that liked the last X-Men movie?

(For those that aren’t aware, Weeksy used to work for EzyDVD’s website… who was one of our affiliates at one stage. They owed us so much money, that the only way they’d be able to pay us back, is to give us their editor. Strangely, they didn’t put up a fight.)

_____________________________________________________________

Well – there you have it, the interview you wanted to see – Clint Godzilla Morris the Third.
My thanks to him for taking the time to have this little chat, and as I said at the beginning, we’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up very soon, so we hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

Cheers,
Weeksy.

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