Hi there Boys & Girls, Adam Weeks here to kick off our celebration for â€œ10 Years of Movieholeâ€. Over the next few months, weâ€™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 youâ€™re gonna have a great time with it.
Like Jesus, the Moviehole story begins with a Man, a Woman, and a Donkey â€“ I sat down with one of them to get the lowdown on what the hell this place is all about â€“ the one, the only, â€œHollywood Movie Starâ€ Clint Morris (also, coincidentally, celebrating his OWN birthday today!):
Q. So who are you again exactly?
The guy that put on a ridiculous fake â€œmanâ€ 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 â€“ right up until the mid 90s when the networks didnâ€™t so much care for your â€œpersonalityâ€ as they did your â€œability to push the right buttonâ€. From copywriting I transgressed into the marketing and advertising field â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ the ones I can mention here â€“ were Dark Horizons, Ainâ€™t It Cool News and MovieWeb. I got to know most of the guys running these sites â€“ occasionally slipping them some insider info.
I decided to start one up for three reasons:
1). Iâ€™d usually eat lunch in my office â€“ 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 â€œMovieholeâ€?
It was either that or team up with Garth Franklin for â€œDark Holeâ€. Beth Chick and I originally envisioned doing a small movie review website where we would review films from the perspectives of both sexes â€“ kinda like a â€œHe Said, She Saidâ€ 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 wasnâ€™t so much a site as it was a place-holder for content thatâ€™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 â€“ 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 digressâ€¦. Beth and I did mostly everything. Weâ€™d constantly quibble over who gets to review a movie like â€œBabe : Pig in the Cityâ€ or whatever Melissa Joan Hart had coming out that month.
When Beth decided to go back to school (Not as in â€œBilly Madisonâ€ â€“ where she started from first grade again, more so, she went to study something a little more important than a â€œParty of Fiveâ€ 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 â€“ whenever “Buffy” wasn’t on.
My wife, Tosia, was also one of the first writers to volunteer her services â€“ yeah, yeah, you know what Iâ€™m saying â€“ and had one of the first columns on the site, Topical Tosia. Most of the conversations we had back then used to revolve around â€œcute boysâ€, â€œhairâ€ and â€œDavid Duchovnyâ€. Funny how things donâ€™t change.
Q. In the bible, they say something about God lazing about & taking a week to create the Earth â€“ how long did it take from start to finish to get the â€œOriginalâ€ Moviehole up & running?
The original one? Probably an hour â€“ I hooked up a Commodore 64 to a hairdryer, inserted some software into the disk-drive, and joined up on a free â€˜Tripodâ€™ siteâ€¦ easy as Lindsay.
Q. Being in the business of Film news â€“ itâ€™s nice to have friends in the same field. Who are the other â€œWebmastersâ€ that youâ€™ve built friendships with?
Iâ€™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 Rottenâ€¦ the list goes on. Theyâ€™re all a good bunch â€“ though Franklin pinches my ass a little too often; heâ€™s gotta cut his nails. Weâ€™re all one big communityâ€¦. And arenâ€™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 thatâ€™s a given. I enjoy Dark Horizons, CHUD, JoBlo, Bloody Disgustingâ€¦ too hard to pick a favourite. I used to visit TVGuide.com a lot too, but I have to admit, itâ€™s really dipped since Michael Ausiello jumped ship.
Q. Moviehole is celebrating 10 years in business this year, so letâ€™s get some decade questions going â€“ Whatâ€™s the best film of the last 10 years?
Since 1998? Undoubtedly, itâ€™s â€œSphereâ€ starring Sharon Stone and Dustin Hoffmanâ€¦.. Not. Hard to pick a favourite but â€œThe Departedâ€ is pretty damn special. I also fall in love with films like â€œAlmost Famousâ€, â€œGrosse Pointe Blankâ€ and â€œKnocked Upâ€œ the more I watched them. Comedies have been getting better and better it seems. Superhero movies too. Canâ€™t say the same for John Travolta movies, anything starring a pop singer, or Michael Bayâ€™s attitude.
Q. Whatâ€™s the worst film?
Itâ€™s a three-way between â€œCatwomanâ€, â€œSon of the Maskâ€ and â€œBattlefield Earthâ€ â€“ with the Pussy in the middle.
Q. The most over-rated during your reign of terror?
I always thought â€œDonnie Darkoâ€ was strangely overrated â€“ that was until I watched it again, I appreciated it a lot more after repeat viewings. Now, I really like it. Thought â€œShakespeare in Loveâ€ was dreadfully overrated, also didnâ€™t go for â€œThe Royal Tenenbaumsâ€ â€“ thought it was as boring as sitting through a Renee Zellweger interview on Larry King, nor were those bloated â€œMatrixâ€ sequels worth got ass-sitting time.
Q. The most under-rated film?
Quite possibly, â€œOffice Spaceâ€. Itâ€™s one the decadeâ€™s funniest filmsâ€¦. Yet nobody went and saw it! There was also a great little Brad Pitt movie, released in the late 90s, called â€œMeet Joe Blackâ€ that I absolutely lovedâ€¦ and everybody else hated.
Q. Best & Worst TV Show?
â€œEntourageâ€ has always been a favoriteâ€¦. I hate reality television, so that essentially means thereâ€™s been 4000 shows Iâ€™ve hated since 1998, right?
Q. Putting it to rest once and for all â€“ how do you address the rumor that you were once admitted to an Emergency Room with a Gerbil inserted in anâ€¦. Unusual place?
Cindy Crawford put it there. Donâ€™t look at me.
Q. Who has been the best interview youâ€™ve had, and why?
Thatâ€™s a hard oneâ€¦. But it might be Harrison Ford, if only because itâ€™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?
Letâ€™s just say sheâ€™s definitely had work since Empire Records.
Q. Whatâ€™s the best thing about running a site like â€œMovieholeâ€?
The free mini sausage-rolls, the free over sized T-Shirts, the excuse that youâ€™re at Comic Con â€œfor work onlyâ€, and getting to see, er, â€œD-Toxâ€ a month before everyone else.
Q. The worst thing about it?
That youâ€™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 canâ€™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 itâ€™s time to quit. My opinion would have dissolved like Andrew McCarthyâ€™s film career.
It also feels a little bit like youâ€™re a paid walking billboard for a film studio some days â€“ but thatâ€™s the price of transforming into a massive website where everyoneâ€™s quite aware of how big your audience is. Itâ€™s inevitable that youâ€™re going to be used to some extent. But the whole â€œgive and takeâ€ ratio is a bit unbalanced. Iâ€™m sure every webmaster will attest to that.
Q. What are your big plans for the future with Moviehole â€“ whatâ€™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. Donâ€™t really know what the future holdsâ€¦. but Iâ€™ve a feeling itâ€™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.Â 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!Â Pink! Pink! Pink!Â (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 â€“ was it in fact one of the defining moments of your adult life meeting up with Adam â€œWeeksyâ€ 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 arenâ€™t aware, Weeksy used to work for EzyDVDâ€™s websiteâ€¦ who was one of our affiliates at one stage. They owed us so much money, that the only way theyâ€™d be able to pay us back, is to give us their editor. Strangely, they didnâ€™t put up a fight.)
Well â€“ 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, weâ€™ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up very soon, so we hope youâ€™ll stick around for the ride.