If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
Crispin Glover needs no introduction for genre fans. From 1984's fan favorite FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER, to RIVER'S EDGE in 1986, to his starring turn in 2003's WILLARD, Glover has cemented himself as a horror icon with his memorably off-beat performances (and then there's a little film called BACK TO THE FUTURE...). In the midst of his higher profile appearances, he has been publishing books and making films of his own, taking them to audiences with a unique tour billed as, "Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show." Fango caught up with Gover as he prepares to head back out on the road for another series of in-person appearances.
Glover's two major directorial efforts are 2005's WHAT IS IT?, and it's 2007 sequel IT IS FINE, EVERYTHING IS FINE. The intriguing, artistically adventurous and audience-challenging IT IS FINE, EVERYTHING IS FINE tell the story of a young man's various struggles in life, and WHAT IS IT? has a cast made up almost entirely of actors with Downs Syndrome. Glover has been making appearances with his films for a few years now, and recently has broken his presentation up into two separate events, as he explains below, that also include readings and visual presentations of the various books he has written.
The first shows of the new tour are this Friday and Saturday in Nashville, TN (complete schedule at the end of interview).
Keep your eyes peeled for an in-depth career spanning interview with Glover in an upcoming issue of FANGORIA. For now, get up to speed on his tour and publishing efforts in our exclusive chat...
FANGORIA: For the uninitiated, please fill fans in on what is in store for them when they attend Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show...
CRISPIN GLOVER: For “Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show” I perform a one hour dramatic narration of eight different books I have made over the years. The books are taken from old books from the 1800's that have been changed in to different books from what they originally were. They are heavily illustrated with original drawings and reworked images and photographs.
People sometimes get confused as to what “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show (Parts 1&2)” is so now I always let it be known that it is a one hour dramatic narration of eight different profusely illustrated books that I have made over the years. The illustrations from the books are projected behind me as I perform the show. There is a second slide show now that also has 8 books. Part 2 is performed if I have a show with Part 1 of the “IT” trilogy and then on the subsequent night I will perform the second slide show and Part 2 of the “IT” trilogy. The second slide show has been developed over the last several years and the content has changed as it has been developed, but I am very happy with the content of the second slide show now.
FANG: Tell us about your books...
GLOVER: I started making my books in 1983 for my own enjoyment without the concept of publishing them. I had always written and drawn and the books came as an accidental outgrowth of that. I was in an acting class in 1982 and down the block was an art gallery that had a book store upstairs. In the book store there was a book for sale that was an old binding taken from the 1800's and someone had put their art work inside the binding. I thought this was a good idea and set out to do the same thing. I worked a lot with India ink at the time and was using the India ink on the original pages to make various art. I had always liked words in art and left some of the words on one of the pages. I did this again a few pages later and then when I turned the pages I noticed that a story started to naturally form and so I continued with this. When I was finished with the book I was pleased with the results and kept making more of them. I made most of the books in the 80's and very early 90's. Some of the books utilize text from the biding it was taken from and some of them are basically completely original text. Sometimes I would find images that I was inspired to create stories for or sometimes it was the binding or sometimes it was portions of the texts that were interesting. Altogether, I made about twenty of them. When I was editing my first feature film “What is it?” There was a reminiscent quality to the way I worked with the books because as I was expanding the film in to a feature from what was originally going to be a short, I was taking film material that I had shot for a different purpose originally and re-purposed it for a different idea and I was writing and shooting and ultimately editing at the same time. Somehow I was comfortable with this because of similar experiences with making my books.
FANG: This is a very organic approach to sharing your art with the public. While most of your career has been on screen or behind the camera and very much removed from your audience, the Big Slide Show puts you squarely in front of them. How do the two experiences differ for you, and what turns you on about the live, interactive, approach to what you are doing?
GLOVER: When I first started publishing the books in 1988 people said I should have book readings. But the book are so heavily illustrated and they way the illustrations are used within the books they help to tell the story so the only way for the books to make sense was to have visually representations of the images. This is why I knew a slide show was necessary. It took a while but in 1992 I started performing what I now call Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Side Show Part 1. The content of that show has not changed since I first started performing it. But the performance of the show has become more dramatic as opposed to more of a reading.
The fact that I tour with the film helps the distribution element. I consider what I am doing to be following in the steps of vaudeville performers. Vaudeville was the main form of entertainment for most of the history of the US. It has only relatively recently stopped being the main source of entertainment, but that does not mean this live element mixed with other media is no longer viable. In fact it is apparent that it is sorely missed.
I definitely have been aware of the element of utilizing the fact that I am known from work in the corporate media I have done in the last 25 years or so. This is something I rely on for when I go on tour with my films. It lets me go to various places and have the local media cover the fact that I will be performing a one hour live dramatic narration of eight different books which are profusely illustrated and projected as I go through them, then show the film either What is it? Being 72 minutes or It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE being 74 minutes. Then having a Q and A and then a book signing. As I funded the films I knew that this is how I would recoup my investment even if it a slow process.
Volcanic Eruptions was a business I started in Los Angeles in 1988 as Crispin Hellion Glover doing business as Volcanic Eruptions. It was a name to use for my book publishing company. About a year later I had a record/CD come out with a corporation called Restless Records. About when I had sold the same amount of books as CD/records had sold it was very clear to me that because I had published my own books that I had a far greater profit margin. It made me very suspicious of working with corporations as a business model. Financing/Producing my own films is based on the basic business model of my own publishing company. There are benefits and drawbacks about self distributing my own films. In this economy it seems like a touring with the live show and showing the films with a book signing is a very good basic safety net for recouping the monies I have invested in the films
There are other beneficial aspects of touring with the shows other than monetary elements.
There are benefits that I am in control of the distribution and personally supervise the monetary intake of the films that I am touring with. I also control piracy in this way because digital copy of this film is stolen material and highly prosecutable. It is enjoyable to travel and visit places, meet people, perform the shows and have interaction with the audiences and discussions about the films afterwards. The forum after the show is also not to under-estimated as a very important part of the show for for the audience. This also makes me much more personally grateful to the individuals who come to my shows as there is no corporate intermediary. The drawbacks are that a significant amount of time and energy to promote and travel and perform the shows. Also the amount of people seeing the films is much smaller than if I were to distribute the films in a more traditional sense.
The way I distribute my films is certainly not traditional in the contemporary sense of film distribution but perhaps is very traditional when looking further back at vaudeville era film distribution. If there are any filmmakers that are able to utilize aspects of what I am doing then that is good. It has taken many years to organically develop what I am doing now as far as my distribution goes.
FANG: Is it alright if people bring things for you to sign when they attend the slide show? Is anything off limits?
GLOVER: I always stay till the last person in line has been met. I will not book a show at at venue if they limit the time that I have for the book signing. It is not mandatory that people sign books and I sign other things as well.
FANG: What is the status of ("IT" trilogy final chapter) IT IS MINE?
GLOVER: There are other projects outside of the trilogy that I will shoot next. The sets for my next film productions have started construction. At the same time the sets are being built I am in the process of continuing to develop the screenplay for myself and my father to act in together on these very sets. He is also an actor [Bruce Glover, CHINATOWN, WALKING TALL, POPCORN] and that is the next film I am planning to make as a director/producer. This will be the first role I write for myself to act in that will be written as an acting role as opposed to a role that was written for the character I play to merely serve the structure. But even still on some level I am writing the screenplay to be something that I can afford to make. There are two other projects I am currently developing to shoot on sets at my property in the Czech Republic. The cost of the set building will determine which one I actually shoot next. They are will all be relatively affordable yet still cinematically pleasing.
January 6&7-Nashville TN at The Belcourt Theatre
January 13&14- Chicago IL at The Music Box Theatre
January 17&18 Columbus OhH Grandview Theatre
January 20 Penn State University PA State Theatre
January 25&26 Buffalo NY Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre
January 27&28 Ottawa Canada Mayfair Theatre
More info, links to tickets, etc. at www.CrispinGlover.com
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment