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A Band Apart: An Interview With Charles Band

Judge David Ryan

October 10th, 2005

If you are of a certain age, and remember the early-'90s heyday of Joe Bob Briggs, Elvira, and the seemingly non-stop parade of B-movies on Showtime and Cinemax, then you probably already know the name Charles Band. If not, Band is the writer/director/producer behind Full Moon Entertainment, a company renowned for its bevy of low-budget—but high quality—B-level horror and science fiction pictures. What made the Full Moon pictures stand out in an exceedingly overcrowded genre was their lack of cheapness: the people who made Full Moon films were proud of their work, and although they lacked the megabudgets of the major studios, they didn't use that as an excuse to put out inferior, shoddy, straight-to-video junk. The typical Full Moon feature was polished, professional, and robustly entertaining. And the films always seemed to have a sly air of self-deprecating humor about them, making them all the more enjoyable.

After spawning several cinematic "franchises"—including the Trancers, Puppet Master, Dollman, Demonic Toys, and Subspecies films—Full Moon all but disappeared in the late '90s. But fear not. Band and his band are back, with a new business model, a flock of planned new horror franchises, and—believe it or not—a traveling roadshow, coming to 18 towns (hopefully) near you. As he was about to embark on this new phase in the Full Moon story, the engaging and intelligent Band sat down with DVD Verdict's Dave Ryan to discuss his past, present, and future in the world of B-movie horror.

DVD Verdict: I'm just going to start at the beginning… Your dad [Albert Band] was a director, so you grew up in an entertainment family. What did you learn from your dad, and did you always want to be in the movie business?

Charles Band: You know, I learned a lot from my father. He had me apprentice, doing just about everything on a movie set, 'cause I really grew up on his movie sets, plural. You know, we lived in Italy for many years, and he made pictures in Italy and Spain and Yugoslavia; spaghetti westerns and epics with Steve Reeves, and before that he made a few cool horror films, one of them called I Bury The Living, with Richard Boone. So he was never dedicated to a particular genre, but he made a number of movies from the late '50s to the early '70s. So I certainly learned the craft, and I also learned a certain amount of patience, and how to deal with generally emotional and dramatic people—'cause this business is an art form, and you've got a lot of, you know, artists, and a lot of temperamental characters. I think that's probably the best lesson I learned from him, other than, you know, the craft of making movies: sort of an off-set apprenticeship. But the love for the genre—for horror, and, to some degree, sci fi (but mainly horror)—is just something I developed on my own.

DVDV: You started out with Empire Pictures…

CB: Well, actually, before Empire I made a number of films in the '70s—I hate to admit that, because then people will figure out I'm older than 30… In Hollywood, I still think that's my age… Yeah, I made those movies, and then in 1978 I actually started the first independent home video company, called Media Home Entertainment. So we were the first people, other than another company called Mag Video that licensed the early Fox films, to… at that time, of course, it was only Beta—you had to come out with movies on Betamax. So that really developed very quickly. And then there was a point around 1980 where I sold out my interest and put more energies back into movies, and I made movies like Parasite, with Demi Moore, and Metalstorm with Kelly Preston and others. In the early '80s—'83, I think it was—after making movies for 6 or 7 years I realized I had to sort of control my own distribution, and then I formed Empire. And Empire had a good run for about 5 or 6 years.

DVDV: One of your earlier films was Laserblast—the guys on Mystery Science Theater 3000 got their hands on that at some point. How did you feel about that?

CB: I think it's great! I mean, the picture's hilarious. You know, it was made… you know, again, I'm sure this is something that most people know, but even some people in the business sometimes just aren't aware of how low-budget these movies are, and how, you know, many of the critiques [of them] involve elements that, had there been a little more of a budget, you would have obviously avoided or done differently. So here Laserblast, which wanted to be kind of a little mini-Star Wars—and I actually shot it before Star Wars came out—you know, it was made over three weekends for virtually no money. So putting it into perspective, considering that's what we had to work with… I mean, you know, it had its charm, like many films I made during the mid- to late '70s. It was released theatrically; it was obviously a B-movie on a "B" bill—you know, a double feature where you always got the second slot if you were a small independent film. A lot of people still remember it very fondly. And the big claim to fame, other than those wonderful stop-motion animation creatures built by David Allen, is the fact that Carlo Rambaldi has, many times in interviews, told people that the Laserblast character—the alien character—was his inspiration for E.T. I once read an article in Italy (and it was hilarious—I wish I had kept it) that basically pointed that out, and they had a close-up of our alien guy—like a headshot, almost—right next to, of course, E.T., and they're pretty damn similar. So, you know, it was a fun movie made for very little money, and the fact that they can poke fun—I mean, you know, it was made… I hate so say it, but probably close to, I dunno… I can't even say it, but many years ago.

DVDV: It can't be disclosed…

CB: It can't be disclosed.

DVDV: Metalstorm—moving on to that, it was probably the first "major" cinematic release you did…

CB: Yeah, it went out via Universal, and it was in 3-D, and… um… Yeah, it was a… again, we made it for very little money; it just happened my timing was great because of the 3-D element. The real story of why Universal released it is: they had spent all sorts of money at the time equipping about a thousand theaters for the release of Jaws III, which was also in 3-D… So by miracle, here's this guy who made a low-budget sci fi movie, also in 3-D, so they could take advantage of that whole setup. So they quickly got it in there right after Jaws, and it did pretty well—you know, considering. The picture was shot in three weeks—it was a pretty small movie, but it did get that, you know, Universal release; and it was Kelly Preston's first film; and there were a bunch of other good people in there, like Tim Thomerson and Richard Moll, and others.

DVDV: Or, as I call him, The Great Tim Thomerson…

CB: The Great Tim Thomerson!

DVDV: After Metalstorm a few years pass, and you're mainly producing at that point, correct?

CB: Right.

DVDV: … And then you direct a little film called Puppet Master.

CB: Well, I did Trancers first, actually, with Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt.

DVDV: I always get the order of those two mixed up—I apologize.

CB: Yeah, I do too. It's just recently, because I'm so involved now in this roadshow with things that I'm doing, and I'm looking at the library, and pictures are coming out on DVD, I'm a little more up-to-date on my own life's work here… but otherwise, I get confused too.

DVDV: Did you plan from the get-go to have them be franchises, or did it just kind of occur?

CB: No. As the video business was growing, and you create characters, or a theme or a premise that's cool, and people like it, and it's like, "Whoa, wouldn't it be great to bring them back?" I mean, I always looked at Full Moon… I mean, Full Moon started off well, had a real bad stretch, almost disappeared, and now it's back, hopefully doing the right thing again and making the right kind of movies. But going back to the very beginning, the plan was always to… You know, my inspiration was Marvel Comics—that was really where I… you know, growing up I loved the early Marvel stuff. I mean, first I was a fan of the pre-Marvel superhero monsters. I was into all the monster magazines—the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and Steve Ditko stuff. And then of course the superheroes began, with the Fantastic Four and Spiderman… so I was there as an avid reader of that stuff, and it was the inspiration. I was looking at the early Full Moon titles—of course being released on VHS, and not even Beta, and there was certainly no DVD—as sort of the Marvel comics of the Nineties. My whole plan was to, had these franchises sort of started coming together and some of the characters became more popular than others, I wanted to start teaming them up and crossing them over, and I just started to do that with Dollman vs. Demonic Toys—and then the relationship with Paramount ended, and the business changed, and money dried up, and we couldn't really follow through with what I wanted to do. Hopefully I'll get another chance now, but that was definitely the idea at the time. The fact that some of these really became so popular, like Subspecies, and to some degree Trancers and Puppet Master, was great—but had I been able to keep fueling that, if the market conditions hadn't changed—I had five more projects set up for Dollman; I loved the Dollman character, also by Tim Thomerson. He used to kid around that he wants to team up and fight Jack Deth—you know, kick his own butt. That was one of Tim's… uh… dreams. It will never happen…

DVDV: That leads to another question: You've done Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, I believe Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys

CB: Well, I didn't do that… It's horrible to say that… This was one moment a few years ago where I needed money, and I sold the right to a producer—an executive producer—producing team. And they just went off and made it. So I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, I've never seen it—I hear that it's not so good, and it didn't capture the spirit of… I know why, because I know the mistakes they made, but… I have to redeem myself and make a real good one next year. A good Puppet Master.

DVDV: Well—are you going to do Puppet Master vs. Dollman and settle the round-robin tournament?

CB: Well, I've got a new movie coming out, and I think it's the first one I've done since the early days of Full Moon that has that same light and quality—it's called Doll Graveyard. And I'm sure there's a franchise there—the characters are great. The picture comes out in a few weeks—but on the roadshow, we'll actually have copies that we'll be selling. So that's a good one, and Gingerdead Man staring Gary Busey, and that's about as wacky as it gets: an evil, pissed-off cookie.

DVDV: The poster alone is worth a look…

CB: So, you know, I'm starting these new movies and these new franchises, and I'm hoping the ones that prove to be more successful and more accepted by the fans—you know, we'll team those up with some of the ones that came out in the early '90s. It may wind up being, I don't know… "Dollman vs. the Gingerdead Man." I have no idea. I'd love to do that; and we're just sort of planting the seed…

DVDV: Speaking of the "feel" of a Full Moon feature, one of the things I personally always noticed about the films is that even though they're B-movies, they have a very serious, and very polished, and very professional feel to them. It's not cardboard sets falling down in the background, and nobody cares because they just want to get their day over. How did you go about achieving that level of professionalism on the budgets you were working with?

CB: First you have to be very creative—and it would take a long time to explain all the tricks. And not that this is a cheap way to make a plug, but after years of being asked a thousand of these questions, I've put together a program called Cinemaker, which is basically a 6-DVD set that will give anyone who wants to make a quality low-budget movie—and market it, and distribute it, and get money—all the tips that I've learned over the years. And I've also interviewed people like Roger Corman, and Stan Lee, and just a whole assortment of characters that are involved in this end of the business. So that's actually something that we'll be selling on the road, or people can go to the site (cinemaker.net)—and it does answer these questions. But in short form, I think the important trick is, you know, you need to know what you're doing—and that sounds so obvious, but, you know, people with a few bucks today can buy a digital camera, and 1-2-3 they can put something together they call a movie, and they can develop a little packaging… You know, I go to conventions where no less than 15 or 20 young aspiring filmmakers will hand me their… I want to call it their "reel", but now it's their DVD. And, you know, there's some kind of art that looks passable, and then you look at the movie and it's super-duper amateur, and once in a while some talent somehow shines through. But if you're going to make a movie that's going to be at least a counterfeit A-movie, you need to know where to spend the money, even though it's all relative, and where to save the money. As an example, you can never cheat with the look of the film, and that involves two key things: the sets, and the director of photography. If either of them are really deficient, you wind up with a cheap, stupid-looking film. And it's not easy. I'll go to DPs who, when they're working for a major film, they get $25k a week, and I say, "Look, when you're off 3 or 4 weeks, and you're ready to make the princely sum of $1500 a week, let me know, because I'll schedule my movie around your schedule." And, you know, more times than not… people in the business want to work. And it's not so much… it is money, but at the end of the day, people are artists, and, you know… I have a couple of wonderful DPs who've been a big part of my early movies, and they were making huge dollars, but they were into not sitting home for three or four weeks waiting for the next gig. They would prefer to go out and have some fun on a low-budget movie, where they have more autonomy anyway and more creative ways to go and do a movie. I mean, the list is endless, because you make one blunder, and even though someone who may not be a filmmaker sort of knows it's B, it's cheap… Hey, we make mistakes inadvertently—no one sets out to make a bad movie, but at the last minute someone you counted on doesn't show up, and the next thing you know, the look isn't right, or [with] one of the key actors, you had to go with the second choice, and he or she isn't so good… So it's nice when it all comes together. And actually, back to Doll Graveyard—the very next release—it all came together for Doll Graveyard. It was a very short shoot—two weeks, which is really nothing. But we had a wonderful DP, we shot it on 35mm, the actors all turned out to be terrific—all new, young, virtually unknown… I think a few of them are going to break through. I would predict that. So it's a movie, albeit a tiny movie, that plays well. It's fun. I think anybody watching it will go, "That was cool—the puppets are great, the actors are fun, and she's hot, and the sets look good, and the music is good…" It's a little textbook example of how, if you know what you're doing, you can make a very small movie that has quality and some credibility.

DVDV: Speaking of actors, you've worked with a lot of them—and a lot of them are quite talented, and have gone on to bigger and better things, like Megan Ward, for example…

CB: Oh yeah, I love Megan Ward!

DVDV: Don't we all! And, of course, Helen Hunt in the first two Trancers films.

CB: She actually did three, and the third one was a favor to me. The second one, she was still just doing her thing, and she was very disillusioned. After she got the role in Mad About You and started working there, we made the third Trancers film. It was the one that I didn't direct, but nonetheless I went to Helen—she's a great, great gal—and I said, "I need a little help. Can you come and work for slave wages for a few days; we need you in this movie." And she did it.

DVDV: Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't ask for a few words about Tim Thomerson…

CB: Oh! Well, Tim is, without a doubt, the most fun actor I've ever worked with. First, he's wonderful—he's one of those guys that, if not for maybe a little bit of destiny and God knows what else happens to make… you know, it's almost like winning the lottery in this business, because there's so many people with talent, and just a few break through, and it has to do with… God knows what. But maybe a little bit of luck—because I think Tim could have been a huge, huge star. He had it all—he's a good-looking guy; rugged looking guy, great sense of humor (he's a stand-up comedian), and, you know, he did a lot of B and C roles in big movies. I mean, he's been in a lot of big movies, aside from Trancers and Dollman. But he never really hit that… he didn't hit it like Helen Hunt hit it. But Tim was definitely the most fun guy to work with, 'cause he just kept us laughing all day. I have so many funny behind-the-scenes moments—I'm actually going to play some at the roadshow—but, you know, he just did shtick all the time. So it was hard to be serious. You know, I'm on a schedule, and he has to be Jack Deth, and then he breaks into some crazy… you know, he'll become Charles Bronson for about an hour. He was just hilarious. He was very fun to work with.

DVDV: And Tracy Scoggins is in Dollman.

CB: Yeah, Tracy's great! There are so many people—people I forget about. I mean, someone reminded me that Mariska Hargitay was one of the leads in Ghoulies. And I had actually forgotten that. I mean, I look back, and go, "Oh my God, whaddya know—it's true! There's Mariska."

DVDV: The two giant robot movies: Robot Jox and Crash and Burn. Two of them, virtually simultaneously [in 1990]—and then nothing for several years, until Robot Wars

CB: Well, it's simple—they're unbelievably expensive to make, and they never made any money. I was so into making those films—I mean, I love stop-motion animation, and it was a combination of that and raw puppetry. Very ambitious, and just, you know, they just cost too much. Even on a small scale, they're too expensive. So they were financial losers—otherwise, I would have made plenty more. I had all sorts of cool projects planned—but they were very, very difficult to make.

DVDV: Did any of the big studios ever approach you to do a large budget, say, Puppet Master movie, or something like that?

CB: Yeah, Paramount—at the time I was being distributed by them. But you know, you work in a committee situation… I mean, the Paramount story is a very long one, but there was a brief moment when Brandon Tartikoff, who was a friend and a great guy, ran the studio, and during that very brief moment—I can't imagine it was more than 12 months—we were up and running with a Puppet Master feature, and a few other projects. And had he stayed there and survived [Ed. note: Tartikoff died of Hodgkins Disease in 1997], I'm sure those would have been made. But I'll never go back and do that. Because it's just… I shouldn't say "never"—never say "never"—but the politics and the time and the energy you have to spend moving a mountain every time you have to do something… I mean, as much as this business can be a struggle, you have an autonomy and freedom—you know, I can wake up and dream something up, and get it written, and I can make a movie, and go on a roadshow and sell it, or… you know, I can do that, for better or for worse. A major studio, it could take years to even get a project off the ground. And you're continually reworking it, because new people get involved, and everyone has got a different take, and, you know, you wonder—with all the money they spend on these movies, and all the hundreds of executives who are walking around with big salaries, how do some of these huge, overblown, $100M turkeys come out of the studios? How is it possible? Isn't anybody paying attention? There are reasons why that happens. I mean, great movies get made, too, you know—I'm not saying they're all bad. But a lot of real lame ones happen, and they happen because you've got too many cooks in the kitchen.

DVDV: And nobody takes risks.

CB: Well, they take risks, in a way, but it's… Usually, the germ of a good idea in a first draft… I mean, there's so much history about the early drafts and how they generally capture a certain magic and a theme, and then they just get sort of hacked and reworked, and then you sort of don't have anything anymore. You may still have the concept, and the title, and the premise they bought, but… you know, there's so many reasons why things go awry, but money and a big studio doesn't necessarily solve those problems.

DVDV: In the Puppet Master franchise—what led to the decision to turn the puppets "good"?

CB: I'll tell you—it was me. In the early days, we were getting—I don't want to say thousands, but hundreds and hundreds of letters from fans loving the movies. And most of these letters were from kids. I still have a book where I kept them—a lot of them would draw their own Puppet Master characters. I mean, kids were just fascinated by these little characters, and a lot of them just felt compelled to draw Blade or draw Six-Shooter—or better yet, draw and say, "This is my idea for a new puppet." And some of the ideas are just absolutely hilarious. I hope I didn't lose that book… So I was aware that this is a film that was appealing to a lot of young kids, and, you know, why not turn things around a little bit and make the puppets not good good, but just stop the evil stuff and let's find other things they can fight. Again, because of budget and time, and as we kept making them, things changed. We kind of messed up some of the original themes; if I could go back, I'd do them a little differently. So it was a conscious decision to try and make these puppets… if they were doing bad stuff, it was kind of against their will, so they just weren't all evil puppets.

DVDV: The Full Moon Fright Night on the SciFi Channel, with William Shatner—how did that come about?

CB: Well, Bill and I are friends—he's actually coming on the road with me for a few stops, which is really exciting. He's an absolutely great guy. We're friends, and we hung, and I one day thought, "you know, he's the only real remaining living sci-fi/horror icon." There's nobody else. I mean, back when I was a kid, there were still a lot of actors that were identified with the genre… and they're all gone. The only one who's still living—but, I hate to say it, barely—is Christopher Lee. But all the greats are gone—they're just not with us anymore. And Bill is, you know, he's just amazing. And I thought, wouldn't it be a cool idea to kinda turn Bill into a bizarre Elvira, and have him be the host, and host the movies, and work in—not just a little bookend deal, but actually work in some fun stuff during the film, and try and bring people in the genre in for little interview sessions. Anyway, it was an idea; I approached Bill, he thought it was cool; I sold the idea to the SciFi Channel, and we very quickly made the wraps, and that stuff started airing. And it was doing okay—there are a lot of people, a lot of fans out there who are bummed it's no longer there, or that they didn't renew it. But what happened is… First, we didn't—I mean, I don't want to be the typical director/producer lamenting how the distributor screwed things up; many times it's just the taste of the public. But we didn't get a great timeslot, that was number one—it was… I forget what time it was, but it was very late on Saturday night—a little too late. And then, at the same time, SciFi Channel—and they're amazing; they made themselves into quite a network—their edict from the people running the show there was to go and find, and spend a lot more money on, much bigger, more high-profile projects. Which they did. And they made a conscious decision… they made a huge deal with Spielberg; I forget the name of the series. They suddenly were in the… almost like the network business. So to keep a little, silly sort of Shatner… Anyway—our little thing just didn't happen. Which was too bad, because we were ready with another 13, and we were building a little audience. But they're all going to come out on DVD, and I've got all sorts of insane outtakes with Shatner, so when those DVDs start slowly coming out next year, I think people will have a good time.

DVDV: What are your DVD plans in the near future? What will we be seeing?

CB: With the exception of Fright Night—there's 13 episodes, so I'm probably going to release two at a time over at least a year; I don't want rush it and just immediately deliver some massive box set. So with the exception of that "film", there are just the new films I'm making. I'm going to try to make and direct, and part of the new mantra, at least for the moment, is to kinda do it the way I did it years ago, and stay totally hands-on… I mean, the only two directors that I would trust with some of these projects for sure would be Stuart Gordon—and we're talking about doing another show together—and Ted Nicolaou, who's done many films for me, especially the Subspecies series. So with those exceptions, I'm going to stay as director/producer/Full Moon guy. And I hope that we'll have eight films out next year—that's a lot of movies, for brand-new movies. But eight films, and we'll release the Fright Night stuff… And, you know, once in a while the idea for a fun compilation comes to me. I did When Puppets and Dolls Attack, which is, essentially, crazy moments from about 20 of my movies in that sort-of subgenre. I did another one called Monsters Gone Wild… and, you know, when you have a library, just like they do in the music business, you put those things together. And they're kind of fun for people to watch, because they're like, you know, the "Best of Puppet Kills."

DVDV: Like the Ultimate Puppet Fighting Championship…

CB: I even have a movie that I wrote that developed along those lines… but you're getting too expensive. Sometimes you come up with an idea that's just great, and you think, "Oh God, I can't make it on this budget." So you tuck it away for some other day… But the plan next year, basically, is I hope we are able to make eight movies—I'm 4 or 5 movies ahead of myself, so we're doing pretty good—and release, occasionally, either a compilation or the Fright Night series, and I've got the action figures happening, which I'm excited about. They're super-limited edition, high-quality—I mean, in one case we only did a thousand units, which is, like, ridiculous… We're keeping them very low so the collectibility really stays strong, and, you know, when they're gone, they're gone. And then we'll do something else. So there's a pretty good lineup of action figures—which are, obviously, all characters from the films.

DVDV: Tell us a little about Wizard Entertainment.

CB: Well, Wizard… I'm just going to stop talking about Wizard, because it's really Full Moon Features. Wizard just is the new holding company, with financing to fund new movies, and I just wanted to bring back the logo that everyone's familiar with. So technically Full Moon Features is a d/b/a of Wizard Entertainment, but it's really all about the new Full Moon. And if I had thought about this a little more carefully, I would have just kept Wizard as, like, what Viacom is to Paramount—sort of a name that no one cares about. But it really is Full Moon—Full Moon is back.

DVDV: What can fans expect to see on the roadshow when they show up?

CB: You know, I'm going to try and keep that under wraps—I mean, they're going to be surprised and entertained, and they're going to see stuff they just haven't seen before. Obviously, some of it is a little behind-the-scenes-sort-of type material; anecdotes and stories about a lot of the people I've worked with that I think they'll find amusing… I've got several bizarre audience-participation things I've dreamt up… There are going to be some contests… We have a mini-auction in every city where we're taking four original puppets and they're going to go for auction with no minimum—just whoever wants them, and do a little fun bidding… And everyone gets to win a part, in every city, and be in a Full Moon movie—and get killed in the film, which I'm sure will be one of the highlights… And then I've got celebrity guests coming to every town. When I say "celebrities"—you know, people who are recognizable who have been in my movies, like Shatner, and Helen Hunt's going to show up, and Thomerson will do some, and Jeffrey Combs… And my son [Alex Band] is a rock and roll dude—the lead singer of a band called The Calling…

DVDV: That was my next question…

CB: Yeah, so he's going to do 4 or 5 cities, and that will be very cool… So it's going to be a crazy show. We've got sexy women; we've got a weird fashion show; it's going to have all the elements of a… um… a good exploitation movie. And live, of course. It's one of those things where I'm sure that whatever the attendance is, people will talk about it, and hopefully we'll actually get some members of the press there to review it, and by the time I do the next leg of it next year—I plan to do it at least twice next year; I need to try and hit the top 78 cities, of which I'm only doing 18, but you can only do so much before you fall apart. I think by the time I do the west coast, and other parts of the country, the word will be out that it's really a very unique, entertaining show. It's a bit like a magic act—except it's more like a digital magic act.

DVDV: And nothing disappears at the end.

CB: Aahhh… you never know!

DVDV: Any final words?

CB: No! All I can say is, I hope people come to the roadshow, because aside from doing a very entertaining, terrific show, which will probably last around two hours, I'm dedicated… You know, someone said in the beginning, "Well, you should do a little meet-and-greet for maybe 20 people." "Well," I said, "How about a meet-and-greet for the whole audience?" So I feel I will probably be there at least another two hours every night, at every stop, because I'd like to say hello to everyone. I'll just sit there, and sign stuff, and shake people's hands, as long as it takes—even if it's 800 people in a line, or however many people want to stick around. So I look forward to meeting everyone—and, you know, part of this also hopefully is going to make my plan work; to little by little develop more of a direct relationship with the fans, as opposed to having to go through all these middlemen. Because the roadshow is really in lieu of any other way that I can invent, or think of, where a small, independent filmmaker can get to its public, or to the fans. You can't buy media anymore—it's way too expensive. You can't release these films in the theaters—that's a playground for the big studios. So how do you do it? And my only thought is—do it like a rock and roll band does it. Literally go on the road and show people what you do, and, you know, build up a fan base. And then, one day, maybe in a few years from now when I release Puppet Master 9, I'll have thirty or forty thousand email addresses that, you know, people will be aware of it, and just say, "Sure, send it to me for ten bucks" or something. And that way you skip fifty different really difficult distribution cycles, which just, at the end, kill you. Part of this is just building up the direct relationship—in a world where you can do that. You know, it's a button click—if everyone's hooked up on the internet—to let people know that the next movie's out. So this is really just doing what a rock and roll band does.

DVDV: Thanks so much for the interview!

CB: Hey, it was awesome! Make sure you come! And bring a whole horde of people, and we'll have fun!

Assorted links:

Website: www.fullmoonfeatures.com
Charlie's Blog: http://www.charlesband.com/blog/

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