Daniel Farrands Talks New F13th eBook, Documentary
There has been a lot of news coming out of late regarding a new eBook edition of Crystal Lake Memories as well as the possibility of a new Friday The 13th documentary that would surpass the quality of the original doco His Name Was Jason. The fans want to know more about these projects and now we have some answers.
Friday The 13th mega fan Adam Wilson recently asked Producer Daniel Farrands some questions pertaining to his Halloween film adventures with Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, but more importantly for Jason Voorhees fans, how the new Crystal Lake Memories eBook came to fruition as well as Daniel's work on the Deluxe Edition DVD's released in 2009 and what to expect in the new Friday The 13th documentary. Adam Wilson shares his interview exclusively with Friday The 13th: The Film Franchise for fans read. Big thanks to Adam as well as Daniel for sharing his thoughts!
Daniel Farrands Interview
[Adam Wilson] As Halloween is also one of my favorite horror series. I just need to say I absolutely loved the Curse of Michael Myers. What would you say it was about the movies leading up to yours that really inspired you to make one and could there ever be a director's cut studio release as me along with many die hard fans would love to see this?
[Daniel Farrands] Thank you very much. It's funny how that movie, which was pretty much universally reviled when it came out in 1995, has kind of amassed a loyal fan base over the years. Maybe it's because the subsequent movies have been either lackluster or completely abhorrent, or there is something nostalgic about "Curse" to some people. I receive emails all the time from fans who tell me it's their favorite of the series, that its the first "Halloween" they got to see in a movie theater and what the movie means to them. That's really flattering and I truly appreciate the positive feedback. It's always been a love/hate thing for me just because the finished film was never a reflection of the script I'd written originally or the intent I had for what "Halloween 6" should and could have been. But you live and learn and over time you accept that, well, it may not have been the cruise I signed up for but it's the one I got dragged on (kicking and screaming, of course)!
As for the alternate (aka infamous "Producer's Cut"), there has obviously been a lot of interest among fans for many years in seeing this cut. I had hope last year that when Miramax and the early Dimension catalogue titles were sold off by Disney that the new management would have an interest in special editions and new versions of their films. So far, that interest hasn't transpired but you just never know. The more fans get vocal about what they want, the more the studios tend to listen. So I encourage fans of the Producer's Cut to sign up for the official Facebook page:
Give Halloween 6: Producer's Cut an official DVD release!!
[Adam Wilson] Now as a long time Friday the 13th fan i just want to say thank you for all the hard work you have done to help provide fresh content for the series and all that you have contributed to the continuing success of Jason and the series.
Daniel Farrands] You're more than welcome. It was an honor to be a part of so many "Friday the 13th"-related projects. When we started down the road with the book "Crystal Lake Memories," we had serious doubts that there would be an audience for such a project. A coffee table book on the making of "Friday the 13th?!" We were told by more than one publishing company that we were overestimating the value of the franchise, so we did the dumbest thing possible: we published it ourselves. Less than a month after the book's release, we were out of copies -- and suddenly the publishers were coming to us. We made a great deal with a company called Titan (out of the UK) who agreed to preserve the content of what we'd created. And now I think we're into our 4th or 5th printing ... and an eBook edition of "Crystal Lake Memories" will be available early next year! It's just really gratifying to know that we weren't the only ones who believed in the series.
[Adam Wilson] How did you become involved with the deluxe editions of Friday the 13th.
[Daniel Farrands] My good friend Geoff Garrett, who was our third partner on "Crystal Lake Memories" (we met when Geoff worked for Sean Cunningham at Crystal Lake Entertainment), just happened to be working on the TV show "Psych" which is up the hall from the production company that was contracted by Paramount to create the Deluxe Editions of "Friday the 13th." Geoff put the word out that I was already involved in another documentary about the series and that I might be able to help them reach out to some of the talent we had already interviewed. The next thing I knew, I was producing all of the content for the new editions. I think everyone quickly realized how deeply entrenched in the "Friday" universe I was and it made sense for them to bring me on board. I think initially they were overwhelmed by the amount of content I wanted to bring to this new box set, since I felt (as did most fans) that the 2004 release was severely lacking. They pretty much gave me carte blanche to go all out. They gave me complete access to the studio archives, which is how we were able to uncover so much amazing material that had never been seen before.
[Adam Wilson] What was the most exciting part of the whole process for compiling everything for the deluxe editions?
[Daniel Farrands] I think just knowing we were finally getting to dig into the vaults and uncover the lost footage that fans (including ourselves!) have been clamoring for all these years was the most fun. We sometimes felt like Indiana Jones digging for priceless artifacts! We were just a bunch of grown-up geeks getting to play and it was a blast. I had always wanted to do a "Crystal Lake Massacre" mockumentary, while is obviously the pinnacle of geekdom. It was just a lot of friends (including people like Stuart Gordon and Tom Holland) coming together to play, have fun and celebrate the franchise. But I think the day our editor (and my longtime co-conspirator in all this), Andrew Kasch, called to tell me he'd found the raw footage of the legendary never-before-seen-ending of "The Final Chapter" was the most exciting for me. I'd heard of the ending where Mrs. Jarvis was found dead in a bathtub, but I had no idea if it had ever actually been shot, much less stored away all these years. Fortunately, with the exception of the sound elements, it was there. And then having Joe Zito come to my house and work with us on the editing of the scene, that was just a really amazing experience. It was kind of like being part of the making of one of my favorite installments in the series and being able to jump in head first. I can't remember ever having so much fun on a project.
[Adam Wilson] With so many films and so much content, how was it decided as to what was placed on each release and is there more footage available for extra's that has not been released yet?
[Daniel Farrands] All of the deleted or archived footage that exists is on the Deluxe Editions. I can wholeheartedly and honestly tell you that there is nothing more in the archives of Paramount. Every box was thoroughly examined and every frame of film reviewed. The studio didn't hold us back. No one said, "You can have this, but this we're reserving for future releases." They really just let us go all-out and put together any of the trimmed scenes that were in the archives. Sadly, films like "Part 7" got the short shrift since the outtakes and alternate versions were all destroyed in the early 1990s (we found the "executive order" to destroy the boxes among the few elements that remained). The only thing we can hope is that some employee of Paramount pulled the stuff and has been secretly keeping it in his garage ... or that it was picked up by some anonymous film collector. Other than that pipedream, this is it, kids. There's nothing left to see. That said, since I came in a little late in the process (I only produced Parts IV - VIII), I'm still hoping for the chance to revisit Parts I - III at some future point to see if I can uncover any long-hidden treasures from those films. Part I may have seen its definitive edition, but I'm convinced there is more to be found for Parts II & III. So once Paramount decides to release a new version (hopefully on Blu-Ray!), they have assured me they'll give me a call and let me and my team go off on another "Jason hunting" trip. I would be thrilled to do it. (We all know about the legendary ending of "Part III" where Chris is decapitated -- I'm hell-bent on finding it!)
[Adam Wilson] With the release of the dvd versions of the deluxe dvd's and up to part 3 of the blu ray releases, has there been any talks about any special content that may appear on parts 4-8 that differ from the dvd versions?
[Daniel Farrands] Again, that will all depend on what we find once we start searching through the archives for material for the first three films. I don't think a lot of effort was spent on those first three, but when I got involved from "Part 4" on the game was definitely on! I'll do everything I can to locate the trimmed or deleted scenes and put everything that we find on any future releases. If fans have any special requests, I'm more than happy to hear them! I'm always amazed at the vast knowledge they bring to the table, so it would be great if I knew going in what specifically to look for and what things fans would really love to see. If the material exists, you can rest assured I'll get it on there!
[Adam Wilson] What can you tell us fans about what we can expect from the ebook version of crystal lake memories and how did this come about?
[Daniel Farrands] Peter started talking about a second edition of the book about a year or so ago. Unfortunately, our license with New Line (who owns the later films in the series) only gave us the right to publish one edition of the book. Since Warner Bros. now controls New Line entirely, it's much more difficult to license material than it was when New Line functioned as a stand-alone studio (and one that, frankly, gave a shit about its fans). With so many technological leaps over the past few years, it just made sense to try to do an electronic edition; it's a lot less expensive to create and we don't have the restrictions in terms of page count that we had in the printed version. Peter combed through his interviews and pulled out a lot of material that didn't make it into the 2005 edition. Also, since then, the world of social networking has taken over and many of the series alumni that we weren't able to find at the time have since surfaced (through conventions and -- ahem -- documentaries), so he was able to go back and get new interviews with many of them or to pull quotes from the interviews I conducted. I think the cool thing about a book like "Crystal Lake Memories" is that there is always room for new content and new interviews. Like "Jason" and the "Friday" films themselves, I don't think it will ever truly die. And I think the eBook world is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the ways we'll be able to deliver new material and make it affordable and accessible to more fans around the world.
[Adam Wilson] You have stated that you would love to do a fresh take at a new Friday documentary, what could fans possibly expect to see different from His Name Was Jason if it comes to fruition?
[Daniel Farrands] My goal is to one day take all the raw interview footage from the first documentary and combine it with new and updated interviews and create a new feature documentary closer in tone and scope to "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy" which I co-directed with Andrew. I think "Friday" fans deserve something more complete and more epic than what they were originally given. So although there is no timeframe set, the idea is out there and when the time is right we'll get it going. Thanks so much to you and all the fans for all your support!