Wed, 9 July 2014
Garner Simmons—television and feature film screenwriter—joins Bob McCullough and
Suzanne Herrera McCullough for a faced-paced conversation focused upon
the twists and turns of his Hollywood writing career.
With “writing in the blood”, Garner tells his unique story of breaking into show business while
working on his PhD by writing the definitive biography of legendary movie director Sam Peckinpah.
With Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage as his calling card, Garner began climbing the rungs of
the Hollywood career ladder by following his personal mantra: “keep writing”.
Simmons reveals how winning a studio screenplay contest first brought him to the attention of
mega-agents and gave him the courage to leave Chicago for Hollywood...only to discover
that agents don’t always deliver on their promises.
Once he was in Hollywood and hearing the frequent advice “to forget this business and go back home”,
Garner did what he does best: he kept writing. You’ll hear his story of unmatched “chutzpah”,
determination, and the work ethic that helped him create his own “breaks”.
Garner talks about working as Story Editor in the early seasons of Falcon Crest,
and the credits that quickly followed as writer, story consultant, and producer on shows like
Yellow Rose, “V”, Spencer for Hire, Buck James, and Poltergeist.
As a writer of unparalleled versatility, Simmons has written for all genres and transitioned from
TV series to longform movies (A Rare Breed, Miracle Landing), wrote the early drafts of
The Last Samurai (starring Tom Cruise), and currently has
multiple feature films in development.
More than just telling his own story, this quick-tempo conversation with Garner Simmons
reveals the hard truth about working with Hollywood agents, delivers valuable career advice,
and is truly a lesson in finding “the keys to success in show business”!
Mon, 30 June 2014
Bob and Suzanne interview one of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors, Jerry London. With hundreds of primetime television series, movies, and mega-miniseries to his credit, Jerry tells how he broke into show business as an apprentice film editor on I Love Lucy, and what it was like "paying dues" working on The Untouchables and The Danny Thomas Show.
Jerry has great stories about working closely with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, including his "day at the races" with Hollywood stars betting and winning on longshots.
Jerry describes his early directing gigs on shows like Hogan’s Heroes, Happy Days, and Love, American Style, where he made a daring creative decision that put him in the limelight and propelled his career forward onto nearly every hit show in Hollywood, including The Rockford Files, Kojak, Hawaii Five-0, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Barreta.
From directing TV series non-stop, Jerry then graduated to movies and miniseries, ultimately becoming the creative force behind such memorable productions as The Scarlet and the Black, Chicago Story, Women in White, Escapade, Wheels, and the longest, most critically acclaimed miniseries of its time, Shogun.
Jerry London’s behind-the-scenes stories, his advice to
aspiring filmmakers, and his personal impressions of
the many stars he worked with (Burt Reynolds, Doris Day,
Angie Dickenson, Rock Hudson, Lee Remick,
James Garner, Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood,
Richard Chamberlain), make this an episode
you won’t forget!