Sat, 13 September 2014
Michael Sloan was born into a British theatrical family and raised amid
the smell of greasepaint and the sound of applause.
Bob and Suzanne’s conversation with Michael starts with his youth as a budding actor
and his early adventures writing and producing his own independent feature films.
Michael’s story then demonstrates his unique creative instincts as he describes how
he got his first major primetime television break writing for Columbo, a credit that
propelled him toward a meteoric career path at Universal City Studios and beyond.
Sloan’s credits soon ranged from BJ & The Bear (where he gave Bob his first primetime writing gig)
and Quincy to McCloud, Battlestar Gallactica, Sword of Justice, and The Return of The Man From Uncle...
to name only a few of hundreds! His was the producing and writing “juice” behind
unforgettable shows like Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and
the contemporary Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
And as if his hundreds of writing and producing credits weren’t enough, Michael was also
the creator of one of television’s most highly-acclaimed suspense and action series,
The Equalizer—now a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington
set to appear in theaters worldwide.
Almost as “throwaway” in the interview, Michael reveals that his wife—actress
Melissa Sue Anderson of Little House on the Prairie fame—first suggested Denzel Washington
in the role of The Equalizer’s “Robert McCall” a full seven years before the movie
went into production…and then we learn that Michael’s new novel The Equalizer
has just debuted in bookstores everywhere.
With great wit and humor, the lessons Michael Sloan shares in this podcast are
truly bricks of gold on the road to Hollywood success!
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”!
Fri, 1 March 2013
Celebrating their milestone 10th episode, Suzanne bathes in the afterglow of
Ben Affleck’s Argo win as Best Motion Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards,
but chastises the show’s producers not having someone on hand to catch
Jennifer Lawrence when she took a tumble on her way to accept her Oscar.
Suzanne mentions the birthday of an iconic I Love Lucy star,
and Bob recalls being on the Paramount Studios lot with Lucy where
Desi Arnaz reinvented the way sitcoms are shot.
We then learn about the gloriously indulged life of a writer-producer working
under contract to Aaron Spelling and Suzanne shares details of Spelling’s
background that eventually led him to become the most powerful TV producer in history.
When Spelling handed Bob Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives to read,
it was the beginning of an incredible year that had him hob-nobbing with
major showbiz icons like Rod Steiger, Candace Bergin, Robert Stack, Suzanne Somers,
Angie Dickenson, Joanna Cassidy, Stephanie Powers, and the man who
would later become “Hannibal Lecter”, Anthony Hopkins.
Suzanne finally gets Bob to admit that he was a bit of an early
sleaze-meister while astutely drawing the parallel between Hollywood Wives
and today’s Kardashians, proving her theory that little has changed when it comes to
attracting an audience because “it’s all entertainment.”
Sun, 10 February 2013
Bob & Suzanne share their history on "Falcon Crest" with
fond memories of location shooting in The Napa Valley.
Suzanne reveals details of her friendship with Jane Wyman while
Bob sings the praises of the show's amazing cast including
Susan Sullivan, Bob Foxworth, David Selby, William R. Moses,
Lorenzo Lamas, and a certain Playmate of the Year.
Working with film legend guest stars always brought
surprises...from huge cue cards to a fear of kissing!
The episode wraps up with Bob describing how his work on the
show came to an unexpected end, making a not-so-casual reference
to the head of the studio as...well...a "prick".