An interview with Anthony Hornus by Sgt Pepper

Anthony Hornus is The Writer of 

BJ: Well Craig, I finally got a hold of Tony... One of the questions that Craig wanted me to ask you is do you still see the priestess from Venus?

Tony: He wants you to ask me that?
Who is this?

BJ: Craig... Tony: In England?
He's like got a thing for the Venus priestess? Yes, I've talked to a couple of them but not recently.

BJ: What is your next project in the film industry?

Tony: Well we have two films right now that are in pre-production. One is called "Wild Michigan".
It's a period piece, 1880's, it will be filmed in Michigan... go figure...
We also have a dark comedy called "Money Shot" that is a real funny. It's a mob gummba... sort of a "Sopranos" meet "Ozzie and Harriet"...
It's a good script.. and it's funny and we're starting to get some name cast attached to it... we're pretty excited...

BJ: Craig every now and then has to remind me that I have a little bit of talent...I am an amateur writer, and I write "Tour of Duty" fan-fiction... are there any tips that you can give us amateur writers?

Tony: Well... Don't try to be somebody else... Just try to find yourself as a writer... Write what you are comfortable with, what you know about, stay with your strengths... and work from that angle... and I don't think that you could go wrong in the long run... whereas you try to be somebody you are not... you are going to run into all kinds of trouble.

BJ: Other than yourself... Who is your favourite writer?

Tony: My favourite writer? Boy ,I'm not a big fan of fiction or Stephen King or that style... I think that they're fabulous writers that are writing, once again what they are familiar with... what they are comfortable with... and I give them every respect in the world but... for me... I'm a person who loves to read profiles... human profiles. I'm a big history buff... So I think that people that are writing true stories, stories based on fact... If we are going to go into fiction... I really like Patricia Cromwell a lot, because I like the subject of Forensic Medicine... She's a favorite writer but, I'm the kind of guy who is more apt to sit down and read a Biography magazine or something like that... By a  variety of different writers.
I like Mitch Album a lot. Mitch Album wrote "Tuesday's with Morrie", he's from Michigan, just came out with his new book, "The Five People You Meet In Heaven".
I like Mitch a lot.

BJ: What is your all time favorite film... other than your own?

Tony: I'm of Russian heritage, and I was a teenager in the late 60's. Love Julie Christie. I would say that probably my favorite film of all time was "Doctor Zhivago".

BJ: What kind of books do you like to read?

Tony: Well like I was telling you, if I'm going to read fiction or I'm going to read crime type stories. But I really like biography based stories, I love World War II European theatre history, I love that.
In fact I consider myself almost and expert, and I watch the History Channel... I'm a History Channel junky, I really, really am...So when I read things I just like to read about people and events.

BJ: "Wicked Spring" is a film about the Civil War...When is it going to come out?

Tony: December 16 in all major video stores, Hollywood, Blockbuster, you name in.
In Two thousand four, not exactly sure, but we are thinking like "Wicked Spring" that it will be available in all Wal-Marts for sale world wide.

BJ: Including in the U.K.?

Tony: If there are Wal-Marts in the U.K. they will be there.

BJ: As you know Europe has a different format for their VCR's and their DVD's... Are you going to be putting any of your films on that type of format so that people over there can view them?

Tony: Absolutely... It's just called an M-N-E track is what it is called. In fact we will be going into the studio Monday to do the M-N-E track, it's music and effects. We also be going into the studio to stereo mix for the DVD's. The film right now in it's present format is surround sound. When it comes out in theatres people will obviously hear the Dolby digital 5.1 as well as it comes out on DVD and Video... It will be heard in Surround Sound but, for TV not all systems are not equipped for surround so that is why we will do a stereo mix.

BJ: When are you going to have "An Ordinary Killer" available for release in England?

Tony: Well... first of all we have to get "An Ordinary Killer" to a distributor for release in the United States.
Later this month, November... we will be taking screener copies to L.A. and our producers rep out there will be distributing them to the various studios. A lot of studios are waiting to see this.
We suspect probably mid to late January we will start receiving some inquiries about it. Hollywood pretty much shuts down for all of December and the first part of January, I mean no business really gets done.So we're thinking that it is going to be early Two thousand four before we start getting a feel for where it's going to go.
The high bar obviously is theatrical release, barring that then we certainly are shooting for Showtime or HBO and barring that, it absolutely goes to DVD and Video.
We are already assured of that. We have distributor in L.A. that can already take it to the video stores but that's not what we are shooting for with this film.

BJ: "The Nest" was originally set for W.W.I?

Tony:: You know I really don't know because I didn't work with Kevin and DJ and Terry Jernigan on that film. So I really don't know much about that. I've seen it... It's a good short, it was a Korean war film...I really can't comment on that because I don't have much knowledge on the behind the scenes stuff.

BJ: How do you choose the subjects that you write about?

Tony: I choose them about things that I am interested in, but things that will also be an interesting viable product. We are story tellers and you also like to expand your own horizons... So when I am writing this script for "Niagara" it's going require a great deal of research obviously, but I like to do that. That's part of being a writer so, really you just are constantly thinking about topics, at least I am and I know that some of my other writing partners same thing.You are always thinking of concept.

BJ: What was it like to work with Terry Knox?

Tony: I love Terry. I brought Terry in from the getto... I remember him from "St.Elsewhere", I remember him from "Tour of Duty"... and when we were starting to preliminary cast this film, I saw him on a guest spot on "Six Feet Under" and it made me laugh and I just thought "Hey, this guy is Ben Bannister".
And we just made a contact with his agent in L.A. and we started talking and I wrote query letter to him personally and he loved the letter and loved the story and called me and said let's do it?

BJ: What influenced you in picking Terry for "AOK"... Was it his "Tour of Duty". "St.Elsewhere"?

Tony: Just the whole package... I liked him...
He's got outstanding camera presence about him... You could see this in "An Ordinary Killer". I mean when he comes on the screen, it's just... BOOM...You know he's there.
He has a tremendous presence and he's got a real hard edge to him but it's a likeable edge... He plays the crass, crotchety, older investigator in this but... we see in the end that he got a real big heart... So he's got the whole package...I hope he does well, I hope that it helps to propel his career in fact. I know that it's probably been tough for him the past few years.

BJ: Terry is infamous for pulling pranks...

Tony: No Terry didn't so much because the shooting schedule was so intense and Terry's a little older now. When he came to Michigan and he was not prepared in weather. The cold really affected him we tried to keep him warm and dry when he wasn't on keep him content, cause it was not an easy shoot in Michigan in March and April.

BJ: I'm from Michigan and I remember what the weather is like even though I don't live here anymore, but I can imagine what it is like for a guy who is coming from Los Angeles but he is originally from the state of Washington... He has just been in Los Angeles too long. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me...

Tony: Your welcome and thank you... and the next time I'm in London, I'll look Craig up.