Q1 2021

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19 S P R I N G Q 1 I S S U E U N I O N M A D E By Ray Kolasa G rowing up in Rochester, N.Y., in the 1960s and early '70s, mov- ies were never much a part of my childhood. I remember my aunt tak- ing my sisters and me to the occasional Disney re-release, and there were the usual Christmas flicks shown at the hol- iday parties thrown by the bank where my mother worked. But my parents weren't big moviegoers. I do recall see- ing "Earthquake" (in Sensurround!) in a theater with my father, and I made him take me to see "Logan's Run," which I'm sure he hated since he wasn't the sci-fi fan that I was. I can't ever remember go- ing to a movie theater with my mother. As a Space Age kid, I loved astronauts and aliens, science and science fiction. The comic books I read led me to heroic pulp fiction — everything from "Conan" to "The Shadow," and most especially "Doc Savage: the Man of Bronze!" And then there were the Universal monsters, though at that time I read about them more in magazines like "Famous Mon- sters of Filmland" or "Starlog" than I actually saw them on the big screen. That all changed in 1977. "Star Wars" was the turning point for me, followed several months later by "Close Encoun- ters of the Third Kind." Those two films featured everything I loved: space opera, aliens, monsters, heroic fantasy. A sense of wonder. In between those two films my fam- ily moved from Rochester to San Diego. Now San Diego ain't all that close to Los Angeles when you're only 15 years old, but it's much closer than New York, and it's where I caught my first glimpse Space Age Kid HOW A CURIOUS ASTRONOMY MAJOR FOUND HIS WAY TO STORY ANALYSIS of Hollywood moviemaking when my family happened by La Jolla Cove while Richard Rush and his crew were filming "The Stuntman." Thus inspired, I built a Millennium Falcon model, borrowed my dad's Super-8 camera and filmed the miniature spaceship in front of black velvet as I blew it up with firecrackers. At the time, briefly, I wanted to work in Special Effects. But I didn't think about going to film school when I first entered college. I was interested in real science as much as science fiction and so began college studying Astronomy. After two years of Math and Physics, I realized I wanted to pursue something more creative. San Diego State University offered a degree in Radio, TV & Film, and by then the film bug had bitten me good. In those days, San Diego's Ken Cinema was a regular hang- out, where I saw double features with work by such international directors as Truffaut, Kurosawa, and Fellini. I still viv- idly remember the night, nearly 40 years ago, that I saw Hitchcock's "Psycho" and Polanski's "Repulsion" on the same bill. While still in school, I got a ton of experience in all facets of television production at KPBS-TV. Then it was time to load up the truck and move to Beverly… or at least North Hollywood. My first Hollywood job was as a P.A. for Dick Clark Productions… but I quit at lunchtime after spending the morning painting offices. I worked for a while as a sound effects editor cutting in gunshots to a popular TV show, then as a P.A. on "The Golden Girls," a show so beloved that some still think my getting lunch for SEE PAGE 52 "Star Wars." P H O T O : P H O T O F E S T

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