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#778770 - 12/14/09 05:12 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 20
kahalaboy Offline
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kahalaboy  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
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CA
Brian -
Sorry for the long radio silence. I've been busy promoting my second novel CAPTAIN NOBODY and just spent the month of November in New York in rehearsals for a reading of a stage musical. Back home, back to work on my next novel (no title yet), and very pleased to see that people are still reading and responding kindly to the interview that you and I did almost a year ago! I'm thrilled that you survived your own JPF Awards process... it sounded epic! Happy holidays.... Warmly,
Dean

#778787 - 12/14/09 07:09 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Indianapolis, IN USA
Congrats again this year Dean for your Grammy nomination for your new project Captain Nobody! Your success just keeps rolling along! We're all thrilled to live vicariously through the success of a good friend and you've been great about bringing us all along for a peak!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#827025 - 06/24/10 04:39 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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There's been some questions about co-writing on another post and I think this interview addresses them from someone who obviously knows how it works at the very highest levels of success in the industry. Give it a read, there's lots of great info.

Brian


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#827391 - 06/26/10 03:04 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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ben willis Offline
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Thanks for insisting on the read Brian. I'm working on it. It's a long read.

#831872 - 07/19/10 08:54 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
Joined: Jul 2010
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
Brian, Thanks for posting the interview. It was fascinating reading. Frankly, I had never heard of this guy (which says more about me than him), though I had heard of both "Fame" and "Footloose." He's led an interesting life and his successes in the entertainment business speak for themselves. Seems like a nice fellow, also.

Keep up the good work.

Last edited by Dan Sullivan; 07/19/10 08:54 PM.

Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#831922 - 07/20/10 12:46 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Dan,

That's alwaya been the unfortunate truth about people who write and create. They usually do it in the dark, behind the scenes and far from the spotlight and hoopla. But for many, they also get paid. In music, I'd much rather be a writer with 10 successful hits than the artist performing them with no writing credits. If you have a choice between fame and money, choose the money. You can have a much better life of your own choosing without spending it being told what to do by multi-national corporations every day. Dean is someone I look up to as a perfect role model for a creative person. Most people would be thrilled with any 1 of his areas of success. I'd be happy with simply having the freedom to enjoy attempting all the areas he's been a smashing success even if I never made a dime at it. To get both sides (success and creative freedom) has to be a surreal existance for mere mortals. Dean is clearly operating on a wildly different level than most of us could even imagine.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#859366 - 11/22/10 12:57 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Indianapolis, IN USA
I thought I would bump this post for those who are new and might have missed it. It's a great read!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#870766 - 01/12/11 02:54 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Hi Folks,

Just testing some posts out to make sure they are running properly again after some site maintenance.

Thanks,

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#884596 - 03/11/11 05:15 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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I saw the remake of Footloose this evening.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#884678 - 03/11/11 02:29 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
I saw the remake of Footloose this evening.


Tantalist!


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#884686 - 03/11/11 03:25 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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I wonder how much of Dean's script and music they saved? The more they used, the better the movie would have been. The range of songs he wrote for that film are breathtaking. All those hits in different styles and different artists and all big hits and some have become inextricable tied to that era of life for anyone coming of age back then (as I was).

Dean has been such an iconic creator and his fingerprints are far more present in our lives than most people will ever realize.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#885648 - 03/15/11 12:38 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
Same town, mostly the same characters in terms of the names. Entirely different in premise and the angle wasn't the same. Most of the music was the same songs, some of them the originals, some of them covers. One or two new songs.

THE Best part of the movie was the unveiling of what looked like the original yellow VW bug from the original movie.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#885671 - 03/15/11 02:20 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Haven't heard from Dean on what he thought of it all. Will be interesting to hear, but it seems odd they'd change the premise and story but keep the music and character names. I realize Footloose is a huge brand name to launch a movie with, but beyond that, wouldn't people be disappointed in not getting an updated version of the movie they thought worth re-doing?

Hollywood seems much worse than the music industry when it comes to this type of thing.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#885690 - 03/15/11 06:31 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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It's got similar arc. They use a vast majority of the original story. They even use a lot of the same lines.

Somehow the magic didn't translate.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#891015 - 04/08/11 12:22 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
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2424 Offline
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2424  Offline
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Thank you very much.

#891231 - 04/09/11 02:31 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: 2424]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Hopefully Dean will stop in and say hi and update us on what he's working on these days!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#980242 - 10/15/12 07:02 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Dayson Offline
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Dayson  Offline
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San Diego California United St...
Brian,

This is such a Wonderful and inspiring read! It's just want I wanted today!
Dean's journey just boggles the mind.
This is a story that everyone with a goal and dream in mind can take something very valuable from and apply to their own journey!
Thanks for this.-Dana

#980436 - 10/18/12 12:40 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Dayson]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Indianapolis, IN USA
Dana,

Glad you got a chance to read it. It's why I have left it up here. It really is such an amazing story of just DOING what you love instead of talking about it. Put yourself in position to succeed, rather than always and endlessly finding new ways to get ready to succeed.

I hope some others will follow suit who haven't spent the enjoyable time reading through one great musical success story. (And by the way, he hasn't slowed down since this interview. He's still at it, ever expanding his legacy and the passion for what he does. You may say few have his talent, but I say the real issue is that few have his courage and work ethic!).

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#980531 - 10/19/12 05:58 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Dayson Offline
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Hi Brian,

This story inspires me because no matter how old you are, it shows that the only limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves.
I love the idea of putting yourself in positions to succeed!

I would love to hear your ideas on how to put yourself in those positions:)This idea brings Action into play,which is key to any Success.

About a month ago, I was wondering "How do I regain that innocence" I had about Songwriting, "How do I capture" that passion I had before reality got in the way lol.
Well, I've had a break-through!

I came across a random website that allows you to lease tracks for demo purposes,and found a producer's work that fits so perfectly with my writing style!

This has taken me to a new amazing level of Songwriting.
I have so far written over 20 songs to his tracks, and I am so
Amazed that that passion is back!

I'm currently working on getting them demoed and it's really exciting to see myself growing by leaps and bounds and this story adds to that fuel and makes me want this more than when I first started out!
So Thanks again!-Dana

#984940 - 11/22/12 04:05 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Dayson]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Indianapolis, IN USA
Dana,

Good for you! Anything that can get you fired up is a great thing. There's no question that for most of the folks with enough talent to appeal to large masses, those juices sort of dry up over time. Very few can truly sustain it. That's why I think going for a small niche fan base who "gets" you and serving them closely and personally while you share all your stuff and get it out in the world as often as possible, you'll get a little of that fire back. Too many people wait for perfection instead of just going with inspiration in whatever crazy direction it takes them!

Continued success!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1013607 - 06/30/13 06:39 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: BettieR]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
This is just a note to let new members know this is a great post to read and learn from, especially if you are a lyricist like Dean. He's a perfect example for you all to follow.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1077125 - 03/21/15 10:38 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
It was great hearing back to back songs by Dean on American Idol last week. Let's Hear It For The Boy and Footloose.

A good week for a songwriter!


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1077654 - 03/27/15 10:23 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,481
niteshift Online content
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niteshift  Online Content
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Posts: 5,481
Sydney, Australia
Amen ! smile

cheers, niteshift

#1095720 - 11/16/15 05:50 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: niteshift]  
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Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
I need to check in with Dean and see what he's up to. If anyone hasn't read this interview yet, give it a look, it's really interesting and I think you'll agree.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1122275 - 01/11/17 12:45 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
If anyone new hasn't read this, it is a great article about going for your dreams with success! Give the first two posts a read!


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1141142 - 05/28/18 10:26 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
I just noticed how many people have read this... amazing!


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1141143 - 05/28/18 12:36 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 327
RonnieDean Offline
Top 500 Poster
RonnieDean  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 327
Keystone, CO USA
Ya think Pitchford is his real name or some people are just destined by name?

Last edited by RonnieDean; 05/28/18 12:36 PM.
#1141155 - 05/28/18 08:08 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
It's his real name... good guy... he used to post here but got too busy and he's gone quiet.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1142511 - 07/04/18 03:16 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 1
anushkha Offline
Casual Observer
anushkha  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 1
chennai
Nice post Brian

#1147076 - 12/14/18 01:43 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1
DEBwill Offline
Casual Observer
DEBwill  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1
I found your links so useful, thanks
lot's of interesting information

#1150398 - 01/26/19 07:55 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: RonnieDean]  
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
PatrickG Offline
Casual Observer
PatrickG  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by RonnieDean
Ya think Pitchford is his real name or some people are just destined by name?


I see you're going by that old one "nomen est omen." haha

Last edited by PatrickG; 01/26/19 07:56 AM.
#1150555 - 01/30/19 06:11 PM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: PatrickG]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by PatrickG
Originally Posted by RonnieDean
Ya think Pitchford is his real name or some people are just destined by name?


I see you're going by that old one "nomen est omen." haha


I am not sure I follow?


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1152408 - 04/03/19 08:02 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
ChereMcdougal Offline
Casual Observer
ChereMcdougal  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
DEAN: It’s impossible to get that. If you look at the end crawl on a motion picture, the very last frame that comes up -- if you can freeze frame it and look at it -- is says. “For the purposes of copyright Paramount Pictures or Sony Pictures or whomever is the author of this screenplay. Unlike my novels to which I own the copyrights, anybody who writes work-for-hire for a motion picture company doesn’t own the underlying rights. They get credited, they get royalties, they get paid their fees, they get DVD’s royalties and royalties for broadcast on television, etc. They get all those things, but, for the purposes of copyright the studio is the author of the screenplay. If, on the other hand, I wrote Harry Potter, and a studio buys my book of Harry Potter and then I would have more control, because the underlying property doesn’t not belong to them…

BRIAN: Because it’s an adapted screenplay….

DEAN: Exactly. The screenplay could be copyrighted by the studio, but the underlying story could not. In the case of ‘Footloose,’ they acquired underlying rights when they bought my screenplay, because there was no previously existing story.

BRIAN: So if you’d written ‘Footloose,’ the novel, then you might still have a piece of it?

DEAN: Exactly.

BRIAN: You had one project that you weren’t very happy with and that was the movie ‘Sing.’ Since we’ve talked about your triumphs, tell me about this one case where things didn’t go as well.

DEAN: It’s basically ‘High School Musical.’ The high schools in Brooklyn since the late 40’s have had an ongoing tradition where the Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes write and build and stage their own musicals, and then they compete. Then the winners from each school to go an inter-borough competition, and perform their shows, hoping to win the championship of Brooklyn. And over the years many many many big stars have worked on Sings. Art Garfunkle and Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand and Neil Simon and so many talented artists who went to school in Brooklyn did Sing in high school. So it’s a very emotional tradition with them.

I was approach about doing a movie about the Sing competition. I wrote any number of drafts and went through any number of studio ups and downs. I wished that I were smarter about these things than I was, but it was only my second movie. What I found over the years is that a lot of people -- especially studio heads, especially at that time -- they had the idea that, ‘Oh, those teenagers will buy anything. Make it loud, make it flashy, and they’ll go to it.’

When Alan Parker made ‘Fame,’ the studio didn’t interfere with him. He shot it in New York, away from their prying eyes, and he turned out a very intricate, beautifully shot, quite dark piece. And what made it such a spectacular success was that it didn’t trivialize the experience of being a teenager.

Neither did ‘Footloose.’ I worked with Herbert Ross who by that time was in his 60’s had directed or co-directed ‘Funny Girl’ and ‘Funny Lady’ and so many Neil Simon movies. And Herbert came to that material with a great deal of seriousness and a great affection for the characters.

BRIAN: That’s true, John Lithgow could have easily have been a caricature and he never was.

DEAN: No. That was the big saving grace. John Lithgow brought to this part a great deal of humanity.

But when we did ‘Sing,’ there was this attitude prevalent that all you need to do is give the kids a beat and they’ll line up. That was sort of the studio mentality that drove ‘Sing’ off the rails. It was cast wrong, it was directed wrong, I wrote it wrong, I just kept getting broader and broader to accommodate what I was hearing everybody asking for and it ended up being a kind of a caricature of a teen movie.

#1152430 - 04/04/19 01:03 AM Re: A Conversation With Oscar Winning JPF Member Dean Pitchford [Re: ChereMcdougal]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,827
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by ChereMcdougal
DEAN: It’s impossible to get that. If you look at the end crawl on a motion picture, the very last frame that comes up -- if you can freeze frame it and look at it -- is says. “For the purposes of copyright Paramount Pictures or Sony Pictures or whomever is the author of this screenplay. Unlike my novels to which I own the copyrights, anybody who writes work-for-hire for a motion picture company doesn’t own the underlying rights. They get credited, they get royalties, they get paid their fees, they get DVD’s royalties and royalties for broadcast on television, etc. They get all those things, but, for the purposes of copyright the studio is the author of the screenplay. If, on the other hand, I wrote Harry Potter, and a studio buys my book of Harry Potter and then I would have more control, because the underlying property doesn’t not belong to them…

BRIAN: Because it’s an adapted screenplay….

DEAN: Exactly. The screenplay could be copyrighted by the studio, but the underlying story could not. In the case of ‘Footloose,’ they acquired underlying rights when they bought my screenplay, because there was no previously existing story.

BRIAN: So if you’d written ‘Footloose,’ the novel, then you might still have a piece of it?

DEAN: Exactly.

BRIAN: You had one project that you weren’t very happy with and that was the movie ‘Sing.’ Since we’ve talked about your triumphs, tell me about this one case where things didn’t go as well.

DEAN: It’s basically ‘High School Musical.’ The high schools in Brooklyn since the late 40’s have had an ongoing tradition where the Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes write and build and stage their own musicals, and then they compete. Then the winners from each school to go an inter-borough competition, and perform their shows, hoping to win the championship of Brooklyn. And over the years many many many big stars have worked on Sings. Art Garfunkle and Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand and Neil Simon and so many talented artists who went to school in Brooklyn did Sing in high school. So it’s a very emotional tradition with them.

I was approach about doing a movie about the Sing competition. I wrote any number of drafts and went through any number of studio ups and downs. I wished that I were smarter about these things than I was, but it was only my second movie. What I found over the years is that a lot of people -- especially studio heads, especially at that time -- they had the idea that, ‘Oh, those teenagers will buy anything. Make it loud, make it flashy, and they’ll go to it.’

When Alan Parker made ‘Fame,’ the studio didn’t interfere with him. He shot it in New York, away from their prying eyes, and he turned out a very intricate, beautifully shot, quite dark piece. And what made it such a spectacular success was that it didn’t trivialize the experience of being a teenager.

Neither did ‘Footloose.’ I worked with Herbert Ross who by that time was in his 60’s had directed or co-directed ‘Funny Girl’ and ‘Funny Lady’ and so many Neil Simon movies. And Herbert came to that material with a great deal of seriousness and a great affection for the characters.

BRIAN: That’s true, John Lithgow could have easily have been a caricature and he never was.

DEAN: No. That was the big saving grace. John Lithgow brought to this part a great deal of humanity.

But when we did ‘Sing,’ there was this attitude prevalent that all you need to do is give the kids a beat and they’ll line up. That was sort of the studio mentality that drove ‘Sing’ off the rails. It was cast wrong, it was directed wrong, I wrote it wrong, I just kept getting broader and broader to accommodate what I was hearing everybody asking for and it ended up being a kind of a caricature of a teen movie.


So what are you saying with this quote? Just that you found it interesting or?


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
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