ERIC SPUDIC: Can you tell us a little about working on EX-COP?
GABE CAMPISI: EX-COP was a fun little film and a major learning experience. It was one of my first professional
gigs and I got a lot of responsibility thrown on my shoulders as assistant director and co-editor(not to mention varied other
tasks that were thrown in my lap when I least expected it). We used a skeleton crew for the entire shoot, so that meant
everyone on the shoot did multiple tasks - and worked long hours. We shot on 16mm for almost two months, including pickups,
then spent several months working on post (myself included as co-editor). Sandy Hackett was the star of the project.
Sandy is the son of Disney-character-actor and comedian, Buddy Hackett. He was a lot of fun to hang around, and believe
me we had plenty of anecdotes and behind-the-scenes bloopers to speak about for years. He currently hosts and performs
a lot of Vegas comedy clubs in addition to movies, but what a lot of people don't realize is he is a very serious dramatic
actor - his strongest asset, I feel. If you watch the movie, I appear as an "extra" in at least three different scenes
(another of the arm-twisting positions they threw me in). There's one action scene where the other star, Ric Savage,
burst across a busy street with his gun drawn and is almost struck by a vehicle. Well, heck, I played stunt man that
day and that was me in my old Mazda RX-7 skidding to a stop, just barely missing the actor. The film went on to be released
by Action International Pictures (A.I.P.), which was really fun.
E.S.: When can we expect to see THE STRANGER?
G.C.: I hope to have it in the can by the end of this year, which will mean a first or second quarter 2001 release.
It's a long and tedious shoot, juggling weekends and such to get the necessary time to shoot the film. Also, I'm really
taking my time and doing extensive coverage on this thing. I really want people to enjoy it when it's done.
E.S.: What does the future of Gabriel Campisi hold?
G.C.: I hate to speak specifically of the future because it seems every time I do, I sort of "jinx" the road that I am
on and things go wrong. Instead, I like to keep an open mind with caution and optimism by my side. What can I
say to give you a hint is I've been dealing with mainstream Hollywood for several years now - with everyone from high-profile
agents and attornies to studios and big-budget producers. I've worked with the big companies for years, and have acquired
many contacts. There are several "things" in the works as you read this...
E.S.: Do you think that one day the aliens will drop by and have a meeting with the President?
G.C.: For the sake of discussion, let's assume I believe in aliens. Now, let me answer your question with another
question - why would extraterrestrial intelligent entities want to meet with the President of the United States? The
President (all presidents, dictators, leaders, etc., for that matter) only represent but a fractional essence of the physical
persons they supposedly speak for. They are more leaders of organized chaos than spiritual and brotherly comraderie.
In other words, most "leaders" do not represent most "humans" in such an intimate way. With that in mind, any communication
with humanity from ET's would be done with the "real" leaders - the ones that we don't readily recognize because they are
not necessarily wearing a badge of office or officially recognized. I speak of people we admire and look up to: special
teachers, professors, family members, and for most, our siblings, brothers, parents, and elders - perhaps very special religious
and more so spiritual leaders as well. Leaders are people we eagerly desire to "listen" to and in most cases, to please.
They are NOT our politicians, that I can assure you. So forget about the President.
E.S.: Any words of wisdom for aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers?
G.C.: Follow your dreams, but be realistic. If you want to succeed in this industry, you have to be true to yourself.
Ask yourself why you're traversing this path. Also, like Nike says, "Just do it!"