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Interview de Nick Nicholson (page 3)

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Nick Nicholson (page 3)

We are fully aware this may be quite fastidious for you, but we would really appreciate if you could elaborate a bit about these other Western performers who seemingly lived in the Philippines. They probably all have different stories : do you know how each of them came to live and work in the Philippines? What became of them? Every bit of info from your part could help us!

About Romano "Ron" Kristoff, Mr Baron told us : "He was Spanish, ex Legion Etrangere, and a serious Martial Artist. He worked very hard at having a film career, and seemed to work a lot. The fact that he was able to survive full time in Manila, without seeming to get stuck in the mire, was always a source of wonder and amazement to me..." while Mr Harrison said "I truly like Ron Kristoff, and will never understand why he didn't get out of the Philippines. I tried to get him to leave Manila as he has looks and talents, but the life there seemed to be to his liking." Ron was usually involved in script writing or production in Filipino films, as you were too. Did you get involved in production (or cast and crew) jobs following Ron's example or was it some kind of a tradition for low budget quickies actors to have side parts in production team?

Okay, Rom, Mike and Myself, basically made a living from film. I believe that Rom now owns a restaurant. He was quite active on the "Social Party Circuit" and I will leave it at that. Mike did films in Italy before coming here. Both Rom and Mike had an advantage with the Italians as both spoke Italian fluently. I have worked with them both for a long time. I was doing production work on many films. Rom or Ron as you call him was basically just an actor. Survival is the reason I got involved in production work. I did my job well, and producers liked my no nonsense attitude. Further out of all of the "actors" I am the only one who was a member of KAPP (Philippine Screen Actors Guild) and the Associate Directors/Production Managers Guild, and Film Academy of the Philippines. I really don't know what "example" Rom was setting as I did everything on my own, and I don't really remember him in any capacity on any production staff. Even further, I did a lot of work on local films as well.

"People rented the VHS tapes on a Saturday night, got stoned and watched six or seven of our epics, while eating popcorn, and smoking grass and drinking beer."

About Bruce Baron : I believe you read the interview Mr Baron kindly granted us. Would you have any comments about it, or about Mr Baron himself?

Bruce Baron.

Hahahahahahahahaha! Bruce Baron... well... We did a really shitty film called "The Firebird Conspiracy" together for an outfit called Cinex Films. He whined about this and that thru the shoot, and later the producers asked me to engineer a way for him to die in the movie and they would get a new guy to play Capt Beck. So I had everybody going thru a minefield when all of a sudden, BLAM! Bruce was told to stay down for something like thiry seconds or so, but the rest of the platton was told to stay down for about 10 seconds, then stand up a react to the dead guy. End of the old Capt. Beck and enter the new one in the person of Steve Rogers.
He had an attitude that he was some kind of hot actor and thought he should be paid more than everybody else. I mean... c'mon. None of our names ever drew a huge crowd at any movie theatre Box office. Most people didn't know who we were and could care less. Most of our projects ended up as a video release, and people rented the VHS tapes on a Saturday night, got stoned and watched six or seven of our epics, while eating popcorn, and smoking grass and drinking beer.

Bruce Baron explained that several of these western performers we evoked were stuck with their jobs in movies as actors or extras because regular work permits were too hard to obtain in the Philippines, that most of them were friends but also competitors, with the lead actors getting about 1500$ and others slashing prices by accepting to work for less. Do you confirm?

Bullshit! He was an asshole, not too mention blind as a bat without his glasses. and nobody wanted to hire him! He went to a casting session for one of the Chuck Norris projects, and told the Casting Director, " I only do roles!", the CD asked him, "You see that door?" he said, Yeah..." the CD told him, "Well you can just go ahead and roll out that door!" WE were all friends, who got along with each other. Manila is/was a small town, and if you played your cards right you were guaranteed acting jobs. Cirio Santiago hired me on a regular basis because he liked my work and I knew how to get along with everybody. If you were an asshole, word got around, and you didn't work.

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