STEPHEN J. VOSS PRODUCES THE LAUGHTER

ComicPalooza Stephen J Voss

Reprinted from Hollywood Movie Times

Robyn Washington, Hollywood Movie Times

It’s hard to forget Dustin Hoffman’s rant in Wag The Dog about movie producers never getting the credit for nurturing a film to life. Fans love the actors and the director gets the applause at film premieres but nothing happens in movie-land without the money people.

Enter Stephen J. Voss, the Executive Producer of Long Term Parking who along with fellow Executive Producers Philip Arthur Anderson, Charles Barnett and Betty Zuspann will be premiering the movie at ComicPalooza on May 23rd in Houston, Texas.

I caught up with Voss for dinner at the original Ninfa’s when he drove up in his racing green Porsche. It’s the kind of car you’d expect a film producer to drive.

RW: You’ve been working on Long Term Parking for several years. When you first read the novel what did you think?

SJV: I enjoyed the plot twists and the low comedy. So many of the scenes immediately brought visuals to mind. I could see some of my friends being victims in it.

RW: Did you want the script to follow the novel exactly or did you expect there would be adaptations?

SJV: I fully anticipated there would have to be changes, to remain true to the feel of the story but still be achievable as an independent film.

RW: Mike Kearby’s novel uses very colorful language. Some of it was toned down in the film. Do you think audiences will get into the spirit of the story or do you think some people won’t get the joke?

SJV: What, there’s only one joke? (We both laughed.) I’m not embarrassed by colorful language, as long as it’s not meant to hurt. The amount of “colorful” language wasn’t over-the-top and didn’t serve as a prop in place of real dialogue.

RW: Many of the cast members and the director will be at the Houston premiere. This is also your hometown. Had you been planning to premiere the movie here all along?

SJV: Being at Comicpalooza is absolutely huge! We’re right where the fans are.

RW: You’ve been the Executive Producer on several of Bright’s films. What brought your partnership together originally?

SJV: I first saw Paul’s film Angora Ranch. I liked what I saw and started following his work. When I heard he needed some help with Abrupt Decision I was in a place to come aboard. We’ve been friends ever since.

RW: Angora Ranch released ten years ago. This is a long friendship.

SJV: I can top that. We were born in the same military hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. I won’t tell you who’s older.

RW: Long Term Parking is premiering as part of a double feature with Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday night. Do you think Long Term Parking will become a cult film like Rocky Horror?

SJV: Oh, I’d really like that! But I suspect the world has become a much more jaded place. I was incredibly shocked the first time I saw Rocky Horror, because I had grown up in a very sheltered, conservative Catholic household. I doubt anyone these days would have the same reaction. Long Term Parking may be too mainstream for a cult following.

RW: We’ve heard rumor that Mike Kearby is working on a sequel to the novel. Any chance you’ll do a movie sequel?

SJV: Definitely depends on the reception for the first one. I won’t rule anything out.

RW: As you know everyone comes in costume to ComicPalooza. Are you looking forward to seeing people dressed up as Boston Nightly or Marlene or Chel at next year’s convention?

SJV: Maybe I can get someone to make me a Boston costume? Or maybe Gallo? And I know some seriously buxom fierce women who would love this. Of course the original cast will be at the premiere this year and nothing’s better than the original.

Voss gestured to the walls of the colorful Original Ninfa’s as we dived into a sizzling plate of fajitas.

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