N: As much as we love Blade Runner,
there is of course a great deal more to life than talking about
this one film. What can you tell us about Paul M. Sammon's busy
life in 2002?
PS: You've already described it - busy! I spent most of
2001, for example, working on a TV series for the Public Broadcasting
System. It's called "Madison Heights." I was primarily
a still photographer on that one, although I also snagged a part
and got to play actor for a day. I've acted in a lot of the films
I've worked on, strangely enough.
Paul M. Sammon in RoboCop
Although "acting's" probably too grandiose a term to
describe what I've done - the parts I get are usually walk-ons or
bits. In Starship Troopers, as I've said, I play the guy
who pushes this cow into a Warrior Bug's holding pen. You can also
spot me in movies like RoboCop 2, Xtro: Watch the Skies,
Mockingbird Don't Sing, and a bunch of other things…
if you know where to look.
N: What have you been up to more recently?
PS: Well, in the last half-year or so, I spent a month by
myself in Colorado, near the city of Telluride, writing an original
screenplay a producer is interested in. I'm also suddenly in demand
as a talking head for TV shows and DVD supplements - you can see
me in the new RoboCop and Starship Troopers special
edition DVD's, for example. Additionally, the American Movie Classics
cable channel here in the States has begun using me as a consultant,
and Channel 4 in Great Britain just interviewed me as part of a
TV special they're doing on SF films. That should air sometime in
the U.K. later this year. Then I've been doing the usual lectures,
like the one I mentioned in Bremen. I also took my wife to Amsterdam
for the first time, after which we spent a week in Sloane Square,
my favorite place to stay in London. I've also been to Brussels,
Las Vegas, San Diego, Berlin, San Francisco… I'm like that
old Beach Boys song - I get around!
the literary front, beside the script I mentioned, it looks like
my long-delayed book on the making of the Alien films may
finally be coming out. Then there's a book I'm collaborating on
with a very good photographer, as well as another book I'm writing
about a very special breed of Hollywood celebrity. I'd also like
to edit a collection of the first and last versions of the Blade
Runner script in book form, but I'm still tied up with untangling
the usual licensing and legal knots on that one. Finally, I'm expanding
Ridley Scott: Close-Up. I was originally under a mandate
to deliver a 45,000 word manuscript for that project, but since
Ridley's done three movies since then and is now prepping two more,
I think it deserves a complete overhaul.
about it, I think - wait, it isn't! Once I finish my script, if
it doesn't fly, I intend on turning it into a novel. My fictional
output has been pretty sparse over the years, although I have had
a number of short stories and novellas published. One of my favorite
efforts along those lines was something I did back in 1995. That
was titled "The Wedding Party"; it appeared in a paperback
anthology edited by Peter Straub, called Peter Straub's Ghosts.
But I've been itching to do a novel for awhile now - a non-porno
novel (laughs) - so I'm really looking forward to getting around
to that. Then there's a slew of other upcoming DVD projects I'm
involved with, as well as a multi-part documentary I'm starting
up. But it's too soon to say anything more about those projects.
They're still vaporware.
N: Finally, what is the single best
thing that Blade Runner has brought into your life?
PS: My book! (laughs) I also was amazingly fortunate to
have had the opportunity to observe the making of a classic. Secondly,
Blade Runner gave me the opportunity to craft a "making
of" book that I passionately cared about, and poured a lot
of man-hours into. I've also been touched by those Future Noir
readers who've told me that they not only enjoyed the information
the book contains, but the manner in which I presented that information.
Because, you see, I very much wanted to humanize the making of Blade
Runner. Just as I wanted to give people not involved in the
film industry the chance to understand how difficult, and complex,
the process of making any movie is.
N: Thank you so much for answering
our questions. It has been a joy and a privilege to chat with you.
PS: Thank you! Have a better one.