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The Den Of Geek interview: John Badham

The director of WarGames, Short Circuit and Saturday Night Fever - among many other cult classics - chats with DoG...

John Badham and some old friends…

Director John Badham started his career in TV helming episodes of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, along with peers Steven Spielberg and Jeannot Szwarc. The huge success of Saturday Night Fever catapulted Badham to the 'A'-list of Hollywood directors in 1978, but he established his eclectic touch by immediately re-making Dracula. His subsequent career was hall-marked by his interest in making different types of movies, but he remains loved by geeks world-wide for defining a huge part of geek culture in 1982's WarGames, and for introducing the world to soft-hearted robot soldier Johnny 5 in 1985's Short Circuit.

Two years ago Badham co-wrote (with Craig Modderno) the very funny I'll Be In My Trailer, which outlines the challenges a director faces when dealing with actors on a movie set. It's an illuminating read for professionals and outsiders alike…

In the last few years that I'll Be In My Trailer has been on the market, what kind of feedback have you had?

Well I've had lots and lots from students -- I teach at Chapman University as a professor at the directing department. I get tremendously good feedback from my students and from other faculties, because there's something very immediate about things we talk about in the book. What I didn't want to make was another kind of dry theoretical book on directing, but rather get to the real nuts and bolts of a 'here's what you're encountering while you're in the trenches' kind of thing. And that's what they appreciate, because they're more 'hands-on', and the theory becomes apparent.

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