If you’re even remotely a film fan, then you no doubt have probably seen character actor Dick Miller in any one of his 175 screen credits. And if you need to refresh your memory, you should probably scan his imdb page.
From his early work in a slew of Roger Corman releases to just about all of Joe Dante’s films (Gremlins, The ‘Burbs, The Howling, Innerspace) to his welcome appearances in The Terminator, Night Of The Creeps, Chopping Mall and many, many more, it’s amazing that a full fledged documentary about the man has never been done before. But now thankfully filmmaker Elijah Drenner has got that covered with THAT GUY DICK MILLER.
Speaking from personal experience, one of the most difficult aspects of finishing a project like this is securing the proper licensing from major studios to use clips from their movies. So as you can see from the trailer/ promotional video below, Drenner is taking to Kickstarter to help secure completion funds for the flick.
If you’d like to help out, or simply keep tabs on the status of the project, hit up the Kickstarter link right HERE.
That Guy Dick Miller is the first-ever, comprehensive look at the life and career of Hollywood’s most famous character actor, Dick Miller (Gremlins, Terminator, Bucket of Blood and hundreds more). In a career that has lasted over 50 years, we chart Dick’s story growing up in The Bronx, his aspirations to be a writer and the quirk of fate that found him in front of the camera for pioneering independent filmmaker, Roger Corman.
As a staple of Corman’s stock company throughout the 1950s and 60s, Dick appeared in dozens of films and television episodes. Some roles were big, others were small – but each had that magic touch of Dick Miller’s unmistakable presence.
When Corman formed New World Pictures in 1970 and stepped away from the director’s chair to spearhead his new distribution company, Dick found his career in feature-films slow down, only to be resurrected by an unlikely group of young filmmakers from Corman’s new company. This East Coast quartet of film school misfits, comprising of Joe Dante, Allan Arkush, Jon Davison and Jonathan Kaplan all arrived at the doors of New World with an encyclopedic knowledge of their bosses films. And when it came time to make their own movies for Corman, they eagerly cast Dick Miller in a variety of memorable performances, christening the second phase of his career.
With such New World films as Piranha, Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, Night Call Nurses, Fly Me and many more, Dick Miller became one of the most recognizable faces of 70s drive-in theater screens. And as the careers of these four filmmakers moved further and further into the mainstream, their love and loyalty to Dick continued as they repeatedly cast their good luck charm in supporting roles, garnering him greater exposure and maintaining his status as a leading That Guy.
A cornerstone of our documentary will detail the friendship with Dick and Joe Dante. With his appearances in The Howling, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Innerspace, Matinee, Gremlins 1 & 2, The ‘Burbs and more, we’ll learn more about these films through Dick, Joe and a who’s who of co-stars and collaborators. And during the final act of the film, we follow the third phase of Dick’s career that saw him working for some of the biggest names in the industry including Sam Fuller, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Gale Anne Hurd, Joel Silver, Robert Zemekis, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.
Now semi-retired and living in Los Angeles, Dick Miller has agreed to take part in a career retrospect to share his personal and proferssional life stories. We’re keeping our proposed budget for this project low and (hopefully) achievable. If we are able to beat our goal, all of the money raised will go directly to the finishing funds as we plan to expand the documentary into a feature-length film. And most importantly, Dick and his wife Lainie will retain ownership of the finished product.
This funny, fast-paced and nostalgic look at Hollywood’s most successful character actor will include original interviews, highlighted by hundreds of film and television clips alongside Dick’s personal photos and 8mm home movies. We are planning to shoot 30 to 40 more interviews with more of Dick’s co-stars, directors, producers, fans, film historians, family members and friends to help tell his amazing story.