TALES FROM THE CRYPT
While I was sharing a studio in Los Angeles with Howard Chaykin, he decided to leave the world of drawing comics to pursue a career in screenwriting. During a pitch to Joel Silver, the noted producer asked Howard if he would be interested in creating some comicbook covers for a TV series he was working on with HBO. Howard demurred, but passed the job onto me. Thus began a fabulous run on HBO's Tales From the Crypt, a job that introduced me to Hollywood and the magic of movie-making.
When I met with Bill Teitler, who was the production head of the series, comic book covers were never discussed. What he was really interested in was producing a series of inspiring visuals that could be used as a basis for the introduction for the show. Bill ran through the scenario as he saw and I quickly created an abbreviated storyboard of the action, starting with a lightning flash on the exterior of an old mansion, then a quick truck into and through the doors, across the abandoned parlor, then through a secret panel bookcase, down the stairs of a secret passage to a a subterranean chamber where a coffin sits and out of which the Cryptkeeper pops up as we zoom in. My job was to create a set design for each of these environments.
The storyboard was an afterthought that served more as a map from me, but I am always amazed at just how closely the finished piece of film followed my scribblings.
More Tales next week!
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