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Interview: ‘Detroit Rock City’ Screenwriter Carl Dupre

(Geeks Of Doom - 10/21/11) As well as writing a handful of horror sequels (including Prophecy 3: The Ascent, Hellraiser: Hellseeker, Hellraiser: Hellworld) and being a prolific short story writer, Carl Dupre is also a dab hand at comedy. I have been a fan of Dupre’s writing since he wrote one of my favorite movies, the hilarious KISS-centric Detroit Rock City. In a recent interview with Dupre, the screenwriter gave me some insight as to how he wrote Detroit Rock City, what is was like on set, and getting to meet KISS.

GOD: You also wrote one of my favorite movies, a comedy called Detroit Rock City. How did that come about?
Carl Dupre: That was a lot of fun. I think every writer in Hollywood has a dream of writing a script and then having it get shot right away and having it get released right away and having almost every word in the script be stuck to. And you know what? I had that experience with Detroit Rock City and it was totally by accident. I moved out to Hollywood and I became an editor and I was working with this guy, a huge KISS fan…I mean he was like hardcore. I saw KISS on the Alive! II tour at the Providence Civic Center, I bought their records and all that but as far as lunchboxes and action figures and all that, I did not (collect them). To me they were a rock band…what a show, what an incredible concert.

There was nothing else like that. It was an experience, it was like great theater. And plus their songs were really good! [laughs] But anyway I was talking with this editor, we’re working on this movie, it was one of the first movies I worked on. It was a movie called Skinner and it had Traci Lords in it and it was directed by a guy named Ivan Nagy who later became famous for being Heidi Fleiss’ pimp!
[laughs] Like a year later we’re like, ‘oh that’s what Ivan Nagy is doing now!’ It was on that movie I talked to this other guy and like I said huge KISS fan.

His name was Peter Schink and actually he was the one who wound up cutting Detroit Rock City. He put the idea in my head. I was talking to him about a movie called I Wanna Hold Your Hand which is a Robert Zemeckis movie about…these fans that are going to see the Beatles at the Ed Sullivan show. I said somebody should make a movie like that but with KISS as the Holy Grail and this guy Pete he’s like, ‘I want to see that script on my desk on Monday!’ [laughs] He was like, ‘I really mean that, that’s what needs to be written and you need to write it!’ We wound up working on this other movie (with) James Melkonian, a movie called the Stoned Age.

GOD: Oh brilliant film!

Carl Dupre: Yeah! Peter and I worked on that one also in the editing room. (James) loved the retro thing in the ‘70s and all that…I started putting sort of pen to paper and nothing was really sticking, I was writing this like bad Pulp Fiction rip off…and it was kind of a mess and I didn’t like it at all so I just threw in the towel. And then I go out to lunch one day with Peter Schink and this other guy James Melkonian, the director. I hadn’t seen him in a while and so Peter Schink goes [laughs] ‘oh yeah, Carl’s been working on this script about these kids going to see a KISS concert in 1978!’ and this guys eyes lit up. He’s like, ‘ooh that sounds awesome! When are you going to be done with it?’ [laughs] Peter goes, ‘he’s been working on it for about 6 months now, right Carl?’ [laughs] I was like, ‘oh I should be done with it inside 3 more months.’ So now I had this sort of absurd deadline and I just said to hell it with it. I just went for it. I read a whole bunch of books on screenwriting, I read a lot of screenplays. That’s the main thing that helped me just reading screenplays of movies that I liked a lot.

Read the complete article over at Geeks Of Doom

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