Saturday, March 14, 2009

Official Blog of Famous Monster: Forrest J Ackerman - the film

Hi folks,

I have created this blog in order to separate the postings for Famous monster: Forrest J Ackerman from my writings on the paranormal. I am a filmmaker specializing in the genres of sci-fi, paranormal, and horror documentaries.

Famous Monster, was produced in 2007. It is a 48 minute biography about the life of Forrest J Ackerman which originally aired on Canada's SPACE:theimaginationstation. Uncle Forry, as he was affectionately known, was the acknowledged world's greatest fan of the macabre, and creator of the term, "sci-fi". In fact his favorite motto was, "Sci-fi is my high!" (Engraved on his memorial plaque). Forry passed away at the age of 92 on December 4, 2008. For more details on this most loved and influential man, see the wikipedia link here.

As for the film, I produced and directed the piece while Ian Johnston performed all the interviews and was the writer. Ian and I enjoy working together, and Famous Monster was our first joint effort on a documentary. He is a brilliant writer as you will see if you get a chance to watch the film.

Ian Johnston (L) Michael MacDonald (R)

Here is the official press release for our gala screening at the Egyptian theatre during Forry's memorial tribute, which took place on March 8, 2009.

FAMOUS MONSTER: FORREST J ACKERMAN, a one-hour Canadian TV documentary on fantasy film’s greatest fan, will screen as part of a star-studded Ackerman tribute March 8th in Hollywood.

“It’s a real thrill and more than a little appropriate,” says Famous Monster producer/director Michael MacDonald of the Halifax-based Roadhouse Films.

“Forry was a legend who spent his whole life living and working in Hollywood. To be asked to screen our doc for his friends and fans is a great honour.”

The TV documentary – a collaboration between MacDonald and former Halifax Daily News writer Ian Johnston (TV’s Liography, The Business) - was shot in Hollywood and Toronto. It aired originally in Canada on Space and City-TV.

Famous Monster focuses on 90 years in the life of editor/agent/collector Ackerman, who once possessed the world’s large collection of fantasy film memorabilia. Known as Uncle Forry to his fans, Ackerman is credited with coining the word “sci-fi” and inspiring writers like Stephen King and young film-makers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas with his magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland”.

“Forry inspired me,” confesses legendary B-movie film-maker Roger Corman in the documentary. “And I inspired a few people. And hopefully, they’re inspiring others.”

Ackerman died December 4th at the age of 92.

The memorial tribute – sponsored by American Cinematheque, a non-profit film organization in Los Angeles - will be held at the historic Egyptian Theater, the site of the first red carpet Hollywood movie premiere in 1922.

“I don’t think you can say who will follow in Forry’s footsteps,” concludes director John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) in Famous Monster.

“The answer is nobody.”

Following the tribute, FAMOUS MONSTER will be released on DVD in North America and the U.K. through B7/Kaleidoscope Media March 23rd.

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