Posted by Adam on November 15, 1997 at 23:23:38:
Well, having seen one "open letter" by an Indy fan, I'd thought I might as well post excerpts from a letter I wrote months ago to Rick McCallum, the producer for INDY IV.
Here it is:
(my name and address)
August 10, 1997
Mr. Rick McCallum
c/o LUCASFILM LTD.
P.O. Box ****
San Rafael, CA *****
Dear Mr. McCallum:
The writing of this letter has been a long and coming process for me, as I hope to explain in some detail. I have been a great admirer of your work for quite some time, and -- first and foremost -- I wish you the very best of success in your future creative endeavors throughout the years to come.
There is one project, in particular, that you are involved in right now which is of intense interest to me, and is the main reason for my writing. It should therefore be of little surprise to you that I am referring to the upcoming Indiana Jones film.
I understand that a young child had written to The Lost World scribe, Mr. David Koepp, asking him about the upcoming screenplay, ³Please mister screenwriter, let us see the dinosaurs really quick and forget all that other boring stuff.² Well, Iıve assumed that if a seven-year old could have had such an influence on Mr. Koepp with The Lost World, then perhaps you might be influenced by the writings of a 2* year old ****** grad, hopeful filmmaker, and eternal ³Indy² fan with Indiana Jones IV.
Your position as producer on such a project is both deserving of envy as well as sympathy; there are so many hopes, such high expectations, surrounding the film that anyone up to the producing task must certainly feel at least some bit of trepidation. Such is the nature of the beast: after all, if there is no fear, there is no excitement.
There have been rumors after rumors surrounding the project, and I would not think of asking you to confirm or deny anything. (After all, it is the element of surprise that gives a film much of its power.) But perhaps it would be fitting to explain how far reaching my hopes are for this project by describing a little about myself.
I came to Hollywood...
(personal was gibberish here)
...with ambitions to become a director. And what caused me to embark on this crazy, reckless journey? Well, perhaps it was a screening one day in June of 1981 when I, a boy aged (young age inserted here), saw Raiders of the Lost Ark for for the very first time. I loved the action, the thrill of the quest, the adventurous spirit and kinetic energy. I loved Indiana Jones, and he was (and remains) a major hero of my dreams. I loved Karen Allen, with her torn dress -- those beautiful legs exposed, ready to be bitten by a million snakes slithering just inches away.
The film was daring, exciting, and exhilarating; simply put, Raiders made me fall in love with movies.
With the advent of another potential Indy film -- and surely, one can assume it is to be the last -- there are many different directions and paths to take on the project. Perhaps NO one path will satisfy everyone. Thatıs the problem with sequels; some audiences want more of the same, while others want something radically different than what has gone on before. Who am I to judge which is the more appropriate?
All I ask is one thing: that your contributions to the film are made without worrying about what the audiences want. Make something that YOU can be proud of, that YOU want to see, that YOU are passionate about.
Mr. Spielberg once said that the most important thing about film making was imagination. I, however, would put that in a very close second to passion. If you concoct a film solely by anticipating how audiences may react to it, I think you might be selling yourself short. But if you create something that YOU know youıll want to see, then itıs much more likely that your own individual passion will be contagious to audiences around the globe...
Donıt be afraid to be daring. Take risks. Go for the unthinkable. Indiana Jones may be a franchise, but itıs the strength of his character that keeps us coming back for more. Donıt worry about possibly ³upsetting² the fans; if a worthy risk is taken, the fans will understand.
I canıt tell you what to do. Itıd be childish and unproductive of me to say, ³Please donıt let Indy IV suck...² All I can do is hope that you and your colleagues will make something that YOU will all care about...and can look back on with pride when the film opens in a darkened theater one hot, summer day.
I for one will be the first in line to see what youıve given us.
Please accept my most sincere best wishes. It is through your work that my dreams are all the more fantastic; the boundaries of my imagination seem all the more infinite...
On behalf of my dreams, Mr. McCallum, I thank you.
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