Super Megafest
Framingham, MA
November 22-23, 2008

David’s Q & A  Sunday November 23, 2008

Boston Super Megafest



I accompanied David to his Q & A panel at noon on Sunday, but he didn’t need me to. 


David introduced me as the author of our book and gave me a wonderful plug. David sat in the Left hand chair up at the front of the next to the Moderator. I sat quietly behind David off to the left side. The room had about 30 chairs and about 2/3’s of them were already full and within five minutes some more people came in and filled up the back.


Dori was front and center. There were a lot of other attendees with cameras up who took a steady stream of pictures while David did his thirty minute talk. David told good stories about the usual subjects, The Fly, The James Bond films and his early days at Fox. Most of what he talked about on the Fly – is in his interview in The Fly book and some of what he said about his early days at Fox is in the his audio commentary on The Fly DVD.  In fact, he told everyone up front he was going to tell them all same stories he always does, but no one seemed to mind.  And after the second time, the Moderator called him Mr. Hedison, David insisted he call him David. So he did.


David expanded a little on what his early days at Fox Studios were like. He was glad he was put under contract with Fox, because in order to be close to the studio, he had to move into Beverly Hills.  David loves living in Beverly Hills and if he had gotten a film contract with Warner Brothers instead (which was his childhood dream) he would have bought further up the Valley in Brentwood or one of those places. So that worked out quite well.


He was sad to see the Fox Studio sell off their back lot five years into his contract. David said that the back lot was a very interesting place – at least to him – with all the streets made up to be New York or Paris or the Old West.  David used to walk the New York set streets whenever he was homesick for New York.  He had spent six years in New York City learning to act before coming to Hollywood to make movies.  David still loves New York City and visits the city often. 


Also because the young actors did not have much money when they were first starting out, David would put the top down on his red convertible and he and his friends would “cruise” up and down the various streets of that (immense) back lot for something (inexpensive) to do on a Saturday night.


The old Fox back lot is now Century City – if you want to get an idea how large the old studio was back then.  David said there were two entrances in those days, not only the one off Pico Boulevard. David liked to come in the other one that isn’t there any more. I think he said it was off Ventura Boulevard.


David had asked someone at Warner Brothers why they didn’t offer him a contract in 1957 and they said they weren’t hiring anyone at the time. David recently visited the Warner Studios to audition for the series Cold Case and he was taken aback at how much security there was now. David kept having to show his driver’s license everywhere he went. I’m sure the attempts to get sneak out footage of high profile movies like The Dark Knight has had more than a little to do with that increase. David seemed to be lamenting the days when he could drive onto the Fox lot; be recognized on sight and waved on through.


David talked about the Bond films and how he was cast for Live and Let Die and then Licence to Kill. He was very relaxed and answered all the questions put to him. One poor guy tried to leave quietly before David’s panel was done, but David wasn’t about to let him sneak out the door, getting a good laugh from the rest of people in the room.


David was in the middle of a Bond story, telling about how Geoffrey Holder would sign movie scores to him on the set of Live and Let Die and David would have to guess what Movie it was – when Richard Kiel rolled into the room on his Lark.


David greeted Richard warmly, as “my old friend.” Kiel mentioned he had just seen Roger Moore and David said he had, too. The Moderator then told David he was about to call time when Richard had rolled in, so we ended David’s talk and let Kiel get ready for his.


I was told later by one of the attendees how she realized as she was sitting and listening to David tell his stories how much history was sitting there in front of her. That David was part of something that is long gone now and how good it was to still have him here to tell us about how it was back in the day. David really does tell good stories.


Diane Kachmar