|This Interview was put on by the Sci-Fi Channel's website, The
It is posted here with permission from the Dominion.
|This cyberchat took place as a kick off for the Seeing Ear Theater's RealAudio production of Clive Barker's History of the Devil on March 8, 1999.|
|Moderator:||Hi everyone - thanks for joining us tonight for a cyberchat here at The Sci-Fi Channel's website, The
Dominion (scifi.com) Our guest tonight is writer/artist/director Clive Barker who can truthfully
be said to have redefined the meaning of modern horror in books such as Imajica and Galilee, in films like the
Hellraiser and Candyman movies, in his paintings and in numerous stage plays.
Clive has been the recipient of a wide range of honors including the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award and the International Horror Guild Award. He is also the Executive Producer of Gods and Monsters which recently received Academy Award(TM) nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
It's a great honor for us to be hosting Clive Barker tonight - and to be presenting an original Seeing Ear Theatre adaptation of Barker's stage play which you can listen to by pointing your browser at http://www.scifi.com/set/originals/.
Brief word about the drill - this is a moderated chat which means there will be public typing except by me, Moderator, and Clive Barker. If you have a question you would like to ask Clive, send it to me as a private message. There are a LOT of you here this evening and every question may not get answered - but I'll do my best.
|Moderator:||Clive, you're such a multi-talented creative force and you're so brilliant in so many areas that I gotta ask: playwriting, film-making, novel-writing, painting - which is your favorite discipline?|
|CliveBarker:||I would have say that it's a balancing act. Writing and painting and find them to be complimentary|
|Moderator:||<Raven>: first of all, I'd like to thank you for wonderful works like Weaveworld and Nightbreed. My question is: I've heard rumors that there is a Weaveworld series in the making for Showtime. Is there any truth to this rumor, and if so when when??|
|CliveBarker:||It's a fact. We are in the early stages of a large scale 6 hour adaptation. It will be a Showtime original. One of the partners in the project is Hallmark, or Merlin fame. I have very high hopes for the project. It's been a long time in development|
|Moderator:||<zimmer>: Do you outline your novels first, or just write as you go?|
|CliveBarker:||I do very elaborate outline, though I don't always adhere to them! I feel that for my novels, with byzantine plots. I need a plan and direction. I like to lay prophetic material into the text so as the narrative developes the reader can solve the puzzle. I couldn't do that without planning. I should emphasize for writers out there that everybody approaches the business in a different way. I wouldn't claim my way is the best or only way.|
|Moderator:||<MissJane>: HI Clive, this is Jane from Dragon Con in Atlanta. We just finished with World Horror Con and
I wanted to let you know that "Gods and Monsters won the International Horror Guild's "Best Film"
award Saturday night. Ed, Nick and I wanted to congratulate you. '
<Cassiel>: Do you plan on moving away from the horror genre in the future or do you plan on staying in that field of entertainment?
|CliveBarker:||First. Thanks for the news! Gods and Monsters is being heaped with awards. It's a small movie and it's grratifying
that it can hold its own against expensive projects
On horror... I'm not sure that I really write horror anymore. I feel that books like Galilee are essentially fantasy works, as is my work for children. Certain in film I'll continue to work in horror, but my ambitions as a writer have moved away from scaring people.
|Moderator:||<xX]NiX[Xx>: Hi Clive. I love "Lord Of Illusions" and i really would like to know where you got the brilliant story/concept from..? and.. PLEASE don't stop feeding us!|
|CliveBarker:||As you may know, the character of Harry has been wandering around my fictions for 10 years. One of the earlier
Harry stories was The Last Illussion. The film is based on that story... But I introduce into it the element of
cult worship because it fascinates me.
When I work on a picture or novel I need material which I can get my teeth into. Lord did that. At its heart I feel its a meditation on the real and the imaginary
|Moderator:||<SeeingEar>: Hi Clive, just wondering if you could talk a bit about the film version of 'The History of the Devil' and its similarities, differences with the stage and now, our radio drama version...?|
|CliveBarker:||Each medium offers its own strengths Clearly live theater is very immediate but necessarily limited visually. The film we have planned will be very ambitious visually and takees off in fresh directions. The Seeing Eye Production has one exceptional quality which ,makes it different: it creates pictures in your mind's eye. For a narrative this complex this is in some ways an ideal medium. We can move at the speed of the imagination from the waste of Africa to 13th Century France to England and so on. It's all happening in our heads.|
|Moderator:||<dancingboogie>: Clive, where will you be to celebrate the Millennium?|
|CliveBarker:||New Orleans, but I hope to be so drunk it won't matter. Kidding! I haved New Orleans. It's the ideal place to celebrate|
|Moderator:||<RipChord42>: Clive, how do you choose who will score your films? Do you have advice for a composer?|
|CliveBarker:||I think good film composers are always needed. There are few things can so radically transform a picture as a score.
I've been blessed by working with amazing composers. Christopher Young for Hellraiser. Grand work! Danny Elfman
did wonders for Nightbreed. Phillip Glass brought another kind of genius to Candyman.
My advice -- Get your music recorded and send it to filmmakers you admire
|Moderator:||<Ratravarman>: I wished to ask Clive what he thiks of the trend towards a kind of magical realism in fantasy, particularly by women writer like Kathe Koja, Elizabeth Hand, and Constantine Storm.|
|CliveBarker:||I'm a great fan of Elizabeth Hand. Waking The Moon is amazing. I'm not sure we need to limit this by calling it magic realism. It's simply great writing. The more trangressive the better|
|Moderator:||<zimmer>: Do you feel it is a geater challenge now to break into print for a newcomer than it was when you first started? What do you feel a new author's chances are?|
|CliveBarker:||Yes, it's much harder. There are many reasons. The issue too complex to detail here, but I can offer a few hints. The bookstores are more conbservative There's less money and less editorial support for newcomers and midlist writers., But that's npot to say that the right book won't find an enthusiastic advocate. It's a matter of luck. I would advise those who have book is that you look very closely at the publishers who put out your kind if work. Don'ty send your ms to every publisher on the shelves. Target an editor. Someone who works on books like your own, your genere. Someone who will understand you.|
|Moderator:||<Fenris>: Clive: Did you jump directly into writing novels or was it a more gradual process? ''|
|CliveBarker:||Well, I wrote three books of short stories and 9 plays first, but each novel presents its own challange. In a sense I feel as though I'm starting new with each one. Each book is a different adventure in creativity. In part because I'm a different person with each|
|Moderator:||<Erin789>: Hi Clive, this is Erin from Lakeland. Do you get any ideas from your dreams?|
|CliveBarker:||A lot of ideas. I keep a dream journal. I record images that appear in my dreams at night Sometimes fleeting fragments, sometimes entire bits. Pinhead was born in a dream. Sometimes when I'm close to the end of a novel my dreams help me solve narratives|
|Moderator:||<Will>: Clive, do you have any information about any further "Hellraiser" stories and/or movies that you could share?|
|CliveBarker:||Sure. I can't give you details, but I believe that Dimension Films, who released the last film have two more in development. I'm not invited to their meetings. I have one story up my sleeve on the writing front. The diffinitive climax. I'll say no more.|
|Moderator:||<lollybomb>: do you scare yourself sometimes when you write?|
|CliveBarker:||Never. I'm not intending to scare my readers. To move them, stir them up. But scare? No. Better authors can do that trick!|
|Moderator:||<fjord>: Can you tell us about the new film you are working on with New Line Cinema?|
|CliveBarker:||Not a word! This one is a secret But it's a project I'm in love with I think it will be completely fresh and new in the dark fantasy realm|
|Moderator:||<u21>: who did you read that made you want to write? Who do you read now? Any favorite authors?|
|CliveBarker:||Poe, Melville, John Dunne, TS Elliot, Shakesspeare, Machen, Wilde, Genet. The list goes on forever.
Nor would I neglect painters and filmmakers. Other people's work is endlessly inspiring
|Moderator:||Can you give us a similar list for artists and filmmakers?|
|CliveBarker:||James Ensor, a Belgian painter. George Franju, a fim maker. Wm Blake, Redon, whose pastel are amazing of the fantastical. Max Ernst. Cronnberg, Fellini, Murnau, his Faust was amazing and stunning. Thge list goes on Moderator:|
|Moderator:||<Bradly>: Clive, having seen what fame can do to people, and having come through the other side of fame relatively sane (heh...) could you tell me what the best part of it is, the worst part of it, and what is the best way to handle it?|
|CliveBarker:||What a great question!
The best part is having a forum, the interior and exterior. The worst part is the invasion of privacy that happens. I'm not a public person. It's strange to find folks outside with cameras.
I wopuld like to be invisible in a sense As to handling, I deal with that well on some days and poorly on others.
I'm not a public person and occassionally I don't react wel to be at the center of attention. More and more as I get older. But I do feel blessed, I have a chance to do what I always dreamed of. Expressing the deepest parts of my nature and giving them to others. In my minds eye, I'm a man sitting at a fire telling stories. Sometimes by a miraculous slight of hand making visions appear in the smoke.
|Moderator:||Clive, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to join us all this evening. Online you're visible and invisible at the same time! The best of all possible worlds.|