Posted by Kevin Hunter
What’s been going on and where have I been lately? Those are the big questions that people keeping throwing at me. It seems to them I’ve been AWOL, unavailable, unresponsive, and not posting as much as usual. I keep hearing, “Is everything okay? It’s like you disappeared.” I appreciate all of the outpouring messages of concern. Was a little surprised as it never occurred to me that so many people were interested or wondering what happened. I never think of myself on or off the radar. I do my work and live my life without revealing all that much of the day to day happenings. It’s been a busy season full of endings and beginnings, tons of activity brewing behind the scenes.
Over the holidays, one friend gave me a huge Archangel Michael statue, while another gave me this large professional electronic dart board. The interesting dichotomy of those gifts reveal two of the many distinct personalities within me. On the one hand you have the God preaching 🙏 soul enhancing spiritualist surrounded by the Archangel Michael, and on the other hand, I turn into a beer 🍺drinking, sailor cursing, dart 🎯 throwing, frat boy.
Weed is legal in California now, so I smell it everywhere I go. Behind me in the beach photo above unseen are two surfers toking away no longer hiding it as their plant wafts around me in a hug.
I’m known to be somewhat difficult, displaying extreme sides within the span of ten minutes. You never know what you’re going to get. I’m a creative artist and with that comes the temperament expected. On one day I’m the social butterfly and life of the party, or as some friends branded me, “the party favor”, but then on the other you have the withdrawn, distant, moody, cold, and blunt chap who prefers you don’t talk to me unless spoken to.
Someone said to me recently, “What a range of emotions. You don’t bottle up emotions do you?”
I said, “I’m a writer, so I have a healthy outlet for pent up repression.”
Speaking of which, I have some exciting books coming out this year. It’s been a year since my last one, so that’s also added to the concern others had. There were back to back books for years, then I dropped out of sight. The truth is I’ve been super busy lately. The first of the next batch of books is coming this March. I’m excited to share the new material. Stay tuned!
On the other front, it’s been a year of loss, changes, closure, and the ending of many chapters. This is essential in order to open up the door to bright new circumstances being prepped on the horizon.
This past Fall of 2017 has been bathed in loss, but loss is an ending that opens doors to new beginnings. Close ones moved away, people passed away around me, chapters wrapped themselves up. One friend of mine passed away at age 27. He had a seizure and choked on his own vomit and ended up in a coma before the plug was pulled. Two weeks later my friend producer, Kate Guinzburg (pictured), passed away with Ovarian Cancer at age 60.
The two photos on the right I took in 2002 on a little film I associate produced called, “Carolina”, which was financed by the infamous Harvey Weinstein. On the right is producer, Kate, hanging out on set with one of our actresses, Julia Stiles on the left.
Kate was one of the top main people behind the scenes that was responsible for me in a major way all throughout my 20’s. She was actress Michelle Pfeiffer’s best friend for 32 years and her producing partner for their female driven production company Via Rosa for ten years. Six years into their private company, they took a major risk and invited one more person to join their team. Me. This 23 year old rebellious, back talking, drug taking, alcohol drinking, sailor cursing, aggressive, dark, male punk infiltrating into their three women based estrogen filled world. The company was just the four of us until Michelle decided to disband it to go into semi-retirement. Kate, Michelle, and Mary looked at me as their new little brother they took under their wing and molded into the powerhouse I would eventually become.
Kate and Michelle used to have this saying that if either of them became destitute, that they could live on the other ones living room couch. Although, Kate joked that it was unlikely to happen to Michelle. On a professional level, Pfeiffer has made the Hollywood studios more than $2 billion by starring in over 61 films since the 1980’s. Kate watched her best friend rapidly rise the ranks in the Entertainment business where she became public domain. By the time, I walked into their world Michelle was at the height of her game as one of the top 5 most bankable in-demand actress at the time.
Michelle has personally continued to process this death of her best friend, but luckily has been so absorbed with a heavy work load again that it’s helped divert the focus. The picture of Michelle featured in this post was taken the day that Kate passed away. She was forced to put on the professional face, and pretend smile for the cameras, as she attended the Emmy’s due to being nominated for her performance along with Robert DeNiro for HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies”.
Following that, she had to quickly dive into daily press for her film, “Mother!”, which had just come out, and then was immediately scheduled to doing media press for her next film, “Murder on the Orient Express”, then jumped to continue filming for Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster superhero action flick, “The Ant and the Wasp”. She’s been working non-stop in a haze since the death. We’ve all been working to make our peace with Kate’s transition into the spirit world, reminiscing about the good times we had with her, and the important contributions she made for us personally. It was Kate that set Michelle up on a blind date with her current husband of 24 years, David E. Kelley.
Carolina with Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine, Alessandro Nivola and the dance with Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein
Posted by Kevin Hunter
I knew Harvey Weinstein professionally, as Miramax agreed to purchase the little indie Julia Stiles film I associate produced back in 2002 called, “Carolina“. They basically saved us after we lost financing from the financers in the U.K. We were then able to move forward and start filming after we had previously shut down.
On one occasion, I remember Harvey was outside of the theater where he had just finished viewing a private final cut of the movie. One of the things he said was, “You guys have got yourself a hit movie. We’re going to blast it all over MTV during Super Bowl Weekend.” That never happened. Miramax ended up not distributing the film in the U.S. and released it straight to DVD.
At an event months later, Julia was walking past a reporter that shouted, “What happened to ‘Carolina‘!?” She glared leaning into the mic and abruptly with a chill in her voice said, “You’ll have to ask Harvey Weinstein.” And then walked off.
I know you were probably hoping for some private salacious titillating gossip about Harvey, but I’m not going to go there. Normally I never join in with any current top trending scandalous media story, but in this case the subject is someone I knew in the professional sphere. Most anyone who is anyone in the industry knows or knew him at some point. Aside from business, personality wise on a deeper level he and I didn’t mix, so it was strictly small talk or stuff related to the movie.
There are a great many good hardworking people in the industry who are nothing like the predator like behavior being reported. I’ve been lucky enough to work with and become close to the good people, while moving on from the less than desirable ones.
There’s a lot of bullying in Hollywood even though I was never personally victim to it, but there’s a lot of bullying around the world period and in general. Those that claim to care, hopefully this isn’t just some story you’re jumping on the bandwagon for two days, and then onto other things. Whatever happen to Vegas, gun control, the fires, hurricanes, and on and on? Bouncing from one media trend to another pretending to care for a day and then onto other things. If it’s something you truly care about, then stay focused on it indefinitely making your fight to do what you can to produce positive change.
Julia gave up another semester of school as she really wanted to make this movie after Reese Witherspoon and Kate Hudson dropped out to do other projects. We had also cast Shirley MacLaine (who replaced Kathy Bates), Alessandro Nivola, and Jennifer Coolidge.
We had done a pre-screening of Jurassic Park 3 to watch Alessandro back then, and he smiles a lot in that which makes him charming. Because his personality in person is on the serious no smiles side, but he is super nice, so we asked if he would smile more in “Carolina“, which he did.
The higher producer on the film was Kate Guinzburg (Michelle Pfeiffer’s former producing partner) and Martin Bregman (Al Pacino’s former partner), so we had a bunch of Veterans banding together to make this little romantic film about finding true love in the person that’s been standing in front of you all along…..your best friend.