Guy Magar was nine years old when he left Egypt in 1958. His family immigrated to the U.S., where he grew up in Middletown, NY. Graduating from Rutgers University with a B.A. in philosophy, Guy began his film career at the London Film School.
Guy has over 100 film credits, including La Femme Nikita, The A-Team, Blue Thunder, The Young Riders, Hunter, and the daytime drama Capitol. He was nominated in 1995 for a Golden Reel award for his TV work on the series Nowhere Man.
Guy’s film work includes ‘Lookin’ Italian’ starring Matt LeBlanc and Lou Rawls (in their first feature film); Stepfather 3, and the cult thriller Retribution (look for it on DVD this year!). His most recent feature directing credit is Children of the Corn: Revelation, based on Stephen King’s original story for Dimension Films.
Guy is the founder of the Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars which provides ‘page to screen’ industry workshops. He’s taught thousands of filmmakers at over 100 weekend seminars in the USA and internationally. He’s also the founder of the Action/Cut Short Film Competition, which MovieMaker magazine called one of the ‘Top 10 Shorts Festivals in the World for Filmmakers!’
Guy continues to provide consultancy services for directors, screenwriters, and private coaching for actors. Contact him at http://kissmequickbeforeishoot.com or http://actioncut.com.
Guy lives in the Hollywood Hills with Jacqui, his beautiful wife of twenty-six years.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?I would travel back to 1776 where I could meet with the Founding Fathers and explain to them how automatic weapons work in our modern times and ask if they would kindly change the wording of our Constitution for all the NRA morons out there who think that when they said we could keep weapons at home in order to form militias if need be – they meant single shot simple guns which is all they knew at the time and NEVER could imagine automatic weapons that could mow down 70 people in a movie theater by a demented lunatic!
Of all the insanity in America, open buying automatic weapons and ammunitions at will with zero gun control is certainly a top ten shameful horror of our nation…and #1 in the white trash/blue collar moronic NRA divide with the rest of America. All those folks who believe in no sane adjustments or interpretations of the Constitution regardless of 235 years of industrial progress are a disgrace to the well-being and safety of all Americans, including keeping our collective IQ to a stupefying low level of idiocy in front of the rest of the world. That’s worth fixing going back in time to add the right progressive reform what-ifs to the Constitution.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?President Obama and First Lady Michelle, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Ghandi, and Jesus Christ.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?President John F. Kennedy.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.If you love the magic of the movies and love to read behind-the-scenes stories, if you’re a romantic at heart and wish to share the joys of a true love marriage that started with a Renaissance wedding, and if you would enjoy an informal, wild and crazy fun memoir about making dreams come true, then this is the book for you.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?The response to the book has been so overwhelming with so many people expressing how surprisingly engaged and entertained they were with the storytelling, it gave me the idea to adapt it as a stage play. As soon as I complete the playscript of the book, I will look for a theater company in Los Angeles to put it up. I look forward with great anticipation to cast it and direct it. If Carrie Fisher can do it so successfully with her memoir, so can I.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?Since I became a director first, it then dawned on me that finding great projects and nurturing them through development and financing and production was paramount to making features and creating TV shows and being in charge of my own destiny. Being a director for hire worked great with my television work, but if I could find great projects that inspired me as a filmmaker, then I could produce them and work on my own features, which are much longer time-commitments.
The problem is it is difficult and extremely time-consuming to read hundreds of scripts to find the one gem that resonates with my sensibilities. The really good stuff is optioned by studios while in galley form who have pre-arranged deals with the big publishers.
For the rest of us, we gotta mine for gold. It is a lot easier and a much more exciting journey to write your own projects and tell the stories you want to see on film. So for me, the best and most exciting job in the movie world is as a director/writer and the most fun and adrenaline rush I’ve ever had was when I directed my own screenplays. That writing experience gave me the confidence that I know how to tell a good story. When my wife Jacqui was diagnosed with leukemia, out of the blue in late 2008, we embarked on a new journey that was very emotional and amazingly inspiring. Her bravery and courage throughout what turned out to be a challenging six months ended in a medical triumph of her healing. That inspired me to tell the world about this “celebration of life” and it took the form of writing my memoir.
I had never thought about a memoir before, but somehow it all just flowed out of me in a once-a-lifetime, super-inspired, writing journey that took four months to complete. It then took 15 months of rewrites to get it to a place that I thought was ready to publish. My discipline as a screenwriter who knows the great value of “rewriting” – which is what true writing is all about – guided me throughout this writing process. I’m satisfied with the reading journey and the entertaining story that my book offers its readers.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.For me, as for all writers, the feedback from readers is what is the most rewarding. As a filmmaker, the audience in the movie theaters are the folks I want to hear from regarding their cinematic experience watching my films or at home watching my TV shows. When I hear from readers how “engaged” they became with my memoir or how they enjoyed the “passionate voice” telling the story like an old friend while sharing a cappuccino with them, that’s special to me, as that was my intention.
The 4 and 5 star reviews are great too because reviewers read so many books, so many memoirs, and to be able to stand out in such a crowded world and receive such reviews recommending readers to get this book is very gratifying. The San Francisco Book Review said, “If you’re going to read one Hollywood memoir this year, this is the one!
What is your dream cast for your book?There is a great true story in the book about almost decapitating Drew Barrymore at my house when she was 8 and had just finishedET. Her mother was friends with my wife Jacqui who had babysat for Drew when she was younger. They were up on our balcony at 2AM returning an evening gown Jacqui had loaned her Mom for some award show.
Anyways, I thought they were burglars and I came charging out with my machete ready to chop heads. It was a crazy night! Now, Drew’s a beautiful accomplished actress and she would be our first choice to play Jacqui when this book goes to film. We’d need a European to play me and one of our favorite actors is Javier Bardem, and he’d be great.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?The song “Give in to Me” from the filmCountry Strongsoundtrack album comes to mind. That film was very underrated and never got its full due which was a real shame. It is by far Gwyneth Paltrow’s best performance and in my book she deserved the Oscar for it. The song is one of the most memorable and romantic in years. It reminded me of how Jacqui and I reacted when we first met…and we’re still at it thirty magical years later. I “give in to her” all over again, every day!
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?Like anything else we choose to seriously do in life, we need to do it well and to the best of our abilities. I wish to inspire authors as I also do screenwriters to be great at their work and that means years of working and learning, and constantly dedicated to becoming better storytellers.
Pride of authorship is paramount and most people rush their works to get it out there before it’s the best it can be. The proliferation of ebooks has exploded the self-publish world and just because it is now easy and inexpensive to put out an ebook does not mean the responsibility of an author to deliver the best possible work to its readers has diminished or is no longer of value.
If you want to write, then do all you can to follow your passion to inspire your self-discipline to make sure you become the very best writer you can be. This can take years of studying and writing and especially rewriting. Writing is no less an art-form than any other art. How many great artists are out there?
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot