I Was Close To Quitting Hollywood Until This Happened by Frank Dietz

Film Courage: Did you think about driving back home?

Frank Dietz, Artist/ScreenwriterI did, I definitely did, especially when I couldn’t get anyone to look at the scripts and…so this is an interesting story…my wife was doing some casting work at a production company called Kushner-Locke. They were in Santa Monica. We only had one car so every morning I would drive her down there from North Hollywood and drive back and at the end of the day, drive back down again. I’m basically spending 6 hours in the car every day.

She was there casting I think the HBO show 1st & Ten which I think was HBO’s first series (I think it had O.J. in it actually)? But there were other offices there on that floor (of the Kushner-Locke floor) and sometimes I would go there. I was writing spec scripts for this show that they were producing called SWEATING BULLETS and I was showing them to who was it…Peter Locke I think (he was the Locke of Kushner-Locke)? There was always something wrong with them in one way or another. I wrote one that had Voodoo element to it and right off the bat he was like Oh…we’re not allowed to…the network doesn’t want any Voodoo. I’m like Great.

Anyway I kept trying because he said the writing was okay, more often it was the subject/material that they couldn’t work with. One day I was there and Liane goes I want you to meet a really cool guy. She takes me down the hall to this little office and inside to this gentleman and she says Bill, this is my husband Frank. And he says Hi, William Asher. And I knew exactly who it is and for those of you who don’t know William Asher was a legendary producer/director. He directed almost all of the episodes of I LOVE LUCY. He created the show BEWITCHED with his wife at the time Elizabeth Montgomery. He directed all of those beach blanket movies with Frankie and Annette. The man really was a legend. There I am now talking to him and he was a lovely man. I sat down with him and started chatting. I started to tell him my tale of woe that I couldn’t get anybody to read my scripts. He goes I’ll read your scripts. Like Oh? Cool, alright.

He took them and a few days later I was back there again and he called me in his office and sat me down and he goes This one…meh…the writing is okay but it was a supernatural element and I spent 10 years producing a show about magick so I’m kind of like done with that. That part of it he didn’t care for But this one, this is great. Great script, you did a great job. The characters are good, the story works, it’s really good. He said Don’t give up, don’t move back to New York or wherever. If this is a real sample of what you can do, you will get an agent, you will get work.

And that was so inspiring to me. If that was the encouragement that I need right at that moment to come from somebody of his pedigree, right? Super nice man.

I didn’t leave, I stayed and he was right. Within four…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



BIO: Inspired at age 6 by a viewing of ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, Frank Dietz has found success in the film industry as a writer, producer, director, actor and animator. Frank grew up on Long Island, N.Y, and then attended the State University at Oswego, where he majored in theatre and art. He starred in a series of now-cult low-budget horror films like ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE, ROCK N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE, BLACK ROSES and THE JITTERS. Bitten by the film bug, Frank then moved to Los Angeles, where his screenwriting career began. He wrote the scripts for many independent features, including NAKED SOULS, COLD HARVEST and the MAGIC IN THE MIRROR series. In 1996, Frank returned to his artistic roots and joined Walt Disney Studios as an animation artist. His work can be seen in such films as HERCULES, MULAN, TARZAN, FANTASIA 2000, ATLANTIS – THE LOST EMPIRE, TREASURE PLANET and HOME ON THE RANGE. During this period Frank created the Sketchy Things series of classic monster sketchbooks, which became extremely popular with genre fans. In 2007 and 2008, Frank was awarded the very first Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards for “Artist Of The Year.” In 2009 he joined Larry Blamire’s Bantam Street troupe, and appeared in THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, which was produced by Trish Geiger. In 2011…(Read more here).

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