Today we conclude our interview with “The Doors” screenwriter Randall Jahnson. Here we talk about the impact and influence of the film, and Randall discusses some new projects. You can read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here.
DE: I’d like to conclude with what you’re doing today. Do you have any projects coming out?
Randall Jahnson: Yeah, I always have something going on. I’m just about to get started on a project called “Boilerplate” which is the saga of a 19th century Victiorian era robot. I love history. “Boilerplate” is the creation of a guy named Paul Guinan, who lives here in Portland. I came across his website a couple of years ago and Paul had created this little scale model of this robot like he had been manufactured or created in the 1890’s. Then he started posing him in different things and photographing the figure and then inserting them into period photographs of like Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and he created this whole fictional mythology about him. I contacted him and we hit off and I said ‘you know, there’s a movie in all this’ and he said, “yeah, yeah, I’m just not quite sure how to do it so if you want to take a stab at it, great.” We have the project set up at Paramount. J.J. Abrams was going to be producing.
DE: That sounds pretty interesting.
Randall Jahnson: We’re just waiting to get the go-ahead from Paramount and get all the various ducks in a row on that. I just always have some things up my sleeve. I have a jazz movie that I’ve written about the night in the life of a jazz quartet playing in the East Village in 1962. I really like jazz a lot, that era, the Coltrane, Miles Davis, the post bop, part bop era. That’s something I would like to get done at some point. It’s going to be a very, very small movie. It all takes place in and around the club that they’re playing, and it’s not about them on stage playing, it’s about what happens when they’re taking their break. In those days these bands would play three, four sets a night with a half hour break in between. I’ve always been just intrigued by that. There’s some wonderful film footage of Theolonius Monk, arguably one of the greatest composers of the last century, playing at the 5-Spot in the Village, that’s just a little shithole, just playing for dinner. In those days the dressing room and the kitchen were all one and the same. There’s pictures of him just hanging out, smoking cigarettes and guys are cooking in the background. I just love that kind of stuff, very, very interesting. It’s not about Monk, but inspired by guys like Monk and that whole generation of jazz musicians.
DE: Thank you very much for talking with me.
Randall Jahnson: Thanks Jim, it was fun. Not a day goes by where I don’t get some kind of a Doors reference, I hear them on the radio. In the long run it was a really amazing experience for me and I earned some stripes on that one, I will have to say. But it’s great to know that people still, even despite the flaws of the movie, there are still so many fans, and a new generation of them.
For more information about Randall Jahnson, please visit his official web site.
Originally published in four parts November 8-11, 2010.