I made the film with Jim's older brother, Bill Emmersn, who was my fellow filmmaker, Bill Emmerson. he's on the far left on the dolly. Unfortunately, he lost faith in my ability to put the film that eventually became the Sword and the Sorcerer and left our effort (although 4 years is kinda long time to work everyday with no real progress). That's next, dressed as a young martial arts fanatic. The next person in the picture is my long-time producer, Tom Karnowski, Tom is a really amazing line producer, absolutely tremendously skilled unit production manager. We both learned a lot together and first started collaborating in 1971. Tom left the project called Cold Steel. But returned after 8 months (yes I was still trying to get the film
Off the ground). I welcomed him back to the effort and he's become probably one of the best and most respected line producer in the world. He does huge Studio films now. And I glad he's got the recognition that I saw in him way back when we were just two knuckle heads in Hawaii without a clue how we were going to make movies. We had several false starts but we stuck together and achieved a lot, much more than we ever imagined. Believe or not, Cannon wouldn't hire him to line produce my films. So I did Dangerously Close and that gave me some leverage, but the new head if production, a jerk named Marc Fisher who was a nasty foul mouth guy said no to hiring Tom. So I went to the executive VP, Chris...something. I can't remember his name. Anyway the executive listens to my plea for cannon to hire Tom. He listened sort of. Then he says if you want him that bad why don't you pay for him. I said. We settled on $10,000. And sure enough the docked $10k out of my check. But it was the best $10k I ever spent.
Finally that is on the far right, is me. I'm like that great line in Field of Dreams, "He had his future ahead of him..." But in this moment it didn't seem possible. We had just screened for Linda Lee, Bruce Lee's widow. We ran the worn, torn work print, hoping it would make through the KEM edit machine. In a old building near Hollywood and vine. She came with her attorney. We needed Linda's permission to use Bruce Lee's photographs because the film was about a scrawny kid who idolized Bruce Lee. What was weird was how In the 3 years it took to finish the film he actually built himself up so he looked dramatically different in the end scenes . You know, I think we snuck into a theatre and filmed Jimmy's POV of the movie watching. Like I said, we didn't have a clue. The mix for the screening was done for free by the now multiple Oscar winning mixer. But back then he was starting out at his father's Hollywood recording studio. A mono mix. As these early years gave way to the concerted effort to get The Sword and the Sorcerers made we had other set backs, but we were enthusiastic. The one person who stood by me though all thick and the thin, was John Stuckmeyer. John was responsible for giving the films I made terrific musical sound tracks.