Filmmaker David Winning, whose many credits include “Andromeda” and “Something Beneath” with Kevin, gave us many great answers in this interesting interview, as well as some good advice for being and staying in show biz. Normally, I would post a brief bio, but I’ll let him tell you himself. Please see his website for a complete bio and more: http://www.davidwinning.com/
SW: What fascinated you about film that even as a child you knew you wanted to make movies?
DW: I actually started out at the age of 9 as a ventriloquist and magician; used to do shows for schools and libraries, etc. before discovering a passion for special effects. I started making films when I was young. Dad got me a Kodak Instamatic Super 8mm camera that I was glued to for most of my teens. My first professional job was working as a dubber-loader for a sound studio in Calgary. I also got experience as a director’s assistant at ACCESS Television, an educational programming channel in Alberta that produced docu-dramas. I directed my first feature, “Storm,” at age 22 in 1983. This led eventually to directing episodes of Paramount’s “Friday the 13th: The Series” in Toronto. Thirteen features and 20 series later, I’m still around.
When I was 10 I became obsessed with creating effects with superimpositions, double-exposures and pixilation. This is an animation technique where you use live actors and move them a bit at a time to create flying sequences or driving on the ground with an invisible car. This interest in film as stories began to develop, and it just became a very serious hobby through my teens starting with a documentary about my parent’s trip to the zoo in 1971.
I struggled for a long time in my twenties working on passionate projects that took years to finish. Most of my twenties were spent making my first feature, “Storm,” which I loved. In some ways, you realize later that if you hadn’t spent years making those first films, you wouldn’t have had the career that followed because “Storm” led to everything else I’ve ever done.
I was asked at age 27 to direct episodes of “Friday the 13th: The Series” for Paramount Pictures Television, filming in Toronto, Canada, and that became my first paying job. Success in the entertainment business seems to always be a matter of good timing. When Preparation meets Opportunity, as the saying goes… I have a box full of super 8mm films I made between about ages 10 and 16, plan to go through it someday and transfer it all over to DVD or digital just to preserve it. Spent many years of my teens making films with friends in the back yard and coming up with all sorts of strange and exciting stories to amuse ourselves. Some of them are pretty good too! I’ll have to put them as extras on some of my features like M. Night Shyamalan does. Might be worth a chuckle. More… http://tinyurl.com/2e32s5z
This great story comes from Sally in the UK and is a little different. She likes to do cross stitch, a type of needlepoint, and decided to create one of Dylan Hunt. She kindly shared photos of her progress to date. Can’t wait until it’s done, which I hope she will also share with us!
Back in December, 2009, I charted up a picture of Captain Dylan Hunt. How did I chart it up? I used computer software called DMC Cross Stitch Pattern Designer. The charted picture is 7.14 cm wide by 10.5 cm high. It involves 48 different colours and contains full stitched.
I started stitching Dylan just after Christmas and made good progress. Just before I visited my grandparents for New Year, I came across a small mistake. I seemed to have missed a couple of stitches, so I spent nearly two hours unpicking the stitches I’d just done.
For a stitcher, unpicking can put you off continuing to stitch that day. I put needle and thread down for New Year, and worked on Dylan when I got home. I spent a couple of hours on Dylan and managed to stitch all of the area that I had to unpick before New Year.
I worked on Dylan a couple more times before I put needle and thread down again. I was afraid Dylan could have become a UFO (unfinished object) for longer than two months, but now, Dylan is out of the cupboard, and I plan to work on him every weekend to get him finished.
Kevin has a really cool trip to Orlando, Florida, complete with many amenities up for auction at his 2nd Annual Kevin Sorbo Celebrity Golf Tournament, June 10-11, at Dragon Ridge Country Club in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas. Get your bids in early for this one!
The package includes a four-night stay at the Marriott Orlando, passes to various area theme parks, and an exciting VIP tour of Kennedy Space Center. Then, as if that isn’t enough, it offers the best seating for one of the final three launches of the Space Shuttle! Wow!
Kennedy Space Center is a great way to get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. The tour via a NASA bus travels to the LC-39 Observation Gantry for a panoramic view of the shuttle launch pads, then on to watch International Space Stations modules being prepared for launch, and finally to the Apollo/Saturn V Center, home of the 363-foot-long moon rocket, the largest ever built.
The launch experience entails an amazing view of a live NASA launch before your very eyes! Witness a space shuttle launch, as well as massive rockets hauling satellites, Martian rovers and planetary explorers. You don’t want to miss this historic moment!
The winner provides all transportation with exception of the NASA bus inside the facility. That means you can choose your own flight to Florida and your favorite mode of transportation once there, whether it be to rent a car to drive around the city and see its interesting sites at your leisure or grab a cab to go to all of these fantastic places. It’s your choice.
Please see the Kennedy Space Center website for more information about the complex and launch schedule: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/
For more photos and information regarding auction items and the tournament, please see Kevin’s Official Website: http://www.kevinsorbo.net/auction_items_2010.htm
(Dylan Hunt photo courtesy of Kevin Sorbo; NASA photos courtesy of Kennedy Space Center)
Also, the June 1, deadline for the fan sponsorship is almost here. Please donate today! http://www.ozfans.com/Special-Projects/CharityGolfKS.html
Kevin created a totally great new Official Facebook page just for us and him!!
Please see it here:
Now we can all interact with him and each other!
Thanks, Kevin! We appreciate everything you do for us!
Such a touching story from Sandy in Maryland. I’m sure you will love it as much as I did!
On January 1, 1993 I was very happy. I was married to a wonderful man with two sons under the age of two. I had managed to get through some serious personal health problems and was doing well.
A couple of weeks later my husband had his first heart attack; Jim spent the next two years in and out of the hospital. I was alone with two young sons. My mom was 600 miles away in Indiana. Having moved to Maryland to marry Jim, I could count on one hand the friends that I had.
After 15 months of this I was holding on by a thread. I once again had taken Jim to the hospital with chest pain. The worst part was my knowing that my sons were aware (that) something was wrong. I got them fed and in bed. I sat on the couch crying, wanting to scream. I turned on the T.V. to hear something other than my own thoughts, and heard the words: “This is the story of a time long ago…”
I spent the next two hours in another time, another place. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and I decided things could be worse: I didn’t have a goddess after me. I looked forward to every HTLJ (“Hercules: The Legenday Journeys”) movie and episode. When I was going to miss an episode my darling Jim recorded it.
Somehow watching Hercules and Iolaus fight their battles against Hera and the other gods helped me have the strength I needed to take care of my family. It was a laugh-filled fantasy escape. Lovely scenery, and lovely men to look at helped also. (Yes, I am a big fan of understatement as well.)
I bought the DVDs on the day of release for each season. I watched “Andromeda,” but was not active in Sorbo fandom because I was working full time as well as raising our boys and being married.
Once again we were going through a bit of a rough time, so I pulled out the HTLJ DVDs to watch as a break from job hunting. After watching them all, I went on the internet. I found the wonderful fan-made videos. Kevin’s Official website pointed me to Twitter. Then the Sorbo Media site was launched, and fans could actually email Kevin.
I have always thought that it was important to say “thank you” every chance you get and let people know when they have made a difference in your life. I emailed Kevin a shortened version of the story of my husband’s heart attack and how HTLJ had helped me get through a tough time, and that my husband recovered, and (that) this year we would be married 20 years.
I was very happy to get the following in my email sometime later:
“thank you for your story, sandy, touched my heart. I got into acting to hopefully touch people in some way, you have verified that. many thanks.
“congrats on 20 years together.
What I did not realize was that I would soon have something else to thank Kevin for… the worldwide network of wonderful fans that he has helped create; wonderful folks who are as caring and nutty as he is.
So once again, Kevin… Thank you.
This wonderful story is from Erika to whom I owe my sincerest apology for posting it so late. Thanks for the story and your patience, Erika!
I started to be a Kevin fan when I saw him for the first time on the “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” T.V. show about 18 years ago. When I saw him my heart beat so strong; I was so in love with his beauty: that amazing body, that look; everything in him was perfect. It was love, passion for the first view. That man was perfect!
About 16 years ago I went to a little city called Campos do Jordão for the first time, and in the hotel where I stayed with my twin-sister, my oldest brother with his wife, and my mother, there was a T.V. It was a rainy Sunday morning, 11 a.m., I guess, and I wanted to turn the T.V. on to know what was showing. I put on the SBT channel and I saw that it was showing “Hercules.” Gosh, at that time I got crazy! My sister and I watched just a little part of the episode because we needed to go out to know the city.
I was always fascinated by the Greek culture. I love mythology: the costumes, the gods… And I still love it (even) now. And I saw Kevin as the most important Greek hero in mythology, it was extremely marvelous!!
After a few times SBT channel stopped showing the show, almost 14 years ago, and we had cable T.V. for a while. There was a channel that was showing all “Hercules” seasons and also “Xena” every day in the week. It was after that I used to be glad every day, and I didn’t lose any episode! There were times that I didn’t go out with my friends and sister just to see Kevin every afternoon on T.V. And I don’t regret for having done that (even) now. I also recorded all the episodes on VHS tapes. Every time I watched the episodes and saw Kevin I was crazy!
But after five years this channel stopped showing the show, and there was another channel that started to show the “Andromeda” T.V. show every week. In that time I didn’t know that it was Kevin who used to play (in) this show, but when I saw that it was him, I almost died! That man wearing short hair as Captain Dylan Hunt was awesome!
But (in) just a few years we had to take off the cable T.V. and I stopped watching it. Lucky me, there was another channel from here that started to show “Andromeda” every afternoon and I came back to see Kevin again. In that time I worked as babysitter of three kids, and even so, I could watch the show. One of the kids, the oldest one, started to like Kevin on this show, too. She was six-years-old at that time. (Since) all that is good is short-lived, this channel stopped showing the show, but then another channel from here started to show “Hercules” and I could see him again as my favorite character. As always I was insane; hallucinated in front of the T.V. There was a day that my mother and my grandmother used to watch “Hercules,” but I always stopped everything I was doing just to see Kevin as “Hercules” and it was marvelous!!
I already watched many movies that Kevin already played (in), but there is one that I love more and there is a long time I don’t see it. It is “Kull, The Conqueror.” I watched this movie more than five times on T.V. and I rented it and watched three times more! In this movie Kevin is completely wonderful. OH MY GOD, this man is perfect in this movie! I watched the “Walking Tall: The Payback” and “Walking Tall: Lone Justice” movies and I really liked them. And Kevin is awesomely handsome in them.
When I used to have a cable T.V., I watched two T.V. shows that Kevin did. He was so gorgeous on “Cybill” and also “Dharma & Greg” T.V. shows. Whenever I can, I try to watch his movies and T.V. shows, and some of them I got on DVD. But others I’m still looking for.
I don’t know if I am crazy or fanatic, but I have many videos taken by YouTube website and some CDs with images and photos of him on them. I stayed in love with him every time I saw his videos and pictures. I have a CD-ROM with an interview with Kevin in the time of “Kull, The Conqueror” movie that was released with a movie magazine. When I saw this magazine in the newsstand I was crazy! I got the money and I bought it. I already watched it many times!
Thanks to Kevin and his characters I got some friends who are very special to me and they are wonderful people.
So, thanks, Kevin, for being this wonderful and talented actor, for being this wonderful person you are. I hope meet you in person some day.
For me, Kevin will always be the best actor of all time. No matter what character he plays, he will always be the best, to me, “my” favorite Greek hero.
(Artwork by Mara and “Cybill” screencap by Loli)