Director Randal Kleiser chats with Actors Reporter host Danika Quinn about his career and some of his many films including Grease, Blue Lagoon, and Flight of the Navigator
World famous director Randal Kleiser sits down with our lovely host Danika Quinn. Randal begins by explaining his early childhood and how Nina Foch in The Ten Commandments inspired him to start making films of his own. He explains that being a movie director incorporates all three of his loves: magic, being a cartoonist, and being a puppeteer. And, he loves horses!
Randal’s first introduction to the film-making process was when he worked as a movie extra in the ‘60s for mostly musicals. Before going to USC film school, he graduated from Radnor High School in Philadelphia, which he later used in the world-renowned film he directed Grease. And how was he selected to direct Grease? Through networking as Randal describes. The more people you know in the industry, the more likely you will be selected for various jobs in the industry.
On Grease Set with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta
Not only was Randal the director of Grease and many other famous films, but also his roommate in college was none other than George Lucas. Randal shares stories of himself and Lucas in college, telling us about how Lucas was shy and non-social as he drew sketches of storm troopers in his dorm room. Years later both Randal and George Lucas had attractions across from each other in Disneyland.
Randal and Lucas teamed up to create instructional DVDs on filmmaking and acting using Nina Foch’s teaching. Both studied under her and decided to make these DVDs that follow a semester of Nina Foch’s teachings. Randal holds Nina Foch very dear for she inspired him and gave him bountiful amounts of knowledge that he know pushes to film students to this day.
Danika and Randal explore the making of various films Randal has directed including Blue Lagoon, Grease, and The Navigator. He explains how working with children can be hit and miss and that no matter what circumstances he has been put in with child actors, he has always been able to make it work and pull emotion and fantastic performances from even the youngest child actors.
Randal also continues to explain the beginnings of the Nina Foch Project, the series of instructional DVDs that himself and Lucas created that follow Nina’s teachings. Not only is Randal a director but he also teaches classes at USC and briefly at LMU, using Nina Foch’s teaching as a foundation.
The Nina Foch Project is produced by directors George Lucas and Randal Kleiser. This series of lectures are excerpts from Nina Foch’s directing class conducted at the University of Southern California in 2002. The lectures, organized into sections, cover script analysis, casting, directing, and acting.
Nina Foch Course – Mention Actors Reporter for 10% off.
Danika explores Randal’s life outside of film, which includes tending to his goats and horses, horseback riding, as well as other sports such as surfing, skiing, and swimming. Because of Randal’s surfing background, he created a film called North Shore, which follows the life of surfers on the north shore of Hawaii where he currently has a home.
Randal gives advice to aspiring actors and directors to make a YouTube channel and make short films under two minutes and share it with as many people as possible. Instead of making a long short film, make many small short film segments and give people a card with the name, phone number, and YouTube channel.
Interviews is a show on Actors Reporter, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.