Gary Young


Gary Young

Producer / Director: The Film Factory; Producer: Media Man

Titles: Cosy Cool, Wheels On Fire, Nuts, Bolts & Bedroom Springs

Websites

Cosy Cool Cosy Cool Wicked Stallion

 

Interview

In keeping with Media Man's tradition of tackling any subject, we explore the world of film making. This time, we interview our own client and associate in this "space", Gary Young.

Gary has produced and directed some of Australia's most popular films, and has many firsts to his name.

The Film Factory in conjunction with Media Man Australia is getting ready for a full scale assault on the Australian film industry.

We caught up with Gary most recently on his rural property in Goulburn, NSW.

Gary talks openly about his career and his current plans.

Greg: So Gary after 30 years as a Film Producer..Actor..Director...tell me some highlights,what stands out in your mind?

Gary: Well Greg I remember when I was 25 years old...on my birthday..I laid awake all night thinking "...I'm 25 years old and what have I done with my life..nothing.."

Greg: this was at 25?

Gary: Yes..and by that time, amongst other things..I had invented car cam or race cam......using cameras as big as refrigerators to get shots they now get with lipstick cameras..you see them in every car and bike race now...it first debuted on TV...on the Bob Rogers show on Channel 7 in Sydney. It was in the Movie WHEELS ON FIRE which is still a box office legend in Australian Cinema..

Greg: WHEELS ON FIRE tell me about that film?

Gary: That was the first Movie I ever made...and to tell you the truth it was a bit rough around the edges but it just seemed to catch the imagination at the time...it was just a smash hit...everybody just assumed I knew exactly what audiences wanted...and to tell you the truth I was just as bewildered as everyone else with its smash hit success.....of course my head was a bit big so I just didn't let on ...and I played it by ear and smiled a lot......it brought Drag Racing and funny cars to the guys in the bush who had never seen anything like that..I remember it also showed how to do wild paintwork and build big engines....for instance I remember it played Dubbo drive in..on the opening night the guys would go with their girlfriends...the next night they dumped their girlfriends and took all their mates...the next night all the mates took all their mates and by Monday night the guys were driving in from the cattle stations and the far flung outposts....the next week there would be maybe 3 or 4 copies of the wild paintwork driving up and down the main street...and this happened from the cities right thru to places like Yarrawonga thru to Townsville..all over..it was amazing...

Greg: And when was this?

Gary: this would have been the early seventies...I was on the Midday show and others shows like that....and we would take real dragsters and funny cars right into the TV studios and then start them up..it was just havoc...we did that near theatres as well to promote the picture...they were just amazing times...

Greg: and what sort of money did the picture earn?

Gary: Well its hard to judge its success by a dollar figure now because the admission prices were around 80 cents when it first went into release and maybe $1.20 when it finished its run...and it still managed to gross almost $3million.....by comparison maybe its best to say maybe 4 people saw WHEELS ON FIRE for everyone who saw PRISCILLA Channel 10 paid me $30,000 for screening rights in 1975 at a time when they were paying around $3000..$4000 for US made pictures..it was just amazing..

Greg: and did it screen widely?

Gary: Oh yes it screened all over Australia and went back to some theatres time and time again...

Greg: OK that was the first picture Tell me some other titles?

Gary: Well I made NUTS BOLTS & BEDROOM SPRINGS..it also did major box office and then OOPS...and then COSY COOL....I did ENDLESS CURSE OF THE MUMMY while I was in the US.. I have 3 in production at the moment...THE LEGEND OF THUNDERBOLT...THE CALIFORNIA KID and KITT....its kinda weird though...in NUTS BOLTS AND BEDROOM SPORINGS I had RUSSELL MULCAHY........... appear as a "director" in a scene.... and right after that he made RAZORBACK and then SEAN CONNERY in HIGHLANDER and he has worked as a director ever since..major success..probably one of Australia's most prolific directors.

Greg: Ok so where does SUMMER CITY fit in there..MEL GIBSON'S first Movie

Gary: Well when I was shooting COSY COOL ..Phil Avalon was shooting SUMMER CITY and MEL GIBSON was only the fourth lead and it was his first film...Phil was having trouble working out a way to give the movie a sudden impact start so we screened the picture..or what he had shot at the time and between Phil and I we rewrote the entire first part of the picture...and it did very well...I owned the video and DVD rights to the picture and I just sold them for DVD release..

Greg: You make a big thing about controlling your movies don't you?

Gary: Yes I do..if I have a criticism about the OZ film industry its that Producers are only too happy to get paid to make the movies and then lots of them just fade away..I like to have control of the copyright and then make sure they get seen...our family company controls a large number of Aussie pictures in various rights and we push hard to get them into release.

Greg: OK I can see we are running out of time but before we go can you just tell us about COSY COOL and the Fathers day massacre?

Gary: Well Greg when we opened COSY COOL we got maybe a full 8 minutes promotion on 9's A CURRENT AFFAIR...and it opened in the Hoyts TOWN CINEMA in SYDNEY..it had big promo and it did well over 25,000 admissions in that one theatre alone over 2 weeks ..it grossed very hard.. and it did well...just after this I went to the US and one day a few years later I opened the paper and read all about the FATHERS DAY MASSACRE in Milperra...well I can just tell you it was a shock to read...the last scene of COSY COOL was actually a Massacre and it involved the Comanchero Bikers...and more than that...MY co star in the Movie JOHN WILSON was actually invited to the "BAR B Q" by the bikers..and the very first person killed was the young woman with Wilson....If I was in Sydney no doubt I would also have received an invite to the "BAR B Q"...its just erie....and more than one industry type has suggested that the Comancheros just decided to bring cinema to "real life"....for years TV stations have not screened the picture because of this reasoning..its a shame actually...

Greg: Thanks for the time...

Gary: No Problem..the pleasure is all mine.

...end.

Editors note: You will be hearing a great deal more from Gary Young and Greg Tingle in the movie "space" much sooner than you would think. You read it hear first.

The Film Factory


Llinks

Movie Promo: The California Kid

Internet Movie Database: Gary Young

Article - Movie Makers and Movie Stars - What Makes a Star?, by Greg Tingle

Media Man Australia: Entertainment

Australian Film Commission

Inside Film Magazine

Empire Magazine

 

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