What was your job on the set of Psycho IV?
I worked in “Transportation” and was assigned as driver to Donna Mitchell.
How did you first start working in the industry and land the job on Psycho IV?
After film school I received an internship on “The Blues Brothers”, from there I kept at it. I was born and raised in Chicago. I worked on a TV series called “Super Force” with the Transportation Coordinator John Orlebeck. When he was brought on as transportation coordinator for “Psycho IV” he brought a few of the ‘transpo’ people with him because he knew our work ethic. I worked the whole shoot which covers preproduction, production, and the wrap out.
How was it working with director Mick Garris?
The thing I remember most about Mick Garris was his sense of being down to earth! The set atmosphere was always very up which always makes for a good shoot.
Describe your experiences with Anthony Perkins
I didn’t come into contact with Mr. Perkins on a regular basis. When I did, he’d quietly nod a hello and smile. After the first few days on a shoot everyone recognizes faces and the bonding process takes hold.
How did it feel to be working on a prequel of a classic film like Psycho?
It is one of the high points in my career. While in film school we studied the films of Hitchcock so it was a real treat to work on the film but also to meet Anthony Perkins, John Landis did a cameo, and the cast of CCH Pounder, Olivia Hussey, Donna Mitchell, and an older Henry Thomas (and his car a black Firebird with the Phoenix bird on the hood!) was an experience.
Did you see the other films in the series? Would you call yourself a Psycho Fan?
Absolutely! Those films are a part of film history and to have had the experience working on one of them is definitely a high point . To also have worked with Mick Garris and where he is today as one of the great horror/suspense directors, “Psycho IV” has a special place in my career.
What are some memories from the set?
The one that comes to mind is the special effects crew setting up to ‘burn down’ the Psycho house on the backlot! We knew the process behind setting up the various plates that would be shot to get the effect in the end, it was fascinating and a learning process that all crew members take a strong interest in while working on projects.
How was working alongside Donna Mitchell?
Donna was a real sweetheart. We spent a lot of time together. I’d pick her to bring her to work, run errands for her. I just remembered that she was particular about food and meals and after shooting I’d take her by the grocery store in Orlando to go shopping! It was during those times she and talked about all kind of subjects. She signed my Showtime tote bag when we said goodbye at the end of the shoot.
How was it working at Universal in Florida?
It was a great experience. The jurisdiction for the unions’ extents to Florida . While working in Chicago we heard about the start up of Universal in Florida . It was reasoned that since the market was primarily TV/videotape based that they would be in need of experienced film production persons, and it turned out to be true. I met Wally Parks who was the son of the owner of one of the first production companies on the lot, Quest Studios. I worked on their first two feature films shoot at Universal and it furthered my production career.
What are you up to now?
I currently live in Phoenix , AZ. After 22 years of working on projects I’ve semi-retired to reviewing movies, writing industry related articles, and doing celebrity interviews. I’m a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society with a movie column and various on-line outlets. All of my movie reviews, published works, and celebrity interviews are available at my website: www.StanRobinson.org
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