- General Questions about Tremors
- Tremors 2
- Tremors 3
- Tremors 4
- Tremors 5
- Tremors The Series
- Miscellaneous Questions
- Ask A Question
Note about Tremors 5 and Tremors 6 questions:
Stampede did not work on Tremors 5 in any way so we have NO information about it or Universal’s plans for future Tremors movies. All questions about those topics should be sent to Universal Studios.
Miscellaneous Tremors Questions
As of this writing (July 2003), discussions are being had Universal on developing Tremors toys, novelizations, games, comics, trading cards, etc. Whether they will actually go through with these ideas remains to be seen.
Are you sure you want MREs? Actually, they’re not too bad. S.S. Wilson shared one with son, Matt, after Tremors 2. MRE stands for “Meal, Ready to Eat.” Developed for the U.S. military, it’s a complete meal in a foil package. Sometimes you can find them in military surplus stores, survival stores, or as part of earthquake/disaster and lifeboat kits. There are also various “civilian” versions of MREs and high density survival food.
A lot of you have asked about being actors in Tremors. We have to be discouraging about that. It looks easy, but it actually takes a lot of experience to be a good film actor (I know you’ve heard stories of people who had no experience and got a part in some big movie, but that’s RARE, okay?). Like most filmmakers we only hire actors through Hollywood casting directors. When we’re going into production, the casting director sets up auditions with actors found via agents or TV shows, movies, or plays. We make our decisions based on the people he/she brings in. Many many actors tried out for the new roles of Jack and Jodi in Tremors 3. All of them had a lot of experience and skill. If you think you want to be an actor, start trying out for school plays or local theater plays, find an acting class or school or coach. Work on getting an agent, etc. etc. It’s a very tough profession to break into.
This is a tough question, and a tough business. If you’re going to try it, it’s smart to think about what else you might enjoy or be good at if you “don’t” make it. We know people who have quit the business because the hours were too long, the politics too nasty, the work too irregular and uncertain. They’re now happy doing completely different things in places less stressful than L.A.
But for those who are determined to try, we can offer some advice. Over the years we’ve heard all kinds of crazy stories about how people broke in — sneaking on to sets, pretending to be producers, making movies by borrowing on credit cards, auditioning in restaurants. Almost everything has worked at least once, but most of the time most of the wackier things just annoy people.
We’ll try to list a few of the more normal ways in (S.S. Wilson tried everything we mention below). If you want to write, or think you can write, you should try it. It doesn’t cost much, you can do it in your spare time, and you can do it anywhere. (S.S. Wilson dictated one script into a tape-recorder while commuting long hours to an animation job everyday). If you can sell a script, it can be the fastest way in. So, get books on screenplay writing. Learn the correct script format. Look for published screenplays of movies you like (there are also places that sell scripts). Read them. Learn from them. Nancy Roberts (in her days as an agent) is quoted on screenwriting in Syd Fields’ book, “Selling the Screenplay”. Get that book and read it! What she said then still applies. But to be honest, getting anybody to “read” your script will be difficult. Contact the Writers Guild of America (in New York or Los Angeles) to see if they have a current list of movie agents who will read unsolicited scripts (that is, scripts from people they don’t already know). Most agents do not, but some do. Even if they accept your script, they may take a long time to read it, or they may not read it at all (that happens quite a bit), but you have to try everything.
Here at Stampede Entertainment, we DO NOT have a big enough staff to read unsolicited scripts. You’ll find that is the case with most agents and production companies.
If you do write a script be sure to copyright it and register it with the Writer’s Guild before you send it to anyone. Again, contact the Guild for information on how to do this. Basically you send the Guild a copy of the script, which they keep on file for a set amount of time. The Guild charges a fee for this service. But it can help protect you in the unlikely event that an unscrupulous producer takes your idea and tries to make a movie without paying you or giving you credit.
If you don’t feel you’re a writer, maybe you’d enjoy one of many other jobs that contribute to filmmaking (acting, cinematography, set design, wardrobe, etc.) Look for every opportunity to practice and/or demonstrate your craft. You have a big advantage over the days of 8mm movies, since today you can work in video much more cheaply — and have sound! Practice lighting. Work with sound. Work with editing (not as easy in video as film, unless you get some video editing equipment). Script and story board a short movie, then try to make it. Estimate what it’s going to cost and see how far you go over budget.
Enter student and amateur film and video contests. If you win, it’s more reason for people to take time to look at your work.
Try animation (either on film or on a computer).
Try to get work in film or television production. Can you get a job at your local TV station? Will they let you “intern” for free?
Finally, very important, try to make contacts. You may have heard the expression, “It’s who you know.” Well, it’s true. If you know or are related to anyone in the film or TV business, call them. Can they help you get your work seen or read by anyone? Can they get you a job on a movie, working as a production assistant, or “go-fer?” When Brent Maddock and Steve Wilson finally sold *Short Circuit, it happened because they’d been continuing to make contacts and friends. One friend Brent met in a screen-writing workshop. He was the friend of the son of the producer who eventually bought it, and he happened to know that the producer was looking for any script with a robot in it. Four months later they had a major movie in production. The trade papers said they were overnight successes — actually they’d been trying for years, but it made a good story.
But what if you don’t know anybody? Agents don’t want to read your scripts. Producers don’t want see your short films.
Go to film/video schools. There are lots of good ones. They can’t guarantee a job in the movie business, but they’re still good places to learn the basics. These days, some agents check out the students graduating from the better known schools, so sometimes you can get spotted in that way.
But more importantly, at a film school you get to know a lot of other people who are also trying to break in. Some of them will make it and they become the “who you know.” S.S. Wilson’s first paying animation job was for a friend he met at USC. The friend had started making commercials and shorts and remembered Wilson’s student stop-motion animation movies. After selling Short Circuit, Brent Maddock, Wilson, and then-agent Nancy Roberts helped him get his first feature film. He was Ron Underwood, director of Tremors.
Can I send Stampede my script to read, plot ideas I have for another film, sketches, artwork or music for future films etc.?
Sorry but Stampede cannot accept unsolicited scripts, music, story ideas or artwork except that submitted through talent agencies or bona fide entertainment lawyers.
Stampede cannot accept or be responsible for resumes submitted to the Stampede offices. When a Stampede film is actually in pre-production, you can try calling the production offices and submit resumes through normal channels. But you should be forewarned that line producers and unit production managers rarely hire staff without a recommendation from previous film industry employers.
I’m sure we haven’t seen everything, but over the years he’s commented here and there in interviews. Unfortunately, one time he said he felt Tremors was a low point in his career. On the positive side, we heard second hand that when he was at ADI (Tremors FX company) for some work on another film, he saw the Shriekers in their display area and said something like “My kids love those things.” In any case, he was fantastic to work with and we were very lucky to have him in T1.
Where is the Desert Jack Tour Jeep Gladiator truck now (Tremors 3)? And for that matter, where’s Burt’s cool truck (the series)? – NEW
Don’t know where they are now. They were rented, then returned. If I remember right, one of the Gladiators in the series is the same as the one from Tremors 3. The story I got is was that it was still sitting in the movie car rental lot where it had been returned.
Will there ever be additions or expansions to your Dirt Dragons game? Has the thought of a making a new mini game occurred?
First of all, thanks so much for the comment! SS Wilson played Dirt Dragons for hours when it first premiered on the Stampede site. Sadly, our webmaster informs us that the version of flash that the game was written in is quite old in computer terms. The game would have to be re-written from the ground up to be compatible new operating systems. So, no, Dirt Dragons is not getting a facelift or any DLC. The added issue is that Universal owns all rights to Tremors and they have decided not to work with us on the franchise in the future.
Is the score submission for Dirt Dragons defunct? I recall my computer mentioning something was out of date.
Sadly, Dirt Dragons, the remarkably ahead-of-its-time shooter game developed by Stampede’s webmaster, has been showing its age and yes, will be retired, if it hasn’t been already. (Feb 2019 – there are major changes ongoing to the website).
Back in the day, in the studio system, an “A” movie had a big production budget, and a “B” movie was low budget. I don’t know that people use the designations much any more, with so many projects being made at so many budget levels by so many different companies.
I have an lots of detailed ideas for a video game based on Tremors. Who do I talk to to get the rights?
Unfortunately, not us. We do not own or control the rights to Tremors. You’d have to try to get to someone at Universal Studios and see if they’ll license the rights to you to make a game.
I’ve just bought the remastered Tremors Blu-ray from Arrow and I am so glad I waited for the day it would get a proper release – Would you guys be willing to restore and remaster T2-thru-4 as well, given the opportunity?
We would be willing, but we do not own the rights to the Tremors franchise. Such decisions are made exclusively by Universal studios with no input from us whatsoever. We did not even know they were remastering Tremors until Arrow contacted us for additional material.
You stated you sold the screenplay/rights to the original Tremors to Universal. Recently, a lot rights to famous film franchises have reverted back to the original writers after 35 years because of U.S. Copyright Laws such as A Nightmare on Elm Street reverted back to Craven’s estate, The Terminator reverted back to James Cameron, etc. Will you be obtaining the rights to Tremors back in 2025? If so, what would you like to do with the series?
We have not explored the option of reacquiring the rights. Having the franchise taken away from us left us less inclined to think about what we might have done had we been allowed to keep creative control.
Hi there, some of my earliest memories are my dad and I watching the Tremors movies. They created my love for movies and I find myself studying video production in college. How did you get your start making movies?
Some of our early history is posted in various places on the Stampede site. Short version is we nearly all started making movies as kids, using 8mm film cameras. Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock, and S. S. Wilson went to film school (USC) and met there. But it took years of low budget animation and short film work and screenwriting-on-spec before we finally “broke in” to Hollywood (with the script for Short Circuit).
Three? Well, that’s a lot easier than having to pick one. For S. S. Wilson it would be the Jeep Gladiator, Burt’s truck in the TV series — and the awesome steam tractor in Tremors 4!
Did Covid infect prehistoric creatures beamed in from the Aztec Pyramid designers and thus the morphology alterations resulted in graboid DEVOLUTION? Thanks for the memories of Tremors – it elicits nostalgic bygone years.
Hey, a question is a question. The info on prehistoric graboids is very sketchy; so, I guess the answer is: COULD BE!
And thanks for the kind comment!
In Tremors 4 we established that his great grandfather did well with a silver mine in the area. We were implying Burt inherited at least some of his money.