April 6, 2010

Well, my brothers and sisters. I've got to share some things with you. Thanks to Elaine's groundbreaking personal effort and the foresight of Doors manager Jeffrey Jampol, other people are going out on their own and helping us out. These photos came in from Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago. This is really incredible to see.

These are from Diana, in Chicago:

Diane in Chicago           Diane in Chicago 2

Hangin' posters on Michigan Ave and beyond! Can't wait for Friday! Thank you for the task, I am honored!!!!

And here's what's going on in Seattle thanks to Heather and Andrea:

Heather and Andrea in Seattle    Heather and Andrea in Seattle

My friend Heather & I distributed the posters about two blocks around the U district in Seattle near the theater. We had more fun than we should have. Will see the flick ASAP. Thanks for the opportunity. Andrea 

And last but not least from Judi in San Francisco who has been hard at work as well:

Judi lending a hand in SF  More of Judi’s handiwork

Just wanted to let you know that I got the posters Friday afternoon and started putting them the pouring rain as you'll notice, as well as Saturday (when the sun thankfully came out) late morning and into the afternoon.  I went back to the corner of Haight and Ashbury the next day, and was pleased to see that not only had the poster survived the storm, but there was also a crowd of people hovered around it.

My most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you. If we can keep this going then Doors fans all around the world will benefit from your amazing efforts. I love the image of the poster wrapped in tape for protection!!

Hey Jeff,
Thanks for the encouraging words. It is kind of hard to comprehend how many years this has been building.
Jim Ladd was amazing to meet in person. I wish you could have seen him and John Densmore kidding around with each other like high school buddies.
Well, it looks like the entire territory of Canada is going to be reduced to 2 simulcast screenings. That is really too bad. I thought for sure there would be a theatrical run.
Again, thanks for the support Jeff.
Hey Stuart,
I’d love to come to Scotland. I’ve been around the world but never up there.
Thanks for pushing the film at Edinburgh. All your support is seriously appreciated.
Hey Rai,
Yeah, man–who would have thought we’d get such a nice mention in Entertainment Weekly? I’m really glad they got the film. I got the highest grade from them with When You’re Strange than from any other film I’ve made.
Who knows? Perhaps one day I’ll even graduate.
Hey Alan F,
I had a great time at BAM. I thought the film played very well and I really enjoyed talking to everyone afterwards.
I very happy to hear you liked the film.
Keep spreading the word, my friend!
Hey Janet,
Great to hear from you. Please don’t underestimate the power of anything you can do to help. You will notice that the presence of paid advertising is very slim. So far it has been the loyalty and interest of fans who’ve kept this film alive.
Whatever you can do even to just let people know the film is playing will be a huge help.
Hey there Brittney. Wow, your comment really made my day. I read your blog post too. Please give a big thank you to all your friends for going.
But, your words here were wonderful to read. Your opinion does count for much. It counts for everything. And that is what some critics don’t understand. Your opinion is just as valid as theirs. The most important thing is for people to go to the movie and make up their own minds.
It is their right and privilege.
Thank you for sharing yours.
So far so good, and this in the face of some incredibly idiotic reviews. But, Doors fans and film-goers with their own sense of interest and curiosity are going to the theaters.
They are the true heroes here. No question.
There is serious discussion about expanding to other theaters. I hope Washington gets a chance.
Hey Baron,
I’m thrilled you responded to the film. I so greatly appreciate your support, and your enthusiasm. You may have noticed the almost complete lack of paid advertising. I don’t know how people are supposed to even know where the film is playing.
Let ’em know, Baron. Let ’em know.
Yes, Ferrara shot the sun.
WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW. Hi Tom, I finally saw the film last night and I was simply blown away. It’s brilliant. I thought the way you weaved Depp’s narration through the footage was perfecto. This really gives you the true story of the doors like we’ve never heard before. The music, the footage, the people and events of the 60’s just F-ING MIND BLOWING. What an experience really. Congratulations on a superb film, you’ve made Doors nation very proud. Best of luck my friend. I’m going to see again this week.
One question was that also Paul’s footage of the sun in the opening shot. I loved it. Beautiful.
So far all the reports sound terrific. A reminder to all those who, like me, aren’t able to get to a city where WYS is showing. It is still scheduled to air on PBS on May 26th.
One of the oddities of the world of film distribution is that the Washington DC/Virginia/Maryland area where Jim spent his teen years isn’t booked yet. Go figure. 🙂
Hey Tom! I just went to see When You’re Strange today! I was in complete awe the entire time. I know it doesn’t count for much, but if it was up to me, this documentary would be considered the best movie of 2010, for sure. I wrote something about it here: anyway, I also just wanted to say thank you so much for portraying Jim the way he should be portrayed. I hope this movie opens his life and the doors all up to a whole new generation of kids. The movie is playing until the 18th in Atlanta and even though I live 2 hours away, I plan on going again. Thank you, thank you, thank you etc etc. It was perfect.
Janet Erwin
Hey Tom–was relieved just now to find out WYS doesn’t open here until May 8th–relieved because
(a) it gives me plenty of time to print out some posters and plaster them all over the UNM campus and
(b) I’ve got a whole ‘nother month to work up the nerve to see it in public, on the wide screen and with a proper sound system as it should be seen.
Anyway, for any other New Mexicans who may be reading this, here’s the listing as it appears on The Guild Theater’s website:
“When You’re Strange: A Movie About the Doors
May 8 to May 12
Saturday through Wednesday 4:00, 6:00, 8:00
Dir. Tom DiCillo – 2010 – 84m
This new documentary uncovers historic and previously unseen footage of the illustrious rock quartet and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of its music and legacy. Directed by award-winning writer/director Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp, the film is a riveting account of the band’s history.
Said Depp, “Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. What an honor to have been involved. I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done.”
The film reveals an intimate perspective on the creative chemistry between drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison — four brilliant artists who made The Doors one of America’s most iconic and influential rock bands. Using footage shot between the band’s 1965 formation and Morrison’s 1971 death, WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE follows the band from the corridors of UCLA’s film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.”
We had an intense visitation of energy last night!
Hi Tom,
Congrats on reaching this great weekend. I plan on seeing the film a couple times on Sunday on Sunset Blvd. Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I saw it but some of the images are still fresh in my mind.
That’s cool you acknowledged the hard work of Elaine and the others. They deserve it. And also your comments about Jim Ladd, maybe the only person left on rock radio who isn’t forced to be an automaton. His participation really hit the movie out of the park for me.
Also, I picked up the CD soundtrack and I liked the placement of the Depp poetry. There seemed to be some thought about what words should go with what song and it reflects well on the spirit of the movie. It works as a whole.
Finally, the Canadian release. This link (thanks mentions it will play in Cineplex theaters on April 15 at 7PM and again on April 17 at 1 PM “across Canada”. I guess it’s a simulcast or something. It adds the DVDs will be released June 29, I guess in Canada. Depp joins Doors/2766030/story.html
Good luck this weekend, Tom.
Thanks for the heads up on the EW magazine, Rai 🙂
I can’t wait to see this tomorrow. And I just found out a group of people I know are going to the screening tonight but I can’t make it tonight. But they’re going to call me and let me know how it went. So hey, not bad. I’ll get feedback on tonight’s screening as well as going tomorrow 🙂 And I’m seriously considering taking a 1/2 day on Monday so I can go see it again.
Am happy for you on this release day of a long effort, Tom 🙂
I saw the movie at BAM last night – thanks for taking the time to answer questions – the movie was fantastic and your insight was great. Much success! I’ve been singing (not literaly) its praises all day.
mil esker (thanks in basque) for the reply, I will be alert for the nearest screening, paris will be nice, if not bilbao, enjoy the day, dont you believe in magic? musus helena
Very interesting to know more of the backstory on HWY. (And as someone who’s been listening to Jim Ladd’s lovely voice for decades, it was an added pleasure to hear him ‘in’ the movie!)
Rai Mechem
Hey Tom,
Flipping through that fine periodical, Entertainment Weekly, and there is your lovely face, complete with flowing locks and raised eyebrow, on page 56. Oh yeah, Jim & Johnny are there too, and a B review for WYS, but I was drawn to your pic immediately. Go figure. April 16th issue with Chewbacca on the cover.
Best wishes for a successful opening!
Stuart Henderson
Tom, Thanks for the response, ery Interesting, im going to watch WYS with that in mind, will very well put WYS in a far more different context…
I got an Email back from the Events and Information Coordinator of this cinema n edinburgh you may recall looking at the link
They said they are afraid they have already scheduled their screenings for may/june then the edinburgh international film festival runs from 16th June-28TH June
They said they may be screening it in july but that is not yet confirmed and their head of programming wants the chance to view it first and i got told to keep an eye out for thier july programme…
I have good hunch about this tom..
Tom, why dont you come over if it is screened in edinburgh to introduce the film, do a q and a and meet us Scottish Doors Fans??!!
Happy WYS release day, Tom! I’m bringing a crowd w/me to see it tomorrow. So wish I could see it today but have tons of meetings and can’t get away 🙁
Anyway, tomorrow I shall enjoy and finally see this film on the big screen! 🙂
Hello Tom, for the first time your film has taken some part on the national TV news in Spain… cool
Hey Mike,
Great to hear from you.
I’m so glad news of the film is getting down to you guys. There is a possibility because of the strong response starting to build that the film will expand to more cities. It could come to Washington.
If it does you should check it out. And thanks so much for spreading the word. Believe me, it helps.
Beav and I have been exchanging emails. He’s a great, loyal friend.
Hey Stuart,
I’m glad to hear that about your enthusiasm. Never let it go.
That is a good question. It will require a long answer. But, let me start with this. I saw the footage in all the reels of film in the Door’s archive. It had no label on it. It was just shots of Jim driving, Jim walking through the desert. I knew immediately they would go in the film somewhere. I did not know at the time they were from a film Jim wrote and acted in called HWY (Highway).
None of the footage had any sound. I saw the shot of Jim turning on the radio in the car he was driving and began to wonder what he could be listening to.
At first I thought maybe some news about Vietnam, or local weather, or some commercials from the time. But something about the look on his face struck me that it needed to be more than that.
And then, somehow the idea slipped up on me that he could hear the announcement of his own death. That immediately made these images of him appear like he was the spirit of Jim Morrison, wandering through the film, searching for the meaning of the Doors, of himself and of the times.
You see, many people still long to believe that Morrison Lives. This idea allowed me to suggest that he still does, but as a lost soul not quite sure where he is or how he got there.
It was an accidental discovery but one that I am very pleased with. It makes the audience sit up and pay attention.
I hope this answers some of your question, Stuart.
Stuart Henderson
Tom, Thanks for the clarifaction:) my INTENSE Enthusiasm and passion For the Music of The Doors And The Poetry Of Jim Morrison Will stay with me till the day i Die…
One Question, what is the Idea in WYS of Jim switching on the radio in the mustang and he hears the news report of his own death?.
Any Deeper Meaning youare wanting to convey and express with that at all??.
Beaver, Miles and I have been hearing things all over Dumfries about this new documentary of yours. So exciting for you, I’m sure. Sounds like a very cool topic and we will definitely be spreading the good word for you amongst all of our mutual friends.
You should give Beaver a call… He’s very excited for you and very proud to witness all of your success.
Take care!
Mike (I met you in NY a couple years ago when Beaver and I came up, remember?)
Now Stuart,
I know you are excited, and you are a loyal supportive fan, but calm down a second.
“Do you know if the interviews that are going on the extras were/are the “Talking Heads” that were cut from WYS??”
Of course I know. I edited the film. There were never ANY talking heads in the film. This was my decision from the beginning. The film starts in the time of the Doors and stays there. The footage is all the original material of the band when they were all together. This was my decision–to allow audiences to fall into the time period and stay there so they could experience the Doors as if they were just happening now.
I didn’t want to interupt the magic by having people sitting around and talking. Even Ray, Robby and John as they are today are not in the film–and they all are very excited about that.
“Have you heard Anne Morrison’s thoughts on the film?(providing she has seen it of course!!)”
I interviewed Anne Morrison several times. She loves the film. She’s seen it at least 4 times. She’s particularly moved by how human and personal the film is, especially with regard to her brother. She said this has never been seen before.
So, there you have it.
Stuart Henderson
Tom, That’s Great News, Im putting in for my pre order in the next couple of weeks being on welfare and all that….
Do you know if the interviews that are going on the extras were/are the “Talking Heads” that were cut from WYS??.
Have you heard Anne Morrison’s thoughts on the film?(providing she has seen it of course!!)
Hola Helena,
Thanks for writing. The film opens here tomorrow. After all this time. Wow. Who knows what will happen?
It will open in France and the UK in June. I hope it gets a release in Spain.
Hey Kevin,
I heard rumors somewhere that the film will get a theatrical release throughout Canada over the summer. Not sure where I saw that. But, you can check the Official When You’re Strange website on the right hand corner of the blog and see the updated release schedule.
I really hope you get to see it.
Hey Stuart,
Here’s what I can confirm.
There apparently WILL be an extra on the DVD that includes the interview with Admiral Morrison, as well as a talk with Jim’s sister Anne.
Remember, I just wrote and directed the film. I’m not in charge of auxilliary marketing. Contact the producers for more info. I’m in the dark as much as you are.
Very cool to see the grass roots efforts in progress! Love the pics!
I saw a note on the Doors Twitter account page that the Madison, WI screening has been postponed. This was the note:
Attention Madison, WI Doors Fans! When You’re Strange will open in Madison on April 23, not this Friday. Mark your calendars!
To go right to the Doors twitter page, go to
Stuart Henderson
Out On MAY 18TH!
Tom, Can you CONFIRM OR DENY about there being Any extras on the Dvd??.
It would be much more than a wasted oppertunity if NO extras were on the dvd.
Hi Tom! i have already wrote you a couple of times, i’m from montreal, and it’s seem that i’m one of the only to visit your website regurlary.I have talk to many people of your movie, and i have a couple of them who want to see it, do you think the movie will be release at cinema in montreal someday? or i will have to buy the dvd in a couples of month? well thank you for everything and have a nice week!
Faces come out of the rain!
really nice and touchy! good luck, have a ball, and hope the doc comes over here ,BILBAO I miss the Zinemaldi in donosti. agur helena
Hi Tom,
Wow! The power and love for film is well and truly alive. That is so great to see.
I don’t think I have ever seen such grass roots enthusiasm for a film. When the time comes for the European/Irish release I will round the troops and do my bit! 🙂
That bit of individual personal support for the release of a film has just made my day.

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Independent Filmmaker & Musician