Block Telesales Calls NOW
Receive no more
Searching the woods for the body of a missing youth, Corey Feldman (l.), Jerry O'Connell (2nd from l.), River Phoenix (2nd from r.) and Wil Wheaton (r.) find they are tested in ways they had never imagined in Columbia Pictures' "STAND BY ME." Based on the novella, "The Body," by Stephen King, the film was directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans, and produced by Andrew Scheinman, along with Evans and Gideon.
Rob Reiner marks his third feature directing credit with Columbia Pictures' "Stand By Me," which stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland, and also stars Richard Dreyfuss as The Writer. It is the story of four boys who set out on a two-day adventure with dreams of becoming town heroes when they find the missing body of a youth their own age, but before it is over they are tested in ways they had never imagined. From a screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans, Reiner brought special sensitivity to the filming of the material based on Stephen King's novella, "The Body." The film was produced by Andrew Scheinman with Evans and Gideon.
The actor-turned-director enjoyed box-office success with 1985's "The Sure Thing," a romantic comedy which followed the misadventures of two college students who discover themselves, and in the process, each other. His first directorial project, "This Is Spinal Tap," was a satirical view into the crazy world of rock 'n' roll, a comedy film which received both critical and audience acclaim.
Reiner saw the opportunity to film the Stephen King story as a different kind of challenge. "Initially, what attracted me to the project was the intelligence of the writing in King's story," says Reiner. "The characters were very strong and well-drawn. At the time, I was looking to do something more dramatic, something different from the things I had done in the past. I called Stephen King because I assumed that the piece was semi-autobiographical, or at least gave some hints as to what led him to becoming a writer. I asked him how much of it was true. And he said, 'Well, to be honest with you, I'm a pathological liar and I don't know what is and what isn't true, but if it isn't true, it should be.' "
As Reiner became involved with the development of the material, the story took on a very personal dimension. "While I felt I was examining what had made King the writer he is, I also injected my own personal feelings, what made me become what I am. I basically turned a lot of Gordie, the young writer of the quartet, into me--a youth who feels he's not understood, with a lot of doubts and fears about himself, who through the help of a friend, starts to feel good and have confidence in himself. For both King and myself, the story was a lot more than just four boys searching the woods for a body."
The son of actor and film director Carl Reiner, Rob has been involved with show business most of his life. While a student at UCLA, he founded the improvisational comedy group, "The Session," and spent his summers as an apprentice at the celebrated Bucks County Playhouse in Pennsylvania. His first experience with directing came with a production of the Jean-Paul Sartre existential drama, "No Exit," whose cast included aspiring young actor Richard Dreyfuss.
After appearing with the improvisational group, "The Committee," for several years, Reiner broke into television as a comedy writer for "The Glen Campbell Show" and "The Smothers Brothers Show," two popular hour-long variety shows of the late '60s.
Later, while he served as story editor for a television series titled "Head Master," he landed a guest-star spot on that comedy show, which set the stage for his best-known television portrayal, the role of Michael "Meathead" Stivic in "All in the Family." As the son-in-law of Archie Bunker on the award-winning comedy series starring Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton and Sally Struthers, Reiner won two Emmy Awards for his inspired acting.
In addition to "All in the Family," Reiner has appeared in two television features, "More Than Friends" and "Million Dollar Infield," the latter of which he co-wrote and co-produced.
Since making his feature film acting debut in the 1967 comedy, "Enter Laughing," Reiner had major roles in "Halls of Anger," "Summer Tree," "Fire Sale" and "Where's Poppa?" The latter, a comedy classic with George Segal and Ruth Gordon, was directed by Rob's father, Carl.
Reiner attributes his current concentration on directing to his "sense of the overall." Comments the multi-talented filmmaker, "Even as an actor, when I was in a scene, I was always aware of everything going on around me. I found that in directing, I can utilize that ability, more so than as an actor. I also like the idea of having the last word, of being responsible.
Reiner feels that in order to do his best job as a director, he has to do his homework. "Preparation is everything. You don't get a lot of chances to think things through when you're making a film. When you're in the middle of shooting, it's like being in a war. You have to make instant decisions and you make them all day long. If you have a really tight, well-constructed script, with well-drawn characters and you cast it properly, when you have to make those quick decisions, you can sort of fly on automatic pilot, since everything has been thought through."
Reiner finds himself still learning new things about his craft with each effort. "The most difficult thing for me is understanding exactly what the camera can and cannot do. Since I didn't come up through film school--I came up as an actor--I approach things from an acting standpoint and from a writing standpoint. I try to think of where I want to be as an audience member--where's the best way to look at this moment, where I want to put the audience to make them have the best vantage, and then I just put the camera there, based on that. But I'm learning, and on this film I learned a tremendous amount."
For Reiner, his favorite part of the filmmaking process is the editing. "It's like a reward for having gone through production. It's quiet time, it's reflective, it's peaceful. The film becomes finite in the editing stage. Your choices are limited. You can only make the film better. In the editing process, it's the most exciting because you can see things come together."
Reiner is currently at work in London directing the feature film adaptation of William Goldman's novel, "The Princess Bride."
Columbia Pictures presents an Act III Production of a Rob Reiner Film, "Stand By Me," starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland, and also starring Richard Dreyfuss as The Writer. Directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay by Reynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans, based upon the novella, "The Body," by Stephen King, the film was produced by Andrew Scheinman, Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon. Music is by Jack Nitzsche.