JEFF MURRAY

*Super Shark
*Bigfoot’s Wild Weekend
*Deadly Shooter
* Mysterious Sideshow Museum

1) So,Going from Sideshows to Film-making,Easy transition ?

…Well, both are forms of entertainment, although probably on opposite ends of the spectrum. The fact is that the physical aspects of operating a carnival sideshow were becomming difficult for me at my age. It has also become very hard to find bona fide freak attractions to exhibit in sideshows.  Most of the stuff you see now days are what we call “gaffs” or manufactured oddities. The public is wise to this phony stuff and it causes heat that the carnival owners don’t want to deal with. Moving into film work seemed like a natural progression for me.  I did have some experience in the field having been associated with Fred Olen Ray since the early 1990s on several fronts. I am fortunate enough to be able to finance my own projects which makes the transition from freak show operator to movie producer/ director a lot smoother.  I was successful in outdoor show business and time will tell how I do in the film world.
2) Fred Olen Ray pops up alot in your life,Friend or foe—Details of the relationship,Business or personal ?

                            Fred Olen Ray has been a dear friend and inspiration for me since we met about 20 years ago.  At the time, Fred was making movies but had a love for the sideshow business. He had actually purchased a trailer mounted attraction called; “Terrors of the Amazon” and had it on tour back east. Fred wanted to establish a route for his shows in California and he contacted me for information.  We eventually operated oddity shows together and traveled all over southern California touring various attractions. We became friends and I stayed at Fred’s home on many occasions while playing fairs and festival dates  in L.A.  Naturally, Fred invited me to visit his film projects during this time, and as luck would have it, started inserting me into some of the minor roles that were available in his movies. He was also good enough to rent props, tents and other material from me for some of his films.  That’s one of my old museum show tents in scenes from “Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds” and my tents and oddities in “Sideshow” for example.  Fred Olen Ray is a nice guy and very generous person who is appreciated and loved by those that know him well.  I watched and learned while on those many film sets of his, and hoping that what I observed will serve me well on my own projects.
3) When you were doing the side-shows ,What was your top three acts ?

                            My biggest grossing sideshows were;  “Worlds Fair Freaks” which was a traditional 10 in One sideshow with live acts and real human oddities.  Over the years we employed many well knows performers such as; Otis the Frog Boy, midget; Prince Arthur, Melinda The Monkey Girl, Fat Man; Howard Huge, Human Pincushion; Lowell “Curley” Frisbie, Tattooed Man; Capt. Don Leslie and many others.  Our two-headed baby show “Man Made Monsters” was a very successful attraction and made boat loads of money. Another show which was a top midway grosser was our “Mystery Museum” exhibit which did not have any live acts but was loaded with pickled, stuffed and mummified freak specimens of all kinds.
4) One sentence descriptions- John Schneider_________,Michael Dudikoff___________,David Novak__________,DT Carney___________ and Kevin Searcy_________.

The first two people I have only had a very short association with.  To be fair, I can only speak to my observations while on set with them which in both cases was less then one day. 
    John Schneider was friendly, ready to work and very professional. He stuck around after his scenes were completed to have lunch with the cast and crew and was very approachable.
       Michael Dudikoff was also friendly but not as approachable as Randy Travis who was also on that shoot and endeared himself to everyone by passing out his tour t-shirts and album CD’s to everyone on set. Dudikoff was very professional and did a great job in the film.
       I met David Novak on the set of SUPER SHARK where I was one of the executive producers.  We stayed in touch after the film wrapped and became Facebook friends.  I liked David’s look, his voice and acting ability and we also shared political and religious views.  I hired him for “Bigfoots Wild Weekend” in the role of Sheriff Lopez, and he did a wonderful job all the way though, knew his lines and was highly professional.
                           D.T. Carney; A great guy, willing to do anything to help the project, fun, professional and has many great stories to tell.
     Kevin Searcy; My right-hand man on “Bigfoots Wild Weekend” dedicated young filmmaker, devoted to the project, wonderful director of photogaphy and excellent film editor.  He’ll go places, and I hope to work with him many more times in the future.  I just can’t give a one sentence discription of anything…I like to talk to much!

5) So wanna explain anything about ‘Super Shark’ ?

                      …I was in L.A. where I had booked one of my little museum shows with a spring festival and had made arrangements to meet Fred Ray for lunch while there. I hadn’t see Fred at that point in maybe five years, and was happy to see him along with his son Chris who had joined our little reunion. During the meal we were talking about some recent projects and a mutual friend who had invested in a couple of Fred’s movies, and I remarked that I would like to do some producing myself.  Well, it wasn’t long before I heard back that a new production was in the works which I could envolve myself with, so I jumped in. We first had planned to shoot a western themed horror picture with locations in the Oakhurst and Fresno area.  Fred and his wife Kim came up to scout the area for a couple of days and we toured many locations in the mountains including our ranch property in Oakhurst and the Old Town movie location in North Fork. As things often happen in filmmaking, everything changed from the original idea to a completely new one and we started to work on “SUPER SHARK “. It ended up being shot in L.A. with a great cast and crew.  I again showed up in one of Fred’s pictures doing the small role of “Jake” owner of the Dockside Bar. Super Shark is now in distribution and will be aired on the SYFY Channel starting in April of 2012.
6) Big Foot, Besides your new movie,Did you tour with him ‘Frozen’ or ‘Mummified’ ?

I never had a BIGFOOT creature as an attraction, but I did have several displays in my various museum shows of artifacts related to Bigfoot.  These included photos from the Patterson film, actual plaster casts from various groups doing research into the subject and news articles, etc. I did run across several sideshows over the years claiming to have a Bigfoot on display, usually as a frozen or mummified
corpse.  These shows never made much money because people just didn’t believe that they would see a real Bigfoot at a carnival attraction.  One would think that if a creature of this sort were found, it would make national news and possibly be shown at a distinguished venue such as the Smithsonian Institution and not on a dusty midway at the county fair. I have however had a long personal interest in the subject of Bigfoot.

7) BEST of JEFF On/Off Set ?


I like to have a lot of input and ideas expressed on set. I am very open to suggestions from both crew members and actors. I try to treat people in a fair manner and give time to addressing their concerns.  I ask people to give their best to the project and we all work hard to develope a great product.I also love spending time with my wife and family, and especially enjoy our Grandkids…all 16 of them!

8) WORST of JEFF On/Off Set ?


I tend to be a little impatient at times during filming and can get irritated at actors who come unprepared for their roles. I tire a lot quicker these days, and it takes longer for me to become rejuvenated after a long days shoot. At home I spend a lot of time working on the computer and doing projects around the ranch that cut into my family time. We have not had a real vacation in many years.  I usually focus on things that interest me to the exclusion of those around me.

9) Do you still own any of the ‘Mysterious Sideshow Museum’ artifacts ?


I still own various oddities and can frame a small museum show for exhibit anytime I wish.  I have a number of attractions, displays and small tents still stored in my old truck on our ranch property. An old Showman once told me that if I ever left the business, to keep a couple preserved freaks “under the Bed” for hard times.  “You can always take them across the tracks and make a few bucks on the weekend to see you through hard times”.  I took his advice, but will probably use the specimens in film work before I ever take them back on the road. But then…Never say never!

10) What is next for ‘Harmur’ company ?

I have a lot of things stiring around these days.  HARMUR ENTERTAINMENT is planning another project for the spring of 2012 which ironically centers around a carnival freak show. A subject I know something about.  It will be a rather dark and creepy horror film with lots of monsterously deformed people, naked girls, carnival rides, guns and fast cars. A lot of what I do in  the next year will depend on any returns from my investment in Super Shark and whether I am lucky enough to get “Bigfoots Wild Weekend” into distribution and make some money with it. I might like to produce again, and work with others on their projects.  I would love to associate myself with Fred Olen Ray again in particular and perhaps do something with his son Chris as well. It is always better if one can work with established people which helps to minimize any financial risk. In the long term, I hope to develope a company of stock players I can depend on for future projects.  Build a small standing set on our ranch property with various out buildings and eventually a sound stage for interior work.  Amazing how much will depend on the success or failure of one low budget project.  Here’s wishing for success.
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About GUESTAR

Costarred in LAST CASE OF BEN SABIK,Victoria VanderBelt,Die-Pig-Die,Deadly Scavengers,Time Enough and Evil Ever After. Had something to do with BLOOD DRIVE,A DOVE AMONG PIGEONS,Minds Of Terror,Cannibal Cop,Boot Hill Blind Dead,Grey Skies,Blood Sisters w/Debbie D and Dust To Dust !

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