Saturday, October 12, 2013

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Sheldon Zimmer of Space Games

Today’s guest is Sheldon J. Zimmer, Hollywood director and producer. Mr. Zimmer’s latest credit is the reality TV series, “Space Games,” which is set aboard the International Space Station II. The show is currently airing on Zero-G-TV.

Hi Sheldon! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. What’s going on in your life? What do you do for a living?

Eh? You’re kidding me? You never heard of me? Maybe if you’d done your homework BEFORE the interview you’d have learned that I’ve directed and produced over twenty major motion pictures, a few indies, and now a hit reality TV show called “Space Games.” I’m getting ready to call a quits soon, though … retire somewhere outside of Hollywood. Say, you ever done any acting? Turn and look to the side. Not bad.

Sheldon Zimmer
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Is it anything like what you’re doing now?

My father was jeweler in Jericho, New York, where I grew up. He wanted me to take over the family business, but I flew out to Tinseltown instead, where I waited on tables and wrote scripts until I made it big. Dad called me a putz; I told him he had no vision.

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

Kat Turner had the hots for me back in the day, not the other way around like everybody thinks. I was just startin’ out in the business, a slick young stud in his twenties, and she came on to me like Jane Fonda came on to Anthony Perkins, tackled me on the audition couch, and well…

Tell us about your friends. Who do you hang out with?

I wouldn’t call him a friend, but I hang out with my assistant producer Morty Friedman quite a bit. He comes over, and we spend hours reviewing tape, strategizing and arguing… Sheesh, the guy’s only been in the business for a few years and he thinks he knows everything. Let me tell you something, little lady, he doesn’t know squat. He didn’t even want to cast Robin for “Space Games.” I told him I was gonna make her a star. The rest is history. Nuff said. Quick, what other questions do you have for me? I’m a busy man.

If you could bestow a superpower upon one of these friends, who would you choose, and what would you give them?

I’d probably give Robin a stronger stomach or prescribe her some sort of super-antiemetic. She puked in the centrifuge, she puked in the shuttle simulator and she puked in the Microshuttle. It really set us back in terms of filming, production schedule, and what not. Messy business, and the cleanup wasn’t pleasant, or so I’m told.

What do you do for fun?

My work is my fun… Uh … lemme see … Oh! I take yoga classes. The only thing is, the last time I went I nearly hocked up a lung right on the mat. It turned off all the hot-lookin’ broads in the class, and I wasn’t able to book a single audition after that. Some day, I gotta quit the cigars and booze, but they help me think. You know what I’m sayin’?

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

Ten years? I’m seventy-two, I’m not sure I have ten years. I’ll probably be resting comfortably at the Temple Beth-Israel Cemetery in Chula Vista.

Or maybe sooner...


Nothing. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

I’d probably go back and try to save Marilyn, treat her like the lady she was, sweep her off her feet and sweep all those maggots out of her life. What a waste. Yeah, as Elton John said, “I would have liked to have known [her], but I was just a kid.…” Actually in `62, I was just being born.

What are you planning on doing next?

“Space Games” is it for me, Miss Fang. I think I told you that once or twice already. It is Miss, isn’t it? I’ll tell you, you’re gonna make some poor sap a tremendous ex-wife some day. But the teleplay writer … uh, what’s his name? Lombardi … Dan Lombardi, or something or other. He’s not bad. He thinks out of the box and knows how to set audiences up for a real shock time after time. That seedy schlock-meister’s gonna make it if only he would stop wasting so much time playing games.

All right, you old grump, get outta here.

Space Games, a pulp sci-fi novel by Dean Lombardo, is available on Amazon

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