The Green Goblin's Last Stand

A little about yourself. Is the real Dan Poole anything like Peter Parker?

I guess I'm a bit more extroverted than 'ol Petey, but the senses of obligation and responsibility are strong parallels. I would do anything for my friends and family, and most strangers given the circumstances. From the time I broke into a friend's house to fix their washing machine when they weren't home to the time I chased and caught a purse snatcher downtown, I would do anything to help someone in need.

Dan Poole
What started your interest in film making? Did comics help spark that interest?

I was born to tell stories and jokes, but I am very energetic and love to be moving a lot. Comic books facilitated the combination of these two characteristics in showing a lot of action throughout the tales they told. It's all about bodies in motion to me, and I feel like all comic books are just storyboards waiting to be shot.

Spider-Man Of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, why did you choose Spider-Man as the subject of your video?

All I was trying to do was get James Cameron's attention so that I could work on the real movie. I had no resume to speak of at all, and I just needed a way to exhibit the passion I had for the character as well as any talent I could lend.

Why do I love Spidey? The same reason everybody does - because he's cool!

The Green Goblin's Last Stand is based upon Amazing Spider-Man #121 & #122 by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane. Was the Death of Gwen story the first concept you had or were there others?

In truth, the only thing I wanted was a good 5 minute action trailer to show. I wanted to stage classic battles with Spidey and a small host of villains including Venom, The Green Goblin, Kraven, and even Doc Ock - showing major league superhero ass kicking. But as I reread issues #121 & #122 to get the fight down between those two, the story just overtook me and I felt like I had to shoot the whole thing.

You shot this video in Baltimore way back in '91/'92 for approximately $400. If you could go back and redo anything over, what would it be?

HA! "What wouldn't it be" is the question!!! The first thing that comes to mind is the damn track and pulley system of cables I borrowed from Tom Rupp at Center Stage Theater. I begged him to come to the set and make it work correctly so we could have the Goblin flying around and a shot or two from underneath of him. Then I'd see if I could get some actual lights and maybe a microphone...

Gwen's final moments
Secret Identity

Secret Identity

It was your intention to attract James Cameron with this video after seeing Stan Lee speaking on Good Morning America back in '91. What was your marketing strategy and what happened?

I was a fan of Cameron's work and though many, many things separate us socially and professionally, I felt that if I could get just a few minutes of my work in front of him, that he might actually relate to and appreciate the effort enough to consider me for something - anything.

My big plan was to send it to him and follow it up with a visit. It got sent, it got returned (unopened). I called and made contacts, but always the same; "sorry, we can't accept unrepresented/unsolicited material." A friend got me a meeting with an agent who wrote a letter of indemnity inside of the 4 minutes of the trailer. We sent the tape to Lightstorm (JC's company). It came back. Unopened. I feel like I did everything short of rappelling down the side of the building in the costume to get in there.

In the end, I talked his personal assistant into accepting the tape and she assured me that she would at least look at it. They were busy with pre-production of Titanic, and almost one year later the tape came back to me. Unopened.

Since the final edit, where has the video gotten to?

I sent a copy to Stan Lee, who wrote a nice letter back to me. I sent a copy to Hero Illustrated in '94, where Andy Mangels wrote a cool article about it. Beyond that, I sent a number of tapes to friends and folks I had promised copies to that helped out on the production. But then the phone would ring periodically with a complete stranger on the other end asking if I was the Dan Poole who made the Spider-man movie!

One guy (who I have remained friends with throughout the years) called to tell me that he got it from a friend who got a copy from someone at a convention-! So I have NO IDEA where all the video has traveled! What I do know, is that there are some low life little parasites who are trying to sell my work - and Marvel's character - on the Internet, and I was even informed of comic book shops doing the same thing! It's amazing what people will do for a buck in this world. The real fans would just be happy to forward the thing along so everybody could check it out. Bad news
This production was completed over eight years ago. Why has a sudden fury over the net sparked for your video? Do you think its because of the upcoming Sony film?
Explosive confrontation Definitely. We (the fans) have been aching for quality screen adaptations of Marvel characters since we ever laid eyes on the books. There has been such a drought, and the attempts of the past were done so poorly that the businessmen of the industry seemed to just give up on them. Now Bryan Singer has stepped up for the team and drove in some runs with X-men and suddenly everybody wants to play.

So yeah, I think the word on GGLS is good and the fact that it was made by a fan gets peoples expectations up and there's a lot of interest there.

What do the other cast/crew members think about all this recent attention the video is now receiving?

To be honest, there wasn't a real "crew", except for my many friends that pitched in where they could. There's too many to name individually, but the two closest guys to the production were Goblin mask creator Eric Supensky (who was there every step of the way), and Scott Young, who went above and beyond to help get this thing done.

These guys, as well as everyone else who broke their back helping me, are still friends of mine who are always excited when something positive happens.

As far as the cast, I have no idea where Allison Adams (Gwen Stacey) is these days, but Jimi Kinstle (Norman Osborne) thinks the idea of us being some sort of cyber celebrities is pretty cool! I'm not sure if Bob Tull (Harry Osborne) even knows about the popularity of it yet. Guess I better call him!

Bob Tull as Harry Osborne
The great thing about video, compared to film, is its cost effectiveness. About how many hours of tape did you end up shooting all together? Which scene(s) took the longest amount of takes to get right?
Green Goblin About 10 standard VHS tapes with a 2 hour capacity (in the speed I was recording) were used. Perhaps not all full, but I'd say between 16 and 20 hours is a fair estimate.

Then there's the tapes we laid the different elements of the soundtrack on-!

The roof scene was most assuredly the longest and most grueling to shoot. Be it weather or lack of essential props, I honestly thought that thing was never going to cut together right.

Did you shoot on-the-fly at anytime during the production or was every scene completely orchestrated and mapped out from the get-go?

The Goblin/Spidey fight scenes were storyboarded in detail (though no one cared to follow them but me-!), everything else was decided on as we shot. Of course, as things came up that we could not overcome, the shots changed here and there. I am the most proud of the scene where Osborne wakes up in the burned out warehouse. We got really lucky finding that location.

Any great scenes left on the cutting room floor which you wished you had included?
The first night we shot Norm taking on the punks in the burned out warehouse we were in a completely different location with different actors and it looked absolutely amazing. Except for the fact that you couldn't see anything! The battery pack (that I borrowed from the National Aquarium in Baltimore) for the lights died, and we tried the 'ol M.A.S.H. trick where we turned car lights on to illuminate the scene, but it still didn't work. I wish that one would have worked out.

On the other side of the edit window, I wish the restaurant scene had been left out!

Restaurant scene
You played the dual role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man because you wished the audience to believe they were the same guy. Did you do all the gymnastic stunts involved or did you have a stunt double?

I did all of the Spidey stunts and some of the Goblin stunts. (I wish you could see how hard I laughed when I read that question! "Stunt double!!" That's a good one, T!)

Jimi Kinstle (Goblin/ Norman Osborne) truly captured the role of a man with split personalities. Was he a fan of the comic or did he need to catch up on his reading to get himself into the character?
Jimi Kinstle as Norman Osborne Jimi is sooo talented.

We watched the old Ralph Bakshi cartoons and Jimi fell right into character, voice ranges and all. When he did the voice it gave me chills. I asked him to play it just like he saw it and read the books as well.

Some critics over the years have mentioned that he plays it over the top. Well, he is the Green Goblin, you know?! He's awesome.

Speaking of the Sony Spider-Man project, what are your expectations? Do you think Sam Raimi is the best choice for director? If not, who then?
Man, tough question. Obviously I want to say "ME, DAMMIT!!!!", but I know that ain't happenin' this time. I'll say this: Raimi is an interesting choice. The Evil Dead stuff was amusing, creepy, and cinematically fun as hell. I saw him on the presentation at the Marvel booth during the San Diego ComicCon. He has the passion, but he's off the mark with the execution. He wants to change the costume and put the "organic" web shooters in his wrists. Hey, why not put them in Petey's ass?? Sure, give him more of a "spider-like" feel, you know?! Come on people, how tough is it? The character is WRITTEN. The costume is DRAWN. Why, WHY would you want to change it all?

I personally care not for someone's "version" of a character I grew up loving. If an "artist/genius" thinks he's got such neat ideas for a character, then let him make his own if he's so creative. You may leave mine the way he is, thank you. Why are Alex Ross' images so incredible? Because he makes them look real. He brings to "life" what is already there. That's why they're so hot to have him paint the "new costume"?

My impersonation of the "Hollywood" thought process concerning established literary characters (especially of the comic book persuasion) has been this for years: "Wow! What a great character! What a great story! What incredible dynamics! This character is so popular! It would make a great movie! LET'S CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!!"

Warehouse battle

Warehouse battle

Comic books adapted to film have had a mixed bag of success and failings. Many believe the Batman movies were riddled with too many villains and now its rumored that Sony's Spider-Man will feature two villains. Do you think the antagonists will steal the limelight from our favorite webhead?

I do believe that to a degree and I think that the minds in charge of these projects get so friggin' carried away that they miss what's right there in front of them. I mean, who's making these decisions for our consumption anyway? Did they ever read the books without someone making them?

Allison Adams as Gwen Stacey Hey guys, want a tip? Listen to Dan Poole's simple theory on comic book based movie dynasties:

I believe that the characters are strong enough to carry the movie or no one would be coming to see it in the first place. I believe the titles should be individual of the story you are telling, not numbered in their sequels like Superman IV or Die Hard III with a goofy subtitle. Anybody ever hear of a movie called The Dead Pool or Magnum Force? How about Live and Let Die or Moonraker? Take a lesson.

What do you think of the casting of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man?

I haven't put my head on the casting of the characters in quite some time. I always thought a young Dennis Quaid would have been perfect. I think Tobey Maguire will be cool as Pete and I think he will do the character fine. He was a good choice, but then again, I haven't looked around with that in mind recently. I did hear a suggestion for Burt Reynolds as J.J.J. and I thought that was pretty cool casting, although I can't help but lean toward the idea of lesser known talent for almost everybody. Nic Cage as the Goblin? Again, neat! But weird, too.

Prior to THE GREEN GOBLIN'S LAST STAND, you had made three smaller live action Spider-Man videos. Tell us a little about those projects.

In 1987, I'm the mailroom clerk at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I read for the first time that Stan Lee was working on getting Spidey to the big screen, so naturally I figured he needed my help. Eric and I set out with a six pack and a camcorder to shoot preliminary footage. (Bad combo, but the costume looked good)

1988 - How do I put a demo reel together when I haven't worked on any movies yet?! Shoot my own! Garboozi's Revenge (20 minutes) Enlisting the talent of my buddy Matt Holder, we wrote a story about a couple of gangsters named Tony (Matt) and Vinnie Garboozi (Chris Wise) who kidnap J.J.J. (Eric, who is HYSTERICAL in this role) and plan to blow him up in a warehouse. We tried different ideas first, like a ninja hired by a crime lord, but nothing was looking good enough for us. It has signal drop out and bad editing, just like what you'd expect given the circumstances, but we had so much fun and the Garboozi's live on in other work to this day!

1989 - Feeling like we needed to upgrade the demo reel a bit, I endeavored to bring an actual comic book story to life. With my brand new Panasonic PV-430 with digital effects, I figured we'd try a little Mysterio action. NOT! Take a look at 'Amazing' #311 with McFarlane's work - what was I thinking??? Actually, we did try quite a few visual effects for what we had, but in the end all we came up with out of it was some cool fog shots in a warehouse.

1990 - The Quick and The Dead [ironic, ain't it?] (50 minutes) I wanted a definitive story to have of 'ol web head, but I still wasn't ready to tackle a villain with too many powers and abilities. I decided to use the Kingpin, but what does the Kingpin really do? Well, in my story, I had him hire Bullseye to whip up on the wall-crawler. Sure, a Spidey/DD team up would have been great, but I had enough trouble with stunt people as it was-! It's got better production value and it is probably more technically sound than all of them - including GGLS. The problem was that I also tried to get a Mary Jane in there and I guess I ain't so good with the love angle because it really detracts from the rest of it enough for me to dislike that one. I never even sent it out, but I still felt like I was done. I thought that was enough.

1991 - Good Morning America. "James Cameron". Hmmm, guess I'm not done...

Pumkin bomb!

Pumkin bomb!

Pumkin bomb!

Any plans for future comic book films or was this a passion of youth?

I would love to do more because it's a passion for life, but I need to do my own characters that I hope to someday make comic book heroes out of. There are no open doors for me in H-wood, only here. I have a script that serves as a very cool vehicle to exhibit just that, and I started my company last year to serve that purpose. I bet the fans would love to see the first stunt we shot on that! And you will! Check out for more details.

Final question. Many fans are dying to get their hands on a copy of this production. Undoubtedly, there are certain copyright difficulties one runs into but tell us what the current plans are.
Heated debate

Glider crucifixion

This thing was made for a small audience 8 years ago and I never once seriously considered making money from it. I wouldn't want someone taking my character and making money off of it. (even though they [Marvel] could never make a decision smart enough to see their own character on the screen the right way - ) So over the years I've been glad to make a few dubs and ship them out without even asking for postage.

When informed me of the requests for copies, I thought about it for a while and came up with the dumb idea of sending out one tape as a "permanent loan - chain mail" sort of thing. I really believed the fans would make it work. (The first guy got the tape and I haven't heard from him since-) I okayed the announcement and about getting on the list, but I was taken aback by the amount of messages I got.

I am trying like hell to amass a database for all the people who've e-mailed me, but it is what some might call "time intensive". I will let them know what I am about to tell you and all your readers: A website dedicated to serving people like me has graciously agreed to host the streaming video of "The Green Goblin's Last Stand" so that everyone can at least check it out:

UPDATE: You'll also find a hi-res (200mb) copy at: Gear Worx Production

This interview was conducted in late August 2000 and is © Terrence J. Brady. All video images are © Dan Poole. All characters are © Marvel Entertainment Group. This interview first appeared at Rob Worley's Comics2Film.

UPDATE:   Fall 2002
Book 'em Dan-o!   Not only did Dan pick up a couple of awards at this year's NoDance Fest for his "Making of" documentary but he finally got to meet his mentor - Mr. Cameron himself! See his site for all the details.

As Seen On TV!
Yes, if you've seen Dan's "Making Of..." docu, then this interview was one of those shown in the end montage. What's that?? You haven't picked up a copy of this 'award-winning' docu yet? Folks do yourself a favor and get a copy today. Its an excellent companion video to the original movie.

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