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Ghost Ship

Talking Pictures #15: Steve Beck, Director of THIR13TEN GHOSTS and GHOST SHIP

Filmmaker Steve Beck created two notable horror movies in the early 2000’s: THIRTEEN GHOSTS, which came out in 2001, and GHOST SHIP, which followed in 2002 – both of them produced by Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver and Gilbert Adler for their company Dark Castle Entertainment. THIRTEEN GHOSTS was a remake of William Castle’s B-movie classic by the same name from 1960, whereas GHOST SHIP was an original story. Both movies are effective ghost stories starring several recognizable actors like F. Murray Abraham, Gabriel Byrne, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Lillard, and even a young Emily Browning. The real star of both films, however, is the production design – both movies take place in fascinating, unusual horror houses: THIRTEEN GHOSTS is set in a house made of glass that works like an intricate, demonic machine, while GHOST SHIP is set on an abandoned 1960’s ocean liner that is reminiscent of the underwater wreckage of the Titanic.

Steve Beck directing Alec Roberts in THIR13EN GHOSTS.
Steve Beck discussing a scene with young Emily Browning on the set of GHOST SHIP.

Unfortunately, THIRTEEN GHOSTS and GHOST SHIP were Steve’s only feature films. In his main career, he was an award-winning commercial director who created several SuperBowl commercials and worked for clients such as First Union, Pepsi, Gatorade, Toyota, Ford, BMW, Intel, Burger King, and other large brands. Steve also worked as a graphic designer and worked as a visual effects art director for Industrial Light & Magic, where he was involved with movies like INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, THE ABYSS and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. He also worked as a theme park designer and producer, as an illustrator, and a sculptor, and more.

In our interview, Steve shares his memories of the making of both THIRTEEN GHOSTS and GHOST SHIP, talks about the cast and the incredible spaces that were created for both films, discusses some of the unmade projects he worked on afterwards, and more.

Steve Beck (left) with John DeSantos, who played the Juggernaut ghost, and Gil Adler (right), who produced both movies, on the set of THIR13EN GHOSTS.
Steve Beck (left) on the set of GHOST SHIP with DP Gale Tattersall, who also worked on THIR13EN GHOSTS, and 2nd AD Jennifer Leacey.

The interview with Steve Beck was conducted in connection with our German-language podcast Lichtspielplatz, so if you speak German, please visit www.lichtspielplatz.at and check out episode #49, which features an in-depth discussion of both THIR13EN GHOSTS and GHOST SHIP.

So with no further ado, here’s Talking Pictures with Steve Beck!

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.

Photos courtesy of Steve Beck
Thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.

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