8 Questions with…………..writer-director Bill Foster

Its 12:17 am

Welcome to “8 Questions with”.

When I was asked if I wanted to chat with our next guest,writer-director (and actor) Bill Foster,it a real quick and natural “Hell yeah!!’ He is the man behind the upcoming indie Western “Showdown on the Brazos”  and is the third member of the film I have chatted with.
Bill has a deep love for the Western genre and has worked very hard at making “Showdown” into a movie that shows this. You would think a simple Western would be easy based on the hundreds of movies the studios churned out during the last 40s and throughout the 1950s. No huge special effect budgets,costly sets to make,no green screens.
But for someone like Bill,that is the furtherest thing from the truth. While not a natural screenwriter by his own admission,he could have excused for writing a quick,cliche driven shoot’em up and went home. But as a former educator for over 30 years,Bill knows all about “short cuts” and how taking the easy way isn’t the RIGHT way as he stressed to his teaching peers and students. Do the very best you can with what you got and you’ll have no regrets.  Its why I am very excited personally to see Bill’s work in “Showdown”,not only do I expect a great film but am eager to see how it reflects Bill as a artist and creator.  So let’s saddle up and mosey over to ask actor-director (and writer) Bill Foster our 8 Questions…..


Please introduce yourself and tell us about the project you are currently working on.

I’m Bill Foster, I’m a retired school teacher/administrator after 33 years in the business. Right now I have two main focuses, the movie “Showdown on the Brazos” and establishing our vineyard.


 What was life like growing up in the Foster household
What are your three favorite memories growing up?

 We grew up very poor. So little things like fishing and hunting were always an exciting time. We had a stock tank with catfish and we could fish in it when we were not working. We worked hard daily whether with my dad in construction or on the farm.
2. Would be getting to go to the mountains of New Mexico and fishing with my Uncle Rudy and Aunt Milly.
3. Going to the Brazos River and fishing with my Uncle Joe.


 What did you do for a living before you started your true calling as a actor?

 I was in education for 33 years. I started off teacher vocational agriculture and biology. I then moved into the administration side and became a principal for 15 years. I then moved up to superintendent for 11 years and retired in January of 2016.


 Did you always have a deep passion for the Western genre?
What were some of your favorite movies and actors growing up?

 I always loved the Western genre, I grew up watching the Lone Ranger, then moved on to any western that came on our television. My favorite Western actor was John Wayne, without hesitation. I loved every movie he made. My favorite western of all-time would be “The Searchers”. I also liked the trilogy of cavalry movies he made with John Ford. Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande.


 You are the writer-director of the indie Western “Showdown on the Brazos”,where did the story come from and was it hard writing it for the screen? As the director,did you find yourself doing re-writes during the daillies?

 The writing process was totally different than writing a novel. Trying to convey the mental picture without pages of description was very difficult for me. But quickly learned I could do the same with dialogue. I researched script formats, being I had no idea on the proper format. I researched and then settled on the same format that was use in “The Searchers”. But since then I have converted it over to Final Draft a more modern format. I have changed things slightly while on set. But the major re-writes have come between shoots. I’ll add or take away scenes, but mostly add. I might add characters or build up scenes with more dialogue to make the scene more dramatic or adding humor to a scene.


 What has been the three things that surprised you as a director versus being an actor?

Of course, how fast the budget is spent. It all adds up so quickly. 2. How much time it takes getting ready. Being independent we have to get everything ready, costumes, meals, site etc… 3. How people donate their time so unselfishly. I have had so many people donating their time, whether by acting or just helping in anyway possible. It has been really amazing experience.


  You also got to appear in some high profile films like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Fear the Walking Dead”,can you share a couple of stories of your time on the set of those projects?

 On Alita I was brought onto set and the Production Assistant pointed at me and said “Sit here, you’re a drunk.” Then his boss comes by and asks “Is this the drunk? Good choice!” Then the assistant director walks by and asks him, “Is this the drunk? Excellent choice, good job.” On the set of “The Son”, after a day of shooting Pierce Brosnan shook my hand and said, “Good job chap.”


Do you feel the American Western film has become to “politically correct” in as many westerns no longer show conflict between cowboys/calvary and Indians?

In a way yes, I also think that “they” are also trying to find other story lines to portray. So many people, I believe, get so wrapped up in doing something different, or sending a message in their movies has caused the genre to really get larger. But also we have started becoming more truthful about the way the Indians were treated and their life style. Even though we may not agree with their culture sometimes, they were a very noble race.


 Do you feel video streaming services with help or hinder the indie film making community going into the future?

 Help, it gives more avenues to get your work out to the public. If it was just the theater, indie’s would have very little chance of being seen nationwide. But with so many different avenues to have your movie seen it really helps.


What is next for Bill Foster?

 I have another book coming our this fall- “I Heard the Quail Whistle”  which I have signed with a company to hopefully find funding for the movie. I will then direct the movie.


The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide,what are we doing?

The private screening of Showdown on the Brazos will probably be in San Antonio. San Antonio is full of rich history of Texas, blending the Mexican and Texas cultures together. I would give you a tour of the famous Alamo mission, which I’m sort of an expert on. We would ride the boats on the river walk and then dine on our delicious cuisine in your choice of restaurants along the river walk. Before arriving at San Antonio, you would arrive at Quail Whistle Vineyards, which I own. I would give you the tour of our future plans for our vineyard, followed by supper. Which would be a sirloin steak cooked to perfection over mesquite fire pit along with potatoes and peach cobbler. You would have the choice of beverages, ice tea, cold beer or wine. Then sit on our porch and watch the sun go down over our beautiful Texas horizon.



I like to thank Bill Foster for taking the time to chat with me as he is one very busy man.
Rest assured the cheetah and I are waiting to see “Showdown on the Brazos” and sharing our thoughts with our readers.
You can keep track of Bill Foster and “Brazos” a couple of ways:

You can follow Bill on his IMDb page.
You can find out more on “Showdown” on the film’s Facebook Page.

You can also read the interviews I did with two of the stars of “Showdown”:

My interview with actor JF Davis
My  interview with actor Brian Elder
You can also read past interviews by clicking here.

Thank you for your continued support!!

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