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just start spitballing ideas.
We build an outline from that.
Then a more extensive outline
to the point where we've pretty well
fleshed everything out.
One thing that was very important to us,
and it has been in anything that we've done,
is knowing what the ending is.
The ending is like the punch line to ajoke.
If you have a good payoff, you can have
a lot of fun with how you get there.
We wrote the whole screenplay
sitting out at the beach.
We'd stick an umbrella out there
and just work.
( John) There was a writer who
lived next to Jim - Ernest Thompson,
who wrote On Golden Pond.
We used to look up about four storeys
at his ivory-tower condominium.
Meanwhile, he'd be looking down at us
while we're both scribbling away.
( Jim) He finally couldn't stand it one day.
He came down and told us
how jealous he was...
( John) That we were sitting
out there on the sand
and he was stuck up there in his office!
The screenwriters discuss
the research they conducted:
( John) We researched the structure
and operating parameters
of a Special Forces team: What kind
of aircraft and tactics they would use,
how they would leave the aircraft,
if they would parachute
or do what we chose -
a quick-line rappel
which has been used since Vietnam -
and lastly, their combat techniques
when they're attacking a much larger force.
We learned a lot from guys
who we'd known who'd been doing this.
Also from people who we knew
that were involved with
the Central Intelligence Agency.
We picked up some ideas of the operations
that the CIA had been detailing
and running over the years
in Central America.
( Jim) At that particular time,
there was so much stuff
going on in Central America.
If this had been before that,
it would have been Vietnam.
( John) We were hearing reports
that US advisers were down in that area
but that was being kept very quiet.
Since that time, we've learned a great deal,
that there were American Special Forces
down there operating.
( Jim) We were told on deep background
that American Special Forces
had actually engaged Russian advisers,
who were Russian Special Forces, in combat.
( John) They were also using
the C-130 gunships at night.
During the day, the advisers
would go in and locate these camps.
Then at night, the gunships would
come in and annihilate those places.
That was all secret,
but it's since been revealed.
Editor Mark Helfrich
on the helicopter sequence:
(Helfrich) Looking at Predator again,
the only thing I thought was too long
was "Long Tall Sally" playing
in the helicopter scene for ever.
I thought "God, this is going on a bit. "
"Maybe we don't need so many shots
of the helicopters flying through the air. "
I had a lot of cool helicopter shots,
so I wanted to use them.
I guess I was influenced
by Apocalypse Now that day.
Casting Director Jackie Burch:
(Burch) I'm brought in after
they know they're making the movie.
All we had was Arnold.
When I read the script,
the first thing I evaluated was
that I needed actors
who had been Vietnam vets
so they could survive in the jungle.
At the time, there was
a play out about Vietnam -
that's where I found Richard Chaves.
As for Jesse the Body,
his agent Barry Bloom called up
and said "You've got to meet him. "
I said "Can he act? I really like
good actors and I don't like lunkheads. "
He turned out to be a doll
and a good type for this movie.
He was physically great for this.
And he did really well when he read,
which was important to me.
What I like to bring to action movies
is really good actors.
You can'tjust have the same formula
for every action movie
and expect it to work.
Each one has its own special needs.
Die Hard was a totally different kind
of action movie to cast.
I needed an intellectual heavy,
while Reginald Veljohnson added warmth
and played

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