Stephen J. Cannell's Red Harvest and Johnny DeppTuesday, May 22, 2007
It was only yesterday that I mentioned Stephen J. Cannell. I had previously mentioned him here. I photographed the man three times and the last time in March 1988. He was a friendly man who always gave Vancouver Magazine easy access. It was through this connection that the way was paved for me to take a cast and crew photograph (below, at their home base, a warehouse on Venables Street) of 21 Jump Street a TV series produced by Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh (whom I photographed in 1987 and can be seen here surrounded by location lighting) shot in Vancouver from 1987 to 1991.
It was 21 Jump Street that brought to the world's attention Johnny Depp's good looks and acting abilities.
In that third shoot with Cannell (at the then Meridien Hotel)he told us (Les Wismeman was the writer)how fascinated he was with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. He was thinkig about writing similar novels some day.
While I had read all of Hammett's and Chandler's novels at that time it was Cannell that explained that Hammett's titled Red Harvest had at all to do with all the blood that is spilled in the story!
I must confess that I have never read any of Cannell's novels but perhaps I should give one a try.
I remember Cannell most fondly from his story back in the early 80s at the Banff TV Film Festival where he told us at a lecture the story of the man who came to him with an idea. He had made a concerted effort to see Cannell and finally Cannell relented to get the man off his back. The man entered Cannell's office and said, "I have a great idea. It would be a TV series featuring a basketball team of one-legged men." Cannell, with a straight face said, "Continue." "That's it," the man said, "Isn't that a great idea?" It took a while for Cannell to explain that you needed more that an original premise to write a TV program. He then threw the man out.
The man in the centre in red with white pants is Patrick Hasburgh. To his right, in the brown leather jacket is Johnny Depp.