Keith Coogan

Keith Coogan is an American actor who has starred in such films as "Adventures in Babysitting", and "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead". Born in Palm Springs, California, Keith has enjoyed modest success in television and feature films.

Is the author of the above Keith Coogan himself?

Naturally. As an actor, it would be out of character not to plug myself anywhere I could.

"Naturally"? People post all kinds of weird stuff here. So what's up with an actor coming to Wiki Wiki, are you a programmer now?

Studied a little Java, and I create websites for dear and close friends. But a programmer? No. Do I think like a programmer? Yes!

What does it mean to not be a programmer but to think like a programmer?

I do not "program" for a living, however I do recognize patterns, structures, and other programmer stuff, like Keep It Simple Stupid. Let's put it this way, I found Extreme Programming to be an endlessly fascinating read.

Well, you don't have to do it for a living to be a programmer; usually people feel free to add "avocational" or "amateur" or some such.

But it is unusual, isn't it? I don't recall noticing any other professional actors at all who have such interests.

I would like to add that Sean Young is very computer savvy, Wil Wheaton has been known to fire up his Open Source laptop, and everyone knows that there are two ways of overcoming insecurities in school, be smarter than everyone else, or be more popular. Both make you feel better. One leads to late nights staying up with a buzz on, and the other leads to acting.

I did see a rather amusing interview with Woody Harrelson back in the late 80s, when he wasn't being taken very seriously, and he insisted throughout the interview on discussing some book about Cosmology and Relativity that he'd been reading, but it wasn't believable, it was too forced in trying to insist everyone realize he was an intellectual.

You, however, sound believable, I'm not casting aspersions.

On the other hand, it's much more likely that some programmer is messing with my head by pretending to be Coogan. :-)

Or it could be Coogan pretending to be a programmer!

Well, pretend harder. What brings you here?

And after working professionally together years ago, don't you ever hang out with your favorite blogger in real life? Play cards maybe? Only communicating online is, actually I guess that's mostly what I do, too. :-)

Although Wil and I are close friends, it is hard to schedule face-time what with the size of our possies and such. It's much more convenient to just see him on the set.

Ha, caught you, Wil doesn't act anymore, so you wouldn't see him on the set, so QED you're not Coogan.

Wow, that's funny he doesn't act anymore, I just saw him on the set of "Python". Plus, isn't he the voice of Aqua Lad?

Hmm, right, I see that he's acting after all - although Python was released in 2000, so I'm not sure what's up with that comment.

After 29 years in the business, and after having worked with Wil three (3) times over the years, 4 years ago seems like yesterday. Sometimes, work I did ten or twenty years ago seems very fresh in my mind. Also, the relationships you develop with the people you work with take on a family nature. When was the last time you spoke face to face with that second cousin of yours?

Anyway I didn't mean to be rude; when you created the page, at first I assumed it was some fanboy writing about his favorite actor, and I was going to make a snide joke about putting up such a page on this programming-related site, but at the last second it occurred to me that that would be pretty rude if I was unknowingly addressing the actor himself, slight though the chances of that seemed...

By the way, I don't know how to pretend any harder. I'm learning, I'm contributing, I I I, me me me, mine mine mine....

Singing the Beatles as you type? :-)

I meant, by participating in the rest of wiki, I guess...

See my full Wiki Pedia entry here

''Perhaps you should contribute some further bulk to your Wiki Pedia entry.

Photo by John Lazar

Hair and makeup by Janet Lazar

I have no doubt you are Keith Coogan. Google finds very little about you except your roles. Have you any hobbies (apart from website design)? Do you have any living relatives who also act?

I like watching and talking about movies. I like playing video games, I also like mapping games like Half-life. I do have some relatives in the biz. Don Stroud, Anthony Coogan, and Rodney Rowland are amongst family relations who act.

[And Java? Another hobby?]

I felt that taking a college course on Java programming would sharpen my math, writing, and Critical Thinking skills. Getting through 1/3 of a Deitel & Deitel publication was an accomplishment in and of itself. Scoring an A- in the class was just icing on the frosting.

I see a web review that says that it's one of the best Java intros they've seen, although it's much too large. So congrats on that and the A-! That's pretty cool.

Wil said on Slashdot today he's going to audition for the newly announced scifi channel Ringworld movie; I'm a big fan of Niven's Known Space series, so I hope it's a good mini-series. Are you interested in auditioning too?

Sounds cool. I'll let my agent know about it, maybe he'll see something in the breakdowns.

Update: I let my agent know about the Ringworld movie on Sci-fi, and he will be looking out for it.

Cool, good luck on that. I know I don't understand casting, because I am continually surprised first by the choices the pros make, and then often by how well it worked out despite my surprise. So I won't pretend to know which role you might best fit. But it seems like it would be a pretty interesting thing to be involved with, regardless. There are a whole slew of fascinating characters in the book.

Say, that brings up a thought, since you're the intelligent sort... are there books you would recommend on understanding such things better? I've got a couple of basic film books that helped me understand things like camera technique a lot better, but there's still an awful lot (like casting, or directing and producing, for that matter) that they were not particularly insightful about.

I generally do not recommend any books on filmmaking. It's like showing someone how to paint, or play piano. You can show them what a brush is and how it's used, but learning how to paint is intuitive, and can be approached in any number of ways. My favorite book on filmaking is either book about the making of "Jaws". "A Jaws Log" ISBN 1557044589, and "Making of the Movie Jaws" ISBN 0345248821. They are great reads, and both books have lots of tidbits about what really happens when you make a movie. For acting, I have heard (but not personally read) that "A Practical Handbook for the Actor" by Melissa Bruder ISBN 0394744128 is a great book to learn what kind of commitment is needed to be successful in your heart as an actor. There is no guarantee that you will EVER make money as an actor, so it's best to think of it as an artform rather than a career. I have found great articles, or interviews rather, with the late great Stanley Kubrick. Google for these.

BTW Jaws is my favorite film. Perfect three (3) act structure. Great plot movement. Elements taken from classic literature. Plus the big-ass shark! Woo Hoo!

[I have indeed avidly read interviews with Kubrick, and thanks for the book mention. But although art forms like painting are intuitive and must primarily be learned by practice and experience, nonetheless there are basics that ideally are learned theoretically first, like practicing scales on the piano. In art, the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards is a universally acclaimed gem. It doesn't replace experience, it's just the starting point... but an important one.]

[I personally am not likely to ever work in the film industry (despite some amateur acting), I just want to understand it better.]

Hollywood = High School with money. -- Keith Coogan

[The books I've read so far explain camera motions/angles/switches that I've seen thousands of times, but never really thought about what was going on or what the point was; it was very enlightening.]

[The stuff I've read about screenwriting and directing, on the other hand, was mildly educational but nothing to write home about, so I could imagine it being arguably preferable to just wing it than to read mediocre material. And clearly many aspects of makeup, wardrobe etc are so primarily artistic in nature that little of their core can be taught; but even then, there is craftsmanship technique that can be taught, even if the aesthetics cannot. I would imagine some aspects of acting are the same. -- Doug Merritt]

Yes, there are plenty of resources on the basics, but for the nuances and possibilities, one can only look at finished works. A good movie's whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Can't write a book about how the soundtrack made you feel. It's a combo of everything that comes together in the end. It's magic when it works, embarrassing when it doesn't.

Have you ever written a movie script? I am sure you are pretty close geographically to producers and directors and it wouldn't be hard for you to have them read it? If I had to cast you I'd take you in a movie of a nice American boy travelling around the world or in a romantic comedy.

As for scripts, I have written three (3) movies, and one pilot for a tv series. Even though I have some connections, it is very hard to get a movie made. Someone once said making a movie is the most cost prohibitive artform to get started in. It takes commitment from hundreds of individuals, and financing from various sources (banks, studios, private investors, one's own bank account) to get a movie going. It takes an equal amount of cash to advertise and distribute one. The costs are staggering, and for this we get "Gigli"?

Casting is very tough. It is an artform in itself. Take note that most casting directors get billing up front. This is a nod to how important their input is towards the whole. Even though their job is finished before filming starts, their choices reverberate throughout the run of the production.

You have style no one can teach. Must be born this way. -- Suyuan to June (Ming-Na Wen), "Joy Luck Club"

The more ineffable and unteachable something is, the safer it is from automation. :-)

-- dm

The role of the Hollywood Director has been described as the last true form of Dictatorship. -- Keith Coogan

Low budget movies take 18 days to shoot, with three (3) work weeks comprised of six (6) days each. A REAL movie takes three months to shoot, also with a 6 day work week. A big budget megaloplex blockbuster pirated summer phenom takes anywhere from four (4) to nine (9) months to wrap up.

On top of that, many directors change their scenario as they go along. So they direct and they write at the same time which adds to the stress. I heard the extremes are Coppola (my favourite director) and Alfred Hitchcock when it comes to changing the script.... Coppola's script is apparently a newspaper that changes every day while Hitchcock did not change a single word from the scripts while he directed. I'd be more like Coppola. But talk about definitive stylistics. I think Hitchcock was drawing each shot so he knew how to place everyone + in those days there was less a search for authenticity as today so ... Not to say he had it easy but let's say he was well organized and the public was perhaps less demanding than today.

Politics is Hollywood for ugly people. -- KC

It's all over but the crying. The vote was rigged! The fix was in! Kerry threw it, and Bush can't wipe that surprised look of, "I'm getting away with it!"

Sort of "more of the same", but this link - - tells of what could be ground-breaking in that part of the world.

Keith Coogan has not received any contributions from Tom De Lay.

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