Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)
July 25, 2002 – Column: Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, Entertainment Columnist
HIS DEVOTION TO ED WOOD IS REWARDED
As a child living in his native Yonkers, Alan Doshna rushed home from school to watch vintage monster movies on television. The practice continued when, at age 9, the family moved to Eastwood and, a year later, to DeWitt.
He became a fan of schlocky filmmaker Ed Wood, particularly his “Bride of the Monster.”
Little did he know that his personal passion would lead to a professional association with the man whose “Plan 9 From Outer Space” generally is regarded as the worst movie ever made.
There is a cult fascination with Wood, who earned respectability for TV commercials, including one for Betty Crocker. Johnny Depp portrayed him in Tim Burton’s major motion picture “Ed Wood” in 1994.
Now Doshna, who is an actor, receives an associate producer credit for “The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr.,” a documentary about the movie man that is being released on DVD by Image Entertainment. It also encompasses a restored version of Wood’s first film, “Crossroads of Laredo.”
It was an unlikely place – his California church where Doshna met Crawford John Thomas, one of Wood’s collaborators, in a speakers club in the early 1990s.
Thomas had hired then-stage actor Woodin 1946 to write and co-direct TV commercials.
One speech made Doshna realize his fellow parishioner was acquainted with Wood, who died in 1978. After many conversations over a couple of years, the former DeWitt resident partnered with Thomas and another filmmaker, Brett Thompson, who had financing, to mbark on the “Laredo” restoration.
Wood had run out of money after a week of filming “Laredo” in 1948. It didn’t help that a preview audience shown the footage rejected Wood’s Western, in which the writer-director also played a generic character named “Cowboy.”
Also created during the restoration was the documentary “The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr.”
There was a minimal theatrical release of the restored “Laredo” in 1995 – sometimes with the documentary and sometimes not. Also, it made the rounds of film festivals, notably one in Munich, Germany. Then, this May, the DVD was released containing both “Laredo” and the documentary.
Doshna has been a Southern California resident many years. Following his graduation from Jamesville-DeWitt High School, he went to Onondaga Community College, where he was inspired by his acting teacher, the late Ken Bowles. So inspired, he went to the West Coast to study and try to launch an acting career.
Despite some discouragement, prompting him occasionally to quit making the audition rounds, he has notched credits in movies, theater and television. His first film was Steven Spielberg’s “1941,” in which he was an extra. Last week, he said in a phone interview, he wrapped up a major role in an independent film.
Now and then, he supports himself as a model for William Adrian, the native Syracusan and long-ago Nottingham High School graduate, who operates a California agency.
ALAN DOSHNA, a former Central New Yorker, is an associate producer of the documentary “The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr.”
Copyright, 2002, The Herald Company
Record Number: 0207250131