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From Film Editor to Billion-Dollar Director with Raja Gosnell

Today on the show we have director Raja Gosnell. He directed comedy classics like Big Momma’s House starring Martin Lawrence, Never Been Kissed starring Drew Berrymore, and Yours, Mine & Ours starring Dennis Quaid.

Raja is best known as the director who brought not one but two beloved children’s cartoons to the big screen, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs. We also discuss the original vision that Raja and writer James Gunn had for Scooby-Doo. Let’s say we finally understand why Scoob and Shaggy always had the munchies.

He also directed the relatively low-budget runaway hit Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Raja’s films have grossed almost $2 billion at the worldwide box-office.

Raja wasn’t always a director, he started his film career as an assistant editor in the late 1970s. His first credit as a film’s main editor was the romantic comedy The Lonely Guy (1984), for director Arthur Hiller. During the 1980s, Gosnell served as editor in films directed by Tom Laughlin, David Worth, Bob Dahlin, Bert Convy, Christopher Leitch, Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton, Phillip Schuman, and Chris Columbus.

For Chris Columbus he edited the comedy film Heartbreak Hotel (1988), which features a 1970s teenager kidnapping singer Elvis Presley, to bring home as a gift for his mother. During the 1990s, Gosnell would serve as editor in several more films by Columbus.

The 1990s started with Gosnell working as an editor in two high-profile projects: Pretty Woman (1990) by Garry Marshall, and Home Alone (1990) by Chris Columbus. Both turned out to be among the major hits of the year 1990. He then worked in the Columbus films Only the Lonely (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and Nine Months (1995).

Raja and I discuss his remarkable career as an editor, why he jumped to directing, and why he choose to do the thing everyone says not to do direct children and animals. I had a ball talking shop with Raja.

We also discuss his remarkable new film Gun and a Hotel Bible, which he co-directed with Alicia Joy LeBlanc.

Based on an award-winning play, GUN AND A HOTEL BIBLE is the story of a young man on the verge of a violent act (Pete) and his encounter with a personified hotel bible (Gideon). Can Gideon sway Pete before Pete pulls the trigger?

Enjoy my conversation with Raja Gosnell.

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