After the film, producer and financier Brett Ratner took the microphone and introduced an awesome panel that included director Hartley, editor Mark Helfrich, director Sam Firstenberg, actress Dickey and Michael Dudikoff. A shoutout to audience members and Cannon alumni like Sheldon Lettich, James Bruner and Diane Franklin among many more. Ratner has always seemed like a chill guy but his asking the panel to tell a story not in the film was not the greatest way to moderate:
- Mark Helfrich was an assistant editor who would go in and fix things at night the actual editors messed up. Lead to a career long association with likes of Ratner and Craig Baxley.
- Firstenberg worked with Golan and Globus at their company prior to Cannon as a messenger and worked his way up to directing Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III, Breakin' 2, American Ninja 1 & 2.
- It always sounded like Golan and Globus were arguing in Hebrew when they were usually just talking about what to eat for lunch.
- Lucinda Dickey was a gymnast and classical dancer turned green actress who signed a deal with Cannon but retired after the Breakin' series and Ninja III to raise a family. Apparently did not get along overly well with Sho Kosugi or her Breakin' co-stars at the time.
- Michael Dudikoff had been a contract player at Paramount doing comedy, got called in to Cannon's offices, which were quite dingy and sloppy, became one of their poster boys and would be "James Dean" of the company. Had to play hardball to get paid for a few projects but overall felt like he was part of the family and treated well.
- Cannon always wanted to be first when it came to similar movies and would push projects into production at the drop of a hat. If you landed a meeting, there was a 90% chance you'd leave with a deal. One filmmaker threatened to cut his fingers off if his film wasn't made.
- Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Avi Lerner would go on to build a modern Cannon Films, Nu Image. Lerner offered Ratner $10 million bucks to direct a Hercules movie but wouldn't specify how much would be left to make the movie. Ratner declined and set up his own Hercules project with The Rock. Lerner asked him to shoot it at their studio in Bulgaria, when Ratner declined, Lerner said he was going to "fuck him" by making his own Hercules movie and releasing it first.
- The Cannon renaissance is upon us as Firstenberg has provided a half dozen commentaries and the cult fan base is still alive and well.
Much more was talked about and several audience members who worked at the studio shared quick stories. One saying it was a truly harrowing yet educational experience that taught him more than any school ever could. It was a great night that put the spotlight on many unsung heroes of my cinematic upbringing. Now bring on Masters of the Universe!