not as nasty as some might feel, not as nice as I'd like
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Freelancing for magazines and newspapers led him to magazine editing jobs. With John D. Brancato, Newsom co-wrote The Un-Official NFL Players Handbook, a humor book for Simon & Schuster. The team then collaborated on several screenplays of Marvel Comics characters: Sgt. Fury, Spider-Man, and The Sub-Mariner, working with Stan Lee on these adaptations.
Active in the WGA strike in 1988, Newsom segued into directing and producing video documentaries, notably Flesh and Blood, the Hammer Heritage of Horror, becoming the last director to team the British horror stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who co-narrated. The first half of the program was broadcast on the BBC four days before Cushing died.
He also made Ed WoodóLook Back in Angora, about legendary B-movie maker Ed Wood, video biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley, and was writer/director of the 26-episode series 100 Years of Horror, again with Christopher Lee as host and narrator.
He served as associate producer on several soundtrack releases of the film music of Ronald Stein, such as Not of This Earth and It Conquered the World. He provided film commentary on a number of DVD releases, notably The Devil Bat with Bela Lugosi, Jr., Day the Earth Caught Fire and Hell is a City with Val Guest, and his own production The Naked Monster, with director Wayne Berwick. He wrote and directed Cinemaker, for Charles Band, a video primer on low-budget film production.
Newsom has directed Tab Hunter, Kenneth Tobey, John Agar, Raquel Welch, Margaret O'Brien, Jack Palance, Jack Larson, Linnea Quigley, and Brinke Stevens, with whom he has also written several screenplays (e.g., Teenage Exorcist, Wild Spirit).
Newsom is sometimes credited as Richmond Reed or Reed Richmond, references to a stage name used by John Carradine, whom Newsom "directed" posthumously, two years after the actor's death, in a film for Fred Olen Ray. Occasionally he is confused with Ted Newsome, a noted skateboard writer, photographer and video producer, and/or another "Ted Newsom," a Utah-based videographer and editor who goes by the name of "The Rose Phantom." He appeared on stage in the musical 1776 in Germany, later a Marx Brothers' parody of Hamlet, entitled A Night in Elsinore. He has done narration and appeared on-screen in films by Fred Olen Ray, J.R. Bookwalter, and Ron Ford. He also appeared as "Dr. Cooper" in the here! original series The Lair, which debuted in June 2007.
With John Brancato, Newsom wrote the original screenplay of Spider-Man in 1984, subsequently rewritten by Barney Cohen and polished by "Joseph Goldman" (aka Menahem Golan). Interim screenwriters (1985-87) included Ethan Wiley, Frank LaLoggia, and Neil Ruttenberg. A 1993 draft of this script, available online, also credits James Cameron, although the text itself is identical to a 1987 draft without Cameron's name.
Newsom and many of the other writers on that long-aborning project objected to the award of sole credit to David Koepp without an arbitration or examination of any of the scripts, and a protracted dispute with the WGA and Sony-Columbia Pictures ensued. Newsom filed a WLRB complaint on their collective behalf and a subsequent unilateral lawsuit. Presumably the situation was amicably resolved.