Friday, August 30, 2013

Decisions


Trying to figure out which of my flicks to bite the bullet on and get Blu's pressed for sale. FOC2 will sell the most, for sure.

I'm mighty proud of Bounty and would like to get it out there, but I really would like to wait until the contract's done so it's all legal-like.

GOH I'd love to move forward on, but we're still waiting on offers. Probably should just say fuck it and do it.

Or should just do the FOC2 ones...but that's the Blu that's least ready. I wanna fix some issues with it and soup up the menus a bit.

Haven't heard back from that horror con that takes place in like 2 weeks. It's really weird because their guest list is shit, and since I'm not going to cost them any money I'm not sure why they wouldn't get back to me.

So if I haven't heard from them by the 1st, it's off my list and I'll go to the other con near me on Sept 28th for some drinking and fun. (mark your calendar, Zig and Stewie!)

Netflix watches:
  • The Dream Team(still fun, and sobering that Michael Keaton in this movie is 4 years younger than I am...) 
  • Daylight(because for some reason we had just mentioned this movie, and can you believe Stallone was 50 when he shot this? Man...)
  • The Dinosaur Project - Not bad, and pretty good effects for a low budget movie. The CGI dinosaurs are pretty passable for the most part.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Someone sent me this





Wanted to know if this was a scene from FOC3.

I have smartass friends.

btw: Heard a lot of good things about a BBC show called Broadchurch, so I watched the whole season. You know those UK shows--it was only 8 episodes.

Very good show. I recommend it. Pretty engrossing.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fall Movies Pretty Underwhelming


Glancing at the EW list of movies coming out in the fall is really a pretty bleak thing. There's not many movies I've looking forward to a lot. Here's the ones I'm excited for:

Riddick
Insidious 2
Gravity

That's it. Then there's the ones I'll see, but my interest ranges from curious to if-I'm-bored-I'll-Catch-It:
Prisoners
Don Jon
Runner Runner
Escape Plan
Jackass Presents Bad Grampa(which has a really funny trailer)
Thor: Dark World
The Hobbit
The Monuments Men
47 Ronin

And that's it, from September to December. Three months, 12 movies I have some interest in seeing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wow...



I mentioned I was working on a Bounty Blu. What I didn't tell you was how much trouble it was.

See, remember way back when it came out on VOD and I complained that it looked like it had some weird flickering issue, and I thought it was something the distributor's lab had done?

Here's my original post on it.

Well, I later checked the uncompressed master and found out that no, it's in there. It's just not noticeable if you watch it on the computer. I'm not sure why they never came back to me and said "Hey, what the fuck's wrong with your master?" before spending a bunch of money to get it to pass QC.

Anyway, I figured what I would do is plug all the old Bounty hard drives into the new editing machine and then just export it from there. I'm sure whatever issue reared its head on the master export would be fine on the new version of CS.

Sounds easy, right?

Well first off, I forgot that I had to split Bounty into 6 parts on the older machine to edit it. And I have various files on roughly 5 hard drives. So when I try to open one of the project files, it asks me to locate like two dozen files...and some of the files are missing. Completely.

I started plugging in other hard drives, figuring maybe some of the files got scattered, but no--there's quite a few I can't find.

So I offline the ones that can't be found. And I discover a shocking thing: Every clip in every one of the Bounty projects has Frame Blend checked ON. I have no idea why. It's definitely the reason the movie looks so choppy.

There's no way in hell I selected every clip from every project file and clicked them on. It makes no sense.

But hey, quick fix, right? I select them all and Uncheck the blend. But wait! I'm missing a filter that made the image of some shots appear to be shot with a hidden camera. I try to install it on the new computer, but CS5 isn't having anything to do with it.

What I end up having to do is, on any of the shots with the effect, I export the clip to a thumb drive, take it to the old Bounty edit computer(my current internet machine), drag it into Premiere, apply the filter and export it out to the thumb drive. Then I take it back to the new computer and import it.

Takes quite some time. Like three days of working, and I'm ready to export. A couple of the exports tell me there's Offline Media, but I scrubbed through the timeline and don't see any of the red media missing screens.

Anyway, brought all six newly-exported sections together, and am now exporting a final .m4v for a Blu Ray. I'll watch it to see if there's any issues. The export's going to take 8 hours.

I also exported something else the other day--the export took 28 hours due to some of the heavy filters applied to 2K footage. My computer is literally heating the room, blowing out crazy hot air. I even opened the side of it and put a separate fan to blow into it because I don't want the hard drives frying.

Worst nightmare though: I was walking by and there was a big spider on the inside of the computer case on the bottom. What to do? If I swat and miss, it'll disappear into the computer. I can't shoot Raid into my computer...

Used a combination of compressed air and then Raided him as he came out.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Movie Games



You seen the game where people list their 10 favorite movies from a year, and if you like it, they give you a year and you have to list your favorite movies from THAT year?

I did it once last week with the year 1984:
The Terminator
Nightmare On Elm Street
Temple of Doom
Night of the Comet
Gremlins
Karate Kid
Body Double
Last Starfighter
Top Secret
Romancing The Stone


Now, I lamented that it was too bad nobody gave me 1986...but I have now reconsidered. With the exception of Aliens at #1, I'm not sure how I could boil it down to 10. Look at what an incredible year 1986 was:
Aliens
Stand By Me
Top Gun
Crocodile Dundee
Night of the Creeps
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Highlander
Big Trouble In Little China
Manhunter
The Fly
Star Trek IV 
House
Critters
The Hitcher

Not to mention fun, but not great movies:
Flight of the Navigator
Karate Kid 2
Cobra
Three Amigos
Heartbreak Ridge
Back To School
The Wraith
The Golden Child
 Running Scared(recently added to my Netflix instant queue!) 
Ruthless People
Gung Ho
Tough Guys

Man, I loved that year. If you wanna play the game by any year, imdb makes it easy: http://www.imdb.com/year/

Anyway, they just added Twins to Netflix so I watched that. Hadn't seen it in like 15 years. Holy crap does Kelli Preston look awesome. Funny movie. Would have liked to follow it up with Kindergarten Cop, but it's not on Netflix

Good news is that now Netflix is recommending me "Zany 80's comedies" and other 80's stuff. So now I got some fun stuff to watch. (oh, and we watched The Stuff the other night--made me hungry for marshmallow cream...)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Making Blu's


Have spent some time making a Bounty Blu. I'm hoping fervently that they don't make any shitty deal for the rights, forget about the time clause I put in the contract, and I get the rights back. Fuck it, I'll put out some Blu's myself.

Once this is done though, I will have a Blu of my last 3 movies. I like having the control, using the pics I want for menus, creating motion menus I like, including every single extra I created.

You know a great show to have on in the background while you work? Naked and Afraid. It's a reality show where they drop a man and a woman, both with survival experience, into some inhospitable habitat with no clothes and only 1 item each(typically a knife and a fire-starting apparatus or a container for boiling water).

Kind of fascinating to watch. And you could not PAY me to go do that. The episode where they were dropped into the swamps of Lousiana...holy shit, they were dodging water moccasins and gators all over the place.

Fuck. That.

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Went out with the wife for our anniversary tonight. Dinner at Lonestar and then we went to see We're The Millers. It's pretty funny in a harmless, very crude way. But Jesus is Aniston in incredible shape for a 44 year old...

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Saw Elysium a few days ago with my brothers and my dad. It was okay, but the script meanders. Some cool visuals but a lot of it just seemed sort of...nonsensical.
----

Worked on the clown script with Luke for a while. Thought we made some decent progress on the story. Some cool scenes I think people will like.

But I read his first 5 pages, and our versions are very far apart. Like, we're almost not writing the same characters. In my notes to him I actually say, "Did you read the outline we're using, because you have stuff happening that is impossible according to our outline."

Also, he's using stuff I was trying to stay away from; namely, referential talk. It's gotten sort of cliche to have people talking about TV shows and whatnot. I think he likes it because it helps set the date, but I don't think it's necessary. The dated cars and clothes, the lingo, and the fact that I just SUPER 1986 on the screen at the start should do all the talking we need.

But at least he seems to be back into it. But he's going to France in a week, so I was hoping to have the outline nearly finished. That way I'd say fuck it, just go ahead and mostly write the whole thing, and then he can go through a pass of it.

Dunno what the clown interest is about, but I also had the idea to do a creepy little short. Could do it with very minimal cast and crew in one night. Am thinking about it. Probably shoot it with the 5D.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Creativity


Been trying to work on a couple of scripts while I'm waiting for Luke to get out of his current funk. He doesn't seem to be interested in working on the clown script at all, so now I'm not even sure if we're doing it.

Also, there's a cool con in Pittsburgh coming up and I been missing going to a good horror con. So I sent an email to the generic contact to see if they wanted to have me as a guest and I'd let them show GOH. It would be only the third public showing. Haven't heard back.

But my plan is this--if they put me on the guest list I'll go ahead and get the FOC2 Blu's printed up, go to the show and party and sell some of them.

If that DOESN'T happen then I'm going to try to shoot that Halloween short I wanted to shoot last year. I have to find a pumpkin farm that will let us shoot there, but if that happens I can probably get the other locations fairly easy.

Anyway, as I'm working on these scripts, this new fear has been cropping up lately. It's been at the back of my mind for a long time but it's moved farther and farther out front. It is this: Maybe I'm not as creative as I used to be.

I've wondered, for instance, why John Carpenter(among many filmmakers I admire) stopped creating such great movies after doing so many in his career. The last decent, original movie he did was in 1994 at 46 years of age. After that he adapted stuff and did some horrible shit just for the money. (Escape from LA)

So what happened? Perhaps he felt like his creativity was going as he got older.

It's like this--I'm plotting the story to the reality script I've been working on and everything I'm coming up with seems...let's see...not so great. Unoriginal.

I reassure myself that it's not necessarily that I'm out of ideas. It's that I've seen SO MUCH now that everything I think of has been in something else. When I was a kid it all seemed so fresh and new because it was.

I have to remember that just because I come up with something that SEEMS a little bit like something else doesn't mean that everybody will make that connection. But I definitely second-guess myself more nowadays.

Did I also mention that I was thinking about pitching a comic book idea to a company I've had dealings with. I'm going to get an indy artist to do a sketch, turn that into a cover and use it in the pitch.

I have to figure out exactly WHAT story I want to pitch though...

Saturday, August 03, 2013

FREEDOM


Forgot to mention that my wife called me when I was on set yesterday to tell me she was taking the kid and going to the beach with her parents.

Yep. Freedom returns. I got a good night's sleep and then promptly did absolutely nothing today. I spent a few hours trying to figure out what great movies I'd crank up as loud as I could, but the freedom was TOO MUCH. Too much, I tell you!

I ended up watching some TV shows that I'm behind on. I can't make up my mind what I wanna watch. I sort of want to watch every Friday the 13th movie back to back to back. I don't know why. So that's in the back of my mind, but then I think--should I wait til the boxed set comes out on Blu Ray? (which is on the horizon)

I have a lot of Blu Rays I haven't opened yet, so plenty to choose from. Stopped by my local Best Buy and picked up Dredd and the Burton Batman on Blu(traded in 2 dvds for $5 off each)...

Also, the sun burn hurts. I got in the shower and couldn't get the right temperature. I'm not burned all over, so the problem is that the barely-warm water BURNS my sunburned skin but it's too cold for the rest of me.

Here's some pics someone put on FB of the shoot. You can see me in second one, leftish in the picture. See, proves I was there. And that haze? Proves I was there EARLY in the effing morning...



Anyway, did get one thing done. A while back I went to a meeting with some local filmmakers and one guy said something that interested me. He said that he knew a buddy who worked at the WGA, and the guy talked about how much money was there in uncollected funds from filmmakers who didn't realize they were owed money.

He said when people play even portions of your stuff on TV the writer sometimes gets paid, regardless of whether he/she's in the guild. I made him clarify that point. I was like, "You sure?" He said he was. Said you could do a search online to see if they owed you money.

Well, my search came up empty but it got me thinking. I could register my HH script with them now, and perhaps in the future anybody using clips of my flick might have to throw a few sheckels in my direction. Hell, only costs $20 to do it so I went ahead and did it. What the hell?

You too can register your script here if you'd like: https://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/dataentry.asp

In the past I've used the copyright office, but this is cheaper(and I'll admit, a lot easier)...

Friday, August 02, 2013

Distribution offer? Whoop-dee-freakin-do!


So we got our first offer today on GOH. I won't say who they are because I'm about to go ahead and attach their "standard" contract in case you wanna see what a real shitty contract looks like.

They didn't put any of the normal non-disclosure mumbo jumbo in the email(which, to be frank, wouldn't be valid anyway), so I don't feel bad posting it.

Here, check it out! I'll probably take it down after a few days just cuz.
http://www.kangaskahnfilms.com/MMI.pdf

What are the problems? Well, first, I think I mentioned that I wouldn't take any deal with no advance. I'll put it up on Youtube in chapters the way we first wrote it before I give it away for the mythical back-end money.

Second, the percentage is SUPER low. 35% of net? Fuck that.

To be fair, he sent me an email saying "this is our standard contract, please reply back with any concerns". I'm gonna hit him back with a here's my concerns, we need an advance of X amount of dollars. Then we can move on to the deliverables.

Because to get the master into QC shape will probably cost me about 3-5K. I'm not paying money out of my pocket to give the movie away. Not gonna happen.

Again though--this is a big company who will definitely get the movie out there in a lot of venues. Once again proving my point that it's VERY easy to get your movie picked up if you're willing to give it away.

---------------------------------

Also, went out and D.P.d a short today for the guy who D.P.'d GOH. Problem was, when I got there this morning at 7am he had no shooting script or shot list. Had an unreadable mini-page of storyboards. I don't fucking understand directors who don't have either a shooting script or a shot list. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND.

He kept asking me if we had all the shots we needed and I was like, "I don't know, I don't have a shot list."

Also we shot on a Red One, but it has a giant foot long lens on it that's gotten locked on. They literally have to send it back to get it drilled off. Problem being for me, he kept asking for handheld shots and the Red with rails, battery, monitor and this giant lens was about 60 pounds. So you prop this beast on your(my) shoulder and the tripod quick-plate on the bottom(made of metal) would dig into my shoulder.

Nightmare. Food was good. People were fun. Had a big crew(like 15-20 people dedicated to nothing but grip/gaffer/sound). But we fell way behind on 4 pages because we spent a good 3 hours trying to get some crane/dolly shots perfect. I will give him that when we got them, they looked nice.

Also got a horrible sunburn everywhere my skin was exposed. It's been that long since I've been out in the sun for extended periods that I just forgot to put sunscreen on until I felt it burning, but by then it was too late.