Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hacked and Hacking






Man, got freakin' sick. Coughing and phlegm. It's been with me since Saturday. No fun.

Hey, remember I mentioned the AOL hack? They finally admitted it. Sent an email to all my accounts, which said this:

At AOL, we care deeply about the safety and security of your online experience. We are writing to notify you that AOL is investigating a security incident that involved unauthorized access to AOL's network and systems. Recently, our systems alerted us to an increased incidence of email users receiving spam emails from "spoofed" AOL email addresses. AOL's security team immediately began investigating the cause of the spoofed emails. Spoofing is a tactic used by spammers to make it appear that the message is from you in order to trick the recipient into opening it. These emails do not originate from the AOL Mail system – the addresses are just edited to make them appear that way. AOL is working with other email providers like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook·com to stamp out spoofing across the industry, and we have implemented measures that will significantly limit its future occurrence.
Although our investigation is still underway, we have determined that there was unauthorized access to AOL users' email addresses, postal addresses, contact information (as stored in the AOL Mail "Address Book"), encrypted account passwords, and encrypted answers to security questions that we ask when a user resets his or her password. We believe spammers have used this contact information to send spoofed emails that appeared to come from roughly 2% of our email accounts.

Importantly, at this point, we have no indication that the encryption on the passwords or the answers to security questions was broken. Likewise, there is no indication that this incident resulted in disclosure of users' financial information, including debit and credit cards, which is also fully encrypted.

Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, we strongly encourage you to reset your password used for any AOL service and, when you do so, you should take the time to change your account security question and answer. You may reset your password and account security question at account.aol.com.


Nice.
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GOH is down to 12 copies. In addition we got the April VOD report and man, I'm surprised by how well it's doing. A year of these kind of numbers could make a serious believer out of me. Gotta wait and see. I wish I could tell what's generating the traffic--my poster? One of my actors or actresses? We've only scratched a few web sites, so I don't think it's coming from there.
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Working on some VFX for my actor-friend's UFO soap opera series again. It's just as a favor for him, and because now he'll have to act for me for free FOREVER! muhahahahahaha! But also I get to play around and experiment a bit, and it's all stuff I can use later as I get better at After Effects.


In this case though we've got some really bad green screening(wrinkled green screen fabric, not lit evenly, and the foreground people/objects are not backlit at all. So it's a challenge. A few times I'm having to frame-by-frame mask them out.


Super fun. But he seems to have liked what I've done so far.
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Went on an 80's movie kick the other night. Watched Heathers, which I haven't seen since roughly 1986. Never been the biggest fan of it, but it's still entertaining. On a side note, the writer of Heathers was one of the first two people who ever saw my rough cut of FOC1. He's best-friends with a filmmaker friend of mine in LA that I sent my movies to for notes, and they watched it together.

Let's just say he was not a big fan of FOC, but then again, neither was/am I.

Anyway, then watched Mr. Mom. Totally forgot John Hughes wrote this one too. Man that dude wrote a lot of great movies. But watching Michael Keaton and looking up the fact that he is like 10 years younger than I am when he made that movie...shit I have to stop playing that game.

Caught Knights of Badassdom last night. It's okay. Not as good as I would have hoped but entertaining enough. A cool non-CGI monster in the end, which is cool. And the girl from Serenity is still pretty hot.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Continuous Partial Attention


I really feel like I gotta make some changes in my life. I'm wasting a goddawful amount of time doing stupid shit like watching TV, playing videogames and surfing the web.

It's to the point where I'm always sitting at my computer, watching TV, but at the slightest ebb of interest I'll start checking FB, Twitter, blogs, my Amazon wishlist to see what prices went down on what, anything.

It's pretty sad. There's even a phrase for it now, since it's apparently how we're all doing it nowadays. (my buddy Luke watches everything all the time while he plays WOW on his laptop). Anyway, the phrase is the title of this blog.

It was apparently coined like 10-15 years ago. You can read about it here, and why it's not a good thing:
http://lindastone.net/qa/continuous-partial-attention/

I actually learned about this because I've decided to try meditation.

I know, you're like, what?!? Way to bury the lead.

I'd been thinking about it for a while. I've heard from a number of people that you don't have to go all buddhist and weird...that meditation is really just a mind exercise that helps your concentration. So I checked out a book I'd heard good things about...dude had all the same concerns I had, and he had the time and money to investigate it all.

The book is:
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story

Bottom line, I spend like 5 minutes a day. I don't sit in any weird positions and I don't hum or make noises. But let me tell you, meditation is HARD. Like, seriously fucking hard.

Anyway, so my waste of time is just another in the list of things I'd like to change a bit. I'm gonna commit to an hour a night of turning the goddamn TV off, turning on some music, and writing or thinking. The last couple of movies I wrote, I wrote with the TV on in the background.

It worked for me, because most of the time I just zone in on the writing and don't really even notice the TV after I get into the writing. But some of the scripts I'm writing are scripts I've been working on for YEARS. No joke.

Some of them are that way because I tend to get stuck. In the old days I'd work through it while in my car eating lunch or dinner in the Burger King parking lot, or while soaking in a hot shower, or anywhere else I wasn't distracted.

But I'm always distracted now...TV, internet, my phone, Xbox, everything. Gotta make some time. And I figure...what's an hour?

I'll let ya know if the meditation does anything for me.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Advice N Stuff


You know I don't like to pass on knowledge and helpful stuff all that often, right? I think it's a combo of thinking people are going to view me a know-it-all and me just not feeling like it.

But I went ahead and wrote a little thing for my FOC blog, since it seems to get a lot of hits and it had occurred to me.

It's here if you want to read it. http://foc-log.blogspot.com/

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Against my better judgement I've continued watching From Dusk Til Dawn the TV show. It's not good.

As much as I enjoyed Lost the TV show, I curse the fact that it ever popularized the "Flashback" storytelling device. Now every show has to have the two storylines, one from the past and one from the present.

And this show does it a lot. The show also has made Richie into a not-so-crazy person--he has visions, but they're all sort of important like he's in touch with whatever's at the bar. The vampires aren't so much vampires as snake-like people who burn in direct sunlight but are fine if they're wearing cowboy hats.

Again, the show is such a pale imitation of the movie in every way, and every episode reinforces it. It took them six episodes to get inside the Titty Twister...

And they've added a storyline about a cop who's chasing the brothers. Again, couldn't care less...

While I'm thinking about it though, why isn't there a nice Blu Ray of the fuckin' movie? Every review I read says the Blu Ray that's available looks like dogshit...

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Amazon's down to 18 GOHs, so the third sell-out is imminent. At this pace I'm wondering if I'll have any left for the convention in June.

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I think AOL got hacked. A lot of emails were made to look like they got sent from one of my old AOL accounts. If you look in the header you'll see none of them actually came from that address.

BUT...the people who are being emailed are all people in that accounts address book. And I used 5 programs, and there's no virus or malware on my computer.

To top it off, a number of other people I know have now sent out the same spam messages to me. So it seems clear that AOL, which keeps all of the address books on their servers, is the one who got hacked.

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Posted this on FB, but I'll put it here too. My kid's going to the White House for some Easter Egg Hunt. Apparently they only take a certain amount of kids a year, and he got chosen. They send you wooden eggs to take with you.

This is what they look like.
And no, I ain't going. I hate DC. My wife's going.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whole Lotta Nothing To Report


Working on a video for them to play at my Grandfather's memorial service in May. I didn't realize I was going to be expected to do it...until my mom informed me of it last week. They gave me some video, and I told them to send me pics of him and the family.

So my mom sends me a couple of shutterfly folders...and the first four are of the last 5 years of so of his life. And the problem is, he got remarried a few years after my grandmom died. All these pics have his new wife in them.

She was a nice enough lady, you know, but she ain't grandma. I have requested some older photos of him.

Making no progress on the vampire stuff. Best I can find on the locations so far are a few one-off tunnels, none particularly close. Like this one, the Paw Paw tunnel.
Wikipedia has an entry here about it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paw_Paw_Tunnel

It appears to be about 2.5 hours away from house. If it could be THE ONLY location we'd do it, but if it's just one of a bunch of tunnels I'd be trying to use to make the audience believe we're in a bunch of tunnels, it's just not feasible.

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In other news, been looking to do a couple of conventions this year to promote my Blu Rays. The first one I'll be doing is http://scaresthatcareweekend.com/

It's a show put on by a friend of mine(and also an actor in my first movie). The big news is that I think I'm going to make a super-limited run of Blu Rays on that movie of mine that I am hopefully getting the rights back to in October.

So yeah, technically I'm breaking my contract a little early but I figure if I don't advertise it or anything it shouldn't be an issue. If I do a run of like 100 it's not going to mean a ton of money for Tom(producer and lead actor) or John(investor) or me, but it's better than nothing.

Am working on the blu ray cover now. Will post it when I get something.

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Watched the entire new season of Justified now that it's over. Another great season. If you're not watching it you're really missing out.

I also highly recommend Orphan Black, which is on Amazon Prime. In case I forgot to put that in one of my blogs...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Famous/Crazy

Yeah, I dunno what I was thinking on the anniversary post. It appears the anniversary was technically March, not April, but also it appears I didn't start posting regularly til May. So, whatever.

Look, I'm super famous! Except not really. My city has a local magazine that gets put out, and it's actually pretty funny that such a shitty little town has a mag, but whatever! They did like a four-page spread on me! And we got the cover!






Now the best part about this is that I forgot I told the reporter about being a sociopath in high school/college, and I apparently even mentioned how I had two of the three in the serial-killer triad of warning signs. (Obsession with fire, wetting the bed til a late age, torturing animals).

So of course he puts in there all of that. Nothing like your neighbors learning you were a bed-wetter til you were 17.

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Netflix recently put Death Wish 1-4 into their lineup. It's funny, I'd been thinking about watching part one since I hadn't seen it in like 30 years. So I went ahead and watched the first two. Still pretty entertaining in a sleazy kind of way.

I also get the impression that Charles Bronson would have been a pretty cool dude to hang out with in real life. I have no proof to back that up.

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Hey, remember the vampire thing I'm probably going to try? And how I have a scene with a dude's dick in it? Fuck it, here, read the first 3 pages with the offending dick if you'd like:
http://www.kangaskahnfilms.com/with-teeth-first3.pdf

Anyway, was thinking about how to do the dick part. I mean, are we really going to cast a dude's penis? I don't think so. I put out a call to...how do I put this...an actress I used to know who's actually now a porn writer/director.

I say hey, do you know where I can get a dildo that looks lifelike but isn't hard. I explain what I'm doing with it. And not only does it appear that she found one, but she thinks she can get it for free from this business if we just thank the makers in the credits.

I mean, I assume dildos aren't cheap but every $50 we can save will help! Here's what it looks like. We'll simply have to airbrush it to match the actor(though let's face it, whose dick is the same skin tone as the rest of their body?)




This blog has probably totally gone in a direction you didn't expect...

Anyway, am planning on cleaning up the office this week. Haven't done it in a while. I'd show you the mess of my computers but it's embarrassing. Time to clean up all those wires. Bought a brand new power strip so I can plug a bunch into one--the current power strips I have are all sideways, which means you can only plug like 3 USB hard drives into one.

With this beast I can plug them all in...

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Outlet-Pivot-Surge-Protector/dp/B000JE9LD4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397021585&sr=8-2&keywords=belkin+power+strip


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Happy Anniversary Dear Blog



I better post this now because I'll forget by next week.

On the 11th of March I will have had a reasonably-regular blog for nine years. NINE YEARS.

That's some crazy shit there. Long time.

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Got to work some on what I had jokingly called Autasm. I think I've been working on this script for like 7 years. Nearly done now.

I have some other interesting script ideas I've jotted down also recently. May try to flesh them out.
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Did I mention that at that auction I worked they sold a doll for $280K? Set a new world record apparently.

I tried in vain to not think of all the shit I could do with that kind of money. Can you imagine what a movie I'd make would look like with that kind of cash, given that most of my flicks cost about 10% of that?
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Watched recently:
Cheap Thrills - A pretty entertaining little flick and not what I expected. It was nice going in blind. I'd recommend you do the same.
War Wagon - Kirk Douglas and John Wayne. It was okay, but not one of the best westerns I've seen.
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Amazon sent us our numbers on the streaming of GOH for the first month. Remember I had them pull the rentals because they set the price too low? It was only up for less than a day, but somehow seven people rented it to stream.

We got a bunch of buys too. I was kind of surprised by how well the movie did on streaming...they're also down to about 20 copies of the blu so another sell out is probable.

No sales on the distrify or VHX yet, but I haven't really been spreading those links too much.
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Fuck Facebook. Seriously, this whole pay if you want your fans to see anything you post is just crap. It would be one thing if that had been their setup from day one.

But as it stands they get you to amass fans on the site with promises of connecting to things you like for free. You take time, gathering the people who are interested in what you do, and you spend time updating the page to keep them interested.

Then FB says--now pay for the privilege. This article says pretty much what I'm thinking:
http://blog.eat24hours.com/breakup-letter-to-facebook-from-eat24/

So I think very soon I'm going to pay $10 to attempt to let all the followers on the KKF FB page to follow my twitter account, because the FB thing isn't going to be updated anymore. (I won't kill it, as I figure it's still free advertising if someone stumbles on it)

That's enough of an update methinks.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Going Through The Motions

Since I know nothing about the sewers and whatnot around here I started looking into it.

The bad news is that it sounds like the sewers I wrote are really not the way sewers are any more. Those are "movie sewers", and really are only found in like old-world Europe. Most sewer systems nowadays are going to have pipes you'd have to crawl through on hands and knees.

Found this cool article that quite clearly shows many of the movies that feature the sewers I'm talking about:
http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/18219/the-10-finest-sewers-of-b-movie-cinema

So what am I to do? I started looking to local urban exploring in my area(urbexing, as it's called). I figure if I can find some sort of equally-dark and forboding location I can either A) Turn it into a sewer or B) rewrite the location to whatever I can find.

I find this, coincidentally-enough, in the city my DP lives.

It's near a dam. I'd like to know where that tunnel goes and how easily accessible it is.

Then in some other reading I come across this:
In Annapolis, Maryland there is a tunnel that stretches been the Maryland Inn on Church Circle, goes past St. Anne's Church and ends up at the State House. Reportedly constructed in the late 1700's, the tunnel offered private passage to legislators between the State House and the Maryland Inn, at that time functioning as a bordello. In later years, the tunnel also played a role in the Underground Railroad offering access to and sanctuary at St. Anne's Church. The tunnel has been closed for many years, however its entrance is visible in the basement of the Maryland Inn which now houses a Starbucks.

That's interesting. I'm not sure how to get access to that--who to contact. Problem being that Annapolis has always been a shitty place to try to shoot. Hell, in college we tried to shoot some stuff there--legitimate stuff for school, and the city cops were like "Uh uh, not here, guys."

Many of the locations the urbexers find are now demolished. Not finding too many other good sites.
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On the other side I've been talking to the FX guy about how to do the vamp FX. See, my vamps aren't exactly the common kind. I've got something strange going on with the mouth that's not just fangs, so I gotta figure out the best way to create it.

1) We can try to make a full prosthetic head, which will be expensive and will probably in the end look like a prosthetic head. Let's face it, none of us are Greg Nicotero or Rob Bottin.

2) We can make a prosthetic to attempt to fit in the actresses mouth but it will be hard to make it look right.

3) We can make a cast of the actress' mouth and jaw, make a puppeted version of her mouth, and then I can composite that into the shot so it appears to be inside the actress' mouth as she opens it.

I'm leaning toward #3. I think we're going to do some tests--maybe have the FX guy do his own mouth and we'll see what that looks like.