Tuesday, January 30, 2018
A-zon has reduced their pay rates to moviemakers by 60%.
I wrote a blog about it here so feel free to check that out first:
So it appears that my having to push Ttory 2 back is going to hurt me very significantly in the wallet. To think that if I duplicate the performance of the first film--which is certainly not guaranteed--then I'm going to make 40% of what we made there?
I could very easily lose money on the movie, which is hard to believe when we made it as cheap as we did.
It's gratifying yet sour that my instincts regarding A-zon sooner-or-later changing were true. Hence my rush to get Ttory 2 done within a year of the first film.
I am very reactionary, and always looking forward so I'm considering my options. The one I'm thinking about most seriously is getting an aggregator and trying to get the flick out to other venues like Netflix.
Problem is, you're not guaranteed to get accepted there, and they can take up to 90 days to make that decision after you've delivered the film to the aggregator. This means that I need to deliver the film to the aggregator by mid-June. That way if they decline, I'm still ready to launch on A-zon on October 1st.
See, Netflix won't take it if it's playing on Prime, so I can't do both.
Other slight problem is that it'll cost me a grand just to submit to Netflix, and more if I want to submit to other venues.
All this means I have to really push forward to finish the film ASAP. I need to film the remaining segment as soon as the weather is okay outside. Get the pieces to the composers. Work on the trailer. Work on all the art. (you have to deliver 3 different sizes to the aggregator, so I have to fix the poster so it fits those.
Lot of work to do. Lot. Of. Work.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Did you check out yesterday's post? If not, click here to go right to it. Then come back here if you're interested in seeing an even grosser pic.
So today I went in for the surgery. Appointment was at 4pm, but they didn't take me back until 4:30pm. Doc brings me in, takes a look at the growth and winces.
Gets me up on the table and says "Can't numb it well--I'll put some freezing stuff on it but you'll still feel it." He sprays it--and I'm thinking, weird, shouldn't there be a nurse or something with him?--and then he cuts me open.
And says, "Ewww..."
He squeezes, which hurts A LOT, and says, "Aw, that's disgusting." And "Jesus."
I laughed. You expect a doctor to be very objective, very professional. Like, they've seen it all, right?
But what he was doing was basically being a stewardess who hit turbulence, and suddenly screams, "Oh my God we're gonna die!"
I've known him for a long time, so I'm used to it. He kept pushing and squeezing, and man did it hurt. Took a while to get all the pus out. He told me he can't take out the cyst now, because due to the skin stretching and how much swelling, if he took it out it would leave a big hole in me.
Then he crams a bunch of antiseptic tape(I think he said) into the wound and says, "You can come back tomorrow and we'll take it out, or you can take it out yourself if you feel like it. It'll be gross, so you can freak someone out." (should I videotape it and put it up here for you amusement?)
Wanna see the wound afterward? That's a piece of tape you see hanging out. Nice, huh?
It's still bleeding a bit, and hurts. Plus, changing the bandage is painful because it rips out my hair every time.
Monday, January 22, 2018
Not that one. I'll get to it, but if you don't like gross bodily things, you may wanna bail now.
Here's the deal. For my whole life I've had this bump under the skin at my sternum. And sometimes it would get kind of hard underneath, and then pus would come out.
I would of course ignore it. Because it didn't hurt, and it wasn't that big so I barely noticed it.
About 10 years ago it got pretty big though, so I went to the doctors and said, "What is this?"
Doc gave me some antibiotics and told me it was a sebaceous cyst. Said it was no big deal. He's like, "If you want, schedule surgery with us and we'll remove it in office."
Who's got time for that? I took the antibiotics, the bump went away, and I ignored it.
About six months ago, the bump started hardening and getting bigger(that's what she said). Slowly but surely.
About a month ago it started to get painful. I tried to lance it. No luck. I called my doctor and scheduled surgery, telling them it was pretty painful right now, but they only do the in-office surgery once a month, and that wasn't until today.
So I'd have to wait two and a half weeks. Meanwhile, this thing is getting REAL painful. Couple of days ago I texted my doctor(I have his text number because he used to be a customer at my comic store) with this picture, and said "Coming in for surgery in a week, but I need some antibiotics now."
He got me the antibiotics, and today I go in to get it removed.
Forgot to mention in the previous post that when we went to see Shape of Water, we went to the movie theater I used to go to ALL the time. The one my buddy worked at in Columbia, which is also the one we shot the first FOC in.
Man, do I miss that theater. So many good times there. And I was surprised by the flashes of memory as I entered the bathroom. (it was a pretty traumatic night when we shot that bathroom scene)
This is what it looks like now:
Hasn't changed a whole lot, at least the lobby hasn't. The seats are all recliner seats now.
The diet's going well. Sticking to it, but got a giant salmon steak from Costco and have been eating pieces of it for dinner every day. Lost six pounds in the first week. Weird part is that I'm not really starving like I was the last time I went on this diet.
Biggest question will be at what weight will I hit the plateau--that place where it will be nearly impossible to lose weight for a while. It gets frustrating when you're not eating much, but your body refuses to shed pounds.
Always happens though.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Was going through some old stuff and ran into this well-time picture. This was a pic of me around 2007 when I was a guest at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors promoting FOC2, and then a pic of me after the diet that I lost nearly 40 pounds on.
Here's hoping I can recreate that. (Been a decent three days on the diet--no major cheating. I had popcorn at the movie theater, but not that much. And popcorn's not a big cheat because it doesn't have the dreaded sugar.)
Man, look at that fat face. Holy crap. Hashtag never again.
Today went to a dispensary in MD. Not a ton to choose from, and no edibles, which is my thing. They say they'll get more stuff in February, so I should check back.
Then we went to see Shape of Water. Pretty amazing visually. I liked it, but it was REALLY hard to get away from the fact that it's basically Splash. Like, girl falls in love with merman(there's your reversal) who's held captive by the government. She makes with a big escape, even going off of a pier with him.
There's other similarities. I just think the writers of Splash should get a co-writing credit, ya know?
Monday, January 15, 2018
After months and months of gaining weight, I've decided that today's the day to go backward.
It's been a long time coming. I knew there was a problem when shirts and pants started getting tighter. Then I could see the return of the slight double-chin when I look down.
I finally got on a scale. 218.
That's only 12 pounds away from my all-time high of 230.
I ordered some more of the shakes that I haven't had in years. The ones I used to lose 23 pounds in 4 weeks. You can find that post here: https://maykillyou.blogspot.com/2007/03/too-good-to-be-true-2.html
Hard to believe it's been over ten years since then, so I managed to keep the weight off for quite some time. Those people who say "If you lose it fast, you'll gain it back fast" are full of shit.
Bad news is, I was a lot younger than. Can I kickstart the metabolism again?
That's why I'm posting this, and telling people. I figure the more people that know about it, the more incentive there is for me to not fail. I don't like failing at shit, and failing at shit in public? Forget it.
Now, the shakes haven't arrived yet so I'm starting with a lot of small foods like granola bars, chicken noodle soup, pretzels. Going to eat about 1600 calories a day, like 10 "meals" a day. A meal could be as little as a 50 calorie bag of pretzels, or a 90 calorie granola bar.
The big things that stop now are NACHOS and SLURPEES. They're my Kryptonite. Cheese and sugar are the first big things that have to go, and that reminds me--I still eat a bite of brownie every night to go to sleep(the magic kind, ya know?)...I hope that doesn't screw me up too bad.
First couple of days are HARD. You feel like you're starving. But I know if I push that then it gets tolerable.
Saw Jumanji. It's fun. Certainly more fun than the new Star Wars movie.
Also saw The Big Sick. It was okay. Not sure why people think it belongs on the "best of" list.
In other news, I can't get rid of this goddamn cough. I got sick on January 2nd, it got worse and worse but then I started feeling better last Tuesday. Now almost a week later and my throat is still scratchy, and I'm coughing up phlegm like I'm getting paid for it. It's weird.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
You know, I guess I forgot to talk about this because this didn't happen on THIS last trip, but the one before it.
We're on our flight home and I'm looking up from my book, my neck sore. It's the perfect time, too, as I see a bright flash outside of the window behind Luke, then sparks fly everywhere. I'm not sure whether it was simply my mind playing tricks on me, but I could have sworn the engine sputtered a little.
Everybody looked up. Luke looked over, then looked to me.
There's this tense moment where we wait to see if the plane is going to suddenly plummet from the sky, because I'm not sure just then if it was lightning or the engine blowing up for whatever reason. Nothing happens though.
"Did you see that?" I ask Luke.
"Yeah," he says. And continues to look around.
The captain comes on the intercom to tell us that the plane just had a "small lightning strike", but it's no big deal. I figure that's what he'd probably say if he'd lost all power and we were gonna die, so I don't believe him.
But there's no issue on the flight home, and as you can see, I forgot about it until now.
The L.A. auction went well. The company I do work for set a record for the most ever paid for a doll. This is soul-crushing to those of us who don't have this kind of money, but it sold for $290,000. That's before taxes and a premium added to every sale, so the person probably will end up paying around $350,000 when all is said and done.
In-sane. But at least this time it was a museum.
My brother was at the auction where we sold the PREVIOUS record, and he tells the story of this couple that bought the $250,000 doll. He wrapped it up all nice and tight in tissue paper and packing material, and the lady came to pick it up.
She unwraps all the wrapping, takes a look at it, and then tosses it in her bag and strolls off like it's a GI Joe doll.
These fucking people, man, they just aren't human.
Booted up the Ttory computer. Took another look at the new trailer I'm working on. Staying away from the actual movie stuff for a while longer.
Took another whack at the opening credits. Man, was I an idiot when I did the first one. Trying to tweak THAT to work with the II symbols for this one just made me TWICE the idiot.
Without going into details, I went ass-backwards at it and failed miserably, then just deleted a bunch of layers and started mostly clear. Now I'm getting somewhere on it.
Originally I was just going to have the Ttory logo like before, then the II symbols dissolve in behind them and zoom out a bit, and then they all explode into that heat-blaze that was in the first one.
But I don't love it. The II doesn't stand out enough, and sort of blends in unless I add a stroke to the II, and that just looks like dogshit. I changed the color of the II to red, and that's slightly better, but still not great.
Then I changed it so the symbols come in separately from each side, eliminating the Ttory word until they're all that's left. Then THEY blaze out like the first title. I think it's better, but still not there.
I was also going to leave the map background behind the title the same, but then I figured that was way lazy and changed it up.
Bonus post because today...I went.
Lemme backup just a smidge. When we were in Cali, we went to the place where anybody can buy legal weed. We bought a few things to amuse ourselves and make sleep easy. Expensive, but interesting.
I'd already made an appointment to go to the doctor the following week in my state, as it's legal for medicinal reason in my state, and I gots the problems that calls for it.
First off, the place is SECRETIVE as fuck. I signed up to get an appointment, and they called me and got all my info. Then they say "Where do you want to go for your appointment?" I say..."It says you have an office in Annapolis." They say "Yes, is that where you want to go?" and I say yep.
"Okay," they tell me, "your appointment is for Wednesday at 5:10. See you then."
I'm like, "Woah, I need an address." They say it will be in the email they send me with the confirmation.
I get it, and show up at the place. It's in an office complex that I've been to, which is weird, but you follow these paper signs taped to the walls inside, through a weird door to ANOTHER door on which is printed the name of the company. Like it's some fly-by-night place.
I walk inside and it's completely undecorated, with about 30 folding chairs in the room, and it's PACKED with people. Only two open seats. I grab a clipboard and fill out the info, and sit down.
It takes AN HOUR past my appointment time to get in to see the doctor. And here's where it gets REALLY weird.
The doctor looks at my papers--he's clearly already looked at them--and says, "I don't know that you have DISEASE(I'm not typing it in here)". I frown. I'm confused. "What do you mean?"
"From these papers, I don't know that you have DISEASE. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But these papers don't show that you do."
Granted, none of the papers actual have the term on them. For some reason that always struck me as odd, my doctor had never put it on any of the records he'd had. He'd told me on the phone that I had it, and what to take and do. It required no prescription unless it got much worse.
So I say, "Well, those are the lab results that the doctor used to tell me I have it, so if he can tell from them that I have it, how come you can't?"
He says, "DISEASE has a number of factors, five or six, that are used to determine if you have it. These results show that you clearly have an auto-immune disease, and the other papers show that you've gotten uveitis, which is indicative of it, but without more tests I can't tell for sure that you have it. Have you seen a rheumatologist?"
I say no. He tells me I should. He says they could tell me for sure if it's DISEASE or not. He asks me what the main symptoms I'm there for are, and I tell him--pain in my forearms, but mostly to get and stay asleep. He asks if I use the MJ currently, and I say yes.
He says, "Well I'll approve you because you're already using it anyway, but if you really want to know what you have for sure, you should go see a rheumatologist." Then he adds, "There you go, you got a free consult too."
So I got the certificate, but all of a sudden I'm left thinking that maybe this DISEASE I've had for 6 years might not be the disease I thought it was. It's crazy.
Also crazy is how much this doctor has to make. See, it's $200 but that $150 for the place and $50 for the doctor--all cash. I was there for an hour and he must have seen 20 people in that hour. That's $1000 per hour. The place is open only Wednesdays for like 10 hours, so let's say he sees 150 people a day(I rounded down for lunch, and maybe he has slow times)--that's $15,000 cash for one day's work.
So if he quit his job and only did this four times a month, he'd net around $60K a month in cash. Not too shabby.
Also a side note--you can't legally buy a gun if you have a MJ license, even if it's legal. Not really a problem for me, if you know what I mean.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
And don't get me started on how over-rated I think Get Out is. This movie was over-hyped to death, and when I saw it(the first week it came out so there'd be no spoilers), I was like..."That's it?"
It's basically Stepford Wives but with an even more ludicrous setup. Yes, more ludicrous than robot wives.
And I'm looking at these lists thinking...when did I diverge so much from what the masses think? A Ghost Story? So boring I only gave it 30 minutes. Kong: Skull Island? Wanted to like it, but it's just so...mediocre. Blackguard's Daughter? Boooooooo-ring.
Super Dark Times. Super drawn-out snooze fest. (another triumph of style over substance--this year's "It Follows")
Logan didn't blow my skirt up, cuz I was hoping for a movie-version of Old Man Logan. Plus, passing-the-torch movies always suck for me.
I mean, honestly, the best movie I saw in the theater this year was Terminator 2: 3D...
So here's my unofficial list of the movies I saw that I enjoyed, in no order:
- Spider-man Homecoming - Spider-man and Wolverine are my two favorite superheroes, so seeing Spidey return to cinematic greatness was nice. Adding in Michael Keaton was a great touch too.
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - Didn't like it as much as the first, but still a lot of fun. And the de-aging of Kurt Russell deserves an Oscar
- Thor Ragnarok - a little TOO jokey, but most of them hit. It was really strange to watch Thor be fun...
- It - NOWHERE near as good as the books. Let's get that out of the way. Frankly, not even as faithful as the miniseries from the 80's. But still...stylish, set in the greatest decade of all, and Pennywise was pretty well done. I did enjoy it, but definitely not how much everyone else did.
- The Babysitter - This has to be the biggest surprise on the list. Had NO expectation for this, as it's a Netflix movie. Didn't know anything about it going in, and it starts like an 80's teen-in-love-with-his-babysitter movie, then takes a great twist. Saw it, and a couple of nights later watched it again with my wife.
- 47 Meters Down - I saw the original version of this when it was called "In The Deep", so I don't know if the final version was changed. But it made my wife scream, which doesn't happen often if I'm not inside of her. Thank you, please tip your waitresses.
- Split - It's nice to see Shyamalan making a come-back. Another solid flick.
- War For the Planet of the Apes - A good way to finish off the trilogy.
- John Wick 2 - Man, this picks up where the first left off, and just DOESN'T. STOP.
- Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri - This guy has to be one of the most interesting writer/director currently working. Loved In Bruges. Loved 7 Psychopaths. Loved this(though not as much as those). It goes places you don't see coming, and the characters are ALWAYS three-dimensional in ways you don't expect. Highly recommend.
- The Disaster Artist - Not only funny, but interesting.
A cool "It" poster I saw today...
And here's the list of "Okay" movies I saw.
- Annabelle Creation
- American Made
- Baby Driver
- The Belko Experiment
- Blade Runner 2049(if they'd cut this down by 25 minutes, would have been a solid "enjoy" flick)
- Happy Death Day
- Better Watch Out
- The Shallows
- Cult of Chucky
- Creep 2
- Gerald's Game
So there you go. If you don't see a movie on those lists, I either didn't see it, or didn't like it. I did just see the new Insidious yesterday, and it's pretty weak. Certainly the worst of the bunch. If I'd seen it on cable then I'd probably say it was okay.
But it's not worth going to the movies for...
Maybe I'll do a Best Of TV list... TV is definitely where the best writing currently is...
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Monday, January 01, 2018
No meme more perfectly sums up the problems with the new SW films.
Anywho, for a guy who prefers vodka, I drank a lot of beer this week. First, went out with the Malf, as I'll call him. At Bateman's, where we first met a few months ago. Chit chat, throwing ideas, talking about collaborating on some stuff. Then he's like "You wanna go to a party?"
I don't have any plans, so I'm like, sure. We hop in his car, leaving my car behind at Bateman's, and it turns out this party is--no shit--like a mile from my house. I'm thinking, Fuck, shoulda driven separate...
Had a good time, went home and did some more work with a very slight buzz from the beers I'd drank all night plus some orange vodka drink they gave me at the end.
Then tonight, went out for New Year's with the wife. Hit the steakhouse we love across the bridge--it was amazing, as usual, and then came over this way. There was a band playing near my parents house that she used to love in high school, so I surprised her by taking her there.
They played a lot of their old songs, which the wife loved, and stayed til they closed(which was after the ball dropped). There was a good crowd, but I had more beers. Not so much that driving home was any problem though. Those days are over...
Now it begins again. The new year where we all pretend something's going to be different, or we're gonna change something significant, all because of an arbitrary date on a calendar.
I just wanna get this L.A. auction over and done with. I don't like travel, and I don't like staying in hotels in general, and I also don't like to work at all, so this is just a bad deal all around. :)
Was thinking about doing a top 10 horror list for the year, but honestly I'm not sure I've seen 10 this year that impressed me to say they were top 10.
So maybe I'll just do a top 10 movie list, then maybe put my list of okay horror flicks I saw.
When I get back, here's what's on tap for me for 2018.
--Diet. I've gained enough weight I can notice it, so that shit has got to stop. Maybe I'll buy that shake again where I lost 24 pounds in 3 weeks. See if it still works in my late 40's the way it did in my late 30's.
--Finish the Ttory edit on everything I've done so far. Picture lock them so I can send them to the composers. Then get everything ready so I can shoot Fountain. Get the credits to a position where all I have to do is add the particulars when Fountain is done.
--Write. I've been slacking big time. And I think maybe I'll finally try to write another novel. (I did one back when I was 17 that was terrible) You know, as well as the scripts.
--That's all I can think of offhand right now. I know there's a bunch more.