Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Goddamn New Year's Eve

Have I told you how much I would really love to just stay home and watch the Twilight Zone marathon? Drink some toasted almonds, maybe some vodka cranberries. Whatever.

But once again we have been roped into going to that New Year's Eve thing with the in-laws. Yeah, the open bar is cool. The dinner is normally okay. The band's not terrible, but I'm always more inclined to dance when they take a break and play normal music.

Anyway, busy couple of weeks. Am shooting a LOT of video this week and next. The biggest auction of the year is coming up and not only am I shooting the videos on some stuff they're selling but I also have to do the "presentation" video that they almost didn't do. But now it's on.

So I shot the first part today and am editing it now. (BOR-ING) They'll send me the title cards, I'll put them in and upload them to Youtube.

Then Wednesday we'll try to shoot a lot of the presentation video.I've talked them into doing a little tiny bit of stop-motion animation because I haven't done it in so long and I thought it might be funny with the dolls. I'm not gonna be anal about it--gonna do it pretty fast, as most of the dolls aren't articulated all that well anyway. But it'll still take longer than just shooting.

Then 2nd week of Jan I go to L.A. -- there was talk of staying a couple of extra days to see friends out there but I just don't think I'm gonna be able to. A shame, as I'd love to see Jacky(who just got engaged), Mun, Danielle, Proctor, and Josh.

Also wouldn't mind stopping by my producer's reps to light a fire under their asses about Bounty. If they don't get a dvd deal in the next year I get the rights back, so there's that. I guess I could make some limited editions dvds or Blu Rays...

Anyway, happy new year!

Also, courtesy of Kelli Maroney(of Night of the Comet fame):

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best of 2012?

Okay, I'll give it a shot. I've a terrible memory, so I'm going to go over other people's lists and look for the ones I liked a lot.

Cabin In The Woods
The Avengers

The Grey
The Raid
Seven Psychopaths

Dark Knight Rises--Just a special note about this one, because people are putting it on their "Best Of" lists. If you think this movie is one of the best movies that came out, you are fucking retarded. Just absolutely batshit fucking retarded. This movie is so laughably bad in parts that it's almost like every fanboy is now a "Best Of" writer. Hey, Christopher Nolan isn't God. It's okay to admit he makes mistakes, and plenty. When these fanboys mature and look back they are going to be mighty embarrassed that they thought this was a good movie.
Amazing Spider-man
Pirahna 3DD
The Devil Inside
Man With The Iron Fists

Haven't seen Django, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, or Paranorman yet so the jury's out on those.
UPDATE: Saw Jack Reacher and Django. Both were enjoyable movies in their own ways. Django could have lost 15 minutes and been a better movie but I wholeheartedly endorse the 100% lack of CGI blood.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Watched Movies Must Report

So, watched two VOD movies tonight. One is Killer Joe, so let's talk about that.

Let's say William Friedkin directed a movie about drug addicted rednecks that was based on a play. No, not Bugs--that was his last one. Why is he doing another?

Well, good news is this one is better than Bugs. Bad news is, it's still not great. It's got some cool moments but in the end it's just a big bottle of nothing. Not much happens and then the ending is just...I blame Sopranos. All these crappy clipped endings that come out of nowhere at inappropriate moments.

Of course, this movie is high art compared to the next one I watched. VHS. I wanted to like it. I'd heard good things about it. The trailer is pretty cool. And I know it didn't cost much.

BUT fuck, man. Edit your fucking movie. This movie drags so often and has so much footage of absolutely nothing happening that it makes the PA movies look action packed. And if VHS was only like 80 minutes long you might forgive some of that, but this movie is 1hr52 minutes...

It can take some shaving off.  The script is pretty terrible and the "through-line" story is pretty irrelevant.  A big disappointment.

Also am watching the Silent Night remake now. It's not very good, but it's not so bad I'm turning it off. Just feels a bit like it's missing the point of the original.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nothing To Report

I know, like, it's been forever since I posted, right? Just busy doing stuff.

Saw The Hobbit. In 24fps the way movies are supposed to be. I try not to get mad at the fucking retards who say they can't tell the difference, but it's hard. And to Peter Jackson, who I normally dig--how the fuck you can think THAT is what the future of cinema is...

I dunno--do you want your movies to look like live plays? If so, GO TO A FUCKIN' LIVE PLAY. If I wanted to see The Hobbit: The Play, I'd do that.

But hey, 24fps was good. Little slow at the beginning but after they get out of the Shire it's good stuff.

Tonight I watched Batman Returns. It's a Christmas movie and I wanted to see if it was as bad as I remember. Yes. It was.

Followed it up with the original Silent Night Deadly Night. I don't remember if I saw it back in the 80's. I have a feeling if I had then I would have loved it. Man, so many boobies! It was enjoyable if a little unimaginative on the kills.

Then watched Winnebago Man, a documentary on that dude who became an internet sensation when the outtakes of his winnebago commercials was released. It's pretty interesting, and oddly introspective.

Nothing to report on the movie front. I really don't want to be negative all the time, but it's the choice between that and silence. Suffice it to say the young, dumb, internet crowd continues to cheer on how awesome and powerful the internet is for movie distribution while simultaneously wondering why they're not getting paid for their movies.

I mean, I know people whose shitty movies are getting distribution and are being put on Netflix, and people are clapping them on the back and thinking they're successes! They're on Netflix so they must be successful.

Then you talk to the guys and yep, they gave their movie away for no advance. Back-end. Year goes by and they still haven't seen any money. It's like I keep saying--it's EASY to get your movie distributed. The hard part is getting PAID to get your movie distributed.

This is a huge change from the way it used to be--it was SOOOOO hard to get your movie distributed that that was the holy grail for a filmmaker. (I can only say this from being in the midst of all this talk; you see, my very first movie got distributed and I got an advance that was more than the entire budget of the film, so I never had trouble getting my movies distributed AND getting paid. That is, until the internet came along and somehow did the opposite to me of what everybody says it should be doing.)

So I'm still bitter. But we'll see. My plan goes into effect late January or early February. I will see if I can harness this internet thing. This...series of tubes, as the late not-so-great Alaskan politician said. I have my doubts but you don't know 'til you try, right?

Am still plugging away at the Halloween script. Have also quietly been contemplating a return to the FOC universe without any of the previous cast. Maybe a super low-budget flick like I should have done with FOC2.

Dunno. If I don't get back here before then, Merry Christmas fuckers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Making Hard

Gonna tell you a little secret: Editing the "Making Of" a movie is much harder than editing the actual movie.

Now I'm not talking about those shitty 5 minute bullshit "Making Of"s that many companies put on their dvds. I'm talking the serious ones, like mine for instance, that really try to show you what happened behind the scenes.

And the main reason it's harder is this: If you're editing a movie you already have each scene sectioned off with all the clips of footage for that scene. So if you're editing scene 10, you have a folder named Scene 10 with all the clips to choose from.

But if you're editing a Making Of you have footage from those scenes, but then you have all these interviews with people from the cast/crew and the things they say don't necessarily relate to any particular scene. Like, if you have someone talking about how hard shooting a low budget movie is, you could perhaps use that sound byte over any number of clips from the behind the scenes.

So you really just have to be so familiar with the material that when you come upon a clip of, say, shit going wrong--you can remember that you have a clip of somebody talking about shit going wrong. Sure, you could log all that interview shit but I've found that just because something is written down doesn't mean you remember it.

And all this means that you really can't afford to walk away from editing a Making Of like you could if you were editing a movie; if you do, you risk losing the familiarity with the video clips.
In other news I talked to a buddy of mine I hadn't talked to in a while. He's been nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay a few years back. Been doing a lot of work since then getting paid ridiculous money to come in and fix screenplays while he tries to get his other projects off the ground.

He also was hired to write the adaptation of the Reacher books. Yeah, the one about to open with Mr. Top Gun playing the lead character. He wrote the script and sent it to me after I begged him to read it--I'm a huge Reacher fan, have been for a long time.

The script is freakin' GREAT. Like, I studied it for a couple of days because it's impressive how much he sets up in like 7 pages and it doesn't feel cluttered or slow or complicated.

Then bad news for him. Another writer/director is brought on by the studio because he has a working relationship with Mr. Top Gun and the studio knows they can get him if they hire this writer/director. THAT writer/director decides he wants the full credit so he demands that he writes his own version of the movie even though the studio is very happy with the screenplay they have.

The studio finally relents. My buddy get paid well for what he did, but now he gets no screenplay credit nor residuals. He tells me the writer/director is a giant tool--got to talk to him a couple of times.

But man does it sound like shit to be a working Hollywood screenwriter. I've heard anecdotes over the years like this from people I don't know, but to hear it from a guy I know who's a great writer with a successful past, nominated for an Oscar...bleak.

Anyway, am going to LA in the middle of January. Trying to figure out if there's a way to get together with everybody out there that I know in only the 2 extra days I'll have out there. Gonna be tough.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Holy Shitty Movie Batman!

Luke wanted to watch the new Batman movie. He's seen it. I have not, due to the fact that I didn't like the other two Nolan movies that much.

Refresher course on why? First movie HERE. Second movie HERE.

And I'd heard bad stuff from people who really liked the other flicks, so I knew this was not going to be the greatest.

Prepped myself for a bad superhero movie by watching a good superhero movie first with my kid. Superman 2. I actually got chills the first time Clark Kent changes into Superman in the alley and flies off. Kind of caught me off guard.

Then went over to Luke's. Nelly cooked us some salmon. Then we went down to put on Batman.

I guess I still sort of thought maybe there was a chance it would be okay, even with all the stuff I heard. But I wasn't prepared for how INCREDIBLY GOOFY Bane sounded when he spoke. Like, every time. He sort of sounded like Fozzie Bear, except when Fozzie Bear talks you can understand him.

And my God...are you going to eventually have any Batman in your Batman movie? I think if you added up Batman's screen time in the first 2 hours it would be maybe 7 minutes. Tops.

And the talking! So much talking! Everybody has a little anecdotal story to tell! There are characters who have no reason to be IN the movie! Seriously, tell me how the movie would have changed if Matthew Modine's character wasn't in it.

And convolution! This plot revels in it. It's a really, really bad movie and I'm still amazed at how many people call this shit great. It's like, they think Nolan can do no wrong even though he's proven otherwise quite a few times.

I think if you tried to show this to a 12 year old he would doze off or walk away after 20 minutes.

Anyway, we watched Joe Dante's The Hole afterward. It's okay. Seems like an episode of Goosebumps or something though. All-ages horror. But it's good to see Dante back in the saddle, and the cameos by Dick Miller and Bruce Dern were cool.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Allow Me To Bore You

Some might say "Again".

Anyway, this will probably only interest you if your name is Andrew and your last name rhymes with Hellcare.  Maybe even not then.

So I'm looking into what's involved with making Blu-Rays of GOH. If my experiment is successful I'll be doing it myself on a limited basis, probably needing between 500-1000.

I've had DVDs done in the past and it was pretty easy. Make a DVD with a minimal menu, send it off and they make a glass master and replicate it. Note, that's the difference between replicating and duplicating--duplicating is simply taking your disc and burning it a bunch of times. Not only is it more expensive but it also has a higher incidence of non-playing on players.

Anyway--come to find out it's not that easy for Blu-Rays. They cannot take your Blu-Ray and make a master from it. You need to provide them with this:"Blu Ray with BDCMF or SONY CMF format".

Uh...say what? I do some looking. Adobe has nothing that exports either of those. It appears there's a MAC program that can do it but that seems to be about it. This doesn't look good.

I can create a Blu-Ray and have them duplicate it, but the cost is nearly double per disc to do this. Seems like Adobe would have been all over this by now.

Another hidden cost when you get Blu-Rays done is that you're forced to buy a AACS license when you get them run, and it's only good for a year. So if you go back to press more Blu's and it's a day over 12 months, you get to pay the $550 again.

What is it? Some sort of piracy protection, which we all know works real well as it's impossible to find any Blu-Ray quality movies on the torrents. Impossible, I say.

I decide to put that shit on a backburner and download the Blu-Ray template for the disc and packaging. Might as well take a look at it. I'm not a graphic designer but I can probably put something together that's not terribly embarrassing. It'll just take a lot of time.

On a side note, ate at Fuddrucker's today for lunch. Lunch, you ask? Yes. I fell asleep this morning at 9am and woke up at 9:15am, wide awake. I have no idea why. Tried to go back to sleep but no dice. Fifteen minutes. So I got up and went out and did shit.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Was over Luke's the other night trying to find something fun to watch. We tried a movie on Netflix called The Pact, but were pretty bored at the 15 minute mark. No tolerance.

So I started scrolling through the movies to watch and see Robocop. Haven't seen it in a few years and they were up for it so we watched it. Man, still such a great movie. And I'm not sure I ever realized Rob Bottin created Robocop and all the impressive FX. For some reason I had Stan Winston in my head. But now it all makes sense when you look at how gruesome a lot of those FX are.

And how you could look at that Robocop design and say, "Hey, let's completely scrap the look" for the remake? If you wanna sleek it up a bit, okay, but to toss it completely and go with that super-shitty GI Joe suit? Fuck you, studio.

After it was over Netflix suggested we watch Starship Troopers. Another great movie I haven't seen in years. So we watched that. Jesus God were Denise Richards' boobs EPIC in that movie. And those CGI insects are probably still the greatest CGI creatures ever designed, second possibly only to Jurassic Park's.

Afterward got me thinking though: Where the fuck is Verhoeven? Yeah, Showgirls was terrible and Hollow Man wasn't great, but it does not mean you stop making movies...

Since 2000 when he did Hollow Man it appears he's done NOTHING if you don't count 2 movies you have never heard of. (Black Book and Steekspel, which is clearly a foreign film)

Come on, man, get back on the horse!

Anyway, still editing, still writing. Got CHUD going in the background. It's on Netflix and I vaguely remember enjoying it when I was in high school.