Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some Useless Stuff

This is useless, but nice to look at. Unfortunately it's one of those fucking kinds of web sites I hate, where they give you a list of things to look at BUT ONLY POST ONE PER PAGE BECAUSE THEY WANNA GET THE MOST AD DOLLARS.

I get that. I do. But stop being fucking greedy. If you have a list of like ten things, put three per page. Don't be a greedy fuck and make me click 10 times(or some I've seen that list like 50 movies, and put one per page. )

This is one of those vague, fairly useless articles about film distribution that people like to write that don't generally apply to those of us toiling in the super low-budget realm.

Slightly less useless but interesting is this, Famous Director's Rules of Filmmaking:

Again, this is interesting but not too great. Problem is, many of the filmmakers I know don't know the rules well enough to break them.

Most of these I stole from the "Director's Chair Newsletter" by Peter Marshall. It's a great, free source of interesting information. You can subscribe by doing this:
1. To Subscribe to this Ezine, send an email to
/sqmail/src/compose.php? with SUB as the Subject

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Decided

At 3am Monday morning that I would write a book.

I won't go into specifics just yet. I just want to say that once the idea hit me, it was impossible to go to sleep. I spent the next seven hours researching stuff and writing.

I will also say that so far it's an incredible amount of fun. Writing is seldom like that for me, so it was a refreshing change.

I figure I'll write the whole thing and Createspace it--meaning, it'll be a fully formatted .pdf book but apparently if someone wants a print copy they'll do that for you also, on demand.

The shitty news is that I think I'm going to have to learn Adobe InDesign to make this thing look nice. I looked at some of the templates Createspace has for you and they're pretty crappy. I mean, I guess if I were writing a fiction novel it would be fine.

But this is gonna be more of a hodge-podge kind of thing, with pictures(that I either have to go out and take or will license from somewhere).


Watched Snowpiercer. Cool looking with a decent(if ludicrous) premise, but it just sort of felt hollow to me. Kind of disappointed.

Been watching The Last Ship, which I'd saved up. It's nothing special, but it's entertaining enough that I'll definitely finish up the season.

Hey, did you see what quietly got released?

 This was a great show the wife(she was just my girlfriend back then) watched on TV. Only had one season but it was a lot of fun with a ridiculous premise that Glenn Gordon Caron made work.(you might know him as the creator of Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Medium, among others)

It's a bit pricey for a DVD set, so I'll wait til it budges down but I'm definitely getting it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Blog Update

Put up some of my brother's pictures, so go check the link below again if you wanna see them.


Am having trouble sleeping for some reason. I think I'm already getting nervous about this short I'll be shooting on Sept 20/21st. It's crazy that after making five features I still get nervous about a shoot. ESPECIALLY given how much prep work I do.

There's a production meeting Thursday night where I'll meet the other guys. I'm hoping they seem like competent guys. I'm a bit worried about whether they can turn in something that seems professional. I don't wanna turn into the guy who tries to take over the whole project but if my short is the only good one of the bunch, I'm not above taking it and just making my own anthology.

It would be a bit of a dick move, but I'm doing everything I can to help the others.


My freakin' kid's going to his first day of middle school tomorrow. That doesn't make me feel old at all.


Remember when I mentioned how every New Year's eve when they do the Twilight Zone marathon I end up catching one I never saw? And how much I love that?

Well it's about to be in jeopardy. I've had the whole series on my Netflix queue and just started watching them from the beginning. I'm only about 10 episodes in--I'm trying to take it slow. But I stumbled on this blog that has some interesting factoids about each episode and grades them.

Don't necessarily agree with the grades though.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My New Blog

I've got a new blog where I'm going to put random filmmaking stuff. I sometimes put them here, but I figure I really ought to put them somewhere where there's more than like 3 people reading.

So when I post something new there I'll mark it here so you 3 can see it.

If you haven't read it, check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I have a lot of FB friends. Like 670ish. Do I KNOW them all? Hell no.

If someone sends me an invite and we have mutual friends then I will typically accept. I figure they're either a fan of indie film, an actor/actress, or wanna-be crew.

Recently some douche sent me a FB message. It said basically Hey I'm making a movie, here's my indiegogo and it would be great if you'd donate to it!

I ignored it. (I mean, I looked at the promo he shot, which basically is nothing)

Tonight he sent me ANOTHER carbon copy of that message in a new message. This fucking guy is gonna nag me through FB? I have never even met him. Don't know who the fuck he is. And it would be one thing if he just sent me the link and said hey, check it out, see if it interests you.

But he literally asks me to donate to his campaign. I look at that like begging.

Unfriend, bitch. Block.

Fucking people, man.

(and no, I have no idea what that pic has to do with this but it's funny)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Went on a tear last night on the Syfy-wannabe script. Wrote eight pages, and I think they're pretty good ones too. Bent the rules a little bit--they say there should be a three page teaser with a creature attack at the beginning--I made mine four. Just couldn't quite cram it into three pages.

Then the basic setup, which I think is pretty good. Setting up the main characters and a bit of a mystery in this little monster movie.

I had a thought, like, if the original King Kong script was turned into the Syfy network they'd totally blast it since the set up takes like a good twenty to thirty minutes. Sad, really, since it was so good.

But anyway. I apparently need six more act breaks after the first one that I already have. I have some other pieces of the script, but I think I'm getting close to where I should start plotting them out.


Want some advice/rah-rah-ing about writing? Here ya go:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Location Scout 2

So we went back to the woods so I could nail down the exact places my scenes are gonna take place. There's good news and there's bad news.

The good news is that we definitely have all the locations we need there. The bad news is that the main clearing part is a good half mile into the woods. That's a ways to walk with a bunch of gear(as Stewie and my brother can tell you, since they were carrying some stuff for this shoot).

There IS a clearing pretty close to the parking lot, but you can hear car noise in the distance. Half-ass me says we can just loop it all, but I don't think I'll really do that.

Anyway, I even shot a few shots that may end up in the final segment.

I learned these things:

#1: You can get a much better image if you get some light on the actor's face so you can stop down the lens. The background is blown out a bit if you don't. I pretty much figured this, but the feasibility of actually putting light on the actor's enough to do this for every shot...not sure. Guess we'll figure it out the day of.

We're definitely not taking any lights into the woods, I can tell you that.

#2: Wow, didn't know you could get the jello effect from tilting down...but it's pretty clear you can. I sort of thought it was only for pans. So I'm gonna have to use that fix. I'm going to try it on one of these shots just to make sure it works.

#3: Some of the images seem to have a flickering kind of effect. I'm not sure if it's because there's so much weird detail(all those leaves/sticks) or what. I also almost seem to get some moire effects at times from the tree leaves. But man, the picture is pretty sweet. Not Red One sweet, but it's nice.

It was hot as balls. I'm about to put the pencil down on the 3rd weekend of September(the 20th/21st) as the shoot date. My wife won't be happy because she wanted us to go away for my birthday, but's my birthday and if I wanna shoot a movie then I'm gonna shoot a movie.

Here's Stewie standing in for my main guy with me in the background. My brother took the pic to see sort of how it would work. We have to cheat the shot a bit because the tree trunk's not as high as I'd thought it was. My bad guy's gonna look pretty freaky up there.

Man do I need a remote follow-focus though. Doing some of these crane shots I want are going to be near impossible without it. If I don't figure it out then I'll just have to put a wide angle lens for every crane shot, and that's not great.

Also went over and talked to the FX guy Mark(who's also the one who put the whole thing together) and gave him the knife he's gonna cast for me. I read one of the other guy's scripts. It's okay, but it's clearly written by someone who hasn't written much.

Then later that night I got the rest of the scripts. See, there's five of us each doing a segment. I don't know any of the other guys, but their scripts aren't great. Two of the four(not counting mine) are decent, but two I'm really worried about.

One is incomprehensible. This is one of the things I was talking to Mark about. What if there's one or two of these that are terrible? There's gotta be a point where we can say to the not-so-great segment directors that we're gonna need them to do a new one, or we go make two other shorts to go in.

I don't need home runs on every one, but they gotta all be good enough that people don't give up during any segment.

Then we gotta figure out the wrap-around/through-story.

Finished watching East Bound & Down. It was pretty funny all around. One season(the Mexico one) wasn't great, but it finished strong.

Watched a movie called Man From Nowhere. Boy these Korean guys are making some good movies. It's sort of like The Professional if you took away all the pedophilia vibes.

Then I watched The Naked Gun. Still a funny movie. I miss Leslie Nielsen. He was a funny dude.

Then Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I hadn't seen it since the first time in the theater. Still a great movie, with some super-stylish shots. Pretty sure Clooney directed this in the same way Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist. (Soderbergh is the Spielberg in this case)

More good news for filmmakers:

And by good I mean bad.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Another filmmaker's story

This guy's story about his movie being released is pretty interesting. He did sort of the same thing I did when I sent out screeners, except he used dots. Me, I just drew the name of whoever I was sending the screener to into a tree or the dirt or something unobtrusive for two frames.

You couldn't see it, but I could when I found a pirated copy.


Also, this list shows some of the great stuff Pixar does to make their screenplays work so well. Has some valuable advice.

Amazon & Guardians of the Galaxy

Saw GotG last Thursday. Enjoyed the heck out of it. One of the most fun movies I've seen in a long long time. And as a longtime fan of James Gunn(look at most of the photos of me and you'll see me wearing a Slither hat) it was great to see him hit it out of the park.

Decided to take my wife and kid to see it a couple of days later and they both loved it too.

I still think I like Avengers better but it's very close. Considering I had very little idea of who the GotG were before the movie--and I've been reading comics for over 30 years--that's quite a feat to make me like the movie that much.

Also I had bought some stock in GotG at a long time ago, so I made like $2 million. If only it were real money. This is my current portfolio, worth over $52 million now.
For the record, those other stocks I still own are the new Jurassic Park flick, the new Superman Vs. Batman, and I own Bruce Campbell. Yep, you can own stock in people.

Hey, let's talk about Amazon Instant Video! Namely, why its interface is so FUCKING RETARDED.

What do I mean? Well, if you go to the main screen(I'm using an Xbox) it says Y is search. So I click Y.

Then I kid you not--a big square box pops up and you now need to click A to Start Search. WHY AM I HAVING TO CLICK 2 BUTTONS SIMPLY TO START SEARCHING? ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?

Next, you know how if you're watching an episode of a show on Netflix and you finish, it starts the next episode after like 20 seconds? Well, not Amazon.

An episode will end and now you're back at the screen for the episode you just watched. So you have to click on Next Episode. Does that start the next episode playing? FUCK NO.

Now you're on the screen for the next episode and the button is stuck on Next Episode. So you have to now scroll over to Watch Now and click that.

It's the STUPIDEST fucking thing in the world, man. Who designed this? And how has it not been fixed by now?

Went to a cookout a friend was hosting. Another local filmmaker was there with his acting fiancee. We chatted it up and I mentioned to him that I was looking for a young actress for this short I was shooting, and since he's younger thought he might be able to recommend some.

He recommended his fiancee who actually hadn't crossed my mind. I asked for a demo reel or something and he said he'd send me an online link to a screener of his new flick that she's the star of. After he left I asked around and Ryan(who was having the party) said she was definitely a good actress.

So later I watched his new flick--it's pretty entertaining and looked very good. I think they shot on the 5D and the kid who shot it really seemed to know what he was doing. And yes, she was pretty good(and naked quite a bit).

She's not exactly the type I was looking for(and might be late 20's), so not sure how she'll look with the guy. Will think it over though.

The short. Am eyeing up September, but was thinking about late Sept. One of the FX guys came to Ryan's cookout and says they're shooting theirs in late Sept, so I either do it early Sept or 2nd week of October.

A friend passed me a good site to get stock footage from. SD clips are free, HD clips are no more than $25. I found some cool aerials over woods that maybe I could use. I'm wondering how hard it is to composite a car into this aerial over a road/woods.

This is the clip I'm talking about, and will get ya to the site if you want to check it out.

Remember when I did that live blog about Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 movie? It's right here if you don't. Anyway I laughed off the similarities to my FOC2--like, there's no way Rob saw my movie, right?

Then comes news about his new movie featuring 3 killer clowns. One of them has a spiked club and another is nearly shirtless. So that's coincidence too, right? Here's what they look like: 


Do ya like funny pranks? This site made me laugh out loud in parts.

I don't understand this picture but it scares me: