Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Assorted Thoughts

Anybody else here around back when in the early days of the internet? I mean, do you know offhand what the terms BBS, Sysop and "Legend of the Red Dragon" mean? If not, you're not one of the early guys.

I was just thinking about how weird the internet was then. This new thing where you could talk to people all over the country, but also in your state, that you didn't know. We'd on occasion have meetups where we'd get together and--

--well, it was a different world. I wasn't a particular cool guy, but I wasn't what you'd have called a "geek". The only people into computers typically were--and I'm gonna be pretty blunt here--super geeky. A lot of overweight, glasses, pimply, awkward people. The girls weren't what you'd call good looking.

And those were the people who'd show up at these meets. So I didn't go to many.

But I liked the people in general. I had fun online.

Sure, if I realized what the internet would become I probably would have sought to stop it like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. You people wouldn't have even realized that I was saving you from your future. My fellow filmmakers would be making money on movies right now.

But hey, I was young. And at that time I was just writing. Actually making movies wasn't really even a glimmer in my mind. I don't think it had ocurred to me that I could MAKE one. (because cameras were rare things, and you shot on film, and all that was was a different time)

Anyway, that was a thought I had...
Another thought I had is that MAN, am I unoriginal. I guess many of use writers have this thought at times. You write something, you think it's good, and later on you see something you basically forgot you'd seen that is pretty much what you wrote.

I'm not under the impression I've been all that original as it is. I've never hidden the fact that FOC is basically my homage to(read: Theft of) the original Halloween.

But HH--man, I thought I did some original stuff there. As far as I know I was the first to pit the serial killer against serial killer. I'm sure someone will find something earlier that did it, but for this moment I feel pretty good about that.

And then there's stuff in it that I thought was pretty original. Let me back it up for a sec.

I used to read Agatha Christie from like 4th-12th grade. A ton. "And Then There Were None" is still one of my all-time favorite books. But I haven't read her in like 20 years.

I recently saw a list in EW that put a top 10 list of her books. And I thought--I should get those and read them. So I went out and bought most of them.

Can't remember which ones I have read before. The first one I read is the ABC Murders.

So I have this original idea of Aric Blue in HH killing people in a movie theater. I actually came up with the idea when I was IN a movie theater as I thought about killing the various moviegoers. (need I remind you that I was a sociopath in high school/college?)

And guess what's in the ABC Murders? One of the victims is killed while he watches a movie.

Now I can't remember if I read the book. I don't know that I subconsciously swiped it from her. But damn if it  doesn't feel like it.

Speaking of HH--I found my original rendered version of HH. It looks higher quality than what they put out on DVD, but it's still SD(640X480).

And I DO get the rights back in a few months.

For fun I went in and took a look. For starters, that movie could use some color correction. I did some minor tweaking and it looks much better than the original. Then I did some noise removal(cuz there's a lot of grain--we shot on 16mm) and it cleans up pretty nicely.

So maybe I'll do my own release down the line. I don't have any new extras to add--maybe I'll do a new commentary.


Went to see Hot Tub Time Machine 2. I don't care what you think of the first Hot Tub because I'll tell you--we saw it the day before we had to put our dog to sleep, and for 90 minutes we laughed and forgot how miserable we felt.

Unfortunately the sequel is not that good. Has some slightly funny parts but it just sort of meanders around.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bounty Poster

Erik delivered the new version of the poster--pretty badass. He gave me 2 versions, and 2 versions of those(4 posters all together). One has the tagline in the upper left and the other doesn't, and then he gave me a copy of each that has his credit and one without.

I could tell you about the nightmare of what I'm having to do right now to get Bounty into shape to submit to all the VOD places. TECHNICAL STUFF FOLLOWS

See, the problem is that I have to take out the URLs and the burned-in subtitles(of which there's like 5).  I can piecemeal it--meaning, just go find the original clips for the burned in shots, and stick them in on my blu-ray-sized export of the movie, then put in the new credit sequence I rendered...

But then I'll be doing a render of a render, and the picture loses some quality in each render(unless you export uncompressed).

I'm left with doing it the right way--reopen the original project and export from the first generation. Only problem with that--HAHAHAHA--as if there's only one problem...

I edited Bounty on a fairly cheap computer--it had a hard time handling the whole project, so I split it into 3 sections. So I have to open three separate premiere files, and RELINK everything. That means trying to find what hard drives all that stuff was on, and that is a metric fuckton of work.

I do it for one of the biggest sections. Takes me--no joke--about 3 hours to find and link all the files, and I actually can't find three of the files on any hard drive. And I searched 16 drives.

The next problem is that Premiere CC seems to have a big problem with .avi's. Avi's used to be the go-to video format. I exported everything in them. I tended to use the Cinepak codec.

And what I would do(and still do sometimes) to ease the burden on the computer is to export a clip that had a lot of effects on it, then delete it and bring in the finished clip. That way when it played on the timeline Premiere didn't have to do any extra work that might slow it down.

Not such a problem nowadays.

Anyway, every time I try to bring in these .avi's it keeps saying Clip Not Supported or Damaged. Only problem is that when I double-click any of the clips VLC plays it no problem. So does Windows Media Player. So the clips are fine, but Premiere refuses.

I do some research. It appears to be a common problem, unknown reasons.

So NOW I have to find the original After Effects files I used--these clips happen to be ones where I replaced the sign on a building with my own sign. It was a ton of work because all the shots are wild handheld in the dark. I think I did a good job.

I have to open them each, export them, then bring them into my Premiere project and figure out exactly where they go.

Should be not exactly easy but not exactly impossible, right? Well there's the additional problem that a lot of the plugins I used are not available on the After Effects CC(many of the plugins built for the 32 bit AE won't work on the new 64 bit version).

The whole thing is not a lot of fun is what I'm saying.

Hey, boobs!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I'm just gonna leave this here to pep me up

Not much to say. Busy.

It snowed. I went out and shot some more stuff. Wished it wasn't bone-numbing cold so I could have wandered around more. It was 4am and it was unbelievable how light it was out.

Maybe I'll post some of that video. 

But until then enjoy this video of model Abagail Ratchford bouncing to Zapp & Roger. It's pretty incredible.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Officially Pussied Out

We had this pretty incredible wind/snow storm tonight. Never seen the likes of it. The wind was blowing the snow around in crazy patterns. The wind chill is about -10.

And I thought--I gotta get out there and film this shit in 96fps on my new camera. Maybe even put it up on those stock video sites for sale.

And I thought about it. And I thought about it. And I thought, man it's so goddamn cold out there.

And man, if I was only 10 years younger.

So I officially pussied out. Didn't go out.

Instead I played some Evolve, a new Xbox game. It's pretty great, even though it's got some bugs to it.

Then I worked on the Halloween book some more. I'm officially over 150 pages now. I guess I'm gonna add a Volume One to the inside, just to be safe.


Talked to Erik about how I have to resize his cover of Bounty for Amazon. Asked him how I should do it to not fuck up his work. He says "Man, I hate looking at my old shit. Let me just redo it."

So we're gonna get an updated cover. Pretty sweet! I hope the Halloween book makes some dough so I can pay him for the cover he's gonna create for it.

Monday, February 09, 2015


Man were these good days...

So I'm combing through hundreds of pages of newspapers from 1750-1990 trying to get a better picture of how people viewed Halloween through the years, and to back up some of the things I've read.

And I've come across a TON of great articles that have nothing to do with the holiday. I thought it was a shame that nobody else could read any of these so that led to me thinking--Man, I need another blog!

Jesus, I never thought I'd have one blog much less the 6 or 7 that I currently have. Anyway, you can check out the first 3 posts here:

I have enough articles for probably a solid month if I posted every day, and I haven't even begun to tap into the papers I have access to. But man is it time consuming going through them all. Especially the pre-1950 ones where it's just a BLOCK of text on each page with barely a spare line to let you know there's a break between articles...

Thursday, February 05, 2015

This is gonna be least fascinating post ever...(the first part at least)

More book fun!

Do you understand this? Because I don't.

And I'm not talking about what they're doing. I see how they got their designs and all that but once you see where they've decided to put their margins, doesn't that look like it leaves a TON of space, especially at the bottom of the page?

Had a minor setback on the book last night. You see Amazon has these book sizes it says are standard and I'd always aimed at 8X10. But when I'd started the book in Indesign I had clicked on something CLOSE to that(because there was no 8X10 in its defaults) and I guess I sort of thought maybe Indesign was saying THIS was the total size of the book but Amazon was quoting margin to margin or something.

Nope. So the thing is I had to go in and re-size my book's dimensions, which threw the whole book off. I had to shift all the pages over to the right and compress it all a bit height-wise. Took me a few hours.

And I think at this point I'm just saying fuck the margins. I mean, you gotta watch them on the inside because if you go all the way in the text or pics may go so far into the spine that you can't read them without breaking your book's spine.

But on the outside and the tops/bottoms? Who gives a fuck? I have so much stuff I'm not trying to use up real estate to up my page count like some of these people with books online.

Like here, look at this--you can see some of this book online.

Uh...they've got like 20 words a page. This should be like a 5 page booklet, not a 50 page one.

Anyway. I'm gonna use my real estate. Hell, I wish I had more space.

My new issue is trying to figure out whether I should use the CAPTION option available for pictures or use text boxes to make my own. When I started the book I was doing my own text captions and then I discovered the actual caption option. It has its own bunch of rules though, so it may end up being easier just doing my own captions.

Some pics from Bounty. Not for spreading...yet.
(the top one is fine)

Okay enough book stuff. I talked to Proctor on the phone the other night. He's keeping busy. I can't tell you what he's gonna be in next but he's apparently going to be in another superhero thing but this time on TV in a recurring role playing a character from a past MOVIE that I personally LOVE.

Those who know Proctor are gonna laugh a lot if they figure it out. Either way don't say anything cuz I'm sworn to secrecy.

We chatted Bounty. I'm not afraid to use the title because let's face it, there's 60000 search hits above mine if you type that in.

I think we're going to put it on Amazon like I did with GOH. Also Distrify and VHX, cuz why not? I sent the letter to the distributor exercising my option to take the rights back.

As soon as I get it on Amazon I'll send out press releases to the places about the 100 copy blu and note that you can also stream it from the other places. Then depending on how fast the 100 sells out I have to decide whether to press a regular edition and/or do a dvd also.

My current problem being that I think I lost the hard drive with the Bounty Blu shit on it. I'm currently trying to locate the newest hi-def export of Bounty and am crapping out. It would help if I didn't have literally 40 external drives that I have to plug in and search one at a time.
UPDATE--May have gotten lucky!

So we'll see. Tom's got a social team now who apparently instagrams and flickrs or whatever the fuck is popular right now. Says he'll have them spread the new when we start doing stuff.


Man, I gotta get back to work on that ridiculous Sharknado type script. See why?

Why does my normal life get in the way?


This is disheartening. This is a pretty freakin incredibly short--if this thing didn't cost 50K then I'm impressed. The funny part is that the music(which I liked a lot, so I checked out the composer) is the composer who I licensed music from on my first flick, and then later on he recommended Chad to me because he was too busy to score FOC himself.

Small world. Check it out!


And finally in the world of drugs...we finally decided to try some drugs on our kid. (he's autistic in case you've forgotten). I don't want the searches to come here, but the doctor prescribed Lexi and then add the opposite of amateur to the end. Supposedly helps the concentration.

We'll see. It's an antidepressant so hell, if it doesn't work on him maybe I'll just pop a few. :)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Book Continues Plus My Camera Tests

How cool are those alternate posters? I'd totally fucking buy them but they want $30 for any two, but they're only 12X16. So basically $15 for a mini-poster that I'm pretty sure isn't licensed anyway? Seems pretty expensive, especially since I can actually get full size 20X30 posters made at Costco for like $9. A 12X18 is $2.99 there.

The web site is here if you wanna check 'em out. No doubt, these guys are talented.


Shot a few hasty videos with the my new camera. Ya know, trying to get the feel. You can see the tests over here--completely uncorrected, not white-balanced. But slow mo!


Back to serious work on the holiday book. Man, I can't believe how much time it takes to organize all of this information and the pictures. And then as I'm double-checking some things on the web it becomes like a freakin' rabbit hole--I find more stuff that's interesting that I've never heard of, so I add THAT, and then find more stuff.

I've found quite a few pre-1850 books that you can read almost entirely online that deal with a lot of Halloween stuff. It's pretty amazing what google has digitized.

I was hoping to cap the book at 150 pages. Reason being that while I can make it as many pages as I want Kindle-version wise, that's the same book that gets printed on demand if someone wants a paper copy. And at 150 full color pages it's gonna cost net like $12 for me to print. So I can price that at like $19.95 or so and feel like it's okay.

If I go to 175 pages the cost goes up to around $14.

But I'm suddenly running out of pages. I'm at 120 with a LOT still to put in. Whole chapters I haven't even started.

And man am I terrible at formatting. The pages are ugly as sin. I'm gonna have to pass it by my brother and maybe some other graphic designer who can help me out. I've been trying to find some self-published books that look nice so I can get an idea of why I suck so bad at it.