Friday, December 29, 2006

O! Spam, How I Love Thee

Some days, I love my spam:

The young man stopped to look at it and a hand, sudden and
and unlocked my handcuffs.
She lowered the small, coin-sized communicator as I stalked towards
to the journalists. Nor had the map even hinted at the many levels
administer it. However there was an accident in transit. Sweat
and the Paradisians I guess, basically, I know absolutely nothing.
assume that he did not.
hope. The door opened and there was a hiss, rumble and clank behind me
There, Steengo said, tapping the paper. Weasel wording. That
with this because I fell deeply asleep.
zonked me? I counted on my fingers. Just about eighteen gone, which

Thursday, December 28, 2006


OK, so I'll admit that I'm attracted to the cover art.

I'm thinking that Empire is worth working out to. I was kinda thinking that they aren't as compressed as most modern pop. I was kinda thinking that maybe the Easter Bunny is real, too.

Ultimately, I'm not really cool enough to listen to Kasabian. Now, is all about me.

I'm also thinking about upgrading my password security. The problem is that really I only want one dang password, and that different sites have different standards. Some insist on a *&^ - type character. Some demand only alpha-numerics. Bleh. Oh, and different lengths! Some have weirdly short lengths!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bang, boobs, BOOM

I wasn't all that happy with Kill Bill. But certainly the Rodriguez shows promise.

Thanks to Bill at

And here's a blast from the Katrina past (I'm cleaning out my images folder -- may as well have Google store 'em.)

And finally:

Back, tired, petting cat.

Franz Mark. I think he was one of the Blaue Rider (Blaue Riden?) Big yellow cat. Kinda looks lionish to me.
We're setting up a couple scripts (although Mac ain't got back to me with the completed Angry Planet script, which he said he'd do before Christmas... ahem.) But what's really got to happen is deliverables for Bloodmask/Millennium Crisis. I realized I've been complaining about deliverables for a while. But now we know we need NTSC and PAL pan-and-scan DigiBetas. Bleh. Pan-and-scan. I would've really hoped for letterboxed. We might be able to go with center-extraction. I'll be testing this week.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I've been listening to Jonathan Coulton's Chiron Beta Prime Christmas song. Looking at this squirrel from cute overload. Working on my niece's computer.
Now I'm chatting with her friends on IM. I'm sure she really appreciates that.
She doesn't have any kind of web site. So I'll link to my nephew, who took me on a tour of Atlanta yesterday (you'll have to find him on the page.)

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Naked Fighting

Am in Atlanta for Christmas. This is what I've gotten for Christmas Eve:

How To Put On A Bra 101 - video powered by Metacafe

My brother David is responsible for showing me this.

I'm thinking about making this kind of thing my specialty. Naked women fighting. That should be in EVERY movie. This is apparently from a movie called "Dead or Alive" which, I believe, did not open in the United States. It did play, however, in New Zealand and Turkey.

We got some pages for a new script from Maduka Steady. I'm lovin' the characters. It's really exciting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My New Girlfriend

Hi Ho Silver
Originally uploaded by Bendito Thomasito.

This is Ben Thomas. He's my new girlfriend. Not only does he play an android in what's now "Millennium Crisis" he also did the new voiceover for the Millennium Crisis trailer. But more than that. I love him. AND the horse he rode in on.

O! But wait! There's more (and believe me, there's so much more). Ben tries to get himself fired from his boring office job by making claymation animation at work (because, apparently, riding the copier like a cowboy didn't do it.) You too will love Ben for his new uses of post-it notes, clay, and lots of spare time.
LOTS. Of spare time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christopher Who?

Why does anyone bother to listen to Christopher Hitchens anymore? I mean, he still thinks he's right about the second Gulf War, for cryin' out loud. Now he's on the "Women aren't as funny as men" trip.

And while I'm at it, isn't this the most perfect thing?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to Make Money Making Movies.

I'm gonna call them "Chance's Rules" after Chance Shirley. And I'm going to list them like this:

1. Shoot on 35mm
2. Hire "Name" talent (of the B-list variety)
3. Blood, boobies, BANG!

(Waterhouse, Pandora, oops I mean "Psyche" opening box)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Spam: a poem

His name out of my bloodAnd thou.

World taxd and deboshdWhose. Now will I charge you in.

MothersI care no more for.

Angry Planet ah-one

Mac Rogers delivered a big chunk of script late last night for our upcoming movie Angry Planet. I'd thought of making a space-opera Western because I saw a video by Muse. Laura Schlachtmeyer thought the plot should be based on Sweeny Todd and Maduka Steady pointed out that Sweeny Todd is actually The Count of Monte Christo. Laura wrote a treatment. I wrote a scene. And now Mac has written all but the last 10 pages.Here's a great scene which we'll never be able to shoot because we can't get a bunch of mutant children. Oh, but if only we had the money (and the tutors!) Man, we gotta figure out how to film this scene:

Do you like children, Cub?


I hope so.

Westerholm gives Cub a shove, and he tumbles down a hole into a cave beneath the rock-scape.

Cub blearily opens his eyes and looks around. The chamber he is in is lit by torches. There are children all around him. Some are asleep, some are waking up. They are all in silhouette.
What the fuck?
He stumbles through the children and tears one of the torches off the wall. He turns and holds the torch in front of him. And immediately wishes he hadn’t. All the children are hideously deformed, and they have razor-sharp teeth. The room he’s in is a nest.

Oh motherfucking god.
He swings the torch around and the mutant children cringe away. He looks up at the hole in the ceiling and swings the torch around, looking for a way up.

One child lunges beneath the torch and sinks its teeth into Cub’s leg. Cub screams and kicks. Another bites into his wrist, forcing him to drop the torch. In an instant they’re on him, biting into his legs, his thighs, dragging him to the floor. Cub screams and screams as he goes down into the hungry mass of mutant children.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Chance from Crewless is shooting a sci-fi movie soon. I was privileged to read the script and it's really good.
I've hit a snag in the script I'm working on. It'll take a bit of menuberating to get it back in shape. Structurally I'm basing it on (what else) Blade Runner. But 'till now I've been ignoring the "J.F. Sebastian" sub plot.
A couple years ago I shot a movie with Blair Johnson. Andrew Frank and Mitchell Riggs were directing. Blair is now starting to edit the movie. When we were shooting I told him nobody would ever edit that movie. But hey, as it turns out. I was wrong.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


 I'm a big fan of Open Office, but truthfully I end up using Google's Spreadsheets and Documents more than most anything. By and large, I use Samplitude, Final Cut Pro, Adobe AfterEffects, Photoshop,  and... er... Final Draft (although I lost one of my keys so it's only running on one computer even though I switch back and forth between a Mac and a PC .

This link came from

And the baby panda bear not looking too happy -- that's from "Day In Pictures".

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From an AFM Publication

This is the best idea for any movie ever:


A busload of teens en route to a rehabilitation camp find themselves transformed into ultra-violent killers after encountering a burning plane full of chemically tainted marijuana.

And because I don't like to publish without a picture:

Monday, December 04, 2006

No SciFi Channel for you!

So we've been rejected by those who gave us Alien Apocalypse. And even Savage Planet. Dag. That's cold. We can't even get with the space bears!

No, seriously -- we heard back from Ray Cannella (who's a really nice guy) and we will not be getting a sale to the American SciFi Channel. But this really was no surprise to us. We know that they had exactly one spot to fill and we're up against producers like Nu Image and so forth.

The real purpose of this post is that Ray's a pretty straight-up guy and gave good detailed notes as to why they "passed" on us. We found them very interesting.

First off, he thought we bit off too big a chunk doing an "off-world" picture on a limited budget (meaning sub-$1 million budget). That's probably true. Heck, that's definitely true. We're like that hungry hampster. It doesn't matter that we shot a multi-planet epic, we just HAVE to get the whole thing in our mouth! It doesn't matter HOW many metaphors we have to mix!

hamster time!

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He also felt that: "The performances were also uneven. You have a great number of speaking parts here with some performers trying to give an "otherworldly" feel to their characterizations."

Actually, I think that our performers were uniformly very good. Perhaps the real issue (if there is one, and he wasn't being unduly influenced by some lesser special effects we had in the screener he saw) is a directorial one. We tended to play everything really straight. The story is a kind of "Alice in Wonderland" where the character of Aurora (played by the perfect Clare Stevenson) runs into all kinds of various and crazy characters. And I think that perhaps we could have made some characters more "big", instead we tended to go "inside" more. Maybe that's what Ray is saying?

Ray went on, referring to Sci-Fi's Original Movies. "This is yet another reason why we don't attempt these kinds of stories. Budget limitations won't allow us to get the level of acting required to pull off bizarre, unusual or eccentric performances while incorporating the complicated futuristic "techno-speak" required."

Well, the one thing I know from 20 years of New York theater experience is that budget has absolutely nothing to do with acting talent. In fact, most Hollywood film actors can't actually act their way out of a paper bag. The quality of your actors is not a budget thing at all. Especially in New York. (Now, I understand that in LA it actually is hard to find decent actors.)

Ray also didn't like that we'd shot in HD instead of 35mm. (Yes, I know, we shot on a DVX100a -- for those of you who know what that means, well -- you know what that means.)
Here's his comment: "In the case of BLOODMASK there's little to no depth of field with the photography...thus the production looks more like a video game than a dramatic scripted movie."

Now this is what has me concerned. First, some graphics for you. Throughout the movie we have frames emulating Titian's Venus of Urbino. It's partly a joke, because I like the painting, partly just because the depth is nice and pleasing to the eye.

Titian: a man who loved infinite depth-of-field.

My deliberate aesthetic goal is to make movies which look like paintings. Paintings tend to have an infinite depth-of-field (as do many shots in Citizen Kane for that matter). But a lot of modern cinematographers want as shallow a depth-of-field as possible. Ironically, they think things look "flat" when the entire image is in focus, and that it has a lot of "depth" when only a shallow plane of the image is in focus.
How do I put this nicely? Shallow depth-of-field just looks so mediocre to me. I have this argument with Mitchell all the time (well, not really an argument, we tend to go shallow on his films, deep on mine -- I mean "deep" on his, "flat" on mine.)

What's disturbing to me about this shallow depth-of-field aesthetic is how pervasive it is. The prejudice 'gainst a deep depth-of-field has flowed up from modern cinematographers to producers and buyers. And yet still most people will admit that Citizen Kane is one of the best films ever made. And certainly Titian's Venus is in the canon. But will my desire to make dramatic features which look like paintings hurt me commercially?

Oh and O! BLOOD OF THE NAKED MUTILATORS 2: FULL FRONTAL BLOOD FRENZY. Laura was even at the AFM this year. Why didn't she tell me anything about any of this??!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Oh December

I want more robots.
I've always wanted a Robby. But the ultimate goal is a Maria. Well, in any case, we need to make a movie where a leggy blonde is carried by a monsterous robot somewhere.
Plus: I love this video. Massive space war. It's Battlestar Galactica versus the Star Wars Empire. So exactly what movies should be:

Met Chance Shirley, great guy. I really enjoyed "Hide and Creep". I can't wait to see his next film which he's shooting very soon.

I'm thirty pages into what will be one of our next scripts. In a few days Mac Rogers will have a script for us too. That'll be two. Then Maduka's working on yet another script and I'm trying to convince Laura to write a vampire huntress script.

Ato has his own web site. Did I know this? Maybe I did.

And for those of you playing along at home, here's a video showing how to kiss a girl:
And just to finish things up, here is my Amazon wish list. Boy, this is a hodge-podge post, isn't it?
My Wish List