Friday, November 30, 2007


-----I've realized lately that I've been a bit resistant to just making a straight ahead horror picture. I'd probably make vastly more money doing it though. And it would be much easier in many ways than doing a sci-fi flick.

In fact, I've been sitting on an excellent horror script a friend wrote. It's totally shootable as-is. It may even have the requisite number of "jump scares" to satisfy distributors. It would be cheap and easy to shoot. My friend really should try to get a bigger company with a real budget to shoot the picture first, but if not we could totally shoot it in 20 days and it would be good.

But we wouldn't be creating a whole new world. And I think I need that.

We've been trying to write a mission statement. Normally I think mission statements are kinda silly. My first inclination was to make it something like "Make movies that don't suck." But after fighting with various mission statements I thought of "Independent Cinema Fantastique".

Ted Raimi said that practically nobody makes independent sci-fi. And I guess that's really what I'd like to be doing. It would be simply delightful to have a budget of, oh say, $2 million to make a movie (even though we keep being told that any amount less than $2 million ought to be $15 thousand). But no matter what, I'm just more interested in a fantastique world than a normal one.

Perhaps if I shot horror pictures like New York was this weird distorted steampunk version of itself then I'd be interested in making a horror picture.

Actually, now that I think of it... that sounds like a great idea.

Incidentally, in English we seem to use the term "cinema fantastique" a bit differently than the French do. I think the French tend to think of cinema fantastique as more horror and not sci-fi, but I'm not sure.

And it's not to say I won't try to do straight up horror, I'm just thinkin' out loud and concludin' and suchly.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yet More Robots

I keep putting these up to get feedback . Feel free to comment.

Here's the "50mm" of the first robot shot:

And the "85mm" "closeup" in that shot:

And this is shot #5 (which I think I already posted:

Sundance Betty

The beautiful and talented Betty Ouyang, who was in our movie Pandora Machine, is in a movie at Sundance this year.

And Lanie Zipoy got the Russian Chamber Chorus a 4 inch column in the New York Daily News today. Laura wrote the press release.

Back to Betty's movie: it's called Frozen River (not the 1929 Rin Tin Tin movie linked in this New York Times article).

Interestingly, the article alludes to one of the deep dark secrets about Sundance:
Sundance, both a pre-eminent showcase for American cinema and a freewheeling bazaar for movie executives, tries to cope with the annual deluge of films by tracking scores of potential submissions throughout the year. But more than half of the 2008 lineup emerged “from the pile,” Mr. Gilmore said, meaning without the benefit of advance buzz from the festival’s network of talent and sales agents, established filmmakers and other scouts."

This means that even this year, with all those movies graciously selected by Mr. Gilmore's staff "from the pile", half the movies at Sundance are "pre-selected" (by the act of someone who knows Gilmore making a phone call to him).

I love it that all of us without someone to make that fateful phone call are lumped together as being "from the pile".

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Robot 5 version 1

Here is robot of the fifth shot (version 1).

Right Where I Wanna Be

I don't even feel the need to blog anymore. I'm just going to steal from Josh James. I even stole this picture from him.

We're greenlighting this screenplay. Don't ask me why I think it's so brilliant -- it just is somehow... Josh has an ear for good character names. (And don't think I don't think that the remake-sequel is a brilliant idea... because... it just is...)*

I'm thinking the remake sequel to Total Recall...

*Sure, the screenplay is completely unrealistic, because I'd greenlight Lesbian Cannibal Porn Stars without a moment's hesitation.

Monday, November 26, 2007

10 Days Later

PayPal has unsuspended my account. No explanation. No apology. No nuthin'.

And it took 10 days for someone from customer service to get back to me, only to tell me that when they looked, my account was un-suspended.



Whew, via Craig Mazin, someone who actually understands the residual system, here.

I'm trying to remember our last DVD deal. It was for the movie Pandora Machine. This was back when Blockbuster was still buying titles. We sold 4800 units at $7.25/piece. The distributor took $3.00 off the top (of any sale above $5/unit) and then split the rest 50/50 with us. I think we can safely assume that manufacturing and shipping cost the distributor less than $3. Jonathan Handel says that the marketing/manufacturing/distribution cost for a major release is something under $5. And apparently the studios average $12 on DVD's (but I wonder what their deal is with revenue sharing a la Blockbuster.)

Lastly, he doesn't say anything about the effect of the residuals on 1st-dollar gross participation deals by actors and directors. For my money, that's the biggest elephant in their room. And irrelevant to our needs.

I think the deal we use, where we choose an arbitrary number "DAN" (or "Drew's Arbitrary Number) and say that after that we start paying out participation from gross, makes the most sense. Right now I'm thinking that a DAN of 4x "negative cost" is fair. But if there's a theatrical release and we need to make a film print then an extra $100K should be added to DAN unless the distributor handles the cost of making the film print(s). For a big studio to use this formula (the "DAN" formula) just add three zeros and remove the film print part.

BONUS! An article on writing Letters of Intent. Read and memorize. It'll be on the test next week.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What's wrong with this Robot?

You tell me. I think first of all it's too fast -- I should slow it down by 50% (or 200%, depending on how you think about it.) Is the robot not grainy enough?

It's just way to shiny somehow. It makes it look very small. Time for a re-render. Ooh! I know -- I bet the background is just too out-of-focus.


This is exactly what I've been afraid of. The problem with the movie business is that it's a really sucky business. Everyone wants to do it. It's really hard to make money and to justify the investments made in it. Oddly, at our sub-level of the business, the business model is better than at the big studio level. The New York Times article on the suckitude of the movie business comes from Mystery Man on Film.

In short, because of gross-participation deals by directors and big stars, the studios actually tend to lose money -- not just make single-digit profits like they used to. Which means, of course, that they're gonna make more comic book movies without big stars in them. Which means... hmm... maybe I can get a job... If only I could draw comic books...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Low on Cats

I can't help but think two things:

1. This blog isn't really searchable by my name
2. There aren't enough cats on it.

Andrew Bellware Andrew Bellware Andrew Bellware.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Robot 2, number 5, and Nudity

The big difference here is that there's a bit of a shadow cast by the 'bot. Tell me if it works for you as a photo-real 'bot and we'll just say the 'bot changes textures and colors from shot-to-shot because of its cloaking device.

And some days I find just fantastic advice on the Internets on writing screenplays.

I know you've always wanted to know about the sock.

Here's more on nudity.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Pretty Face Can Hide an Evil Mind

I want that to be the Pandora Machine mission statement. But alas, I shall be o'er ruled.

Here is Anna Wilson with a naked Daryl. I promise this'll be my last bit of Japanese language Millennium Crisis. It's just that it's so amusing for us you see.

I think I like the movie better in Japanese.

Robot walks in...

Sounds like a joke, doesn't it?

Here's the latest robot test. This is a Yafray render (rather than using Blender's internal renderer). The Yafray renderer trashes the textures (but maybe not the materials?) on the model. The top of the render (when the 'bot walks in) reads a bit 2D to me, but when he turns he becomes more photo-real.

The Blender internal renderer was (at least in this shot) "blinking". Some frames just would not render. I don't know what the deal is. Also, the textures were strobing in a funny way. I'd thought I could use the Yafray render as an alpha-mask but even without the proper textures I kind of like the Yafray render. Perhaps the 'bot has some kind of iterative and morphing combat-armor which changes with its "mood"?
Comments? Questions?
Yeah, I don't know what any of this means either...

Ooh -- update. I have to "unpack" the images in Blender to get Yafray to see the textures. At least that's what the FAQ says. We'll see how we like that.


Scratchbuilding sci-fi models tutorial.

And here is the last of the fun Japanese versions of scenes. I'm not trying to antagonize the Japanese distributor -- I'm sure that the bits of scenes are completely incomprehensible to someone who doesn't already know the movie -- it's just really really really amusing to me to hear the Japanese dialog!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jump Scare

Josh James has a pretty brilliant example of a jump scare in his screenplay The Living and the Dead. Josh is an excellent writer and has some great writing on writing on his blog. Actually, here's some more of this screenplay.

A small figure flits by the corner of Caleb’s eye. He turns.
A SMALL CHILD runs down the hallway.
Caleb hurries down the hallway, the child barely in sight.
Wait. How did you get in here?
The child runs, almost playful, down the twists and turns of
the lab. Caleb turns a corner and the hallway ends.
The child, A LITTLE GIRL, stands with her head in the corner,
as if on punishment.
You shouldn’t be in here. Who let
you in?
The LITTLE GIRL doesn’t move. Faces the corner. Afraid.
Hey. Are you all right?
Caleb reaches out. Touches her shoulder.

More from This

Disgruntled non-signatory Producer Drew Bellware: "Mac, where's my script?"
Harried non-signatory Writer Mac Rogers: "Aren't I supposed to be on strike right now?"
Drew: "How would I tell the difference?"

Annoyed by Androids:

Meet the Proprietor:

Daryl meets Jef:

You Don't Taste Terran:

Alien of the Month Club:

Deep Throat Garage:

You're Biological!:

Attis 19:

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Great Compliment

Let's face reality. I make movies to impress my friends like Mitch. When he said this scene looked great... well that's a really good gaffer/director/actor/editor saying it looks great.

This is a still of Jason Howard from Solar Vengeance. I think this is just natural sunlight but there might be an incandescent light hitting the camera side of his face. And a "power mask" with Magic Bullet Looks and Colorista.

Everybody is Wrong

Look, I'm arguing with some pretty smart people on this one. But I just gotta say: predictions about the future are always wrong.

Show me one accurate prediction about the future. In it you will find that the "accuracy" was only a random happenstance. I mean, unless you're Maynard Keynes.

The Internet is the future of media? I've been hearing that for a good 15 years now. Who's actually watched a movie on the Internet? I've watched two so far. It sucks. You wanna watch one? Go to FearNet. Have a great time. Actually, have a really great time. I wanna work for them.


Marc Andreessen implies that we won't even be watching full-length things while sitting down anymore because the old dinosaur of Hollywood is falling to the new model of "venture capital". Of course, 1. we're still using dramatic forms the ancient Greeks used, and 2. nobody's actually making money with this new model yet. That, in an of itself, doesn't mean the new model won't happen, but we've certainly been wrong up until now.

The subheading on Marc's blog is "Often wrong, never in doubt."

Actually, the likelihood of one's being wrong is in exact proportion to how little one doubts. For instance, remember the predictions of how the Iraq war was going to be a cakewalk? Same thing. The ideologues were certain it would be easy and everything would be fine, and the actual thinking people were all like: "Uh, I dunno... there's a few ethnic groups in Iraq who have historically had problems and it doesn't seem like as much as they might not like the current government that they'll be happy under American military rule and um..."

And, of course, those with doubts and qualms were right. More right, as it turned out, than they could possibly believe. Those who were wrong (the ideologues) looked for other people to blame.

Actually, KungFu Monkey argues much about how it ain't gonna be quite like Andreessen says. He has a more advanced theory.

Note too that the big six studios (and, oddly, through the history of the studios there have always been six) have been through this before: television and the anti-trust which made it so they couldn't own theaters anymore was thought to be their death knell until they figured out how to make money with it (first by using the FinSyn rules to make it so they could produce TV for the networks, and then when FinSyn was relaxed, to just go ahead and buy the networks.)

The death of the studios has been predicted as being imminent for about 50 years (certainly since the advent of TV in the first place).

Me? I won't look ahead more than, oh, say 2 years. And even then with the ups and downs of the AFM that might be looking ahead too far.

If I had an editor and a research department my thesis here would be super - sound. Just you wait.

OK, rant mode=off. I'll just attach a picture of a bunny or a kitten or something.

P.S. It's not just the quality of the camera or the sound gear which provides the high barrier to entry in the movie/TV world for the no-budget "guerrilla" filmmakers, it's the quality of the people working them. You want the dialog to not sound like a home movie? You have to have a good boom operator and a good dialog editor. Those people continue to be expensive because their work is difficult, specialized, technical, and absolutely critical to the quality of the work. The gear has always been "free", it's been how good the production and post-production people are which dictates whether the movie seems like junk or not.

Which reminds me, I gotta go render a robot...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Formula #1

A friend met with Ghost House. This is the formula they want:
"He basically said they are only interested in making films with high concept ideas that apply to their "formula" of:
1. 10-11 jump scares
2. 5-6 scenes of tension or action
3. if there's time, a little bit of character"

"They're also very interested in on-line serial content."

So, uh, get on it! ;-)

For Jen Thomas

Jen's at home recovering from a procedure and I thought -- what would cheer her up?
Oh! I know! A scene from the Japanese version of Millennium Crisis! (In Japan it's known as "Biohazard 3077").

Here's the scene when we first meet Aurora and Lexi:

Here's Lexi's phone call:

Wait, how do you set this thing to stun?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Interrupt This Blog

In order to tell you that the first teaser to Interplanetary has been released.

Here's another Alice for you all.

I'm reading I Am Legend. You know, to prepare myself.

But hey, if you can't wait...

Friday, November 16, 2007


OK, funny thing number one. Remember our Japanese DVD cover?

Well here is the cover of an Asylum picture, release by the same Japanese distributor (I believe):

These are my predictions.
I Am Legend will be cool.

Visit the Official I Am Legend Website

The Golden Compass will rock your vole.

These are my predictions.

Oh, and PayPal has suspended my account. I guess there will be no more EBay for me anymore. Apparently it's impossible to get one's account un-suspended, and I can't open a NEW account with one of the same credit cards. As far as I can tell, their customer service is non-existent. Oh well. It'll probably save me money.

Lastly: Cool things about Gmail you don't already know about.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Like those voting machines are attached to anything --

Your entire problem is that you don't have your own LOLCats Calendar.

Afeard that your Microsoft PC is a zombie in a bot-net? Microsoft's free scanner.

Go ahead, click on the big white .gif at the left. I'll wait.

And you know what, I've been saying this for years. From the KungFu Monkey.

It's time for our robot overlords.

I think I've made, at this point, 3 movies about it.

John: How do we get into the good graces of the robot overlords?
Tyrone: Support them early . Urge others to vote for them.
John: I thought you said --
Tyrone: Sure they'll rig the election. But appearance of support is everything in order to curry concessions. Look at the Religious Right.
John: Bumper stickers.
Tyrone: Good. Very simple design. A silhouette of a robot, or one red eye. And a nice clean logline. "Vote Robot Overlord. They'll Know if You Didn't"
John: "Vote Robot Overlord: Like You Have a Choice."
Tyrone: See, you're good at this.
John: That's not a compliment.


Mantra: every scene must have tension, every scene must reveal something...

Other than that I'm just harassing writers, editors, and animators.

Apparently that's my job.

Oh, that and petting the cat.

Here you go:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I don't like it when the makeup base on a (typically) actress' face is much lighter than on their neck.

I'm not talking about this image however. Makeup is perfect.

But in more interesting news:

From Variety:
"In 2006, After Dark Horrorfest became the first film festival in history to break into the top 10 at the national box office, grossing over 2.5 million dollars, on only a quarter of the screens of any other film in the top ten that weekend. The “8 Films to Die For” package, released on DVD by partner Lionsgate Films, has reached great success with over 1.8 million DVDs in circulation."

OK, so there's some weasel words there like "in circulation". But otherwise that's interesting. What do you think Lion's Gate gets for each DVD? $7.25 or so? I dunno. Maybe more? Maybe less because they're a box set?

Now oddly, Boxoffice Mojo does not have stats for Horrorfest 1 (the 2006 Horrorfest) but they do have stats for After Dark's other releases including Horrorfest 2. They say that Horrorfest 2 made $450K over its first weekend. Those are estimates. Bloody Disgusting says they made just over $500K.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

College Shorts

Starring the beautiful and talented Alana Jackler:


OK, so I tried to see Mulberry Street yesterday. I failed. Why? Because it was sold out.
At the AMC 25.
In Times Square.
New York.
So I'm going to try again today.
I did, however, manage to make my way down to Ben & Jerry's to see Jim who was having an after-opening soiree. Lanie took me down from Theatresource as, apparently, she knew the way.
In any case, I think that Mulberry Street is the biggest release (335? theaters) of any Belladonna picture. I'm makin' that up but I think it's right.

I just proved that I can, in fact, put links in blog posts.

From the Kung Fu Monkey.

Here are my notes:
I think, from a technical standpoint, virtually every writer who gets his/her first job from a WGA signatory does not join WGA until after they've signed with the WGA signatory. The contract the employer has with the WGA is that they will require the writer to sign with the WGA or become "financial core status" with the WGA (which is a part of the contract which is void in a "Right to Work" state.)
The Taft-Hartley Act isn't applied unless the employee elects NOT to join WGA or become fi-core with WGA -- they have a certain "buffer" of time. But if a writer is a contractor and not an employee I don't know how Taft-Hartley would be applied at all. I don't know if this has been tested either in Federal court or by the Labor Board in relation to the WGA.
For me, I think the real "free market" question when applied to the WGA strike is: why is it that all of the producers are allowed to bargain as a single unit?
In a "free market", each producer would bargain with the union individually. The union would not/could not shut down the entire industry as some producers would bargain and some would not. Right now there are effectively only 6 producers, but because they are allowed to bargain together through the AMPTP they effectively have a monopoly. Making the producers each bargain with the WGA individually would pit the producers against one another as competitors instead of one giant monopoly. But of course, the producers LOVE their OWN "union" (the AMPTP), so that doesn't seem like it would happen any time soon. ;-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'll tell you about my mother...

OK, so I saw the re(re?)release of Blade Runner. And yup, I'm one of those guys who liked the studio cut better. (Interestingly, the voiceover in the original theatrical release wasn't something arbitrary that the "suits" just tacked on, no indeedy that voiceover was in an earlier draft of the brilliant script.)

Anyways -- Rachel seemed to have a lot more of that weird "cat eyes" (or, I suppose, "owl eyes") effect going on in the version I just saw in the movie theater (which is like the "Final Super-Duper Director's Vision" version of the movie). But then again, there seemed to be a lot more rain too. (I bet that rain is one of those things which just disappears in standard definition.) In any case, it seems like they maybe added some more eyes in post.
One funny thing I'd never noticed. Deckard wears goofy shirts in the movie. Like muted versions of a 50's color-TV-Western singing cowboy's shirt. He's usually wearing a jacket over them so you don't really see them.
And there's still, of course, a big and glaring plot issue which (I think) was even an issue in the book (but got resolved differently). Deckard goes to a lot of trouble to get (for instance) a picture of Nora even though they already know what the replicants look like. I mean, his boss shows him Batty, Nora, and Priss after they watch the footage of Holden getting shot. But hey, it's Noir, nobody cares about actual plot anyway.
Up until recently I'd assumed that Nora was the "standard pleasure model" or whatever and that Priss was on the kick-murder squad. Because that's what their characters were like. Nora works as an exotic dancer and tries to strangle Deckard and then run away. Priss fights Deckard and uses her legs. But I was wrong. Very rong. I think dramatically it should have been the way it was in my mind though...

Ahh... OK. Let's --

Have some data! Or at least some noise. Enough that I'd want to have at least one ear in the down position.

Here is the fantasy world of estimates for the purchase of all rights to a picture.

Via Bill Cunningham and the Hollywood Reporter:

(For a "theatrical" film with a budget of $750K-$1M)

EUROPE: France $30-60K
Germany/Austria $30 - 75K

Greece $5-10K

Italy $30-60K

Netherlands $10-25K
Portugal $5-10K

Scandinavia $30-60K

Spain $30-60K
UK $40-80

Australia/New Zealand $15-30K

Hong Kong $3-5K

Indonesia $5-10K

Japan $40-80K

Malaysia $3-5K
Philippines $3-5K
Singapore $3-5K
South Korea $20-50K Taiwan $5-15K

Argentina/Paraguay/Uruguay $2-5K
Boliva/Ecuador/Peru $1-3K
Brazil $15-30K
Chile $2-5K Colombia $2-5K
Mexico $15-30K
Venezuela $2-5K
Czech Republic/Slovakia $5-10K
Former Yugoslavia $2-5K
Hungary $10-20K
Poland $5-10K
Russia $20-50K
China $3-5K India $5-10K
Israel $2-5K
Middle East $2-5K South Africa $5-10K Turkey $10-20K

So, on the low side that's about $400K. But it's also delusional. I've yet to see an estimate of sales to territories which came to within a factor of 4 of what the actual sales were. In other words, the best I've seen is a picture with a "low" of a little over a million dollars getting just over $200K. Maybe sometime in, say, 1998, these kinds of numbers had some grasp on reality, but in my short experience so far that simply hasn't been the case.
That being said it is virtually impossible to get any real numbers out of anyone. This is, of course, one of the most frustrating parts of this business. Most people won't give you any real numbers, and those who give you any numbers, are encouraged to lie!
Full disclosure: Pandora Machine made us about $12,000* with its domestic release. Problem was it cost about $18K. But we made the mistake on that picture of letting our rep at the time also handle North American, so even though we got the sale to North America, they took their piece of it. We would have broke even otherwise. So far Millennium Crisis (if the German sale goes through) will net us about $40K, and it cost $40K to make. I calculated once that we were about $700 in the black on it. It's theoretically possible that we might make more with MC eventually.

*Update -- I think I'm wrong and it actually made nigh on $16K once Hollywood Video sold off all their copies. We only got one overseas release and it made us zero (0) dollars.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

$12K Again

From Bill Martell's blog: "The main thing at market is still that the middle has fallen out - I was talking to a couple of producers who said the only films that can make a profit are extreme low budgets ($10-15k) and movies made for $2 million with stars working below their rate in the cast... or big stars in big budget movies that the studio will buy."

So just how many $12K movies would you have to make a year to live on?

Striking Writers

It would really work out for us if the WGA writer's strike would last for... oh I dunno... two... maybe three years.


Of course, predicting the future is frequently (how shall we say?) fraught. I remember sitting in AT&T conferences in the '90's being told how a big fat fibre-optic pipe was coming to my house and I'd watch TV over the web and... and... nothing. I live less than 20 miles from Holmdale, Baby, and I think the fiber stops about 300 feet from my house. And I only know that 'cause I harassed a Bell Atlantic repair dude about where it was once.

They don't even have direct fiber connections in Holmdale (which is where Bell Labs is at). Feh!

So we're striking because we want more money from the Internet? The Internet? We seriously still think there's money to be made on the Internet? Other than Google, only porno sites make money on the Interwebs (and apparently they don't anymore, leaving just Google.) We've been predicting that downloads are going to be the next big thing in media distribution for an awfully long time folks. And just because we've been wrong every single time up until now does not in and of itself mean that we're dead wrong once again, but it does mean that our methodology for predicting the future has been, and is, crappity-poo.

Didn't DVD's get unilaterally priced for sell-through by Warners because they said (without doubt, pause, or consideration) that video-on-demand was going to eliminate the DVD market? How much money is anyone really making from pay-per-view?

How much you wanna bet that after all this striking over Internet download rights, nobody ever makes any money with Internet downloads?


I mean, weren't we supposed to have floating cities on clouds by now? And my rocket pack hasn't arrived in the mail. I know, I checked.

So this entire thing may be for naught. In fact, the more sure one is about how the future is going to turn out, the more dead wrong one is likely to be.


Here's a quick little pre-vis of scene 18 for Markus to look at. Basically, everything about this is wrong. The spaceship is supposed to be an enormous alien freighter. It should roll slightly and spin. There should be fires (fed by cells of super-O2-saturated polymers of course) still burning as the ship descends slowly to the planet surface.

And maybe the ship should go slower? And the whole shot should be two seconds longer. Oh, and the ship should perhaps arc and make like it's really heading down to the planet surface...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ears Up

I'm not at the AFM, but Bill Cunningham and Bill Martell both are. And neither of them have anything good to say about the majority of the films being hawked out there.

And from Variety: "This year’s American Film Market has gotten off to its slowest start in recent memory, according to many at the Santa Monica-based mart."

Here are some notes regarding festival deadlines: June: Toronto Hamptons July: Telluride LAIFF September: Sundance
Ears up!


Has anybody noticed how Karen Ziemba looks like Hope Garland?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Domukuns Bothering Me.

First of all, a ginourmous congratulations to Jim Mickle whose movie Mulberry Street will be in freakin' theaters on November 9. I would like to point out that I was the first to say that his picture would, without doubt, get distribution. I've been following Jim's movie since early drafts of the script and early test screenings and hopefully if any of my advice was ever taken it just made the movie better. I'll take all the credit I can! ;-) All I can say is I'd like to be half the director Jim is (I'd love it if the other half were John Frankenheimer, but that's besides the point.)
You can see Mulberry Street if you live in Birmingham Alabama, Ashland Kentucky, or even New York, New York. November 9. I'll be there!


Is there a writer's strike? Boy, it sure would be good for a little production company like ours if there were. Just shut down Hollywood for a couple years so we can get our business under way -- that would be best. At least shut it down 'till Cannes.

Which brings me to this:


Here's the conundrum. We place the picture at a market before we even have a rough cut and maybe we score some deals at the next market. Or: we wait and possibly get a bigger rep with some festival play and get a bigger deal, possibly theatrical. I'd been thinking that for genre films that perhaps the route of "go to festivals, get a big-name rep and make a sale to theatrical" (which is what's required by art-house pictures) wasn't necessary. That is, after all, how most of the direct-to-dvd people seem to do it (meaning, they ignore the festivals).
But that's not how those who did much better (than we did on our last picture) have done it.

So I guess the perfect time to shoot a picture is in May. That way no decisions need to be made. Sundance has an early September deadline. But they don't notify 'till early December. Tribeca's deadline is sometime in early December. Oh. So yeah that doesn't work, the deadlines are all afluffled. Pleh.
In any case, we're repped by Halcyon, which so far has only grossed $48K in sales for worldwide (not North American) on our last picture. We'll see how we do on this new picture. I sure wish that the After Dark Horrorfest took sci-fi too...

Thursday, November 01, 2007


We're just waiting.

Waiting on the AFM. It's going on right now. Will there be any sales? What's going to happen?

Nobody knows.

I'm taking the day off. Hangin' with the cat. Actually, I started the day with my flu shot.

I did notice that there's an advertisement for "The HD Web" which uses a Blender - made movie "Elephants Dream". I like me some open source. I wish there were something adequate with which to really replace Photoshop. I don't like Gimp. Feh. And furthermore I want to be able to run DirectX audio plugins in Wine. No, I'm not looking up the websites to provide links. But I would totally go Ubuntu if I could...

And I think I figured out a kluge to solve my problem with the alpha-channel being punched out by the z-buffer when I'm using the DoF filter in Blender. Yes, I still don't really understand any of that but I did find that the alpha - hole is not 100% "black". It's just a "grey". So in After Effects I can drag down the level of the "white input" of the alpha channel only. And that gets me back my freakin' alpha channel on the robot.


But today I'm just looking at pictures of fuzzy things on the Interwebs.


Inflating a pig. From cuteoverload. Of course.
First you inflate the pig. Then you float across the meadow. Easy!

The following is my rant during a conversation with Brian Schiavo:

EVERYBODY thinks the movie is about them. The writer thinks it's all about him, (I mean, except in Mac's case - I still have no idea what he thinks), the art department, costumes, makeup, actors, sound, music, picture editorial, all think it's about them. Don't forget the camera-freakin'-department, they've convinced most people it's all about them, and dear Lord -- the Director. The idiot Director thinks it's his movie... but the fact is it's not about any of 'em.

It's about the movie.

We do two things: beat up on people on pricing, and say the word "no" a lot.

Here's the way conversations between department heads and the producer should be handled:

"This movie would be so much better if..."