Friday, October 31, 2008


This blog has gotten over 20,000 "unique visits". I have no idea who must read it. I know I don't. ;-)

From Joshua James, the Mahler script beat calculator. (Symphony 1, The Titan.*)

Mozz is playing with the calculator in writing his latest screenplay for us.


Maduka has about 27 minutes of Alien Uprising edited.


Next week is the AFM. And apparently there's an election too.


The Asylum seems to be getting bigger and bigger budgets. My understanding is they're the only completely independent studio (outside of Lion's Gate and Anchor Bay) able to get their pictures into Blockbuster anymore (which is pretty impressive 'cause they're much smaller than Lion's Gate and Anchor Bay) .

It seems like they started making a lot more money once they discovered the "mockbuster". Apparently those things sell like crazy, both in North American and overseas. The joke is that they get a lot of "fan" abuse for making them, but they sell a LOT better than original concept pictures.

Here is a teaser trailer of The Asylum's "The Day The Earth Stopped."

*Because this one didn't make any sense, Drew isn't allowed to make Mahler jokes anymore.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have a 46% chance of taking out a velociraptor with a crowbar.

My fear, however, isn't velociraptors. It's aliens. Lots of people have irrational fear of zombies. I'm not one of those silly people. Zombies = easy to kill. Aliens with acid blood = a royal pain in the ass.


Cats and lynxes, however, are just fine. I think this pair live in the St. Petersburg zoo. A lynx, while it looks cool (and perhaps like the alien ambassador from Andromeda Prime) probably makes a lousy pet.


You realize that typically the pictures I post are in no way related to the subject or the title of my post. However in my previous post about the book "Save the Cat" I titled the post "Cats and Dogs". The second picture is a Swedish Fish advertisement which has a cat in it. The first picture is of the band Bow Wow Wow and is their parody of Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe which, you see, it's because a dog... well... makes a "bow wow" sound... um... Well my sister didn't understand why I'd posted that picture and now I haven't explained it very well either. Maybe I should have more of this Apple Schnapps -- Berentzen ApfelKorn

OK, so let me continue on with my thoughts on Saving the Cat.

Blake Snyder is almost comically formulaic -- "Theme goes on page 5" -- however structure is the problem which most screenwriters have (unless you're Josh James who seems to have the preternatual ability to perfectly plot out a story while he's brushing his teeth.*) 

If what you need is a structure to hang your screenplay from (meaning: you're the kind of writer who needs help with structure, or you're... me) you could do a lot worse than simply following Blake's "beat sheet" and even his page count. Obviously, if you have a really darn good reason to put your theme two pages earlier or whatever, go ahead and do it. But uh, why don't you try putting it on page 5 and see what happens? Yeah, I know. Page breaks are a biotch.

If the formula works, there's no reason to do anything different. That's why I like the Trajan font too, but that's a whole 'nuther story...


So I have to go along and say that yup, Save the Cat is pretty much dead-on. And actually, I only have two minor differences of opinion with Blake. They're pretty minor, but it's my blog and I'll procrastinate by writing about them if I want to. If you're bored I'm sure I'll link to a silly video or a picture of a naked woman or a LOL cat just to keep your interest.

1. The first is his description of a typical screenplay problem - what he calls Double Mumbo Jumbo. I think he's right about the effect, but somewhat off about the affect

"...Audiences will only accept one piece of magic per movie... You cannot see aliens land in a UFO and be bitten by Vampire..."

I think that the audience will accept almost everything you want to give them as long as it's established at the beginning of the movie. The two examples he cites are the Spiderman picture with the Green Lantern (was that just called "Spiderman"?), and Signs. We'll stipulate the following (that Blake Snyder and I agree):

OK, so we'll buy that a guy gets bit by a radioactive spider and becomes superhuman. But then later some other dude does some whacky laboratory stuff and gets weird superpowers too? That's wack. And annoying. 

And in Signs we have a guy having a crisis of faith and then at the very end of the movie a stupid alien shows up. That's wack too. And, shockingly, vastly more annoying.

But I say what both these examples have in common is that the second thing came in loooooooong after the first reel.** If Spiderman was established, say, in the world of the X-Men and we were to show that superpowers are things that just happen in this world (whether because of some sort of radiation or alien spiritual plague or whatever) then it would be just fine if an evil silver surfing dude showed up later on because we would have established that those kinds of things happen in the world of the movie. But because Spiderman establishes that this spider thing is a special one-time-kinda event it's very hard to deal with someone else getting some weird superpower via another method (but if someone else were to also be bit by a radioactive spider, I think, it would totally work in the Spiderman world.)

Signs is... unfixable. I got nuthing. That movie is just stupid. 

In any case, I think the problem isn't so much with too much mumbo-jumbo, but rather with "Have you established that we do this kind of mumbo jumbo in this picture?" early on. If you don't establish your mumbo-jumbo up front then any additional mumbo jumbo will be suckitty poo.

2. The second thing is that he seems really irritated with Memento. I suspect that's because a lot of students have tried to use it as a counter-example to Blake's structural ideas. I have to say, I liked Memento. I thought it was pretty brilliant actually. And I'm not so sure it violates any of his immutable rules -- even though the movie is backwards. But I think we can safely say that the picture was a one-trick pony. It ain't gonna happen again. So unless you're doing a remake of Memento, don't try to cop its structure or use it as a counter-example to anything.


I only have one last thought regarding Saving the Cat, the Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. I wonder if it just makes so much sense because I've read so many other books and websites on screenwriting. So maybe it's the last book because you've probably already read Alex Epstein's Crafty Screenwriting and suchly. I dunno.

I'll leave you with The Asylum's Transmorphers.

*Which makes other writers angry when they find that out. Maybe the rest of us could feel better if we just say to ourselves that Josh only makes it look easy. 

**Ooh look at what a director-centric snob I am: rather than talking about page-counts I'm talking in reels, like I've ever prepped a picture of mine for theatrical. Meh!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cats and Dogs

Continuing to look at Saving the Cat by Blake Snyder. 

The most important thing is getting the logline right.

But the core of the book is:

The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet 
1. Opening Image (1) 
2. Theme Stated (5) 
3. Set-up (1-10) 
4. Catalyst (12) 
5. Debate (12-25) 
6. Break into Two (25) 
7. B Story (30) 
8. Fun and Games (30-55) 
9. Midpoint (55) 
10. Bad Guys Close In (55-75) 
11. All Is Lost (75) 
12. Dark Night of the Soul (75-85) 
13. Break into Three (85) 
14. Finale (85-110) 
15. Final Image (110) 

This is a paraphrase of Blake's own distillation of the "structure" part of his book:

"Hit your act break on page 25, hit the midpoint and All is Lost hard, and have conflict in every scene."

His "Blake Snyder Beat Sheet" is pretty much perfect in our genre world of movies. It's ironic that in our little no-budget world the model is actually the same as the most expensive pictures anyone makes.

There's also a five - step finale, which makes a lot of sense too. It's not as important as the beat sheet. So now I feel like running all our scripts across this beat sheet just to see how they are doing.

There's a quick summary of the book's structure ideas here. It's not really adequate to understand what he's really talking about on its own, but it's a good refresher/introduction.


I have the first 60 pages of Mozz's rewrite of 0801. 


We had a fun little cast/wrap party. We all watched a compilation reel of material which Maduka (completely unbeknownst to me) had put together.

Laura made a cake for Jang Don Kim and Amelia Randolph Campbell (Jang's birthday was today, Amelia's is on Halloween.) The cake is a double-layer Rice Crispy Treat cake. Which is basically a perfect birthday cake. (None of it is left.)

You aren't having a real party until there's wine on the ceiling. Yeah. Don't ask. 
Actually, ask Amelia. She was involved somehow. Her shirt took the brunt of the force of the wine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saving Cats

It's raining out. It's not really rain of biblical proportions, more like the proportions of a pamphlet or a short-run two-color magazine. Still, it's very wet.


Today is our wrap party for Alien Uprising. I hope you're coming. Before you say "I wasn't invited" let me explain that I wasn't invited. I'm crashing the party. Hopefully no one will notice.


So John Rodgers, Bill Cunningham, Alex Epstein all recommend "The Last Book on Screenwriting That you'll Ever Need" -- Blake Snyder's Save the Cat. Now there are quite a few books on screenwriting which think themselves the "last word" on the subject, but it seems like it's quite possible that Save the Cat may actually be that thing.

It starts very eloquently putting what I was sorta trying to say about what "it's" about. And that's the number 1 thing in writing and shooting the picture.

He also has interesting things to say about the "spine" (which is what I might call simply "keeping the story on track").

Typically the way I think about these sorts of screenwriting issues is that screenwriting books tend to emphasize what it is that the writer is least good at. If they struggle with structure, then the book they write tends to talk a lot about structure. That doesn't seem to be the way this particular book works. It is biased toward making the types of pictures which would get greenlit by the big studios, but for our purposes that is very close to the way we have to make movies anyway (just on a vastly smaller budget.) 

It may very well live up to it's hype. Saving the Cat does seem to be the "desert island" screenwriting book.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Voyage of Discovery

Take this fun learning map quiz thing with the countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa. I actually took a half year in my social studies class in the 8th grade learning about African geography. I basically remember none of it. Plus, of course, half the countries have different names now. Funny, I don't remember us studying anything about apartheid. 

And I don't usually like rants, but Fuck John McCain (annotated) just keeps getting funnier as you read it. And unlike the Obama is a secret Muslim who will take away your guns and force Socialist Islam on us -type rants, Fuck John McCain has footnotes.

My sales rep is yelling at me for giving him all the camera data from which his editor is making dailies. I'm not so sure what I could have done differently. They have everything, they should be able to edit tomorrow. So I had a little drink to take the edge off.

I'm subscribing to this blog: Without Hot Air. I really hate when bad data is used even when it's in service of a good idea (like ecological responsibility.)

I'm blogging drunk. 

I've been accused of putting up nigh on 50% LOL cats on this blog. Lemme look and see what images I've saved for a posting such as now...

OK there. It's kind of a cross between the LOL cats meme and the naked women meme.

I'd have more naked women here but the actress felt uncomfy about my posting the images to this blog. I guess we'll just have to wait 'till someone does a screen capture from the released movie and posts it. The image will have mpeg 2 compression on it by then though.

I want a DSLR. I want it to shoot on an approximately 35mm-sized imager/chip. I want to use any kinds of lenses with it. I want it to shoot reasonably compressed 24p HD on it. I want to shoot f1.4 at 35mm, 85mm, 200mm, and a macro lenses. And I want a pony.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I'm so happy they're releasing the next James Bond picture, Quantum of Solace. As my friend Mac said "When I saw that about a year ago I thought 'Yeah, that's the working title, but when it comes out it'll be called something like Kiss of Murder.'"

Now I can name my movies things like:

Sacristy of Alleviation
Arbiter of Solecism
Cubit of Repast
Affiance of Mitosis
Conventions of Memorandum
Amelioration of Rectitude
Harbinger of Quietude

Here's a link to Bill Martell's Android Army.

Blogging Randomly

Rendezvous with Rama from Aaron Ross on Vimeo.

Here's a little sci-fi short based on Arthur C. Clark's Rendezvous With Rama.

Did you know that Sally Forth was also a Armed Forces pinup comic from the late '60's and early '70's?

Bill Cunningham on the Weinstein's greenlighting 18 direct-to-video pictures. What's interesting to me? Blockbuster has already guaranteed space in their stores for the pictures. So that's how they can afford to greenlight those movies...

Our last couple of days of shooting have been almost entirely with the 35mm and the 85mm lenses. I haven't been using the 50mm even though it opens all the way up to a 1.4 (the 35mm is a 2.0 and the 85mm is a 1.8). 

I feel like a real dummy because I was shooting and acidentally pushed a button on the side of the Panasonic HVX200 which put this little box in the middle of the screen, "magnifying" the center of the image. Duh. That's the magnifyer you use to help focus. And I think I've shot three features now totally forgetting that I had that tool to help. 

Speaking of focus, I saw an episode of HBO's True Blood. Is it just me or is a tremendous amount of that show out-of-focus? Maybe it's just my parent's big screen TV but they seemed very casual about who was going to be in focus on a particular shot and who would be soft. Sometimes they settled somewhere in the middle. 

Can you tell nobody has sent me a script yet? And that I'm not working on post because Maduka is on the picture edit?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Answer the Question

Whenever I look at this Japanese DVD cover to our movie Millenium Crisis, I think "I wish we'd made that movie."

Bill Cunningham over at DisContent asks:

"How would your movie have changed if you had either of these two pieces of art as your "inspiration" before you made the movie (or even wrote the script)?"

This is a question we've asked ourselves a lot actually. 

The image of the woman in the Japanese version of Millenium Crisis (aka "Biohazard 3077") is quite compelling. She's not a passive character, she has specific wants and desires and she's taking action to attain them. We don't know exactly what those are just by looking at the art, but we can tell that she's strong and motivated (and cool).

And she should have been all of those things (including cool) in all the scenes in the picture. 

When we were originally writing the movie we became concerned that the lead character was too passive -- her wants were not as clear as they should be (we had help from Paul Cooper at Hollywood Working Writer) and we did a rewrite that worked well literarily, gave the character a good arc, and really helped the story. But if we'd thought of her as that rockin' character in the Japanese art I think we would have gone even further in making her even more active and... well... cool.

And we keep hunting for that thing in a movie -- that thrill you get from looking at the DVD cover -- and actually making that movie.


Sometimes you can look at a piece of art for a film and say "Yes! That's what the movie is." Of course, it depends on what your meaning of "is" is

Take the example of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's about a guy with a whip and there's this giant boulder chasing after him. That's what the movie is! 

Well, it "is" about that in one sense, and it "isn't" in another. The story is much more complex than that. It's about good and evil. It's about love. It's about doing what is right rather than doing what is easiest. But if you were making that movie you could get easily lost down one of those paths. You could, for instance, start thinking waaay too much about the theological implications (which are huge) of the Nazis having the Ark of the Covenant. And you could start making the scenes all about how and whether God could end up against you and each scene could end up being about the idea of good and evil and how Indy is like Adam who has been chased from the Garden of Eden and is now trying to find his way back to God through the Messiah and... and you'd have a mess.

You'd have a mess because you forgot that in each of those scenes where (in some way) it may be about God and Love and Evil and Goodness, it's also about this freakin' cool guy with a whip and a hat being chased by a boulder!


When making a feature it's very easy to get lost. You can shoot some scenes, maybe they're pretty. Maybe the actors are in the moment and the details are exquisite and the emotion in each scene is perfect. And still -- it's really hard to tell if the movie itself is working. But having a single picture in your mind, a picture of what is the movie about, could be very helpful in keeping focus. I think that's how it could help to have the title art first.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pickup 1

OK, so we formally "wrapped" yesterday. But today we did some pickups. 

Here's Rebecca Kush as Lt. Dunn.

Gabriella Willenz as Plotnick.

And the creature, as seen through Dunn's visor. This was Maduka's idea and although it seemed like a cool thing to shoot at the time, I think this still is the only useful thing we got out of it.

For some reason all the girls had to go back to New York early, so the boys and I went to get the best Ethiopian food in the tri-state area, possibly the best in the US.


These are stills from the timeline from the last day of principal photography of Alien Uprising.

Although we may have wrapped what we call "principal" photography, we still have a day or so of pickups to grab.
Mozz Mendez hanging upside down as food for the Thing while Rebecca Kush (Dunn) looks up at him.

Daniel Blatman crucified.

Rebecca Kush as Lt. Dunn entering the prison complex.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh Crap - Trajan (Fail)

I guess Bill Cunningham is right


One day I'll make a movie and the graphics people will say "This has gotta be titled in Trajan!"

But if people are complaining about fonts on Overheard in New York, then you know the end is nigh.

Tomorrow is the last day of what we might laughingly call "principal photography" on Alien Uprising. We are shooting a couple shots (at least) on Sunday too though.* Lots of goo is in the first of those shots so the setup will take almost an hour.

Maduka, er I suppose I mean Henry, has started in on editing the second reel. 

And I found out today that works with Macs now too. So you can have complete controlof your computer remotely. For me this would typically mean controlling renders and such remotely. This is an enormous deal as sometimes you need to be able to push the "render this over to this other drive" at 2am. Plus, too -- you can control Macs from PC's and vice-versa. You can control up to 5 computers with their free account. 

The dual-quad-core Mac is working really well (knock on wood).

*But that's under what we like to call "additional photography".

Friday, October 17, 2008


From Joshua James: the playwright Sheila Callaghan on the cover of American Theater. I wrote music for a play of hers once. I don't think she really liked the music. In fact, I think she turned to the director during tech and one point and said (referring to the music) "What's this?!" ;-)

We have our ooze which we need to make the creature in Alien Uprising drool properly. We've used KY Jelly and mineral oil. But now we've ordered professional ooze from an effects house. It's quite exciting. The name of the product is "Creature Slime". We got 32 ounces. Let the fun begin.


For the last day of shooting (principal photography) on Alien Uprising I've created a shotlist. I know. Crazy, right? There's a variety of reasons I don't typically use shotlists. Mostly it's because the shotlist goes out the window about 5 minutes into the day. . .

Unless you have complete control of what your sets are going to look like, then you really can't use a storyboard because you can't even make a decent guess at how blocking with a bulky camera can even possibly logistically work until you get to set. And our sets are very -- shall we say -- dynamic? We never know what they're going to look like 'till we get there. Also, simple scenes where two people walk in and talk don't really need to be 'boarded or 'listed because you just shoot scenes like that -- you don't really need to do anything terribly complex. And then there's another huge variable: one or more of your actors may (will) have a vastly better idea about where they'll physically be in a scene than whatever idea you might have had on paper. So for any or all of these reasons you'll just have to throw your shot list or storyboards out the window.

By and large we try to use the rule of "Shoot everybody talking. Shoot all the action. Shoot everything in the scene which anyone refers to (i.e. a gun on the floor, a body on the table). And make sure there's something to cut away to in case you want to alter the scene." Having your gaffer or grip or somebody on set who's also an editor is a great help because at the end of a scene when we ask "[Does] anybody have any notes?" they can pipe up with suggestions of a shot which may or may not be used but won't take any time at all to just make sure you get. 

There's a few exceptions to my "no-storyboarding/no-shotlist" rule, however. Horror, action, and love scenes all have to be thought out. These three kinds of scenes are very similar in that they have to tell a part of the story by using details. Horror and action are not my strongest points as a director. I'm better at making pretty paintings than the deliberate pacing of shots which build up tension in a horror or action scene. I'm getting better at the pacing of shots in a love scene as I've had more experience with them (although in this particular movie there are no love scenes.) But horror is very very specialized and difficult to do.

In any case, because we're shooting the bulk of the "horror" part of Alien Uprising this weekend, I thought it would be best to make a shotlist. Because we only know what one of the sets will look like, I didn't do any storyboarding, but I do have about 80 shots we need to get (in two days).


You know, if I had a script in hand for my next feature I wouldn't be spending my time making such long blog posts, I'd be scheduling. Ahem.

OMG -- Update!

The Internet is a perfect place where beautiful things happen.

Actually, you have to see the image as a motion .gif here

I remember playing with this guy in the early 90's. He was a madman.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Still

I think that's Medina Senghore in the background, obscuring Maduka Steady. Rebecca Kush and Jeff Plunkett.

Other Things

Here's a bluescreen cloth. Here are some clips from a course on directing for camera. And a list of free online storage. 

Oh, and we are "latched"* on picture edit of the first 20-minute reel of 0802 Alien Uprising.

Mozz is promising me a screenplay on Saturday. That's two days from now.

*I say "latched" rather than "locked" because I don't want producers and such to think that it's impossible to make changes, just want them to know that changes have to be relatively small and always very specific.

I... um...

... I got nuthin'. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why Making Movies is Fun

I got an IM from the producer today:

"UPS says our slime is scheduled for delivery on Friday."

Nobody else gets messages like that.

Yet Another LOLcat

I've done it before, certainly. And I did it again (but not as amusingly, as that first one was pretty good). 

You can go and vote on this one though. I think I did a good job of summing up the Interwebs in one captioned pic. Or at least putting a couple memes together.

Now if only the LOLcat generator would let me use the Trajan font... ;-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Chance describes the utter fear of a movie's first screening. In particular, I know this fear quite well:

I was afraid I might have made a serious mistake (like leaving out the dialog for an entire scene or something).
Bill Cunningham has awesome Pulp Art.

I wasn't that happy with City of Ember. 

Here is a list of common misconceptions

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wedding Day

Daryl Boling and Laura Schewenninger got married this past weekend. Mitchell took pictures. 

I got all weepy during the vows. 

Blogger makes it simply impossible to put the pictures in the order I want them so I'll go out of chronological order.

Daryl Boling and Laura Schwenninger during the ceremony.

Me, making a Daryl sandwich with Ben Sulzbach while dancing.

Mac Rogers looks on while I try in vain to dance with Ed McNamee.

After dancing for a while I spot Ed on the other side of the dance floor. Ben Sulzbach looks on while Nancy Sirianni dances in the background.

That's me again, going in for the kill.

Ed running away from me.

I was stalking Ed because he just wouldn't dance with me. Ed and I have known one another for... 27? years? He wouldn't dance with me because about 20 years ago I s
upposedly was dancing with him at his own wedding and knocked over his wife's 87-year-old grandmother. That never happend, of course, but it's the story that's been told about me ever since.

The beautiful and talented Catie Riggs a/k/a Catherine Zambri with me (I have very weirdly dark eyes in that picture.)

Catie and me again.

Me, looking grossly inappropriate.

More of the Daryl sandwich.

Q. Drew, weren't there any women at this wedding you could have danced with?

A. Uh, yeah. I just um. I just didn't seem to get photographed with any of them.

Trajan Part III

OK, the hatred of Trajan is... well... 

But my big question is: what is the name of the font which is typically used for credits at the bottom of the poster? The sans-serif font in all caps? Anybody know?

My New God

I bought a god today on MacDougal Street. 45 bucks. 

He says "hello".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

General Update

It's almost exactly a year from when we began our last picture, Solar Vengeance. And we find that we're in almost the same position: we're scrambling to get materials for 0802 Alien Uprising together for the American Film Market in early November, just as we had been scrambling to get materials for 0701 Solar Vengeance together for last year's AFM. 

So this week we're sending a copy of the footage to California so that the trailer edit can begin, even though we have two more days of shooting to go on the picture. 

But the fact is that we have to significantly increase our production speed. We can't be doing one feature a year, we have to be averaging two-and-a-half features a year. 


So far we've gotten offers from a handful of buyers for 0701 Solar Vengeance, so far we've only been paid by the Russian buyers (who also bought Millennium Crisis). With a trailer at November's AFM we can hopefully get some sales by May at the Cannes Film Market and get paid for it by the end of 2009. 

We've seen that North American sales have become more difficult of late. At the same time we feel that by actually having a catalog of pictures for sale, some sales to some markets might become easier. Of course, we need to make more pictures to do that -- so if you're writing a screenplay for Pandora Machine right now, please finish it! ;-)


Hopefully by this time tomorrow we'll have a "locked" picture edit of the first reel of Alien Uprising

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Because Apparently...

... I have nothing better to blog about.

From Paul Krugman at the New York Times:

...Paulson proposed buying $700 billion worth of “troubled assets” — toxic mortgage-related securities — from banks, but he was never able to explain why this would resolve the crisis.

What he should have proposed instead, many economists agree, was direct injection of capital into financial firms: The U.S. government would provide financial institutions with the capital they need to do business, thereby halting the downward spiral, in return for partial ownership. When Congress modified the Paulson plan, it introduced provisions that made such a capital injection possible, but not mandatory. And until two days ago, Mr. Paulson remained resolutely opposed to doing the right thing.

Which is interesting because Ben Bernanke said:
'There are no atheists in foxholes and no ideologues in financial crises.''
This was while he was trying to convince Paulson a real crisis was at hand. And Paulson was ignoring the facts, in classic Bush appointee style. 

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Name

As happens with all motion pictures, there comes a time when someone decides to name it. Not the screenwriter. Not the producer. Not the director.

The distributor.

More than that, the local distributors in their markets have the very explicit right to name the movie whatever they like. For instance, our movie "Bloodmask"* (which was a name we never really liked), became "Millennium Crisis" (which was, to us, meh), which became "Biohazard 3077" in Japan (which we wish we'd thought of 'cause that name rawks!)**

In any case, we have a new name for The Uprising. Let me open up the envelope here to see what we've got...


The name of the movie is now:

Alien Uprising.



I also have some top secret artwork to go along with it. But our sales rep doesn't want the world to see it 'till after AFM. So the only way you can look at it before the American Film Market is to stop by the studio at Theatresource.


*The way we always refer to the movie is with its "job number" first. The job number of The Uprising is "0802" which means it was the second project to go on our job list in 2008. The reason we do that is because we know that the title will change, but the job number will not. So now the movie is "0802 Alien Uprising".

**We wish it were named that in North America.

***Now technically, there are no aliens in the picture. Unless they're all aliens (which is a possibility). Or, we're referring to the fact it takes place on an alien planet and therefore it is an "alien" uprising. We might be able to stretch into thinking that the Thing is, or is partly, alien, but we don't go into that. And technically, there's no "uprising" either... So... um... Alien Uprising it is!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Every Time

Every time you type "LOL" a baby gets kicked in the head

Can you tell I'm not doing anything productive? 

At least I'm not watching TV. Even if Alien were on.

1. We're not shooting this coming weekend because Daryl is getting married.

2. I'm not editing because Maduka is editing.

3. I don't have a script to do pre-production on!

I'll Tell You About My Mother

From John Rogers:

Asked to go forth and spread old canards about Senator Obama being a "friend of terrorists", something she never seemed to show any interest in before, she does so not just efficiently but with a perky glee. The proper human response, when asked to say things like this about a political opponent and Senator of the United States is so fundamentally "fuck no" that it is the unheard test question immediately following "You're in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you're not helping -- why is that?"

More Trajan Hating

There's more of it from Bill Cunningham. I agree with the other parts of his analysis, however the Trajan hating part of it contradicts the purity of just making art in order to sell the picture. 

Ultimately, having the title of the picture in the Trajan font does not negatively impact sales. The only people who care about not over-using the font are graphic designers (and those who listen to graphic designers). 

And there's a reason why graphic designers, like every other craft, aren't given the "final word" on their product. It's because they insist on looking at their work though what is cool to other graphic designers, rather than whether it works or not. (Don't get me started on sound editors who are all about finding a "new" sound rather than just using something that works. Oy.)

Don't ask an oboe player what his favorite symphony is, 'cause I assure you it'll be the one with the most fun oboe part -- not the symphony that's the best.*

If we've been using the font for Roman characters for 2000 years, there's probably a reason for it.

As Claire Sommer says, "There's no need to reinvent good design." 

Me? I deliberately used Trajan in our logo just to irk graphic designers. They don't buy our movies anyway. Distributors buy our movies. They have a specific list of things they want. And it seems to change every year. More often than not, they like Trajan in the title treatment. I mean, they get to name the movie whatever they want anyway.

*No offense to oboe players (a group of people you do not want ticked off at you.)