Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zombie Holocaust Down Under

I Love Sarah Jane is the name of this post-apocalypse zombie picture. Clearly it's Australian, and it's pretty cool. Or at least these 12 minutes of it are. It seems to be part of QOOB.TV, whatever that is.

Smoke clearly made in After Effects. Hey, if it works then it works...

Maduka with Hat


In all of Maduka's acting contracts he stipulates that he must be allowed to wear a hat. Here he is in "Stick Fly" at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. Wearing a hat.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Xik Ship Comp 15



Here's the "web" version of composite 15 of the Xik ship. You'll notice that the matte on the ship itself is choked somewhat. Or, maybe you won't.

My intent is that we make some sangria and do the commentary track with Mac and the Girl Who Refuses To Be Named On This Blog. And then we'll be finished, done baby. Finito. Drives go to the lab and we all take a nap.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pulling a Matte


I wrote a big post about how I had to take a still image of Brian's ship and shot it with Blair's camera. It was a brilliant, witty, erudite, and enlightening post about the process. But Firefox crashed and even though I'd "saved" the post in Blogger, it is now gone.

That's no bluescreen, it's a spacestation it's a still image with the background cut out in Photoshop.

It means we're animating in 2D rather than 3D. So the disabled ship rolls slightly as it falls from camera in the shot, but it can't "yaw".

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mitchell in a Movie

There's a trailer here and a trailer there. Steeling Martin Lane. I have no idea what it's about. After seeing the trailers, I still have no idea. But it has MITCHELL in it!

And Mitch is gonna be in our next movie. Yay!

Why to Like Obama

ABC News has a blog post about an "open microphone" catching Barak Obama and British Tory leader David Cameron. Instead of the usual embarrassing stuff which happens when politicians are talking to one another off the record, we get this:

"These guys just chalk your diary up," said Cameron, referring to a packed schedule.

"Right," Obama said. "In 15 minute increments …"

"We call it the dentist's waiting room," Cameron said. "You have to scrap that because you've got to have time."

"And, well, and you start making mistakes," Obama said, "or you lose the big picture. Or you lose a sense of, I think you lose a feel-- "

"Your feeling," interrupted Cameron. "And that is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions."

"That's exactly right," Obama said. "And the truth is that we've got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know ten times more than we do about the specifics of the topics. And so if what you're trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you."
That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Nobody talking about making other countries illegal and blowing them up.

One of the Eight


OK, so I'm one of the eight people in the world who thought The Dark Night sucked.* It seemed that not a single damn character did a single damn thing which was motivated by their character (I mean, other than a prisoner on the ferry.)

Everybody thinks Heath Ledger was great in the movie. Apparently, great acting is having good diction, being able to hit your marks (although he was mostly out of focus while walking around the party), and chewing up the scenery into tiny little pieces.

Hmm... I sound grumpy don't I? Maybe I just need some sleep.

*I also don't like daleks. I don't even care if they're supposed to be capitalized. They're silly and when they show up I get very very bored. "Ex-teeeeeer-minate!" indeed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More about Kathleen

Here's a far more eloquent eulogy for my cousin Kathleen, from her brother Steven:

Our family has been in Houston last week dealing with the death of my sister, Kathleen - "KT"- who died suddenly and unexpectedly last Sunday night at age 59 from a pulmonary embolus. She had fallen and broken her wrist 6 weeks ago and was very immobile with surgical pins and a big cast on her arm. She lived alone.

Some other biographical details were that KT was musically talented as a youngster, playing the flute and piano and attended college one year on a music scholarship. She had a citation for having written a chapter in a nursing school textbook. Kathy was never married. Over her career she was an oncology nurse, worked in public health and mental health clinics and for quite a few years in the recovery room at Metroplex Hospital in Killeen. For the last 6-8 years she lived as the caretaker of my mom and dad until their deaths. She also worked parttime in nursing homes and doing home health visits.

Kathy was a Buddhist and we had a very beautiful Buddhist service for her on Wednesday night. This was the first time most of our large, extended family (Methodist, Mormon and Catholic, Baptist, etc.) were ever around anything like that. The local Buddhist church organization is called a "practice" and the building had an overflow crowd of I am guessing 150-200 people. At the first of the service, they chanted their mantra and came forward one by one to honor the deceased and the family. The chanting went on for about 20 minutes and was very moving, almost stunning. It was an intense, machine-like, rhythmic hum of many voices, followed by the ringing of a large gong. The sound trailed out over a long period of time. My feeble interpretation of the mantra is that it is a simple expression of submission to the incomprehensible "law of the universe" (which is, for us, God). After everyone was given a chance to speak, the entire gathering sang Amazing Grace.

We, her family, were introduced to a large part of KT's world that we were unaware of, as numerous people from her family of Buddhist friends spoke about her "ministry" to them. One person told my brother how during a crisis in that person's life, KT had gone every morning at 5:30 for 30 days to support the discipline of their meditation before the person had to go to work. She walked beside many people through deaths, divorce, depression.

My sense and my aspiration about how to honor KT will be to continue to encourage people to pursue a comfortable and meaningful religious faith and to adopt the disciplines of the faith they choose. The people I see who are most empty and in need are not the people who have the wrong faith, but who have no faith. Faith puts wind in the sails of our lives, makes frustrations and problems and disasters more manageable. Faith energizes us to be able to help hold others up as we walk the road of life, however long or short it may be. If we keep our heart and mind open, faith informs our understanding more and more every day. With regard to differences of Theology, large though they may seem, I am of the opinion that we should persevere in finding our own way and let God sort out the discrepancies.

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest !
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small ;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn. 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner", Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798


"KT"

Jim Chudleigh, MD

ADR THING

Today we did a little ADR with Ben Thomas. It may very well be that we're laying out the last mixes for Solar Vengeance right now then.



Yeah, The Thing with GI Joes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cat Down



Little fuzzy-butt was curled up on the ottoman. Just after I took these pictures he woke up and stretched -- and very slowly started to slide off the ottoman onto the floor.

He pretended he wasn't surprised and climbed back up and fell asleep again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kathleen Chudleigh

My cousin Kathleen Chudleigh died on the 6th of July. She was one of most everyone's favorite people in the world just as soon as they met her. She was warm, giving, generous, and of course my favorite memory of her is just silly.

It must have been July 3 1991. She and I sat in the front row of the now-defunct Menlo Park movie theater at a late-night show on the opening of Terminator 2. It was a lot of fun to watch this crazy and violent sci-fi movie with my kind Buddhist cousin. We had a great time.

Kathleen made the world a better place while she was in it. (Maybe she's still making it better.;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camilla


Sweet Camilla Riggs


I haven't seen Camilla in a while. But Mitchell and Catie brought her by the studio the other day. I checked her feet. She has two. One. Two. There, I checked them. Oops! I better check them again. One... two... yup. Still there!

They have instructed all their "blogger friends" to post this picture so that you can go and vote for it!

Bleary


According to the mysteries of the Interwebs, we can make blearies now.

"Bleory - a proposed explanation which was pulled directly from one’s ass and has little to no support, as opposed to a theory, a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural - but actually HAS some reasonable basis to be believed. A bleory exists exclusively on the internet and is typically found in blog entries."


It's a meme. I believe it. That settles it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mah Birfday!


Today it is.

And the bunnies to nude women ratio on this blog was getting a bit askew.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DM&E


Recently I was asked what DM&E's are. Feel free to add corrections or better wisdom, I'd love to hear it. This is what I said:

"DM&E stands for "Dialog, Music, and Effects." The name doesn't tell you much. So here's why DM&E is important for distributors.

On big theatrical pictures those three elements are delivered separately. I've never been asked for anything other than a stereo "M&E" on any of my direct-to-home video pictures.

I'm presuming you actually shot and are editing at a 23.98 frame rate. That means you'll output (at some point) to an NTSC DigiBeta master and from that a PAL DigiBeta master will be struck. Working with audio in Premiere is tough because you can't output OMF files. But you can export mono .wav files to be used in ProTools or the like.

You will certainly want to export dialog tracks separately from your roomtone tracks. You will likely need to export your dialog in a "checkerboard" pattern (which is something I can go into in more detail if you like.)

--

I can start with a copy and paste of the requirements I have for my latest picture, Solar Vengeance ( http://halcyonpix.com/view.php?id=35 ), from our sales rep:

>>> 4. AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS
>>> The audio test signal during color bars on analog masters must be a 1 kHz tone at 0 db on all audio channels .
>>> The picture must be rerecorded in stereo.
>>> Channel 1 shall contain stereo left of the final soundtrack.
>>> Channel 2 shall contain stereo right of the final soundtrack
>>> Channel 3 shall contain stereo M&E left.
>>> Channel 4 shall contain stereo M&E right.
>>> There will be no audio modulation during "run out."
>>> Great care must be taken to achieve the highest possible audio S/N ratio.

Now, it's likely that your main "deliverables" for the movie will be NTSC and PAL DigiBeta masters. The above specification is pretty typical for home video at least. What it means is that on the four audio tracks the first two will be the English full mix, and the second two will be the "Music and Effects" mix.

Now the trick is that the M&E mix must sound identical to the English mix -- just without any of the actual dialog from the English mix. This is tricky.

Every rustle of clothing, every jangle of keys, every little squeak, shuffle, or background sound which is on the English version of the movie must appear on the "M&E" version, just without any dialog. This explains why so many movies build their background tracks from scratch and ADR all their dialog -- in many ways it's easier to make your DM&E's* that way.

The key to making this work is to build a "P-FX" track (or set of tracks) which carries all your room tone and sounds needed to create an exact matching track when the M&E mix is created. The P-FX tracks are muted while mixing the English Full Mix, but the dialog editors have carefully built them so that when you mute the dialog tracks and unmute the P-FX tracks, the mix sounds exactly right -- except for the missing dialog.

Now the problem with production sound is that there's frequently a lot of noise going on when people are talking. If there is (for instance) a jangling of keys which happens over some dialog, you're faced with the following options:

1. ADR the dialog, and Foley or use cut effects to create the separate dialog and sound effects tracks. The ADR'ed dialog won't have the jangly key sound, the effects won't have the dialog. When you mute the dialog tracks, your M&E mix will sound exactly like the the English Full Mix.

2. Use another key jangle you've found in the production sound tracks and cut that into the P-FX track such that it's in sync with the jangle on the dialog track. When the dialog track is muted and the P-FX is unmuted the jangle should sound exactly the same.

3. Cut or Foley some key jangle and put it on the effect tracks. Place it right at the same time as the jangle on your production audio tracks. If you're lucky, the sound will "stomp on" the original jangle in such a way that when the dialog tracks are muted, the jangle still comes through just as well. (The danger here is that you're also "stomping on" the original dialog as well.)

4. Hope that nobody will notice and backcharge you for rebuilding your M&E tracks. Each overseas market is different. Maybe most won't notice.

Now, of course you have to do this with with all the room tone and background sounds and footsteps and anything else which is being used from production sound. It's tedious but very necessary.

Do you need to do a 5.1 mix? No. I've never had a distributor ask for one, and although we've managed to foist 5.1 mixes on our North American distributors twice now, they'd still rather not have one because it doesn't help sales and it's a bit of a pain in the butt to deal with on their end.

I've been making 5.1 mixes and then folding them down to stereo. I can go into long and excruciating detail about all that, too! ;-)"

Too Dumb


I'm too stupid to remember where my parents live now so I have to put it in my blog.

2434 Windrow Drive
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-720-0404

Go ahead. Call them in the middle of the night.*







*Don't.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gazillions

For The Uprising I have 2 days with 17 members of the cast. In addition to that there's a 16-cast day, a 15, a 13, and a 12.

Didn't I say I never wanted to do an ensemble picture again? Sheesh. ;-) Just transporting all these people can easily cost us $300/day!

And of course I'm driving the poor writer to distraction because the gold-chain-wearing producer part of me is saying in a heavy Bronx accent "Why do we need all those characters? Just cut some of them people!" (And the above numbers reflect already cutting two of the space marines.)

Half of the days on the 12-day scheduled shoot are gianormous monster days what with transporting people, getting them in costume and props, blocking them, shooting them, feeding them, shooting them some more, getting them home.

And since we have to get 17 of them there on the same day, you know that the casting process will be "Can you show up for all the shooting days? Yes? Great, you're hired!" No subtlety about how characters interact, nope. All about the logistics.

And of course while we're on set I won't be able to do a dang thing other than shoot the shot we're on. Actors wonder why directors seldom direct in film. It's because we're too busy shooting to direct! ;-)

The other problem is that I think we're going to end up shooting in Metuchen at my dad's shop a lot. That means that while we're in the main building we have to shoot at night. It also means that craft services becomes more of a problem because the local Chinese food isn't all that great. All in all I prefer to shoot in Cobble Hill. That's the eating capital of Brooklyn.

We'll be shooting in Hoboken too. But generally the cast will be smaller on those days.

I think we should have a graphic, like a patch, designed for the marines. It could be on their underwear, on their uniforms, etc.

What I really want is a Fisher dolly on at least some of the days. I want the camera to be able to go up and down as well as dolly.

I Grow Weary of Being Right

Ever since the late '80's I've found that my pronouncements on things political are startlingly prescient. So far my only mistake was a conservative one, when arguing with my sister over the first Gulf War, that we might end up being at war with Iraq as long as 7 to 10 years. Last time I checked we're coming on year 20.

In any case, over the last two years I've been saying with more and more certainty that if Gore had become President of the United States, 9/11 wouldn't have happened. I've been saying things like "you know, Vice President Lieberman would have had the head of the CIA and the head of the FBI in his office in August of 2001, and would have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack inside the United States and he would have made both the CIA and the FBI tell him what they knew about it."

The fact is that at the time the FBI knew who they were looking for (because they were investigating the Cole bombing) and the CIA knew those same guys were in the country. It just required someone bothering to make it a priority. One little nudge from the V.P. and the F.B.I. would have picked up some crazy Saudi guys in Boston and we'd have heard that these guys had some zany plan to fly a couple planes into some buildings. Most people wouldn't have thought it would work but a couple engineers would say "you know, it might have worked"...

And now there's a new book called "The Dark Side" by Jane Mayer. From The New York Times:

Jack Cloonan, a special agent for the F.B.I.’s Osama bin Laden unit until 2002, told Ms. Mayer that Sept. 11 was “all preventable.” By March 2000, according to the C.I.A.’s inspector general, “50 or 60 individuals” in the agency knew that two Al Qaeda suspects — soon to be hijackers — were in America. But there was no urgency at the top. Thomas Pickard, the acting F.B.I. director in the summer of 2001, told Ms. Mayer that when he expressed his fears about the Qaeda threat to Mr. Ashcroft, the attorney general snapped, “I don’t want to hear about that anymore!”
I seriously doubt the AG picked by Al Gore would have ever said something as stupid as that. The only way Al Qaeda was successful was because of the need of the Bush Administration to not do anything that the Clinton Administration had been doing. Clinton was concerned about terrorism, therefore Bush was not. And as much as I think Leiberman is a jerk-monkey, he certainly would not have been complacent in the face of the clear and credible threat of an attack within the United States.

Wow. If Al Gore had become President we honestly wouldn't have had 9/11 and all that went with it. We wouldn't have a torture State. We'd be doing something about greenhouse gasses and alternative energy. Ironically, gasoline would be a couple dollars cheaper a gallon.

We'd never know how bad it could get.

Bubble Tea




My addiction to bubble tea can now be sated at the Ten Ren Tea company. There are two stores of this international chain in Manhattan. I haven't visited the ones in Queens and Brooklyn (yet.)

Oddly, the bigger one on Mott street seems to consistently make a better green tea mango bubble tea than the smaller store a few blocks away on Lafayette. The teas I've gotten on Lafayette have been consistently more bitter.

I don't know why.

"Conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life". This is a sign on a building in Chinatown.

And here are two pictures of the New York Waterfalls (on the Brooklyn Bridge).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Soft Kitty



The saddest comic strip I've ever seen (especially if you go to the bottom and start with #1.)

So instead I'll post some pictures of my cat Pushkin. Here he is in his new home in Princeton, relaxing in the sun.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Princeton


I finally spent a whole night in Princeton NJ. My parents, for reasons unknown, never moved a bed into their spare bedroom. It's not that we didn't have a spare bed specifically for the purpose of going to their new apartment. No. It's just that they, with the encouragement of my idiot usually brilliant sister, just didn't.

So I had to bring the bed there. And it was a bear to get up to their apartment (luckily a dolly was found to get the bed to the elevator and then to their apartment). All in all it would have been MUCH easier if the movers had just taken care of it when my parents first moved.

To celebrate I set the sofa bed on fire. And threw it over the balcony.

At least I got to pet the cat. Pushkin seems pretty happy in the new place. And I finally have a place to actually sleep there when I visit.

But Princeton? Sheesh. Is there anywhere to eat there? It's a beautiful campus and town and all, but man does everything close up by midnight on a Friday. There aren't even any grocery stores open. Everyone ends up at the freakin' WaWa near the train station.

I made this LOL cat from the lolcat builder. It's not actually Pushkin but it kinda looks a little like what he might have looked like as a kitten.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Not Kidding Ourselves


Our sales rep wrote to me: "Don’t kid yourself, a Terminatrix movie isn’t such a bad idea."

And we're not kidding ourselves. We know The Asylum does these movie "tie-ins" as a matter of course now. The buyers love 'em (and the fan-boys become apoplectic -- "How dare they??!!!"). Heck, we might be able to get some decent size sales if we did that.

In fact, our rep said they did well with their Iron Man picture.

Horror is right out. The glut in the market everyone has been waiting for has finally happened. They aren't selling and nobody's interested. But sci-fi still has a chance.

So we're making a little look into the future at things the Big Six studios have coming up:

The Watchmen: I don't really like comic books that much. Making a tie-in to a picture like this would be a biotch to script because you'd have to make all your backstory from scratch. Wait, what? We do that all the time anyway! In any case, someone would have to get mighty motivated to write a screenplay like that for us.

Death Race: Good grief, they're remaking Corman movies. It's a lovely irony. In any case, The Asylum have already gone there. Death Racers.

Terminator: Well, between the TV Series and the "T4" movie, this is more up our alley. In fact, we have a picture in the works with a terminatrix-android so maybe we'll be in time just like our sales rep wants.

Princess of Mars: now this is just perfect. Plus the source material is in the public domain.

Where on earth is a comprehensive list of greenlit sci-fi movies?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Maduka in WV

Maduka's in West Virginia working on a couple plays. He'll be there through August.

When he's not in rehearsals or on stage he's working hard on a new screenplay for Pandora Machine.

He sent this publicity photo for Stick Fly at Shepherd University.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pheroline


If you're looking at the comments in my previous post -- Jen Thomas is referencing the fabulous online ad for "Pheroline". It's the number 1 selling Pheromone worldwide!

That kid is so awesome, and ALL the chicks dig him.

I'm totally spending the fifty bucks!

Thanks to Jason Howard.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Universal Robots Promo



I made a little video version of the promo for Universal Robots. The video is, of course, from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Godless Killing Machines



or:

"How to destroy someone else's movie."

Now that Jesse Helms is dead, it's OK for me to blog about what I'm thinking in the way of shooting Josh James' female-space-marines on an alien-prison-planet picture.

Josh James wrote "How Drew is Going to Destroy My Movie" "Nothing is Actor Proof."

Ha HAA! He knows!

In the next couple weeks we're going to start asking specific actors about doing specific parts in the movie. About half of them will say they can't do it. Another half will say they'd like to do it but "blah blah blah". And the third half will say "yes".

From there we'll start working on casting other parts. We'll likely put up some parts on Actor's Access and see some people from there, we'll talk to actors we know, we'll talk to actors people like Josh send to us. Then some people will drop out at the last minute. Others will disappear. And we'll do whatever we have to in order to get enough people onto the stage at the same time so we can actually shoot the picture!

Actually, we have oft been accused of having bad performances, even when we work with such actors as Ato Essandoh. It's an absurd criticism, of course and it's never directed at any specific performer. I think the two main reasons for this is that we tend to go for that non-chewing-the-scenery - type of understated performance (and the people loves them some big big over-the-top performances), and frequently the actors get blamed for stuff like having big plastic sheets for walls because the "critic" can't tell what it is he doesn't like.

In any case, Josh's post shows some interesting differences in performances.

I Can Has 12 Days

Yep, this is a 12-day schedule for 0802 The Uprising. We have no locations yet, nor any cast. We'll be shooting in September. I'm afeared we're going to be doing 3x 4-day weeks. I'd rather do 4x 3-day weeks. But the schedules of the locations and the actors will determine everything.

Note that a character's number in red means they're dead or killed in that scene.

Now where am I going to find my hypersleep chamber?
--

Here's some more reality in regards to theatrical distribution and the facts-of-life regarding advances of only $25,000-$50,000 for Sundance award-winning pictures:

"If I were to go with one of the established distributors, it'd be certain that I'd lose all my money."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

One for the (Little) Man




Bill "You can do it my way, or you can do it my way, angry. Which is it going to be?" Cunningham gets on the Mark McGill article and strikes one for the small-time genre producer (over the "art-house" producer). I don't always agree with Bill's proselytizing about the Web, because nobody's been able to make money with it yet. But one day we might be able to. And if we do, it'll probably be with Bill's help.

--

The art-house people still remember when Sex, Lies, and Videotape came out and are still trying to replicate that success. In my experience, art-house producers tend to look at old successes from many years ago to use as a "model" for how their movie will do. The genre people are always talking about last year's AFM or Cannes Film Market and basing their production needs on what buyers are paying.

I figure that when talking about distribution any data more than a year old is all but irrelevant -- the market has changed too much since then. It's in mighty big flux.

And because of that, Pandora Machine is targeted at "no-budget" production. It's all we can afford to do, and it's all that makes financial sense.

Do you want too much information? I'm sure you do.

--

Our receipts on the last couple pictures have been in the $40K-$50K range, so we figure that in order to make enough money to buy groceries that we need to shoot 2-3 pictures a year, with cash budgets of about $12,000.

My understanding is that in the olden times (as little as 5 to 10 years ago) these pictures could be bringing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But those days are long gone. Luckily, we can shoot on HD in such a way which is effectively indistinguishable from 35mm. The depth-of-field is the same, the output resolution is similar (due to not needing internegatives and interpositives), the only problem being the lack of latitude in the highlights. So it's kinda like shooting reversal film. Or negative film in 1960... ;-) In any case, the cost of shooting has plummeted. Even the cost of post-production has been reduced substantially.

In any case, the key to making a picture on this low a budget is to not pay anybody upfront (unfortunately). And the key to not paying anyone is to be extremely flexible schedule-wise and kind to people on the back - end should we actually make some real money.

The way we're structuring deferred pay is that for all revenue above $50,000 we start paying out about 30% of the money coming in to the writer, cast and crew. I think of the writer as an early investor. I figure they deserve about 10% to themselves. If we should happen to get a smash hit, everyone would start doing pretty well. We've never done that, but if we should, we're ready for it.

The bulk of our sales come from overseas. Our sales rep takes 35% (and boy do they earn it) from the sales, the rest goes to us through a company called Compact Collections in the UK. The advantage of having a 3rd party handle the financial aspect of the sale is that it means we never have to harass our sales agent for a check! ;-)

The domestic market has changed pretty radically in the last 6 years. Blockbuster bought 4700 copies of our movie Pandora Machine for $7.25/piece. The distributor, The Asylum, took $3 off the top of each one for manufacturing/shipping (I'm sure it didn't cost them quite that much) and split the difference with us.

Blockbuster bought at $7.25
Asylum takes $3.00
Remaining is $4.25
(We get 50% of that - which is $2.125)
We sold 4700, so we made $9987.50. We made a mistake in not "carving out" North America from our sales rep's contract so we ended up paying them 40% of domestic (or 40% of the $9987.50). Bleh. Anyway, that's the deal we got.
We made a bit more from Hollywood Video and others. Overall we ended up cash-in-pocket with about $12K.

But now -- now Blockbuster has really cut down on titles it books, and they don't even buy outright anymore at all (as I understand). So we didn't even get a Blockbuster deal with Millennium Crisis. So all-in-all I wouldn't expect more than about $10K in North American sales. That being said maybe we can get a Showtime sale or Spanish-language TV or something. That would be groovy.

Whew, that's enough. I gotta go back to creating stereo fold-downs of 5.0 mixes now...