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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tales From Netflix Instant: Skins (British)***couldn't be bothered with the American Version

“Everyone’s always pissing on me!”

5 things I learned whilst watching Skins.

  1. Skins is a half-hour British drama following a group of teenage kids through 2 years of school. Every 2 years the show swaps out casts as the characters graduate and move on. I admire the gumption of the producers to get rid of a popular cast and complete replace it every 2 years. (Otherwise the show would’ve ended up like 90210.) Overall, I really like the show. Although I admit it may be a little weird for a guy my age to be so immersed in the lives of these teenagers. I think the 1st season was the strongest. However,  the 2nd generation of characters was a stronger and more interesting ensemble.
  2. Bad guys are more fun. The most interesting characters from the 1st 2 generations where Tony and Cooke. Tony was by far the most fun character from the 1st season, and the most disappointing in the 2nd. I would have rather seen his character continue on the path he was on in the 1st season and deal with consequences of actions on his own terms, rather than the cheap character reset that happened after he was hit by a car in the season 1 finale. Cooke was most complex character from the 2nd generation and continued on so throughout his run on the series. I think he’s my favorite overall from the entire run of the show so far.
  3. British kids like Oasis, cussing and Techno. The entire soundtrack was filled with rock sounds that sound like they were written by Oasis (probably were) and techno.
  4. The blonde-chick from the 1st generation that looks and acts like the crazy blonde-girl from Harry Potter is hot.
  5. Lesbian couples are boring. (at least on T.V.)



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monsters in the Woods Interviews: Al Gomez (Executive Producer)


I met Al Gomez almost 10 years ago. I had just finished my first movie, "Rise of the Undead" and he was developing a movie for a friend of mine in New Orleans. We kept in touch over the years as I made my move from Louisiana to California. He has always been there to help or offer advice on my many projects, but it wasn't until Monsters in the Woods that we actually found something we could do together.
Al Gomez with primadona Annemarie


1. Tell me who you are and what your doing here.

Al Gomez. I served as Executive Producer on "Monsters In The Woods". 

2. You've done just about every job known to man (in the industry), how do you see yourself? (a producer? writer? filmmaker?)

I've always seen myself as an entertainer.   I started in the business as an actor, and still find myself acting occasionally. But, over the years I've gained an appreciation for telling stories on the big screen, and decided I wanted to participate in all of it.  So, now I find myself producing movies, but I also continue to foster new ideas, write screenplays, and work with new directors.

3. Tell me about some of the other projects you've produced?

My first foray into producing motion pictures was a 35mm feature film back in '92... a drama about a day in the life of two homeless children called "River Bottom".  After that came the comedy 'mocumentary' "Elvis Is Alive, I Swear I Saw Him Eating A Ding-Dong At The Piggly Wiggly", about a documentary filmmaker whose search for 'Elvis Presley' takes him across the country meeting people who swear they've seen him alive. Both of those movies were directed by Robert LeRoy.   While I was in New Orleans in '05, I happened to be in the wrong place at the right time as Hurricane Katrina passed by, which became an opportunity to produce my first documentary feature called "Refuge of Last Resort". It was was created by filmmaker, James L. Bills, whose experiences with surviving the event and what came afterward were the centerpiece of that human drama.  Next came the sci-fi feature film "Jonathon Moon - Alien Attack", a rather eccentric story about a bizarre radio show host who is caught in a dilemma when he finds himself assisting the escape of an alien before he destroys the Earth, also directed by Robert LeRoy.  

4. What's your story with Monsters in the Woods? How did you become involved? 

Our mutual friend and filmmaker, James L. Bills,  called me about your project, and told me I should read the script.  Being a supporter of your previous work, I did read it, found it to be very well written, and for a horror script, filled with a lot of emotion and humor. To say that I liked it is an understatement.  I had recently inherited a small amount of money, so after meeting and discussing the financial needs of the production, I offered to you that I would like be involved as an Investor/Executive Producer.   

5. How did your initial role change, and what does a producer do?  What is the producer's role in dealing with distributors? 

Well, the production staff you had on "Monsters...", although young, energetic, and very creative, was lacking production experience and were making decisions detrimental to support the completion of principal photography.  After meeting with you, I thought it prudent to get more involved as a 'producer', assisting and guiding your young producers. The difference between Exec. Prod. and Producer is an exec usually is involved with financial matters only, while the producer is involved in all matters of creating the movie, which include all business and creative decisions.  The Producer(s) work closely with the director, and are responsible for hiring crew, supporting the director, and when the movie is completed, securing distribution.    Regarding distribution, it is one of the most important jobs of a producer.  Finding a company who is going to sell your movie to the public, is just as important as getting the right cast. Sometimes a producer already has distribution partners from previous movies he's made, but if not, one has to look through hundreds of companies with various levels of capabilities. If you think finding a mate is difficult, try looking for a distributor for your movie!

6. Of all the director's that you've worked with, who is  the most handsome? (it's ok if it's not me. I'll understand)

Tough question, but as opposed to looks, I will say this...  since the directors (including you) I've worked with have all acted in their own movies, I have to admit that each of you have a little Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen in your personalities.  You can pick who you like to be compared to! 

7.  When you're looking for material to produce or are creating new material, what do you look for? 

An idea or concept for a movie has to tweak me emotionally, as I'm assuming, it does for everyone. I find many themes and subject matters interesting, so the quality of the writing of the script itself is what convinces me to get involved, or want to be involved.    

8. What was the most difficult aspect in bringing "Monsters In The Woods" to fruition?

The most difficult part of making "Monsters..." was the small amount of money we had to make it with.  MITW  

9. If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?

My excitement to get involved with the project as an Investor overtook my usual production sensibilities.  I had wanted to play 'angel', when in reality, this production was missing 'the devil in the details', and I didn't do thorough due diligence. If I had asked the right questions, and checked out where everything was sitting in pre-production, I probably could've been more helpful in the early stages of production and saved everyone a lot of headaches and heartache.  It's my fault. I learned a great deal on this project, as I do with every one I work on.  

   10. What are you most proud of with "Monsters In The Woods"? 

You!  "Monsters..." would not be where it is without the effort that you made to get it where it is.  You put your heart and soul into it... from the writing, to the directing, and editing.  Every frame in this movie truly has your signature on it.  It was indeed a pleasure to watch you work and I hope that wherever you go from here, making big budget or low budget movies, you take that same spirit with you!  Congratulations, Jason!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tales From Netflix Instant: Red Hill

I've been watching a lot of Netflix Instant the last few months. Thought I'd offer up my thoughts on some of the lesser known titles.

Red Hill = Pussy Town 

Patrick Hughes’ feature day debut Red Hill starring the super-shredded dude from True Blood is pretty much butt. It starts out kinda promising, looking a bit like a under-budgeted, illegitimate aussie brother to No Country for Old Men but it soon shows it’s stripes as it devolves into a 2nd rate, poorly plotted thriller.

 A pussfied young police officer moves to the small town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife to start a family. See the wife had a previous miss-carriage due to stress. I guess they reckoned moving to the country would be better for this unborn.  OOPS!

The police learn that a scar-faced almost supernatural killing marching, previously arrested by the sheriff for killing his wife, has escaped from prison. Knowing that Michael Myers will return to town to seek revenge, the sheriff orders his officers and a group of ruffians to arm themselves and shoot Jason Voorhees on sight.

This is where the movie totally lost me.
Once Norman Bates gets to Red Hill, the sheriff and his pals change from rough and tumble men from the outback into teenage slasher movie victims. They seem to forget they are heavily armed and outnumber Freddy Krueger and quickly resort to hiding and crawling around on the floor until Leslie Vernon finds and kills them Behind the Mask style. Of course the newbie sheriff discovers that Mlie Cyrus is innocent and the sheriff and his men framed him or some such shit.
On the plus side, the movie looks good and is solidly acted. There is a nice scene towards the end where the young officer returns home to get his gun (he had lost it in the move, this being his 1st day and all.) Anywho, he comes home all battered and bruised, but doesn’t want to alarm his wife for fear of her miscarrying their child. So he calmly tells her he just wanted to see her before returning to work to finish some last minute business. He grabs the gun and leaves her none the wiser. This scene had more tension and suspense than the entire 2nd act. I will say this for Red Hill though; I didn’t turn it off.


Monsters in the Woods Interviews: Robert Bravo (Producer)

I met Robert Bravo five years ago working together at a drive thru Starbucks in Culver City. I was just completing Edges of Darkness and he was looking to get into the movie business. In addition to being one of the most genuine and nice people I've ever met, he is also one of the hardest working. Although he had little tproducing experience, he was eager to learn and had many good ideas. We worked together developing different screenplays over the next year. He helped not only with story and character, but also in designing creatures, set pieces and working out storyboards for potential projects. Eventually he put together Trap (everything from raising the budget to crewing up), which remains one of my all-time favorite production experiences. (the movie's ok too)




1. Tell me who you are and what you're doing here.
I’m Robert Bravo and I was one of the producers on this epic Masterpiece.

2. What does a producer do?
     ?


3. What was your favorite part of production?  
 I would have to say all of pre-production that’s when I’m the most confident with my craft. 

4. Did you get a chance to see my abs in the hot tub at the cabin? If so, just how impressive are they?
   You where there? 

5. What was your least favorite part of production? 
 Well I would have to say principle production. Everything I’d done up till that point was on a much smaller scale, so there was a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It was a learning experience. Looking back I don’t think I was ready to take it on. But even with all the blood sweat and tears, it was still among the happiest times of my life. 

6. What was your role in pre-production? What did you do? 
 I was there from the beginning; I gave some input during the script writing stage, did some design work on the monsters, got permits together and other cool stuff.You know me... jack-of-all-trades 

7. How would you compare working on Monsters in the Woods with past productions?
 Well this is a whole new world, I think while other projects have been easier for me,this was more rewarding.

8. What do you think of the way Bane speaks in The Dark Knight Rises? Do you understand him? Does it matter?
 I think Tom Hardy is an amazing actor and I’m pumped to see what he does with it. Oh and I like the voice, well more then the batman’s at least, so there’s that.

9. Do you think my fixation with John Stamos is "gay?"
 That depends; do you think mine with Hugh Laurie is?

10. What's next for you? 
I’m all over the place these days; I’ve been producing a T.V. pilot.You have a number of scripts I would love to produce, but I think the project im working hardest on is going back and re-tackling  “Trap” that was my first real project and I want to go back to it, and give it the treatment (ie budget)  it deserves.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another Exciting Friday in the Life

Today is  a pretty exciting day for my inner movie watcher. I've been under the weather since Sunday. What I thought to be food poisoning is still around. I'm know thinking stomach flu. I checked webmD, turns out I have cancer.

7am – up and check my internets.
730 – find that my directors’ cuts of Mimac and The Frightners have arrived.
(loved the Mimic cut. It's a true director's cut.  Definitely a big improvement over the original. ***Listening to Del Toro's commentaries always makes me feel like an amateur. The Frighteners was more of an extended cut. The theatrical version is the superior one. But it was kinda neat to see a few extra bits to a beloved movie.)
8am – breakfast at The Broken Egg, accompanied by my copy of Fight Club (the book).
9am – head off to watch Mission Impossible 4 in IMAX at the Citywalk.
(liked it very much. Better than the last 2 for sure.)
1pm – get home. Tear right into my Mimac blu-ray.
6pm - head to my day job til 1am.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Distributor's Trailer for Monsters in the Woods

They must've released this a ways back, but I just noticed it.




Also, our 1st critical review was just posted.
Monsters in the Wood review.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

E.P.K Blasts From the Past: TRAP: Springing the Trap

This is probably my all time favorite EPK piece from anything I've ever been involved in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

E.P.K Blasts From the Past: EDGES OF DARKNESS

Some have said it's more entertaining than the actual movie. They might be right.



Really wish this had been included on the DVD.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Exciting Thursday in the Life of a Low-Budget Moviemaker

Kind of a slow day, no production stuff, no looming deadlines. I have a few screeners to make, review and mail. Although I’ll most likely mail them tomorrow. Got two days off ya heard.

7am – wake-up to a half hour of yoga (yeah, I do yoga. What!?)
730 – shower then breakfast. (Oatmeal and coffee)
8am – spend a half-hour checking email, fb, and twitter (general internet stuff.)
830 – make a few DVD screeners of Trap and Monsters in the Woods. Gotta mail a few out over the next two days.
9am – review Trap screener. (I used to just quickly scan through screeners to make sure the beginning, middle and end plays. I learned the hard-way that errors show up on DVD’s’ more often than you’d think. I now review every screener I send out beginning to end. Sucks, but you have to do it. Someday I’ll have an assistant for shit like this.)
Catch up on Sons of Anarchy, while having some free-weight fun.
1100 – review Monsters in the Woods screener.
Noon – interrupt screener review for lunch/meeting with producer. Seeing about getting some new projects up and running.
130 – pick up screener review of Monsters in the Woods.
2pm – 3 hrs of script review. Trying to finish up Feud this week.
5pm – review email, twitter, fb, ect
530 pm get ready to go out for dinner and drinks with a pal.

*** I realize these days in the life posts are lame. I do them when I feel like I should write something, but have nothing to say.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's My Motivation?

Last night I re-watched the Social Network, a movie where the main character's chief motivation was gaining the attention of a former lover. In the movie this guy built a billion dollar empire all for a girl. It got me thinking about my own motivations for seeking a career in movies.

So why do I want to make movies for a living?

The simple answer is that I love them. Outside of family, friends, food and sex, movies are only thing that has consistently brought me pleasure in my life. Sure I’ve had other activities that I’ve enjoyed but nothing comes close to cinema. But why try and make them and make money at it. I like food. I can cook a bit. I could have went to culinary school, became a chef. At one time, I wanted to teach English. I like kids. But I’ve always come back to my “dream” to write and direct feature films. Why?

Money? Money isn’t that big a deal for me. Just like anyone else, sure I’d like to have plenty of it. But it’s not really a big motivator. If I have enough for my own place, car and a small nest egg, I’m fine. I don’t need or crave big fancy shit. I just don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck.

Fame? Maybe. I do have a narcissistic personality and I do crave attention and respect. That is probably a big part of it. I can’t say I’ve never rehearsed a future interview with a big magazine or award speech, but I don’t know that it’s the main thing either.

Artistic Expression? That is a big motivator. I’ve found recently, as my work becomes more personal that I have that need to get things out. I always heard filmmakers, writers; artists talk about a burning need to get a piece of work out. I never really understood that until very recently. Now it’s a major motivator. I have 3 or 4 scripts that I just “have” to make.

A Girl? Well…. There are one or two that might recognize themselves in my next couple of pieces (especially Monsters in the Woods.) I’d be lying if I said some of it wasn’t out of a similar spite that the character in The Social Network felt. But while that might have originally motivated me, it’s now become more about working out those issues within myself.

When it comes down to it, at an early age, before I even considered or knew what making movies was all about, I knew that I was not meant for normalcy. I was never meant to work a regular 9 to 5. I was different. I fell in love with movies, first as a movie watcher then later as a moviemaker. Now I really don’t have any other choice. Sure I could take my degree and go get a job-type-job but I’d never be happy. I’d never find the joy in anything else that I find in making movies.

So making movies it is.

**** I originally posted this in OCT. 2010. It's just been on my mind again lately.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wasn’t Me. Was it?

Even on bigger Hollywood projects directors rarely have any input or control on how their movies are advertised. However, on micro-budgets this problem is worse. I’ve directed 3 flicks now that have been grossly mis-advertised by distributors and/or producers.

My 1st flick, originally entitled “Shelter: A Monster Movie” was about 7 strangers trapped in a government facility during an apocalypse. There was short dream sequence in the middle of the movie that featured zombies. The distributor retitled the movie “Rise of the Undead” and sold it as a zombie flick.

My follow up to Rise was “Edges of Darkness.” This movie did have a lot more to do with zombies, but wasn’t exactly the action/zombie flick that was advertised. It had more to do with 3 twilight zone style tales of terror (non-zombie related) that all just so happened to take place during a zombie apocalypse. I must admit some culpability here too. The trailers I cut were very heavy on the zombie action. However, it’s anchor bay’s sell sheets that really sold this movie.  ****And I have to admit I do like the sheets a lot. Even if they are a bit misleading, they’ve led to the movie selling very well, which as lead me to other projects.

3rd and worst of all was a faith-based flick I worked on very recently. (Funny how some of the most crooked people in Hollywood are making faith-based movies.) The producers, this time, are selling the movie as starring a couple of name actors, when the two are in the movie for less than 10 minutes of running time combined. Both their sell-sheets and ridicules trailer are straight up deceptive. Would the sales have been that much less if they had just mentioned they were featured? Or just not starring? Bigger budgeted fare often gives top billing to name actors even when they are not actually the “stars,” but this is just embarrassing. The biggest difference between this and my other movies is the distributors picked up the others and then chose how to advertise them. The  misleading marketing plan here was in place before the script was even finished. And before I get any more righteous, I should disclose that I was aware of this when I took the project on. Maybe I didn’t know exactly to what extent they would stretch the truth, but I knew that they would.

Whatever the market is, false advertising is part of our sales landscape. I chose to believe that is rarely malicious or purposefully misleading. There are often just flicks that are difficult to nail down. They are hard to advertise. Smaller distributors don’t have access to the tools to properly advertise all their products, so they do the best they can. “Rise of the Undead” and “Edges of Darkness” were hard films to sell, no doubt. But it seems more often than not in micro-budget cinema the distributors don’t even try. They just look at what is selling and how they can force the movie you give them into that category with no regard for actual content.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Year in the Life...

I completed and released 2 movies this year. That’s more than I’d done in the past. Sure I edited more in 2008, but these were both movies I put together and directed. But, all in all, it felt like a slow year. As I went through my blog, I noticed there were several months were it felt like I was not doing much at all. I’ve got the time. This year I will make more headway towards realizing my goals.

November 2010 – Production had just wrapped on Monsters in the Woods. I did the bulk of the editing. I wrote a shit-ton of blogs including cast and crew interviews for Monsters in the Woods.

December 2010 - I finished the main editing and sound design on Monsters in the Woods. Began to search for a composer. Helped John McGill complete his 1st short.

January 2011 – While still searching for a composer on Monsters in the Woods. I readied the rest of the deliverables. I also spent some time shopping my horror trilogy.

February 2011 - Finished temp score for Monsters in the Woods. Began search for a distributor and film festival entries.

March 2011 – took on several editing side projects, mostly commercial stuff. Continued distributor and composer search for Monsters in the Woods.

April 2011 - hired to do Should’ve Put a Ring On it. Completed pre-production and started shooting.

May 2011 – finished production and post on Should’ve Put A Ring on it. Found a composer for Monsters in the Woods.

June 2011 - wrote cast and crew interviews in support of Should’ve Put a Ring on it. Composer finished his work on Monsters in the Woods.

July 2011 - Re-release of Trap.

August 2011 – Found a Distributor for Monsters in the Woods. Begin delivery

September 2011 – Finish delivery on Monsters in the Woods.

October 2011 – Begin searching for funding for next project.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trailer for Monsters in the Woods




This my last version, but I eagerly await to see what the distributor comes up with.

Concept Art and One-Sheet for Feud


The 1st screenplay I'm reworking is Feud. It’s supernatural thriller about a group of angels and demons that join forces to save the world.   It’s a fun reworking of the creation story where Lilith, who was actually the 1st woman before eve, was expelled from the garden and became the 1st demon. I heard this story from a friend and wondered what might happen if this demon returned to earth, present day, to seek revenge on mankind. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a total dork-fantasy movie, but it actually has some cool, unique characters and action. Plus I think I’ve got a unique understated/gritty approach to the epic (i.e. arch) material that will be both refreshing and exciting.

Anywho… Here’s a few pieces of early concept art, drawn by Robert Bravo.
Zeke battling a transformed Liltih.
Zeke battle Lilith 2

Lilith takes a victim

I hadn't actually looked at the one-sheet in awhile. I like it.

10 Things I Learnt while Shopping Monsters in the Woods to Distributors


  1. Low Budget Found-footage movies are outta vogue. We had a few big distributors pass on Monsters because they didn’t want another “camera-crew movie.” (which sucks, cause Monsters in the Woods isn’t a found footage movie. But if you only watched only the 1st 15 minutes or so, you might think that it is. Which further sucks because of #2)
  2. Distributors give a movie about between 5 and 10 minutes to peek their interest before shutting it off. And even then (more often than not) will only watch the 1st and last 10 minutes of a movie.
  3. A great working actor does not guarantee a good, quick sale.
  4. Blood and titties do not guarantee a good, quick sale.
  5. A cool trailer doesn’t guarantee a good, quick sale.
  6. A good movie does not guarantee a good sale
  7. Guess I could have summed up 3-6 with there is never a guarantee of a good, quick sale.
  8. While you can make money on the backend, the only way to guarantee a decent pay day is to get it up front – during production – make it part of the budget. (I actually knew this going into Monsters in the Woods and dove in anyway)
  9. Film Festival Friendly movies and sellable movies are often two very different things.
  10. It takes time to find a good distributor. (Unless you have an existing relationship with a good, reliable and honest distributor, it can take a year or more to find one.)

In the Meantime...

So, I’m currently between projects. Monsters in the Woods is about to be released. Should’ve Put a Ring on it came out last month. I’m now faced with the question, “What do I do next.”  It’s funny, I’ve completed several features and every time I think the same thing. That right after I complete this one, someone (a producer, production company, financier) will find me and want to make another project. You’d think after all this time I’d learn that it’s just not how it works. Moviemaking is like any other vocation; 9 times outta 10 you have to seek work out. Nobody is going to hand you anything. By sheer force of will I’ve hit the pavement and made every other project I’ve ever developed come into being. Why should things be any different now? Well, they’re not. No producer is going to find me. I have to go out and find them. Nobody is magically going to appear with money to finance my next project. I have to find the money. The only thing different now is I’m looking for more money. I’ve reached a point where I feel it necessary for me creatively and financially to up the budget level I’m working at.

So now what? Well, I’ve got 10 finished scripts. So pick one and go shop it? Not so fast. 1st step, story is key. Are they all as strong as they could be? Maybe. But 1st I’m going to spend a few months going through all 10 to make sure. In the past, I’ve rushed into productions with scripts not being 100 percent. I’m not going to make that mistake ever again. It’s just when an opportunity presented itself I’ve always felt it stupid to turn it down. Well, now I’m going to dive into all my material and make sure that when I do get the opportunity to make another flick that it’s 100 percent ready to shoot.

Then what? Well then it’s back to hitting the pavement and scaring up some funding.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Monsters in the Woods Artwork

Osiris Entertaintaint  finished a new sales posters for Monsters in the Woods just in time for AFM next month.

Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Feel free to follow us on facebook if you're so inclined.

Success is Perception

So here I sit. I’ve made 6 movies (as a director). I average one a year. The budgets are slowly growing. The movies are making money, but I’m struggling to make my rent. I still work a full-time day job outside of the industry and scramble to find odd jobs within. I do not consider myself to be a successful individual. I’m currently trying to find funding or a producer to develop one of my 10 finished scripts. I’ve directed several financially successful movies, but just can seem to get to the next level. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve hit a ceiling in my work that I can’t seem to break through.

I’m still having trouble getting my own stuff made, and people ask me for help; to introduce them to producers I’ve worked with or help them raise money. Truth is the only person I’ve ever been able to raise money for is me. That is not a selfish statement. It’s just true. The producers I’ve worked for invested not in some project that I brought to them… they invested in me, as a filmmaker, a writer, a producer. That’s what I can’t seem to make other people understand. They ask me to help them develop their projects, but I can’t. I’m still struggling to help myself.

On the flip side I recently asked a working director (someone who’s made a ton of movies you’ve heard of) to help me in the exact same way. I suppose my though process is no different than my friends. We all think, “This guy is further along than I, so he can help me out.” Right?

I think that most working artists are no t so different. We all want to help others.  And when we achieve a certain level of success we do. But where is that level of success? Is it the guy with 30 movies under his belt? Is it me?  And how much can we actually help? And in what way? Well unfortunately it’s most often not in the way the person asking for help wants or needs it.

I’m not in a position to help another filmmaker find money or a producer for their projects. I’m just not. Is there other stuff I can do though?

I may not be able to help a struggling director raise money for his project. I might not know of a producer that would help either. But I can tell him how I found money for my projects. I can go over what writing and directing techniques have worked for me, and what didn’t. I can try to find a position for them on my next feature (if there is one). Then hopefully one day as I make more money and connections I can help producer other’s movies myself.  I think that would be really cool.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods: 2nd Outline


Just before starting work on my 1st draft I do one last outline utilizing all the work done before. It is usually here that I solidify my final structure. I interspersed character notes and some specific scene work into the outline.

Burt = co-dependent

Pages 1- 15 set up
Pages 1-3 movie within a movie. (Page 3 ask central question) Who if any will make it out alive? Finish the movie? Is it worth it?

Page 3-9 intro crew/Burt killed.
9-15 intro rest of crew/monster? Glimpse?

15-37 complete 1st act leading up to massacre.

2nd act
37- 43 intro Thomas and Ariel / commerce v. art.
43-50 cave stuff/personal/Thomas death.
50 -57 woods explore, find camp.
59 = burt finds hellhole
57 – 65 lead up to massacre/acts come together.

65-68 Bravo expo

70- 90 3rd act survivors come together. Go after bravo.

Weakness:
Strengthen 2nd act turning point. Act 3 more urgency.
Themes = lies, deceit/bleak/different types of monsters = people and creatures, what is worse./redos, 2nd chances, live in the moment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods: After the 1st Outline


After finishing the outline I wrote 30+ handwritten pages further exploring random scenes in the outline. Many of the scenes are very close to scenes that appeared in the final movie. It was during this process that I fell out of love with the “mad scientist” angle in favor of a biblical one. I was also on the verge of adding the found footage 1st act. The narrative structure for it was already there. I believe at this point I was planning to intercut regular and found footage throughout.

Names of characters began to change and the character themselves became more developed.

BURT
  1. Give him a better reason for going back. Ashley?Something sweet. “I always come for you.”
  2. Set up animosity/jealously with Jayson. Fired? Quit.
  3. CORE = Man’s man, but romantic at heart. Paradox. Honest, do the right thing kind of guy.

3RD ACT POTENTIALS

Bravo and Ariel = Mythos connected.

MASSACRE
  1. Guy killed
  2. Ashely run off. Find Burt
  3. Kill Monster Actor
  4. Jayson maimed. Bravo kills him? Ashley witnesses and run.
  5. Ariel shows up. Exposition.
  6. Burt knows how to find cave?
  7. Confront Bravo in cave – gas explosion/homemade napalm.
  8. Get to the city

Foreshadow napalm. Cleaning supplies, gas generator ect..
Bravo expendable speech = sacrifice non-essentials for what really matters. Bravo’s interest in the occult/ too dead on?
Show Burt being badass without being too cheesy.

Motifs
Monster sound, spiders, webs, deceit, lies.

Contrast Maria and Bianca/Ashley

How is each character feeling in each scene./expand on.

After another 20 handwritten test pages, I moved on to my 2nd outline. But that’s another story.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods: 1st Outline


I was still searching out my storyline and characters at this stage. I typically do more character research before jumping into any kind of outline, however this time I was having some difficulties deciding who’s story I wanted to tell and how I would tell it, so I tried out one possibility in this outline. I had yet to decide to do the 1st act as found footage and was still pursuing the “mad scientist” mythos as opposed to the biblical one I ended up going with. Also, there were only 2 monsters at this point. One was going to be a sexy-naked reptile chick. Also, I think they were going to be intelligent and capable of speech.

ACT 1

  1. Open with tent scene.
  2. Transition to and intro Jason, Betty James, Guy, Bravo (movie crew)
  3. Kill James. End teaser.
  4. Intro rest of crew at camp. Set up Annemarie/Ashton rivalry. Only person they hate more than each other is Betty (naked actress). Neil/Bob  = major egos. Jayson cracks up. One girl leaves and is killed.
  5. Crew sets up to shoot the major massacre scene. All goes wrong (movie-wise)
  6. Bravo sent back to car for something and is killed.
  7. Betty and Guy get closer.
  8. Betty is killed while filming massacre scene. Ashton takes Betty’s place as survivor girl.
  9. Jayson gets ready to shoot. Actors in place.  Action. Montage of shoot. Monster watches from the tree line.
  10. Lab scene with captured James.
  11. End act 1 with Massacre which happens while filming the movie massacre


ACT 2

  1. All dead but Jayson, Guy and Annemarie- saved by Dutch. (I have no idea who Dutch is. I think one of the hunters.)
  2. Cave/lab – James regaining movement,
  3. Heart to heat between Jayson and Guy. Artist to wannabe artist.
  4. Dutch hunt monster? With James?
  5. Back to Jayson and Guy,.
  6. Guy and Annemarie get it on. Guy is wounded by reptile chick/monster. Dutch is killed. Jayson is killed.
  7. Survivors move on.
  8. Other monster finds reptile chick. Not happy.

Act 3

SURVIVORS make final stand.


Ok. Yeah, this was a lot different. But the basic structure from the final movie is visible. Its kind of fun for me to look back at some of the narrative roads not taken.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods: Pre-Scripting


I do pre-scripting with every script I write. I spend anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. I write every day, but never open a screenwriting program. I use a spiral notebook and scribble down character descriptions (sometimes short, sometimes 10 pages) script outlines, sample scenes. Anything that strikes me. It’s during this process that my story really begins to take shape.

Upon re-reading this stuff, I remember now that I had originally imagined a more “mad scientist angle” on the story. It was a sub-plot that was completely abandoned in later drafts, favoring a more biblical mythos.

Here’s a little bit from my development notes on Monsters in the Woods.

JAMES_Black, 1st to get killed.
BETTY_blonde bombshell
Director/Jayson – 30 – Made his “masterpiece and now has to hack it up into a monster movie.
Producer/Bravo – inexperienced. Financed movie with money borrowed from his leg-breaker godfather. Has to make the money back. Also does special fx make-up.
Sound guy – Guy: true artist. Good ideas. Real talent.

Monster = Bravo “what did you say.

CAST
DEB
ALAIN = Hunters

ANNAMARIE
ASHSTON = Fighting actress.

NEIL
BOB = Fighting actors

JAMES = Star

SR. HUNTER = Glen P.

INT. UNKNOWN - NIGHT
James eyes snap open. He’s in a lab (possibly cave.)
A haggard scientist paces with a double barrel.

JAMES
What the fu#$!

He can’t move.

DUTCH
No, no. you, why would you? Neurotoxins don’t work like that. You will though, time, time. It’s a mater of time, time, time.

The wind howls.

DUTCH
My fault. My fault.

He cracks the double barrel and exits the room.

JAMES
Wait!

DUTCH
Shh! They’ll hear.

JAMES
Who?

DUTCH
No, what.

He leaves James behind.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods: The 1st Scene


This is the 1st thing I ever wrote for Monsters in the Woods. I’m pretty sure this was before doing any character sketches or outlines. I knew I was going to start out in the fake movie and transition into reality. This scene was just the 1st thing that popped into my mind. A total cliché low budget horror sex/kill scene. I’ve kept the prose exactly how I originally jotted it down. You’ll notice it’s rough and choppy. This is pure id. No intellectual tampering. 


Int. Tent – Day

Two teens have sex, missionary in tent.

GIRL
Harder!

The boy complies. Girl SCREAMS out.
Boy slows, swivels hips.

GIRL
Oh, oh yeah.

BOY
You like that?

GIRL
Oh yeah. I can really feel it. My boyfriend has only one speed. Fast. It’s ok when you just want to get off, but-

The boy reaches around.

GIRL
Oh James, you really open me up. Play with me.

She gasps in ecstasy.

GIRL
Flip me over.

James flips her over, they continue. The girl is about to climax.
James is ripped out of the tent. Girl looks out the open flap. Burst of blood hits her in the face. Screams.
Boy screams as he’s torn limb from limb.
Silence. The girl braces for an attack. Nothing.
She creeps out of the tent.
Blood.
James’ body.
Scream.
Run. Chase. Trip. Girl impaled by branch.
Monster sighs and leaves, sad it didn’t get to kill her.

 The sex scene through the chase is pretty standard with a few unusual touches. But,  yt's how the girl actually dies that got me excited (creatively, not in any kind of sexual way) about the project. She trips while running from the creature and is impaled by a branch. Then the creature heaves a huge disappointed sigh and leaves. Even though it was always intended to be the fake movie within a movie, it was the same way I intended to subvert expectations throughout.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods 1


I was going through my things today, getting rid of any extraneous paperwork left over from Monsters in the Woods, and I came across my development notes. Whenever I start a new project, I buy a 500-page spiral notebook to jot down ideas, character sketches, outlines and early scene ideas. Later I use the same notebook for production schedules, budgets, ect… I thought it might be fun to jot down some of my scribbling, at least the ones I can decipher. (my mom says I got a dr’s handwriting).

Monsters in the Woods started out as a way to help sale Trap. I’ve told the story many times about how we were going to cut monster footage into Trap in order to sell it. Those ideas later blossomed into what was to become Monsters in the Woods.

Trap was about 2 kidnappers who take a teenage girl. They hold her for ransom in a cabin in the wilderness. Most of the movie takes place there. Below is a short outline briefly describing the scenes that we would have cut into trap.


  1. OPEN_ KILL SCENE: A young couple having sex.  (this would later be the opening scene of Monsters in the Woods)
  2. FRANKLIN GOES TO CAR_MONSTER POV. Franklin went out to the car several times in Trap. This was to establish something was watching them.
  3. FRANKLIN COMES ACROSS 1ST KILL. CALLS HITMEN IN TO HELP.
  4. HITMEN PULL BAG WITH TENNESSE IN IT FROM JEEP. MONSTER POV.
  5. GROUP OF MUSHROOM TRIPPING KIDS. 4 or 5. MASSACRE. BIG KILLS. Melancholy MONSTER FLASHBACK.
  6. FRANKLIN FINDS THE AFTERMATH. HITMEN COME. MONSTER CHOW!

EXPOSITION
Franklin works for pharmaceutical company. Test drug on Suzy, turned her into the monster.


That’s how things start. From that I worked up a more complete outline and fleshed out the good ideas (or what I thought were good ideas) and jettisoned the bad. I spent about a week working up the new scenes for Trap. At the time, my rationale was; “It’s so freaking weird and out of left field, that it just could work.” I of course came to my senses and decided to develop a whole new project that had the sellable elements that the distributors found lacking in Trap. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods: That’s All Folks


The HD and DigiBeta dubs are done. I’m copying all the digital files onto an external hard drive now. Monday morning we’ll turn over the dubs and the hard drive to Osiris Entertainment.

This concludes my delivery responsibly on Monsters in the Woods. I’m pretty much done with the movie now, at least until Osiris starts selling territories. Then all the promotion fun starts. The next major film market is AFM, which is several weeks away. Hopefully, we’ll have some US release date news then.

In the meantime get out there and support indie-cinema, buy or rent my last two flicks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 5: Music Cue Sheet

Today I’m finishing up the music cue sheet. I need to list time code and duration of every single music cue in the movie. I finished the 1st reel sometime ago. Now that I have the reels combined, I need to finish up the 2nd and 3rd reels. After that, the only item left on our list is the dialog list. Every bit of dialog from the movie needs to be typed out as it’s spoken in the movie (not the script) and time code needs to be listed for every line. This is to aid with foreign dubbing/subtitles. One of the producers is taking care of that now.

After that, we’re done.  We’ll get word on the QC by Friday. Then we’ll deliver the dubs.

This as been the easiest delivery I’ve ever dealt with. I attribute the majority of that to the preparations of Al Gomez who was the main producer on the flick.

I can only hope all my future projects go this easy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 4: Exporting Movie and Trailer


I finished with my final sound and video sweep yesterday. I now have to ready the movie for QC at a post-production facility. They’ll want the movie as a single uncompressed file, preferably pro rez hq. Now for the 1st time, I’ll lay out all three reels of the movie on a single time line and export it has pro rez. The file should be between 700 and 800 gigs. I’ll then transfer that file onto an external hard drive for transport to the post house.

Also, at the end of the movie, I’ve placed the opening credit sequence (minus the actual titles). This is for foreign versions. I’ve also placed my final trailer.

The movie will take somewhere between 6 and 12 hrs to export. Once done I’ll place through the entire file on my QuickTime player. If all is well, that will be that. If I find any errors, I’ll go back into Final Cut Pro, correct the errors and re-export. I have until Tuesday Morning to get out the best file I can.

Then it’s off to the post house. We’ll get our results on Friday. If the movie passes, I’ll export a PAL version and then we’ll have that QC’d. Once both versions pass, its on to the dupe house.

In the meantime, I’ll move on to some of the smaller items on my deliverable list.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 3: Final Mix and Color

Looks like we’re going to start QC early next week. It takes about 24 hrs to spit out the uncompressed QuickTime’s that I need, plus I want to give myself an additional 24 just in case of any errors. Therefore, I’ll need to finish up my final checks on the movie by Saturday night. I’ve already quadruple checked both video and audio, but I want to go over everything one last time.

Today, I’m checking my final sound mix. Early this morning I finished checking my M&E (music and effects) sans dialog, just to make sure everything was fully formed. Now I’m going to go over the entire mix, dialog and music together to make sure everything jives together. I’ll fix any off levels and add any last minute sound FX or Foley I may have missed. Once all is good there, I’ll adjust my overall mix by -5db’s. Some of the louder jumps and music cues are dangerously close to peaking. This will insure that nothing is peaking, while keeping my over all mix relatively uniform.

Time permitting, I’ll then add a slate at the beginning of the movie, combine my reels and add text less titles and trailer for export.
Friday and Saturday morning, I’ll double check my color correction one last time, looking for any areas that are broadcast unsafe or that are mismatched. I’ll render Saturday night and start my export Sunday morning.

Once exported to Pro Rez 422 HQ, I’ll double check the file, stick it on on a hard drive for QC and deliver. Once the NTSC file has passed QC, I’ll export a PAL version for QC as well.  Then we’re off to make dupes. One NTSC DIGIBETA, one PAL DIGIBETA and a D5-HD tape. That along with the original QuickTime file will make up the main movie delivery items.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 2: The State of Things


I really should have started day 1 with this, but hey…

Like I said yesterday, deliverable requirements vary from distributor to distributor, and once a deal is signed you usually have anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete the deliverable list.

There are few things that are always the same. So these items should be done before the deal is even signed.

  1. Screenplay and the movie should be registered with the library of congress. Check.
  2. Movie should be checked for both video and audio broadcast quality. That way when you do get the final QC report, you will pass it and not have to spend more cash.
  3. Audio should have the music and effects already separated. Every distributor I’ve ever dealt with has always required M&E on a separate track for delivery. Check.
  4. Paperwork and contracts are all in order. It’s a good idea to scan them all into PDF’s for easy delivery. Check.
  5. Money should be set-aside for Errors and Omissions insurance and all the paperwork to get it.
I'm sure there's more, but I want to get into the issue at hand.

Don't forget to pick up your copy of Trap.

Today, I’m going to talk A little bit about where things stand now. The movie is currently still broken up into 3 reels. There are few things I need to do before combining.

  1. Today and tomorrow I’m finishing a quadruple check on my M&E in order to make sure it’s fully formed. When you’re taking on all of post yourself, it’s easy to miss little things. Especially in M&E. When I did quality control on Edges of Darkness, it took me three passed before I finally licked it. There were some video problems as well, but the majority of issues were with the M&E.
  2. I’ll do a final audio mix on all the reels.
3. Then combine.

Once the reels are merged I’ll finish up my tech deliverables. Most of these things I had to wait on until the reels where combined. Or at least it makes completing them easier.
  1. Music Cue sheet.
  2. Record Audio commentary.
  3. Export full movie uncompressed. (Distributor prefers Pro rez (HQ)
  4. Get the QuickTime file QC’d. Hopefully pass 1st time.
  5. Make digi beta and HD dupes from QC’d file.
  6. Put all deliverables on a hard drive and put them into the distributor’s hands.
Easy enough, right?

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 1: Music Cues

Delivering a feature to a distributor should be no big deal. The hard work is already done. The movie is shot, edited and ready to go. Delivery should be simple. However, for many micro-budget productions this is where things get rough. Many of us go into delivery ignorant of the requirements - technical, legal and financial. Monsters in the Woods is the 3rd movie of my own that I’ve delivered to a distributor. I’ve had a hand in delivering a few others for various production companies. It rarely goes smoothly. I’m hoping that the 3rd time will in fact be the charm with Monsters in the Woods, and that I can learn from and use my past mistakes to avoid missteps here. Guess we’ll see.

For my next few posts I’ll be concentrating on the physical and technical deliverables. I usually start working on these at the beginning of post-production and finish them up upon the sale of the movie. On Trap I did them all right after finishing post and ended up not needing a lot of them. Different distributors have different requirements. So now I wait till the movie sells and I see the distributors contact and delivery requirements before prepping most things to make sure my tech spec fit the distributor’s needs. That way I don’t have to redo anything.

For example, today I’m putting each individual music cue in a labeled folder, which is a bit of a pain because my composer didn’t deliver cues. He laid his entire score out in reels. So I have 3 30-minute files with no cue marks. This will also make filling out a music cue sheet kind of a pain, but that’s another story. Anyway, today I have to pull each reel of music into Final Cut Pro then find, export and label each individual music cue.  The distributor wants the cues in order to more easily create additional material for the movie; trailers, behind the scenes featurettes and DVD’s.

It took me 2 hours to export all the cues. This is the 1st time I’ve actually had to do this.
No other distributor has ever asked me for the music cues separately from the movie
before. On the brightside I figured out a pretty efficient way to prepare my music cue
sheet, which I’ll tackle right after I put all three of my reels together for final export.
I’ll talk a little more about that and the current state of the movie tomorrow. (shit, guess I should’ve done that 1st. Oh well.)



 Oh yeah, don't forget to get your copy of Trap.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trap is Sprung!

So this post my look familiar. I posted a similar one about a year ago. I took Trap out of circulation while Monsters in the Woods finished up. My hope was that I could sell Trap on MITW's coat-tails. That plan didn't exactly work out.

So Trap is currently making the rounds in film fests. It's got into a few and has even won an award. However, it's two years old, shot on DV and has no (currently) bankable stars. Looks like the only avenue left open is self distribution. So I've made Trap available through Createspace. It can be purchased for only $10 bucks. That's the cheapest price they allow. It will also be available for download and rent on Amazon VOD within the next 60 days.

I'm proud of the movie. I feel it's my best overall work so far and hope that folk will take the opportunity to check it out.

So buy Trap or wait until it hits Amazon VOD in the next 60 days, or the eventual torrents (which I don't personally approve of, but what the hell.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

When to Throw in The Towel?

A question every struggling artist eventually asks themselves when things aren’t exactly working out is, “When do I throw in the towel, when do I give up?” I’ve asked myself this very question many times over the years and my response as always been, “never. I’m never giving up. I’m going to do this or continue trying to do this till the day I die.” Well, after a decade of struggle and now being no better off financially than I was then (actually including debt, I’m a lot worse off), my resolve is slipping. I watch friends and acquaintances excel in other careers and start families, and I can’t help but wonder where I’d be today if I had chosen a more traditional path after college. Instead, I sit here today, broke, single, questioning my ability as an artist and wondering if I’ll receive a 3 month late editing payment in order to pay this months rent on time.  

I’m not quite ready to pack it in, but for the 1st time ever, I’m seriously questioning the path I’ve chosen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moving On…Moving Up.


As my alarm went off at 330am the other day a thought hit me; nobody should be getting up this early on a regular basis for a little over minimum wage. I’m a skilled worker who just shot a quality feature in five days and edited it in another 19. Yet, I’ve spent the better part of the last 11 years making the bulk of my money in a service industry job, making just over minimum wage. That’s 11 years of barely making ends meet. Hell, more often than not I don’t make it, at least not comfortably. I’ve explained my reasoning before in posts, as to why I chose to work outside the industry while pursuing my writing/directing career. I thought I’d be able to concentrate better on my own work while working a part-time service job. Industry jobs tend to dominate your life once you immersed in them.

Well, I was wrong. I’m not saying I regret my decision. The life choices I’ve made have led me to where I am today. I’ve written and directed five feature films, that’s an actual career. You can see in my work the growth I’ve made over the years, technically and creatively. I’m proud of my work and couldn’t have achieved it any other way. However, the days of me being a starving artist are over. Month after month my bank account reads just over 0. After bills this month I had 30 cents in my account. 30 cents! And I was still 2 weeks late paying my rent. I’m too old and tired to live like this anymore. Plus, I’ve done almost zero networking in my time in LA. Almost none. I downright suck at it now. Luckily some opportunities have come my way, but most have been out of sheer luck or through friends I made years ago. I really need to open up my world.

Things are happening on the writing/directing front. Put a Ring on it turned out good. It will be released on Sept. 12. That’s the quickest turnaround I’ve ever had on a movie. I’ve already been getting calls from distributors (too late) and even agencies interested in repping me. Monsters in the Woods is 99 percent complete. It’s my best work so far. I think it will open some doors, financially and career wise. Trap is being accepted into film fests (more on that in the coming weeks). Well, that’s well and good, but it still isn’t putting money in my pocket right now. Enter my new job opportunity. A very good friend of mine has been doing editing and production work for a small company whose output and profits have more than doubled since he’s been with them, so much so, that they are looking to hire a full time editor. I’ve been offered the gig. It’s a full time, 8 hr a day, 5 days a week gig. Not exactly my dream job, but it pays triple what I’m making now and it’s a chance to further hone my skills. In

I’m going out there early next week for a few days to shadow my friend to make sure that the job is a good fit. If it is, I’m definitely taking it. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2 Full Days Off and Not a Thing To Do.

I’ve got the entire weekend off from my day job. Post is finished on Put a Ring on it. The green light has yet to be given on the production company’s three follow-up projects. I’m caught up (for the most part) with my prep on the three horror flicks we’re getting off the ground. I don’t have much to do this weekend. Most of my friends are going out of town or are otherwise occupied. My wallet is a little light. I don’t have much to do.

I suppose I should finish going over those horror scripts. There is some work to be done there. 2 of them need a little fleshing out. I could also do a bit of work on the acting reel I started last night for a good friend. I also need to work a bit on that new Monsters in the Woods trailer. Our meeting with Showtime is next week.

Yeah, ok. I guess I got some shit to do, but it doesn’t really feel like it. I know part of the melocholy I’m feeling is that post partum production depression that I get when ever a production wraps. You know, the whole “one minute you’re super busy and occupied, then the next your stuck with obsolutely nothing to do, or so it seems” thing.

Ok, let’s make a list of things to do today and stick to it.

  1. Work on Monsters in the Woods Trailer. I can do that, actually sounds kinda fun.
  2. Work a bit on that aforementioned reel. It’s really long right now, over 6 minutes. I need to cut that shit in half. She just has soooo much good material, mostly mine.
  3. Script work. I should pepper this in smaller doses between editing tasks.
  4. Clean my house. Never really got to my spring cleaning this year and my roommate is going somewhere for the day. Perfect day for some cleaning and music.
  5. Should go somewhere tonight, but this might prove difficult with the state of transportation and finances, or lack thereof.

Alight, let’s get motivated and tackle this stuff!

Writing More Good: Bad Grammar and Spelling in Blogs

Damn!
So I just skimmed through several of my posts over the last year and am amazed at the horrendous state of my grammar and spelling. I'm a college graduate for Christ's sake! I recently read a tweet from a blogger I very much respect who said something like "I pretend English is a 2nd language for most fellow bloggers so I can forgive their writing." Now I'm 99.9 percent sure he's never read anything of mine, but I would definitely fit into this category.

I suppose I just rush through the process in a mad dash to just make the post and move on with my day. I'm not a professional writer...oh wait, I guess I am. Shit. OK, I need to take a little more care and time with my posts to better edit and catch my glaring mistakes.

I hereby pledge to.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Homo! 5 Actors I might be a Little Too Obsessed With.

Let me preface this by stating, I am a 100% secure heterosexual man (does a secure heterosexual man actually have to state it? If they write a blog like this, they might.) However, I’ve always been more interested in male actors than female. Boy, that sounds kinda sexist too. Sure, I can appreciate a good female performance, and they sure is pretty to look at, but even as a child it was the male performers that I followed and would watch movies for. That is until I discovered masturbation then actresses started playing a more pivotal role (but that’s a whole other thing.) Wow! That really sounds sexist. Ok, let me further preface this, by saying I’m not a sexist. These are purely movie and cinema related opinions. I’m definitely not a sexist I practically minored in woman’s studies in college. Sure it was mostly to get tail, but hey I got really good grades in the classes. I still got the term papers to prove it. Professionally, I've preferred working with actresses over actors overall (and not just because I sleep with a lot of them. That's a joke, I've only slept with like 80% of the actresses i've worked with). Seriously though, most of the best performances in my work are form the actresses. I also tend to write better female roles than male. Huh? Is that some kind of Freudian balance thing? Eh, who knows....

Anyway, here’s five actors (not all categorically “good” actors, but actors that I have what some may consider to be an unhealthy obsession with.

  1. Jason Priestly:  The king of eyebrow acting. Seriously, check out an older episode of 90120, any episode and watch this dude completely emote using nothing but his eyebrows. It’s breath taking. Seriously though, he’s actually a good actor. Like most of the actors on my list, he did his best work in things he’s not known for. His weakest work overall was on 90210234.  I defy ANYONE to watch Love and Death and Long Island and tell me that is not a complex, subtle and moving performance. He’s also good on Coldblooded, a cool little indie-hitman movie. Then there was his stint on True Calling and Jeremiah. I did watch 90120 throughout most of it’s run. I finally did quit in the final season after he left. But I stuck with it for almost 9 years, just for him. No homo!
  2. John Stamos. He’s actually probably my number one “hasn’t really done much good work but I’m still obsessed with actor.” I was never a full house fan. It didn’t move me at all. I didn’t care for him in it either. Then one day I caught this Tales from the Crypt episode. I forget the title, but it was a total John Woo’s The Killer knock off. With John Stamos playing this sleazy gigolo. All of a sudden I was like, “man, John Stamos is cool.” Then he didn’t really do much else. There was the short-lived Thieves and ER (prob. His best dramatic work) but, it was that one episode of Tales from the Crypt that forever made me a John Stamos fan. No Homo!
  3. Andrew Dice Clay: most likely the odd man out on my list. Not nearly as dreamy as the rest. Like Priestly a very underrated actor. I still freaking love The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (maybe it’s cuz I’m a raging sexist!). My 2nd favorite is Brainsmasher: A Love Story. I wrote about this more in detail in my Albert Pyunn director of the week blog. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should seek it out.  I never cared for his stand-up, but am a fan of almost all his dramatic work. No Homo!
  4. Grieko, Richard. What can I say? I like him on both 21 jump st. and his Booker spin off. But it was his feature debut If Looks Could Kill that did it for me. It’s a really funny, well made James Bond spoof. Sure he was a bit old to be playing a high school kid, but goddamn if it wasn’t the old college try and like I said, it was a damn fun movie. No Homo!
  5. Bradley Cooper:  Dreaminess personified. That’s all I got to say about him. No homo!