Friday, June 17, 2005

My First LA Earthquake

Had a sample of my first earthquake yesterday when a mild tremor moved through Precision Post. A number of miles east of LA there was a 5.2 that sent waves all the way to San Diego. As opposed to the feeling when a large truck or freight train passes by, this was more of a rolling sensation...very slight but still there. I heard several of the other editors ask one another if they just felt something.

Another week of working on the making-of featurettes for "The Island". As where three "Ring Two" pods were broken up between several editors, I am basically overseeing and cutting all the pods for this project. Have to work over the weekend (tomorrow and Sunday) because DreamWorks and Warner Bros. want to see a first cut by Tuesday morning. In part they asked about my availability to put in some overtime but I also want all of these to be as polished as possible for the first studio viewing. So I plan on cramming over the weekend to accomplish this. Two of the pods I've finished were posted to the client website tonight so the producer whose handling this project can look at them before the studio does. He just called about an hour ago to say he thought they were really good.

Saw a familiar face at Precision the other day; an assitant editor who used to do work for Ipostini. I haven't worked there in a little under a year but was imformed the company was disbanded. Apparently Showtime, a major and very primary client for them, decided for financial reasons to take their business elsewhere. Tim, the president of Ipostini who I'd worked for, has now created another company a few miles away that does DVD marketing and replication with no editorial work however. So in leiu of this the Ipostini link is being retired from the sidebar.

Tomorrow night I'll be heading to Mann's Chinese Theatre to see "Batman Begins" which I am very happy to hear is getting great reviews. Probably better that I've waited for the weekend because now all the 'wait-and-see' fans will probably be heading out to catch it as well. On a side note I keep wanting to check out "Cinderella Man" but have not been in the mood yet. Of course I always go to see Ron Howard's films. However it seemed strange from the get go that they released the movie at the beginning of the busy summer blockbuster season. I think the chances of Opie and Russell Crowe taking any cash away from The Sith, Batman, or aliens invading Earth next week were pretty slim if not impossible. Just read an article that echoed this, finding box office take to be quite a bit low. They're hoping to recoup when the DVD premieres in the fall...the time they should have brought the film out theatrically to begin with.

Note to Katie Holmes: please pick up a firehouse, point it at your face, and TURN ON THE FUCKING WATER!!! You're getting way too out of control regrading Tom Cruise*.

(*See the 2005 MTV Movie Awards)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Working On "The Island", Hughes Appreciation, And "The Bat Man"

Finished cutting the special effects pod for "The Ring Two" at Precision Post. I was very happy to learn that DreamWorks came back with only one very minor change to my cut. 98% was right on the mark. Wow. As mentioned, this will be included on the supplement for the forthcoming DVD so look for it.

Continuing very happily with Precision, I am now in the middle of cutting 4 making-of pods for "The Island". These are to be used as tools for international marketing of the film. The first one I dove into was a featurette on Director Michael Bay. The others will cover the principal actors, aspects of a giant shooting facility used during the filming, and a third we've been given carte blanche on a topic for. They nixed an FX and stunts pod that seems a natural here. Before all of this I was given a cut of the movie to sit down and watch. This was the first time I viewed a major studio theatrical release in advance of it's premiere conjoining with my work. However my John Hancock on the dotted line of the confidentiality contract says I can't talk about it right now. I do however plan on seeing the completed film in the theatre come July.

Got a call from The Cannery on Friday asking about my availability this coming week and into next month. I told Erica, the producer I previously worked with, that I was booked through next week but would check with Precision regarding the following weeks. I hope to continue with Precision as long as they can use me because I really like it there and the projects I work on are all A list studio theatrical films. SO lovin’ it. At any rate I feel work in general will bring me steadily into the middle of July with no problem.

Watched the MTV Movie Awards Thursday night. Great Batman opener with Jimmy Fallon catching a ride from The Dark Knight, and the “Revenge Of The Sith” gag was also a riot. Best of all, four cast members from “The Breakfast Club” assembled on stage to accept an award in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the movie. Unfortunately Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson were not present. That sucked. Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Ally Sheedy joined up with Paul Gleeson to wild applause. However as they ran clips from the film on several giant screens this lame band called Yellowcard did a really AWEFUL rendition of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. And I do mean AWEFUL! I know we’re trying to pander to the younger MTV audience…who of course think the network is about dumb ass teen reality shows and the like. Not fully comprehending that at one point the “M” in MTV meant MUSIC! Now I think it means “Meaningless”. But for God’s sake just go out and sign Simple Minds to do the song, huh!

Still…fan’s love of John Hughes now classic teen films, plus some solid talk of Molly Ringwald’s approval of a script for a “16 Candles” sequel, has me thinking about a really cool event someone ought to come up with by‘06 at least. This year of course being the 20th anniversary of “The Breakfast Club” and next year being “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” 20th as well, somebody should arrange a ‘Hughes Fest’ in the Chicago suburbs where most of these films were shot. The turn out would be enormous, especially because of “Ferris”. Come on, eh! Go!

Regarding the sequel, you can’t top the original “16 Candles” of course and they shouldn’t try. I just think it would be cool to have Molly assuming one of her classic characters and be working with John Hughes once again in a GOOD movie. Just so long as Molly’s role doesn’t quickly exit into supporting-ville just for branding purposes. Yuck! It’s going to need to be something different and not a rehash to work. We’ll see. Anthony Michael Hall should have a cool cameo. Not to mention Long Duck Dong! “Auto-mo-beeele?!” Of course I haven’t seen anything yet that John Hughes is even attached. I just read USA Networks has the reins on this thing. Do cable movies ever not suck? Especially on USA, the ‘$1.98 budget’ network?! That’s right! I’d prefer a theatrical release but you know because of cable’s ongoing relationship with showing the original, this will most likely be the only place they feel it can perform well enough. Blah! I’ll still watch it with a certain amount of glee.

Went to the screening of “The Empire Strikes Back” at The Arclight last Wednesday. Once again a great crowd, especially when everyone ‘blahed’ and laughed uncomfortably as Leia kissed Luke…”well I guess you don’t know everything about women”. Great to see it with a fan audience on the big screen 25 years on. My God why is everything we know and love now between 20 and 30 years old. Jeez!

“Batman Begins” opens this week and I’m debating the merits of heading to a special midnight showing at Mann’s Chinese Theatre Tuesday night or just catch to the first evening show on Wednesday. Of course I’m working all this week that figures prominently in my plan making. The movie’s been getting some great reviews from a hand full of critics early on. This could finally be as close to target dead center a “Batman” film has gotten yet. I’m ready to be impressed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Yeah...I Should Have Gone

Jaws Fest took place this past weekend on Martha's Vineyard, the filming location of course for the original "Jaws" which is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year and month. June 20 to be exact. The H. sent me an e-mail about it over a month ago I had a discussion with Bill B. about going. We were both a little skeptical based on some of the events listed on the official web site. Although some aspects seemed intriguing and had me hoping to make the trip work somehow.

Then May set in, work began at a new post house (Precision), and the hoopla of "Revenge Of The Sith" took over. I was certainly preoccupied but briefly here and there would come back to the inevitable: was I going to attend?! Time was beginning to run out...

The Martha's Vineyard Chamber Of Commerce was putting this shindig on and some of the things they had planned seemed more tourist oriented then "Jaws" oriented. Perhaps a clambake that they might be having at any other point during the summer with a sign hung on it calling it a "Jaws" event leaving any connectivity to a minimum. I was certainly aware they had arranged this event to boost tourism, fair enough. Still Peter Benchley and screenwriter Carl Gottlieb gave talks and signed autographs, plus there were displays of original "Jaws" props and costumes along with several screenings of the film at two of the downtown Edgartown theatres where it in 1975. Good stuff, my attention was definitely perking up. It was also said Edgartown, which stood in for the fictional town of the movie, would be displaying all the original signage from the filming on public buildings turning the town into Amity for 3 days. Even that would have nicely set the mood for my appreciation.

Then 2 weeks out they announced Susan Backline, the woman who played first shark victim Chrissie Watkins, would be in attendance. There would be tours of the filming sites and panel presentations by some of the team who created and constructed Bruce the shark. In fact there was a recreation of Bruce' head on display at various points during the weekend.

So why the hell didn't I go?!

Even last Wednesday I struggled with the concept of, 'there's still time to book a last minute flight to Providence!'. As we entered the weekend I started checking out postings on from folks who were there and taking lots of pictures, placing them online each day. At first I saw a number of shots taken by fans showing famous locations mostly as they would look during any other time during the summer. That was reassuring...yeah, yeah, I'm not missing too much...O.K. good. This is what I wanted to see. Then I came across some other photos of a few good-sized crowds watching Peter Benchley, along with others from the film crew, open the event. BTW, the man has aged quite a bit since last time I saw him doing an Anyhow, I teetered a lot still on what awaited me had I taken the rigorous trip from LA. This wouldn't be driving three short hours from Albany where a last minute decision to attend Saturday would have worked even on Friday at that point.

For the most part I do wish I'd gone. News coverage that started becoming more national as Saturday wore on tugged on my envy strings a bit. What initially came across as a semi through together happenstance was shaping up to be more than a minor gathering. I certainly would have enjoyed what they had to offer and filled in other times with my personal appreciation of visits to the filming locations, etc. I didn't need this to be all encompassing but it did seem to end up pushing the fun meter over into the red just a touch. Hopefully they'll have one again next year, although it won't have quite the vigor of this, the 30th anniversary.

Just saw a photo online of over a thousand people waiting for a screening of the movie on Martha's Vineyard from this past weekend. FUCK! I say again...why didn't I go?

I've been searching for some type for a screening out here and have only found one in Long Beach later this month. I was hoping The Arclight might do it up but they ran the film in February right after I got back from 2 months back east for Christmas. Unfortunately I got online too late to buy tickets then which were already sold out. You'd think Universal would be doing something perhaps at the theme park only 3 miles from where I am. I do know they had an entourage head to Martha's Vineyard promoting the new 30th anniversary DVD which will hit stores next Tuesday, the 14th.

Despite missing Jaws Fest I'm really excited about the new release for 2 reasons especially....

#1: A two-hour making of documentary that appeared on the laserdisc box set from 1995 was cut down to one hour for the 25th anniversary release on DVD in 2000. That has now been restored and added in its entirety to disc two of the new set! Now you can once again hear Richard Dreyfuss tell about the little boats on the horizon that the cast and crew waited to disappear so The Orca seemed like the only boat on the ocean. Just as Spielberg was about to yell action another one would appear. This was one of several tales omitted.

#2: Finally, finally, FINALLY!!...the ORIGINAL 2.0 mono soundtrack which was tossed out in favor of a new 5.1 DTS mix will now return to the appreciation and applause of many a "Jaws" fan including me! God bless it! Yes, I want to hear the whale sing, not blub blub, after the Indianapolis story! I want to hear the stock rifle sound FX from the Universal library when Quint fires at the shark! I want to hear the dying growl underwater (originally used as the truck went over the cliff in "Duel") after Brody's shot sets off the oxygen tank. "Smile you son of a..." BOOM!!!


Friday, June 3, 2005

"The Ring Two" DVD, Arclight Screenings, & Comic-Con On The Horizon

Work continues on the special effects featurette (or pod) for "The Ring Two" DVD at Precision Post. A first rough cut went out the door today with comments expected from DreamWorks on Monday or Tuesday. Delivery is Friday, June 10. Plus I completed some revisions on that promo for the Martin Laurence movie "Rebound". At this point it looks like work will continue through next week completely. No official word on what happens from that point.

This has been great! Plus I just found a much easier way to Precision Post avoiding the freeways and cutting 15 minutes off my trip. I now have some major new high profile stuff to add to my resume but still need to inquire about grabbing copies of some of these projects for my reel. Hopefully.

Attended the screening of "Aliens" with Stan Winston and Gale Anne Hurd Tuesday night followed by an AFI screening of the original "Star Wars" (screw the 'Episode' in the now official title shit!) on Wednesday. After Stan and Gale were introduced it was revealed that some extra special guests were in the house. Lance Henriksen walked out to everyone's surprise. They spoke briefly about the film, moments before the lights dimed. But not before someone brought Stan Winston a large bucket of popcorn and escorted him to his seat to watch the feature with the rest of us. He sat in the row behind me on the other side of the auditorium. Can you imagine coming for the screening only to find that Stan Winston would be sitting next to you? Too cool. As they hinted at more surprises before the movie began I scanned some people standing over near the wall on the right of the auditorium. Suddenly I realized one of them was Jennette Goldstein, Vasquez herself! Unfortunately after the movie ended it was revealed she had to go home and attend to her daughter. We all let out a huge disappointing sigh.

Of course it was great to see "Aliens" again on the big screen with a very enthusiastic audience. People applauded at all the great moments plus laughed and applauded whenever Bill Paxton said any of his famous lines..."GAME OVER. MAN!". The biggest reaction of course was when Ripley strode out in the power walker and shouted, "get away from her you BITCH!".

After the show Stan, Gale Anne Hurd, and Lance Henriksen returned to their director's chairs below the screen to answer pre-determined questions from the audience. One directed to Stan was what he thought of the effects in the new "Star Wars". He said he loved Yoda but there were a number of other things he did not like, not specifying what those were. Finishing up about an hour later, people from the audience were allowed to approach for autographs, etc. I had Stan Winston and Lance Henriksen both sign my ticket. I asked Stan what other aspects of "Sith" he did not like. He said visually the film looked amazing and beautiful, but the performances were very wooden adding that a number of fine actors had been put to waste.

The AFI screening of "Star Wars" Wednesday night was an equal treat although there was no Q&A of course. Ran into a couple of people from Autonomy who I had a feeling would be there, including Andy the senior editor. We'll be seeing each other again next week for "Empire". The audience again was very pumped for the film, applauding the appearance of every major character. Han got the biggest response. Plus I flat out booed when Greedo shot at Han first, echoed by several others in the theatre. Everybody laughed at the obsurdity. This BTW was the '97 Special Edition version, not the DVD version from last fall. So the gap between Greedo's shot and Han's response was much broader. Great night, and overall a great week in general.

I've now officially made my hotel reservation for Comic Con in San Diego, July 14-17. Yes!! My registering for the full four days of the event itself will happen this week. I'm finally going for the first time! Last year of course I'd forgotten the event dates only to discover it had just started the day I became aware of it. D'OH! At that point it was too late to make arrangements. I have a double room at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina 1/2 block from the convention center. So I'm basically opening up the floor to anyone who may want to share the room. I'll be going just the same by myself if there are no takers...just wanted to put that out there for consideration. I'm aware there's another event going on the week before for some folks...but who needs that? ;)