Monday, August 7, 2006

Al Gore and the Deluxe "Face/Off" DVD

The Astaire & Rogers project is finally winding down, with our deadline being the end of this week. Thank Christ! Although I've actually had somewhat of a creative good time working on it this past week and weekend. It's going to be a great piece after all.

Last week Eric, the head of Sparkhill, came by my edit bay and asked if I'd be interested in a specific project that had a two and half week turnarond; the DVD supplement for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". Cool. I'm definitely up for that, I said. I've been wanting to see the documentary in theaters for some time and now have an excuse. Even though they have a screener here which I will use for the piece, I'd still like to check it out on the big screen first. So tonight I'll be heading over to the Arclight for a viewing. There's actually some talk of having Al Gore come to Sparkhill to do an interview.
Wow! However they seem to think a shooting crew may have to go wherever he is at the time.

In the meantime, one disappointment turned into more than I could have hoped for.

Last Friday there was a scheduling meeting in the conference room. Later I went in to check the project board only to find that "Face/Off" had been completely removed. Hey?!!! I was living for that project! But again, that board changes every few days, so I tried to keep optimistic that it would reappear down the road.

The next day I learned that Director John Woo, John Travolta, and Nicholas Cage had talked with one another recently about the lack of a special edition for the film, and that they were interested in participating. So at the moment Paramount is reassessing the whole thing with the notion of creating a deluxe edition DVD. Woohoo! The previous version I was scheduled to take on would've been sort of a cheapy version; one featurette and a few trailers, probably with commentary. The studio's goal now is to pull out all the stops, and I have to say I am extremely happy about that!! Still nothing on when we'll actually be starting the project but it sounds like it'll be sometime this year. Because thisis now going to be a much bigger undertaking I probably wont be the only editor working on it. However I'm sure they'll give me first crack at which ever pod I want to tackle. So in the end all is well. Aaaahhh.....

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Comic-Con 2006 Wrap Up

O.K. so now that I have a little time on my hands away from the unwielding (!!!) Astaire/Rogers project at Sparkhill, I can finish my wrap of this years Comic-Con.

As mentioned Thursday and Friday were great, what with Bryan Singer's talk that included a surprise visit from Richard Donner himself! The audience went nuts, compliments for both their versions flew, and many questions asked about the next movie...which BETTER happen despite Warner's starting to wimp out a little saying, 'oh but it has to do $200 million domestically in order for that to happen'. You know if a sequel to "Fantastic Four" and "The Hulk" are in the works, they can fucking make the next Superman movie. I mean come on!

The "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut" presentation was fantastic!! The 3 clips they showed (mentioned in my Day 2 post) were incredible. The release of this on DVD is going to be a milestone. Never in the history of film has a director gone back and re-cut a movie he shot, but was then scrapped in favor of a new director. This of course due to Donner's disagreements and falling out with The Salkinds. But then again, who hasn't had a disagreement and falling out with the Salkinds? BTW, Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen in "Superman Returns") made a surprise appearance during the presentation as did Richard Donner, once again to a standing ovation following his appearance at Bryan Singer's side an hour before. God bless him! I almost wanted to get up and say, 'thank you Mr. Donner for rescuing "Superman, The Movie" from The Salkinds', which is essentially what he did.

Saturday was just plain insane. In. Sane.

This being the peak of attendance during the 4 days, the crowds were almost impossible to traverse. I almost wished there had been more programming for me to go to so I could stay away from the crush of hundreds of thousands of people in the Exhibit Hall. And don't even think about trying to get something to eat at the various cafe's they had available. Lines took almost a half hour to go through. Sometimes it was better just to grab a cookie at one of the Mrs. Fields carts, but even they were crowded. I still had a great time Saturday despite the numbers. And when the event closed at 7pm, get the hell off the sidewalk and streets outside! Here come the fans! Either trying to catch their shuttle back to a hotel or heading across the street to munch out at one of many downtown restaurants. I'm still trying to find out what the attendance was for the whole four days. Last year it was 104,000. This year seemed like more.

There were a couple of regrets I had regarding Saturday though. Both were about important missed panels, mostly due to the un-ending crowds.

I headed for Hall H where all the big studio presentations, etc. were happening throughout the weekend, to catch Kevin Smith. Managing to get a halfway decent seat about an hour out, they announced from the stage that he was delayed and still 30 miles out from the convention center. Since his presentation was coming up in 45 minutes it was decided that he'd be rescheduled for later that day...possibly. Now, I knew from seeing some flyers at the View Askew (Kevin's company) table in the Exhibit Hall that there were going to be 3 screenings with Kevin doing a Q&A at a local theater. Thank God! Since I was dissappointed about missing his Arclight appearance from the night before.

All of this was not to be in the end.

Unfortunately there was no announcement later in the day regarding Kevin's rescheduled talk. Plus I found out later that Rosario Dawson took the stage an hour after I gave up my seat to say that Kevin would appear at 6:30 right after the Sony Pictures presentation. Meanwhile no one outside of the hall heard this. And so, due to the crush of so many people, plus the fact that Kevin was giving 3 Q&A's later in the day off site, I assumed he would not be re-scheduled for Saturday and didn't try to push my way back to Hall H to stand in line. A line that could have been stopped by fire marshals who had been doing just that all day due to the over capacity of that auditorium (which holds 6,500 people). Subsequently I missed his talk because of lack of information. Another event missed; he brought Jason Mewes out as a surprise. Fuck!! Plus I'd heard there was a power outage at the mall where the theater was that had scheduled his three Q&A's. Never was able to varify whether or not those screenings happened. It just seemed like I was not destined to catch him at all this entire weekend. Sucks!

#2 on the list was the "Spider-Man 3" presentation. I had in fact seen that on the schedule for end of day Saturday (part of the Sony Pictures event) and that Sam Raimi was going to be there for Q&A. Again, the insane crush of the crowd, thoughts of an extremely long line to wait in and perhaps not even getting in swirled in my head. Plus being at the other end of the convention center made me feel very worn out by the thought of fighting with everything and eveyone to get there. So I decided to sit this out.

Bad decision.

Raimi brought out Kirstin Dunst, Topher Grace, Thomas Hayden Church, and Tobey Maguire. AND THEN they showed an extended Comic-Con exclusive trailer which ended by revealing a quick shot of Venom. Once again I say, FUCK!! Of course now they have a good amount of that Q&A session with all of them on line. So at least I am able to puruse what I missed. They haven't posted the special trailer yet and may not. We'll see. Even if all of this does become available online I still would've liked to have been there in person. BTW, one more thing I missed was "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau's ("Swingers") talk about what to expect in that film ue in theaters 2008. I'm definitely a fan of Iron Man and really look forward to the movie. I read the comic regularly during the 80's and grew up with the 1960's Marvel cartoons..."Tony Stark, Makes you feel, He's a cool exec, With a heart of steel. As Iron Man, All jets ablaze, He fights and smite'n with repulsor rays! A blaze of power! Iron Man! Amazing armor! Iron Man!" get the picture. However they did post an interview with Favreau online which was pretty informative.

Sunday was a nice day just to take in everything else I couldn't get to because of the mad rush of Saturday. I finally finished purusing the Exhibit Hall and bought my last item. Thursday and Friday were really the primo purchase days for me. One of the things I picked up is a 12" maquette of Superman from the Max Fleischer Cartoons of the 1940's. Say one last year at the same booth but they only had the one in the display case and couldn't sell it to me. I also, for the first time in 20 years, bought several comics. Mainly some of the Batman graphic novels like "Hush" and "Hush Returns". I'd wanted to read those for a while but never took the time. Also picked up a hard cover version of Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One" which I borrowed from a friend to read in the 80's but never actually owned. "Batman Begins" was inspired by a number of scenes played out in the book which is why I wanted to reacquaint myself.

Basically due to the programming I missed, I need to reavaluate my scheduling of what to do and when next year. It may just come down to following what a lot of folks do; get in line for Hall H early in the morning and just camp out there all day so I can see what I want and in a really great seat close to the stage. Of course it's almost impossible not to have a good seat at Comic-Con due to all the giant screens hanging from the ceiling that projects the programming on stage plus whatever footage or trailers they run.

Bottom line: a better commitment to get to see what I want to see.

All in all an amazing weekend, and I'll be reserving my room at that same Marriott this Saturday for next year. Saturday, because you can't book any more than 360 days out from your arrival date and next year's event is July 25 - 29. BTW, the hotel was great. Not only for the convenience of being right next door, but the rooms, restaurants, amazing tropical pool area, and service as well. God I sound like a commercial!

Photos from Comic-Con will finally be up this coming Saturday. Unfortunately the project at work is sucking the life out of me...but I can at last see the light at the end of the tunnel; the delivery date is a week from Friday. Hoo-Fucking-Ray!!