Monday, June 30, 2008

"Dark Knight" tickets: PURCHASED!!!...a week later

Warner Bros. decided at the last minute over a week ago to push advanced tickets on sale for the midnight show of "The Dark Knight" at Arclight's The Dome (pictured left) to a week after the original month-out from release date.

I was at New Wave then and had heard that pretty much everyone out on the producer's floor, as well as in the edit bays, were waiting with baited breath for the 'on sale now' link to turn over on the Arclight site. It never happened.

I finally decided to call The Arclight that afternoon, Friday, June 20, to see when that day they might be on sale. I was told about Warner Bros. decision. So this past Friday I managed to hit ground zero for tickets going on sale right, dead center.

I knew this would be the biggest ticket selling movie event of the year. And traditionally The Arclight has put these high profile movie tickets on sale four weeks out from the release date; they did it for "Iron Man", "Indiana Jones", and "The Incredible Hulk". There was never a specific time on those Fridays, just sometime between 8:30 and 11:30am. With "Dark Knight" I had a sneaking suspicion they'd maybe jump that time a little, back to right after midnight. Thank God I took that to heart because right around 12:15am PST, as I refreshed the Arclight site for the fourth time, the title "Dark Knight" moved from the columns 'on sale soon' to 'on sale now'. However when I clicked on the link it took me to the "Dark Knight" ticket buying page and the words 'coming soon'. Clearly I was there right at the moment they were changing the web site. Wow! Suddenly a few moments later the times came up for the midnight show and every show time following for 24 hours straight through the weekend.

My hands jumped on the keyboard as I feverishly selected the number of tickets I wanted to buy. The floor plan came up with a whoosh, showing that twenty seats had already been sold in just a microsecond. Shit! Hurry up! You get four minutes to buy tickets before they're released back into the system. I quickly selected my favorite seats (THANK GOD!) and clicked enter. The confirmation came up and my e-mail went 'ding!' with the delivered tickets. But that wasn't the end of it. I knew I needed to go back in and buy tickets for my second viewing a few days later during the weekend. Those were easier to buy since everyone was hammering the midnight show.

Purchased, done, lean back, sigh of relief, whew!

I was up for a little longer, the time now being past 1am. Tickets had now been on sale for well over an hour. Just for giggles I went back in to see how things were filling up for the midnight show. By 1:30am two thirds of the auditorium, which seats over 800 people, was sold. Friday morning I went in again and only saw around fifteen seats left. When I got to work the entire house was sold out!

All I have to say is Thank God I was there at the exact moment they were changing the website. Mainly because there are a prime couple of rows in the middle of the theater that are a perfect and comfortable distance for picture and sound. And just about everyone heads right for that section. This is why I needed to move very fast. Sure I could have gotten a seat anywhere, even if I'd waited until the morning. But MY rows and seats?! It was going to be close!

I've said it so many times in the past but I'll say it again: Thank God for reserved seating Because you know if this had opened at Mann's Chinese, Warner's go to premiere theater where it's first come, first serve, there would have been a line going around the block twice more than a month in advance.

Now I can relax. The release of "The Dark Knight" will be the beginning of that glorious week in San Diego at Comic-Con starting just a couple of days later. Yay, yay, and yay!

First week at Happy Hour Creative

Finished my first week with the trailer house Happy Hour Creative working on three 30 second spots promoting the release of "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian" on DVD this Christmas.

All in all it was a pretty fantastic five days. Two of the spots I cut from scratch, while a third was another editor's version they wanted me to take apart and put my spin on. He's on vacation this week. They were really happy with each of these and had only one or two very minor notes. Plus I've definitely begun fitting in very well here...even just after the first few days! The other editors and staff have been very friendly and welcoming. To sum up: they like me, they love my work, and want to keep me around. So here I am starting week number two, mostly because the "Narnia" spots just went out today for approval and I'm sitting here waiting for notes to come back from Disney.

Chris, the head of the company and the one who brought me in, mentioned about a month ago (when he first saw my reel and resume) that he'd also be looking to expand the company and go from four staff editors to 10 or 12. Chris splintered
off from Trailer Park, the high-end trailer house I've been trying to get into for 5 years, to create his own shop. In the process he took several editors with him, so I'm surrounded by some of the cream of the crop.

It's a very cool atmosphere being around these guys, and I'm feeling pretty confident that when they do expand, I'll be one of the first editors they call to offer a staff position to. And that makes me incredibly happy. I've always felt that if I landed a staff position at a trailer house, things would be perfect. Now it could really happen.

Of course all of this depends on their ability to grow, which can be tricky for anyone. Even if you do have the high-end experience and connections the people at Happy Hour do. Still, I'm feeling pretty confident of continued work with these guys when the need arises.

It's a golden time!

Friday, June 20, 2008

4 weeks until "The Dark Knight"...

...and my finger has been on the refresh button all morning here at work waiting for tickets to go on sale today at The Arclight. Apparently they will be available nationwide today as well.

"And here we.....go."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am happy to announce that Bill WILL be at Comic-Con this year and I couldn't be happier! He just received his clearance from work for the time off which encompasses the entire event. I'm really glad to be finally sharing this incredible week of fanboy bliss with one of my best friends in the entire world. With a little over a month to go, I'm definitely getting excited about the annual pilgrimage to San Diego. The four day memberships have already sold out with only individual day tickets on sale now. So glad we bought ours early. Hey-fucking-yup! BRING IT ON!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Effects Wizard Stan Winston dies at age 62

A Legend of movie special effects has passed, and I was in shock when I heard the news earlier today.

Stan Winston, who brought so many movie creatures and characters to life during a glowing four decade long career, passed away Sunday at his home in Malibu after a seven-year battle with myeloma. I met Stan during a Q&A at The Arclight for "Aliens" about a year and a half ago. After the pre-screening introduction with Stan, he turned, accepted a large bucket of popcorn from one of the ushers standing by, and proceeded to sit in the row behind me a few seats away to watch the movie with the rest of us. From "Jurassic Park," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Aliens", "Edward Scissorhands", and "Predator", all the way to this summer's "Iron Man", Stan was constantly in demand as Hollywood's premiere practical effects God!

Click here or on the photo above for his full obituary on the Hollywood Reporter website.

Monday, June 16, 2008


YES! "The Incredible Hulk" was GREAT! I am both elated and relieved. My full review is on your right and let me just say three things...

#1: LOVED the movie!

#2: The audience was fantastic for last night's 8:30 show. Respectfully and extremely vocal, satisfied by every action packed and anger filled moment this thing threw at us.

And #3: The minute I arrived in the lobby of The Arclight I spotted Tim Roth with his little girl talking to a few people in the lobby. As the lights went down a half hour later, he and Director Louis Leterrier were present to intro the film. Very cool!

I'll definitely be heading back later this week to catch the big green guy again!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Risky Business" 25th Anniversary DVD at New Wave

Finished up working on two featurettes for the "Wanted" DVD at New Wave Entertainment last week. Was told they wouldn't need me this week but that I might be getting a last minute call on Monday if things changed. They did!

Tuesday morning I headed back to NWE to work on a half hour featurette for the 25th Anniversary DVD of "Risky Business". I was originally told they'd only need me for two to three days. I was to make a major list of changes to an already existing and recently cut piece. And because Tom Cruise is of course the star of the movie, guess who had to watchdog what was included and how it was portrayed with a fine tooth comb? For the last three days I've been working every day with one of Tom Cruise' personal assistants to whip this thing into shape. Cruise required more precise interview bites of him to be included. As well as a more accurate take on the story of casting, working with the director, and in general his involvement in the making of the film. As of Wednesday I was informed they'd need me for the entire week. Yay!

But that's not all.

Yesterday I was introduced to Paul Brinkman, the director of "Risky Business" as well as the film's producer, Jon Avnet. Avnet also recently directed "88 Minutes" starring Al Pacino. This was a great moment for me, meeting them, and added weight to this project I am basically helping to turn around. They were in the edit bay to see what I'd cut the previous two days. Tom Cruise is also going to get a copy of this for approval after tomorrow, Friday.

It's been really fun working on this 80's icon of a movie. A couple of late nights I might have been complaining about if I was working on truTV were a breeze here because of the coolness of the content. They may need me to continue polishing this into next week but I won't know that either until tomorrow.

In the meantime I've been in touch with the trailer house Happy Hour Creative about getting started on my first project for them. Looks like I'll probably be cutting some trailer-like spots for "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian". Very cool! That wont be starting until late next week or possibly not until the following Monday. At any rate, it definitely looks like I'll be working at one place or another over the course of the next two weeks or more. I'm feeling great this week because I'm right in between two great post houses working on high-end studio projects. This is a sweet time!

Back online (DIE, AT&T!)

After an inexcusable mistake made by AT&T with my internet account, where I spend a sum total of three hours on the phone trying to get them to correct, I am now FINALLY back online. Have been down since early afternoon Monday. When I got home tonight it was back on as originally promised. What a pain in the goddamned ass!!!

Three hours accounted for constant transferring, always to the wrong department, and usually multiple times of being on hold for at least 10 to 15 minutes or more at a stretch! By the time we got to today I was turned into the fucking Hulk when I managed to finally get to someone who could help but was telling me that, due to a mix-up in the scheduling (in other words a customer service person fucked up), it would be back on Friday instead of today. I bitched so much they finally decided to do what I could have driven down there to do myself; just turn the damned switch! HULK SMASH AT&T!!!

Speaking of "The Incredible Hulk", it opens tomorrow night! I have my ticket for Friday and am definitely more psyched than I have been in few weeks ago. The buzz online has increased and reviews finally coming in have been very positive. Yay! And when it's all said and done just give me Norton hitchhiking along a lonely road to the piano strains of Bill Bixby's "Incredible Hulk" theme and I'll go home the happiest fanboy of all!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Call and interview with a new trailer house!

The Golden Trailer Awards were televised for the first time Memorial Day evening and I had my first look at what the Academy Awards of movie trailers looked like. Even more than going to the Kodak Theatre for the Oscars, I've felt a bit closer to actually attending this annual event and hopefully one day being nominated.

This was their ninth year and I'd always checked their website for updates on each year's nominees. During the course of the show I discovered the names of a few trailer houses I was unaware of. A follow-up visit to the official site (where I found my initial list of all trailer post houses) revealed four places I had not seen before. Matched with three DVD houses I discovered while watching the supplemental disc's for "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story", I put together seven reels and resumes to mail out to each post house.

One of these is a place called Happy Hour Creative and they've been in business now for about eight months. They produce theatrical trailers as well as movie promos and home entertainment content. The head of the company just recently splintered away from Trailer Park, of course a major trailer house I've been trying to get into for five years now. I immediately recognized his name on their official site and hoped my timing would be right to connect finally.

The day after I sent my reel and resume I received a call from this guy saying he'd seen my reel and thought it was really good. He asked if I could come by for an interview and a tour of their facility. He also wanted to talk about an upcoming project I might be interested in. My interview was this afternoon.

All I have to say is WOW! Even though this place is new, they've brought a couple of editors from Trailer Park along for the ride and will certainly be bringing some top clients as well. There's a lot of potential here and contacting them with my reel and resume couldn't have been timed better. When arrived he introduced me around to some of the editors, etc. and then we went into a lounge to talk about experience, availability, my rate, and what I love to work on most (trailers, baby!). He also had some additional great things to say about my reel. One of the editors he showed it to from Trailer Park was impressed with my cutting style and ability to make independent films look like top studio projects. All of this was fantastic to hear and let me know I was definitely one of the better editors out there from their perspective.

I'm into my third week at New Wave Entertainment working on the DVD for "Wanted". Nights for the last two and a half weeks, 6pm - 2am. Not sure yet what's going to happen as we approach next week and the guy at Happy Hour wants to be kept informed as to when I'll be finished with that. He may very well be looking to book me the week after next. YES!!!

Getting in on the ground floor with Happy Hour as they begin will be a major boost in my career heading toward more trailer-oriented projects. They've only been in business a short while and already had three Golden Trailer Award nominations (they won for "Mad Men").

For the first time in a while I felt rejuvenated with this interview. Made me feel like I did when I first came out here and met with the heads of 10 trailer houses. It's so important to me to keep that sense of 'wow' and sometimes it’s so easy to just fall into the day to day and not keep your eye on the bigger picture. This redirected my view once more to what's truly important for my career; moving forward and achieving everything I set out to do. With Happy Hour I've made it! I'm in the door!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Post "Indiana Jones" coma

O.K. I've finally come out of the coma "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" put me in and am ready to write a proper review.

Since going to the midnight show on May 21st I've gone back and seen the movie a second time this past Saturday. I've spoken with most of you reading this blog so there's no need to go into an insane amount of detail again. Needless to say, it was great to see Harrison Ford and Karen Allen back in action. Even though there were a number of things I had a really hard time accepting as plausible in the story and effects. In fact there were at least three times I was shaking my head repeatedly at some of the dumb stuff they were trying to put over on the audience.

As we moved into the week after Memorial Day I began reading the bad reviews I tried to stay away from before. Only two really brought home the same kind of disappointment I was feeling. One actually mentioned the head shaking I'd experienced. Others were stating this was far from the best or even a good Indy movie and how it all seemed to fall apart at the halfway mark. However they were still turning around and claiming it was "a great ride!", "a lot of fun!", and "sheer joy!". O.K. I didn't get where the previous blasting of the movie turned into "oh but you gotta see it!!!"

Then I started seeing the TV promos that included critics from Time and Entertainment Weekly saying things like "it's spectacular!", "The biggest and best movie of the summer!", "best of the series!". "STOP IT!!! IT WASN'T THAT GOOD!!!", I'd say with frustration as I saw these flash by.

Even though I went right to the box office (disappointingly) to turn in my Saturday tickets (a show two days after the premiere), the next week had me processing what I saw in a slightly different light. There were parts of this movie I wanted to enjoy more. GOOD PARTS that, in small ways, held the magic of "Raiders" and even "Last Crusade". So I finally decided to give this thing one more shot. And in those small ways I'm glad I did. Sure there were sequences I still disliked or felt were unnecessarily or cringingly over the top. It's still hard to raise this above "Last Crusade", but at least I hold it over "Temple Of Doom" now. I definitely appreciated those moments in a more well rounded way and even had a few plot devices clarified, like how Mutt learned sword fighting. And I wasn't bothered as much this time by the student asking Professor Indy a question right at the end of the motorcycle chase. However on the whole it's still flawed. "Raiders" and "Last Crusade" are still the very best.

Check out my post second viewing review to your right.