Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two icons are one day!

Unlike most of the nations publications, both in print and online, I am putting both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in an equal spotlight.

It's certainly more of a shock that Michael Jackson died suddenly. But I still feel bad about Farrah Fawcett, and the fact that she ended up being relegated to a very secondary story. I was even amazed that the NY Times put a very small photo and obituary for her on the very, very bottom of Friday's newspaper! Just a shame.

The media has only begun to chronicle the lives of Michael and Farrah. So instead of just echoing that, I am going to give equal time and effort into sharing my most remembered moment for each of these icons from my childhood and teen years...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Second week at Cannery Agency...and loving it!

I've begun my second week at Cannery Agency working on the 20th Anniversary DVD for "Say Anything". This project has been a lot of fun! On top of that, the producer I'm working with came by the edit bay today to watch my completed cut and was very happy with what I'd done with the piece. Score! Couple of notes, but nothing major.

The delivery date for this rough cut to go before the studio is sometime late Thursday. So at this point that will probably be my final day on the project.

Under 30 days and counting to Comic-Con!

We are now less than a month from Comic-Con 2009! I am once again excited to be going to the biggest event of the year. I just hope the money does it's thing as we head down to the wire. It's still really up in the air.

June 23, 1989: Batmania begins!

It was twenty years ago today that Tim Burton's "Batman" premiered. Not only would it become a huge hit, but the marketing blitz was to become unprecedented.

I was in New York City with some friends, deciding a few weeks earlier that it would be pretty cool to see "Batman" in The Big Apple; 'Gotham City', as it were. Finding ourselves in Times Square, we finally beheld the gi-normous Bat Symbol we'd seen on the news ablazened below the Coca-Cola sign. Wow! The impact of the this movie, even before it came out, was immense!!

We went to the theater around midday, finding ourselves about ten people from the front of a line for the 7pm show. We knew there'd be crowds and had brought frisbees and plenty of snacks.

About 45 minutes before showtime, suddenly the ropes dropped! Our line was outside the theater on the sidewalk next to the building. We RAN!!! Luckily we had someone large with us who sort of acted as a battering ram to make sure we got in to find a seat without being overrun by the people in front or behind us. "Yes! The perfect seats! Are we all here?! O.K.!", we shouted, as hords of people jumped over aisles to get to the seats and rows they desired. We breathed a sigh of relief. It was insane!

A half hour later the lights went down, and we were introduced to the phenomenon.

My favorite scene (on opening night and to this day) is right after Batman rescues Vicky Vale from The Joker at the museum. As they race out onto the street, Batman says "get in the car!". Vicky replies, "which one?!". A wide shot reveals The Batmobile for the first time in the movie. We SCREAMED AND CHEERED with joy along with the rest of the audience!! You could not hear the movie for next fifteen seconds! Oh my God, this was GREAT! That's also still my favorite track from Danny Elfman's score...the chase scene which follows.

Then when Bruce Wayne goes to the alley where his parents were killed to place roses on the pavement, the audience gasped a very quiet "oooohhh, wwoooww" sound. This is still one of my all time favorite opening nights. Everyone was so in tune with the iconic images and mythos on screen.

Here is a series of publicity photos I've never seen before, and doubt were every released to the public! Some of these are funny, especially regarding the height differences between Keaton and Nicholson.

AND here also is the very first teaser trailer for "Batman". The hype was so great at the time, and curiosity over whether Michael Keaton was the best choice to play The Dark Knight (remember all the hubbub?!), that the studio decided to put out an unpolished montage of clips, without music or flash of any kind. Somewhere I have this on VHS. I remember how exciting it was to see this for the very first time back then! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MINI custom plates are here!

The custom plates I ordered for my MINI are ready to be picked up at the DMV! Of course we won't reveal here what the plate actually says, but those of you I've spoken with know. Amidst all the worry about money and what will happen next, this is a happy moment for me and my Brit girl!

Since I'm working, I'll have to arrange to get over to the DMV really early sometime this week to collect those tags. Yay!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Comic-Con 2009: Rumors and fairly solid speculations!

This year's event is just a little over 30 days away! From, check out a list of what those of us who are going will, and might be able to expect!!

Topping my highly anticipated, 'must-see' panel list from this: "Iron Man 2" with Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr., Disney's "Tron 2", and James Cameron's "Avatar" presentations. Wow, wow, WOW!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Passing into history, part 1

Today is the day! The day television stations across the country are switching off their analog signals in favor of the all digital world we now live in. For some people it's going to be the headache of gaining access to a converter box or even buying a new TV in this rotten stew right now called the economy.

I actually still have an analog set I purchased when I was first putting together my edit bay back east. It's still like brand new and I intend to keep it for several reasons. Mostly having to do with VHS tapes I shot from twenty five years ago I'll be digitizing in order to preserve footage on them. It will help me to watch the analog signal from those tapes as I'm burning DVDs. Kind of a true QC.

Here's an article about analog's final day on



Got an text message from producer Christina at Cannery Agency last night. Asked my availability starting Friday (today) and for the next two weeks! Oh My God, YAAAAY!!!

So here I am starting my first day back from an obscenely long absence in the work place! And the really cool thing is I'm working on a 20th anniversary special edition DVD for one of my favorite movies..."Say Anything"! YES!

Things are definitely starting to look UP!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another week of looking for work

My updated reel is coming along nicely. But I'm still a little ways away from completion. I hope to have the majority of it in the can by this weekend.

I'm actually getting to the point where my ability to pay for the room at The Marriott for Comic-Con is becoming in jeopardy. Not to mention other debts that I quickly need to take care of. Somehow all of this will work out...I keep telling myself that and trying not to panic. I need to not stress so much each and every day like I've done for the entire last month.

Work's going to happen soon...IT HAS TO!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Up" review: THE BEST movie of the summer! INCREDIBLE!

"UP" absolutely delivers in every way! The story is very unique, as well as touching, exciting, really funny, and yes, thought provoking!

Some minor spoilers are ahead.

This is NOT just a movie for kids. But then again, none of PIXAR's movies were intended for the smaller set alone. However, "Up" has a very emotional core that wonderfully pushes the story along. The first fifteen minutes chronicles young Carl Fredricksen who happens upon an abandoned house where a young girl named Ellie is pretend-playing that the house is actually an airborne vehicle, flying her through countless adventures. His relationship with her, beautifully captured and completely without dialogue, sparks the entire movie. We see the two getting married, growing older, and building an amazing life bond. This opening sequence is so sweet and so emotional, I really felt we would be in for an incredible journey as the story progressed. The rest of the movie does not disappoint!!

Ed Asner, voicing the 78 year old Carl Fredricksen, is wonderfully craggy and amusing. Young actor Jordan Nagai, in his very first role, almost steals the movie as wilderness scout Russell. He has some of the funniest scenes trying to help Carl in order to get his final wilderness badge, unintentionally becoming a stowaway on Carl's balloon propelled floating house. A house Carl wants to bring to a place in South America that he and his wife always talked about living. But the adventure they had planned long ago ultimately becomes Carl's (and Russell's) adventure of a lifetime.

The visuals are breathtaking, the action is brisk, the animation is some of PIXAR's best, and the heart of the film beats perfectly in tune, connecting us to aspirations both young and old. We saw this in standard 2D. Now I can't wait to see it in 3D. And the really wonderful thing is this is a movie that's not specifically tailor made for that process. Things poking out at you from the screen is not the point here. 3D will only deepen the emotional connection we'll have to these great characters and incredibly fun story!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A prime month without work!!

May has come and gone and NO WORK! I think the economical crunch this country is going through has finally caught up to me.

As I've always stated, no matter what the rest of the year holds, May is always the 'gimme' month where work falls from the skies like hail. I am truly appalled, as I sit here looking at the calendar, that we are approaching the second week in June and I have no idea where my next paycheck will be coming from. In May, Happy Hour said there may be an influx of projects towards the middle of this month. However when I spoke to them at the end of this past week, they weren't sure yet what would be happening.

I am finally coming to the end of my complete reel makeover, and will be mailing out copies this coming week to the now thirty post houses I am looking to work with. I managed to pick up a couple of new trailer houses since scanning the Golden Trailer Awards listings prior to the awards ceremony on June 4.

"Ghostbusters" at 25

On June 4, 1984 the world was introduced to getting slimed.

"Ghsotbusters" had been a highly advertised movie prior to it's release, and I remember going to a huge Creation sci-fi convention in Chicago a few months prior where they had a TON of promotional stuff!

Buttons, T-shirts, posters, ghost swatters (think fly swatters, only for ghosts), picture record discs in the shape of the 'no ghosts' logo with Ray Parker Jr's "Ghostbusters" name it! And at the table where I gorged myself on all of this stuff, they had a monitor showing several versions of the trailer in a loop. I don't know how many times we watched that, but I was always fascinated by the clip of the dolly shot that pushed in under Ackroyd, Murray, and Ramis, looking up in awe at something huge and menacing. We kept wondering what they were looking at in wide-eyed anticipation. Wow!

Although the sequel was kind of a bust and the forthcoming sequel could be really good considering whose onboard already, the original became an iconic movie experience and a merchandising bananza. Once again I had an anniversary screening, wondering to myself.....WHERE DID 25 YEARS GO!

BTW, I actually still have buttons, a ghost swatter, and the picture disc in the shape of the 'no ghosts' logo with Ray Parker Jr's "Ghostbusters" theme!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cameron's Night!

Last Saturday night's screening of "Aliens" and "The Abyss", plus James Cameron's Q&A, was more enjoyable than I could have imagined!

First off, the audience was great! Everyone was wired for the evening (respectfully) and as the opening credits to "Aliens" rolled, there were some funny fan shout-outs. As Bill Paxton's name appeared, a couple of us said "GAME OVER, MAN!". We all laughed! Famous lines and moments in the movie were greeted with very enthusiastic rounds of applause! Ripley walks out in the power loader saying her iconic line and everyone cheered excitedly! Paxton's "why don't you put her in charge?!" was another of many crowd pleasers.

As the movie came to a close, the lights went up and the moderator took the stage to introduce James Cameron. We were told he'd have to leave quickly afterwards because he had to get back to work on "Avatar". I turned and looked to the back of the theater and there he was, closely surrounded by an entourage of at least seven people, plus one bodyguard.

Taking the stage to a standing ovation, Cameron answered a number of questions put forth by someone representing American Cinematheque, who sponsor a lot of these screenings. And then surprisingly, they opened up the floor to questions from the audience. This was an unexpected treat since we were all under the impression his time was short. A number of people had a chance to pick Cameron's brain about past and future movies, including myself. Some were pretty technicaI as far as his shooting in 3D on the new film. I asked what other types of projects he'd like to try his hand at that he had not tackled yet, and what actor from his previous films would he most like to work with again. Sigourney Weaver came to mind, who of course is starring in "Avatar", and he felt no one else could've played that role.

But wait, there's more! After the Q&A he actually signed autographs and took pictures with fans! Wow!! Bonus!! I really wanted to have a photo with him, but unfortunately time ran out before I had a chance to get close enough. I did manage to get some close up shots because I was standing six or seven feet away! Check them out here.

After Cameron left there was a ten minute intermission before "The Abyss" started. A number of people left after Cameron's talk, but the theater was still about two thirds full as the next movie unspooled. Once again, a great crowd who appreciated those iconic lines and moments from Cameron's follow up to "Aliens".

I don't think we could have asked for a more satisfying night!