Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend at the beach and Disneyland

This Sunday is Rebecca's birthday! So I'll be spending time with her by the ocean on Saturday, then at Disneyland for her birthday proper on Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone!

And for those traveling to Disney World in Florida this weekend and during next week (you know who you are!), have a fantastic trip!!!

Comic-Con 2010 4-day memberships are now on sale!

That's right, true believers! The floodgates have opened and the 4-day event memberships are now available for purchase on the official website. Interestingly, they're now giving you the option of buying with or without Preview Night as part of the package. The funny thing is, there's no difference in price.....I don't get it.

Anyway, my instincts tell me to corral this thing fairly early. The last two year's sell-outs could push people to buy earlier then ever before. AND the price has gone up from $75 for the entire four days to $100. Hmmm.....the Marriott's reservation policies change and the membership rates go up. There's definitely a financial readjusting going on in San Diego.

So anyone out there planning to attend the entire event next year, THINK about picking up your 4-day SOON!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Henry Gibson dies

Henry Gibson, who was a staple of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In", has passed away at the age of 73. Beyond the iconic 60's comedy-variety show, he starred in countless TV series and films, including "Nashville" and, of course, "The Blues Brothers". I watched "Laugh-In" regularly when I was a kid, so you could say he was one of the people on TV I grew up with.

"The using the muscle!"; one of his best lines in "Blues Brothers". Another tidbit I never knew was that Henry wrote his own poems as the poet on "Laugh-In".

Click on the photo to read his obituary in the LA Times.

Sepulveda Dam: almost!

We finally made it inside the gates of the Sepulveda Dam over this past weekend. Unfortunately we were stopped by a studio security guard who said they were filming a Hannah Montana video in the basin and were just leaving. He'd have to lock the gate and we couldn't be there after that. I'd noticed a few days before that they were shooting something there.

So, we'll give it another try next week. We'll get there!

Feature film project!

I recently attended a screening of an independent film directed by a friend of Rebecca's. We'd met a few weeks before and I gave her my contact info for future consideration.....considering she was in the midst of fleshing out several more feature length movies to be shot in the not too distant future!

That contact information was then passed along to another filmmaker who is prepping to shoot his own feature film in October. I received an e-mail from him recently and we finally spoke on the phone this morning. He's interested in me cutting the movie in late October / early November! Not sure what the budget will be, but at this point money is money. Plus, it sounds like this could be at least a month long gig. Right now the crew is coming together and there's still some debate as to what they'll be shooting it on.

He asked if I could send him a copy of my reel, which will go in the mail tomorrow. He also wants to meet for lunch next week and said I come highly recommended. Wow! Nice-ah! More info as I get it!

The decline of the once mighty Blockbuster Video

Here's am article about Blockbuster Video's continued slump, and how the future looks very dark for the video rental chain in the shadow of the competition's easier access locations, web stores, and downloading. Check it out.

Forgetting 9-11?

It seems that, as more time passes, there's less of an impact when it comes to remembrance and reflection of September 11.

This year, the crowds had really thinned out around the reflective pool at Ground Zero in NYC. The ceremony was obviously much less attended, and that decline has been happening slowly over past couple of years. Even CNN seemed to only bring it to everyone's attention for about a half hour, then it was back to any number of current stories of the day. On their website, the link to a story about 9-11 was way down the list of top news events.


Perhaps it's because of the way Bush botched things. There was really no closure for what happened in New York, at the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvania field. Not like Pearl Harbor where we went after the bastards, made them pay, and then finished the job. The response to 9-11 has been like 'oh well, shit happens'. Pathetic.

Here is a series of photos taken before the horror of September 11, when the Twin Towers stood tall and proud. My favorite is the first one you'll see. The very tip-tops of the two buildings poking out of the clouds over New York on a low cloud day.....beautiful.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama calls Kanye West a 'jackass'

So it's really official...straight from the President of the U. S. of A.! God bless Obama! You can read more about how this became public here. Maybe West can find a job washing cars after this. LOL! Obama knows his music and pop culture, and he speaks the plain truth about it. You'd never hear Bush say anything like that, much less even know who Kanye West or Taylor Swift were!

BTW, on a side note, how come no one ever yelled "you lie!" during one of Bush's speeches?! I guess we just have to live with the shoe throwing by some Iraqi reporter. by day

The couple of projects I'm working on at Precision Post has been keeping me busy. However, I'm on a day by day schedule at the moment because at any time their staff editor may become free from his other project. Certainly that would mean he'd have priority in finishing what I started.

At this point I know I'll be in tomorrow, and hoping that might extend through the end of the week. We'll see what happens when I get into Wednesday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze dies

Even though many of us knew this was coming, to actually have the moment arrive still brings a sense of great loss.

Patrick Swayze died today at age 57 after a twenty month battle with pancreatic cancer. He will always best be associated with "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost", as well as the future young star filled vehicle "The Outsiders", the Keanu Reeves co-starring caper "Point Break", and the cult film "Road House". He even shook it up and danced along side Chris Farley in a now classic Saturday Night Live skit featuring two dancers trying out to become Chipendales.

Interestingly, his father also died at age 57, although from a heart attack in 1982. he also studied dance and ballet extensively before focusing more on acting.

Read his obituary at and

Kanye West: ASSHOLE!!!

Man, could you just fucking ruin your own career and go away! Don't step on someone who has GENUINE talent, as opposed to some run-of-the-mill rapper. Your sorry-ass bullshit is not making me like rap music any more than I already do, AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE IT NOW!!

Even though I'm not a country music fan, I know of Taylor Swift, have heard some of her music, and think she's very talented. I read that one of the artists present at last night's MTV VMA Awards said West basically 'stepped on a kitten' by disrespecting Taylor during her totally amazed acceptance speech. My thoughts exactly! I truly hope this ruins his career!!!


Serious thoughts about moving

Over the past month I've been giving some serious thought to a recurring issue; moving. It's been in the back of my head over the past couple of years, and now with the economy the way it is, the time seems ripe to really focus on what would be a good equal to the place I have now? Maybe for a little less money, definitely closer to post houses I frequent.

We took a drive yesterday through a number of neighborhoods all the way from Studio City, Sherman Oaks, to the eastern part of Encino. Canvasing areas I'd not been to before, I gained a pretty good grasp on what seemed to be the best of the three areas. Ultimately, Studio City emerged as the winner, with some really gorgeous looking apartments and houses bordering one of the truly nicest residential areas in The Valley.

Now I'm excited about exploring some of these locations, which I wrote down contact information for from info signage we saw along the way. Then I'll take it from there.

Thank you, Rebecca, for driving and being my personal tour guide!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Good to be back to work

I really appreciate the feeling of being back to work, and certainly am not taking it for granted at all...not this year. Having more than past the halfway point of the 2009, I see that this will not go down as a year of advancement in my career. No. This year is about one thing and one thing only: SURVIVAL!

The economy has created a time of real desperation, where the very end of this 365 day 'trial by fire' will give way to greener fields...and I do mean GREEN! It has to! Based on my own personal experience, twice, with end-of-decade calamity (a curse that I am about to bury!), I see 2010 as not merely ushering in a new decade, but putting my goal-oriented, career-minded train wheels back on the tracks where they belong!

Three and a half months to go.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New gig at Precision Post!

Originally scheduled to start mid-September, the project at Happy Hour I'm to be a part of has been put off a bit. Looks like it may not begin until later this month. Although word is the gig will probably last throughout October...great news!

In the meantime, I received a call from Precision Post asking what my availability was for two to three weeks. Of course I took it immediately! I start today on a couple of smaller projects, ramping up into the main gig that will more than likely get under way next Monday. I think the last time I worked at Precision was over a year

So I'm incredibly happy to be back in the work force once again!! Let's hope that this gig can bridge into Happy Hour's project later in the month.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Ferris Bueller" tonight?...YES!

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off", brand new print, at the New Beverly Cinema tonight.

Heard about this last week, and as of last night I thought I would wait for the Aero Theatre screening in October. But now, because of who will be in attendance for the Q&A, I'm reconsidering. Jeffrey Jones (Rooney) Lyman Ward (Ferris' Dad), Cindy Pickett (Ferris' Mom), Edie McClurg (Rooney's assistant, Grace), producer Tom Jacobson & editor Paul Hirsch....O.K. YES, I'M GOING!!!!

Post "GB" double feature

Unfortunately Director Ivan Reitman was sick yesterday and unable to attend the "Ghostbusters" double feature. However I still had a great time watching both movies on the big screen again with the usual enthusiastic fan audience. I was a little surprised no one showed up in costume, and even half expected to see an Ectomobile parked out front at some point.

The evening was introduced by Grant, one of the American Cinematheque movie schedulers, who gave a rundown of some upcoming events. One of these in particular had my ears perked way up. The Aero Theatre is going to have a John Hughes tribute series in October that will include screenings of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "The Breakfast Club", "Sixteen Candles", Pretty In Pink", and "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles"...and that's not even the complete list!! So once again, the wheels began to turn in my head like Cameron's Dad's Ferrari...just not in reverse!

During the middle of "Ghostbusters" I headed to the lobby to grab a drink, hoping to speak with Grant about the possibility of including "Through The Eyes Of John Hughes" during the screenings. After making my usual pitch about the tribute video, he asked if I could send him the YouTube link...which I did the minute I got home last night. Fingers crossed yet again that I can be a part of something special at one of my favorite theaters in LA!

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Ghostbusters" double feature tonight

Tonight at the Aero Theatre is a double feature of "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II" that includes a special Q&A with Director Ivan Reitman. This event will have even more significance because, of course, it's the 25th anniversary of the first movie. Plus, I'm sure a lot of questions will be put out there about the upcoming "Ghostbusters III", although Reitman is not officially attached as director yet.

Should be a fun night, and I have not seen the second movie in at least 15 years! Yeah, we know it's no where near as good as the first one, but still worth watching!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sepulveda Dam: cancelled again!

A second trip to the Sepulveda Dam, tentatively scheduled for this week, had to be scrapped again because conditions just weren't right. Gonna see what things are like next week.

New San Diego Marriott policies officially SUCK ASS!!!

I was kind of surprised that it took all of August for Comic-Con to decide what half of the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina (shown here overlooking the north end of the San Diego Convention Center) they were going to block for next year. They usually take the entire hotel off the market until they negotiate which part they'll block off to dole out themselves in February. Normally that only takes a few weeks...but the whole month?! Tuesday I had a very rude surprise when I called to make reservations. The good news: rooms are finally in the cue to reserve. The bad news, which applies only to the week of Comic-Con 2010....

You now have to PRE-PAY for your entire stay!!! You CANNOT cancel after you've made reservations!!!

Now to put it plain and simply...WHAT THE HELL IS THIS BULLSHIT!!!!!

The Marriott is already GORGING everyone who stays in their hotel right next to the convention center! For the last three years prices have DOUBLED and TRIPLED!! I'm amazed that it took them so long to finally think they could overcharge people as they walk in the door! NOW their doing it ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR IN ADVANCE!!! UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE!!!

I DO NOT have the money to pay for our whole stay up, upfront, right now, NO WAY!! Typically I start putting money together each year for the event throughout May and June, as the major industry work begins. This unfortunately means that we won't be staying in what has become home to me during the late July event. I love that hotel, and consider it to be part of the Comic-Con experience. The Marriott is right next door to the convention center, making it super convenient as well as very attractive and comfortable to stay at.

So to sum up, the bottom line is to find another hotel, preferably one of the other three or four that's right next door or right across the street from the San Diego Convention Center. Of course on a positive note, there's at least one of those hotels I've considered giving a try, being curious about the view and good accessibility...and just flat-out to try something different!

To that end, I now have a reservation for our complete stay at the newly opened Hilton San Diego Bayfront (shown here overlooking the south end of the convention center across from Hall H). Having opened it's doors last December, it's located at the exact opposite end of the convention center from the San Diego Marriott & Marina. For the last couple of years I've been interested in checking out the San Diego Omni Hotel located right across the street from the convention center, and probably having the optimum view of everything from the lines going into Hall H to the entire street-facing side of the multi-football field long facility.

I certainly think the Hilton is a great choice, but want to keep my options open to the Omni as well (shown here overlooking the south end of the convention center across the street from Hall H). Right now it looks like Comic-Con has still not released whatever half of the hotel they're not using to the general public...meaning they're still in negotiations for their block and the entire hotel is 'sold out'. In the meantime, with our reservation secure with the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, I'll keep trying the Omni.

Hey, I still love the Marriott! I just HATE their room policies for this event!! It's moronic, money grubbing, self-centered, and will ultimately yield a major income loss due to the number of people turning to other hotels. In this truly awful economy we all need to work together. Both parties, the Marriott and the Comic-Con attending public, will suffer from these idiotic policies! Do they not look out their figurative window and see that THIS COUNTRY IS PARALYZED BY OVERWHELMING DEBT AND ECONOMICAL CRISIS?!! HELLO?!...MCFLY?!

Apparently not.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another try at the Sepulveda Dam

Later today we're going to try and make the trek to the Sepulveda Dam. Hopefully the weather will be with us.

"Time After Time": 30 years in the future

Aside from the fact that I saw "Time After Time" in the theater 6 times in it's original release, the one thing I remember about the marketing of the Nicholas Meyer written and directed classic was the movie theater's guarantee.

I saw the movie at the Cine 10 in Albany, N.Y. and they actually had an ad in the newspaper (and at the theater) claiming 'if you don't find "Time After Time" to be a wonderfully enjoyable film, you will receive a full refund'. That's something you'd never see in this day and age, but it certainly was added fortification to a film with a great combination of original story and a perfectly engaging cast.

Malcolm McDowell would go on the play bad guys in several action and sci-fi movies, Mary Steenburgen would fall for yet another time traveller in "Back To The Future Part III", and David Warner would continue to play heavy roles, being the muscle to Billy Zane's arrogant bully as Titanic sank beneath them. However, whenever I'd see each of them in various roles over the years, I'm still taken back to H.G. Wells and Amy Robbins trying to outwit Jack The Ripper in 1979 San Francisco.