Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Better Off Dead" post screening

"Better Off Dead" was great tonight, plus I had a chance to meet Director "Savage" Steve Holland, Curtis Armstrong, and Diane Franklin! A few pics are coming tomorrow along with a more detailed account of the evening.

Now it's off to bed and on to the beginning of another week of work at Playground Media Group. God Bless It!!!

"Better Off Dead" screening tonight

In a half hour I'll be heading to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for a screening of "Better Off Dead" with live commentary by Director "Savage" Steve Holland, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin, and E.G. Daily! Pretty excited about this and was glad to have been able to pick up my free tickets last week. I was so afraid it might sell out. This is going to be an awesome night!

What would really be cool is if Dan Schneider (Ricky) would drop by as well. What would be completely awesome is if John Cusask happened to make a surprise appearance! However, I severely doubt that.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The work broadens, and everything is about to turn around!!!

On Wednesday I completed the first rough cut of the broadcast trailer for "The Bounty Hunter" at Playground Media Group. Over the course of three days I really showed them my stuff and began a very good repore with the producer on this project. Not only hearing some great feedback about my work, but also hints regarding another project possibly in the wings for me. I, of course, said I was VERY interested.

As we were winding down and about to output the spot for studio review, the producer said she definitely wanted me to work with her on the season one DVD for "Cougar Town", and that the director of post production would be in shortly to discuss details with me. A few minutes later, he came by to confirm that they wanted me to start on "Cougar Town" first thing Monday morning! I was told that they needed to get some info together for the project, but would be in touch in the next day or two. At that point I was pretty much done and have been off work for these past two days.


Then he told me that this producer was also going to be putting together a DVD for another season of "Scrubs", PLUS that a second producer would be needing help on some of the projects he was gearing up for, including DVDs for "Desperate Housewives", "Grey's Anatomy", and "Private Practice"!

O.K. let's say that a little bigger this time...WOW!!!

As I went out to the parking lot and got in my car, I felt a glow of happiness that I had indeed come into something really fantastic! And the interesting thing is, this is what's happened almost every time I've started at a new post house. They bring me in for one project, see my work and good repore with a particular producer, then offer me several more projects lined up one after the other from there! I feel truly blessed that this has occurred once more. So at this point I could conceivably be working at Playground for the next couple of months! Right now I really feel that everything is going to be alright. Coming off the financial hell of last year, this couldn't be better news!

Oh but wait...there's more!

I had a further discussion with the director of post production about how work had been during the economic downturn of 2009. This led him to offer to talk with accounting about processing my check a bit earlier than the usual 30-day turnaround. I accepted wholeheartedly and expressed my deepest appreciation if that could be worked out.

Today I received an e-mail completely confirming my return Monday morning, and that changes to "The Bounty Hunter" had come back from the studio. So I'll be working on those first, then swinging over to "Cougar Town". Also confirmed: accounting will be issuing me my first check in two weeks! Amazing!

Ultimately I am relieved financially, and excited about these high profile projects I'll be working on. 2010 is officially off to a great start!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update from Happy Hour and my "Eli" broadcast trailer

Sent an e-mail to Chris at Happy Hour this afternoon asking about that hi-rez version of my "Book of Eli" broadcast trailer I'm trying to get my hands on, plus an update about work. He sent me a link to download the spot, which I immediately did. Yes! Now I have my master! As mentioned, previously he'd sent me the link to the wrong version, but no worries. The Warner Bros. promotional dept. had just made a mistake.

Project wise, he hasn't heard anything about the Berlin Film Festival yet, which was suppose to yield some trailer work. Said there were other projects heating up and would keep me posted.

Here at Playground Media Group I'm on my second day and moving along quite nicely. I'll have a completed first rough cut by tomorrow for the producer to look at, give notes, and then we'll be ready to send it to Sony Pictures for approval by week's end. During a meeting today, I learned that she would probably be needing an editor to work on the first season DVD for the TV show "Cougar Town". They're still working out the schedule, but she knows I'm interested. It would certainly be great to segue into that within a reasonable amount of time!

"Extraordinary Measures", not so extraordinary marketing

Does it seem like the studio has no idea how to market the new Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser movie, "Extraordinary Measures"? 'Hi, we're two guys walking together, got something important to do, hands on my suit jacket makes it all the more important'. This is CBS Films first theatrical feature, yet it certainly looks and feels like a TV movie.

The 1-sheet (and a similar version with just the two of them standing side by side) is plastered all over LA and no one seems to care. But then again there's nothing to really care about in this bland image of two men walking. What's it about? Is it a comedy? Drama? Action? Of course it's a drama. But again, all it says is 'hey, we've got Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser!'. Blah.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Boys of Cinema

Just thought this was a cool photo and wanted to share. But hey, could we get someone else other than Jeffrey Katzenberg to pose with Jim and Steven? Like maybe Peter Jackson, hello? Now he would make this photo absolutely perfect! Hell, I'd even take George Lucas! BTW, what was he doing front and center at the Golden Globe awards? Notice the 3D cameras they're posing with. Pretty awesome!

"Avatar" unseats "Titanic"!

Back in the day, it was George Lucas and Steven Spielberg who changed top box office positions a few times with movies like "The Empire Strikes Back" and "E.T.". Now, James Cameron is the sole 'King of the World'...TIMES TWO! And the amazing thing is "Avatar" has ONLY been in release for six weeks...SIX WEEKS! I smell Best Picture at the Oscars!

Congratulations not only to James Cameron, but his incredible team of artists who brought the amazing world of Pandora to life! Once again, like after "Terminator 2" and "Titanic", the movies will never be the same.

First day at the new post house!

My first day at Playground Media Group was great. Among other things, I learned my way to the kitchen pretty easily (important to know at lunchtime), and settling into the edit bay went smoothly. People seem very nice. Although right off the bat I noticed a lack of current and past project framed artwork proudly hanging in the lobby or hallways.

So now I'm in for the next two weeks working on a concept trailer for "The Bounty Hunter". Click the 1-sheet for more info about the movie. As always, I hope for this to be followed by another project (which tends to happen quite often when I start at a new post house), or at least a return visit in the near future. I'm also hoping Chris from Happy Hour will call with something that might pick up where this one possibly leaves off in two weeks.

Right now I'm home and burning what I hope will be the LAST rough cut DVD for this independent film I CAN'T WAIT to get out of my apartment! $2,000 for an entire film sounds great when you're dead broke, but with continuous long lists of changes every couple of days, I'll not be wanting to do anything like this for that little money any time in the near future.

Ready for work in the morning

About to go to bed, content with the thought that I am about to go back to work after a more than two and a half month absence from a major post house. The indie film I've just about finished doesn't really count because it was just that; independent and home based. Just a little nervous, as I always am when starting at a new post house for the first time. But I'm sure once I get settled in everything will click. Just getting use to the flow, that's all really.

Hoping for a quick turnaround, paycheck wise. Getting paid every two weeks would be great. Thirty-day would be fine, but please no forty five-day. I'll probably find out by lunch, which I'll be bringing with me BTW because I am, in fact, still broke.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Avatar" about to overtake the second and top spot

This is pretty historic...James Cameron is about to kick his own ass! It's predicted that today, "Avatar" will overtake "The Dark Knight". REALLY want to see Cameron's opus again in 3D before it leaves the Arclight Dome. However, since it's still riding pretty high at the B.O., I think it's going to be there for awhile.

GOT IT!!! Project starts Monday!

My interview today at Playground Media Group went really, really well! Brought my reel and a hard copy of my resume which was perused on the spot. The post director was impressed with my "Book of Eli" and "Sex Drive" trailers, then passed everything on to the producer I'll be working with, whom I met.

I was told that I was on a short list of three people being considered for the project. Plus, after I left, it turns out the producer was very happy to learn that I cut featurettes for "Gossip Girl" Seasons 1 & 2. Turns out she considers those to be some of the best DVD featurettes and is definitely looking forward to working with me. Bonus! I felt pretty confident as I walked out the door that the gig would be mine. It wasn't until I got home that I saw the e-mail confirmation; they want me to start Monday at 10am.


So the project I'll be working on is a trailer for the upcoming Jennifer Aniston / Gerard Butler starer, "The Bounty Hunter". I'll be cutting this over the course of a two week period, allowing time for changes. I am really flying about this right now and pretty excited to start! Not only will I be working on a top studio trailer, but I'll also be showing my stuff to a new post house I've been trying to get into for about a year and a half. AND....they'll be paying me a bit more per day than my usual rate. Don't worry, I just kept my mouth shut during the interview. Who am I to dicker with a higher offer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010



Digging more heavily than usual into the job listings, I found and replied to four ads in the last three days. Two looking for trailer editors, one for a film editor, and the last, a DVD editor for Sam Hurwitz who I'd worked with previously on several projects at Precision Post.

In response to one of the trailer editor job listings, I just received an e-mail response from the director of post production at Playground Media Group, a top trailer, TV spot, and DVD post house I discovered while watching the Golden Trailer Awards almost two years ago! I'd previously sent reels and resumes to these guys but never got a response. Now, with this ad on, I have an interview and hopefully an 'in'! When I gave a call right after I saw the e-mail, he said he was interested to see my reel and if I was available to come by tomorrow.

Right now I'm going to put the finishing touches on the newly updated reel that includes my "Book of Eli" spot, even though it's the downloaded online version.

Speaking of which, I did finally speak with Chris at Happy Hour today about getting my hands on that master. He said the studio did upload a copy for them, but it turned out to be the wrong one. So he's going to have them send the proper final version which I can come by to pick up...but to wait for his confirmation before I headed down. This could be a major travel day tomorrow since I may be stopping by Happy Hour, heading to my interview with Playground Media at 4, then very conveniently driving just a series of blocks over to the Aero Theatre to pick up our free tickets for next weekend's screening of "Better Off Dead". Talk about a gas saving trip!

Update about the interview the minute I get home!

The Late Night Debacle

All I have to say is......what a clusterfuck! I LOVE Conan! And right now at this moment, my dislike for Leno has hit a new low. Even though it was management decisions at NBC that brought all of this on, Leno's reputation has absolutely been tarnished. When he retakes the "Tonight Show" seat in March, he's going to seem like the guy who just didn't want to give up the little league field for the new team to come in and play on. Just wish someone would cut off his ridiculous chin.

Through all of this I got a kick out of Jimmy Kimmel's comments to Leno, right to his face on his own show! Kimmel, who I've never, ever been a fan of from day one, said: “Conan and I have children. All you have to take care of are cars. We have lives to lead here. You’ve got $800 million for God’s sake. Leave our shows alone." Priceless! Oh, and my dislike for Kimmel has been put aside briefly because of this remark.

Reel and resume barrage!!!

Now that my "Book of Eli" spot has hit the web and TV, I can actually include it on my reel! As previously mentioned, Chris at Happy Hour Creative said I could stop by to pick up a copy. One snag though; I just learned at the end of last week that Warner Bros. had not delivered a copy to Happy Hour yet. All of the spots approved would have gone out for finishing at another post house, then returned for vault storage at the original house that worked on it. That, of course, is Happy Hour.

I have a near HD version I was able to download, but still want to get the ACTUAL quicktime file. That would certainly look much better on my reel rather than something I grabbed online. Top quality is the key here. I used the download version this week to cut into my reel for temp. placement, and am ready to start burning reels and printing resumes. NEED to get that master from Happy Hour. Putting in a call today since my e-mail was not returned from Monday. I'm sure that could mean they haven't gotten it back yet. This is what Chris usually does; if there's no word, he'll wait until there's confirmation before contacting me.

There are now 35 post houses that I'm still trying to get work with. Now is a good time to fire bomb everyone with my materials because things are still on the rise for the year. Hopefully they'll actually have some time to view and absorb it.

"Spider-Man" reboot?! Seriously???!

Well I certainly was a little disturbed to hear that Sony Pictures was scrapping preproduction on "Spider-Man 4" to completely reboot the franchise.

Sam Raimi was close to a deal that would allow him to make two movies at once and release them as "4" and "5". However, Raimi's tried and true judgment of pooling from classic Spider-Man comics as far as villains were concerned only hit a brick wall as far as the studio was concerned. They only wanted to have bad guys who were selling books right now. Stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Don't they realize that "Spider-Man 3" was everything less than a blockbuster because of THEIR interference with the inclusion of Venom?! if Raimi had had his way, the story was only to include 1) Peter Parker and MJ grappling with his superhero persona, 2) Harry's revenge scheme as the Hob Goblin, and 3) the introduction of Sandman. Trotting out Venom and other really nonessential characters for this outing jammed that movie up like a stuck toilet!

So now Sony has decided to through the baby out with the bath water! The man who single handedly changed the course of superhero movies as we see them now, was told to take his toys and walk! Yeah, let's give the franchise to a director (Marc Webb, pictured above) who only has one movie under his belt (500 Days of Summer) and doesn't seem to be a Spider-Man fan, or at least as far as he or anyone is saying.....GOOOOOOD!

When I first heard this, my immediate thought was that I wanted to see Sony bomb with this thing. And I still kind of hope they do. Fresh minds? Fresh ideas? Maybe. If it works, great. But I really don't think anything the studio does outside of Sam Raimi's golden touch will yield high praise. Is Raimi the only one who can do Spider-Man? Of course not. But there's just one thing the studios have not totally embraced, even after 'writing on the wall' projects like "Spider-Man"; the concept of having a director who is a TOTAL fan in the driver's seat. Makes a BIG difference!

We'll see what happens next. But unless I see something good, expect more "Star Trek" trash talk from me! if you haven't already (which I'm sure you have), you can read more by clicking on Marc Webb's photo above.


O.K. so yeah, there's flooding going on in certain places and they've evacuated homes near mud slide areas next to the hills. However, for you and I who are familiar and have lived on the east coast, this is business as usual. Whatever the news is saying, LA is really NOT a disaster area.

We've had some torrential rains during the past couple of days, and I've actually been really enjoying it! Since it never rains here (maybe in March or October for a day or two) this is an oasis for me. At times I really do miss precipitation. I can't imagine what would happen if it snowed out here. Everyone would probably leave the state and they'd close it permanently!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"The Book of Eli" review: a classic apocalyptic story, Hughes Brothers style

Now that this has finally been released I can actually talk about the movie. Of course I had to view "Eli" in it's entirety last October in order to cut that broadcast trailer. But one of the great things was to actually see it on the big screen (where I appreciated the film even more) and with all the final elements in place.

Denzel Washington is almost a humbled blaxploitation hero from the 70's in this tale that takes place thirty years after the end of our world. There's a spiritual message here, but it's never crammed down your throat. Eli is a man who has been charged to bring a very special book to place in what's left of the western United States. Along the way he stops at a shanty town run by Gary Oldman who is looking for that very book, the Holy Bible, so he can use religion as power over the people he hopes to completely dominate. What Oldman and his gang do not realize is that there's something very different about Eli....something not of this Earth.

Washington and Oldman each give very driven performances. Denzel's Eli will do what he has to to protect the book he's carrying. Even though confrontation is the last thing he wants, he'll certainly dole out exacting combat defense in hard hitting, well choreographed and photographed fight scenes using a machete and shotgun. Washington's character is post apocalyptic cool to Oldman's unique evil town warlord, a type he plays so well.

Mila Kunis' character holds her own against this unmerciful landscape, and becomes Eli's aid on his journey. Interesting behind the scenes tidbit: I got a laugh out of hearing the Hughes Brothers talk about why her character is in the movie, during a talk at the Apple Store in SoHo recently to promote the film. Always annoyed at studio intervention during the creative process, they said Warner Bros. would only greenlight the movie if they could have 'a girl or woman in it who you'd see on magazine covers'. The response: after almost nine years since their last film, and finally believing in a project they were passionate about making, The Brothers decided to 'bend over and take it in the butt' with that one. However I never really felt as though Mila Kunis is just stuck in the middle of the story. In a sense she's the audience viewpoint at times and I welcomed her inclusion.

Later in the film there's really only one moment where some of the logic that's been put forth does not quite connect. Even on the second viewing I was kind of scratching my head. But it's really minor in comparison to everything else. The cinematography is truly beautiful throughout; wide vistas akin to the best westerns from the 1950's and 60's, but with a keenly lit view of the small and intimate as well. Plus, Atticus Ross' electronic score is hauntingly unique, solemnly edgy, and enjoyably memorable. Probably one of the best elements in the movie and I intend to buy it sometime soon.

I never felt hit over the head with the biblical ramifications and definitely had a sense of wonder about elements of Eli's charge. Look for the "A Boy and His Dog" poster behind Denzel in one scene. The Hughes Brothers said they were influenced by that and some of the other 1970's post-apocalyptic movies during their Apple Store talk as well. And yes, there is a surprise or two (NO SPOILERS!) that will have you rethinking parts of the film as the credits roll. There's also a funny scene involving two old timers (one of which is played my Michael Gambon) who only want to protect their home. What they play on their Victrola while offering tea is priceless!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jon Favreau posted on Twitter that Kenneth Branaugh began the first day of principle photography on "Thor" today. Glad they're underway. Pretty excited!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My "Book of Eli" trailer is NOW ONLINE!!!

Here it is at last! The spot I cut at Happy Hour Creative to promote Denzel Washington's new movie "The Book of Eli"!

Just today, on a whim, I decided to do a search to see if it'd been posted yet. The answer is YES!...and here's the really amazing part; not only is it now online, but it's the FIRST TRAILER that comes up on the official website!! Even before the site loads!!! HOLY SHIT!!! Out of all the spots, they chose mine! You can go to the official site to view it by clicking on the 1-sheet!

Also, here is a link to the spot on YouTube. Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled so you won't be able to view it here on the blog. You'll need to go to YouTube directly to check it out.


What an incredible start to the new year! My work, right in the forefront of a major studio release promotional campaign! This is just so crazy! I must have watched this thing at least ten times right after I discovered it was up!

This is why I'm here, this is what it's all about!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Better Off Dead" screening with LIVE commentary!

The Aero Theatre is hosting a screening of "Better Off Dead" on January 31 and the guest line-up is amazing!

Director "Savage" Steve Holland, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin (VERY excited about her!), and E.G. Daily will comment on the making of the film DURING the screening! We are SOOOO there!!! This is absolutely one of my favorite movies of all time, and the great thing is we have FREE passes! That's right! No money required! And since there's none to be had, that's a deal.

Click on the 1-sheet of the movie for more details. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for the listing.

Down to the wire

The indie film I am cutting has finally gotten to the state where it's kind of grinding on my nerves. Can't wait for this thing to be DONE!!!

It's a 90 minute movie and I'm down to cutting the last five or six minutes. Unfortunately, I know the director intends to swap some things around a bit to make this thing funnier, but then again I expected that.

In the meantime, I sent an e-mail to Chris at Happy Hour yesterday to check in. At the end of October I was told that the Berlin Film Festival (which is being held in February) would require extra help to cut a series of trailers. This technically means that I'd be up and that they'd need to bring me in shortly. However the schedule may have changed during the last two months so I'm trying to find out where things sit at the moment. No response yet.

My rent is due a week from Friday by the latest. I'm doing everything in my power to get work but it just has not happened yet. Having faith and saying my prayers.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Relaxing this weekend. Tomorrow my goal is to finish cutting the last 20 minutes of the indie film. Director comes by at 6pm. The end is VERY near.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


While hunting for images from "The Empire Strikes Back" to add to my last post about Celebration V, I found this gem! Click on the photo to see a larger version. Wish I could get a full-sized print. To Leia, Luke surely was not a scruffy looking nerf herder!

Star Wars Celebration V announced

I'm just a little late commenting on this, but...

It looks like they've FINALLY announced a Star Wars Celebration V! Great!!! Fantastic!!! Woohoo!!! excited?! Good. Now here's the bad news, at least for some of us: it's being held August 12-15, 2010. Just two weeks after the San Diego Comic-Con in July!

I call that a big YIKES!

Plus, the location for this go-around is Orlando, Florida. Right in the middle of the summer Disney World rush and a heavy dose of very humid weather. Bottom line: I really don't see this happening. Much as I'll be disappointed to miss this rare event, I really don't think it's going to work.

We have our hotel reservations already for Comic-Con, and certainly that's an annual mainstay for me. Of course this year is the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back" (I will not say "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"...I'M SORRY!), and I know they'll definitely be giving this important milestone it's due. But I would not be surprised if that much more attention goes into "The Clone Wars" animated series. Something I really have no interest in at all. You know Lucas; he didn't have anything to sell at Celebration IV here in 2007, which is why the event was less than spectacular. Even though that was the 30th anniversary of "Star Wars" (I'm not going to say it!), I kind of see "Empire" given a somewhat similar fate.

If Celebration V were a bit closer, like say.....LOS ANGELES.....I would absolutely make arrangements to get there! The cold hard facts are three: Comic-Con being two weeks before (which frankly I'm not giving up), money, distance.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Oh My God, it's finally HERE!!!!

No more 2009, no more waiting for the other shoe to drop, no more worrying about how everything is possibly going to work out, no more wondering what's going to go wrong next....GONE, ALL GONE!!!

This new year brings me so much hope, and faith in the fact that the awful quagmire which consumed the last twelve months will finally lift! Sure, there's no guarantee. But there's a clean slate that just arrived. A new decade to move into and continue the success I've worked so hard to attain.! The 'end of the decade curse' I've been trying to put out like a California wildfire has run out of time! Tick...tick...tick.......BUH-BYE!

Shortly I'll be putting together a 'best of the decade' list; favorite movies, events, etc. of the last ten years that seem to have no name...the Aughts?...the O's?...WTF?! So stay tuned for that!

So all of that aside, hope 2010 is a prosperous year for all of you! God knows we've earned it. So go out and make this year you're own. Take control, and pull the car that's your life off the freeway or highway onto an exit that really moves your life in the direction you want and deserve. Enjoy!