Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OMG, I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!

Just spoke with Chris here at Happy Hour Creative. The new project that just came in yesterday will not only give me enough work to stick around through the end of this week, BUT ALL OF NEXT WEEK AS WELL!! Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!!!!

THIS is what I hoped for, prayed for, and had faith in!! That I would continue to have work going into July that would carry me through Comic-Con! Now that work is A REALITY!! Of course Monday is a holiday being that it's the forth of July weekend...but no matter. Those full four days next week will ensure everything I want and need to do! And of course there's still the iPhone that I'm hoping to buy before heading to San Diego. Recently I wondered whether or not I could even afford it over the course of these next couple of weeks, but now the door is opening again. Just need to do the numbers first.

Once again.....YES, THE WORK GODS HAVE SPOKEN!!! I am indeed replete with the excitement, wonder, magic, and most importantly THE MEANS to fully enjoy my own personal Mecca!!! Let the bells chime!!!

3 weeks to Comic-Con!

We are now under a month until the big event in San Diego. Wow! Plus, it's had to believe that we're about to enter July! Wasn't Christmas about two months ago?! Jeez!

It was announced recently that the first major studio movie presentation to roar into Hall H Thursday morning at 11:15 will be "Tron Legacy". Since we're staying in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for the first time after the hotel's completion a year and a half ago, this will be our first opportunity to enjoy staying right next to the Hall H end of the San Diego Convention Center.

Here is the rundown of what we're to expect during the "Tron Legacy" presentation, via my friend at FilmEdge.net. Also, click on the image of the Light Cycle to check out a cool desktop wallpaper of the digital bike. I...just...cannot...WAIT!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Batman Tumbler golf cart!

This is cool!! A Warner Bros. worker, also a fan of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, created a golf cart fashioned after The Dark Knight's ride to get around the studio lot. I WANT ONE!! Check it out here!

Continuing at Happy Hour Creative, a new job comes in

Just found out I will definitely be here at Happy Hour all this week. Plus, a new project has just come in that they want to put me on. With two others I'm in the middle of working on at the moment, and even though this is only Tuesday, I'm really starting to feel like I may actually spill over into next week as well. No guarantees yet, but based on previous experience I wanna say yes!

If that occurs, my complete financial plan for Comic-Con will be well in hand. I truly had faith that everything would work out and once again, "it's all happening!"

Also, there was a job listing on Mandy.com yesterday for a sizzle reel editor at a post house called Make It Happen Productions. I'd previously contacted them with my reel and resume, even ending up with an interview in 2004. As always, gotta keep moving forward. Expanding the number of posts houses I now am in touch with has given me a continued sense of satisfaction that I'm literally leaving no stone unturned.

"Tron Legacy" / Comic-Con banners already up in San Diego

It's coming! Check out the "Tron Legacy" banners lining the streets of San Diego just about three weeks from the event. Let the anticipation begin to mount! Click on the image for a brief article and more photos at collider.com.

WHAT?!! "Buckaroo Banzai" screening with John Lithgow Q&A?!

And guess what the date is.....or rather WAS! LAST TUESDAY, JUNE 22!!! SHIT!!!!

The annual LA Film Festival has a myriad of movies scheduled over it's 10 day run. Usually you'll find a lot of independent films and shorts from the US and abroad. Can't really say there was ever anything that particularly struck my fancy until suddenly I came across an article on the fanboy site, Forces Of Geek, stating the following:

"Recently celebrated at the Los Angeles Film Festival with a 35mm screening (!) and a John Lithgow Q&A(!!!), "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" is the very definition of cult movie."

Wait, back up, WHAT?! When was this and why didn't I know about it?! Frustrates the hell out of me when you think you're on top of just about every movie event there is in the LA area and then something HUGE slips through your fingers. Last year the Aero Theatre had a screening of "Buckaroo" and a Q&A with Peter Weller. Unfortunately I missed that as well. Yes, the recent screening of "Robocop" with Weller present was amazing. But I just think a better double feature would have been to have it with "Banzai" and not the forgettable "Screamers". So I sit thinking gee, wouldn't it be nice if at some point there was some type of really cool "BB" event viewing. WELL, HERE IT...WAS!

Immediately I went on to the LA Film Festival to check for other movies I might actually want to attend during it's run.....oh, and it ended yesterday. So much for that.

The good news is you can here John Lithgow's entire Q&A from the screening here. So on the flip side of all my grumbling about missing this 'not-to-be-missed' event, I'm very happy to at least be able to hear his remarks before and after the film. Just give it a minute for the guy to finish rattling off a few advertisements before the main event begins. BTW, "Buckaroo Banzai" was shown as a double feature with "Twilight Zone: The Movie" so there are some comments Lithgow gives about that as well. Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Space Battleship Yamato" feature film: looks amazing!

I was never a huge fan of Japanese anime, although I've always appreciated it's complexities, the sometimes hard edged and graphic novel style stories, and the beauty of it's animation. During the 80's I was exposed to quite a bit through friends I had in Boston who were full-on fanatics.

One of the anime series they enjoyed the most was the Japanese television show and movie entitled "Space Battleship Yamato", also known as "Space Cruiser Yamato". Some years later this would be dubbed into English and released in the US as "Star Blazers". I actually started watching it a bit when it was "Star Blazers", only a year or two later finally being introduced to the original Japanese language version.

There is now a big budget movie version directed by Takashi Yamazaki being released in December of this year, and I have to say it looks really incredible!! The Yamato, the characters, the costumes, the space battles and action, all faithfully recreated in live action from the original material. There's still enough of a hook in me from my brief immersion into the worlds of "Star Blazers" and "Space Battleship Yamato" to definitely want to check this out at Christmas!

Check out the first full trailer for "Space Battleship Yamato".

Ordering my new iPhone online: website snafu

As most of you know, the Apple and AT&T sites quickly crashed with all the weight of everyone trying to pre-order the new iPhone at once. I actually hadn't taken the time to place my order until after I found out about the crush, so I held off for the moment. I do need to order online because the phone will be about $75 cheaper. This due to the fact that the sales tax in Texas (where online orders come from) is quite a bit lower.

Hoping to still get mine in hand before Comic-Con (they have a cool app. for it!), but it's going to depend on money and availability as I start counting up what I'll need money-wise for the big event, now a little over three weeks away.

Jeez, am I gonna HAVE to buy a Blu-ray disc finally?!

I have not been a big supporter of Blu-ray, pretty much since it's inception. Yes, the picture is incredible, amazing, and vibrant. The only problem is most movies I've seen on Blu-ray look like they were shot on a digital home video camera. In other words the frame rate looks like 30 as opposed to 24, causing the picture to loose that slight softness that makes movies what they've always been; not so immediate looking and almost of a different world or reality. I've also not liked the idea of buying my entire DVD collection, which took more than a considerable amount of time and effort, once again! I've always maintained that I want to skip over Blu-ray and hold out for downloading.

One advance that's been under my nose for some time had me realize that I don't have to wait for the technology to catch up to my desires. That solution is here right now!

I recently (and finally) experimented with a software alternative called Mac The Ripper. Someone I worked with a couple of years ago introduced me to this wonder, which allows you to rip studio DVDs and store them on your computer or external hard drive. I didn't really take it seriously until about a month ago when I decided to check it out....and was very, VERY impressed!!! Why didn't I do this before?!

Here's the process; you put a DVD into your computer or laptop, tell Mac The Ripper how you want to import the information on the disc, then hit download. All of the contents on the disc, which includes ALL the menus and supplemental features(!), will transfer to your hard drive. Then pop the disc and you're done. The thing that I found amazing about those files I now had on my computer is that I could still navigate through everything as though I had the actual disc in a player! No degrading or compression lose. Just the actual files from the disc, 1 to 1. Size: about 8 GB. Basically one 400 GB drive could hold my entire collection!

This is the reality that I've been dreaming about recently. No more discs, no more horribly designed boxes, no more storage issues! Just a thumbnail icon of the DVD box art that you click on and BOOM, you're movie or special feature begins. And by horrible designed boxes I mean the ones with the clear plastic tray where you can't even remove the disc without practically breaking it, all because the studios and manufacturers don't want the disc to become dislodged during shipping. HOW ABOUT BECOMING DISLODGED DURING CONSUMER USE, YOU FUCK!!! Then there are the giant unweilding box sets that are so hard to maneuver while trying to open and remove discs, that you end up not bothering in the first place after a while because it's just too much of a pain in the ass to deal with! As many of you know, I actually broke one of the discs from the "Three" and "Four Musketeers" double disc set because of those damned plastic trays. Ended up buying another one and keeping the discs in separate slimline cases. Two of my favorite movies of all time that I waited years to come out as a special edition, so you can imagine the Tyrannosaurus Rex yell I let out when that happened!

Big screen, home theater quality...this has been my biggest gripe about downloading movies as it exists now. Sure you can get the feature through online stores such as iTunes or stream them through Netflix. The quality is really only good enough for your computer, iPod, and iPhone. I'm not bashing iTunes or Netflix at all because as you know I'm a BIG proponent. This is just the standard quality they're outputing at the moment. But what if you want to view the entire contents of something like Deckard's briefcase, the "Blade Runner" complete DVD set, in full quality on at least a regular 16x9 television? Nope, you're out of luck.

With Mac The Ripper it's COMPLETELY possible!

Coming back to the discussion of Blu-ray, probably the best use of the format is with movies like "Toy Story" and "Up" where you can absolutely benefit from the awesome picture quality without losing the feel of the film.

Now, on to the reason why I titled this post the way I did.

It's just been announced that the "Back To The Future" Trilogy will be released on Blu-ray on October 26, 2010, the exact date Marty McFly went back in time 25 years ago. Now THAT'S being very savvy about the movie and it's fans!

Click on the box art for a larger image and check out the full specs here at BTTF.net for details as to why I may actually have to break down and buy this. There's just TOO MUCH stuff produced for this set that I really don't want to miss!! I knows the whole purpose of adding these Blu-ray only extras is to woo consumers over to the dark side. I'm still not biting, but this truly might need to be an exception. Particularly since "BTTF" is my favorite movie of all time! Now if they make a DVD / Blue-ray combo-pack with all of these extras included, I'm 'IN' even more so.

On a final note, Samsung actually said in a article from 2008 that Blu-ray will only have a five year life span because at that point the next format will be ready.....downloading! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Starting a new personal project

Today I'm starting to load footage into Final Cut Pro at home for a secret project I hope to show at Comic-Con a little under a month from now. Can't talk about it yet, but details will emerge shortly. Let's just say it's an anniversary trailer. Hoping to have a good portion of it cut over the course of this weekend.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New links added

I've just added 10 new links under the 'My Favorite Movie Sites' heading.

These include two fanboy blogs from major publications, the incredibly detailed and informative Hero Complex at the LA Times website and Heat Vision through the Hollywood Reporter, /Film, Collider, the British magazine Total Film, Arclight Cinemas, The American Cinematheque which includes movie info and listings for the Aero and Egyptian Theatres, Movie Goods where I buy all of my 1-sheets, plus my east coast counterpart's blog and Albany, N.Y. movie theater history / remembrance site, OnFilmOrTV and Project Movie House, respectively.

I may parcel these out under a couple of separate headings in the future, but they all really pertain to movies and seem comfortable where they are at the moment. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On for next week at Happy Hour!!

As Vic, played by Jay Baruchel, said repeatedly in the movie "Almost Famous", "it's all happening!!"

Chris just piped in that they'd need me here at Happy Hour for at least the beginning of next week which could possible blossom into another full week. GOD BLESS IT!!!

Once again, over this past weekend I looked up and said to the heavens, 'I have faith that more work will surface before Comic-Con', giving me more padding to pay for the room, have spending money for the event, AND come out the back side O.K. when it's time to pay my rent and car payment the first of August. NOW with work going into next week, which is what I prayed for, everything WILL be fine!

And now those proper, all-important anniversary acknowledgments!

Celebrating the 35th anniversary of "Jaws" this past June 20, I still remember going to the Towne Theater in Latham, N.Y. two weeks after it's release where the screening was actually over sold. Close to movie time, an usher accompanied a young man with a Scottish driving cap to the front of the auditorium where he positioned a stool right next to the left wall. This would be the guy's seat, something you'd never see today! The audience chuckled slightly right before the lights dimmed and the ominous two note theme began under the Universal logo.

It amazes me, when I think about it, that I was only 15 when this came out! Even thought the movie was pretty scary, I still went back 5 more times that summer of '75 to see what would become a major game changer in Hollywood. The summer blockbuster was born. I went right out and bought the soundtrack on LP, and later picked up both making-of books, "The Jaws Log" by Carl Gottlieb and "The Making of the Movie Jaws" by Edith Blake.

This was one of the few films where I actually read the book before seeing the movie. For anyone whose read Peter Benchley's original, you were probably as much surprised as I was when suddenly we were heading out to sea with Quint instead of the mob subplot and Matt Hooper's affair with Ellen Brody that took up much of the middle of the novel. In fact I didn't mind that at all because the story kept it's focus on what was most important; hunting the shark.

When "Jaws" finally came to home video, I pretty much bought every version after that; VHS, Laserdisc, and big honkin' 30th anniversary DVD. I have one more thing I'd like to do at some point. Finally head to Martha's Vineyard to check out the filming locations. In 2005 there was a Jaws Fest to commemorate that anniversary of the movie as well as a promotion of the all encompassing DVD release. Still kicking myself that I didn't push myself to go, but hope at some point they'll do it again. Perhaps for the 40th in five years...

Also released on June 20, I saw "The Blues Brothers" at Hellman's Theatre in Albany, N.Y. 30 years ago this week. All of us didn't know that we were seeing one of the last performances of John Belushi before his death two years later, but the movie would become a true icon, directed by John Landis who was fresh off of the success of "Animal House". Not just a comedy, the movie was also a musical and an action film all rolled together.

But beyond Jake and Elwood was the Bluesmobile, musical guests like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Cab Calloway, comedy greats like Henry Gibson and John Candy, and the city of Chicago that all played a major part in expanding the scope of the balls-out humor that drove the boys to a show that would save their orphanage from closing. And I guess in a sense this was actually the re-introduction of the movie musical that had been dead for so long. That same year, in fact one month after "The Blues Brothers" was released, MTV would take hold, and a different form of the musical would re-emerge.

Time to click on the projector in The 10th Box this weekend for anniversary screenings of both these films, remembering what it was like to see them for the first time at those now closed movie houses back in Upstate New York.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Pogo's latest music remix, "Upular"

O.K. it's funny...when I first watched / heard this video, I liked it. But the second viewing is when I became totally hooked!! Musically I think it's even better than his (Pogo's) "Terminator 2" remix. "Upular" is another amazing, catchy cut I just had to download and put on my iPod. I haven't counted how many times I've listened to it at home and in the car!

Once again, Pogo has mixed only sounds, dialogue, and musical snippets, this time from the movie "Up", in what has to be the work of someone who truly loves and knows every beat of this film! It resonates even more because I am such a big fan of the movie as well. Once again I'm truly blown away by the precision and musical crafting of this piece, not to mention the hours and days I'm sure it took to put together! Like the character of Russell says at the very end..."WOW!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A second wave of post house e-mailings

Man, did I get A LOT done today!! In part because there really wasn't a whole lot to do at Happy Hour.

The first cut of my "Dollhouse" spot went out to FOX for approval yesterday afternoon. They came back with only one minor change which I did last night. The second cut was sent out this morning. Chris said right away that this would be a lazy day and to relax. Thus began my 8.5 hours of basically being on standby...with pay!

Immediately I dove into the second list of post houses I'd narrowed down from listings on LA411.com. The heading under which these appear is 'commercial post houses'. However, I found that the types of projects they undertook were pretty varied; commercials, trailers, broadcast spots, feature films, DVD and web content, etc. Out of a list of 89, I found 27 houses that utilized creative editors. Combined with last week's new batch of 14 general post houses, plus 31 trailer and DVD post houses I've previously contacted, this brings a grand total of 73 post houses that now have the link to my pro website. Once again I marveled at the simplicity of the process; copy, paste, personalize, click, send, done. No DVD burning, no cover letter and resume printing, no supplies purchased, no trip to the post office. In fact that entire process seems ancient now in comparison!

Right away I started getting responses. A few said they weren't hiring at the moment but that they'd hang on to my link for future reference. Two ended up being dead e-mails so I called those companies to acquire the correct ones. Two more came back with automated responses that they were out of the office today but would be back tomorrow or the day after. Another said that they were not busy at the moment but to definitely contact them in the middle of July. Mark that one as having possibilities. The last to came in today mentioned that they were looking to expand their facility and add a trailer department, asking a few more details about my workflow and freelance history, etc.

And to cap the day off, I was finally able to design and put together those anniversary banners I've been trying to get to for the past four days! Great sense of accomplishment today and high hopes that I'll be able to crack into some of these new post houses, as well as the ones I continue to promote myself to.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ONE MONTH!!!

It 's now officially one month until Comic-Con! Work has been great, money has been put aside, and some of the first programming schedules for the event are hitting the web. Top of the list first thing Thursday morning, the "Tron Legacy" blowout panel. We're talking a HUGE presentation that I will be squarely at ground zero for! Can't believe it's almost here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back to work at Happy Hour!!

Chris from Happy Hour Creative called late in the morning today to ask what I was doing for the week and could I come in today! OMG, I am SO happy!! I really wanted and needed this to pad things out a little financially for Comic-Con.

Working on a series of fifteen second spots for the release of the Season 2 DVD for Joss Whedon's TV series, "Dollhouse". There's also word that more changes might come back from Warner Bros. on the "Lottery Ticket" spots. So very grateful to be back here so soon and working on a major project. One of the staff editors will be out on Thursday and Friday which is also part of the reason why they need to keep me around for the entire week. But I'm sure there's going to be enough of a work load to keep me busy through Friday just the same.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Jaws" and "The Blues Brothers" anniversaries

Thirty five years ago today, a big screen great white shark was unleashed on an unsuspecting summer public. And thirty years ago today, two blues singers from Chicago went on a mission from God.

"Jaws" and "The Blues Brothers" celebrate major milestone anniversaries today, and I'll be watching both in the 10th Box this week to commemorate. You're probably saying, 'Hey, where's the banners?!' I'm not home this weekend to create them, so expect to see full blown anniversary goodness up top tomorrow with a full-on tribute post.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Toy Story 3" review: absolutely THE BEST movie of the year, hands down!!!



I can't say enough good stuff about "Toy Story 3"!!!! It's really funny, filled with exciting action and cliffhangers, incredibly heartwarming, bittersweet, and very emotional.

There are some minor spoilers ahead so beware if you haven't seen the movie yet.

This is absolutely one of the tightest scripts I've seen since "Back To The Future"! Nothing happens or is spoken of without there being some seamless connection to a story point or payoff later in the movie. Once again, as with "Up", the 3D is used to enhance the movie and not be a gimmick by any means. The animation has certainly advanced since the first "Toy Story", yet never feels like it leaves the original in the dust technically. The two combined (animation and 3D) create a beautiful landscape for our characters to inhabit. One that feels more real than ever before.

What a joy it is to once again hear Tom Hanks and Tim Allen voicing Woody and Buzz Lightyear, as well as Joan Cusack as Jesse, Don Rickles as Mr. Potatohead, John Ratzenberger as the Piggy Bank, and Wallace Shawn as Rex. Everyone is in top form, not to mention the other remaining toys in Andy's room about to go to the attic because the little boy has grown up and is about to leave for college. It's the inescapable realization that life with the child, now about to become a young man, is a bittersweet finality the toys have to confront. I really appreciate the direction the filmmakers are taking with this undeniable fact. What's wonderful about this movie is you're never really given too much knowing information to really see what's around the corner or where our band of action figures, dinosaurs, dolls, and potatoheads will ultimately find themselves.

I'd probably have to compare the series of events that lead to another truly amazing climax, to Christmas morning. As a child you run to the Christmas tree, wildly opening package after package, gleefully enraptured by each new gift. Except when you reach the end of the pile of packages and feel incredibly content, Mom goes to the closet to pull out a couple of surprise bonus gifts. That's how "Toy Story 3" rolls out. Just when you've gotten everything you hoped for as far as story, character, not to mention humor, excitement, and those tears forming at the corner of your eyes from the depth of emotion the movie truly embodies, you're treated to the 'bonus gifts' you never knew you were getting! Embracing those gifts, you realize you've just witnessed something very rare and really special. A third movie in a series that doesn't fall flat or becomes a disappointment after the first two films rocked, Pixar has broken 'the third movie is never that good' curse. A third movie that takes us to a new level of devotion, friendship, heroics, and even a darker side than we'd been treated to before in any "Toy Story" movie.

There's definitely something scary about these toys heading out into the world beyond Andy's protection and love, and this outing is not afraid to go there at times. A place where literally anything can happen, and at one point almost does. I'm just going to put it out there right now that I cried for five minutes throughout the final moments of the movie. They were tears of sadness, tears of bittersweet realization, and tears of joy. All of these moments brought great heartfelt and very genuinely dramatic emotion, our band of toys bravely facing not only incredible danger with courage and dignity, but facing the inevitable changes of life.

Of course all of this is wonderfully wrapped in perfectly placed humor. The movie never bogs down in the dramatic or somber, because this is still a comedic adventure with very uplifting themes and inspiring, really funny characters.

On a side note, it's amazing to see how Barbie, and even Ken, have progressed as a part of the "Toy Story" universe. When the first movie was taking shape in the early 90s, Mattel was very protective of how the proposed character of Barbie would be portrayed. Their argument was that little girls had always put their voices and personalities into Barbie during playtime. The toy company didn't want to peg one voice or persona into their iconic product. They were so skitterish, in fact, that the production decided to change the girl doll from Barbie to Little Bo Peep. Here we are 15 years later and now Barbie not only has a voice and personality in the movie, but she's beginning to have a relationship with Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton), who even starts out having questionable motives when the accidentally abandoned toys find themselves in a day care center. There's even some slight gay overtones to Ken that will fly over the heads of kids and land squarely on adult's laugh button.

Another interesting note...actor John Morris, who voiced Andy as a young boy 15 and 11 years ago for the original "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" respectively, returns to voice Andy again as an 18 year old trying to decide what to do with his childhood playthings before taking that next step in his life.

The day care center turns out to be a prison for our lost toys, with Woody planning a dramatic breakout for his toy friends in captivity. The head toy at the center (Ned Beatty) turns out to be a gang boss, bringing our story into darker waters about halfway through the film. The prison motif is a smart nod to films like "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Great Escape", and sets our heroes on a path to confronting Beatty's teddy bear bad guy with a brief sly nod to "Return of The Jedi".

There are some wonderfully subtle nods to the previous two "Toy Story" movies as well as Pixar's library of winning streak films. Watch for numerous Easter eggs that point to "Up", "Monsters Inc.", and "Cars". Two toys find they may have feelings for one another during the course of the adventure (I'm not saying who!) which turns out to be a really sweet addition to this story. And let's not forget the opening Pixar short even before the movie starts. Entitled "Night and Day", this has to be the animation studios most unique micro-film yet. I really don't want to give anything away! Just sit back and be swept up in the whole concept. Just as "Toy Story 3" swept me up and was a reminder that movies can be so incredibly satisfying, thoughtful, and extremely enjoyable.

I plan to go right back to see this again, and know I'll be returning a few times over the course of the summer. This is by far THE BEST movie of the year(!!!), and I can't imagine anything coming close during the next five months of 2010. Just as "Up" made such an indelible mark last year, "Toy Story 3" will stay with you long after the lights go up in the theater.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Skynet Symphonic"

OMG, words cannot express how incredibly well done this music video is, edited together using ONLY the sound FX, dialogue snippets, and samples of Brad Fidel's music track from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"!!! NO OTHER musical instrument has been added!

Being an editor, a huge fan of James Cameron's "Terminator" films, and´╗┐ a lover of trance / electronica / house music, I am truly in awe of this mix!! The picture cut and track are masterfully edited, both in sound and picture. Plus, there are even moments that are wonderfully funny!! I've already watched this about ten times!!!!

Created by an artist named Pogo, I saw this first on Facebook and then on YouTube thanks to Allen. It's now become my buzz track for the week, as I've converted it to an MP3 to listen to on my iPod in the car. Plus I can watch the complete video as well as I immediately downloaded it.

I am dying to know how long it took this guy to put the entire thing together! You REALLY have to know this movie in order to be able to pull such precise elements AND turn them into a complete piece of music with corresponding video clips. After you check out the video, take a look at Pogo's official website. He also has a YouTube channel with more of his amazing work! AND he looks like he's about 19!!

Secret Headquarters interview

My interview at Secret Headquarters went really well this morning! This is a small boutique post house located in Culver City, about ten minutes from Happy Hour Creative. Dave, the person who responded to my e-mailed website link, gave me a brief tour of their facility, which is pretty nice. In fact you'd never know such a place existed inside just by glancing at the outside of the building. To be honest I wondered what type of neighborhood this was in when I looked on Google Street Level. When I arrived at the location and stepped inside, I realized that the name "Secret Headquarters" connected even more with the place.

During the tour I was shown a Japanese garden they have in back of the building. To the left of this was a very small parking area only big enough for about four cars, the whole outdoor section covered. The two cars in the lot turned out to both be Mini Coopers. I made a comment about that and Dave said there were only four permanent employees who worked there and two of them drove Minis. I immediately piped in that I drove a Mini as well. Dave laughed and called to the head of the company who was in a nearby edit bay, saying 'hey, he has a Mini too!' I started to realize I was more than in the right place.

Along the way it was explained to me that they primarily work on trailers and broadcast spots (YAY!) and occasionally cut DVD special features, promos, and on rare occasions, direct to DVD feature films. Of course I've done all of this and they could see it in my online resume. Sitting down for the actual meeting, Dave had a series of questions regarding my experience, creativity, and how I handle different types of projects. He was looking for someone who could operate on their own with input from absentee producers who looked at completed work through a fiber connect. I explained in more detail how the "Book of Eli" spot came together, as well as my ability and love of running with something, even without a script. All in all it was a very positive interview and I was told that I'd definitely sold myself to them. He wants to bring me in on the next project they get. Sounds like it could be July at this point because June was already proving to be a slow month.

Oh and on a side note, while talking about my work on the four feature films I cut in Vermont, he asked if I was from there. I told him I was actually from Upstate New York. He asked 'where' kind of knowingly. Normally I say the Albany area because a lot of people know where that is. But because of the way he asked, I said Troy which is more accurate. Turns out he's from Massena, N.Y. (near the Canadian border) and knows the Albany, Troy, Schenectady area pretty well. He ended the interview by joking about definitely wanting to work more with someone from his home state. Between that, the Mini connection, and most importantly my work experience, etc., I definitely feel I've paved my way into a new post house.

So score the second interview I've had this month with a new post house (the other being Sam Hurwitz Productions) and an immediate response from the 46 post houses I contacted on Tuesday. That's pretty good, and all I have to do now is start working at these places.

My pro website goes out to post houses: wow, that was easy!!

Throughout the day and evening on Tuesday, after finally compiling that list of additional contact info, I e-mailed my pro website link to 46 post houses! During the past 10 years of sending out physical reels and resumes through the regular mail, I couldn't have imagined an easier method of getting my work out there!

Aside from all the trailer and DVD houses I've contacted in the past that are included in the 46, I found 15 general post houses from a list of over 200 on LA411.com that I'd not been in touch with previously. Yes, you heard it...only 15! I expected to find many more, but so many places under that heading are either turn-key facilities, VFX, graphics, or audio houses. There's still another list of about 50 commercial houses I'll be sifting through later today.

Now, here comes the good news.

Right away yesterday morning I started receiving return e-mails....another benefit of e-mailing my link; an easier way for people to respond more immediately. Four came back that they liked what they saw, but were just not hiring at the moment and to stay in touch.

A fifth, Secret Headquarters, started asking questions. What was my rate, how much copy writing had I done on some of the projects I'd worked on, could I take a project and run with it even without a script. I responded that that's how my "The Book of Eli" spot was cut. Happy Hour gave me the ball, I created the concept and execution pretty much from scratch. They liked what they heard and asked if I could come in for an interview today! 10am this morning!

YES!! Less than 24 hours after my mass e-mailing I've scored an interview. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I have to say is THIS IS FUCKING HILARIOUS!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The most beautiful seatbelt advocacy commercial ever

OMG, I teared up when I saw this the first time. Posted on Facebook by my friend Chuck, it's a very simple concept; beautifully told, photographed, edited, and scored. And the important thing is, it STAYS with you!

Ralph Macchio strikes back!!!

The people at FunnyOrDie.com never cease to come up with the most hilarious video shorts on the web! Check out this new one starring Ralph Macchio in "Wax On, Fuck Off". It's basically his friends, family, etc. doing an intervention to make him realize he has to be less of a nice guy in order to start working in the industry again. No one will hire such a nice guy, is the pitch. Watch for Molly Ringwald making a cameo.

Sam Hurwitz Productions interview

My interview at Sam Hurwitz Productions went very well yesterday. REALLY NICE facility!! They've been at this location (North Hollywood) for two years, previously in Culver City.

Essentially the meeting was just so they could actually meet me. Turns out I'm already considered 'in the door' because of my previous work relationship with Sam himself. In fact, it was mentioned quite a number of times how highly Sam thinks of me and my editing skills. I did run into Sam as I was about to meet with the production coordinator, and we caught up on what's been going on with each of us in the five years since we worked together last.

The website link will give you an overview of the types of projects they take on. Pretty diverse actually. I was told that they hoped to have more work coming in for me later in June but more likely in July and/or August. So nothing immediate, but I at least know there's something coming up in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, there was no word from Happy Hour Creative yesterday about notes coming back on any of the "Lottery Ticket" spots or the Disney Sing-It promo piece. I called Chris late in the day Wednesday but never received a call back. This usually means that nothing is happening. Hopefully I'll know something today. There is other work brewing as well that a Tuesday night meeting could be bringing in at HHC, so I'm kind of anxious to hear about that from Chris as well.

I have to shift gears now and put together the remainder of that list of general post houses to send a link to my website. Want to have that done by end of day today or tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"The Goonies" live on...25 years later

I continue to be amazed by the cult following of "The Goonies"! I definitely enjoyed the movie when it was released, although never quite resonating as one of my favorites. I do still have the original soundtrack on cassette, which has a number of really cool songs.

Released in 1985, the movie continues to be a huge fan favorite. To this day you'll still see young people, who weren't even born when the movie came out, wearing Chunk T-shirts! In fact I just saw one yesterday!

Click on the photo for a story (with video) about the recent reunion in Astoria, Oregon, where the movie takes place and was shot, assembling the entire cast, Director Richard Donnor, and even Producer Steven Speilberg. Oh and BTW, I'd forgotten that the character of 'Brand' was played by a young Josh Brolin! Here's another article in The Washington Post about the anniversary gathering.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday work update

Looks like I'll be on hold for Wednesday. Chris said we'd talk tomorrow about when to come back in, more than likely this week. Still no word back from Warner Bros. about the "Lottery Ticket" spots, and there's been nothing from Disney regarding changes to their project.

10am is my interview at Sam Hurwitz Productions so that takes the heat off of hoofing it from there to Happy Hour in the morning. Just hope I'm back here at HHC very shortly. Sounds like I will.

Initial iPhone 4 amazing features...

My wow moments while watching Steve Jobs work his magic during the keynote address: The all glass front and back panel...incredible and so perfectly innovative. The gyroscope...the next leap ahead in real world 3 dimensions. And the 'I can't believe it's really here' moment...the introduction of FaceTime!

The video phone we all grew up with watching "The Jetsons", also seen in movies like "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Blade Runner"....NOW a reality!! THIS will TRULY change the way we communicate with one another! My eyes were actually tearing up (the sign language section) as I watched the short video they showed to demonstrate the various benefits this will have for all of us.

There are too many other functions to put here that I was really impressed with. Can't wait to try all of them out when I get my hands on one later this month....AT LAST!

8th week starts at Happy Hour and an interview

As mentioned, today starts a new week at Happy Hour...my eighth! Once again, SO glad to be continuing on here, now waiting on new notes for all of the "Lottery Ticket" spots that went out to be tested over this past weekend. Also waiting for changes on the Disney Sing-It promotional spot. I'm expecting this to take me through the end of this week but there's no guarantee at this point.

In the meantime, I received an e-mail last Thursday from Sam Hurwitz Productions in North Hollywood responding to the reel and resume I sent some weeks ago. They have projects coming up that they're looking for help with and want me to come in for an interview. Originally I'd made an appointment for Monday at 10am, but because of my vertigo yesterday I had to reschedule to Wednesday just to make sure I was feeling better.

I've worked with Sam Hurwitz previously at Precision Post in 2005. This was before he started his own post boutique, located first in Culver City, now in North Hollywood. He was the producer who oversaw my work on the DVD for Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride", and the promotional featurettes for "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" and "The Island".

I won't know until the interview tomorrow when they'll be needing me, and in the meantime I hope for more work here at Happy Hour Creative. The main thing is to keep the paychecks flowing. Taking care of primary responsibilities, getting some things paid off, and of course, Comic-Con. We are now 42 days out and counting. That's a month and a half from today, kids!

I'm also finally wrapping up a complete list of the new set of post houses (commercial, web, documentary, general entertainment) I'll be sending a link to my website. Work at Happy Hour had slowed my putting this full compilation together. But realizing that we are still in the zone of the year's major work influx, I need to contact them and make my introduction this week. The summer is starting to feel more upbeat on the project front, and I have sustained faith that it will continue.

Saturday change

BTW, I never did head out to do all of those things on Saturday because of the vertigo. So unfortunately there will be no photos from the movie meet-up. I'm really hoping they do it again soon.

Scary health moment

Saturday at I experienced something truly unnerving. What it turned out to be was my very first case of vertigo. But during those first few moments, I panicked. I thought I might be having a stroke or even a brain aneurysm. Soon it became obvious that I needed to go to the emergency room, and things were not very pretty during that trip. I became very nauseous because everything just wouldn't stop spinning. The only thing I could do was close my eyes to stop feeling ill.

Once in the emergency room at St. Vincent's Hospital in Burbank, I learned that what I was having was indeed vertigo. A CAT scan confirmed that I didn't have a tumor or a brain aneurysm or even a stroke. That helped to relax me quite a bit, since I'd been hyperventilating slightly over what might be going wrong. The doctor said this would probably pass in about two to three days and gave me a prescription to help with the nausea and dizziness.

Yesterday morning I realized that there was just no way I'd be able to make it to work. Plus, I had to reschedule a 10am interview with a post boutique (micro post house) to Wednesday morning just to give me more time to get better. More details about this in my next posting.

I'm here at Happy Hour today, feeling a little better but still not completely up to full speed. Some would argue that I should've probably taken one more day off. But at this point in the game, I need to keep working and making money. Hope the coming day or two will see me fully free of this disorientation finally.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The iPhone 4 is brought forth....

...and my wallet opens!!

Monday. June 7, 2010. Steve Jobs makes the announcement. The new iPhone arrives June 24 and pre-orders begin June 15. I am ready to be one of the first!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Heading out to the Getty Villa in Malibu this afternoon, then on to a movie meet-up this evening with actor Stephen Toblowsky at Jerry's in Studio City....AND a giant bowl of their incredible pea soup. Yum! Check it out.

Friday, June 4, 2010

"Toy Story 3" opening night

"Toy Story 3" in 3D tickets PURCHASED! They JUST went on sale, and I figured this would probably happen at the two week out mark. I was actually refreshing the Arclight home page a few times around midnight to make sure I'd get the best seats. Didn't want the same thing to happen like with "Iron Man 2".

Midnight show at the Sherman Oaks Arclight. Was kind of hoping they'd have it in the Dome in Hollywood, but I guess something far less worthy will be taking up the space......OMG, I JUST REALIZED IT'S FUCKING "ECLIPSE"!!! UUUUGGGGHHHH!!! NO, I am not joining Team Pale Face or Team Wolfy! Enough!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I am now a Telly Award winner!

I just learned that I've won (through Happy Hour Creative) a Telly Award for my "The Book of Eli" broadcast trailer "Our Future"!! Granted, this is not in the same stratosphere as the Golden Trailer Awards or even the Key Art Awards when it comes to film and television advertising and promotion, but it's still an acknowledgment from the industry!

The funny thing is the actual awards won't be handed out until the end of June, yet Happy Hour received the notification quite a bit in advance. Crazy.

You actually have to order your award through the official website (they cost $150) and I've already informed Chris here at Happy Hour that I definitely want my own. Customarily, one is sent to the post house that worked on the project, but additional statues can be requested. Here!....take my money and give me my statue! Considering the fact that I had some high hopes on winning the Golden Trailer Award for this spot, I'm still very appreciative that I'm getting this. And yes, it WILL have my name on it! Not sure exactly when I'll have the actual statue in hand, assuming sometime this month. As soon as I do, expect photos! And of course I now have to find just the right place of honor at home to display it.

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. has changed the official site to promote the forthcoming DVD release, so my "Our Future" spot is no longer the first thing that plays when you arrive. Instead, you can see it again here!