Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, East Coast!

Happy New Year to everyone on the East Coast! We're heading to a special New Year's celebration tonight at Bucca Di Beppo in Universal CityWalk; five course meal followed by ringing in the new year! I basically stopped eating after lunch yesterday.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My "Back to the Future" 25th Anniversary trailer

Here is the tribute trailer I produced and edited exclusively for the "Back to the Future" 25th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles - November 5 - 12, 2010.

It originally premiered during the opening night screening of "Back to the Future" at the Puente Hills Mall, shown once more during the locations tour along with my friend John's "BTTF" documentary at his house where George McFly's 'peeping tom' tree stands. And now I'm putting it out to the world...Enjoy!

'Tron Legacy" screening 2.0

Just saw "Tron Legacy" again this past Sunday, this time in IMAX 3D which was insanely immersive!!! I definitely love the movie EVEN MORE the second time around!

SPOILER ALERT!! Don't read the following if you haven't seen the movie yet! "Keep your eyes shut, Marion!!"

I definitely understood when the moment came that Tron connects with Flynn, causing him to 'wake-up' from his repurposed program, Rinzler, to realize who he truly is. That was a bit fuzzy on the first go-around. I was more accepting of the way they de-aged Jeff Bridges for his younger self as well as CLU. Again, the rest of the movie was just so cool to have that take any large chunk of enjoyment away from the total package. I also caught a few more tidbits of how the system was born.

I actually picked up the graphic novel "Tron Betrayal", reading it from cover to cover before Sunday's screening. It definitely added some great back story on how Kevin Flynn went from his first experience on the grid in the original "Tron" to creating his very own digital frontier. However, the book didn't end with a satisfying enough bridge to the new movie, I felt.

One of the most nicely connective moments in the movie, for me, is not even in the digital world. It's when Sam enters Flynn's Arcade, flips on the power switch, Journey's "Seperate Ways" begins to play, and finally....Sam goes upstairs to see where his father use to live; the loft with that wrap around sofa, now covered in plastic. That one moment really took me back and gave me a chill of sweet wonderment.

Absolutely look forward to seeing the movie again in the theater soon!!

"Back to the Future" Celebration: Enchantment Under The Sea performance

Another clip I realized never made it here! Actor Harry Waters, Jr. ('Marvin Berry') took the stage at the Enchantment Under The Sea Gala on the final night of the "BTTF" 25th Anniversary Celebration in early November. Backed by an 80s cover band who performed hits from that decade earlier in the evening, he sang 'Earth Angel' to the roar of the attending crowd and even had his hand wrapped up just like in the movie! At the end of the song, as everyone went wild with appreciation, a young man stepped out on stage dressed as Marty McFly from that very scene. He was actor AJ Locascio who had just completed work as the voice of Marty McFly for the just released "Back to the Future: The Game". With pitch-perfect Michael J. Fox delivery and tone, he rolled out Marty's entire intro to 'Jonnhy B. Goode'!

Here is the complete stage presentation I shot with my iPhone of Harry Waters, Jr. and AJ Locascio performing 'Earth Angel' and 'Johnny B. Goode'. Incredible moment!!!

"Back to the Future" Celebration: DeLorean Crash Site

I just realized that I never posted this here, even though some of you have seen it on Facebook. This was the final stop on the "BTTF" locations tour in early November where, in "Back to the Future Part III", Marty returns from 1885 in the train-wheeled DeLorean. As with the rest of the tour, the couple hundred of us departed our two tour buses to take in the site and take lots of photos and videos. What everyone didn't know was that a movie-accurate, fan built, train-wheeled DeLorean Time Machine was just about to roll down the tracks at the exact location where it happened in the movie. I'll let the video do the talking about how cool this truly was!

Unfortunately I was unable to post this on YouTube because I got that stupid 'there's copyright material in your video so it won't be seen worldwide' bullshit. Mainly due to the opening which has a clip from the movie right before footage I took at the location. I did ultimately post a version to YouTube, minus the opening "BTTF Part III" clip. But here for the first time is what I originally intended and prefer; a side by side comparison of film clip and shot footage.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wondercon 2011: back on the books!

Working out plans to go to Wondercon at the beginning of this coming April. Original wasn't sure if it was going to happen, in part because of Rebecca's work schedule. She has a strict number of vacations days each year and needs to be frugal about using them.

I'd already made our hotel reservations at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis (right next door to the convention center) back in November to at least have something in place if this trip ended up happening. We're looking to head up to San Francisco after Rebecca gets out of work on Friday (thus not cutting into her vacation time), attending the event on Saturday and part of Sunday, then returning Sunday evening. Wondercon is three days long beginning Friday, April 1.

I'm pretty excited to be returning for the second time to Comic-Con's sister convention, plus the opportunity to catch the Marvel and DC presentations for "Thor", Captain America", and "Green Lantern" (respectively) just a short time before they premiere in theaters. I have to say I'm starting to feel a little skeptical about exactly how good these three movies will be. But I'm still interested to check out what I'm sure will be a couple of very cool panels.

BTW, I'm about to put in my first Pro Membership application. This is a free pass for attending industry professionals and will allow me to bring three guests, one of course will be Rebecca. This means certain people from the East Coast could also join in (hint, hint!). This is something I wanted to do last year for Comic-Con but unfortunately it didn't quite work out....long story.

The last time we attended WC was 2009. It was a great half year hit to keep us going, four months out from the main event in July. Wondercon is about one third the size of Comic-Con but definitely brings the same buzz. can you not love San Francisco?!


This week's most annoyingly laughable use of a word: 'beefy'. As in 'my computer's pretty beefy' (replete with software/hardware, etc.). Not quite the cringe factor of 'cheesy', but definitely comes across as a ridiculous hipster term. Heard two people use it this week.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Farewell, Teena Marie...'ll always be our 'Lovegirl'.

Here is probably the best tribute to Teena; Lenny Kravitz' personal video, shot on his iPhone from Paris right after he learned of her death. I'll let his words speak for themselves.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

To everyone who stops by here to share my adventures and protective rants about all things "Tron", have a Very, Merry Christmas!!! Just remember...if you don't get a Red Ryder BB gun today, there's always next year. AWW, DANGIT BLOB!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's official: Our full hotel reservation for Comic-Con 2011 is secured!

Didn't want to jinx this so I wasn't waving any flags around...but here's some great news from a few weeks ago.

As I'd mentioned before, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel decided this year to change their policy just as The Marriott we use to stay at did last year; your entire reservation requires payment in full, in advance. I seriously didn't want to miss out on getting our foot in the door for 2011 so I decided to reserve our room for three of the six nights we'd be there. Most notably the three prime nights that would probably sell out sooner rather than later; Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Paying the full amount now would have been ridiculous and I was trying to skirt around this obscene policy!

As expected, I had to pay for all of those nights up front. Now all I needed to do was wait a few weeks and, with more paychecks coming in, slowly add another night and another night and another night. Suddenly, one day I decided to try my luck at talking to another customer service rep. from the hotel who might accidentally slip past that demand by not looking at the fine print and give us our room with no additional money down. Thankfully, I was right and it totally worked!

It must be because I'd already secured this same room and was only pushing the stay out a day...I don't know. But it happened. All I asked for was to add one additional day, Wednesday, the 20th. She punched the info in and I received my confirmation via e-mail immediately...NO MONEY DOWN! Woohoo!!

Then the very next day I got a little greedy. Initially thought I'd wait a couple and then add a second day. Twenty four hours later...NOPE! I just decided to go for it and add the rest of our intended stay which included Tuesday and the following Sunday. Spoke with a new rep. who did the very same thing; added the two extra days without asking for additional funds. GOD BLESS IT!!!

I basically didn't want to jinx the good news by posting it here too early, then getting a notification a day or two later saying 'hey, you need to pay the money or else we can't reserve your additional nights'. That notification never came!

So, I am happy to announce that we now have reservations for OUR ENTIRE STAY AT COMIC-CON 2011!!! All I have to do is pay for the other half of our six days sometime between now and July. What I really want to do is just get it taken care of as we roll into the beginning of the new year. Then, for the first time in history, I will have paid for everything well in advance of the actual event...both the 4-day membership w/ preview night as well as the entirety of the hotel.

Regardless of what happens work wise as we approach that crucial final month countdown, I'll have the satisfaction that all I need to accumulate is spending and food money, which is far outgrossed by the six nights at the Hilton.

And yes, work continues at Happy Hour through the holidays!!

This week marks four full months straight that I've been working at Happy Hour Creative! Incredible! But wait, here's more good news. Just spoke with Chris last Thursday and he told me that a new project was coming in this week. A major FOX series I'll be cutting two Super Bowl spots for.

You heard it...The Super Bowl!

Can't reveal the title of the show just yet so stay tuned. In the meantime I can reveal that over the past month I've been cutting a number of spots for the January premiere of ABC's new doctor series "Off The Map". Originally one of these 30 second spots was to actually be shown in theaters in front of "The Tourist" and "Little Fockers". But unfortunately, after multiple cuts that started getting less and less tinkering from the studio (a good sign), they decided to pull the plug on the project abruptly.

Having nothing to do with Happy Hour's or my performance whatsoever, we all stood around scratching our heads wondering why the sudden change. The mostly approved version was within hours of sending to finish. Pretty frustrating! We ultimately never really got a firm answer but speculated that it may have been for budgetary reasons. But hey, we said, they could just as easily put it on broadcast or even the official website. At this point I'm not sure what the fate of this project will be. Hopefully they'll turn up somewhere soon.

Right now I'm here through the end of this week with the possibility that I might be off for Christmas Eve. Then it's back on Monday, continuing into the beginning of January. This is actually a record year for me as far as this period. The last time I worked straight through the holidays was in 2006 at The Cannery. I'd begun a project there in October, then segued into a second and third, even bringing a drive back to Albany for a couple of weeks where I continued to cut and e-mail project files as I visited with my Mom and friends. Then when I returned they had a whole new project for me to start which carried me into March of 2007.

This will be the first time since I've been in LA that I'll be working through the holidays AND staying put to do the work here. One thing I've already noticed; since schools are closed, most notably UCLA which is right off the 405 and my drive to Happy Hour, traffic is considerably down this week. Even with the rain...oh I'm sorry, "Storm of the Century" (gimme a break) drive time is almost cut in half.

Cinema 2010 montage

Check out this amazing 2010 movie retrospective by Kees van Dijkhuizen, cut to some of the tracks featured in films from the year. The piece highlights everything good, fair and bad without prejudice and is produced with a very polished trailer sensibility. Great job!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Tron Legacy"...a few more notes

Oh wait...I left out a few important aspects of "Tron Legacy" in my review that need some love as well...

The set design in the movie, created by production designer Darren Gilford, is sharply modernistic. Especially Kevin Flynn's residence known as 'Safehouse' in the computer world which evokes Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey". All of the vehicles, beautifully created by designer Daniel Simon, are sleek, wonderfully functional, and at times cooly dangerous. These elements are essential to the world of "Tron Legacy" just as much as the visual effects and wardrobe, with perfectly suited luminace fabric and light effect by Travis Gale Lewis.

Just some added kudos to a movie I very much look forward to seeing in IMAX this coming weekend!

"Tron Legacy": your thoughts?

Just opening up the floor to everyone and anyone from around the globe who may be checking in here. Come on, you people from the rest of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and beyond...I know you're out there! Don't be shy. What did you think of "Tron Legacy"?

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Tron Legacy" review: Eye-popping action and effects, killer music, wonderful connectivity to the original, good enough story

Expectations for "Tron Legacy" were through the roof for many fans of the original as tidbits, trailers, images and information rolled out by director and stars graced Comic-Con for three years in a row...a record in fact for any one film's promotion at that event. Now the movie is finally here. Does it live up to everything we've been hearing about since news first broke? For the most part I say YES!!

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven't seen the movie yet, please come back after you've done so! There are a number of plot details revealed here so BEWARE!!

As everyone whose been reading along here knows, I am a HUGE "Tron" fan, going back to the very beginning when I saw the movie in theaters in 1982. 28 years later, and after Disney made a number of attempts to find the right tone to pick up the story and concept once again, director Joseph Kosinski has brought his commercial sensibilities to the big screen for the first time and does not disappoint!

I've always been a strong believer that if you're going to make or remake something that must pay tribute to it's origins, you must sample the right chords in all the right ways. In "Tron Legacy", love for the original is very, very strong. The concept is fresh and easily accessible for the casual moviegoer, yet filled with wonderful little nuggets for worshipers of the 1982 classic. A few examples; listen carefully right before the first light cycle game begins in the movie. If you've ever played the "Tron" video game you'll recognize three familiar tones that signaled the start of the light cycle level. As Sam tries to break into Encom he approaches a rather large orange colored security door. As the door opens once the security code is broken, he glances at the size of it saying, 'now that's a big door', the same line Kevin Flynn utters while attempting a similar break-in during the first movie.

The method by which we're in new territory has been really well devised. The electronic world is not the server at Encom we saw in the original film. At some point after taking control of the company, Kevin Flynn copied data from Encom's server and brought it, along with the laser aparatice, to his basement office at Flynn's Arcade. So what we're seeing in the new movie is a offshoot world of that original landscape. This aspect allowed the writers and filmmakers to create a story that has a clear starting point after the events of "Tron" for people who are coming in for the first time, and an opportunity to change things up a bit more. Another smart move was to not make this server connect to our present day internet or server networks. Making references to things like Facebook, YouTube, or any other current applications used on devices like the iPhone would only date the movie even a year or two down the road. Keeping The Grid as a pure computer oriented, electronic device was absolutely the way to go.

The movie begins in 2D (a very nice "Wizard of Oz"-like touch) with Kevin Flynn telling his son Sam about the world he encountered in the first film and that they'll be heading to the arcade the next day. Unforunately, Kevin never returns and Sam presumes his father died or just left. Now 20 years later, Sam is told by Allen Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) that he should check out a message which came from his father's old arcade. Sam finds the basement workstation and the laser which, of course, can and will transport him into the computer world he was told of as a boy. At this point the movie switches to 3D as Sam finds himself in the very digital world he'll learn his father disappeared into.

Here is where the film kicks into high gear as Sam finds himself transported to the game grid and fighting for his life in a disk tournament. These games are far more brutal than portrayed in the original "Tron". Crazily ellaborate with amazing fight choreography that's very, very cool! Suddenly I became aware of what would be one of the best aspects of the movie; sound design. Recognizers roar overhead as my my pant legs flutter. The sound of disks activated cut through the air like a knife. Light cycles hum beautifully as they glide along the grid. On a visual effects side, the first thing I noticed was how seamlessly the actors were integrated into this digital world. The arena scene is definitely one of the buzz clips of the movie, heightened that much more as the disk battle quickly turns into an incredible light cycle game and chase. This goes way beyond the hard rights and lefts the original light cycles took during those games in "Tron". Now we get tricks and turns and flips like never before! Whatever the rest of the movie brought, at this point I was so 'IN'!!!

Garrett Hedlund totally works as Sam, son of Kevin Flynn. Olivia Wilde brings the sexy Trinity angle very nicely as Flynn's right hand girl, and Jeff Bridges extends his gamer/hacker persona from the first movie into practically a God-like figure in the digital world. Yet he still retains a bit of the cockiness that made him so likable in the original "Tron". Bruce Boxleitner is, of course, back as well not only portraying real world Allen Bradley, but as his computer alter ego, Tron. And to round out the cast, Michael Sheen plays the questionable owner of the End of Line club, gleefully channeling Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie.

I spoke about Daft Punk's score for the film at length in a previous post, but after having seen the music against the film I have absolutely doubled my appreciation for it. Since downloading the soundtrack on December 7, I've actually listened to it five times from start to finish. This is an extreme rarity for me because I usually check out only a bit of any movie's score prior to seeing it in theaters. After hearing some of the tracks, especially 'End of Line' at Comic-Con in 2009, I couldn't resist hitting play to take the whole thing in right away. Needless to say once again, Daft Punk have created a masterpiece that enhances and gives perfect signature to the incredible images that fly at and by you during the course of the movie. I'm also very glad that "Derezzed" was not just a stand alone piece intended for the end credits. It pops on with smile-inducing energy during a crucial fight scene at the End of Line Club. And of course it's very cool to see them as the DJ's at the establishment!

Here are my only two issues with the film. What, you didn't think I'd have any?

When I first saw the digital de-aging that had been done on Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of CLU and his younger self in the late 1980's, I felt like maybe we weren't seeing a completely finished version of the effect. Even though I'd seen months-early CG effects for films like "The Incredible Hulk" and "Iron Man" at Comic-Con realizing the same was true with those, I turned out to be wrong regarding "Tron Legacy". What we ultimately get in this movie is sometimes incredibly real-life accurate and sometimes just O.K. The lesser of the two tends to look a bit rubbery. But because the rest of the movie is just so damn cool, you kind of forgive a little here and there.

The other issue I had was in the amount of screen time the character of Tron actually gets, not to mention the lack of any major re-introduction I felt he should have received. We hear about Tron from Flynn telling his son Sam what he experienced in the computer world. In actuality, and not to give too much away, Tron is present much more than you initially suspect. A simple marking on one of the "Tron Legacy" character publicity stills online clued me in to how Tron might be involved in the story on a grander scale. And I think when I see the movie a second time this coming weekend, my qualms about wanting more of him visually may disappear.

A number of critics are berating the real lack of story. I recognized a lack of anything too weighty or more expanded over the course of the movie and understand some added story aspects were cut due to time constraints. That's not an excuse for some elements getting a little short changed, but when you watch this movie you realize the story doesn't have to be filled with multi-level subplots. There actually is an emotional core here and a moment during the climax that's touching and even sad in it's realization. Above all else, "Tron Legacy" is a ride just as the original was back in 1982. Future movies (and you know they're planning the next one as we speak) will certainly address larger story ideas, since this movie seemed to be designed to get the franchise back off the ground and re-introduce it to a whole new audience.

With that in mind, check out Cillian Murphy's uncredited role as Edward Dillinger, son of Ed Dillinger as played by David Warner in the original "Tron". He appears at the Encom board meeting right before the company's new software is released to the public. Rumors are that this is a villain set-up for the next film. I personally love Cillian Murphy and can't wait to see what he brings to this world, both real and digitized.

Yes, like many fans had lobbied for before and during the making of the film, I too missed the presence of Lora / Yori as played by Cindy Morgan in the first movie. I'm still kicking myself that we couldn't attend Wondercon in San Francisco this year because she appeared as her character alongside Bruce Boxleitner's Allen Bradley in a special promotional event staged outside the convention center. Boxleitner (as Allen) introduced her as his wife, so we know they did end up staying together after "Tron". Very nice touch! And yet I still wanted to see her somewhere, even just in the real world greeting Allen as he came home from work, in the new movie.

A couple of interesting questions arise as we roll towards the films climax and epilogue, and HERE'S WHERE THE SPOILERS REALLY FLY...!!!

What happens to Kevin Flynn when he merges with CLU and is he really gone forever? Does Sam hold what's left of the world his father created around his neck which also contains the now-revived and obviously still-active Tron?

Bottom line: "Tron Legacy" is an incredible ride with truly dazzling effects and sound, a seriously cool soundtrack by Daft Punk, and all the right elements we, the fans of the original "Tron", can connect to with joyful appreciation. Old characters that bring remembrances of a time when "Tron" was a groundbreaking movie experience. New characters that wonderfully expand how we hoped that world of 28 years ago would evolve into the 3D digital frontier of today.


"Tron Legacy": Two words....

LOVED. IT. !!!!
So much to talk about! But must go to sleep now. Full review will be up later in the day, Friday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Tron Legacy" midnight show: tonight's THE NIGHT!

Heading home after work to take a nap and power up in anticipation of the midnight screening of "Tron Legacy" at Arclight Sherman Oaks. This is it, the time has come, I am SO READY to be wowed!!!

Producer, Director, Writer Blake Edwards dies at age 88

The great Blake Edwards has passed away. Most notably for me, he will always be associated with Peter Sellers "Pink Panther" movies which carry Edwards' unmistakable style and humor. His collaborations, especially with Sellers, are iconic.

From "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" to "10", Edwards will always be a comedic master whose films and work will truly live forever. You can read the full obituary in the Hollywood Reporter here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More about Jon Favreau's split

There's been some clarification today as to why Jon Favreau parted ways with directing "Iron Man 3".

As mentioned, I really do admire him and think he's trying to paint a positive face on the whole thing as opposed to saying anything out of turn. Bottom line: it really does seem like Marvel and Disney plan to blow things way out of the water when it comes to their upcoming slate of superhero movies; multiple characters crossing over into multiple movies. This obviously was too much for Favreau's sensibilities (rightly so) and he decided to split....pure and simple. still SUCKS [pointing my finger accusingly at Marvel and Disney]!

I'm still very saddened by the direction the studios want to pursue and that such a great director will no longer be guiding Tony Stark's next adventure. Hey BTW....whose going to be playing "Happy" Hogan now in future "Iron Man" movies? No one's really addressed that yet.

Boxes arrive

Since Monday morning, sixteen of the seventeen boxes I shipped from Albany have arrived at Rebecca's workplace. She used her company Fed-Ex account which gave me a 35% discount per box to send. The only stipulation being that they had to go there as opposed to my place first. So this morning I rented a U-Haul van to cart my precious belongings from Burbank to the apartment. Everything is upstairs now, safe and sound. Yay!

This means that 98% of my stuff is now in California. A few odds and ends remain at Mom's but will easily be packed into four or five medium-sized boxes when I head back there in a couple of weeks, work schedule permitting.

It's SO nice to finally be all in one place! Plus, I was able to get rid of a number of items while back east, coming to the conclusion that I had no use for them out here. Trash, donation to the Salvation Army, and selling for cash has been and will be the fate of that overflow, lessening my overall load.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Tron Legacy" soundtrack

I wanted to listen to Daft Punk's "Tron Legacy" from start to finish before seeing the movie because I felt that it would not only enhance the new movie beautifully, but could stand on it's own as a musical journey like only Daft Punk could offer.

As I began listening on our flight from Albany to Burbank, then continuing as I drove to work yesterday, I found a rich electronic symphony that harkened back to the time before Wendy Carlos' "Tron" score. Back to when she was Walter Carlos composing the music for "A Clockwork Orange"; those deep Moog bass keys that set a dark tone for Stanley Kubrick's classic, and now for "Tron Legacy". The music for the original "Tron" is merely a memory here. But then again this is a different time, a different world that we're about to experience. Different from the early days of the computer we first witnessed.

Any illusions to that piece of work might seem out of place here, and anyone whose looking for Daft Punk's score to encompass their unique pumping electronic beat might be in for a surprise. With the exception of "Derezzed", "End of Line", and the end title cue, what they've given this movie is a grand musical palette accented by some well placed electronica flourishes that mirror this digital world inside the computer.

Right now I'm on my third go around of the soundtrack, and I think at this point you've probably detected that I absolutely LOVE IT! We are now two days from the midnight show, and the funny thing is I feel more in tune with "Tron" right now than I do with Christmas. Even though I have the tree and all the decorations up at home. I keep alternating back an forth between Christmas music and the soundtrack to "Tron Legacy".

Here is Daft Punk's "Derezzed" music video which was just released this past week.

"The Princess Jedi"

Check out this new twist on "The Princess Bride"; lightsabers instead of swords! Brilliant FX work on this, BTW. Enjoy!

WTF?!! Jon Favreau is OUT?! Seriously?!

OMG, breaking fucking news!

Jon Favreau has reportedly stepped aside as director of "Iron Man 3"! This due to the studio wanting to add even MORE superheros to the third installment. This whole "Avengers" angle is what's ruining Shellhead's movie playground! There's also some chatter that the studio is trying to force him out because of the price tag on him and the project.

This is complete and utter BULLSHIT! Why is it when someone who knows what they're doing, connects with the characters and world they inhabit completely, AND turns out a major hit...the goddamned studio steps in and fucks everything up!! This is the same shit that happened with the "Spider-Man" franchise!

Important side note: Robert Downey, Jr. has directorial approval provisions in his contract. I say he leaves "Iron Man 3" FLAT and let what is now Disney's problem blow up in their faces. Plus, after what I've heard about Marvel tightening it's belt due to the connection with the Mouse house, the budget for "The Avengers" is painfully low. Yup, you're right, you know what's coming next....

"The Avengers" is going to SUCK!!!

Click on the image to read the full story. I remember meeting Jon Favreau at Comic-Con the summer before "Iron Man" premiered. This was after that first exclusive trailer screened for 6,000 screaming fans in Hall H. As he signed a poster for me I said, 'you HAVE to do at least three of these'. His response; 'that's what we're working towards and what I'd love to do.' Now it looks like someone else will have to step in and do the studio's bidding.

I at least admire Favreau for not bending to the whims of people (Disney) who obviously don't know the right direction for the character of Iron Man or the importance of maintaining what was accomplished in the first movie. This is truly a depressing day.

The trees are GONE!

BTW, I never had a chance to write this when I was back east.

Two trees that were at least nine stories tall have been cut down by my aunt who lives across the street from my Mom! During the past decade the twin giants had been slowly dying, towering above both houses and the street that ran between. They were always a marvel to behold, especially when I was a child playing in the yard during the summer or building snow forts in the winter near their feet.

The taller branches had been cut a few years back, but I always assumed the rest of the tree would be there for a very long time. One day last week, as we arrived at my Mom's, suddenly I saw the last vestige of those once behemoths laying on the ground after a saw team took them down with only the stumps remaining. It was kind of like a piece of my childhood had been destroyed!

Where two wide tree trunks and multiple leafy branches rose way into the sky, now only sky remained. It was an incredible sight and kind of sad. I'm sure the stumps will go next. Hopefully she'll plant new trees which in a hundred years will rise to the height of my once childhood companions.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Here's Roger Ebert's review of "Tron" from 1982. All I have to say is GOD BLESS THE MAN! Plus, he makes a very spot-on prediction that the technology in this film could be the future of cinema in some way, shape or form.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home now, safe and sound

We are back home at last after an amazing whirlwind trip to the Albany area. Plus, we had an amazing aerial view of the snow storm that's been pounding the midwest after witnessing a number of flights heading to and from Chicago being cancelled. I feel bad for the people who've been stranded, but am very glad to have been able to leap frog over the troubled areas to get back to 80 degree LA weather. Can not wait to sleep in my very own bed tonight!

Tomorrow begins a new week at Happy Hour where I may be starting a new project while continuing to make changes on another. Jeez, Christmas is less than two weeks away!

On our way home

Here at the Albany Airport ready to board our flight back to sunny Southern California. Decided to head to the terminal a little early because ice made it near impossible to do any driving around as we'd originally planned on. That's O.K....because after the last three days of near marathon packing (plus some great break away lunches with Bill, Charles and Joe, We're not complaining about sitting back in a comfy Starbucks couch and relaxing.

Really looking forward to getting on the plane. Just hoping I don't hear the dreaded 'just so you know, this flight is full' announcement from the flight attendant. A lot of times these flights to Burbank are filled with senior citizens on their way to Vegas, the usual one stop over near the end of the trip.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shipping complete, trip ends successfully and productively

As of today, 17 boxes of my stuff sitting dormant in Upstate New York has been freed from their year long slumber to take flight on a Fed-Ex trip to Los Angeles! Soon, my life in on the West Coast will be complete. Let me say that again...17 BOXES!! Incredible! I'm truly amazed at how much actually got done in just three days.

Tomorrow will find us heading back home and hopefully a little rest before rotating back to a new work week at Happy Hour. Come Wednesday, those 17 boxes will be delivered and the joyful unpacking ritual will begin. All of this as we enter "Tron Legacy" week and Thursday night's midnight showing at The Arclight.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here in Albany!

Having winged over the US and now finding ourselves in 17 degree Albany, I feel the need to say what an amazingly none stressful day today was as far as packing, getting to the airport, boarding our flight, and arriving to the waiting hotel just one mile from our destination airport....aaaahhhh. 

It's been the norm for my pre-flights to be a bit like Doc Brown trying to reconnect the cable before the lightning strikes and Marty and the DeLorean hit the wire. Not today in the least!

REALLY looking forward to prepping the remaining few small boxes of my belongings that have sat patiently in my old bedroom at Mom's to rejoin the rest of my stuff that's already made the move to California. This is going to be a fun trip, a productive trip, a reflective trip. Staying in a hotel just a half mile from where I use to live will seem somewhat surreal. But ultimately I'll be able to drive by there and realize the accomplishment of making the move to LA, having relinquished a place that I held in such high regard for so long.

The three days during our stay will see a reunion with my Mom after a little over a year, lunch and dinner with Bill B. and a few local friends I also haven't seen in a long time, and a tour of places I grew up and frequented with Rebecca at my side. The weather's going to be somewhat bitter and snowy at times, but that's part of what I miss about living back east. Christmas is almost here and it's going to be great to have a small taste of that along the way.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

STOP the bashing!!

I'm getting ridiculously tired of all the "Tron" bashing that's happening online...both original and "Legacy"! As I keep loudly proclaiming, the 1982 film is A CLASSIC and was groundbreaking for it's time. Just plain fed up with comments like 'how uncool, unstylish, outdated or poorly made the original truly was' when describing the flick.

Bottom line: I believe the new movie will be to us what "Scott Pilgrim" apparently is to everyone else; a true gem to be savored again and again, regardless of what ANYONE says! My bet is this thing will fly through the stratosphere with fans worldwide and immediately spawn a sequel.

For your further annoyance, here's another dumbass put-down article.

BTW, Disney has not only stopped producing and selling the 20th Anniversary DVD of the original film, but has pulled all copies from shelves everywhere. Also learned recently that Disney diverted the planned Blu-ray release of the original "Tron" because of reaction to a special screening in Hollywood recently. Apparently the movie was met with laughter aimed at the costumes and what people now consider 'shoddy effects'. Assholes! "Tron" ROCKS! The studio didn't want people to think that the new one would have the same type of look and effects, thus turning away moviegoers who might think the new one, in their words, was 'just as ridiculous looking'.

I learned that Steve Liseberger was personally supervising the special Blu-ray edition of the "Tron" which will be released with all the bells and whistles after "Legacy" has had it's run. Probably next year towards the early Spring. He apparently has been doing some restoration on the original effects to improve them. Not like Lucas did with "Star Wars"...just subtle enhancements here and there.

SCREW everybody else...I'm ready, BRING IT ON!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The work expansion I hoped for...AND MORE!!

Spoke with Chris at Happy Hour towards the end of last week about continuing work.

Being that I am now right on the verge of taking a trip back to Albany for a few days, I was concerned that my absence from the ever increasing amount of work might negate returning to HHC immediately following. If another editor needed to jump on something right away, I might have been too far out of the loop to come on in the middle. I was beginning to feel like I seriously needed to stay put and soak up as much as possible before the inevitable slowdown that always occurs in the industry around the holidays.

But I was in for a very nice surprise when Chris caught up with me about what was coming down the pike.

Turns out there are a number of projects either about to land, being scheduled, and on the fast track to hit us soon. He told me I'd not only be needed on the Monday after I get back to LA, but there'd be work right up until Christmas. I'd already gotten the impression that he'd probably call me to return after the holidays the way things were going. He did one better by saying they intended to not only keep me working up until Christmas, but right on through it and straight into January! The holidays were now looking to be one of the best, career wise and financially as well! My concerns that a holiday absence might alter my work schedule too much were not only gone, but I was told that the three days away from the office would be financially beneficial to them as they gather assets for the next project I'll be undertaking.

Bottom line: I'll be cruising VERY comfortably into 2011!! A very different and very colorful picture compared to last years bleak and grey outlook. A 2010 holiday season I am truly blessed to be a part of.

At the moment I'm working on broadcast spots for a new ABC drama series about to premiere in January. Another cool project that's definitely been pretty fun to work on. Details of the show to follow as soon as I can talk about it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome to "Tron" Month

As of December 1st it is officially "Tron Legacy" month! With exactly two weeks to go until the movie's release and our midnight screening at The Arclight, excitement meters are heading through the roof for fans everywhere. We...are...READY!!!