Just having a lazy day today trying to decide about going to a movie, what the new work week will bring, and continued work / plans to make my apartment more homey. Had brunch at a nice cozy eatery called Doughboys in Hollywood yesterday. Food was GREAT! Also waiting for tickets to go on sale soon for "Toy Story 3" at the Arclight.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
On for another week at Happy Hour!
Word came down on Friday that they need me to stay on for one more week at Happy Hour Creative! Yeah, baby!! Finished up cutting a few changes on my second "Lottery Ticket" spot and there's one VO change I'll be adding on Monday to the first one.
A somewhat major overhaul came in from Disney regarding the "Sing-It" promotional spot I'm working on, thus the need for me to stay put. Plus, Chris mentioned that those "Lottery Ticket" spots were going to test next weekend, so there could invariably be more notes to take on the week after this coming.
I continue to feel very blessed that I'm being extended week after week. After all I was originally scheduled for two weeks when Chris first called me in April. This coming week will begin my seventh! GOD BLESS IT!!!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Check out this awesome short created by French-Canadian Patrick Boivin, who has quite a following on his YouTube channel. The effects are incredible (!!!), and who can resist a baby in armor kicking fuzzy bunny asses. Another cool project by some untapped creativity and talent out there!
WOOHAA!!! I got you freeway traffic all in check!
I LOVE driving to work on the 101 and 405 during Jewish holidays, when the immigrants march on downtown LA for better treatment, AND/OR everyone leaves town early for the holidays! A normal 1 hour drive to work turned into a 35 minute fast lane miracle this morning! VOOOMM!!!
Let's have more of these fine faith based holy days and standing up for people's rights! My commute turns into a celebration!!!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Work extension, now the full week!
Just got the word yesterday, they officially need me to stay on here at Happy Hour through the remainder of the week! Yay!! This is what I was hoping for, but thought at most I'd be filling out no less the last three days. Tomorrow I'll be getting another paycheck that will happily move me more towards expenses for Comic-Con, plus take care of my rent, car payment, etc. through the end of June / beginning of July.
I've been working on a new 30 second spot for Warner Bros.' "Lottery Ticket" this week, highlighting another aspect of the story. The movie opens August 20. Work has been pretty all inclusive, so there's been little time to try and compile a complete list of general post houses to send along my website link. I've been picking at it a little at a time, perusing each company's website to see what exactly they do and if they are a creative house as opposed to a turn-key facility.
I did see three job listings on entertainmentcareers.net and mandy.com within the last three days looking for trailer and broadcast spot editors. Sent them my link and am hoping to get some type of response.
And we're back! Here was the problem that causing me to go dark for 24 hours; my address was inadvertently spread around the web a bit more liberally then I wanted last week. This caused me to consider the possibility of making the blog invitation only, something I've gone back and forth about for several years.
I do like the openness of this site with easy access for people to find! But I still have to be mindful and realize that this same openness goes for anyone and everyone. Certainly there's a risk with any website where misuse of it's privacy aspects can be an issue.
So for now I plan to keep things the way they've been. If there is some serious issue in the future, then I'll make a decision based on those circumstances.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Security and maintenance check
Taking the blog down for today to do a little servicing and make a decision regarding certain privacy issues that have arisen in the past week. Nothing serious, just considering options to make things more secure.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
It's an LA Filmcutter Planet
Wow! Just learned that people around the world are checking out this blog. Specifically, there have been 45 hits in Great Britain and 32 hits from Denmark alone in the past month! I even had 9 hits from Germany. So let me take this opportunity to say....WELCOME, WORLD!!! Glad you decided to stop by, and feel free to post comments too!
Met Molly Ringwald tonight at her book signing in Santa Monica. So glad to have gone! She read several passages for an audience of about forty people, plus I had a chance to chat with her very, very briefly while she signed my copy! I'll have a couple of photos up shortly.
Happy Geek / Nerd Pride Day!
Today we celebrate who we are and what we stand for! After all we pretty much rule Hollywood, so there's a definite step up from the days of being picked on, punched, and having hockey sticks swung at your head in high school. I'm wearing my Rebel symbol shirt from "Star Wars" to honor both this day and the continued celebration of the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back".
Just remember....you're vastly different, you're crazily diverse, your sense of humor is unique and like no other, you can have the best time out with friends without drinking or taking drugs, and you know stuff that others call useless knowledge that has helped you connect with your own crazy / wonderful kind! BE PROUD!!! WEAR IT WELL!!
Click on the geek necklace for full details of what's happening today around the world and what it's all about. And BTW, guess where Geek / Nerd Pride Day originated? ALBANY, N.Y.!!! THAT'S RIGHT!!! Fro those of us who grew up there WE LIVED AT THE HUB AND DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT! Crazy!
Molly Ringwald book signing tonight
Molly Ringwald will be reading passages from and signing her first book, "Getting The Pretty Back", at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica tonight at 7pm.
I missed seeing her about a month ago at the Northridge store because of a work deadline and have been feeling disappointed about it for the last few weeks. Suddenly she posted on her Facebook account that she'd be doing a second LA appearance this month! Hurray!! I'm hoping work will behave this time around (it should) and am ready to exit slightly early to make this one hour event.
Harrison Ford's complete Q&A session video
Thanks to Scott at the FilmEdge.net blog for posting this! Here is the complete interview (in five parts) held after the benefit screening of "The Empire Strikes Back" at the Arclight.
Near the beginning of Part 2, you can hear me laugh after Ford responds to LA Times Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher's question about when he was aware of the fact that Darth Vader was Luke's father. Harrison says 'when I read the script'.
You can also see new photos that were taken during the Q&A provided by Scott as well. I just added them to my Flickr set. Click on the image of Harrison Ford and Geoff Boucher to go there now. Enjoy!
Monday, May 24, 2010
"Lost" Series Finale
I definitely enjoyed the series finale of "Lost" last night, appreciating the relationships, emotion, and events that were happening based on what I knew of the show and asking questions for what I was unsure of. I would like to see more of the series, starting from the beginning. BTW, I just watched the pilot episode over the weekend. I'd seen parts of it before, but not the entire thing from start to finish.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Comic-Con: two months and counting!
Seriously thinking about work, money, and how everything now must lead to the all important late July event. Even though I feel very strongly that I'll find more work after this gig at Happy Hour is done, at the moment I'm looking at it as THE money I'll take care of responsibilities with between now and then, plus cash for the room, food, etc. during Comic-Con.
As of right now it's going to work just fine, and I've learned that I can send the complete room rate to the hotel in advance, thus getting it out of my hands and locking the week long stay into permanent place.
Fifth week at Happy Hour ends and a surprise sixth week begins
Last week was supposed to be my last at Happy Hour Creative, and I began contemplating even more so what I might be doing next work wise. However, when changes came back from Warner Bros. on eight broadcast spots for "Lottery Ticket", last Thursday got very busy.
While I'm still doing work on a Disney Sing-It promotional spot that won't be ready until the beginning of this week due to the wait on graphics being rendered, Chris told me there could very well be a few more tweeks on those "Lottery Ticket" spots in the coming days. Plus, the studio just decided they want a 'love / romance' spot for the movie that Chris wants me to cut. So I started that on Friday and will continue to work on it Monday.
I wanna say at this point that I'll be at Happy Hour for at least two days this week, but it could very well blossom into more than that and, I am hoping, another full week. I'll definitely know more sometime tomorrow.
Hero Complex Harrison Ford rundown
Here's the blow-by-blow of "The Empire Strikes Back" Harrison Ford Q&A at the LA Times' Hero Complex blog. Read interviewer Geoff Boucher's details of the evening here.
Friday, May 21, 2010
My photos used on FilmEdge.net movie site
I exchanged photos I took at the "Empire Strikes Back" benefit screening with Scott, the fan sitting next to me I talked it up with before and after the movie, who asked if he could use them on his movie site. Check it out.
Harrison Ford voiced "Empire" trailer
Here is one of the classic trailers from "The Empire Strikes Back" with (of all people) Harrison Ford doing the voice over! I love the way his voice, sounding somewhat high pitched throughout, deepens when he reads the title of the movie. LOL! BTW, watch for the moment where Luke and Leia are about to kiss. Oh just do it!!
"The Empire Strikes Back": 30 years ago today!
On this day, thirty years ago, I went to my very first opening day movie; "The Empire Strikes Back". Before that I'd always relegated myself to going to a highly anticipated film the week after it opened, avoiding the crush of crowds clammering for tickets. After May 21, 1980 I realized what I was truly missing!
I knew I'd have to get to the Fox Colonie Theatre in Albany WAY in advance of the 7pm showtime. Of course back then that was a major feat; waiting in line a WHOLE day to see a movie on opening night! Today it's weeks and even months in advance. By the time I arrived at the theatre around noon there was already ten people in line ahead of me. So I opened up my paperback of "The Making of King Kong" (which I still own, BTW) and settled in for the wait.
Sometime in the mid-afternoon, a guy I knew from high school, Jeff, showed up with a friend of his. I hadn't seen him in two years (since we graduated in '78) and never really realized he was a fan. I was introduced to his friend who would sort of be the father to my life in the 80's, Paul Phillippsen. He invited me to go to a sci-fi convention (my first) in Albany called Fantacon later that fall. That would blossom into my finally meeting people and having friends as the decade unfolded. But I digress.
It was good to hang out with like minded fans as the hours ticked away until the box office opened and we were finally let into the theatre. Snacks were purchased, seats were found, and the lights dimmed. I don't think any of us really realized what we were in for. This would not be the "Star Wars" we'd seen three years before. This would be much darker with even more depth of character, peril, and real emotion, not to mention a major revelation. As the music swelled and the rebellion fleet veared away from us, the credits slammed in unexpectedly. It was over without resolution! A cliffhanger! I remember turning to Jeff and Paul proclaiming "AAAAAHHHH!!!...now we have to wait for THREE YEARS to find out what happens!!!"
As the lights came up we went out the side door to find a waiting reporter from a local TV news station, can't remember which one. She was asking people what they thought of the movie right after they saw it. I'll always remember that one little boy who said to her 'I loved when Darth Vader told Luke he was his father!". Everyone nearby shushed him loudly. Jeez, don't give it away!! I never did find out whether that was a live feed or not.
The Fox Colonie Theatre is long gone now. But every time I've passed by in later years I always think about seeing "Empire" there on opening night. The first of many opening nights in my lifetime.
Starwars.com report from the 30th Anniversary Empire Screening
Another great rundown of Wednesday night's screening event from the official site. You'll find the 'money shot' here of Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew posing together on the red carpet. If I'd been just a little bit to the right I might have gotten it as well. Scroll down and you'll see it next to a publicity still of Mayhew and Ford in costume from "Star Wars".
Video from the "Empire" screening red carpet
Check out Access Hollywood's raw footage of interviews with Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ewan McGregor.....and, oh yeah, that guy who does Anakin's voice in "The Clone Wars"...blah, blah. I was literally standing right in back of the Access Hollywood interviewer during all of these clips (as witnessed by my photos). You can see it all right here.
"The Empire Strikes Back" 30th Anniversary Benefit Screening with Harrison Ford!
OMG, I am SOOOO glad I attended this!!!
When tickets sold out almost immediately for this screening, the Arclight decided to open a second house and show Harrison Ford's Q&A on the big screen for us across the hall via closed curcuit. What an incredible second chance for me, and opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the two best "Star Wars" movies (the original being the other) of all time!! But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...
A few days before the event I found out this would be a red carpet screening. Not surprising since it was a benefit, but I had no idea, aside from Harrison Ford himself, who'd show up! There were hints that Mark Hamill and/or Carrie Fisher might do a surprise visit. Ultimately, Billy Dee Williams and Ewan McGregor graced the red carpet and wowed the fans! Not to mention director Christopher Nolan, who literally brushed by everyone without even being noticed, and Jon Favreau whose about to direct Ford in "Cowboys and Aliens".
I knew I wanted to get out of work just a bit early because I had no idea what to expect as far as crowds were concerned. Since this seemed like it was going to be a general admission event, I assumed people would be lining up earlier in the day. No such happening. I got out of work a bit before 4pm and got to the Arclight about a half hour later. The only people in the Arclight courtyard right outside the theatre were workmen putting the red carpet area together and a group of well worn paparazzi being cordoned off behind ropes. O.K. I'm way early, I thought. So I hung out until people started congregating by the St. Jude's Hospital will-call table.
While waiting in line I started talking to a couple of other fans in front of me about how they heard about the event and "Star Wars" movies in general. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of young actor Rico Rodriguez, who plays 'Manny' on Modern Family, my new favorite TV show! He was there with his Mom and asked us if we were in the will-call line. Passing by, realizing they were headed in the wrong direction, they turned around and walked back. At that moment I just had to say something. I stepped out of line to tell him how much we love the show and how funny he is on it. He said 'thank you' with a smile and his Mom added her thanks as well. Unfortunately, because they seemed to be on a mission to be in the right place, I was unable to get a photo of him, or even of he and I.
After my ticket was secure I headed straight for the red carpet area, where the roped off area that divided the press from the rest of the courtyard was only two people deep! Positioning myself right in the center of the run, I was able to get incredibly close to all the stars who happened to stop right in front of me due to the central influx of entertainment news networks like E!, Extra, CNN's Showbiz Tonight, etc. Many of the photos I took that you can find here were shot WITHOUT ZOOM! I was THAT CLOSE!!! I kept saying 'wow!' and 'oh my God!' under my breath so many times, echoing that to a couple of guys around me who were trying to get the same close up shots. There, right in front of me, was Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, and Ewan McGregor!! It was INSANE!!!
After a few moments, Peter Mayhew arrived...and that's when the press went nuts!! Dozens of camara flashes began feverishly poping as everyone was trying to get he and Harrison Ford to stand next to one another. It was hard to get a really good photo of this because everyone was in the way, plus there was a two foot riser to the right of me where cameramen could get a better shot. Shortly thereafter I was able to snap a couple when Billy Dee Williams and Ewan McGregor joined in for a group shot.
Then, at the end of the red carpet right before the entrance to the Arclight, Harrison Ford did something I never would have expected him to do; he signed autographs for waiting fans! He NEVER does this sort of thing, as he's always traditionally shied away from crowds and the press. A flurry of 8x10's, posters, and framed artwork went flying up over everyone's heads to clammer for that all important signature. That's when someone behind me said, 'hey, there's Chris Nolan'. I looked in the direction the guy was pointing and sure enough there he was (!), trying to make his way past Darth Vader and two stormtroopers. Awesome!
Now it was 6:45, and the movie was scheduled to start at 7. Arriving near the concession stand, I saw several tables set up which held hundreds of filled soda cups and popcorn buckets, all for free! Signs below the stacks read which kinds of soda were in each section. The main theater was on my right, so I made my way, soda and popcorn in hand, to the second house across the hall to find my seat.
There was a guy who had his backpack on my seat and promptly moved it when he saw me coming. We hit it off right away, as he has a movie news site on the web called filmedge.net. Talked about the "Star Wars" special editions as opposed to the originals, etc., great conversation. Then someone came in with microphone in hand to say welcome and introduce Billy Dee Williams! Billy Dee came out and talked about his recollections of the movie thirty years ago, saying with a wink he was amazed he hadn't aged that much. Everyone laughed. Thanking the crowd for attending and giving generously to St. Jude's, he gave way to the lights dimming. The familiar Twentieth Century logo appeared on screen accompanied by that theme I think will forever be associated with the beginning of any "Star Wars" movie.
Suddenly we found ourselves watching a digital copy of the 1997 special edition of "The Empire Strikes Back"...and it looked INCREDIBLE!! The detail and clarity of picture was truly eye popping! Combined with sound quality I've never heard before in any theatrical presentations of this movie, which surrounded the audience. We were off!
I kind of wished we had the opportunity to see THE ORIGINAL 1980 version. But because Lucas had, in part, arranged this shindig, I knew we'd get what he decided to show. Nonetheless, I loved every minute of it!!! Scott, the guy sitting next to me, piped in at the end, with my full agreeance, that we miss Vader saying 'bring my shuttle' as he leaves Bespin. We were laughing about the fact that WE GET IT...Vader is leaving Bespin to head back to his star destroyer. I don't think anyone was confused about that thirty years ago to warrant this change!
As the lights came up afterward, we were told that our movie started about ten minutes earlier than the main house. So I had a chance, along with everyone else, to hit the bathroom! Shortly thereafter the lights dimmed again for the Q&A session that would be broadcast live from across the hall. Harrison Ford met with a standing ovation, after which he was interviewed by Geoff Boucher of the LA Times Hero Complex. Ford had a few great viewpoints about making the movie and some of the other actors. He pointed out that at the time he felt that Alec Guinness certainly was an old man. But in retrospective he realized that at this point in time, thirty years on, Guinness was six years younger than he is now. Ford said that was sobering. He also talked about how they were originally going to shoot his Hoth scenes on a sound stage. At the last minute the studio decided to ship him to Norway where his costume had to be altered for the cold. Plus he talked about the infamous 'shooting out the back door' scenes where it was so snowy and cold, the camera and crew shot out the back door of their hotel to keep warm while capturing footage of Han finding Luke in the snow.
Ford's interview lasted about twenty five minutes, but it was so worth it! He even took a couple of well thought out questions from the audience (no stupid nerdy quirries!) and even spoke about the upcoming "Cowboys and Aliens", pointing to director Jon Favreau who was in the audience. I never did see him though.
As we filed out of the auditorium, everyone stood in anticipation of Ford and company coming out into the lobby area. No such luck, as he went out the theatre's back door to a waiting car. However, as I was making my way closer to the concession stand to avoid the crowd exiting, my eyes suddenly came upon director Christopher Nolan right in front of me! He was talking to someone and heading for the stairs. It wasn't quite the right moment to approach and say anything, although I probably would have choked on my tongue trying to get something out. Instead I parralled his walk to the stairs and managed to take one overhead shot which you'll see in the Flickr set.
Once I made my way back to the main lobby, I happened upon the two guys I was talking to in line earlier. To their utter surprise, the tickets they possessed for the second auditorium were to the main house at the last minute. Apparently some people were unable to make it and they were trying to share those openings (and fill those seats) with some anticipatory fans. Incredible!
WHAT AN AMAZING EVENING!!! Even though I paid less ($75) and was in the second theatre, I still feel like I got the full treatment that those people who paid $100 to $175 received, especially with my proximity to Harrison Ford and the other stars on the red carpet!! The photos say it all!
Photos from the Harrison Ford benefit screening have been sorted and uploaded to Flickr! Writing the Wednesday night rundown when I get into work and finally posting everything! Yesterday ended up being surprisingly busy. Today looks easier.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"Here they come..."
Yes, True Believers, my report from the 30th anniversary screening of "Empire" will be up shortly. Work took an unexpected turn today and became busy. Will start going through and posting photos, as well as writing about the full night's spectacle, as soon as possible. Today for sure!
OMG, WHAT A NIGHT!!!!
Tonight was in-fucking-credible!!! And right now I am just too tired to give the full rundown...besides I have to go to work in the morning. But let me just say this...
Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Ewan McGregor, AND Christopher Nolan on the red carpet!! I was four feet away from all of them and took a TON of photos!!! Plus, Jon Favreau was in the house for the screening as well.
Work looks to be pretty slow tomorrow, as the projects I've been working on are winding down to the finish line. I'll have plenty of time in the morning to go through everything, write a proper report, and post plenty of photos. I had THE BEST time tonight and can't wait to share some amazing stuff. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Leaving work now, off to the Arclight and the 30th Anniversary screening of "The Empire Strikes Back"!! Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew (plus surprise guests), and the red carpet. Tickets will be available at the St. Jude's table at 6pm, showtime is at 7. It's gonna be an amazing night!
Rolling out the red carpet
Just found out tonight's benefit screening is a RED CARPET EVENT! Wow! I am SO glad I brought my crushed velvet jacket....no kidding! I somehow had the forethought that the volume on this thing might be a bit higher than I anticipated.
"Ghostbusters" prank at New York Public Library
This is pretty awesome! A group called Improv Everywhere staged a recreation of the opening scene from "Ghostbusters", all with the cooperation of the NYPL to promote awareness amid recent budget cuts. Almost like something we would have done in the 80's during the heyday of convention going.
BTTF.com back up and running!
Quoting their post: 'On February 16, 2010, BTTF.com was unfortunately struck by a malicious virus.' At the moment, the site address is www.back-to-the-future.net. But the BTTF.com link I have on the left sidebar will still take you there. They're hoping to have the site fully operational by summer. I was saddened to see them get hit so hard, but glad things will be getting back to normal soon! Check out the site for the full story.
"Empire" opening crawl
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Chewbacca joining Harrison Ford for Q&A!
Just announced...Peter Mayhew will be joining Harrison Ford for the Q&A tomorrow! This article at the LA Times blog, Hero Worship, goes on to say, "...I can tell you that this second theater will get some special, um, star attention during the course of the evening..." Yay! I'm in the second house! Plus, there's talk of other "Star Wars" cast members showing up. YES!!!
Welcome to "The Empire Strikes Back" 30th Anniversary Week!
IT'S THAT TIME!!! Tomorrow is the big anniversary screening of "Empire" and a once-in-a-lifetime Q&A with Harrison Ford!!!
Of course Friday, May 21 is the actual 30th anniversary date. Between now and then I'll be posting more cool stuff, kind of like the last couple showing some behind the scenes moments, etc. Not really sure how early I should show up at the Arclight tomorrow, since none of this event is reserved seating. I am so spoiled by the Arclight in that respect. But because St' Jude's Hospital is in part sponsoring this thing, I'll be huddling in with the general masses trying to get the best seat I can.
And hey, there were just too many images from "Empire" to encompass in my standard sized banners to honor the movie. So I had to BLOW IT OUT, BABY!!
Imperial Walkers have entered the base...!!
Gearing up for tomorrow's screening of "The Empire Strikes Back" at the Arclight and Q&A with Harrison Ford! Had the soundtrack to "Empire" cranked in the car on the way to work. Bum...Bum...Budada Bum...Budada BAADAADAADUM!!!
Here is today's photo, a behind the scenes shot from the forthcoming coffee table book about the making of the movie. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Sunday rundown
Finished (for the most part) washing and detailing the Mini. Still need to vacuum and wipe down the inside, plus clean the alloy wheels and add some tire shine. Getting ready to head out for a second screening of "Iron Man 2" at the Arclight Dome.
Gorgeous day out...can't wait to hit the road, open the sunroof, and blast some driving tunes. Yes, and I still have that addiction to "A Horse With No Name" by America! That'll be first play on the iPod when I get in the car.
Closing in on the two month mark before Comic-Con. God, it was only Christmas about two months ago, right? Jeez!
10 years of freelancing
This month marks 10 years of my being a freelance editor. Before that I was the staff editor at Edgewood Studios in Vermont, of course, and had steady positions at WRGB and FOX News in Albany. I've certainly paid my dues throughout that time and what I'm more than (and I do mean MORE THAN!) ready for is a staff position, preferably at Happy Hour. However from the look and sound of things workflow wise and financially, that may not be happening for some time.
If a position at another post house was offered to me and it was a good fit (project content, money, facility, staff), I'd definitely take the job. Again, I'd prefer a trailer house. But have really been feeling the need for extended security, especially after 2009!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Forth week at Happy Hour comes to a close
Finishing up my forth week at Happy Hour Creative. Warner Bros. asked for a new concept "Splice" spot to be cut, so I've been working on that for the past several days. BTW, the other project I was doing before this was what they call a 'rip-o-matic'. It's basically a trailer for a movie that doesn't exist yet, taking numerous clips from previous films to show the feel of what the new film will potentially be. Of course the trick is to not show faces of actors and cut it together in a way where you don't have enough time to identify the movie it's been lifted from.
Right now two studios are battling to get their version of "The Three Musketeers" filmed. Summit Entertainment contracted Happy Hour to do a 'rip-o-matic' trailer to promote the forthcoming Paul W.S. Anderson version for the Cannes Film Festival. One that will be filmed in 3D...Blah!, "The Three Musketeers" in 3D?! Awful idea! So in working on this piece, I used clips from several swashbucklers, including my beloved "Three" and "Four Musketeers" (two of my all time favorite movies), as well as "Pirates of the Caribbean", "The Duelists", "The Musketeer", "The Count of Monte Cristo", etc.
The other version up on the boards is Doug Liman's, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Robert Downey, Jr's "Sherlock Holmes", stylewise. All I want is for whichever film to make it to the finish line to be a FAITHFUL recreation of the book that's GOOD! Yeah, I hear you laughing....gee, that's the trick isn't it, in today's whiz bang 'gotta be contemporary' storytelling take.
At any rate, Summit loved my cut and didn't have any changes. Moving from that new "Splice" spot into a Disney game trailer, I know for a fact that I'll at least be working for a few days next week. Still hoping things will heat up that they'll need me for all five days. I'll know on Monday or Tuesday what's going to happen next.
iPhone...waiting for the new model
Realized I didn't update my previous claim that I was ordering an iPhone a few weeks ago.
After all the buzz about this year's model more than likely coming out in June, I've smartly decided to wait for it instead of getting a version that, because of the constraints of my AT&T contract, I wouldn't be able to upgrade for two years without having to pay the full $600! Jeez, want to avoid that! In the meantime I'm using a Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go phone to get me by.
Hey, all I need right now is communication...the hot rod of phones is worth the month wait!!
"Robocop" screening tonight
Heading to the Aero Theatre tonight for a screening of "Robocop" and a Q&A with Peter Weller. Although it's playing in a double feature with "Screamers", a Weller film from the mid 90s, I'm only staying through the Q&A. I think a better double bill here should have been "Robocop" and "Buckaroo Banzai", being that they're both iconic films from the 80s starring Peter Weller. THAT would have been even more awesome, but tonight will definitely be a cool screening.
Sunday night we'll be heading to the Arclight Dome for a second viewing of "Iron Man 2", and then of course next Wednesday is the 30th Anniversary screening of "The Empire Strikes Back" w/ Harrison Ford!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Space Paranoids viral game NOW ONLINE!
"Iron Man 2" review: not as good as the first, but still a great ride!
The early reviews started coming in, heralding that this movie was somewhat of a mess; two many characters / vilains, a disappointing last half hour, too much forward thinking about future movie tie-ins, etc. A couple of things critics are talking about I agree with, others couldn't be further from the truth. Essentially, the movie is a fun ride and I really enjoyed it! But some aspects could have been better.
BE WARNED!! There are a lot of spoilers coming up! So if you haven't seen the movie yet, stop reading NOW!
First off, Robert Downey, Jr. is once again a true joy to watch. Ultimately a storyline that was in the works would have had him (as Tony Stark) becoming somewhat of a hardcore alcoholic, only briefly materialized as a crutch to the poisoning of his body by the very device that's been keeping him alive. I'd read that the Iron Man graphic novel, "Demon in a Bottle", was to partly be the basis for the second movie. In the comics, Tony Stark became an alcoholic after the pressures of being Iron Man become too much for him. The volume was turned up on this concept in "Demon", which I own and am still trying to read, hopefully before the second viewing. This alcoholism could have been one of the things to bring the second film to the next level. Dealing with going over the edge while the world around him implodes. I think the reason they didn't go all out with his drinking is because they have to sell Whiplash Whoppers to the kids at Burger King...get it? We don't want to sell kids on being a fall-down drunk as well.
I was a little taken back when, at the very end of the first movie, Stark admits that he is indeed Iron Man. This was a daring move by Director Jon Favreau, but my concern was that this could turn into an abyss that there might not be any return from. The first trailers for "Iron Man 2" continued my concern, especially in the clips where Iron Man lands in front of an audience and de-suits while the 'Iron-ettes' dance behind him. Watching the movie last Friday, I became a little uneasy with how the story was portraying Tony's being 'out' and how unprotected he seemed in this world that would certainly be hounding his every move and perhaps threatening his ability to function. I understand the angle they were going for in his dealing with overwhelming celebrity, but it kind of took a weird turn from what the first movie established. The drunken party at Stark's mansion with him in the suit was the height of this. Weird and somehow out of place.
Don Cheadle definitely brings a new flavor beyond Terrence Howard's portrayal of James "Rhodey" Rhodes in the first film. Nothing against Howard (who I like), but I was glad to see Cheadle step up to the plate and make the character happen in all the right ways. His running dialogue with Downey during the movie's action finale is truly entertaining, fun, and funny. Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts gets kicked upstairs as the new CEO of Stark Industries. She and Downey have some good scenes together, and their overlapping banter is also fun to watch. Mickey Rourke brings the Russian bad guy in a way that you don't even need to hear him speak at times, although he speaks few words throughout the entire film. Sometimes you just love watching him listen to Downey or Sam Rockwell talk. I've always loved Sam Rockwell, and he does not disappoint with his slick corporate delivery, style, and competitive panache. He's the conduit to Rourke's revenge scheme. And then of course there's Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. Early press and trailers made it seem like there was some type of love triangle between Tony, Black Widow, and Pepper. Not so, as the film unspools. But she does kick some major ass in the one scene they've been showing parts of in every trailer and TV spot.
So the bottom line is....are there too many characters in this movie as the critics are decrying? I don't really think so. Although some of them could have been used more affectively, everyone has a specific purpose and I never felt like the screen was over crowded with them.
Speaking of attraction and love, there are actually a couple of clips that were featured prominantly in the trailer that ended up being cut from the final film. Those include a brief shot where Natalie (Black Widow's real name) is cozying up to Tony as she fires one of his repulsor gauntlets, and Tony asking Pepper for a kiss for good luck before jumping from the back of a plane to fly down to the Stark Expo. Instead, Pepper kisses his Iron Man helmet and throws it down the open ramp saying 'go get 'em, tiger'. His response, as he leaps out after it, is 'you complete me!' In the final film we see the back of Tony completely inside the Iron Man armor as the plane's ramp opens. Pepper is nowhere to be found as he makes his jump.
Composer John Debney captures some of the flavor from the first movie, keeping the rock guitar tone that Ramin Djawadi (LOVE his score!) brought to the first film. The only thing missing were some of the themes Djawadi wrote that should have been brought over into "2", much like what was heard in the tracks "Driving with the Top Down", "Gulmira", and "Vacation's Over" from the original. Overall, I felt Djawadi's score was pretty fresh and I have to say I like it just that much more. However, Debney's score is definitely good. Debney and Favreau worked together on "Zathura".
The effects are definitely top notch, most notably during the big battle that Iron Man and War Machine have with Hammer's and Venko's drones. Despite what critics are saying about how the second half of the movie falls apart or is uneven (I disagree), this sequence especially is a high octane blast! It's the moment in the movie when things kick into very high gear and you realize THIS is part of what you came for. BTW, Rhodey's armor, dubbed 'a War Machine' by Stark, absolutely, completely, and totally KICKS ASS!!! That's a team-up I definitely look forward to seeing again in "Iron Man 3"! Those electrical whips that Rourke's Whiplash wields are really impressive, and the Monaco race scene is thrilling. Him getting hit full-on by that car a few times and surviving seemed a little unbelievable, and as security was dragging Whiplash away it seemed as though he didn't have any legs...??? But he walks throughout the rest of the film. Going to have to check out that scene again on the second viewing to try and figure out what's going on. Strange.
Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has a bigger role this time around, and Agent Colson is back from S.H.I.E.L.D., although his purpose ultimately becomes where the scene after the credits leads us. Some have said that that clip in the desert has nothing to do with Tony Stark or Iron Man so why is it there. Just a teaser for "Thor"? Frankly I liked it, although I wanted them to settle on the hammer for just another beat. Even though I'm really looking forward to "Thor" next summer, I'm still skeptical about this whole Avengers movie thing, and there is quite a bit of forward thinking in "Iron Man 2" which will ultimately lead to that. At times I feel like I just want Tony Stark and his armor to occupy his own space and not get bogged down with forming some team. Little hints and Easter eggs are great, but at times it seems like the movie loses focus here and there because of references to that team up. Again, more time could have been spent on Stark struggling with his alcoholism and Rhodey trying to prop him up while splintering off to help create the War Machine armor. When he takes Stark's Mark II suit after the big brawl at Tony's Mansion, it seems a little too easy for him to immediately know how to fly properly. There was a brief moment of orientation, but I felt he shouldn't have been able to just put it on and fly off aerodynamically perfect. He's a pilot, yes. But he's never put that armor on before.
Overall, "Iron Man 2" is a great ride! It's not perfect and not as good as the first movie, but it definitely keeps coming back to hit all the right marks in all the right places. Jon Favreau and "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan have questioned the lack of good third movies in any film series. Nolan even said right out (and I'm paraphrasing) "when have you ever seen a third movie be any good at all?". I came out of the screening on Friday thinking wouldn't it be funny if Favreau breaks the mold, coming off of "IM2" that's not really "The Dark Knight" or "The Empire Strikes Back" of the series everyone hoped for, yet ends up having the third installment be THE one. That would be truly awesome! Although it sounds like we're not going to get to see "IM3" until after "Captain America" and "The Avengers" movies come out. At this point Marvel has scheduled a 2013 release...three years from now!
Definitely want to see "Iron Man 2" again shortly, and in The Dome at the Arclight. Oh yes, and I'm O.K. now with the triangle shaped arc reactor Tony had to re-fashion with his Dad's help. Good origin in this movie as to why it's shaped that way. I've always maintained that the classic Iron Man look with the circular version should remain for the movies. The Triangular one is more the 90's comics take. Still want to see the circular reactor come back in the future.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Golden Trailer Award nominations...and a disappointment
I didn't want to make a big deal out of this before because I didn't want to jinx anything.
When my "The Book of Eli" spot was chosen by Warner Bros. to open the official movie website, I was flying for days! What an incredible thing to happen in my career! But I would have to say that it was shortly after that that I started having thoughts of this thing possibly being nominated for a Golden Trailer Award.
The nominees are culled from work created between May of the previous year and April of the current year, so I knew I'd be eligible for the 2010 awards. But I also knew I shouldn't put too much emphasis on whether I'd be nominated or not. It was certainly a glow I kept inside...hoping...wishing. I really have felt like the time was right; I'd worked my way up to this point in the film industry, I'd just crossed a major milestone in my life, and the spot definitely had some major buzz at Happy Hour Creative where I cut it.
As I drove to work today (still at Happy Hour), I had the sun roof open and the music cranked. THIS was the day that everything could come together. I was feeling good, positive, and had faith I'd see my spot amongst the nominations when they were finally revealed sometime today.
Alas, that was not to be.
Even though I was trying to not box myself into being really disappointed when my work didn't appear on the list, I have to admit I was pretty down when I saw that my spot was not nominated. Because of the 'off and on' of working freelance, I looked at this as a time, an acknowledgment that might not come again right away. I still see continued big things in my future, absolutely. But this was like I was just about to touch the face of God...almost there but not quite. Looking through the list, I noticed that a "Eli" spot called "The Path" cut by Trailer Park was nominated in both the Best Thriller and Best Action TV Spot catagories. After watching it I honestly feel (in my humble opinion) that mine was better.
But here's the great thing that I ultimately take away from today and right now; Warner Bros. DID choose my spot to open the official website for the movie back in January, and that spot is STILL THERE!! So regardless of not getting this nomination, that's still a major achievement in my career! I am so grateful for and proud of that! Plus, the future's wide open. I know I'm a damned good editor (the really positive feedback I get from post houses I work for doesn't hurt either) and this will happen again.
For those of you who may not have seen my spot, click on the "The Book of Eli" 1-sheet to go to the official site and check it out. It's the first video that plays.
3D is great, I love it. BUT NOT ON EVERY SINGLE MOVIE! Marvel Studios just announced that "Captain America", "The Avengers", and potentially even "Iron Man 3", will more than likely be in 3D. Even Paul W.S. Anderson's take on "The Three Musketeers" (if it beats Warner Bros. competing version first) is going to be in 3D. Alexandre Dumas classic adventure story does not belong in 3D!! E-FUCKING-NUFF!!!
This whole thing is JUST A FAD! Stop squeezing the cash cow so hard, stop selling 3D televisions where prolonged viewing can cause eye damage, stop perverting every project under the sun and concentrate on GOOD STORIES!! Oooow...how about that...whoa, there's an original idea.
Again I say, I do love 3D. Just don't rub it until it's raw!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Starting a new week at Happy Hour....continuing to love the ride! The promotional spot I worked on late last week was a home run with the studio, no changes. I'm pretty happy with that, and the very creative work I've had the opportunity of putting into everything since I started back with HHC.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Post "Iron Man 2" screening
"Iron Man 2" was great!! Not quite as good as the first, but still great! PLUS, before the movie started we discovered we were sitting right next to Elijah Wood!!! Full review will be up after I get some sleep and do a little work later today. Putting in a bit of overtime on this current project. Details about that shortly as well.
Friday, May 7, 2010
About to leave work to head to the Arclight Dome to see "Iron Man 2"!!! Even though I knew the Aero Theatre was going to have a sneak preview screening last night, I was disappointed to read a little while ago that Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. intro-d the film and did a Q&A after...and I missed it! GRRRRR!!!
Guess I kind of suspected this earlier (I knew when tickets went on sale), but was really looking forward to seeing the movie full-on in all it's giant curved Dome screen glory. It's my own fault and I took the chance, what can I say.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The "BTTF" screening: Marty McFly and Griff's Gang
Last Saturday night's screening of the "Back To The Future" Trilogy was a lot of fun! Actress Lea Thompson ('Lorraine McFly') did a Q&A before the first movie began, and Claudia Wells ('Jennifer') answered questions in between the first and second films.
An almost sold out crowd laughed and applauded their favorite scenes throughout the night. Even little moments like Doc Brown kissing Clara in "Part III" brought applause. The prints looked great, and there was a fifteen minute intermission (not counting the Q&A's) between movies.
To the right of where we were sitting was a group of people dressed as Marty McFly, Griff Tannen, and members of Griff's gang from "Part II". I was truly amazed at how detailed and accurate their costumes really were!! Click on the photos for larger images. There were also two DeLoreans parked out in front of the theater. One guy who was the owner couldn't have been more than 22 years old! And apparently he did all the modifications to one of the cars himself! Wow!!!
Just finished watching "Iron Man"...ramp-up screening to Friday's premiere of "Iron Man 2". Can't believe it's almost here!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
O.K. I TOTALLY want to see this movie!!! Check out the 'illegal' trailer for Robert Rodriguez's "Machete", a full length feature created from one of the trailers shown in between the two movies that made up Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse". Pretty amazing how this film, shot over a year ago, would predict what is happening now in Arizona. Harry Knowles at aintitcoolnews.com says, 'Make no bones about it, this is a pure Mexploitation film.' Got that right! The cast is FRICKIN' awesome! LOL! Click on the "Machete" logo image to check it out. Thanks to Allen for the heads-up!
More seats available for Ford's "Empire" screening!!
Last week I started having the strange feeling they might do this...and now they have!!
St. Jude's Hospital and the Arclight have opened up a second theater for the "Empire Strikes Back" screening on May 19. Tickets are $75 a seat as opposed to the $100 - $175 price tag for the main auditorium. Certainly they saw the demand and acted on it. The only drawback is that I, in the second house, will only see Harrison Ford's Q&A on the big screen via a live video feed from the house right next door. I didn't see the notification on the LA Times blog, Hero Complex, until four days after these new tickets went on sale. Amazingly, seats were still available!!
At first I was extremely excited, then I thought about it a little more closely. Could I really afford the $75 right now? Sure, paychecks were coming in steady at the moment...but for how long, and with the consideration of Comic-Con coming up. However, I've really been yearning to be a part of some type of "Empire Strikes Back" 30th Anniversary event or celebration. I'm not going to the Star Wars Celebration V in Florida because financially it's just too close (less than a month) to the big trip to San Diego. Especially with the economy still on the slow upswing, And because George Lucas commands total control over the release of any of the "Star Wars" films, this screening at the Arclight on May 19 seems to be the focal point of "Empire" adoration.
The screening is not going to be a reserved seating situation, as is the policy at the Arclight. General admission, which means getting there hours in advance to get a great seat. This was another drawback for me on top of the cost and not actually having Ford in the house. As of Tuesday night my decision was to not go. Then Wednesday came, realization began, and the all important extension of work at Happy Hour Creative made me think again.
Bottom line: I HAVE to go!
Like I said, this is going to be THE "Empire" event of the summer! I'll still be able to see Harrison Ford's Q&A on screen, and to actually watch this movie, days before it was released thirty years ago, with a huge group of true "Star Wars" fans...PRICELESS!!
So it's now official; this morning I went to the St. Jude's Hospital website and purchased my ticket for "The Empire Strikes Back" screening with Harrison Ford's Q&A!!! Oh, and BTW, the money for this ticket will go as a donation to the hospital and a good cause. "So I've got that going for me...which is nice."
My MINI: 3rd Anniversary
Three years ago today I picked up my MINI from the dealership! Wow, has it really been three years?! I was hoping to give her an extra special wash and detail for this anniversary, but unfortunately work has been a bit all emcompassing....not that I'm complaining!! Definitely hoping to find some time next week to take my baby out and give her the proper attention, as well as that all important birthday photo! For now, here's one from the day I picked her up.
Performance, as always, has been top notch. The only thing I need to do at the moment is buy two new front tires. Late last year the alignment was put off, wearing down the left one. So after I replaced that one tire (money was not there at all at the time to buy the usual two) the right side started to wear more because of the slight unevenness. Also looking to take care of this next week.
Still more accessories to buy, hopefully in the near future! Driving lights and a second twin grill badge holder for the front plate. Also want to have stripes added to the boot as well. I always love passing or driving alongside someone else with an accessorized MINI. It's funny how most women with MINIs seem to have the mentality that it's just a car. It's cute, and maybe they might buy one with stripes on the bonnet. Another MINI on the road next to them?...so what, who cares. The true recognition of another MINI that's been accessorized comes mainly from guys. Serious or casual enthusiasts who 'get it'. We'll see each other on the road, smile, nod, or even wave. It's kinda cool. I still really want to go to a MINI meet sometime soon! There's an organization of MINI lovers in California called SoCalMini, and I really need to stay on top of event scheduling to see when one might be happening locally or within reasonable driving distance.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Work extends at Happy Hour!
Found out today, as I am about to hit the mid-week point at Happy Hour, that there are at least two other projects they want to put me on after this week. Friday will not be my last day! YES!!!
So at this point I can expect to work all of next week, with a hint of conceivably heading into the week after that. This makes me happy, this makes my wallet happy, and this makes the trip to Comic-Con happy! I'm actually going to contact the hotel in San Diego tonight to find out if I can pay for the room in advance. Get that money out of my hands once I make it. Then we'll be locked in and any concerns will be blown right out the window.
This week and this month
Welcome to "Iron Man 2" week! The clock is ticking and Friday is coming! Damn those 'on the fence' reviews! I'm ready, let's do this...it's gonna ROCK!!!
In the same breath, later this month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back". And because of the influence this movie has had on an entire generation (the entire original trilogy, in fact), this month really does belong to Luke, Han, and Leia as they dealt with the backlash Darth Vader unleashed after the Death Star was destroyed. May 21, 1980 is the actual anniversary date.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Hollywood closes down several follow-up movies
I read today that several movie sequels that were on their way to becoming greenlit have now been stopped. "Anchorman 2", "Zoolander 2", and a follow up to the revived "Rambo" franchise have been shelved, and all this week. The studios are tightening their belts of what they consider 'excess fat'. Problem is, they're putting more trash into production at the same time (another Jennifer Aniston movie, anyone?).
Established titles have been, in part, driving the industry for the last decade and was escalated in more recent years with 're-imaginings' of just about every 80's movie they could lay their hands on...and the "Karate Kid" remake this year is just one of many needless re-visits. Seems like the movies they just put down are somewhat prime examples of 'name recognition'. Apparently not enough for the suits.
The intensity of movie trailers
Here's an interesting article about the affect trailers have on kids, from "The Exorcist" to Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland". I was thinking about the cutting style I used with my broadcast trailer for "Splice" while reading it.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The "BTTF" Trilogy screening last night was awesome!! GREAT crowd(!), and a group of fans dressed as Marty and Griff's hoverboard gang from "Part II". Photos coming shortly!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
"BTTF" Trilogy today!
Heading to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood this afternoon for the 25th anniversary screening of the "Back To The Future" Trilogy. Lea Thompson will be introducing the evening, and Claudia Wells ('Jennifer' from the first movie) will be doing a Q&A in between the first and second movies. Can't wait!! SAVE THE CLOCK TOWER!!!
Another great work week wraps
This was a pretty hectic week at Happy Hour...but an awesome one! Further changes came back from the studio on just about all the projects I've been working on. Plus, I just completed my first rough cut for the Warner Bros. video games sizzle reel.
Switching gears on multiple spots had me multi-tasking a lot during the past three days....and loving it!! Next week will have me finishing changes to my "Splice" broadcast spot and continue working on the Warner Bros. game project.