Monday, November 28, 2011

Moving to Wordpress

Hello everyone... because Blogger doesn't transfer so easily to my website (both and, I'll be switching over to Wordpress.  Within the next few weeks I'll be blogging directly from my domains - but it'll all be through Wordpress.  So, please subscribe to the blog through there or change your bookmarks.

Ryan's Wordpress Blog. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

R.E.M. Artist Zsombor Huszka: Welcome to the Family

It is with a lot of excitement, and a bit of sadness, that I am announcing Zsombor Huszka as the artist on the graphic novel R.E.M. 

For those of you who have been reading this blog regularly for some time, you may remember I announced Budi Setiawan as the artist a few months ago.  However, Budi was diagnosed with cancer.  We waited it out... he went into remission - but then it came back almost immediately.  He's very weak and unable to draw. My prayers go out to him and his family as he battles that monster. As soon as he's back up and drawing we'll find another project to work on. He's an extremely talented artist (and the cousin of Sigit Nugroho, who is drawing Chasing Rabbits).  Sigit actually credits Budi with teaching him how to draw.  That's one artistic family...

Hailing from Hungary, Zsombor is ready to throw R.E.M. into a rear naked choke and dominate. Yes, an artist who also does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He actually received his degree in architecture from Budapest University of Technology and Economics’ Department of Architecture. After his first art exhibit in 2010, he was chosen to participate at The National Exhibition of Digital Artworks.  He has worked on projects for a variety of Hungarian pop-stars and illustrated Hungarian advertising campaigns. He is currently working on the music video for pop-star Linda Kiraly, as well as writing and illustrating the graphic novel The Sultan’s Beast.  Although currently a BJJ fanatic, Zsombor was a professional fencer - on the Hungarian National Fencing Team.

We will eventually have to roll together.  Until then, we are going to make an amazing graphic novel. Here are some of his previous works...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Goodreads Choice Awards

The finalists for the Goodreads Choice Awards were announced today... and Harbor Moon wasn't on there.  Oh well.  It was just really cool to be nominated through the semi-finals for an award next to some of these massive artists/writers/titles.  Books like The Walking Dead, Twilight series, Buffy and Locke & Key.

Thanks to all of the fans, readers, friends and family that voted and spread the word.  And thanks to everyone that has supported us/me and the book since it came out. It is appreciated more than words could describe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top 5 Remakes

A pretty self-explanatory list.

Top 5
  • A Fistful of Dollars - (based on Kurosawa’s Yojimbo from 1961) – Leone’s classic is head and shoulders above the original. It is actually the one Kurosawa film I do not like.
  • Last of the Mohicans (1936, 1992) – Michael Mann at his best against a film made during the beginning of cinema.  Not much of a matchup.  Mann’s Heat would probably be #1 if I had any way to see L.A. Takedown.
  • Lord of the Flies (1963, 1990)
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978, 2004)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974, 2003)
Very Honorable Mentions
  • King Kong (1933, 2005) – There’s a lot of nostalgia out there for the original, but not for me.  I’ll take convincing visual effects and good action over that any day of the week.  Peter Jackson really pushes the boundaries in terms of CG characters… giving Kong a personality and feelings that endears him to the audience.
  • Ocean’s Eleven (1960, 2001) – the original is fun, but nowhere near as fun as the remake. 
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith – (1941, 2005)
  • Mission: Impossible (1966 TV Series, 1996)
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, 2005)
  • Taking of Pelham 123 (1974, 2009)

Honorable Mentions
  • Vanilla Sky (based on Abre Los Ojos) - I know I'm pretty much alone on this one, but I just couldn't get into the original.
  • Thomas Crown Affair (1999) – It’s not that I love this film, it’s that I don’t think the original is any good. That said, this is not a bad film.  It’s a fun ride.
Remakes I liked, but don’t quite live up to the original
  • Departed, The (based on the Japanese film Infernal Affairs) – I liked the remake, a lot, but it doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite foreign film out of Asia since Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
  • Magnificent Seven (based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai) – an okay western based on Kurosawa’s best film.
  • Scarface (1932, 1983) - Original was a gangster movie that was more my speed.
  • Ring, The (Based on the Japanese film Ringu)
  • The Italian Job (1969, 2003) 
  • Payback (based on 1967’s Point Blank) - Love this Mel Gibson film, but the Lee Marvin version is pretty awesome.
Originals I Need to See:
  • Heat – Original is the TV movie L.A. Takedown
  • Maltese Falcon – Original is a 1931 film of the same name, directed by Roy Del Ruth
  • Insomnia – Original is a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name
  • The Fly – Original is a 1958 film of the same name
  • 3:10 to Yuma – Original is a 1957 film of the same name
  • True Lies – Original is the French film La Totale!
  • Solaris – Original is the 1972 Russian film of the same name
Worst Remake Ever:
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

4.2.3. - Trailer (Slightly Revised)

Because I sort of obsess over very small things, here is the new and improved trailer for my short film 4.2.3.

What was wrong with the old trailer you may ask?

First off, I was editing video that was compressed (H.264).  This is a great codec for sharing/streaming - but it is too compressed to edit.  I had to go back to my original file for the short film which was in Apple Pro-Res 422 and re-edit that (tons of fun).

I also wanted to fix the end title design.  I knew it wasn't perfect because I basically just swapped it in from the short film.  The problem with that is that the short film doesn't have a title come up.  I go from a riddle down to the title (barely) - to a title card stating 'Year 4' at the front.  Karol made a comment and he was right - it didn't work.  So I had to create a title card that had 4 come up, then 2, then 3.  This is actually when I discovered my codec problem.  So, a fix that should have taken a day took about two weeks.

But now the resolution is much higher (it may be imperceptible, but the colors are brighter, the blacks are darker and the images are sharper) - and I have a much better title design.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2

After seeing Paranormal Activity 3 and liking it so much, I decided to go back and watch Paranormal Activity 2.  You know a film kind of got to you when you do this. Since 3 was a prequel, there were a lot of details I wanted to vet. Turns out 2 is a prequel as well - but not 20 years prior like 3.  It is from about 60 days previous to the first one, from the POV of the sister's family (Kristi's family).  

My biggest thought right off the bat after watching this was - 'how did I make it through the first one with that horrible wench (Katie) on screen most of the movie?'  Every time she showed up in this I wanted to claw my eyeballs out.

Overall though, this actually wasn't as bad as I had heard, although it wasn't nearly as good as 3.  Not even in the same league.  3 had legitimate scares.  This, none.  But it held my interest and, maybe because I was fresh off the last installment, was definitely interested to see where it all headed.  None of the inhabitants of the house are bad, which is a good thing in a movie like this... and all of their reactions to what is going on are pretty believable.  When and how they come to accept that something really strange is happening feels natural.  2 opted for security camera POV's, which was okay... but, as I heard someone describe it, felt like a 'Where's Waldo?' horror film.  The camera angles and decision to make Dennis a videographer worked so well in 3.  

I'd like to go back and watch the first film, but the thought of sitting through another frame with Katie in it makes my skin crawl.  So, we'll see...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Thanks to the lax security at UA Westbury Theaters (or no security at all - not even ticket takers) I was able to catch Paranormal Activity 3 after I went to see Ides of March (discussion up at 35 Movie Minutes).

I'll start by saying that I was entertained by the first one, but ultimately was not scared.  And the two leads were two of the more obnoxious and annoying people ever put to camera.  I was rooting for the ghost or demon to put me out of my misery and destroy them and their house.  So I decided to skip Paranormal Activity 2 altogether.

But I've been hearing good things about the latest incarnation... how 2 was a trainwreck but this redeems itself and is much better than the first one.  So I decided to give it a shot.  And I am ultimately glad I did.  Because all of those rumblings were true.  I was into this film from start to finish, into the characters (it is a prequel to 1 and 2) and cared about whether they lived or died - which is what matters when you're watching a horror movie.  That and the scares were genuinely scary.  First time in a very long time I can say that.  I don't remember the last time in fact (the original Scream?)

They do a little tugging at your heart strings by making two of the inhabitants children.  It's hard to root against them.  And, while most children actors are cloying and suck - these two are good.  Especially Kristi, the youngest daughter.  More importantly, the guy doing all of the taping, Dennis, is actually likeable.  I can honestly say it is the first time in a 'found footage' type of movie where I didn't root for their death.  I didn't quite care about the wife, but I didn't dislike her either.

Whereas in films like Blair Witch Project and the original Paranormal, where you're waiting and waiting for something to happen - things get kicked off real quick in this one.  And they don't let up.

My only gripe is how Dennis deals with the mother (girlfriend). She doesn't want to believe any of this stuff... but there's a lot of shit going on.  And he's got video footage of it all.  It's very frustrating as a viewer.  But perhaps the mother, obviously growing up under the grandmother, knows what is going on to some extent?  Along those lines, I would have liked to see the grandmother make an appearance somewhere in between her bookends.

Somewhat small gripes for a film that is definitely worth your time.  The directors behind Catfish did a good job with this one... they are definitely not one shot wonders.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Movie Review: Red State

Behind all of the hoopla of the Sundance screening (and fake auction) for Red State, there was actually a film that was made. Coming out in theaters for a short period, at the same time as VOD... and a Kevin Smith Q&A tour of the film, I applaud Smith for pushing the boundaries of distribution.

But did the film live up to the hype?  Let's start with the hype.  Once you sifted through the bullshit, there wasn't much - as all the reporting was focused more on Smith and less on his actual movie.  But I did catch discussions on the SlashFilm podcast as well as Filmspotting.  They all agreed that is was a step forward for Kevin Smith the filmmaker, but were torn on the actual movie itself.  

For me, the movie was way over the top and at times a bit too farcical.  It starts off well and then descends into what can only be described as madness.  And not David Lynch of Cronenberg madness - just ridiculousness. I felt bad for the actors, who were all giving it their best - but were all over the place.  Especially Stephen Root's Sheriff Wynan. He was acting in a Broken Lizard movie, while most of the scenes he was in were a serious cult movie.  I understand Kevin Smith's humor will shine through every now and then, but that is more dialogue based.  

This type of stuff took me right out of the film and I ultimately just didn't care about any of the characters. So when shit is going down, I wasn't rooting for anyone. And that is a problem. 

Kevin Smith has said he wants to do a hockey two-fer and then he'll retire.  I haven't liked anything he has done since Mallrats (which I loved, along with Clerks)... so I won't shed a tear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top 5 Movie Nicknames

To qualify, we had to know the character’s actual name in the movie (so Harmonica from Once Upon a Time in the West doesn’t count).  It can’t be an alter ego (sorry Batman, Neo and Johnny Dangerously) or a legit name change (Dirk Diggler).  No code names: Joker from Full Metal Jacket, or anyone from Top Gun.  And no names given by the press, but not used to address the actual person – such as Leatherface or Buffalo Bill.

Top 5
  • Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones, Jr. - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski - The Big Lebowski
  • Randal ‘Pink’ Floyd – Dazed and Confused
  • Russell ‘Rusty’ Griswold - Vacation
  • Dudley ‘Booger’ Dawson, Fred ‘The Ogre’ Palowakski – Revenge of the Nerds
Next 5
  • Rupert ‘Stiles’ Stilinski (and Lisa ‘Boof’ Marconi) – Teen Wolf
  • Willie ‘Mays’ Hayes, Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn – Major League
  • Benny ‘Pookie’ Robinson – New Jack City
  • Clark ‘Mouth’ Devereaux, Richard ‘Data’ Wang - Goonies
  • Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith, Jr. – 8 Mile
Honorable Mentions
  • Kenny ‘Pig Vomit’ Rushton – Private Parts
  • Michael ‘Crocodile’ Dundee – Crocodile Dundee
  • Harry ‘The Sundance Kid’ Longabaugh – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Duey Ox Oxberger - Stripes
  • ‘Big Fat’ Bernie Gayle, Little Big Fat Bernie Gale, Jr. – Safe Men
  • Larry ‘Mother’ Tucker - Fraternity Vacation
  • Maurice ‘Snoopy’ Miller – Out of Sight
  • Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting – Gangs of New York
  • ‘Angel Eyes’ Sentenza – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • William H. ‘Billy the Kid’ Bonney, Josiah Gordon ‘Doc’ Scurlock, ‘Dirty’ Steve Stephens – Young Guns
  • ‘Turbo’ Tony, ‘Ozone’ Orlando – Breakin
  • Francis ‘Chainsaw’ Gremp – Summer School
  • ‘One Punch’ Mickey Dolan, Franky ‘Four Fingers’, Boris ‘The Blade’ Yurinov, Doug ‘The Head’ Denovitz – Snatch
  • Enrico ‘Ratso’ Rizzo – Midnight Cowboy
  • Mane ‘Knockout Ned’ Galinha, Ze ‘Lil Ze’ Pequeno, Dadinho ‘Lil Dice’, Sandro ‘Carrot’ Cenoura – City of God
  • ‘Bad Boy’ Mike Barnes - Karate Kid III
  • Sunshine’ Ronnie Bass – Remember the Titans
  • Lester ‘Worm’ Murphy – Rounders

Monday, November 7, 2011

Movie Review: Drive

I saw Drive a few weeks ago, but am just now sitting down to write about it.  The main reason why is because my podcast, 35 Movie Minutes, is now up and running and we did a podcast discussion about the film.

In general, I was a big fan of the movie. I loved the pace, the quiet nature of things - and the explosion of violence/action that occurs throughout.  Nicholas Weding Refn finally got his shot here and he delivered.  I have loved the Pusher trilogy for quite some time.  It seems as if critics are split on Gosling's performance (with many more liking it than not)... I would call it a tour de force.  Yes, he's doing his best to channel stars from the 70's like Steve McQueen - but so what?  He does it well.  And I've missed performances like that.  Everything now is quick-cutting, in your face acting and action - it is all the same shit over and over.  And I like action movies.

The rest of the cast is great.  Carey Mulligan is once again wonderful (has she ever not been?).  Oscar Isaacs does a fine job as her criminal husband in a jam. Albert Brooks is good as the crime boss... but I think Ron Perelman is better here.  The one person who stood out was Bryan Cranston.  His down on his luck auto shop owner didn't sit well with me.  Maybe because I'm bringing my own Cranston baggage with me.  I know his as the uptight chem teacher/meth cooker - so I couldn't get past the grease and shmoopy demeanor.

It opens with one of the best car chases put to film... and it's very stoic in the filmmaking.  No flipped cars, crazy angles or outrageous stunts.  But I think that's why it is so effective.  From there it continues to keep you interested, mostly carried by Gosling's unnamed 'Driver'.  My one issue with the film would have to be the ending.  I don't want to give it away completely, but I just don't buy it.  I don't buy that Albert Brooks is going to do what he does in broad daylight, in a parking lot.  Especially after Gosling does what he does.  Then, the very final moment of the film - no shot.  No way.  He may not be in it for the money, but this shot just eats at me until now.  I don't need to see him drop it off to Mulligan's character - but wouldn't that be a natural reaction?

Anyone else have trouble with that ending?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Harbor Moon Now Available on DriveThru Comics

I'm proud to say that Harbor Moon is now available through digital publisher DriveThru Comics.  You can download the full book, as well as all six issues.

I met DriveThru's Matt McElroy at NY Comic-con, who gave me the pitch on the company and I was sold.  Things got even better once I actually started dealing with them.  These guys are really on top of things.  They know how to promote and they have a wide audience through DriveThru Comics, DriveThru RPG and DriveThru Fiction.  I'm glad they welcomed Spoke Lane and our books into their family.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Round of Chasing Rabbit Layouts

Somehow Sigit turned up the heat on Chasing Rabbits.  After spending just over a month on character designs (there were a crazy amount of characters)... he pounded out 23 layouts in a week.  And these aren't thumbnail layouts with stick figures.  They are a step away from pencils.

If I was excited about this project before (it was and continues to be my personal favorite of all of my projects)... now my head is ready to explode.

Wanted to share some with you all... remember these are just layouts.  It's like this guy was reading my mind with some of this stuff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goodreads Reader Choice Awards: Nominate 'Harbor Moon'

If you're into reading, chances are you have a Goodreads account.  It is a great site that lets you connect with like-minded people, authors you like (and don't like)... and chart your own reading.  If you want to do all of those things, but don't have an account yet - what are you waiting for?

Goodreads just started the nomination process for their 2011 Reader's Choice Awards.  They have a ton of categories - and a few readers of my graphic novel Harbor Moon have submitted the book for nomination.  

If you feel so inclined, swing by the Nomination Page (you can submit for Graphic Novels & Comics as well as Horror) and below the list of titles you will see a line that reads "Write-In Vote" and next to 'Your Choice' just type Harbor Moon... a drop down list will appear and it will be the top one in that list.

Then submit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

4.2.3. (Trailer)

As you may know, I directed a short film in the spring entitled 4.2.3., which is a prequel to my feature film project/graphic novel R.E.M.  I got sidetracked a bit from promoting that film as I went right into production on White Space and was then dealing with Harbor Moon promotions and post on the feature.

But I'm starting to get back on track, and I've recently completed a trailer for Harbor Moon and now 4.2.3.  The score for the Harbor Moon trailer is currently being done... but I was able to use composer Nathan Matthew David's awesome score from the short in the trailer.

Without further ado...

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Good Weekend

It started off poorly... with snowfall in October.  October!  And I knew my best bud was leaving for the week with her dad, which always blows.  But the weekend rallied strong.  First with 8 pages of layouts from Sigit on Chasing Rabbits.  Then 15 pages from Sigit on Chasing Rabbits.

23 jaw dropping pages.  And these are just layouts.

Then I received the first assembly from our new editor on White Space - Eric Potter.  It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of the first edit.  But I had supreme confidence that there wasn't a good movie there, there was a very good movie.  However, I was a little nervous and put it off for a few hours.  Then I couldn't resist anymore and buckled down for 90 minutes of uncertainty.  

To say it was night and day would be an understatement.  It was like Christmas and my birthday and Easter all rolled into one.  I wasn't expecting Eric to pull off a miracle, but we didn't need one - we just needed an editor who got it.  And he did.  He nailed it for the most part - and I say most part because this was just a rough assembly to make sure we were all on the same page as he moved forward.  He hasn't even really started editing this thing.  

I'm pumped.  I'm excited.  I'm the exact opposite of just about everything I was feeling before we brought Eric on.  

White Space is coming... 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top 5 Political Movies

Films dealing with politicians and government in one form or another.  No films dealing with legal proceedings or cases that are inherently political (In the Name of the Father is out).  No films dealing with espionage (sorry The Quiet American, Three Days of the Condor and Marathon Man).  No war movies (even though they are inherently political).  Films such as Team America: World Police are out.  I’m torn on films about political violence/uprisings.  Films such as The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Bloody Sunday, Battle of Algiers… so I’m going to include them.

The list is dominated by Robert Redford.

Top 5:
Next 5:
  • All the President’s Men
  • Bloody Sunday
  • Milk
  • The Candidate
  • Manchurian Candidate (Original) 
Honorable Mentions:
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Hunger
  • Wag the Dog
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Outside the Law
  • JFK
  • Parallax View

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top 5 Losing Their Mind Films

To be eligible the lead had to be losing their mind, not a co-star (Full Metal Jacket is knocked out of the running).  That lead has to start the movie somewhat sane and then unravel as the story progresses (The Machinist is out).  Also, if alcohol or drugs are involved the film is ineligible (Scarface).
Next 10:
  • Mulholland Drive
  • Aviator, The
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest
  • The Shining
  • Requiem for a Dream
  •  8 1/2
  • Vertigo
  • Adaptation
  • Barton Fink
  • Player, The
Honorable Mentions:
  • Black Swan
  • Scarface
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Jacob’s Ladder
  • Solaris
  • Beach, The
  • Donnie Darko
  • Moon

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back to NY... Hopefully for a While

After heading to Vegas, Ann Arbor, NY Comic-con and then Pittsburgh I am finally back in NY.  Hopefully for an extended period of time.  The last month has been tough because I was also dealing with a cough/sore throat that wouldn't go away.  It was hard to get much done, although I tried.  I have a lot of projects on my plate, which is a good thing... so losing my weekends is a real killer.  I'm looking forward to get back to business.  And to start training as hard as I can.  I bought a month's worth of Bikram Yoga on Groupon for $25 and I plan on starting November 1.  It was my goal to be able to do a full split by the new year - but I'm not sure I'll hit that mark.  I did lose 5-6 months of serious training/stretching because of 4.2.3. and then White Space.

Time to get serious.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is Your Phone the New DSLR?

With a few big filmmakers experimenting with work on their phones... the thought of shooting a feature on a cellphone doesn't sound that preposterous.  But more as an exercise in doing it than creating a work of art, right?

That may not be the case anymore.  I just saw a video shot on the new iphone 4S and was blown away.  It's not up to the level of the Canon 5D just yet... and without the ability to add high quality lenses... but wow.  The video, shot by Benjamin Dowie, looks pretty damn good.  

A video shot on the iPhone 4S from Benjamin Dowie on Vimeo.

One could easily shoot a no-frills feature on the phone.  Go for natural lighting when possible, get a small sound package... man, this is exciting.

I wish the iPhone had the ability to flip open with a qwerty keypad.  I just can't type on the thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vdio - a viable competitor for Netflix?

I am usually pretty plugged in to things like this, but a new service just started to crop up - Vdio.  It is being hailed as a possible rival (threat) to Netflix.  

The team behind Vdio is pretty amazing: the founders of Skype, Napster, NBC, TV Guide, Skype's design team, someone from Netflix's content acquisition's team... and probably the most interesting (and in the long run, besides content, most important part of the equation - a systems engineer who worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is experienced in “data management and modeling, data analytics, and statistical analyses of large data sets, including data mining, visualization, and interpretation.”  Which means their algorithm for curating your viewing could potentially blow Netflix' away.  

No other details are really known about it - when it will come out, what format it'll take, etc... But consider my interest heavily piqued.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Movies That Are Better Than The Book

Publisher's Weekly had an interesting article on Drive the other day, talking about how it was one of the few films that outshines its prose counterpart.  For the most part, the book is typically better than the movie.  There is just so much more ground that a book can cover.  So many more layers.  Plunge deeper into the depths of characters.

But for every Atlas Shrugged and Bonfire of the Vanities there is a Jaws.  Or The Godfather.  I have yet to read Drive, but from the article there's a good chance I would agree with them.  In fact, his opinions on A History of Violence jive with my own.  A rather incomplete graphic novel that is far superior onscreen.  

Although a good book by a great author, I believe Fight Club the film triumphs (it's also shares my favorite film of all time honors with Rad).

Better than the Book
  • Fight Club
  • Jaws
  • The Godfather
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • Blade Runner
  • There Will Be Blood (based on Oil! by Pulitzer Prize winner Upton Sinclair)
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Shining
  • The Warriors
  • The Prestige
  • Marathon Man
  • Lord of the Rings (full trilogy)
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Time Machine   (noting a trend of 'classic' period films)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Eragon
  • Captain America (1990)
  • Batman and Robin (1997)
  • Fantastic Four (1994 and 2002)
  • X-Men 3
  • I Am Legend (2007)
What do you guys think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

New York Comic-con - Aftermath

After Thursday's dismal ghost town... the convention picked up on Friday, took off on Saturday and ended with a happy whimper on Sunday.

I try to be as honest as possible, so I will tell you exactly how it went down in terms of sales:

Thursday: nothing
Friday: 2 art prints, 13 books
Saturday: 2 art prints, 2 t-shirts, 32 books
Sunday: 1 art print, 1 t-shirt, 5 books

The booth in artist alley cost $300.  The extra exhibitor badge cost $55.  And other costs added up to about $150.  So I broke even and then just a little more.

But that doesn't account for the costs of the books.  Which, because of the over-sized printing and quality of paper (along with full color)... cost just under $10/each.  So selling them for $10/each at the convention - I definitely lost.  However, 50 books out there means 50 people are reading it.  Those can be future fans, or messengers of the book.  And I made some contacts in the industry.  Would I go back next year?  Yes, definitely.  I will have at least one more book out by then.  Hopefully two - but probably only one.  And I have a much better grasp on what to bring in terms of art prints (and quality of those prints).

Thanks for everyone who stopped by.  It was a lot of fun no matter what the numbers were...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New York Comic-con

First day of NY Comic-con and I'm asking myself the same question I did in San Diego - why did I do this?

To be fair, Thursday is preview night - so it is exhibitors, professionals and press - and I guess some people who bought 4 day passes.  But my god, it better get a little more lively.

The cost of these conventions far outweighs possible profits.  Unless of course you have a name and a ton of books in the marketplace.  Or you're doing manga/super hero stuff.  If you're off the beaten path a bit - people look at you like street urchins.  And these are street urchins looking at you like this.

Buck up little camper - tomorrow is 9 hours instead of 3....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

35 Movie Minute Podcast

Over the last year and a half I've been working with Rob Scarpelli on getting a podcast off the ground.  We ran into some technical difficulties last year around this time and things came to a halt. In all honesty, I think the idea for the podcast I laid out was a bit daunting.

35 Movie Minutes covers the last week of Hollywood news over the course of 35 minutes.  Do you see the clever play on 35 millimeter?  So sweet.

I wanted to format it more like PTI, where we have a running clock and cover items in minute or timed segments.  But with me doing the producing and Rob and I hosting, it just seemed insurmountable.  So, after producing White Space and getting back on track with my books, I wanted to dive back in.  We stripped it down and made it a lot more conversational.  Now, we discuss the last week of news, box office, upcoming films, etc... but in a freer format.  

I'm happy to say we are four weeks in and just wrapped our third podcast, as well as special podcasts on the Toronto Film Festival as well as our discussion of the films Drive and Killer Elite.

We are definitely still getting our sea legs, me especially since this is my first time behind the mic.  However, our improvement from week one to two was tremendous and we will just get better, make the show tighter and stop leaning on certain crutches (the ums, yeahs, okays).

The website is live, although still being coded right now (by Karol Wisniewski).  It looks sweet and will be ready to go shortly.  We are available on iTunes:

To subscribe go to the iTunes store, search '35 Movie Minutes Podcast' - click 'Subscribe Free'.  It's as easy as that.

You can follow us at:



We'll post all of the podcasts, reviews and other updates there.  

Breaking Bad: Season 4

In what started off as their weakest season (for the large majority) may have ended with the best 3 episodes of the entire run of the show.  Walter finally stopped being a pussy and Jesse, the real star of the show now, was just brilliant.  I mean, Walter really hit a new low - which for me was a real high.

You questioned how it was going to sort out with Gus and company, knowing that Jesse and Walter would probably survive - and the way they pulled through was pretty awesome.  I would have been a bit more satisfied with Skylar catching a bullet... but am nonetheless excited to see where they take these characters now.

Thanks Vince Gilligan for delivering an amazing show.  Quite possibly the best on TV right now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Time in Michigan

My first trip to Michigan was somewhat of a success.  Lauren and I flew into Detroit and then made our way over to Ann Arbor for the Ornekian/Matteson wedding.  We were able to spend some time in downtown Ann Arbor and got to see the campus, etc...  which was really cool.  Then we got on a bus and headed to an Armo church (that's the Ornekian side of the wedding) for the ceremony. Everything went off without a hitch and Kellie looked amazing. The reception started pretty much immediately and it was great catching up with friends (mostly from USC's Stark Program) I haven't seen in years.  It was odd for me to think it had been that long, but I guess that's what happens when you're all busy and I live in NY now... and I am admittedly horrible about calling anyone.  I'm truly grateful for something like Facebook or I would be pretty out of touch.  I'm just not a phone person.  What is great is that they were all doing really well.  Keith's building an empire.  Paul is about to start another movie as a line producer.  Dan is still at Depth of Field and just got signed by a top management company as a writer.  Ryley is on track with Dikran (I talk to Dikran more than I talk to my own girlfriend so I know how he's doing).

We then proceeded to get really drunk and make fools of ourselves on the dance floor.  At least I did.  I only know this because Lauren informed me the next day.  Which is why our trip was only somewhat of a success.  We completely missed the brunch the next day (even if I had it together - I thought it was at 11:30 and it was actually at 10)... and I am missing the end of the night.  I like to think I was a complete gentlemen and enthralled everyone with my ballroom dancing skills.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Top 5 Movie Vehicles

This is a pretty self-explanatory list.  And... without further ado:
Very Honorable Mentions:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chasing Rabbits Begins Layouts

After a few weeks of character design work, Sigit Nugroho has begun layouts for the graphic novel Chasing Rabbits.  This book is going to be a monster.  We had over a few dozen character designs to do, and that doesn't include the characters we felt we could avoid until we got to pencils.  Sigit is killing it - these designs look less like sketches and more like serious pencils.

Here is a small sampling of the designs:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sayonara New York... for a few days

I will be heading off to Las Vegas at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow and will be returning around midnight on Monday.  My good friends Rich and Tami are getting married and it should be a real humdinger.  It's sort of a reunion between all of my Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Jersey and New York friends.  With a few from all over - Vancouver, Philly, Florida - but Rev Theory is nationwide and growing... so it should be insane.

I'm not bringing my laptop as I don't trust it in Las Vegas.  And besides the blanky I have slept with since I was born, it is my most valuable possession.  I guess you can say that my backup drive is up there too.  But I can't really afford a new computer right now, so eat it.

Before I go - weights, cardio then jiu-jitsu.  See you on the dark side.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Netflix Dilemma

Let me begin by saying that I have been a loyal Netflix customer since 2002.  It has gotten me through some really terrible times.  My ruptured kidney, torn achilles... and a broken heart or two.  I have come to rely on these little red envelopes and the ability to catch more movies than I ever thought possible.  

And, it was really convenient.  It became even more so when they announced their streaming service.  I had thought streaming to a tv was something that was 3-5 years off at the time - but devices such as Roku helped lead the way to the tv set itself.  And, it was easy.  

With all of the PR bungles Netflix has made in the last 3 months, it is certainly taken the tarnish off a company I once loved.  It's not the ignorance they showed with the price hike, or the lame apology sent by Reed Hastings that has put me off.  $16 bucks for unlimited streaming and mail order dvd's is still the best deal on the market (trust me, I checked).  Hulu Plus has a small feature film library, and they don't offer many tv shows that I'm interested in.  Blockbuster is $10/month, only available through the Dish Network - and they have 30% less titles than Netflix.  Amazon Prime is becoming a viable alternative, but you still have to pay for rentals and the like - and costs would be like the old days of Blockbuster.  No, it is not the price hike that has pissed me off.

It is two-fold.  The first is the spinning off of the mail order and streaming services.  Two separate bills, two separate credit card charges each month.  I have a queue that is cultivated over 9 years now.  Apparently that will be lost.  Vanished.  For a complete film loser like myself that is devastating.  And while the charges are currently the same, spinning them off into separate charges makes it easier for Netflix to slowly creep those up over time.  You wouldn't be viewing them as an aggregate charge, but separate ones.  So it wouldn't be so blatant.  I knew deep down this was coming, it was natural.  But none of it sits well.  And how they're handling it sucks.

The second reason is the lack of independent titles they have been securing the rights to.  As I just said, Netflix still has the best selection.  But I don't see that lasting for long.  They have slowly been acquiring studio and major network titles, and disregarding the independent titles.  Part of the reason is the way they view the value of a title.  For the mail order DVD's, if you add a title to your queue it is part of the computation.  But for streaming, it isn't.  And since Netflix is trying to push everyone to streaming, where do you think this is heading?  If they are only counting titles that are streamed, not that are added - then it will be a depot for successful or studio titles.  It will no longer be the place to go for undiscovered or festival gems.  

And this depresses me.  I just hope an alternative springs up in its place.  The door is wide open for such a company.  It may even be a smart move to start an 'independent streaming service' - where you focus on independent titles, and cultivating an independent community - and even acting as a purveyor of all things indie.  IFC has a great opportunity, but they focus on their own titles.  We need an aggregator.  If only I had a few million to start licensing titles...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top 5 Steven Soderberg Scenes

His career may still be in full-swing, with a handful of movies coming out and/or in production (including Haywire with Gina Carano - awesome)... but it did not stop the FilmSpotting guys, or myself, from compiling this list.
  • Having a drink into sex scene between George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight
  • Christiansen getting the back banged out of her for some black tar heroin when Michael Douglas shows up at the door in Traffic
  • Julia Roberts convincing the desk clerk to let her go through the files in Erin Brokovich
  • When Terrence Stamp goes back into the building after he's been thrown out in The Limey
  • A bit of a cheat - the putting the team together sequence in Ocean's Eleven

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Top 5 Assassin Movies

The word assassin is defined as:
"one who kills for fanatical or monetary reasons."
So, obviously, qualifying movies need to deal with someone who kills for fanatical or monetary reasons.  One of the leads must be an assassin, or the story needs to revolve around an assassin or assassins (or the threat of one).  It can’t just be a group of criminals who happen to kill people (Snatch). And it can’t be someone hell bent on revenge (Conan the Barbarian).

Top 5

Next 5

Unforgiven (hard to not put this in the top 5, as it could be #1 depending on the day of the week)
Pulp Fiction
Kill Bill Volume 1
Interview with an Assassin
Boondock Saints

Honorable Mentions

Assassination of Jesse James (only because we are waiting the whole movie for it)
Bourne Identity
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Crimes and Misdemeanors
El Mariachi
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai
Ghost in the Shell
Grosse Point Blank
Ichi the Killer
In the Line of Fire
Kill Bill Vol. 1
Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Marathon Man
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2007)
No Country For Old Men
Road to Perdition
Shogun Assassin
The Good, The Bad & The Weird
The Hit
The Killer
The Professional
Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I've still been dealing with my left elbow tendonitis, going on two years now. Two cortisone injections and a tremendous amount of downtime later - I'm pretty frustrated.

I went back to my general practitioner to get his opinion on the situation, because I'm ready to have surgery. He recommended I see a Physical Therapist who is also a doctor that specializes in this type of stuff. So I set an appointment for this Thursday.

A few weeks ago I found out there is a holistic healing college in my hometown (Syosset, NY). I live a few towns over now and train at the gym right down the street from this place. Apparently you can see students there for a pretty small dollar amount. One hour massages. And something I've been extremely interested in for a long time - accupuncture. It's somewhat amazing that after all the crazy stuff I've done to try and better my health (physical and mental) that I haven't done this yet. So I booked an appointment for last night.

I was excited when I walked through the door. And this was actually a hospital/school. You go back into what is basically a white ER, swarming with students in white coats and what I guess were professors - I just assume because they were the older ones. I was taken back to a curtained off bed, sitting across from a 40 year old Indian woman who proceeded to ask me a plethora of questions about my urine, sleep habits, what was going on, etc... She wrote some notes down and we talked a bit - and I was getting more excited because I love this shit. I told her about my low energy, my ruptured kidney and how some other healers thought I had energy blockage there (which may have led to the rupture), my torn achilles and my left elbow tendonitis. She made me feel very comfortable and was so nice in a way that actually seemed genuine. I put on a gown and got on the table with my chest up. She came back with another student and they started to prep me for the needles.

When they put the needles in, I was told they always start with the ears. Well, my ears are like hard rocks cause of the cauliflower ear. She kind of freaked out about it, which was funny. I told her to jam that shit in as hard as she could. I was good to go. She passed and started on my chest. It was definitely weird and the first one took my breath away - but mostly because I have no meat on my sternum right below my over-sized chest. Then they got me in along my legs, waistline, edge of my feet and then on top of my head - which she told me was the main one for energy. When they were done they turned the lights off and let me rest for a few minutes. Maybe 15-30 minutes. I don't know, I was pretty damn relaxed.

Then they came back and took out the pins. They were looking at each other, excited with the area around each pin. Apparently if it gets red, that's energy or something releasing. So, it worked.

I usually have a massive clump of tissue/muscle somewhat over my left kidney that feels like someone screwed it into my body. No matter how much I heat it, how much I massage it, how much I do to get rid of it - it never goes away. Last night, on the drive home - I was somewhat blown away that I didn't feel it. And then I was freaking myself out cause I was trying to make it come back to feel it - cause I didn't know if it was gone or if I was just crazy. But all last night it wasn't there. I swear. It came back a bit today, but still diminished. And something I realized halfway through today - my elbow didn't hurt. I didn't have any pain in my left elbow. I repeat - I didn't have any pain in my left elbow.

I don't really know what to write after that. I am sold on this shit. I will be back next week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MacArthur Fellowship - Nominate Me!

Yesterday, the 22 MacArthur Fellows were announced.

It has been my dream since I was an undergrad (ten years ago) to become a MacArthur Fellow (sometimes referred to as the 'Genius Grant').  For those that aren't aware of the program, each year the MacArthur Foundation names a handful of Fellows (23 in 2010).  These so-called geniuses range from politics to science to math to poetry to education to entertainment.

The MacArthur Fellowship is designed to provide seed money for intellectual, social, and artistic endeavors. From their own literature: "We believe that highly motivated, self-directed, and talented people are in the best position to decide how to allocate their time and resources. By adopting a “no strings attached” policy, we provide the maximum freedom for the recipients to follow their creative vision, whether it is moving forward with their current activities, expanding the scope of their work, or embarking in entirely new directions. There are no restrictions on how the money can be spent, and we impose no reporting obligations."

It is, in my opinion, one of the most prestigious awards one can win.  Forget the money ($500,000 over 5 years - no questions asked)... although the money would be amazing... What the program means and stands for is, to me, astounding.  Astounding in that it even exists.  People are recognized for their creative or intellectual endeavors and are allowed the financial freedom to pursue those endeavors, to advance society, to better people's lives, or to create harbingers of death.  With no strings.  Think about that for a second.  It's how it should be.

But there are always strings, aren't there?  That's what is so mind-blowing about being a MacArthur Fellow. Besides the fact that you are hand picked because others believe that your contribution to your field will be tremendous. Not necessarily 'has been' tremendous. They want people in the thick of it, who are going to grow.

So how does one go about even getting on their radar? It's a secret. Sort of. They have nominators, who are constantly revolving or changing.  But it is completely unknown who these nominators are. And the hope is that the nominees don't even know they are nominated.

I'm someone that operates somewhat on the fringes. I don't like drawing attention to myself (okay, yes, I have a mohawk - but it really completes my face). I don't have any connections to this world of academics (even after my time at Cambridge), my family isn't super rich or well-connected. My father, for all intents and purposes, is the most successful Colucci ever.  It amounts to a hill of nothing in the film and publishing world.

I don't think I'm going to change the industry (film or publishing).  But I know I am going to come crashing through the door of both.  I have a unique mix of financial know-how, work ethic and creativity.  I haven't taken the easy road to my successes.  My first film wasn't some small indie.  It was an eight-figure CG-animated feature done in 3D with an A-list voice cast.  Done independently.  My second feature is a visual effects heavy sci-fi thriller - done for a fraction of that - which no one is going to believe.  My first book wasn't a short comic done in black and white.  It was a 150 page, painted graphic novel in full color and over-sized.  My first project set up a studio wasn't a spec script I found.  It was a NY Times Best-Selling Fantasy series that is ranked fourth all-time in fantasy sales (behind only Tolkien, JK Rowlings and CS Lewis), with over 15 books. 

None of that came easy.  Each and every one was a hard fought battle (some still going on).

In the off chance that some nominator googled the grant and is reading this - nominate me. You won't regret it. I won't let you down.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Top 5 Most Anticipated Fall Movies of 2011

Although most teachers would have you believe summer ends Labor Day Weekend, for the rest of humanity Fall Equinox occurs on September 23, 2011.  That date happens to fall on a Friday this year.  My selections will be comprised of films coming out that day up through December 22,2011 – Winter Solstice.

Top 5:

Oldman, Hardy, Firth, Hurt.  Enough said.  But why not add in Toby Jones, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds for my most anticipated film of the fall.

DeNiro back as a bad ass.  This is where he shines.  Statham vs. Clive Owen – that could be sick.

I have a slight obsession with serial killer (or hunt for serial killer) stories.  I’m a fan of Worthington and Geoffrey Dean Morgan, so I’m excited to see this – even if it is getting a limited release – straight to VOD basically.

Script by Aaron Sorkin. Starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.  We know how it turns out, but sometimes it is just about getting there that matters.

David Cronenberg directing Michael Fassbender?  This may be #1, but I have gone out of my way to learn nothing more about this movie. I’m also a fan of Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel and Viggo Mortensen.  And it was adapted by Oscar winner Christopher Hampton. 

Honorable Mentions:

I want to see these as well.

The Thing
J. Edgar
Like Crazy
The Ides of March
The Rum Diary
In Time
The Sitter


These all sound interesting and/or I will definitely watch when they come out on video.

Cook County
The Muppets
The Descendants
Three Muskateers

Bottom 10:

I rather stick needles dipped in acid into my eyeballs than sit through any of these.  There is actually 11 on this list, but they all deserve to be on it.

Real Steel
Paranormal Activity 3
Johnny English Reborn
Tower Heist
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
New Year’s Eve

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Movie Review: Mesrine - Parts I and II

Since I was watching these on Netflix Watch Instantly, I rolled right into a double feature of Mesrine: Part 1: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Part 2: Public Enemy #1.  The films are based on an actual person and for some reason I enjoyed them a lot more because of this.

If you couldn't tell, Part I was interesting enough for me to take on Part 2. If you read this blog, you know that I have an affinity for crime stories. I usually find myself rooting for the bad guy. And Mesrine is definitely the bad guy. Having just returned to Paris from the war in Algiers he dives into a life of crime, starting small and growing into Public Enemy #1 in France. His travels even take him to Montreal, where his crime spree continues.  He escapes from jail an astounding four times.  How that is even possible I don't know, but it is fun to watch.

Both films are somewhat episodic - as any person's life could be. He leaves country after country and woman after woman - even abandoning his children, who at one point seem to turn him into a working man.  But they are barely brought up again.  But his life is chaotic and stretches continents, so it is easy to believe that the characters in his life were constantly changing (this is why it was easier for me to accept and like the films).  While they are both sometimes meandering, Cassel is always engaging.  He portrays this somewhat charismatic, but sociopathic criminal teetering on the verge of violence at any second with ease.  Sometimes you watch a movie and think - oh, that's George Clooney playing so and so.  Cassel inhabits this character.  He becomes Jacques Mesrine.  It is almost haunting.

Director Jean-Francois Richet is a skillful filmmaker and the film itself is beautiful, with the cinematography dropping us right into the 60's and 70's.

If you're a fan of crime movies, or larger than life personalities, check it out.  It got me even more interested in checking out Carlos, which has been sitting in my queue for a while now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Movie Review: The Mist

I will start by saying, I am not a Frank Darabont fan. Do I like Shawshank Redemption?  Yes. It's pretty good.  It doesn't make my heart flutter.  Something about Tim Robbins maybe. Everything he has done since just does nothing for me.  I loved the pilot episode for The Walking Dead. It was great. But it was like a cheesy B-movie without an ending. On tv, a great promise for what is to come.  And what was to come was shit.  Lots of it.  (Why didn't they stay closer to the books on that one?)

I listen to the slashFilm podcast every week and those guys are big fans of The Mist. Especially David Chen. I don't necessarily put much weight into that, but I did want to at least give it a chance because of this.

The movie hits pretty much every trope of a 'we're all stuck together' story.  The tough guy who really isn't that tough when shit hits the fan, the level headed female empowerment chick, the nerdy guy who really is useful after all, the old person with an attitude, the guy who is just too smart to believe any of this is real, the religious freak... and the hero.  Who is usually mild-mannered, but rises to action when needed.  This movie has it all.  And these tropes seem to be magnified here, particularly the religious freak. It also has some really good moments.  But it also has some really awful dialogue. And mediocre acting.  I do like Thomas Jane and Toby Jones, but they are the lone bright spots in the cast.  What I did like about it was how it kept surprising me.  I knew when shit started happening what the cause was, but it definitely kept you in the dark exactly what was in the mist, and why.  The reason is sort of lame, but they more or less just needed a reason and explained it away quickly.  What really got me was the ending.  I was impressed that they were willing to pull no punches and go balls out.  I'm not going to ruin it, but everyone that has seen the film will know what I'm talking about.  It's not a big action scene.  In fact, you don't even see the moment - you just hear it.  But it is pretty powerful stuff.  And I guess it made up for all the bad dialogue and acting up to that point.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Top 5 Inner City Movies

Since this is a long list there are some qualifying factors.  The neighborhood has to be a character (ie memorable).  The city has to be urban (so, Billy Elliot, El Mariachi and Fish Tank are out).  There are films that I’m on the fence about, such as The Last Dragon, Seven, LA Confidential and The Departed, which definitely have aspects that should get them on this list, but for LA Confidential the inner workings aren’t unique to LA and besides some accents, it’s hard to argue that The Departed is a unique depiction of Boston sub-culture.  The city in Seven was such a character, but more to set a mood than the actual city itself.  It could be Chicago (with the elevated train), or New York (screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker credits this city as his biggest influence), or even Boston (there is a radio broadcast on at one point – with a DJ from Boston – John McClellan). However, the city itself was never actually mentioned.  Further to that point, I’m ruling out any cities that don’t actually exist, such as Dark City and Gotham in Batman (1988) and Batman Begins (2007).

Honorable Mentions:
25th Hour
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Above the Law
Amores Perros
Bad Lt.
Big Trouble Little China
Bloody Sunday
Boyz N’ the Hood
Chop Shop
Dark Days (documentary)
Dirty Pretty Things
Elite Squad
Far and Away
Gangs of New York
Ghost Dog – Way of the Samurai
Gone Baby Gone
Hard to Kill
In America
Laws of Gravity
Lean on Me
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Menace II Society
New Jack City
Out for Justice
Outside the Law
Pope of Greenwich Village
Pusher (entire trilogy)
Raging Bull
Raising Victor Vargas
Saturday Night Fever
Scarface (Original)
Slumdog Millionaire
Taxi Driver
The Basketball Diaries
The Corruptor
The Fighter
The Informer (1935)
White Men Can’t Jump

35 Movie Minute Podcast

The inaugural 35 Movie Minute podcast is in the books.  Rob and I finally sat down to record this thing, after a year long startup battle.  We ran pretty long (over two hours), but it was a lot of fun.  Now it'll be about a day while Rob cuts it down to 35 minutes.  

It's going to take some time to refine the format and get in a groove.  Also, I realized there was a massive amount of film new because of Toronto.  From now on we'll have special additional segments dedicated to festivals, award shows, etc...  and focus the podcast on Hollywood-centric news.

Look for the audio file sometime tonight or tomorrow.  You can follow us and stay up-to-date at:

Karol Wisniewski is working on coding the website now and that should be ready to go by the end of the week or so (  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bulderlyns Step-by-Step Promo

Sometimes I'll post the progression of a page on here (I probably don't do it enough).  And sometimes I will just post a page as it is in progress (as I did with the coloring of Page 1 of Bulderlyns).  Well, earlier this week Pawel did one better - he put together a promo sheet with the penciling, inking and coloring stages of Bulderlyns.  It looks pretty bad ass.

I'm hyped on this book - I hope the writing/story is half as good as the artwork and artists.  The past few days have been sort of eating at me as I contemplate that, and my own abilities.

Unit Distribution Manager

I'm sick of hearing the term PMD - this hip term indie distribution 'experts' are cramming down our throats.  As a producer who oversees the entire production of a film, and if often with it years before it even goes into production, I take producer credits seriously (also because I went to a 'Producer' MFA program).

I also dislike the title 'Producer of Marketing and Distribution'.

What I'm proposing is a different term, something more fitting - Unit Distribution Manager, or UDM.  Your film probably has a UPM, who is the manager of the production - so it would be more fitting if this individual was the manager of the marketing.  Because in the end, they don't call the shots on distribution, they only facilitate it through possible Direct Distribution channels.  It doesn't confuse any of the above the line relationships.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Movie Review: Unstoppable

I know Tony Scott catches a lot of grief for his films (among film snobs)... dating all the way back to Top Gun.  That film is easily in my top 10, and Tony Scott has made some great movies.  Days of Thunder Enemy of the State, Beverly Hills Cop II.  Really good movies.  The Last Boy Scout, Spy Games, True Romance.  I even like the remake of Taking of Pelham 123.

But to do another train movie with the same actor, in what appeared to be the same role?  Eh.  And throw in that mix, a late dose of this wild editing and shooting style.  Man on Fire was watchable, but started this trend for Mr. Scott.  Then came Domino.  It actually caused sea-sickness.  And the painful to watch Deja Vu.

So, it is safe to say I wasn't pumped about checking out Unstoppable.  That's probably why this is coming way after its release, only after I DVR'd it on HBO.  While this doesn't exactly land on Tony's top 10 (I just ran the list, it's at 11)... it is a fairly enjoyable movie.  Once the train actually goes rogue, things move quickly and don't stop moving.  You'd think this would be somewhat lame, but he does a really good job of holding it together and keeping us interested in the fate of this train.  He also does a slick job of including some personal elements of our hero's lives, the affable Chris Pine and Denzel Washington.  Kudos to the writer (or whoever it was) that decided to make both of Denzel's daughters Hooters waitresses.  Nice touch.  But all of that is just periphery, because our focus is on stopping that train.  Definitely worth a viewing at home.