Friday, February 4, 2011

Switching sites

With production beginning on my new comic book, I'm moving my blog to:

There I'll be posting more information on the comic book, upcoming projects, and other fun tidbits.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

RANT: Vitriol

I know John Stewart's been pretty preachy this week, but I've been enjoying his message. I'm so sick of the rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. Here's a newsflash, Obama is neither the savior of the world or the Antichrist. We're neither going to turn socialist or tyrannical. Obama is neither incompetent or the most brilliant mind in a generation.

One thing is for sure, he is your damn president -- all of you. Hate it or love it that's how it'll be for two more years and I'll tell you what Republicans, if your current crop of talent is any indication he'll probably be in there for another 4 as well. So while you're feelings may be hurt and your ego bruised, deal with it. It's not enough to say "Well, they did it to Bush so we should be able to do it to Obama." Be better than that and take the high road. You're grown ass adults for Christ sakes.

And on the other side, just because your boy's now in office doesn't mean you can just ignore everything from the other side of the aisle. Sometimes they have good ideas and you should listen to them. After all, it's not like they're idiots. They all have degrees as well. Their opinions are just different. If you don't give credence to other's opinions then where are we at as a country? There's no need to be school yard bullies.

Let me be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with questioning those in power. In fact it should be encouraged. Hell, it's the bedrock principle by which our country was founded. There's some weird sh*t going on right now that needs to be questioned. However, when that questioning turns to vitriol that's when the dialog become unproductive.

As an example, I think everybody's had an argument with their friends about something divisive. It starts out cordial enough. Both people are speaking their minds and exchanging their ideas. Voices are mutes and attitudes are calm. Heck, you might even learn something you didn't know before. Your opinion might even be swayed a little. It probably won't change completely, but the needle might move a little in the other direction.

Eventually though, once you realize you can't change their opinion it gets more vicious. You start calling the person an idiot, adding more insults and eventually you are shouting at each other. Soon enough, you both throw up your hands and walk away, pissed, feelings hurt and sure that the other person is an idiot. Who knows, your opinion of them might be forever marred.

Now, imagine those arguments happenings 50x a day on tape all over the country on multiple networks, plastered for the entire world to see? How does anything get done that way? And to think, if you had just stayed cordial there might have been a real exchange of ideas. Hell, you might even learn something important.

So to both sides of the aisle, suck it up, quit acting like children, and get some work done.

Friday, January 7, 2011

RANT: When one door closes...

This is the first draft of a monologue from an upcoming script I'm writing:
When one door closes a window might open somewhere... but I'm not a criminal. Why do I want to crawl through a window? What if it's not on the first floor? I should be grateful to shimmy up opportunity's trellis and break into her third floor bedroom? Have you ever crawled through a window? It sucks. You always end up sliding on your stomach and hurting yourself when you land hard on the floor.
Additionally, I've never closed a door and opened a window personally. I don't enter my house and night and immediately crack the window in my dining room, unless of course it's stuffy and needs more airflow. But for that to happen every single time, it's just not realistic. Who would do that? A crazy, fickle b*&%h, that's who. Plus, that sort of behavior is sure to alert the police. 
Besides, it's way easier to go through a door. So, next time opportunity closes a door for me, I'd appreciate it if another DOOR opened. Preferably close to the previous one so I don't have to expend that much energy. After all, I'm tired from all the windows I've had to climb through.


(click here to be redirected to Netflix page)

In my first installment I wanted to bring something back from my childhood.  It's usually hard to watch movies from your youth because they don't always (let's face it almost never) hold up to your memory of them.  However, there are a few movies from my youth that I found on Instant Queue so I thought I'd see if my memory of them held up.  I watched this movie with my wife and I'll give you both of our reactions.  

SUMMARY (from Netflix): 

In this Jim Henson-directed fantasy, teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) embarks on a life-altering quest when she attempts to rescue her little brother, Toby (Toby Froud), from the clutches of treacherous Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie), who lives in a castle surrounded by a giant labyrinth. With just 13 hours to plot a course through the dangerous maze, Sarah must grow up fast, learn her responsibilities and muster supreme courage.

REVIEWS (From Rotten Tomatoes):

Henson's imagination is boundless. But his movie has no pep. It's a dream in neutral. - Wesley Moore,  Boston Globe

An innovative mix of sophisticated puppetry and special effects, Labyrinth has all the components of classic myth. - Steve Rea, Philodelphia Inquirer

Unfortunately, this contemporary (at least, for the era) fairy tale, directed and co-written by Muppets creator Jim Henson, never sets a timely tone beyond the 1980s. It remains disappointingly tethered to yesteryear. -Denson Thomson, Washington Post

A real masterpiece of puppetry and special effects, an absolutely gorgeous children's fantasy movie.- Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune


You can see the reviews were mixed.  It received a 50% on rotten tomatoes, so it's exactly in the middle.  And from my wife and my reactions it was the same split.  First, my wife fell asleep about halfway through the movie.  It did nothing for her.  When she woke up I was told that even when she was awake it basically bored her to tears.  

I on the other hand loved the movie.  It was everything I remember from both my childhood and one viewing in college.  In fact it was better because there weren't 10 people piled onto a little couch.  This is my second favorite movie from the good old days, right behind Return to Oz.  

I know it's corny and cheesy, but I really think this is Jim Henson at his best.  All of the puppets are funny and add charm.  My personal favorite is the worm toward the beginning who initially gets Connelly lost.  Every moment it's on screen makes me laugh.  

The world itself is populated with tons of little oddities that you only really catch if you look closely.  On the surface it's a kids movie, but in reality it scared the crap out of me as a kid as much as it made me laugh as an adult.  

The one thing I would say is that I wasn't all that impressed with David Bowie's role and the goblins are really irritating.  Still, even with them I enjoyed it.  I'd never call this a good movie, but it's a great guilty pleasure.


Definitely watch this one if you're like me and saw/loved it as a child.  I wish they had more movies like this online like Willow, Return to Oz, etc.  I'd enjoy the heck out of them.  If you have kids this is a great movie to show the brilliance of Jim Henson.  However, also be aware that you might as easily hate it as love it.  

What's new in 2011

So I've tried a couple times to reboot this site, but I'm confident I'll be able to keep it going this time (it's either because of hopeless optimism or from that mule repeatedly kicking me in the head over Christmas).  As I've mentioned before, I'm committed to not posting any more career advice until I have a steady paycheck or have sold a project.   No more posts about the nuances of the studio system and no more discussions on whether you should move to LA or stay in Nebraska.  Frankly, I don't know is the answer and unless you're asking John August or another established name, I would think twice about taking their advice either.  The only thing I can incontrovertibly say is that the weather is way better here that wherever you are right now.

However, I will still entertain questions, comments, and concerns about MY personal experience writing a project and will most likely post articles and link to articles which will attempt to enrich your personal development.  I just don't feel it's appropriate to answer questions when I am in the same position as most of you.  That being said, the moment I figure it out, land an agent, sell a project, etc, etc, questions and posts will open up about that topic.  Until that day (crossing fingers it's soon) there are lots of cool things happening over the next year that I think will hopefully get you excited.

  • The first thing is that I'm throwing my inconsequential weight (figuratively, my physical weight is far more substantial after the holidays) into the comic book world.  Last year I created a couple of preview issues, and I'm close to beginning production on a full 4 issue mini-series.  I'll keep you updated on how that is going, along with giving glimpses of character designs, and maybe a couple panels.  In addition, I'll let you in on the process of creating the book and pitching it, hopefully all the way through the final process.  You can check out all of the previews at:

  • The second thing needs to be prefaced.  I work from home and because of that I watch a lot of Netflix Instant Queue.  I watch so much Netflix I'm literally running out of things I'm interested in watching.  I've gone through tons of tv shows and movies, found some awesome gems, and some real stinkers as well.  However, now that I'm looking for new shows to watch, I find that there's not a lot of resources out there that can help me weed through the terrible.  So, I've decided to create a running column about movies and TV shows I've watched on Netflix and post my reviews.  There really are a lot of awesome things on the queue, but you have to dig through garbage to get there.  

  • Additionally, I've written, or am in the process of writing a middle grade fiction book called GUMSHOES.  I haven't decided whether to post it online or submit it to publishers, but I'm sure that you'll find some information about that on this site as well.   It's not fit to be shown right now, but once I've finished and buffed it out then I will give you guys previews and will definitely have a post about what I enjoy and hate about writing books.
There are other odds and ends I'm sure will come up.  I might do something I haven't done since high school and start posting humorous rants online about different topics or news articles I find.  Basically, I'm trying to find something that I find fun and would read.  So, I hope you stick around for that.