Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

LA or not LA

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Howdy, Outlaws! It has been a minute since last we interfaced. Don’t worry, folks, I am still outlawing all the live long day!

I wanted to talk to you today about Los Angeles. Why does it feel like film outside of LA is all furtive and clandestine, but every jackass in this city with a camera is a real filmmaker? In other words, do you have to move to LA?

There are three things to consider:

First, the sheer volume of projects. There is a ton of crap being made in L.A. and there is a ton of crap being made outside of L.A. The odds that something is good are the same, as far as I have seen, which is, I’d say, about ten percent. Ten percent of all film being made is worth seeing. And of that ten percent, maybe ten percent is really awesome. Those proportions are the same no matter where you live.

No matter where you live, you have to get involved in as many projects as you can to hone your skills and build a portfolio that other people, people with money, will respect. But if you live in, say Hollywood, Florida, as many projects as you can may be two or three a year, whereas in LA, as many as you can is two or three a month. There is a benefit to being in the heart of so much sheer volume. The more you work, the better you get. So you have more chances to get better in LA.

But the Los Angelinos are so much more arrogant. In the outside world, if someone says they are shooting a television pilot, everyone assumes it is on spec, unless that person goes out of their way to show that they have a channel of distribution set. In LA, everyone assumes that everyone else is shooting a real television pilot. It’s kind of insane, too, because the number of rich narcissists self-funding projects out here is WAY higher. So you have to take into account your tolerance for douche bags.

The third point, and one I will stand behind, is that it doesn’t matter where you live. If you work hard and have talent and never give up, you will get somewhere. May not be where you planned to go, but it will be somewhere. And by work hard, I don’t mean, for a month and then forget about it. I mean, every day. Every single stinking day. No matter where you live, you have to push.

If you don’t have the drive, there’s nothing you can do, no where you can live, that will make up for it.

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Pre-NAB, You So Crazy

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Last Friday March 30, I attended a pre-NAB panel hosted by Editor’s Lounge in Burbank, California. It was a totally awesome event. I ate a hot dog wrapped in bacon, and spent three hours in a room full of top notch people, listening to geeky insider talk about editing software and the future of THE INDUSTRY!

The only thin I didn’t like was not being able to argue back with the panel. So I am doing that here.

One articular panelist was all doom and gloom about the future of editing. Cheaper equipment and YouTube, he believed, would make professional editing a thing of the past.

Here is why he is wrong:

1. When YouTube first came out, the creators thought that, given the tools, people all over the country would make interesting videos with good stories. That didn’t happen. YouTube was more like America’s Funniest Home Videos, without anyone to filter through the crap for you. Over time, people learned how to make terrible little talk shows, where they present opinions on politics or religion, or make up tips. Some of these became pretty popular. Most were dreck. And after all this time, the average You tube poster hasn’t gotten any better than that. YouTube competes with TV only in terms of ways to waste time, not quality or numbers or impact.TV could steal that audience away in a heart beat, and has with webisodes and such. The problem with webisodes is usually that they feature minor characters from the show, not the stars, so they end up feeling like after thoughts.

Right now, it’s hard to make money on line. But lots of people are working on how to figure it out. There is a definite dip, but The Industry will adapt. The Industry will siphon all of the talent off of YouTube, the way they do, keeping YouTube at a constant level of crap.

2.  The Industry is crying poor almost entirely from ending a period of glut, and not actually poverty. I was on the set of a “low budget” webseries a few days ago. I wanted to laugh. They think this is low budget? A huge studio with six sets, a second studio with four more sets being built, twenty five paid background actors,and c-list principles.

Come over to my house, some time. I will show you low budget. But we can still get things done and make them look good.

The script was terrible, the director a narcissist. If anything, Hollywood needs to tighten their belts so that they are forced (because they won’t do it unless they are forced) to purge the garbage from their midst. I know that the viewing public can have terrible taste, and that shows I hate, like Two and a Half Men, will continue on, but a pickier Hollywood will have to kick Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea to the curb, where they belong, and replace them with something more worthy.

Which is good for everyone.

That’s what I say.

This list of the top 15 worst films of 2010 is worth reading because it is funny. And because these lists are the most fun when you aren’t on them.

Oh, Outlaw, you might be saying, your little independent films wish they were seen widely enough to end up on a list like this. And you would be wrong. I’d rather remain anonymous. And number 6 is a little known indie film.

Merry Xmas

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s tough to keep working when the holidays arrive and everyone is having fun. So I didn’t. Work, I mean. I had a ton of fun. (holla , League of Legends!)

But now that the wrapping paper is on its way to the landfill, it’s time to get back to work.

This holiday season, I did have a conversation via internet chattery with Brad Sibberson, a screenwriter. I don’t get to spend enough time talking writing, and that is a shame, because it is very useful, and that one conversation gave me a bit of clarity about my current work.

So now comes the New Year and parties and less will get done again, but that’s ok. January is long and cold and holiday free. I will get lots done then.

Outlaws vs Pirates

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

So this is a report on the most torrented movies of this year.

Now, is anyone crying over torrents of Avatar or Iron Man 2? No.

But Kick-Ass is number two on this list, and that pisses me off. Kick-Ass was a terrific movie that was pretty much an independent. Studios wouldn’t touch it, mostly because of the foul mouthed little girl. So Matthew Vaughn, the director, financed the $30 million budget himself. Then it went out and made $48 million domestic, $48 million international. Not terrible but not great numbers. You have to remember that these are ticket sales, and ticket sales don’t make it back to the filmmaker. You have the theaters and distributors to pay along the way. It wasn’t a flop.

But it was a way better movie than Avatar, and the money doesn’t come close.

That is some weak sauce. And that movie deserved better. Just for the fight scene in the hall way, when Stunt Girl beats up all those mobsters. But it ends up being the second most torrented movie of the year, second only to Avatar!

So all the fanboys of the world are torrenting this movie, and the guy who made it happen is getting crumbs. This article says is was downloaded 11,400,000 times. Not right. Especially since the box office returns meant that Matthew Vaughn had to go do the X-men reboot before he could do Kick-Ass 2, and that little girl ain’t gonna stay little forever. Which leaves me personally offended because I loved Kick-Ass, and immediately wanted to see a sequel, and I am being robbed of that.

The Hurt Locker is also on this list. Another box office disappointment, though they did get the Oscar.

Here’s the problem. People think of pirating as no big deal because everyone knows that Avatar made more money than god. But then they turn around and torrent poor little Kick-Ass, a movie that needed every DVD sale it could get, and they think it is the same thing.

Shame on you, movie pirates. I hope you all go to hell, because hell has Avatar playing on an eternal loop.

Lasso up Some Credits

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ok, here’s the latest version of the captain. You like?

My first love in film was animation. So this article about stop motion animation made me happy.

It seems that cheap software is making animation easier to do ( but it still isn’t easy) opening up the field for students and newbies to give it a try. I am all for that. What any art needs is more people contributing, not fewer.

Do you hear that, Hollywood? More!