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Geeking Up the Indie Scene
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Date:2006-08-03 02:11

As many of you know I've been working on animating creatures for a 2D video game being designed by Theoretical Games.  Here is a sneak peek at four of the six playable characters that will be available in the Beta release next month.  The animated gif images and some character info have been posted on the Theoretical Games blog as well.  These animated gifs are actually the creature's 'ACTIVE' animation sequence (the animation loop that runs when they are selected).  I'm hoping that we can release some of the more entertaining animation sequences for the characters soon -- their Knock Out's were a bunch of fun to animate!

These are were all done in Toon Boom Studio v3 (TBS) -- which is my favorite 2D cell animation program (I can't wait for v3.5!)

Let me know what you think of the creatures so far?  
** Four Character from My Bogle video game **

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Date:2006-06-27 20:18
Subject:Journaling -- Take Two

What's it been, 10 months... I guess it's time for a second attempt at keeping up a journal.


Coolest thing that's happened since my last entry:
Started a company with my brother (developing video games no less!).

Favorite concert since my last entry:
Opening act for Richard Buckner - Cory Branan.

Geekiest thing I've done since my last entry:
Volunteered as the Director of Gaming Events at Adventure Con.

Best Film I've seen since my last entry:
Tough... most have been surprisingly bland. Probably HARD CANDY.

Most Fun Gaming recently:
LotR: Battle for Middle Earth II (ok, I really just like making huge Dwarven fortresses).

Best book I've read since my last entry:
Well, it's not a book, but I really have enjoyed this audio book course on Rome... boy, that's gay.


On an unrated note, I saw the new Transformer trailer that should be out on Superman... pretty cool. pretty dark. I found myself actually looking forward to seeing the flim.

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Date:2005-08-31 17:23
Subject:LJ Confession...

Forgive me... It has been 13 days since my last post....


Things have been crazy at work. There was an industry convention last week, and with most of the office out I had my hands full!


trueseven and I still managed to see a few films. RED EYE, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, BROTHERS GRIMM, and RIZE. RIZE was interesting -- a documentary about a form of dancing call 'Clowning' and/or 'Krumping'. The dancing scenes were very beautiful, but the filmmaker stops short of really delving into the Group Unconscious phenomenon that would inspire LA urban teens to dance carbon copy moves of African Tribal dances. Although some of these kids have never seen these tribal dances, they subconsciously mimic them. Some of them express feelings like "I didn't learn this, I FEEL this way... and then dance it." Maybe that's a subject of interest to me more than others, but the Social Unconscious has always fascinated me and I would have like to see more about it.

We also saw KINSEY, which we had to watch on my laptop in bed (as our DVD player gave up the ghost this week).

I saw trailers for two good films this week: CAPOTE (starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and George Clooney's GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Looks like some good stuff coming out soon!


We leave for Dragon Con tomorrow, and I have prepared... nothing!
I have last year’s Magic decks (with dust on them), I have ten plastic ships from Pirates of the Spanish Main, I just might have to dig in the attic for a D&D player’s handbook (and then it will be 2nd edition) and I haven’t even seen the official schedule… I suck. :(

trueseven has the new Batman t-shirt I painted her and a pirate outfit and has been pouring over the schedule making mental notes about things she’s interested in -- so, I'm just a slacker.

Don't get me wrong, I’m still looking forward to going. I can’t wait to see everyone – I’ll be the pudgy red-head wearing movie promo shirts (it's all I own) and the Doctor Who scarf…

...it’s sad really.

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Date:2005-08-18 09:20
Subject:Damn, why didn't I think of that!!!

I'm pissed! I can't believe I didn't think of this -- it's brilliant!

Hellbent -- the first Gay Horror film

Damn, that's the perfect indie platform -- the ultimate genre film!

...and someone is going to have a blast coming up with the tag line for this one! :)

VIEW: Hellbent Trailer

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Date:2005-08-15 10:26
Subject:Three movie weekend...

We hit three movies this weekend: SKELETON KEY, FOUR BROTHERS and HUSTLE & FLOW.

By far, HUSTLE is one of the best films I've seen a while. trueseven hits the nail on the head when she described it as a 'love letter to the City of Memphis.' Having lived in West Tennessee (briefly), I have to say the images, dialect and story are vividly realistic. First time director, Craig Brewer, does a great job of telling the story and Terrence Howard gives an academy award winning performance as DJay, a hustler with a dream of breaking out of the Memphis slums by breaking into the music scene. And unlike some self-promoting movies of the same theme, this film brings a Truth to its story that I haven't seen in years.

This type of movie making needs to be supported, so make plans to see it before it leaves theatres!

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Date:2005-08-08 22:27
Subject:Hollywood Premieres and Indie Films...

It's been a crazy 10 days! DUKES OF HAZARD is finally opened and all of the activities surrounding it are done...

Yes, my job is 'indie' film, but I totally got volunteered as extra help on DUKES. Lots of catering and many limos later, what I find amazing is that professional people (who have been in the 'business' for years) still get ga-ga over 'celebrity.' I mean these people have seen all kinds of Hollywood stars... So, how can they really get that excited about meeting Jessica Simpson?


I saw a few films last week... We caught SKYHIGH, WEDDING CRASHERS, STEALTH and UNDEAD. UNDEAD was a fun low-budget campy horror film from down-under. If you like ARMY OF DARKNESS-style films, this zombie flick will be your cup of tea.

We also just saw an advanced screening of Sony's THUMBSUCKER. It's a very beautifully shot movie about a high school kid whose attempts to fit in, mirror his constant fight to end his thumbsucking habit. I could comment, but trueseven sums up my thoughts on this and many other films of the GARDEN STATE variety perfectly: "It's very teen-angsty and if you're young enough to be going through that whole thing, I don't think you can fully appreciate the film, but if you're old enough to appreciate it, it seems a little silly to still be fixated on teen-angst and just time to move the hell on."


Great quote today from a life-long Hollywood insider about the film 2046: "The difference between erotic and pornographic is lighting."

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Date:2005-07-26 08:39
Subject:VOLTRON movie

Yet another feature film based on a 1980's animated TV series.

They just announced that Mark Gordon will be producing VOLTRON: Defenders of the Universe for the big screen.

What's next, Thundercats -- a live-action film by Michael Bay?

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Date:2005-07-25 20:31
Subject:Life-Size Geek

In case you had any doubts, here is proof positive of my geekdom.

Below are two videos I made promoting movie premieres. These events were promotions for the films Dare Devil and X-Men 2. I worked with a comic book store in town to market the films by cross-promoting the collectible miniature game Heroclix. To show how the game worked, we had actors dress up as the characters and then I built Life-Size Heroclix bases and dice. The video shows us performing a demo of the game (I'm behind the camera, so there are no shots of me!).

This won us a bit of geek-fame, as Wizard and Scrye both covered the events.

You'll at least get a kick out of the video... It's pretty amateurish. :)

(click on the image
to see the video)

(click on the image
to see the video)

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Date:2005-07-25 16:53
Subject:Just when you least expect it -- Erik Estrada!

I understand that my job revolves around independent films and filmmakers. And God bless 'em for putting forth the kind of effort necessary to create a full length feature film. But some subject matter is just not acceptable for any screen (let alone the big screen).

Today I got a VHS screener and poster for the following feature presentation:

Oriental Delights Entertainment Co.
with Felix Johnston and The San Diego World Student Youth Group
AMERICA, WE SALUTE THE MILITARY with Preview of Beauties

I don't know what's more disturbing... The group shot of Erik on a motorcycle with the asian beauties in front of an American Flag or the rather random line: "Certain % of Ticket Sales will be Donated to Public Library in Your Area."

Well, of course, this inspired me to check out the Erik Estrada 'official' website (see below):

There's no mention of his newest project (this thing with the Oriental Beauties), but there's plenty of MIDI music and pin-up photos... So, that leaves me very leery of this so called tribute film.

There's only one way to find out, of course, but I would rather push pins in my eyes than to watch this movie, so I guess we'll never know...

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Date:2005-07-24 16:46
Subject:Best Head Shot in the Biz

Well, I was a bit disappointed last night when we sat down and watched Bruce Campbell's THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, which is based on his book about an American businessman who ends up sharing part of his brain with a Bulgarian taxi driver. Now, mind you, I am a fan of campy tales of the crypt style films, but this movie simply falls extremely short of entertaining. The acting was bad (and not bad on purpose bad... just bad). The pacing was terribly slow, and it lacked all the wit and creativity of, say, BUBBA HO-TEP.

Now that I have made every Bruce Campbell fan angry, let me mention the following:
IF you are a die-hard Campbell fan, then catching one of his book-signings/screenings would be a great way to spend an evening. Bruce is extremely friendly and outgoing with this fans and it may be worth the two hours of boredom to get your 'Making Love the Bruce Campbell Way' book signed.

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Date:2005-07-23 20:38
Subject:Remember, remember the 5th of November...

Although trueseven is the real comic book fanatic in our home, I have always been a huge fan of Alan Moore's V FOR VENDETTA, which Warner Brothers is releasing this November (no, not on the 5th of Nov, but on Friday the 4th -- it's close enough!).

If you have lived under a rock and/or have not heard (or read) this book, seek immediate medial attention as you may have been in a narcoleptic fit for 30 years! :)

I saw the trailer this week at work, and they just released it on the website -- VIEW IT HERE!

The trailer kicks ass... But more importantly its theme seems to be headed in the correct direction. Quotes from the trailer include the famous "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." and from the ruler, "I want everyone to know that they need us."

I think this film has a very good chance to say something rather special at this time in history. I mean it's a story where the main character is a terrorist blowing up buildings in London!

Do you sympathize with the protagonist (who is clearly a terrorist)? Yes, because you agree with him morally and politically. The American Forefathers would have been considered terrorist for trying to overturn the King's governing body in the US, but we celebrate their acts of revolution. Where Guy Fawkes (the historic figure V dresses like) is burned in effigy each year to commemorate his failed attempt to overthough the King of England in 1605. So, the line between terrorism and freedom fighter and revolutionist can become very thin, and that subject may be extremely interesting to see played out...

No one wants to idolize cowardly acts of violence against innocent civilians, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that. However, as a world recently obsessed with what 'terrorism' means to us on a daily basis I think this film could make some very interesting statements.

If you are interested in learning more about V or want to read an awesome ESSAY (pre-London, post 9/11) about V and terrorism, you should check out the SHADOW GALLERY. This is one of the best comic book fan sites in the world.

If you want to see more about the film, WB's website is HERE.

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Date:2005-07-22 09:59
Subject:The Power of Blog

SERENITY, Joss Whedon's space-cowboys film based on his shortlived TV series, doesn't open for a couple more months, but Universal (and many other sudios) are trying to understand what is making this film sell out screening after screening with nothing more than a blog entry on Joss's website.

The Hollywood Reporter ran an article today on this subject: VIEW IT HERE

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Date:2005-07-21 15:38

Well, I screened THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS today. It’s one of the first films to be acquired under the Picturehouse name (formerly HBO/Fineline & Newmarket). The film is a touching story about fathers & sons, and more importantly the relationships they have with their wives. It is a movie about finally coming together to discover the most important things about our dearest loved ones.

As Paul Reiser wrote the screenplay for himself and Peter Faulk (his long time idol), it is also a work of personal meaning to the filmmakers.

However... The film is incredibly slow (96 minutes seems like two and a half hours at least). I think it might have worked best as a play rather than a film since the majority of the content was conversations between father and son with little more than scenery changes and music interludes to break up the constant dialog. The scenery was pretty, but if I saw one more shot of them driving down a upstate New York road, I was going to scream!

Mind you, it has won audience awards at some film festivals so somebody liked it. But for me, it just doesn’t have the pacing to make it in a wide theatrical release.

Maybe it will make a nice movie rental night for you and your folks.


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Date:2005-07-21 09:08
Subject:Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus

Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus just launched in NY last weekend. I don't know if this film will be going wide enough to pick up any other cities, but fans of Southern Culture and Alt-Country Music, will love this film. The tour guide for this 90 minute tour is Jim White -- the perfect balance of true Southerner and outsider which provides a unique and unsarcastic look at the Deep South.

My wife and I got to see this film last year at the Virginia Film Festival and really enjoyed it. I think the website has the best synopsis on the film so I'll let you read it for yourselves.


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Date:2005-07-20 12:52
Subject:The Dirtiest Joke Ever Told

So, yesterday I finally screened THE ARISTOCRATS.

Without showing one frame of violence or nudity, this film is by far the most heinously offensive movie you will ever watch… and a total MUST see!

This film is one of the most intriguing films I’ve seen all year. It is a study of the obscene. It is a study in humor and the origins of telling jokes. It is a study of the comedic mind (or perhaps sickness). But first and foremost, it’s a good movie. It’s filled with more names than I can list, it has the very best bits from all parties interviewed, and it’s brilliantly edited. The audience that saw it with me (that didn’t leave after ten minutes) left with red faces and sides that ached due to laughing our asses off!

That said, this film is not for everyone. Anyone that is even mildly offended by foul language and/or descriptions of bodily functions, bestiality, incest and every other type of human perversion and abuse should stay at home.

However, if these things sound like a great set up for the world’s dirtiest joke, step right up – warning: the front rows may get a bit messy.



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Date:2005-07-18 19:18
Subject:More Screw-On Head...

Here are parts 1 & 2 of THE AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD. These complete the first half of an 11 minute animation project I'm working on...

Our hero, Screw-On Head gets a call
from the President that sends him on
yet another adventure against his
arch nemesis Emperor Zombie.


Emperor Zombie draws near Gung's
long lost treasure as Screw-On Head
and his faithful companions rocket
toward the scene.*


* The second section also includes the credits. These people worked very hard to help me out with voices, equipment, input and plenty of light-hearted fun.


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Date:2005-07-14 23:40
Subject:Free Video Hosting Test...

I am making a test of Vimeo's free video hosting...

Here is the first part of an animation I've done based on Mike Mignola's Screw-On Head comic book.

Let me know if you can view it...

comment on the animation are also welcome. :)

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Date:2005-07-14 12:32
Subject:3D fun...

If you haven't heard of the 3D modeling freeware called TEDDY, you should definitely check it out. It takes simple line drawings and generates 3D objects. I hear the newest version even has a paint & clothing program included.

This will certainly kill 15-20 minutes of you day, playing with it.

Wheither of not you can actually use it for any serious animation is yet to be seen (as you can only output to .obj files). But, hell it's free and completely easy to use!

Freeware 3D software: TEDDY

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Date:2005-07-14 09:06
Subject:Truth & Cash Info...

ThinkFilm has picked up WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. which was in competition at Cannes this year. WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is based on Rupert Holme's novel about a young female journalist tries to uncover the truth behind the breakup, years earlier, of a celebrated comedy team after the duo found a girl dead in their hotel room. Though both had airtight alibis and neither was accused, the incident put an end to their act.

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES will begin it's limited release in early October.

P.S. WALK THE LINE will receive it's world premiere at the Toronto Intl Film Festival (Sept 8-15). WALK is the Johnny Cash film starring Joaquin Phoenix (as Cash) and Reese Witherspoon (as his wife). WALK will be released nation wide Nov 18th.

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Date:2005-07-13 13:37
Subject:AMC dumb -- but not censoring...

This morning's Reuters/Hollywood Reporter Article on AMC not playing ARISTOCRATS points out how dumb AMC is, and has nothing to do with censorship.

ARISTOCRATS is a film from Penn (of Penn & Teller) that has hundreds of comedians telling the world's most filthy joke. The movie has no nudity or violence, but would be rated well past NC-17 if ThinkFilm would submit it to the MPAA. As it is, ThinkFilm will not rate it and theatre chains will have to deal with this film carefully.

Now back to Censorship... A theatre chain's decision to not play a film is not censorship. Theatre chains decide to not play films all the time -- this is normal. ThinkFilm (while I love what they do for the indie market) is way off base on this one. Movie exhibitors are not the library or other public service -- they're businesses. Businesses make decisions to use one product and not another all the time. Cafe's carries certain coffee and not others. Gas stations carry certain candy and not other. Restaurants serve certain food and not others. No one is complaining that these businesses are censoring -- that would be crazy. The same is true with movie chains. They can't play all the films all the time -- ThinkFilm is simply wrong to attack AMC.

That said.... AMC is really dumb for not just playing the silly film in Atlanta and Chicago (liked planned) and then declining further runs of the film.

Oh, well. I guess if you want to watch ARISTOCRATS at a large theatre chain location, you can always see it at one of Regal's Cinema Art theatres.

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