Saturday, May 31, 2008

While I Cringed...

...watching this trailer last weekend prior to Ironman (which I quite liked), my 12 year old son squealed and guffawed and turned to me as soon as it ended and blurted: "That is a must see!"

Know your audience I suppose, but it signaled summer movie season is officially here...god help us all.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

If I Knew Now What I Didn't Know Then

No that headline's not a typo...stick with me.

Just finished teaching another University TV producing class...and it actually looks like a couple projects developed over the course of the semester will get bought by local producers. Very cool. And kudo's to the students for coming to the plate and bringing some game. And I see it in their eyes that the projects might actually happen.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the mindset one has when starting out in this film/TV biz. You are usually naive and blind to the harsh reality of it all, but are driven by one get the damn thing made.

I miss those days these's why.

I came up with a TV series idea and a feature idea over the past couple weeks. Both jazzed me a little...I 'saw' them quickly...and liked the possibilities for both. And I started to rough them out...quickly laying down what might they both might unfold. I penciled in some character sketches...and projected what those characters might go through and where they might end up.

And then...

...I read about a series project in development somewhere that sounded very similar to mine. And who knows if it actually is, but just reading about it dampened my enthusiasm. And with the other...a feature film idea, I realized how much it would actually cost to do it up right. To do it the way I was 'seeing' it. It would have to be a big US feature, parked at some studio, with one or two stars....and knowing the prospect for all this to occur was so slim, my enthusiasm for that project soon began to wane.

And before I knew it, my ideas were being slid into a desk drawer...

Now some might say I'm just old or lazy or out of touch or don't get 'today's sensibilities'...but I would argue no. In fact, if I go back and take a look at some of my original early idea pitches, I would say the current ones are far superior. Cleaner premises, better drawn characters, cleverer plots and plot twists, display longer legs. The only real difference is back then I didn't know any better...and today I almost know too much.

Sidebar: This last thought is really directed at those of us who peddle our wares in the minor leagues....not brilliant or famous enough to warrant put pilots and pitches being snapped up for millions, and not starting out with nowhere to go but up and no way to get there without just getting something made...but the middle men, as it were. Which is why when we start to realize how it all works and grasp the amount of effort (unpaid a lot of the time) actually involved, that's where working on TV series can be so appealing. All of a sudden, you get to 'make shows'...quickly...over and over...without enduring the heavy lifting of creating it and selling it and pushing it and prodding it and changing it and evolving it until it finally gets made.

Anyway, I sold or optioned the first three big ideas I had post film school graduation, and eventually each got produced. And I had no idea what I was doing or how it all really worked or how much things cost...I just had some ideas that I liked and set about trying to get them made, even if one took almost six years.

But I did it.

Cut to the present, and I find myself yearning for that naivete sometimes. And every time I shelve a new idea because of the daunting prospect of the work ahead to get it made, or talk myself out of working on it because it might be a little too similar to something else out there, a part of me wishes I was starting out again, and could just say 'damn the torpedoes' and crash ahead.

If I knew now what I didn't know then, some of these new ideas might actually get made.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bigger... Faster... Better?

Anyone who's still watching the hockey these days (Pittsburgh...make it a series...puhleaze...) can't miss Viagra's new 'Intermission' ads. But what's the message to take away from these spots?

I dunno about you, but my take away is that Viagra will induce or inspire sex that lasts about 4 seconds...which is not necessarily what the advertiser wants you to think, I'd think.

And at four seconds a pop, why the ladies are always smiling at the end is beyond me...

Beavis has spoken.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Seen My Ghost?

More on the music front, and just so the kids know I'm not only about the old sure to have a listen to Wintersleep's Welcome To The Night Sky. I can't seem to tear this Halifax-based band's third release from my cd player. It transports, titillates, and mesmerizes.

And even though I hear it as a beguiling blend of Arcade Fire meets Coldplay meets early REM meets Radiohead meets Neil Young meets The Waterboy's/World Party (remember them? mmmm...yummy music goodness), it still manages to sound like all the aforementioned artists yet original at the same time.

And like Radiohead, they make some cool videos.

So there you go. Find your ghost.


Stephen Colbert loves to...

...and dance....

...and even dance off against his nemesis and Korean pop star Rain...

How can you not like Colbert? He makes me smile, and laugh...and then smile some more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Hundred And Eighty!!!!

I'm sure it's like what televised curling must seem like to the rest of the world, but Denis doesn't wanna watch darts. But c'mon...witnessing someone like Phil Taylor throw a 9 darter with those enthusiastic announcers cheering him on...darts on the telly can be just awesome.

Even Friday Fun awesome.

Because it makes me smile...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just Add Water... (or More Music To Crow About)

Three more new cd's released over the past couple months have rekindled my fire for popular music again....Mumofuku by Elvis Costello and the Imposters, REM's Accelerate, and Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings.

I know...totally old sue me.

"Somewhere downtown a pretty girl kneels
Offers her soft of lips and a handful of pills
Then she peels off her dress and then the rest of her skills
It buys what she wants and the rest she just steals

He speaks between deep swallows of rum
‘Til her head is beating like a drum
And she wishes he were mute and not just dumb
When the trick asked her quick, 'Did you come?'"
American Gangster Time

Elvis Costello still slays me, nearly 30 years after his blistering arrival onto the new wave music scene (My Aim Is True, This Years Model, Armed Forces...mmmm). Mumofuko is a straight forward rock record, punctuated yet again by Costello's acerbic lyrics and trademark snarly whine. Interestingly enough, the cd's title is a reference to Mumofuko Ando, the creator of instant noodles. Utilizing several guest performers and longtime band mates Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, Costello apparently remarked at a recent concert that the cd came together so quickly and easily, all he had to do was add water. His aim's still true.

"Everybody here,
Comes from somewhere,
That they would just as soon forget,
And disguise.
At the summer camp where you volunteered,
No one saw your face, no one saw your fear."
Supernatural Superserious

REM arrived on the new wave scene shortly after Costello, and managed to mesmerize me with their combination of appealing pop/rock jangle with Michael Stipe's indecipherable (but they must cool!) lyrics. They've evolved and changed over the years, with politics taking over a lot of Stipe's focus (and losing drummer Mike Mills was a definite setback)...nevertheless, they were still worth listening to. But this new cd really demands to be played loud. Still politically charged, they've left behind the downbeat almost morose sound of recent releases for bright bristling electric guitar work. Accelerate sounds like the old REM....that's not the end of the world, and I feel fine.

"And I dream of Michelangelo when I'm lying in my bed
I see God upon the ceiling
I see angels overhead
And he seems so close
As he reaches out his hand
We are never quite as close
As we are led to understand."
When I Dream Of Michelangelo

I know I will get slammed by some for liking the Counting Crows, but hey...they got me way back with Mr. Jones and I was hooked. Yes...frontman Adam Duritz can be a bit of a knob, but I still dig the Crows because they're one of the few bands whose music and lyrics I find...erm...cinematic. I can't really explain it any other way...other than some bands put images into my mind, and others don't. And over the years, songs like Round Here, Long December, Holiday In Spain, and Colorblind have turned on the part of my brain that sees life and stories in's been my 'directing music', so to speak.

Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings continues that tradition, for me at any rate. One half uptempo rock-radio fare (Saturday Night), the other half introspective melancholy balladry (Sunday Morning), Duritz and company have let me shoot another movie in my head...and that makes me about as happy as I can be.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Make The Hockey Stop!!!!!

Soon, but not yet.

The Stanley Cup final starts Saturday, and since our 'official' playoff pool has come down to a two person horse race, Henshaw has come up with a side game for the rest of us. And it's open to anyone and everyone, not only poolies...just answer the following questions and email your answers to Jim at

1. The 2007-2008 Stanley Cup winner will be decided in:

a) Four Games
b) Five Games
c) Six Games
d) Seven Games

2. The total number of goals scored in the Final series will be:

a) Less than 20
b) 20 to 30
c) More than 30

3. The number of Octopi (Octopusses) flung on the ice on Opening night in Detroit.

a) One
b) Two
c) Three or More

4. "Hockey Night in Canada" icon Don Cherry always confidently predicts the winner of each game prior to the opening faceoff. For the FOURTH game of the series, he will be:

a) Correct
b) Incorrect
c) Politically incorrect while making his prediction

Note: For non-Canadian players -- CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" is streaming all games at

5. The Leading Scorer in the series will be:

a) Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)
b) Pavel Datsyk (Detroit)
c) Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh)
d) Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)
e) Other

6. The Captain of the winning team is the first player to hoist the Stanley Cup and skate a victory lap. The Cup is then passed to each member of the winning team. And it's usually passed to someone the player with the Cup feels is deserving OR his roomie. The Goalie of the winning team will be:

a) One of the first six players to hoist the Cup
b) The Seventh to Twelfth player to hoist the Cup
c) One of the remaining players to hoist the Cup

Yikes...that last question feels like it could be from the mind of the twisted psycho killer in a sequel to Bon Cop Bad Cop (you Simon Says in Die Hard III)!!

Okay, some toughies in there...but c'mon, suck it up! It's free fun, and there's a prize for crying out loud!!

Again, entry is open to all current pool players and anybody else who needs to boost their self image. Entries with answers must be sent to anytime between now and the first faceoff of the first game on Saturday night.

Good times, good luck, but responsibly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gonchar vs. Hossa

That's what it comes down to as we head into the Stanley cup final...two players from the Penguins will determine the victor in the Infamous Writers & Bloggers hockey pool.

So it's pretty much over...Scotty William vs. Will Pascoe (sorry Callaghan...was a nice run), with the definite edge to Pascoe who has Hossa (unless Fleury makes like 3 shut outs and then Stockton would leapfrog everyone...but come on...)

1 Will Pascoe 167
2 Scotty William 166
3 John Callaghan 165
4 Jeff Martel 162
5 Laurie Nyveen 157
6 Brian Stockton 154
7 Denis McGrath 150
8 Michael Foster 144
9 Peter Allen Rowley 143
9 Wil Zmak 143
11 Juniper 140
12 Will Dixon 139
12 Mark Askwith 139
14 Larry Raskin 123
14 Mark Farrell 123
16 Robert de Lint 103
17 Jim Henshaw 72

Now let's see what game Henshaw cooks up for the rest of us in the final round...

Continue to access the standings HERE... login: 73076 password: stanley

Friday, May 16, 2008

We'll Do It Live!! F@#*!

Friday Fun comes courtesy of Bill O'Reilly losing it when he was host of Inside Edition back in the early 90's...

Reminds me of when I wrote about battling bullies... and then Stephen Colbert puts his own deliciously funny spin on Papa Bear...HERE

Because it makes me smile.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Playoff Poo...zzzzzzzzz

Hockey pool update with nothing much to's still very tight at the top, but definite advantage to Scotty William, as he has two more players than Callaghan. Unless Detroit puts Hasek back in net, then Will Pascoe could sneak in there...

But other than that, since everyone has the same players pretty much, all the rest of us can do is watch....or not.

1 John Callaghan 159
2 Scotty William 158
3 Will Pascoe 156
3 Jeff Martel 156
5 Laurie Nyveen 151
6 Michael Foster 140
6 Brian Stockton 140
8 Denis McGrath 138
9 Juniper 136
10 Peter Allen Rowley 135
11 Mark Askwith 134
12 Wil Zmak 133
13 Will Dixon 130
14 Larry Raskin 119
15 Mark Farrell 117
16 Robert de Lint 98
17 Jim Henshaw 69

Continue to access the standings HERE... login: 73076 password: stanley

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Where Does The Time Go?

I know I've been pretty much AWOL from the serious blogging of late...but whatever, and my shite was never that serious.

And I might get back into it...or I might not (McGrath is right when he says there's an expiry date for these things).

But it was just pointed out to me that Uninflected Images Juxtaposed is two years old this week...TWO friggin' years!

It's been a pretty cool ride...from meeting some great writers/tv critics/bloggers to actually receiving blog fanboy/girl squeeee's at an industry reception in Toronto - hanging out here has been an excellent and entertaining way to network and feel connected to the biz even when not in the center of the universe.

So, from my lame origin story to 530+ posts later, I'm changing my profile pic to commemorate the anniversary and Uninflected will continue to limp along (no Corner Gas class here and going out on top while still popular) the Banff TV Festival is coming up, and maybe we can start an Infamous Writers and Bloggers golfing pool?

Anyway...thanks again for your patronage...all 8 of you that still drop by.


"Oh if the customers like it then they'll keep on paying
If they keep on drinking then they'll end up staying
I heard someone say where have we met before
But the one over the eight seem less like one or more like four
Like a finger running down a seam
From a whisper to a scream..."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can I Get Confirmation On That Please?

UK sketch comedy troupe Idiots of Ants nails Facebook.

"Todd is poking Eddy's bum and showing the pic of him in the puke and the piss..."


H/T to Drew Potter

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Livin' In This City And I'm Outta Control

Now I've never played Grand Theft Auto, nor have I ever had any inclination to do so...but this recent spot for the game makes me want to check it out GTA 4.

Vagabond by the Greenskeepers - o the seductive power of a cool song in an shouldn't be that easy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Rumble....!!!!!!

Henshaw and McGrath. I'm a big fan of both gentlemen, and they are generally in agreement about the state of Canadian TV...but I've also written about these two heavyweights when they've...erm...disagreed. And right now they're at odds and will be going toe to toe, head to head, mano-a- tomorrow morning on Diane Wild's Blogtalk Radio Show (Sunday-11 AM Pacific).

Get the radio show broad/podcast coordinates HERE.

No disrespect to the other guests, but Henshaw VS. McGrath IS the main event (or McGrath VS. Henshaw - neither should get top billing)... with the recent CRTC hearings the subject matter to be roasted.

Tune in may well end in a draw, but it WILL be entertaining.

EDIT: Podcast of said debate HERE around 45 minutes in - more informative than bloody...but hey, still good listenin'

(I hear the loser has to suck Jim Shaw's balls, mmm...)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kewl Tributes

Some visual eye candy in the form of a couple of well edited tributes...

First, the works of Wes Anderson...

...and then the works of the Coen Brothers...

Mmmm...very kewl.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Playoff Pool Dog Days

In two unrelated statements, it's been a weird week, but good overtime game last night though.

It's interesting when you set up a hockey playoff pool where all the participants can choose the same players, because there's bound to be some duplication. But it can also get kinda boring by the time you reach the conference finals, as we have now, because if everyone has same players, it's almost impossible for much movement. Nevertheless, due to this duplication, we know right now that the participants who have Hossa or Fleury or Gonchar from Pittsburgh, or have Lidstrom or Hasek from Detroit, really have the only chance to make any gains.

And if Philly and Dallas win their respective series and meet in the cup, whoever is leading after the next round takes the pool. Crazy.

1 John Callaghan 139
2 Jeff Martel 136
3 Scotty William 131
3 Laurie Nyveen 131
5 Will Pascoe 129
6 Brian Stockton 127
7 Michael Foster 125
8 Juniper 122
9 Denis McGrath 119
10 Mark Askwith 117
11 Peter Allen Rowley 115
12 Will Dixon 108
13 Larry Raskin 105
14 Wil Zmak 104
15 Mark Farrell 100
16 Robert de Lint 78
17 Jim Henshaw 57

Continue to access the standings HERE... login: 73076 password: stanley

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thinking Outside (The Back Of) The Box

Uncle Jimmy has a hockey pool update at his place, and a cereal mascot therapy session from College Humor is some good Friday Fun...


(I can never get video links from anywhere but Youtube to embed...sigh)

Because it makes me smile...