Friday, February 26, 2010

How Shall We Go Away, Master?!

Pretty much any scene from Monty Python's Life Of Brian is Friday fun worthy, but this one has always been a personal favourite. Now, f*ck off!

Because it makes me smile.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Getting Educated In Creativity

A teacher asked a little girl what she was drawing and the little girl said: "I'm drawing a picture of God." And the teacher said: "But no one knows what God looks like." And the little girl replied: "They will in a minute."

TED talks are great. Some mind-blowing. Others thought-provoking. But always inspiring.

This one from Sir Ken Robinson has been around for a while but I just watched it recently and really liked it. Please, enjoy.

One part I found interesting was when Robinson says, and I'm paraphrasing... "The extraordinary evidence and variety and range of creativity here has put us in the place where we have no idea what is going to happen, in terms of future, no idea."

And then today over at Alex Epstein's blog I watched this lecture by Jesse Schell about creativity and future possibilities in the gaming world and thought: Wow...could that be the future? And if so, where does conventional and traditional TV/movie storytelling fit into it all? What the hell should I be doing?

We may not quite know right now, but I betcha we will in a minute.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm On A Horse, Or Am I?

Great ad, but can you spot the CGI?

Watch this behind the scenes about the making of the'll be surprised how little computer graphic imaging there actually was.

Which brings me to today's "Thing that makes you go hmmm..." Since so many of our movies, TV shows, advertisements, etc. now use liberal amounts of CGI relatively seamlessly, does it really matter if it was done live or 'in post' anymore?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dreaming In Blog

So just had a dream, mostly made up of me searching a large city park for a children's baseball that was missing (by children's baseball I mean one that still had some weight, but was smaller and had a soft-ish exterior). Not sure if I found the ball or not, but at one point I went past an outdoor cafe and see Jim Henshaw sitting with some woman. What was strange was in my brain I said "Hey it's Jim!" but in my dream I ducked behind a tree and then tried to slip around the back of the establishment...but it didn't work, because there was a payphone there and Jim was somehow now talking on it and he waved at me and I was busted and so had to come over to him.

So Jim's on the phone trying to finish a call and this kinda creepy guy holding a small knife makes his way over to us and asks to use the phone and I say he's gotta wait until Jim's finished and then the creepy guy jabs the knife into his leg...and I'm like: "Shit man, what are you doing?!" and he's like: "I need help." And then I notice creepy guy has knife puncture holes in his arms and his chest and his neck and they're all trickling blood and so I tap Jim and gesture at creepy guy and Jim nods and finishes up his call and hangs up and I tell creepy guy to call for some assistance.

Anyway, I told you that dream to tell you this one. No, not really.

So Jim and I go back to his table in the cafe and the woman is gone and Jim proceeds to tell me about his phone call and how it was with a producer from the US or UK or somewhere who wanted to come shoot here in Canada but didn't understand how it was possible for him to get so much tax credit rebate money since his project was written by a foreigner and he wanted to bring a lot of his own crew and Jim said he explained to the producer that depending on the new Canada Media Fund guidelines when they're released the project could maybe get CMF money even with a foreign writer and might be able to cast some foreign star actors in the lead roles and still get Telefilm funding and the foreign producer was like: "That's insane!" and Jim was like: "I know!" and I was like shaking my head and all: "I know! Insane! Tell me about it!"

And then Jim said the foreign producer asked how we all make a living over here and Jim said he wasn't sure anymore....with line producer fees mostly. And then we sat there for a moment sipping mint juleps, and then I asked: "So what are you gonna do?" And Jim replied: "I'm not sure, but it'll make a great blog post!" And I was like: "It will! Because listening to you retell the phone conversation sounded exactly like another one of our industry is fucked up blog posts!" And Jim nodded. We both seemed very pleased with ourselves, and then we high-fived each other or something. And then I woke up.

The end.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"One Two Three Forty Eight!!!"

If I were Mr. Burns for a day, a day like today, it might go a little something like this.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Tiger, Burning Bright

What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

I'm sure Tiger Woods watched Caddyshack a lot while growing up. Do you think he took away any words of wisdom from the film (and I don't mean "receiving total consciousness...")?

Nah. Probably not.

Friday fun, because it makes me smile.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fetch Me A Coffee Every Time I Clap My Hands...Run!

Things are slow-ish. Spirits are low-ish. Not to mention it's February.

Time for some Charlie Brooker.

Ahhh. That's better.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Totally Eclipse My Heart...Literally

"Slo mo dove.
Creepy doll, a window, and what looks like a bathrobe.
Then a dim-lit shot of dangling bulbs."

This video has been around for a while but it still cracks me up...Friday fun fun Fun.

Because it makes me smile.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

F*ck. Me. Gently. Please?

Acting. Auditioning. So hard. So so so hard.

I wrote a post a few years ago entitled But Would You F*ck Him? using a scene from James L Brooks' film I'll Do Anything to relate some of the harsh realities of the casting process...but Ken Levine takes the same topic and hits it out of the park in a recent entry entitled, not coincidentally, Guys Are Not Going To Want To F**k Her.

For example:

Your agent submits your name. The casting director may not think you’re right or not be a fan and you’re dead. Assuming you’re over that hurdle you’re invited in to read. There usually are a hundred or more actors reading for every role. Great odds, huh? In these initial sessions you’re usually reading for a committee – the writer/producers, the pod producers, a couple of studio representatives. All you need is one of them to not like you and you’re toast. And by “not like” that could mean “too tall”, “good but we’ve seen him in things”, “he was my waiter last week at the Daily Grill and was terrible”, and “guys are not going to want to fuck her”.

It gets better. Or worse, depending on your prospective.

You can hit it out of the park and still not get the part. The network president may be partial to a name on his golden list. He may have no ability to judge talent. He may not want to fuck you.

By some miracle he likes you. But there’s a hang-up. He still wants a bigger name. So you hold your breath while the producers make an eleventh hour plea to Paula Marshall. She passes. They settle for … I mean “cast” you.

You’re in, right? Not so fast.

During the week of production there are network table readings and runthroughs. You could get fired at any one of them. And it’s not necessarily your fault. The material could be awful, the director gave you bad direction, they never really wanted you in the first place.

Yeow. The line that resonates the most with me is..."They settle for - I mean *cast* you." With just about every writing or directing job I've gotten I've felt like they *settled* for me. Maybe we creative types always feel that way. Or maybe 'they' always do settle. Who knows.

Anyway go read all of Mr. Levine's post HERE. It's a classic.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Jesus Is Not A Zombie

I shouldn't have to tell you that.

Find below an excerpt from a VERY LONG transcript from the keynote speech that buddy Hart Hanson gave at a 'Future of Story' conference in Edmonton last weekend. And there's some of that, the future of story stuff...but mostly it's Hart just being funny and talking about creating and running Bones or TV writers vs. Artists or writing for mass audiences and so on and so forth. Check it out...very entertaining stuff.

HART: I thought what I’d do is show you a couple things, a couple values, that we put up on the screen in Bones, and discuss, and sort of point out how one deals with the values and hopes to gain a mass audience without completely and utterly writing Sunday School tripe. My apologies to all Sunday School teachers here. Heather, could we run the next…

Booth: Voodoo, who’s going to believe that stuff?
Brennan: It’s a religion, no crazier than… what are you?
Booth: Catholic.
Brennan: They believe in the same saints you do, and prayer. What they call spells, you call miracles. They have priests.
Booth: We don’t make zombies.
Brennan: Jesus rose from the dead after three days.
Booth: Jesus is not a zombie. I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

HART: Of all the lines I’ve gotten on American television, “Jesus is not a zombie.” I’m so proud. I was amazed that it went by Standards & Practices.

The States, that culture is a very, very religious culture these days. It’s… a significant amount of it is very fundamentalist. My lead character is an atheist. The female character is a scientist and an atheist. The value that we were talking about there is faith. Not to get too personal, but I tend more toward her than him. I’m a little cranky about religion these days, since about 9/11.

So I put a lot of what I think into Brennan’s mouth. But in the end, because Bones is mass entertainment, the spiritual, religious man gets the last word. Okay, it’s a little subversive to say that Jesus is a zombie. But you know what, Jesus was a zombie – three days […] and then he went and scared people!

We get a lot of mail about Brennan’s offensive statements about God, the pope… I don’t know if anyone watches the show a lot… I make a lot of fun of the pope’s hat, and I treasure every one of them. The funny thing to me is that the same letters will say, “Thank goodness Booth was there to set you straight.” And it’s like, I wrote that, too! Apparently, I’m writing the atheist, but Jesus is writing Booth.

Jesus is writing Booth....nice!

Check out Hart's entire talkey speechey thing plus the q&a HERE.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall....

...which scene is scariest of them all?

I predict the next big slasher/horror movie hit will be one that plays with mirror mirror expectation and convention and then turns it on its head. Or someone will just make a scary flick about haunted mirrors. Oh right...someone already has.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Travesty Of A Mockery Of A Sham

I move for a mistrial!

Friday funny.

Because it makes me smile.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

We're The King Of The World!

Local news story opens with:

The Canadian filmmakers behind two of this season's most buzzed about films landed Oscar nominations in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, with James Cameron's 3-D blockbuster Avatar and Jason Reitman's downsizing comedy-drama Up in the Air among nominees for best picture. Kapuskasing, Ont.-born Cameron and Montreal-born Reitman are among the 10 contenders for the top Oscar category.

Does the fact that they've spent most of their lives in Los Angeles and made their films there not matter? Are we so lame a film industry or country even that we get jazzed about this and think where they were born has had something to do with these 'Canadian' filmmakers success?

Oh we do? Oh. Okay. Nevermind.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Can't. Wait.

I never thought Breaking Bad had a chance when I first heard the premise....but I was hooked right from the opening scene of the pilot episode.

"There are going to be some things...things that you'll come to learn about me in the next few days. I just want you to know that no matter how it may look, I only had you in my heart. Goodbye."

Nope. Hello.

March 2010. Bring it.