Friday, August 17, 2012

Learnings and Reiterations: My Filmmaking Journey Lately

Hi all, been a bit since I sat down and wrote on the blog. I've been neglecting it in favor of hard work, dedication...and fucking off. Here is a little bit of what I have learned lately about filmmaking in general as a fledgling director and producer and maybe a bit as an actor. Life has been crazy, chaotic, depressing and fun lately.

1.) Stay on target. I know too many people who are highly talented but can't seem to complete the race for whatever reason. The more you flake on projects or switch horses in mid stream, the more you look like a joke as a filmmaker. There is something to be said for buckling down, picking a project and making it happen. I've seen people run kickstarter campaigns for projects that haven't come along. I've seen people post pics and promote the hell out of a project only to come back a couple months later with another project to pitch. Wait?! What happened to the last thing that never happened and why should I give a french fried fuck about this new one. Is it even going to happen? Don't be that guy, pick a project and stay with it.

2.) Shut up! On a similar note, if you have a project in development it's okay to talk about it to people who may be potentially involved as long as they know it's still in development. It's okay to promote the hell out of it if you follow rule number one above, but for the love of GOD do NOT promote it vigorously on the web and in the media if you aren't totally attached to making it. Again, it makes you look like a damned joke.

3.) Settle. An artist is their own worst critic. If you allow yourself to beat you you up, you will NEVER finish the script. You will NEVER get the movie made. You certainly will NEVER leave post. You have to learn to let things go, especially in the indy market. Producing/directing "GI JOE: Initiate", I've had to re-cast roles, change the script, drop scenes, reshoot, beg, borrow and steal to make the film happen. Is it perfect? No. Am I happy with it? HELL YES! We've got pretty cool series in the works here and I'm very excited about it. However, if I was constantly scrutinizing and demanding absolute perfection, then we wouldn't have even filmed a frame yet. You have to know what you can sacrifice in order to get it done. This isn't to say you release a crappy film. I love what we've done with "Initiate", but we had to adapt a lot to situations and work around different issues to make it happen. Some of those sacrifices were painful, but in the end, they led to success.

4.) Don't lie. I have run into some batshit crazy people in this industry in the brief bit of time I've been doing it. People love to tell you all about their amazing connections they have, some to the point of manufacturing text messages and email from those people. They have even been known to make up investors on facebook to attempt to fool people into helping them make a movie. Some people just like to lie to stir up shit and create drama. Maybe its because they are jealous of others. Maybe they are just drama-addicted douchebags. Lying is something you do as an actor in front of the camera. Spread bullshit behind the camera and you'll wind up sad, alone and constantly shifting alliances as people discover what a scumbag you are. Save your drama for when the camera is rolling. All I want is to be around people who want to make movies. You don't need to have tons of money or big connections, just passion and honesty. All else is negotiable.

5.) Make your own way. Never rely on others to give you that big break. You need to be working on making your own projects, writing your own scripts, pushing yourself on those who are making indy films and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself. No one is going to do it for you. Sell yourself!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Top 10 Suits of Sci Fi Personal Armor

All right, in keeping with the sci fi guns series, here is my list of 10 favorite suits of personal armor in the sci fi genre. Here are the rules I used in chosing. Only one from each universe. All armor has to be man-sized (no massive mech type suits). The list is based on usefullness, badass appearance, protective properties and just overall coolness. Here goes in no rank order:

1. Mandalorian Armor, Because who doesn't love Boba Fett!?

2. Halo

3. Fallout

4. IRON MAN, the king of personal armor!

5. Warhammer 40K Space Marines, my personal favorite.

6. RIFTS SAMAS Power Armor, lots of great choices in RIFTS, but every time I ride the Batman ride at Six Flags this is what is in my head.

7. Starship Troopers, badass stuff from the book, though the movie was cool too.

8. Robotech Cyclone Armor, not as formidable as the Veritech, but for personal armor it rocks...and turns into a frigging motorcycle!

9. Lex Luthor, let's you fight SUPERMAN!!!

10. Starcraft Terran Marines, yeah, it's very Space Marine, but also VERY cool.

365 Movies Day #221 "Punisher: Dirty Laundry"

Let's continue the Thomas Jane theme for a couple more films, starting with this badass fanfilm! As some of you may be aware, I've been crafting my own fanfilm lately in the form of "G.I. Joe: Initiate". I love the ability to tackle an existing commodity and put your own spin on it. I was so excited to see Jane revisit Frank Castle recently. Let me begin by saying that Jane is my favorite Frank. It will always be his character. However, I had some issues with the 04 film. First and foremost, it needed to be set in the gritty backdrop of NY. Secondly, Castle was too calculating. However, you can get those things right and still drop a turd on your audience like "War Zone". With "Dirty Laundry" Jane gives you the best of all things Punisher.

Let's recap Jane's appearances on the blog so far: "DARK COUNTRY", "KILLSHOT", "STANDER" and "THURSDAY". "Dirty Laundry" also features an appearance by the amazing Ron Perlman of "DARK COUNTRY", "BUNRAKU" and "CITY OF LOST CHILDREN". The film's villain is masterfully played by Sammy Rotibi who was in "Tears of the Son" and recently worked on Tarantino's upcoming western, "Django Unchained".

I don't want to ruin the film. It's only 10 minutes and the above link is the full film, so my only comment will be; it's Frank done right and perhaps the most badass film sequence I have seen in a long time. Marvel really needs to give this guy a crack at running with the franchise. With Tim Bradstreet in the wings, they just couldn't go wrong! We could FINALLY get a perfect Punisher flick.


Also, for those interested, Jane, Bradstreet and Perlman have an awesome video game in the works based on a comic that Tom and Tim put together called "Bad Planet". You can donate and for as little as $15 secure a copy of the game when it comes out! If you want to support, go here: BAD PLANET ON KICKSTARTER!