20 February 2010

Proof of Hyphenation for the Week of February 15, 2010

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

A generous reprint, Kapowing made its triumphant return, poo bags were discussed, Mike Elrod told of his first time reading Watchmen, Anthony Schiavino gave the lowdown on his creation, Sergeant Zero, I lamented the slow death of the great film score, and Frederick Marx gave some invaluable insight on making the leap from student to pro.

Thanks again for all your support!











Monday, February 15, 2010

Last week, I penned (typed? What's the proper lingo here? I like "penned") an article called "Indie? Studio? Screw It.  Entertain."  As you know, I've been living over at Maria Lokken's website on Mondays of late, with "A Film in the Life of a Multi-Hyphenate Guppy," and last week's "I'm a Filmmaker with Karate Chop Action... Redux."
Admittedly, I've been pretty busy this past week, so I let Maria have free reign over any post she wanted to put in this morning, and she offered to reprint "Indie? Studio? Screw It. Entertain."
Question of the Week #1  by Tyler Weaver
This week is all about trying new things here at MH.  A little of this, a little of that, you know?  The first new thing I'd like to try is...

Question of the Week.
 BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS, Werner Herzog's remake/re-imaging of the 1992 original, is one very bizarre film, and because it seems to revel in its bizarreness, it makes for quite an entertaining ride.

Nicolas Cage plays the titular role of Terence McDonough, whom in the aftermath of Katrina jumps down a flight of stairs to help a prisoner who is stuck in a cell that is fast flooding with water. The jump injures his back, and now he is addicted to Vicodin, cocaine, the occasional heroin, and - oh yeah - a gambling problem. Yet somehow he is given the OK to go back into duty.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Maybe I'm alone here, but I'm endlessly entertained by reading articles by writers, filmmakers, etc. whom I respect in which they detail their working methods.  I don't think my fascination stems from seeking inspiration, rather from realizing that (most) of those whose work I admire are just as neurotic and crazed as I, with the addition of twenty years experience.

My days are divided into three segments: Poo Bags (in which I take care of assorted househusbandry, such as following the dog around outside with a black bag to capture targeted droppings).  Bad Assery (in which I attempt to write scripts and be a filmmaker, writing bad ass (or not) things).  And Off the Grid - in which I let my virtual self slumber and recuperate so that I may rinse, wash, and repeat for the next day.

For many of us, vacations are few and far between.  Taking a break from the daily grind is either nearly impossible for lack of time or financially infeasible.  That's why when I get the opportunity to get away, I savor every moment.  Along with creating irreplaceable and epic memories, I like to capture my special “me” time in my vacation photographs.  I used to simply point and shoot at places of interest along my journeys, but found that once I got home and printed the images, they lacked something. The photos were pretty (a landscape of the Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure, a valley dotted with buffalo in Yellowstone National Park, et cetera), but they didn't really tell the story of my adventure. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last week when I was talking to Tyler about what to do for a column he mentioned that I should write on how I came up with the idea of my comic book SERGEANT ZERO.  As fate would have it, a spam comment was posted on my site this morning for a 2008 entry talking about the very same thing. It’s an old post but the ideas behind it, now in 2010, still apply.

Before I talk about how or why I created Sergeant Zero, I need to talk about my thoughts on how I approach a page. To paraphrase myself, I come at it like watching a good movie. You’re locked into every look the characters give you. The slight nod of their head in dark shadow and snappy dialogue. It’s their chemistry on screen, or lack thereof, or the way a scene is framed by the director. I come at it realizing that if I wouldn’t shell out my hard-earned dime for this story, then odds are nobody else will.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dread Awakenings by Mike Elrod 
When I first read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen I would spend an hour a night going over each and every panel. One issue and a piece of Hollis Mason’s Under the Hood was all I would allow myself to read before sleeping. I knew from the start, and not just from what others had told me about it, that there was something different about this book. I found out exactly what made it so different around night three that has affected me ever since.
 I began to have nightmares.

I take a ridiculous amount of joy in turning my brain off for an hour each week. That HUMAN TARGET airs bang on in the middle of the week is such fortuitous timing.  It falls smack dab in the middle of my two other shows (HOUSE and FRINGE) that require a bit more brain power to review (though not a lot, admittedly).
I love the tried and true A-B-C good guy vs. bad guy story. It’s the hallmark of great comic books, of heroes, of the fun 80’s action shows (MACGUYVER, A-TEAM, etc.).  I admire shows and works that don’t pretend to be anything they’re not, and HUMAN TARGET wears its pedigree proudly. It’s pure escapist fun without an iota of irony. And that’s refreshing in this overtly cynical age – sometimes we just want to see bad guys get their asses kicked and a hero who has a good time doing it.

When I was a young, impressionable lad, I fell in love with film scores.  It was, in fact, the interaction and counterpoint of image and music that made me want to be a filmmaker (a ten year detour ensued, wherein I thought a film composer was the path for me... not quite).

I remember distinctly the first time I saw Tim Burton's
Batman, with its Danny Elfman (one of the first (and last) great scores he did) "Batman March," gliding along the ridges of the Bat-symbol.  I remember, mouth agape, the first time I saw Jurassic Park, and experienced for the first time, along with the protagonists, the splendour of the island, as John Williams' music soared over it (again, one of his last great scores).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Out on the road releasing my new film gives me the opportunity to share some basic thoughts with beginning filmmakers on how to transition into being a professional.  Given the extremely volatile and uncertain condition of the film business these days, please work all these suggestions into YOUR best understanding of the film world now.

Start from your own ideal.

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