TRAILER TANTRUM: Ghost in the Shell.

I'll be honest, I'm not really feeling this.
Don't get me wrong. It looks like Rupert Saunders and his team busted their asses to capture the texture of the original  Mamoru Oshii Anime. And even taking into account the whitewashing controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson's casting as The Major, (And seriously Hollywood, let's knock that shit off.) she looks like she's ready to dance the Transhuman Mambo with aplomb.
But still,,,
Maybe it's the vague allusion to The Major having a previous family before getting Mrs. Roboto'ed and drafted in Section Nine. I don't remember it being in the original film. And it strikes me as Hollywood Bullshit attempt to give her an arc. (Unless this story thread is in the original Manga or one of the spin off series. In which case, I'm talking out my ass.)
Or maybe it's the bland trailer music that seems at odds with the visuals.
Maybe if they had used this instead...

Now that would have hit the spot. It's striking enough to intrigue the newbies and the hard core fans would have lost their collective shit. (It should be noted that Cliff Mansell is doing the score and if there's any American Composer who can make the exploits of Section Nine sing, it's the guy who scored THE FOUNTAIN.)

So, color me intrigued but not excited. 
Am I missing something? Feel free to sound off below.

Posted on February 21, 2017 and filed under Movies.

Breathing in, Regrouping and Living Past Hope.

Yeah...it's ben a while.
But in fairness...it's been a bitch of a last few months.|
Starting with the screening in Portland that I mentioned in my last post...that didn't go as well as I hoped.

On October 20th, my short GLENGARRY GLEN STYX was shown at the NW Film Center as part of a "Best of" program of films shown at the Klamath Independent Film Festival. I was looking forward to playing my short in front of a large audience. Turned out...not so much.

Yeah...bummer.

And then the election happened.
Again, Bummer.
And then I got diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.
The bummer hat trick.

So... I've been spending the last couple of months doing self care. Adjusting the diet, processing the new reality that we're living under (Which, I'm sure I don't need to remind you, is not normal.) And also focusing on stuff like this...

On Febuary 2nd of this year, Unify Oregon held a rally on the plaza in Ashland. This rally was called because of a rash of Nazi and White Supremacist leflets posted all over town.

So...I guess for the duration of this nightmare, I'm going to be an anti-fascist filmmaker.
So, I'm trying to will myself back into writing and getting a couple of new shorts in the can.
Also, I really need to update this blog more often. (And yes, not all of it will be nerdery.  Politics will be on the menu. Adjust your gag reflexes accordingly.)

So...apologies for the long radio silence. We will be ramping thing up around here. Pinkie swear.

SCREENING ANNOUCEMENT: Best of KIFF in Portland October 20, 2016.

GLENGARRY GLEN STYX is being screened at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon on October 20th as part of a Best of the Klamath Independent Film Festival Program. 
Here's the full program.

Bed in the Clouds
Piers Dennis and Max Miller, Ashland OR
runtime: 3:21

Monday
Sean Johnson, Klamath Falls OR
runtime: 6:43

Self Inflicted
Ross Williams, Talent OR
runtime: 9:20

Elegies
Bruce Bayard, Ashland OR
runtime: 7:48

Impending Sale
Ray Robison, Medford OR
runtime: 3:31

Not a Bench
Mig Windows, Ashland OR
runtime: 15:08

Damn, What a Dame
Michelle Branch, Ashland OR
runtime: 2:54

Lost/Forgotten
Ryan Niemi, Klamath Falls OR
runtime: 3:17

Glengarry Glen Styx
Richard Jensen, Ashland OR
runtime: 9:43

The Land Between
Michelle Alvarado, Bend OR
runtime: 3:39

Bare the Sun
Jesse Widener, Klamath Falls OR
OR runtime: 14:38

Prowler
Randy Granstrom, Medford OR
runtime: 7:20

Liberation
David West, Medford OR
runtime: 14:29

Total runtime 1:41:51 + filmmaker Q&A

So, I will be there, rocking my Celtic Ray Filmworks shirt and my Non MRA-Fedora and I and a host of other filmmakers will submit ourselves to the tender lashings of your questions. Also I'm bringing the Canon 70D so you can expect at least one True-Life Adventure video to come out of this.

Follow the link for information and tickets! And I will see you there!

Posted on September 29, 2016 and filed under Art Bell, Filmmaking, Movies, Public Screening.

Yeah...I've been quiet...

I won't lie. It's been a combination of things.
The short I was going to make to enter into Fantastic Fest this year did not get made for a wide number of reasons. (Including a first draft that that spooked the crap out of one actor so badly that we lost them and I had to do a radical rewrite to eliminate the character. There is a long back story to this that I will share one day.  But not now.)
And also, the whole election has turned my brain in various times into various puddings of varying types of thickness. Right now I'm somewhat stable because Trump is losing ground post debate. Which means, the odds of me living long enough to make some new shorts have gone up.

But yeah. I need to pay more attention to this site.
Since now, we have some big things a coming.
Stay tuned.

Posted on September 29, 2016 and filed under Personal.

PERSONAL UPDATE FOR MAY.

You know, I used to be better at this blogging thing.

In my defense, I have been busy.  

First off, I've been busy writing the first draft for my big Film Festival short of the year and I've kind of discovered that there was a particular Idea that I may have been a tad too aggressive in pursuing.

Don't ask.

The point is that a rewrite is in the process. And I'm still hoping to have the short ready in time for the final deadline for Fantastic Fest. 

In the meantime, I've got this thing I co-wrote with Michael Bingham.

Co-written and starring Bing. We actually have three more videos of this character in the pipeline. However, it may be a bit before we can get to them because of real life stuff he's dealing with. (Long story and not mine to tell.)  But the first one came out well and if you like, pass along.

Also this...


This is me testing my Zoom H4N Digital Recorder with a local band called Flat 5 Film Flam and as you can hear, the sound quality is the best I've had on one of these thing. 

And I've also been gearing up with some new Rokinon Cine lens. And I have to say, the results have been terrific.

More updates are coming soon, stay tuned.

Posted on May 29, 2016 and filed under Comedy, Filmmaking, YouTube Channel.

PERSONAL UPDATE FOR APRIL.

Dear lord, I need to not smile in photos.
I don't know why but every time I see myself smile in a photo, it looks like someone went Francis Farmer on me with an icepick. Also, it would have helped it I shaved first. 
But the point of the the photo is not my unshaved, rictus like visage. The point of the the photo is the Zoom H4N multitrack digital recorder that I got this week. So my future work will have a quality of sound higher then a vacation video.
If I'm going to be playing with the big boys, I need to step up my game.

I've been busy for the last couple of weeks working with Michael Bingham on a new series of shorts that we hope to have up for you in a couple of weeks. And also I'm working (Way too slowly for my tastes.) on a longer short for film festivals.
And hopefully, they will all have crisp, stereo sound.


 

Posted on April 19, 2016 and filed under YouTube Channel, Filmmaking.

Additional Portland Video: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

I was so busy making noise about returning to blogging about (Shudder.) politics, I forgot to include this.
Before heading up to Portland, my buddy Jake Merriman asked if I would be willing to shoot a scene that he and his acting partner had been working on for scene study. Given that I hadn't shot a narrative short for a while I thought it might be good practice. 
So Jake sends me the text for three possible scenes and I chose the Beatrice/Benedick scene from Act Four, Scene One from MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. And proceed to make a shot list.

We had budgeted for a four and a half hour shoot but we were able to get it done in about two hours because Jake and his scene partner, Ms. Sarah McGregor had their roles down so cold, I almost got frostbite through my camera. 
The initial edit was done in about a half hour and I dig my color grading and sound mix while taking the Coast Starlight back to my neck of the woods. The sound was a big bugaboo because we were shooting on Jake's deck but I think came out all right.
In the color grading, I bumped up the reds in the highlights (To bring out the red in Ms. McGregor's hair.) and the blues in the midtones (To bump up Jake's shirt and Ms. McGregor's dress.) and added a layer of 16mm_smooth film grain for texture. All in all, not a bad bit of post production jiggery pokery on my part.

Also, For what it's worth, I also had the pleasure to see Ms. McGregor as Yelena in a production of "Uncle Vanya" in nearby Newberg. And I came away with two impressions.
1) Sarah McGregor is a hell of good actress.
2) Holy crap! "Uncle Vanya" is way more apocalyptic then I remembered! Seriously, all of Dr. Astrov's speeches about the deforestation of the surrounding land put the squeeze on my heart like a son of a bitch. Seriously, It's like Chekov had a damn "CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER" time portal in his office and saw me reading fundraising E-Mails from the Sierra Club.
Terrific production but a clammy hand on the heart may not have been the best way to close out my vacation.

Thanks again to Jake and Ms. McGregor for letting me capture their fine work.

Posted on March 12, 2016 and filed under Vacation, YouTube Channel, Personal.

Portland, Donald Trump and a return to the Ramparts.

To make a plan is to invite God to laugh in your face.
This sounds like a famous quote of some sort. But damn me if I can't place the source.
But whatever the source or correct verbiage, the fact is that it sums up my current situation to a damn tee.

As most of you who been following me for a while might know, I used to blog pretty regularly about politics at my old place on the Internet. But I shut it down about seven months ago to focus full time on filmmaking. In that time, I launched a new YouTube Channel, had one of my pieces shown in Los Angeles and for the most part, was perfectly content to let others write about politics.
And write they did. DAILY KOS is still a going concern. Twitter friend Lance Mannion, is churning out intelligent posts on a regular basis. My twitter feed is jammed packed with people fighting the good fight.
They had this. I could focus on making my little shorts while waiting for someone to say, "Hey, this guy's pretty good. Wonder what he could do with more money and a real crew?"
And then the unthinkable happened.
Donald Trump in the space of seven months, went from being a semi-amusing sideshow to a Goddamn Existential Threat. And that jump in threat level just happened to coincide with me trading my blogging hat for a director's cap. 
As my friends will volunteer, it does not take that much to render me a tear stained ball of guilt.
(Sidebar. That last time I felt this guilty was after the 2000 "election" when George W. took the big chair and proceeded to turn the country into a 3000 mile wide tire fire.)
And clearly, this was on my mind as I headed off to Portland.

And the tag at the end where I name check Haskell Wexler and Studs Terkel isn't just me showing off my film nerd/progressive bonafides.  It's me admitting that it may be time for me to throw myself back into the fray. A prospect that wraps a cold and clammy hand around my heart. 
However, I'm not reopening "News from the Front". For better or worse, this is kind of my new home on the Internet so I make my stand here.
However, that doesn't mean I'm giving up on filmmaking. Hell, if anything, it means a further diversification of the stuff I make. 
Which means more doc stuff as well as the goofy stuff.
Good news for my audience. 
If not for my soul.

Posted on March 9, 2016 and filed under Filmmaking, Personal, Vacation, YouTube Channel.

TRIP TO PORTLAND UPDATE.

Sometimes, prepping for a vacation makes you feel like you need a second smaller vacation. Never the less, here's what's on tap for me this week.

-Finishing my taxes.
-Getting my good computer mike back from a friend so I can record voice-overs on the trip.
-Making sure my landlord, the post office and my credit union all know that I'm going out of town for those dates. 
-Boning up on my Final Cut X Tutorials.
-Going through the YouTube Audio Library and picking out music for the videos.
-Practicing Color Correcting and slow motion.

You know, a while back, Steven Soderbergh up loaded to his Extension 765 website an one hour and forty eight edit of Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate" that he created during a holiday break in 2006. 
I used to think "What kind of idiot spends his vacation re-editing a whole movie?".
I now realize that it's the same kind of idiot who decides to shoot and edit a mini-doc a day for a four-day vacation.
I just hope my idiotic behavior turns out half as well.

Posted on February 16, 2016 and filed under Filmmaking, Personal.

TRAVEL PLANS...with a twist...

I am going to be in Portland on the 23rd through the 27th. The official reason is some much needed R & R by way of hanging with my buddy, Jake Merriman and seeing some other friends who live up there.
But there's a secondary reason that may be worth your interest.
My film making out put has been fallow as of late. And although I've been working on some new scripts, none of them are to the point I can pull the trigger on them. And I need something to shove into the YouTube pipeline
So here's the plan.
I'm going to attempt to churn out a video a day while on my trip.
Not long ones. Probably between ten-fifteen minutes each. Each one covering some small segment of the trip.
And since I'm bringing the new MacBook Pro with me, I'm going to be shooting and editing these suckers on the fly. 
(I'm also going to shooting for Jake and a friend a small piece that they've been doing scene work on. That probably won't be posted to YouTube because of copyright issues but I can post it to my dormant Vimeo Page.) 
So I'm looking forward to bringing you guys a chunk of Portland with bits of laughter and geekiness along the way.

PERSONAL UPDATE FOR JANUARY

Here's what's going on in my world right now.

Fans of "HEROES OF THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS" will be delighted to know that I'm collaborating with one of that short's starts, Michael Bingham on a new set of shorts for the YouTube channel. What's different about these shorts are that I didn't initiate these. Bing came up the original idea and wrote the first draft that I just finished re-writing. And after years of generating my own material myself, its a new experience working on someone's else's script. There were at least a half dozen times during the process I had to ask myself "Am I changing this because I actually think it's an improvement or just for the sake of having my fingerprints on it?". (And for those of you scoring along at home, Bing's first draft came in at three pages. So that's comes out to about two gut-checks per page.)
Fun fact: There was one gag in the script that Bing loved but was leaving me cold. But when I went into the rewrite, I realized that the issue wasn't the joke itself but the way it was executed. It was missing a beat that made the joke feel more plausible. And it was kind of fun to take a piece of writing and go under the hood as it were.
So hopefully, we'll be able start shooting in a couple of weeks. And we'll have one of them posted before my vacation in February.

Posted on January 30, 2016 and filed under Comedy, Filmmaking, YouTube Channel.

TRAILER TANTRUM: TV spot for "Superman V Batman".

1. I'm going to assume that Batman is very much aware that Superman is invulnerable and that ramming him with the Batmobile is at best, meant to be taken metaphorically. At worst, he's saying "I've got a whole fleet of these fuckers and one of these times, it's gonna leave a mark".

2. I'm hoping that the Synderverse version of Alfred can do auto repair because at the very least, the suspension is jacked. And if Bruce Wayne has it towed to a Pep Boys, someone gonna catch wise real quick.

3. "Do you bleed?"
Hey Bat-Brain, YOU JUST HIT HIM WITH YOUR CAR AND HE'S STILL STANDING!!
At this point, The Joker has to be asking himself, "How do I keep losing to this guy?".

I want to like this movie. I like Superman. I like Batman. I'm rooting for Affleck to be awesome in this role so it gives him clout to direct more movies. I'm on record as liking Cavill as Superman. (Even though the movie that surrounded him last time gave me a splitting headache.)
But everytime I see footage from this thing, I can imagine Kevin Fiege laughing his ass off and then green-lighting a"Howard The Duck" movie just to taunt DC further.

 

Posted on January 14, 2016 and filed under Movies, Superheroes.

NERD RANT: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS...sad white men.

Yes, I've seen it.
Twice.
And I dug the hell out of it both times.
Yes, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS tends to hit some of the same beats as "A New Hope" but I would argue that it was probably necessary to calm the nerves of the fans who still felt raw about the prequels. It was Abrams saying "Look, we're not gonna C-SPAN this shit. We're not going to throw trade embargoes and midichlorians at you. And we're not going to make your central character a whiny teenager who feels entitled because he won a pod race pod race when he was eight. We're going to give you a big hearty hunk of space opera to ease you back in and leave the more imaginative narrative twists to Rian Johnson. Hey, the guy made LOOPER. You guys liked LOOPER, right?".
(And for the record, I did like LOOPER and that makes me hopeful for Episode VIII.)
SW:TFA has it's flaws but manages to run roughshod over them with action, adventure, honest to God banter (The moment when Harrison Ford yells at John Boyega "THAT'S NOT HOW THE FORCE WORKS!" gave me the biggest laugh I've had in a theater this year.) and an aura of pure joy that you'd have to be a scrooge to deny.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet, I give you that scrooge.

You can sniff out Abrams’ leanings from the start. As First Order troopships prepare to land to take out a village on Jakku, the first villager who pulls out a a blaster in defense is a woman. And it is some sort of big, mounted-looking one! This girl power is really paralleled in our world, where millions of young Western girls are so keen to protect their village or country that they won’t even join up, as their male contemporaries are forced to, in places like Finland and South Korea during peacetime. Or make the slightest squeak about the double standard. Well done, JJ.
Captain Phasma is given command of the First Order’s elite stormtroopers but she has the same biology as in our world, where no woman has ever passed the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course. Another female stormtrooper reports to Ren about the failed attempt to locate Rey. And, after years of pretty much male-only recruitment, the New Republic’s affirmative action policies have been copied by the First Order, with large numbers of female military panel operators, technicians and officers.

The above angry spittle pretending to be film criticism was written by David Garrett Brown for a MRA (Men's rights activists.) site called Return of Kings.  And judging by the above paragraphs, he's not all that crazy having his science fantasy cluttered up with errant vaginas. And the fact that he's making angry hay over a shot of a woman setting up a blaster and a slightly more diverse collection of background extras tells you that A) He's not shy about expressing his opinions and B) Date Night for him must involve Soft Lights, smooth jazz and a Fleshlight.
(Oh and the Captain Plasma thing? How the hell does he know that she has the same biology? We never see her without her armor and it's THE GODDAMN STAR WARS UNIVERSE WHERE HUMANOID LIKE BEINGS EXIST! Hell, If I were Rian Johnson, I'd find a way to make her character an alien with two vaginas just to piss Brown off.  Although, in fairness, the reveal might threaten the PG rating.)
Now normally, I'd brush this off with a wave of my hand and a Dude-Like "Well, that's your opinion, man." and go on with my day.
But then, I had to go see this. 

Fifty-five percent of respondents to a Return of Kings Twitter poll have said that online reporting of the social justice nature of The Force Awakens influenced their decision whether to see the film. Extended across our readership, with over 900,000 users accessing ROK between November 21 and December 21, this amounts to a potential direct impact of $4,219,456.54 (55% x $8.38 x 915,482) on total revenues. $8.38 is based on the average cinema ticket price in the US, which is now an all-time high.

This figure does not include those men who haven’t visited in the past month but know to stay clear away from Hollywood propaganda films thanks to our previous reporting. They have been learning to question the narrative of popular culture, and many would have done so without reading ROK‘s recent commentary concerning The Force Awakens. The $4.2 million estimate also does not include future sales that will be surely lost from Star Wars DVD’s, collectibles, and other promotional tie-ins.

Okay. Let's put the above quote in perspective.
As I write this, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has made world wide (According to Box Office Mojo.) $1,733,834,828 dollars.
For those of you having trouble with the numbers, that's one point seven billion dollars.
That's Billion with a B.
Four point two million is what J.J. Abrams probably has wedged in between his couch cushions. And this guy is crowing about this?
"Hooray, we slowed down the film's march to highest domestic earner by 45 minutes!".
And also, where exactly did this guy pull his numbers from? From a Twitter poll.
 

He's extrapolating from a Twitter poll responded to by 565 people a loss of 4.2 million?
Normally to see something like that yanked from someone's ass, you'd have to bit-torrent German Porn.
Also look how the poll question is phrased. "Affect your decision to see the film" is not the same as "Stop you from seeing the film". For all we know, most of the 55% of respondents who answered affirmative went "Well, I wasn't planning on seeing it but now I'm going to just to spite you dickweeds". 
But let's be generous for a moment and assume for a moment that his Underwear Gnome like math is spot on and that ST:TFA did lose money because of the extra vajays. The question becomes "Should the filmmakers care?" 
I'm going to guess no and that's because it's asshole money.
Let me explain.
Let's say you run a restaurant. it's a Tuesday night. You're doing a business but not as much as you like. Suddenly, a ten top comes in. No reservations but you have the tables. Hooray for capitalism!
Except the ten top are acting like a bunch of assholes. Drinking too much, talking way too loud and with more swearing then would be considered acceptable for a family restaurant. The last straw is broken when one of the ten top tries to grab the waitress' ass. Channeling your inner Popeye, you go to the table and tell them that they are no longer welcome here and to leave. And when one of the men at the table make harrumphing noises about the money they're spending, you let out a loud New York Cabbie of a whistle and plainly state. "You come into my joint and act like drunken assholes, your money loses it's value."
That's what I mean about asshole money. 
The MRA's are the ten top and Lucasfilm is the restaurant. Or for the sake of a more accurate metaphor, the entire Cheesecake Factory chain.

Look, it's okay not to like a movie. Hell, it's even all right to not like a movie for bullshit political reasons. It's why I tend to avoid most of Michael Bay's filmography. (Well, that and the fact that I'm prone to motion sickness.)
And if you don't like a movie because a woman is at the center of it, that's also fine. (It's also your loss because Daisy Ridley is awesome in the film.)
But let's get something straight. If you publicly state that you cost a movie millions of dollars using fuzzy, unverifiable math, you are essentially inviting all of us to not take you seriously about anything ever!
You want to subscribe to an outdated 2D model of masculinity, fine. But most of us cancelled that subscription after the Eleventh Grade.
The rest of us will be in the theater, enjoying a damn fine popcorn flick while not having our manhoods threatened one little bit.

Posted on January 13, 2016 and filed under Movies, Nerd Rant, Filmmaking.

Year End Film Festival.

What follows is my entire output for 2015. Minus one or two little goofy things.

Our official trailer for the YouTube channel. And our third try after the first two were marred by me trying to be in front of the camera and then discovering in the edit that a number of shorts were out of focus because SOMEONE COULDN"T KEEP AN EYE ON THE COCKY DOODIE CAMERA! (Which was a shame because the scripts were actually pretty damn funny. I may post them at a later date.)
That's when I made the rule to not appear in these things myself.
(As we'll see later, that turned into more of a guideline then a rule.)
And we almost didn't get this one done when the actor we originally hired had to bow out at the last minute due to a family emergency. Thankfully, Derek Moody was able to jump in at short notice and help us out. By the by, Derek also hosts "The Church of Rock" on KSKQ 89.5 every Sunday at 7 pm. If you are in the Southern Oregon area and are a fan of the Rock and/or Roll music, you should check it out.
Also, I am challenging any DJ's out there to remix Michael Bingham's scat singing.
Seriously, the idea of someone dancing to "Cuff my Carrot" while whacked out on Molly just fills me with childlike glee.

This was the big one for the year. An eleven page script performed by three actors and shot in one six and a half hour day, not counting lunch. It was also, with a budget of $475, the most expensive short of the year. And at least from a pure filmmaking standpoint, the best thing I did this year.

One of my goofier ideas born from the realization that "Hey! I have an insect eye filter on Final Cut Pro!".  I entered this and "Post-Kill Quip" in the Klamath Film Festival and damn if this wasn't the one that got in.

Since the big outlay for "Post-Kill", I tried to scale back the rest of the shorts for the year while trying to build up a YouTube audience. This solo piece starring Michael Meyer has just enough autobiographical elements to be personally depressing.

Me violating my rule/guideline to save money while trying to keep product in the pipeline. And also my most nakedly autobiographical piece to date.
Seriously. Hamsters. Fuck em'!

While I thought Scott Ford did good work for us in these, I'm unsure if it's worth the psychic pain to write more of these.
Seriously, this campaign year may break me like a boy. 

All in all, not a bad year. Productive and Educational. And I got two public screenings.
The challenge for this year is to top it.

Posted on December 30, 2015 and filed under Comedy, Filmmaking, Movies, Public Screening.

Shut it down and call this year a day.

(H/T to Nanci Griffith for inspiring the title. And for the love of Christ, if you don't believe that "Flyer" is the greatest "I've resigned myself to dying alone" album ever made, I don't even want to know you.)
 

2015 has been a transitional year for me.
I closed up the old blog to focus full time on filmmaking. I made some stuff. I had my stuff shown in two different public screening events. The Klamath Independent Film Festival and ACME Comedy Film Night. 
In short, a pretty good start.
If I'm feeling down right now, it's only because I'm having problems getting a new script finished for my next short.
Personally, I'm blaming winter. Specifically, the fact that I work nights and sleep during the day. And by the time I usually wake up, the sun has started to set, leaving me in a somewhat state of perpetual darkness.
Not exactly conducive to churning out the funny. If Neil Simon had lived in perpetual darkness, "The Odd Couple" would have ended with a murder/suicide.
(Also, to be completely honest, Fallout 4.)

So the goals this year are pretty clear cut.
MAKE MORE STUFF!
And now I need to take a moment to make an annoying commercial announcement.
My being able to make more stuff takes money. 
To pay my actors. Care and Maintenance of my equipment. The occasional ad buys to get my YouTube view numbers up. As the man said, "No Bucks, No Buck Rogers". 
So if you like my stuff, there are two things you can do.
ONE: "Tales of the Geek Nation", my E-Book is still for sale. Feel free to check out that sample piece elsewhere on the site and then follow the sale links to the E-book merchant of your choice.
TWO: On the main page of the YouTube channel, you'll find a button labeled "Support this Channel" that will let you throw me money if you wish to throw it.
(Yeah, I'm well aware I'm sounding needy. But even micro-budgets are still budgets and the people I hire deserve to be paid for their efforts, even if it's token amounts.)
So, here's hoping that 2015 was good for you too and that your 2016 is even better.

Los Angeles, ACME and The art of Hope.

Well, the L.A. thing happened.
And the results were mixed.

And I want to apologize for not posting this sooner. But honestly, I've been been spending the last week or so decompressing and trying to pull my head together. (Okay. Technically, I only spent a couple of days decompressing and trying to pull my head together. The rest of the time was playing FALLOUT 4 which to paraphrase Rick James, is a hell of a drug.) But now, I can give you the skinny on the trip.
Which as I said, was mixed.

I got into L.A. late Tuesday night and managed to snag a late dinner at a KFC near the Hotel. (Because my version of Wild Hollywood Excess involves swapping out chicken fat for heroin.)
The next day, Wednesday started with a nice breakfast at a Bistro which was quickly followed staying in my hotel room the entire day because that was the same day three people had the bright idea of shooting up a Government Office in nearby San Bernardino.
Needless to say, my natural curiosity about Los Angeles was tempered by my natural allergy to hot flying lead.
So I stayed in and did the touristy thing of jerking off to porn supplied by the Hotel's complementary Wi-Fi until it was time to get cleaned up and head off to the theater.
After finding the theater, I had a quick bite at the Amalfi Restaurant. And when I say Quick Bite, I mean the Chicken and Pesto Pizza which I thought would be a small, personal pizza but turned out to be large enough for two people. And since I didn't wan't to carry around a To Go box for the shank of the evening, I proceeded to eat the whole thing in one sitting.
It was Junior High all over again, minus the self loathing and Pepperoni.
Afterwards, I headed into the ACME Lobby where I met the director of ACME Film nights, Josh Paget.  (@JoshPagetComedy) And I'm happy to report that Mr. Paget could not have been more pleasant and congenial. We chatted for a few minutes about two other entries I had submitted for the summer series. GLENGARRY and POST-KILL QUIP. He hadn't seen GLENGARRY yet but seemed lukewarm on POST-KILL. (Which is understandable. While I think it's my strongest work from a pure filmmaking stand point, I'm more then willing to concede that the script does take it's sweet time getting to the meat of the funny.)
We then went in to the screening.
The good news is that the audience throughly enjoyed the short.
The bad news is that the audience was seven people.
Who were also filmmakers who had shorts
Crud.

In retrospect, I should have expected it. First week in December in LA. Everyone would have been rushing to finish up projects before the holidays. Also, ACME had never done a Holiday Film night before and it probably flew under the radar.
But I'm not going to lie, it was something of a gut punch considering the time and expense it took getting down there.
But you know what?
It was worth it.
Josh Paget saw my short and deemed it worthy to be shown in public. That the public failed to show up is somewhat besides the point. It got shown.
And it got shown with a bunch of other shorts that were really funny. In fact, all of the other shorts were so funny, I started to wonder how I even got the slot in the first place.
And that is not a bad feeling to have.

Filmmaking is mostly about hope. You make the thing and you hope an audience shows up. And then you hope they like it and tell their friends " Hey, you have to see this."
Then you make another thing and then hope they show up again.
You do this enough times and if you're lucky, you can call it a career.
My thanks once again to Josh Paget and the good folks at ACME for the opportunity and I hope the next thing I make is something else you want to show.
In the meantime. Here's the YouTube Version of "Heroes". I hope you enjoy it.

SEEN AT THE ACME FILM NIGHT HOLIDAY EDITION. In a time when Christmas is under attack from Secularists everywhere, these heroes aren't letting the holiday go down without a fight! WRITTEN AND DIRECTED by Richard Jensen DAN DOOLITTLE...Richard Jensen TOM STODDARD...Michael Meyer STAN JOHNSON...Michael Bingham MUSIC..."Deck The Halls" Performed by The Morrison Players and Licensed through Audiosocket.



The continuing adventures of Lance Redbach and other things.

Yeah, I know, I'm late posting these but things got real hectic, real damn quick.
First off, here are the other two Lance Redbach shorts I finished a couple of weeks back.

The second one.

This week, Lance Redbach answers his critics who have decried some of his statments about his oppoents on the stump. LANCE REDBACH is one of America's most beloved Broadcasters. "THE LANCE REDBACH SHOW" has been airing on the Triumphal Radio Network reaching thirty million listeners a year.

And the third one.
 

This week, Lance Redbach debunks some of the ugliest rumors that have been spread about him. LANCE REDBACH is one of America's most beloved Broadcasters. "THE LANCE REDBACH SHOW" has been airing on the Triumphal Radio Network reaching thirty million listeners a year.

Hopefully, if these do well, I can turn Lance Redbach into a regular character. (Depending on Scott's Schedule of course.)

Meanwhile, the prep for the upcoming LA trip continues. Josh Paget, the head honcho over at ACME was nice enough to send along an E-mail with information about the show along with some hotel recommendations. And one of them happened to be with in walking distance of the venue. (Although from what I hear, "Walking Distance" in Los Angeles is something of an abstract notion.) 
I'm also going to try to shoot a mini-doc about the trip for the YouTube channel but I'm not sure if I can get any footage at the venue the night of the event. Lord knows bringing the Canon is going to be out of the question. And even though camera phones are socially acceptable, I don't want to be obnoxious about it. Simply because my biggest fear is coming across like an asshole at this thing. So if I get enough footage to cut something together, great.  If not...well, sometimes it's better to live though something then record it.
...
Christ! And I call myself a filmmaker!

SCREENING ANNOUCEMENT: Daddy's coming to LA!

On December 2nd, my short "The Heroes of The War on Christmas" is going to be screened at The Acme Comedy Theater in Los Angeles part of their Holiday Edition of their Film Night. And Lord willin' and if the creek don't rise, I will be there.
Granted, the time between finding out if we made the event and the event itself is a little tighter than I expected.  Thankfully, my day job is being very chill about the entire thing and I still have enough time to make the proper arrangements. The only variable that's concerning me trying to find a place to stay during the event. A certain amount of caution is necessary when entering a large city and in L.A. case, it's magnified by the city's sorted history.
One wrong move and I could end up getting Black Delilah-Ed.
Anyway, tickets are now on sale here. If you see me, give me a wave!

Posted on November 23, 2015 and filed under Comedy, Filmmaking.

Comedy Break: Frank Gorshin on the Dean Martin show.

A friend of mine, Alex Robertson once told me that the only believable villain for him in the BATMAN 66 series was The Riddler and that was because you got the sense from Frank Gorshin's performance that this guy was capable of anything. That at any moment, he could say "Fuck This" and open up Adam West's chest cavity with a Bowie knife.

That commitment as an actor bled into his work as an impressionist. While being strong vocally, he had a gift for turning his face into a mobile 3D version of an Al Hirschfeld caricature. As you could see in the above clip, he could contort his face from Burt Lancaster's broad Cheshire Cat grin to Kirk Douglas' seething intensity in a heartbeat.
And let's face it, any guy who can make a meal out a a host of bad riddles, deserves our respect. That giggle deserves to echo for a long time.
 

Posted on November 20, 2015 and filed under Comedy.

Ladies and Gentlemen..your next POTUS. (Short film.) (EDITED 11-2)

Ladies and Gentlemen. May I present the next President of the United States, broadcaster extraonarde of the Flagsship show of the Trimuphal Radio Network, author of the best sellers "Looting Lincoln" and "See, I warned you about those damn hippies", LANCE REDBACH! LANCE REDBACH: Scott Ford.

For those of you who have been following me on The Instagram and seen me turn my apartment into a green screen studio, this is the reason why.
I wound up shooting three of these things and I will be releasing the other two on consecutive weekends. And if you folks like them. more will be made. I have a few ideas where to take this character and given what a ballbuster this upcoming election year is gonna be, there's going to plenty of material to mine from. 

ADDUMN 11-2-15: New version posted with improved sound mix.

Posted on November 1, 2015 and filed under Comedy, Filmmaking, YouTube Channel.