Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Complete Newspaper Layout and Backstory

80 Hours in the making... The Prop Newspapers are finally done. I know everybody has seen these images but I wanted to lay them out as they will be presented to show some of the Producers etc... Exactly what I did. If the film bombs, there will be one good thing come out of this and that is I went from not knowing how to just open an Adobe InDesign file to being an Intermediate user over night.

It is a hell of a program for many needs and without it, I would have had to do this in illustrator or worse had this thing in a 250 layer photoshop file.

The Metro Name plate of course was aimed to mimic the The New York Times, but I tried to still have an old time Newspaper feel to it, hence the Headline Font used for "Leather Strap Strangler..."I chopped and mashed up a bit. I've said it before and will say it again, I HATE TIMES NEW ROMAN and managed even with all 30 publications I did to stay away from it entirely. The Body font is Bookman Old Style, kerned and horizontally expanded to give it a more sort of Newspaper look.

Manish Patel is a good friend of mine and our schedules are just way off so we rarely get together or speak on the phone but I wanted him to know how much his friendship meant to me by making him a psycho/serial killer from years past in Metro. What a guy I am, hunh? He had a nickname, "Diablo," back in High School, so I thought it to be fitting to use that as his alter ego. He liked it. I'm very friend-based oriented so any shout outs or tributes I get the opportunity to give, I do. See below as my buddy Doug also makes the front page as an Irish Chef opening a restaurant. He's Irish. He's a chef. It works.

The Sewer Rats was a last minute idea. I opened the local Hickory Daily Record and saw that they had little Hickory Crawdad columns all over and in every column was the Crawdad logo. I'm like, "SHIT!" Metro has to have a sporting team and I have to make a logo. The Rats logo sucks, in fact I made it in about twenty minutes, but nonetheless gives my city yet another dimension of life.

So for any Conspiracy Theory Mooks out there, I'm going to tell you the story of my good friend Freddy and how he came to be the Sex Addicted Mayor caught in a scandal. I've already received one pot shot about him being black like Obama, and in office with scandal as if they were saying I was speaking out against something I thought was going to happen if Obama was voted into office. I can assure you, that is so far from the truth...

Anyway, if you read this then you know I had thoughts of using several different people as Mayor. Well, as time began to tick down and I had not received pictures from the guys I asked... I started making the magazines anyway. Freddy at this point in time was to play the News Vendor so he couldn't be the Mayor too. (Unless we were doing past and present type stuff.) Well Muki had taken some great pictures of Freddy, Mark, myself and others while we were shooting The Tag Along Trailer. So I decided, I would use Freddy's pictures as placeholders so I could kind go ahead and lay everything out until the time came to switch the pictures out. As the magazines kept coming, I got kind of attached to Freddy as the ficticious Mayor Walter Weitz and it seemed like the work was done on the magazines so why not... But I had promised Freddy a part in the movie so no matter what we would have to switch them out. Then I got an email from Freddy saying he didn't want to be in the film but wanted to help out behind the camera. The pictures were already there, so Bada Bing we have our Sex Addicted BLACK Mayor. That's how that worked, honestly. Nothing more than dumb, good luck.

The Mayor's name comes from the two people I envy and respect the most in this business that I know personally: Heather walter and Ryan Weitz. (Both will be a part of filming.)

Inside Front Page

This page will actually be on camera so I had to spruce it up a bit. Most papers including the HDR place the Obituaries there. I'm a little superstitious and paranoid so I wasn't about to make up fake deaths using random names for anything in the world. SORRY.... Nope. So, I decided to place "Letters to the Editor" in that spot. I put little captions from readers who are all a part of the production with the exception of my friend, Jeremy Dayton. A couple of the thoughts attack the exact thing I'm creating. Others are actual points and loop holes in our plot, HEE HEE.

Underneath that, you know the story, I had always wanted to do a political cartoon. Well I got to do two. (The Diablo Comic you see is still the rough draft.) The final will appear in the actual paper. The Shark reference doesn't show up in the pages of Metro Post but you will see where that joke comes in on the pages of the Skyline Daily Record and City Story Magazine.

Then underneath that is filler from first page and of course my fake ball teams: The Metro Sewer Rats and the Inner City Pests which is a Minor League Football Team(Semi Pro.)

Inside Back Page

Again if you know me, you know I have a fetish for pens. I have to have three writing utencils on me at all times and they have to be nice. Bics and Paper Mates won't do. If I leave the house without them, (rarely happens since the sickness has been going on for over six years,) I have to turn around and go back. The pens have to write black and the shell cannot be of bright color unless it is silver. (No Red, Pink, Blue.) Seriously, it's awful. The three pens' MO is simple: One Ball Fine Point. One Barrel Ink or Fountain, Medium to Fine Point and One usually Rotring Felt Art Pen, 0.25. I do alot of writing, sketching etc everywhere I go so I must have them in order to stay sane. Pencils are touch and go. If I'm drawing, it has to be a Staedtler Mechanical. If I'm writing, the trusty, (AND ONLY BRIGHT COLOR,) Sanford 2B Wooden pencil with no eraser. I own 8 Cross pens and 3 of each size of the Staedtler and trust me, if one goes missing it's off to the Art Store I go to replace it immediately which really defeats the purpose of having 3 of each doesn't it? If I go into Office Depot, or Staples you can count on a ten to fifteen minute stop in the pen aisle as I check for new and cool pens all the manufacturers make. My wife hates it so as a tribute to my recognizing my sickness, the 40% off Sale of Pens and Pencils at the "Ink Office Superstore," had to be in done.

Outside Back Page

I've always wanted to build and host a Haunted Something or other at Halloween. I've never had time nor money to do so, but it is on my list of To Do's and as my kids grow older I feel I'll find myself in a better position to do it and have a great time. Well, because this film is taken place right before Halloween of this year, I ran an ad for the Haunted Castle appearing at the Six Flags type place there in Metro. When I lived in LA, I worked at the kids version of Hard Rock Cafe, called Cartoonsville. I waited on Sam Raimi, Diane Lane, Hugh Hefner, and others there. It was the coolest funnest place I worked at outside the business while I was in LA so I thought it would be fitting now that that place is closed down to have them host it. I'm foreshadowing an event I'm gonna' do one day on the back cover. (Not to mention, saves me a lot of the little details by running a full page ad.) The special Appearances are all friends of mine from Patterson School to UCLA.

The Skyline Daily Record was kind of a last minute thing. All cities have more than one newspaper and since we have to do big runs to get these papers printed, I thought making an alternative would emphasize the realness of all of this. There is also one flashback scene early in the film where Henry is stalking Dana at a coffee shop. He uses the paper to cover his face and since it's two weeks earlier, I had to do a different cover anyway. Why not make it a different paper all together?

So here we go:

Outside Front Page

As an ode to Jaws and I imagining Metro being next to water why not on top of sex addicted mayors and serial killers have a territorial shark problem too that seems like it just won't go away. Thanks to my brilliant father's photography, (He's shot a picture of everything, animal, you name it,) it made it easy to add this element. As the story goes, a kid lost his arm and leg surfing from a 17 foot Mako Shark. Well they closed the beaches and killed the shark but wait.... Another man is killed after that by a shark so the Bounty for the deadly shark is raised to $25,000. Funny thing is if you go back up to the Metro Post and look at the Sewer Rats opponents, one is the called the Wave Crest Makos. Underneath the date of the game there is a disclaimer stating: "pending postponement." Reason behind this, with people dying from a Mako Shark problem, the last thing the city needs is a team with the name Mako to come to town. HA, HA!

Notice the corner story... Since this is two weeks earlier there are only two bodies and today a third so with the Mayor and Shark problem, our Leather Strap Strangler has not become the center of attention yet. Then I figured in the midst of all the awfulness this city is enduring why not have some hometown heroes in their Minor League Baseball team that nobody really pays attention to until they go undefeated for half the season which in Baseball is damn near impossible. There's the little positive to counter all the negative.

This paper's outside will only be used so the inside pages are irrelevant.

Outside Back Page
Ah, the big blockbuster coming from Freddy Robinson in 2009, The Tag Along. Had to do it... Had to do it... As it was to be shot before I shot this.

The Skyline Daily Record gets it's name because of the local paper here we call the Hickory Daily Record. Lora Dellinger, the layout manager there walked me through the newspaper layout process and took time out of her busy day to help a clueless kid. I didn't feel calling it the Lora Gazette or something like that would be so good, so since she works for the paper, The Skyline Daily Record was due. (I slaved over that Skyline Graphic behind the name for hours and when I was finished was dead set on using it for the Metro Post, but found it just didn't look right anywhere, so I designed The SDR Name Plate around that that rendering. I felt compelled.)

Skyline Daily Record - October 24th, 2008
This issue will just be laying in piles around the newsstand so no inside or back pages were made. I will probably just copy the ads from the other since it will never show on camera.

This issue has the usual suspect articles as the serial killer panic heightens. If you check the corner top story you will see my tribute to the Crown Cinema VI here in my hometown. It shut down 2 years ago as corporate Carmike slammed in with it's 15 screen multiplex. I grew up watching movies there and if I was financial stable I would bid to buy that place and turn it into a 1.00/arthouse theater. For now a little, ad in a fake paper is all I can do.

So there you go. There is the method to my madness and why I took making these props so seriously. As many will say, "nice fake newspaper." I will say, "yeah, nice, but pretty cool too if you really read it."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mis-Measurements and My Father and I go to the Cineplex

Alright so I was almost done with the Lane Publications section of Pre Production, when I printed off one cover of each of my little paper nusances only to find, in order to fill the stand there would be too much "empty" space between the magazines. Laymans: The newspaper stand is bigger than I had measured for, so it was back to Indesign Hell 101 to do like TEN more covers. AAAAAAHHHHHH! That's alright though. Everything is still going as planned. In fact, Daddy gets an expected treat on Thursday. My Old Man and I are hitting the cineplex for The Dark Knight. I was going Sunday, but Dad offered to go on Thursday and my dad and I's schedules are terrible for getting together and I owe him. He is the guy that took me to the first Batman when we were on vacation in Myrtle Beach. This was the guy who took me to Raiders on opening night. (He was in Italy for Crystal Skull's opening so we gotta' go see one of these films together.

My latest Train Wrecks of covers. You can tell, I'm getting careless, sloppy and running out of ideas.

And Finally, Mandi's grandmother, Linda, gets the privilege of appearing on the first ever digital issue of my infamous "Flavor of the Week." That picture was done for a scrap book at Christmas for her. Done in Photoshop and finished in Illustrator, I don't think it ever made the final cut of the book so I'm reusing the picture.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Messing Up a Good Thing

Now that all the vendors, and people I've had to court to get what I need have been contacted, the pressure of rejection has
now exiled itself to the future where it will come back again for the next project. I had always said that the employees of the City of Hickory were wonderful. Below is the actual statement I made about Mrs. Hamby and the Chamber staff when they OK'd Meter, (hand gun and all,) for shooting downtown 3 years ago.

September 20th, 2006 - I Love This Town

You know I love Hickory, NC. It's my hometown for one, (obviously,) and yes, I've had my times of doubt and hated it, (and still believe that with the profession I've chosen have no business living here.) But one of the reasons I love Hickory is the people are genuinely nice and good people. In this instance, I submitted a Special Events Application to assure myself the approval of blocking of three parking spots and acquiring necessary electricity to run my lights from their power for my shoot. I was skeptical at first, that the City of Hickory would reject my application being that I needed the resources on a Saturday night. If you've  ever been downtown Hickory on Saturday night, there this place called 'Olde Hickory Tap Room' and this is where sixty-five percent of the people go to get salsed after a long week of work. It may very well be THEE most populated bar in Hickory on that particular night. Maybe the City of Hickory thought that my proposal was a positive thing given again, that my production would be blocking four parking spots hence keeping four less cars full of drunks into the heart of our town. Then again maybe they are just that nice, because not three days after my submittal, I was given a green light and carte blanche for my small production. AND—Would not even be charged for power? Hunh? That's it? Really? Just like that?

Yes, just like that. These are the perks of small towns. This why so many people migrate here.  The important people of our town are open to any idea and do spend the time to make sure their townsmen are given what they need to succeed. That is a valuable commodity and I will never speak badly about this town again. In fact when it's time for the feature, "Debauchery," to go into production, you can best believe it will shot in and around Hickory and will be promoted there within.

Thank you to Teresa Hamby and the many others that assisted me in this approval. Your kindness will not go unnoticed.

With this goal easily accomplished it is on to the Hickory Police Department's approval on the PROP GUN. This one may not as easy---

Here is the email I received from Teresa not a week after I submitted my application:


Good Afternoon Mr. Lane

Good news! Your Special Event application has been approved by all departments. I will be mailing you a letter from the city manager's office that officially gives your company permission to film in our downtown area. There will not be any charge for power used with your temporary lights. Please call Phillip Rocket or Alex Brittain (who are with our Public Utilities Department) @ 828-323-7500 as soon as possible to arrange a meeting so that they can discuss the area where filming will occur and power connections that you may use. If you have any further questions or problems, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks and good luck on your movie!!

Teresa Hamby
City of Hickory
Development Assistance Center

Of course this time around I actually had to have a meeting with many city people and discuss every little aspect of my project. I answered questions that ranged from how many parking spots I needed to amount of sound level I was allowed to have.

The reason: Since Meter many other filmmakers have been taking advantage of the city's generosity and leaving a shambled path behind them. This pisses me off. I'm a firm believer of freedom of any sorts. But I also firmly believe that when people take advantage of those freedoms, those freedoms should be taken away from them.
I was told there was property damaged, a pedestrian injured and a fake permit produced. OK, I'm not the mayor nor am I of any importance, but I will say this:

If you guys fuck up a perfectly good thing where people of the community are being generous and offering us broke filmmakers free locations, resources and property, I'm gonna' find you and I'm gonna' take your shitbox camera and shove it up your Michael Bay loving ass!

Get a permit. Go through the motions. Do it right. I plan on shooting in Hickory again. Granted, with my track record it may be another year, year and half. But that time with your wrap sheet they may send me out of town on a rail for just asking. I don't, (and I'm sure you don't as well,) want to have to move everything to Rhodhiss or Valdese because you couldn't clean up your Red Bull cans or some poor old lady was injured cause you have two non karating, non kung fuing, friends of yours doing some thrown together fight scene on the sidewalk when one of the mooks throws some fake rubber star and it catches her as she walks out of the boutique.

Better yet, if you are too yellow or self involved or whatever to go through the motions, contact me. I'll do it for you if it means it saves me the option of having a beautiful city with very generous people in it to shoot in. Think next time. I know where you live and I'm not kidding.... Got it.

Get one of these. Its easier to carry this than the fear of getting caught.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Film's Mission Statement

I was a little emotional on Friday when I realized how much work we had really put into this film in the last year and also realized just how close we are to our finest hour.

A Note from the Director:

I’m 34. I’ve worked at this hobby since I was 16... And I’m still nobody. I haven’t made a dime off any of the films I’ve made. Sure, I’ve made some money doing boring stuff like weddings, commercials, documentaries, but never made a dollar not one dollar off a film. Not even the studio ones I slept in my car with five other guys for four days on. And it didn’t matter and still doesn’t. I’ve had some triumphs and tragedies. Until my last film, I had begun to accept the bad decisions I made throughout my career and opportunities squandered put me right where I was and there was nobody to blame but myself. Then I decided to try it ONE MORE TIME and all the ups and downs of my life in filmmaking all came back and I used all the bad decisions to my advantage and made a truly great film and more importantly found my voice. Suddenly it was if I just... Got it.

Filmmaking is a monster. There’s a million filmmakers out there who are a million times better than the filmmakers we know. What separates them? Money, (funding for their film.) That and the amount of endurance and stamina they have to eat shit and break their back doing the trait. That’s it.

Me, I’m not one of those talented guys... But my endurance and stamina for my trade is up there with Cool Hand Luke’s during that boxing fight in the yard. Well, two friends who I probably don’t deserve the honor to know have given me a second and last chance to do what I love. Rick Deal, the author of the original story the film is based on generously threw me the story and said, “Go Ahead, do whatever,” even after it won an award. Ryan, my mentor and the film’s producer, generously is draining his savings account and unconditionally is putting all of it on what I would have said five years ago was a long shot. I can truly say now, “is a sure thing.” I’ve never been so confident in my work as a filmmaker and have never been so confident that the film we are about to embark on will redeem all those squandered opportunities and bad decisions I have made. Can we pay you to help? No. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been prepping this movie for a year so to assure nobody’s work would be in vain. I’ve compromised time with my family, my health and many money making jobs to prepare this film for shooting. Do I think it’s been worth it? Hell yes I do, because when this film is cut in November my family and I will look back and they will understand why we do what we do. They will understand what we have been put on earth to do. This film although small in scale will be huge for your career. I promise that as the Captain of the Ship. We will take everybody with us and you may be tired, broke and rashed come wrap time that Monday, but on my professional life, you will know you were just a part of something very special. We look forward to working with you all whether it is the first or second time. It will be a fun filled, learning, and inspiring experience.

The shoot will run as follows:

Saturday, September 27th - Mid day shoot. Call time tentatively 1:00pm

Sunday, September 28th - Mid day/night shoot. Call time tentatively 4:00pm - 2:00am

Monday September 29th- Night shoot Call time 6:00pm - 4:00am

I know some of my roster of guys have a day job like I do. Trust me, my boss thinks I’m going to see a fictitious grandmother in Arizona that weekend, so number one don’t get in trouble with boss. Two, since we can’t pay you, if you can not afford to miss work, don’t. I can’t secure a day’s pay nor pay your unemployment following principle photography until January when we get the big film either. If I could I would. If you can only work one, two of the three days, just let me know. I want to make sure I hire enough crew to be able to lose ya’.

If you have any preferences on food, please let me know. You will be fed Lunch and Dinner on Saturday. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Sunday and Monday. Most will be home cooked meals so I am up for any ideas. On top of square meals there will be a snacks corner table in Headquarters that will be constantly stocked with drinks and edibles.

Headquarters will be an RV. It will be a place for Make Up, Recoup, Rest and where our HD Loader will be dropping the footage as we fill the cards. As long as you don’t trash the place you are welcomed to be in there IF and when we don’t need ya’.

Also, considering the two big days of shooting will be late nights, we would like to put two people to a room if possible. Saturday, we are actually shooting in the hotel we’re staying at, so anyway, I understand not many of you will know each other but honestly you will by Sunday at midnight and all we’ll be doing is sleeping there. If anybody has a problem with that, please feel free to let me know. I’ll make arrangements.

I also need to know your skills and where you want to be on the set. There’s shit loads of stuff to do. Do you want major responsibility, light responsibility? Do you want to be in charge of dressing the newsstand set or being my right hand man/woman through the entirety.

Again, thank you for being a part of this. We are happy you are on board. I’ll make it the best experience you’ve had all summer. I’ve attached links to places of interest if you are still not sold on the production. One is the Production Journal I have been keeping. One is the actual storyboards to film and if you are into that myspace we’re there too(don’t say anything it’s free publicity.) We are set on private because we have a lot of proprietary stuff on there so you will have to request us in order to see anything.

Feel free to call me or email at anytime. I look forward to building a working relationship and friendship with each and every one of you. I will say that, I spend a lot of time with my kids and rarely answer the phone during that time, but leave me a message and I’ll get back to you. Take care and again, thank you for taking this journey with us.

Yours truly,
Garrick Lane

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Full Force with my Roll Up and Stuff It Shooting Script

It’s full force to September from here. We’re recasting, crewing up, paying deposits and MOST IMPORTANTLY for ME anyway is I’m getting ORGANIZED and putting my game face on. If you have ever watched any of Oliver Stone Behind the Scenes clips on any of his DVDs, (and many other Directors as well,) you will see him carry around this massive 3 Inch Binder packed full with all the notes, scripts etc in it. Sure his films are like 4 hours long and I’m sure the info is all there but directing is a tiring job and the last thing I want to have to do is cart around a notebook the size of my car for 4 days let alone 30 days. Jobbers was my biggest film and I had a 4 incher for that fraggin’ monster of a film, but because I was the lead actor in it, I thought carrying that thing around would only be trouble, so I would run off the pages of the script, notes etc of what we were shooting that day at 50% of original size, the night before the shoot. Then cut them out as individual pages and staple it all together, (I could get away with this. My eye sight is still good, knock on wood,) and stuff the mini reference in my back pocket. For Meter and the rest of the films before that, it was a See Thru Clip On Spine type Report Cover with all my pages, boards and shit stuffed inside. Jeopardy is no different and the point of this story isn’t Notebook Carrying 101, it is the fact that, this ritual of mine is usually done when my mind turns from Production Labor to Director/Artist which also means that I’ve tied up all the other BULLSHIT I gotta deal with and from there on out, (or here on out in this case,) it’s Making Movieville in Garrick’s brain from here until September 29th. For Jeopardy, I have my Color Codes to keep me organized, my storyboards to make my shot lists with and well, the script so I know what and when I’m shooting. I’m surprised I’m at this point in the project to be doing this because merely three weeks ago, I felt maybe we were never gonna’ make the film at all. What a difference a day makes.

What comes with my little “Roll up and Stuff in My Back Pocket Folder,” is the Journal. Every production I’ve ever done has had it’s own personal leather wrapped slab of trees where I spew out all my stuff. (With the exception of the Jersey Bootleg where I wrote the entire journal on New York Post Newspapers because I was too drunk to keep up with anything.) This one [Jeopardy’s] is full of sketches and a lot of these entries before I sit down to type them. It’s just a little of everything. I do this for my children. I figure if I never get anywhere with this thing I do, one day my kids will stumble across all this junk and may read it and realize well hell…. “Dad was really a nobody, but we can’t say it was from lack of trying.”

Check out my Howard Hughes Pearwood Pen. I love that frickin’ pen.

My “Roll Up and Stuff Shooting Script”

Close Up of MY Color Code Method

Storyboards cut down from 40 pages to 10

My Leather Bound (Doctor Jones Style) Journal. That’s my letter I’m writing to a friend to beg for additional funding for this movie, (no shit.)

My sketches for the final mags I had to do if you can see that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Making the World of Metro

Metro - My Cool World

Call me a nerd, but I'm a little enthralled with my own creation. I'm not saying that in an arrogant way, but more "it just kind of happened that way" kind of way. Rick's original story took place in Baltimore. I knew I was
not going to get to shoot this film in Maryland so I chose to make the location ambigious. Well with that I had to create a city, name and because
of the newsstand situation,I really had to add layers of dimensions to a city that didn't exist. From the 'Leather Strap Strangler' to the 'Mayor's Sex Scandal,' to my ode to Jaws with the shark attacks going on in the Payton Place Harbor, METRO is now a living thing with people living there and has become a character in itself. This is kind of a shame because Jeopardy is only ten minutes at the most in length and the only place "Metro" is going to be real relevant is the newspaper stand scene. Granted, the newspaper stand scene is pretty big but not real intuitive towards the city's attention besides the fact a crazy killer is on the loose. So now I am thinking, "How could I utilize the city of Metro in the future. Hell, I've created counties, piers, surburbs, police officers' names, newspapers, how could I use this city to its fullest?

I guess I'm going to have to write another crime drama film or really start going at my graphic novel I have boarded out and use Metro as the backdrop.

I've been collecting candies, pens, etc, to sell at the newsstand as well. The one thing I forgot completely about is cigarettes. Everybody buys cigarettes at newsstands. Or should I say every newsstand has cigarettes. That means like Kevin Smith's "Nails" or Tarantino's "Red Apples." I have to make some fake cigs. Luckily I already had an idea that spawned from way back. Justin webber, a good friend of mine and roommate from the City of Angel days called cigarettes "Squares." He would always, say "Hey,can I bum a square?" I never questioned where he got the name from but I did always say, if I've ever got to use prop cigarettes, I was going to call them Squares. Well, Justin... That time is now.

Here is the rough layout for my "Squares" Cigarette Box. I will actually have to make Cartons as well.

I was also talking to my friend Addison Fox from the old days of Hickory High School. He is making my Police Jackets and the underground paper I used to publish every week instead of focusing on my education came up and it was like a light bulb appeared and then crashed around my big melon head. I've been brainstorming and making newspapers and magazines and breaking my synapses trying to come up with titles for publications...
DUH! Why on earth would "The Flavor of the Week" not be one of the titles. I immediately went home and started laying out the logo, digital, (not long hand like it used to be,)style.

Here are a couple of examples of the real thing from 1992,1993. Thanks Addison for the 2 x 4 to the head.

Here's a rough draft of the Metro Version of the FOTW. I think I'm going to make it mirror the format of the Variety/Miscellaney or New York Post.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Anxious for September

And with a day of minor adjustments and additions to add to my dummy mags and newspapers the Massive Undertaking of finishing enough 'Non Licensed' periodicals to fill my 6ft by 13ft Newspaper stand has come to an end. I'm somewhat excited because I realize when the film is over and the smoke has cleared, because I have made countless references to friends, characters and inside jokes on all these papers, there will be a lot of keepsake material I can give away or who knows, if the film does well, sell on ebay. WINK, WINK. I've story boarded every frame, drawn every concept sketch, character drawing, rendered all my promotional material yada, yada for all my films and I can truly say of all the things, (creative that I've done,) I am most proud of this accomplishment. I can already feel this film will be the best I've done as well. Although ten minutes in length it is the ballsiest and biggest production I've taken on next to Jobbers, (if not more complex,) than Jobbers. I am looking more forward to September with every passing moment.

Of course of all the work, exhaustion and creativity put into these covers, the best "dummy" cover comes from Phil, who is playing Henry. Check out his Variety style Spoof. It's full of inside jokes and damn near looks exactly like the format Variety delivers daily.

Other than that one, here the final three. If you scroll down you can see all the magazines in the past six entries.

Phil's Miscellany Trade Paper

Manish's End of the World Newsletter/Paper/Magazine

My Kids had to be on a cover. My father's jewell of a picture again makes it simple. My father's photography you will notice populates most of the mags. If it isn't him, it's the talented Muki Aledori.

And Then... The Other Newspaper. The Hickory Daily Record gave me the specs and are making it possible for me to have these printed so the other newspaper had to be ".... Daily Record." Thank you Lori for all your help.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Monster Squad Aura is No More

I watch The Goonies at least once a month and that isn't because I have kids. (My kids aren't quite old enough for Data, Chunk and the boys.) I watch it because I love it and it was a huge part of my life when I was younger and one of the movies along with Raiders that churned my imagination every which way leading me down the path I am at today. Epic, the huge fantasy script I wrote had many 'Goonie' and other movies of that time elements to it. My friend Chip, was a Monster Squad guy. I loved The Monster Squad too. It was a couple years past "The Goonies," but at that age, movies like that just rocked and I have/had always been a big fan of the Hammer Studio/Universal Studio Monster Pictures and anything remotely similar to those characters I would line up for any day. Well, "The Goonies" throughout the next 20 years never really went away. You could find it on TNT, Superstation, VHS, and finally in a Deluxe Edition DVD. I owned both and had The Goonies whenever I wanted them at least for the last seven to eight years.

The Monster Squad wasn't that way. It had come out in the theater and then disappeared into thin air, maybe surfacing back in the day of Russ Russell's basement on HBO... I can't remember. Well, I had occasionally seen little reminders online, TV, books of that campy film, "The Monster Squad." In fact, I had been excited for quite awhile for a DVD release of it.

Finally, what, two years ago, I got my wish in a Deluxe Edition DVD. With the release of the DVD came lots of articles and press on the film where I found out 20 years later that the film had bombed miserably at the Box Office and Critics/Audiences had torn it apart. I don't remember it being that way. I loved that fraggin' movie. Yeah, I was 14 but so what?

Even looking at The Goonies, yes there are some real fake, cheesy parts, dialogue and the whole premise is rather ridiculous. Do I still watch it? Hell yes! The same went for Monster Squad. The only difference is I had not seen MS in maybe twenty years.

In the past year and a half, everytime I'd walk by it at Wal-Nuts, Best Buy, Circuit City, I'd check the price, pick it up, yearn to have it, but I had promised my wife only 8 films a year, (I could purchase,) and I guess subconsciously I found $17.00 for this film not caliber enough to be put on the 'Big Eight' list especially when I had not bought "There Will Be Blood" yet. I thought, Christmas Time would be right around the corner and I'd get to relive some more memories of my childhood while being inspired like I once was with Goonies and the other Imaginative Movies of that time.

Well, a week and a half ago, I got a break. I had succumbed to an acute kidney infection and was sentenced to bed rest. My DVD player shit the bed a week before and my loving, sympathetic mother gave me some money to go replace it since I had just blown $400 on a Doctor visit and could not do so myself. Well, the DVD Player ended up being on sale so of course I was like, "Well, let's find a movie to watch on it as well." I hate giving Wal Nuts a red cent of my money but today it just so happened I was there at their pharmacy cause it was close to home. They have something called Roll Back Pricing, (whatever that means,) but anyway Monster Squad had been victim of the Roll Back and was only nine dollars. I thought, "Today was my day.... I was buying Monster Squad."

That night after the kids went to sleep I watched the film for the first time since before puberty, (don't quote me on that,) and well.... I'm not sure it was the same movie. I mean maybe, back in the day I was suffering from no Goonie Sequelitis or something and this Monster Squad at the time was enough antibiotic to keep me pushing on. Like I said earlier, I watch Goonies and see the cheese that I never saw back in the day, yet I'm OK with it because I get it.
Well, Monster Squad's cheesiness and ridiculousness was inexcusable and the effects were awful and it just wasn't the same movie I remembered. That's heart breaking considering the patience and anxiety I had toward finely owning and watching that film again.

Yes I know now why it bombed. Nice try but I'll keep wearing out my Goonie, Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller DVD's out.

My Big Eight List Thus Far I've Bought:

1. Planet Terror-- *Doesn't really count as list of eight. (Christmas gift card)
2. Heat Deluxe Edition
3. Midnight Cowboy DE
4. There Will Be Blood
5. Monster Squad-- *Gift
6. Juno

*The Eight are actual movies I buy out of my bank account with MY money.

The Original Kick Ass Poster

The Not so Kick Ass DVD

Monday, July 7, 2008

Political Cartoons Removed from my Bucket List

Back in the days where drawing was more important than making films I thought the political cartoons were something else. I thought what a great job. Get paid once a week to draw a small little funny comic. Some are really funny, some are not. Knowing I was going to get away with making the back page of the Metro Post nothing but full page ads on both sides, I've been presently racking my brain on what to put on the inside front page, (faces opposite of front page.) It had to have content on it. Finally, I said, the heck with it. I am going to fill half the page with "Letters to the Editor" and "Newspaper Staff Credits." Then put the rest of the front page story at the bottom and I will sandwich two of those cool customized comics in between the two columns.

I've picked my friend, Manish to be a Vigilante in jail for life for killing Al Qaeda Operatives linked to 9/11 back in 2002 that is basically tied to the "Strangler Story" now because it was the last "serial killer" threat to the city. Well I combined that element with the sarcasm of the police still not having any leads and made one of my cartoons.

The other I was lazy on because I'm honestly over doing all of this, but I spoofed my other "fake headline story" about Sharks being in the Harbor and the fact that the harbor, (just like all the other ones in America,) is terribly polluted. BOOM! I can take "Making Political Satire Comics" off the Bucket List.

The Diablo aka Manish comic is just the rough sketch. I have to take it into Illustrator and work the magic. The shark one looked like the Manish one before I got the Wacom out and let the wonderful Illustrator software loose on it. (Just sketched on paper, scanned and then traced.)

The Police Visit Diablo

On The Bright Side

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Light at the End of a Very Long Tunnel

I am 2 Magazines and 1 Newspaper away from finishing what I thought would be the most time consuming part of Pre Production on Jeopardy. With an Acute Kidney Infection putting me out of work last Thursday and Friday and then a week off following I managed to knock out the rendering of the Metro Post Newspaper and 20 Original Magazine Covers.

Phil Vaglia who will be playing the lead in the film has also managed to do a fantastic "Fake Trade Paper" that spoofs the Variety Trade Paper. I'll get it up in the next couple of days. I want say I'm completely satisfied with my progress, but with the newstand nearly completed and the periodicals to fill it PDF'd and ready to go to print, I'll rest easy tonight. I spent some quality time with Payton and River in between and now have 60 days plus to work on the job I had in mind for my self all along.... Directing.

Here is the Newsstand as of yesterday.

My Tribute to my favorite kid movie of all time, The Wizard of Oz

The City Story Magazine Week 2

The City Story Magazine Week 3

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Long Week of Burning Eyes and Draining the Creative Lemon

So again, I've spent every waking second I've had this week doing the notorious and MOST METICULOUS part of pre production for Jeopardy: The Fake Magazines. As I got draw closer to my quota of 20 covers and 2 papers, I feel the anxiety of the real creative part of my job getting closer: Telling the story.

I haven't talked to anybody lately and that's only because once I'm over this hump, the real race begins. This is the final stages of what I thought I'd never ever get to, much less get through... I feel the pressure lifting. Now... If $400 could fall in my lap, I'd get real excited.

Here is the final with copy revision of the centerpiece of all these periodicals, The Metro Post. The back page is pretty cool. Took me all fuckin' day. I'm really starting to understand Adobe Illustrator. Can't wait to start my cartoon.

Back Page

Another Manish Idea... He's not only the fictional Diablo Killer in the newspapers, but he's designed the Hotel Mag and one I'm doing tomorrow called, 'EOTW'. I'll tell you when I make it what it stands for.

Here's Mark Collin's finished design. He came up with The Morning Cereal Tabloid. Here's the finished product.

Metro's Harbor somehow got adopted through.... I don't know. It sounded cool. I've always wanted to live in a city with a Harbor. (I never saw LA's. It was too hard to get down there.) And hey, if you know me, you know I'm a Shark Week MoFo. I love um.

And here's a shortcut cheat I came up with. You know when you go in stores, all the porn mags have bags and sleeves on them to keep "the goods" from showing to all? Well, why not make a crap load of these and take some LL Bean Catalogs of my mothers and slip these covers on them to convey Nudey Mags. Talk about saving me some time.

One more slew and this job and tumor will be in recession.

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