Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

*** 12.09.08 - Palmetto... 1998... Director Volker Schlöndorff

Considered a "Neo-Noir" film, "Palmetto" is a fun, dark, interesting and extremely sexy film. Director Volker Schlöndorff did his homework on this one and made a film that is always great to watch.

Now it does help that two of the sexiest women alive, Elisabeth Shue and Gina Gershon are in it. Shue looks amazing, with curves for days and during a sequence in a beach side bungalow... well lets just say I still have trouble breathing every time I watch it. Her performance as the Femme Fatal is dynamic. And Gershon's role, although smaller, is solid as well and let's face it... from her opening moment in the film to present day, I'll watch anything she does just to see her mouth and lips.

The film has so many classic moments in it that I won't get into too many of them. It has the right amount of drama, sensuality, and humor. It's shot magnificently and there is an edit sequence with about 20 minutes left in the film that to this day I still say out loud, "That's an F'ing awesome shot."

(Me and Michael Rappaport in Memphis)

The DVD doesn't have much on it, so it's a little bit of a let down, but the film... the performances, Woody Harrelson, Michael Rappaport and Chloe Sevigny are in it as well and Elisabeth Shue in all of her glory are so worth it! And when Shue is bad... awww buddy... it's Oh So Good!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great Writing Always Equals A Great Film

**** 11.23.08 - Juno... 2007... Director Jason Reitman

OK, a major shout out has to go to Diablo Cody, an ex-stripper turned writer who nailed it with this script. It is funny, smart and alive! The clear reason she won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. She deserved it and you can judge for yourself when you look at the film.

Ellen Page gives a dynamic performance and there are several supporting performances that are just pure fun to watch.

The DVD is a good one as well, with lots of extras. I've watched the film at least 4 times and each time I find something new about it that makes me just feel good about the business.

If you haven't seen it, rent it... buy it... or go to a showing of it ASAP!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lunch With A Pro

Had lunch on Friday with a fellow filmmaker who I met and actually worked with in Memphis, who is now living in NYC working in the industry, Lisa Kiesel. She's working on a documentary with some folks in the Virginia area and also doing some work for AFI. She stopped into town and we caught up on old times and talked... argued... well constructively discussed her project.

I won't go into it too much because they're still working on the doc and until they're ready to discuss it publicly I will always respect their wishes, but I will say it's an interesting subject.

It was good to talk film with Lisa and for some reason she gets a kick out of debating issues with me when it comes to film. I think she actually likes to call it more torture than anything, but it's still fun nonetheless.

Keep an eye out for her, she's got good ideas and if her and her partners pull this off, it could be a very interesting film! I'll pass along more info about it when I get it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Office Away From Home...

Getting some work done today at my office away from home... yes there is a product placement for you.

It's funny, I'm working on cleaning up a script I wrote some time ago and it's too funny to see how and what I wrote about. I dropped in a lot of things I thought were relevant back then and hot and now, they're so dated.

However at the core of it all is a pretty good script, at least I think, so I'll keep working on it and fix it up. Time to get back to work!

Peace out!

P.S. Oh by the way, you're not supposed to take pictures inside of Starbucks, so I had to sneak this one from my camera phone shooting over my shoulder behind me... not bad huh?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Chocolat" Tastes So Good!

*** 3/4 10.27.08 - Chocolat... 2000... Director Lasse Hallström

A highly underrated film when you think about films you might want to rent and watch. Lassee Hallström creates a magical world that evokes so many emotions that it may surprise you!

A great cast... Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina, and Judi Dench. The characters are rich and full of depth. And Binoche... well... this is an amazing example of a "real" woman in film, complete with curves and a sensuality that equals her co-star... chocolate! I had forgotten how sexy she truly is in this film, from her personality to yes... yes her body which is not the typical, "try not to eat too much," Hollywood ideal. And let me add that this film proves once again why I believe Johnny Depp is such a good actor. He takes chances and doesn't play the same types of characters over and over, his performance in this film is fun and touching.

The DVD provides some excellent behind the scenes information, although the documentary on the making of the film, is a little too "Hollywood Publicist," for me it is interesting. And one of the pieces deals with the art direction for this film which was amazing. Somehow shooting in a village in Europe always makes people yearn for living in a town like this one, although I wonder how many of us would really like living there these days. I doubt that without Internet and some of the other creature comforts that we all so desperately depend on these days we would enjoy it quite as much. lol

Nonetheless, pick up this film... grab a cup of coffee, tea or better yet hot chocolate, cuddle up on the couch and watch it on a rainy day and you will feel all warm and toasty inside.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Like American Idol...

Only this time the votes are for real! One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is voting in every election since I was able to... Here we go again!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Gets You Off?

I know... an odd title to this blog entry, but some times you just have to say, "What the F*&&!" (See "Risky Business" for that quote)

As I was thinking about what to write, since I haven't written in awhile, I started to think about my viewing habits and what I'm watching. Yes I list most of it on here to give you a feel of some of the things I look at, but I really started to think about what's been turning me on lately and the more and more I thought about it, the more and more I come back to cable television. Yep that's right, good old cable.
Now back in the day, there were always good, innovative shows on the air. Those shows that broke new ground, things like "M-A-S-H," "LA Law," "Miami Vice," "Homicide: Life on the Streets," "Law and Order." Really good shows that had long runs on TV... "Law and Order," still going strong and it was fun to watch. But over the years, Cable... places like HBO, Showtime and AMC have come up with some amazing shows: "Entourage," "Californication," "Mad Men."

Right now that's were most of the innovation is coming from right now. Cable, a place where shows can take some chances. Now they're not necessarily re-writing the history books when it comes to format, but they are in terms of the quality of the shows. From the writing, to the production, the performances. All of the shows mention and many others on these same networks have these elements within.

I sit on my couch and watch an episode of "Mad Men," for example and love it. Yes I often time find myself smiling, getting giddy in the middle of the show and at the end of it saying, "Damn... that was some good stuff!"

Who knows, maybe one day I'll get a chance to work on a show like these or others... something special and I'll be able to look back and see the great work that I and others have accomplished, but until that happens, hats off to those who do work in this area of film and television, because right now... you're hitting the ball out of the park and I love watching what you're serving up!

Double Your Pleasure

*** 1/2 09.29.08 - The Aviator... 2004 ... Director Martin Scorsese

OK, this may not be Martin's best film ever, but it certainly is a good film. Leonardo DiCaprio stars with Kate Beckinsale stealing the show as Katharine Hepburn. The film, based on the life and times of Howard Hughes, gives us an insight into the man and his love of films, flying and his battle with OCD.

The DVD is great, tons of extras and for the extras alone it's worth a purchase!

*** 1/2 09.30.08 - 25Th Hour... 2002 ... Director Spike Lee

In an effort of full disclosure, I am a huge Spike Lee fan! (And no we're not related) He's one of my icons of film and one of the reasons I do what I do. I've seen just about everything he's done and for me this ranks up there as one of his best films ever.

First the cast is outstanding: Ed Norton, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, Barry Pepper and Rosario Dawson just to name a few.
Rodrigo Prieto shot the film and it has a texture and feel about it that I love, rich with color and emotion. Unfortunately Spike DID throw in his standard "Dolly" shot where it looks like someone is floating... I hate that shot by the way, but other than that it's a beautifully shot piece.

The soundtrack is haunting, the theme of the film interesting and the final sequence of the film touching... true "man-love" which is OK! (See Shawshank Redemption and you'll get my point)

What also makes this film powerful is that it was the first big film shot right after "9/11" and you get a sense of the city of New York and the emotions and what people were going through during this time.

The DVD has a few extras and it's a nice pick up to add to your collection!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's Been A Little Bit.. But Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!

Sorry I haven't written more lately, I actually have a couple of new screenings to put up, maybe i can get to them tonight.

Another reason why I haven't been so blog "chatty," is that there is a certain amount of stress going on right now and no I don't mean the credit crunch, which I know is affecting us all, but just some personal stuff and that always tends to weigh heavily on a persons mind, so it's tough to write.

Dealing with "life" and other things takes me to my theory of writing and why I don't just write everyday. See I feel if I were to write now, all of the stuff I would be putting out would come from a point of stress and it would show. maybe some of the work would be decent, but I feel, at least for me, my work has a cleaner, more dynamic voice when the stress is more manageable. What do you think? How do you write when times are tough, I'd love to hear your take on things.

Bottom line though, I still feel like I'm in a creative period... just resting up for the next round!

Monday, September 29, 2008

One Of The Five!!!

***** 09.24.08 - The Band Wagon... 1953... Director Vincente Minnelli

This is one of the top five films that have affected my life... it's that good! When I was a kid growing up, my mother and father used to love to watch old Hollywood musicals and I would watch them right with them and fell in love with this film. I know "Singing in the Rain," "An American in Paris," and "West Side Story," are all great musicals, but for me... day in day out this film is the best of them them all!
Vincente Minnelli does a fantastic job of telling this story and showcasing, for my money again, the best song and dance man of his time, Fred Astaire. You watch Astaire in this role and you will fall in love with the musical genre. He makes it all look effortless and the last sequence of the film is phenomenal!

Oh and for a DVD, this one is great too! Lots of extras, great interviews worth spending a day or two looking at it all!

An American Foreign Film... Capote

**** 09.23.08 - Capote... 2005... Director Bennett Miller

Capote is an American made film, but with a foreign sensibility. What I mean by that is that it's not a cut-cut-cut MTV-type of movie where everything has to change every two seconds on the screen. Director Bennett Miller does a marvelous job of bringing you into the world of Truman Capote and his journey towards writing one of the greatest American novels, "In Cold Blood."

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is amazing as Capote and it would have been really easy to go over the top and make this character a joke, but not once does he cross that line, hence the reason he won the Academy Award.

The DVD is great, plenty of extras that you can hunker down and watch for hours. Make sure you get yourself set when you watch this film, it deserve your full attention so you can not only watch the film, but feel it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moving Up in the World

So we've finally made it to Wikipedia! Great article, what's next? Maybe more updates in the future that one day talk about our next film! Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another Good Film Doc

** 1/2 09.13.08 - The Spaghetti West... 2005... Director David Gregory

Watched a Documentary called, "The Spaghetti West," that was on IFC and it was a nice look at the Italian Westerns of the late 60's through the late 70's.

It also got me thinking about genre films in general... what works, what could you do today... and what made the old films so successful.

This film gives you a nice slice of what the whole "Spaghetti Western" genre was.

Taking Some Advice

Earlier this month, I wrote an entry wondering if I should revisit some of the old projects that I had in various forms. I was re-reading one of my old scripts and saw some promise in the work, so I wondered aloud... or at least online whether or not it was a good idea to revist old scripts and ideas.

Then I read a post on our myspace site (http://www.myspace.com/filmstsp), from someone I've never met, Harlean Carpenter and she wrote:

"There's a reason you shelved that project 8 years ago, and a reason you just "happened" to start thinking about it again and take it down from that shelf. All it means is that you needed something to make it work, some experience or influence or I don't know, it could be you needed a pair of socks in a color you had never owned before, there was something needed to make it happen that wasn't in your life 8 years ago and is in your life now.And you're probably wondering who I am that I would just suddenly jump up out of nowhere and say "Do it! Go for it! Now's the time!" And all I can say in response to that is, something about your blog struck a chord with me, and I know how far a few words of encouragement from even the most unlikely source can go."

Harlean Carpenter 9.3.08 From Myspace


Her words met a lot and so I've begun that process, not only looking back at that particular project, but others as well. I truly is great to look back at your old stuff and see if there are things you can re-work and make happen now.

Currently I'm working on getting my latest script to an agent or production company looking for a great script, (If you know of anyone pass them along) and at the same time I feel like writing some more so I will. I'm not one of those people who believe you HAVE to sit down and write everyday and the some day you have something. I believe in writing when you feel it in your heart and gut and just ride that wave for as long as it takes you, then when it doesn't anymore, don't force yourself to write, because ultimately that stuff you'll end up just trashing and throwing out anyway, because it's not inspired.

Anyway, I hope my little blurb might inspire someone else to pick up something, read it and maybe right on their own... what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love A Good Story!

*** 1/2 09.09.08 - ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway... 2005... Director Dori Berinstein

I've stated it many times on this blog, that I love the process of making films. How things get done and how people make their films. I also feel the same way about most art in general and especially theatre. Little known fact, I taught high school drama for 2 years and it was the greatest job of my life!

Dori Berinstein's film, "ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway," takes an interesting look at the creation of four shows and follows them from pitch to Tony's. It takes place during the 2003-2004 season and watches the rise and fall of some really good and critically bad shows.

What does it for me in this film is seeing what the critics say, they interview several at a round table dinner at the begining, middle and end. Seeing what the audience chooses to go to see and support and then finally what the people who made the show go through.

I caught the film on Showtime and it's worth trying to find!

Kids Films Are Fun Too!

*** 1/2 - 09.08.08 - The Sandlot... 1993... Director David Evans

This was a very, very good kids film that had a little bit of everything for everyone. The performances are solid, the story funny and although little girls might not identify with it as much, the film does capture a more innocent slice of time that many remember growing up.

My favorite moment in the film takes place, not in the sandlot where the kids play baseball for what feels like days on end, but the pool... I'll simply leave it at that.

I've watched this film with kids, adults and by myself and it still holds up. As for the DVD extras, there are some. There is the typical big studio "featurette" that I always tend to dislike and not because it shows you some behind the scenes stuff, which I LOVE, but because it's so studio like and over produced. I'm always trying to see how an artist or group of artist put something together and studio featurette's tend to give you just what the studio wants you to see for marketing purposes.

I will also warn you that there is a trailer for the next Sandlot... I think they actually made three Sandlot movies, but none of them are worth renting at all and when the trailer for the second one comes up and it's a straight to DVD release, I think you get a sense at just how bad it really is.

So for what it's worth, pick up the Sandlot if you have kids and you want to share the film experience with them or pick it up if all you want is a good, fun film that will remind you of your youth.

Good Motivation And Really... Don't We All Need Some?

*** 09.07.08 - A Decade Under the Influence... 2003... Directors Ted Demme and Richard LaGravenese
A really good Doc, I saw on IFC the other day. It talks about the film movement transitioning in the early 70's.

There are some really good interviews and it gives you a since of how some of the greats of the business got their start and what they went through. Check it out on IFC if you get a chance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Perfect In So Many Ways...

***** 09.02.08 - When Harry Met Sally... 1989... Director Rob Reiner
I'm a sucker for romantic comedies and this one gets me every single time I watch it! I grew up watching old Hollywood musicals and movies from the 30's-40's and 50's. I loved them and I have my parents to thank for that. This film takes me right back to them all the time!

Yes the performance by Meg Ryan and Billy Cyrstal are fantastic. Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher also were great and Rob Reiner does a beautiful job at telling the story, but it all starts with the story and an amazing script by Nora Ephron. It's smart, funny, creative, interesting and still to this day stands up as one of the best screenplays ever written. (In my estimation)

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "

Billy Cyrstal as "Harry Burns"

Now the DVD that I have was released in 2001 and has a lot of extras that make it a joy to open up and watch again and again. (Something I do at least twice a year) This year they also released a new collectors edition, that maybe I'll pick up one of these days because there are new additions to the extras!

By yourself, with a friend, with a group of friends this is still a great movie and I went back and forth over whether or not it was a 5 Star film and in the end... to me... it is!

8 Years Ago... Is It Any Good?

I was doing some work on another project today, when I started to think about yet another one I have on the shelf.

It's something I was going to do, low budget Indy style and then air it on local cable access. The goal was to do this really hip, fun, stylish show that we totally controlled and then we would get a cult following and go on and land a production deal.

That was the plan, but life happened and that changed things, so I put the project on the shelf and that was that.

Well today I picked it up and read through it and you know what? It's actually not half bad! I know I've changed and hope my writing has grown since then, but for being 8 years old, it still holds up pretty well.

It also brings back memories of the plans I had with the project. We actually had a reading of it once and it was so cool to hear it. As a writer the first time you hear actors read words you've put on the page, it truly is a thrill.

Anyway, I might just start tinkering with it again. Update it, format it better and think about actually doing what we planned... after all isn't it better to be late than to never do it at all?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Success! See For Yourself!

(Actor Lisa Sanchez during a voice over session for the film)

From all accounts, the screening at the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival this past Saturday was a big success!

I just want to send out a personal "Thanks," to all of the men and women behind-the-scenes who helped made the festival and our screening another fabulous event!

Now, if you missed it and want to know what all of the fuss is about, log onto our website at www.triplestickspro.com and pick up your own DVD copy of the film! For the price of your Starbucks fix for 2 to 3 days, you could help support independent film and get a film for your collection that you'll watch over and over again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Part of the Package, RKO 281... Fun

**1/2 08.19.08 - RKO 281... 1999... Director Benjamin Ross

It's not "Citizen Kane," by any means, but it is about the making of Kane and that makes it very interesting. It's part of the Warner Brothers Gold Edition of the the Citizen Kane DVD and when you spend a day watching everything the Gold Edition includes and this film in particular, you find yourself enjoying it.

No special extras on this specific DVD, but the film performances are good. Liev Schreiber stars as Welles, John Malkovich as Herman J. Mankiewicz and James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst.

See my review on Kane and you'll see that this is a fun edition and part of a must see day watching everything.

Kane... As Good As It Gets... Ever!

***** 08.19.08 - Citizen Kane... 1941... Director Orson Welles

Part of what makes a film, is the time in which it was made. Some films are of the times... some behind the times and in the case of "Citizen Kane," it was and is still ahead of the times.

Generally regarded as the greatest American film ever made, Kane lives up to that billing every single time you watch it. At 25, Welles made his masterpiece and long after his death in 1985, it lives on as a testiment to great filmmaking.

Alas, Welles was not alone... Gregg Toland's cinematography is gorgeous and too was groundbreaking. The script Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz penned, based on publishing mogul, William Randolph Hearst is truly amazing. In fact it was so good, it won the Academy Award that year for best screenplay, the only Academy Award the film won, despite being nominated for nine.

The boxed DVD, Gold Version by Warner Brothers is brilliant as well. In addition to a great screening version of the film, the extra are worth it alone! With the film there is an American Experience documentary, "The Battle over Citizen Kane," which examines the film and the two men at the head of it all, Welles and Hearst. Then there is also the film, "RKO 281," originally made for HBO about Welles and making Kane.

I have 5 films in my life that I generally referred to when someone asks me what my favorite film is. They are the films that, for various reasons have led me to be a filmmaker. I think it's always unfair to ask a filmmaker that question for the record. When I list the five films, Kane is always on that list!

Take a look at it again and again... you'll see why it is so powerful.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Apple Pie? Really... I Mean, Warm or Cold?

*** 08.18.08 - American Pie... 1999... Directors Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz

First of all, I only own the first "American Pie" movie. The others after... not interested in so much, although I did see 2 and 3, but that's it!

As for the first one, it really is a very funny movie. The characters are well written and the performances are pretty good and very believable. I remember when this film first came out and I loved it then and love it today. It's not going to blow you away and is not a "Great" film by any means, but it is a great ride.

Like John Hughes did in the 80's, the Weitz's... on this film... nail what it's like to be a teenager. My only real negative with this film and it goes with Hughes's films as well is... come on guys... where are the African Americans? Even if you went to a nearly all white school, by the 80's and definitely the 90's there should be more racial diversity.

The DVD for the film is good, not great, but good. Outtakes are funny, but heck they always are, who we kidding.

Take a gander at it this film again some time when you need to clear your head and just have a nice evening of laughs.

Dark Knight... Just All Right

*** 08.18.08 - The Dark Knight... 2008... Director Christopher Nolan

Let me preface this review by saying I grew up on Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin on television. I will always have a special place in my heart for them. Now I know it's a "campier" version of the character, but it how I discovered Batman first and how I think of him.

Now that being said, I did read some of the Batman comics growing up and I understand and can appreciate the darker side of Batman. In fact the last two movies, "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," are in that genre and they work... for the most part. If you're going to make a movie about Batman, I think you have to go one way or the other and part of the reason some of the earlier Batman movies didn't work is because they got caught in between trying to be campy or dark and that causes problems, because you're trying to please both sets of Batman fans and you just can't.

"The Dark Knight," is a good film and I'm glad I saw it and saw it on the big screen. The feel and look of the film are amazing and Heath Ledger steals the show.
He WILL be nominated for an Oscar for his performance and barring anything else out there at this time or down the road this year, he SHOULD win it. Ledger commands the screen every second he's on it and no one comes close! The rest of the cast is good and there are some rich performances there as well.

However, all is not good with this Batman. It's far too long and while I enjoy Christian Bale for most of the film, I grew tired of his "Brenda Vacarro" like voice as the caped crusader.

It's a good piece of filmmaking and even with it's flaws as I see them, worth seeing before it leaves the theaters.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Screening Times Set for "Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!

We finally found out when we will be screening at the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival and we're pretty excited!

Our time is, Saturday August 23rd during the 10am-6pm screening block at the Washburn Auditorium! We are the 4th film from the end of the block, which is a great place to be! There is an award ceremony to follow at 7pm.

If you're nearby, please stop by, support independent filmmaking and check out what we think is a pretty great film!

If you can't attend, you can always pick up a copy of the film at our website: www.triplestickspro.com

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dinner Anyone?

*** 1/2 8.14.08 - Melvin Goes to Dinner... 2003... Director Bob Odenkirk

I actually stumbled onto this film, many years ago in a Blockbuster. I read the title and bought it sight unseen and boy am I glad I did! This is a funny, warm, interesting film based on a play by Michael Blieden's, who also stars in the movie, called, "Phyro-Giants!" (One day I will direct this play, it's really good)

The film is a classic Indie, done for not a lot of money, but with amazing performances. Stephanie Courtney and Annabelle Gurwitch, both are amazing and are two actors I hope I get the chance to work with some day. There is a vibe to the film I really dig and some other really good cameos by actors such as, Jack Black, Jenna Fischer, and Maura Tierny.

I've own the DVD for awhile, but finally really looked at some of the extras and they're pretty good! Some stuff from the original play and then a mocu-mentary on the "Frank Film Festival," with SNL's Fred Armisen.

No special effects, a good story, with great performances. I own it for a reason!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Dog Me: Potluck" Now Official!

Congratulations to everyone who worked on our film, "Dog Me: Potluck." We set out to make a Dogme95 film and we did. Now it'll be apart of history.

A copy of the film is headed to Copenhagen this week and will be preserved in the archives. I've seen a lot of these films and I like a lot of them as well. Our film stands right up there with them!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A "Swingers" Good Time... You're So Money!

**** 08.12.08 - Swingers... 1996... Director Doug Liman

I remember seeing this in the theaters when it first came out and it still stands as one of the best Indies around. And while John Favreau is good in the film and there are also several other really nice supporting performances, Vince Vaughn steals the show from start to finish and for me, it's his best performance... ever!

The soundtrack is hot, the screenplay... slamming! So many funny references to other films (Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars, Goodfellas just to name a few)

Made for $250,000 the film has grossed $6,542,637.00 (According to Wikipedia) Add in some great extras on the DVD, which are always important to me because it gives you some insight into the process that a director used when making the film, "Swingers" is truly a great film to see... independent or otherwise!

Three films... three days

***8.10.08 - Grindhouse... 2007... Directors... Robert Rodriquez & Quentin Tarantino

This is a fun double feature romp, especially if you grew up watching these kinds of films, basically from the 70's. Some really interesting techniques used. Upon further research, the DVD's available for this right now, break up the double feature ("Planet Terror," directed by Rodriquez and "Death Proof," directed by Tarantino). I'm really looking forward to the boxed set when it comes out with both films on it and the DVD extras with this bad boy.

**8.11.08 - Superbad... 2007... Director Greg Mottola
They call this a "Teen Film," and other than the fact that there are teens in it, I'm not so sure about my daughter or any teens I know needing to watch this one. There are funny moments in this, but this is really directed towards the college freshman/sophomore, middle to upper middle class, young white male audience. The second star for this film is solely because some of the dialogue is really good and rings true.

***8.12.08 - Mystery Train... 1989... Director Jim Jarmusch
I first saw this film back in 1989 when it came out and really liked it. The pacing and rhythm are so different than most films and that was the true then and still today. After living in Memphis for five years, it was fun to come back to this film and watch it again, knowing all of the locations. This film is not for everyone, but there is a gentle calm about it that makes it feel more foreign than American.

The INSIDE Skinny ratings system!

My quick rating system:

=The best of the best! This is what filmmaking is all about!
****=Great film, you should really see it!
***=Solid film, worth watching on DVD, Cable or a matinee price at the theater.
**=They were able to make a film, so hats off, but not one of my favs by any means.
*=Really? I mean... Really?
No stars=I wish they had given me the catering budget on this film, I could have made a better one.

My Library Project:

I've decided to try something here. I'm calling it, "My Library Project." I love movies and watch a lot of different things, so I thought it might be interesting to go through everything I have in my library and post it here... only here's the thing. I'm not just going to make a boring list for you, I'm going to post a little blurb every time I watch one of the films and put on the blog.

So basically, I have to watch everything in my library, write something, then put it on here. We'll see how many DVD's I actually have and how long it takes me to get through everything.

Also, I'll be adding a new segment called, "What I'm Watching." That will be a full list of films I watch, whether on Cable, DVD, or the Theater! Despite what people think about it, I still love watching a movie in a theater.

Hopefully, this will all be a fun ride!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A little nugget...

Haven't seen any press releases for the "2008 Washougal International Film Festival," yet but as soon as they send some out, we'll be passing them along here and on our main website.

I did find this today:

Washougal International Film Festival aims to showcase a broad range of films representing current affairs and relevant topics that affect our communities, and encourage the artists behind them.

Winning filmmakers will be honored with the Mayor's Medal and prizes in respective categories at the closing night awards ceremony. Films will be valued on merits such as creativity, ingenuity, story, attention to detail, and the ability to challenge and inspire audiences.

So, some interesting stuff on the Fest.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Check out the new poster!

Hope you like it and hope you pick up a copy! A lot of people worked hard on it and it's a really good film.

Checked in with the folks at the 2008 Washogual International Film Festival and no word yet on our screening time, but as soon as we know we'll pass along the information to you!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Done... Let the Games Begin!

It's done... no more writing... no more tweaking... the script is ready. Ready to send out into the big, bad, Hollywood world and hopefully be bought!

Boston has the "Big Dig," today I completed, "The Big Read." I went through every line of my new screenplay, working it, making sure it fit standard format and double, triple checking everything. I've written, what maybe 10 to 20 screenplays in various forms over my life, but this one... this one is now the way the Industry wants it. Hopefully that will pay off.

In the writing process you get to the point where you can simply do no more. You've checked and double checked. You've read it aloud and read it quietly. You've looked at everything you can think of and then finally you just have to let it be and say, "This is the way my film is going to be." That's where I'm at. I think it's at a place where it's ready, so now we'll see what others think.

Ideally, I'd love to find that perfect agent and deal to not only sell the script, but also get to direct it. But if that doesn't happen, then I'm going to make the film anyway.

Keep your fingers crossed... hopefully in the next couple of months, we'll have some good news to talk about with this project. It's been a labor of love and I hope the seed to an amazing film.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

As Good As It Gets... Homicide: Life on the Streets

A couple of weeks ago, I went online and picked up the first 4 seasons of, "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and I've been watching it again. (I'm at the start of the third season, second episode)

Now I loved the show when it came out on NBC and probably have seen every episode 3 or 4 times, but getting it on DVD and watching the progression, from episode one, season one to now, I am reminded just how good that show really was.

The acting is amazing, Andre Braugher in particular stole the series for me as Frank Pembelton. Then the look of the series; raw, gritty, graining, jumpcuts and edits, the use of music in places you never expected and then just the overall soundtrack... folks if you haven't seen the series or seen it in awhile, pick it up and you will flip for the series.

Let's not forget the great writing in the series and guest performances as well. Finally there is the texture of Baltimore itself. The city is a character in this masterful series and makes a huge impact on how everything came together.

Not only did I pick up the series because I love it, but also as a reference. When I start to think about a project and how I might want to develop it, I like to look at other inspirations in any form and for me, this series is a true inspiration.

I don't know how much of my next project will be influenced by the series, I do know other films have used bits in pieces from the show before, but I am just gratefull to re-watch what I believe is truly one of the best television series of all time!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Check Out The Main Website

Just got done updating our main page at http://www.triplestickspro.com/ Make sure you check it out and also pick up a copy of our new film on DVD,
"Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!"
"Slow Down..." is heading to the Pacific Northwest, having been accepted into
the 2008 Washougal International Film Festival
We're really excited to screen, because it will give another group of people a chance to see a truly wonderful film!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Working like a dog!

I've been working like a dog over the last couple of days, really trying to get my new script ready to go.

The plan is to get it out there to some agents in the next week or so and also take a shot at finding a company to produce the film. I've always wanted to try to land an agent for writing, so we'll see how it goes, this will be a new adventure.

I guess part of the reason I feel OK about it, is because if I don't land a deal with someone, I'm still going to make this film, it's what I do.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed!

Also, don't forget to check out our main website: www.triplestickspro.com There is always a big update on the first of the month and with Friday being the first of August, you can expect some new dirt!

Peace out!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dinner Meeting with the "DIY" Man!

Just finished up a meeting with Sujewa Ekanayake, he writes the blog, DIY Filmmaker Sujewa. It's a great blog dealing with filmmaking. It has a little bit of everything from thoughts on big budget films to info on small independent films.

I wanted to touch base with him and meet him, because I think what he does is so valuable to independent filmmakers all over and his blog will give those of us trying to "make it," a different take on filmmaking in general.

We got together at Mayorga Coffee Cafe in Silver Spring and talked for about an hour and half about all sorts of topics. As we continue to distribute, "Slow Down... You're Dating Too Fast!" he gave me some really great ideas on how to get it out there for more people to people to see.

Now don't think he's just a blogger, he's an accomplished filmmaker himself and when you got to his site you'll see. He's a doer... someone living out his dream and that is always cool.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Doing My Civic Duty...

I couldn't figure out how to escape jury duty, so I'm doing my duty for the system. I have to tell you, it's been pretty cool so far... Funny, interesting, and only a little boring. I'll write more later, but now it's back to the case!

"Book'em Dano!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Many Hats Can I Wear?

One of the things I love and hate about being an Independent Filmmaker... the amount of work you have to do outside of actually making films.

Now don't get me wrong, I love having the control over everything... some of that is the Virgo in me, but it can get to you some times when you're writing, working on marketing, trying to do distribution, looking for money, maintaining your web site, blogging, company diaries, reading articles, trying to stay on top of things... and without question I'm still probably leaving off about 10 to 20 other things I have to do on a regular basis.

There is a part of me that hopes one day, my company expands enough so that I have "people" to do more and more of these things. But at the same time, I know I'll have my hands in everything because that's just who I am.

However while I will have a say in everything, I do believe in putting together a great team and letting them have the flexibility to be creative and do their own jobs without me micro-managing. When you look at and talk to the casts and crews who've worked with me in the past I think they all will tell you, having that freedom to add their own touches is something that makes working with me fun. Hey I don't have every idea in the world and trust me not all of my ideas are good ones!

When you work with great people, you have to allow them to do, "their thing," otherwise you have a project that doesn't have life. (This is all in my estimation) Some of the best films I've seen are the ones where you see a clear vision, but ones that allow everyone to bring something to it and make it special to them as well.

OK, back to the premise of this whole entry... wearing many hats... time to put on the writing hat and get back to working on my new script!

Ciao, Ciao!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not Much of a Blogger... But Here Goes!

I don't blog a lot, trying to do more of it and this seemed to be a good place to start. Give me some time and I'll make it work, but for now... here I am!

My goal here is to give you a little different side of me and what
Triple Sticks Productions is all about.

The bottom line... I love making films and have to do it. I started when I was little... yes a product of the original 1977 version of Star Wars. The funny thing about that film... to me it was a perfect marriage of special effects, story, acting and score. Star Wars was much more than that to me... it's what put me on my path to filmmaking. But in all of the years and all of the films, I've yet to make a special effects, Science Fiction film. Instead my films are more about people... interesting characters and the ensemble. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll do that big budget film, but until then I hope you like what I'm working on and what I create.

And less anyone think differently... any success I've had so far comes with a lot of help from many people that you hear about in future blogs and some that won't be mentioned, just because I can't get everyone in. But to all of those who've helped and worked on projects in the past... let me start this blog... the first one for
Triple Sticks Productions... with a "Thank you!"

Let's enjoy the ride!