Friday, February 23, 2007


So, I'm checkin' my email, right, I find an email saying something to the effect, "I want to read your script. I have lots of options and I'm looking for the right horror script. We want to film in Romania. Nicholas Biron."

First thought: Horror script? He might be talkin' about Feeding Frenzy aka Flush Zone. And Feeding Frenzy is currently posted on Inktip. So, I go to Inktip and don't recognize the name. But then I also posted the script on the New England Film site. But in each case the logline mentions first and foremost that it's set on the 4th of July (which I should change anyway). Okay, not only that, it's set in Santa Monica. Sure, they can change it all around. I dont' care as long as they make the damn flick. So, I'm like, fine I'll send Feeding Frenzy if that's the script he's talkin' about.

So, I Google and IMDb the shit outta this fine lad, Nicholas Biron, and find out that he was a crew member on a film directed by Fred (Limp Bizkit) Durst called The Education of Charlie Banks. Fine lad Nicholas Biron also appears to be a production assistant according to Google. The name and emails are consistent so I believe he's a legit dude who probably wants to break out and do his own shit.

So, Feeding Frenzy is out and about and may end up in the hands of Limp Bizkit. We shall see. Oh, we shall see.

And before all ya'll ask, yes, it's quite a coincidence that Feeding Frenzy was just posted above a blog called Dead Meat. And the stories are NOT related in anyway other than the fact that I wrote 'em.

Oh, and yes, the rumors are very, very true. I listened to all the Sloppy Seconds records while writing this particular script.

Monday, February 19, 2007

DEAD MEAT Makes the Quarter-finals in the FADE IN AWARDS

Anyway, to the meat of this blog...

Looks like that Philip Davetas character made the Fade In Awards (Quarter-Finals). Observe:

The Full Quarter-Final List

My reason for posting this totally jackassy vanity blog is to thank all you kick-assers for sending me some really awesome congrats and lots of cool shit. So, instead of responding to every single email and typin' 'em all out this follows:

pat redux, dude, thanks again and best of luck to your friend who also made the Quarter-Finals.

Ed, thanks for the email and kind words, but who said you could call me Phil?

Corybelle, I say thanks while givin' you a no-look flip-off. And The Cogi is one mean cocksucker.

Joseph™, thanks for the 22 exclamation points. Yes, I counted them. Actually, I kept losin' count, then said, "Fuck it." But I think I came up to 22.

Just Linda, once a jigga, always a jigga. Thanks for your sayin' some really cool shit.

Celia, yes, it's true. I'm pretty fuckin' badass. I hate to sound humble, but yes, I'm pretty fuckin' kickass.

Jamie, not to be confused with my Jaime, thanks for the "congrats" and the "awesome" thrown in on the side there.

GmanC, thanks for the words, man. Keep makin' those flicks. Killer Klowns from Outerspace is still a fuckin' classic!

James Gunn, dude, thanks for everything this week. I know my email gets lost in your fan mail sometimes, but thanks for sayin' something.

Betsy, congrats to you for making the Quarter-Finals also this year in the very same contest, but above all, thanks.

Tricia (aka Tee2), yes, I got your meaning the first time around, but thanks for taking the time out to actually say something. I know you're probably hanging off a cliff with a gang of natives spitting poisonous fireballs and all.

Bowitz, dude, that's some awesome art ya got there. And I too would like to see Dead Meat made into a flick.

And thanks to all you folks on Zoetrope for reading and critiquing the script.

Big Names in the FADE IN AWARDS

Okay, clearly there are some really big names attached to this contest, but I'm not sure what roles they play. Sponsors? Judges? Don't know, but what I do know these are writers of such fine films like Die Hard, Three Kings, Men in Black, Con Air, The Green Mile, A Simple Plan, etc.


Frank Darabont
Steven de Souza
Scott Frank
James Gray
Nicholas Kazan
Scott Rosenberg
Eric Roth
David O. Russell
Ed Solomon
Robin Swicord

Now, I don't expect to actually win any of these prizes, but it sure would be fuckin' cool if I did.


GRAND PRIZE: iMac Computer, plus an expense-paid trip (hotel & airfare) to meet with top literary agents and studio executives for three days and two nights (or cash equivalent).

FIRST PRIZE: (in each category): $750, script analysis by WGA-credited writer, Waterman fountain pen, and one-year Fade In subscription.

SECOND PRIZE: (in each category): $500, script analysis by WGA-credited writer, one-year Fade In subscription.

THIRD PRIZE: (in each category): $250, script analysis by WGA-credited writer, one-year Fade In subscription.

Winners will appear in an up-coming issue of Fade In, Variety and/or Hollywood Reporter.

Why Did I Write DEAD MEAT?

It was around 2002, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write after my Santa Monica zombie story. I was starving to death, because I didn't have any money. My friends at CineFile took pity on me and let me rent DVDs for free and fed me on occassion. It then I revitalized a sense of doing something that I wanted to do. Something that didn't cater to the likes of the average homogenized Saturday Night movie-goers, but something I wanted to do if I had carte blanche. Basically, a movie that couldn't ever be made because of its twisted subject matter, but still had the formula of a hardcore action flick with douses of sci-fi and horror. I said, "Yes, I wanna write something about the fast food industry and the heroes would be these society misfits. Yeah, that's what I wanna do." That's right about the time my fuckin' HP broke the fuck down and I had to raise money I didn't have to buy a new computer.

That's when I got back to reading books and comics. Oh, thanks, Robert, for loanin' me all your comics. They really opened my eyes to what was possible beyond the media of film. I started sketching some pictures of Popcorn Rockaway. I said, "That's my first heroine. Now I need some villians. Ah, how about these dudes called the Troubleshooters."

I drew those guys on a little sliver of blank spot in my Anthropology book at the end of the chapter. So, why isn't it a comic book yet? To make a long story short, I decided to scrap the comic book project after seeing Sin City. Then I scored a new computer and then finished the script and wrote The Horrors of Frank Ackerman. I go into more detail in my FAQ section in about all that.

But you will see Popcorn Rockaway again...

After Thoughts

In the end, what's really cool is that this is a really twisted screenplay about the corruption of the fast food industry embedded with lots of political overtones. It's uber-loaded with action and twisted science-fiction whackiness that it's so fuckin' bad-ass of these readers to actually validate this script as something worthwhile. While, it's not really a contender against those feel-good dramas that will most likely win the grand prize, it's still pretty damn cool. I'm not so big-headed about all this, but more stoked than impressed with myself.

So, thanks again for the motherfuckereth time, everyone.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Top 13 DVD Rental Fuckovers

There's evil out there. No, I'm not talkin' about that scummy pedophile behind the red curtain lookin' at smoke fetish flicks. I'm talkin' about the homogenized video store chains. When you're lookin' for evil to fight, you can typically find it at those fuckin' Hollywood and Blockbuster video chains. Sometimes it's at the mercy of the studios and manufacturers, but when the left hand meets the right, it's when the chains and manufacturers wax their penises, step into your bed and ass-jockey you.

Video/DVD-renting is not always the most pleasurable experience. I suppose most of my displeasure stems from my not getting my way with something I enjoy. If I was just some guy living my life, I'd find very little to complain about when renting or buying movies. I'd probably be satisfied with weak plots, poor character development and recurring story concepts. Truth is I have become complacent to cheap movies, but I expect that because of the filmmakers' lack of budget, resources, etc. When it comes to Hollywood films, I tend to be a little bit more offended because they have more money and access to more trend-setting material. And it's these movies that occupy many popular name brand chains like Hollywood Video, Blockbuster, etc. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching movies. If I didn't I wouldn't complain so much about my ravenous appetite for story and characters. But there's some things I just gotta get off my chest.

Why 13? Because it's more than 10.

The Store's Fault

The Box Sets – When something like the Indiana Jones or Star Wars triologies finally get a box set release there's usually a fourth bonus disk which is left for a separate rental. Sure, there might be a lot of stuff on that disk, but the store has broken it up into four different rentals to prey on the consumer. This is also partially the manufacturers fault for not designing it so that the bonus disk could be available with each movie. But hey, that's wishful thinking. But I think the Back to the Future box set really handled it smartly. They integrated the bonus material with each film rather than leaving a stray bonus disk.

One thing I don't like is when I get a hold of a kick-ass TV show that just so happens to be serialized and then disk 3 has been missing since last summer. I can't really continue the show until I've worked my way up the food chain. This is called the Missing Teeth Syndrome.

One thing that pisses me off is the multiple disk TV shows where only two episodes are available on each disk. I suppose this can be tolerable if it was an hour-long show like Deadwood, but for a show that's only 12 episodes per season and spread out for 6 disks it's not fuckin' worth the buy, but even renting it at about 4 dollars per disk is like buying it. Shit, sometimes it's just the pilot. My recent experience was Ricky Gervais' Extras. The show's 6 half hour long episodes and spread out through 2 disks. Hell, even the first season of The Office (US version) managed to fit all the episodes including deleted scenes on one disk. This sometimes falls in the manufacturers side of fuck-overs, but sometimes stores like Hollywood Video separate them for rental purposes as they do the trilogies.

Scratch Guard Protection – In the 80's and 90's there was the VHS "Be Kind, Rewind." Shit. Half the movies I rent already have been scratched to shit. Not to mention how many greasy motherfuckers don't wipe their fried chicken-lubed fingers before touching the disks. And who's the nasty fucker that leaves pubic hairs in the Bambi DVD? Scratch guard protection my ass. Yeah, how about a "Suck My Dick" surcharge? That'll be great.

Genres – A lot of times stores will have the genres all fucked up. One time I tried to find a horror film and found it in the Comedy section. I was looking for a drama and found it in the Action/Adventure part of the store. I suppose everybody has a different response to what a certain kind of film is. Take a movie like Repo Man. Certain video nerd establishments will cater to the movie geek and brandish a directors wall and have it placed under the appropriate director's name, while popular chains will have Repo Man in Comedy, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure or the ever -loathsome, "Staff Favorites".

"I can't find anything."

Staff Favorites – Fuck that noise! I want my shit. It's bad enough that the genres are all fucked up and out-of-order, now I have to sift through genre-less staff favorites? I can't wait for Jim, Jack or Sally to get fired. I'm sick of the shitty films on Reginald's fuckin' shelf.

An entire wall of "Miami Vice" not even rented. Not to mention this is still on the new shelf.

Documentaries – Popular rental chains have a habit of not carrying documentaries unless they're outrageously popular like Who Killed the Electric Car?, An Inconvenient Truth, or Fahrenheit 9/11. One time I wanted to rent Wordplay and ended up buying it on-line. Documentaries seem to fall into a miscellaneous category called Special Interest where the likes of stand-up, sports, wet & wild girls, Japanese anime and how-to DVDs. This is where I occasionally find Repo Man.

"It Says We Have It…" – Ah, those dreaded words. After lookin' around every nook and cranny I've still managed to NOT find what it was I was looking for. I'm convinced the store no longer has it. Then one day, I decide to balls it out and ask, "Do you have The Stuff?" Suddenly, a clickety-click-click later those fateful words are uttered, "It says we have it." Fuck. Then, instead of getting out of there in a timely fashion, the charade is on. The clerk bravely leaves his/her post and begins to look around the store vexed that the database has told such a fib. Then after power walking 5 miles around the store, the clerk returns and does an extensive investigation that requires the aid of a senior clerk with experience in these matters. Clickety, clickety, clickety, click-click. The words are uttered, "It's lost, but it says we have it."

Suggestive Selling – Once I've already complained my way through the store and bee-lined for the counter I find myself wedged into a corridor of lures of would-be sweet and salty ecstasy. I've spent enough money so I feel that I no longer need the last-ditch efforts of the clerk asking me if I'd "like some candy or popcorn today." I bought my shit now I wanna go home and be fuckin' entertained by this tripe.

Clerk Critic – There are moments where the video clerk specialist makes contact with the consumer by interjecting his/her opinion on the film I'm about to watch as I'm making for the door. Often these opinions do not stem from the fact that they've seen said film, but how their mother or sister or some unmentioned friend that usually likes what I'm about to watch states, "I heard that was bad." That's usually how it starts then it progresses into plot points and characters and inevitably a poignant scene. I suppose this wouldn't be so offensive if I actually knew these people and had understood my rental history, but otherwise I don't really want my viewing experience tainted by some third party's negative opinion.

The Studio's Fault

Unrated and Director's Cuts – It's hard to figure out what goes wrong here. Often times unrated director cuts implies more artistic and/or raunchy versions of the films. Typically it means that the unrated version was not stamped with an MPAA rating because of a so-called director or extended cut. The biggest and most offensive of these is the recent release of the original unrated cut of The Descent where only a few seconds of an establishing shot was added. The packaging implies that it's gorier prior to the US cut, but in fact, all the original gore is in the film.

Often times, the director's cuts tend to fall into the pit of sloppy editing. There are longer scenes and character moments that need not be established and more times than not slow down the film's pacing and can often damage the tone. I suppose it's too much work to create a branching version of director's cuts. Have the film on one DVD and have an option to insert the director's deleted scenes into the film. If that's too difficult, have the DVD double-sided so both versions will be available to the consumer.

There are times where I feel two different cuts are warranted like The Dukes of Hazard. While the theatrical release is PG-13 there's a version that jumps a couple of notches into the hard-R arena. This can be helpful for watch dog parents who don't care for their children seeing such material. But I also feel that the manufacturers are plotting against the consumer that's ignorant to these tactics.

Widescreen/Fullscreen – While I understand the use of releasing of a full screen and widescreen version based on the size of the consumer's TV screen, I still find it possible to make double-sided disks. Sometimes you can fit both versions on one side and leave the flipside for special features.

2-Disk Special Editions – Often video stores only carry the single disk version even when a double-disk version is released at the same time. The problem with the double disk editions are the featurettes are just as low calorie as if it where a single disk. Even the 3-disk editions have gotten out of hand. On the 2-disk Constantine, there really isn't that much material that hasn't already been mentioned on the director's commentary. In fact, there's only a handful of limp featurettes. There are times where the special features aren't so special.

DVD-ROM – Whatever ever happened to DVD-ROM? I suppose it is a little silly to say one could have fun with a DVD. But sometimes when I have a DVD in the player and sees that it has some really cool DVD-ROM features I find myself perusing the likes. One time I found a video game hiding on the Eight Legged Freaks DVD. You can be David Arquette or Kari Wuhrer roving through Prosperity Mall shooting arachnids with nail guns and crossbows. If you look closely at the walls you can see posters for upcoming Warner Brothers movies like Scooby-Doo. Or on the Scooby-Doo DVD-ROM you can make your own burp song. I suppose in the advent of DVD pirating manufacturers prefer DVDs should be no longer computer-friendly. I guess it was a novelty that was not meant to last.

.0/.5 – There's nothing better than watching a TV show on DVD and then realizing it cuts off about half way through the season as in the case of Battlestar Galactica 2.0 and then a week before the next season begins the 2.5 set comes out. If I don't catch it (usually for monetary reasons) I have to catch it on re-runs or wait for the potential 3.0 DVD release. If I attempted to buy .5 of a season then it would cost me just about as much as a complete season of any other show. Usually, I don't even bother to watch it at all until there's a complete set or someone I know has the whole thing.

Video stores that help you fight evil.

CineFile and Incredibly Strange Video.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The James Gunn Store

Here's a little something I did for Darth James Gunn and his charity,

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