Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's been a while...

Pretty safe to say I haven't been blogging much lately. I'm sure I'll figure out where to go from here with this blog site at some point.

So here's what's happened since... February 28th:

1. Went back to finish my writing course with some really cool people.

2. Had a beer with the creator of the YTV show Captain Flamingo.

3. Was presented with the possibility of interning with a well respected animation production company. Still working on that one...

3. Struggled mightily to find work as an illustrator and graphic artist (still am...) www.artbycec.com

4. Continue to fight the demons that are telling me to "just get a damn job and forget about being a writer/developer of television programming."

Safe to say, it's been an interesting few months...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

When you think you've had a bad day...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Significant Year - Numerology

Well, not much to report these days, but I did see "Letters from Iwo Jima" and I have to say it was by far a better movie than "Flags of Our fathers". Much better written, and there was definitely more heart to the movie. Even though it was 2-1/2 hours long, it didn't seem like the dead stuffed Turkey that 'Flags' turned out to be.

Moving on, I’ve been hooked on numerology for years now, and I think you will find the following information very interesting...

One of the first books I sifted through some 12+ years ago on numerology spoke of something called “Significant Year”, which is tied to the Life Path number. You would add the birth date of an individual in a long-addition form (which I can't display here due to formatting difficulties):

(m/d/y)

eg. 4+25+1960 =1989

Therefore, the significant year is 1989.

This “Significant Year” is a year where an important event or turning point in a person’s life is said to take place.

I have done a little research into this phenomenon using many famous people, and here are a few of the results I found:

The numbers represent the birthdays of the following individuals (m/d/y):

Paul Allen, 21 January 1953
1+21+1953=1975 (Significant year is 1975)
Along with Bill Gates, he was co-founder of Microsoft in 1975.


Stephen Hillenburg, Creator of “Spongebob Squarepants
8+21+1961=1990 (Significant year is 1990)

In 1990, he went back to school and pursued a master's-degree program in experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts.


Quentin Tarantino, Movie Director
3+27+1963 = 1993 (Significant year is 1993)
In
1993 he was in the process of writing “Pulp Fiction”, the film that would be his greatest success to date, pulling in $200,000,000 worldwide.


Benicio DelToro, Famous Actor
2+19+1967=1988 (Significant year is
1988)
In 1988, he landed his first movie role as Duke the Dog-Faced Boy in "Big Top Pee-Wee".


John F. Kennedy Jr.
11+25+1960=1996 (Significant year is 1996)
In 1996 he married Carolyn Bessette on an Island in Georgia.


Dany Heatley, Star hockey player & Dan Snyder, Pro hockey player
Heatley ­- 1+21+1981=2003 & Snyder – 2+23+1978=2003 (Significant year is 2003)
Dany Heatley was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury on first-degree vehicular homicide charges, for the car wreck that killed his friend and teammate, Dan Snyder, in October 2003.


Wayne Gretzky, Widely considered the greatest hockey player of all-time.
1+26+1961=1988 (Significant year is 1988)
His 17 July 1988 wedding in Edmonton, Alberta to Janet Jones - who was four months pregnant with daughter Paulina - was broadcast live throughout Canada.
Engineered his 1988 trade from Edmonton Oilers to the L.A. Kings to help Janet's career.
Children: Paulina Mary Jean Gretzky (born. 19 December 1988).


These seem like very dramatic coincidences to me. There are many others, some of which I have listed below:


George Lucas, 14 May 1944, Star Wars creator
5+14+1944=1963 (Significant year is 1963)
He planned to become a professional racecar driver. However a terrible car accident just after his high school graduation ended that dream permanently. The accident changed his views on life. (I’m banking this accident happened at age 19 in 1963 or close to it.) (info taken from www.imdb.com)


Stanley Kubrick, 26 July 1928, Famous Film Director
7+26+1928=1961 (Significant year is 1961)
Kubrick's next project was to direct Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), but negotiations broke down and Brando himself ended up directing the film himself. Disenchanted with Hollywood and after another failed marriage, Kubrick moved permanently to England, from where he would make all of his subsequent films. (info taken from www.imdb.com)


David Ortiz, 18 November 1975, Star Baseball Player
11+18+1975=2004 (Significant year is 2004)
(November 2004) Currently with the Red Sox who just won their first World Series since 1918. 2004 marked the best season of his career and played a key role in Boston’s World Series Championship. He has since become a major star player.


Kurt Warner, NFL Star Quarterback
6+22+1971=1999 (Significant year is 1999)
Unknown former Arena-Football quarterback Kurt Warner, in his first season as a starter in the 1999-2000 NFL season, lead the upstart St.Louis Rams to a Superbowl victory over the Tenessee Titans.



Johnny Depp, 9 June 1963, Famous Actor
6+9+1963=1978 (Significant year is 1978)
Born John Christopher Depp in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963. Raised in Florida, he dropped out of school at age 15 (1978) in hopes of becoming a rock musician. (info taken from www.imdb.com)


Al Pacino, 25 April 1940, Famous Actor
4+25+1940=1969 (Significant year is 1969)
Al made his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969).


Robert De Niro, 17 August 1943, Famous Actor
8+17+1943=1968 (Significant year is 1968)
First credited film role in the Brian De Palma film Greetings (1968).


Steven Soderbergh, 14 January 1963, Famous Film Director
1+14+1963=1978 (Significant year is 1978)
While still in high school, around the age of 15 (1978), Soderbergh enrolled in the university's film animation class and began making short 16mm films with secondhand equipment, one of which was the short film "Janitor." (info taken from www.imdb.com)



Isabella Rossellini, 18 June 1952, Actress
6+18+1952=
1976 (Significant year is 1976)
She initially worked as a TV journalist in Europe; her first movie appearance, opposite her mother in Vincente Minnelli's little-seen A Matter of Time (1976), was more or less a lark.



Bill Cosby, July 12, 1937, Famous Comedian
7+12+1937=1956 (Significant year is 1956)
Although he had a hight IQ, Bill Cosby dropped high school and joined the U.S. Navy in the year 1956 to 1960. During this time he completed his hight school education through a correspondence course.



Charo, 13 March 1941, Entertainer/Musician
3+13+1941=1957 (Significant year is 1957)
Xavier Cugat brought the then 16 year old Charo (1957) and her mother and sister to America on a student visa after he discovered her, but she had to return to Spain and wait two years to come back because she was a minor.


Jim Henson, 24 September 1936, Celebrity Puppeteer
9+24+1936=1969 (Significant year is 1969)
Henson shot to prominence when he was approached to use his muppets for the revolutionary educational show, "Sesame Street" (1969). The show was a smash hit and his characters have become part one of public television key staples.


Tori Amos, August 22, 1963, Musician
9+22+1963=1993 (Significant Year is 1993)
Her critically acclaimed debut album “Under the Pink “came out in 1994, so I'm assuming that her breakthrough cam when she was working on her album in 1993.


Lots of significant events there if you ask me. I'm always doing this kind of stuff and it fascinates me when I find stuff like this. Hope you found it interesting.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Grindhouse Trailer and Official Site

I’m frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the new Tarantino/Rodriguez venture known as Grindhouse. Say what you want about the homages to other films, the violence, the over-the-top-ness and all the other critic ramble-offs; screw all that. The bottom line is that I’m always walking out of the theatre feeling like I got my money's worth from these guys (not including Spy Kids, Shark Boy, etc.).

The previous trailer was mostly scenes from Planet Terror, a homage to the zombie flicks from the past, so this next trailer had more scenes from Tarantino’s segment called Deathproof, staring Kurt Russell and a cast of hot babes. Even Bruce Willis makes an appearance. I went to the official web site and was blown away by how colour is used in this film.

The production stills are very cinematic and just pop out of the screen at you. For example: A cheerleader wearing a bright yellow uniform exiting from a bright yellow hot-rod with red interior, the bright colours of the products in the variety store, to a girl relaxing on a sofa in her apartment with a huge poster on the wall overhead of what I assume is a fifties film star who is relaxing in the same position. I find in the writing process it always helps to use such interesting images as a way to motivate the writing, or to come up with an interesting story angle. I see these images and I’m compelled to imagine what is going on in these scenes.

Many people are already writing this film off as a joke, but hey, they never said they were trying to remake ‘Gone with the Wind’, here. This movie was inspired by the exploitation movies from long ago that people would go to for the sole purpose of being entertained, and that’s the approach that was taken from the beginning. They aren’t trying to fool anyone here.

Please excuse me while I fetch a mop. I have a messy puddle of drool to clean up.

http://www.grindhousemovie.net/

Ol' Rocky B. has a way with words...

I would never have thought I'd actually go to a movie theatre to see a 'Rocky' movie. I was always a bit cynical about the whole series of Rocky films, as I was never a big fan of Stalone. But I always respected his resolve as a struggling actor who wrote his own script and refused to give it up unless he would star in the film. I love stories like that.

So, a while back I heard that Stalone was attempting to 'milk-the-goose' (or, do the impossible) by making another Rocky Balboa film, the sixth installment. Ridiculous, I thought. I saw this as Stalone desperately making the quick cash grab (which is still a possible reason), thinking he could resuscitate the skeletal remains of the past. But after a decent trailer peaked my interest, and hearing that the movie was actually good, I decided to go check it out.

After a so-so opening sequence, I braced myself, ready to hate this film... but by the end, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Stallone wrote a really touching story about a man having difficulty moving on from the past. There are some really touching scenes in this movie, and I have a new respect for Stallone as a writer. I always knew he was a machine on the typewriter (he wrote 32 pages of a punch-for-punch fight sequence for the first Rocky movie overnight!), but he really has a way with words that inspire. The movie was really bare bones and straight forward, and boxing is really just an after thought. So straightforward that I’m sure there must have been some scenes left behind on the cutting room floor. In all honesty, this movie would stand on it's own if there wasn't a single punch thrown.

I have to give Stallone credit; he's made a movie that people can relate to. I certainly do.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Not Dead Yet...

Yes, I am alive. This is not a dead man's blog... though it has been quite some time.

When I started this blog, I was a bit reluctant because I had the impression that blogging was something that had to be done everyday, like a diary of sorts. But I gave myself freedom from this narrow view of the world by telling myself I would only make a post if I had something interesting to say or some information to give to those who would care to want it.

It's been about a month now since I last made a post and it has been as such for various reasons which I wont discuss here. As much as it would be great to make this just a screenwriting blog, it would be nearly impossible because of my various interests - and lack of screenwriting of late.

I watch a lot of movies, so I like to give the odd movie review, I'm into numerology and astrology, so I may make a comment about any interesting things I've uncovered relating to these topics. I also like to take the odd photo here and there and I'm definitely itching to put that type of stuff up as well, so It's a varied existence.

Well, enough excuses. I must post!


Quick Film Reviews:

Volver - Starts slow but finishes strong. Penelope Cruz never looked or acted better. (Recommended)

Stranger Than Fiction - Really cleverly written script. (Recommended)

Casino Royal - This bond is a bit darker than the others. Less gadgitry, more laughs. (Recommended)

For Your Consideration - It was funny-cute, but these movies are growing stale. (Rental)

The Fountain - Great performances... original story. If you like 'different', see it. (Recomended)

Borat - Don't know. I'll wait 'til it's on TV. But I'm sure it's funny ($100,000,000 ++)


Rentals:

Love Liza (2002) - Depressingly funny. Give the editor a Beer on the house. Phillip Seymour Hoffman steadily climbs my favorite actor list with every film. (Recommended)

Kids (1995) - One of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. (Recommended)

Now go out and spend some money damn it!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So much for my pitch....

Well, that wraps it up for the final day of the 'I Can Pitch' event. I have to say it was a great experience, seeing that I've never been at such an event before. I met some great people and I hope to keep in contact with them which serves the purpose of such an event. Networking can be tough sometimes, as you meet people and get really energized about it, but then you get caught up with your life again and you don't build on those new friendships. It's unfortunate, but it happens to the best of us. Especially me.

But I've been turning the leaf over lately with that sort of thing and I vow to continue it with the contacts I've made this weekend. I wish these type of events were on more often, but it's a bit naive of me to think that they don't because there are so many industry related organizations out there (writer's groups, WGA, film clubs and so forth) that have networking oportunities. So you have to get out there and find them.

As for my pitch? Well, it sort of didn't really happen. Here's why. They lined us up to be rolled in to this room filled with all the produces and agents. I go in there and I had trouble finding the person I was pitching to, Tom McGillis of Fresh Animation. When we finally sit down and introduce ourselves I went into this long-winded intro about the escence of my idea, and then I heard a buzzer. Time was up. There was my pitch. Luckily I had a couple leave-behinds, but I definitely dropped the ball on this one; but hey, it's a learning experience. Tom seemed like a nice guy.

On to the next pitch.... whenever that may be.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Back in Action

Yes, I dropped the ball. Over a month ago I started this blog and I was super gung ho to start spreading my 'infinite wisdom' around the world for ANYONE who would give a damn. And then... I dropped off the face of the earth. Why? Anxiety, depression, that god-for-saken voice that usually sneak-attacks when I'm writing a script - or what ever else you want to call it - started to take over. The result... nothing much to say lately, and mostly due to my preparing for this 'www.icanpitch.ca' event that was held last night at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto on Friday.

The problem was that my strategy was all wrong. I focused so much on writing a couple complete scripts (in hopes of meeting an agent etc.) that I lost sight of the fact I should be armed with as many pitch sheets as I could with show ideas I felt comfortable with presenting. So guess what I sat up all night working on the night before the event?

The first night of the event went well. I thought I was going to be standing in the corner all night before my first seminar, but I did get to talk to some like-minded folks for a while. There were a couple people talking their heads off about what they wanted to do (something I hate to do myself, as I'd just rather do it), but in my advancing age I understand that people just get really excited about the possibility of doing something they really want to do as a career.

Up late once again trying to finish some stuff for the event. I was hoping to pitch to two animation companies, but Breakthrough Films and Television dropped out unexpectedly. Just the one shot, but there is always another day ahead. Unless your a dead guy... of course.

Signing off...