Sunday, May 17, 2009

Give 'Em Hell, Malone

From The Online World of Tim Bradstreet Tim Bradstreet:

"Give 'Em Hell Malone is a new film from Director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander), and stars Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames, and rising Spanish star Elsa Pataky. It's a somewhat low budget crime/noir action thriller that will be making the rounds this month at the Cannes Film Festival in search of a distributor. I had the pleasure of creating a series of movie posters for the film and designed the opening title sequence. The new Cannes trailer was just released as well. Take a look right here -> Give 'Em Hell Malone - Red Band Cannes Trailer

Stay tuned for more information and release dates. Should be out this fall. If you are on Facebook, we have a fan page, please come join us - Give 'Em Hell Malone on Facebook."

Count me in!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hitman: Hard Knocks

Big Cowboy Hat productions has a new video available. It's a 3 minute short that I found to be quite humorous. If you like the funny bits in movies like [i]Snatch[/i] you'll probably enjoy this. It's not that it's British humour, more the sarcasm.

[url=] video[/url][/i]

These are good people and the video is pretty good, too. The video is linked to on contest site, so I can't speak to how well it looks there. But if you find it worthy of voting for, please do so. No, I'm not in this film, nor did I help make it. It may be shown at a local event, if it is I'll pass along the word

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back to the movies

It's been some time since I've posted. I haven't had a lot to talk about. I seem to be in a funk lately. It happens and eventually I'll break out of it.

I thought I'd go back to an old stand-by topic today - movies. We'll start with recent purchases and then move on to script-writing.

This week I picked up two copies of Quantum of Solace and one of Punisher: War Zone. Yes, I liked them both when I saw them in the theatre.

The two copies of QoS are for different media. The first that I purchased was via iTunes. I picked this up for three reasons. The first is to support this type of digital media. The more people spend on movie downloads, the quicker that technology will be more readily available. Let's face it, outside of HD/Blue Ray, video watching technology for the masses is not moving. It's starting to pick up, though. Netflix with it's download technology and more websites like Hulu coming about will push this closer to the forefront.

The second reason is that I wanted a copy with the extras on it as a dvd. That's my main source of movie watching. I don't care for going to the movie theatre, I haven't for years. I don't find the dollar to fun value all that high up there.

The third reason is that I wanted the iTunes copy for my movie making self. I find it much easier to watch movies for specific details on the smaller screen size of both my laptop and my iPod. Yes, my iPod! Camera angles and moves are easier to watch. Actions outside of the 4:3 ratio are easier to catch. Set-ups for Violence (stage combat) or stunts can be seen. I've also seen some interesting special effects when waching the outside portion of 16:9 ratio movies. All of this and more gives me information on how other people work their magic.

Punisher: War Zone worked for me. I'm interested to see it on the small screen to see how it comes across. Don't bother flaming me for liking this ultra-violent, over the top, movie. I like it and that's that. (It has the Brad Street Hotel for crying out loud!)

I also picked up the Punisher: War Zone soundtrack. It works for me, but I'm sure it won't be a go-to album for anything, besides maybe writing background music.

I've been asked by a friend to help with two school projects. One of them will simply have me overacting and hamming it up for the camera. I haven't seen the script, but I know the topic at hand and that we'll be shooting most of it in my living room.

The other project is much more intersting to me and has me excited. He wants to do a 2-3 minute short peice of people fighting with lightsabres. His project is to add the special effects to the video and then explain how the special effects work (or something like that). I've signed on to write, choreograph, and direct this no budget thriller.

I've put together 2 scripts thus far. He hasn't seen them and has final right as producer (and director of photographer and editor and whatever else he needs to do to pass the class) to toss them out the window. I wrote the first script after he and I spoke over the phone about what he was looking for in the short short film. After I had that banged out and rewritten, I headed out to one of the places I'm thinking of using for the film.

I walked through some of the blocking I would need to use to film the script. In doing so, I discovered several challenges with the location. There are many modern day items in the area that could cause problems such as signs, posts, street lights, and buildings off in the distance that may be seen depending on how much more plant growth we get in the next week or so.

In doing this, the script began to rewrite itself in my mind. Not only does the landscape lend itself to this new script direction, I like the new script direction. The first script has two people meeting, a transfer of the MacGuffin, those two people departing, the bad guy shows up and kills the person who originally had the MacGuffin, later the receiver of the MacGuffin meets the bad guy, and then they fight.

The second script actually slims down the story and tightens it up a bit. The same idea is present. The two people meet, but this time, the good guy who fights the bad guy is the one that hands over the MacGuffin. When the second good guy leaves, we never see him again. The fight starts (script-wise) within 45 seconds (movie time) after that. This version also leaves us with the open ending bit about the second good guy getting away with the MacGuffin.

After the producer makes his changes, I'll sit down and storyboard the script up until the fight. I have a 50 page book bound and waiting for the storyboarding process. I shouldn't need that many! I've already storyboarded most of these scenes in my head. The last time I storyboarded a movie must have been nearly 25 or 26 years ago.

I'm waiting on choreographing the fight sequence. I need to know which script we'll be using and where we will be filming. The producer is looking into a couple of locations and I have a backup location idea. My storyboarding technique for fights is a bit different. I'm horrible at art work, so it turns into StickFight theatre. It's actually kind of comical to look at, but it's better than nothing.

Writing for this project has me stoked. It's been some time since I put anything real down on paper. While this is all of two or three pages of manuscript, I still had to think about what the actors would be saying and doing physically during the scenes. I really like the process of only putting down words and some direction notes. I am not a big fan of reading screenplays. I do it, but it's not on the top of my list of "Fun Things to do in South Bend When You're Bored or Dead." I may try more of this style of writing in the near future!

I already have three people lined up to do the acting and two alternates. If anyone out there is interested in being another alternate, let me know. We'll be shooting April 4th or 5th, most likely morning and early afternoon. I'm hoping the shoot will take less than 6 hours. No pay is involved and this is not an union shoot.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Derek's Music Album Covers

There's a new meme going around that I'm having quite a bit of fun with. The instructions are these:


1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in

Instead of doing step 3 as is, I've actually gone through and compiled a random grouping of my own photos to use. You may need to click on the photos to see the whole images. Now that I've posted them, I have no idea how to Part of me is tempted to go through and type up a brief 100-250 word background for each of the albums. Maybe another day...

Boulton Operators - Significant Intelligence
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence. -Henrik Tikkanen
This photo is an across-the-river shot of old oil company buildings that were being decommissioned. That area is now a nice walking park.

Havelock -
Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States. -J. Barlett Brebner
This photo is of a light fixture in the downtown South Bend, IN area near TCU.

K-Seg - It Stuck
I shot an arrow into the air, and it stuck - Graffito

This is the top of an electrical power plant in Mishawaka, IN, near the animal food plant and Marian High School.

Chip Racing - The Duty of Being Happy
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. -Robert Louis Stevenson
I took this photo while burning an old computer. It had a habit of behaving poorly.

Gulf Storm - Falling Around a Helpless Thing
The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. -Walt Whitman
I took this photo back in 1992 while in Baton Rouge, LA. I was in town researching a college. This photograph is the front of a museum, I believe.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I have been tagged by the edige. Here's how it is:

1. Open your pictures folder and open the sixth folder.
2. Post the sixth picture.
3. Tag six people to participate.

From Pups

That's me earlier this month, petting a wolf pup. If you click on the pic, it will make it larger and easier to see.

Edige and Of Masks and Men tagged four mutual friends, so I'll skip them and go after others...

Cole Ann
Derek at Eastern Standard
Derek from Texas

No, it's not Six, but I'm more of "Starbuck" guy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

my hat for DTV no know limit

I am so not happy with the must go digital with the tv initiative. The signal is on a tighter beam and therefore, harder to get in with an antenna. If there's rain, I don't get at least one broadcast channel's signal in tune. If there's snow, I'm lucky if I can any channel.

I am so glad we've gone this direction, to make the cell phone people happy. Oh, so happy.

Wait, there's this lovely little thing under the television. I think they use to call it a radio. What's this button do? That's cute it lights up, but wait! Those sounds, that noise, those emotions it brings forth...and wait, the commercials aren't as annoying and all the channels come in tune! Why didn't anyone tell me about this old timey invention? It is much cooler than the television.

Seriously, way disappointed with DTV. Don't like it, don't want it, won't be getting cable/dish/whatever anytime soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Parable with Tigers and Mice

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

That is the first zen koan I ever read. It was decades ago, probably when I was but 10-12 years old. The version I read was much simpler, but the story was the same.

I must have read it twenty times and still I wondered if I knew what it meant. The meaning was on the tip of my tongue. I knew it, but didn't know it. (And yet I had no clue what zen was at the time.)

The moment I stopped thinking about it, I understood it.

Later, I would pick up books at the library that discussed zen and the teachings of the masters. I would study the books for as long as I could keep them, but would return them knowing that someone else out there would want to read them and learn what I had just barely grasped. This was a new way to think, the way to think. None of my friends understood the topic or really cared, thinking it some weird puzzle/riddle talk. My parents never spoke to me about it (that I remember). They probably assumed it to be a young boy's fancy of the moment.

I am in no way a zen master. I do not know or even recite the sutras. I do not understand all of the teachings. I have never considered the teachings of zen a religion, but many do. However, if it is a religion, then it is the religion from which I have learned the most. It was simply the fancy of a young boy, who came to understand it's importance as he aged.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So I can remember and enjoy

Cole - ok sweetie time to grow up

Posted for posterities sake.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Hancock is a movie about a lone superhero. As a lone man, he's become very lonely, despondant, and a drunk. Will Smith does a great job playing the part of an asshole. Throughout the first third of the story, I grew to love to hate his character.

Along the way, he saves Jason Bateman's character. Yet, Bateman is the only one on the scene that is happy Hancock showed up. Thus is born the beginning of a friendship. Bateman is convinced that he can make Hancock into a good guy. Thus we enter the second third of this story.

Hancock is actually wanted by the law, due to his activities. Bateman's character convinces him to turn himself in and due some time. After all, if he's not out in the real world, the bad guys will become more active, and then the world will want Hancock back. We see some change in Hancock here. Not a lot, but some. We see him resisting change and then start to give in to the change.

Suddenly, he's wanted outside the jail to help with a situation. It's at this point, that I became irritated. We didn't see a completion of the change into a good person, before he left jail. Okay, I'm good with that. We'll see more change and development later in the movie.

Except we don't.

He's out, he's free, and he's saving the world. He needs to adjust to it and we see he recognizes that. This part of the movie is way too short. It is at this point that the third part of the story begins. This is the part of the movie that pisses off most people.

We now discover that he's not the only person like him. There is one other. There is some really cool story background here. It's nothing that us geeks haven't thought before. However, the execution here is awesome. Yet, it's a second movie. It has nothing to do with Hancock the asshole.

This part of the movie is Hancock discovering who he is, a little of the why he has his powers, and how his kryptonite works. I like, I think they used a great idea, and I would have loved to see a movie that was about that. However, as this script was written to be an anti-hero movie, we won't get that.

My only other real objection to this movie was all of the European Americans. The Chief of Police is African American, as is Hancock, and one of the three main bad guys in jail. For some reason, I wanted more African American actors. I'm not sure why, but the movie just felt so "white."

Overall, if you want a not-superhero movie that starts out with a little bit Tony Stark and ends with a little bit Clark Kent, you will most likely enjoy this film.