Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Little Smackerel of Something...

LOVE that photo. The photographer is Andy Lee, and he travels the world, taking amazing photos of remote roads, such as this one. Here is an article with a gallery of additional shots, well worth your viewing time. And here is his website, with still more goodies.

There, hopefully that covers my butt, as far as the legal angle.

Hello everyone! Lots of random nonsense to prattle on about tonight.

First, the initial trailer for our webseries is available online! Yay! I'm sure most of you have seen it by now (since I'm Facebook Friends with most of you wonderful folks that frequent this blog), but for those that haven't -- or those that would like to watch it again -- here you go!

BTi Trailer 1 from ETCHED MOTION PRO on Vimeo.

That's pretty awesome, eh? I like it. One more BIG weekend of shooting, and the bulk of it will be in the can. Maybe a few pickup shots between now and the premiere, but that will only really become evident once the final editing is being done. The premiere was set for Feb 7, but I believe it will be moving to Feb 21 now, due to, shall we say, certain unforeseen health issues involving someone rather important to the project (not sure how comfortable he/she would be with me discussing it in this forum, so I shall be vague).

Here's one of the posters...

Yes, it's supposed to be sort-of whited out like that.

Anyways, so exciting. We've been plugging away at this for well beyond a year now. To see the pilot coming this close to "ready for primetime" is awesome. The plan is for this initial chunk of the story to be played in its entirety at the premiere, run time of approximately an hour, and then it will be divided up into several smaller episodes and released online. After the premiere, we will begin work on the next hour-long chunk of the story. Odds are, when it's all said and done, there will be three hours of footage, likely divided up into 15-minute episodes (12 total) available for viewing online. The plan is to have all 12 episodes done by the time Comicon rolls around in July.

I'll be wearing my Script-writer hat a lot in the next few months.

OK, what next?

Well, as I write this, it's the evening of January 14th. That means tomorrow is St. Bryan's Day -- aka the anniversary of the day my younger brother Bryan died. 15 years. He would be 41 years old right now! Man, I can't even imagine it! He's forever 26 in my mind's eye, I can't picture him 41... As usual, I toyed with the idea of doing a huge retrospective of his life and passing here in the blog, and as usual, I've dismissed it. It would be very difficult to relive. Maybe one of these years, I'll trot out all the details and do an honest, no-punches-pulled retelling.

In any case, Happy St. Bryan's Day to you all! He was a good egg, and I look forward to seeing him again. I still routinely wonder what he's doing right now...

So I finished reading my first book of the year, called "City of Stairs," by Robert Jackson Bennett. For the most part, I loved it. I'm going to cheat, and copy/paste my thoughts from my GoodReads review of the book... but I'll elaborate a bit more for you, as an extra-special treat, just for you! Think of it!!!1!
Dangit, this book was great up to the climax. What a fizzle!
Overall, the book started a little slow, but quickly built into an outstanding read. Then it stepped up to the plate for the climax... and whiffed. A bad guy suddenly appears, monologues to explain everything, makes his big final play, and it is easily thwarted... move swiftly into the denouement, and DONE! Wait... what? 
I'm still a little stunned, honestly. I was fully prepared to write this review, strongly encouraging everyone to drop everything and read this book. The wind has drained from my sails. I haven't been this puzzled by a turnaround like this since The Red Wolf Conspiracy (RVS Reddick), which followed a similar pattern.  
Well, if you'd like to read 4/5 of an outstanding book, with great characters, terrific action, top-notch world-building and a sweet magic system, then read City of Stairs! Who knows? Perhaps you'll be ok with the literary fart that is the ending... Not sure if there are additional titles planned or if it's a stand-alone... it certainly works well as a stand-alone title. 
SUMMARY: 4/5 stars. Has many great elements. I really do recommend it. If you see it on sale, snap it up and give it a go.

OK, you know the routine. Start this video, then click the gear wheel, set the resolution to 1080, full screen... and then marvel at the visuals...

Man, the things they can do with drones nowadays is amazing. Hopefully, we'll be able to get our planned drone shots for the BTI pilot... if not, it will be used in subsequent episodes, I'm sure. Our A.D. Mike has a high-end UAV to get amazing arial shots like that. Can't wait!

So I saw a movie recently, called Snowpiercer. It's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi (sort of?) tale that garnered near-universal accolades and praise (that I saw, anyway)... enough so that I made a point to see it when it became available to stream online. I went into this film fully intending to enjoy it -- especially since several reviewers I respected loved it and said it was that rare film that didn't insult the viewer's intelligence, and was rich and smart and deep.

Wow. Was I grossly under-whelmed. Rather than inundate you with a metric ton of reasons why this movie disapointed, annoyed, confused, and occasionally angered me, I'll simply cut to the chase and say that I thought this erstwhile "masterpiece" (as some reverently refer to it as) was a silly, illogical, over-wrought, self-impressed turd. I'm truly amazed that so many people loved this thing... and it leads me strongly to believe that I'm missing the point of the film in a big way, somehow. I'm second-guessing my gut reaction, which I really shouldn't need to do. How can so many people be so wrong? They can't. Right?

But it's not without precedent. I feel the same level of annoyance and disappointment, etc with other seemingly universally-loved films, such as Gran Torino, Stand By Me, Hamlet (Brannagh's version), and, more recently, the Hobbit films. In every case, I went into the film expecting to love it, and was grossly disappointed, almost viscerally so. I really don't think having high expectations for a film is the culprit... I've been rewarded many times as well. I do think that the disappointment was made extra virulent because of the expectations, though... I've seen bad movies before and just let them evaporate from my brainpan without issue, numerous times. But the ones that were bad when they were supposed to be awesome... those I remember.

Boiling it down, I suppose it's a pride thing. It makes me feel stupid, I guess, and I react against that, as much as anything. "I'm supposed to love this movie. I was led to believe it would be amazing/rewarding/etc. and it is the very opposite. It angers me, since I must be missing something. I must be watching it wrong! It must be a sign that my brain isn't working right! That I'm dumb or somethin! This movie is calling me an idiot! I'm not an idiot!"

That's a gross simplification, of course, but I'm trying to put into words something I've never put my finger on before.

Anyways, Snowpiercer had so many problems, I wouldn't even know where to start, but the one I want to mention is, perhaps, the most retarded monologue ever seriously attempted in a major motion picture before. For those that have seen the film, it is near the end, when Chris Evans tells the cannibal story... I was dumbfounded. So much so, I immediately told myself I would transcribe the monologue and learn it, and try to perform it myself, See if I can make it work. A monumental challenge. I want to take it into my acting class up in Hollywood and try to make it work.

Wow, I rambled a lot about it. Having been somewhat intimately involved in a relatively major production myself for the past year, I feel bad slamming the film like this -- I know how much work goes into something like that... then again, I'm just a random yahoo, so what do I know, lol?

Dinklage for President!

I think I better call this post done, before I launch off onto another tangent. Thanks for reading this far (if you did, lol).

More later,

Dave the Ramblin' Man


Anonymous said...

How does one air a 3 hour film divided into 15-minute segments? BA

David Wagner said...

If things go as planned, we'll have about 3 hours of content total. This will be edited into episodes, like a TV program (as opposed to one long feature film), and released online an episode at a time. Each episode will be about 15 minutes long.

For practicality's sake, we're filming it in large chunks, like a movie. But in editing, we will craft them into shorter episodes.

It makes sense in my head!