The summer is drawing to a close and soon we will be at the doorstep of my favorite time of year, autumn. The air will be crisp and tinged with an aromatic cocktail of fallen leaves and the promise of snow. And I will drink it in, because this might be my last Colorado autumn for a while. Do you feel that slight breeze? It feels almost like, yes I believe it is, the winds of change. If I'm notorious for something other than my hound dog-like eyes and my sparkling presence at dinner parties, it's my fervent rejection of change. This might be the by-product of spending 18 years in the same house, in the same town, in the same state. I'd not had to deal with change often during these years and when I did, it was something earth-shattering. I'm now 30 and my trajectory lies not in the same house, in the same town, in the same state, but elsewhere. I imagine myself embarking on a grand adventure, not late to the party as most would tell you, but at precisely the right time.
That got a little introspective didn't it? Sorry about that. Moving forward.
The What the F*** Are You Watching Podcast- 50th Episode- John Carpenter Spectacular Part 1 should be up this Monday. It was a pleasure to participate in and I had a wonderful time geeking-out over Carpenter's films with other fans. Below the blog is some cool Carpenter stuff which, if you're a fan, you'll enjoy. Please check out the show this Monday, and be sure to share it with your friends.
Ideas continue to manifest and after bingeing on Carpenter movies, I once again want to make a horror film. I've actually only made one, although my recent endeavor with UNC called "In the Bag" might qualify. Hmmm, it seems like I do my best horror work with Kyle Anderson...we need to work together more. Anyway, I recently had a conversation with a friend I've mentioned before. This friend is a lovely human being, but he is a tech snob. In our latest conversational misadventure, my friend had recently found himself interested in acting and suggested we work on a project together. I was thrilled with the idea, and we set to discussing the details. As I went on about story and characters, he kept interjecting with tech details and camera equipment he could borrow from his filmmaker friends. He talked to me about "artsy" shots he wanted to employ and soon I realized that I had to pull him back. You see, we didn't even have a script yet.
It became apparent that my friend didn't really consider story and character as the horse you don't want to "put the cart before". He had spent time with his media pals and heard them prattling on about camera specs and lighting techniques (all of which can be important) and knew he wanted a good-looking movie. These people he shared company with weren't storytellers. They could create spectacular photo shoots and music videos but narrative was clearly something they knew nothing about. It was at this point I politely suggested that if he was serious about getting on-camera acting experience, that he should do a one man short himself. Keep it simple. Use your iPhone to film, edit and post the videos.
There was a pause, and his face performed a series of slight changes. The first iteration was that of someone with signs of diarrhea. The second was a polite, if condescending, wisp of a smile. "Don't get me wrong, dude" he began, "the iPhone is great, but why would I shoot a movie on it if I could borrow real equipment from my friends?" He had clearly missed the point. We are now in the future and there is no excuse for not making movies if that is something you're truly interested in. If you own a smart phone, you have a camera, effects house and editing bay in your back pocket. The tech is there and is often easy to use, the hard part is crafting a story from it. After being shot down, I though t to myself: why don't I make a movie with my mobile? Why don't I put my money where my mouth is and prove to my friend (and myself) that it's possible. There is something gloriously old fashioned about this idea. It sounds like something that might appeal to guys like Ford, Peckinpah, Cassavettes. The mental gauntlet had been thrown down. I'm going to make a mobile movie and it will most likely be a horror film.
It will also likely be gritty and unrefined. A sort of mobile grindhouse picture. This notion couldn't make me happier and I think John Carpenter himself might approve.
Jon and Al Kaplan make wonderful and funny musicals from classic and cult films. This is their version of Sinatra meets The Thing. It's brilliant. That is all.
Big Trouble in Little China "Guardian" Sculpture from zombiemonkie.com
Plissken's Search and Rescue shirt ala Escape From New York. Get yours HERE
I'm going as one of the aliens from They Live this Halloween. You can too. Click HERE
Poster commisioned for the Alamo Drafthouse screening of Halloween. Sadly these are out of print