Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pictures

Well, it's official. We didn't want to say anything before the film was in the can and the release was signed, but we met up with Neil LaBute today in his office on the old Warner Studios Hollywood Lot and talked with him on film for a little more than a half an hour about his play "Fat Pig" and issues related to the American obesity epidemic.

It was really cool.

Here's a couple of pictures:




Then here here a couple of pictures from yesterday.

Clearly, this is Steve, myself and the Pacific Ocean.

After work yesterday, we went out to dinner with Calvin Lee Reeder of "Little Farm" fame. Were he here, he would probably say, "Werewolf is unique." Don't ask.

Oh, and here's a picture of Steve and Neil LaBute from last year's Vancouver Intl' Film Festival. I think the sun was really bright and that Neil is wearing his favorite shirt:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yesterday's Shoots

We had a good day for shooting yesterday and we got a couple of good interviews done.

We interviewed the inventor of the AB-DOer and motivational speaker, John Abdo. I really couldn't believe how impossibly in shape this guy was. He's 53 and we were filming him do his daily exercises and he was probably the most fit person I have ever seen up close in my life. He looked like he was 35 tops... It was crazy.

We also interviewed a guy who runs a foundation for amputees. (One of the related illnesses of obesity is Type 2 diabetes and one of the common complications from Type 2 diabetes is amputation. It's pretty scary stuff)

And we've just confirmed our big interview for today, so as soon as his footage is in the can, I'll be back to tell you what's up.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Love your job or hate it, their's nothing quite so sublime as it's final day.

Fearing no occupation so much that I refuse to bear it, I've been subject to some pretty crappy jobs in my life, none so unhealthy and monotonous as my last, from which I joyfully departed less than two weeks ago. I won't bore you with the unpleasant details of said nine-to-five as I'm no fan of whining and plenty of people surely endure much worse. In the words of an accidentally enlightened Yankee: "You gotta do what you gotta do."

Needless to say I'm happier than a pig in shit to be working full time in the field that I love above all others (film) and hope to never look back. As many friends I've spoken to in the comic book industry will concede, scraping by is often the highest aspiration you can set for "dream jobs" of this kind, a fact that I've thankfully come to grips with long ago. Scraping by is all I know, so no loss there.

In short, this yammering is more or less intended to be a reintroduction of Elias to the faithful readers of the This Divided State Blog, as my new job has thankfully (maybe not for you all) afforded me much more time with the pen and paper. God. The last year of my life has been the least productive of my life from an artistic standpoint.

Anyway... Stay tuned for more dick and/or fart jokes, obscure gothic country CD reviews, endless references to The Ramones, the occasional mind blowing film or book review and the occasionally well intentioned tongue lashing of all rebukable forms of douche-baggery.

Don't worry, I still won't post that often.

Ting-a-ling.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The 79th annual Academy Awards

My predictions weren't too far off. I even surprised myself with calling Best Original Screenplay.

The only thing that could have made the night better was Al Gore using the stage to announce his candidacy. It was sad that Al Gore saying, "My fellow Americans," requires laughing.

And Ellen Degeneres had material without even writing it ("And now, Academy Award nominees Queen Latifah and John Travolta.")

Anyhow, we're in L.A. and we've got pretty good internet access in our hotel. I'll provide some daily production updates. And if everything goes well, we'll have a pretty cool announcement about the film on Tuesday to release to all of you.

So.

Word up to your mothers.

The City of Angels

Well, I don't know how frequent posting is going to be this week. It really depends on our internet access out in Los Angeles. Hopefully, Elias will get some writing in, for a change. It's been six months since his last post, he's due for one.

Anyway, Steve and I will be in Los Angeles doing interviews, following subjects around and having meetings with various Los Angeles types all week.

Give me a call if you're in that neck of the woods.

Friday, February 23, 2007

STEVE'S OSCAR PREDICTIONS

Bryan posted his up. So here are mine. It's basically the same list, but whatever.

PICTURE: The Departed
DIRECTOR: Martin Scorcese
ACTOR: Forest Whitaker
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy
ACTRESS: Helen Mirren
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Babel
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Departed
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Children of Men
FOREIGN FILM: Pan's Labyrinth
DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth
ANIMATED FILM: Happy Feet

Oscar Predictions


I just wanted to go on the record with some Oscar predictions.

We'll see how wrong I am after we get to Los Angeles. Yeah, Steve and I are leaving for Los Angeles for a week of shooting on Sunday night during the Oscars broadcast. It's the first I'll miss in probably fifteen years.

Anyhow, on to the predictions:

BEST PICTURE: I really think this category is wide open. Any of the films can win quite easily, all it needs to win is 20% + 1. My money is on the Academy finally saying enough is enough and just give the Picture/Director awards to Scorsese in a much-too late apology for not giving Raging Bull or Goodfellas the top Oscar. My pick and personal favorite is: THE DEPARTED.

BEST DIRECTOR: MARTIN SCORSESE.
They've got Spielberg, Lucas and Coppola co-presenting the award, you honestly think they're not planning on it being their old buddy Marty?

BEST ACTOR:
I think Forrest Whitaker has this in the bag, although I could see it going to Peter O'Toole quite easily. My pick though is that FOREST WHITAKER will get it.

BEST ACTRESS: I'd be a fool not to say HELEN MIRREN.

I didn't see Dreamgirls, but I'm calling these two categories for it:

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: JENNIFER HUDSON

SUPORTING ACTOR: EDDIE MURPHY

ANIMATED FEATURE:
I think this is a toss-up between Happy Feet and Cars, although I think the actual best animated feature, Monster House, doesn't have a chance. I'm sticking with Pixar: CARS.

BEST DOCUMENTARY: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Hands down: PAN'S LABYRINTH.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
I think this is a tough category this year and one of the best adaptations wasn't even nominated (The Prestige) but I think it's a tossup between Children of Men and the Departed and I'm going to go with THE DEPARTED.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
I want Pan's Labyrinth to win this award. But, as much as it disgusts me to say, despite the utter shallowness of the script, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE will probably walk away with the award.

So, there you have it.

Bryan's Oscar picks.

Don't blame me if I'm wrong.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Venus


I went to the Trolley Square tonight (which was a little weird, the place was shrouded in an hushed quiet) to watch Peter O'Toole's Academy Award nominated performance in Venus.

O'Toole was amazing, which was to be expected, and the movie was pretty good, too.

It was a very literary-sort of movie that explored what seems to me the frustrating enterprise of getting old. O'Toole plays an old man (hardly a stretch at his age) that seems like he needs to be in touch with youth and women. As a retired actor of some note, you can tell that there are plenty of ladies in his past and the movie is his struggle to find relevance in his once-romantic life.

It plays like sort of a reverse-roled Harold and Maude, but I must say, I enjoyed this much more than I enjoyed Harold and Maude.

It's odd, really. In Harold and Maude, I never rooted for Maude to get Harold. And half of this picture it never entered my mind that I wanted Peter O'Toole to get the girl, but halfway through, when you realize what the quest for this young girl is more about so many other things, you want him to get all of it.

And pieces of the film are utterly heartbreaking.

I have to say, the filmmaking is acceptable, nothing fantastic. I was, however, quite impressed with the restraint the director showed in not revealing a picture of O'Toole's character in his youth until the end of the picture. O'Toole is such an icon and it would have been too easy to garner sympathy if we were reminded of the looks and grace he once had in real life. The one instance the filmmaker used an image of a young O'Toole was with heartbreaking effect.

The girl was good, too. And fairly pretty.

If I had to rate this film it would be a solid 7 out of 10. I was never for a moment disinterested, some of the jokes were humerous (nothing knee slapping) but it still seemed to lack something that made it a masterpiece.

It's worth seeing once, if you're an O'Toole fan and are interested in watching lecherous geriatrics search for meaning in the twilight of their lives.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I should be ashamed of myself


Every once in a while I get random comments on my short stories blog from people breezing in on random search strings from Google. In fact, pretty much no one reads those short stories unless they wander in from the cold.

Yesterday some guy from Brentwood found my Ninja Turtles comic script by searching for "Yakuza Ninja." The day before that, a person in the UK found my Chet Chesterfield script by searching for a "story about a claw."

Personally, I find the search string phenomenon fascinating. It never ceases to amaze me the random search strings that lead here. (In fact, since I posted up about John's movie, "Blood, Boobs & Beast", we've been getting a rash of people hitting the blog searching for "boobs." No lie.)

Anyhow, I got a random comment on my story "The Train from Hell to Heaven" from a person searching for "NOT ASHAMED TO WEAR STAR OF DAVID."

And they read the entire story, which is basically about Hitler's stay in hell and how he wishes to repent. He considers how to best apologize to the Jews he wronged and he decided to wear torn and tattered clothes and, as a sign of respect, he stitches on a Star of David.

Anyhow, I'm not really sure why (because it makes little sense to me) this is the comment they decided to leave.
THAT WAS HORRIBLE YOU CANNOT PORTRAY A STORY TO BE SOMETHING ITS NOT. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF
I'm not sure how I portrayed the story to be something it wasn't. But considering this persons lack of reading comprehension and working knowledge about the "caps lock" button and only a passing familiarity with punctuation, I'm not sure what to think about this.

Read the story and comment. Let me know what those of you who haven't read it think.

News Clipping

This appeared a couple of weeks ago in the Deseret News. I posted a link to the article, but here's a scan of it.


Obviously, click to make this larger.

Sean Hannity mentioned THIS DIVIDED STATE

The following message came to me via a Myspace friend:

"Today I was on my break at work and KSL radio happened to be on Hannity's rants. One of his callers mentioned that she's a big fan and won tickets to see him at UVSC. He then said, "I heard they made a movie, I haven't seen it though." I'm sure he was talking about yours. I'm sure there are going to be a few people poking their heads around now for it. Just thought I'd let you know!"

We're trying to get the audio for it right now.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Blood, Boobs & Beast


John Kinhart, Steve's old filmmaking cohort and sometimes commenter on this blog, sent me an announcement the other day to inform me of the completion of his new documentary "Blood, Boobs & Beast".

Blood, Boobs and Beast tells the compelling story of Don Dohler, whose movies have been called everything from oddly brilliant to some of the worst films of all time. Despite his critics, Dohler has gotten all 9 of his sci-fi and horror films distributed internationally, as well as TV syndication for his first film, The Alien Factor . Dohler has also inspired artists and filmmakers such as Robert Crumb (Fritz the Cat), J.J. Abrams (Creator of TV show Lost ) and Art Speigelman ( Maus ) with his underground comix character ProJunior, and his DIY filmmaking magazine, Cinemagic.

Mild-mannered and unassuming, Dohler started making wholesome sci-fi films in the Baltimore area in 1976, but recently began including nudity and gore in his movies to please distributors. At age 59 he's just finished his most gratuitous movie to date and it's selling well, yet Dohler feels "sick of the exploitative stuff" and is considering giving up the Blood, Boobs and Beast formula. However, Dohler's recent partner Joe Ripple disagrees and views these components as essential to gaining distribution. Since the pair's filmmaking philosophies have begun to differ, it's possible that their current film could be their last.

Shot and edited over two and a half years, Blood, Boobs and Beast provides a fresh and humorous look at low-budget filmmaking through the unassuming eyes of Don Dohler. With revealing interviews and beautiful cinematography, Blood, Boobs and Beast is a touching portrait of Dohler's career, his family, and his struggle to just make a good movie.

I've actually seen it and it's fascinating and well put together. When Steve and I went out to film in Washington D.C. late last year, John was kind enough to let us crash at his place and show us a rough cut of "Blood, Boobs & Beast".

He asked Steve and I for notes and we argued about the structure of the film for hours over beers on the street and had great fun doing so. John also took that time to urinate on a building. I'm pretty sure Steve did, too. Or that might have been the night before on the Discovery Channel building... I don't remember.

Like I said, we were drinking.

Anyhow, it's a good film and the very least you can do it check out the trailer.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Letters From Iwo Jima


I was able to catch Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima" last night.

It was pretty good. I didn't think it was a spectacular masterpiece, but it had some really bright and shining moments. The film, obviously, tells the story of the battle over the island of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers enlisted to defend it from the American invaders.

The acting was capable. Watanabe was good, but I almost think they should have given him, or someone, a really great Mifune style-impassioned sort of speech. It's moments like that in Japanese films that transcend the language barrier.

Overall though, this film was miles ahead of "Flags of Our Fathers". Where Flags was merely interesting, Letters was truly engaging. I think part of the difference was a lack of a Paul Haggis script. I'll make no bones about the fact that I think Haggis is a bad screenwriter and I was glad to see that he only got "story by" credit. (Flags had a very poor structure and seemed cliched.) In fact, everything in this movie too was a bit predictable (who didn't see the bit with the dog coming?) but it didn't matter.

The point of this movie was to put a face on an enemy that for 60 year's we've held was pure evil. It also goes one step further and plays that cliche on the Americans so, for once, we're the bad guys in a movie.

A lot of conservatives have called this movie propaganda because it humanizes the enemy and demonizes the Americans. I wouldn't call that propaganda, I'd call that reality from a different point of view. No one fights in a battle and thinks that they're the bad guy. And, in every conflict, people who don't want to be in a war end up there. And movies like this really illustrate how ugly war can get. The best example of this in Letters is when the commander orders his men to blow themselves up with grenades so that they may die with honor.

It was brutal and disgusting and it actually happened.

The second best example was when the American soldiers shot the POW's they were babysitting. The thing that struck me the most about that moment was that nowadays, Americans don't just shoot prisoners. They do worse, they torture, humiliate and rape them. War is bad, it doesn't matter which side you're on though.

As far as filmmaking, it seems as though Eastwood studied Kurosawa movies. There were little hallmarks of Kurosawa movies that found their way into the film and it did bring a smile to my face.

That being said, I don't think this film should beat Pan's Labyrinth in pretty much any category, for any reason.

This is probably the most rambling review I've ever written, so I apologize for that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

We finally got our bloody baggage.

But they only delivered three of four bags.

At press time, the fourth bag was mysteriously left at the airport.

The delivery service also got the address wrong. They added a zero to the address, so they were ten blocks away on their first delivery attempt.

Awesome, huh?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baggage update

Our baggage is now back in Denver.

So, we're back to square one.

God this is frustrating. I had to go buy more dress shirts and ties.

Huffington Post Editorial

I wrote (with the help of Elias) an editorial for the Huffington Post about Obesity issues and how the government (particularly the Bush Administration) is dealing with it.

You can read the editorial here.

Steve and I are going to be contributing to the blog there more often now, particularly about issues pertaining to "This Divided State" and the politics of Obesity. So, I'll be sure to let you all know when it happens.

Hopefully, I'll have time to write more stuff of this caliber for news organizations like this. We really enjoy this sort of thing around here, so be sure to check it out.

And let me know what you think of the editorial.

UPDATE: I thought it was quite odd that they wedged my editorial between an essay by Harry Shearer a few spots below and two spots above me was a photo-essay by Mia Farrow.

That's just pretty cool.

Our Luggage

Well, our bags got to Baltimore.

But the airline now has no idea where they are now.

I'm just waiting to see a headline on one of the news sites I frequent about a bomb-squad at an airport blowing up four unattended bags because they couldn't be identified and it will turn out to be our clothes and camera equipment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More Airport Awesomeness

I just got word that they sent our bags, camera and lights to Baltimore.

Sweet.

Robotech

The Official Robotech website posted up a link to my review of Shadow Chronicles.

That's pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back from our trip

Jesus Christ.

We've had an awesome day traveling. After all that preposterous business near the office last night (check out more info here, apparently they identified the kid as an 18-year-old Bosnian refugee, still no motive) we left early this morning with our final destination being Baltimore Washington International.

We got to Denver where we found out that not only had the FCC task force meeting that we had been invited to cover had been canceled, so had our connecting flight. Likewise, all connecting flights to that entire region were canceled due to the bad weather.

So, we spent the day in line trying to get back into Salt Lake.

When we finally worked out those details, we were assured that our bags (including most of our camera and light kit) would be on the plane with us.

They were not. Our bags are literally sitting on a shelf at the Denver airport.

So, we're home now. Our stuff is not.

We spent an entire day trying to go to Salt Lake City.

Also, my toothbrush is in my bag, along with all the clothes I wear.

Man that sucks.

Salt Lake City Bloodbath: Update


Okay. This is the last post before Steve and I get on a plane for a shoot in D.C. for the rest of the week, but this pretty thorough report comes from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Apparently, the shooter staked the mall earlier that day, looked lost and had a mullet.

Seriously, I wish people would get the hint that less guns on the street would be a good thing. Also, a mullet should be a disqualifying factor for gun ownership. We need to make guns in this society as hard to get as Universal Health Care. Then this kind of stuff wouldn't happen.

I've been reading some of the comments from people around some of the other sites and news organizations that have posted this story and I'm appaled at the amount of people who think this is a wake-up call to put more guns on the street.

I don't know... I'm just thirsty for knowledge about what happened. I mean, I work in such close proximity to that place and frequent it alot. I eat at the Desert Edge at least once a month and I see a movie there at least every couple of weeks. I even used to have one of those silent crushes on one of the girls who worked at that theatre.....

It's just a lot to think about I guess.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Salt Lake City Bloodbath


I'm sure most of you who read this blog have heard about this (this and this) and I'm sure there will be more conclusive reports coming out soon.

A man walked into a Salt Lake City mall (Trolley Square) that is located literally two blocks from our office with a sawed off shotgun and killed multiple, random people. Inside the mall is the movie theatre I spend about half my time watching movies at. I saw this, this and this (among many others) at this theatre. This is the site of the Salt Lake City Sundance Box Office every year. I was there last week trying to buy tickets...

The weirdest part about this for me is that Elias and I were actually leaving the office after a day of working on our film as police were responding, they blew by us, both on the freeway and in Downtown, and we thought nothing of it.

Yikes.

STEVE wanted to add this:
Like Bryan said, I live 2 blocks from Trolley Square and there's like 10 helicopters buzzing my house right now. I can see the lights flashing over the trees.
UPDATE: Here's a slightly more detailed report.

UPDATE 2: This is probably the most detailed report we'll see until tomorrow.

3RD UPDATE.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

El Laberinto Del Fauno

We're up to our eyeballs in work, so that's why there's been a lack of posts.

We finally confirmed that we'll be able to film a Task Force Meeting in a Senate Building and Steve and I are heading to D.C. this week to do it.

Pretty much everyone is sick, too.

So, posts are light at the moment.

But I just wanted to stop by and let everyone know that I caught Pan's Labyrinth again and it is a thing of beauty. It was much more heart-breaking the second time around, knowing what fate had in store for each of the characters, particularly Ofelia.

And I was struck at the level of detail and care that Del Toro puts into each and every shot. For example, and these are spoilers, when Ofelia opens the book and blood comes pouring out right before her mother has complications with the baby, it's no accident that the blood flows in the shape of a uterus. And when Ofelia stops at the Pale Man's table to eat grapes, it's no accident that the platter is filled with pomegranates, which have particular echoes of significance in that situation.

It's just heartwarming to see that level of care and detail poured into a film.

When somebody takes such painstaking steps to make something so believable, you know that it will probably be of top quality.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith Died...


... and the media keeps telling me that I should give a rat's ass.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Final Solution


I'm 3/4's of the way through reading Michael Chabon's short novel "The Final Solution" and I have to say I would love to adapt this material.

It reads like the kind of novel Graham Greene would have written for Carol Reed to turn into a film. It reads beat for beat like a movie but I can't find any information for a forthcoming movie. This would be a great black-and-white period piece, shot like a period film, much like Soderberghs "The Good German".

And Christopher Lee would make an amazing lead in this.

It would be so cool.

If anybody knows about what's going on with it, or if anyone has even heard of it, let me know.

Also, read the book. It's good. Also, read Chabon's masterpiece: "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay".

It's probably the best book I've ever read. Either that or "Don Quixote", which I finished reading for the second time on a crowded Trax train today. Which kind of sucked because of how sad the end is, it made me tear up a little and people were looking at me. It was a little embarrassing.

UPDATE: I finished reading the book and it is was good. I'm also fairly certain it was a Sherlock Holmes adventure, but it doesn't say.

UPDATE 2: Indeed. I looked it up and it seems as though it was Holmes. Regardless, it was a good book and would make a kick-ass old-school movie.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another Article

Here's an article about the film. It's pretty much the same article as before but this one rated 3rd on Google News' stories about obesity.

Here it is.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Astronaut charged with attempted murder

God.

I've been reading about this story all day. And re-reading. It's so compelling to me and I'm not even sure why. This has to be some type of movie or something.

Anyway, here's the scoop. This Woman....


...used to be an astronaut. She was arrested yesterday for the attempted murder of a fellow pilot and love rival.

The story goes something like this: Mrs. Nowak, pictured above, mother of three, wanted to be involved with another man, a fellow astronaut: Commander Oefelein. But she found out that he might be involved with an Air Force Captain named Colleen Shipman. She finds out that Shipman is going to be flying into Orlando, FL.

What does Mrs. Nowak do when she finds out the itinerary of the rival of her affections? She drives 900 miles non-stop, wearing a diaper so as not to slow herself down (apparently, Astronauts are accustomed to this practice as they are required to wear diapers on launch and re-entry). Once in Orlando, Mrs. Nowak checks into a Hotel with a fake name and address, paying cash. where she dons a disguise, a trenchcoat and a wig.

Then, she follows Colleen Shipman from the airport, onto her shuttle-bus and to her car, where she tries subdue her using pepper spray. Fortunately for Shipman, she was able to drive to the attended booth in the parking lot and the police were summoned. Upon realizing this, Nowak tried discarding a black duffel bag. In the duffel bag was a new steel mallet, a four-inch blade, a realistic looking BB gun, rubber tubing, garbage bags, $600 cash and latex gloves.

The police caught her and booked her for attempted murder. In fact, in the police report, the arresting officer says quite plainly that murder was the intent. I think she was planning on taking things a step further. I think she was going to smash Shipmans bones up and chop her into tiny pieces.

This is Nowak's mug shot:What a fall from grace.

I think the thing that compels me most about this story is that Astronauts are the last American heroes. Soldiers have been heroes since the country's founding. Then cowboys. Then Astronauts came onto the scene. And this is just the most bizarre, out of character thing for someone as educated and brilliant as an astronaut is supposed to be.

That's probably the funniest thing on the police report. How often does a cop have to file a report where the occupation is "NASA Astronaut"?

God, this is weird.

And strangely compelling....

Press Release

Livin' La Vida Low-Carb, a gigantic health and diet blog ran with our press release.

You can check it out here.

A Great Political Move


It seems as though anti-marriage conservatives are going to be forced to put their money where their mouths are.

According to the AP:
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced a ballot measure that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years or have their marriages annulled.
MSNBC headlined the initiative as absurd. Those proposing the initiative admitted that it probably was absurd, but if conservatives claim that the sole purpose of marriage is pro-creation, then this bill fits their hands like a glove.

I think this bill is no more absurd than those designed by the Anti-Marriage lobby to prevent all who seek marriage the rights granted therein. I think it's absurd that a debate of the size and nature we've seen is even a necessary step in granting equal rights to a large minority.

Homosexuality is a fact of life and reality.

These anti-marriage lobbyists (read: Christian Conservatives) need to understand that. They also need to understand they can't force things on people. Maybe this initiative will make them realize how much it sucks to have certain rights under fire. Maybe this initiative will make them think twice about squelching the rights of others.

We can all hope and pray that this might enlighten them, but lets be honest, it probably won't.

But, congratulations are certainly in order for the people who thought up this initiative. It's a bold move. And apparently, with the preposterous density of the heads of the Anti-marriage movement, this was a necessary step to get them to realize how fragile civil rights are.

For more info about the group, check out their website: Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New Short Story

I posted another new short story over at the Short Story blog. It's more of a short film, but whatever.

Minor update: We were invited to submit "The Fleapit Three" to a festival, so I'm spending my weekend throwing some more work into it before we send it off. I think if I get it into a little better shape we'll have another, more public screening fairly soon (within a month or so...)

So....

Read the short stories.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Monkey Wrench Gang and Shazam!

It seems as though this stuff is going unreported, but I saw an interview on the news tonight with Catherine Hardwicke (meh) and she said they are in pre-production for "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and William Goldman is indeed doing the adaptation.

For any of you who don't know, "The Monkey Wrench Gang" is a book that kicks a whole lot of ass and is set in Utah. Elias would be much better suited to tell you more about it, but I'm glad that it finally looks like it might get made.

According to the director, it's going in front of cameras on May 1st.

That's good times.

Also, the IMDb reports that Goldman is also doing the screenwriting duties on Shazam! and that makes me happy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

McDonalds

Peter over at Marco Pomo sent me this screen grab of our news story.


That McDonalds ad is both ironic and hilarious.

Deseret News

The Deseret News published the announcement of the film. Curiously, all mention of criticizing Bush has disappeared, but we're still grateful that they paid attention.

Read it here.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Press Release

Today was a big day in Obesity news. Bush came out and laid out some sort of plan. We decided that this would be an opportune time to send out a press release. The reaction has been overwhelming so far.

I just thought you guys might like to read it and please, feel free to pass it along.
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bryan Young (801) 427-3638

‘DIVIDED STATE’ DIRECTOR UNVEILS PRODUCTION OF OBESITY DOCUMENTARY, RESPONDS TO BUSH’S ANTI-OBESITY CONFERENCE

Salt Lake City, Utah – ShineBox Media Productions announced this week the production of a new documentary to be directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Greenstreet. The yet-to-be-titled documentary will provide an overview of the politics, social effects and problems associated with the rising global epidemic of obesity.
In 2005, Greenstreet directed the award-winning documentary “This Divided State” which chronicled the furor over Utah Valley State College’s decision to bring Michael Moore to speak on campus in the days before the divisive 2004 presidential election. Greenstreet will direct the documentary and share producing duties with Bryan Young, a key crewmember of the production team for “This Divided State.”
“The issue of obesity is absolutely staggering,” said Young, producer of the forthcoming film, “When you think of the sheer numbers of it, more than 65% of all Americans are overweight or obese, and being overweight or obese causes problems that decrease our length and quality of life significantly. And we’re finding that there are more causes to the problem than simply the notion that Americans are eating more and exercising less.”
“Unfortunately,” said Greenstreet, “the message coming out of the White House today is that exercising alone is going to fix the problem and when you look at the attendees of the President’s health conference this morning, it’s no wonder that ‘exercise more’ is the message. Representatives from fast food companies and the soft drink industry were on hand to discuss the problem and of course they aren’t going to implicate their own products.”
“It’s important to note that there were no representatives from any credible medical associations on the list of those attending the President’s conference on obesity. It seems to me that one would want to consult the leaders in the field of obesity when discussing private sector strategies to deal with it,” Young added.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, obesity and its related illnesses are estimated to kill over 100,000 Americans a year and cost taxpayers $117 billion in 2002 alone.
The film is currently in the filming stages and is planned for a release in 2007. For more information about the project and links to more obesity information, please visit www.shineboxmp.com.

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Scared of our own shadows


I'm sure most of you have heard about the foofaraw in Boston surrounding the promotion of Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Movie.

It seems as though a marketing company decided that they would hang up some of the above pictured light-brites around various cities to promote the film. It seems innocuous enough. (That is an actual picture of the promotional material in question.) But it seems as though some overly paranoid people decided these were probably bombs.

They called the bomb squad who exploded a couple of these because they were deemed "threatening" and large areas of Boston were shut down (various bridges and roads.)

Jesus Christ.

Two things shock me about this.

First: This speaks volumes about the constant state of fear that the American people live in since the incessant fear-mongering of the Bush administration has perpetrated since September 11, 2001. It says a lot about how effective they have become at making grown men and women afraid of the boogey man. If you really live in such a state of fear that a lite-brite magneted to a street sign is enough to worry enough to call the bomb squad, you need to re-evaluate your life.

Second: The reaction of the Boston officials shocks me. They estimate that this "hoax" cost the city half a million dollars. That it wasn't funny. First off, it wasn't a hoax. No one in the marketing industry in their right mind would think that a light up board with a slightly known cartoon character giving people the bird would be mistaken for a bomb. In fact, no one in their right mind would mistake this for a bomb. Maybe if they cut up a broom stick, painted it red and glued a clock to it could I see this type of reaction. Secondly, this is funny. I'm laughing at the stupidity of people and law enforcement for being so paranoid that they could imagine that they live in a world where they are afraid of their own shadow.

And seriously. Does that look like a bomb to any of you?

Me neither.

I really think that this proves that the Bush Administration is highly effective in a "post 9/11 world" of making people scared of monsters under their bed.

I also have to say too, that if I were the marketing company, I'd be cheering that this happened. It might get more people to see the movie. I think Aqua Teen Hunger Force needs more fans anyway. That shit is funny.