Posts tagged ‘film’
January 1, 2016
Happy 2016, faithful readers! With a new year shifting into gear, it seems like the blogosphere gets compelled to crank out ‘Best of‘ lists. And honestly? I’m no different. It’s just that mine tend to focus on stories.
That said, I’ve got some sticky truths I need to own up to from 2015: 1) I’ve been too swamped to read enough books (proofing your own ad nauseum doesn’t count), 2) I’m way too biased to share my fav TV (Mr Robot and Rick & Morty would sweep, son!), and 3) I’m too damn ‘fiscally challenged’ to rate any interactive stuff besides free Android apps (I love you, Piano Tiles 2!)
So…that leaves movies. Thankfully, the past year has been a stellar one.
Some points before cueing the drumroll:
- POST-OSCAR: I’m only counting flicks that were not up for 2015 Academy consideration, even if they were release after Jan 1.
- YET-TO-SEE: I still need to screen Carol, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Macbeth, The Danish Girl, and a few outliers. I’m sure they’re all fine films, and will consider updating if one or more knock my flip-flops off.
- ‘BETTER AS DOCS’: I left out a pair of strong films – The Big Short and The Walk – because Oscar-winning documentaries on the exact same material (The Inside Job and Man on Wire respectively) were already rocking your Netflix queue.
- CRITERIA: I tend to rate flicks on the strength of the script, performance quality, direction skill, overall production…AND, most importantly, whether something ‘gives me the feels’. I shift this a little for non-fiction docs, but the structure remains pretty much the same.
Alrighty then…drumroll, please!!!
September 15, 2015
Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…
In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns.
Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:
(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)
Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???
And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.
Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.
How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?
So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.
Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.
I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.
I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.
I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:
The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.
Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project…
‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.
‘Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’
I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:
A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.
A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch — ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’. I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.
You can probably guess what two words were exchanged. ;)
That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.
Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.
Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…
To be useful in this moment.
Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!
The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!
What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?
And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?
Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…
September 30, 2013
As featured in this project post, my friends and collaborators at Hulo Films in Vancouver have been working with acclaimed producer/director Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) and celebrated spiritual author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) to bring the inspirational children’s book Milton’s Secret to life as a live-action feature.
I was honoured to be brought in during the early phases to help shape their transmedia strategy, contribute to branding (‘When life gets heavy, find a better way to carry it’), and offer story notes. Now, with the script receiving kudos from all corners, the project securing support from the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Hollywood legend Peter Fonda signing on to star, the next phase can now be revealed.
In a little over a week, the official INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN for Milton’s Secret has already raised in excess of $100,000! The goal in the next 30 days is to raise the $1M necessary to match gov’t and tax credit contributions, allowing this special work to be completely independent of the studio system.
Check out the following short for the straight skinny from Barnet Bain, Hulo producer Stephen Huszar, and Eckhart himself.
There are heaps of great incentives for all levels of contribution — limited edition scripts and videos, mindfulness tools, and even red carpet events — so please consider ‘kicking something into the kitty’ to help bring this inspirational story to eyes and minds around the world!
January 24, 2013
A belated Happy 2013, one and all! Another year brings a firm resolve, fresh inspiration, and exciting new projects to share. I’ve been teasing feature film developments for what seems like an age, and with the challenges inherent to raising capital in the world of indie film, it’s high time to attempt a more traditional narrative. Something with multi-quadrant audience appeal, international market support, and potential franchiseability. One of those rare industry blips where the rewards clearly outweigh the risks. And, it should go without saying by now, something with multiplatform aspirations carved into its atomic structure from conception.
A little over two years ago, I committed to a ‘work vacation’. It was to be an exotic change of scene, with the hopes of finishing the first draft of a Telefilm-funded screenplay I had pitched, and getting my physical health in line after years of late nights, table-sized Canadian portions, and ungodly levels of caffeine and sugar.
I would end up choosing Thailand. And, for two incredible months, I would write…and learn the ways of Muay Thai.
November 21, 2012
Apologies for the stretch of incommunicado, folks – I blame it on a frenzied mix of travel, research, and project launches – but I wanted to keep you posted on what’s baking in the transmedia oven.
You might’ve noticed a feature I have in development in the PROJECTS section called Risen. Well, it’s still very much alive; there’s a third draft of the screenplay nearing completion, a graphic novel ‘package’ with artist attached, and cross-platform strategizing fully in progress. And now, you can peer behind the proverbial curtain and see some of the lever and pulley action that goes into prepping an original IP for the transmedia stage.
At a remote mountain sanctuary, a disabled orphan receives a revolutionary implant to restore his health. But when the young man finds himself able to manipulate the digital world with his mind? Then it’s a race for answers – and for civilization itself – against rogue military, an obsessed scientist, and the terrifying Consciousness awakening within him.
TIMELINE: AVAILABLE NOW!
PLATFORM: Graphic Novel (96 pages)
GENRE: Psychological Thriller / Horror
CLIENT: In-House IP / Arcana Comics
Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry Hitchborn, BECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!
- Digital Edition on COMIXOLOGY (in 3 parts with custom covers!)
- Print Edition on AMAZON.com (also visit my Amazon Author page!)
- PRESS RELEASE (and 5-page Preview!)
When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death. To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.
(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)
June 6, 2012
May 3, 2012
Welcome to the latest instalment in my new Transmedia Case Study series, where we examine the triumphs and epic fails in executing a Big Media property across multiple platforms. In the inaugural feature, we were treated to an example of transmedia done right – so now it only makes sense to balance the scales and give perspective on how an intellectual property (IP) rich with potential can both fall flat, and miss out on some major TM opportunities…
For me, this was a heartbreaker. I’ve made no secret for my love of all things GREEN LANTERN. I was raised on the character, weaned on the socially conscious Lantern/Arrow era of the 70s, and the goofy Challenge of the Superfriends show in the early 80s:
I’d never be a tortured billionaire playboy. The odds of being bitten by a radioactive insect in the Big Apple were astronomically against. And, though adopted, I’m pretty sure my cultural roots don’t reach across the stars to the House of El.
But I had willpower…and the potential to overcome great fear…and dreams of being a part something greater than myself.
It appears I wasn’t alone.