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Posts tagged ‘producer’

PATTERNS = Memos from the Muse

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…

Because WHIMSY!


On Napster, the Creative Class, and the Future of FREE…

April 29, 2015


SymbolXL copy

(Note: listen to this featured chapter sample first and then, if you smell what we’re cooking, read on for the related transmedia insights)

Dear Friends, Fans, and Feline-aficionados,

I was catching up on eps of Silicon Valley the other day. I love the show. My tech and venture capital pals assure me that the portrayal is pretty much an accurate one. And, as I watched the latest, I was reminded of something I used to ponder often.  Specifically, when the douchey, monied bro’ below spouted the following:

‘I put Radio…on the Internet.’

Yes. That happened. And not just on the show.

Napster changed everything. But was it for the ‘better’? I can’t help but feel some days that they were singlehandedly responsible for planting the grotesque, rarely-before-thought perception in the minds of a generation of consumers — that they hand-birthed the reality where music (and, by association, nearly ALL creative output) should be free.

Read more


September 30, 2013


Milton's Secret

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!

What’s YOUR Story?

June 6, 2012



Special thanks to Hulo Films for the shoot/edit, and Tobias Tinker for the tunes!




PLATFORM:  Feature Film

GENRE:  Contemporary Sci-Fi


LOGLINE:  Sheltered in a remote orphanage, a disabled teen (JACOB PRICE – 16) has terrifying visions of a technological apocalypse.  Little does he realize that the real battle will be waged within his very cells…and that the future of the human race will be HIS to decide.

With an original short story treatment, multi-stage development financing from Telefilm Canada and Saskfilm was secured for this teen sci-fi high concept.  Reminiscent of ‘thinking man’ cult hits including The Lawnmower Man, The Matrix, and Chronicle,  three (3) screenplay drafts have been successfully completed and reviewed by major distributors.  You can view the digital pitch package here, which includes some sweet concept art by David Cameron Sloan. UPDATE: Or check out the motion-comic proof-of-concept right here!


Chipping at narrative marble…

November 9, 2010


If only you could make sense of this...

Early work on what is potentially one of THE coolest transmedia campaigns yet conceived…

And the real beauty of it?

You’ll have no clue that you were sucked in until it’s over.  Fact.

I'm gonna get you soooooooooooo good...



September 1, 2010


The only place for real Nintendo news in 1999…

(The following editorial was submitted anonymously to in 1999, during the wild and woolly days of internet gaming ‘journalism’.  This was LONG before FOX had bought them.  Hell…when IGN rose out of the primordial cybersoup, it was essentially a hardcore fan site where the Nintendo faithful went for the latest N64 scoops.  Yes – I am dating myself.  For reasons that will become abundantly clear as you read this, I could not let my cubicle masters at EA catch even the slightest whiff of its origins.  This was an era before ‘social media’ was even a tingle in anyone’s nether-regions.  Before ‘insider blogs’ glutted the WWW.  Before we were all merrily jeopardizing our career paths with mobile cam-uploads and slanderous late-night tweets.   And now?  My concerns seem almost quaint.  Enjoy!)

Art in a Corporate World

Interactive entertainment.  Electronic play.  Videogames. These are antiquated terms for what has become a multi-billion dollar medium – a method of transferring ideas and experiences through complex mathematics and manifested pathways of light and sound. We hunger for it. Our applause is registered at outposts of the global retail network, a system that is all-too-aware of our narcotic-like need for the next “masterpiece”; the impending “classic”; the “killer app”.

At the beginning of the century, the motion picture medium was demonized as the bastardization of “art.” About halfway through the 1900’s television was introduced, and a cacophony of criticism rose to pan this harbinger of personal intrusion and cultural sideshow… surely this glowing box leaves the masses no more than a “passive, neutered collective,” unable to distinguish art from a torrent of low-brow distraction.

We now face the close of this century, and of this millennium, with a medium that could transcend all those before it – a tool that could give millions the opportunity to express their uniqueness through action, reaction, and consequence – a strange and wondrous synthetic plane, where scientific approach, artistry, and the magic of storytelling combine to cast a spell born of electricity on those with courage, skill, and imagination – where the Creators learn from those who partake, and use their craftsmanship to improve and refine the worlds they have woven, until finally we (you, I, and the gaming collective) can choose to explore the mystery and splendour of a Virtual Eden…all whims satisfied…no wish too great.

That is the dream.  A romantic thought, indeed.

Read more


July 26, 2010


Work/Play in Progress...


Stuck behind a desk?

I will think of you fondly

as I play with dolls



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