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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Blahs, Updates and Troublesome Trailers

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Blah, Blah, Blah

It’s been a blah sort of week. Some nifty things have happened, but I’m feeling blah. I suppose it’s being unable to make any definite plans for 2009 while having to be prepared to move at a moments’ notice. I’m looking forward to making the films, but not to the very fast pace that making films back to back will require. And though there will be far fewer hats for me to wear during these productions, I’m still juggling a lot of responsibilities during development. This blog is the only writing I’ve been doing that’s not directly related to the films. I think that’s a big part of my blahs. However, some nifty things have been happening. The Eagles just beat the Giants. That always puts a smile on my face. And the holiday cooking orgy has begun.

Not for Prime Time

I’ve been meaning to do a cooking video for my family this year. I used to spend a lot of time talking to my Mother or my Aunts while cooking holiday foods. I used to call my Aunt Eleanor from here while she made her meals. It was a time to discuss new techniques and family gossip. Well, mostly family gossip. I thought it would be fun for them to see Jon and I in action during the baking frenzy. I was going to do it this week as we made the first wave of cookie dough, and I made the fruitcakes. But, Our apartment is a bit cluttered with piles of papers, reports and forms related to the films. It wasn’t as noticeable in our place in Playa de Rey. It’s hard to miss here. And then neither Jon nor I was exactly camera ready. Thus, I could hear the commentary. Couldn’t she pick up the place? Why didn’t she do something with those edges (the definition is inadequate, and I am loathe to post anything quoted from the show Martin but this is the best I could find on the term. In my case, it’s the edges of my hair along the forehead and temples)? Why doesn’t Jon have a shirt on? That’s just nasty. (Jon does the dishes for me between batches of dough. He prefers doing them topless). How did she get flour on her back? You get the idea. I’ll make a video during the second wave, and have my act together. Though that one will include the marshmallows that sometimes run up the paddle to the mixer to escape. That’s always a lot of curse filled fun. Marshmallows are kind of hot when you’re making them. Still, I think my family will enjoy the video. I’ll post it somewhere accessible for anyone else interested. And the baking is a most welcomed creative outlet. Perhaps, I shall be less grumpy.

As I said earlier, some nifty things have happened and are happening. I can’t talk about any of them in a public forum. This really sucks for a recovering fangirl such as myself. We live to dish, after all. I can tell you that there are some concerns about the SAG strike authorization vote. I don’t think these concerns are enough to stop us from going into pre-production as scheduled. We’re hoping the labor unrest will have been settled by the time we get to the first shoot date in February. I really doubt it would affect the April shoot in New Jersey. The film industry would be a smoldering crater, if that happens. Thus, we are proceeding as scheduled. The strike fears have postponed the shoot of the Blood Oath short. Some TV shows that would typically be on vacation this time of year are continuing to work to get as many episodes as possible in the can. That includes the show that is at the studio we plan on using. It’s been pushed back to after the New Year. I had hoped to have the short online before we start the other films, but there is nothing that can be done. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this shoot, though it means wearing many, many hats.

Trailer Trouble
Since I haven’t any writing to discuss and I can’t talk about the films we’re developing, I will talk about the big trailers that are creating buzz out here. I heard about the 2008 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still when my Vancouver muse, Kim mentioned it on a film list there. I was not pleased at all to hear about that. The 1951 film is among my favorite films. Please note, that the poster on the link has nothing to do with what is in the film. I loved the original for its character work and some surprisingly good special FX. However, the film was not dependent on FX to sustain tension and create dread. In this special FX intensive age, I worry that those little human moments will be lost. And let’s just say that I am not completely confident of Keanu Reeve’s acting ability. Still, I have to admit that the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds was quite good. And I went to that with quite a hostile attitude as I loved the 1953 film. So, I may go see this one.

The Day the Earth Stood still has a really snappy trailer that has lots of whizzes and bangs, but it also has very personal jeopardy and even some humor. It is the kind of trailer that is designed to attract a large mainstream audience. The second trailer that is the subject of much discussion at our house is for Star Trek. Unfortunately, as anticipated as the trailer is in some quarters, what I saw will not have a mainstream appeal. Now, before the flame war starts, I have a pedigree with Trek. I was in Trekkies as a representative slash writer. My contribution to the franchise can be viewed here. I have sat in Ron Moore’s office and berated him about various Trek issues. He still talks to me. Thus, I am not a disinterested party and have followed it in all of its forms. I am someone that should want to see this film. But I’m not talking out Trek fans and this trailer. I’m talking about a mainstream audience that doesn’t care about ship design or whether Leonard Nimoy is in the film. I bring this up because it is the subject of much discussion in out home. Our good friend Gabriel Koerner, the ultimate fanboy in both Trekkies films is very keen on the film working out. And this is despite the fact that the film heavily borrows from his enterprise ship design. I’m too polite to say they stole it, but it is awfully close. Mainstream film goers want to know what a film is about and what kind of time they will have. This trailer is about Kirk’s origin story and Spock’s destiny. I have no idea what the film is actually about. I have no clue whatsoever. The mainstream audience isn’t burning to hear about Kirk’s formative years, and this film will need a lot more than Trek fans buying tickets for it to perform well. It doesn’t look good for box office success. It really doesn’t.

The third trailer is one that I actually have no interest in. Jon is incensed by what he sees in the trailer for The Spirit. From my point of view, the trailer is even weirder and more off putting than the one for The Watchmen. It doesn’t even have the hipness and fun verve of the trailers for Sin City. It is unlikely to be big box office. Jon is annoyed because of the apparent liberties Frank Miller took with the material. Miller professed to be a great admirer of the Spirit’s creator, Will Eisner. He said the man’s work was a great influence on his work. And Miller is also known for becoming very aggressive toward anyone he deems is subverting his work. Thus, Jon is flummoxed at what he sees in that trailer that in no way resembles the character he followed. I tell him to have heart. There isn’t likely to be a sequel.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the post Christmas Party gossip!

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