Almost finished with the entirety of the pencils (now numbering 50+ pages) for "Faith".
Man, it took a long time. Wish I could feel stronger about my inking, but...
Almost finished. Cool!
Friday, February 17, 2012
"Awake"- freebie FULL pilot from NBC, about a cop who gets into a car accident, then awakes into two realities: one where his wife survived the car accident, another one where his son survives instead. The beginning is a little slow, but by the end of the pilot, I dare you to have a dry eye about the short discussion on sanity and the value of loved ones. I don't know how the show will develop (it seems like something better as a miniseries), but color me extremely curious.
Monday, February 13, 2012
This weekend, had a tragic death--- That is, my distant relative died from a pretty horrible accident from powertools (not joking), killing him instantly.
Whitney Houston's death I saw announced whilst at the gym, puffing away rather pathetically on the hamster treadmill between two tv screens, one with the Chinese New Year's parade, the other with CNN.
Didn't know her 'quickee life story' until it was capsuled in news bits later, about her fall from fame (for the most part) ending up being a broken lush with most of her fortune gone.... It's a shame that she couldn't transform her riches into helping others as well as herself, instead of blowing it all into drugs and building something- but, I guess not every celeb can turn into Angelina Jolie.
After the death of my stepfather in a horrible (they're all horrible) senior home, I always question when life should end for each individual. Was life too long for Whitney or too short? Was she on a spiral that just would have gotten worse with no escape?
For me, so long as things are stable enough with finances/family and I have enough resources to be able to create for myself- I'm happy enough to want to keep on creating until go blind or my drawing arm melts, or both. ;p
Anyhow. Everyone is saying that Whitney died too young.
I dunno. Only she knew if she wasn't going to be able to beat her own demons at that stage of life. If so, then she lived maybe too long.
Again, only she knew...
Transitioning to that-
"Abe Lincoln- Vampire Hunter"--- Wow, the title itself sounds like the type of film I would have love to have made. ("Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter" was a giant boring disappointment, but may be up for a healthy reboot if Abe works)
If they only blended this with the Twilight series, and had Abe hunting down Bella and Edward in his time travel machine, then I'd be more confident it's going to be a good movie, but, damn, in any case, this trailer with Abe swinging a mean axe at exploding trees definitely looks like it'll fulfill in the 'kickbutt' department.
Funny how it may compete with Speilberg's "Lincoln".
I do wonder if it's a better life tribute.
In fact, if I died and had a motion picture based on my life, I think I'd like it to be "Crazy Asian Man- Vampire Hunter" than a biopic about my real life directed by Spielberg.
(Actually, it could work for any tragic death. Not that my life may be more significant than a pop star, but.... it may lead to a great new trend of re-inventing biopics. I can see it now.... "Lady Diana-Vampire Hunter", "Ghandi-Professional Assassin for Hire", "John Lennon-Firestarter", "Whitney Houston-Ninja by Night", "My distant relative who died via powertools- The Ghost Plumber", etc.)
Anyhow.... speaking of vampire hunters....
Faith. 54 pages total now, with some redrawn panels here and there. Liking it better.
Two weeks to refine the pencils to my satisfaction, I think. Two months to ink.
So....looking at April 2012.
Unless I die first, of course.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
A lotta buzz over the Superbowl commercials- my favorite being the "Avengers" teaser, to a minor degree "John Carter".... and, now- THIS-
Is it propaganda or just inspirational or just hitting the right note at the right time?
Dunno- maybe it's all three.
It's been said: (though I didn't say it, someone else said it first)"
"All art is propaganda".
To make something so powerful in such a short time is amazing- but breaking it down to its elements and trying to re-create it is always fascinating to me, too...
Pretty suprised Clint Eastwood's presence works so well here-
(I doubt his ex-wife would be much moved by the commercial, but o well)
It's just a pity that filmmakers didn't have him take a gun out at the end and shoot one of the gabillionaires who started the financial crisis in America in the first place.
Maybe in the sequel commercial...
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Took a trip to the art store today for more supplies- Hadn't been there in awhile, was an interesting experience to float in a store surrounded by other folks in there (*bear in mind, my day jobs have rarely if ever had co-workers remotely interested in comics, art, or chatting about movies to the degree I do) who I suspect also knew the pain of being someone who struggles with the blank canvas/piece of cardstock.
The rather depressed mumbling staff of this particular store hasn't changed, although the faces have. One suspects that the staff was hired for being familiar with art materials more than being extroverted salespeople- but that's cool. I understood that the experience of having to interact with unpredictable people in retail isn't an artists' first choice at all, so I always try to be an easy as possible customer.
But, I digress.
I missed the pluses that come from the atmosphere of being around others who know the love and frustration of creating anything, as I did in the short time I was able to attend a (too) few art classes. The camaraderie of other art students young and old was usually always evident, and I realized how much I missed it.
As the middle class shrinks to nada (though I hope that will be reversed as time continues), the likelihood of people being able to take community college art classes (including myself) at affordable prices on the side will probably dwindle as the prices of these classes start to skyrocket.
Not a pity party post- just a sad thought that came up about whether or not nieces and nephews will be able to know some of the joys that can come up in the college experience of exploring different things beyond just something to pay the bills.
Crossing fingers things get better for the middle class in the long term....
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Recently saw two films that I was curious about... one was 'Super' written/directed by James Gunn, a screenwriter who reportedly makes a FORTUNE in Hollywood over the years ("Scooby Doo" is one of his big credits) but is also a big comic book fan and 'Super'had a lot of buzz on Aintitcoolnews.com--- and the other was 'Colombiana' produced by the Luc Besson ("Le Femme Nikita", "Leon", among other things) action factory.
Let's start with "Colombiana"--- A family member said it best- "A good action movie, but not very realistic". I'd agree with that, but also add that it was a pity that the movie wasn't a little more ambitious and went out out on a limb somewhere. Robert Mark Kamen, one of the screenwriters, (Writer of "The Karate Kid 1, 2, and 3) seems to be able to write engaging enough action films- but with little leftover a day later to remember it.
The movie was engaging enough, with a scenario that's a bit unbelievable at times- but I just wish that there would have some scene or bit that would have made me go, "Ah, THAT'S why the filmmaker was driven to make this movie".
Back when John Woo was making personalized action films (Now it's hit or miss), I'd be thrilled by the action scenes, but more thrilled by the point in which the movie would reveal the scene or two that would take you off guard by the intensity of emotion that would rarely be seen in a formula action flick (There are plenty of them in early John Woo action films- the last great American film that Woo did with this had to be "Face Off"). John Woo at his best tends to have a lot of sappy moments when he's unfiltered- but at the same time, extremely emotional ones as well that take you off guard.
Colombiana....doesn't have any of that. It's engaging for a far-fetched premise, but just engaging enough. The broad strokes of the story are made even stronger by having someone on screen explain what's going on every few minutes or so- but it's decent enough for a dumb action film. In watching the size of the crew behind the film at the end, it's a bit painful knowing how impersonal the final result feels.
It's slick and got the basic job done, though I wish I could have been a little suprised.
On the other end of the spectrum.... We have "Super".
Now, on first viewing, I just thought that the movie was really a mess. The film looks ugly (why not just have it be shot on video on a steadicam if going for such a look?), and the movie felt like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be taken serious as a drama, if it wanted to be a comedy, if it wanted to be a gross-out Troma film, if it was making a statement--- I'm not sure, but outside of parts I liked, it had 'cult' written all over it--- particularly because despite a lot of misfires in the film, the last five minutes takes a turn that I thought was sad and made sitting through the film worthwhile.
Then, after listening to the feature commentary, I don't know if I liked the movie more because of it..... but it was refreshing to hear that both actor and director made almost EXACTLY the movie they had in mind, crazy tonal shifts, underdeveloped screenplay and all. They even were so bold as to share that for the actor, this was THE movie that made him feel artistically satisfied so much so, that he could die and be satisfied.
The joy and satisfaction on the commentary made me feel a bit more respect for the film.... why?
Well, to me, there's little that's more painful to see all the time and effort put into a film- and then have the results go astray for a multitude of idiotic reasons... and so, what's gotten onscreen is an embarrassing mistake that didn't even really represent what the creative person had in mind in their head to begin with.
In any case:
"Colombia" was engaging enough, but was slickly made for a decent budget with a big crew.
"Super" was downright weird (and unpleasant in a Troma way at times) with some very entertaining bits (particularly the crazy almost love-romance between the main wannabe superhero character and his psychotic fangirl groupie)and a strangely beautiful ending.
In other words, it was high budget slick film vs. crude low-budget vanity project--- in the end, it's funny how the weirdo vanity project has me remembering more bits and pieces and lines of dialogue from the film, than the slick formula flick.
Or maybe it's not so suprising.
In any case, shelling out the money for "Super" feels better than shelling out the money to see "Colombiana".
Why? Because ultimately "Super" feels far more personal- like a labor done out of love- after listening to the commentary, it really confirms it. "Colombiana" feels like a project designed to make money (even if it may or may not be).
Weird, cheap, and passionate as hell ftw over the successfully slick.
Maybe not always, but in this case I think so-
Or, as the superhero in "Super" would say:
"SHUT UP CRIME!!!"*
(*Not that it makes any particular sense, but, hey, it's one of a few memorable signature lines in the film and is fun to write.)
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
I always thought (or hoped) that if something was a parody, that low budgets could be forgiven- but at the same time, the fun could come out of being able to visually look and feel like the original. That was my hope with "Vangelis" (Oh god he's still talking about that one)- there were pains (albeit with a low budget) to mirror the show. Giant pains.
Anyhow--- Came across this- and was shocked at what looks like fairly high production values for what's basically a fan film... with porn mixed in. :0
Apparently, this isn't the only 'big' scale superhero porn parody. This same guy is also working on a Spiderman parody, a Superman parody, and more. And the trailers look good, suprisingly! (And at times the costumes are more faithful than their Hollywood counterpart)
Not sure what to make of it....but whatever value a superhero fan film has/had compared to its Hollywood counterparts, the entertainment value is even more in question if it's competing with big budget porn counterparts!
In other news, men of science have invented a bullet that can move around and kill their targets, and may have it available for the private sector soon.
So much for science elevating mankind. They're more interested in elevating drivebys.