All posts in films

you’ll sleep here tonight

while this site is reserved for things I humbly produce, when a vignette so well put together as this one I recently did with award-winning director J.R. Heffelfinger is produced, I couldn’t help but share it.

this – one of the more heartbreaking stories from the road I’ve ever encountered.

ch-ch-ch-changes

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as you can see from this fabulous makeover, there’s changes in the air – and it’s not just aesthetical. I’m not sure that’s a word, but this wine disagrees, so we’re going to go with it for now.

for the past 3-4 months – along with finalizing the book, getting it ready for Amazon and iPads and the masses [who else is there, really?] – myself and a few others have been going back-and-forth on a little [now big] idea I’ve had for the better part of 5 years. that new title on the header bar might give you a clue…

it’s a really good idea and is in no way original, but it still just might work. there’s still not a lot I can say about it, which is tough, seeing how I’m crap at keeping exciting news a secret, but I can tell you it’s exciting news. I can also tell you that all of your wildest web dreams are about to come true – I’m about 72% sure of it.

here’s also what I can tell you:

– the OMKOS and rough sundays podcasts have all been archived and will be back here.

– I’m getting back into making little movies.

– I miss local live music.

– my current Flickr is messy.

– I am constantly blessed with meeting the most interesting and wonderful of people.

– there’s another book being worked on.

– and an app.

okay, so I was going to space all of that out over the next few months, but this wine is too tasty.

basically, what I’m saying is this:

check back often.

excuse the mess.

and get ready to see something pretty fuckin’ cool.

more soon.

a

tinkering.

as you may, or may not have seen, this humble little website was down over the past few days. I’d like to think that it bothered you and suddenly the realization of what a fucking amazing blog this is resonated and you now appreciate it even more.

just let me think that, ok?

anyway, it was just the start of some major things to come. in a few short months, this will stop being only a blog and turn into something much bigger. there is currently a team of people working on it and very, very soon, it’s going to be a full-fledged living site, with more stuff than you can even imagine.

I can tell you that all of your dreams will soon come true.

here’s a few of the things you’ll be seeing:

a photo gallery of my shots, with a very easy way of buying prints. my flickr is all over the place with screenshots and ripped images, etc, so this will make it easier to buy whatever prints you might want.

a podcast area. I have all of the old OMKOS and rough sundays shows and will be putting them up, plus launching a new one here in the next 2-3 months. and it is, to date, the most wonderful show I’ve ever put together. it’ll be a bi-weekly show.

videos. these are things that I’ve never been able to devote enough time to, but once a month or so, I’ll be releasing 2-3 minute shorts.

a shopping area. the amount of things I’ve accrued over the years from different parts of the globe is insane. I always said that ‘someday, I’d put ’em up on ebay’, but why do that when I can just sell them on my own site? stuff from all over the world.

a forum. maybe. we’re kicking around this idea. am open for suggestions on it.

… those are the things that aren’t a secret.

trust that there’s going to be some other big stuff on the way.

I’m kind of excited, except that I’m really excited.

fun.

a

stuff[s]. and more.

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every time I go to write something, I usually don’t write something because writing takes effort. and I’m trying to enjoy the downtime between this book being officially released [read: on Amazon in the next few weeks, ebooks, etc.] and the next one starting. it’s a collection of short stories between Dec ’08-present. I’m looking forward to starting it, and I’m looking even more forward to being done with the first one. did you know I’ve never even read it? it’s sitting right next to me, as I had to reference it for a slight design change, but I’ve never picked it up. I should though, it’s a good book. but I digress…

this shall be the most random of catch-ups. I’m doing it more for me than you, but that shouldn’t come as a shock:

– it’s a shame we lost in the final minutes of the Women’s World Cup. it’s a shame we don’t give a shit. but well-played [for the first 108 minutes, at least], girls. you actually made female professional sports exciting. weird.

– the Vespa Saga continues. that actually deserves its own post and I will – as soon as I’m official – post the entire headache. if I do it now, I’ll just be annoyed.

– speaking of annoyed. I can no longer hide my insane jealousy for Mel and Nick’s choice to put their stuff in storage, quit their [very successful] careers and took off sailing the world for a few years. the only thing that outdoes my envy is my intrigue. and respect.

this has been a favorite summer song for some time, and it is again this summer. hey, you should make it one of yours.

– oh! the second day in Philly I wanted to tell you about? the crazy castle [yes, castle. see below] we went to, built by the eccentric tile-maker James Mercer? one of the coolest places in the States, I kid you not. the website doesn’t do it justice. well worth a day trip from Philly. no photos allowed inside, but I got a few of the exterior.

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– the hair stylist convinced me to get something called a ‘keratin blowout’ done to my locks. I’m still confused to what happened.

– the ‘101 best sandwich’ attempt died out [shocking!], as they were all a] more than $10 and b] beginning to not be within walking distance from my office.

– my office is in the exact area the term ’23 skidoo’ was coined. good band as well.

– I haven’t picked up my Leica once since moving to NYC. this hipstamatic stuff is brilliant.

– ah. yes. photos and NYC – that reminds me. took a shot of this the other week and made a point of going back when it was open. one of the coolest shops I’ve ever been in. worth a trip to Park Slope. am pretty sure it’s a Dave Eggers project.

– speaking of iStuff. if you have an iPad, download this. Brother Scott did the music for it and it’s been charting for weeks now on Apple.

– while I’ve always been mildly interested in the occult, reading ‘The Serpent and The Rainbow’ has elevated my curiousity in voodoo and black magic to a point of virtual hopelessness. I’m obsessed. have never seen the film, but have it downloaded for when I’m done.

– speaking of things to watch, I get about 40 minutes a week of time to do it, but Californication is one of the smartest shows ever to come out of the States. season 5 especially.

– this also looks amazing.

– NYC is a fucking fun town. has anyone ever said that before?

– Brother Ben [remember Brother Ben?] has a new project he’s working on and needs help. am hoping to interview him before the deadline, but if not, try and wrap your head around this.

– I rarely drink beer these days. if you email me, I’ll let you in on the best kept secret in the wine world. I’m buying it by the case and would love to say ‘and I’m even dropping some weight in the process’, but no. it is good, though. and cheap.

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– please stop using photos of your child for your profile picture on Facebook. Brother Cohn wrote last year that ‘I’m friends with you, not your child’ and it caused a shitstorm. why? I don’t know. photos of your kids on Facebook? of course! photos of you + your kids in your Facebook profile? sure! photos of your kids as your profile photo? no. stop it. it’s weird.

– this little blog is about to have some major changes happen to it. I’m kind of excited. I hope you like it. it’s cool. and exciting… thus, the excitement.

– a copy of my book was handed to Annie Clark [St. Vincent]. I’m totally keeping an eye out for her next album to see if I’m mentioned.

– I’m turning 35 in a few weeks and change. please don’t forget.

– this is a fun town.

– see ya later.

for the chester copperpot in all of us…

or_28c

Mikey: Hi Willie. Oh, I’m Mike Walsh. You’ve been expecting me, haven’t you? Well I made it. I beat you. I got here in one piece… so far. So… that’s why they call you “One-Eyed Willie”… One-Eyed Willie… We had a long comment, huh, Willie? You know something, Willie? You’re the first Goonie.

[Mikey realizes the others have boarded the ship]

Mikey: Yo. Hi guys. How’s it going? This is Willie… One-Eyed Willie. Say hi, Willie. Those are my friends… the Goonies. How long have you guys been standing there?

Brand: Long enough, Mikey. Long enough.

or_28b

a catch-up. of sorts.

this a picture of a cow.

I’ve been busy.

and not writing.

well, not writing here, at least.

shame. for shame.

I’m sorry.

here’s what’s happening:

Tara moved back to her home to warm arms – she’ll be back next week. she also wants you to listen to this because she thinks it’ll make you happy. or, maybe understand… be excited for her. I am.

the sailing is coming along nicely – still scary, I still don’t know a fraction of what someone should know by this point, but it’s coming along. Mel bought me some pretty fabric to pretty up the not-so-pretty inside. it’ll be very pretty soon.

Nick is doing a good job of blogging; including this one about the ‘big plan’. which I’ll be following in my little red boat.

I’m sunburnt. it’s a good feeling.

this song came on the radio today and it made me happy. I don’t care if it doesn’t make you happy, because it should. Tina Turner on back-up vocals, for gosh-sakes.

bi-sexual people confuse me… and I think that’s kind of the point.

the World Cup. it’s all about the World Cup. only in England would you have 3 years and 300 days of eternal optimism only to constantly be followed by a ‘we never win anything‘ all-truism.

I’m headed to Venice in a few days. being flown there and put up. crazy.

Converse called today – they want more stories. I took that as a big compliment.

there’s a very good chance I’ll be watching ‘Up In The Air’ tonight.

‘your Mom is still incredible’ and ‘I love you and am glad you’re my son’ – two excerpts in an email from my Dad… of all the fortune I’ve had in my life, two parents who adore each other outweighs them all.

there’s a certain girl who’s giving me a bit of trouble. not bad trouble, per say, like… throwing rocks at me, but trouble-trouble, like… well, throwing rocks at me.

my sister comes to visit in a few weeks. she’s bringing her new boyfriend. I love when a new boyfriend comes to meet the older brother. it means I drink free.

The Inkspots will make your life a better life. pretty sure that was the band’s name but they had to change it as it wouldn’t fit on vinyl. I probably listen to them at least once-a-day.

CBS emailed me today asking if I ‘knew anyone in Berlin who was a neo-Nazi’… always though that was more of a Fox News question.

is it me or is there a recent epidemic of people spelling ‘losing’ with two ‘o”s?

there has not been one cigarette in my mouth now for 3 weeks. there will be again, but it should still be mentioned.

4000+ people visit this site every day. I don’t know most of them [you]. I find it strange. hi, by the way. I won’t ask you to introduce yourself, but just please buy the book. even you, my stalker[s].

speaking of my stalker[s] – rest assured you’ll get to meet a few of them. quite soon, actually. not the new one just yet – but a few old favorites.

the other day in the cafe, I told a party of three that ‘there was no room’. and there wasn’t. but that didn’t stop everyone from shouting at me. apparently, we always have room for P.J. Harvey. sorry, Polly, I’m not used to seeing you not being weird.

if you need a quick fix to a crap day, or a quick top-up to a good day, or a… you see where I’m headed with this. revisit this guy.

one of my best friends of my teen years passed away a few days ago. he left behind a wife and two kids. he was halfway into being interviewed for ‘the friday cinco’ when he passed. he will be, and is already, missed.

~a

dogs

I occasionally get asked to take part in some strange things.

for example, during a 6-month period in 2009, I was a consultant for a Swiss Bank. honest-engine. didn’t talk about it because of obvious reasons. I was also asked to produce an adult film back-in-the-day [behind the lens, thankfully – as porn ‘shorts’ have yet to take off], which I did, but then was asked to destroy the tape a few weeks later. this is also 100% true. and recently, I was asked to write a few hundred words for an upcoming exhibition in Las Vegas on ‘marketing for the social media generation’. me. writing something about ‘marketing’. the guy who bought his degree from a site called ‘phony diploma’.

anyway.

I thought long-and-hard for 2 minutes – a reoccurring time with me [see above] and came up with nothing at all. sorry about that, guys. if there’s a q-and-a for clever adult film titles [‘late for rent’], then I’m your man. but ‘marketing’? no.

I went upstairs and showered.

and then it hit me.

Jon Garrou.

now – having already written of a slightly illegal/sinful employment past, the admittance to thinking about an old high school chum while lathered in a body wash called ‘strawberry milkshake’ should tell you I have no business writing any sort of guidelines for any sort of people who pay to get into a conference, but stay with me here.

Jon Garrou knew, at the age of 16, how to market something properly. he was kind of a visionary anyway, being the first to introduce us to The Lemonheads [again – best album to come out of the 90’s] and phrases that borderlined the absurd, but somehow worked [they escape me now – but trust they were ground-breaking].

one day, after a basketball game, he forever planted himself in my daily life.

think about that – I knew the guy for 4 years, haven’t seen him since. and yet, I think about him every time I shower.

see, we had a friend named Gregg, he had big feet. they were often [debatable] dirty. someone commented to Gregg he should ‘wash his dirty feet’ and Jon pointed out that, in fact, said suggestion was asinine, as ‘feet pretty much washed themselves’.

I didn’t think much about that until I got into the shower that evening.

‘feet wash themselves’.

soap ends up on the shower floor. feet move around. feet do wash themselves.

brilliant.

and now you see why he comes to mind every time I’m naked and wet.

see, Jon Garrou knew something about marketing – find an everyday happening, and quickly come up with truncated catchy statement – one that will forever resonate.

this post will make slight sense to you, I know. until the next time you get into the shower. you’ll wash everything, make your way to the feets and will, undoubtedly, think of a man you’ve most likely never met.

and with that, Jon Garrou joins another in the shower.

well done.

disclaimer – I realize the dangerous edge of blasphemy I walk, putting a photo up of Christ in a post that includes porn, illegal banking acts and naked men, but after searching ‘dirty feet’, I came upon a fetish I had no idea existed. and decided to put the Almighty up instead of some hooker with no shoes. I hope you understand.

the friday cinco 10 – peter besson [movie maker]

there are movies you immediately take to. and there are movies that resonate long after you’ve seen them. Peter Besson has the unique ability to make films that do both. but what I like most about Peter is that if you met him in a bar, like I did, you’d have no idea he made films. gone is the ego and self-entitlement that seems synonymous with those that find themselves successful in ‘the biz’. he’s simply a nice guy who is very good at what he does.

if it sounds like I’m kissing his ass, then maybe I am – as when you see someone headed straight-up, you tend to hang on for as long as you can.

and that’s just Peter – never mind the near 50 awards his latest short ‘True Beauty This Night’ has raked in.

before we talk about ‘True Beauty This Night’, let’s talk about an earlier film of yours – ‘Accident’. I mean, if you compare the two… in fact, let’s compare the two. I remember you getting some flack over the first one about it being too dark or something?

I’ve got plenty of flack over ‘Accident’.  I remember standing on stage at the San Antonio Film Festival, just happy to be there and answer any question when I got barked at by an audience member, asking why the hell I made that short.  I tried to explain to the man that the film actually carries a message and shouldn’t be read on the surface level but more as a metaphor, but angry man wouldn’t hear of it.  He persisted in confusing the message with the messenger and if he could have, he’d have stormed the stage and punched me.  ‘Accident’ deals with the death of a child, always a topic causing great emotions, but in a way that could be misread as to the intention of the what and how.  Some people’s shutters just go down when this topic is broached and they’re unwilling to go beyond the surface meaning.  Understandable, but also a copout and  a bit lazy.  The clues to the film’s meaning are there if one’s only willing to get past the gut reaction.  And I meant this to be a gut reaction for a reason.  ‘Accident’ is a very polarizing film.  People love it or hate it.  And I mean hate it.  There’s no in-between.

you made ‘Accident’ before you had a child of your own. do you think it would have come out differently had you been a father then?

I don’t  think I’d have made ‘Accident’ any different as a father.  I still stand one hundred percent behind the message of the short (maybe even more so now; if that’s possible – don’t think there’s more than a hundred percent…), and the film is simply a vehicle to deliver that. I think you have to look past your own limited preferences or tastes if you want to get to something deeper.   I do not nor did I ever condone the actions of the characters in the short, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a film like that.  If I’d make a film about people I agree with, it would be a rather boring affair of them sitting around, talking sweetly and hugging occasionally.  Not exactly great drama…

last time I saw you for the private screening of ‘True Beauty This Night’ [does saying things like that make it sound very L.A.?], you mentioned another thing you did differently with this latest one is hire a DP – anything else that stands out strongly in the evolution from making ‘Accident’ to now TBTN?

When I made ‘Accident’ I was still under the film school spell and the notion of the ‘auteur’.   I just knew that I could shoot this better than anybody.  I mean I have a minor in photography, right?  And the stuff my student colleagues shot looked like crap (no offense – well, ‘looking like crap’ is an offense, so never mind).  And I wanted this to be a visual showcase of my skill.   I didn’t think I was naïve, but in hindsight, I was. Camera and Directing are two complete different skill sets, and I found myself scanning the viewfinder, seeing if the composition looks good, while watching the actors perform, and ended up doing neither particularly well.  Both suffered, and I realized that I had to find somebody who had a great visual sensibility, somebody who I could trust to put the camera in the right place and do what he does best: make a beautiful image.  So I could concentrate on the performances of the actors.  I believe, or I hope, the results speak for themselves.  ‘Accident’ also suffered from the ‘I have to make a statement’ syndrome.  I think I grew up since then (my wife disagrees), and there’s less need to shock, or hit people over the head.  And with this maturity (my wife’s sniggering in the background) comes the realization that it takes more courage to be honest and sensitive than it does to hit people in the face.  I think ‘True Beauty’ has a tenderness and a willingness to be vulnerable, and that is much more nerve-racking to do then some cool, clever hip short that puts some distance between audience and film, but leaves the filmmaker safe:  You can always claim you’re being ironic, or you didn’t mean it.  But with heartfelt emotions, it’s exactly what it is.  Can’t hide from that.

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you also mentioned something about having a rough time shooting in some place. security? am I remembering this right?

Don’t shoot downtown LA at night when you only have one security guard.  That’s the lesson I learned on TBTN.  We thought we did everything right, had the security guy watch our base camp, and we set out to get some night exteriors around the corner.  We lit up the world and started shooting Rhett walking down the street, chipper, whistling.  That went well for about half an hour, until it got really dark and the crazies started coming out.  It got rougher and rougher, with actual threats shouted at us (‘You should all be shot!’), so our intrepid producers decided to hire an impromptu security guy: a big, no-nonsense mountain of a man.  He was watching a liquor store on the corner, and for a fee, he watched our backs while we shot.  Things quieted down immediately.  Big guy didn’t take shit from nobody, and made that clear to anybody who cared to listen.  Little side note: after we spent all this time lighting the set, and shooting take after take, the DP and I were still not too happy with the result.  Until he turned to his left, saw an alley that was just perfect, sent the actor walking and shot it.  Perfect shot, beautiful to look at, and not planned one bit.

how in the world does a director go about hiring a police car?

I got lucky with my producers on the police car.  For a paid job, they work occasionally on transportation on big studio films, and they pulled a lot of strings to get everything we needed.  I mean a lot of strings.  So much so that we were accused by the guy who owns the theater we shot at of lowballing him on the fee.  He saw all the equipment these guys were able to pull together and he thought we stiffed him.  It didn’t look it, but it really was a low-budget affair.  I mean low-budget LA style, which still costs an assload…

okay, now – every time I check in with you, or re-watch the film, it seems to have gotten another award. how many do you have now and which ones really stand out to you?

The film has been doing fantastic on the festival circuit. So far it garnered 48 awards, give or take one, and played in about 180 festivals.  (best way to keep track of it is [here] – I try to keep that updated).  I’m thrilled about any award I get.  It really doesn’t get old, nor should it.  There’s a wonderful thrill in getting the message that the short won this or that.  It’s a great pat on the back for everybody who worked on it.  So many shorts are made and just disappear down a black hole, and the cast and crew wonder why the hell they worked so hard on that thing.  But the awards I’ll remember the most are: my first.  Who doesn’t remember their first?  It was the incongruously named Stinkwater Short Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.  I won first place, and was told so by Barry Watterson in a thick Australian accent: ‘You won, mate’.  That was great news, even more so because it came with prize money (I had no idea), and the film showed in front of an audience of over 800, including the Cultural Minister and former lead singer of ‘Midnight Oil’ Peter Garrett.  And that opened the gates for the film.  Other notable awards were… the Jury prize at Stony Brook Film Festival.  They flew me out to the festival, gave me the award and a bag full with stuff: an iPod, a DVD player, a GPS and other thingamadooders.  Looked like I robbed a Best Buy when I got home…  The Jury Prize in San Diego, because it was a big festival, and the only awards show I could have gone to and didn’t because I couldn’t fathom I’d win anything… the Audience Award at Filmstock 11 in England, because they made their own trophy; it was sort of a picture book thing, held together by a large screw, and you could flip through and see what audience members had to say about your film; really fucking cool… Best Short in Omaha because they sent an insane amount of film-related software with it I could actually use…  Best of Fest in Derby City because it was the first (and only so far) best-of-the-whole-damn-thing award and the Kinokneipen Prize in Regensburg, Germany, because it’s the only one that refers to a pub in name (Kneipe- pub).  But like I said, I’m thrilled if the film wins anything.

aside from the numerous awards, what’s the best compliment you’ve received for TBTN?

One of the best compliments (aside from awards) I get for TBTN is when people walk up to me and tell me they’re sad it ended.  They wanted to see more, they would have followed the characters for a lot longer; that’s something I didn’t expect.  Another thing is when people take the time to write either a review or just write me directly.  It’s awesome to get ‘fanmail’.  Not that I get that much, but every once in a while an email flutters into my inbox and it’s from somebody who saw the film somewhere and just had to tell me personally how much they liked it.  I mean it takes time to sit down and write, but it also takes a lot for somebody to feel compelled to make contact.  It’s not just a ‘oh, that was cool’ and they move on.  They have to communicate how much they liked the film.  And that’s awesome.  And this doesn’t hurt.

so, knowing now that this is a stellar film, by numerous critics marks, do you still find yourself sitting in the back nervously?

Watching your own film on screen is nerve-racking.  Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it screened in front of an audience, I still have to go out and down two beers and a chaser before a screening to calm my ass down.  I don’t know what it is, but you sit there, nervously, listening for the slightest noise from the audience (are they shifting in their seats? Bored?), scanning their upturned faces for any sort of reaction, hoping they laugh at the right moments.  It’s pretty incredible, you can feel the mood in the room; it’s palpable.  And only bearable with a low level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

how can people watch it?

Right now, the film’s only playing in festivals.  One of these days, when the run’s over, I’ll put it up on the website, but the best way to see where it’s going to play is [here].

any advice for up-and-comers?

Advice for up-and-comers?  Go make a film.  Best way to learn anything.  And don’t take yourself so fucking serious.  I know we all do, especially straight out of film school: every film is so important, deals with such heavy issues, there’s always a gun, or a gangster, or at the very least a death.  Somebody always dies.  And then the actors cry.  And it’s all so heavy and dreary and way too long.  That’s the other thing: if you’re making a short, make sure it’s short.  Sounds simple, but the hardest thing for any filmmaker is to cut his own stuff.  Directors fall in love with their own footage, they know how hard it was to get this one shot, and they’ll try to cram it in there, even if it doesn’t fit.  Don’t do it.  Get a good editor who doesn’t care about any of the stuff that happens during production but who finds something new in the footage presented to him.  A good editor might surprise you and give you a better film than you dreamed of.  But for God’s sake edit!  Nobody wants to see long takes of nothing, one after another, for thirty minutes, then somebody dies and the actor cries.  Nobody wants to see indulgent crap.

I remember before JW, our mutual friend, introduced us, he called you ‘one of the most genuine guys in L.A.’, how, after getting such a great response from TBTN, do you not find yourself up your own ass? does it have to do with, like you said, ‘not taking oneself so seriously?’

Was JW sober when he said that?  Really?  Well, now my head’s up my ass.  And it’s staying there.  But seriously, it’s exactly that: not taking everything so serious.  It’s hard, we all get wrapped up in the drama of our lives and think it’s the most important thing.  But it’s not.  Go ahead and have a kid.  And then your peddly little shit doesn’t mean anything.  It’s a real quick reality check.  The only thing that matters is that kid smiling at you in the morning.  And man, that’s something.  No pretense, no bullshit, just a smile because the kid knows: it’s great just to be here…

and what’s next?

I’m endlessly re-writing a screenplay that just ended up on the top ten list for ‘Writers on the Storm’, a screenwriting contest by Coverage Inc., They’re going to show the thing around town in the next few weeks – pretty excited about that.  My manager (yup, got one after the first screening of TBTN) asked me to write a feature treatment for ‘True Beauty’ which I did, and which she’s handing out to a select few people right now.  I never intended for TBTN to be anything more than just a short, but so many people have told me they could have followed the characters for a lot longer, and they’d love to see what happens next, so I figured why not?  And eventually, I’m going to write a novel.  Yes, like everybody else.  But I’m really going to do it…

5 creepy actors we always forget about

I’m a sucker for the bizarre – Eastern Europe, Captain Beefheart, goats…

bring ’em on.

same goes for films – Lynch, Tarsem, Disney.

can’t get enough.

and when it comes to actors, the creepier the better – Gary Oldman*, Willem Dafoe, Walken, etc.

but how often they overshadow the truly disturbing thespians.

here’s a few that come to mind:

#5 – David Morse

I’m sure he’s a nice boy, but I DON’T TRUST HIM! plus, he’s allergic to most forms of sugar.

#4 – Tony Todd

evil. pure evil. I’d say that even without him being Candyman.**

#3 – Michael Wincott

I don’t know if it’s the jaw, the voice or the fact that he slept with his sister in The Crow*** – but, yes. creepy.

#2 – Crispin Glover

while I’m sure most are are normal in real life, something tells me Crispin is just plain strange. Letterman agrees.

#1 – Vincent D’Onofrio

is he one of my favorite actors of all time? yes. is he also the creepiest actor of all time? yes.

* greatest actor of our generation

** do not, under any circumstances, read this two more times

*** who was Bai Ling, so probably adopted – but still…

the friday cinco 9 – bao tran [movie maker]

when I first met Bao, 3 years ago, in Shanghai, he told me that he was a ‘director’. lots of people stopped by our studios and lots of people said they did lot of interesting things – so I shrugged him off as a ‘nice guy’ and assumed his ‘movie making’ was like others claiming to be, ahem, writing a novel.

and then I looked him up.

and then I started seeing his newest film being shown at numerous festivals, winning a handful of them.

and then I saw ‘Bookie’.

and then I took Bao seriously.

you’ve made a film. it’s a good film because different people around the world are saying so. tell us about this film – in less than 10 words.

“Bookie loves nightclub waitress, but her man is his boss.” We’ve been very fortunate to have a great film festival run and a lot of positive reaction with our audiences. And now that it’s available for viewing online, BOOKIE has reached even more people around the world.

having watched this, and enjoyed it, I did see a few glimpses of a Wong Kar Wai fan in you – safe to say? any other influences?

Although I’ve seen a lot of WKW, I wasn’t thinking about him explicitly. I’m sure any movie I’ve seen has some subconscious influence one way or another, but I try to consider what the story is about and go from there, rather than try and follow after a certain style.

the music selection was fantastic – the choice to have not one, but two live acts was even better. how did you find them? how hard is it to include musicians in a picture?

Our music supervisor Johnny Horn hosts a blues show on KEXP and he is THE soul/R&B expert! It was great having him on board, he basically culled his music collection and we listened through it to make final selections. He even brought the sessions players together for the band you see and hear in the film. The two singers, Bernadette Bascom and Geoffery Simmons, were great finds who brought a wealth of talent and experience to the table. I think my producer Nick and I showed an enthusiasm and passion for the film that became an incentive for all these great musicians to want to play a part.

how does one go about making a film. from the standpoint of your involvement in this. can you give us bullet-points? we’re much better with that. from idea-to-promotion…

Seven highly-effective habits for the writer/director:

Step 1) Learn story structure by reading Brian McDonald’s INVISIBLE INK.
Step 2) Write your story, then repeat this step until it’s great.
Step 3) Learn directing by reading David Mamet’s
ON DIRECTING and Sidney Lumet’s MAKING MOVIES .
Step 4) Find passionate, talented collaborators who will be your awesome producer, director of photography, editor, actor, etc.
Step 5) Direct that great script.
Step 6) If you are ever stuck or hit a roadblock, fake the funk! No one will ever know until it’s too late… for them.
Step 7) Promote your movie through screenings, film festivals, and online networking. Family and friends are your marketing army, so make them march!

what’s next?

I’ve got a couple feature scripts that we are developing, one is an action fantasy called SLEEP NEVER COMES that I hope to direct as well. Follow us on our mailing list and Facebook to keep up with the latest.

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