Thursday, August 26, 2010

Teal and Orange offender of the month

This month's offender for biggest misuse of teal and orange goes to that great romantic comedy that everyone no one is talking about, The Switch. I guess if you fail at making an original, funny, and memorable movie, at least you can make it look original.

Oh wait...

You guys gotta stop making this so easy for me.  I mean really.

 This one I really like - I mean since you're already wearing the teal dress, you might as well adorn it with those beautiful orange flowers.

 Again, I have nothing against tweaking a shot so the backgrounds are generally cooler and the foregrounds and actors are generally warmer - I get it, I really do.   What drives me ape$H!T is the effing teal background color.  Not blue, but practically green.

Hey, nice day for a muscle shirt.  I wonder what color I happen to have today...
Here we go - finally a nice shot with some natural greens and browns - even a touch of violet.  Thank you Cinematographer and Colorist. Oh wait, what the eff is that kid wearing?  Oh look, it's a two-tone puffy vest.  No, it's an effing ORANGE AND TEAL two-tone puffy vest!!!  DAMN YOU ART DIRECTOR!!! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!

Please someone put me out of my misery.  I'm pretty sure when I was growing up those things were like solid navy blue or nasty grungy red.

Oh well, there's always next month...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Critical Mass Interview

Hey, if you have a sec, jump on over to Only Good Movies, check out the interview I recently did for them and find out my thoughts on movies like Blade Runner, Avatar and oh yes, even Citizen Kane.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top Ten Ghostly Movies of all Time

During the writing phase of Enter the Dark, for more than a year I watched tons of haunted house and ghost movies, along with endless episodes of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Paranormal State, Destination Truth and countless other copycat paranormal shows on tv.

I was trying to immerse myself into the world of ghosts, demons, EVPs, and apparitions and wanted to precisely examine just how the scariest scenes are set up and how they actually work to elicit the highest levels of terror.  I tracked down every film I hadn't already seen and re-watched those I already loved.

It has always been my belief that preparation and research are essential ingredients to producing successful art.  What comes off as effortless to the viewer inevitably has hours and hours of practice and study behind it. There's no getting around doing the hard work.

Of everything that I've seen, these are my top 10:

The Haunting (the original of course)

The Shining

The Devil's Backbone  El espinazo del diablo

Sixth Sense

The Ring

The Orphanage El orfanato


Amityville Horror (again, the original, I mean c'mon really...)

The Entity

Paranormal Activity

Honorable mentions:  1408, The Others, The Mothman Prophecies (which I love, but I'm not sure I would categorize as a ghost movie).

Lot's of people loved The Changeling, The Sentinel and Ghost Story but they just didn't do it for me. Also, of the newer indie horror films, Session 9 and Lake Mungo got lots of buzz, but also felt kinda flat.

UPDATE 8_25_10

Ah yes, the beauty of top 10 lists is that everyone has an opinion - as it should be.  My list is just that, my humble opinion, shaped by my own preferences and prejudices.  For instance I'll let you in on a secret - I actually don't find traditional ghost stories to be that scary. 

Movies like The Changeling follow a predictable story arc that is more like a mystery than a horror film.  Something spooky is going on and if the protagonist can just follow the trail of clues and find out what terrible thing previously happened in the house, then the "spirit" can be released and all will be at peace. 

Boring.  And not particularly scary either.

Movies like The Ring (and of course Ringu) interest me because they start off feeling like traditional ghost stories but then twist it at the end to leave you feeling that yes, there is true evil in the world.

Now that's scary.

Monday, August 16, 2010

World Premiere of Enter the Dark

Good News!!

For fans of truly scary movies, you won't want to miss the World Premiere of my first short movie as writer/director, Enter the Dark at the Chicago Horror Film Festival, Sunday nite, Sept 26 at 9:20 pm.

Check it out if you're in the area!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Enter The Dark Trailer

Check it out the all new trailer to Enter The Dark.

Festival submissions are almost completed.  I've entered into Screamfest, Chicago Horror Festival, Terror Film Festival, Slamdance, Sacramento Horror Festival and Shockerfest to name a few.

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders

Livescience has a nice list of the Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders.
Let's see, of the ten, I've suffered from six of them:

#10 Nightmare Disorder -   yup, all the time 
#8   Night terrors -  sometimes 
#7   Sleepy Hallucinations -  uh, hello Mr. Demon standing over my bed 
#6   Exploding head syndrome -  it sounds worse than it is... sort of 
#5   Sleep paralysis -  ah yes, my favorite Old Hag syndrome 
#1   Insomnia - fortunately not for a while

Gee, ya think this could be why I wake up tired almost every morning?... 

(I wish I had suffered from #2, but alas, such is not to be my fate)