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Project Greenlight
Fluff and stuff
Wednesday, 29 March 2006
A new look...

For the heck of it, I grew out a goatee for about a week or so, just to see what I would look like.

I can't decide whether it makes me look more adult or like a cast member from Dobie Gillis. You be the judge.

Regardless, I shaved it off because we had our family's Five Generation Photo.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 11:41 PM PST
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Friday, 10 March 2006
It's all in a name...
I've never thought about advertising, but this receipt from a Woodland Hills Sav-On has me considering it. Can you imagine the kind of action this guy gets based on a piece of paper?

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 10:54 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006 11:46 PM PST
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Friday, 3 March 2006
Too much love?
Topic: Logan

There can come a time when you wonder how it is possible that you love someone so much. More than likely, this will happen once you have a child. It's natural, I believe, for this to occur with the mother first thanks to the little tike kicking her from within before he comes out to kick to her without when he gets really mad and decides to throw a tantrum.

With a father, it takes longer for most. Obviously, I've loved him from birth (I even cried the exact second I saw him oozing out, a fact that my wife likes to bring up at parties), but the connection with my son, Logan, started growing once he reached about a year and a half, maybe two, probably because he seemed more like a person
and less like a crying, eating, shitting machine. Again, I've loved that shitting machine from day one, but never like this.

It happened just two days ago. A dream I would like to forget, but never will, the image etched into my mind forever. I do not have a therapist, never have and probably never will, so perhaps writing about it will be a form of self-therapy.

In the dream, we were messing around, pushing each other playfully. It was all very gentle, just as I may do to him in real life. He was giggling, I was laughing ... but one last push -- and I didn't get the feeling that I pushed him any harder than before -- caused him to fall back. Which would have been fine, as he's taken tumbles before, but he fell back against his table's small chair and the back of his head hit the part of the leg that extends upward.

I grabbed him immediately and all I really remember is the blood that started pouring from the wound. Sure, in real life, the severity of the injury for that type of fall would be virtually impossible, but without the limits of reality, all rules were out the window.

After I got him to the hospital, he was fine again. He ran up to me and all was well.

When I woke up, I was emotionally upset and I held him (despite him being asleep) for what felt like an hour. It was like I was seeing him in a different light, actually.

But even now, I can vividly envision the blood. Even now, I can feel the relief of seeing him okay again. And even now, two days later, my eyes are getting misty just thinking about it.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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Wednesday, 6 April 2005
Bryan (Vinny) Smith is an asshole

It never ceases to amaze me how low a person will go. Such is the case with my former roommate, Bryan (Vinny) Smith.

My wife and I instantly liked him. Thirty-seven years old, friendly, aspiring screenwriter. He even advertised himself as the best roommate you could have because he would be gone quite a bit, sometimes weeks at a time. This was because he works as a production manager, his most recent project being a Las Vegas wedding reality show.

Everything seemed to be going well. We didn't see him too much and when we did, he was quiet yet jovial. He complained to me exactly zero times about life in our apartment.

So imagine my shock and dismay when, after not seeing him for four or five days, I went to his room on April 2nd to collect the rent only to find that HE HAD MOVED ALL OF HIS STUFF OUT!!!!! I just stood there, not believing my eyes. All of his stuff was gone. The only things he left were our bed (which we had loaned him), the keys to the apartment and his door, and a bag of trash (complete with insulin needles for my son to find and play with). I simply could not believe it.

I looked for a note but there was none. He didn't leave a note, or call, or even send me an e-mail. He just decided to leave and simply wait for us to figure it out. Obviously, he wasn't concerned with us not being able to pay rent or have even one day to find a new roommate. This is why Bryan (Vinny) Smith is an asshole.

I finally got an e-mail from him and he said that his privacy had been invaded, that we had been in his room numerous times and that things were missing, like CD's and money. This was more than a little ludicrous, as anyone who knows me will tell you. I asked him which CD's and how much money and he didn't respond. What a shock.

So did we go into his room periodically? Yes. And why? Because my wife was doing a project for him. This guy had about 2000 CD's and she was cataloguing them into an Excel spreadsheet. She had spent hours doing this for him and he seemed to be grateful. But he knew about it. He knew that when she was done with one case of CD's, she would go in and get another. The only other time was to get a box from his closet that was ours ... which, again, he knew we would remove at some point. But we obviously hadn't been in his room for several days since we didn't realize he was gone for the entire week.

CD's and money missing? Bullshit. Our other roommate has an iPod, a Powerbook, and about 200 DVD's, none of which have ever come up missing. And anyone who knows me will tell you that CD's are not a huge commodity for me. And my wife has collected a total of maybe 20 CD's in her lifetime.

I e-mailed him three or four times, trying to understand what really happened and he has never responded. My only conclusion is that this was his plan all along. His job was ending in March and he only needed a place to stay for a month, so he duped us.

Now we have to deal with finding a new roommate and trying to recoup the money from Vinny IF we can find him. I have a couple of addresses and he doesn't agree to give us back at least part of the rent, I'll just take him to small claims court.

Saying he's a flake is putting it far too kindly. The words loser and jerk come to mind as well. Maybe I'm just dumb, because I can't even fathom doing this to a person, let alone a family. He knew this would screw us over. Even if what he said was true, he never said anything about it to me. For all he knows, it could have been our other roommate and he punished the wrong people. This lends credence to my belief that this was his plan from day one.

This is a small town, so I may run into him again someday. I would never touch him -- I'm not a violent guy -- but his reputation will definitely be damaged.

Oh yeah ... one thing that my wife noticed is that Logan would run from him whenever he was around. So maybe my son knew from the start that he was a creep.

I should have been weary about him the moment that I found out that he writes his screenplays at Starbucks. Ugh.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
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Wednesday, 30 March 2005
Season 3, episode 3 opinion
Topic: Project Greenlight

This episode focused primarily on two subjects: budget and casting.

Andrew Rona, who actually came across as rather likeable in this episode, especially compared to the second episode, said the budget was 3 million. He tried to get more and I believe he sincerely wanted to, but his bosses nixed that idea.

Undeterred, Mike Leahy called into a radio station and asked the Maloof brothers for money. The host came across as a real bitch because she hung up on him. Surely, this woman has a screener, so therefore she knew why he was calling. Didn't matter, though, because Mike got a meeting with the Maloof brothers in an attempt to raise an additional $500,000. This extra money would add five days to the production. Next week, maybe we'll find out if they got the extra money. This could be a very important thing for PGL, as it might open up the possibility of multiple investors in future contests.

The budget is being trimmed heavily. A tunnel sequence is completely being cut. Marcus was fine with that but when told that there would be no bartender, he quipped "Sure. Now the grandmother's the bartender." Did Marcus actually make a joke that didn't involve him trying out a new catchphrase or going into a seizure? Pretty cool.

I have to admit that the writers are looking pretty good. They're obviously working very hard, they've used the opportunity to get repped, and now they're keeping their noses clean enough to stay off of the camera.

John's another story. I like John and I think he's talented, but I think he's running himself into the ground over the casting conflict. His family is full of pretty good actors but he needs to back off a bit.

Diane, his girlfriend, read for the part of Tuffy. So did Krista Allen, who I now believe that -- other than my wife -- is the most unintentionally alluring woman on the planet. Even in a simple blouse and baggy pants, she looked good. And I think the years are being pretty kind to her, although someone said that it looked like she had just gotten a face lift.

I already know that Krista Allen gets the part. Diane's past seemed to fit the role much better, but Krista brings a little bit of name recognition to the role.

But at least John came out of his shell a bit. He spoke very enthusiastically about his ideas for the direction of the movie. Everyone around him, including Andrew Rona, seemed very content.

I really miss Chris Moore. I always liked Chris Moore and thought he was given a bum rap. I never thought he was being a dick ... in fact, he showed a lot of control, IMO. But this episode showed him at his best. When he learns that John has said that he is going to film a scene with his four relatives, then fly to New York to convince Bob to cast them, Chris calmly tells the producers something along the lines of "I am going to do you a big favor and pretend that I didn't hear that. Because now I'm going to tell you what I'd say if I did hear it -- he's fired."

Chris Moore cuts right through the bullshit and gets to the heart of the problem. He isn't afraid to say what needs to be said. And, as he showed by firing Jeff Balis in the first season, he will take the heat if he believes that it will make a better movie.

He needs his own reality show. Actually, so does John -- now, wouldn't that be interesting.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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Tuesday, 29 March 2005
Season 3, episode 3 summary
Topic: Project Greenlight

I have decided that summaries are tedious. Just watch the show. Okay, here's a laundry list of what this episode covered:

John Gulager comes out of his shell.

Andrew Rona comes across as human.

The writers are almost absent.

Marcus makes a funny joke.

Wes and Chris both talk to John.

Krista Allen and John's longtime girlfriend both read for the part of Tuffy.

John eavesdrops on a conversation.

The budget is set at 3 million.

Mike calls into a radio station to get more money from the Maloof brothers.

I'm sure I missed some stuff, but this is my website so I'm allowed to do that.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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Monday, 21 March 2005
The world of customer service

I work in the field of customer service. Well, it's not really a field. More like a pasture. Where they stick old horses, although I'm not very old yet.

I won't disclose the company that I work for, for fear of retaliation by my superiors, but I will say that most of our business ir conducted on the internet and we offer a service, not a product.

I don't have much to say right now except for this: if there is one thing that I have learned, it's that the big dot-com failure is very likely to have been because of ineptitude of consumers than anything within the companies' control.

Our website is easy to navigate. The prices are clear. All of the details of what you're ordering are given at the onset of the ordering process. We have an Order Summary Screen, which asks for a credit card number while also providing a display of what is being ordered and the price. And, of course, a submit button to submit the order.

But it seems that this process is far too difficult for many people. They don't read the details of what they're ordering, then claim that it's not there even when I provide them with the exact link that they were shown. They claim that the prices aren't given, despite the fact that the price is shown at least twice, no matter what avenue they go through to place the order. They add on a service, in addition to the service they're already ordering by clicking a little box that even says ADD-ON, then say that this, in essence, should have changed their $40.00 product into a $20.00 product (instead of the correct $60). When there are certain limitations to a service, we indicate this with an asterisk, but people have apparently forgotten the grade school lesson of what an asterisk is used for.

And we're just a service company. I can't imagine companies like Amazon who deal with actual product. "What do you mean my Aladdin DVD doesn't include a DVD player with it? Man, you guys suck. You're running a scam!"

Sure, some of these people are surely lying, just to get their money back, but for many, it should be illegal for them to have a computer.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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Saturday, 19 March 2005
Season 3, episode 1 summary
Topic: Project Greenlight

I must now face the harsh reality that I didn't win Project Greenlight 3. I watched the show and, wouldn't you know it, none of those guys were me. Not one. Yeah, even my wife was surprised, because I swore to her that I would be on the show.

The episode consisted of three main plots: bash the script ... bash the script some more ... and beat the script into a fucking bloody pulp. Jesus. Even I was never that harsh, and I was bitter from having not passed beyond the Top 100.

The episode accomplished what it set out to do. It established our winning writers: Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton for "Feast" and our winning director: John Gulager. It gave us a hero in the form of Matt Damon and a villain in the guise of Dimension Films. Job well done.

It pretty much went like this:

The three finalist writers pitched themselves and their stories. A boxing match followed, with the reps from Dimension Films in one corner and pretty much everyone else in the other. Matt Damon made some great quotes. Ben looked disheveled. Dimension Films had already made its decision, one that even Wes Craven (who didn't like the script either) couldn't stop. So for all those message board people claiming that the final three was just a formality because Craven had already chosen the winner, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Once the writer had been "chosen," they interviewed all three directors. One was young and vibrant, one was laidback, and one was ... well, it's really hard to describe John Gulager as anything but unique. John's interview was the worst. He brought out a weird painting at one point and made popping noises with his mouth at another. But after a lengthy discussion, Gulager was chosen as the winner.

This is going to be one fun season.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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Season 3, episode 1 opinion
Topic: Project Greenlight
I'll be honest. I thought Feast sucked pretty bad. I'm not alone in this. I'll admit I didn't read the rewrite, but judging from what they were saying, it wasn't fixed nearly as much as it should have been.

This episode vindicated me. I was posting regularly on one particular message board and was accused of being bitter when I bashed the script. I admitted to being a little bitter, but explained that other people were criticizing the script just as much as I was, so I didn't understand why my opinion wasn't valid. But to see that pretty much everyone in that room hated the script completely validates my honest feelings.

Matt is a very cool guy. He wasn't involved too much last year, but he's making it up for it so far this year. He looked like he wanted to choke one of the guys from Dimension. And it was clear that he wasn't happy with the winning script at all.

One of the Dimension guys in particular came across as a complete asshole and I don't see him getting much better.

The person who surprised me most was Wes Craven. Never really heard the guy talk too much before, but he seems like a pretty cool guy. Appeared to be very approachable and down to Earth, like you could just start chatting about movies with him.

All in all, most everyone thought the script needed a lot of work.

The writers seemed like nice guys, but they need to meld together. Patrick leaped out of his seat while Marcus ran with some kind of mime routine. If they merged, ala the superheroic Firestorm, they might make one good writer. I have a feeling that Patrick might get on someone's nerves. Or everyone's.

As for Gulager, he seems to be a good director, but he has a weird personality. Just an odd ball. Should be fun to watch him deal with the two youngsters. I liked his bit about coffee, yet I never saw him drinking any. Maybe that would have helped him bounce off the walls a bit more. Or maybe speak up during his "interview."

The interview was horrible. Ryan was the clear winner, but his directing skills just aren't as strong as Gulager's.

And, um ... temper tantrums? Oh, I hope that's true.

Was it me or did it seem like the Dimension Films guy was trying to look like an asshole on national television? The guy was a being a dick and you could tell that he was getting under Matt's skin.

More and more, it seems that it's better that I didn't win.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PST
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