Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oscar party

I went to an Oscar Party the other night, at a house in the hills. It was an ok time.

I got a Sunny D and vodka when the who-gives-a-fuck-awards were announced. I’m looking at you, “live action short” and “documentary short.”

I bumped into some snooty, independent film producer on my way back. He was pissed that I knocked his clove cigarette out of his hand. When the winner for “best short documentary” was announced, he sighed loudly and let everyone know that some other nominated short documentary got “screwed.”

I couldn’t help myself. These words fell out of my mouth, “Dude, really, no one cares. You watch small documentary films. You are cultured, we get it.” I let him know that short films and documentaries do not make money, and therefore are not real movies. God, I hate independent film producers.

He replied, “if you cared about film, you would take the time to see the short documentaries.”

“Sorry, I don’t attend student film festivals. If I want to see 5 films about the Iraq War, I’ll turn on the news,” was my rebuttal.

Then he called me a “phillistine,” and went so far as to call me “a sell out, who pressures studios to compromise the director’s artistic vision, so that a film may make more money.”

I said, “thank you.” Then, I flirted with his model girlfriend. She realized how much more money I made and she gave me her number. He had no reply for that.

As people downed more “Let There Be Bloody Marys,” I was forced to listen to endlessly as people called me “friendo,” or told me how they were going to “drink my milkshake.” I wanted to make another oscar movie reference by throwing bowling pins at them, but none were available.

Some good movies that no one saw, won a bunch of awards. It was a good excuse to get drunk.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Universal Studios Ups the Ante

I opened up Variety this morning and read the most interesting article. Click on the link below to check i out.

That’ right, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to make movies based on Hasbro board games; Monopoly, Battleship, Candyland, etc.

Some snotty intern called this “the ultimate sign that the film industry has hit rock bottom.” I immediately sent that kid to do 10 Starbucks laps (a Starbucks lap consists of going to Starbucks, getting a coffee, and bringing it back). Since he was an intern, I made him bring the assistants coffee, just to make it extra humiliating. Of course they only got a small black coffee, small (roughly $1.50). As opposed to the Venti, Triple shot, soy vanilla late I get ($5.25).

My staff is hard at work pitching writers to Universal as we speak. I took the liberty to come up with some of my own ideas.

Game: Monopoly

Title: “From Baltic To Boardwalk”

Movie Synopsis:

It is the Great Depression. A poor MAN can barely afford to pay his rent on baltic avenue. His landlord owns the whole block, which according to a loop hole in the law, forces him to pay double rent. He owes money to the electric company and waterworks. The only thing he owns is dog, a top hat, and a wheelbarrow.

To avoid his debt, he takes the Orient Express to a new city. He gets a better job and slowly works his way up. The man comes on hard times, he lands in jail, but later we find out that he was “just visiting.”

The Man works himself up to become a property tycoon, only to fight off other tycoons that want his property. At the end of the film, the Man finally gets a penthouse on Broadway.

It’s a rag to riches story with a complete story arc. The Monopoly mythology is so rich. The Monopoly Man will be the narrator.

Game: Battleship

Title: Battleship: Search and Destroy!

Movie Synopsis:

Imagine the intensity of the following scene (I should be a writer)…

An American Naval Commander sits on the deck of his destroyer. He orders a surprise attack on the terrorists/Soviet/Nazi/Alien ship. A small cruiser launches from an American harbor at lightning speed. The American ship becomes involved in a full CGI battle. We even get a shot that tracks a missile from the moment it is launched until it hits the bad guy ship... ala Pearl Harbor (I should be a director).

The battle is long and protracted, but we use a lot of fast cuts to keep everyone’s attention (I hate shots that are longer than .4 seconds). The Americans fight valiantly but die… die for their country.

We then cut back to the Commander. He orders his soldiers have a moment of silence for the fallen. The tough Commander sheds one tear, but he is resolute. He looks onward toward the bad guys and utters the famous words... “You sunk my battleship.”

Who wouldn’t want to see a movie based on their favorite board game? Even though it is a rhetorical question, I am still going to answer it. NO ONE!

My hat is off to you Universal. What a bold move. All those old fashioned movie studios are busy adapting novels or plays, but not you. You had the ingenious and foresight to realize we are in a new cinematic era. Children’s toys and Disneyland rides are the blockbusters of our future.

I have racked my brain to try and figure out where the next blockbuster idea might come from… I’m thinking about food products. Everyone has a favorite cereal character right? Can you imagine a movie starring Cap’N Crunch. The Aunt Jemima story; a poor slave descendent works her way out of poverty by selling syrup. The cross advertising appeal is built in. It’s a great day for film.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Fallen Apple

As stated in an earlier blog entry, our office has done away with my PC (personal computer to those of you born before the 1970s). I know have a Apple Macintosh. Many people use Macs in Los Angeles. It’s almost impossible to walk into a Starbucks without tripping over a Mac laptop. (At least that’s what Walter tells me). Apple users feel a strong need to make it clear they use Apple Products. They wear Apple branded clothing, some even go so far as to put Apple stickers on their cars. I am a proud PC user and there fore put an ugly, but functional PC sticker on my car (see below). Mac users are so individualistic, that the exact machine that millions of people across the world use.

Last night, I ventured into the Century City Pacific Theater. I typically only watch movies in private screenings, but I felt like slumming it. I noticed a young lad on a date with a girl. The date was going nowhere quick. He tried to slide his arm around her, but she backed off. Conversation dried. The young lad has an idea. Perhaps he can win her back by displaying how hip he is. He reaches into his pocket and slips out a leather pouch. With a twirl of his hand, he slides the leather case off his slick iPhone (he clearly practiced the move). He gracefully slid his fingers across the touch screen. Perhaps he was sending a subtle message about his fingering ability. Did it work? No. The girl uttered the following words, “that phone like costs more than like a Coach purse.”
If a classless man wears a classy suit, he is still classless. Apple products do not magically turn you “hip” or “creative.”

Apple cater to the “creatives.” I know that Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro, and Garage Band are great products, but how many mac users are churning out Documentaries, albums, or stellar DVD menus? Perhaps simply having those programs on your computer make you more creative… maybe by osmosis? Plus, if you own a Mac, when you walk into an Apple store you feel like part of the club. Whenever I walk by a Mac store, I pull out my Microsoft Zune and make sure a “Mac Genius” sees me use it. By the way, why are the Mac cashiers is not a “Genius.” I guess if you make minimum wage and can load apple software onto a computer then you are considered a genius nowadays. We’ve lowered our standards.

Why do I prefer a PC over a MAC? Mainly because I don’t like being a pretentious douche bag. More specifically, I like paying less money for a more powerful computer. I like to support capitalists like Bill Gates. He did get a bad rap in all those anti-trst law suits.

People talk about how the iPhone is so “cutting edge” and “easy to use.” What computer or cell phone isn’t easy to use? We’ve lowered our standards in yet another way. Do people really have trouble using their telephones? Perhaps, cutting edge technology should take brainpower to use. For $500 (without contract), the iPhone better be “cutting edge.”

So mac users, enjoy playing chopsticks on garageband or shelling out $19.99 to download a poor quality movie you can only watch on your computer. I’m going to fire up my PC and watch an HD movie I downloaded and didn’t pay for. Then I’ll play the an incredibly high resolution computer game. Jealous much?

If you see someone walking down the street with the Windows vista T Shirt, you know it’s me. PC Pride!