November 8, 2007

Awesome Ninja Zombies Battle Robot Pirates

Caught your eye? I would hope so.

Now to develop a TV series based on this title. THAT would be something.

Anyway, the idea comes from

Kind of a funny post.

Let's examine some of the possible combinations:

1. The Awesomeness of Gummi Bears. I think your audience on this one would be limited to kids ages 3 to 11. Not enough appeal for a wide audience.

2. Internet Pirates. I don't think pirates are that funny. (They enjoyed a brief comedy resurgence in 2004 but have declined since.) The internet has never been funny in and of itself. Well, except that one night it KILLED at the Comedy Store in 1973. But the image of a scurvy-having sea criminal sitting around in boxers using his neighbor's Wi-Fi gives me a good chuckle.

3. Internet Zombies. Aren't we all now just internet zombies? Think about it.

4. Awesome Internet Dinosaur Ninjas. Despite the chart's data, I don't see this being that marketable or post-worthy. Perhaps it's my combination. Maybe ... if I just ... ok ... Internet Dinosaurs and Ninja Awesomeness. That's better. I can just see Al Gore sitting around with his solar powered computer, sipping wheat grass and being amused at the posts on

5. Awesome Ninja Zombies Battle Robot Pirates. There really is officially nothing better. This combination kills all pirates and literally eats the Gummi Bear collective. I am honestly going to start writing a pilot for this TV series right nnnnnnnow.

What are some of the combinations you think are the best or most potentially awesome?

UPDATE: Reader "Maht!" suggests "Dinosaur Zombie Awesomeness". He writes "Because dinosaurs need more motivation to eat brains and be scary, which equals awesomness. This would make for a great theme for a log flume ride let alone a movie or blog post." Thanks, Maht!. I heartily agree.

October 31, 2007

5 Things that Honestly Scare Me

It's Halloween. All Hallow's Eve. So, fittingly I have a list for you.

But first:

In the course of my life, I have experienced a wide range of feelings about this day. When I was a kid, it was one of the best days of the year. We would dress up, trick-or-treat and then have some kind of family activity as well: scary movies projected on a wall or sheet in our basement, games, candy-sort-and-trade, etc. One year my mom made me a Storm Trooper costume and it was seriously the best Halloween ever. It wasn't authentic and made of hard plastic or anything. It was cloth but sewn to look like the a bad guy soldier from "Star Wars". Then, she just bought an authentic mask for me to wear.

When I hit an age where it became immature to trick-or-treat, my friends and I would kind of dress up and then either cruise the local dances for girls, play hide-and-seek in a graveyard or terrorize our neighborhood with mischievous pranks. Why did we ever play hide-and-seek in a graveyard on Halloween, you say? Hell if I know.

Once I was in college, the "holiday" became just a night to get a date (group or otherwise), eat and watch a horror film. "The Shining" was a yearly requirement but others also were in the rotation: "Evil Dead 2," "Dead Alive," "Alien/Aliens," "Psycho" and, of course, "The Exorcist."

After I graduated from college, I began to hate this day more and more. It consisted of feeling obligated to dress up for work and feeling more obligated to go out to someone's boring party. Much like New Year's Eve, there seemed to be an underlying pressure to do SOMETHING fun. If I happened to be dating someone at the time, I would always try to convince the girl that a quiet night in watching a good scary movie was the best time we could possibly have. Often that worked.

Now I am married with kids. Halloween is more like it was when I was younger. I get to experience fears and wonders and excitement along with them. It's fun again and I don't take things so seriously anymore.

EXCEPT, I do take the following things very seriously:

1. Ghosts - Maybe it's because I know too many people that have seen them and/or felt them or maybe it's because I believe that we continue to exist even after our bodies die so it's logical they could be real. Whatever it is, the thought of having ghosts in my house or running into one on the street or in its dwelling really really freaks my sh-t. Like to the point of pants peeing. I often get chills when I am alone and climbing stairs late at night because I just know that if I slow down or turn around I will see, hear or be overtaken by one. I get honestly spooked when I hear ghost stories, see things out of my peripheral vision, listen to EVPs, or go to empty old buildings late at night. I try to avoid all opportunities to have one prove to me they exist.

2. Snakes - Evil looking, slithery, and often venomous. The creep-out factor on this one is high. I even startle when I chance upon one on TV while channel surfing. If I see just a flash of a rattlesnake or cobra coiled to strike ... GUH. I can probably tell you more about what snakes are venomous, where they are located and how many people die from bites than I can about the rules of the English language.

3. Japanese Horror Folklore - It's probably because of the first thing on this list that this topic gets to me. This is where my fear of ghosts gets life, so to speak, through books or film. American filmmakers haven't made too many decent ghost stories into a movies. Japan, however, exports a lot of crap-your-pants scary ghost movies year after year. Here's just a little info on Yūrei (Japanese ghosts) from Wikipedia for you to consider:

* White clothing - Yūrei are usually dressed in white, signifying the white burial kimono used in Edo period funeral rituals.

* Black hair - Hair for a yūrei is often long, black and disheveled ... Japanese women traditionally grew their hair long and wore it pinned up, and it was let down for the funeral and burial.

* Hands and feet - A yūrei's hands dangle lifelessly from the wrists, which are held outstretched with the elbows near the body. They typically lack legs and feet, floating in the air.

* Hitodama - Yūrei are frequently depicted as being accompanied by a pair of floating flames or will o' the wisps (Hitodama in Japanese) in eerie colors such as blue, green, or purple. These ghostly flames are separate parts of the ghost rather than independent spirits.

And so we see that an online people's encyclopedia has the power to educate as well as terrify. I now know to stay away from the movies that portray these Onryō Yūrei (Vengeful ghosts who come back from purgatory for a wrong done to them during their lifetime). I suggest others do the same.

4. Being Around Firearms - Whether they are loaded or not, being handled by a professional, or sitting on a table nearby minding their own business, firearms scare me. Too many accidents have happened to ever help me feel OK about being near them. Still, I have handled them in movies and with friends because I am a man and never want to be accused of being "weak."

5. Being called "Weak" - Just kidding.

5. Loss - My biggest fear is a common one, I think. I never ever want to lose anyone close to me ever again. My wife, my kids, my family, my friends. You are my life and losing someone is too hard for me to deal with. I know it's a selfish fear. Fear really isn't something that is considered noble or selfless. But I feel justified in this one. My life is only as good as the people in it.

What are some of your Halloween memories or fears?

October 19, 2007

My Top Songs for Fall

In no particular order, here are some songs I adore at the moment and, for the most part, find fitting for the time of year:

1. No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
This one is just beautiful. Tragic. "You are the ever-living ghost of what once was." It's a simple music arrangement that feels full and complex.

2. Nantes - Beirut
This is their second album (I think) and it's better. They still sound a bit like a traveling Hungarian gypsy band but there's nothing wrong with that, right? "I'll gamble away my fright and I'll gamble away my time and in a year, a year or so, this will slip into the sea."

3. The Temptation of Adam - Josh Ritter
Funny, sweet, scary and smart. "What five letters spell "apocalypse" she asked me,
I won her over saying W.W.I.I.I."

4. Missed the Boat - Modest Mouse
"We owned all the tools ourselves, but not the skills to make a shelf." These guys have evolved perfectly. Still trademark Modest Mouse but Isaac Brock doesn't scream as often anymore to make his point. If the only song you have heard of theirs is "Float On" then you are missing out.

5. The Chills - Peter, Bjorn and John
I had my headphones on the first time I heard this song. And it won me over in the first 15 seconds. "Your tongue is sharp but I miss the taste of it."

6. Ponytail - Panda Bear
Just a pretty, pretty song. "When my soul starts growing, I am as I want to be and I know I never will stop growing." This is a from a solo album from the singer of Animal Collective.

7. Videotape - Radiohead
My (and about 563 million others) all-time favorite band. They have a new "album" out and I got to pick how much I wanted to pay for it. For me, this song, "15 Steps" and "Nude" were each worth $8. I underpaid.

8. On the Radio - Regina Spektor
She's not related to crazy alleged murderer Phil. Her dad, Ilya Spektor, is/was a photographer amateur violinist not a gun wielding skeleton with bipolar disorder. I know a lot of people have liked her for quite a while but I'm just starting to appreciate her talent. This song is so fun. It has a great beat, string arrangments, variety of instruments and superb lyrics. "Then you take that love you made and stick it into some ... someone else's heart, pumping someone else's blood. And walking arm in arm, you hope it don't get harmed. But even if it does, you'll just do it all again."

9. Derek - Animal Collective
A band you definitely have to be "into" and many people don't "get". But I list a song here because this is one of my favorite albums of this Fall.

10. Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave
The pop song of the list. They make really good, accessible music. "Go and run yourself a million miles ... "

11. Back in Your Head - Tegan and Sara
I have this thing for basic piano hooks. Can't get more basic than this one. Even though the song is about insecurity and potential infidelity, it makes me smile when I hear it. "I just want back in your head."

12. I Was Born (a Unicorn) - The Unicorns
"I could've sworn you believed in me. Then how come all the other unicorns are dead?"
A freakin' blast from the opening guitar to the Vincent-Pricean narrative break to the guitar smashing end.

13. Sun is Out - Apples in Stereo
"The sun is out(x2), come on (x6), check it out. "Repetitive, simplistic, and copycat. Still, I defy you to not smile when you listen to it.

13 songs for Autumn. Oh, snap, 13? That's spoooooky.

What are you listening to this time of year?

September 19, 2007

YouTube and Me

I created a YouTube page that contains some of the commercial, industrial and web shoots I have done.

My You Tube Site

Feel free to comment here if you like any of it.