About Me

Many of you have never heard of Dan O’Bannon, but if you’re lucky or have friends with good tastes in sci-fi, you’ve witnessed his work.  Dan was responsible, as co-writer, for the creation of the Alien.  He also wrote and directed the horror/comedy Return of the Living Dead; one of my personal favorites.  “Send more cops.”  He also wrote Lifeforce (How could you not like an early Patrick Stewart movie with a fully naked woman walking around through the entire film.), Total Recall, and Screamers, to name a few.  Among the sci-fi community O’Bannon was an incredible writer; if for nothing else helping to create one of the greatest science fiction creatures ever.  Thank you, Dan for the memorable movies.  

As if news the news of O’Bannon’s passing wasn’t bad enough- Brittany Murphy died suddenly, catching everyone off guard.  I won’t say that I’m a big fan of her work, but I was of decent size.  There was something about watching her in movies that always drew my attention.  I remember the first movie I ever saw her in was Freeway, a movie I thought very little of and only saw once.  Even still, I remember her scene.  I was shocked when I heard that she did her own singing in Happy Feet.  I had no idea she could sing.  She was such a great talent.  For some reason I can’t get that scene from Sin City out of my head.  The one where she’s leaning out the window calling for Clive Owen’s character, with such a longing in her eyes.  “Dwight, you fool.  You damned fool.” 

All of this makes it a little hard for me to do my average blog this week, prattling about my random craziness.  So, let’s switch gears for a minute.  I was thinking the other day, as I am prone to do, about writing.  I believe in challenging myself and pushing my stories to their limits.  I feel that sometimes my stories are too stripped down.  Maybe I need more background and details in my characters a little flourish isn’t a bad thing, right?  But, when is it too much?  A while back I watched the movie Wonder Boys, and felt as if I’d been punched in the chest.  The writing was so dead on.  The characters, the humor, everything felt so well crafted.  They really felt alive.  None of the characters felt superfluous.  Now, on the other hand I’ve read some books- well, attempted to read some books- where there was extra content that was completely unnecessary that it bored me.  Now, I realize that to tell a story not everything has to be paramount to the overall plot, and hat some things just need to be there to flesh out the characters and the world that they live in.  But, when I see a book that is 700 pages long I have to ask myself: Does it really need to be that long?  Sometimes yes.  I recognize that, and depending on the book or story it makes sense.  Other times I look at it and say: They must get paid by the page.  So, the balance is the hard thing.  Which, oddly enough, was what Wonder Boys was about.  When is it enough and when is it too much.  Balance.

So, running behind again, huh?  Yeah, well it’s the holidays.  Even still I’m more on time than an early 90’s Image book.  I hope everyone had a happy holiday, whatever you may have celebrated and are prepared to shed the skin of not only 2009, but the past decade.  I’ll talk to you all again in 2010, where we’ll start this all over again.  This time, let’s try and make it a little better. 



Hopefully, by now you know me and realize that I only picked this title ‘cause it fit, and not because I actually like the song.  No, really, I don’t.  It just fit.  I mean, I went two weeks without doing a blog, and I already used the Romeo Must Die title, so this just made sense.  Y-You know what?  Forget you. 

Well, all excuses aside, the past two weeks have been kinda busy.  The holidays creeping up on me like a project deadline at work.  I mean, you know it’s there and it’s getting closer, but you’re still unprepared when your boss asks to see what you’ve been doing all this time.   So, I kinda fell behind.  Sorry. 

Sooooo.  Just to give an update on things.  We’re moving ahead with Die and Let Live, and look to start filming the middle of January.  If you live in Lynchburg or one of the surrounding cities and want to take part, let me know.  We’re looking for crowd zombies so bring some distressed clothes and a hunger for human flesh.  Hmm.  That makes me think.  Remember in the Dawn of the Dead remake how the zombies wouldn’t eat the dog?  Was that because it didn’t fit their hunger satiation needs?  You know, like how they won’t try to eat each other.  Or, was it a personal choice?  I ask cause what about country’s where they eat dog, would It be different?  I’m not even gonna mention India. 

Well, I have another confession to make.  I’m not gonna make my goal for 117 Days In Hell.  I’m not tossing my hands in the air and giving up, but realistically, I’m not going to have three full short stories written in 2 weeks.  I mean, I could do it, but it’d be crap, like that book I read about the lamp monster.  Really?  437 pages about this unassuming lamp that had been possessed by the spirit of a little girl who was electrocuted while changing a light bulb.  It killed 19 people before they realized that to stop it all you had to do was turn it off and unplug it.  So, if you want me to write that, then fine, but I don’t want to, so I’m not gonna.  Now, I did start over again on Long Way Down, and I like the way this one is going much better than when I first started. 

In related news, I saw Ninja Assassin, which I like a lot and did a review of for Raptorface.  The movie really got me kinda pumped and anxious about writing the script for Way of Honor.  I’ve never talked about this before on the site, but I love Joel Silver as a producer.  The man is a producing deity.  He’s produced over half of my favorite movies.  I’m not going to list even some of them here.  If you don’t know him and want to see his body of work, look him up on IMDB.  I’m holding Way of Honor for him.  This movie was made for his particular touch.  Joel, baby, call me.  We can have lunch, talk shop, and make a deal. 

I wanna touch back on Die and Let Live before I go.  I’m so excited about doing this, I really don’t know how to properly express it.  The very idea of doing the book this way, something I’ve never done before, just has me kinda charged.  Going back to the vault for a minute: “I’ve got that excited scared feeling.  Where I’m 98% excited and 2% scared.  It could be the other way around.  I could be 98% scared and 2% excited, but that’s what makes it so intense.”  I think the plan is to actually have the actors act out the scenes so that the pictures won’t look stiff and posed.  There’s still so much that we’re limited by, which also makes it exciting.  I mean, we have no idea how we’re going to shoot certain scenes.  But the dedication to the project is there so, no matter what, it’ll be an adventure.  It also appears as though we’re going to have a videographer, so Crawling to the Surface: the Making of Die and Let Live is still possible.  Let’s just pray it doesn’t end up a Lost in La Mancha.  Look it up. 

Depending on how things go with Die and Let Live, it’s got me feeling like I want to finally film my own movie.  “Let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.”  I’ve always wanted to make an independent film.  I’ve thought about filming Chains, which is probably the one I’d go with, unless I wrote something new.  Now, William Shakespeare’s the Boys of Verona is what I’d really like to do.  Blood Brothers was also written with a small budget in mind, but Chains is much easier for a first time attempt.  Honestly, I should probably do something even smaller, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Baby steps.  Baby steps. 

Ok, that’s your entertainment lesson for the past few weeks.  Later.