Books in 2006, well

The Thinking Fans Guide to the World Cup
Five Fists of Science
Scott Pilgrim, Vol 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
The Mind of the ModernMoviemaker
Batman Year 100
Twelve Sharp

It is very easy to tell when I am not working. More books to come I am sure until I get my next gig.


Premiere Magazine

Well, while we were away, I got my first two issues of Premiere Magazine. I wasn't expecting much from Premiere not having read it in a couple of years, but really the quality has gone down. It has become much more of a clelebrity glossy rather than a magazine about film.

Out of the two issues I have, the only article which really grabbed me was the oral history of comedy films with actors and directors talking about the comedies they made. That said, the oral history could have and should have taken up a lot more space and covered a lot more ground.

So Premiere a definate disappointment, but at least I didn't pay a lot for the subscription. I am hoping to get more out of Filmmaker and MovieMaker magazines. When I get my next gig I will do subs to Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

Birthplace of Kermit the Frog

After we hit Clarksdale we headed down Highway 61 to Leland, MS (home of Bob) to go to the Birhtplace of Kermit the Frog. Jim Henson is form Leland and they have a small museum there with plenty of muppets and Kermit memorabilia as well as a nice little gift shop.

Leland is also home to the Highway 61 Blues Museum, but sadly it was closed when we go there.

Clarksdale, MS

On the way down Saturday, we got off I-55 and went to Clarksdale to see the Delta Blues Museum and while there we went to lunch at the Ground Zero Blues Club. Both great little places with plenty of blues and blues history on display.

I loved the fact that Ground Zero was not prettied up like the House of Blues clubs are. It was very much a blues roadhouse. There was nothing at all fancy about the place.

And yes, Sippy got to go to a blues club for lunch and listen to blues. Family traditions I guess.

Schlafly Brewery

Schlafly Brewery is the other brewery in St. Louis, MO. They have a couple of location both of which feature brewery tours and restaurants and various other events. You can find their beers in most stores in St. Louis fromwhat I saw.


Books in 2006, adding more

The Thinking Fans Guide to the World Cup
Five Fists of Science
Scott Pilgrim, Vol 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
The Mind of the ModernMoviemaker
Batman Year 100

Now working on the the new Stephanie Plum book Twelve Sharp. AFter that who knows. Some other books to finish such as At the Mountains of Madness and A Salty Piece of Land. Also wanting to read more film books right now, so who knows where I will go.



Books in 2006, more to add

The Thinking Fans Guide to the World Cup
Five Fists of Science
Scott Pilgrim, Vol 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
The Mind of the ModernMoviemaker

Couple of graphic novels added to the list. Currently reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman and getting ready to read The Moviegoer by Walker Percy.



Something to look forward to

From Warren Ellis' Bad Signal:


I have been engaged by the American cable company
AMC to write the half-hour pilot for a TV series I created.
The contract calls the show "black comedy/science fiction."
Christina Wayne at AMC, who, along with Vlad Wolynetz
has just been unreasonably good to deal with, recently
described it as a "sf/entertainment-industry 'dramedy'."

As with all TV Things, everything could go horribly wrong.
But this is the deal I've been waiting for, with people who
understand the project and format I want to work in. And
you know something's going right when people in TV are
telling you to go more experimental and take more risks. T
his isn't your US network tv experience.

I'm writing the pilot at the moment. (And I should particularly
thank Joss Whedon and John Rogers for their insights into
the process.) More details will hopefully follow as the project
progresses. Or, you know, a tearstained screed if it doesn't.

-- W


For the boys

Zombie Feature

They should film this in New Orleans East:

By Borys Kit and Tatiana Siegel

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It was a battle between Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, and Pitt emerged the winner.

The production labels of the two stars -- Pitt's Plan B and DiCaprio's Appian Way -- were engaged in a competitive bidding war through their respective studios, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, over an upcoming zombie horror book by Max Brooks titled "World War Z."

By Wednesday afternoon, the dust settled with Plan B/Paramount winning the movie rights.

In 2003, Brooks wrote "Zombie Survival Guide," which explained in great deadpan detail how to survive a supposedly impending zombie apocalypse. The book went on to become a surprise cult hit.

"World War Z" also tackles the zombie genre but is set 10 years after a great global zombie epidemic and is a serious oral history of the zombie future told from many perspectives around the world. Crown Publishing is putting the book out in the fall.

The galleys of the book went out around town late last week, but interest took awhile to ignite. By the time execs finally realized they had a potential "tentpole" franchise, the battle lines were drawn between Plan B and Appian Way.

The bidding went back and forth between the two into Tuesday night and carried over into Wednesday. Sources say the rights sold for six figures, with the deal going to seven figures if the film actually gets made.

Brooks was a writer on "Saturday Night Live" from 2001 to 2003 and did voice work on the "Justice League" cartoon series.

There are said to be no hard feelings between the companies, and DiCaprio is starring in "The Departed," the Martin Scorsese crime drama that Pitt and his Plan B are producing.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


Casino Royale Trailer

Now in Quicktime. Thank you Jesus.



After Friday I will once again be unemployed and prospects around here are looking dismal.

Anyone need an out of work writer/PA/film crew member?


Books in 2006

Well the list that was going went when the old blgo went the way of civil debate. So I will start a new list now:

The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup.

Really a great resource if you just want to get an idea of the other countries playing the World Cup. Each piece on each country comes with facts from the CIA World Factbook detailing such things as religion, ethnicity, and GDP. Fascinating book.


The new late Friday night thing

Same as the old late Friday night thing. Except without The Prisoner. But, I am hooked on the new Doctor Who. Last night was the last episode of the first season, and damn now I can't wait to see the second.

Labels: ,


Working things out

Trying to work out this idea in my head for an Avengers/Persuaders like series about a couple of spies. Key would be to have them in that whole ITN vein of series from the 60's and 70's as well as some of the other classic spies. Only update it for the now and throw in adventures of all types from action to espionage to sci fi to pure adventure.

Trying to figure out how to do it and map out how I want it to go. Right now it would consist of episodes rather than issues. Each ep would be between 45-55 pages and be a self contained story in itself, but it would move along the relationship between the two main protagonists.

Anyway, guess this is more for me to just get out there and have it float around idea space some so I can get the idea and writing going. I will be posting the stories up here as they get done.

Bookmark: Article on African Nationsin the WC

From the New Statesman found through Arts & Letters Daily:

They can play, but they can never win

Cover story
David Runciman
Monday 29th May 2006

Bursting with talent and eternally tipped as the coming force, African countries won't win this World Cup, or the next one, writes David Runciman. The reason? For all the money splashing around, nothing is changing at the grass roots

Solomon Street Films Update

Well, this is what they have as far as film work going on here in New Orleans:

Posted by jroque on Jun 1 2006
June Information
"A Year Without Santa"
Producer: Bob Wilson
318-429-6503 Ofc Ph
Begins Filming: July 10th
Shreveport LA

"Til Death"
Starring Jean Claude Van-Damme
HC Productions
Producer: Moshe Diamant
PM: Brad Froman
504-571-4652 Ofc Ph
Filming now

"All The King's Men" -Reshoots
Films June 13,14
more tbd...

Line Producer: David Nicksay


Warren Ellis on James Bond

I think I had this bookmarked about three times on the old blog, but since it is in the vein of what is going around in my head right now and what I am planning on writing, I thought I would resurrect it:

Filed under:

* brainjuice

— warrenellis @ 2:04 am

There are very few existing properties that I’d be interested in writing. I like making up my own stories. As far as I’m concerned, that is in fact the job description of “writer”. There aren’t many pre-existing characters that I could be tempted with. I’ve resisted the temptation to do 2000AD properties I remain fond of; I couldn’t do JUDGE DREDD better than John Wagner, and, in fact, neither can anyone else, so I’ve denied myself the pleasure of solving story structures by having a huge bastard in green boots walk in and kill everybody. A JUDGE DREDD/TRANSMETROPOLITAN crossover book was suggested to me by DREDD publishers Fleetway once. I told them that it would be precisely one page long. Spider Jerusalem lights a cigarette. Judge Dredd shoots him. The end.

But if someone asked me to write a James Bond film, you wouldn’t see my arse for dust.

Sad, innit?

I’ve read most of the Ian Fleming novels, seen most of the films once they’ve come to TV. I’m not a fanatic by any means. But James Bond exerts a terrible fascination nonetheless. I even did an interview piece on how I’d write Bond for a Texan newspaper a couple of years ago. So did Bruce Sterling, who offered a disturbing opinion about Bond as a shaven-headed Ibiza DJ. You’re going to hell for that one, Bruce, and you will discover that Satan is English.

The books are notably less spectacular and far more low-key than the films. Dr No was a crazed guano millionaire and had no nuclear missiles, spaceship-eaters or any of the good stuff we associate with Bond Villains. Tiger Tanaka’s great test of Bond was making him compose a naff haiku. It’s often quite bland stuff, great long travelogues and pages describing banquets and furniture. In the guts of it, though, is Bond as a scarred man with clear psychological damage, often on the edge of being removed from service by M on mental health grounds. It’s made stridently obvious that being on the 00 detail of the Secret Service is a job that fucks you up.

Bond is not a superman. He prevails because he is quite simply nastier and more determined to wreak utter bloody havoc than the next guy. In some ways — and I don’t think Fleming was unaware of this — he is what Allen Ginsberg called “bleak male energy,” causing and taking immense damage in single-minded pursuit of what he wants. At the conclusion of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the front end of his personality essentially rubbed out by torture, drugs, multiple trauma and a sequence of horrible mental hammerblows, there is an almost disturbing glimpse of an amnesiac Bond as gentle, open, devoted, and almost sweet. And his lover dreads the day that he recovers.

He is England’s blunt instrument of international assault — the spiteful, vicious bastard of a faded empire that still wants the world to do as it’s bloody well told.

Most importantly; he beats people up and makes stuff explode.

The films try to recoil from Bond the bastard, most obviously in the later, parodic Roger Moore horrors. But in Connery, in Dalton and even in Pierce Brosnan, Bond’s essential ruthlessness comes through. Wolf-eyed Timothy Dalton had the best shot at being truly frightening, but he was hamstrung by some horrible scripts, and I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. Clive Owen is pretty much the only choice to take over after Brosnan, and I’d assume that a serious overhaul of the franchise would have to accompany that.

I can be contacted via agent Angela Cheng Caplan at The Cheng Caplan Company, if there are any producers on serious medication out there. Because both me and Bruce were right; James Bond needs to reflect his times.

But I wouldn’t make him a DJ.

And stuff would blow up really good.


I think maybe I need another drink now.

(Originally written in 2002.)



MI3: Good, but disappointing

Good, but disappointing i show I describe MI3. If this had been the first film in the franchise, I would think the series was off to a pretty good start with room for improvement. It is the first film of the bunch (since the opening of the first Mission Impossible film) to truly show a team at work rather than just Tom Cruise being the only stud of the block.

JJ Abrams reinforces through this film though why I have lost faith in him as a director and a writer. First off, he uses the same technique as he used all the time in Alias of starting the film at one point in time, then going back in time to show us how we arrived there. This worked as the regular thing on Alias. But, knowing who is behind this, it seems lazy to me when watching it happen in yet another spy vehicle.

Abrams also disappoints in the fact that there are a couple of blatant rip offs. One can't help but watch the attack on the bridge and not think of True Lies. And, the last line of dialogue in the film between Cruise and Laurence Fishburn is a rip off of the far superior film Ronin's last line of dialogue.

There are other quibbles I have with the film. One a boring car chase. Two, the tech guy in the film is basically directed by Abrams into acting just like Marshall from Alias.

I can see myself getting excited for the new Mission Impossible film since it will inevitably have a new director, but for the time being I am left with a kind of shrug-of-the-shoulders feeling to this current installment.

Bookmark: Digital Shadows

A piece inspired by Warren Ellis about creating digital shadows with things.

She goes more into the leaving a trail of how a piece or item is designed in the digital shadows which is a way of thinking of it that I had not. I always saw these digital marks in a work as a way to learn more and go into the next thread of thought or see where the information in a given work comes from.

Everytime I see this idea come up I think of the professor at State who wanted to create a hyperlink text of Critical Theory so students could jump to the other theories and philosophies and writings which created a certain theory.

Wikipedia does this to some extent,as do other encyclopedia software, where a reader can jump from article to another in the encyclopedia which has relvance. But to have something in a work you are reading or watching which allows you to see how the work was put together and where its inspiration comes from and where it is leading is surely the next step.

New Orleans Katrina Heist Pic

From today's Reuters/Hollywood Reporter:

Ravaged New Orleans inspires heist thriller

By Tatiana Siegel

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - New Orleans rappers Lil Wayne and Baby are attached to star in "Cut Throat City," an indie film set in the Big Easy.

Described as the first post-Hurricane Katrina film with social relevance, the film is a heist story that begins in the grimy, decimated Lower Ninth Ward and then hits the road.

Music video veteran Aaron Courseault (R. Kelly, Kirk Franklin) will make his feature film directorial debut on the project.

"This will be one of the first fictional narratives that deals with the tragedy of the government's response to Katrina," said Braxton Pope, one of the producers, "and the movie will be seen through the cultural lens of the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the most devastated areas."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.