September 11, 2012

One Song More

Wow, is it that time of Election Year already? When superblogger and apparently self-hating theater queen Andrew [Lloyd] Sullivan posts a WTF Obamafied version of a Les Mis anthem? This time it's "One Term More" which, Holy Cameron Mackintosh, people....
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Posted by greg at 11:53 AM

February 24, 2011

The Road To Victory And Beyond

So in my ersatz zigzagging through the history of photomurals, I kind of skipped from Edward Steichen's landmark Family of Man exhibition in 1955, where Paul Rudolph deployed enlarged photo prints for content and experience, as well as architectural...
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Posted by greg at 10:56 PM

July 10, 2010

Len Lye Is Famous In New Zealand

I came across a mention of Len Lye's spectacular-looking kinetic sculpture a couple of weeks ago, while reading 1965 coverage of the Buffalo Festival of the Arts. Sandwiched in between a photo of Robert Morris and Yvonne Rainer in...
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Posted by greg at 1:02 PM

July 29, 2009

In The Beginning There Was Not Just Tron

So while we were staring slack-jawed at the computer graphics in Tron, Loren Carpenter had already produced and shown Vol Libre, this incredible fractal mountain flythrough animation two years earlier at SIGGRAPH--and had been hired on the spot by Industrial...
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Posted by greg at 7:46 PM

October 8, 2008

Mafiaboy Has A Book Coming Out

I suppose before I order and read Mafiaboy's book is as good a time as any to mention that the as-yet-unannounced animated musical screenplay I've been noodling on is a kind of fantastical retelling of the Mafiaboy hacking attacks and...
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Posted by greg at 9:32 PM

September 29, 2007

Dara Friedman's Musical

Dara Friedman is unobtrusively videotaping people singing show tunes in public in New York City for a project commissioned by the Public Art Fund:The policeman on the staircase barely looks up; the two little girls beside him continue giggling about...
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Posted by greg at 4:50 PM

May 21, 2007

We're Zero One! We're Zero One!

So a couple of weeks ago, Sir Norman Foster and his firm announced the creation of Masdar, a 6 million sqm square, solar-powered development in Abu Dhabi that will be "the world’s first zero-carbon and zero-waste city." Now Rem...
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Posted by greg at 1:37 PM

January 30, 2007

Hugh Harman's Peace On Earth (1939)

MGM Cartoon 1939 Peace On EarthUploaded by shawshawshaw In retrospect, 1939 was a rough year to be a diehard pacifist. But that's when Hugh Harman's Peace On Earth anti-war cartoon was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mahatma Gandhi was...
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Posted by greg at 2:46 PM

January 8, 2007

How To Tell Cannes And Slamdance Apart

Ian at Water Cooler Games has been writing about an incident at Slamdance. Seems the founder of the alt-alt festival yanked Super Columbine Massacre, a charming -sounding RPG that tells the tale of some innocent, young, all-American scamps, from the...
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Posted by greg at 2:38 PM

October 31, 2006

Nice Article On The Anime/Otaku Business Model

Dan Roth wrote a sweet article on AD Vision, the American anime distribution and production powerhouse, for Fortune last year. I just stumbled across the version of it on his blog. One great example of their approach: bringing fans into...
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Posted by greg at 10:59 PM

What Requiems For A Dream May Come

It feels like ages since I've posted about actual moviemaking around here. I was a fan of Darren Aronofsky's Pi, and a fleeing refugee from the theater of Requiem for a Dream, but I have to give props to his...
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Posted by greg at 8:33 PM

October 11, 2006

Wow [Make That, "WoW"]: In-Game Photography

We're beyond Machinima, people. Some titles have photography as part of the gameplay, and some players are tweaking the games themselves to take in-game photographs. The results are finding their way onto flickr, like Gregory Perez's homage [top] to...
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Posted by greg at 9:08 PM

October 6, 2006

WOW, Southpark

I missed the hilarious machinimesque World of Warcraft episode of South Park on Wednesday, and I managed to catch half of it last night. Did I mention it's hilarious? The whole thing is streaming at wowsouthpark.com for the moment....
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Posted by greg at 5:13 PM

September 17, 2006

Spectacular Machinima Music Video

From 100 anime movies, to 1,000 cloned machinima race cars. Here's an incredible experiment in fluid dynamics, a flock of a thousand cars at once careening through Trackmania to a Moby soundtrack. The 1k Project, uploaded by smull [gametrailers.com...
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Posted by greg at 10:40 PM

Awesome Anime Sampling: The Race

Imagine Christian Marclay's multi-channel movie mosaic masterpiece, Video Quartet, but done entirely with anime--and with a little bit of narrative laid over the top. That's Istiv Studio's The Race, which is made up of clips and rotoscoped characters from...
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Posted by greg at 5:10 PM

September 5, 2006

In-Game Developer Commentary, In-Game Video Production

Andy has some video of some in-game developer commentaries that are included in the Half-Life 2: Episode One. They're a cross between a typical DVD director's commentary track, hyperlinked footnotes, and a first-person video tour. Fascinating. Perhaps the coolest, though,...
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Posted by greg at 3:28 PM

July 2, 2006

Edge Displays The Views: The Making Of Grand Theft Auto

Edge magazine takes a look back at the torturous, tangled development process that resulted in Grand Theft Auto. At one point, all the artwork was thrown out and redone when programmer Mike Dailly figured out a new way to...
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Posted by greg at 8:19 PM

June 29, 2006

The Making Of A Machinima Feature

Amazingly, Hugh Hancock has been making Machinima--movies created inside video games--since 1997. [If by "Machinima," he means capturing playing sessions within user-created levels, core functions of the Doom game engine, then hasn't everybody been making Machinima since 1997? But I...
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Posted by greg at 4:06 PM

Zelda And Battle Of "The Hair-Brained Scheme"

In August 2001, video gamers protested the cartoony feel of the new version of Zelda because "it would be nigh impossible to introduce a serious and epic plot and epic characters" into such a "childish environment." It's not unlike that...
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Posted by greg at 1:19 PM

June 6, 2006

Dude Learned To Draw Manga-Style In Two Years?

Now I like me some Japanese animation, and it's been a central element to the AYUAM [As Yet Unannounced Animated Musical} screenplay I've got kicking around. But when I first approached a couple of anime studios was shocked--but not,...
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Posted by greg at 11:16 PM

April 28, 2006

Clearly, What's Super Is His Publicity Machine

The American Way, indeed. Ouch. Superman is a dick. [via themorningnews]...
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Posted by greg at 4:33 AM

April 18, 2006

Coming Soon To A Coffee Table Near Me: Cartoon Modern

Cartoon Modern is Amid Amidi's blog which accompanies his forthcoming book of the same name, Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation. Good stuff. Here, for example, he talks about how inexperience and an inability to collaborate with other...
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Posted by greg at 2:06 AM

April 11, 2006

Sikhs On A Train

As soon as it started, I knew that "Chaiyya Chaiyya," a song from the 1998 breakout Indian film Dil Se directed by Mani Ratnam with music by A. R. Rahman, would make my list of Favorite Music Videos Shot...
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Posted by greg at 8:39 AM

February 24, 2006

Putting The Later In Linklater

Richard Linklater has the hope that A Scanner Darkly will spur more animated films to get made for adults. It's under $10mm budget (it started out at $6.7 and got bumped up to $8.7 when the animation process lagged.) Oh,...
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Posted by greg at 6:23 AM

February 21, 2006

Making "Plane Crazy," The Stewardess Musical

While it's kind of short on specifics besides "It's freaking hard!!" Suzy Conn's article on her experience writing the book and music and lyrics for "Plane Crazy" all by herself is pretty interesting. The iterative, collaborative, open-door process of creating...
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Posted by greg at 7:28 AM

January 28, 2006

BBC Jesus Christ, Superstar

And you thought Mel Gibson's Passion was gonna hasten The Apocalypse:The BBC plans to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ this Easter with an hour-long live procession through the streets of Manchester featuring pop stars from The Stone Roses...
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Posted by greg at 4:29 AM

Linklater Interview in Filmmaker

As with with combovers and [PK] Dick, so it iss with Richard Linklater interviews: longer is better. Filmmaker Magazine's Scott Macaulay plays cabbie to Linklater's passenger for a discussion of the upcoming Philip K. Dick adaptation, A Scanner Darkly, which...
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Posted by greg at 3:34 AM

January 17, 2006

Music. And. The Spoken. Word.

I've heard this recording many times before, but I've never seen the video. Let me tell you, this is right up there with Leonard Nimoy's "Bilbo Baggins for President" music video. The great thing is, the artist, Shatner, still stands...
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Posted by greg at 11:40 AM

December 14, 2005

Reason #10 To Buy--Or Make--A Region-Free DVD Player

Jerry Springer: The Opera just came out on DVD in the UK. Apparently Woolworths and Sainsbury won't carry it. Well, Woolworth's dead in the US anyway, and Amazon UK has it for Ł13.99. It's Region 2. But apparently, you can...
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Posted by greg at 6:59 AM

November 15, 2005

Gorillaz "Live" Performances

Using 19th century illusionist technology known more formally as "smoke and mirrors," Gorillaz performed live and simultaneously last week at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon and at the Manchester (UK) Opera House. The Times of London has...
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Posted by greg at 12:54 PM

July 5, 2005

I'd Rather See Quentin's Version

With its eye on the Chinese market, Disney is producing a martial arts remake of Snow White. Yuen Woo-ping, the wire fighting guy from everywhere, is directing, and Michael Chabon is writing the screenplay. Too bad it's not animated. This...
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Posted by greg at 9:30 AM

June 6, 2005

Maybe Red vs. Blue: The Script Will Fare Better

But gee, people really eat this stuff up at E3... After skimming the bullet points in Trade Show Product Launches For Dummies, Microsoft and their Hollywood assistants at CAA did a quick find-and-replace to kick off the studio auction of...
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Posted by greg at 9:11 AM

May 30, 2005

These Are A Few Of Todd Purdum's Favorite Things

A big sloppy kiss on the lips for The Sound of Music on the upcoming occasion of its 40th birthday, courtesy of the NY Times. I still can't believe the same guy edited Citizen Kane, directed West Side Story and...
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Posted by greg at 8:52 AM

May 26, 2005

Winnipeg General Strike: The Musical

It's always a bracing relief to see someone launch a musical with a more implausible basis than my own. To wit: Danny Schur's upcoming staging of Strike!, which is about the Winnipeg General Strike, in which 30,000 workers shut down...
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Posted by greg at 2:27 AM

May 21, 2005

April 25, 2005

Navelgazing: The Musical

Three Broadway directors--Joe Mantello, George Wolfe, and Jason Moore--watch and talk about Show Business, Dori Berinstein's documentary...about them and the musicals they put on, "Wicked," "Caroline, or Change," and "Avenue Q," respectively. The Film About the Show Behind the Show...
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Posted by greg at 12:27 PM

February 11, 2005

That Guy From Kottke.org Interviews That Guy From The VW Commercial

Jason interviewed David Bernal, aka Elsewhere, the popping dancer who recreated Gene Kelly's Singin' in The Rain dance scene for a recent British VW GTi commercial: "...they had us watch the original Singing in the Rain scene so many times...
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Posted by greg at 10:34 AM

February 2, 2005

Gene Kelly: The Phantom Edit

Update update: Just extrapolated this new definition from a Defective Yeti post about the horribly horrible X-box-game-turned-movie, Alone in The Dark: Jar-Jar: vt. to oh-so-wrongly insert a performer or performance into a (exploitative of children? stultifyingly boring? crassly commercial? help...
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Posted by greg at 12:53 PM

Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

In theGuardian, Steven Brook puffs the Gene Kelly VW ad and provides a very little background, like that Kelly's widow had to approve of the ad, as did Turner and EMI, who control the elements of the movie scene....
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Posted by greg at 10:40 AM

January 31, 2005

Musical, Re-Animated

After the initial surge of self-righteous outrage-alin subsided in my veins, I decided that this British VW commercial that re-animates Gene Kelly in order to have him Breakdance In The Rain is, in fact, a rather brilliant tribute and an...
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Posted by greg at 4:05 AM

January 23, 2005

Scratch Frears From The 'I'll Never Make A Musical' Club

Stephen Frears, the rather gritty naturalist British director, is finishing his first musical, Mrs. Henderson Presents, which tells the story of a London burlesque-like theatre during the Blitz. I get cheered up when I hear stories of people who didn't...
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Posted by greg at 8:31 AM

October 19, 2004

The Last Starfighter: The Musical

An ecstatic review by Jason Scott of possibly the geekiest musical possible (without disrupting the space-time continuum, I'm sure), The Last Starfighter. As every teenage videogame addict living in a trailer park in the eighties knows, the movie, The Last...
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Posted by greg at 1:19 AM

September 30, 2004

So What, It's Rewritten? So Let It Be Sung!

At last, the Hebrews have hearkened unto that voice in the wilderness, that great prophet who came down off the mountain. Translation for the godless: The Times has a review of Ten Commandments: The Musical ("Val Kilmer IS Moses."), which...
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Posted by greg at 12:08 PM

September 6, 2004

Animated Typography: Not My Type IV, by The Lycette Bros.

Also worth checking out from Strange Attractors is Mark & John Lycette's Not My Type IV. Although it dates from 2002, it's just started getting attention and awards from festivals this year. The Lycettes' Not My Type series uses typographic...
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Posted by greg at 10:00 AM

The Way by Qing Huang, and 11 other AU animations

Strange Attractors is a showcase of short films by 12 Victoria (Australia) animation artists sponsored by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. It looks very promising, in that "utter absence of commercial pressure=trippier than normal animation" kind of way. Surfing through the...
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Posted by greg at 9:24 AM

March 19, 2004

The Atomic Revolution: Now the Truth Can Be Told

Last year I was blown away by the beautiful artistry that went into the eerily slick corporate propagandotainment comic book, The Atomic Revolution. I'm using the cool, Golden Age comic style as a major visual reference point for my As...
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Posted by greg at 6:25 AM

February 29, 2004

On How A Musical Revival Takes Longer Than One Year

Rebecca Traitser, oft of the NYO and some online zine called Salon, notes in the NYT that the studios haven't quite ironed out all the details of that post-Chicago musical revival we've all been waiting for. Ignoring that Miramax-spun history...
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Posted by greg at 1:00 AM

November 18, 2003

Oooooo-kla-ho, man! Is that Hugh Jackman??

I may have a new tagline for my As-Yet-Unannounced Animated Musical: it's not Terminator meets West Side Story; it's Swordfish meets Oklahoma! But I'm already too late. Starting Saturday, PBS will broadcast the Royal National Theater's 2002 revival of...
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Posted by greg at 1:28 AM

August 21, 2003

Beyond Bruce Schneier's Beyond Fear

On BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow calls Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World "one of the most important texts of the decade." I'm pretty sure he means the decade starting in 2000, (or, say, September 11, 2001), not...
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Posted by greg at 8:19 AM

July 1, 2003

Making Musicals Film Series? Sign me up.

Film Forum is presenting a 3-week series, The Freed Unit and the Golden Age of MGM Musicals. Stuart Klawans gives a preview in yesterday's Times and recommends the dark, slightly weird, The Band Wagon.. [By the way, it was written...
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Posted by greg at 8:32 AM

June 19, 2003

Bollywood Thursdays on TCM

Turner Classic Movies is showing a dozen Bollywood classics on Thursdays in June, introduced by Ismail Merchant. As might be expected whenever Merchant's involved, the movie menu reads somewhere between vegetarian and vegan: noble, needs some spice, and definitely not...
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Posted by greg at 11:07 AM

April 30, 2003

Painless Prediction: A Wave of Raves for Jerry Springer: The Opera

Guardian's Michael Billington's got one that begins: "Reviewing an already acclaimed show is a bit like arriving sober at a party where everyone else is drunk." Here's a giddy Telegraph profile of Tom Morris, who put on the show...
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Posted by greg at 4:14 AM

April 13, 2003

He'll Be Back: A Terminator Weekend

Partly in preparation for the impending release of T3, partly because I've been describing my Animated Musical as "Terminator meets West Side Story," we watched T and T2 back-to-back last night. Pertinent findings: 1) That's a lot more Linda...
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Posted by greg at 2:01 AM

April 9, 2003

How to Finish An Animated Musical Script

You may have noticed I've been kind of quiet on the "about making films" front lately. Even if the number of Bloghdad.com posts seems to indicate otherwise, It's not because of the war. I've been writing, rewriting, actually, on...
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Posted by greg at 7:01 AM

April 4, 2003

On The Coming Wave Of Movie Musicals

Rick McGinnis writes about it on his Movieblog, jumping off from Renee Graham's Boston Globe article, article,"Casting aspersions on the future of movie musicals." Something's coming, but is it something good? Since Chicago, it's been Code Orange for movie musicals,...
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Posted by greg at 1:04 AM

March 22, 2003

On Opera Adapted From Novel

I became familiar with Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale, through its horrible film adaptation, a numbingly unsubtle reproductive fascist farce. I guess in 1990, the only totalitarianism that director Volker Schlondorff could get people to accept is the East...
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Posted by greg at 10:16 AM

March 19, 2003

A Long NYT Article On The Road To Chicago

Rick Lyman writes about the decades-long battles to make a film version of Chicago, including a Chandler Auditorium-ful of cast, director, and writers who were attached to the project through the years. One star is conspicuously absent from the scrum,...
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Posted by greg at 12:51 PM

February 11, 2003

The Oscars: A Musical Comedy

About the Oscar nominations: Chicago is to movies what painted cows are to art....
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Posted by greg at 11:13 AM

January 23, 2003

About Chicago: One Man's Sad Journey

Act I: Setup Chicago is being called "an attempt to revive the movie musical," a genre which has been woefully ignored by Hollywood since Moulin Rouge and South Park. It apparently won a bunch of awards at the Golden Globes...
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Posted by greg at 10:29 AM

November 24, 2002

AYUAM second draft completed. Get me rewrite!

The last couple of days have been pretty productive, and I've managed to get out the second complete draft of the As-Yet Unannounced Animated Musical (AYUAM or AM for short) script. It's probably even less fun to read about an...
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Posted by greg at 5:21 AM

November 11, 2002

Writing Proceeds Apace; In the Mean Time, Follow These Links

"I can do things the traditional Hollywood route. I don't have to try the new, unproven Internet." - Screenwriter Pamela Kay, leaving the new crop of screenwriting communities behind in Matthew Mirapaul's NY Times article, "Aspiring Screenwriters Turn to Web...
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Posted by greg at 8:36 AM

October 24, 2002

"Alone, nothing, together, a household word, a legend"

Even though I'm on the record (ad nauseum) as hating musicals, it's probably more accurate to say I hate most musicals or bad musicals. The shows I've seen by Adolph Green, who collaborated for sixty+ years with Betty Comden,...
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Posted by greg at 11:24 AM

October 20, 2002

1979 Star Trek, or The Thin Line Between (Punch-Drunk) Love and Hate

I'm watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture right now, and it's blowing me away. It's the first movie, the one with the original crew, the bald chick, and V'Ger, a cloud-like alien vessel with the Voyager space probe at...
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Posted by greg at 11:23 AM

August 5, 2002

On flashbacks and the As-yet Unannounced Animated Musical Feature

Did a few walkthroughs this weekend on the story & structure of this project. It's a crime story (whether it's a "based on a true story" story or "any similarity to real persons is entirely coincidental" story depends on how...
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Posted by greg at 9:40 AM

August 2, 2002

On giddy, embarassing glee derived from movie log lines

On the plane this week, I made myself laugh (and my wife nervous) by coming up with the pitch way too quickly and unabashedly for a half-rewritten script I'm...rewriting: It's like Monster's Ball meets Memento. It pales in comparison to...
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Posted by greg at 4:44 AM

July 10, 2002

New Project: Did I mention

New Project: Did I mention it's animated? Actually, yeah, I did. Indirectly, anyway. Did I mention it's a musical? Umm, yeah. Well, I've been researching anime, animation production, CG, and techniques today. Here are some interesting links I've assembled so...
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Posted by greg at 7:43 AM

July 7, 2002

Unlike Schoolhouse Rock, this song has no impact on my desire to write a musical

When I posted on kottke.org about "Fifty Nifty United States," I gave a link with the lyrics and a Real Audio file. here is that link....
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Posted by greg at 9:25 AM

July 4, 2002

On July Fourth, I watched a lot of movies and called it research. (But don't hate me; one was Flashdance)

For the new project (comments to follow): Everyone Says I Love You(Woody Allen) - An utterly joyless, excruciating experience. I just wanted his characters to shut up for even one second. Everyone seemed to be doing a frantic, bad Woody...
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Posted by greg at 11:16 AM

July 3, 2002

On hating musicals while making plans to watch Buffy; On The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which I don't hate

Last night was a rerun of Buffy: The Musical, Joss Whedon's annual stunt episode of the show (two seasons ago, there was the silent episode, then the "no background noise" episode. In 2001, it was the "background singer" episode, I...
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Posted by greg at 1:59 AM

June 30, 2002

A couple of inspirations for the new project

Spent most of this morning and evening digging around, looking for contextual material for the new project (it's a feature right now). Here are some source links. For this, I've been really hung up on music videos, actually. Mike Mills...
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Posted by greg at 10:53 AM

June 5, 2002

Watching Mike Mills for 90 min

When I saw an hour and a half on Sundance Channel blocked out for Meet Mike Mills, I couldn't figure out how interesting he could possibly be. 90 minutes with Scorsese, sure. But 90 minutes with Mike Mills? Naturally,...
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Posted by greg at 12:26 PM

February 7, 2002

My daily Baz Lurhman and

My daily Baz Lurhman and Martin Scorcese encounter: They're both in this NYTimes article about rampant botox injections "playing havoc with facial expressions." One of many priceless quotes, this one about the only-temporary effects of treatment: "You could marry a...
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Posted by greg at 10:40 AM