Monday, June 30, 2008

Mtv Cribs "The Unemployed Writer Living In Hollywood Edition"

Very cool update we have here. Tonight I'm proud to bring you; one of the many "making of" segments for 5 Ways to Split Apart the Day. Currently the film itself is still seeking financing which is a bummer. But I'm glad none the less that I have a film in some sort of development.

So you're about to watch a sneak peak into the madness behind our creativity. Please don't mind the appearances everybody.
I know we look like a couple of "Burning Man" enthusiast but it's only because we literally locked ourselves away during the writing process for this film.
Sunlight was a foreign element as was a good meal and this goes without saying...sleep.

Sincerely, thank you for keeping up with me. Much more to come! I literally have hours of this stuff.

Mtv Cribs "The Unemployed Writer Living In Hollywood Edition" featuring writers and creators Jeremy Thomas and John Darko. Filmed 09/07 - Enjoy!

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Will work for...

Hey everybody. Thought I'd talk a little bit about my current job situation and for that matter everybody else's.

For the past three and a half months, I've had my nose to the grindstone. I've been getting up early, circling the classifieds, phoning companies direct, combing internet websites and what have you but still no luck. I've came pretty close to the tune of a few interviews. But even then I had to come back and resell myself to every higher up until I can finally get the obligatory "we're just going to go with someone else" speech. I've even been promised jobs in return for my services. Nice try but no cigar.

The funny thing is...I'm not complaining. The farther and farther I get in this industry, the more and more I start to understand how it works. It's natural to feel like you're failing when facing the monolith that is Hollywood. Think about it, this place is the Mecca for the common American dream. Only in Hollywood (and well maybe New York) can you walk down the boulevard and meet tons of would be signers, dancers, actors, writers, painters, directors...hell, the place where they film "American Idol" is only a hop, skip and a jump away from my apartment. Irony in it's finest moment, if you ask me.
Everyday we fight to be heard and sad to say, it's one fierce competition after another.
So I'll give anybody credit for making it out here to fulfill a dream, swimming with the sharks and testing the waters to see what you're made of. No matter what, this world will still spin and propel forward. We should act accordingly.

But I figured that I'll take a rest from this ravenous cat and mouse game. Only long enough to re-connect with my creative side. I need to sharpen the blades, reload on some ammo. Finish a script or two. Then it's time to unload on this city. Figuratively of course, lol.
Every now and then, you have to look at your cards and readjust. Wait for the good hand : ) Hang in there friends! Remember, you've made it this far.
This has been another public service announcement from John Darko. Paid for by Ramen Noodles.

By the way...just watched Wanted, it was awesome! Comments anyone?

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Very Average Friday

Hey, hey. I'm going to take you through my very average Friday. I woke up thinking that I was going to edit some video clips together and expose you to the madness of screenplay development but I thought I'd keep it simple. Not to mention, I got lazy. So I drove to my parents house and snapped some very average photos of my day.

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My nephews giving props to West Covina! Jojo, Jude and Eric. Mad Max style.
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Cutting veg for some homemade tortilla chicken soup.
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My drink was basking in the sun.
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This is where I'm from. I plan to return one day and marry a beautiful Italian woman. Yep.
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Jude is way too young to be thinking that hard.
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My sister Charina is a bit camera shy. So I snapped a photo of her tattoo instead.
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My brother in law Matt and my sister doing it up in the kitchen.
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You wouldn't like Jude when he's angry. Pictured here with our beloved Chihuahua Barbie.

The soup was great. We always make more then we can eat, so I sat around like a bloated monster. After I mustered enough energy to roll off of the couch, Matt and I had a heated debate on wether we should go see Wanted or Wall-e. Naturally I was pro Wall-e. This goes without saying, but has Pixar ever released a truly disappointing film? Nope. Even Cars was still entertaining. I have to say it was a tough choice because I like Timur Bekmambetov. Nightwatch was cool and so was it's follow up, even though the story had me completely lost. Like what the hell is going on here?

After a few energy drinks, we took the kids to go see Wall-e. The 8:35 was sold out so we had to wait for the 9:30 showing which sucked. But I did get to talk to James Hong, he was there signing posters for Kung Fu Panda. I don't care what people say, he's still awesome because he was the lighting dude in Big Trouble in Little China. I loved that movie.

Anyhow, Wall-e was incredible. To the point where I can't even explain it's greatness. It's that good and it's late and I'm feeling pilltastic. I'm probably gonna wake up in the morning and think of that as an overstatement. All in all, it's worth a few viewings.

Anybody see Wanted? Lights out!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where I End and You Begin

Moving on to something a bit more serious. I'll try and give you the short story behind this project I'm about to share with you.

So the film is titled "Where I End and You Begin" it is written and directed by yours truly. The concept for the film was fleshed out when I was given an assignment a little less then a year ago. The assignment was called "Intimate Window" and required students to go out and make their own films given the pre-determined criteria. Typically for something in this vein, you'll normally see five to ten minute shorts that tend to have some sort of emotional weight tied to the protagonist and his/her/it's story line.

During the initial screenings, I was actually impressed with the creativity that was flexed in the 2 and a half hour presentation. I mean, we had a week to put everything together. I'm talking about casting, producing, writing, directing, editing, financing...all that great stuff, in the matter of a week!
This was my first time actually putting something together for the big screen. So naturally I was excited. I remember writing the treatment for what later turned into an 18 page script within the hour of the announcement. The first draft of the script; finished the same evening.
The following day I showed the script to a producer friend of mine and immediately assembled a team. What followed was a mix of "happy" and "wtf" feelings all mixed up in a bag full of "huh?" that lasted for 7 very long and agonizing days. Lol! Maybe some other time I'll try and journalize the "day by day" process for the making of this film. Yep, it's that good. Better then any reality show I've seen.

Actually; funny story. I ran into one of the finalist for that Fox show "On The Lot" when I was carrying equipment down from my apartment. His name was Trevor and he lived only 2 doors down from my overly priced 1-bedroom flat on Hollywood and Wilcox. He was moving out and noticed my lanyard. He laughed a little after explaining that he was fellow Alumni and told me to watch the show. I did and never watched it again. The end.

So here is the full trailer for "Where I End and You Begin" my first crack at directing material for the silver screen.

Credits: Produced by Lu Liu & Jeremy Thomas. Starring Chris Moss, Brian McKinley & Jeremy Thomas. Director of Photography: Dave Brewer. Sound Designer: Robert Lehman. Script Supervisor: Monica Jackson. Written, Directed and Edited by John Darko.

Thanks for watching. If you would like a full copy of the film, shoot me an email and I'll see if I can get you one. Toodles. I'm hungry : )

Budget for this film: Only the rental cost for the crane we used. Everything else: Guerrilla!

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Possessed Cats The Motion Picture

So, here it is...6 minutes of genuine awkwardness.
Budget for the movie = $5.00 for craft service from Subway in the form of a 12-inch cold cut.
Also thanks to Chris from the Blockbuster Video on Hollywood Blvd for being a good sport and suggesting that a film about Possessed Cats is rather lame and hence selecting the idea from three other potential shorts.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Certain People I know...

The following people have been major inspirations to me and also some of the most talented individuals I know. Just thought I'd share.

From Left to Right: Me, Dave Brewer (Cinematographer), Cristian Luna (Emmy Award Winning Editor, Cinematographer), Robert Lehman (Sound Designer), Jeremy Thomas (Writer, Director, Producer & Musician).

My cousin Mervin Ho (Writer, Animator)

Night. Gonna watch something on Blu-Ray. 

EXCLUSIVE: Official Trailer for Possessed Cats The Motion Picture

This post makes me laugh. Okay here's the breakdown on "Possessed Cats The Motion Picture". My friend Jason Baxter had this glorious idea that for his thesis film, he wanted to do something completely ridiculous. Of course, his intentions were to only make people laugh and maybe in the process to demonstrate that it doesn't take $98,982 some odd dollars to make a decent student film. An obvious statement, I know... 
but still kids shell out fortunes for underdeveloped short film ideas and tank miserably.
I know of a few. I mean, let's give em' the "A for effort" award or one of those "purple participation banners" that you pin to your shirt. Because let's face it, without a decent script or a festival worthy short film - nobody will listen to you unless you got something up your sleeve. And to know that after spending $70,000 + a year to live, learn and eat in the City of Hollywood and whatever you spend for your thesis, just to end up with a so-so! Let's just hope that everyone sticks to the according rules.
  • Do not give up, no matter what.
  • Who cares what they think, they only criticize because they lack the commitment you decided to put on display some time ago.
  • Do make friends and not enemies. A tough one.
  • Remind your family and friends that you still care about them and that one day you might buy them a car for all the sh*t that you put them through with all your stupid dreams, lol.
  • Cleanliness is close to Godliness.
  • Read the trades and remember faces. Because you never know if the dude standing in front of you at Cafe ETC. is Jerry Bruckheimer or Alan Horn. Who? Okay, get back in line.
  • Learn how to make ten dollars at the market seem like a hundred. Like, seriously I think I'm a self certified Ramen noodle chief now. Recipes to follow.
  • Start a blog : )
  • Learn the internet.
  • Don't go home, just yet.
  • Whether you think you can or can't do something, you're right.
  • Don't be above wrangling me up some cable! Lol.
  • Don't make lists because you'll lose train of thought like I just did.
  • Watch the trailer for "Possessed Cats The Motion Picture".
Okay what was I saying? Sorry the heat has melted my brain a little. So, here is the trailer for the Cats Movie. Directed by Jason Baxter and also starring Jason Baxter and yours truly. I also edited this project because it was great fun. I play the "evil cat dude with the box on my head" guy. Enjoy. 

Tomorrow I promise I will post the whole thing along with some other cool updates. Wow-wee. 

Official Trailer for Possessed Cats The Motion Picture - Watch more free videos

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My expressed love for Diablo Cody, Shrooms DVD review & a few words of encouragement to all Female writers.

Hello's almost 3:30 in the a.m. and I just finished watching "Shrooms" on DVD. Not bad, until I figured out how the movie was going to end. Sadly enough it was during the opening credits. Okay maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but it was definitely during the first ten minutes when that little devil sitting on your shoulder whispers in your ear "Wow, we cannot watch the rest of this sober." Although I did enjoy the talking cow. Alright, alright...enough of the shenanigans* guys!!! That word always makes me laugh just like animals wearing human clothes. It's an unnecessary necessity. Ha ha.
So on to one of my favorite screenwriters of the moment. Ms. Diablo Cody.
Just in case you've been living underneath a rock for the past year. Diablo is a first time screenwriter who penned a little film called "Juno". In the same year she won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for said little film. I remember attending a screening of Juno right after it premiered at the AFI fest. The screening was held at The Los Angeles Film School which at the time, I was a lonely student trying to sponge anything I could get my sponge-y little hands on. A Q&A for Creative Screenwriting Magazine followed with Diablo and Director Jason Reitman. First impressions; the film instantly put a smile on my face, the dialog was fresh and the acting top notch.
I especially enjoyed Jason Bateman's character in the film. So subtle yet painstakingly honest to his own emptiness; a testament to Diablo's talent.
Plus, I love Jason Reitman. The guy is literally Hollywood royalty but still shakes it off and remains cooler then the other side of the pillow. Just my two and a half cents on Juno.

So, a little tidbit of information for all you female writers out there. There is a nonprofit organization
that was brought to my attention; for high school girls centered on the craft of creative writing and empowerment through self-expression. Through one-on-one mentoring and monthly workshops, girls are given techniques, insights and hot tips for great writing in all genres from professional women writers. Diablo Cody being one of them. This organization is called Writegirl.

Recently she was honored at the organizations award ceremony
The Bold Ink Awards for being a fearless role-model to aspiring young female writers. I give the woman respect. Especially to go nationally on-air to confess that she was a stripper in Minnesota just six months before she decided to become a writer. Imagine the hurtles that she had to leap across just to get people to even listen to what she had to say!!!

I guess all in all. Male, female, human, alien, dog or cat. We all have to face some type of adversity to achieve our dreams. Nothing happens overnight unless you're the son a rich oil tycoon, then I guess you can buy your way to the top but when you get there...the majority will see right through you. I've known a few people who have gone this route and failed miserably. Some in the public eye, some not.

But anyways, stick to your guns and don't let anybody ever tell that you're not good enough. Especially all of you writers out there. It's a lonely world when you're stuck to a desk, hungry and tired but still keeping on because of the fire that ignited you in the first place. And believe me when I say's not like people are lining up outside to read your "labor of love" either. It sucks but it's true. Do it for yourself, write from the heart and the rest will follow.

It's now 4:47 and I need sleep and maybe some orange juice...with vodka in it.
Next major update will be an exclusive to my new work "Easy Money". Thank you so much for staying up with me and thanks to all the new subscribers. We're off to a great start!!! Spread the word.

- this has been a public service announcement from your friend John Darko : )
*Link to writegirl is
*The origin of the word is unknown but possibly originates from the Irish sionnachuighim, meaning "I play the fox."
I'm laughing again.
Good Night.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Upcoming Stuff (burn after reading)

I had the worst sleep last night. I was so tired coming home from a job that I passed out sitting up; next to the little air conditioner that could. I woke up with a major headache and a minor earache. Good stuff.

So, I was coming up with some new ideas for this pimp-tocious blog. Some of which I will bestow below in one of those numbered lists thingys people love so dearly.

  1. I'm posting the raw behind the scenes footage from the intense writing sessions for "5 Ways to Split Apart the Day". I know, I know...not appealing to the ears but I guarantee you'll get a kick from our late night antics. In the midst of our creative insanity, we filmed a mock up on the ever so unnecessary MTV's Cribs. Where you get to see the true to life living space of starving filmmakers and you'll also see how cheap soda and ramen noodles kept us alive.
  2. I will be explaining in detail not only how we came up with the idea for our feature but the correct steps we took to get it noticed by Hollywood producers. I guess you're supposed to keep this stuff under wraps but oh well! My opinion, there's way too many independent projects that get shoved underneath the rug due to the uprise of tasteless conglomerates. Whatever it takes to get good cinema to the masses; I will try and do my part.
  3. So, big news! I just got word from an agency that they would like to take my photography to a national level. We've been bouncing ideas back and forth all week. All I have to say is that there's a few celebrities involved. You'll get all the photos first including b-roll stuff and the behind the stories behind every shoot I do.
  4. I intend to have guests bloggers come in and tell a story or two about their life & struggle in the city and discuss certain topics regarding filmmaking, photography and the ARTS.
  5. If anything insane, creepy, good, sad, bad, wtf type stuff happens to me. You'll be the first to read about it. That is if you want to of course.
Once again, thank you for reading. If you haven't already, please hit the subscribe button so I know you Here is a sneaky at the one sheet for 5 Ways and some stuff I felt like posting.


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Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Entry - 06.19.08

Hello world. So this is my first post and I think it's only fair to expose you to the type of work I do. First and foremost I am a Filmmaker. This is my passion, to make films. But as most of you already know...the Filmmaking business is a tough one, to say the least. So I do other things to keep me busy. Like when I'm not banging my head on top of my desk for my next "great idea" I'm working as a Photographer and when I'm not doing that I'm a Graphic Art Designer and in between it all, I am a Writer.

I try to stay complex to keep me afloat.

But please let me explain my twisted logic behind creating a blog page. I intend to get personal, I think when people initially hear the word Hollywood they automatically go to a place in their heads that swells flashing lights, glitz, glam and all of the unnecessary excess YOU see on TV. And for the most part, it's all true! Making it even harder for someone like me to stay focused. So not only will you be exposed to my work, as it happens. But...

You will be my readers as I commence to author the non-fiction of my life.

Hopefully you'll find the things I do interesting enough to stick around. Maybe we can talk about relationships and why I suck so bad at them or maybe we can have pancakes and talk about the weather. You decide. So, thank you in advance for spending some time with me. Below you will find links to all my respected trades. Browse accordingly.

5 Ways to Split Apart the Day

My first feature film in development. Co-wrote and produced with my partner Jeremy Thomas.


Networking at it's best.

My YouTube Site

Here you'll find various clips of just randomness. Some stuff serious and well, some stuff completely off beat.

My Flickr Page / Photography Work

Self explanatory. Bookmark this page, some exciting photos coming soon.


Everyone's gotta have a funny side right?

My IMDB Page

Industry Standard.

My Digg Page

I like to digg.