Friday, August 29, 2008

Interviewing the Professionals: Labor Day Extravaganza Blog Update!

Hey everyone! Back with some more updates and a really awkward blog title, actually I'm here with some great news.

In the spirit of keeping the blog informative and user-friendly, I'm planning on hosting a series of interviews with some of the coolest industry professionals; aside from being a fan of their works, these are people who I personally admire for their unique stories pertaining to how they became who they are now. They have indistinguishable personalities and I am more then proud to bring them to this forum.
They are writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, distributors, editors, and most of all; cool ****ing people.
And if that wasn't rad enough...I have a nice little surprise in store for anyone who has been paying attention. At the end of my final interview (in series), there will be giveaways, some swag if you will. I don't know exactly what, but expect something in the vein of DVD's, signed posters, one of those mini iPod's, hugs, meaningless love letters and chocolate hearts.

Also for each of the interviewee's, I will open up the questions to YOU, the reader. So, that get to ask whatever you'd like. Don't be shy!

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With that said, I would now like to introduce our first professional. Her name is Nina Bargiel aka The Slackmistress.

the slackmistress
Nina is a twice, Emmy nominated writer for her work on The Disney Channel series "Lizzie McGuire". Aside from the nomination, she's also worked for Cartoon Network's "Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy", penning their highest-rated feature "Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure" as well as varied other live-action and animated shows for The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

writers strike
In addition to her television work, Nina is also famously known for her top-rated blogging skills. If you haven't already came across her sites, then stop what you're doing and check em' out: The Slack Daily, Antisocial Networking and the ever entertaining The Slack Video Chat Page.

Slackmistress is also married to another awesome blogger; Will Betheboy. Will is a 50 foot tall robot who shoots lasers but really just wants to nap.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

There you have it, some good news on a Friday night. Stick around for the show, I promise it'll be entertaining as much as it is informative. So, if you have any questions for the Slackmistress then please send em' over to and I'll randomly pick the questions out of a shiny top hat.

Next professional will be Jamie Bialkower. Jamie runs Jump Street Films; a distribution company based in Australia. In addition to releasing fantastic films like "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Robert Downey Jr., Shia LeBeouf)", "The King" starring Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal and "The Italian".

Jamie is also the youngest film distributor in Australia!!! He is also a great writer and a genuinely kind person. I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it.

So, that wraps it up for tonight, I'm going to sip some gin and watch more episodes of The Office. Stay tuned folks. Thanks for being a part of the community!

Do me a favor, (3) things...
  1. Vote slackmistress & betheboy for the Hot Blogger Calendar if they win, I'll buy you an ice cream.
  2. Please rate my blog here at and if you haven't already, add me to your blogroll and I'll return the favor. One more thing please hit that yahoo buzz thingy below. Sorry, I'm needy.
  3. Vote Obama. Well, actually the last one is up to you, I'm not gonna tell you who to vote for but if I may suggest...OBAMA.
Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend. I've been invited to a pool party at The Standard hosted by cool cats over at ICM. Hopefully I'll be back Tuesday with some fun pictures of Hollywood agents gone wild haha +

NOTE: Yes, sometimes my life consists of sitting alone in a dark room, working till my eyes strain, then again there's other days where I'm attending pool parties at The Standard and watching early screenings with the film-makers who helm them. That's the business, they say.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review: Towelhead is a Brave and Unsettling Film yet Lighthearted and Funny


Towelhead is a brave film; just take a look at the title. There’s no doubt this movie at times, can be uncomfortable to watch but never have I seen characters so multi-layered that from one second to the next, I’ll be laughing out loud then suddenly sitting at the edge of my seat, jarringly shifting in the uncomforting and unsettling nuances of the film’s main story.

Alan Ball (American Beauty) makes his feature-film debut and does a fantastic job crafting life-like characters as it was almost an effortless task while seamlessly perpetuating the plot by navigating through controversial subject matter and comedic prose.

Towelhead opens up on our main character Jasira (Summer Bishil) a 13-year old, half-Lebanese girl living at home with her mother Gail (Maria Bello). Jasira’s mother sends her to live with her father Rifat (Peter Macdissi) because of an unforgettable event that opens the movie, suddenly causing Jasira to deal with her womanhood in an unlikely fashion. Jasira now has to deal with new friends, new neighbors and a new school while battling the unfortunates of puberty. During the course of the film, she meets an ensemble of odd characters. There’s the racist neighbor Mr. Vuoso (Aaron Eckhart) who happens to be an Army reservist waiting for his call to duty as George Bush, Sr. dukes it out with Saddam. There’s the new boyfriend which her too-proud-for-his-own-good father does not approve of because the color of his skin. Then there’s the peace-loving hippies; pregnant Melina (Toni Collette) and Gil (Matt Letscher) who oddly enough seem to actually care about Jasira’s well-being making sure that unsavory characters like Mr. Vuoso don’t take advantage of the young and confused Lolita, Jasira.

aaron eckhart and summer bishil

At first, what seems like harmless curiosity quickly turns into a sexual obsession. Ball dances on the lines of disturbia exploring sexual themes too explicit for general audiences such as rape and pre-teenage sex, but nevertheless he does so in a manner that doesn’t seem offensive, if that makes any sense. Towelhead is a heavy flick yet light enough to hopefully make people comfortable with the issues it presses. At times the movie demands your attention then shifts into familiar territory by poking fun at its own subject matter rather then to elude the deeper meaning by shying away from the obvious. Alan has done this before with American Beauty.

The performances are stellar, especially Summer Bishil turning in a fantastic debut. Peter Macdissi is a return to form, evoking the mad art teacher he once played in Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under. Eckhart was good as usual, playing the conflicted role. Toni Collette and Matt Letcher share some great scenes as well as Maria Bello and Eugene Jones III who stars as Thomas, Jasira’s new boyfriend.

Quirky, risky, funny, compelling and unsettling are all words that you can use in one sentence when describing this film. I highly recommend Towelhead to anyone looking for something different. Yes, it’s an independent flick but it feels like more, bigger in a sense; in fact this will be Warner Independent’s last release due to the latest restructure at Warners. All in all: great movie, stellar acting, precise directing, beautiful aesthetic and wonderful score (Thomas Newman).

4 out of 5 stars.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FAA Computer Problems Delayed My Friggin' Flight

faa delays
MINI UPDATE: Today would of marked my fist time traveling to NY; on a private charter no less. But some hiccup with the FAA has caused my flight to be delayed, leaving me to re-schedule a meeting with a would-be literary agent.

No biggie, I get to kick back today and watch a screening of Towelhead with my buddy Jason. Cool thing is; after the film, Alan Ball will be present for a brief Q&A. Alan wrote and directed the film but is better know for his previous work as creator of the hit series Six Feet Under and writer of the Academy Award Winning masterpiece American Beauty. I'll be back tomorrow with a review of the film.

Sorry if anybody's flight was delayed, I know how hectic airports can get at a time like this. My friend and I once dubbed LAX to be "Satan's Asshole" and especially on a hot day like this, I think the title is more then appropriate.

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New York, I Love You - prequal to - Los Angeles, I Loathe You

new york i love you pics

Good news and bad news. Good news = New York, I Love You trailer - Bad news = slow start to a slow week. Aside from trailer hunting, I watched a Kevin Smith marathon with my pops and ate a ton of trail mix, good times.

Above is the trailer for New York, I Love You, a follow up to Paris, Je T'aime, personally I was a fan of the first collection of short films; Paris is undoubtedly one of the most desirable cities in the world, so naturally I dug it. If New York, I love You is anything like Paris, Je T' aime then count me in.

Directors involved -- Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Scarlett Johansson (huh), Joshua Marston, Natalie Portman, Brett Ratner, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Fatih Akin, Shekhar Kapur, and Mira Nair.

The film is scheduled to make its world premiere at the fast approaching Toronto International Film Festival next month. Newcomer Palm Pictures currently has the theatrical distribution rights for New York, I Love You and will be releasing it in limited theaters starting on February 19th, 2009.

If they ever were planning a Los Angeles, I love You then I'll be the first one to jump on board to purposeley make LA look bad. I'm only joking Los Angeles, you know I love you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Loneliness: The Not So Silent Killer "Confessions of a Writer"

Hey everybody,

Tonight, I'm going to express my feelings on a particular subject I was hoping would vanish with time. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking of posting my thoughts on this personal issue for quite some time now. But I hesitated. I guess I didn't feel like throwing stones at myself.

Then I thought about it and came to the quick conclusion that: this is my blog - my journal - a diary if you will - my intentions were to expose myself to whoever was interested and more importantly, I needed a creative outlet between my film projects and everything else I was doing in the professional world. Essentially, blogging is a form of therapy. I enjoy writing and lately I've come to embrace it more then I expected to. Of course this is accredit to anyone who has left a positive comment or sent out a friendly e-mail.
What might appear to be an effortless gesture has suddenly became tiny accolades in a sea of uncertainty, in which I'm referring to my becoming of a successful writer/film-maker.
All in all, you guys rock. This is me being real, I'm not trying to patronize any of you. To know that there are some people who actually appreciate your work, whether it be a few to a few such a comforting notion!

film schools
So now that we got that out of the way. I'd like to comment on something you don't normally see writers talk about. Which is the depression, all of us face (at one point or another) when we're alone, in that dark room focusing on the computer screen, typing away into the wee hours of the night. It happens all the time and it comes in waves. For example: when I wrote the first draft for "Damaged People" a script on which I had no experience on. I locked myself away for an entire month, only surfacing for food and water. Talk about extreme measures, yet the funny thing was...there was no deadline, no studio or producer waiting for a copy, not one person waiting to read what I have just accomplished.
In all honesty, I could have cared less. I felt like I was doing something special, not so much for the project but for myself...and as the last page fell out of my printer, I felt like "Wow, this is the real deal. I just wrote a ****ing screenplay."
After a week or so of some much needed R&R, I felt sullenly aloof to my personal life. There was a disconnection that happened when I was immersed in crafting the script. You can't pin-point the moment of incident, but you can definitely feel it, gradually making us weary. This especially goes for writers who race to meet deadlines. I mean, you get out of it, eventually. That's what friends are for - same goes for family, spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends and little pets that fit the palm of your

The reason I speak about these things; is because I feel like there are hard truths that may seem daunting to confront, but need the attention of the unsuspecting.

Unfortunately at the moment, I'm riding a wave of loneliness that has resulted into a hint of depression and anxiety. As we speak, I'm waiting for the green light on a current project of mine, in which I spent the last few months re-developing.
I feel like I'm desperately chasing cars and because of my inability to nurture a relationship, I feel like I'm going at it alone.
It's hard for me to articulate my feelings and as I said before, everyone looks out a different window, so my experiences are nothing but subjective thoughts against the narrative of a million voices. But I'm vocal so therefore I am...if that makes sense.

hollywood writer
About a week ago, I finished watching all the episodes of "The Office" and as I played the season 4 finale, I felt sad...not necessarily because I had ran out of episodes but mainly because I had nobody to share the moment with. I had been too wrapped up in my work, that I completely forgot about my personal life. During the next few days, I was sort of depressed, moping around in my pajamas and sh** I needed a fast kick in the arse. I've been trying some meditation techniques, it helps but still I need a break. Maybe I'll go out and meet someone - or - maybe you can just hook me up with a friend? Doesn't have to be the prettiest girl, just as long as she's semi interesting. I'm joking, just joking.

So yeah, that's it...people get depressed, it's part of life. But, I wanna let you know that writers and in particular - commissioned writers with deadlines - fall into depression quicker then others because of the techniques we utilize to craft our so-called masterpiece. Also, it is my personal and humble opinion that writers are also some of the most under appreciated talents in the industry.

In conclusion, I write because I love to do it. Even more so now that I have found somewhat of an audience. This is not a complaint, or me whining about the obvious, consider it more of a chronicling of the unsaid. These were my intentions. Thank you for reading.

UPDATE 08/30/08: Before commenting or expressing your thoughts on the matter, please understand that sometimes writers can be self-obsessive which is a fault to the many attributes of this profession. I failed to mention the sudden shifts we can go through when exiting a crazy work environment. For instance it's been a week and change since I wrote this piece and now I feel completely different. I took a break and as expected, I'm much more relaxed. Still no cure for my relationship blues but that is irrelevant to what I do professionally. I would like to thank all of you for sending me e-mails and leaving comments, expressing your personal views on the matter. As I said, we are all different in how we handle depression. Some are quicker to realize that our troubles might be minuscule in a grander scheme or some might take depression and loneliness in a whole different manner due to what might be a situation in need of dire recovery. Just stating the obvious. In all actuality, I'm a rather happy individual who thrives on helping others. No shit, lol. If you read the article again, you'll notice that I'm also trying to express my love in regards to my profession and not so much to thrash it. So, it's not all mope and sadness. I just wanted to post (in real time) my thoughts on how I felt at that particular moment, after all this is the forum to do so. Again thanks for the feedback. We're keeping it interesting here. In a second conclusion...I say, people are complex and that is all.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

5 of the Worst Movies in Recent Memory

2008 has seen some great films like The Dark Knight and Wall-e but how about those stinkers?

Sometimes, I'll flip over the cover and skim the
synopsis; in hopes to see if the story might strike an interest. On stranger afternoon's, I'll stroll in wearing my pajamas, close my eyes and grab a new release...but the majority of the time, I'll just pick up something familiar - or - commercially viable. Because sometimes I just don't have the energy and I know that I can also be overly indecisive.

So, here are five flicks I urge you to stay away from, no matter how shiny that DVD cover may seem to be.



Director: Neil Marshall Genre: Action/Adventure

Theatrical Release Date: March 14, 2008

Plot: A futuristic action thriller where a team of people work to prevent a disaster threatening the future of the human race.

Now here's a classic case of good director turned bad. Neil Marshall everyone, directed The Descent. Not a great film but it was good for what it was. I enjoyed it and I kind of dug the fact that he used basic scare elements and applied them to a genuinely frightening situation. You didn't really see the creatures in that cave till halfway into the movie; he had us on our toes the whole time. This is what a good suspense/horror flick is meant to do. So, good job Neil!

doomsday 2012
Needless to say, I was actually expecting good things from his latest effort, Doomsday. But unfortunately folks, this movie blows. I can't even muster up enough words to form a sentence when I'm thinking about how mad I was, when I forced myself to sit through this film. It looked like somebody gave him a ton of cash and said "Hey Neil, go crazy!" and even with all that money, the production value (in all sincerity) still amounted to an epic "made for the sci-fi channel" movie of the week.

My favorite part is when Rhona Mitra's character pops out her bionic eyeball to spy on lurkers from around the corner. Oh, my. So, what is this about? I can't even tell you. I guess there's this pandemic and everybody almost dies and stuff, then skip to the future and like everyone is all crazy and stuff, they like to eat people and kill things with like neon arrows and crazy mo-hawks. Ugh. I'm moving on.


Alone in the Dark (special edition)

Director: Uwe Boll Genre: Horror/Suspense

Theatrical Release Date: January 28, 2005

Plot: Based on the video game, Alone in the Dark focuses on Edward Carnby, a detective of the paranormal, who slowly unravels a mysterious event with deadly results.

This movie is almost 4 years old now but I don't care, they just put out a special edition with a new glossy cover, like that's going to change anything. Hey, if it's hiding out somewhere on the new release wall then it deserves to be on this list.

uwe boll
Okay, wow...where do I start? This film was directed by the master of disaster, Uwe Boll. Who is famously known for his movie adaptations of some of the worst video games I have ever played. Just run a simple google search and you'll see that there are actual online petitions to stop the distribution of his films. He's even challenged critics to boxing matches. His latest target was Michael Bay. Google it.

Here's one of my favorite review quotes about Alone in the Dark.

The late Gene Siskel once devised a simple method of measuring a film's worth: Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch? 'Alone in the Dark doesn't come close to matching that standard' says Rossiter Drake of the San Francisco Examiner.

Tara Reid who plays an archaeologist, can't seem to hold her own with the complicated structure of a formatted screenplay. It almost seems as if she's reading off of a set of cue cards and the person who is holding them is actually playing a trick on our beloved party girl by holding them upside down. Christian Slater is just as bad. The effects are cheesy and the story line is not efficient enough to hold your attention. Rather, you will be too busy laughing at the performances to even care.

Ya know what; I recommend you see this movie at least once, it's a riot.



Director: Masayuki Ochiai Genre: Horror/Suspense

Theatrical Release Date: March 21, 2008

Plot: A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected; they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved.

I was a fan of the original and that's all I'm going to say on the matter. Sad to see it tank here in the states.


10,000 BC

Director: Roland Emmerich Genre: Action/Adventure

Theatrical Release Date: March 7, 2008

Plot: A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe.

100 million dollar piece of ***t.


Meet the Spartans

Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer Genre: Comedy/Spoof

Theatrical Release Date: Jan 25, 2008

Plot: In Sparta when babies where born they would check them for defects. If they had anything wrong with them they would reject it. Huh?

When you're getting made fun of for making fun of someone else, then you know you've done something terribly wrong. The guys who made this film were probably tired of getting their shorts pulled down in phys ed class, so much so, they swore to one day attack the bigger guy, someone or something worthy enough of all their years of pre-pubescent torture. Unfortunately for us, they landed writing gigs in Hollywood.

meet the spartans suck
I like spoof comedies. Take a look at Mel Brooks i.e. Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. How about...This is Spinal Tap or perhaps Airplane? What about Leslie Nielsen and the 100 spoof comedies he's starred in? These are all classic flicks. Hell, even Scary Movie 1 and 2 were funny and commercially successful.

What happened? I mean, it's sad; we are now heavily sedated with these doses of obscure paparazzi centered realty shows, almost to the point of numbness where we can't even distinguish when someone is making fun of us. In Meet the Spartans, we are the ones getting are trousers pulled to the ground and it's not even funny.

Have you guys seen Idiocracy by Mike Judge? (Creator of Office Space, King of the Hill) Go rent it, then re-read this post. That is the closest rendition of what our future might look like if we keep farting around. Hey, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer! Stop it already; you're not helping the cause.



There you have it. I hope I didn't offend anybody with my opinions. These are only my suggestions. We all look out a different window. Although I'm pretty sure, some of these films are unanimously stinky. What do you think?

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Returning From VisionFEST

Hey everyone, it's almost 4am and I'm finally unwinding from all the festivities that just happened a few hours ago.

I'm literally falling asleep at the keyboard (occupational hazard #23) so I'll make this one short.

So once again...a big thanks to Sean Hood for the invites. His film Melancholy Baby closed the night, which is fitting for the best in show. Nice work, Sean! Also thanks to Filmmakers Alliance for putting together such a fun ****ing night.

Kevin Smith was cool as always, he was honored with this years vision award. The man is a phenomenal public speaker. Kept me entertained through out his entire speech, which lasted about 20 minutes.

I'm also going to say that during the screenings, I feel asleep twice. There was only about 3 that I really enjoyed. There was this film, I can't remember the name and I'm too lazy to reach for a program...but it was ten minutes of WTF? I can't even tell you what it was about because there was no narrative and sound for that matter. Ugh! I get the whole independent artist thing, ya know? You can be obscure for the sake of art because, I guess it's cool. But geez, this film was really dumb and way too pretentious for it's own good. UPDATE: The name of that film was Removal.

Films selected for screening:
Too Loud A Solitude by Genevieve Anderson (might of been asleep???)
Birthmark by David Woods (it was okay)
Putting A Cigarette Out With Your Feet by Carlo Pangalangan (funny)
A Nice Day For An Earthquake by Antony Berrios (so-so)
Removal by Donal Foreman (wtf!)
Dada by Brad Jones (funny)
Conflicted by Beth Dewey (wtf!)
Melancholy Baby by Sean Hood (great)

The best part of the evening, of course, had to be the after party in the DGA lobby. Free food, booze and a ton of beautiful women to gawk at. Ahhhh, great night!

On a side note: I ran into some familiar faces tonight and let's just say, I'm glad I re-connected with them.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

VisionFEST 08


Hey everyone, just got news that I will be attending this years Visionfest at the Director's Guild in Hollywood. Unfortunately the event is sold out, but special thanks goes out to my good friend Sean Hood who in fact, just sent me a private invitation for myself and some important guests.

Sean Hood is the director of "Melancholy Baby" his film will close the award show, post party will directly follow where hopefully I get to pass on all my top secret plans to take over the world, A-HA! Sean also wrote the screenplay for Halloween: Resurrection.

Below, I pasted some information pertaining to the festival, just in case you're interested.

The 11th annual screening and celebration of independent filmmaking

at the Director's Guild of America.


7920 Sunset Blvd (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles

Annually attended by overflowing audiences and press, VISION FEST is the beloved annual event of the filmmaking collective Filmmakers Alliance, featuring an Awards Ceremony, an inspiring screening of recent short films …followed by a gala party catered by some of LA's best restaurants.



is a community of film artists dedicated to the advancement of true independent film through community action. FA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. FA provides a unique mutual support system through which members share time, energy, expertise, equipment and, most important, creative support for one another's film projects from concept through distribution. We work together to restore humanity, authenticity, diversity, originality, intelligence, relevance, personal vision and emotional resonance to American Cinema.


The Vision Award is presented annually during VisionFest to filmmakers whose body of work reflects a commitment to true artistic vision and a distinctive passion for the posibilities of cinema. Past recipients include Mike Figgis, Terry Gilliam, Wim Wenders, Allison Anders, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell, Werner Herzog, and Mark and Michael Polish.

This years recipient will be none other then Kevin Smith!!!

So thank you Sean for the generosity. Can't wait to see your film.

I will be doing as much coverage of the event as possible and at the same time...trying not to get too drunk. So, expect some photos or at the very least a blog post about my night. Will be back soon. Mucho love!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A New Olympic Sport dedicated to Michael Phelps

Here's a little bit of weekend fun and a hint of laziness on my part to form a full blog post.

So I don't normally watch live television. I'll wait until someone tells me enough about a show so much that I'd rather watch the said program then hear my buddy go on about it again. So yeah, I was forced to watch The Office a few months ago and I have been hooked ever since.

I feel like I've been sheltered from one of the world's greatest forms of entertainment. Why didn't someone tell me earlier?

Here's a quick promo for the new season, premiering September 15th.

Fans of the show, check out Rolling Stones top 25 Office moments here and for full episodes check out

To add to my already shameless Office plug, here's my all-time favorite Dwight quote.


Jim: You work here, don't you want good insurance?

Dwight: Don't need it. Never been sick. Perfect immune system.

Jim: Ok, well if you've never been sick, then you don't have any antibodies.

Dwight: I don't need them. Superior genes. I'm a Schrute...and superior brain-power. Through concentration I can raise and lower my cholesterol at will.

Pam: Why would you want to raise your cholesterol?

Dwight: So I can lower it.


Alright see you on Monday. I'm sure I'll have something to talk about then. Much love to The Slackmistress and Betheboy for another fun night, HAHA. What is a wenis? Well, I just found out. Please visit their websites, lovely couple. The Slack Daily - Be The Boy. If you guys are reading I had two questions that I wanted to ask but never got around to doing...
  1. Why is it, when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
  2. And why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
It's delirium has gotten the best of me again. Also sorry for screwing up The Flintstones theme song. Hope that made someone laugh.

And thanks to my friends for coming over unexpectedly with booze then setting up a freestyle battle about another poor friends haircut.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Searching For Bigfoot inc.

Listen up everybody!!!

After years of secret undercover research and multiple attempts at creating a lazer that will shoot through thick layers of fur...I have finally killed the infamous creature; better known as Bigfoot. He was lurking through my neighbor's (The Henderson's) trash can, looking for Sasquatch food, obviously.

I can only suppose that his intention were of ill nature, so without hesitation...I took the sucka down!!! When I approached him with my lazer blazer pistol, he let off an ominous roar that shook the earth, luckily I had on my Tony Hawk helmet cam to report my findings to the C.I.A.

Later research found that the monster was in an intense confused state of shock and it kind of sounded like he said "huh?" when I first discovered him.

So, ominous roar versus a confused "huh?" you decide. Go watch Strange Wilderness, a movie that ripped on my actual discoveries. My father was a cryptozoologist, he would of been proud.

bigfoot inc
Alright, you got me!!! I lied. So what? I guess someone has actually claimed to have caught Bigfoot, this might be interesting. I want to see the proof...and what's with "Searching For Bigfoot inc." I found that phrase "smack dab" in the google trends page and I thought it would be a blast to start a blog post this way. HAHA.

I'd like to think this is what Bigfoot really looks like.
bigfoot inc pictures
Enough of our beloved and misunderstood Sasquatch friend. So, I originally intended to post somewhat of a sneak preview to the merchandise I have been designing exclusively for this website. Check out the photos below...remember, this is just a sneak preview, meaning; this is just a taste of some of the wonderful designs coming from my basement.


There ya have it, stay tuned for further updates on Bigfoot and merchandise. This is another random post sponsored by my late night delirium. You should try it.

Hope the cheap SEO tactics work. For all you unsuspecting visitors hoping for Bigfoot news, my name is John Darko and I'm a film-maker. Can you believe it? HAHA. Good night!

For more serious conversations please see everything below...or to the right...there is a fancy tab labeled recommended reading, check it out.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Questions and Answers (Back to School) pt.2

I've been getting some great responses to my "Back to School" entry and due to the sudden spike in unique visitors I have been busy as hell maintaining the work load. Also because of this website, I have also been receiving requests for my screenplays. Which makes me even more excited about my future in this career. Look into Social Networking everyone, it works! Big things coming soon! Stay tuned.

So here's another Q&A regarding the admission process for certain graduate film schools located here in Los Angeles. If you are interested in becoming a filmmaker, I suggest you read this post and this one here.


Dear Mr. Darko,

Thank you so much for writing your inspirational blog post about film schools, and for describing the dark/light sides of Hollywood. As a rising sophomore who aspires to be a professional screenwriter in either film or television, it’s hard for me to understand just how tough breaching into the industry truly is. It also doesn’t help that I live in Fredericksburg, VA, about as far away from Hollywood as you can get. But after reading your post, I find it easier to put things into perspective, in terms of the amount of money I should be prepared to dish out (and borrow), and the sacrifices I’m going to have to make in order to make my dreams a reality.

With that said, though, I have a couple questions. The school I go to is University of Mary Washington, which is a small school (about 4,000 students) that is considered a relatively prestigious liberal arts institution. I’m majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, and have been pleased with the education I’ve been receiving thus far. However, based on your knowledge and experience, I was wondering whether a degree in English/ Creative writing would be enough to get into a graduate program at one of the schools you listed.

The reason I ask this question is to find out if you know whether graduate schools expect you to major in film studies in the undergraduate level before you even consider applying to them? Would you recommend me transferring from my institution and applying to another one nearby that does offer film studies? Keep in mind that I want to be a screenwriter, which from what I’ve learned from many of the books I’ve been reading on the topic (Lew Hunter 434, Screenwriting Bible), seem to focus more on the craft of writing, and has very little to do with technical stuff, if at all.

The only school I’ve personally researched is UCLA’s Film, television, and theatre branch, and it’s probably the one I’d be most interested in getting accepted into, although it’s still too early to tell. My intuition tells me that I’m where I should be, but then I read figures like this: “(UCLA Film department’s) total enrollment, in 2003, consisted of 310 students out of 3,688 applicants (8.4%)” *sigh*

Missak Artinian


Hello Missak,

Don't let the statistics scare you. So far, it sounds like you are off to an amazing start. In my earlier years, I was not even half as productive as you are now. This is a compliment. My advice would be to switch over to a solid B.F.A. program. Speak to your counselor and let them know that you are interested in writing for the screen.

A Bachelors in Fine Arts degree will often require an area of specialty such as: acting, musical theatre, ceramics, computer animation, creative writing, dance, dramatic writing, drawing, fiber, film production, visual effects, animation, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, metalworking, music, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, or television production.

Most of this is irrelevant to your desired goals, except for the creative writing and film production courses. So the transition might not be as difficult as you think. There are also undergrad courses at USC and UCLA that you might want to look into as well.

There is a terrific article on the requirements of the M.F.A. program at USC. The acting chair of the programs Howard A. Rodman comments...

Howard Rodman: I read many, many applications. [We just this week finished selecting this fall's incoming class.] Here's what we're looking for:
  1. Writing. Good writing. Not necessarily in screenplay format. We're less interested, at this point, in whether you know what we're here to teach you, than in whether you can put together a sentence. Tell a story. Create a dimensional character. In short: do you have your very own voice? [P.S. - We know the difference between "its" and "it's," and we actually care.]

  2. Grades, good enough to pass muster with the larger USC admissions apparatus, and good enough to give us the confidence you'll be able to execute a demanding program. Four point something GPAs and 1600 SATs (or GREs) are truly lovely, but are not in and of themselves guarantors of anything. We're looking for writers [see #1 above], but we do need to know you can handle the load.

  3. Diversity. Folks with life experience. Folks from strange and wonderful places. Folks who've had interesting 'first' careers before turning to writing. Not just your typical work/study/get ahead/kill types. The New York Times says that a cinema MFA may be the new MBA; but I'm not sure we'd view it that way.

  4. A good mix. Not all Hummers, not all Priuses.

This was discovered on

John August as you may know, is a wonderful screenwriter who penned some fantastic films like "Big Fish", "Corpse Bride", "Go" and my favorite "The Nines" which he also directed. For aspiring screenwriters, his blog site is as informative as they come in regards to the craft and art of screenwriting. In addition he is an amazingly down to earth guy.

So Missak, inquire about your school's Fine Arts program, this will put you in the right direction when it comes to pursing a career as a screenwriter - OR - you can just write an amazing script and come out to Hollywood, roll the dice if you will. It worked for Matt Damon. He was attending Harvard at the time, wrote a story similar to Good Will Hunting, took the dive and well...the rest is history.

I am an engine of hope my friend, so I'm going to say to you, what I say to everybody who aspires to be something great. Never give up and ignore all of the negative factors. There is nothing more powerful then the human spirit. Keep up the good work and look me up when you to get to Hollywood. I'm always telling myself that I'm going to make it someday, it's just a matter of when and how.


John Darko

Here are some great books about the art of screenwriting. Anything by Syd Field (he is the Hollywood guru of screenwriting) Save The Cat and The Hollywood Standard (a must have companion to proper screenplay formatting, this is important). I read them all but these are golden nuggets in my library.

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