Where you and I can interface online.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Walk-In or Mail-In?

Which do you think is better for selecting contestants for reality TV? The reason I ask is this, yesterday morning I went to an open casting call for Richard Branson’s “The Billionaire.”

[They opened the doors at 10am. I showed up at 1pm and was done by 2pm. I had a wristband that said I was number 158. They might have ended up with 200-250 total by 5pm when the doors closed.]

It was a group interview: 10 applicants to 2 casting directors. They asked two questions to get conversation going, 1) Name, Age, and Occupation, then 2) Would you rather work for a man or a woman? That’s it. It was clear right away that not everyone was going to get equal time. In fact, it was over before you knew it.

I didn’t get called back and I will refrain from listing my speculations. I find it very interesting that I have sent in 5 video applications and 2 of them elicited call backs (The Benefactor and another that shall remain nameless until I hear the results) but my one live appearance didn’t go anywhere. Curious.

Friday, June 18, 2004

24 hours… $1k… and 15 minutes.

In reference to the previous post “Who Are You?” Here is what I would do if given the chance/challenge. First of all, you may be saying to yourself “You’re 24 hours were up the day after you read the challenge. You’ve had too much time to think about it.” Well, this was my initial idea but I’m just now getting around to writing it.

I would select two different scenes (one action and one dramatic) from my favorite screenplay (that I’ve written), go to the local film/theater organizations in Dallas (there’s a lot of indy film and theater in the area), audition a few actors experienced in stage combat, find appropriate ancient period wardrobe and armaments and practice the two scenes until my time is up. Then Mr. Cuban would have had a 15-minute live preview trailer of my movie.

What it would demonstrate to him is my writing, directing, producing and creative talents. That is what “sets me apart” or makes me who I am.

Anyone else care to join in?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Wasted Sacrifice?

Today, on the eve of game 5 of the NBA finals, I am profoundly sad for Carl Malone and Gary Payton. They both took huge paycuts to move to LA to accomplish what, at the time seemed like the surest thing in sports.

Even just over a week ago, as the Lakers had eliminated the Timberwolves for the western conference title, that sure thing seemed all the surer. And perhaps that was the problem. Perhaps, as the record has shown these last 7 or 8 years, the west has so dominated the NBA that most perceived the western conference finals to be the true championship series. That's the only explanation I see for the atrocious play of the Lakers of late.

Are the Pistons really that good? Sure, their defence is probably a bit stronger than what the Lakers are used to but... these are the Lakers. Unfortunately their heads have never been in this series. And even if they win tonight, it is likely too late. I don't feel bad for Kobe and Shaq. They already know the flavor of glory.

It's Carl and Gary that are probably already tasting the most bitter bile ever. Their sacrifice has been wasted and there's nowhere else to go next year that can get them any closer. The sad truth is that most of the best players in NBA history will never get their ring.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Who Are You?

Last night, just before the movie screening I caught the first half (and one of the ugliest ever) of what turned out to be a trouncing of the Lakers by the Pistons. I'll save NBA comments for a separate post. A promo spot for The Benefactor came on. I turned green with envy for a brief moment reminiscing at how friggin' close I came to being a part of the show. My normal pallor returned as the game resumed but it reminded me to check Mark Cuban's blog []. Lo and behold, this morning he posted some more inside scoop about the show.

Hearing greater details about the challenges involved further stirs my creative juices. I wont be on the show but the introspection can be a good thing for all of us. If you had $1k and 24 hours to prepare a 15 minute presentation about what sets you apart... what would you do? What makes you "significant" in your own mind?

I'll give my own answer in a separate post but please feel free to add comments with your own ideas.

The Chronicles of Riddick

I have the occasion to screen films for Universal Pictures. Tonight [6-10-04] was Vin Diesel's big-budget follow up to one of his early films, Pitch Black, the first installment of the Riddick character. I thoroughly enjoyed that one when I rented it some five or six years ago... I think it was that long ago. That one was a "low budget" Sci-Fi horror flick. Pretty fun. This one's a different animal all together. Which isn't bad in and of itself. Alien and Aliens pulled off a successful sequel/genre departure... but I'm almost ashamed to compare this pair with that set of classics.

Having some familiarity with the Riddick character combined with the skyrocketing of Diesel's career I had some high hopes for this movie. Perhaps my expectations ruined the experience for me. Sci-Fi is one of my favorite genres and I like Diesel as an actor but this one seemed to try too hard, or to take itself too seriously. It's hard to put my finger on it specifically... perhaps just because I'm tired... but it seemed so overdone and predictable.

Perhaps my life's quota of mindless joyride effects driven films has been depleted. Or perhaps this really was a turkey. I'll let the professional critics be the judge (I haven't read any). But I would advise you to spare the $$ at least until it comes to DVD. Or go to a matinee if you really have nothing better to do.

Sorry, but only the real die hard Diesel fans will exit with full satisfaction from this one.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

An Historic Moment

Yesterday former President Ronald Reagan died. I was in 5th grade when he was first elected President and soon thereafter moved from upstate New York to a suburb of Oakland California. I mention my move because it was the most significant event happening in my life at the time... from my limited perspective.

In reality, one of the most pivotal events in modern history had just taken place: Reagan became President. Partisan politics aside, the greatest accomplishment of Reagan's Presidency was the dismantling of the communist Soviet regime. He uttered the famous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The wall came down and millions were freed from oppression.

I’m not ashamed to admit that the radio and television coverage of the memorial services makes me a bit envious. I want to be there to share in this historic moment. But at the same time it elicits a profound appreciation for the nation in which we are privileged to live. Our country is not perfect, but I challenge anyone to identify one better. And if you think you can… why don’t you live there?

Reagan’s legacy is one of gratitude and optimism. It does not deny the existence of evil in the world. Rather, it determines to overcome it. Thank you Ronald Reagan.

God bless America.

Friday, June 04, 2004

My video reel website is complete and ready to be put online. The guy who is going to host it is on a one week cruise so I'll have to wait until he returns. It looks like it'll be up and running by mid June.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

First Post

It's 1:20 am and I just watched all 3.5 hrs of LOTR3 with my brother-in-law. I have so much to do but I guess I needed to create this blog sometime.

Done... now back to work!