George A. Romero Speaks / Horror legend shares the 10 lessons he’s learned over 40 years behind the camera | MovieMaker Magazine

George A. Romero Speaks

Horror legend shares the 10 lessons he’s learned over 40 years behind the camera

by George A. Romero | Published May 26, 2010

A legend of the horror genre, George A. Romero has been scaring audiences for more than 40 years with his unique brand of socially-conscious fright films. His latest, the zombie epic Survival of the Dead (the sixth feature in Romero’s “Dead” series), was released by Magnolia Pictures via video on demand on April 30th, before hitting theaters on May 28th. Here, Romero shares 10 lessons he’s learned during his career.

1. Show, don’t tell. First drafts of my earliest screenplays always came in at 300-plus pages. I used to think that a thought unwritten was a thought lost. I learned that new and better thoughts come once you’ve had a chance to think about what you’ve written and then—rewrite. My producing partner, a wonderful editor, taught me that thoughts on the page should be precise and well-contemplated, or they wind up wasting time and money.

2. Time is money. So be prepared when you walk on to the set.

3. Know as much as you can about every crew member’s specialty. You will better appreciate a good job, and you won’t be ripped off by a DP who requisitions an outrageously expensive equipment package.

4. Computer graphics should be thought of as tools. Use them to save time and money, rather than just because you can.

via George A. Romero Speaks / Horror legend shares the 10 lessons he’s learned over 40 years behind the camera | MovieMaker Magazine.

Shadow And Act » Watch The Official 12-Minute “Lost” Epilogue! (Where’s Walt?)

Before it gets taken down, here is your chance to see the Lost Epilogue that is being touted as part of the final Lost DVD season.

First impressions: We get to see Linus act under the direction of the “New Boss” to close down Dharma offices. This office in Guam could be one of many or the start of many scenes Linus will have to perform. What is interesting is how Linus offered to answer one question from each soon to be unemployed employees. One of the questions was about the Polar Bears on the island. While I am not going to discuss the details, I will say that I am still left with more questions about their presence on the island and yes, the bears are not your friend (It’s in the video clip). However, the bulk of this short video is taken up by a Dharma orientation dvd which was great but not exactly what I had in mind about the Hugo/Linus new partnership.

Next, we see Linus visiting Walt in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. He is trying to convince him that he has work to do and to help his father. Those who followed the series will remember that Walt’s dad Michael could not leave the Island for his past sins. Although he is dead, Linus insists that Walt can still help him. At the end of this scene, we finally get to see Hugo who is offering him a job – which is THE JOB. This left me more anxious to learn what happens next but the show is over; no mas.

So, do we care what happens after the long and complex series of Lost? If so, do you think another tv series – spinoff – would work? Or should the series be done differently such as a comic which would make sense since Walt was into comics at the beginning of the series. I for one would love to see the later come to play as this could a very unique product that is not all about superheroes.

I am MAD for Mad Men!!!!

What does Mad Men have to do with this blog or have anything in common with scifi? Well, there are several connection to Mad Men but for me, sometimes its more than just the connection. Sometimes you have to give yourself a break comics, movies, and crappy scifi movies. Not that I love watching my genre to death but there are times where you have to expand your horizons. I am always of the mind to expand an actor’s work. For example, Jeff Bridges is in the upcoming Tron Legacy and if I were to not check out his previous acting outings, I would be missing out on some great talent. Luckily, aside from the 1976 Kong remake, there was Starman (I know, scifi but…), Tucker, The Fisher King, and Fearless. There are others but I am going to explore his career later this year before I see Tron. What I am getting at, take a look beyond scifi and be captivated.

Since Mad Men is going on its fourth season, I am still in search of the Carousel moment. If you have been a faithful watcher of this series then you will know what I am talking about. If not, this YouTube clip above will give you a taste of a brilliant and unsurpassed moment in television history (To me, it is a classic moment in tv history.) When Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pitches the ad about Kodak’s Carousel Slide Projector he does it in a way that is touching and heartbreaking at the same time. I don’t want to explain the whole series, the whole mise en scene is spot on perfect from the casting to the lighting. I can not get enough of this show simply because it is so well done.

Alright moving now to the scifi connection, sort of, Jon Hamm will be in the upcoming Zack (300, Watchmen) Synder’s Sucker Punch (which I’m sure there will be more news coming from Comic Con.) Here is a brief description:

Zack Snyder is in production on “Sucker Punch” for Warner Bros. through Cruel and Unusual Films. He will direct and he co–wrote the screenplay along with Steve Shibuya, adapted from Snyder’s original story. Deborah Snyder will produce, with Wes Coller executive producing for Cruel and Unusual Films. “Sucker Punch” is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl, whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her but her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary…with potentially tragic consequences. Born from the creative mind of filmmaker Zack Snyder, the film features ensemble cast including Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Issac with Scott Glenn and Jon Hamm.

Zack Snyder is returning to the Imax format as Warner Bros. Pictures has slotted “Sucker Punch 3D” into a March 25, 2011 release on the super-sized screen. The booking, alongside the conventional release for “Sucker Punch 3D,” is part of a recent 20-picture distribution deal between Warner Bros. and Toronto-based Imax through 2013.

This next connection is a stretch but you will have to bear with my insanity. In season three, Don encounters Mr. Conrad Hilton, (you know, the hotels and the slut Paris). Don comes up with an almost “Carousel” pitch which I thought was very clever but this next YouTube clip show what Don missed.

Don did not give Mr. Hilton the Moon and lost the account. Had he the hindsight, he should have said these two words: “Product Placement.” Huh? Exactly, product placement. In episode above, the time frame was September 1963. Now, if you look below, from the classic Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey, we see a Hilton in space very near the Moon; which came out, (drum roll please) in April 1968. Granted, some 5 years later it’s not exactly the perfect fit but the whole idea of product placement in a futuristic movie would have been the perfect way to capture the imagination of their target audience and thereby saving the account for Sterling Cooper.

So, too much? WTF? I really don’t care if you get what I’m saying but do yourself a favor, watch this series from the beginning; you will thank me later. In closing, you know a series has made it when you see a parody of the series on another show. Take a look at the Simpson’s Mad Men opening. Very cool.

Cashback Movie Review

Thanks to Netflix, my personalized recommendation prompted me to this movie Cashback. I had no idea about this movie or when it came out but as I read the synopsis, I was intrigued as with this movie was being compared my other favorite movie Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

After breaking up with his girlfriend, aspiring artist Ben Willis (Sean Biggerstaff) develops insomnia and takes a night-shift job at a supermarket to pass the hours. He soon discovers that he can freeze time and begins fantasizing about pretty checkout clerk Sharon (Emilia Fox). When he’s not dreaming of Sharon — who may hold the key to resolving his sleeplessness — Ben roams the aisles disrobing beautiful customers and sketching them.

While this is a small budget film, it is by no means short on delivery on the goods. From a film production, which I used to work in, I can appreciate great camera work. The clip below from YouTube is the first six minutes of the film. Not until you check out part two and one minute in that part or after seven minutes in the film if you watch it on Netflix do we see this amazing tracking shot which words can not do it justice. All I can say is that this shot really sets the tone of the film. Another thing to look out for, there is a great deal of nudity but context of the film it adds to the storytelling. And yes, after reading the last sentence you might laugh or think that I am full of crap but I can truly identify with the character of Ben Willis and his fascination of the female form.

About 1/2 through the film, I began to notice the actress that played the ex-girlfriend to Ben and a quick search on IMDB.COM proved my guess. If you are familiar with the name Michelle Ryan or not, she was the new Bionic Woman which I gave up about a few episodes a la Heroes. (I don’t usually give up watching series both good and bad but there are times where my intelligence as a fan was insulted.) Also, Michelle played the role of Lady Christina de Souza in the Dr. Who movie Planet of the Dead. (She is hot to look at but I hated this movie.)

Overall, this is not a typical scifi film as this does not have a great deal of scifi elements. However, the ability to stop time or manipulate time  is a classic element which have seen before such as Hiro from Heroes, H.G.Wells in Time after Time, Millenium (based on Varley’s novel not the Fox series, The Girl, the Goldwatch and Everything, and even Timecop. In some cases, when there is an explanation of said powers this can take away from the magical qualities of said powers. Ben’s use of controlling time for his artistry makes perfect sense in the overall scheme of the film that makes it feel fresh and unique.

I urge you to check out this clip below or movie on Netflix as I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

E3 2010 Microsoft Press Conference Videos –

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After missing a great deal of events from the E3 conference this past week, I’m grateful for the recap of the entire MS press conference on G4tv’s website. For starters, I am not a hard-core gamer like I used to be. I am of the firm belief that I can sit and wait for a couple of years to pass by and upgrade and/or add more games where I can get the latest system/game for 1/2 price. Why pay top dollar now and waste money? Even more, why buy the first thing of a new line when in a few years, it will become obsolete like the original iPhone vs the new iPhone 4.0. But that’s just me and I can live it. However, there comes a time where you are suckered in by the hype and the news of a new product that you can’t help but to want it more than life itself. Before I get to that point, I want to mention a few games that few mentioned in the conference.

Shigenobu Matsuyama came out about the 12 minute mark in the presentation. He discussed about this word which this game concept for Rising was based on: Zan-Datsu. In japanese, zan means to cut and datsu stands for to take. While I didn’t understand fully, what I saw in the video demonstration was absolutely freakin’ awesome. I don’t want to describe the imagery but wow, this looks to be a great deal of fun.

Gears of War 3 looks very interesting for 4 player co-op play. I know that I will need all the help I can get because I truly suck at the first one.

Halo Reach sounds more like some hooker’s special talent. However, I have yet to jump on the Halo bandwagon but the Halo encyclopedia and this newest Halo game has peaked my interests. The later part of the Halo vid had a space combat mode which I guess it’s the first for the Halo, if I am correct? I’m all up for dogfights in space rather than the first person shoot ‘em up mode.

Finally at the 33 minute mark, we get more information about Project Natal or now, MS Kinect. This is truly an amazing add-on piece of technology for the X-Box 360. I simply love how the simple act of using my voice or just a wave of a hand can interact with the type of entertainment that I am interested in. The Video Kinect is very cool feature especially the feature whereby you can both watch a movies, listen to music and watch tv. While the video demo didn’t show the latter of the two, I can see the benefits. This Video Kinect is similar to the Netflix viewing party. The ESPN XBox 360 is not as thrilling for me since I am not a sports fan since I moved down to Florida.

The first game experience for the Kinect was Kinectimals. I was left speechless on how effortlessly the interaction was seen between the little girl and Skittles the tiger cub. My 4-year-old son would love this to no end. While we do have cats, some times he can be rough but with this game he can interact on his terms and the game will learn from him. The Kinect Sports look very similar to Wii Sports but you can’t blame MS for copying something that works. Kinect Joyride looks to be another Nintendo’s Mario Kart likeness less the throwing of fruit. Kinect Adventure is the best of the bunch. I rather looking foolish doing the crazy things that is being asked rather than carry the ridiculous globe dome microphone from Playstation’s Move.

The Ubisoft’s  demo of Your Shape is very promising except for the virtual uniglob of yourself. I love the scanning of myself into the game but I am less impressed by this avatar.

Harmonix’s Dance Central is the next level of DDR which can train me with all the latest moves 15 years ago but hey, I can’t dance anyway but I can now kick ass.

The last Kinect game to briefly talk about is the Star Wars one. While there was no name or actual live game demonstration, the video alone is enough for me to get excited for 2011. Using the Force will be for reals, lol.

Okay, this is enough for me to report on this presentation. I know at work there are those who are more PS3 users and while I will not get one until several years later where I can pick one up for the price of a piece of candy. Regardless, of the additional hardware I will have to invest, I will be happy with my XBox in the coming years. Suck on that PS3.