I am finally emerging from the deep, dark and secluded throes of post-production for Suburban Cowboy. I had promised to bring updates, but with little money and even less hours in a day I found it very hard. Sorry about that.
With about 2-3 weeks left for 5.1 mix and a final color session/film grain… I am proud to announce that the hand drawn animated title sequence for the film has been selected to compete at SXSW for Excellence in Title Design Competition.
Our tiny film (relatively speaking) will be going up against films and television shows such as Spectre, Avengers Age of Ultron,Crimson Peak and Daredevil. It is quite an honor and I couldn’t be happier for Zsombor Huszka, who brought them to life.
To quality for this list, the guy and girl cannot end up together. The reason for them not winding up together cannot be because one of them dies (The Fly, Atonement). We, the audience, should want the characters to be together. But they just can’t be… whether it is them, society or another extraneous circumstance. As always, I have to be a fan of the movie.
I would include something like Spiderman, but I honestly didn’t want him to wind up with Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane. I couldn’t stand her. The same goes for Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane in Superman.
On our road trip to AwesomeCon in Washington, DC, Zsombor and I had a cool idea of a samurai print. Basically, samurai Batman (this idea later morphed into a full scale animated film that we outlined the next weekend at C2E2 and are doing designs for currently). I’m not taking much credit for this one, I actually only came up with the title – The Dark Ronin. What I wanted to show you was the sketch Zsombor did at AwesomeCon and the final print that was done within a week for C2E2 (and was our best seller). Guy is pretty talented. If only he could close a sale.
We are hard at work on an animatic for the opening scene from my next animated film, Orient City: The Dark Ronin Chronicles. Zsombor is killing it and the animatic itself is actually done. He even took a few frames and finished them so they are the ‘final’ cells from the film (you’ll see them in due time). He did a pass of sound, then I did a pass of sound… now Dragan has to do a pass of sound and mix it.
Then, we need to add the music. Dragan has some ideas he’s working with – but the general concept is Ennio Morricone with an oriental twist. Like Once Upon a Time in the West meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It will be epic – like the movie itself.
In laying down sounds, Zsombor put some drums to the video. When I cringed and Dragan almost threw up, he was a bit poopy. He really loved his weak-ass drums. Then Dragan broke these out and cheered him up…
I’ve been in LA for over two months and it’s about time I head back to NY. I miss my family and I need to spend some quality time with my brand new nephew. However, I will be out here another two weeks overseeing the edit and post. I found out that a storm is coming through the east coast that is supposed to dump snow everywhere. We are almost in April. That’s absurd. So… Maybe I shouldn’t be in such a rush to get back there.
I also found out that I will be the Godfather to my nephew. Pretty exciting stuff. Can’t wait to take him to a cage and work on some lax skills. And then the mats to teach him to fight. He needs to be well rounded, ya know?
Please help pressure Governor Cuomo in funding the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP). As someone with a friend who is paralyzed, there are some amazing advances being made – and until you’re faced with such an ordeal you have no idea how limited the resources are for this type of research in America. New York, particularly Bloomberg, was making a massive push to bring New York to the forefront of medical/tech research. That effort is still ongoing and I believe we were neck-in-neck with Boston in second.
I have already written a letter, you can change the name and date and shoot it off – I know there are a lot of people that would be truly grateful to you. Below is the template for the letter I wrote if you are so inclined to help out. It takes all of five minutes to copy, paste and change some information. Thanks all.
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I am writing you today to request your consideration of including $8.5 million in your 2014 Executive Budget to fully fund the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP). As you may know, the SCIRP supports New York researchers, hospitals and academic center in their quest to find cures for spinal cord injury. It helps to leverage federal and private sector funds, while at the same time providing well paying, high-tech jobs to New Yorkers. It’s funding will no doubt attract scientists and doctors to our great state.
According to state law, the SCIRP is funded through a surcharge on moving violation traffic tickets. The law states that these funds are to be used to fully fund the SCIRP at $8.5 million annually. Unfortunately, SCIRP funds were eliminated in 2010 and used to fill state budget gaps. This cut has resulted in terminations and disruptions in research programs. Since then, advocates such as myself have been successful in getting a partial restoration of $2 million in 2013.
Since 1998, SCIRP has provided over $71 million of much needed dollars in research dollars to advance treatments for spinal cord injury. Under your leadership, our state is in better fiscal health and can afford to fully fund this modest program. Let’s not leave it to other states to be at the forefront of this research. New York has been inching closer and closer to Northern California as the place to be for medical research – help us take the lead with this program that provides real benefits to real individuals.
Thank your for your consideration and I will be following up with your staff soon.
As the weather has turned, so have things in my life.
Recently, I have a close friend who found himself on the wrong side of the law. He is now looking at ten years or more for his actions. Left behind is a bag of shit that he left other people to carry. He was greedy and selfish and the people who are paying the price are the people who actually cared about this kid. I feel bad that he is about to lose a major chunk of his life and stare at four walls all day – but we all make choices in life.
On Christmas Eve, a friend of mine and college lacrosse teammate passed away. This is a 36 year old who recently got married and by all definitions was in great health. He went home for the holidays in MA, took a nap and never woke up. And no one knew until this week – but his wife is twelve weeks pregnant. Today was the funeral and the whole thing felt surreal. Like it wasn’t really happening. That there was no way my friend was inside that casket. I don’t know what the point of this post is. Just that I had to face some hard truths today. Truths about my worries and fears. Financial concerns and producing/writing a hit film/book. They always seem so trivial when put into perspective. My heart ached for his family and his wife… and his unborn child. I felt utterly useless and like I was a tourist at this funeral. I would go home. I would move on with life. And this is something they will have to deal with everyday. And in nine months a baby will be born without a father. And their struggle could just be beginning.
He wore #5. But right now he is #1 in my heart, along with his family and all my other friends touched by this tragedy.