Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shot of the Day #90: Hard times for Jake & Elwood...

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

As I was driving home yesterday, two familiar forms caught my peripheral and literally made me hit the brakes and make a U-wee.

Um, why were Jake and Elwood Blues movin' n' shakin' outside a furniture outlet on Venice Blvd? Man, times must be tough for two bluesmen on a mission from God; even HE is downsizing it seems! They must have an "understanding".

Well I never miss an opportunity to snap a shot of two heroes....even at their lowest. Where is the Penguin when you need her?

The Asian lady walking past thought it was HI-LARIOUS that I was taking their picture. I told her to fuck off.

....No I didn't. I just smiled.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Shot of the Day #89: Wardrobe Malfunction

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Sometimes I get blessed to work with some truly talented people, like the two ding dongs you see above.

The tall drink of Grizzly on the left is John Walsh, who is seen here hosting a pilot we're doing for the site. Seriously speaking, one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He's had one hell of a past and his present is pretty insane too, too much for me to jot down here, but we met through G4 years ago when I would shoot Red Carpet premieres with John for Filter, a now-debunked show on the channel. He and I got along famously, and the rest is history. Fun fact for you Fangoria fans: John was one of the original Dr. Cyclops' who reviewed videos for the mag! I always wondered who had the horrible task of watching all that dreck, and now I know. John is also the owner of one of the biggest hearts in the world, and it's always nice to see him lumbering down the hallways every day.

The dude to our right is one Frank Meyer. Also a renaissance man of sorts, it's hard to categorize Frank since it seems he has truly done it all. Rock Star. Writer. Producer. Actor. Ladies Man. "Content Development Specialist". The list goes on and on. Frank and I met when we were both handling duties on STREET FURY for G4, and then we began working together when i returned to G4's hallowed halls in 06 after the movie. Fuck, its been that long??? Jesus. Anyhoo, Frank and I work together on the site and he's one of the most talented dudes in the office, one of my go-to guys when we have an event or a shoot, big or small. He's also the creator and lead producer on the award-winning (and sadly "on hiatus") FREESTYLE 101, and our trip to NYC last year to accept a Webby award was a trip for the ages. He ALSO is in ANGUS KAHN, which if you need an anal raping of your eardrums, he's your IRREVERSIBLE. Frank is good peeps.

It's so funny how G4 attracts such a wide and varied talent pool, both in front and behind the scenes. One day Pop Culture historians and media gadfly's will look back at G4 and see how many great, creative people passed through the channel. These two schmoes, seen here screwing around with the best of 'em, will be chapters unto themselves. Great working with guys like these two.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shot of the Day #88: Meet the Muses

Shot with Nikon D90. Click to enlarge.

Overall, a good, productive weekend. Got a lot crossed off the To Do list, got to finally see some people we've been putting off forever, caught up with some work both around the house (and in my head) and just getting to spend some good, quality time with "the fam" before the madness truly begins. Here's a cute lil' shot of Bri and Remy, both enjoying Bri's new 'do; Remy's looking like Christopher Guest in THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Thank god he doesn't have six fingers on one hand). It's so nice to come home to these smiling faces every night.

It's gonna be a VERY busy week (and just a prelude to the workload ahead), so it was nice to enjoy the calm waters before the storm.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shot of the Day #87: Game time kids!!!

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Hey Kids! Let's play a game, shall we?

Can you point out all the F'd up "evil" things in this picture arguably warping my child? Let's play!

In other news...today was a great day. Remy's been feeling much better (been very fuzzy lately) and smiling like a baby should. We started out the day catching up on flicks (Oliver Stone's W.-MEH-and NEVERENDING STORY in HD-SWEET!) as we let Mommy get some much needed sleep. Bri and I then got haircuts, which was refreshing and much needed. Found a place in Venice that makes pizza with Bagel dough...BRILLIANT! Got to spend some quality time with the fam and then see our good friends Aaron and Abby, who were both thrilled to meet Mr. Plissken with open arms. Oh, I also got to take a drive in Aaron's new car, the mighty Tesla Roadster, an electric car that can run 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and looks fucking ba-DASS. We then hit a great indian food place and The Remster was a dreamboat, never making a peep as we chomped on Nann and Tandori. After the hectic, hellish weeks past, it was nice to have a day without a hitch. Family life ain't so bad!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Shot of the Day #86: A Night at the Troubadour

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Here we have Wolves In The Throne Room, my new favorite metal band, hammering atmosphere and erecting walls of sound at the (in)famous Troubadour club in West Hollywood. I miss going to shows, miss shooting them even more. There's nothing like walking out of a dark, dank club with your ears bleeding. But these guys, which you could say are a mix of Black Metal, Crust Punk and a dash of Engelbert Humperdink, delivered in a way that I never expected. The crowd was entranced as the band powered through what I THOUGHT was about 5-6 songs, which left the audience deaf and loving it. This band was so frikkin' cool, at the end of the final song, they left the feedback going (which usually means the song is still going) and just started to pack up in front of an audience that thought it was part of the show! Now THAT's working-class metal at it's finest. Plus the lead singer has this crazy blue light on his guitar, which cut through the purple smoke on-stage like Sam Jackson's Lightsaber (probably the coolest thing ABOUT his character, sadly). I had never seen that before, and it just made the show even cooler.

Highlight of the show: Would be watching a slight man in a chef outfit weaving through the throes of black metal fans and the Hollywood hipsters (what are they doing here?!) with some gourmet pizza in his hand like he was in a quaint cafe in Little Italy.

Thanks to Matt for the tickets and thanks to Wolves for the Metal.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shot of the Day #85: Sharkey & The Mighty Bagel Day

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Every Thursday, in the hallowed halls of this Comcast-run building, people make sure they are in the office just a little earlier than usual. Why is that? Well, because this fine gent above, John Sharkey (also a HUGE Galactica fan), delivers paper-bags filled to the brim with delicious, fluffy Bagels ALMOST as good as the ones you find on the corners of every New York Deli or coffee kiosk (how I miss those). They come from The Bagel Broker, which i first heard of from an episode of ENTOURAGE, so they must be good if they're good enough for Johnny Drama and the gang, right? But it's been a tradition everyone loves for as long as I've been in the building, and its one that actually gives me a little more pep in ma' step when I wake up. It's a polite reminder that it's Thursday, one more day till the weekend, and while we're at it, add a few pounds to the mid-section....but damn if it don't taste good. My personal favorite? Easy: Cheddar Jalapeno. Like a warm, pillowy kiss from a lover. Who has cheese breath, but you don't mind. Those fuckers go fast, so you gotta be on your game or your stuck with a shitty Onion bagel. Seriously, who eats those?

However, this tradition's luster has been dulled a bit due to the economic woes of today. Yes friends, even Bagel Day is affected...whereas we once had the option of spreading our fatty delight with Lox-embedded cream cheese, those days are sadly behind us. So, I make due with Veggie Cream Cheese. I've gotten over it.

So when you see this man walking through YOUR hallway...find out his destination, and go for the paper bags that are sweating with grease...that's where the Cheddar Jalapeno's are hiding.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shot of the Day #84: This is just creepy...

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.


Underage Girl: So who is your favorite?

Professor-esque chap: Well, that's hard to say....

Jailbait: Well I'd say Bella is mine. She is so cool and knowing and I love her style.

10 Years for Child Molestation(5 years for good behavior): I would then have to say Edward, because he's a devoted romantic.

Now, I don't know the whole story here, maybe it's a father/daughter on a TWILIGHT Blu-Ray run, but you know when you can almost sense the phermones just bouncing off two people, like they are just sooooooooooo in loooooooove, the sticky, sappy kind? That vibe was a present as a fart in an airplane bathroom, and it completely freaked me out. Then they did this hug/hold thing that clinched it for me.

Of course, I had to take a shot. His University Tenure ponytail was magnificent, by the way.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shot of the Day #83: Part of the job.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Yes, part of my day job is watching (and sometimes shooting) people playing videogames. Might be boring and mundane to some, but I get a real kick out of it. Hell, sometimes I get to even play them (god knows I can't get a round of LEFT 4 DEAD in now while holding Remy...I've tried, believe me. The kid is always screaming into the headset, to the dismay of my fellow online gamers), like when I discovered how awesome the new 50 CENT game is. Yeah, I'm dead serious, yo.

So here we have a few of the Activision developers are giving us an exclusive demo of GUITAR HERO: METALLICA, which quickly shot up to the top of the "Must consume" list. This game looks SICK and the tracks they picked are perfect. So, for an hour I spent watching these guys and banging my head behind the camera to "All Nightmare Long". Not a bad gig, no?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Shot of the Day #82: Happy Birthday to Meh.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Gotta admit, it was a pretty blaise birthday.At least it started that way. I guess its true what my dad said; When you have kids, Birthdays turn into....Mondays. Sure, there was much well-wishing, both in person (at the office) and via the interwebs...which also proved to me that everyone truly IS on Facebook and Myspace is that Dave Matthews Band T shirt at the bottom of your stack, waiting to be made into a car wash rag. But something felt a little empty, a wee bit blue. Guess this is the part in the script where I start fearing death n' shit, all that midlife-crisis malarkey that comes with being-shudder-"thirtysomething". When does the feeling of being that precocious, Whipper-snapping teenager go away? Im getting mixed messages here.

Square pegged it at work and got so wrapped up in whittling down my To Do list that i forgot to get lunch. Crap.
To give myself a birthday treat post-grind,on the way home I hit up The Counter (Santa Monica Branch), an upscale burger joint I discovered when G4 was on Olympic & Bundy. Those were good days. The place is clean & colorful, the flesh-patties worth the extra mile (literally) and the sweet potato fries are divine. Plus, I got in the first draft of a dream project in to read, so with my Special Birthday Death Melt (incl. Red Onions, Tillamook Cheddar & Black Forest Ham w/ Buttermilk ranch & Spicy Fries) I devoured the first 20 or so pages with a huge smile as I read & enjoyed a late lunch. The day got a little brighter. (Oh...and I had a Lemonaide). I then stopped at Best Buy, splurging on PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (Splattery fun!), SPEED RACER (Fuck you, it's the new TRON; see you on the bandwagon in 10 years!) & the new STATIC-X album. FInally, I was greeted at home by the gang (even Luke!), Remy dressed for the first time in his Blues Brothers outfit (Thanks John!!). So, LITERALLY at the end of the day, it wasn't so bad.
I got to come home to a wonderful present.

I also shoot food a lot. This concerns me.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shot of the Day #81: Warp Speed!!!

Shot with iphone. Click to engage!

Overheard in the back seat on the way to get some chow:

Capt. Plissken: "Warp Speed on my mark, Squizzle! We gotta get this baby at high speed since it's the only way I can sleep and not scream my head off in the car!!!"

First Officer Banzai: "But Captain, I dunno if these Prius thrusters can handle it, they don't have the powrrrrr"

Capt. Plissken: "Warp Speed....ENGAGE!!!"

NOTE: Sorry but some days are just not that exciting & photogenic...other than the hi-jinx of a baby and a dog. Sometimes, that's all you need.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shot of the Day #80: Bri is B-BOMB!

Shot with Nikon D90. Click to enlarge.

This colorful splash of eye-sore is on the wall next to PURE LUCK CAFE, where we stopped for dinner after a highly successful Birthing class Reunion today. Bri, Remy and I had a great time reconnecting with the other young parents who were in our class, this time without bursting bellies but sweet, beautiful babies. So nice to be able to comiserate with like-minded folks who know what it's like to walk around with puke spunk on their cool T-shirts (*fume*) or to get 5 hours of sleep a week. Everyone looked weary but happy, smiles all around, and some from the babies too. Our Hosts, Michael & Andrea, were so sweet to host the gathering at the last minute, and their house in Silverlake was pretty stunning. Made me just despise our white-walled anus of an apartment all the more. Can't wait to finally move and have a, oh, what's it called? ...A view? Right, that's it. Sick of having to walk past our balcony and worry some asian geek is getting a gander of my giblets when Im swaddling my brood. Ah, someday...a guy can dream.

On the way home though, since we were in the area we decided to get take-out for dinner tonight, and not gonna pass up a chance to go to SCOOPS, the absolute best ice-cream parlor in town, which was right next door. Since we already had the Nikon out, I noticed the BomberMan-meets-Scott Pilgrim (Prob cause I have that manga-inspired comic on the brain now)mural on the wall on Heliotrope (which is called the "Bicycle District", from what I heard) and had to take the opportunity. It's a little flat for my taste, but I like the colors and putting Wifey & Baby in the frame like that, adding a little scope.

I've gotten better with allowing myself to "stop and smell the roses" when it comes to a shot. I mean, I made this bed of a project, I might as well enjoy the sheets, right? But it's also opened my eyes up a little more to the world around me, allowing me to let my brain compose things more, find the shot. I always did that as a kid; close one eye in the kitchen while making a bowl of cereal and wonder how I'd shoot it, moving and fast-dollying as I grab the milk and cut from that to grabbing the spoon, usually with a "wooshing" sound effect. Guess I was priming myself to be a filmmaker early on...or just being a moron. It's a subjective opinion.

But again, having the SOTD has been good visual prep for the next few months. Getting excited about things and wonder what the SOTD is going to be in the coming days. It fuels my fire.

You know what else fans the flame, really gets the embers glowing? See below:

Shot with Nikon D90. Click to enlarge.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Shot of the Day #79: Comes with the territory.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

So I was walking around the office and every so often I noticed people checking out my shirt, giving a somewhat subtle squint of the eye as we pass. I love this one shirt I got from FantasticFest back in 07 when WT2 premiered there, a T for the killer Brazillian martial arts flick KILTRO. So here I am, all proud and shit of my kewl shirt, when i walked into the bathroom and noticed the semen-like stain on my shoulder, evidence seen above.

Oh. Wonderful.

Well, all I can say is, I do have an alibi, and it's not that I can shoot my DNA that high in the sky because I have skill and control over my swimmers (which would be cool, actually). That's actually liquid remnants from Remy circa 7:30 am this morning when he was needing a little Swaddle love, so I gladly threw on XM 80's and danced to Crowded House and Talking Heads before I left for work, not knowing the li'l dude was gonna spit and puke all over me and KILTRO. Well, comes with the territory, right? I see the stainage more as a badge of honor, so I left it. Cause I'm a man, damn you.

I hope it washes out. I really like that shirt.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shot of the Day #78: "I Want Tacos!!"

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

This was a long time coming. My boss Rob has season tickets to the Lakers and before Remy came a knockin' and basically took over our social lives, Rob and I been trying to get together to go to the Staples Center together, and last night was finally our little date night with some big orange balls. Shut up.

I haven't been to a basketball game in over 10 years ("Go Knicks! Or rather, not.") so I was excited to go. Plus, Rob had wicked good tickets, so how could i say no? Well, he could fire me for saying no. So after work we drove downtown (my least favorite place in LA, FYI) and I temporarily became a Lakers Fan.

Damn good game, Lakers v. Warriors. We drank beer, ate Wetzel's Dogs (which looked like uncut dongs...these are the images floating around my head) and enjoyed screaming and hooting at the top of our lungs at all the usual song cues and crowd chants. I was told that one of the more famed chants is, if the team wins with 100 or more points by the end of the game, everyone gets a free taco coupon from Jack In The Box. First off: Ew. Secondly, I loved that chant, so whenever possible we would just scream from Rob's killer seats (seen here, he's about 15 rows up) "We want tacos!" followed by a succession of claps and stomps. At the final buzzer, Lakers did win, 114 to 106, but I didn't get a coupon. Oh well. Pretty exciting game though. Part of me missed the whole spectator sport gazing. The other half wanted to get home ASAP and curl up to MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN on Blu Ray. Ah, the conflicted life.

I took a bunch of shots from this vantage point, but the one above jumped out the most. God bless Dutch angles. Plus, it has an odd, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS feel to it, no?

Also got to see Jack Nicholson in his usual seat, who actually caught a foul basketball which was hilarious. Would have loved to ask him what the hell he was thinking about when he did WOLF, since this was the closest I've ever gotten to be near him in the same room. Maybe next time.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Here is a shot from the "smoking lounge" outside on the roof of the Staples Center. Just a cool shot with purdy colors...and lights!

Can't say Im a Lakers convert, but it was a fun night to be sure. Thanks Rob!

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.


Most anticipated movie of 09?

Wow. I wish this was a joke. The fact that it's not practically seals my 10 dollar's fate when it plays out in a few weeks.

Here is a review from the fine folks at CHUD that actually makes me want to see more.

Pony Boy vs. The Fanged Dead? In for the win.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shot of the Day #77: "Turbo" Haunts me.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

So, last year on my birthday I posted a picture of myself circa 1985, depicting me in my "Breakin'" pose that I did for a dance recital back in the day. See, 'ole Joe was a chubby kid (ed. note: still is in my eyes), so Moms would try anything to get my blood flowing and tone up a bit. So, we first tried Karate: didn't work out and I cried myself out of the class...but I loved the style! Then Soccer; the only positive was the Carvel Ice Cream trip after if our team won...and sadly, we never did, so I was out of that bullshit. FInally, fueled by such classics like BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BUGALOO & BEAT STREET, she coaxed me into doing a Breakdancing class, and I gotta admit...I loved it. I was pretty fuckin' good too, had the "6-step", basic "Pop N Locks", the "Windmill" and even "Hellicopter" down pat. I was no "Shabadoo", but my teacher called me "Turbo" so I was pretty stoked. This particular pic was from our recital and has stayed close to the vest for years, the kind of picture you put out every once in a while for public scrutiny and plenty of good, hearty laughs. But aside from Bri and my family, I didn't show many people. Clearly, you see why. Yikes and double yikes.

Well, I thought that as a fun goof for my birthday last year-for shits and giggles-I would post this hilariously embarrassing pic on my Myspace page for a one day, just to see if anyone noticed. Well, I guess they did; because people at the G4 office IMMEDIATELY downloaded it, putting LOLCATS type verbage on the pic and sharing with the ENTIRE company on our famed "Gamers" listserv. So within minutes of me putting up the pic, I had about 5-10 different variations of this pic you see above. Wonderful! Needless to say, I quickly took it down, but the damage was done. I now get to see my ugly little mug EVERY DAY at the office, hanging in many a cubicle. I do admit, the LOL-speak does make it funny.

So why did I post this up here? Am I just asking for more pain? I guess so!

I wonder if I still "got it"? Hold while I kill myself.

Nope, don't got it. Moving on.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shot of the Day #76: Nighttime Excursion

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Out with Remster on our walk. Sometimes, when you just see a shot, like here, you gotta take it. No questions asked.

Just watching the sky darken and the sidewalk ahead of us, a foreboding feeling of dread ahead (believe me I was looking for Michael Meyers behind bushes the whole way down)...something in my brain said, as Vincent Vega so eloquently stated:


PS: Just wanted to thank all of you who've been so cool in reaching out about my LAST HOUSE presentation. Honestly, I wasn't looking for press or validation at all; I just wanted to purge my idea once and for all and thought "Hell, who is gonna care if I put this up, or even notice?" Well, clearly some people did, because the outpouring of supportive emails i've gotten since ICONS OF FRIGHT put it up on Sunday has been overwhelming. Thank you all for the nice words and who knows? Maybe in a few years the world will want a "re-imagining" of CHAOS.
Here's some of the links:

...Oh, what did I think of LAST HOUSE? Let's just say, with no ill will towards Dennis Illiadis and the (mostly) stellar cast....I still stand by my idea, especially after seeing the final product.
S'nuff said.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shot of the Day #75: Home Sweet Office.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

First day back at work. Contrary to my initial expectations (which was akin to the night before the first day of school or a Monday when you didn't do your homework for 1st period), I was actually happy to open the door this morning and greet all the nerdy "flare" that decorates the walls of my office. Being back, It's good to reinstate a little structure; the last few weeks have been a constant test of the chaos theory. Which way is my life going to drip down Jeff Goldblum's knuckle today? But getting back to the grind felt healthy, looking around the office at all the shit that fuels my fire at work every day reminding me of life before "shit got realz, yo" and that life moves forward regardless of the state of said shit. Plus, it made me only miss Bri, Remy and Banz all the more, electric for their company when I walked through the door.
Ok, so everyone was asleep when i got home.
But that's a good thing. They needed it. I need it too.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shot of the Day #74: Nice try, gang.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Conversation overheard in front of an automated ticket kiosk at the Culver City Pacific theater today after I left the theater from seeing LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT '09.

Mother: "What are we seeing again?"

Kid #1: "I wanna see WATCHMEN!"

Kid #2: Is MONSTERS AND ALIENS out? That looks so cooool"

Mother: "I dont see either-Oh wait, WATCHMEN. I heard that was bad."

Kid #3: "Let's see LAST HOUSE ONT THE LEFT! Please???"

Mother: "I heard that was too scary for you guys."

Kid #3: "No it's not, its supposed to be an action movie!"

Mother: "OK. Let me check times for that one..."

Now, there was a part of me that instantly thought to say "Lady...do NOT take your kids to see that movie! It will F your day UP!" but then I remember when i was that excitable age, begging and pleading my mother to take us to see LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3 or CREEPSHOW 2 or GRAVEYARD SHIFT. My mom, being the ardent horror fan she was/is, saw right past our bullshit ploys ("...but its not gory! It's more funny than scary! Its just about rats!!"), but when it was another kid's parent, most times they were gullible enough to go 'OK" and off we went, further corrupting our young, spongy minds.

So I didn't want to be "that guy" & bust any bubble for a burgeoning horror buff and thwart his plans of getting to see the new horror flick of the week, but come on...not THAT flick, guys. Nice try, though ("F+, click" for you D fans out there). So I was tempted to say something, even just to save them from a ruined Sunday filled with rape and (I can't believe Im saying this) exploitative violence, but luckily WATCHMEN won out from what I heard.

Hope they got a kick out of the copious blue dong.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shot of the Day #73: Attack of Lips Manlis!!

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Let me apologize for the abundance of baby and dog pics that have been flooding this SOTD for the past few weeks. Can you tell I've been home? I'm sure things will ramp up a bit when I get better, back to work and focused on the exciting year ahead and get back into my normal schedule. Then it will likely be shots in my office or the corner of the elevator in the E building where I found a condom once. No lie. Wish I had my camera for THAT.

For now, you'll just have to endure more ways I can shoot Remy or Banzai, or even better...together! It was a tough call today...either the one above or the below pic, which I titled "Eating Nic Cage's hairpiece". Pic with dog won out.

Here's second place for ya:

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Thanks to Remy anchoring me to the Glide-Rocker chair we got (which is ba-DASS, BTW...weee!) I ended up watching 3 flicks in a row on Netflix Instant Queue; WHAT JUST HAPPENED? (Subpar THE PLAYER, but Willis is great), REDBELT (Mamet does Martial Arts? Who knew? Great story and acting), MIRACLE MILE (Why hasn't this been remade yet?). Nice to just plow through flicks in a clip. I love this kid!

One more episode of Galactica make Joey an unhappy boy...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shot of the Day #72: West Hollywood Wellness

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

On Bri's insistence, I went to one of her doctors today, and gotta admit, I do feel better. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally; when i walked out of the office, everything seemed a little brighter, more vibrant, a little more hope injected in my soul...
...Hope I wasn't dosed.

On the road to recovery...


PS: I've been contemplating this for a while, and I decided that, in lieu of this weekend's release of a film I was asked back in 2006 to pitch my take on to possibly direct (and one I REALLY wanted, even before WT2 happened), I would post my online "reel" for my take on the remake of a notorious 70's exploitation flick. Now, clearly they went in another direction, one closer to the source material (and one I opposed to due to the modern times), but from what i've heard, the movie works and Im actually psyched to see the end result. Helps you have a good director (I loved his last film even before i heard he got it over me, so good choice I'd say) and what seems to be a good cast, but it still stings a bit after one works very hard on a proposal and it gets rejected (and you never even get a call back after they promise you that one final meeting. Ah, Hollywood). BUT...if in an alternate reality, here is what this particular film would have looked like if I got my dirty mitts on it. Enjoy my take HERE...or not.

Would it have been better? Who knows?! Im gonna try to drag myself to see it this weekend if i feel good enough (lord knows Bri wont be joining) and if the film is as effective as my friends who have seen it already attest Ill be glad to say I loved it (it's happened before, and will happen again and again, Im sure!) but we'll see. I still stand by my idea. All artists should.

I'm not bitter, but when the idea came to put this up publically, I just felt, "what the hell? It's only a movie, right? 'It's only a movie...". I guess I'm just proud of my ideas and stand by them. But I'm also hoping it's a good movie. Any good horror that makes a profit is good for the horror family. I'll certainly try to put my 13 bucks towards the cause.

Many MANY thanks (and a few fanny slaps) go to Ken Perkins, who did the amazing boards for me, ones I'm going to frame when I get money for such extravagances. Industry folks, hire this guy, he's that good.

Board by Ken Perkins. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shot of the Day #71: Wooozy

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

This is probably the first day in a few that I've been out of the house; Banzai NEEDED a walk, and I needed some air. Funny how you take fresh air for granted. Our apartment seems to be a sweat lodge, a vaccum of sorts, so it was almost overwhelming to be amongst the trees and clean oxygen. Banz was clearly thrilled. I was light-headed, and I think I blacked out for a moment between blocks. Fun.

Also, notice how the image seems "bendy" and curved. No, the sidewalk isn't wavy, but damn if the iphone lens didn't capture how I feel. I mean, I loves my Robotussin...but it doesnt help keeping a firm grip on reality. Oh, iphone, you know me too well.

My hair is getting REALLY long, as you can somewhat tell from my shadow (which also gives the impression I'm an amputee). Going back to work on Monday (FINALLY!), I wonder if people are going to notice. I wonder if people will notice I was gone all along. Hope growing this hair out was worth it...


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shot of the Day #70: Baby Head vs. 5th Ave

Shot with Nikon D90. Click to enlarge.

We've deduced that one of the few things that calms the mighty beast, even when taken ill, is this over-sized Photo of New York City (5th Ave., from 25th to 14th) which we have on our wall in the living room (courtesy of IKEA...oh how we're so cultured). Whenever we face his little orbs that direction and he locks in on the black and white canvas, the tapestry of buildings and circulatory system of roads surrounding the FlatIron, he seems to go in a daze. Just....zip. Silence. Amazing stuff, like visual gripe water.

Studies have shown that babies see in B&W first, then shades of grey and so on down the color spectrum, so this makes sense I guess. But its just funny, how when we're so small and ultra-absorbing like a roll of Brawny that images like this calm us or even facinate our spongy brains. How images like this, now taken for granted, seem so fascinating. I remember my mom had an old poster of King Kong in my room when I was 1 that I always remember being somewhat soothing as I looked at it in my crib. Look! That looks like my Dad! Ook! No joke, I remember that shit.

Hopefully one day I can walk him down 5th & 23rd next to the FlatIron building seen here and say "A photo of this building saved me from tossing you off the balcony at 3am when you were screaming!". Hopefully he remembers this and doesn't call Social Services. Hopfully noone will read what I just wrote.

Thank god for 5th ave.

OK, I think we're done being sick, OK? Anyone? Hello?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shot of the Day #69: Phallic as a mofo

Shot with iphone. Click to engorge.

How fitting. We come to the number 69, and what do I post, but a snap of a peculiar wood sculpture we happened upon at the Doctor's office today. Im sorry, but shit speaks for itself.

"You an Oak man, Jimmy?"

S'Nuff said.


(OK...it looks like a penis, get it?)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Shot of the Day #68: Sick sucks

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

...and sure enough, we get back from Long Island, and we're all sick. Not that I'm surprised with all the people we met, talked to, shook hands, hugged and all the other types of human contact one can get infected from. Hearing Remmers stuffy is so heartbreaking; we're all a crock pot of misery right now. Sorry for the lack of cool composition or anything; all I gots right now.

Here is Bri trying to clear her head with steam from hot water and lemons; reminds me of that scene in Crocodile Dundee when he pours all that coke into a water bowl for the NYC socialite to inhale. At the time I had no clue what that shit was or how much he wasted; thankfully I still have no fucking clue. But ANYTHING would be better to cope with than being fucking sick. Seriously, anything else??????

Cough cough.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shot of the Day #67: The Interrogation

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

As per tradition, when we arrived home and situated our luggage, Banzai-who stayed back in LA-kept a tight vigil on the bags we took, as if some doggie holy grail (i.e. a fresh, dripping dinosaur bone) was hidden deep inside & will grant her every carnal desire....or just sniff our soiled skivvies. Knowing Banz, it could be a toss-up, pending how sweaty our genny's were.

Ever since i can remember, whenever we would come home from a trip, Banzai would just stand there, still as glass, waiting for either one of two options:

a) Thumbs to magically grow on her paws to allow her access to the zipper to unfurl some stinky booty.

b) For one of us to open the luggage so that she may sniff the ever-living shit out of it like it was a line of coke Sly Stallone's cock at Studio 54 in 1977.
(Wow, where did that come from?)

Needless to say, she's a mutt on a mission when the luggage returns home.

So, here is The Banz at her usual post-travel position, going on 40....41 minutes. Good luck, Squibs.

Good to be home.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Shot of the Day #66: Introducing: The Remobile!

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Feast your eyes on one bad-ass lil' bastard. Sweet, huh?

This was originally a christmas gift from my father to me when i was 8, one of his last ditch attempt to lure me to the "gearhead" side. I remember Dad saying it wasn't quite drivable yet; "-just needs a govenor" (whatever that is....see? Totally auto-tarded. Sad.) so in the small window we had where I could actually fit into the upgraded go-kart, we never got to make it street-safe, so it sat there, dormant, in my father's garage/sanctuary, an occasional conversation piece.

My brother Andrew told me today that Dad's wish was that he finish what the Old Man started, but for the next generation; that the Red Rocket you see above would be operational by the time Mr. Plissken can reach the gas pedal. When he told me this, it almost felt like destiny, like it was meant for Remy...that it always was.
Forgive me for going all Jedi, i guess the Yoda doll has been rubbing off on me. Not a bad thing.

Our last day home has been a bouquet of emotions for everyone here, one that's not going to be easily digested or explained. But just trying to wrap my head around this piece of our family history, an object of my Dad's passions passed onto his first son (and somewhat sadly shunned)...and then grandson, gives me hope for more smiles in the future. God knows we need 'em.

So get ready for some killer, FRENCH CONNECTION/GRAN PRIX type filmed shit when Remalicious can put the P to the M. I can't wait to watch him go and shoot the fuck out of it, make him give Statham a run for his Audi.

Bring it Statham!


Friday, March 06, 2009

Shot of the Day #65: The Shell of Success

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

After seeing a WATCHMEN matinee this afternoon (more on that after I see it a few more times, see you then), my brothers and I stopped by the abandoned building that was once my father's small-scale empire. Automotive Trik was to many in our area an institution, and my Dad was it's Citizen Kane, the many creations he made for his customers his own Rosebuds, made fresh daily in steel, oil, plastic and plenty of elbow grease. My Dad was like a fashion designer for cars and trucks in a semi-underground culture only made more surface-level with films like SMOKEY & THE BANDIT 2, TWO LANE BLACKTOP & THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS to poorly name a few. He was a genius with the stuff, and his passion and determination kept the company alive and well for years, well past the age when dealerships selling the cars began selling them "pre-customized" and mail-order, both of which challenged his business. He survived in a fickle industry not only because he did or supervised most of the custom work himself, for better or worse, adding a special custom edge, but also because he was so stern and thick headed, plowing through economical strive and cultural relevance. His work was so popular, that the term 'Trik Edition' was the seal of quality that was worn on the many vehicles he "trik'd out" like a badge of honor. Work so popular, I saw "Trik Editions" wherever I went for years, from South Carolina to even Cali, and the "Trik" term was even attached to his name, hence "Joe Trik". He was proud of his work, and it showed (and spread).

This building was made with his hands (a renevation in 1990 turned a tiny shack into this multi-leveled building you see here, a shell of it's former glory and rented by Pop for a few years) and it was a building I know every nook and cranny since I/we worked there for years. Sure, I mostly read Fangoria magazine, which was deceptively wedged between Mickey Thompson and Borla catalogues, but it was still my first job and I witnessed first-hand how to make something out of nothing (or something out of "standard issue model") and an amazing attention to detail. My family survived off of this building, and we all grew up within it's walls. My dad was truly happy with what he career path, and this company reflected that, his work stood as an example of loving what you do. I might not have grown up to be the gear-head he probably wanted to take over the business, but it did push me to strive to love what I did with my life professionally too.

Thanks again, Dad...it DOES feel good to do just that.

Seeing the empty building was bittersweet, but it also felt good to see it one more time. Below is one of the signs he used at the many car shows we attended with his arsenal of vehicles, which was on-display at the wake. Not shockingly, many of his customers showed up amongst family and friends, who teared up not over the pictures we put around the room, but this sign. I know why now.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Shot of the Day #64: A flower for my Father.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Shot of the Day #63: A Million Words.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

One of the requisite duties of a wake; collecting photographs for display. My mom had a stack of old 2-D memories, so many frozen moments in my Dad's life, and my brother Mike was in charge of putting together the framed tapestry before the viewings today, and just going through all these was a time-warp. Notice the badassness of my pop with his chopper, or the shot from our wedding in Santa Cruz with "the Boys"...and pay particular attention to the shot of my "boss" holding down the fort at his self-made success, Automotive Trik, an auto customizing shop he founded and battled to success for 25 years before he closed the doors in 2006.A Business that was his legacy, his burden and our first job(s). I should go back to that building, which he still owned but rented out to another company.

That photo of my dad with the sign was the first official "assignment" I had in photography, where the teacher in our 12 person Photo class in high school tasked us to capture a person completely in image. Being a small-business owner, for years my dad was plagued with people asking for a "hook up" or a "fayvah" and drop the sales tax from big sales, and he was sick of telling people to politely "fuck off", so he had a friend who had an air-brushing business make him a sign that encapsulated his feelings in an easy to display form to save his breath and temper, and having the shitty camera on me one chilly December morning in 1993, I captured this moment that to many, perfectly captured my Dad, at least to me. This was "Joe Trik", the nickname he was given years ago and one I haven't heard in years. I also hadn't seen the picture since I graduated in 94, and laying eyes on it again was a punch to the senses, as if it was only seconds ago I was framing up the shot. Got an A- by the way (the minus was due to my rushed developing process, and the shot had a few hairs on the print. Well, FORGIIIIVE ME!).

But pictures like this tell so many tales, so many wonderful moments with my Dad. Plenty of shitty ones, but that's family, isn't it? Just having this photo montage of a man's life in front of us was overwhelming, with so much to digest in both the heart and the mind. (Im sure there will be a lot to digest after the funeral as well, as I hear we're gonna have a hell of a spread. Woo.)

It was good to see these, like emotional wasabi. Joe Trik would have appreciated the metaphor. Or is that a simile?


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

2008-2 films I forgot to mention...

This has been bothering me for weeks.

So when I FINALLY did my Best of 2008 films, it was a hard set of choices to make. Which was going to be in the "top 10", which was going to be in the "honorable mention" section? Tough decisions and I felt that, at the time, I covered everything....but I fucked up. See, there were two films that made a major impact on me last year and I plum forgot 'em. Not that there needs to be a cry of "Stop the Presses" or a retraction/apology in the Times, but I did want to single these two pieces of work in particular and finally bring to light some fantastic cinema. Bear with me as Bri is rushing around trying to pack Remy up for our trip back to NY and I need something to focus on right now.

LOOK-It's pretty clear that Im a Rifkin-ite. Ever since THE DARK BACKWARD and all through his eclectic filmography, I've been a fan of writer/director(sometime actor) Adam Rifkin, and I've been even more blessed to now call him a friend. But he's always been an inspiration to me, and his films are all wildly (and proudly) different; from the manic comedy of THE CHASE to the stark/deamlike reality of NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE to his latest effort, the goofy and fun, Rifkin's work can never be tied down to any particular genre, and he's happy with that, thanks. Plus, he can work in both the studio system AND the indie world Back in March, while devising a cool, "secret" project amongst film buddies, Rif gave me a copy of his new film, an experimental flick he called LOOK. Now, I was nervous. What if I hated it? Now I have his ear, and what if it sucks? In a year where the "found footage/Verite" style was king (Cloverfield, REC, Quarantine, Paranormal Activity, etc. etc.) I'd say that the one film that truly and deeply affected me-yes, even more than P.A.- was LOOK. Shot over the course of a few days and following a varied set of characters, the main concept is that in our society, we are followed by cameras at all times, anywhere and everywhere. Rifkin uses security cameras, both acknowledged and hidden, to follow these people and their own trials and tribulations, from the mundane to the deadly serious. I promise you, you wont find another film that switches tonal gears more than this, from comedy to drama to horror and back again, and with such skill. Rifkin balances the storylines with masterful style, and the "verite" feel only makes it more immediate, more powerful, more fucking disturbing. I dare you to look away from LOOK...and now with a Showtime TV series in the works, I'm so glad the film will get it's proper due, and Rifkin will be able to further explore this fascinating concept. Check out the trailer HERE.

JCVD-Holy shit, was this a kick in the face. I had heard good things about this semi-autobiographical action yarn about a washed up Belgian action star getting embroiled with bank robbers and a public who thinks HE's the culprit, but little did we know we were in for an emotional roller coaster too. I've said it before and I'll repeat it loudly: While Rourke was the poster-boy performance of 08 (Sorry Sean, you won by technicality), Jean Claude Van Damme should have gotten at LEAST an Independent Spirit for his heartbreaking turn as...himself. If you ever see it, check out the 7 minute monologue where he pours his heart out...TO YOU, the audience, in a 4th wall-breaking moment that will leave you in tears. It did to us.

If you want to be spoiled, check out the monologue HERE; otherwise, check out the whole movie when it comes out on DVD soon.

So there you go; I wish I could put these on the list, but it feels too late, but I feel that any film that can affect me the way these two fims did should be mentioned.

Ok, off my back...away we go.


Shot of the Day #62: Nerd, you will be...young Jedi.

Shot with iphone. Click to enlarge.

We've been blessed with so many gifts for our lil' Padawan, thank you all so much for the outpouring of love (yes, the Thank You cards will go out shortly; it's been...complicated). Seriously, this kid has enough clothes for 2 years, and plenty of metal shirts to be able to rock the Viper Room in the coming weeks! One gift he's taken to in particular is "Baby Yoda", which his infant eyes instantly took to. He's been loving this little Jedi, and from the looks of it, Yoda's givin' it right back....so when do I break it to him that the first 3 films suck ass? I'll wait...

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.


...thought I'd leave you with a happy photo for now as we're out the door for NY. The next few days will be um...HEAVY, to quote marty McFly (or Doc Brown, whichever), so i thought I'd break up the somber stuff with some cuteness.

"Poo or poo not, there is no try"


PS: Kinda looks like Remy is pulling an "Aristocrats" up there, huh? I can't wait to tell him that one!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Shot of the Day #61: Givin' this kid some SOUL.

Shot with Nikon D90. Click to enlarge.

Here is some F.G.R. (Fore Ground Remy) while one of my dad's all-time favorite movies, THE COMMITMENTS, is lulling him to sleep. My pop was more of a movie fan vicariously through his geeky boys, but this Alan Parker-directed yarn about an all-Irish soul band rocking the middle-class was a film I know he always loved. I remember the soundtrack, especially tracks like "Mustang Sally" and "I Can't Stand The Rain", being played ad-nauseum in his car stereo or in the back of his shop while he worked away on a car/truck. Whenever it was on HBO, it stayed on, God Damnit. It was just one of those "family films" in the Lynch household, one I'll never forget watching while keeping an eye on my Dad, tapping his hand on his legs in his chair as he watched. Maybe, on a good day, he'd start shuffling and shimmying in the chair, making that "white man's overbite" face as the music pumped. Clearly, the flick was doing it's job.

Luckily, a few years later the band-called "Committed" because of a copywright issue-went on tour and I bought tickets for the family to go when they played NYC's Irving Plaza, which felt great, like "Look at me, Im responsible! Im buying tickets into the city! Woo!" and fookin jaysus, was it a good show. I still have the T shirt too and wear it proudly. I dunno if they still play out, but if you get a chance, check them out...here is their official site.

Also, nerd note: Glen Hansard, the star of one of my favorite films, ONCE, was a member of the band in the film. If you haven't seen ONCE, you haven't seen a true passion piece of music and movie melding together. It's amazing.

So, in honor of "the old man", Remy and I watched the flick (which I hadn't seen in at least 10 years) while Bri and Jan went out to Whole Foods to get some rations for the flight. The kid fell right asleep. This is a good thing. Dad would have been thrilled that he got to see it...or at least hear it.

Check out The Commitments trailer below...."Um Bleck, un Um Proud!"


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Shot of the Day #60: Joe Lynch Jr. 1952-2009

Shot with Nikon D90/Olympus Stylus 710. Click to Enlarge.

My Hero.

I love you, Dad.
I hope they have a good T1 line up there; check in whenever, OK?