Friday, December 26, 2008


Got 100 clear DVD cases from for about 41 cents each after shipping, tax, etc. A good price, I think, and I'm very impressed with the quality of the cases.

Recommended, if you don't mind buying in bulk.

Also, one of those cases in the photo is stuffed with the "Mark II" festival screener cover art.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas, everybody!

I hope Santa was as good to you guys as he was to me. Check out these awesome retro Star Trek action figures I found under the tree...

Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teaser redux.

While our buddy (and Hide and Creep DP) Robb Rugan puts the finishing touches on the "official" Interplanetary trailer (which is awesome--can't wait for you guys to see it), I thought I'd clean up the old "teaser" a bit and post it to Vimeo.

Interplanetary Teaser Trailer

I think the picture quality on Vimeo is a (small) step up from YouTube. You can also view the teaser at Vimeo's site in "HD."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Screener season.

We finally have Interplanetary in good enough shape that I've started submitting to festivals (two so far!). If it's time to send out screeners, that means it is time for DVD and cover art design.

Here's a (grainy) photo of the "Mark I" version of the disc and case that went out to a fest last week...

Props to Ted Speaker, who designed the Interplanetary Corporation "Mars Base Two" logo that inspired the screener artwork.

First screening of 2009.

Looks like the first festival screening of Interplanetary in 2009 will be in Oxford, Mississippi, courtesy of the awesome folks at the Oxford Film Festival.

The festival will be held from February 5 - 8, though I don't yet know which night Interplanetary will be showing. According to Google Maps, the Oxford fest's screening theater is less than three and a half hours from Birmingham, so it isn't too far if any of you hometown folks are interested in driving over.

I believe this will be our last "work in progress" screening of the flick. I'm really excited about the current cut of Interplanetary, and, if it plays well in Oxford, I think we'll call it "locked."

Special thanks to Melanie and Michelle at the Oxford Film Festival for inviting us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trust the art, not the artist.

I've been telling everybody that Hide and Creep (my first feature, co-directed with Chuck Hartsell) is about the small Southern town where I grew up, and Interplanetary is about my (day job) workplace experiences as an adult.

But I've been wrong.

Hide and Creep is about where I grew up, and Interplanetary is about the stuff I watched on TV. Battlestar Galactica. Buck Rogers. Movies like Star Wars, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and John Carpenter's The Thing. And, most significantly, Star Trek.

Now, I wasn't totally wrong. There are plenty of Interplanetary bits informed by my Office Space-like professional life. But when you get down to it, Interplanetary is me trying to make my "Menagerie."

Wouldn't you know, it was my sister Somer who set me straight. I let her borrow a DVD of the Norway cut of Interplanetary, and she emailed me with her review. She hit the nail on the head during the first paragraph...

"I felt like I was reliving all of the Star Trek shows/Black Lagoon/sci-fi stuff we watched when we were younger!"

I mention all of this just because it amuses me that, after years of work on Interplanetary, I am still discovering new things about it.

So thanks for watching, Somer. And thanks to the cast and crew of Interplanetary for helping me unleash my inner Gene Roddenberry.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Norway Thursday.

As I mentioned in the last post, you can get the Norway Thursday Bergen recap from John's blog. To his notes on the day, I'll just add a few photos...

One of my favorite things about Norway this time of year is that it never really quite gets daylight. Bergen and Os are far enough north that the sun comes up around 8 a.m., hovers along the horizon, and sets around 4 p.m. I took this next photo around 12:45 p.m. local time. Notice how low the sun sits in the sky.

Anticipating cold, wet weather, I actually left my beloved Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers at home and wore a new pair of Gore-Tex hiking shoes while in Norway. Here are my shoes (and me) on the way down the funicular.

Finally, a reflected-from-above shot of John, Stacey, and me in the ferry boat on the way back to Os.

Stacey stayed in Thursday night, while Bjørn treated John, Jen, Stianpian, and I to a special private screening of Sex Galaxy at the local sports bar, walking distance from the WT fest community center. I gotta say, Sex Galaxy is a trip. Most of the movie consists of re-dubbed and re-edited public domain footage from old sci-fi movies. So the look is quite old-school, but the dialog is modern, as is the plot, which concerns a group of astronauts leaving a future Earth where pre-marital sex has been outlawed.

It was great seeing an off-beat movie in an intimate setting, and it gave us our first opportunity to hang out with Bjørn and Stianpian away from the relative craziness of festival central. The only downside was we missed the night's "big" screening, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. But Brooks is now available on DVD here in the States, so I'll Netflix it at some point.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

John covers Bergen.

I'm going to post some photos from our visit to Bergen, Norway, ASAP. In the meantime, please check out John's take on the city over at his food/travel blog, Cooking With Juan...

Monday, November 10, 2008

First day in Norway.

(Wednesday November 5, 2008)

For a week I've been meaning to email Bjørn, my contact at the Os film fest, to confirm our arrival time and his plan to send someone to pick us up at the airport. But I never got around to that email, so I'm a little nervous as to how we're going to make the 40-minute trip from the airport in Bergen, Norway, to the city of Os.

I'll worry about that later. Our first stop of the day is the airport in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before we land, the flight crew announces that Barack Obama is the new President-elect back in the States. Good for him. I am cautiously optimistic that Obama, being young and intelligent, might repair some of the damage caused by all of the old, stupid guys in Washington, D.C.

We run into a little trouble at the Copenhagen security check, due to a misunderstanding over some beverages purchased at the duty-free store back in the States. The problem is quickly resolved, as the ladies working security are actually polite and helpful. And they're very excited about Obama's election win. We talk politics with them for a while before moving on to wait for our flight to Norway. Everybody else we meet at the Copenhagen airport treats us like guests, not potential terrorists. Will airports in the States ever be that way again?

I actually get a little sleep on the short flight to Bergen. The "arrivals" side of the Bergen airport seems pretty small. There aren't many people in the area... except for a guy holding a "WT Os Film Festival" sign. Yes! Ole Bøe is here to pick us up. Actually, Ole is here for our luggage (he brought a grip truck!). Jan Christian (J.C.) will be taking Stacey, John, Jen, and I to Os in his Mercedes.

Picked up at the airport in a Mercedes. That's pretty serious rock star treatment as far as I'm concerned.

J.C. takes us on the "scenic" route into Os, and it is quite lovely. The tiny road winds through hills and mountains. And lots of trees. It reminded me of some areas Stacey and I saw when we visited Alaska. Talking to J.C., I realize that his English is excellent. As opposed to my non-existent Norwegian skills. We'll find out later that most folks in Norway are fluent English speakers.

J.C. drops us off at our hotel, one of only two in Os. I'm pleased to see that it isn't a generic Holiday Inn-style hotel, but more... I guess "cabin-style" is a good description. Stacey's and my room especially, with our own front door, beds in the loft, and separate bathroom/shower. I check the small TV -- two channels in English, a Norwegian-language news channel... then static. John later informs me that there is free wi-fi. Looks like the computer will be our in-room entertainment for the rest of our stay.

Take a few steps outside and the view is unbelievable. The weather is sunny today, a rarity for this part of Norway. Our hotel is right on the water (the shore of a fjord), and in the distance one can see a glacier and snow-capped mountains.

After long-awaited showers, we make the two-kilometer walk down the hill to the Os city center. Based on J.C.'s recommendation, we try Peppe's. It's a family pizza restaurant, sort of like Pizza Hut, but with more variety. Apparently in Norway, a pizza place can also sell burgers and Tex-Mex-inspired dishes. Woot.

From there, it's down the road and up a different hill to the Os community center, where most of the week's film festival action will take place. We meet Bjørn and several other members of the festival staff. And we get beers, Tuborg beer from Denmark. The evening kicks off with several Norwegian short films. The first two horror-themed shorts are particularly well-shot, and I can pick up something of the story from the visuals even though I don't get much out of the dialog.

Stacey and Jen head back to the hotel, while John and I stick around for the opening night feature, a mockumentary from the States called Let Others Suffer. I must admit, I find most mockumentaries lacking, especially after the genre-defining This Is Spinal Tap. But Let Others Suffer is entertaining for the most part, and I liked many of the performances, especially Caroline Hall's.

It's a little late, and it's been a very long day, so John and I say our goodbyes and make the walk back to the hotel.

Rough translation.

While I try to get caught up on Norway-related blogging, I thought any non-Norwegian-speakers out there might want to check out Google's English translation of the WT festival's official blog at...

Read the blog in its original language at, or convert it to the language of your choosing using Google Translate.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Audience choice.

I am very proud to announce that Interplanetary was awarded "Audience Choice" at the 2008 WT Film Festival in Os, Norway!

This has been such an incredible trip, and I have much blogging to do. Hopefully, I'll get a lot of writing done on the plane and post it when we get home Monday night. For now, though, I need to try to get a little sleep. We leave for the airport in four hours (4:30 a.m. local time).

Many thanks to the festival staff and all of the good people here who made our stay in Os so special.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Screening update.

The screening was great. Interplanetary went over really well with the good people of Os, Norway. More details later. In the meantime, here is a small, grainy photo of Interplanetary on the big screen...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back to the future.

"I can't believe we're going back to Europe."

Stacey said that at the Birmingham airport, like she was Al Pacino in that Godfather sequel complaining about how they keep pulling him back in. But this Norway trip was mostly her idea. Hers and John's. Not that they had to twist my arm that much. Hide and Creep didn't really do much festival business (other than the awesome Sidewalk premiere), so it's cool that people are interested in Interplanetary already.

I'm writing this on the new MacBook Pro. We're a couple hours from Copenhagen, one of our layovers, and I think the rest of my gang (Stacey, John, and Jen) are asleep. It's weird. It's 11:29 p.m. CST, so I'm guessing the presidential election back home is over, but no news has reached our plane. Or if it has, it hasn't trickled back here to us poor saps flying coach. The in-flight TV is playing The Simpsons. I'll take that if we can't have live CNN. "Ooh... bacon!"

Self-portrait of me on the plane.

After my last international flight, I'm trying to maintain a better in-flight attitude. That flight was miserable, and I figure maybe I was to blame. This flight has been okay, I only have one big gripe -- the captain is so damn stingy when it comes to turning off the "seatbelt" light. I just don't get it. The ride isn't that bumpy. I get up to stretch my legs and get grief from one of the flight attendants. This particular attendant is kind of a dick... Oops. I guess that's two gripes.

This Simpsons episode is really good... Lisa is telling Dr. Nick how to perform heart surgery on Homer.

Anyways, that's where we are right now. I think after Copenhagen we go to the Bergen airport in Norway, and then there's a car ride to the city of Os. Or maybe a bus ride. We'll see.

I was up late several nights working on the Norway cut of Interplanetary. I finally got a Blu-ray disc made (more on that later), and it looks and sounds good, I think. I'm excited to see how it goes over with the good folks of Norway. Our screening is scheduled for Friday at 9:30 p.m. -- seems a pretty sweet slot, so maybe we'll get a good turnout.

Now the in-flight TV is showing a thing about the manufacture of Leatherman tools. Neat-o...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'Tis the season.

Some of you might remember we made a movie before Interplanetary, a little zombie flick called Hide and Creep.

Looks like people are still discovering it. And some are even reviewing it.

Hide and Creep is... "between distributors" at the moment. Hopefully we can rectify that after we get Interplanetary finished up.

Cut status.

Been tightening up the editing on Interplanetary the last couple of nights. We already have a new deadline (Norway!), but it isn't weighing down on me nearly as much as the Memphis deadline.

Current running time for anybody still keeping score: 85 minutes, 7 seconds.

That includes everything. The only way I see the flick getting any longer is if we're able to film a couple of additional effects shots. But that won't happen 'til at least December. If it does happen, the running time might increase by 30 seconds or so.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Michael took this photo at the Memphis theater, before the Interplanetary screening.

We made the marquee -- just like a real movie!

Memphis wrap-up.

I was up 'til 6:30 Thursday morning working on the Interplanetary edit. At that point, I was probably more working on the sound mix, but whatever. I went to bed, planning to get up a couple of hours later to head down to Production Plus to get the DigiBeta tape made...

...and woke up around 11. Apparently, I slept right through the alarm. Exhaustion will do that to you. Stacey couldn't get me on the phone and came home to check on me. She had to shake me a little while to rouse me from my slumber. Luckily, there had been a miscommunication with Production Plus, and I was scheduled for 1 p.m., not 9 a.m.

The dub to DigiBeta went great until reel five, when about twenty seconds of footage played back totally out of whack. I ran home and found that when I'd reconnected the Final Cut Pro timeline to the HD footage, I got reels 83 and 83a (no idea why I have a reel 83a) mixed up. I re-rendered the bad footage, and the guys at Production Plus were able to do an insert edit to tape, so we didn't have to re-dub the whole movie.

John and I finally got on the road to Memphis around 5 p.m. (yay, rush hour) and arrived there around 9:30 p.m. after getting lost a couple of times, distracted from the road by good conversation. We found Erik Jambor at a bar eating a late dinner, but John and I couldn't buy drinks because of the bar's cash-only policy. So we walked to another bar, used their ATM, and returned to have a drink with Jambor. As John said, longest beer run ever.

Jambor introduced us to a couple of fest folks, and they recommended we hit a late night place for PBR and food. The place was kind of like Marty's (a favorite Birmingham night spot), and we enjoyed sandwiches with sides of Pringles chips.

I spent most of the rest of the weekend on the verge of vomiting. There was such a rush to get the Memphis cut together, I was afraid I might have made a serious mistake (like leaving out the dialog for an entire scene or something). With no way to watch the DigiBeta tape (why don't hotels have DigiBeta machines in each room?), I wouldn't know of any problems with the cut until the screening. And if the DigiBeta tape had exploded for some reason, we didn't have a backup (John and I planned to make a backup, but I left a near irreplaceable cable at home, so we couldn't burn a DVD from my FireWire drive).

Needless to say, I was a little anxious about how the screening would go down.

I managed to calm down long enough Saturday to watch My Effortless Brilliance (another movie Ted Speaker wrote music for), a couple of shorts, and part of a live panel discussion featuring Craig Brewer and Elvis Mitchell.

By the time midnight rolled around, there was a large Birmingham contingent in town for the movie (people had been filing in since Friday afternoon, when Stacey, Kelly Marshall, Sam Frazier, and Michael arrived). So I was even more nervous. How much would it suck to let down somebody who drove four hours to see a movie? But I was really glad all these people made the trip (on top of all their other contributions to Interplanetary).

The screening itself is kind of a blur. I'd had a few beers at this point and was so relieved to see the movie looking and sounding good in an honest-to-goodness movie theater, the thing just flew by. I did notice people laughing at some bits that I hadn't considered super funny, so that was nice. I like when different parts of a movie work for different viewers.

After a little post-screening partying and a little sleep, Stacey took Hilleke back home, and John and I stopped back by the festival theater to bid adieu to Jambor. We got a little lost one more time before we made it back to Highway 78 and, eventually, Birmingham.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The short version.

Had a blast in Memphis, and the screening went well (which was a relief, as I was damn nervous to be showing the movie to an audience for the first time). And we got our first review! Check it out at

Details later, after I have some time to recover from the drive back to Birmingham.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Under the gun.

Got a day job deadline tomorrow that's taken priority over the Thursday 9 a.m. Memphis deadline. It sucks, but a guy's gotta eat. And pay for film stock.

I just wanted to take a break to thank everybody who's been working hard to get Interplanetary ready for the Saturday screening, especially Alex Justinger (sound design), Eric McGinty and Ted Speaker (music), and Joe Walker (visual effects). And all the actors who have been in for ADR sessions. And usual MVPs Juan (flying saucer construction) and Trap (rotoscoping). And Erik Jambor, of course, for inviting us up to screen the flick.

I'm going to watch a little more of Mad Men and get back to it. I'll try to post from Memphis, if not sooner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review at Wade On Birmingham.

I managed to write a movie review for the Wade On Birmingham Sidewalk coverage.

Check it out, if you are so inclined.

Thanks to Wade for the opportunity to write about a movie other than Interplanetary!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good news, everybody!

Interplanetary is going to Norway!

Our little opus will be screening at the WT Os International Film Festival in November. You can visit the festival web site, though Interplanetary isn't listed on it yet (I just heard from the fest director a few minutes ago).

More info when it is available...

Friday, September 19, 2008

This and that.

Chuck, Sanford, Tim, Michael, and I met down at Trap's on Sunday, and I think we finally finished up Interplanetary pick-up shots. I'll know for sure when we get the footage back from the lab, hopefully sometime next week. Here's Chuck about to get his lid on...

Melissa stopped by on Tuesday to do some ADR. She knocked it out of the park, as usual. It was great catching up with Melissa (and seeing photos of her new baby!).

Stopped by Eric McGinty's last night and heard the first bits of the music he is working on for Interplanetary. It's sounding awesome. And strange and cool and creepy... well, words can't do it justice. But hearing the direction McGinty is taking with the score has me even more excited about the movie.

And Erik Jambor informed me today that we already got a little Memphis press for the October Interplanetary screening...

"On Its Way: The Indie Memphis Film Festival"

Thanks to Jambor for the heads-up and The Bloodshot Eye for the mention.

Otherwise, it's just been day job and mixing/editing. As I expect it to be until mid-October (with some breaks for Rock Band 2 and the Sidewalk film fest).

Monday, September 15, 2008


Whitney (one of my Rock Band sisters-in-arms) ("Run To the Hills!") just posted a nice interview with me about Interplanetary and stuff at The Terminal.

Please do check it out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday night pick-ups.

Went down to Sanford's (awesome) place to get a few pick-up shots of TV monitor playback stuff. And forgot the lenses! I really need to get my brain together. Anyways, after a quick trip home to get said lenses, we knocked out the shots pretty quickly.

We filmed in Sanford's workshop because he's been kind enough to store the console prop there. Which is fantastic, as I'm not looking forward to dragging it back up the stairs and cramming it into the condo. I keep hoping Stacey and I will get a place with a basement for storage of large props like the console, but, given the current banking environment, that's probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And so it begins.

Kevin Van Hyning stopped by earlier for the first ADR session of what I'm calling the "Memphis" cut of Interplanetary.

As most of Kevin's lines were of the off-camera variety, it didn't take too long to do the actual work. So I showed Kevin the first 20 minutes (give or take) of the edit, and we talked about other movies and drank the beer Kevin was nice enough to bring. Kevin's got excellent taste in movies -- his favorite flick is 2001. Go Kubrick!

A couple of pick-up shots with Sanford tomorrow, another short ADR session with Nick Crawford on Saturday, then to Trap's on Sunday to finish (hopefully) the Memphis cut pick-up shots.

Friday, September 5, 2008

On like Donkey Kong.

A special sneak preview screening of Interplanetary (the whole movie!) is scheduled for Saturday October 11, 11:59 a.m., at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in Memphis, TN.

More details as they are available. In the meantime, lots of post-production work to be done!

Have a good weekend...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cut status.

The first assembly of Interplanetary is done.

Running time, minus pickup shots and end credits, is 83 minutes, 46 seconds.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cut status.

Finally made it into reel six of Interplanetary (though I'm only expecting five reels total after I get the complete movie assembled and the reels better organized). So we're in the home stretch. Current running time is 81:54, and I'm only expecting that number to increase by a couple of minutes. Plus re-shoot footage. Plus closing credits.

Would have gotten more work done tonight, but I had to take breaks for The Venture Bros. and Mad Men.

Here's a cool frame of Mia from the end of reel 5...

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm starting to post a bit on Twitter. My handle, or whatever they call it, is "crewless":

If you're on the Twitter and have the inclination, let me know and we can do the mutual following thing.

Cut status.

Current running time of the Interplanetary rough cut: 78 minutes, 32 seconds. I added a whole scene to the cut, but the movie is actually a bit shorter now due to the tightening of several scenes.

A couple of nice frames I came across...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Exit strategery update.

Here are the Aaton camera film magazines shortly after unloading rolls 79 and 80 of Interplanetary.

Hopefully we'll finish the movie before we hit roll 100.

Speaking of finishing, I think we're down to two days of pickup shots -- one day (scheduled for mid-September) for a bunch of relatively simple stuff I should have got the first time around, and another day (currently unscheduled) for blowing shit up.

Also, I located some missing production audio last night, so I was finally able to assemble scene 28.


Sunday pickups.

We filmed a few neat-o pickup shots at Wade Sand and Gravel on Sunday. But I only took one photo.

That's Trap with a video camera and a plywood/plexi shield he built to protect the camera. Protect from what? Missiles, of course.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Chuck stopped by earlier to drink some beers and watch the current work-in-progress version of Interplanetary. And he didn't hate it! And he provided the beers!

This is a relief, as no one but me has really watched this cut yet. Well, my buddy Andrew watched it with me while I was in New York, but we had the sound down and were mostly discussing cinematography, effects, and other visual stuff.

Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to get the ending assembled and do some fine-tuning. Assuming I don't spend too much time working on pick-up shots on Sunday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back from NYC.

Stacey and I spent last weekend in New York City and had a great time (and saw Radiohead!).

Thanks to everyone who showed us some northern hospitality, especially Jimbo and Tab, who rolled out the air mattress for us.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cut status.

Finally back to editing after dealing with all that real estate foolishness.

Current Interplanetary running time: 78 minutes, 47 seconds.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Critic of choice.

Is's Devin Faraci the heir apparent to Roger Ebert? After reading his latest review, I'm thinking he's got a shot. Let's get this guy a Siskel-esque sidekick and a TV show, stat.

That said, I hope Mr. Ebert keeps writing reviews like this for years to come.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wasted time.

Looks like I spoke too soon.

The deal to sell our condo fell through (due to the current banking climate), so all that packing and cleaning and house hunting were for naught.

If I weren't trying to keep this blog PG-13, this is the part where I'd let loose with a few profanities.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Real estate.

Sorry for the lack of posts. Stacey and I are trying to sell the condo and buy a new place, and it's been one hassle after another. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe. I'll say no more for fear of jinxing it.

In happier news, the third season of The Venture Bros. is rocking along nicely, even though things seemed a little off for a while. This is my favorite show on TV and worth a look if you're a fan of comedy, action, and the absurd.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wrap day?

Still worn out from Sunday, which was the final day of Interplanetary principal photography. I think. We had some effects problems, which sucks because Trap and I actually spent some time testing out the effects ahead of time. Apparently, when it comes to using sparkler fireworks for simulating small rocket exhaust, all brands are not created equal.

And then there were a couple of afternoon thunderstorms. Rainy days on Mars. So we didn't get all the shots I wanted, but I think the ones we missed can be moved to the "pick-up" list. I'll know better after I get the footage back from the lab.

Here's actor Scott Ross in an interior scene we shot while waiting for the rain to clear...

And here's the rain as viewed from inside my truck...

Now playing.

Hellboy II is technically rock-solid, which isn't a surprise as it was directed by Guillermo del Toro. And I love the cast and characters. But the story never really came together for me.

I'd give it 2.5 stars, but Mr. Ebert says 3.5.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I thought for a moment there I'd lost all of last night's editing. Sure, it was only three minutes of screen time, but it took a few hours to put those three minutes together. Thank goodness for the Final Cut Pro "Autosave Vault."

The cut is still at 75 minutes -- other than panicking, tonight's work has just consisted of cleaning up the existing edits.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cut status.

It'll be slow going from here on out. At this point, I have most of my organized video and audio files edited. So now I'm editing the unorganized stuff, which means I have to dig around for the various bits and pieces of each sequence before I can assemble it.

And, yes, I should have had all this stuff organized months ago.

The rough cut is now at 75 minutes.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cut status.

Between the holiday (happy Independence Day, by the way), trying to sell the condo, and a few hours of Pixies Rock Band action, I haven't gotten much editing done since my last post. Also had to take a few hours to locate and format some production audio I had misplaced.

Current rough cut running time: approx. 71 minutes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cut status.

We're past the one hour mark -- rough cut is now at 65 minutes. Didn't accomplish as much today as I would have liked -- I got called in to the day job, and that kind of screwed my whole groove.

Also, another frame...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cut status.

Interplanetary rough cut is now approximately 51 minutes long.

And here's a nice frame I came across...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not disappointed.

Had a little screening of the Wrath of Con footage (approximately 20 minutes of Interplanetary) last week for some of the principal cast and crew, and it seemed to go over really well. Which was a huge relief. As much as I want Interplanetary to be a big hit with audiences and critics, I'm much more worried about pleasing the cast and crew who have worked so hard on the movie for little more than pizza and the occasional beer.

Here's hoping the other 70 or so minutes of the flick get a similar reaction.

This week.

Taking off from the day job to edit Interplanetary. The plan -- get the whole movie assembled (rough cut, super rough audio). Well, "whole" except for the bit of stuff not yet filmed and/or transferred. Currently just past the half-hour mark. I'll keep you posted.

More on the end of indies.

Good post from Andrew regarding that "end of indie film" item I linked to last week. Also includes a bit about Andrew finishing production on his latest feature in twelve days. Way to go, Andrew!

Now playing.

Caught WALL-E Sunday night. And it is really, really excellent. Maybe perfect.

I know I say that about a lot of Pixar stuff. But they make a lot of good movies. And WALL-E might be their best yet.

I'm not going to link to a review, because I don't want to spoil any of WALL-E for you. If you like animation or sci-fi or romances or... well, if you like movies, I think you'll like WALL-E.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Found out yesterday that there would be a screening of Jaws tonight at the Alabama Theatre. The Alabama is a huge, beautiful movie and concert theatre, and it is totally old school -- 35mm projection on a big silver screen. They even have the working curtains that open to reveal the screen right before the movie.

Or so I thought.

The pre-movie entertainment (live music from the Alabama's awesome pipe organ) ended, and I waited excitedly for those curtains to open all the way for the widescreen Cinemascope presentation of Jaws. But the curtains didn't open very wide at all, and the movie showed up on the square-ish screen letterboxed. The Alabama was showing the movie from a DVD.

The "print" looked okay, I guess, but not as good as my home theater setup, and definitely not as good as glorious 'scope 35.

So I finished my popcorn, came back home, and loaded up my Jaws DVD on the Blu-ray player.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Portable editing solution.

I'm way late on posting this, but I did indeed come up with a portable editing system, and it does indeed work. I got quite a bit of work done on my recent European vacation, especially on airplanes and at airports. My recipe for cutting on the run is as follows...

  1. Apple MacBook. You know I love the MacBook. Bang for the buck, I think it's the best computer available. A MacBook Pro has a bigger screen and more horsepower, but it is also heaver and more expensive.
  2. Extra MacBook battery. The MacBook is energy efficient, but video editing eats a lot of juice, so an extra battery comes in handy for long editing sessions when no AC power is available.
  3. Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. So you can hook up to an AC outlet and recharge your MacBook anywhere in the world.
  4. Final Cut Pro. According to Apple's documentation, their Final Cut Pro editing software will not run on a MacBook. The documentation is wrong. As long as you have enough memory (at least 1 GB, I have 2 GB), Final Cut Pro is go for MacBook.
  5. Audacity. Audio editing software, should handle most sonic needs not covered by Final Cut Pro.  And the price is right -- free.
  6. Bose Quiet Comfort 2 Headphones. So you can hear your movie's audio over the noise of the airplane/crowd/etc.
  7. LaCie Little Big Disk. The secret weapon. LaCie's 320 GB "Little Big Disk" is an external FireWire drive that doesn't need a separate power supply -- it gets all the power it needs to run from the same FireWire cable that it uses to exchange data with the computer.

    I know some airlines forbid the use of external disk drives on planes, but the LaCie drive is tiny, easily hidden from the flight crew and/or nosy passengers. Since 320 GB is plenty of space for all of the Interplanetary picture (in SD) and sound files, the LaCie "travel" drive is now my main project disk. I can carry it around from computer to computer (as long as said computer has the latest version of Final Cut Pro installed, of course).

Interview with Jonathan.

Word on the street is the upcoming issue of Fangoria features a one-on-one interview with Jonathan Thornton, special effects maestro of several movies, including Interplanetary. Check it out when it hits newsstands on July 8.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mamet for President?

A nice essay by stage and screen director David Mamet. Thanks to reader "KidAt40" for the link.

Also, speaking of Mr. Mamet, here's a fantastic radio interview with him, where he reveals several truths about filmmaking.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Now playing.

Michael Clayton.

Recommended by Roger Ebert. And the Academy. And now me. Excellent flick.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


So, the big Wrath of Con Interplanetary sneak preview was kind of a bust. Only ten or so people attended, and six of those were members of the crew. And one lady walked out after a particularly violent bit. Which is kind of cool in a way.

Even though the audience was small, the reaction to the 20 minutes of footage gave me some ideas for improving it. And we got to spend two days at the beach not working. Not a bad way to spend the weekend.

Friday, May 30, 2008

En route.

On the way to Wrath of Con. Pretty happy with the footage. Worked on it as much as possible before departure. We'll see how it goes over tomorrow.

Blogged from iPhone.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tick tock tick tock...

Sly stopped by my place at lunch to re-record some dialog. So that means all of the elements are in place for the weekend 20-minute Interplanetary preview at Wrath of Con.

Now, if I can only get said elements properly assembled in time...

Just stop it.

Lars. Seriously. You can pull all the "Metallica loves its fans" stunts you want.

You will still be a dick. Always and forever.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wrath of Con Preview details.

Looks like the IP preview will play between 12 and 2 p.m. on Saturday...

More Monday.

A few more Monday photos from Michael...


Yesterday was the penultimate day of principal photography for Interplanetary and picture wrap for Mia. Michael just sent me several good behind-the-scenes photos...

I'm in a panic trying to get the 20-minute Wrath of Con preview ready on top of the day job, etc. I'm really happy with the preview so far, though. Can't wait 'til some folks get to see it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Finally secured a URL for Interplanetary:

Some jerk already bought "" I say "jerk" because whoever bought the URL isn't doing anything with it. I thought about trying to buy it from the current owner but decided it isn't worth the effort.

Eventually, will take you to the Interplanetary web site. For the time being, consider it a shortcut to take you to the good ol' "Everybody On Mars Is Dead" blog.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Busy weekend.

Played a Friday late-night drum gig at Marty's, got home about about 6 a.m. Saturday. Woke up in time Saturday afternoon to get over to Kyle's for some ADR work. Got home from that and packed up for Sunday shooting.

We got lucky on Sunday -- it didn't rain on us. We filmed some buggy footage at the quarry with actors Kyle, Michael, and Trap. I think we got some good stuff. And picture wrap for Kyle!

I am now tired and slightly sunburned.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Somebody has finally created some affordable screenwriting software. Affordable as in free.

Check it out at

It's available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it includes several other pre-production tools. I've only had a few minutes to try it out, but I expect I'll be using it for my next screenplay.

So long, Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter!

Monday, May 12, 2008

20 minutes, give or take.

We're inching closer to a finished movie. As such, we'll be showing a 20-minute chunk of Interplanetary (end of Act II/beginning of Act III) in early June at the Wrath of Con sci fi conference (best name for a con ever) in Panama City Beach, Florida.

You can see us listed here, under "Special Presentations," as the Inerplanetary "Extended Preview/Work Cut." The preview will be using temp music and audio, but I'm hoping to have it 99% ready for prime time. We'll see how much work toward that goal we can accomplish in 2.5 weeks.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Permanent daylight.

Been mostly awake since 1 AM EST and am finally back in America--Atlanta airport with a four hour layover. Time enough for iPhone blogging and portable editing, at least.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Da, da, da-da-da...

Caught Iron Man in Rome (English with Italian subtitles). The first blockbuster of the summer delivers. Yay! And Robert Downey, Jr., proves again that he is a genius.

Also saw Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (English with Greek subtitles) at a lovely outdoor rooftop theater in Athens. Before... isn't as good as Lumet's best movies--I think the cut could be ten or so minutes shorter. But it is worth a watch for the performances (P. S. Hoffman!) and... well, Lumet, who on his worst day is still one of the best directors working.

Here's a grainy iPhone photo of that rooftop theater...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Internet access!

Just spent four days in Rome, Italy, with no internet access. The horror!

Am back online now in Athens, Greece. Mainly writing this post just to say "hi" to everyone. Also, my travel editing system seems to be working well. I'll post more details on that and maybe some photos from Rome ASAP.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Headed out.

In approximately 11 hours, I'll be headed out of town for a few days, so posts will be even less frequent than usual. And I won't get to see Iron Man opening night.

I am excited about a portable editing setup I'm working on for the plane ride -- more details on that after I actually try it out. I'm also excited about the footage that came back from the lab yesterday. I'll post some frames as soon as possible after I return.

Y'all have a good weekend...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Glossy press.

From Fangoria magazine #271 (March 2008), page 23 ("The Terror Teletype")...

Sorry about the low-res scan. It says, "The red planet gets redder in Chance (Hide and Creep) Shirley's Mars-set gorefest Interplanetary."

Red planet gets redder! Mars-set gorefest! That's some pre-release press I can get behind.