Friday, February 26, 2010

Cutting again.

I've edited about three minutes of a new Crewless short movie. Stacey and I are swapping roles for this one--she's directing and I'm producing. Here's a still...

The title? Monster Hunt with James and Kevin.

Look for it this autumn at finer film festivals everywhere. I mean, assuming any of them choose to show it. And it doesn't take three years to finish.

Also, this is cool. Turn your iPhone into a wireless touchpad. For free. Handy as a remote for a Mac Mini-powered home theater system.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

So long, satellite (Phase 2).

Last night I got my new Mac Mini (sloppily) hooked up to the TV in the living room.

Hulu on the big screen!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stock footage.

I'm going to need some footage from horror movies for a montage that will be part of that new short flick I mentioned yesterday. Since I can't afford licensing fees, I specifically need footage from public domain horror movies. Kind of the no-budget version of "stock footage."

I think this site might provide 80% or 90% of the footage I need. The internets are awfully useful. Sometimes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Busy weekend.

Played a show with the Exhibit(s) on Friday, then spent most of the weekend shooting a movie. Then I wrote almost seven pages of a screenplay for another movie on Sunday night. So I'm feeling a little tired at this point.

But the gig and shooting seemed to go well. And the script is for a short, so it's close to halfway done.

Here are a few photos from the movie shoot. More details later this week.

(Regular readers of this blog will recognize the photo subjects as Kevin, James, and Trap, of course.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Free TV.

Stacey and I have been talking about getting rid of our Dish Network system and getting all our television from the Internet (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and over-the-air (ABC, NBC, etc.). I took the first step in that direction last night when I connected an antenna to our big TV.

You can't really tell it from this photo, but the picture quality is very nice.

Seven channels down and... several to go.

I also bought a USB TV tuner thing (Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950Q) only to find out it is not-at-all compatible with the Mac. Maybe the whole "WinTV" thing should have tipped me off.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It was three years ago today...

Well, yesterday actually. We started filming Interplanetary on February 17, 2007. Sometimes it seems like it hasn't been that long. And sometimes it feels like I've been working on Interplanetary my whole life.

Here's a blast from the past... Chuck on set, Day One of Production.

The movie is, as they say, "out to distributors" right now. Let's hope it doesn't take another three years for Interplanetary to get a proper DVD release. While we're hoping, let's hope for a Blu-ray edition, too!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So much stuff I want to write about...

...but I don't know if I should. I have a couple of pretty big movie-type projects coming up that aren't totally mine, and I'm not sure if I should be the guy to spill the beans. Maybe I can write about one of 'em next week.

It's too cold to write anyway. It snowed here in Birmingham, Alabama, again last night. If you've spent any time in the 'ham, you know that's downright bizarre.

If you want to brave the cold tonight, my band (one of 'em, at least) the Exhibit(s) will be playing at Stillwater tonight.

And James Brown, who I play Rock Band with (current band count: three actual, one virtual), made this avatar of me...

Since I have upcoming movie shoots--and since my avatar is wearing one--I guess it's time to get a new cowboy hat.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snowpocalypse Now.

We had a rare snowstorm here in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday. I took out my new camera (and my old tripod) and did my best to capture the event on video. In HD. And slow-mo.

For the full HD experience, watch the video at YouTube and choose the 720p option.

A little info about the video: shot with the Canon 7D at 720p/60 fps, slowed down to 24 fps using Apple's Cinema Tools. Lens was a 28mm Nikon mount, attached to the Canon using a cheap adapter. Edited with Final Cut Pro, of course. The song is "22 Ghosts III" by Nine Inch Nails, used with the permission implied by Creative Commons. Big thanks to NIN for making so much music available for not-for-profit videos like this one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Wallace and Gromit!

I mentioned claymation superstars Wallace and Gromit a few days ago. Looks like you can now watch their Oscar-nominated short online, courtesy of Vanity Fair.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This'll be another short post, as I was up late editing those TV spots I shot last weekend.

Working on these spots is reminding me how much I love Final Cut Pro. It's turned into so much more than "just editing" software. I'm able to do color correction, color keying, titling, and audio mixing without leaving Final Cut. And I haven't even upgraded to the latest version.

Many thanks, Apple!

Monday, February 8, 2010


I shot a TV spot for some friends last night. The weather was so much colder than I expected. Thank goodness Trap was with me, or it would have taken three times as long, and I would have probably gotten frostbite.

It was good to find out that my new camera could run for two hours in the cold with no problems. Did I tell you I got a new camera? I should probably blog about that at some point.

Friday, February 5, 2010

More good movies.

Members of the Academy have picked their favorite movies of 2009. And I recently spent a few days writing about my favorite movies of the decade (starting here).

So what do you think of the Acadamy's choices? And mine, for that matter? Leave a comment and let me know.

While we're talking movies, here are a few more of my favorites from the 2000s (in no particular order)...

High Fidelity: John Cusack plays a guy in his 30s who manages to finally grow up, despite his obsession with rock and roll music. Featuring an awesome cameo by The Boss. Remember, it's not so important what people are like as it is what they like.

Iron Man: An almost-perfect superhero movie, full of great characters (especially Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr.).

X-Men 2: Another almost-perfect superhero movie. Great bad guy (Brian Cox!) and a fantastic opening scene (Nightcrawler invades the White House).

Pan's Labyrinth: Excellent fantasy/adventure flick. The kind of movie Spielberg used to make (that's a good thing).

Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: Endlessly charming stop-motion animated movie from England.

Little Children: The suburban ennui movie that American Beauty should have been. Features a brutal, heartbreaking performance by Jackie Earle Haley. Plus the always-dependable Kate Winslet.

Slither: My kind of horror movie--gross and funny. So, of course, it tanked at the box office.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: Sci-fi with brains and heart. And some Kate Winslet for good measure.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Looking like a busy year. (Maybe.)

So a couple of my filmmaking pals stopped by the house last night, and we started planning a secret movie project that will be completed sooner rather than later. Hopefully. Plus I'm talking to some other folks about another feature film, two short films, and a music video (not necessarily in that order). Plus I need to start sending Interplanetary out to distributors.

Oh, and I'm already thinking about my next feature-length screenplay. Which I would like to turn into a feature-length movie at some point.

If even half this stuff comes to pass, it'll be a productive year. Of course, there is always the possibility that none of it will come to pass. Such is life in the no budget filmmaking lane.

If you're interested in this glamourous profession, my pal Andrew has the only filmmaking advice you need.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In case you somehow haven't heard...

Lost returns tonight.

(Also, I'm a sucker for "Last Supper" recreations.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter vacation.

Spent the last few days in Orlando, FL, visiting the Universal and Disney theme parks.

Late January is a pretty good time for a trip like this. The Orlando weather is nice (though it was chilly yesterday), and the crowds aren't too bad (only had to wait 30 minutes for the Spider-Man ride!).

Especially enjoyed the retro-future vibe at Epcot and Tomorrowland. Viva Space Mountain!