Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thursday it's Hot...No, Wednesday, it's Cool.

Dear Bloggery, it's been five months since my last confession. [This was written on May 1, it is May 21, 2014].

Ah, blogs... how you taunt your keepers. You are the crying baby that we neglect. You are the nagging wife that we make promises to. You are the friend that we have allowed, so graciously, to sleep on our couch only to still be there when we tire of you...

Let's see, last entry was on December 17; that means that I need to update you (you nebulous "you," you!) with my new branch of entertainment journalism. I have been writing and taking photos for the local entertainment journal OC Weekly. Here is a link to some of the articles and reviews I've written. Many of them are still heavily connected with other aspects of the entertainment industry; for examples, I wrote a feature article on the highly theatrical band Skinny Puppy, I wrote a review of the musical performance of Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges's show with his band, The Abiders, and I wrote a review of a Goblin concert (they, of course, scored many of the horror films of Italian horror director Dario Argento). I've also had an opportunity to take some photos for OC Weekly, and in addition to conducting an interview with Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, and writing an article and a review about them, I took photos of their exclusive Las Vegas show, wherein they performed their entire first studio album, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

In addition to the OC Weekly work, I've recently had several articles come out in various horror magazines. I have a cover story in the latest issue of Screem magazine; the article is an interview I conducted with Gareth Edwards, director of the new Godzilla movie. I also recently had another article published in Fangoria; this one was an interview with the director of the film Jinn.

Naturally, with all of these gigs, work on Horror Works, my site dedicated to the horror community of Los Angeles, has slowed; however, I still chip away at it. There are probably a dozen or so new reviews and articles waiting for your thirsty eyes at the site. As usual, most of my overflow photos from various events wind up on the Horror Works Facebook page. And, not to brag...but, there are many amazing photos waiting for you in the photo albums there. The most recent addition is an extensive album of shots from the recent horror convention, Monsterpalooza, which was held in Burbank as usual.

As far as film work goes, as usual, I currently have numerous projects in various stages of development. That, dear diary...err...I mean "dear bloggery" is the news for the day (and if my latest tendency to keep up with the blog is any indication, this will be the news for the next half year). Take care, all! See you next time 'round!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A B C D E F Tuesday

And here we...STOP! I was about to get the pre-production going for my third feature film, but for reasons beyond my control [money], the mission has been temporarily suspended. It was a bit of a heartbreak because I do so love putting a production together. Alas, sometimes reality checks artists. Oh well, what can you do? Keep on keepin' on, I suppose. There's still plenty to occupy me. I'm actually still fine-tuning the script, regardless, and if I can't find the means to produce it, I'll see if I can sell it; it's a pretty catchy idea, and it's got everything that a good horror film should have. Onward...

I recently interviewed Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad regarding his upcoming film Jinn for Fangoria. I'm pretty excited about that as well as another article I'm doing for Fango (mums the word at the moment). My work on Horror Works has slowed a bit, which is a great relief. Boy does that site take a lot out of me. It's fun, I'll admit, but it requires mucho worko. I posted a review there last week for a really great show that I saw called The Mystery Plays at The Lex Theater in Los Angeles. Powerful good stuff!

Apart from some more music I'm working on and started recording for a possible short experimental film (feature or no feature, I just can't stop the flow of creative juices), I guess that's about it for now. Y'all take care, and have yourselves some happy holidays!

Monday, November 25, 2013

If I were a Monday and you were a Lady...

Burning the midnight oil, again. That being the case, my mind not might be functioning fully, but I figured I had enough of a good news update that I'd put it out there before I crash and bury myself in other stuff upon waking tomorrow. So here it is: I've finished my new feature screenplay.

It's not perfect, but, after brainstorming it and starting and stopping working on it for the last couple of months, I finished the first draft a few days ago; then I went right back and wrote a second draft, which I just finished this evening. One of the things I've had on my to-do list for the last few weeks has been to create a calendar of goals for the foreseeable future, and I managed to scribble one out in between my various gigs last week. I'm already behind schedule with the script, but I'm pretty much ready to declare that I will be beginning pre-production on the new film project within the next week with a goal of shooting in January or February. That means that things are going to start getting crazy busy for me again in the very near future.

I haven't not been busy all of this month, but all of the stuff I've been doing has been at a much more laid back pace since the madness of October (what with all of the Horror Works events I attended and wrote about). In fact, I've got another one of those tomorrow night; I'll be attending a play at the Geffen Playhouse, in Westwood, called "Play Dead". It's written by Todd Robbins and Teller (of Penn and Teller), and both friends and the media have been saying that it is a really great show. Fairly recently, I attended another play on behalf of Horror Works, which was not a "proper" horror show, but I still posted my review at Horror Works, here.

Beyond that, I've been doing my best to keep up with a fairly large backlog of content for Horror Works, which includes reviewing books and starting to profile LA horror artists; however, I have to confess, there aren't enough hours in the day. For many of the events that I cover, I take so many photos that they won't all fit with the articles that I lay out on the "official" site, so I create photo albums on the Horror Works Facebook page. And sometimes I cover events (like art shows) that I don't write articles for -- I just take photos of the artists and works of art and create albums to showcase and promote the events and artists. Within those photo albums, I try to tag as many of the people as I can, but, again, too few hours sometimes results in incomplete research and incomplete tagging. Anyway, here's a link to some of those photo albums.

All right, my brain is starting to mushify, so I'm gonna sign off now. Until we meet again, I bid you peace and good will!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's about that time on a Wednesday...

Wow, now that's what I call an October! For Horror Works, I was basically double and triple stacking my weekend days with various events (mostly haunted houses). Then, during the week, I would hustle to catch up on writing my coverage and, usually, post additional photos from each event in respective photo albums on the Horror Works Facebook page.

In the course of my adventures, I have been meeting some really talented and cool people -- some of whom I may be collaborating with in the not-so-distant future. In any event, now that I've gotten past Halloween, my event coverage will be significantly lessened; this means that I'll have more time to dedicate to other projects. Mind, I'll still be updating the Horror Works calendar of horror-related events for LA horror fans and keeping tabs on the horror community -- as well as finally getting the Reviews section of the site going and doing a few profiles on various horror artists in the Los Angeles area; however, it's about time I got back to some of that good old film work, especially since I've had a new feature screenplay in the almost completed stage since September. Additionally, I've got another story that's been pouring out of my mind in the form of images and themes, and it's calling for my attention to give it a solid form.

For my final announcements, I've gotten a couple more horror magazine writing assignments, and, just because I'm a swell guy, I also wrote a short piece on Hammer horror films for Zombie Hamster (the website of my buddy and fellow horror scholar Colin McCracken). Oh yeah, I believe Fangoria issue #328 just came out. In it, I interview comic archivist and publisher Russ Cochran regarding the historic and artistic importance of the classic EC horror comics (Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear) which are just now continuing publication in the beautiful Archive volumes, courtesy of Dark Horse.

All right, I think that's all I've got for you right now. Peace be with y'all!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things have gone crazy...and it's Saturday

It's hard to believe that it's already October 12! I've been busy like I haven't been in a long time; I've been averaging 5 hours of sleep a night, juggling various day jobs, pitching more articles to Fangoria and Rue Morgue, working on my new screenplay and tending to the many demands of my mistress, Horror Works -- and I'm loving it!

For each event I cover for the Dervish Pictures subsidiary site of Horror Works, I Photoshop event photos, research and write coverage, layout the page, create a photo album of additional images from the event (in most cases) for our Facebook extension, write clever descriptions for the images and tag relevant people, then promote the heck out of the page via Twitter and by sending e-mails and Facebook messages to strategic folks. In this way, each article reaches / expands the Horror Works audience, and most everybody whom I've hipped to the site has loved it and shared it with their own friends. Thus, the target Horror Works audience is growing on a consistent basis (knock wood).

Some of my recent articles have included coverage of H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon, Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, The Hive Art Gallery's Tribute to Ray Harryhausen and the Cambria Scarecrow Festival.

It is only because I had a few spare hours this evening, that I'm taking a brief break from my Horror Works responsibilities to take care of a few of my recently neglected tasks, like: updating this blog, taking a walk and doing the dishes. With that said, I should be getting back to it. Tonight's objective: process the photos from Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and finish writing the article on it. I attended the hayride on Thursday; last night I attended Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare, and tomorrow I'm attending Son of Monsterpalooza.

All right, then. Enough of this break; it's back to work I go!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another fine Saturday you've gotten us into!

I'm in the heat of my new script. The subject matter is top secret, but I can say that working on it is a very exciting and disturbing process! I've probably written about 10 feature length scripts (two of which I produced: Summer People and Outtake Reel), but this is the first one I'm working on since I was inspired by Dan O'Bannon's screenplay book (for which I wrote a review in Diabolique magazine issue #15). Needless to say, Dan O'Bannon was a really good writer, and I loved the screenplay writing book that he co-penned with Matt Lohr.

The Horror Show TV, the UK company which recently made Outtake Reel available for download throughout most of the UK (I learned from my pal Colin McCracken, curator of the very groovy site Zombie Hamster, that Ireland isn't included in The Horror Show's territory), that there is a chance they are going to expand their distribution and possibly make OR available on DVD for the UK. Speaking of Zombie Hamster, Mr. McCracken did me the honor of promoting my LA Horror Community site, Horror Works, to his readers! Here is the article he created.

In other Horror Works news, I'm on the invite list to Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, once again (last year, I checked it out and wrote this coverage for Diabolique's website). It's kind of funny that working as the Editor-in-Chief of Diabolique took up so much of my time that it took me nearly a year to get around to writing part II of that article, in which I review two additional haunted attractions that I visited last year. Oh well, better late than never! Also, Ten Thirty One Productions, the company behind The Great Horror Campout and the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has included me on their guest list for a media night.

And last but not least, Rue Morgue issue #136 features a couple of articles by yours truly! At the moment, I believe that that's all of the news that's fit to print! Until we meet again, peace!

Friday, September 6, 2013

On the eve of one Friday...

Hey there, gang! Let's start with a little Outtake Reel news, shall we? Last night I did a live online interview for Indie Horror TV. It was a fun experience, I got to plug my projects, give people advice on how to chase their filmmaking dreams and talk about movies that inspire me. Also, the film is now available for HD downloads and VOD in the UK through The Horror Show TV. If you go there now, a banner with part of the OR poster is the first thing you'll see.

I submitted my article on EC Comics to Fangoria magazine, and editor-in-chief Chris Alexander said he loved it. It's a pretty intoxicating experience to get that kind of feedback from the editor of a magazine you cherished when you were a kid. And the topic is really close to home, too. Creepshow was one of the first movies that scared me badly enough to land me at the foot of my parents' bed. Creepshow, of course, was inspired by / was an ode to EC Comics, which my dad then proceeded to teach me about (Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, etc.). Later, the cable series presented adaptations from the comics, but the comics still have some of the best storytelling in them. So, when I discovered that Dark Horse Comics was going to collaborate with Russ Cochran to continue producing Mr. Cochran's exquisite EC Archives series, I was thrilled! So, I pitched the idea to Chris, and he loved it to. "And," as Paul Harvey used to say, "now you know the rest of the story."

In other news, I have been continuing work on Horror Works, the website dedicated to the Horror Community of Los Angeles. Last weekend, I read an ad in the OC Weekly for a club event called Fetish Apocalypse. The description of the event mentioned costumes of horror and sci-fi themes. Thus, I figured it was fair game for coverage for my site. I called them up and was put on their guest list. The resulting experience was synthesized into the article photos and video show I posted here. Mind, don't click there if you're at work or if you are troubled by images of an S&M crowd. Regardless, I tried to keep the presentation as tasteful and as artfully crafted as possible given the subject matter.

I guess that's about it for Dervish Pictures for right now. I bid you peace and good will until the next report...