Friday, November 30, 2007

R.I.P. Evel Knievel

Variety announced the demise of America’s number one stuntman.

When I was a kid, I heard about other kids who were breaking bones riding their bicycles off of the roof of the house... or some such other insanity. Supposedly, they were emulating their hero, Robert “Evel” Knievel.

The great stunt man is gone... at the far too-young age of 69.

Something about burning the candle at both ends, I reckon.

I signed up for PPP!

I stood on the sidelines for quite a while… listening to the debate. Some thought that blogs were sacred talismans, never to be soiled or sullied by thoughts of avarice. Then again, was I thinking avarice or was I thinking the stack of bills piled up on the table? Hard to say.

No, actually… quite easy to say. When I first ventured into Washington DC as a green and wet behind the ears teenager, I heard these great words of wisdom:

Money Talks. Bull$#!^ Walks.

Maybe that was from Peetey Greene? Regardless, paying the bills is a good thing. There are other things money provides, such as (in the words of Sir Anthony Hopkins in “The Human Strain”) the delights of sexual rapacity. But, I digress.

In all seriousness, bloggers are the new Associated Press. We are the next generation of the venerable Op-Ed page. Should we not be compensated, remunerated?

After my moment of peripeteia, I signed up as a member of Pay per Post. It made me feel good to know that my rants and raves not only entertain the masses, but I can actually make the pile of bills shrink a little. That is a good thing for everybody.

And so, if you are a blogger… then what are you waiting for? Sign up for yourself!

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The Strike Goes On

After a few days of “radio silence” while the WGA and AMPTP were at the negotiation table, word has come of continued resistance on the part of the producers.

The WGA proposal amounts to something in the neighborhood of a 3% raise for writers earnings. The studios earnings have increased by about 10%. Needless to say, we are still the proverbial red-headed stepchildren in the eyes of the studios.

The President of WGA stated:

For Sony, this entire deal would cost $1.68 million per year. For Disney $6.25 million. Paramount and CBS would each pay about $4.66 million, Warner about $11.2 million, Fox $6.04 million, and NBC/Universal $7.44 million. MGM would pay $320,000 and the entire universe of remaining companies would assume the remainder of about $8.3 million per year. As we've stated repeatedly, our proposals are more than reasonable and the companies have no excuse for denying it.

Given the BILLIONS made by the industry, this is relatively pennies. Come on folks, it is bad enough that the writer is the least welcome person on the set (somewhere behind the craft services folks and the janitors) but at least we should get something resembling fair pay.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweeney Todd is Coming...

My first exposure to Sweeny Todd was a Ben Affleck movie. I figured one day when I was in New York and the play was on Broadway maybe I might see it.

Well, now there is no need to wait for a trip to New York. Sweeny Todd is coming to a theatre near you... starring the master thespian Johnny Depp.

And, to set the mood for the movie, there is an on-line confessional for those of you who feel there is an act of revenge that you wish to carry out.

Like, for instance, I would like to get back at Ben Affleck for making me watch Jersey Girl. Eeeeeeee!

Don’t forget to visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hillary and Colin Powell?

I was reading a New York Times Blog that suggests former Bush Administration member Colin Powell may become a part of Hillary Clinton’s presidential administration.

Of course, this is all speculation... but as Arte Johnson might say, “Verrrrrry Interesting...”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

R.I.P. Dick Wilson

Better known as Mister Whipple... the man who did not want you squeezing the Charmin... character actor Dick Wilson has left this planet at the seasoned age of 91.

Wilson starrted in over 500 commercials for the Procter and Gamble product... but appeared in other film and television projects... including Sol Sak’s comedy classic Bewitched.

The next time you are in the supermarket, pause to squeeze the Charmin in Dick’s honor... and check out his bio at Variety. You can also download a PDF about Wilson at Procter & Gamble’s Web Site.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pater Familias

We just wanted to remind you guys about the novel published by Dwacon® entitled Pater Familias. This book reminds us that family can be a noun... a verb... or a profanity.

In this compelling novel, a powerful political consultant parlayed his life-long relationship with the current President of the United States into a successful political consultancy. He is willing to risk losing all he has spent his lifetime building in a desperate attempt at reconciling his four adult children. His children suffer deep unmasked pain from traumatic events of their childhood. Over the years, they have become estranged. They deal with the mounting drama in their lives in relative isolation. Raymond faces a ticking clock with only a short period of time to bring reconciliation to his children before... (we won't give away the ending).

Offbeat, wildly inventive, and driven by the funniest dialogue this side of Hepburn and Tracy, Pater Familias will have you flipping pages at warp speed. You will laugh, you will cry, you will empathize with the rich, rounded and colorful characters as the drama unfolds.

Click Here to add this book to your collection today!

Monday, November 12, 2007

R.I.P. Dr. Donda West

We were saddened to learn of the unfortunate death of the mother of Kanye West.

Dr. Donda West raised Kanye alone. She worked as the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University before retiring to serve as Kanye’s manager.

She had undergone an undisclosed cosmetic procedure, typically a minor surgery, when she unfortunately passed.

Our prayers go to the family and friends of this great woman.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Free Phones from AT&T

AT&T Refurb

Friday, November 9, 2007

Haywire Bites the Dust... AGAIN!

Imagine my surprise when I tuned in to watch the Dex, Lies and Videotape episode of Showtime’s Dexter and saw Haywire (better known as actor Silas Weir Mitchell).

Silas portrayed the character Haywire on the Prison Break series. Sadly, his character met a rather terrible demise.

This episode doesn’t show up on Silas’s IMDB résumé... at least, not yet. However, take a glance and you will see that Silas is hardly hurting for an acting job.

Silas would have made a great addition to the cast of Dexter, but sadly he ended the episode in pieces. Literally. After all, Dexter does kill people.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Scabs from Across the Pond?

According to Variety, Hollywood producers may consider hiring writers from the United Kingdom to circumvent the Writers Guild Strike.

In the words of Mister Bill...

Oh Noooo!

We hope our British counterparts will show some solidarity and resist the temptation fo scab. But then again, Hollywood has gone above and beyond the call bringing British actors over to provide graduate-level acting experience for underclassman-level paychecks.

Maybe I’ll throw a cup of tea in the Pacific...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Strike Goes On

The WGA strike continues.

I have no idea how long it will take... but it is important that we receive the respect we deserve.

Celebrities like Jay Leno and Steve Carrell have been out on the lines, encouraging us.

God bless them!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

WGA Strike

It looks as if the Writers Guild strike will happen on Monday. It is interesting the various comments about the entire process.

I learned early on that writers are typically at the bottom of the food chain, right below the caterer. This is sad, since writers are so crucial to the process of making films and/or television.

Consider the following:

  • The actors who are chased by papparazzi get famous reading lines written by writers.
  • Directors who win the Oscar® win directing scripts written by writers.
  • Producers who attend gala Hollywood events get there by producing a writer’s work.

Yet, writers get very little notice. In fact, their blood and sweat and tears go into a screenplay that is immediately re-written. I have enjoyed putting months into creating a screenplay, then having a producer say, “It’s good... but the hero’s kid should be a son, not a daughter. And lets make the kid gay. But make him older... like 20. Oh, the hero is 20? Guess I’ll just pass.”

Consider the following:

  • Everybody remembers Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “I’ll be back.” A writer wrote that line. Do you know his name?
  • Everybody remembers Clint Eastwood saying, “Go ahead. Make my day.” Who wrote that?

I hope this strike accompishes getting us writers just a soupçon of better treatment by the industry that relies so strongly on us.

If you are a writer, you can find strike information here.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Dark Defender

As we mentioned in a previous post, Showtime Network’s outstanding series Dexter is back for its sophmore session.

If you can’t get enough of Michael C. Hall in his amazing portrayal of Dexter Moser, er... Morgan -- check out a new feature on Showtime’s Web Site.

The pseudo-anime takes some of Dexter’s best, erm, murders... and puts them out there like the Matrix trilogy did.

Well, not exactly like the Matrix.

You might also want to download the latest Dexter Podcast where Michael explains the strange tension between himself and Doakes.

Dexter is one of the most unique shows on television and only an innovative network like Showtime can bring it to us.

Okay, Mr. Redstone... do I get my shot now?

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