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A Father-Son Story

Monday, November 11th, 2013

My son’s introduction to Star Wars now has new twists I didn’t imagine the last time I shared my ineptitude.

I continue to be surprised by the things that stick in our little guy’s mind. Luckily, there are few things that are scaring him, but plenty to obsess over. At the moment, Darth Vader (Dartha Veda to those of you following along) continues to be the coolest thing in the Universe thanks to the boy’s incredibly cool Halloween costume and a successful trick-or-treat adventure as Mini-Vader.

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Geek Tragedy

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

I consider myself a fairly tame member of the geek world. I’ve never attended Comic-con. I don’t dress up. Many video games and TV shows have passed me by without my time or concern. Yet I can still hold my own in conversations about those worlds and fantasies that marked my life experience and shaped my love for story. As a child of the seventies and eighties, Star Wars tops the list. And without effort I have maintained a strangely encyclopedic memory of the characters and events a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

But now I’m facing the dilemma of Geek parents everywhere; introducing my young son to Star Wars and the other fantastic stories I enjoyed at his age and still enjoy today.

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4 Decades, Part 3 – 20 to 29 years

Friday, October 4th, 2013

As I walk through the recollections of my first four decades, (Part 1, Part 2) I realize the decade immediately following my college experience is the one with the most life shaping change.

After graduating from Baylor I stayed in Waco to avoid moving home and try to figure out my next best move toward filmmaking. I still had friends in school so I lived the college student lifestyle without any actual classes. It was during this year that one of my best friends began dating the girl who would eventually be my wife…

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Fumbling the Ring: New Line Pt.2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

With Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy about to hit theaters, it seems a good time to reflect on another part of my New Line experience. Like the last time, it involves Lord of the Rings, but unlike last time this is more of a cautionary tale.

The Proverb says pride comes before the fall. This was true in the case of New Line. To me, a clear symbol of this downfall was a Ring… not the One Ring of Sauron, but a custom made ring on the finger of the company’s founder, Bob Shaye.

After the LOTR Trilogy made Billions in the theater, and Return of the King swept the Oscars with 11 wins, New Line was the talk of the town and riding high. This mini-studio, with rented office space and also-ran status in the Time Warner Universe, had pulled off a coup. And those at all levels of the company were quick to believe the hype that New Line had been the vital component in this rousing success.

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On Hobbits And Hollywood: New Line Pt.1

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

When I left New Line Cinema in 2007 I was disillusioned and angry. It seemed to me that the studio had ignored its reputation for finding talent from within and squandered the momentum created by Lord of the Rings. I spoke my concern aloud and was told everything was fine and the company was doing well. I’d seen many sobering things about the way film studios where run (New Line and elsewhere) and I wanted to share them with others. I considered writing my thoughts down when I left, but decided to wait until I’d gotten some distance.

Then in 2008 the company closed. All of my co-workers lost their jobs. Some are still floundering. My commentary now felt like sour grapes.

And now, five years later, news of the upcoming “Hobbit” films has me living in a Time-machine. The images and stories coming out of Peter-Jackson-Land take me back to the Lord of the Rings years. Those films were a decade ago, but I’m back there the moment I see a trailer or poster for the new series. And the recent announcement of two Hobbit films becoming three has found me telling anecdotes or fielding questions from those around me.

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In-Flight Entertainment

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Long before I was a father I decided I had absolutely no interest in flying with an infant. It always seemed like the parent trying to quiet their child under the glare of their fellow passengers would rather pop the emergency exit and take their chances with the free fall. No thank you.

So since my son has been born he’s flown many, many times. Frankly, I’ve lost count, and I applaud my wife for surviving the recurring madness. However, I have only taken one flight with the two of them and it established airports and airplanes as places where new and exciting things can happen with your child.

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Big Rabbit

Friday, March 18th, 2011

The other night my wife and I went to a movie. Which might not seem worth noting except it’s the third film my wife has seen in a theater since our son was born. And now that we live in a small mountain town, going anywhere at night causes you to experience an inky blackness which is simply impossible in a big city. It’s easy to drive through downtown Dallas and never realize your lights are off. In Park City you can’t leave the parking lot.

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Shit Storm II: Bigger & Fouler

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

My television keeps showing me events of awards and accomplishment, causing me to reflect on the state of my life. The Olympics just ended, and the Academy Awards were this evening, both offering celebrations of personal achievement and success against the odds. And I’m here to say that nothing puts a finer point on what I haven’t accomplished than getting shit on during the Oscars.

Now, I don’t mean chewed up by the Hollywood system and left unappreciated while someone stands and accepts a coveted statue.

I mean actually shit on. By a person. While trying to watch the awards.

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My iPhone is Racist…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

You may think I picked that title to attract readers or I’ve chosen to exaggerate or speak in metaphor. However, I promise you this is entirely true.

I had an amazing week last week, shooting 6 Days on an independent feature production. The days were long and tiring, but really wonderful. And it was amazing to see how many ways a smartphone can be utilized in the constant melee that is production. Little did I know what lurked in the brain of this device.

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Green Means Go (FoF#3)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Looking at the date, I realize it’s been almost a year since my last update on this topic.

And now, for actual certainty, I can say that “Fight or Flight” is being made.  Of course, there’s a lot of days and updates and Hollywood madness in the past year.  Generally, I didn’t post any of that information because so much of it was talk instead of reality.

If you’d like to start at the beginning of all this, click HERE.

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