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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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Death to Funerals

Monday, August 20th, 2012

On a recent hike with one of my best friends I mentioned my distain for funerals and he nodded knowingly. You see, he turns 40 this year – and I’m only a year away – so deep conversations are more prone to brush up against things like mortality. But when I elaborated he realized that my commentary was not something he expected or knew I felt, so he stopped me and said… “You really ought to blog about that.”

So. Here I am.

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Children’s Books

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

My son has just now grasped his first two clear words… Dada, and Mama. Truth be told he’s said them both for a while, but in the last few weeks it has a lucid connection to the appropriate people. (“Dada” has been a blanket term for any male or picture of me for quite some time… now…it’s just used for me. A nice change). So it’s obvious that he can’t read yet. But I think his personal library is far larger than mine.

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Really Leaving Now…

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Like most of you, I sometimes leave the house and have to go back for something I forgot. I step back in the door, thirty seconds after I left, and my wife makes some comment about “quick trip” or “what did you forget this time” and I laugh it off as I grab the missing item.

Then, as I step back out the door I always say the same thing: “Really leaving now…”

And today those three words struck me differently.

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Seasons in Los Angeles

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

This is an anniversary of sorts. Fourteen years ago this week I loaded my gunmetal gray Chevy Caprice and came to Los Angeles. I moved in with three guys I didn’t know, in a building across the street from my current home in Glendale.

And now, just this week, I know for sure that I’m leaving Los Angeles and I’m moving to Park City, Utah.

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Leaps of Faith

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Some people struggle with what they believe. I generally don’t. I can support my beliefs with logical facts or experience. Personally, spiritually, professionally, I could tell you what I believe.

I struggle with Faith. “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen”.

That stuff.

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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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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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