Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I hope you all made it on the 'Nice' list this year, and that the jolly fat guy (no, not Rip Taylor) brings you everything on your list!

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


As you may or may not know, I worship the ground Michael Chabon walks on. A man who crafts words like a painter does brush strokes, Chabon always manages to create vivid imagery and dispense flowery language with ease, like a walking Thesaurus. His Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay has long been considered the best book I've ever read, and it always appears at the top of any favorite book list I concoct (if you're ever looking for a sprawling epic about escapism and comic books, look no further).

"Secret Skin" is an essay The New Yorker ran last March, where Chabon takes the image of a young child tying a red towel around his neck - transforming into a superhero with the simple addition of terrycloth to his attire - and creates a fascinating study on the necessity of superhero costumes, and what they mean to children and comic book idolization.

"One knew, of course, that it was not the red cape any more than it was the boots, the tights, the trunks, or the trademark “S” that gave Superman the ability to fly. That ability derived from the effects of the rays of our yellow sun on Superman’s alien anatomy, which had evolved under the red sun of Krypton. And yet you had only to tie a towel around your shoulders to feel the strange vibratory pulse of flight stirring in the red sun of your heart."

You can read the whole essay HERE.

There's a portion of the essay that speaks about cosplay, or the action of dressing up like a superhero at conventions or public functions. I really only mention it so that I can post this kick-ass photo of Brent and I with 'Thor.'

Until next time,

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I need a little motivation. Something to get me fired up in the morning, as I plug away at a new project, its deadline speeding towards me both fast and furious (more on this in a later post). Well, I found the perfect motivational video. Much like montages and the 'slow clap' (which makes a cameo here), the motivational speech is a film staple. What follows is a mash-up of forty different speeches in just over two minutes. I know it inspired me. Enjoy!

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Tonight at the Riverview Theater (the same theater I championed for its inexpensive tickets and snacks - including Dots) is the cast and crew screening of Into Temptation, the film I worked on this past summer. I am very proud of this film, and excited that I could help director (and all around great guy) Patrick Coyle share his vision and create an amazing film. Every actor delivered a powerful performance. Jeremy Sisto, Kristin Chenoweth, and Brian Baumgartner are actors who exemplify what you hope every Hollywood actor is like: professional, humorous, and hard working. The crew worked their tails off, and every day I was in awe of their commitment and work ethic.

I cannot wait to see the final product, and to show the film to the world.

Until next time,

EDIT: The film exceeded my already high standards. Everyone involved should be very proud.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Every so often, I run across a book I used to have in my collection, but for some reason or another, have misplaced. At the library yesterday, I was perusing the shelves when I stumbled on Now You See It by Richard Matheson. Matheson, for those of you unfamiliar, is a horror heavyweight, penning stories like I Am Legend, Duel, and Stir Of Echoes. He was also a driving force behind some of the best Twilight Zone episodes, most notably 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'.

Now You See It is the story of an elderly, paraplegic magician (yep, you read that right) who has gathered his family and friends for a night of prestidigitation, and of course, murder! Brimming with twists and tricks, the book reads like a William Castle flick, with similarities to the classic House on Haunted Hill.

If you can find a copy, I suggest picking it up. And if it has my name inside it, you better hand it over, sucker!


Monday, December 8, 2008


The end of Battlestar Galactica draws near! Good Gods, I love this show. It brings out the complete geek in me. And it's all coming to an end. The final episodes begin on January 16th.

So, as a way to catch up, the SciFi Channel offers this wonderful "Catch The Frak Up" video. It's a comprehensive rundown of what's happened so far (and you get to hear Starbuck use her 'Micro Machine Man' voice).

In other, related news, check out this kick-ass video for the Battlestar Galactica board game. The game is brought to you by Fantasy Flight Games, the same fellas who created Midnight Chronicles. The video was put together entirely by my good friends Keith Hurley and Jason Beaudoin. Enjoy!

Frakkin' awesome!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


One topic I often hear or read about is how to get non-reading adults to pick up a book and dive in. I know I've pondered this perplexing puzzle a time or two myself, and the subject scratched its way to the front of my noggin recently when I read a post by crime writer Dave White. Dave is the author of When One Mans Dies, which just happens to be the book I'm currently devouring. So, with the holidays approaching, and the possibility of stuffing a non-reader's stocking with a paperback gem, what can you do to spread the joy of a good book?

Obviously, giving books as a gift is a good option. I'm always trying to expand my friend's and family's libraries with books I've enjoyed. It gives you a new and interesting topic for discussion, instead of always discussing the latest episode of The Biggest Loser (which was totally lame, by the way!). Does it make them go out and read more titles by that author? Sometimes.

Realizing that used book stores are a treasure trove of cheap entertainment is another way. Personally, I'm one of those nerds who scours every copy of a new book at Barnes and Noble, looking for the best copy before laying down my cash. But over the years, I've realized that books are meant to be read, dog-eared, and loved. A beaten-up book is a sign of affection, a sign that the book has been there and back, and when a good mystery novel can be yours for a couple bucks, why, that's money well spent, my friend. If more people knew how easy (and economically savvy) it was to hit up a nearby used book store, would they become more frequent readers? I'd like to think so.

Editor's note: I totally still nitpick certain books. It's a force of habit, and I couldn't stop if I tried.

Of course, the easiest answer is also the cheapest, and if you know me, well, then maybe you predictably saw this one coming like a lazy change-up: get a friggin' library card! I swear, the library has changed my reading habits like nothing else this past year (this is where Brent, who has been telling me to get a card for years now, will roll his eyes). The library affords you the opportunity to read something you would otherwise opt not to, due to cost. I've read nearly two dozen graphic novels from the library in the past five months, all books I would not necessarily buy, but gladly read because I was given the chance. I just finished reading ten - count 'em, ten - Fables trades in a row, all because they were easily accessible at the library. And the library isn't all dusty tomes and Dewey Decimal Systems. It's an online resource, where you can request books from other libraries and renew books over the Inter-web. So tell those non-readers out there to go grab a library book. It doesn't cost them a dime!

Of course, over the past ten years or so, there's been a resurgence in young readers, thanks in large part to that magical wizard, Harry Potter. That kicks ass. In an MTV, hyperfast world where cartoons cause seizures and video games offer prostitution and cop capping, getting kids to sit on their ass and read is hard. Getting them to read a book that can cause serious foot damage if dropped (the thickest Potter tome, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, clocks in at 870 pages - and roughly five pounds) seems an impossible task. But now, kids are devouring books like the dreamy vampire story Twilight (or Dawson's Crypt, as I've heard it called), and young adult books are selling well. The elusive readers are young boys, of course. Publishers like Stone Arch Books are trying hard to lure in young male readers by offering dynamic action stories about sports, or heroes like Superman and Batman.

As for adult non-readers, the only thing close to the Potter buzz in the past decade was, of course, The Da Vinci Code, a poorly written knock-off of the non-fiction book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Was Dan Brown our only hope to get Joe Q. Public to hit the book store looking for a good time? Man, I hope not.

Of course, there's always...I shudder to say this...Oprah. I know. I regret it already. But like it or not, she occasionally uses her powers for good, and even though many of her followers sometimes act like lemmings, she has gotten a large amount of people to buy books. So many readers, in fact, that there are whole sections in book stores devoted to her book club. Should there be? Hell no. If someone is only going to the book store to buy a book Oprah told them to, they should have to find it in amongst the many other classic (and most times superior) novels. Personally, I avoided her book club completely, until I heard she selected The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Still, I didn't pick up the book until after her sticker (does she really need a sticker!?) was no longer on the cover.

In the end, this is really a long-winded question with no answer. Would our culture be more enlightened, better versed, and more intellectually superior if we all picked up a book once in a while? I don't know. But if I can keep putting books in people's hands, with the hope that they'll wander the aisles of Barnes and Noble, Half-Priced Books, or their local library, then my work is done.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the book store.
Until next time,


Man, if I only had formal dance training. And voice training. And wasn't embarrassed to crack out the jazz hands.

Click HERE if you're confused.

Your Friendly Neighborhood,

Monday, December 1, 2008


Howdy! Hope all of you out there had a gloriously tryptophan-filled Turkey Day. Just a quick shot of news for now. So this photo is pretty small and crummy (it was snapped on my terribly out of date cell phone camera), but upon visiting my local Blockbuster not too long ago, I discovered a Hot New Release called 13 Hours in a Warehouse (the movie in the middle, if you're trying to figure it out).

Pretty surreal.

More soon,

Monday, November 24, 2008


I don't know what I did to ABC, but they must not have liked it. The Powers That Be decided I was watching too much television, because they canceled not one, not two, but three shows that I TiVo.


Eli Stone: meh, I'll get over it pretty quick. The dad from Alias singing Jim Croce can only take you so far.

Dirty Sexy Money: Was I really watching this because I liked it? Or was it because I still needed my Six Feet Under fix? Either way, it was a fun ride. Gotta love that Peter Krause. GAC represent!

Pushing Daisies: By far the most depressing news. I love this show dearly. Imaginative writing. Fantastic storytelling. Compelling characters. Amazing cast. Adjective anything about this damn show. Another case of a cult show not gaining mainstream fans, who would rather watch tripe like 'Celebrities Make Fools Of Themselves'. Reality television killed America's imagination. And shows like Daisies were trying to be smart. Love Lee Pace (check out another canceled gem (and Bryan Fuller creation), Wonderfalls, for more of his brilliance). Anna Friel is a delight to watch. Chi McBride is a detective I can get behind. And Olive. My dear sweet Olive.

What makes Daisies cancellation extra sour is the fact that I met and worked with Miss Olive herself, Kristin Chenoweth, this past summer on Into Temptation. She is everything you'd hope her to be. Funny, charming, adorably short. You just want to put her in your pocket and carry her around. So wonderful.

So ABC, punch me in the gut. Please. Cuz I know your gameplan. You'll soon be trying to cozy right back up to me, with your puppy dog eyes, saying, "You're gonna watch Lost, right? And we have some Scrubs for you."

Sigh. Oh, all right. You win again, network television.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Howdy! Wow, it's already been a week since my last post. Huh. Well, I guess that's partially a good thing, since it gave you more time to read about Yellow Medicine -- ahem! (That's my oh so subtle way of telling you, once more, to check it out)

The past week was filled with flicks and books, so I figured I would take a little time to write about some of the glorious entertainment I've taken in over the past seven days.

Oh, and there's a mild spoiler alert needed, I guess. Nothing like finding out Vader was Luke's father--oh, you didn't know that?!


Zack and Miri Make a Porno: The first part of that title, Zack and Miri? Not too bad of a movie. A little on the vulgar side. I mean, am I just getting older, or does the constant use of the words f*#k and c*#k just seem like lazy writing? Regardless, the two main characters are likable, and really, who wouldn't want Elizabeth Banks as a roommate/best friend? But when they get to the Porno part of the title? The film goes down the proverbial tube. Kevin Smith is a talented filmmaker, with an ear for dialogue, but his style of comedy has become sorely dated, and it's high time he made a mature movie about growing up. Come on, Kev, I know you have it in you.

Also, I really don't think he'll ever film anything more powerful than Affleck's proclamation of love in the rain and the hockey arena parking lot fight in Chasing Amy. Sure, they are a product of their time, but damn did they have gravity.

Burn After Reading: Seeing this movie will no doubt bring with it an entirely different blog entry about the cost of the movie theater experience. Jen and I went to the Riverview Theater to see this flick. The Riverview is a local second-run theater where you can splurge on popcorn, soda, and Dots (yep, those fiends again) for a total of SIX DOLLARS. SIX! DOLLARS! I KNOW!

As for the movie, it was vastly different than the Coen's last flick, No Country. But their movies are like pizza, in that even when they're bland, they're still better than most other films. Burn lacked the emotional wallop of their other screwball crime flicks, most notably Fargo. It just felt a little hollow, which, I guess, was partially the point. But damn Richard Jenkins is one helluva fine actor. Love that guy.

By the by, is that not the greatest poster you've seen in a long while?

Quantum of Solace: Let's get it out of the way: I loved it. Daniel Craig is the Bond Ian Fleming wrote about. The movie's a little sparse on plot, and with reason. Bond follows flimsy lead after flimsy lead until he's smack dab in the middle of something far greater than he ever expected. The action scenes are frantic and choppy (thank you, Jason Bourne!), which made it hard to follow. And really, how many vehicles can one guy get into a chase with in two hours running time? Let's count: car, boat, motorcycle, plane... unicycle--okay, I threw that in there. But there was nary a pane of glass unshattered, nor a face unbloodied. Including Bond. Which is what makes the new flicks so good. This is a down and dirty Bond, not the quippy Grandpa Bond of Roger Moore, or the outlandishly horny Bond of Connery. From the minute Craig battered that guy's face with a urinal in the opening scene of Casino Royale, you knew this Bond was different.

Solace felt like the second act of something far bigger. By introducing QUANTUM, a fiendish organization with agents around the globe, the film leads us to believe there is a greater plan. The scene in the opera house, where Bond discovers just how far-stretching QUANTUM's control has become is great. And with villainous names like Greene, Slate, and White, is it only a matter of time before we re-discover a man named Gold? There's a moment in Solace that leads me to believe that could very well be the case.

Death-Defying Acts: We rented this flick, which slipped under my radar. Not too bad, a little ho-hum as far as the storytelling goes. The reason to watch is Guy Pearce as Harry Houdini. I'm a sucker for all things Houdini, and Pearce plays him fantastically.


Just After Sunset by Stephen King: I wrote about this earlier, and about how I was going to have my nose buried in it as soon as I bought it. Well, I think we may have found the reason this blog hasn't been updated since the day it hit shelves! I'm about half way through, and I just read a powerful story called "The Things They Left Behind". It's about a 9/11 survivor, and while I've balked at reading or viewing much of the pop culture media about that day (because it makes me want to judo chop guys like the capitalizing Toby Keith in the neck), this story hit me hard. It's a delicate reminder of the fragility of life, and about the impact we leave on others after we're gone. More about this book soon, I'm sure.

Fables: Sometime last summer, I discovered this crazy thing. You can go to the library, take books home with you...AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY! How crazy is that?! Well, since that amazing discovery, I've become a library glutton, and have read a slew of books and graphic novels (the insider's way of saying 'comic books'). It's given me a chance to try a series or two I've neglected. Fables is one of those. I'd always see it on the shelf and think, " maybe one day I'll read that book." In the past month and a half, I've plowed through eight of the first ten graphic novels, savoring every panel. Fables is the story about how our childhood fairy tale characters were banished from their world by an evil 'Adversary', only to find a home in New York. They have their own hierarchy - King Cole is the Mayor, Snow White his second in command, and my personal fave, Bigby Wolf (get it? Big B. Wolf!) is the sheriff. It's a wide open canvas to paint old characters in a new light. Great stuff.

All right, well this kind of got a little out of hand. Sorry about that. I guess it makes up for a week's absence, huh?

Thanks for reading...all five of you!
Until next time,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


'...I hated Minnesotans and hated the goddamn wind. The howling started on one end of the house and caught every crack and hole on its way across, a real zombie chorus that made it hard to sleep. Not that I was sleeping. Most nights I drank wine and stared out the windows into my frozen front yard, the twisty dirt driveway cutting through to the tree-lined county highway, until I passed out, trying to pinpoint the moment my life turned to shit.'

About three years ago (give or take), I started digging pulp. Crime novels. Mysteries. Action heroes. If it was hard-boiled, and not an egg, I was interested. My path to Yellow Medicine -- a book that reads like you're going twenty rounds with a prize fighter -- began with the comic book Criminal. An author by the name of Duane Swierczynski (welcome to kindergarten, please spell your last name for the class), a bona fide crime writer himself, wrote a back-up story in the comic. I immediately went to the library and devoured his books. Relished them. I began following his site, where one day he made mention of Yellow Medicine on his blog. Quoted it. Said it took place in Minnesota. Sold.

So there's a round about, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon explanation for my reading Medicine. Written by Anthony Neil Smith, the man behind the online crimezine Plots With Guns, Medicine is a brutal, sharp book. A book with extremely flawed characters that are believable, and a main character whose soul is as bitter and cold as the Minnesota landscape that surrounds him.

Deputy Billy Lafitte is a Gulfport, Mississippi transplant, a cop who bends the law when it suits his needs. What starts out as a simple favor to Drew, a local psychobilly rocker chick who Billy truly loves, becomes so much more, with decapitated bodies, a haunting figure from Billy's past, and what may or may not be Islamic terrorists. In Minnesota. In rural Minnesota.

Nothing quite turns out the way you expect it to, and no punches are pulled. Billy is not the hero of an action film or book, and he knows it; he is real, and thus the explosions, the gunfire, and the loss of human life feel real.

And it all ends in a perfectly ambiguous moment. So pick it up. You won't be sorry. Oh, and for a little about Smith and his own transition to the frozen tundra of Minnesota, check out this interview with Pulp Pusher.

Until next time,

Monday, November 10, 2008


Along my new found crusade of exposure, I came to another startling realization: I did not have a business card. Comic conventions, film shoots, wrap and release all of these functions, people passed around cards with the promise of future work, like Patrick Bateman and his friends comparing serif fonts and shades of white. But not I! This poor soul was out of the proverbial loop.

No more! My good friend, the Talented Eric Manske (who's nothing like the Talented Mr. Ripley...two pop culture references!) designed these fantastic new cards, which are in the mail en route to my house as I type this. Well, here's a sneak peek:

*Oh, and there actually is a phone number on the card. I left it out for obvious reasons. You know, the Mob.

If you haven't checked out "Wrong Address", the short story from the previous post, well, get to readin'! It's right there, able to download, print out, read in the--ahem--living room. All it takes is one click. Maybe two. I didn't really count.

In a double shot of blog, I also wanted to point out that tomorrow marks the release of Just After Sunset, the first Stephen King short story collection in six years. I'll be one of the first to pick this badboy up, and will undoubtedly have my nose buried in it for days to come! No one messes with the King!

Happy reading!

Friday, November 7, 2008


'I’m pretty sure the package wasn’t for me. The UPS guy had just dropped it off, a small box wrapped in butcher’s paper without a return address. With a finger inside. Female from the look of it.'

So begins the first short story I've written in a while. I will be trying to post original fiction on this site from time to time. All of the work can be accessed on the side bar, but when something new is posted, I'll be sure to make an exciting new entry.

"Wrong Address" can be read HERE!

*Note: there's a wee bit of harsh language and violence, and by 'wee bit' I mean copious amounts, so try not to read it as a bedtime story to the kiddies!

Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Another brief post, as it's late and my eyes are getting quite heavy. I know it's been a couple days, but I wanted to add my two cents about the passing of Michael Crichton. My friend alerted me to his death, and even though I hadn't read a book of his since Prey, I was devastated. Jurassic Park is one of the most worn out paperbacks on my shelf, and for a time I, like many other authors, devoured his work, from The Great Train Robbery to The Andromeda Strain to my personal favorite, Sphere.

He turned a book release into the literary equivalent of a summer blockbuster, and he will be sorely missed.

One thing of note. I've been hooked on the Hard Case Crime novels for a couple years now. Two books, Grave Descend and Zero Cool, were written by a gentleman named John Lange. I enjoyed his books so much, I researched the author to find other works of his. I was surprised and yet not surprised to discover John Lange was a pseudonym for Mr. Crichton.

Until next time,


I started this blog with the intention of posting my work, exposing myself to new people and ideas, and answering the tough questions we all face in life. Well, this is one of those questions:

How many Spider-men can fit inside a Jamba Juice?

I will never have the means or fortitude to truly answer this query. But thankfully, my good friend David Letterman does. And did.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Writing is a lot like taking a road trip.

I mulled this concept over, appropriately enough, while driving home from Duluth this past weekend. With my wife sleeping soundly beside me, and nary a radio station to be found up and down the dial, I found myself facing a frightful situation: I was alone with my thoughts. Bear with me here.

Some trips are short, while others are cross-country treks. Oftentimes, snacks are involved, a bottle of soda, a box of Dots (don’t judge me!). If your destination is nearby, say a friend’s house, you may not even grab a snack. And you certainly don't need much guidance getting there. You use signposts, memory, and familiarity to lead you. This act, of course, is quite similar to writing a short story. You may use road signs, or an address scribbled in chicken scratch on a Post-it note, but never would you find the need to consult an atlas or a thick book of maps. When writing a short story, you may only hit upon the concept (I know! A man discovers a severed finger in his mailbox!) and let your own fingers - non-severed - get to work. The trip is fairly quick, and you likely take the most direct route to your destination.

When you're writing a longer work, say a novel, well the situation changes. The snacks are abundantly necessary (sometimes an entire cooler of beverages is in order!), and your atlas, your books of reference, and your highlighters are more than welcome to ride shotgun. You may even have mix CDs lined up to keep you company. The final destination is hazier, and there are more questions to be answered. How long will it take me to get there? Will my final destination be the same place I set out to reach when I left? Should I take the highway or the scenic route? Why did I think beef jerky nuggets were a good idea? When writing a novel, it’s most difficult (if not impossible) to drive the whole way without an outline, a treatment, and a beat sheet. They are your maps, your atlas, your Garmin GPS system with the androgynous voice telling you where you should turn, where you should stop for gas, and sometimes, when you should take a bathroom break (okay, maybe not that).

Even the act of writing itself is like driving. Again, there are times when writing is very much like hitting the highway and flicking on the cruise control. You kick back, roll the windows down, and crank the Rick Astley. It’s an enjoyable ride. The sun is out, the wind is in your hair, Mr. Astley is never gonna give/never gonna give/give you up. Other times, you hit construction, and what should really only take you an hour turns into a frustrating day of setbacks. There is often cursing involved, and hitting your head against the steering wheel. Another more pleasant option is, of course, the ability to turn off the highway, to have found that surprise that you didn’t expect, that town or park that damn near beckons you to stick around for a while, to enjoy the view.

In the end, the gooey moral at the center of this cheeseball is that it’s all about the trip. When you’re on the road, never think about the destination, and certainly never think about the fact that you’re alone on this ride. Think about those towns, the ones that you find along the way, and about the sheer joy of the open road.

And about Dots.

All the best,

Monday, November 3, 2008


All right, so the Halloween buzz is slowly fading away (though maybe not the sugar high from the bucketloads of candy). Fortunately, the holiday season looms around the corner, and soon enough, we will be sitting around the table with family and friends, enjoying massive amounts of food. And pie. Lots and lots of pie.

Well, have I got a book for all you pie lovers -- Garden County Pie: Sweet and Savory Delights From the Table of John Michael Lerma. Written by local chef and friend John Michael Lerma, the book features many unique and delicious pie recipes. John Michael has been featured on the Food Network, and is a staple on local radio and television. He, along with his husband Chad, have been friends with my wife and I for many years. We even traveled to Italy last year and spent a week with them and a group of amazing folks at a villa in Tuscany. Rough, I know.

Well, I'm pimping this book not only because John Michael is a friend of mine, but also because my wife Jennifer, a talented photographer, shot both the cover photo and many of the interior photos as well. We spent a whole day out in Stillwater at Chef's Gallery (a wonderful store run by our friend and fellow Italy travelmate Steph) cooking pies and styling pies and shooting pies and eating pies. Jen is quite pleased with how the photos turned out, and we can't wait to see the final product.

So check out the book on Amazon HERE. I believe it will be in stores by Thanksgiving, and will make the perfect stocking stuffer come Christmas.

Now go mow down some bite-size Snickers and Smarties before it's time for pie!

All the best,

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It feels like an eternity since I first stepped through the doors of Fantasy Flight Games, a Production Assistant, wet behind the ears, taking a stab at being an Assistant Director. The project was ambitious: two forty-five minute episodes of a fantasy television show, with wholly constructed sets, costumes, props and weapons, amazing make-up effects, green screen shots, a slew of local talent from the Guthrie and other reputable theaters, and about ten crew members. Total. Many of whom had never been on a film set before. Ah, the memories.

It was trial by fire, a marathon of filmmaking like none other. For two months, the production team (consisting of my good friend Keith and myself) secured actors, created a schedule, planned a week's worth of shooting in Pepin, WI (an hour jaunt from the Cities) and waded through four inch thick binders of storyboards to create shot lists. We were the first people in the door in the morning, and we shut off the lights at night.

Over the course of the next four months, we shot furiously, building a set, pre-lighting the set (many days on the same morning as the shoot), spending seventeen hours in a sweatbox warehouse while the neighboring warehouse, the cookie magnate Pepperidge Farms, was banging around and rocking out to loud music, only to tear the set down the next day and begin the process anew. Many of our interior sets were built to be mirrored, a tactic where we would shoot everything from one side, and instead of flipping the camera around, we would flip the light source and change the walls to re-create the other half of the room. There were 'exterior' sets, large buildings built on wheels to rotate at our every whim. And through it all, there was the heat. And the crew of twelve.

Halfway through the production, many of our crew went back to their original duties, at the neighboring building, where they worked as Fantasy Flight employees. So our crew was down to six. Keith, our illustrious producer, would pick up the bagels in the morning, and I, the assistant director, would take the trash out at night. And on we went, shooting an epic film in a small warehouse, with a tiny crew.

So that's a longwinded way for me to introduce the revamped Midnight Chronicles website, which you can view HERE. This link is of course accessible on my sidebar, under the 'Features I've Worked On' list. The film is finally complete, after an additional two months of shooting, many months of editing, and again, a handful of people taking on the task of creating amazing special effects shots. Keith and our sound designer and good friend Jason Beaudoin, have toiled in the trenches for what must feel like ages, to see that Midnight Chronicles makes it to screens everywhere. And I have no doubt it will.

It was my first time as Assistant Director, and despite the constant everyday battle of making a film on a small budget, I value the experience. Hey, I got to work side by side with one of my best friends, and met many others over the course of filming. Now is that really work?

All the best,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Halloween is right around the corner. If you're like me, the month of October is damn near perfect. Between the falling leaves, crisp air, and the return of hot apple cider to the rotation of beverage choices, this time of year cannot be beat. And October would not be complete without the constant rotation of terribly great and the so-terrible-they're-great horror movies on television and in theaters (Return to House on Haunted Hill? Really? We needed to return there?!).

So in honor of October and Halloween, I present to you a little flick called 13 Hours in a Warehouse. In the summer of '07, a small but dedicated group of film folks (myself included) set out to make a low budget horror film about five thieves who hide out in a warehouse for the night. Only the warehouse ain't empty. There's a few ghosts roaming around. We shot the flick entirely in Minneapolis, with 95% of it obviously shot in the warehouse itself. It was a stiflingly hot, smoke-filled 18 day shoot, with every window in the joint blacked out to simulate night (shooting the film at night would have caused more headaches, plus a film shoot consisting of nothing but night shoots would have driven the crew - being paid mostly in sandwiches and compliments - away). It was my second film working as First Assistant Director, and I cherish the experience because I met many talented people who are now good friends and colleagues.

Director Dav Kaufman and producer Jasmine Reid secured worldwide distribution for the film through Maverick Entertainment. The movie can be found on Netflix, at Blockbuster (saw it there on the shelf yesterday!), and at Best Buy. For more info on the flick, check out the website HERE.

So check it out! There's no time like the present, especially since there's only a couple days left before it's time to retire the Michael Myers masks and scarecrows for another year. Sigh...couldn't it be October every month?

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well well well. We meet again. I've decided to shrug off that tired old blog and do something a little different. I came to the realization that there is no one in the world that should be better suited to advertise me than...well, me. So this blog is intended to showcase some of my work, keep you updated on what's going on in my little corner of the world, and of course be filled with meaningless ramblings about books, movies, comics, and life.

See ya real soon!