Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bad Movies with Leif Garrett fo $500 Alex

The recent unpleasantness brought me to mind of an experience I had back in the day. And stories of back in the day are really the point of this blog. Sniffing around for work, my friend Dave asked me to go to a meeting with a guy that was trying to put a feature together here and would likely be interested in my preproduction skills. So I went and met and they seemed earnest but had not real funding. His name was Sean McGregor and he was this guy in his mid 50s with a penchant for wearing those photographers vests that are so Roland Hedely.
Don’t get me wrong. After hanging with Sean for about a year, I really grew to like him. He was full of bluster and BS and was responsible for a real bad horror show in the mid 70s called Devil Times Five. It featured a young Leif Garrett. I am not really sure what the story was about but that it involved a school bus full of demon children that overturns and then they proceed to terrorize this house or village or something. Awful stuff regardless. But Sean had history so Eric hopped onto the McGregor express and we were going to make this action adventure film. The basic plot was the Columbian drug smugglers took advantage of an earthquake. There were these children that were all broken up and were being moved to a hospital in the US. The smugglers packed the casts of these kids with drugs and somewhere over the Caribbean they played their hand and took over the plane, sawed off the casts to retrieve their drugs and tossed the kids into the sea. Nice Huh? I forget how the rest of the show was supposed to play out but it ends with a C47 doing a ballistic climb right in front of a luxury hotel in Florida. We fiddled around with that show for about a week then Sean decided against that. He was going to finish a show he started in earlier.
Remember Vanna White? Remember the talk about her doing a titty scene that she absolutely denied doing? I have a copy of the footage. Sean was the guy that made this flick. It was about biplane flyers in the mid west and they actually switch female leads somewhere into the first act. Pretty funny stuff and really poorly acted all around. Vana’s scene is just a shower scene in which they silhouette her in a transparent shower curtain and they dump cold water on her. I remember at a wrap party after doing a college multi camera project I showed the footage and one of my actors noted that, “Somewhere a calf is going hungry.” Think about it.
Anyway Sean was all full of lets start some buzz and the money would follow. WE finally gave up on the Vanna show and he pulled out this script called baked Apple. In a nutshell it is a very Brazilesque dark comedy about capital punishment and it was actually a really good script. I got to work breaking down the script and created a strip board and a reasonable budget. I think it was a 30 day shoot. We then auditioned actors and that was the end of it. You see with out really having the money to shoot you are not going to. And if you try without the money you make crap simply because you cannot afford Talent or equipment, bottom line. You do not need a lot but you need it regardless. In this case it was about 500 K by really scrimping and cutting corners. So after it became apparent that this was going nowhere I politely bowed out and bade Sean Luck.
I am not sure what ever happened to him but I do know he was all about making a gritty news show like Hard Copy that had jus hit the airwaves and was really popular. I found the host of Hard Copy to be really offensive and refused to watch it. I wonder whatever happened to that hack. I think his name was O’Reilly.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Blog Birthday to me

Today marks the one year birthday of my blog. And the villagers rejoiced. yeah

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Of All The Unmitigated Gall

Last week I recieved an email form this guy that got my contact info from the indie film website. He sent a rather long winded pitch for people to come work on his film which is a feature to be shot in the near future.
I responded stating that I may be interested and that I was busy on another project, Matt's, in september but I could perhaps give them some weekend days in October.
The other day I received another email that he sent to all who responded to him where he claimed he was going to answer all the questions he received. Fine. This turned into yet another long winded diatribe which boiled down to come and work with us on this project for deferred payment. Deferred means you will not get paid. That is cool I am not looking for paid work I just like doing the work. The right people and the right project can be a lot of fun. But given the guys propensity towards writing these incredably long emails that really imparted no information other than to make you gloss over it smacked of some guy on a scam. I have worked with these types before and even though they are sincere in wanting to make their show they never manage to do it. Or it is crap and no one gets paid.
So I check on the web and IMDB produced nothing and Google produced his web site.
I decided to decline. I thought about calling him out on his tactic but thought better of it and simply sent him an email declining participation and wished him luck.
So this morning at 7:30 I am walking to my office from the bus stop and my cell phone rings. I answer it and this guy is on the phone and starts to lecture me on how films dont happen by luck but..and I hung up. Sorry bro but dont call me and start lecturing me for declining to volunteer on your project. He called back immediatly but I just ignored the call. I mean really. All I did was wish him and his project well but chose not to take part in it and this is how he responds? Now I have serious doubts as to the future success of this show. I have been wrong in the past, as in my prediction that Chthulu would never get finished but that is the exception not the rule.

I recieved the following reply in my spam box this evening when I returned home

P: Why such a fucking prick?
E: How would you respond to a 7:30 AM Lecture from a complete stranger? on my cell minutes nonetheless
P: You too good for this?

E: Why yes, yes I am.
P: All I wanted to do was ask you WHY you weren't interested.

E: And I tried to spare him the real reason
P: I don't need to know.

E: Fine
P: You're just one of those overly self important pieces of shit that the industry doesn't need.

E: Not really but thanks for caring
P: Your name is now shit!

E: No, my name is Eric.

Nice huh.
I was going to keep his name out of this but I'm pissed off now so he is
Paul D. Grover
CEO Pontifex Productions

Avoid him like a plague

EDIT 9/25/2009
I deleted and turned off a few comments on this post because it became a public snark zone between the subject of this post and his EX.
Get a room kids

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


So I am sitting in my cube yesterday plugging away at looking busy when I really have nothing to do. Matt walks by and says he was out and got a call from Dixi who was the UPM on Fortune Hunters. She asked him if I was available to work on a show We-Fri from ... get this, 6 PM to 4 AM. After I did the Danny Thomas Spit shot, matt explained that he really could not speak for me but the likely answer would be a resounding no. He was correct but I called her that evening and listened to her pitch. I had to explain that I have a full time day job (which she knew or at least should have known) and that I get up at 5:30 in the AM to got to afore mentioned job and Oh yeah I also make about twice what they were offering per day for this job. I thanked her for thinking of me and explained that I would be happy to work on weekends if anything came up and I had no prior engagements. I was polite. I am always polite when recruiters call. It is the the right thing to do cause you just never know when you may need em. And Recruiters like myself have a long memory.
Regradless I was flattered she called and if I had the time I would have done it.

Monday, August 21, 2006

FPS Photo Essay 2

The exploration of the abandoned compound continues....

Odd Looks as if no one has played this V ball court in quite some time

Moving along the fence line there appears to be no one here. Very unsetteling

Aha Looks like an enterance. What does that sign say?

What does Zetec do...perhaps Cross Dimensional experimentation?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Maybe I play too many Half Life like games

I was strolling with my coworker Matt the other day and we cam across this old apparently abandoned place that looked too much like a front for an underground Govt. complex. I half expected to see Head crabs an zombies come boiling up out of the ground. So here is my Pictorial FPS Part 1

You are Dropped down on a lonely country lane. and are enticed to corss the bridge

Odd that there should be a block to this seemingly innocent Path

Hmm I must be on the rigth track there are buildings around the bend. Lets go Investigate.

Looks overgrown and they obviously dont want any visitors

Skanky pool and no one on the grounds.

Next the game gets creepier.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Been a while since I had something to say but i had a brilliant idea and will work on the images tomorrow so please stay tuned

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Reading Yasamin’s blog the other day, she posted an animated cartoon, ‘Rejected’. It was very amusing and it got me thinking about animation and animators in general. Basically they are weird people. I’m talking old school frame by frame animation here not the computer generated stuff we see today. The nature of the process is tedious requiring patience and not really needing anyone but you, a couple of lights, an animation stand and a Bolex camera. Hour after countless hour of this day after day only to produce a few minutes of material will start to affect your world view and basic sanity. Live actors and people make for a more social event.
An animation stand is basically a stand where you can mount the camera over a glass top table that you are shooting and allows you to place lights underneath and around it.
My one foray into animation was with Karl Krogstad back in 1983. Karl was know for animating GI Joe and Barbie dolls into very peculiar shows as mentioned in a previous post. He had moved on but wanted to make a Logo for Krogstad Studios. It was Karl, Pat, and I (I was there to watch and learn). Karl had gotten some transparencies of the logo and we wanted to have searchlight beams rise in the back ground fade and finally have a sort of star burst. We placed this all on an animation stand and pressed down the transparencies and some blue gel to create a gradient of color and began the task. We had used a 200 watt Photo flood to light from the bottom of the stand and clicked off two frames. Moved the light up a touch and turn a star filter a ¼ turn and clicked off two more frames. This went on for an hour or so until we managed to move the light up and back again into its original position. WE then went on to create the starburst effect which was to simply poke holes in the gel click-click, and poke even more holes click-click, until the desired effect was achieved. We left the garage at about 4 AM and the whole thing was only 30 seconds if that. I never did animation again. But it was cool to watch.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Miss the Muse

I have nothing to say at the moment. Please stay tuned as the muse is busy on her casio scoffing all others. I have some thought but I am formulating them