Sunday, March 30, 2008

London Independent Film Festival

Found out this week that Captain Blasto was accepted into the London Independent Film Festival. We entered the category for "no budget films" which is films made for under $20,000, a perfect category for this film. I don't know many details yet, other than it's playing at the end of June.

It's a shame there's very little chance of being able to attend, as bad as I want to, since the dollar is pretty freakin' low right now.

Keep ya posted as we find out more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Missy Moreno's Singing Contest

My great friend Missy Moreno is in a singing contest over on YouTube and would sure appreciate your vote. If you have 5 nanoseconds, please go to and post a comment saying "I vote for Missy." It's that simple and literally only takes a second or two. If she gets enough votes she gets to visit/sing with Jennifer Hudson of Dreamgirls fame, and trust me, she deserves it.

Many thanks!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Black and White

I'm currently in "black and white phase." It seems that everything I'm writing, filming, and even thinking up recently is in black and white, as evidenced by The Mercury Men. Over the past year, as I discuss the two features I've been developing with various people there is always great concern over them being in black and white. I have to confess I've never quite understood the prejudice towards it. People say "it looks old." What's wrong with something that looks old? And I'd say classic before I said old. Others say "it's really bland, boring." To that I say you're bonkers. Tell me the inserted shots from The Third Man and Sin City look bland or boring. Can you imagine Sin City in color?

Orson Welles called black and white "an actor's best friend," because it focused the audiences attention on the actor rather than the sets, the costumes, etc. Not only do I agree, but I'd take it one step further and say it's a director's best friend as well. Black and white illuminates the framing and composition. Since the brain doesn't have to take in and process colors it focuses elsewhere and it just so happens to land on the most important parts.

I found this clip on YouTube today of Frank Darabont discussing how he had wanted to release his latest film The Mist in black and white. He claims the studios wouldn't even entertain the idea. I realize nobody could say how audiences would have reacted had the film been released in black and white but I know one thing for sure: they would have noticed it. When the trailers for The Mist hit screens it looked just like every other horror movie. Had it been black and white audiences would have at least paid a bit more attention for the simple reason that it looked different. Moriarty over at Aint It Cool News claims that had the film been in black and white it would have made his top ten films of the year, rather than lying around somewhere in the top 50. If only the studios would have been a bit more brave.

Friday, March 21, 2008


You'll notice that there's a newly added listing of categories over on the right side of the blog. That way you can read all posts on specific subjects, or check out past posts. Organization. Fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 Update

Just wanted to let you all know there's some new content over at Under the PICTURES section I've added some of the comic artwork and chapter illustrations from the film, such as the ones seen below.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Heinz Contest Article

Mike Holohan sent me a link to this article about the Heinz contest. Thought you might enjoy the read.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I got an e-mail that our Heinz entry was accepted this time around. So now we know that if we don't make it's because they just didn't like it. But let's be honest here folks, there's thousands of entries. Winning this would be pretty close to winning the lottery.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blasto Website Makeover

To fit the redesign of the new DVD packaging, I've updated The content is the same for the most part, but it's got a fresh new makeover.

Also, I recently submitted Blasto to the London Independent Film Festival which has a category for feature films made for under $20,000. If that's not a perfect category fit I don't know what is. Keep ya posted if we get accepted.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Heinz - Take 2

Several months ago we submitted a film into the Heinz Top This TV Challenge. For reasons unknown to this day it was never accepted. Apparently that happened to a lot of people because only 1/3 of the films submitted were accepted into the contest. To make up for their mistake, Heinz is running the contest for a second time. Therefore we're submitting again. For those of you that missed it the first time around, here she is again.

Monday, March 03, 2008

80's TV Bumpers

Found this music video this morning which pays homage to classic "futuristic" 80's TV bumpers, much like the old HBO Feature Presentation video I posted here months back. No comment on the song itself, but you oughta enjoy the animation.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


While in L.A. this weekend, and with the news on the passing of our beloved gravely voiced Myron Cope, I found myself in many conversations about my hometown of Pittsburgh. Most of those conversations involve defending it. I can see how those outside of Pittsburgh don't quite get it. It's got a reputation as being gray, cold, poor, and often harsh. Some of those are pretty accurate. But if you spend any good length of time in Pittsburgh you start to see the many fantastic things that get overshadowed by the weather.

Carl Kurlander is one of the many seeking to change that with his film My Tale of Two Cities. Kurlander is best known for his work as screenwriter (St. Elmo's Fire) and producer (Saved by the Bell.) He is currently a lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh.

I encourage you to check out the film's site, which includes some great video clips, including groups of Pittsburghers which have migrated to L.A. and New York, singing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." The film features interviews with Franco Harris, Mr. Rogers wife, Mr. Mcfeely, the late Bob O'Conner, and more.

While I've never been successful in convincing anyone to Pittsburgh's merit, this film will hopefully illustrate some of lesser known aspects of this fine, gray, cold city. Also, I've been to Chicago. It's colder.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Blasto Sketches

Here's some sketches (circa 2003) I found on the computer the other day. Each of these were drawings that I digitally inked, colored, and inserted into various comic panels throughout the film.
Blasto breaks out, from the scene where Colin slips out of the ropes in the warehouse. Obviously Captain Blasto is modeled after Superman. It seems like every picture of Superman in the 70's and 80's had him breaking out of chains. What villain was taking the time to wrap chains around him?

This image is from the same scene. It's one of the only times that a picture of Colin is used in comic panels to illustrate that the lines between the two "worlds" are beginning to blur.

Profile shot of Blasto. I believe this image is in the very first burglar scene as the kid chases Daryl.

Burglar from the same scene. Drawings of Daryl as a burglar are modeled from 1960's Doctor Octopus.

This sketch of Blasto never made it in. Looks much too oafish.

Blasto eyes from the chase scene as well. This image was also used on the new DVD artwork seen on a previous post.