This Will Be an Interesting July 4th Week! “Monumental”, I’m Sure!

Once in a while a film comes along that makes one think about life before it is even released.  One such film being made is ‘Monumental’ which stars Gary Cairns II, Luke Albright, Agnes Olech, and Bill Oberst Jr.   It is being directed by Scott Hansen.

In this story, which is written by Gary Cairns and Luke Albright, two men embark on a cross-country journey to spread the ashes of Clayne’s mother (played by Gary) at various historical monuments she had dreams of visiting, but never got a chance to go to. Along the way, they encounter dangerous situations that lead them down an unexpected path.  This trip will be ANYTHING but normal.

Coming face to face with the possibility of losing my mother someday, this is one film that I am waiting to see. I am going to put two links here so that readers can check this out.  The first is to the Facebook page for the movie.  The 2nd will be to the indiegogo.com page.  The fund-raising part is over, but you can still see the interview clips there.  This movie is going to be good. It is going to be an open road journey where each character has to come face-to-face whatever they are dealing with inside.

I feel that it also falls in line with the spirit of July 4th being that Clayne’s mother had a passion for those monuments to which the cast and crew are traveling during the filming of this adventure.

Aside from that it is turning into a real adventure for these guys. They make videos and take photos of almost every place they visit and pay thanks to those who’ve been a part of their journey along the way.  In the process of filming, not only are these guys filming a fictional adventure of great value, but they are discovering that the American Spirit is alive and well in every place they visit–and have videos on the Facebook page of those places along the way! Be on the lookout for these guys! They may come to your town next! I’m surprised the Today Show or Ellen DeGeneres hasn’t caught up with them yet! This is a story worth sharing! Here is a pic of these guys for you so you all can watch for them!

Gary and Luke

Left: Gary Cairns II         Right: Luke Albright

 

In the meantime here is link 1 and if on FB, please click like and share:

https://www.facebook.com/monumentalmoviepage?fref=ts

And for the interview clips, go here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/monumental

 

Dear Hollywood: This is My First Rant of 2013–Signed Nana

Psssst!  The baby boomers are not going away…Did you hear that?!  They make the money, they buy the movie tickets, they buy the CD‘s and, in short, they can literally pull the plug on the recording industry and on the film industry by NOT giving the kids and grand kids money to see and hear the crap being marketed to them.

This generation doesn’t ask for much, but it does ask for logical script-writing and not this re-visioning crap.

It ask for music that means something other than getting messed up or laid at the next party…There is more to life than that during the work-week.

It asks for innovation and originality–not the rehashing of old ideas in order to debase them publicly like Warner Bros. did in 2012 with the Dark Shadows film.  If you’re going to redo a classic, stick to the real story line.  Believe it or not, it was logical and would have worked.  The baby boomers are not interested in you projecting your political thinking into a script either. It was like watching “Occupy Collinwood” and it sucked.

In short, you have bitten the hand that has fed you for the past 20 years and this generation is about to say, “Enough!”

Your networks cancel good shows like “Memphis Beat” and “Harry’s Law“…What’s with that shit?

You give us tripe like “Jersey Shore” and “Sixteen and Pregnant”–or still worse “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant”…Really? Come on! Get a life! If it weren’t for TiVo the kids would probably be in school and never see that crap anyway.  Thank God I got rid of cable after it became clear that crap is all we’re going to get. I’m not paying $130 a month to watch tripe.

There is enough drama and bull crap in life that Reality TV is not a necessity. You’re better off bringing back the variety show–and I don’t mean shows with nothing but rap and such. Different musical genres should be represented.  God! I miss “Laugh-In”…Seriously and I was a kid when that was cancelled.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was a travesty…Not the same without Dick Clark so please change the name of it.

You discard the older actors with real talent and change them for pretty faces that cannot act their way out of a paper bag–even with a good director, which is rare because the good directors, producers and actors are also from the boomer generation, but we’re older than most of you newer CEO’s so we don’t know jack-shit, right? WRONG!  I know most of what people consider “bad acting” lies more at the feet of the director than the actor who has to portray the part as they are told to do…Go figure. The crap the actors get should trickle UP the ladder–not down it.

There are some young actors out there that know their craft too…  I suggest you take a good look at Gary Cairns II. I said a year and a half ago that this young man is going places, and he’s proving me right with every project he gets hired for.  That man has range, and even as young as he is, he lets those characters breathe through him–and that is what I watch for in any actor’s performance. Zachary Quinto is right up there with him! Thank God he got his break!

2013 should be the year you make amends to this generation.  You can start by putting some of the older actors and actresses back to work with quality scripts.  NBC or CBS should take “Memphis Beat” and “Harry’s Law” and re-market them.  They would work just like Hawaii 5-0 did!  Note: The only good shows on right now are Law and Order SVU, H5-0 and NCIS in my book.  I’m beginning to mull the idea that maybe there should be a network created for my generation that will take up the mantle since the ball keeps getting fumbled out in Hollywood.

Anyone listening out there? I doubt it…I will end by saying this:  There are plenty of older actors and actresses out there that would draw us back into theaters and to the TV set  if you would get over your case of posterior cranial rectumitis and put them to WORK!  Kathy Bates, Michael Caine, Wayne Rogers, Ben Cross and Helen Mirren to name a few…Thank God “Banshee” airs on 1/11 on Cinemax…Since I killed the cable, I will find out who can TiVo that for me because I’ll personally watch ANYTHING that Ben Cross appears in.  The man knows his craft and he doesn’t take junk scripts.   Oh and by the way, Robin Williams can also act…You do know that, right?

Funny how you keep ignoring the generation that REALLY holds the purse/wallet.  This may be the year you get a wake up call. One can only hope, but the year does end in “…13” so we’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?  I’ll try not to rant much until mid-year since we’ve only just begun, but it is time you stopped hitting the snooze button in the studios and actually wake up!  By the way, why is it the only way we can watch a decent flick or a good old-fashioned romance is to watch AMC or TCM–or the Hallmark Channel? Do you really think we’re that far gone?  Man, you people in the studios have a lot to learn…Maybe this will be the year–and since I am paying for tickets when I do think something good is coming out, I expect to be listened to.

 

The Changing World of Movie Viewing Part II

In the first post on this I discussed how actors/actresses are judged by an audience and how a film critic’s views no longer represent the public as much as they do the marketing execs.  They don’t represent the academy, that’s for sure. I will not rehash that here.  I want to discuss another aspect that Hollywood seems to trip  itself over.

Many marketing execs claim that they make films to appeal to teens and ‘tweens because they think that the older audience tends to “stay home”.  The logic is nothing more than a smokescreen to justify how they tend to make a lot of crappy films now.  Why? Because they are marketing the same type of crap to home viewers.  With the exception of a few shows, like “Hardcore Pawn” people are getting really sick of “reality TV“.  The fact of the matter is that many of these shows highlight what is wrong with society rather than what is enjoyable about it.  Some even tend to glamorize behavior that society should never tolerate from anyone for that matter–especially the authorities…For example, take the latest case:  Honey Boo Boo…What parent in their right mind would jeopardize the health of their own child by pumping him/her full of energy drinks and let them gain so much weight just so they can act the way this kid does?  The fact of the matter there is that they feel sorry for the kid and want to kick the parents’ asses, and I think many watch just to see if CPS will knock on their door…

Now back to the point of this post.  IF these execs knew what they were doing, they would market real movies with logical plots and believable story lines AT LEAST to the home viewers since they tell the public that the older audience tends to “stay home”…The bottom line is: They want the kids because they think most have only a two second attention span. Not only is that an insult the entire audience as a whole, but they insulted the entire Academy of Motion pictures with that line of thinking.  Do they really think when deciding for the Oscars that that is the logic of the members of the academy?  Seriously? If so, they should all be fired and replaced.

It seems to me that it is the performers and a handful of  directors and producers who have the real audience and fans in mind.  Both the Academy and the audience want original ideas, innovation, characters that COULD exist, believable story lines and even a little old-fashioned romance from time to time–and even HUMOR–REAL HUMOR–not this crap that always goes back to sexual innuendo either.  The innuendo and such has its place but it should not be on Prime-Time TV. THAT should be reserved for when the kids are in bed.  There is nothing illogical or “archaic” about that.  It is those execs who promote the bull shit that have limited their own potential by buying into their own crappy perception of the world they live in.  IF that were not the case, they wouldn’t be advising stock holders and producers to put money into pictures and TV shows that are not worth a damn.

When shows like “Harry’s Law” and “Memphis Beat” get cancelled, something is definitely wrong.  A network with a wiser CEO should work to get those shows on it.  I’ve got $10 that says with the RIGHT marketing and the RIGHT time slot, those two shows would be runaway hits for investors.

It is also time to stop with the sequels, prequels and remakes (or as some now call them “reboots”) that tend to deviate from original classic shows. NOT one of these has succeeded on TV this year or at the box office.  The only movie doing well in that category this year is “The Expendables 2” because it is a continuation of an ORIGINAL IDEA!   Thank God for Sly Stallone and Dolph Lundgren.  At least those guys have some idea of what an audience really wants…The only other fairly recent film which did well was “Star Trek” (2009).  J. J. Abrams did that one right–regardless of what some think.  He captured the essence of the original characters using new actors and did not deviate from their traits in the least.  That is more than I can say for the  “Dark Shadows” movie that was released this year.  Every reason that movie flopped is in a book written by Tom Laughlin  which you can find here:

http://www.billyjack.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BK9S&Category_Code=BOOKS&Store_Code=BERSERK

And I still say that had the Dark Shadows Revival series went beyond 12 episodes, it would have lasted.  That was one remake that did stick to Dan Curtis’s vision of what he thought his own creation should be.  He always knew what his fans wanted, that’s for sure.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday, everyone! Until next time…

 

Something New, Something Different…

There is a new site out there for those in the entertainment industry.  It is called    http://www.mysymphony.biz/   This site is different in that it allows acts looking for work to list themselves in such a way that it is made easier for clubs looking for acts to find them. Why?  They can look them up by county and state. The bands, singers, etc can post an audition video for the managers and club owners to see as well.  Artists keep their rights to material they post and BEST OF ALL, it is a FREE  service.  They can buy/sell material on there and I’m not sure how that part works because I’m not a musician, but it looks good enough to check out.

It also allows actors and such to post acting reels. At the same time, there is a social section, a section to download free programs for those who write and compose music (or to learn how to do so)…Managers can put info up if they want prospective clients to contact them too…To me, it’s a sort of one stop place to try to take care of an entertainer’s needs without having to resort to the trade papers and such as in the old days.  Anyway, do check it out and let the site owner know of any suggestions you have that might improve it for you.  I know he reads all the email and such…Take care and have a good week!

This is a Film You Need to Check Out! I’ll Tell You Why…

I have a lot of respect for the Indie film market because those in it reach out to wide audiences of every race, religion, creed, etc…Often the cast and crew give of their time to help those in need.  This is about one such group who have put their energy into a new film.  Right now they are raising money to get the film marketed, but 10% will go to Schools on Wheels, an organization that is making a difference in the lives of homeless students in Los Angeles.  I had never heard of Schools on Wheels prior to this film, but I am hoping that these pop up all over the place, because they are very much-needed!

Here is a link to School on Wheels here:  http://www.schoolonwheels.org/  and they are worth checking out!

The name of the film is called “Lost in a Crowd”.  Aside from being a pretty darned good movie, they are donating 10% of any money used to promote the film to School on Wheels!  You can check out the trailer and such here:   http://www.indiegogo.com/LIAC    This film  also marks the directorial début of Micah Cohen!  Also here is a partial list of the cast: Timothy Ryan Cole, Luke Albright,  David L. Murphy, Gary Cairns and Marta McGonagle.    I really wish these guys the best as they have put a lot of hard work and dedication into this project!

Have a great week!

Tina

How I Handled the Bullying and How it SHOULD Be Handled Now…

First, I want to say here that my previous blogs on bullying sum up a lot of what I dealt with and how I feel this issue should be dealt with now… I dealt with being bullied in a different way since I endured the crap all the way up to my senior year…I cut off a lot of my classmates.  I don’t attend reunions.  There is no point.  I never got an invitation to any of the reunions anyway.  I was told that they didn’t have my address, which was a lie. They knew my mom’s address which is where anything I get from them goes.  With the advent of FB, a few of them could have notified me there, too.

Several of us in that class didn’t get invited to any reunions.  It is true.  Three of my classmates have since died–one was a friend who died from cancer.  I found out about all of them well after the funerals.  One of them I didn’t know about for over 2 years because NOBODY bothered to email me or call–and my family didn’t want to “upset” me.  My best friend was one of the three, and I had talked to her just prior to her death.  That is what did it for me.   At least NOW my family lets me know stuff.

Do you remember the Walt Disney movie “Sleeping Beauty“?  I often wonder if Malefacent did the things she did because she was treated like crap, but then again, I always think outside of the box–and we only have ONE side of that story…All the bullying I endured–not to mention the abuse at home led to that little thought.  I know a few of my classmates went through some hell that changed their lives, but we are so fragmented and diverse that very few of us communicate.  The only two  reasons I keep going back to my hometown are my sister and my mother.

My sister has great memories of the place–but her experience was different from mine.  After Mom is gone, all that will be left are the memories that one clings to, and because of my own memories, I don’t ever plan to live there again.  I MIGHT move to Weatherford or Ft. Worth, but I refuse to move back to the mausoleum, which is what that entire town is slowly becoming.  I love my sister, but other than that, I would be totally miserable in that place.  I left it for good at the age of 23 and have no desire to return there.

The only saving graces in that town were the teachers I had in school, and a few of the police officers and a few administrators and counselors that knew what was going on.  I’d break curfew and hang out in front of the station.  There were pastors, doctors and a few other people I looked up to as well. They all knew why I left town too.  All I can say is that when my book comes out, I will change the names of the town, but when a lot of my classmates figure out who was who, they will be the ones who get very angry.  I told them all (especially the bullies) that I can do more with a pen than they ever dreamed possible…When it comes out, they will know it for a fact.  No, I’m not seeking revenge on them because the fact that my life is good does that already.  I just think things need to be shared as they really were and that they need to quit trying to sell this bullshit fantasy of theirs that all was just hunky dory in that place.  It was far from it from my point of view.

Writing was my refuge from all the crap that went on and I spent many days talking to counselors about what I wrote.  They finally figured out that it was therapeutic to write a lot of what I voiced about the students who made my childhood a miserable living hell in that place. They also figured out that my fictional characters were the students bullying me.  The bullies were very fortunate that I chose the pen deal with them being that some of the bullying was severe…The kids of today have no qualms about harming the bullies because all they want to know at  young ages is that they simply want their pain to stop.  To them jail or prison is a haven compared to what they are enduring–and unfortunately many feel that violence or suicide are the only options that  they have to make that pain go away.

When I was young, there were consequences–real ones for the actions one takes.  Now the schools seem to think that what they call “lunch detention” actually works…NEWSFLASH:  IT IS A BADGE OF HONOR TO A BULLY TO BE IN THAT!  Why?  There is an ever-growing population of students who have close family members who are incarcerated.  Many of them come from gang families and are groomed to be in a gang position.  This carries over into their lives at schools as well and it must not be tolerated. Uniforms are a start. If they can afford to get designer colors and shoes, their parents can afford simple pairs of pants or slacks and a solid colored top.  I really don’t want to hear about a student’s individuality because most of the time they are always being led by someone else anyway, and if it is not the parents, then it’s probably someone else in the neighborhood–and it most likely isn’t a decent role model either…

One of the topics that will set a school administrator off is facial hair on a male student.  They will waste 30-40 minutes of learning time each day each time he doesn’t shave to try to make him shave and/or call his parents.  Offenders in a Texas prison 99% of the time are NOT allowed to have facial hair.  Instead of trying to make our schools reminiscent of penal institutions, I say let the kids dress as their parents would allow them to–within reason, and only make them wear the uniform or jumpsuit when they do stupid things–like fighting, cursing at teachers, etc…Their lunch period should not be in the same lunchroom with other students either if doing lunch detention.   They should have to be in a classroom with nobody sitting next to them, or in the ISS section in their own booth.  I get sick and tired of pscyho-babble that says that they must have that time to socialize.  They socialize almost everywhere on campus because nobody will stop them.

I think that in America schools have become not places of refuge and of learning, but of controlling and containing–two tasks at which schools fail miserably.  They are in some ways just like penal institutions and students with families in jail (or prison) will not be phased by the discipline methods being used now.  They will readily tell you that they see the same stuff going on when they go to a prison visitation. If they don’t tell you that, parents and other relatives can.

IF anyone wants to challenge my opinion on this, they should look at any offender disciplinary plan/procedure in the state they are in the state that they live in and compare it to any school’s disciplinary plans/procedures.  It will shock them as to the contents of it being like that of a school disciplinary plan with some differences. In prison there is solitary confinement, loss of commissary, loss of contact visitation (or all of it depending on what happened)  and sometimes food loaf for 3 days (if severe infractions warrant it).  So now the question just begs to be asked:  Why is the United States training its school children to be offenders?  No wonder the bullying continues!  Watching students fight day after day  in the halls on the playground is like watching offenders go at it on the recreation yard or in the wings!

To stop a lot of this, educators need to be taught (evidently) that bullying is no game.  It is not just “kids being kids” and it is causing violence and death.  Bullying should no longer be used in today’s vocabulary because it has, in recent years, gone beyond taunts and teasing.  It is now deep psychological abuse and physical assault.  It is not just students engaging in it, but there are times educators engage in this as well by saying things like “Well don’t say anything to Johnny (or Jenny) because she might run home to tell her mommy and we’ll all be in trouble.”  Yes, I know a teacher who did this.  She should lose her bloody license because what she did by doing that is set the stage for that student to be “pressured into silence” by her peers.  The result for this child is that there is a high chance that she would have been  bullied also because this teacher is well-liked by the students. Her mother withdrew her when the teacher humiliated her in class a few days after this was reported.

Note:  This is also the type of game offenders play in the wings to turn other offenders against each other–and sometimes officers do this too.  IF an educator lowers himself/herself to this level, they don’t need to be drawing a paycheck on the taxpayer dime.  They are committing psychological and emotional abuse–which is a CRIME people!  If the districts do not wish to handle it and take care of it, then they should be reported to the state licensing agency and to the police–period.  Get it documented if this is happening to your child.

Educators who know of this type of behavior are required by law  to report this also.  If you are an educator and you see this happen, and your district is doing nothing–abuse of a child can be anonymously reported.  If they end up going to jail and such, and your testimony is needed in this country–then the district cannot retaliate against you without being subject to the “Whistle Blower’s Act”. While this act was originally filed to give the power to the courts to deal with government officials who are committing various crimes, it can also be used to address people who abuse authority and/or become a danger to public health and safety.  Educators work for the state, therefore, if they engage in behavior that needs to be addressed, then this law also protects officials who actually report them.  Officials in the educational field are not exempt from RICO laws or anything else so I do not know how they could be exempt from this…Read about it here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_Protection_Act

This teacher had gotten into a spot because another parent reported her.  The district failed to act so this parent is now home-schooling her children, who were also severely bullied.  Prior to this, the teacher I spoke of  humiliated one of the children in class (openly) and this is why the other student went to her mother. The other parent withdrew her child also (as I mentioned earlier) when the teacher started focusing her anger onto that child.

I think it is funny that the school district tried to threaten both sets of parents with calling CPS until their lawyers got court orders to  knock off the harassment and filed a formal complaint with the state board for educator certification against the district since it is not against the law to home-school a child.  I think the real reason the district decided to have a cow is that they lost $1500 per head per term  for each child taken out of school.  Between the two families involved, that is a total of 7 children.  That translates into a $21,000 dollar a year loss to the district.

This also tells me the district is less interested in stopping the bullying than it is in losing the almighty buck.  If they cannot stop the bullying, parents should be able to move their children to ANY other district without question and/or home school them–especially if it is a special needs child that is the victim.

I have seen one movie recently that deals with the bullying issue from the victim’s perspective.  It is a movie called “Mad World” with Gary Cairns II.  When I watched it, it took me back to my experiences.  I could relate to two of the characters in it, but my parents were NOT like Jevon’s parents…However I was the bookworm type.  I was the quiet one.  I stayed in my room for my safety and to hide from the world. I made good grades and such while half the bullies screwed up.  I think I could relate more to both Cory and Jevon–but I did have a classmate that reminded me a lot of  Will…That quacking thing really cracked me up and we had one kid in class who cracked me up like that when he opened his mouth.  Once in a while he teased me, but he didn’t really get whacked out like the bullies did.  I am thinking that he should be a comedian.  He would be great at it.

Anyway, here is the trailer for “Mad World”. I strongly recommend it because Cory Cataldo is the only writer I have seen that takes this issue from the point of view of the bullied and from the abused in a film–and these guys went through abuse at school and at home.

Here is the link and it is NOT edited for language and such:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v97q-QeQG0w

As a writer myself, I feel this film deserved a lot more attention for Cataldo’s way of bringing this issue to light.  The only issue I had with it is I would have totally left the political slant out of it to reach a wider audience, but that is just the way I would  have written it–and how I am writing my book.  I loved the movie though.  Because it is told through the eyes of the victims, that could be why the political slant is there…The “F” word didn’t bother me either. I’ve heard worse–but I’ve worked in a prison as a sergeant of correctional officers…THAT is one line of work I will never return to either.  The reason for that will come out in my 2nd book.

This movie is available on Netflix now. 

A good reason I like independent filmmakers is that they are really in touch with the audiences they want to reach.  This film did reach me.  Gary Cairns is also in another movie right now entitled “Lost in a Crowd”.  The cast and crew are also making a difference in the lives of homeless students in L.A.  You can see the trailer and info on that stuff here:  http://www.indiegogo.com/LIAC?a=103015&i=addr   and please share the link!

Anyone who would like to friend me on Facebook is welcome to do so.  School bullying is a topic that I speak out against regularly.   Here is the link to my FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002130892797

The World of Indie Films…And Why They WORK~!

This is a matter of opinion so I am really not concerned with who agrees with me since I am simply an audience member who is NOT part of the academy that LOVES  independent films.  Indie films do work and are gaining a wider audience. Has anyone ever asked why this is? I have.  The reason they are gaining status and are respected–even if low-budget–is that they are perceived to not be part of the Hollywood produced, high-budget, politically correct celluloid productions that seem to be irritating the hell out of everyone at this point.  They hype around such productions is irritating audiences as well when they get into a theater to see a much-anticipated film only to be highly disappointed.

There is a trend in major Hollywood productions as of late to keep putting out sequels upon sequels (E.G.–Pirates of the Caribbean) and such.  Now there is “Footloose” and “The Thing” which are remakes–and a “Dirty Dancing” remake is in the works from what I hear.  If Hollywood cannot come up with original ideas, they need new blood running the place and that’s all I have to say on that.  While some of these films do well, and are actually good, they only draw into the theaters for short terms due to VOD and rapid DVD releases.  This is not good for the studios or the actors/actresses so I don’t know why the hell they engage in this type of marketing.

They should not make these available for satellite for at least 90 days after release–and no vinyl productions for as long.  This is, to me, a form of “suicide marketing”.  Films can do better at the box office if they simply held off on making them available to the redistribution markets for at least 90 days.  I am not an actor either, but this damned form of marketing has done more damage to the acting profession and the studios than any type of thing I’ve noticed…That is, unless the name “Depp” is attached to it.

In either case, unless it’s a good Indie film, I wait for the bloody dvd.   The only movies I will buy a ticket for are those that are recommended by certain people I keep an eye on.  I saw “The Conspirator” and it is Oscar material.  I saw “The Help”. It is also.  I expect several to come from the latter.  However, when I notice how actors bring a role to life–that is what keeps me buying tickets to see their movies.  I loved “Red” and I loved the 2009 “Star Trek”.  The roles in those were played in a way that were believable enough to enjoy–and there weren’t a lot of eye candy models/actors/actresses  pretending they knew how to act.   I was pretty well burned  out on theaters in the late 70’s because of all the bullshit movies that were coming out–with a FEW exceptions.

IN THE 70’s–the Billy Jack movies got my attention.    The movie had real points to be made.  Now Mark Wahlberg has the rights to the story.  IF he is smart, he will not pull a Johnny Depp and take the lead part himself.  When an actor buys the rights to something so they can star in it and put their own spin on it–a lot of everyday people out here call it “Drew Berrymore Syndrome”.  Buy the rights and you’re the star of it–and it is not always for the best, either.  Believe me if people were more in touch with the audiences and less concerned with the thoughts of the academy, they would knock this crap off too.

If I were Wahlberg, I would take a strong look at Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii 5-0)…He has just the cool to pull that role off…If you saw the episode at the end where Patti Duke and Peter Fonda co-starred, then you KNOW what I’m talking about. Purists will say, well  he’s an Aussie…Well you know what? WHO gives a rat’s ass where he was born and/or raised?  That guy can act and he can give that part justice!  I don’t see critics in an uproar when Rick Springfield plays and American so what the hell is wrong with this guy playing a man who is part Indian? I have no problem with that and I am part Comanche Indian.

Now if Wahlberg ditches the cheesy music and the football yoga references and such, fine.  The story can still work anyway–but whoever he has to play Billy Jack is going to have to have the same “cool” that Tom Laughlin has and he’s going to have to NOT pick some well-known beautiful older actress to play Jean. No offense but 90% of the eye candy actresses could never bring  justice to her character either.  If I were going to pick anyone for Jean, I’d narrow it down to Jessica Chastain OR Bryce Dallas Howard.

Right now, the only guy I can see playing Billy is O’Loughlin.  AND I would strongly consider a lesser known actor for Bernard too.  Gary Cairns does come to mind here.  The problem is, they need to make Bernard evil as hell and have him be a bit more intelligent–period!  He was portrayed as an aloof dunce in the original and I think the story line would be better served if he were made to look evil or at least FULL of angst.  He also needs to be articulate, intelligent and crazy like a damned fox!

Now for Bernard’s dad, the sheriff and the governor–I’d say just be careful…Pick actors known for playing some pretty mean bastards there…For Bernard’s dad, I’d see about getting Christopher Pennock.  If it were up to me, I’d pick Ben Cross to play the prosecutor or the leader of the military operation–if they put the trial in.  That scene where one of the military men lays down the rifle and joins on the side of the Freedom School spoke volumes to me.  I’d re-write it to where whoever Cross plays if in the military aspect of it, is the first one to lay the rifle down and move toward the students to join them. I have not forgotten Kent State yet, but if they do put this in rather than do a sequel, then this would rock–totally. I am all about the symbolic gesture when it comes to what SHOULD have been.

Part of the appeal for the Billy Jack movies was that there were people who were of Native American descent in the cast as well.  I would strongly urge Wahlberg to reach out to those communities and get Dennis Quaid involved with this somehow.  The man has a vast knowledge about Native American culture and can help steer Wahlberg in the right direction with this.  This movie also pointed out a lot of social injustices that were taking place.  Some of those still are–such as the slaughtering of horses by the government. These social issues that are still ever-present are things that Wahlberg, if he can get Quaid to help, can truly capitalize on by bringing attention to the fact that these issues are not fixed–not by a long shot.

I want to finish here on a lighter note by saying that there is an Independent Film out that is going to make some serious money for Sean Penn.  It is called “This Must Be the Place”.  Check it out here:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440345/   This film has already snagged an award at Cannes, if I’m not mistaken!  This looks like it is one of Penn’s best roles in a while now!

I am telling you these independent film makers and the actors who choose to work for them will be better off in the long run for it!  The creative potential and the freedom within that industry is tremendous in that market!  I don’t even have to be in the field to see that the indie film is only going to grow–much to the dismay of its competition in Hollywood!

Indie films work because many are in touch with their audiences–which is something a lot of the major studios in Hollywood tend to ignore.  The indie market is on the rise.  I can assure you all of that!  I hope you enjoyed my runaway thought train on this as well.  I just feel that as a viewing member of a discriminating audience the loves intelligent story-lines, that I needed to play around with this a bit!

Write from the Head or Write from the Heart?

This was a question I got two days ago…It is difficult to answer but it depends on A) what you are writing, B) they type of audience your intending it for and C) whether any damned good will come of it–but if it makes you feel a hell of a lot better, then the answer to C) is “HELL YES!” regardless…

When you write from the “head” it is my opinion that you are going for the academia audience–the well-traveled and educated audience and/or the elitists in the movie or publishing industries.  When trying to appeal to this crowd, they are usually looking at what will sell and what makes sense TO THEM.  Again, that is my opinion. The thing to bear in mind is that whatever makes sense TO THEM might make less sense to “Joe Public“.  That is why the a lot of indie projects get respect…They buck the system altogether in many ways.  The same is true of the music industry, I think.

NOW for writing from the heart…IF it feels write to you regardless of what those in the above crowd think AND  if it helps you or someone else who reads it, then it was worth putting forth the energy to begin with.  Now what makes sense to this crowd–which is usually going to be your “JOE PUBLIC” crowd, may NOT make sense to the above crowd…Get it?

The average public will take some C4 and common sense smashing into reality over the new age philosophy any day of the week.  Do not get me wrong, I am not knocking the writers in that movement that inspired me, but I am saying that what works for YOU may be different. There is nothing wrong with watching movies like “Letters to God“, “The Help” and such…However some people will NEVER get into such movies because they were raised to think differently and on a different level.  It doesn’t mean that one audience is above the other either. However every REAL coin is two-sided.  Every person has more than one dimension also.

Now comes the big bitch word:  “REALITY“…Are you trying to write to sell? Then you need to get into writer’s workshops and such.  Take college English classes too…Believe it or not, it does help.  If nothing else, you will learn very quickly how to make a logical thought stick or a new term memorable…My personal favorite that I coined is the “closet exhibitionist“.  This is the person who is too afraid to be themselves, go into acting or whatever, and yet dreams of being a public figure…He or she often pretends to be a famous person that he or she looks up to, or acts out parts of their favorite movies.  Others play air guitar without ever learning how to play the real thing and then kick themselves when they are older for not doing so.

Believe me that condition is very real…I should know.  For the first time in 25 years, I sang publicly last night…I was quite well received and so was my son–who I did one duet with.  Not that we’ll ever make it big but I was not kidding when I said a certain Facebook page changed my life.  I had to build up to this point. I left singing for reasons which I will keep to myself, and I refused to take more theater classes…I probably should have done it, but I had some rather strange ideas about “the establishment’ back then and felt that I was better off being a recluse.

Anyway, to the person who asked, this is from my heart…25 years ago I let my head rule and not all jackasses have long ears…Figure it out and decide for yourself where your destiny lies, but don’t let anything keep you from it–not even those who mean well…Why?  Let’s just say JOB had 3 good friends.  Get my drift?

Have a great week!   If you have time, you might consider watching “Chariots of Fire” with Ben Cross…Talk about 2 sides of a coin…You have two men running for two different reasons…Figure it out…What are you writing for? Who are you writing it for? Find your reason and then run the ink well dry dammit! I WISH I watched this when it came out…I might have not had a 25+ year case of posterior cranial rectumitis, if you know what I mean…

Have a link on me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmj4lU0sra0&feature=related

The blah blah blah of Writing…Characterization and random thoughts…

Have you ever reached a point to where you just want to kill off every character you put in your own story, much like they did in the “Black Adder” series once?  Well I have…I have heard it all this week…”Send the character over the cataract or make them a bloody messiah!”, “Give your main character a tragic flaw”, etc…etc…etc…

When breathing life into or smothering my characters to death, I do not see the logic in having   “A” tragic flaw rather than several.  I also see no logic for NOT having at least one sardonic bitch in my story be it male or female. I have met men who make better bitches than some of the other females that I encounter anyway.  I also like putting dark wit wherever possible.  Also my “villain”  might be someone people can actually empathize with–much to my mentor’s dismay…She likes villains to be pure a-holes–clearly defined as EVIL.  Why?  In reality you can say Charles Manson is an ultimate villain of sorts. But in reality, was Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or even Obama?  OR is it a matter of perception only?  It’s just a thought I felt that I should toss about because anyone who has ever been pissed at a politician of either side of the coin can relate to it.  Better yet, are WE our own worst enemies in labeling people as such?  Hmmm…What a question to pose given the political climate of the past 35 years or so…The “villains” I had most empathy for in my lifetime were Barnabas Collins of  “Dark Shadows” (the 1992 version with Ben Cross–it seemed more plausible and realistic) and  Bruce Dern‘s portrayal of  astronaut Freeman Lowell in “Silent Running” (1972).   Quite frankly, I’d really LOVE  to see Mr. Cross and Mr. Dern work together…I know it probably will not happen, but they are both freaking brilliant in their portrayals of any character thrown at them.

I also had a tremendous empathy for Jonathan Frid‘s version of Barnabas…I felt that he was “bullied” by Angelique.  If I had met Lara Parker as a child, I am 100% certain that I would have kicked her in the shins and ran for my dear life! I was a kindergartener that ran home every day to watch the original version!

For those who have never seen “Silent Running” I strongly urge you to watch it.  Here is a damned good clip with Mr. Dern here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji67t8xJF-s

And for those of you who really admire how Ben Cross played Barnabas, here is a clip–which he played pretty damned well, I might add…I used a clip showing the bad side of him too–and after watching it, I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that actor’s shit list! Not that he’d be like this, but that voice alone would definitely command some freaking respect, don’t you think? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zoTfRmm9o

Anyway there are times I write purely for my amusement and my version of Dark Shadows is one of those projects…One can tell when they read it, it is much inspired not just by my love of the show, but from movies such as “Spirit of the Beehive”, “Frankenstein”, “Paperhouse”, which is a strange movie but deals with the perspective of child emotions rather well, and I also deal with the perspective of a severely abused child–my main character, who thinks that while Barnabas guided her from his crypt, was only an imaginary friend. Barnabas, however, was meant to guide her in the present time.  Much of their encounters took place prior to her departure from Collinsport at age 8 to attend private school in Boston, per Elizabeth and Roger after they get guardianship of her.

In my version, the child is going to grow up to be the catalyst for resolving all things past and present.  I was really pissed off that Barnabas “declared” his love for Angelique in the end of the ’72 series when in fact, any psychotic bitch that did to a man what she did to him would never have been loved, but rather LOATHED.  To me that was unrealistic and done in haste.

While I am not giving my whole story away, I am going to point out there that I only wrote it because I get pissed off at all the crap that people toss  about with regard to characterization.  To resolve it and answer questions as to HOW Barnabas  knows about certain aspects of technology and historical information in the present, an outside character really has to be used for this. The characters of Willy, Maggie and others are “boxed” in due to the original adaptations of it, so I dug my own “good little girl” in the form of my character from the deepest recesses of the pit of my imagination.  Believe me, given what she has endured at the hands of her crazy bitch mother, the fact that she is actually “good” is amazing–but there are flaws she has…She trusts nobody-really…She keeps to herself even as a celebrity, and she feels that all she experienced was in her imagination.  She fears things that she remembers from time to time.  Her best friend up until she returns to Collinsport (outside of her band) is her dog…Can you fans of the ’92 series guess what I named him?    😀

I will reveal one thing…If anyone plays the part of the ghost of my new character’s dad someday (if I ever get this out there), I hope to hell it’s  Matthew McConaughey because he’d be perfect for that part.  As for the part of younger Barnabas there would have to be two younger people playing him as a boy and a young man, and then an older man to play him at age 50-55 (the namesake) in the present time.  Don’t ask…I won’t tell how that works, but it’s in there 🙂 !  I dug deeper than hell to explain things in a logical light…That time-space continuum that my character has to fix is a bitch to deal with but I finally worked it out…

Now for the big decision…Do I make my characters “messianic” and admirable, make them grey or send them all over the bloody cataract?  Stay tuned…Same bat time! Same bat channel!