If anyone cares to take a gander at the human pile of feces that is Camden NJ, there's a feature on it tonight on that new Geraldo show on Fox, Geraldo At Large. It is a horrific place,(though there was an attempt to create a waterfront of upscale condos and stuff), and should be laid to waste as soon as possible. See for yourself!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I have started immersing myself into Generator fully. And I also have begun the preliminary outlining of a cool little crime/drug film I will be able to shoot myself after Generator. So, I have been working, and working fairly consistently. I can't believe how many shots I have already for Generator. I was expecting somewhere around 200, but I'm above that number now, and I'm only half way.
I listened to the commentary on Mean Streets, and it's among the best I've heard, with Scorsese talking about his early career and his influences. Very informative, and he shows a great admiration for it.
Looks like I will being working at the post office again this holiday season. My feet were killing me last year. 12 hours standing on a concrete floor will do that. The money is fairly good, and a nice jolt of income for Christmas. I loathe it, of course, but I am moving in January, and this can only help me get going a little earlier.
Katie bought us Billy Joel tickets for Philly in March. He's a favorite of mine because he was(and probably is) a drunk, bitter, angry young man in the 70's, and I relate well to his sarcasm. A lot of my friends didn't get the Billy Joel enjoyment, until I made them listen to the lyrics. A few actually began to like him, and a few didn't, but did understand why I had my huge Joel faze about 8 years ago. At any rate, I am excited, especially since that bum Elton won't be hogging the stage.
Ah, the new idea I'm outlining is called GUPPY, and is a sort of throwback to the 70's type of revenge flicks, with a little organized crime in it to boot. Set in my South Jersey playground, which is not unaffected by having Philly 5 miles away, and NY 200 miles away. A lot of crime occurs in between those two cities, and most all of it I am privy to. A ton of mobsters actually live/lived nearby, like Nikki Scarfo and Gotti. And they had their hands in everything, including Ecstasy that kids sold to the ravers. And sometimes, a shady looking character would come and ask for the money...and well, it didn't take a genius to see to who and where the money was going. That's another reason I miss it up there...I was in the middle of everything, though I really didn't do any of it. You have Philly, and the beach, within a half hour of your home. Great fun. You have Camden for drugs, and mansions in Cherry Hill 5 miles from there. Anyway, Guppy is a very personal story, with a seemingly quiet suburban setting. But as we all know, underneath the gloss of silence, you have a million dirty little secrets.
Speaking of Camden NJ, it was just voted the most dangerous city in America...again. I grew up within 10-20 miles of that place. I went there on drug runs...I was ripped off , or 'beat', as we called it. I went to the liquor stores at 4am because they stayed open when others were closed. (cops didn't enforce the law there) And yet, I never got into huge trouble there.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/23/2005 03:43:00 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Take a look at these upcoming releases, and tell me what you see(this is an actual list of movie news):
Hodder On 'Friday The 13th' Remake
Donnie Wahlberg On 'Silence'
'Masters of Horror' Set Visit
'Black Christmas' Remake
Miner To Direct 'Day of the Dead' Remake
Jackson Comes At 'King Kong' Anew
Adam Baldwin In 'Thirst'
'The Hills Have Eyes' Remake Pics
Wray's Spirit Lives In 'King Kong'
Carmen Electra back for Scary Movie 4
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/12/2005 01:53:00 PM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Before I get to this totally enlightening post, I want to state that I will be showing this Francis Ford Coppola pic on every entry until I don't feel exactly like that.
I am basically treading water down here in Florida. I have no cohorts down here. I have no money. I have no drive except the one that tells me to get out of here. I'm basically living in a sloth like state. Ideas come and go, yet I stare into space. "Do I want to start a project?" "What's the point?" Of course, I do want to take this on like a job, but I feel very out of sort with knowing I'm moving and making a film up in NJ, and it's contrasting with my anemic life down here to kind of leave me floating somewhere in purgatory. Which way do I go? I just feel I'm being distracted from my work with other concerns. I think I should just focus on Generator, and finish everything I can with regards to that film. Be totally prepared for the shoot. Make a budget sheet, finally finish my stinking storyboards and stuff like that. But it's that writer in me who is balking at this idea. "You don't write, you cease to be a writer! Muhahahaha!" I am so paranoid when I'm not writing. I feel like by not writing every single day, I am wasting away. That was the main problem with me storyboarding. I thought of it as beneath my writing. (Not being able to draw worth a lick has something to do with it too) I should just whip myself back into shape and realize that Generator should be first and foremost. A lot depends on it.
And maybe that's the real problem I'm having-knowing that my entire life depends on making this, or else I'm a failure. I left everything behind in order to make movies-my job, my family, my girlfriend, my friends-and maybe I'm just afraid of taking that last step to where there is no turning back. Where I am forced to run the show, keep paperwork in order, make cuts, direct actors, stay up editing at night, dealing with the disappointment when something doesn't work, buying the equipment-doing all this, and then finding out my film sucks...and being devastated.
I have to fight through this growing malaise and fucking focus.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/08/2005 09:20:00 PM
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I don't mind misleading advertising. In fact, since I expect it, I kind of laugh at it from time to time, thinking "Who in their right mind would believe this garbage?" So when I see the commercials for Trading Spouses (all of last week until I couldn't take it anymore), which aired this past Wednesday, I thought the show looked outrageous. The lady was screaming and ranting on and on. And so I had to see it. So, I tune in and watch the first ten minutes, and all is okay. Then before going to the first commercial, they show the fanatic footage that I'm tuning in for, and say "Stay Tuned because this is coming before the split", which means before they go back to their regular families. So I tune in. The second part is mildly humorous, and then the commercial break comes, and again, they tout what's coming up, which is the flipping out. So again, I stay tuned. This happens two more times at the commercial breaks. Then the show ends, and they say Tune in next week for part 2, so you can see this, and shows the woman flipping out.
It was a two parter! Now listen, I'm not one to berate advertisers since I understand it has to be done, but this is just ...dirty. I have no problems with those advertisements before the show to get people to tune in. But during the show, in which they know it's not in that episode? That is a very unethical practice, in my opinion. You have already gathered an audience through the pre air date commercials, so you're going to keep lying to the audience while they're watching? Good God, I was infuriated! Is it just me, or is that over the line? I have never watched a show where the in episode advertisements were for the next show. Fucking horseshit!
At any rate, I am not tuning in for the second part this coming Wednesday. In fact, I will download it for free and watch it at my leisure. So screw you!
Had a few things going down on the writing front. Seems I jumped the gun on Kill 'Em All. I have the idea and everything, but something kept calling me back to my unfinished script, "The Last Party". I figured I should finish that, since it may be the second film I will actually shoot this year. So KEA is on hold for now while I finish something I think will further my career, which is making my own film. Am I wrong in thinking it's more important for me to write and shoot my scripts, instead of writing and entering contests and trying to send them out to agents ? Anyway, I added 5 pages off the top of my head to "The Last Party", and I hate that title, by the by. Especially since it's in use for some crappy horror movie, I think. So there you have it-I'm writing my second feature that I will shoot myself. I might actually shoot this one first, just to get everyone comfortable with acting and taking direction from me. Plus this script is a comedy, so it'll be a nice warmup for us.
It seems that if I had any connections at all, April Fool's Day 2 might have had a chance. There are now almost 5 horror movies that have an uncanny resemblance to my script, and it pisses me off that they get released, yet mine languishes behind, even though I had the idea 3 or 4 years ago, and wrote the first outline 2 1/2 to 3 years ago. In the last year, at least 3 of those movies have received good reviews for being original and fun. Which frankly, is a good old fashioned kick in the gonads to me. My script is collecting dust while these half assed scribes are getting my fucking pub. There is still a chance of course, but I have to turn to drastic measures with the end result being burning a few bridges. The problem is, I don't know if they're still standing anyway...and I may never know.
The whole thing is just bizzare. This manager/agent, in responding to a stern email I sent him(Unintentionally stern, believe it or not), said he would stop trying and I could get someone else if I wished, but that he was very interested in pursuing this. It doesn't seem that way to me. I haven't heard one thing from him since, besides a confirmation email saying he received my 3rd draft. I have no idea what to do. He doesn't return calls, but I've found that nobody does, so that's not all that unusual. My bigger problem lies in the fact that he doesn't respond to my emails. I mean, to me, it isn't all that hard to say "Nothing yet", and goodbye. But then again, I don't know the business.
So, to make this seem shorter, I have the producers phone number and business address. I'm going to call and see if I can't get my script in front of him. Of course, they don't take unsolicited material, but I may drop a name or two, since I now have nothing to lose.
So there you have. I'm in a perpetual state of purgatory, and have nowhere to go but...well...up or down, I guess.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/05/2005 12:16:00 PM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
My new screenplay adventure is one I have thought on for a long time. I first had the idea of doing a western after seeing The Wild Bunch and Once Upon A Time In The West. Prior to seeing those two classics, I had not been a western fan at all. I loathe John Wayne movies. In fact, the only western I have ever enjoyed was The Unforgiven. After seeing both TWB and OUaTITW, I realized why that genre never appealed to me-it was too cookie cutter. The cowboys were clean and righteous, and the bad guys always got their comeuppance. The Unforgiven included a theme of revenge, of doing something that was just, not necessarily morally right.
Enter The Wild Bunch. (Now, this is my personal examination of the film, and what it signified to me. I have read no expert breakdown of the symbolism of The Wild Bunch.) To me, the movie meant the assassination of the ideology of that old west mentality, and mythology. It's quite clear to the crew early on that they are going to end up dead. So when they wander into that town with that famous shot (above), they do so with the knowledge that the west of the old is over, and so are they. It's almost a suicide mission, for the genre, and for the characters. So that's my half assed interpretation of The Wild Bunch, which as far as I feel like going presently, because this all leads to....
Kill 'Em All. My new script jaunt. It's a psuedo western, or a neo western, or a damn bloodbath, who the hell knows for sure?-but one thing I definitely know- it's extremely nihilistic in tone. This will be a bleak story, with some macabre humor. It will be revenge, loneliness, hatred..but most of all, it will be greed. I have the pictures in my head of the key scenes, which means it's time to begin the process. So finally, I can breathe again. Finally, I am not wasting my time. Finally, I can say I'm a writer. And finally, I can feel I have a purpose.
At least until I finish the first draft, in which case I feel like a complete worthless shit again.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/02/2005 05:05:00 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Black Christmas and Day of the Dead are both set for remakes. Fantastic news from the land of idiots.
There is no end to this. People always argue with me, saying that this has always been how Hollywood operates. But I'm telling anyone who will listen, this is unprecedented. There are literally dozens of remakes in the pipeline for the next year or two. It's so disheartening being a writer/director these days. Sometimes I wonder if I should just throw in the towel.
Frustration level is very f'n high. Especially since I haven't embarked on a new script in two months. Time to let my anger flow, ladies and gents.
Jump for joy, little ones! The Hills Have Eyes....remade!!!! Good Lord, it justs gets worse and worse.
Posted by Jason D'Amico at 11/01/2005 07:26:00 PM