Sunday, November 21, 2010

Falling Skies Mini Update

For major updates, you'll have to check the official TNT site, but for mini (non-spoiler) updates, I'm you're guy! Anyhow, shooting is officially finished and the ten episodes of season one are being post-produced "as I write." For those not steeped in production lingo, "post" is an all encompassing term that covers editing, music, FX, dubbing... basically everything that transforms the raw footage from the shoot into glorious episodes of television. I don't think it's a spoiler to note that Falling Skies will have a considerable amount of special FX to create the full "alien invasion" motif...

More news as it develops... and expect something VERY interesting come December...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stuff! Glorious Stuff!

Yes, there is stuff aplenty out there, and your host has too much of it! Here are some of the more interesting goodies that have arrived recently --

THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS, Feral Press. Eerie Publications were really mostly a guy named Myron Fass, an "ehh" comics artist from the 50's who turned his talents to publishing. Fass produced hundreds of crazy magazines, ranging from pop-culture (I still have his cheapo Tiger-Beatish Springsteen one shot from the 1970's), soft-core sex, supernatural/UFO and even semi-political magazines. But Fass is best known for his line of unbelievably grisly horror comics that appeared from 1967-ish into the early 1980's. Weird, Tales Of Voodoo, Witches Tales, Tales From The Tomb, etc., etc. About ten years ago I went on an eBay jag and picked up around 220 of the comics, and I always wanted to know more about this bizarre company. Well, author Mike Howlett gives me "more" and then some! At a mind-boggling 300 pages, many in color, this book spills the beans on the Eerie empire, and finally reveals the name of the best (nastiest) cover painter from the comics line: Bill Alexander.

THE PROMISE. For a Springsteen fanatic like yours truly, this is really something. A documentary on the making of Springsteen's "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" album, plus the remastered album itself, two CDs of outtakes, and two, count 'em, two concerts on blu-ray. Hardcore Bruce addicts have heard many of the outtake tracks on the "Promise" album, but not all, and certainly not in this quality. I'm still plowing through the contents, but this is an amazing set...

THE HORROR, THE HORROR. An impressive collection of full color 50's horror comics, the stuff that "inspired" Mr. Fass, with tons of commentary and even a DVD of an old television show decrying the effects of this nasty trash on the youth of America. (I haven't seen the DVD yet, but I assume they do not conclude the effect was positive.) Evidently the book's compiler and I share similar tastes because many of my favorite 50's covers are reproduced here, including the surreal painted covers by Ekgren, and work by Steve Ditko, Basil Wolverton and other greats. It is impressive just how sordid and nasty these stories could get.

DICK BRIEFER'S FRANKENSTEIN. Yet another swanky hardcover compilation, this time of Dick Briefer's cool and strange Frankenstein series from the 40's and 50's. It's an odd series that went from serious horror to the flat-out comedic adventures of the monster, and back again. I always wondered how the monster's nose ended up in the middle of his forehead (maybe Dr. F. lost his glasses)... not sure we learn the answer here, but I've always enjoyed these oddball books.

And there's more, so much more!! To be continued!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Falling Skies - Home Stretch, Season One

Besides what I've learned from the movies, I've also learned that it can get pretty friggin' cold in Toronto in November! While my home town of Los Angeles was enjoying 90 degree weather (!), the stalwart crew of Falling Skies were out all night in the midst of snow flurries and a bitter ol' wind...

But we are entering the last week of shooting, and the weather this week promises to be sunny and sightly warmer, so it's all good. Everyone knows aliens don't like cold weather...

In other news, I believe the first chapter of the ongoing Falling Skies comic series debuts on-line today, at the Dark Horse and TNT websites. These stories catch up with our characters a few months before the series begins and give some clues about where we'll be going with the series itself. Give it a look!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Things I Learned Watching Paranormal Activity 2

BEWARE... scary spoilers below... here are the things I learned from Paranormal Activity 2:

Demons don't much like pool cleaning equipment.

The 15th time you cut to a static shot of a doorway, something is just bound to happen.

When trying to win back the first born male child of a couple who benefited from a deal with the devil, evidently the smart move is to throw the automatic pool cleaner out of the swimming pool every night for two weeks (see above) and repeatedly make a mess in the couple's kitchen.

If that doesn't work, thumping and bumping at odd hours is equally effective at communicating your dark desires.

When people don't interpret this demonic outreach properly, boy can those demons get pissy.

When you come home to find your live-in Hispanic maid trying to rid your home of evil spirits, that's not a good sign.

Evidently it is impossible for a couple to take their toddler with them when they go out to dinner.

If you have security cameras running 24/7, the last thing you want to do is check them after someone claims to have experienced a supernatural event in your home.

If you do check them, make sure you only find the supernatural events that could have a plausible real world explanation. Do not check the tapes that would show babies levitating.

Seriously, what is the deal with demons and swimming pool cleaners?

There is no business deal so important that you should leave your catatonic wife and terrified daughter alone, even if it's just for a "couple of hours."

Oh, wait. You own a string of Burger King franchises. Strike the above, of course you need to take the meeting.

You should always tidy up your basement before a supernatural onslaught. Boxes and spare bicycles are some scary shit in the dark.