Monday, October 30, 2006


Wilton and I went to see "The Queen" yesterday. There was a trailer for an upcoming Peter O'toole film called "Venus". It looks fantasic and he gets to play off of brillant older actors Richard Griffiths and Vanessa Redgrave as well as his young co-star, Jodie Whittaker.
You can see the trailer for "Venus" here.
The Oscar buzz is already swirling around him in many articles including this one from the London Times.
Of course, the seven time snubbed O'Toole recieved an honorary Oscar in 2003. I loved his short but brillant acceptance speech.......
"Meryl Streep, members of the Academy, distinguished guests, viewers, ladies and gentlemen. 'Always a bridesmaid, never a bride' – my foot! I have a my very own Oscar, to be with me 'til death do us part. I wish the Academy to know I am as delighted as I am honoured. And I am honoured. The magic of the movies enraptured me when I was a child. As I totter into antiquity, movie magic enraptures me still. Having already bagged this baby, as it were, and so spared uncertainties prior to the opening of an envelope, I am able to think. I think of our colleagues, our old friends, now gone, who played their parts in this ceremony. I think of the sumptuous talents alive and well and with us now. I think of the astonishing young, the gifted and able young men and women who I meet practically every time I go to work – and from whom I grab energy in handfuls. I think of the United States and of the loves and friendships I've known here for more than half a century. And of how much the nation has given to me both personally, privately and professionally – I am deeply thankful. And now, at this last, you have given me this delightful shock!
You are very good. Good night and God bless you."
(O'Toole's acceptance speech after receiving his Honorary Oscar from presenter Meryl Streep.)
This past week, Peter gave an interview about how, coming up against the Academy's no alcohol rule, he nearly left the Oscars in search of a drink. Read more here

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Be Kind, New York Times

We made the papers the other day. The NYT did a piece on our impact with the film on Passaic. 90% of the film was shot in a mile radius of our junkyard/powerplant set.
There is a nice picture of Ellen on the dolly chatting with Michel.
We finished our last day in Mahattan with 2 short scenes featuring Danny Glover. It was mercifully short and easy day., Done in 6 hours. The goodbyes and wrap gifts were handed out. The usual tshirts and sweatshirts. But Michel made us something really cool. He's been taking 3D digital photographs with a specially machined unit. Well, the outcome was great..... we all got Be Kind Rewind viewmasters and disks of 3D photos. Just like when we were kids.
My favorite ones being from our "RoboCop" shoot. Jack, Mos and Melonie look hot!
I'm heading back to Los Angeles this afternoon. It'll be nice to relax for a few days and be warm again..........

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And This Is What The Conservatives Are Saying!

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, warned Republicans that scare tactics against Democrats will not succeed in increasing social or economic conservative voters on Election Day.

“The big-spending, high-deficit, morally-deficient Republican Party hasn’t anything to offer conservatives except Halloween scare tactics about the Democrats. But since the GOP majority in Congress has engaged in an unprecedented spending spree, conservatives know that Democrats cannot be any worse and that divided government may lead to less spending,” Viguerie said.

“And conservatives have learned that, while Republicans sometimes provide significant symbolism on social issues, in truth, many of them have a disdain for values voters,” he added.

“Trying to frighten conservatives by yelling ‘Nancy Pelosi’ and ‘Harry Reid’ won’t work this time."

More here

Under Pressure

"(CBS) Army Staff Sgt. Bryce Syverson spent 15 months in Iraq before he was diagnosed by military doctors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sent to the psychiatric unit at Walter Reed Medical Center, CBS News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports.

"It ended up they just took his weapon away from him and said he was non-deployable and couldn'?t have a weapon," says his father, Larry Syverson. "He was on suicide watch in a lockdown."

That was last August. This August, he was deployed to Ramadi, in the heart of the Sunni triangle and he had a weapon.

He's still there. Under pressure to maintain troop levels, military doctors tell CBS News it's become a "common practice" to recycle soldiers with mental disorders back into combat. The military's actions were first reported by the Hartford Courant newspaper. "

This would be considered sick if not true. The way the military has to use unfit veterans/recruits to fight Bush's war is unconscionable.
Read the whole story on CBS News.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Helicopter Shots

The other day/night we did some helicopter shots for "Be Kind, Rewind". They are always amazing and we had the best pilot in New York doing them. We closed down traffic on Rt. 21 in Passaic and Al hovered 30 ' over the highway to match an angle we had shot previously with a stratacrane. When the two are morphed later on, it will appear to be one seemless shot. Movie magic.
The camera fits in the ball @ the nose of the helicopter.

Heineken Casino

Although the commercial is less than stellar, the behing-the-scenes offers a nice 4 minute synopsis of how a commercial is made. And how we all are cogs in the final product.
Eva Green reprises her role as Vesper Lynd for the advert.
  • Making of 007 Heineken Ad
  • Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Gore Vidal's Prediction

    "When I asked Gore Vidal at dinner why the White House seemed so serene and at ease about the vote, he replied that, this time around, the Bush-Cheney henchmen could simply call on martial law. He glumly noted that we are so far down the road toward totalitarianism that, even if Democrats do win back the Congress, it would take at least two generations before the last six years of damage to the nation could be reversed. Gore frankly despaired that any amount of time could ever return the country to where and what it previously was. This prediction left me reaching for some Fernet Branca."
  • Lyn Lear

    I think Vidal is one of the only people in America who knows what is going on from a historic perspective.
  • Be Kind Sigourney

    Yesterday we had Sigourney Weaver on set playing a high powered hollywood lawyer trying to shut our boys down. Here she is with Danny Glover @ the end of the day.
    We are on our last days of "Be Kind, Rewind". We finish principle photography next thursday, then the wrap party on friday and I'm on a plane to Los Angeles on saturday.

    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    For Your Consideration

    You see these kind of ads in Variety and Hollywood Reporter to lobby the film community about the Academy Award nominations.
    I guess the Broccoli's are hoping for a critical as well as box office hit.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    With Friends Like These......

    Have "Christian conservatives" cost Republicans the election?
    Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) is naming names......

    "Mr. Armey accused Congressional Republicans of “blatant pandering to James Dobson” and “his gang of thugs,” whom Mr. Armey called “real nasty bullies”

    “The Republicans are talking about things like gay marriage and so forth, and the Democrats are talking about the things people care about, like how do I pay my bills?” he said"

    "Mr. Armey, who identifies himself as an evangelical, said he was tired of Christian conservative leaders threatening that their supporters would stay away from the ballot box unless they got what they wanted."

  • Story from Ameriblog
  • eVoting

    "Diebold Election Systems Inc. expressed alarm and state election officials contacted the FBI yesterday after a former legislator received an anonymous package containing what appears to be the computer code that ran Maryland's polls in 2004."

    A scary story on just how vulnerable these electronic voting machines are. Lou Dobbs has been reporting on this issue for awhile but this is a bombshell.
  • Ameriblog
  • Brad Blog has been tirelessly covering this issue for years
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    More Sunrises

    It was stormy yesterday but very pretty this morning before I went off to Passaic. We were working nights last week. Nights are always stressful and on sunday it was literally freezing. We came back from lunch @ 1am to find ice on the camera platform.
    We were shooting on an old abandoned train with six old jazz greats. Regretfully for me, the only one I recognized was Jimmy Scott. But some of the electricians had records to be autographed. Everyone was lovely considering the late hour and cold weather. These six musicians had a scene with Danny Glover reminiscing about Fats Waller.
    I have not been feeling well lately, and I finally went to a doctor from set today. Touch of bronchitis, I think the wardrobe girl has it last week. I got some drugs today and hope to be on the mend soon.
    Anyways, 7 more days in New Jersey and then back to sunny California.

    Casino Royale Torture

    In the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, Daniel Craig plays a rougher, tougher 007. One of the most brutal passages of Ian Fleming's original novel is when Le Chiffre captures Bond and subjects his testicles to the business end of a carpet beater. They have left the scene in the movie and here is a naked Bond about to be roughed up.

    Rolling Stone

    This month's Rolling Stone has a few words to say about the current Congress.

    "These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable."

    And that's just the second paragraph.

    With Bush43 signing the Military Commisions Act this week elevates the United States to the select few nations to publicly condone torture. Quite a legacy. See the Keith Olbermann report on Crooks and Liars.