Archive for September, 2009

Digitizing in the Witching Hours

Posted in Personal/Creative on September 25, 2009 by joeylabartunek

The streets of Burbank are nearly empty now.  Sure an occasional car will pass by outside, the engines breaking the quiet of my tiny Avid editing bay, but mostly it’s dead outside.  This late september heat, a reminder that the summer really is almost done continues to cook everything even this close to midnight, making even a trip down the street a sweaty, nasty adventure.  Hell I went to the 7-11 and was lucky enough to remember my camel and guide, a small Egyptian child named Ali.  No I didn’t know the kid, and I probably shouldn’t have trusted him with my pack beast, but I’m the trusting sort, so while I may be up a cup of coffee and a pack of smokes, I’m down my pack beast and my guide.  I suspect they made a deal with each other to find someplace that didn’t feel like the eighth ring of hell.

It certainly feels like the witching hour here at the office, the silence is deafening, the only sound anywhere nearby is the clickety-clack of my keyboard.  Which is a vast improvement on the last time I spent so much time here, when an average day was filled with just as much video work as there was clawing and gnashing of teeth and screaming about the lack of flame throwers.  So yes, I’ve returned to the place that gave me my start, except now I carry a better title.  No it doesn’t mean much, and it may not last long, but sometimes you just gotta side with the principal, and so I have.

So here I sit, waiting for 3AM to roll around so I can cart myself across town and finally sleep at the new pad.  My bed’s there, but the house too is eerily quiet, but it’s mine (well partially) and I’m really looking forward to it.  I’m pushing hard for a Halloween extravaganza, there’s no excuse with a brand new, large, house just sitting there waiting to be devirginized with a party worthy of such a place, and I can think of no better holiday than Halloween.

Alright, back to work.


Ron Howard Wants To Get Cyclopian Up In This Mug

Posted in Comics, Film with tags , on September 25, 2009 by joeylabartunek

As much as I love H.P. Lovecraft’s work, I’m always suspicious of re-imaginings of his life.  That’s not to say it couldn’t be good, and Ron Howard, while not the greatest director on the planet has clearly shown he knows what he’s doing with drama.  The question is can he handle the man and the mythos with a level of integrity and fun that they deserve.  I don’t know.  But he plans on it anyways, from Coming Soon:

Taking a break from his political films (Frost/Nixon) and Dan Brown adaptations, director Ron Howard is set to tackle The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, based on the Image Comics title, for Universal and Imagine.

It’s a departure, for sure. And the Los Angeles Times sat down with Howard to talk about the project.

“It very cleverly uses H.P. Lovecraft in a fictional way, but there’s some loose biographical elements. But it certainly has the flavor and the tone of Lovecraft,” he says. “The character is a very young Lovecraft.” Mac Carter, the script’s co-writer, is adapting the property for film and Howard says he’s just waiting on a draft. “Look, it’s challenging, but if we get it right, it could be really original and psychologically interesting and scary in a great way. And it’s a graphic novel, this is new territory for me.”

30 Days Sequel Director Named

Posted in Comics, Film with tags , , , on September 24, 2009 by joeylabartunek

’30 Days of Night’ was one of those horror flicks that had a decent foundation, a good script, some fun actors and generally had a good time with vampires.  And didn’t make me want to swear off the genre ever ever ever again.  I’m looking at you ‘Twilight’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’.  I think it’s the combination of bloodsuckers and harsh, cold climates, seeing as how both ’30 Days’ and ‘Let the Right One In’  both had that theme in common.  Or maybe it was just the lack of sparkles.  Anyways.

So I’m excited to see that there’s a director attached to the sequel. from Bloody Disgusting:

Bloody Disgusting has exclusively learned that Ben Ketai has been tapped to direct 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, a story from both Steve Niles and Ketai. Shooting is already slated to begin this October in Vancouver, Canada. We also learned that Stella Oleson returns as the lead character, but she will be recast (Melissa George toplined the first film). In the sequel, Stella joins a group of vampire hunters in order to get revenge on Lilith – the vamp responsible for the attack on her Alaska town. Ketai wrote directed the web series “30 Days of Night: Blood Trails” and “30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust.”

After Olaf fell off the ski lift several times, he resigned himself to hot cocoa, cozy fires, and tearing out the throats of the local snowboarders club

After Olaf fell off the ski lift several times, he resigned himself to hot cocoa, cozy fires, and tearing out the throats of the local snowboarders club

And We’re Back. Again.

Posted in Personal/Creative on September 24, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Back from yet another period of creative dryness, wherein I just couldnt give a shit to write anything here.  It happens, and seeing as how this is for me and not you (in the end), we’ll just keep moving as if nothing happened.

Got the house keys to the new house, started moving,  and some great TV post-prod opportunities in the pipeline, which really covers just about anything of interest in the personal/professional life.  I’ve spent the last four weeks rediscovering why I despise web design but more importantly, also rediscovering that I really despise clients.  I think the only thing I miss about not working for a company as opposed for myself is that I can’t shovel the unenviable task of dealing with clients on someone else, leaving me to just do the dirty work.

The other night, the PBR crew got back to work, shooting a sketch comedy short for a Funny or Die contest.  Of course, getting it in on time is a responsibility of mine, to get edited and finished by next week.  I’m not happy about that coming down at a time when I would rather be moving my stuff from my tiny storage cubicle over to our new palace out in Sherman Oaks, but sometimes you don’t get a choice.  And seeing as how I’ll probably be slowly shuttling boxes in my also tiny jeep back seat for the next couple weeks, I guess a little editing wouldn’t kill me.

Anyway, that’s the catch-up, now I just wanna find some news.

Roger Corman is Finally Getting An Oscar

Posted in Film with tags , on September 11, 2009 by joeylabartunek
The grandpappy of our genres.

The Grandpappy and Great Poobah of our genres.

Chud reports that genre pioneer, low budget wizard, career kick-starting badass of the film world, Roger Corman is getting a nod from the academy for lifetime achievement.  If ANYONE deserves a lifetime achievement award it’s Corman, not only did he produce literally hundreds of films, directed over 50 of them himself, but he also helped start the careers of people you may have heard of, names like Scorsese and Coppola.

Corman helped pioneer the Sci-Fi, exploitation, and horror genres, and is kind of the surrogate grandfather to all of us in the low budget world and has stood as an example to everyone who wants to make a place for themselves making those kinds of films, so I’m pretty jazzed that he’s finally getting some love.

More Moving Adventures

Posted in Personal/Creative on September 11, 2009 by joeylabartunek

So I’m couch surfing again.  It’s not one of those things I’m fond of, and certainly I didn’t expect to have to do it ever again after the multiple homeless episodes I spent in my early twenties (At least this time round I’m not using a tool box as a pillow while I crash on the floor).   But the house thing turned more complicated than it should have been and things kind of drug out and now we’re looking at moving in to the place in a few weeks.  So in the interim I’m hanging at my old roomates new pad, which although the internet access is spotty,  isn’t all bad.

I’ve been drawing some of the best work of my life lately, and the worst part is, I can’t even share it with you, dearest readers, as it’s for a project I’m not allowed to talk about yet (maybe ever, if I don’t actually GET on the project).  But from a personal perspective it’s fairly gratifying.  I was having a conversation with The Joker the other night, and I told him, and I really believe that somehow in the time I gave up drawing altogether I gained some skills that really put things over the top.  For the first time in my life I can look at my work and really confidently say that it’s of a highly professional level.  Which is nice.

So I have one or two more days of drawing, then it’s back to the screenplay, which, considering I’m not even close to being blocked on will be nice.  I expect at least 15 more pages before the end of next week. Oh and the sketch comedy show’s break time is just about over and production will begin again shortly.  I dunno, it’s weird but even with my shitty living situation, my profesional possibilities are ramping up enough to keep me pacified and very hopeful for the near future.

I can feel the future sliding into place little bit my little bit, and that’s something I haven’t felt in a long time.

So Beatles Rock Band is out, and I don’t have it, so if any of you readers want to take up a collection to buy a copy and send my way, I would be eternally grateful.

News is slow today, so maybe later I’ll fill you in on the details I’m leaving out. Maybe.

Courtney Love Says Cobain in GH5 is ‘Vile’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 11, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Not that I care one tiny bit what Courtney Love’s opinion is, her crazy ass has long ago signed away any level of credibility, but this bit of info from Wired makes me giggle a little:

Guitar Hero 5’s inclusion of Kurt Cobain as a playable character is “vile,” said Courtney Love, widow of the late Nirvana front man, in a rambling Twitter rant early Thursday.

“FOR THE RECORD I DID NOT APPROVE KURTS AVATAR FOR GUYITARHERO5,” tweeted the musician/actress. “I think Kurt would despise this game alone let alone this avatar.”

Hey, Courtney, at least ten year olds might actually care who Nirvana is now.

Hey, Courtney, at least ten year olds might actually care who Nirvana is now.

Love also threatened to sue Activision for its inclusion of her late husband in the latest version of the popular music videogame.

Cobain appears as a playable character in Guitar Hero 5, meaning that his digital avatar can be used to play any instrument in any of the game’s 85 songs.

This has led to many out-of-character moments featuring the influential grunge rocker. Cobain’s avatar can be seen rapping and singing hair-metal songs in a YouTube highlight reel (embedded right) that has been viewed more than 200,000 times so far. The clip’s title blames Love for what some fans see as a tarnishing of the musician’s memory.

“This is NECROPHILIC this is VILE,” Love said in her Twitter offensive, asking Cobain’s fans to address complaints about the game to her lawyer and publicist.

Love’s Twitter feed is largely devoted to rants related to her legal and financial problems, which now include the portrayal of Cobain in Guitar Hero 5.

“Welcome to my NIGHTMARE,” Love said. “Yeah well sue activision this is disgusting, but theres alot MORE.”

Activision told that Cobain’s inclusion in the game was on the up-and-up.

“Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain’s likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero 5,” said an Activision representative.

“We are going to sue the shit out of Activision,” Love told U.K. paper The Guardian. “‘We’ being the Trust, the Estate, the LLC, the various LLCs, Cobain Enterprises … For the record, this Guitar Hero shit is breach of contract on a bully’s part and there will be a proper addressing of this and retraction.”

Love did not immediately respond to’s request for comment.