Monday, April 07, 2008


Everybody I know hates re-makes but I love them! There's no better way to study film than to see the same story handled differently by two different directors. The old argument, "If they have to do re-makes then they should only do films that weren't done right the first time" doesn't hold water for me. It's precicely the good films that I want to see re-done! That's how you learn the most!

So here's the leg lamp sequence from "Christmas Story," done well (below) and done badly (above). What lessons do you take away from this?

By the way, the better version of "Christmas Story" was done by Bob Clark, the same director who did "Porky's" 1 & 2, and "Black Christmas"! Clark died a year ago in a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway.  He was a friend of Quentin Tarantino.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I can't stop fooling around with the built-in iSight camera on my computer. Maybe it has to do with the quality of the lenses or the electronics.  Maybe it's the program. Anyway, you can do some serious photography with this thing.

The moody picture above was lit with a flashlight. Think about it, a flashlight!  I look like a guy who's at the end of his rope, out of work and wondering how he's going to feed his family. In reality it's just me, wondering if there's any potato chips in the house, and the camera benignly transforms that expression into high tragedy.  Of course, it also makes me look a hundred years old! 

Here's my favorite (above)!  I look like a demon from a Hell that burns black flame. I shot it for the Potemkin post but wasn't able to fit it in.  Once again, the lighting was done with a flashlight. 


 Here's (above) a bit of gritty, 50s realism.  Theater in that era was thick and serious. The words poured like molasses.  One play that comes to mind is "Krapp's last Tape." It's terrible and just about unwatchable in my opinion, but it has a following, and it has the virtue that you could film the whole thing in YouTube type close-ups. Imagine that! A serious play shot just for YouTube! 

I think I'll try a couple of really heavy, dramatic readings here. They'll suck but, what the heck, it's a blog and blogs are for fun, not for perfection.  Like Clampett used to say, "What's the worst that can happen? Is the sky going to fall down?"

 ISight does a good job on color, too. Sometimes the color looks purple and washed-out, and other times it feels like Technicolor.  In the picture above the lighting makes me look like someone in "The Conformist."

Saturday, April 05, 2008


ANNOUNCER:  "Today we're visiting the internationally famous star of stage and screen, the original singing cowboy.... Cowboy Bob! Hello, Cowboy Bob! Are we interrupting?"

COWBOY BOB:  "Why, no Bill! We got most of the cattle bedded down for the night, so a little jaw-jabberin' won't hurt!"

ANNOUNCER:  "Cowboy Bob, we have some letters from the fans. One fan writes in to ask, "Why does Cowboy Bob smoke? Doesn't that set a bad example for kids?"

COWBOY BOB: "Haw! That's a laugh! I don't smoke! Never have! It's a filthy habit! I carry the cigarettes for a friend, my horse!"

COWBOY BOB:  "Of course he gets the cigarettes all wet with slobber so they don't work so good anymore. If one gets really wet I'll let it dangle from my lip just to dry it out! 

Any more questions?"

ANNOUNCER:  "Yes, here's one.....this reader asks, "Cowboy Bob, Do you have your own ranch? Where do you bunk?"

COWBOY BOB: "Where do I bunk? No cowboy 'bunks' anymore. When I'm on a drive I stay at motels, just like everybody else."

COWBOY BOB (CONT):  "My favorite is 'Motel 6' because they leave a peppermint on the bed. Of course you never want to run an ultraviolet light over the bedspread but heck, even big hotels have that problem." 

COWBOY BOB:  "Well, there's the call to the chuck wagon! Gotta cut it short! It was real nice talkin' to you, Bill! Tell the kids out there to talk straight and stand tall like their friend Cowboy Bob! That, and always listen to their mothers!"

ANNOUNCER: "Will do, Cowboy Bob! It was nice talkin'...I mean 'talking' you!"

BTW: Thanks and a tip of the Cowboy Bob hat to Luke for the fine poster above!

Friday, April 04, 2008


Here it is..."Uncle Eddie: Cowboy Commercial", Two minutes long, fresh from YouTube! I wish I could have added SFX. 'Hope you like it!


I just transferred it to YouTube but I'm too sleepy to wait till they process it, so I can put it up here. If you just can't wait, go to YouTube and you'll find it under "Uncle Eddie: Cowboy Commercial." In the more likely event that you can wait, just hang loose and I'll post it here as soon as I'm able.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Here's (above) something Mike turned me on to: Christopher Walkin's sketches on Saturday Night Live where he plays "The Continental." What a terrific idea! A woman we never see knocks on the Continental's door and he takes her in and tries to seduce her. Where's this been all my life? I want to see every episode!

Here's (above) a parody of the Walkin sketches which is even more overt than Walkin's. Hard-to-please YouTube fans gave this 2 1/2 stars, but I'd give it a 5. It's hilarious!

Housewives in the 50s were treated to some real exotica on TV! After being stimulated to distraction by the original (unfortunately short-lived) Continental show, they got to watch the king of the exotics, Korla Pandit (above) play the organ. I love the mystical narration at the start.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Please, please, please forgive me for wiping out 13 perfectly fine comments in order to put a slightly improved version of the video up. I just couldn't bear to watch the video run silent for the last 45 seconds! If I'm able to re-cut this sometime in the future I'll run the music throughout instead of dimming it for the SFX. That and 50 other changes should fix it!