Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Submit to the Tickle Me Ottawa Film Festival by April 15

Lloyd Dean of Bikeboy Productions and writer/director of M-THEORY is seeking comedy films from Ottawa area filmmakers.
Info follows on the Tickle Me Ottawa film fest, to premiere in May: 
Hey Ottawa filmmakers!  Think you’re funny? Make us laugh and you could get your film screened at Ottawa's Mayfair Theatre!
Submit your comedy short film to the 1st annual Tickle Me Ottawa Film Festival
To enter, send two copies of your film (on DVD), a short description of your film (max. 100 words), along with your $10 entry fee to:
Tickle Me Ottawa
Lloyd Deane
c/o 214, 140 Mann Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1E5
The (not so) fine print:
To qualify your film must be less than 20 minutes in length, and produced in the National Capital Region.  Entries must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2011. Official selections will be screened at the Mayfair theatre in May 2011. 
For more information, email: lloyddeane@yahoo.ca

Scene from M-THEORY
Meanwhile, M-THEORY will be screened on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 7:15 p.m. the University of Ottawa's Cinema Academica. The screening will be followed by a Q&A will Lloyd Deane and other members of the cast.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from Best Destiny and Eternal Romance

In celebration of Valentine's Day, I'm providing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Something old is a newly colored version of a Fandom Romance piece by Ronn Sutton and me, originally published in Fandom Directory in 1997.

He:  I know it's illogical, but I love you! Come away with me to the Star Trek convention!

She: Sob! Why must I choose between Johnny and my beloved comic books?

Featuring: "Worlds Apart" PLUS "My Boyfriend Wants a Bad Girl!"

Destine, Eternal Romance © Janet Hetherington

Something new is an unpublished 2009 pencil sketch of lovelorn vampire Destine from Eternal Romance.

Wonder Woman is © DC Comics

Something borrowed is borrowed character -- a pen-and-ink drawing of Wonder Woman set against a Valentine heart. 

Pyxie Chix © Janet Hetherington

Something blue is a close-up of Princess Adorra from Pyxie Chix. Girls do love their cell phones.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Hobbit movies begin shooting March 21

Weta Workshop was kind enough to share The Hobbit movie news, saying that production company 3Foot7 Ltd. has announced that that the first day of principal photography for The Hobbit will be Monday, March 21, 2011.

This date was chosen to accommodate filming schedule requirements, actor availability and New Zealand seasonal weather. Shooting will take place at Stone Street Studios in Miramar and on location around New Zealand. 

Confirmed cast include Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Rob Kazinsky, Aidan Turner, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Mikael Persbrant, Sylvester McCoy and Elijah Wood.

“Despite some delays we are fully back on track and very excited to get started,” commented director Sir Peter Jackson.

Weta Workshop houses a range of artistic disciplines under one roof, including conceptual design, weapons, armour and chainmaille, specialist props, vehicles, specialty costumes, models and miniatures, special make-up and prosthetics, public art and displays.

Drawing on more than 20 years of filmmaking experience, five-times Oscar-winning design and effects supervisor Richard Taylor is intimately involved in all projects from concept through to delivery.

Although best known for the company's design and effects work on award-winning film projects, including Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia and Avatar, Weta Workshop offers services to all creative industries throughout the world.

The company also offers high-quality collectibles, like Hobbit ears and a New Zealand map of Middle-Earth.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Current TV serves up Bar Karma February 11

Cassie Howarth, William Sanderson, Matthew Humphreys
Get ready for cocktails at the edge of the universe.

Bar Karma, a new 30-minute science-fiction series, is set to premiere its first of 12 episodes on Current TV on Friday, February 11 at 10 pm (EST) / 9 pm (CST).

Bar Karma tells the story of a time-traveling bar owned and operated by members of a mysterious organization named Karma, Inc. In each weekly episode, a new bar patron enters at happy hour and must make a life-changing – and possibly world-saving – decision.

The show stars William Sanderson (True Blood, Lost, Deadwood) as James, a 20,000 year-old bartender, Matthew Humphreys (Obsessed, Big Love, The Forgotten) as bar owner Doug Jones and Cassie Howarth (Deranged High, Deathclock) as waitress Dayna.

Will Wright
However, what sets this show apart from other TV fare is that it is billing itself as the world’s first community-developed television series.
Bar Karma was created by world-renowned videogame designer Will Wright (creator of The Sims and SimCity) and Worldwide Biggies’ CEO, Albie Hecht (former President of Spike TV and President of Entertainment at Nickelodeon) and invited a community of fans to drive the show’s content – from storylines to art direction, soundtrack to brand integrations.
Bar Karma uses Wright’s Storymaker application, which Wright developed exclusively for Current TV. Users can contribute by logging on to the website (www.current.com/barkarma) as well as through social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter (@barkarma) and a free iPhone App.

“I have always been excited by innovation and what we are creating is unlike anything on television,” Hecht commented last October. “The technology that Will has invented empowers viewers to participate, but also provides direct communication to me and my production team.”

“We will be taking our cues from the viewers, working with them and then quickly producing high quality, original content,” Hecht said. “This is truly a paradigm-changing project that will showcase the creativity of the general public in shaping a television series.”

How it works
The global online community is invited to vote on the top storylines chosen by producers. Once a final storyboard is selected by the community at large, the producers adapt, shoot, produce and edit the winning storyline into a 30-minute episode. Users whose submissions are used will be on the credit roll at the end of the show.

The Bar Karma production process is:

1 – JOINING: Log on to Current TV’s Creation Studios at www.current.com/barkarma by computer or via mobile device to join the online community.

2 – CREATING: Submit potential story ideas (called “pitches”). The show producers will provide the community with a rough outline for upcoming episodes. Participants then have the ability to create various storyboards of unlimited plot possibilities.

3 – VOTING: Browse, comment and merge various ideas for each episode. Final proposals will then be reviewed and voted on.

4 – PRODUCING: After the final storyboard is selected by the community, Hecht and Worldwide Biggies adapt, shoot, produce and edit winning storylines into 30-minute television episodes.

Jonathan Frakes (photo:TheMighty & Dapete)
While fans can pitch story ideas, provide input to the bar design and even suggest names for the bar’s prestige cocktail, professionals are hired for the production end-run.

In fact, Current TV recently announced that actor and director Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) will be directing an episode of Bar Karma.

Fans will be able to cast their vote for the storyline that they would like to see Frakes direct. The episode will air on Current TV in early April.

Cart before the horse?
TV shows like Star Trek, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Quantum Leap and other genre fare have long been fodder for fan fiction and “what if” postulation. The difference is that those shows were developed by professionals and had a solid grounding for the characters and the “feel” of the show before fans wanted to take new spins with the franchises.

James sketch by Janet Hetherington used in Bar Karma pitch
With Bar Karma, fans have been shaping the show; at the very least, they have been posting ideas to help shape the show. It will be interesting to see if this TV show creation by committee produces a show that has legs rather than an experimental novelty.

I want to add here that I’ve been part of the Bar Karma community voice. If you go online, you can find my “pitches” under BestDestiny. I did a storyboard pitch for “The story of the wayward reporter,” and had a lot of fun coming up with a ticker-tape feed that would play at the bar. Feel free to read my pitches and recommend.

And meet me for a cocktail later.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why Burn Notice gets me hot

WARNING: There is no spoiler alert associated with this article. I’m only now watching Season Two of Burn Notice.

Burn Notice is entering its fifth season this summer on the USA Network, and there’s even a “prequel” TV movie in the works. However, in Canada, we’ve only begun seeing early seasons of Burn Notice on the Showcase channel… and it’s a hot Miami treat.

Burn Notice is about professional spy Michael Westen, played with cool intensity by Jeffrey Donovan (Crossing Jordan, Hitch). Weston is served a “burn notice” or pink slip by his covert employers, but he doesn’t know why. This man of international mystery is stuck in Miami with no money, no answers and worst of all – he’s within cell phone reach of his mother (played by Cagney and Lacey star Sharon Gless.)

Westen does not suffer fools gladly, but he does put up with his buddy Sam, a washed-up military intelligence contact (played by cult favorite Bruce Campbell [Bubba Ho Tep, Evil Dead, Army Of Darkness]). Westen also refuses to address his feelings for gal pal Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar from The Tudors, Scent of a Woman). Fee is a beautiful ex-IRA operative who really comes in handy when it’s time to blow things up.

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
Due to a need for money and thanks to Westen’s mother or Sam, Westen is a spy in limbo who spends a lot of time helping relatives, damsels and others in distress. This often involves a lot of creative role-play, and it’s something to savor each episode.

As Westen, Donovan is brimming with charisma, and reminds me a lot of early James Coburn. Donovan is entirely convincing as being caring, uncaring, savvy, steadfast and so tightly wound that you believe both his profession and plight.

The entire cast is excellent. The show is well written and offers an abundance of action and character interplay to keep the hour moving fast.

Bruce Campbell as Sam
And what can I say…. Burn Notice has Bruce Campbell! Gimme some sugar, baby!

Interestingly enough, it’s Campbell’s character that is getting the TV movie treatment in The Fall of Sam Axe. Fans can visit the show’s Facebook page and submit questions for Campbell at http://www.facebook.com/burnnotice.

I told a co-worker about Burn Notice, and he couldn’t wait to burn through the first three seasons.

As for me, I’m tasting each episode as they are being served up on Showcase. I’m happy to report the dishes on this show are piping hot and full of flavor.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chad Lindberg on The Cape February 7 and I Spit on Your Grave February 8

It’s a busy February for Chad Lindberg.

The actor appears as “Hicks” in an episode of NBC’s The Cape called “Goggles and Hicks” at 9 pm on February 7, 2011, and stars in I Spit on Your Grave, a remake of the 1970s horror classic, being released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on Blu-ray and DVD February 8.

Chad Lindberg
NBC’s description of the “Goggles and Hicks” episode recounts how The Cape (David Lyons), heeds advice from Max (Keith David) to take some time off to recover from bruising and exhaustion.

Determined to finally kill The Cape, Peter Fleming (James Frain) hires a tech-savvy team, including Goggles (guest star Pruitt Taylor Vince) and Hicks (guest star Chad Lindberg), to track and destroy The Cape. Meanwhile, Orwell (Summer Glau) faces digital challenges against the team’s strong expertise and Dana (Jennifer Ferrin) becomes more involved in uncovering the truth about Vince’s case.

Lindberg has over 25 film and 20 TV credits to his name, but is perhaps best known for his roles as “Ash” on The CW’s Supernatural and “Jesse” from the film The Fast and the Furious.

In addition to recurring roles on Supernatural and CSI: NY, Lindberg has guest-starred on many other genre-popular TV shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, garnering a fan following. In fact, a Twitter campaign helped resurrect his character of “Ash,” who had been killed off.

Chad Lindberg in I Spit on Your Grave
In celebration of the February 8 Blu-ray and DVD release, the cast and filmmakers of I Spit on Your Grave will be signing at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies bookstore at 7 p.m.

Chad Lindberg will be joined by director Steven R. Monroe (2010); producer Lisa Hansen (2010); executive producer (2010) and along with 2010 stars Jeff Branson, Sarah Butler, Rodney Eastman and Daniel Franzese. The writer/director of the 1978 original, Meir Zarchi, will also attend.

Fans need to purchase the I Spit on Your Grave DVD or Blu-ray at Dark Delicacies for this signing. One additional item may also be autographed at the celebrities’ discretion. For more information, contact: Dark Delicacies Bookstore, 3512 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505; 818-556-6660.