Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Hate Fanboys

"George Lucas raped my childhood."

There are few words that boil my blood more. Ok, maybe "There was no Holocaust" or "Pepsi is better than Coke" are a bit more dire, but people who are seriously mad at Lucas for the prequels, or who bitch that Optimus Primewas adorned with flames in the movie just need to get off of it. I realized it a long time ago, and wrote a monologue about it. It was called I Hate Fanboys. I performed it in college, and it got some laughs. I later distilled it into an article for another blog. Again, more laughs.

This year, I read an article by Devin Faraci over @ CHUD.com (I prefer this site to AICN, mostly because Harry Knowles frightens me physically and socially.) call I am not a Fanboy!

The Link to it is below. It is quite long, but correct.

Enjoy!

http://chud.com/articles/articles/14136/1/THE-DEVIN039S-ADVOCATE-I-AM-NOT-A-FANBOY/Page1.html

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jim's Chinese Democracy Review

Ok,

So, last week, Chinese Democracy, the new Guns N' Roses Album, came out. I know people have been curious as to my opinion of the album. So, as a service, I have review the album, track by track.

Chinese Democracy - Good Tune, wish it had more of a straight up hook, but a good, simple riff. A rocker to say the least. Still a little too produced...

Shakler's Revenge - Hard to follow. Reminds me of badly done Eurotrash, but with vocals by Axl. I hate this song.

Street of Dreams - Sounds like a cross between Gn'R, Queen, and something from the musical Rent. I like it alot...alot.

If the World - Starts with the weird Casbah guitar and piano part right into an AWESOME funk riff. A HUGE departure fromGuns N' Roses. In many ways, the bravest track on the album...something COMPLETELY different...even once the crunchy guitar layers into it...What a good freakin' track!

There was a Time - I mean, really... the choir was a bit much, especially since it sounds like the choir was done on a casio...Over produced... Beside that, interesting song...I really like the strings. Interesting transition into the chorus... Unsurprisingly grandiose...It sounds like BOWIE... alot. And that's a good thing.

Catcher in the Rye - Queen meets Bowie...No wonder I like this album. This song really shows how much Axl has grown as an arranger.

Scraped - Annoying intro. Once it starts, the riff sounds like Soundgarden, or some other 90's Seattle band. I don't think I like it...

Riad N' the Bedouins - The intro sounds like it should be from Blade Runner...Kinda cool. Another very 90's sound. Like Chili Peppers or even Jane's Addiction. Very catchy. I like this song alot.

Sorry - Good Tune! A little Bowie-esque.

I.R.S. - Damn Drum Machine!!! Thank God it's only for eight measures. A Very 90's era Guns N' Roses song, once the techno babble ends. A really good song, that has nice transitions fromcool acoustics to crunchy guitars, to some soulful solos... All around, the best composition on the album. Probably the most straight forward song on the album...

Madagascar - Opens with some orchestral work, or is it a synthsizer??? You see, I know the answer, but that's only because I have read alot about making this album. A Really good tune WAY too produced (Yes, it's a theme for this album for me...) Awesome vocals...Axl almost sounds like Tina Turner, which, in case you are wondering, is a really good thing. The guitar work is very Gn'R. I really had no issue with the sound clips in the song...I like it, actually.

This I love - Need a razor, anyone??? Sounds like it should be the tragic centerpiece to some kind of Jim Steinman rock opera. A really good song. The Orchestra sounds...like an orchestra. The Orchestra and lone Piano opening the song is very effective. When the guitar does chime in about 2:25 into the song, it's muted and dark, very cool, until a really solid, bluesy solo. And when the drums kick in??? NO DRUM MACHINE!!! The song I have been looking for on this album!!!

Prostitute - Pretty good song. The opening verse seems a little all over the place, with the melodic guitar soloing behind the verse, which I hate for the most part. Good hook on the chorus. And wait, what is that, right behind the Drums, staring at about 3:15??? Could it be?? Could it??? Of course it is...IT'S A FREAKING DRUM MACHINE...Behind the live Drummer!!!! WHY?!?!? It's not like you have Steven Adler playing the drums on this album, and he can only play with the non stroke ridden half of his body, so he needs help!!!


Good Things
1. Fresh, new arranging. The songs definately show Axl's different influences. A Very telling album. I feel like i know a little more about Axl as a musician after listening to this album.
2. Axl's voice - Still spot on...If you liked his vocal stylings in the past, this album will not disappoint.
3. Departure - there are some really interesting departures from the Gn'R sound. And yet, with the exception of a few tracks, it sounds like it could have been a Gn'R record with the original members.

Bad Things
1. Drum Machine...Too often, there is a transition from drum machine to drums...It's annoying and not effective at all. And it's on almost EVERY FREAKING TRACK! Either that, or Axl and his engineers of doom have so over produced the drum tracks on this album, that they are made to sound synthsized. I don't know which would be sadder...It really draws away from some truly epic sounding music at times...
2. Too Many guitars. Alot of these songs are really good compositions. I feel like Axl felt bad for hiring so many guitarists and had to make sure they were put into every song. Songs like Catcher in the Rye would have benefited from less guitar layering, for example.
3. Shakler's Revenge - Have I mentioned that I hate this song???

In Closing
A Very Solid Album. Like all Gn'R Albums that followed it, there are a few songs I could do without. Was it worth the wait? Well, that really depends on how long you waited for it...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

American Pride - What does it really mean???

One of the great things about living in this country is that we have the freedom to criticize it. We have the freedom to disagree with what our leaders say and what actions they take. And most importantly, we have the freedom to institute change when we disagree. There are those blind nationalists who would tell you that having pride in your country means accepting its faults and loving it anyway, simply because it’s America. I couldn’t disagree more. I would tell you that having pride in your country means loving your country for the freedoms it provides you and taking action to change it’s faults, to better it’s problems, and attempt to reverse its mistakes.

The presidential race this year was a showcase of that dichotomy; not of the two Americas, of Real America and somehow Less-Real America, as Sarah Palin would put it; but of two philosophies on how we as a People should view our country and the challenges we face. One side would tell you “Love it or Leave it” while the other side would say “Love it or Change it”.
Last night we as a People voted to change it. Last night we showed our American pride.

I am prouder than ever to be an American. And I am proud of my country.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I don't want to be over dramatic, but...

This weekend was one of the most important in my life, I think... On Saturday, I shot the first scene of Elmwood Productions' first full length feature film, Josh and Todd: The Story of a Man and his Puppet (check out the blog!!!) It was one of the most stressful, hectic, and incredibly satisfying Saturdays that I can remember. Once the shoot was finished, I was left thoroughly exhausted and completely satisfied with my little place in the world. I felt at home behind the camera, setting up shots, directing actors, and generally running the show.

I have to say that Jon, my co-director and general partner in crime, having my back was a tremendous confidence booster for me, though. He was awesome! He helped me get comfortable with the equipment (thanks to Russ for the tutorial) and with my role, giving me a lot of freedom and latitude with shots and performances. This was really a test to see whether or not the Jon Bristol and Jim Williams directing team that we has envisioned for so long would actually work in a practical setting. I think we were able to prove to ourselves and to those we were working with that not only did it work, but it was extremely effective and all around awesome.

Thanks to Jon, Stegmaier, Mark, Ron @ Central, as well as the lovely Michelle behind the bar, for making Saturday such a personal success.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Well, that was fun!

I will not go into the details of my time off (I refuse to call it a vacation, since I went nowhere) but I will say that I had a couple of things that I wanted to get done this week.

I accomplished nothing...

It was glorious!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I don't even know what to post...WARNING!!! RAMBLING ENTRY!!!!

...I havent updated in a few, so I feel like I should, although I will be completely honest, I have no idea what to say.

I am looking very forward to the week ahead, as I will be "on vacation". I honestly have no idea what we will be doing or where we will be going if anywhere, but it will be nice to not have to go to work.

I have been dealing with some vaguely psychological things lately, and have had to look at myself differently than I have for a long time. I don't even know what that means, but it's true.

We have lived in the house for 2 years now, and only recently have I begun devising ways to spread out a bit more in the house. I have a tendency to hole up in one or two rooms and be content there. I think it's being used to living in an apartment for so long that I forget that I have more space to utilize.

I have a tendency to make a list of things I want to get done on my time off. I also have a tendency to end up not doing any of those things. So let's just say I have a few projects in mind and leave it at that.

Sorry for the rambling...perhaps I will leave a more coherent post later...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An open invite to my friends in the area...

Hey Friends,

As you may or may not be aware, I am a partner in a small production company here in Central CT, Elmwood Productions. Based out of Plainville, CT, we are focused mostly on comedy short-film making involving puppets. This fall, we will be filming our first feature length film, Josh and Todd: A Story of a Man and his Puppet. This will be a "hybrid" film, consisting of live actors interacting with foam and fleece, "Muppet-Style" puppets of our own creation and manufacture. We are very excited about this project, which promises to be a lot of fun for all involved.

This is where you, my many creative friends and associates, come in. We will be holding auditions and screen-tests in the next few weeks, and I would love to extend to each of you an invitation to come and try out. We are looking for actors and actresses aged 18-35, with varying ranges of experience and/or training. While, at this point in time, no compensation is being offered, we are offering points to cast and crew for future compensation in the event that the film gets picked up by a studio (This is fairly standard for most truly independent films.)

As stated previously, we will be scheduling the auditions/screen-tests in the next few weeks. These auditions will be by invitation only. If you are indeed interested, or if you have questions, please give me a call at 860-538-3320 or drop me an Email at EvilJim@elmwoodproductions.com .

We are really excited about this project and look forward to hearing from all interested parties.

Thanks,

Jim Williams

Countdown to Insomnia...


I am getting ready…In a day or two I will be sending out an audition invite for Josh and Todd. At that point, there will be no turning back as we will be involving outside individuals, even if just for screen testing. This is a project that I am very attached to, as I have worked very hard on the script, really worked on developing the characters, and tried very diligently to put my vision onto a page. All of this coupled with staying within the parameters of the original work made this a very involved work.

I have to say that I am really excited. It’s a great script, some great characters, and some great moments throughout the piece. I think that with some hard work and real attention to detail, this could really be a leap forward for the work we do. I think this could be a great independent film, accessible to many different people.

Very soon, the work will begin…

Monday, July 07, 2008

Stop with the horns already!


Have you watched TV lately? I don't even mean MTV or any other music station, but just regular TV. Has anyone else noticed the preponderance of people throwing up the horns who shouldn't be throwing up the horns?
From Miley Cyrus on the left here, to Paris Hilton to some Country Star bimbo I saw at the movies the other night, the horns have become something that they were never meant to be...mainstream. They don't even symbolize metal anymore. They are some weak attempt to show "how much you like to party." These people are throwing up horns at Toby Keith concerts, for chissakes! Toby Keith, I say!!!

I still think it's funny when people half ass the horns and throw up the "I love you" sign instead because they are afraid that the real horns will propagate the devil or something. You know that they are not throwing up "I love you". They are trying to throw up the posuer-horns.

I have decided to make it my personal mission to educate people on the use of the horns. I have decided to no longer use the horns in a frivolous manner, thrown them up here and there, all willy nilly. No, I will be responsible in my horn useage, and unleash them only when appropriate.


In case you are wondering...
Ronnie James Dio, father of the horns.


























Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goodbye to a friend...


George Carlin died yesterday, and I have decided to say a few things.


I was one of those kids who grew up on those HBO Comedy specials. My favorites were Rodney Dangerfield specials, with 4 or 5 up and coming comedians and a few short sits by Rodney. Comedians like Sam Kinison, Dice, Jerry Seinfeld, and even Roseanne Barr were on. They were awesome. They taught me much of my filth.


The other favorites of mine were George Carlin's HBO specials. He did a total of 13 over a 20 year period. They were very smart, very introspective at a time where a kid wouldnt usually be looking at the world around him, and most of all, they were funny. He was a genius. I will miss him.


Thanks George. Thanks for helping to teach me not to let look at the world they way it wants me to, but instead the way I should...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Well, huh!

So I have been reading this book: My Boring Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith, which is a collection of his day to day blog entries on the View Askew site. As it turns out we geeks all live the same life, whether we are uber successful or not. In the end, it's wake up, eat, work a little, eat, work a little more, hang out at home, watch cartoons/movies, eat, watch more TV, and then sleep. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Of course, I am tyring in earnest not to LOOK like Kevin Smith, so I also add in daily exercise of some sort, healthier eating, and such. But still, it's nice to know that my life won't change THAT much once I get rish and famous :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ok, something to post...Lyrics!

This is one of Jaime's and my favorite U2 songs...

The sea it swells like a sore head
and the night it is aching
Two lovers lie with no sheets on their bed
And the day it is breaking

On rainy days we'd go swimming out
On rainy days swimming in the sound
On rainy days we'd go swimming out
You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
If the sky can crack there must be someway back
For love and only love

Electrical Storm
Electrical Storm
Baby don't cry

Car alarm won't let you back to sleep
You're kept awake dreaming someone elses dream
Coffee is cold but it'll get you through
Compromise that's nothing new to you.

Let's see colours that have never been seen
Let's go places no one else has been
You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
Well if the sky can crack there must be someway back
To love and only love

Electrical storm
Baby don't cry

It's hot as hell, honey in this room
Sure hope the weather will break soon
The air is heavy, heavy as a truck
We need the rain to wash away our bad luck

Well if the sky can crack there must be some way back
To love and only love

U2 - 2002

Nothing Really to Post...

Jon Yells at me when I don't post often enough. (Well, maybe he doesnt yell, but he gives me a hard time, and not in the good way...) So here, I posted!

Maybe I will think of something to post later...

Monday, March 31, 2008

A manifesto...The names (and certain other things) have been changed to protect the innocent...

Danny was good at what he did at the bank. Unfortunately for Danny, he hated it. Danny was an artist at heart. He was a good artist, but not a great artist. Great artists were great because that’s all they did: made art. That’s what they did for a living, and if they made money, they did well, and if they didn’t, they starved. And while that lifestyle sounded romantic, Danny knew it to be otherwise.
Danny had gone to school and honed his craft there. Paying for school on his own, Danny worked at the record store full time, while pulling down full time classes, and rehearsing at night. It was a grueling schedule, both physically and mentally. But spiritually, he was alive!
Danny married a very nice girl he met at school, in the theatre. Tess was her name, and Danny loved her more than life itself. The two of them dreamed of going to New York and working and living and starving and succeeding and dying together, at least for a little while. They moved in together made the best out of the meager apartment they had found, right near school.
Somewhere along the way something changed…Through no one’s action but their own, they decided to give up their dreams and settle down together, get married, get normal jobs, buy a house, and have kids. They thought it would be everything they ever wanted.

Now, Danny’s having second thoughts. He would still tell you marrying Tess was best decision he had ever made and that he has no regrets there. The rest of it, though…

Now Danny sits at his cubicle at the bank, staring aimlessly at a blank computer monitor, loathing it, and despising it; hating the fact that it is his only source of human contact for 8 hours a day…
The trappings of his normal life are great. Danny and Tess have a great house, a couple of great cars and some really tremendous neighbors. Danny still loves Tess more than life itself; there are times that the only things keeping Danny from drinking a bottle of Tequila and going on a shooting spree, or drinking a bottle of bleach and calling it a day for that matter, is his love for Tess. But neither of them is happy. Both have jobs they hate, and Tess has lamented on several occasions that she never got to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Danny had figured that out, but decided that it would be better to have given it up, without ever giving it a chance…

Now he has second thoughts.

Looking at his life, the only thing Danny has worth keeping is Tess. Everything else is unimportant…Danny can see himself giving it all up…Except Tess. Danny would never give up Tess.

But that’s all…

Monday, March 24, 2008

What a weekend!!!

Wow, after this weekend, I am almost glad to be sitting back in my familiarly miserable cubicle. What, with all of the time spent with cherished friends, all of the pampering by professionals in a relaxing but completely masculine setting, the thrill of winning and the agony of having to leave the table cause your friends and wife NEED to sleep, not to mention all of the freaking EATING done this weekend, I ALMOST forgot my high stress, often seemingly futile existence.

Almost...

it was nice to be reminded what I do all of this for, sometimes...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sometimes, I should keep my mouth shut...

So, in the course of 12 hours, I have signed myself on for two things that I have practical knowledge of, but not a whole helluva lot of practice in. Professional level puppety and web design.

And I pretty much volunteered for both!

::sigh::

I guess I better start practicing...

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Job worth doing!

So, Friday Jon, Russ, Jaime, and I spent the day teaching puppet building to some kids from Bridgeport Central High School. I must say that the day exceeded every single one of my expectations. From the moment we walked in, everyone was very friendly and helpful.

The kids were great! Everyone was really enthusiastic about puppets and very excited to build there own. They were all extremely creative! It was a really great session that left the kids wanting for more.

It also left us wanting for more. Doing this job left me feeling physically tired, but spiritually invigorated. I found myself looking forward to the next time I could do this. I can't remember the last time I looked forward to work!

I want to do more...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger

So,

I didn't follow his work too closely. I had seen a couple of his films, and he was quite good in all of them. But I can't help but compare Heath Ledger's death to that of River Phoenix almost 15 years ago (wrap your heads around that...15 years). A fine actor in his prime, ready to give us probably decades of great film.

But alas...'tis not to be...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DAY OFF!!!

So yeah, my wife is sick today, so I decided to take the day off and take care of her, which pretty much consists of her sleeping and me checkig job postings and applying.

Oh well...

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's DONE!!!

So...The script rewrite for Josh and Todd: A Story fo a Man...and his Puppet is finished. Clocking in at 60 pages, it's the largest screenplay I have ever written. I was able to really flesh out the characters and come up with some very compelling situations. Jon has read it and wants to film it as is.

Now then...On to more Steve the Vampire scripts!!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I think the time has come...

...to seriously consider finding a new job.

t's not that the one I have is particularly bad, it's just that I think I am at the point now that I have done about all I am going to do here...

Oh well! We'll see...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Made my first check!

Elmwood Productions did a community workshop with a Wolcott Girl Scout Troop Friday night. I have to say that everything went incredibly. I was not feelin 100% healthwise, as I have been sick for the past week or so, but once we started going with the kids, I was firing on all cylinders. The program consisted of me and Jon performing a lecture and hands on workshop with about 50 or so Girl Scouts, aged 7 - 13. Really a great group, very enthusiastic, full of great questions...just a pleasure to work for!

It also marked a real milestone for us as a company as it was our first community job as a company, not just an individual. We also got paid...This is a big deal. I find a sense of verification in doing this. I am very excited and am looking forward to the next job in February with the Bridgeport Public Schools.

Awesome!