Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our 1st Webseries Rehearsal

Today was our very first rehearsal for the new webseries that Chris and I have been writing for over a year. The title and synopsis has not been released yet, but will be very soon. I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time. We are going to rehearse the first five episodes of the series. We are planning a 10 episode first season (but that may change as we have only written the first six episodes and that has taken us over a year), so will see how things go.

As I mentioned Chris and I are writing it, but we are also acting in it as well. The three main characters are Kenny (me), Jes and Olivia and then we have a group of secondary characters, Chris, Jen, Robert, Josh, Michael and Will. And then we have various other supporting characters, Aaron, Brett, Dallas, Anne, Nicki, Rupert and Luis.

For today's read through we had me, Chris (via Skype), Jes, Olivia, Robert, Josh, Will, Brett and Aaron joining us.

Folks started rolling in around noon but we didn't actually start until about 2pm. First up was just a table read. That's where we all sit around the table and read the scripts. See how things work and flow. Make minor adjustments if needed. Everyone laughed when they were suppose to and seemed to be having a great time. We went through all five scripts before starting over again. The second time you could tell folks were getting more comfortable with the material. A few more notes were made, they questioned if some of the jokes worked or not... it was a nice collaboration from the group.

We took a break after the second read through and decided to play at game of Cards Against Humanity. 

After the game we decided to do one more read through but this time we were going to actually move around and act it out. Now this is were the fun really began. I mean it's a blast hearing your words come to life but it's a totally different experience watching them come to life. Again with the third read through there were great ideas of additional lines added to the scripts, how folks should be delivering their lines and so on... it was a lot of fun.

Now I'm not an actor, never wanted to be and I have been worried that I wasn't going to be able to really do it. But after these rehearsals I think I did a fairly decent job. Of course I have a long ways to go and it will be different when there is a camera pointed at you but these run throughs kind of gave me the confidence that I can pull something like this off.

With rehearsals over some folks left but Robert, Cait, Aaron, Brett and Josh crashed at my place so we stayed up and watched Sky High. I love that movie and a few of the guys here hadn't seen it before. All in all it was a very successful first rehearsal. Can't wait for the next one.

I want to thank everyone for coming out and playing with us. It couldn't have gone any better. I know only a few of you are want to be actors and rest are doing this for fun like me... Thanks for being AWESOME!!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Copies and Twisted Ankles

Today I went out and had to make copies of some scripts. Tomorrow a group of friends are getting together to rehearse the first five episodes of the webseries that my buddy Chris and I are writing. I printed out 1 copy of each at my buddy Robert's place and wanted to get 9 more copies made. It was a total of 54 pages that I needed to copy 9 times.

Now the last time I made copies they were something like .02 cents a copy. Well today at the UPS store they were .07 cents a copy.  I had to make 486 copies/pages. Instead of it costing $9.72 it was going to cost me $34.02. Yay, not having money or a job this was not going to work so instead I opted to buy only 4 copies of each script costing me $15.12 (which is still to much for me) but I had to have scripts for the cast to read off of. Anyways... super excited for tomorrow and hearing the words that Chris and I wrote come to life.

Did a google hangout with my buddy Chris tonight, a few friends joined in, Eva, Brett and Elea. I was only able to stay an hour before doing my geeky workout before bed. Said my goodbyes and started up the Xbox for an hour of SW Galactic Dance Off. Only a few minutes in I over excited and came down on my left ankle wrong and felt a sharp jolt of pain run up my leg. Needless to say my workout was over. I don't know if my ankle is twisted or what all I know if I can put any real pressure on it at the moment. Will have to see how it feels tomorrow.

I swear the universe if trying to prevent me from working out. First my elliptical breaks, and I find a suitable replacement activity and now my ankle twist, stopping me for doing that...  Ugh!!!

"Get Fit" 3 Weeks Later

So I've lost focus a bit the past week. In week two which I forgot to blog about I was down to 201.5 from 210 lbs, super excited that I was going to get below 200 lbs within the next two weeks. Well week 3 hasn't been that great. My elliptical machine broke down (which is a major bummer), but I did find what I think is a suitable substitution with my Star Wars Kinect Galactic Dance Off. I have to do an hour of it for a good sweat and really get my heart pumping.. unlike my elliptical which only took me about 20 minutes to work up a good sweat, but it will work until I can get either my elliptical fixed or somehow buy a new one.

My bigger issue is my eating. With the first two weeks I limited myself to "eating out" once a week but this past week I have eaten out three times. And it shows on the scale.. this morning when I weighted in I am currently at 203.5.. that's a gain of 2 lbs this past week. Part of it could be that my Dance Off workout isn't as intense as the elliptical workout but I think the bigger part of it is my eating.

I knew that my eating habits would be the hardest thing to overcome and I have to not let this little set back throw me off track. For week four I need to re-focus my efforts and get back on track to doing more cardio, eat healthier and lose the weight. I would love to be below 200 for my 43rd birthday (which is just under a month away)... I don't think that's an unreasonable goal. Now I just have to do it!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Job Interview, Batman Backlash & Sci fi Vs Fantasy

Today I had a job interview, seems like these are so far and few between. It was set for 11am in Hollywood so I was up and out of my house by 9am. It only took me an hour and 15 to get there so I sat in my car for 45 minutes and listen to some podcasts to kill time. I met with two people, the post director and the post manager. It lasted about 20 minutes or so and it went pretty well.

If I get this gig there will be a few challenges as it's being shot, edited and delivered in PAL format, which I have never done. But it's pretty much the same as NTSC with a different frame rate. I find out in a week or so if I got it or not.

In other news of the geeky type.. Ben Affleck was announced to be playing Batman in the Superman Vs. Batman movie (Man of Steel sequel). I was surprised by this choice but I am a fan of Mr. Affleck and know with the right script, he can be pretty amazing. But oh my god the backlash that happened, twitter and facebook blew up. Some folks simply swore off the next movie (as I'm not going to see it... period!!), most bitched and complain how this was the worse choice the WB could have made. Fans are fickle (I'm including myself) but I've always been in the mindset of let's wait and see before I say yay or nay. We know absolutely nothing about the story, about how this Batman will be portrayed. I think Zack Snyder did an amazing job on re-creating Superman in Man of Steel, so I can't wait to see how he re-creates Batman for the next movie. Do I wish they cast Joesph Gordan Levy to play the next Batman (keeping with the previous incarnation of Batman), sure but fans would have complain that he was "Robin" in the last movie and not Batman.

Everyone has the right to their opinion, but after a while I got tired of hearing people bash the WB and Afflect. They have no proof that this was a bad decision. It the same when Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman or Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker. So much fan rage over these casting and look how those performances turned out. So again I'm at a let's wait and see mood.

I posted a tweet/Facebook post asking "Which is your favorite, Fantasy or Sci fi". I figured Sci fi would run away with it but to my surprise Fantasy actually held it's own. Out of the fifty or so people who answered, I'd say about 45% said Fantasy, while 50% said Sci Fi and 5% said Both.

I'm in that 5% I love both Fantasy and Science Fiction equally. I guess if push came to shove and I had to choice just one it would be Fantasy. I mean two of my four favorite things of all time are Fantasy; Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. And it's debatable weather Star Wars is Fantasy or Sci fi. I consider it both actually. Star Trek is the fourth one and is my only true Sci fi. What are your thoughts on Affleck as Batman or Sci Fi vs Fantasy.. leave your comments below.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Podcasts & Spaceships

Worked on editing my next MASH 4077 Podcast, it's not due to be release until September 1st but I wanted to get a head start. This one took a bit more editing but in the end I'm very happy with the final results.

While taking breaks from editing, my eyes can only take so much looking at the computer screen I started to wash baseboards in my house. I might not be able to paint because it's so hot outside but that doesn't prevent me from cleaning up the inside.

Today is Wednesday so that means TV night with my buddy Robert. We are continuing our first time viewing of Babylon 5. Been really enjoying this series so far. We're getting towards the end of season one.

Tonight was started with Season 1, Episode 16 "Eyes" Sinclair's decisions of the last year catch up with him, when an internal affairs investigator arrives to test the crew's loyalty to Earth Force with the help of a telepath. And Lennier shows great interest in Garibaldi's attempt at assembling a 1990's motorcycle.

Another enjoyable episode. The "bad" guy was so annoying, you just wanted to punch him through the TV screen. That's what I love about these characters.. they are so well written they annoy the heck out of you.. almost to the point of being uncomfortable.

Next up was Season 1 Episode 17 "Legacies" A Minbari war cruiser comes to Babylon 5 to display the body of a recently dead Minbari leader, while Ivanova and Talia battle for the fate of a young girl with newly discovered telepathic powers.

I enjoyed this episode as well. Again you have the Minbari commander being a total ass and doing such a good job at it. You also have Delenn being shifty. I can't wait until we find out more about her background. I think we've gotten to know Ivanova pass the best of all the main characters. I'm glad she fought for the young telepath.

Our next episode was Season 1 Episode 18 "A Voice In The Wilderness pt1" Strange signals start coming from Epsilon 3, the planet below Babylon 5. A science ship is sent to investigate, but is fired upon by a defense system on the planet. Meanwhile Garibaldi worries about a lover he left back on Mars, when fighting breaks out there.

Really enjoyed this episode, lots of conflict in this one. It seems like everyone is trying to take over Babylon 5 this season. Seems there were lots of hints of things to come in this and the next episode.

And our final episode of the night, Season 1 Episode 19 "A Voice In The Wilderness pt2" The situation heats up when an Earth Force heavy cruiser arrives to "protect earth's interests", and the fusion reactors on Epsilon 3 start going out of control, and may blow up the planet and Babylon 5.

Love Londo in this episode. He was having a blast flying that ship. I knew that Delenn's friend was going to take the place of the dying alien long before it was revealed in the episode. I assume this planet will come back into play at some poin in the series.

Only got 3 more episode of Season 1.. can't wait to see where it all goes and what they have in store for us with Season 2

New Star Wars Action Figures

I was listening to Rebel Force Radio (my favorite Star Wars podcast) and they were mentioning these new action figured called The Black Series.. what makes these different from all the other Star Wars figures is that they are six inch figures and not the usual 3 3/4. I saw these on display at SDCC last month and really liked the look of them. I had no idea that they were already out. Looks like they came out at the beginning of August. Of course since I'm late to the party I'm going to have find them online if I want to get all of them... which I do. I haven't collected Star Wars figures since the 80's as it got to a point where they were releasing a ton of figures a year and being a completest I had to have them all. So I gave up Star Wars figures and only collected favorite characters like R2D2 or Queen Amidala.  What's great about these is that they are larger figures, but of course larger figures means more money. The small figures are going for on average $10 (which is crazy as I remember buying them for $2.99) but as I mentioned these figures are larger so the cost is $20 each. It's a bit pricey but they are pretty awesome.

Wave 1 consists of Darth Maul, Luke in X-wing Pilot outfit, Sand Trooper and my favorite character in the Star Wars universe R2D2. Wave 2 (I don't know when they are going to be released) will have Slave Leia, Han Solo, Greedo and Boba Fett. And speaking of Boba Fett there was an exclusive of Boba Fett with Frozen Han at SDCC but I missed out :(

So Star Wars as managed to suck me back in to collection action figures. I don't know how long this line will go, they are saying it's a limited run, like their Star Wars Unleashed figured, which I loved and have all of them. So for now I'll take it one figure at a time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What makes you a Die-Hard fan?

So I'm a huge fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Buffy/Angel, Firefly, V (original and remake), Doctor Who, and many other genre shows/films, but am I a die hard fan. I've been questioning what makes a you a die hard fan? Do you have to know every fact there is about the show/film, do you have to read, watched, play everything there is about the show/film. Or are you a die hard fan if you love something so much that it's truly becomes part of your daily life. What separates fans for die hard fans?

Many of my friends are die hard fans of one particular thing.. example.. they love Star Wars, the live and breath it. They may like other genre things but nothing compares to Star Wars. But I'm not like that. I consider myself a die hard fan of many things. I love and breath four universes in particular. Does that mean I'm not devoted as much since my love is spread among many and not concentrated on one?

I'm a die hard fan of Star Wars, it was my first love, it is what made me the geek I am today. It got me into action figure collecting. It was something that I bonded over with my Dad when I was a kid. It will always be important to me. But I have only seen the six movies, the few TV specials, Clone Wars cartoon as well as Ewoks and Droids cartoons. I've read a few of the comics but never gotten into the books (not that I wouldn't mind reading them). I don't know ever detail of every character or much of their background. When it comes to the Star Wars universe I'd say I know about 60% of it, but is that enough to call me a die hard fan.

I'm a die hard fan of Star Trek, I remember watching the original series as a kid and it was fun. I didn't really get into it until Star Trek The Next Generation, that's when I went from a fan to a die hard fanboy. I have seen every TV episode of all the series (with exception to TOS and Animated series). I've seen all the movies, I've read a good 60 or so of the TNG/DS9/VOY era books and I've read about 80% of the comic books. Does this mean I love it more then Star Wars... no it doesn't. I love both of this and consider myself a die hard fan of both of these for different reasons.

I'm a die hard fan of Harry Potter, I've read/listen to those books hundreds of times. I know more details about that world then any of the other worlds I love. I've seen all the movies, I even have some Hogwarts robes of my very own. Am I a die hard fan... you know it. Because I know more about this world then the others does that mean I love it more.. no... it's because it's a bit easier with Harry Potter since the world is much smaller then Star Trek and Star Wars.. and by that I mean there is less movies/books and such to consume.

I'm a die hard fan of Middle Earth Universe, Like with Harry Potter I have read/listen to The Hobbit and The Silmarillion several times and Lord of the Rings trilogy a good 30 or so times. I love, love, love the movies and I've seen the not to great animated movies. I consider myself a Hobbit and in fact my alter ego is Frodo Gamgee (@MyHobbitLife), son of Samwise and Rosie. I dress up as a Hobbit every opportunity I get. I love that world. Am I a die hard fan even if I can't spout off the linage of the Hobbit families.. I think so. Of all the worlds I visit this would be the one I would love to live in.

I'm often asked do I love one more then the others... nope. Each one adds to my life, sometimes Lord of the Rings is more prominent, sometimes it's Potter and other times it's Wars or Trek. Each one hold a special place in my heart, so much so that I'm getting tattoo to represent each love. So far I've gotten Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Next on my list is Star Trek and I'm having a design created for that as we speak. Will be getting in after my 43rd birthday next month.

So I guess I answered my own question by writing this blog.. regardless of what you consider a "die-hard" fan... If you think you're a die hard fan.. then you are, and to be honest that's all that really matters.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My New Geeky Cardio Workout

Since my elliptical broke over the weekend I had to come up with a new cardio workout. Of course I could go to Vasquez Rocks and go hiking but the temperatures around here as of late have been in the 100's and that''s not ideal hiking weather and when the temps do drop to reasonable numbers the park is closed.

I first thought I could do some sort of aerobics, jumping rope or stuff like that but then I remembered playing Star Wars Kinect with my buddy Chris back in Montana last Christmas and I remember telling him.. Wow this is a really good workout, it get's the blood pumping. So I connected my Kinect to my Xbox and got everything set up. I first did Galactic Dance Off and as expected after a few minutes I was sweating. If you don't know what Galactic Dance off is, it's a video game with Star Wars characters dancing on screen and you mimic their dance moves for points. It's tough sometimes but man is it fun.

I then did some Rancor Rampage, again this is a game were you are a Rancor on a planet going berzerk. smashing things and causing chaos. You do alot of running in place, waving your arms around and it too can get the heart racing.

I actually went back and forth for an hour playing both of these games and feel I got a pretty good cardio workout from it. What's funny is that you don't realize how much time has passed when you are doing these.

So for now this is going to be my new geeky cardio workout, until I can get my elliptical repaired or replaced.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Geekie Awards

Started my day on the elliptical and 15 minutes into my cardio workout my machine started to make some grinding sounds and then suddenly I couldn't push the pedals and everything had frozen. This is just how my luck has been going lately. Just when I get into a great routine and really enjoying the workouts my machine breaks down. I took it apart to see if it was an obvious fix but I couldn't see anything.

The big thing today was The Geekie Awards. This is the first year for the Geekies and I was privileged to be a judge for the podcasts entries. I debated on what to wear, I considered renting a tux but instead decided on just a suit. But I wanted to cosplay it up a bit by wearing some of my Hobbit gear. I figured I'd be a modern day Hobbit. At first I was just going to wear the feet as I really didn't want to shave my facial hair. But after talking to folks and getting various opinions I decided to go with not only the feet but the hair and wig which meant I had to shave since Hobbits don't have facial hair.

I did a test run on what I was going to wear to make sure it looked good together but it was way to hot to wear it over to Jes' place as I was meeting up with several friends (Robert, Jes, Doug and Aaron) and we were carpooling to the award show. So I arrived with everything in hand. First thing I did while at Jes' was put on my ears as that normally takes the longest and just a few minutes before Doug, our final person arrived I put on everything else and as expected it was hot.

We all piled into Aaron suv and headed into Hollywood for the event. Doug and I were both judges and Robert was my plus one and Jes was Doug's plus one. Aaron actually purchased a ticket for the event. We got to the event around 5:15 as doors opened at 5:30 for a VIP pre party. When we got there we asked what line we needed to stand in and were told that the line on the left was for VIP and those who wanted to walk the red carpet and the line on the right was for VIP and Judges. Doug and I had the option on doing the red carpet but I read in an earlier email that our plus one could not. So we opted for just the VIP line.

We stood in line for over two hours, it was ridiculous. I know this is the first year of this event so of course there are going to be bugs and things they'll need to workout if there is a second but the process of lining up and getting our passes was horrific. I don't know who was in charge of this but they royally dropped the ball. We were all hungry and thirsty as we were told that the VIP pre-party was going to have drinks and food. Well we didn't get into the event until 7:15pm and the show was suppose to start at 7:30.

Once we were inside the rest of the evening was fantastic. The venue was nice, they moved us from the balcony VIP area to tables on the main floor by the stage, so that was cool. They had these cool 3D printers creating a rocket in the middle of each table. The show actually started only a half hour later then planned.

Andre Meadows (a popular youtuber) opened the show with some comedy. Then there was this really EPIC battle among various iconic geek characters, Black Widow, Bane, Jedi's, Dark Helmet, Batman, Joker, Hawkeye, etc.. they were fighting over a metal briefcase. This is all happening on the big screen when suddenly it moves to the theaters live, and the fighting continues on stage and behind some audience members. It was a really great opening to the show.

Host Alison Haslip
Then host Alison Haslip (who I just love) comes walking out with the briefcase, opens it and pulls out a Geekie Award. She goes into her opening monologue and got the show going (btw, she was a fantastic host). First award went to Stan Lee for the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awesome, came out questioned what a geek was to begin with because it does encompass so many different things. Then he read/sung us a poem he wrote about geeks and it was pretty awesome. A great way to start the awards presentation. They then announced NASA to receive the 2013 Geek Cred Award which was pretty great, and then they gave Nathan Fillion the 2013 Geek of the Year Award. Unfortunately he wasn't there but they did a funny acceptance skit instead. Then the actual awards started to be announced. Best Crowdfunding Campaign Award, Best Podcast Award (This is the category that I voted for), Best Short Film Award, Best One Shot Award, Best Toy or Game Award, Best Retail Store or Website Award, Best Web Series Award.

Cast of Freaks and Geeks
The presentations went great, they had some youtubers mixed in with some celebrities as presenters. They had fun little video bits that opened each category. My friend Olivia was part of a skit as
Friend Olivia on right
well as a "trophy" holder for one of the categories. The only real mistake was from The Winner Twins and Richard Hatch when they went to present Best Retail Store or Website Award. They did their shtick at the beginning and then went right into who the winner was. We had no idea what category this was for or who the nominees were. They went right to "And the Winner is...". Found out later from Olivia that the teleprompter screwed up and they just said what was on the screen. But other then that snafu the evening went smooth.. at least from the audience perspective.

It was a fun night, there were several "commercial" breaks during the show. Since I didn't get into the theater until a few minutes before it started I was unable to really socialize with any friends, other then the few I was with. So during the break I did manage to run into Lan Bui and Steven Dengler, both of these guys I haven't seen in quite a while so it was nice to catch up for the few seconds we were talking.

The show ran a bit long as expected since it didn't start on time and was over by 10pm. There was a VIP after party, but several of my friends who I came with had to work the next morning, plus we were all starving, so we did a quick round and I managed to say hi to my friend Bonnie Burton when I was picking up my "Judge" award bag. But I didn't get to meet Kristin Nedopak who I was really looking forward to meeting or Jenna Busch, again I'm a big fan and wasn't able to meet her. There were actually a good 20 or so friends there and I only saw three of them :( We left the theater around 11pm

Overall it was a fantastic time, and I really do hope there is a second annual Geekie Awards. The only downside to the night was the process of getting in, which lead to my other disappointment, not being able to socialize more with friends. But for a first time award show.. Kristin Nedopak should be commended on a job well done.