31 October 2005



I knew the day would come.

The iPod Video. This is monumental; for me, my industry, and my puppet show "The Felties."

May I elaborate?

I've recently discovered a fellow by the name of Seth Godin. If you don't know who he is, you should. According to his website, he's "a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change." I've gotten to know him as a brilliant mind concerned with where marketing, entrepreneurship, and our entire system of commerce is heading. I agree with practically everything the man says (I disagree when it comes to Ringo's talent as a drummer.)

One point of disagreement seemed rather nitpicky until Steve Jobs unveiled iPod video a couple of weeks back.

Quick - read this.

Seth says "Big computers are silly. They use lots of power and are not nearly as efficient as properly networked Dell boxes (at least that’s the way it works at Yahoo and Google). Big boom boxes are replaced by tiny ipod shuffles. (Yeah, I know big-screen tvs are the big thing. Can’t be right all the time)." [emphasis added.]

True enough, TV screens are getting bigger and bigger. At the same time, however, DVD sales and home entertainment system sales are going up while your local multiplex is hurting for box-office money. It's not that TVs are getting bigger ... it's that the experience of "going to the movies" is getting smaller. At the same time, the experience of watching television is also getting smaller. Sorry, Mr. Godin. You're wrong; you are right all the time! ;-)

According to Arbitron/Edison Media Research in their "Internet and Multimedia 2005: The On-Demand Media Consumer" report, "One in four Americans say they have ever viewed video over the Internet." The audience size of Internet video consumers weekly is over 20 million strong and growing! That's incredible!

And it's like a huge blinking neon sign to bootstrappers like me: independent content producers who have been looking for a way to buck the "system" and get their product out to the consumer!


25 October 2005

I hate to keep ragging on independent film makers, but here's another casting notice I ran across:

"[Title deleted] is about a soldier who pushes through his self-hatred for being gay by hooking up with a boy before leaving for Iraq."

Wow ... how incredibly deep. He overcomes his homophobia ... by hooking up with a boy.

Oscar caliber stuff.

11 October 2005

(This fellow is Stan, one of The Felties.)

The Felties is an upcoming webseries featuring a cast of rowdy characters who live an a cartoon-like universe of gentle anarchy and barely-contained chaos. Short, punchy episodes will be uploaded weekly to the site. This entire project is being "bootstrapped" which is to say produced on a very tight budget.

The puppets are in production right now, being built by the very talented puppeteer Russ Walko. I worked with Russ on a pilot not too long ago for a children's show called "Uncle Grizly". He built the puppets for that one too. (If you visit the site and watch the trailer, Russ is performing the pink naked mole rat "Lon" and I'm performing the green and yellow banana slug "Pupps".) Uncle Grizly retores my faith in the future of children's television entertainment.

Anyway, I'll be posting more about The Felties in the coming days. For now, enjoy the "work in progress" Stan!

06 October 2005

As long as I live in Los Angeles, I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing ads like this one, recently posted on www.lacasting.com:

"INGA & HELGA / Co-Star / Female / Caucasian / 18-28
Characters will play strip poker and end up in just a thong before the big twist ending. Need to be attractive, slim or fit with decent to nice breast.

"Must have nice breats without any visible implant scars. Should speak perfect English and be able to fake a swedish accent. Short will play at many festivals and director has feature coming in the spring. Gig only pays 100 dollars and will shoot in one day, possible two."

How would YOU like to expose yourself for some horny film school graduate for only $50 a day?

There seems to be a constant stream of projects like these going on in L.A. How do they get funding? Horny venture capitalists? Maybe the filmmakers sell their souls to Beelzebub.

I'm not against nudity in film (or on stage for that matter.) But just because you can go there doesn't mean you should. Like any other story telling device, there is artful use and gratuitous use. Artful is the bathtub scene in English Patient. Gratuitous is anything with "National Lampoon" in the title.

(And to think, there will be hundreds of women who submit their headshots and resumes for a shot at Inga and Helga. How sad.)

01 October 2005

Babies love They Might Be Giants.

(Me serenading my sister-in-law's 7 month old.)