Saturday, July 31, 2010

Drones, the tv show

So, I've spent all Saturday afternoon on twitter because apparently the SyFy Channel is doing a pilot for a new television show called HUMAN RELATIONS that VERY MUCH resembles the film that Adam Busch & me made called DRONES. Now I can't say that they ripped our film off because we all know that people do think up similar, competing ideas at the same time (think VOLCANO vs. DANTE'S PEAK or not...they're both pretty terrible), but it just seems rather odd that our trailer premiered exclusively on the SyFy channel's website in January and now, six-ish months later, they're making a TV show with an intriguingly similar plot:

"The Office meets Men In Black in this project featuring an office Temp who slowly discovers that his off-kilter and odd-ball bosses at the strange hi-tech "ad agency" where he works are really aliens working on plan to destroy the Earth."


That's the plot summary from SyFy.

Our film:

"The Office meets The Day The Earth Stood Still...is about a guy who works in an office with a kooky, off-kilter boss/co-workers, who then discovers that he's really working with aliens who are plotting to blow-up the Earth."

Crazy, huh? And if there's as much PowerPoint action in Human Relations as there is in Drones...well, that would just be an amazing cowinky-dink! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The whole thing kinda sucks for Adam and I because we poured two and half years of our life (and a little blood and gray matter, too) into Drones. But I feel exceedingly bad for our writers, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, because this was their baby, ripped from their own brains and transplanted onto celluloid––and now they get to see someone else take their idea and run with it. Not that I'm saying anyone stole their idea – I'm just postulating a possibility, a conspiracy theory conjecture, if you will. I don't know the guys writing/producing HUMAN RELATIONS and I have not read the script, so I can't say there is any wrong doing. I just think it's a bit...coincidental.

So, here's what I want: I want peeps to check out DRONES when it comes out in Theaters/on DVD in March 2011 from Phase Four Films. Support real indie/alien film-making.

And if SyFy wants, they can air Drones on their channel whenever they want. It's theirs.

Then you can be the judge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Count The Cards, The Cards Don't Count Me

The is how I scared myself at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I Count The Cards, The Cards Don’t Count Me


“The cards. The cards. It’s always about the cards.”


But they were wrong. It wasn’t the cards. Not by a long shot. The cards were only a conduit. They helped you see, but they didn’t divine. The divining rod was you and if you had the all-seeing eye inside, well then, there was nothing a silly card could tell you that you didn’t already know deep down in the gushy, old middle of yourself.

I had watched her work in the park before, on a vivid crimson shawl spread out on the ground so the stickers in the grass didn’t puncture the underside of her tan ankles. She looked like a Gypsy, or someone who wanted you to think they were a Gypsy. Long black hair tied up in a loose ponytail at the back of her head, golden-brown eyes that looked like breakfast mush, a sensuous curve of a mouth, heavy bosoms beneath a cream peasant blouse and long, black skirt. Her eyebrows were harsh, like fuzzy-brown rectangles above her eyes. Her nose sloped and curved and bent at an odd angle making her ugly. Her teeth were pale like stone beneath her sensuous lips.

She laid the cards out in front of her, one by one, not using the whole deck. I tried to count them as she worked, but she moved too fast, laying them down then quickly scooping them back up before returning to the deck and repeating. Usually she was calm, taking her time. Sometimes she formed patterns, pictures even, with her cards. Once I’d seen her lay them out like a gallows––but only once. It was for an old man who’d squatted down beside the scarf as she’d worked. When she was done he’d seemed satisfied with his reading and had thrown down a hundred dollar bill before leaving, never to be seen again.

But today was an anti-thesis day.

An opposite day.

Today I would read the cards to see what they had to say.

I sat on a nearby bench, the cold November air biting into the crook of my neck, cuddling my ears and ruffling my hair. I felt its kiss on my scalp and shivered––but not once did I take my eyes off the deck. I may not have been able to count the cards, but I wasn’t about to let them count me. As long as I had my eyes on them, I was safe. Because I knew in my mushy center what was going to happen––just like the cards did.

The Gypsy threw herself forward and gathered up all the cards, conforming them into a neat pile in her hands. The nails were chipped, no polish, I noticed arbitrarily. Suddenly, she sat up, her back ramrod straight like a cat sensing something on the air, its whiskers quivering. She looked around, her eyes darting like bees, but never once alighting on me for some strange reason. Finally, she pulled a red, hand-woven scarf from her bag and wrapped it tightly around her neck as if that would ward away the cold.

She shook as she threw down another configuration of cards.

I guess she was hoping for a better outcome.

Sensing the time was nigh I sat up from my slouch and stood, stretching. I covertly checked to make sure no one was around, that we were alone in the park––we were––then I lazily made my way down the path toward the Gypsy. She looked up at my approach, her dark eyes full of dread.

“No matter how you lay them,” I said with certainty, “they’ll just come out the same.”

I reached down and wound the end of her scarf firmly around my hand.

And then I yanked.