THE SOCIAL NETWORK

December 2, 2009

Do these guys look alike?

One’s an actor.  The other is Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this until now: The Facebook Movie. It’s called “The Social Network.” Aaron Sorkin is writing with David Fincher directing.  Due in 2010.  They kinda do have a built in audience the size of a large country!

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ABOUT THE FILM: DUNCAN CHRISTOPHER

December 1, 2009

Here’s a great little EPK the boys have put together.  I’m so proud!

Enjoy!

P.S. If you think it looks fun, why not share it with 10s (or 100s!) of your closest friends and family?


NEVER BACK DOWN – Or How To Survive Oral Surgery

July 17, 2009

I just lost four teeth.  I got into a fight with an oral surgeon.  He knocked me out with a left hook to the…  vein in my right arm.  It took about 45 seconds.  The last question I remember was the anesthesiologist asking me if I’m a cheap date.  “Oh yeah,” I said, “One glass of wine on an empty stomach and I’m out.”

The next thing I remember is my mouth feeling like a giant cement ball and the nurse trying to help me put my long-sleeved shirt back on over my tank top.  I hadn’t been wearing it to begin with, I thought to myself; but I was too zonked to fight.  She walked me into the main hallway and sat me down on a padded bench.  I remember she put a cushion behind my back.  That was nice.  Then she went to get Ryan.

Ryan says I was really cute when he saw me – totally out of it and trying to type into my cellphone.  I was updating my facebook status.  I guess I’m a little addicted.

So the nurse told Ryan all the important stuff about how I’m supposed to recover from surgery and take care of the giant holes in my gums.  I don’t remember much of it because all I was concerned about was getting a drink of water.  I think I asked by motioning with my hands about three or four times.  She patiently reminded me each time that I had to wait until I got home to get a drink of water but once at home I could drink all I want.  My throat was parched.  I remember the drive home feeling rather painful.

Once at home, my first attempt at drinking failed rather miserably.  I couldn’t swallow.  The gauze, the numbness, the saraha desert in my mouth all made it rather difficult to manipulate my oral cavity.  Bloody water ran down my shirt.  I couldn’t even laugh at myself.  Into the bathroom we went to switch out the gauze and try drinking with a mirror.  For some odd reason that seemed to help.

I tried downing some yogurt.  No go.  Ryan left to get my prescribed painkillers (which I have not yet needed).  When he returned I felt hungry so I asked him to make me some scrambled eggs.  I ate about three bites.  The egg was easy to swallow without chewing; but I wasn’t hungry yet.  Ryan finished what I couldn’t eat.

So in order to pass the time while chilling my swollen cheeks, I pulled up one of the Netflix we’ve got in our Instant queue.  Don’t hate.  I chose, you guessed it, “Never Back Down.”

I trained in Mixed Martial Arts back in Vancouver before moving to Los Angeles.  I was able to train for a few months after I moved here at Bally Total Fitness in Hollywood but work and projects precluded me from continuing.  I miss training something awful and was willing to subject myself to a sub-par script just to watch the fighting.  It was worth it.

Never Back Down” is a quintessential fight film.  A new kid moves to a new city.  He’s got father issues.  The cutest girl is with the meanest guy who turns out to be the new kid’s instant nemesis.  He’s got untrained talent and he needs to learn how to control his emotions.  It’s typical, but at least it works.

The dialog was as poor as expected with characters spouting their emotions at unbelievable moments and cliched pep-talks popping up right on queue; but at least it moved at a quick twenty-first century pace and was well-edited.  Good rhythm.  One other low point for the film was the obvious soundtrack and overuse of noticeable songs.

Now on to the high points.  Sean Faris.  He plays the lead kid and looks (and acts) shockingly like Tom Cruise.  It’s not surprising to me at all to take a look at his IMDb profile and see that he’s got six films in production and one more in development.  Watch this kid.  He’ll be playing Tom Cruise’s former self in a few years.  Mission Impossible IV anyone?

His love interest, the beautiful Scarlett Johansson look-alike, Amber Heard is unfortunately directed as a rather shallow one-note pony.  Did I just mix a few metafors?  It’s the painkillers.  Er, or not.  I think Amber’s got a lot more in her, and again, judging by her IMDb profile, plenty of others agree, including Johnny Depp, against who she plays opposite in the upcoming “The Rum Diaries”.  An actor from our film “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” is also cast in that film – Marshall Bell.  Rock on Marshall!

Back to “Never Back Down” – while the story is simple, the dialog cheddar, and the music obvious, the fights more than make up for it.  This film knows it’s a fight flick and it lives up to its sub-genre gloriously.  There’s a lot of fighting in this film and it’s spaced out well.  We get to see him fight in the first scene of the film.  And it’s kinda believable too.  Also, the director makes interesting use of our new social phenomenon, YouTube and the like, showing us the fight again, from different angle as news of it travels across the inter-web.  Fun.

Once the kid ends up in his new state, things seem hopeful, but he happens upon a little sparring session that he mistakes for a fight, thereby getting himself involved in the rat’s nest of the local passion for mixed martial arts.  The rest of the fights and the training are interspersed throughout the film.  They’re all well-choreographed and shot for fight-lovers.  They’re shot so well in fact that I’d believe that the director, Jeff Wadlow, is a fighter.  Or perhaps it’s his cinematographer, the Swiss Lukas Ettlin, who likes to fight.  Who’s to say?  Regardless, I enjoyed every minute of it – the sparring, the training, the fighting.  Not too much.  Not to little.  Just right.  If you’re a fighter, or you like just mixed martial arts, you’ll enjoy the fighting in this film.  But you won’t see any teeth get knocked out.  They saved that for the match with my oral surgeon today.

I’m happy that I lost my teeth by paying some stranger to knock me out and dig around inside my mouth until they were gone, rather than get in a fight.  I’m really glad that I can watch a film and get the feeling like I did just win a battle and earn the respect of hundreds and the respect of my little brother and I didn’t need to get kicked in the ribs to do it.  I’m rather grateful for my missing teeth that caused me to watch a silly ol’ film and enjoy some champagne grapes (cause they’re the only thing I can swallow right now).

And write.  I’m coherent enough to write.  Or am I?  I haven’t taken the painkillers yet.  I’m still tasting a little blood (perhaps that heightened my “Never Back Down” experience?), but I think my holes are clotting well.  Maybe I’m still experiencing the anesthesia?  Does it make me verbose?  Does it matter?

P.S. Ryan’s a great nurse.  Tell him I said so.


POST-PRODUCTION

June 17, 2009

Many of my friends and acquaintances are already aware that we’re in post-production on the film that we shot in the Fall; but I wanted to post a little update nonetheless.

Ryan’s in his edit suite (aka our living room) right now executing the long list of producer’s notes that were shared and discussed yesterday during a twelve-hour-long meeting that took place after we watched the sliced and diced version of the Director’s Cut in the morning.  Our living room really is becoming an edit suite.  Ryan’s got a huge HD monitor and really great M-Audio speakers and it’s looking really pro!  Even as it’s sitting on our $60 IKEA desks.

I’m really excited about the film.  It looks amazing, it’s funny, and I love it more every time I watch it.  I laugh out loud every time I watch it and most importantly… I feel something.  And it’s good.

Our website will be up soon and ready to share!  You’ll get to see production stills and read the bios of the lead actors.  Soon we’ll include a trailer.  And hopefully, at some point, we’ll list a release date on there!  That will be the ultimate prize!

So there it is!  An update on the film!


IRONY?

February 11, 2009

So I couldn’t sleep because of some late-in-the-day tea and while I was awake watching trailers on Apple.com, I ran across this little diddy:

The film is about a Canadian kick-ass-and-take-names businesswoman (Sandra Bullock) who bribes her executive assistant (Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her so that she doesn’t get deported back to Canada.  Now usually, they get hot young girls to play opposite the rugged seasoned actors, right?  So I thought it was funny that Sandra Bullock was playing opposite someone younger than her.  She’s 44 (but looking great!).  And while I was looking up Ryan Reynolds’ age (32, by the way), I discovered an even greater irony:

Ryan Reynolds is the Canadian!

Further research reveals that not only is Bullock American, she was born in a suburb of Washington, D.C.!

Cute.


DC – THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN TULSA

February 5, 2009

Ryan and I spent most of the Fall of 2008 working on the feature film called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While I was there, I didn’t have much time to write.  So I’m going to spend a few blog posts now talking about my experiences in Tulsa.   Here’s the first of many!

I went out for pre-production in early October.  I stayed with our good friend and business partner Justin Monroe and his wife Kasey.  They were so gracious to give me the spare bedroom with a desk!  I was spoiled to be able to work late into the night and roll back out of bed early in the morning and keep working.  Perhaps that was some strategery on Justin’s part?  Nah…

The night I got there, Heather Roberts came over with coconut ice cream (made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk) and a back massage for me.  Thank you Heather!

I had been back a few days before I finally made it down to ORU for a visit.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know how I’d feel.  After having felt like I was escaping, seven years previous (having finished my last semester), and after all that’d gone on at ORU in the previous year (see this post), I was more than a little anxious to get the first visit over with.

Heather Roberts (who plays Angeline in the film) had told me on my first night back that when I went by ORU, I should just crack the doors of Howard “How Weird” Auditorium and breath in the air.  Memories, she said, would come flooding back.

As I walked toward Howard Aud., I felt that excitement that comes when visiting an old haunt.  So much of my life was lived within those curved walls.  So much of my artistic development and maturation…  So much of my pride and fear was cultivated and crushed…  The doors were chained.  So I did as Heather instructed and cracked them just a little.  And I breathed in the air that escaped.

It’s an unmistakeable smell.

I remembered auditioning in the lobby, playing sardines in the girl’s bathroom, running sound in the upstairs booth, designing makeup in the dressing rooms, sewing hundreds of yards of costumes in the costume shop, dancing across the stage, striding barefoot through the scene shop, tromping around in the orchestra pit…  tears, laughter, nervousness, eureka moments!  My memory was flooded with images.  Four years of my life flashed before my eyes.

And then I closed the door.  And paused.

As I slowly walked the rest of the campus, bathed in memories, I tried to put my finger on the emotion I felt.  I called my parents and talked it over with them as I relived discovering the campus anew.  Finally, it came to me.

Gratitude.  I felt gratitude!  I felt grateful for my education.  It came as a shock.  But it was honest-to-goodness gratitude.

Back at Justin’s I didn’t have long to dwell on my experience as I had a monumental task at hand.  It was a full six weeks before I would be able to return to ORU for a real visit with one of my favourite profs.  In the meantime, I produced a feature film.  More on that next time…


BOUQUETS OF SHARPENED PENCILS

January 31, 2009

I have a friend who has a similar favourite romantic company as me.  We both love “You’ve Got Mail”.  Actually, we’re both Norah Ephron fans in general.  But we love “You’ve Got Mail”.  A while back, we’d gotten together to watch the movie and ended up just quoting the entire thing the whole way through and giggling and sighing like school girls!  It was awesome.

While I was in Tulsa last year, in the Fall (update coming soon), she’d tried to send me a little gift!  It somehow never came through.  Last night I had a lovely time with some friends here in Los Angeles.  We ate yummy food and watched a movie.  Our hostess had rented two movies, “Get Smart” and “Kung Fu Panda” and we were trying to decide which one to watch when my friend showed up…

She showed up with that little gift for me.  They were little “happy birthday” pencils, all sharpened, and wrapped in tissue paper.  I looked at them and thought, “How cute!”  And she waited…  And then it hit me!  A bouquet of newly sharpened pencils!

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address..”

…says Joe Fox to Kathleen Kelly in an email when they first start emailing at the beginning of the film.

So that got us girls talking about romantic comedies for a long time, listing our favourites, and laughing and giggling about screen kisses, comparing versions (“Pride & Prejudice”)…  And in that conversation, “The Wedding Singer” came up.  So our hostess said, “I’ve actually got ‘The Wedding Singer’!”  And that is what we watched.  She’d rented an action and an animation, and we ended up watching “The Wedding Singer”.

…all because of a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.

Stay tuned for more Team Fritch update:

  • Duncan Christopher
  • Christmas in Hawaii
  • Our Visit to Virginia
  • Settling Back Into California Life

Awesome!