Friday, 5 October 2012

"I Spit on Your Grave" (1978) Review

My review of the original "I Spit on Your Grave" is up at Retro Slashers. Out of necessity I pondered this flick more than many I've written about...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Supporting Bimbo Zombie Killers

In the February 2010 issue of P.E.I.’s arts and entertainment monthly The Buzz I wrote a profile of Fox Henderson, a local filmmaker. I'd started doing this series of Island Imagemakers pieces because there are a number of people creating content for screens in the home, on the laptop, and in theatres that I either wanted to know more about or because I felt they were underrepresented. One additional caveat: the subject had to have a measurable body of work behind him or her. Fox fit all this criteria.

The first of Fox’s work that I’d seen was an animated piece featuring a dead-on visual and vocal representation of Christopher Walken. That was followed by more animation and the realization that the name Fox Henderson had started popping up in conversation and online with more and more frequency. Despite this, I’d never met or even, to my knowledge, seen Fox. I began to develop an image in my head of someone working away at a computer 24 hours a day under dim lighting conditions, a lone wolf with talent who knew his way around a computer, and someone who was obsessed with special effects. I’m not sure about the other aspects, but my notions about his ability and his love of FX proved to be true when Fox and I finally met. We even talked about collaborating on a project about a travelling circus that wreaks havoc on a small town, but after I suggested we change the circus to a traveling STD clinic, things sorta came to a standstill. Wonder why?

One of the other projects that Fox has been working on is a trilogy of Bimbo Zombie Killer shorts. Having completed the first two (they can be seen here), he’s developing the third as a 12-part web series and subtitled Dead in the Water. As many independent filmmakers are doing, even those as established as James (Deadbeat at Dawn) vanBebber, he’s turned to Indigogo for public support in completing this project. If you’re interested in helping Fox bring his BZK trilogy to a satisfying conclusion, logon and help out. You can find out more about Fox here and see some of his work here.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I Had a TV Cartoon Show!

So back in the early aughts, Copie Zero TV + Media, led by Executive Producers Campbell Webster and Matt Zimbel, brought And Yet I Blame Hollywood to television. "AYIBH" is the movie review cartoon strip that I still write/draw monthly for The Buzz. The concept of the strip and toon is that I, usually accompanied by whomever I'd actually seen the movie with, would comment on the flick while clips from the movie were interspersed with the animation. Its emphasis was/is on the experience of going to a particular movie, all in either five panels (strip) or two minutes (toon).

Copie Zero found a buyer for AYIBH in a late night TV show called "ZeD", broadcast nationally on CBC, and Campbell found an awesome animation house called Fatkat, owned by Gene Fowler, to animate it.

The production schedule worked this way: We'd pass potential film titles for review past the ZeD producers, they'd yay or nay, then I'd write the script for each episode. Copie Zero Associate Producer David Malahoff was the script editor, and when each script was good to go, Campbell would take voice actors Rob MacDonald, Matt Rainnie, Rob MacLean and Nancy McLure to Perry Williams' Virtual Studios to direct the recording of dialogue; I kept my distance during this part of the process for fear that I would go prima donna. When that was complete, the script and voice tracks would be sent from Prince Edward Island to the animators, located first in Nova Scotia, then later in New Brunswick. They'd e-mail back a storyboard version of each episode and we'd comment on each, and then they'd produce the final version. Ensuring that everything went smoothly along this chain was Copie Zero Associate Producer Ghislane O'Hanley.

The show (actually an interstitial or short) ran for a year, and it was a lot of fun to do. Overall, 24 episodes were produced; some were shown at film festivals. After broadcast, each episode was available on ZeD's website for a while, but when Zed was eventually cancelled, the website was taken down.

Just today, Gene Fowler published a link on his Facebook page to a cover story in Atlantic Business Magazine that charts his progress from Fatkat to his new company, Loogaroo. It's an interesting read and an excellent case study of what can happen in the animation industry. Gene and I traded a few comments back and forth, and then he directed me to a Vimeo page that features 20 And Yet I Blame Hollywood episodes. Glad to find that AYIBH has a web presence again, here's a magic link to them.