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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

REDD Teaser Trailer 1



Just a quick 1 minute Teaser. Longer Trailer to come. New production vlog on it's way. And further updates on our little indie film. Thank you everyone for your support.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Starry Expectations

Build-A-Bear Workshop just picked up my commercial. Check it out here:




And to think I almost didn't take this assignment. I had sold my third ad and I was about to get lazy, thinking I'd just work on my movie and skip the next assignment on Poptent, which would be to make an ad for Build-A-Bear. But I did it anyways. The need to make something heartfelt at 60 seconds run time, appealed greatly to me.

So much of what I do is either comical or horror based (or both). I was just aching to make something more dramatic and heartfelt. And since I finally have all my music tools (software, mics, keyboards, etc.) I could really create a proper score for it. I'm quite proud of the music.



As you may or may not know, my brother Robert passed away earlier this year. So I named the bear in this ad after him. The bear itself was actually an old bear that was given to my wife's mother, Brenda, before she passed away. This was my little way of paying tribute to both of them.

I just had this feeling that if I would win this one, it would be because of them. I have to thank them both for this.

Special thanks to Alicia Frizzell and her adorable daughter Reagan. Thanks to Kelly Emerson for putting me in touch with her daughter Alicia, and for also always being so supportive of my work. Thanks to Eve Butler for her great voice over work. Can't wait to finally work with her on REDD.

It's been a rough and special year all at once. Starting with my friend Julie Keels passing away, continuing on with my brother Robert's death, throw in the usual aches and pains of life, and my wife still dealing with her Mom's death. It's all made it especially rough. But on the creative side, this has been an amazing year being able to make some real money through my movie making skills. Plenty of small projects to pay the bills, and thanks to Poptent and brands like Boise Paper, CVS, and now Build-A-Bear, I've been able to make a living out of making videos.  I've done it in the past, but this year has been VERY successful.


And because of those opportunities I'm able to work on trying to make a living at making movies. REDD is coming slowly, but it's coming. And my goal of finishing it for the world to see is more of a possibility. Still plenty of work to be done, but I'll finish this, and you'll all get to see it this year. And I'll keep my promise to my brother, that'd I'd finish this.





In other news MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS TO CRYSTAL AND JAMES. two very good friends of mine that are FINALLY getting hitched. I am so immensely happy for the two of them. This greatly adds to the major UPS of this year. Juli and I will do our very best to head back to Texas for the wedding.




Too many times this Christmas I'd gotten caught up in the drama and the depression, but I think I've done pretty good as far as being able to pull away for a little bit to see there is much more light than dark. I cry often. Many times it's because of my brother, but other times, it's because I know how amazing life is, and how beautiful it all still is. I look at what I've lost. But I'm so very thankful for what I have. My wife, my life, and the ability to make my dreams happen. I thank God every day for that.

Ok, much to plan for, getting back into shooting for REDD this Thursday, and I've got a new web series I need to prep for a January debut on Youtube.

More later.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

VFX Research

A collection of vids I've been looking over to prep for some of the fx work that needs to be done on REDD.























Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Spartan

Working on the One Spartan Web Series. Hoping to get the first episodes out in January to start off the New Year. Here's the first cut of the opening intro.

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pondering

Spent most of the day just wandering the earth. Thinking. Plotting.

How will I finish this movie?


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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful

Much to be thankful for. As much as I bitch and complain about stuff, my life is pretty good. I've got my amazing and beautiful wife and I'm working on my dreams. That alone I'm thankful for, and yet I still have so much more while others don't have much at all. I understand just how lucky and blessed I am.

This is a pic from yesterday's Thanksgiving lunch at Juli's Grandad's house. Good food, and great times with my niece Brelyn and my nephew Ezra. I love those kids. So much fun running around with them in the yard. I still get amazed at how kids grow into little people, and how eventually they evolve into full grown people.  It's one of those things you kinda take for granted until you really look at how amazing the process of life is. (Oh Snap! Patrick is deep!)

It's been a pretty decent week, with so many possibilities coming up. Last week I shot and edited an ad for Poptent and UPS. I've been doing private assignments for them, which usually means I make ads that I can't show people right away. So it was nice to do a public assignment and be able to show the work to my crew straight off. As a matter of fact, here it is:




I go back and forth on whether or not I actually like this. I mean, I think it's "OK", I think we could've made it much funnier. Everyone did a great job in it, but I think I could've put in more effort writing wise. Oh well, it's in the hands of the fates now. It's all up to UPS as to whether or not they wanna buy it.



Was also able to reveal the video that CVS purchased from me. Very proud of this one. Goes along with my obsession with Rube Goldberg Machines. Not only did CVS like it but as I tweeted it (to Pee Wee Herman) , Pee Wee Herman Re-tweeted me.

He posted about it on Facebook as well. I can say that this is the second time he's re-tweeted me. A silly thing to be proud of? I think not. For crying outloud I got the attention of one of my childhood heros. How effin cool is that?



Here's the video:



I am VERY thankful for Poptent. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have the opportunity to use my skills to make some decent money, and I've done pretty good this year. And because of them I was able to get a great opportunity this week. Can't talk too much about it, but let's just say that some really great opportunities and possibilities may be coming up and I'm VERY excited to see the outcome of my work.


Got to shoot a pivotal scene this past Monday. Got to work with Danielle Motley, since she came in from California for Thanksgiving. Met her very lovely boyfriend, Ruben. Funny guy. Was able to get her scene for Redd out of the way, and also get the two of them into another ad I was shooting. 

Built her a website that's kind of a work in progress. Very simple, but at least she has something up that will help her career along. Check it out here:

And speaking of REDD, we've got some headway on it. Check out this little sneak preview I threw together for the upcoming PRODUCTION VLOG 3. People really seem to love our production vlogs. Let's hope they love the movie just as much.



Aiming to have a trailer / teaser up by Christmas / New Years. Also looking to put together another Kickstarter Campaign.  It's an exciting time, full of possibilities. Can't wait to see what the future holds. In the meantime, I work to make my own future happen. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to do that.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aim True but Tread Litely



Had quite a few shoot days for REDD. Knocked out some of the Monster Make Up stuff. Worked on some Special FX. Finished a major dialogue scene.

The timeline is open for REDD. The editing timeline that is. I put in the edited shots and scenes where they need to go and any blank spaces I fill with descriptive text.



Here's an example. I have not yet shot the scene where we see the Dead Cyborgs laying on the ground. So a text place holder sits in it's place.

There are many of these placeholders. Really shows how much needs to be done.




I pinpoint what pages need to be shot, I schedule shoots, and I knock out the footage. When I get the footage, I immediately throw it on the timeline to see if it all fits. And thankfully so far it does. If it doesn't then I figure out how to make it fit, or re-shoot it.

What I'm realizing right now, is if I'm not careful, this movie could turn out to be total crap.  Yeah, you'll probably still like it, but by my standards it might be crap. One wrong shot placement, one bad edit, one too many shots with CGI, and my movie could end up equaling the same crap you'd see on the SyFy Channel.

As outrageous and campy as some of this movie sounds (I mean Red Riding Hood has guns, and there is a Werewolf with a laser eye) I don't want to wander into typical B-movie territory. When you watch this I don't want you to roll your eyes, I want you to laugh outloud and cheer on the good guys. On some level you'll giggle at some of the campyness, sure. But I'm aiming to make a good solid movie here. Not a throw away B-feature.

Yup, it is indeed no-budget/low budget indie. But I'm REALLY trying hard for it to look and feel like something more than that. I really feel like the secret to this lies in what I don't show you.  There are plenty of fx shots that we have that if you glimpse them, it'll be fine, but if I leave them up for a frame longer than necessary, you'd start to see the seams.

Now more than ever I need to maintain a steady eye on what the audience sees, and try to perceive what they perceive. Much of this will be smoothed out when we start doing beta tests on the first few cuts of the movie. But we've got a ways to go til we get there.

Here's a few pics and frames from this past months shooting.

Richard Gaither as The Chapel Wolf. Make up by Chana Van Meter.

After Visual FX has been added.

Before. The raw footage by itself.

The above frame is from a scene where Carter (Jennifer Russoli) is being interrogated by Snow (Alethea Delmage) and Simon (Nick Karner). It was quite pleasurable to be indoors working on a dialogue scene. A much welcome reprieve from running around in the woods with guns and monsters.


Nick Karner as Simon Weller.

As much as I love the action and fx stuff, I really love getting down with dramatic dialogue. Especially when the performances are just that good, shooting it the right way really enhances the tension of the scene. Can't wait to get this scene completely cut and mixed.



Plenty of scenes where we show armies of soldiers.
Here's an example of a shot where we took 2 actors and turned them into 6.

Some of the Monsters and Crew on our first day with Monster FX.

Chana applying make up to Richard.


Having fun making this film. Hoping you all will have fun watching it.

Aiming to have a full trailer out by Christmas.

More later

Patrick



Friday, October 28, 2011

Nothin but love


I'll Tumblr For Ya

See what I did there? I made a modern blogging reference within the frame of an 80's pop culture song. Culture Club to be exact.

Yes I'm stupid.

I have a new Tumblr. There I will be posting many random pics and videos mainly behind the scenes stuff. I may end up cross posting alot between here and there. This blog I'll post almost everything, with the occasional long rant, wordy blog, or personal hash out. There I will stick with short posts, pics, vids. So feel free to check me out there as well a here.

http://patrickprejusa.tumblr.com/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Featured On Instructables



My DIY Werewolf Costume for Redd is now being featured on Instructables.  Not only that but it is also a contest entry into their Halloween Costume Challenge.  So feel free to check out this link:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Werewolf-Costume-A-Werewolf-Army-for-47/

Register for an Instructables account, vote for it by hitting VOTE in the top right, and then give it 5 star further down on the right side.

I'm proud to say that I've only got two Instructables on the site (the other one being the DIY Necronomicon) and they've both been featured.  Woo Hoo!

Being featured means they like you. It also means a bit more exposure for Redd.  Which is always good.

We're back into shooting tomorrow. Be prepared for some pretty nifty behind the scenes on our first Zombie FX for the movie.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Top 13 Halloween Horror Flicks (For now)


I have to admit my tastes in horror films has evolved. Over the past decade I had definitely strayed away from what's considered popular horror. The Saw franchise bored me and I stopped watching after 3, although I am told the last one somewhat redeems the series so I may give it a try someday. I have no real interest in the Final Destination series. I stopped after 2. I've also come to realize I like FUN horror more then depressing downer horror. If that makes any sense.

I have been more vested in making my own movies so I'm not the obssessive horror cinephile I used to be, but I have come across enough great horror flicks and been able to revisit some forgotten classics to modify my top list for now.

This particular list will be a bit more skewed towards Halloween, meaning, they may not necessarily be scary, but at the very least they are fun to watch for the Halloween season. well, to me, at least. This list is not the end all be all of my fav horror movies. There are many titles I'm leaving off. These are simply the movies I love watching this season. I don't think I could ever really have a static top list of anything. I just love so many of them.

Here now for this Halloween season is my mixed list of old classics and new classics, in no particular order.



1) THE THING (1982) Haven't seen the "PRE-MAKE", and although I was excited at the idea of seeing a prequel story about what has happened at the Norwegian camp, the bad reviews I've been reading are making me want to wait til it's on Netflix streaming. The subtle fear, the anticipation, the paranoia, and the truly great monster FX by Rob Bottin still make John Carpenter's The Thing a true horror classic.


2) HOUSE OF THE DEVIL(2009)
An instant classic. Don't let me get your hopes up. Level off your expectations, and just watch it. Warning, it's what you would call a slow burn. Very easily someone could watch this and be bored to death. Not me. I thought the pacing was perfect. The tension was being built perfectly, and although the scares and jumps are very few, when they come, they pay off well. This movie is about quality more than quantity when it comes to the horror, and it works. It helps that it's set in the 80's, and I love the 80's. Brings me back to my childhood, and it does a truly great job of making this movie feel like it was made in the 80's. Director Ti West is a genius.


3) BABYSITTER WANTED (2008)
Some would say this has the exact same plot as House Of The Devil. And you may very well be right, but this is certainly a much different film, with a different feel. This movie lends itself more towards being a fun B-Movie romp. Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting much, but I thought this movie was fun. Like House Of The Devil we follow one night with a young girl baby sitting in a creepy house. Yup, same plot and even same  twists as House Of The Devil, but the foreboding tension is replaced with a bit of campy horror, which I found to be alot of fun.


4) TRICK r' TREAT (2007)
Almost the ultimate Halloween movie, but certainly a love letter to Halloween based horror flicks. Creepy, eerie, a bit predictable, but I didn't care, I was having too much fun watching this anthology of creepy Halloween inspired tales. Also Halloween has a new hero, and his name is Sam.


5) FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)
Duh. still one of my favorites. Roddy Mcdowell as Peter vincent steals the show and Chris Sarandon as the Vampire next door, Jerry Dandridge, is creepy and inspired. Also, one of the coolest Wolf de-transformation scenes ever. Saw the remake, I enjoyed it tremendously, but it doesn't top the original by any means.


6) NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986)
Alien leeches invade peoples brains turning them into zombies. A rough and rugged homicide detective and a college couple must fight this horde of alien made zombies. How would you NOT want to watch this? From Fred Dekker Director of Monster Squad, I obsessed over this movie. Zombies, an axe murderer, shot guns, flame throwers, and some decent zombie fightin action. Certainly one of the best in B-movie horror. No so much scary, but definitely fun as hell.


7) TROLL HUNTER (2010)
Along the lines of Blair Witch and Cloverfield. A camera crew follows along a supposed "bear hunter" only to find it's not bears he's hunting. Great fun. Surely one of the best found footage flicks. Way better than Blair Witch and just as fun as Cloverfield. A bit of goofiness and humor, but some fun fx and scares. Check out, even if you're not big on subtitles. Notice I didn't include the trailer. Don't watch the trailer. Just go watch the movie and experience it for yourself.


8) AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
I got to re-watch this again this year, this time with my wife, who'd never scene it before. John Landis really hit it right both with the script and with the direction. Some genuinely funny and endearing moments peppered throughout some horrofying scenes. Honestly, this was a huge inspiration for the tone I try to set with Monster Cops. This movie is still a classic. I still call this the best Werewolf movie of all time, with the greatest Werewolf transformation ever shot (only one movie comes close. Look up THE HOWLING).


9) LET ME IN (2010)
I know, I know, I'm a heathan for loving a remake. Those bastards how dare they remake Let The Right One In, the most perfect vampire movie ever made. Well, I'm sorry, but as much as I loved Let The Right One In, I kept thinking about how I would have directed it. Then along comes Matt Reeves and makes exactly what I would have made. I was actually excited when I heard about this. I'm a fan of Matt Reeves, he directed Cloverfield afterall. What he's come up with was what I like to call "if Spielberg Directed a Vampire Movie". Plenty of lens flare, very endearing, the cinematography was brilliant, and they didn't hold back on the horror. There were moments that felt very Hitchcock. I'm sorry, but I fell in love with every bit of this movie.


10) DRAG ME TO HELL (2009)
Sam Raimi is a mad man. Everyone of his movies the star is always the camera. I don't care what celebrity or actor is in front of it, it's the camera that steals the show. His insane shots, tracks, dolly ins. He has this great Funhouse sense with his direction and his photography. And boy does it ever work in this movie. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. For a while I was getting disappointed there were no more recent FUN horror movies, but this one is definitely beyond FUN. There are a few moments of irrationality with the characters, but when you realize that it doesn't matter because Sam Raimi is trying to take you on a ride, everything is all down hill, and what a ride. Such a great ending.


11) POLTERGEIST (1982)
We can argue all the live long day about who actually directed this movie. Tobe Hooper is credited, but many say that Steven Spielberg did much more than produce. Everytime I watch the behind the scenes it certainly seems like Spielberg was directing.  Many think the studio just wanted Tobe Hooper's name on it simply because he directed the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. To me the movie oozes Spielberg nuance. The lens flares, even the eerie horror bits seem magical and mystifying. But to Tobe Hooper's credit he has been known to pull out a bit of magic in his movies himself (See #14) Regardless, this movie still stands as a great ghost story / haunted house flick. A must for October.


12) HALLOWEEN (1978)
A classic. Still one of John Carpenter's best. A slower pace compared to what the kids are use to nowadays, but to me that's how you build tension. I love the atmosphere of the neighborhood. The rolling leaves, the kids trick or treating, carving jack o' lanterns. A perfect backdrop for a killer in the dark stalking babysitters. Also, I'm a sucker for the classic Teen Slasher setup.


13) HELL NIGHT (1981)
I have a thing for 70's / 80's horror flicks. Especially involving teens. They're just a ton of fun for me. From the very first shot you'll be saying "Yup this is definitely from 1981". It's datedness adds to it's charm. Besides, once we get rolling with the terror, none of that really matters. The rising sheet scene still creeps me out, it's frickin brilliant. And I love that this isn't necessarily a slasher flick, but somewhat leans on being a monster movie.



Honorable Mention

Funhouse (1981)
No argument here that Tobe Hooper actually did direct this one. I love the first 5 minutes and the last 10 minutes. I love the carnival setting. Here he actually does a good job of capturing the carnival mystique, a somewhat magical and often eerie place. We follow two teen couples as they attend the festivities only to find themselves face to face with a creepy killer. The only gripe one may have is that the movie certainly does take it's time getting to the action. I have to admit alot of my love for this movie is nostalgia. Re-watching the end scene where we finally see the "villain" really brings back memories.

Darkness Falls (2003)
This movie came and went with not alot of fanfare. And very many of you really hate this film. But I thought it was fun and I honestly don't see what what there was to hate about it. Performances were fine, fx were good, not one boring scene to me, honestly, I really had fun with this flick. When I need a stand by horror flick to watch this does just fine. Maybe it's not great, but I enjoyed this eerie spin on the "Tooth Fairy" quite a bit.  Also, I think Emma Caulfield is hot.

Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
Dan Obanon had set out to make a horror film in the style of a comedy. What has resulted in a very eerie, very funny, very outrageous Zombie movie. It's the first time (that I remember) anyone seeing zombies that ran. And not only did they run, but you actually couldn't kill them. This one doesn't hold back on nudity (Linnea Quigley's stripper dance in the graveyard) and some pretty nifty, although somewhat cheesy, zombie fx (the zombie interrogation). The sense of doom and despair still creeps me out, but it had a good sense of goofy horror fun. I LOVE TAR MAN!

HALLOWEEN II (1981)
Director Rick Rosenthal picks up right where the first one left off, and I love that. A continuation of this night of terror leads to much more horror at the local hospital. I love it when Michael Myer's walks right through that glass door. So cool and creepy.

HALLOWEEN III: Season Of The Witch (1982)
Wow, what an uproar by fans at the time. This was actually not a sequel. Carpenter really wanted to make the Halloween franchise more along the lines of an anthology, where each movie would have the same feel but be about different stories about Halloween. NOPE, it didn't take, and Halloween 3 was a huge flop. Why? Because it had absolutely nothing to do with Michael Myers. Instead this is about a series of deaths that may be linked to Halloween masks created by the Silver Shamrock company. No it has nothing to do with Michael Myers, but guess what, I don't care. Once you get to the idea that this is a standalone movie it turns out it's actually pretty good. Had the same eerie feel as the first two, and still holds on to that spirit of Halloween Horror. Also Tom Atkins is the good guy, and who doesn't love Tom Atkins.

MONSTER SQUAD (1987)
Are you kiddin me? Do I really need to explain this one. Wolfman's got nards. That's all you need to know. Go watch this if you haven't yet.

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (1985)
Probably the movie that helped inspire my love for Halloween and Halloween movies. An ABC TV Movie, cheesy, more family oriented, but still alot of fun. Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, and dated as hell, it screams 80's and that only makes me love it more. I still have my original VHS copy of this that I bought from the Grand Prairie Rent-A-Movie before they shut down. I watch it often. Directed by Jack Bender who would go on to direct several of my favorite episodes of LOST and HOUSE. You know what. I'm gonna watch this right now.




Saturday, October 15, 2011

Texas Rangers head back to the World Series!


I'm so unbelievably happy right now. I really wish my brother could enjoy this with us. Our Texas Rangers are the American League Champions.  First the Mavericks, now it's the Rangers turn to bring another title back to DFW. Wish I could've been there.

I'm just so happy that me and Juli were there for opening weekend earlier this year. We saw that grand slam and we didn't realize that it would be a sign of things to come.  It's been a bitter sweet year, but the great moments have truly been great. I hope to see and make more great moments.

Go Rangers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs



Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

- Steve Jobs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm having an amazing time here at the beach, but it doesn't keep me from thinking about the previous events of this year, and about my brother. It's been a rollercoaster today. Up and down.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Mr. Peppermint



Rest in peace sir. You did so much for me as a child. Thank you.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

REDD Production Vlog 2

Been working on REDD since last Winter. Been powering through the spring and summer and it looks like we'll be picking back up in October, shooting through November, and editing through the Winter. Now aiming for a Spring debut, hitting fests, cons, and screening venues, followed by a DVD release soon after.

Catch up on what we've been doing from July to September. Amanda talks of dimensional vagina's, Alethea throws an axe, April puts a gun to her head, Richard picks up a chick, and Chris continues to act like, well, Chris.




I've got the two ads, and Lost Zombies to knock out. Now it looks like I've got another ad to take care of. Then I'll jump into knocking out a Monster Cops episode. And then back into REDD. Yup, I'm busy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Showing Up

Here's the latest clip from REDD. This is some of the footage we shot September 3rd. It was our first day working with Alethea Delmage. She's pretty bad ass, and will fit in quite nicely with the rest of the regulars, which, eventually I'll get together some day.


Honestly, I had to scramble to my plan B, as some folks (quite a few actually) did not show up. But as I've been doing this a while, I normally have a plan B, C, D, E, F, G, in place. I mean I'd probably get alot more done if I could just stick to plan A, but hey, this is what happens when you're no budget and you can't pay people.  That's the only thing that complicates any of my productions. If people could just show up, we could make something that people would say "Wow that was amazing" instead of "That was pretty good for no-budget".

But I digress.

As I said previously, September is all about these two ads I need to shoot as well as my contributions to the LOST ZOMBIES project. I have to get all that done in the next two weeks. But I may dare to squeeze in a Monster Cops shoot. Maybe.

Feel free to check out the new pics posted over at REDD. Some really great ones of Alethea Delmage. I really cannot wait to get the rest of her scenes done. It's going to be amazing. Now, if we can just get April back in from school, all will be well.






Pressure

I was supposed to go to sleep a few hours ago. But as usual, something happens to keep me wide awake. Two things.

1. Nike may very well be making an announcement about a certain shoe many Back To The Future fans may be interested in.

Thanks to Mark Wilson for posting this on G+. This teaser just kills me.



My mind is blown at the possibility of these shoes being real. Next up, Hover-board please!

2. Monster Cops

I swore I wouldn't talk about it, blog about it, express it in any way, but I've seen a few posts online and her a few podcasts talking about comparisons between MTV's Death Valley and Monster Cops.

It's got me riled up.

And not because I'm angry at MTV. In actuality, I'm not angry at anyone for any reason. Seems like plenty of people are angry on my behalf.  Alot of folks seem to think that MTV stole from me and have completely ripped off Monster Cops. And I've gotten MANY messages from people telling me so.

First of all, I'm happy there are alot of people out there who love Monster Cops. I think that's great that there are alot of folks out there willing to be pissed on my behalf. But the truth is, I don't really care about MTV's Death Valley. And if they stole from me, I really don't care about that either.

People keep telling me to sue them, but they haven't done anything illegal. The concept is similar (and actually alot of the scenes and clips somewhat resemble the first Monster Cops movie The Midnight Special), but legally they've done nothing wrong. You can sue someone over an idea. Any copyright lawyer will tell you that.

What I'm riled up about is that I know what I see for Monster Cops. I don't even actually see it as a web series. I have a very specific vision about what Monster Cops is and what it can be, and I'm anxious to get that vision out to you.

Lord, how many times have I blogged about how passionate I am about writing these Monster Cops episodes? If you track back a few years on this blog, you'll read about it over and over. Me WHINING again and again, about what it is I have in my head, and how I dream of getting that out to the masses, and about how if I can just get one episode right, even on the minimal budget we have, and get it out to the proper audience, it would be a hit.

And when I say hit, I'm not talking about making money. I'm talking about people actually being able to see it for free online, and sending me messages that tell me that they got it. They got the plot, they got what the episode was trying to say, and they got to feel exactly how I was hoping they would feel. They would laugh, be thrilled, be creeped out, and even cry.

I'm just so very anxious to get out more than the two episodes that are already out there. I'll be happy if I can get the full 6 episodes online and have the word spread that if they go to MONSTERCOPS.COM they could watch a fun series, filled with action and horror, excitement and comedy, and be surprised by the fact you also get a solid character driven drama to go along with that.

For the rest of September I have to work on Ads and Commercial work. Production on Redd and Monster Cops will be on hold until October. I'm anxious for October to get here, so I can get to work on that vision.

I have no idea who reads this, or if anyone at all is reading this. But if you do, and if you've got sometime, do me a favor, check out my series Monster Cops as well as the feature I'm working on, REDD. And if you like what you see, please, please, please, tell someone.

REDD will be do out next year. Check out and tell people about that website REDDMOVIE.COM

And check out and tell people about MONSTERCOPS.COM

Let em know that there are 2 episodes up, each about 20 minutes, and there will be at least 4 more episodes coming soon. They're free to watch, you can even download em, copy and sell em on DVD and keep the money. I don't even care about making any money from Monster Cops. I just want to make these 6 episodes the best that I can, and get it out to as many people to see as humanly possible. Who doesn't love free entertainment right?

I've been working on Monster Cops for so long. I really feel like it's time I finally got my vision for it out there.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whatcha Gonna Do?

Cross Posted from The Monster Cops Blog

We are on the verge of completing at least one more episode by October, with at least 3 more to follow. So it would be a good thing to have a bit of buzz going on for our little cult series.

So we find it frickin fabulous that a couple of site have taken notice of us.

Killer Aphrodite gave us a really great write up. Check that out here:http://www.killeraphrodite.com/2011/08/monster-cops-series/

And Evil Episodes has also given us mad props as well: http://evilepisodes.com/2011/08/24/bad-boys-bad-boys-watcha-gonna-do-watcha-gonna-do-when-the-monster-cops-come-for-you/

We're quite excited about the new buzz and hope it continues. We are, after all, no budget, and we have to rely heavily on word of mouth. SO, if you like what you see here, and want to help us out, then please tell a friend. Post us on your Facebook, Tweet us on your Twitter, plaster out url on your naked body and run around screaming "I LOVE MONSTER COPS!"

Maybe not that last one (unless you want to). Don't blame us if you get arrested. But if you happen to be near some folks in jail, please tell them about us.

Excited about these episodes, we're going to kind of break some rules, but it's kind of ok, because this series will be completely free for you to see online. No need to purchase a download, or a DVD, these particular episodes will be totally free for your enjoyment. Why? Because everybody's frickin broke. And free stuff is awesome.

But how do we make money, you ask? We don't. We put it out there, hope you love it, and then see what happens.

That's how we role.

More, very very soon! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dancing In The Moonlight

What a truly great and fun day I had with my wife. I'm seriously the luckiest guy ever.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I know it's going to work out. I know it'll be amazing. I hear you. But I'm just anxious to see how.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keep Me Where The Light Is

Image taken from operaphantom.net

I dreamed I was at a movie theater.

I was walking down the hall and I found my Godfather, Ray, sitting in a directors chair in the middle of the hall just outside one of the auditoriums.

I asked him how the movie was. He had this mixed reaction of laughter and fear. Like it was the most amusing yet terrifying thing he'd ever seen.

He then seemed in awe of whatever movie it was he'd seen (not sure what it was).

He put his hand on my shoulder, looked at me directly, and said.



"You  have to start having nightmares like that."


My immediate thought was "No."

I cringed a little when he said that.

I woke up.

I realize he was implying that if I wanted to create something as great as what he had seen, that I needed to feel and experience the same kind of terror. And I get it. Write what you know. And if you're trying to create a nightmare, then you have to start experiencing nightmares.

I'm fond of horror. From a very young age, it was a symptom of being tortured by my older brothers. As we were one of the first families on the block to have cable tv, they almost always messed with me by putting on whatever scary movie was playing that month (Friday The 13th part 2, Salem's Lot, etc.) Stuff that they new scared the crap out of me.

I mean it is what you do to your little brother, and I was the littlest.

As I got older, horror movies became something I would dare myself to tolerate, because they scared me so much. I could even stand in the horror section of the local Video Library.

I forced myself to face it, embrace it, and visibly so in front of my brothers. Cuz if it looked like I was enjoying them, even loving them, then it was pointless to try to scare me.

Eventually I would truly start to appreciate them. I wanted to make movies after all, so it only made sense that I would find interest in how even horror movies were made. I got really curious about how to make monsters, murder, and mayhem, in that grandiose and cinematic fashion.

But the truth of it was, I loved movie in general. More so than horror.

Especially now, it has become more evident that it's really just the old horror flicks from the 70's and 80's that I revel in. And I realize that it's mostly for nostalgia's sake.

In reality, I'm a little sensitive when it comes to some of that stuff. Alot of the more recent bloodier, gorey, brutal fare, don't really appeal to me.

In truth, I look to horror movies that lean more on fun than shock.

As much as it may appear that I revel in the dark, it's the light that I love so much more.

The movies I love are the movies I want to make. Fun, thrilling, entertaining, inspired, enlightened, refreshed, child like, and dazzlingly brilliant.

And that's why I cringed when I was told that I needed to start having nightmares in order to create. Because inevitably I feel like my inspiration comes from the light. And the creative brilliance that comes from your highest and grandest dreams.

I stand by the phrase, "In order to make a beautiful picture, you'll need to use dark colors." But in truth, I love all the colors on my pallet., and the countless numbers of portraits I can paint.

I know, the light can't exist without the dark.

I just want to be kept where the light is.







Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pandora's Box

The day my brother died, I was of course crushed.

I was lost for a bit.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that my world had fallen apart. But I will say it felt different. Nothing seemed like it was where it was supposed to be. My existence felt like it was rearranged. My entire history felt like a dream.

My brother Robert was a huge part of my world, my history, my childhood. Something that you thought would never be taken away, was all of a sudden gone.

When someone close to you leaves, you search for familiarity. You want something that feels like home. Something to take you in, tell you it's going to be alright, but not to your face. You want something to speak this truth to your soul.

And how the hell does that work. How do you comfort something so powerful and low as a spirit that feels broken. How do you mend that?

I found out how.  I started listening.

To Pandora that is. I have a couple different stations on Pandora. One I labeled "think".

I don't even remember what it was I had typed in to fill in that list. But as soon as I played it, I started hearing music that spoke directly to me. One song after the other turned out to be exactly what I wanted to hear, what I needed to hear, what my soul, my spirit, my broken heart, needed to feel.

I cried my eyes out.

Every song either brought me back to a time I forgot, a moment and a memory I had lost, or it spoke to me, agreeing with me when I needed to be agreed with, and more so telling me what I needed to hear when I didn't know what to think, what to feel, what to do.

Have you ever been lost in the woods or lost your way driving around? Do you know that despair you feel when you realize you've lost your way. Even if it's just for a few seconds. When you realize that you don't know where you are, and you don't know how to find your way out, or find your way back.

That relief that comes to you when you find your way, when you realize that you're not completely lost and you know how to get home.

That's how I felt listening to each song that came on. Each song brought me home.

I can't say it completely healed me. It didn't fully mend my broken heart. But it did speak to my spirit. It let me know that it was going to be ok. That my brother is ok. That we're all ok.

And I believe that. We're all going to be ok. As long as we can find a way to listen.

I'm not saying when in doubt go listen to Pandora. I'm saying when you're looking for answers, even to the toughest questions, you'll often find the universe telling you the answers.

If you're listening.

Holy Shit!

Damn. I got really deep there, didn't I.

Ok, ok, look, I'm not a Shaman, or a religious nut, nor am I a spiritual freak of nature.

I'm just a guy. Going through shit. Just like the rest of us, I mean we're all going through shit.  I'm just saying that, if you need a bit of guidance out there to get you through your particular shit, I believe there is something out there, something more, something bigger, that is conspiring to help you get through.

But you've got to look for the signs, listen for the cues. For me, that day it was Pandora. Other days it's a line from a movie, or a passage from a book, or a bit of a conversation I hear when I pass by someone at the grocery store.

Whatever it is, it's out there, and I do believe that it wants you to succeed. It wants to help you as long as you're willing to help yourself.

It's out there, I know, I've seen it, I've felt it, and I've definitely heard it.

Ok. What's going on with Redd?

Well, we've been shooting, and shooting, and shooting. And I'm confident we can get this all finished up by October and have a local screening in November.

Dealing with scheduling conflicts. My main actress may disappear off to college before we can get all of her stuff shot, so I'm trying to figure out a way around that.

It's getting horribly hectic by the minute, and I'M LOVING IT!

I can't wait to see this movie, and I definitely can't wait for you to see this movie.

P




Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dolly in

Don't tell me there's no such thing as magic. You couldn't possibly know what I've seen, heard, felt tonight. If you did then you'd believe like I do.

I'm going to do my best to show you.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birthdays and Visual FX Research

After Dinner Cheesecake while watching The Office
 When I was a kid, my family, especially my Dad, always made a big deal out of my birthday. I recall Tiki torches and makeshift Luaus, extreme catering with Filipino Food, large potlucks, cheesy birthday cakes, and themes ranging from Star Wars to Spiderman.

Yesterday I turned 36. And I didn't care one bit about what I did for my birthday. Long gone are those days that I craved a ton of attention, cake, toys, and parties. Now all I want to do is make this movie(s) happen. Even if that means working on it for my birthday.

I got my wish.

Not to say this wasn't a day without some sort of a celebration. My wife insisted we cook some classic Filipino food. Lumpia and Pancit. Never had it? IT'S DELICIOUS.

Takes a bit to prepare, but it's worth it.

We cooked, had a fine meal, afterwards we spent some time playing on the Wii, and then I got a great birthday present. I got to do what I always do, and have been doing for the past year. Work on my movie. I'm working on re-writes for Redd, preparing for shoots for the next few weekends, and started editing the next Monster Cops video.

In my head there isn't a minute to waste, and definitely not on something as trivial as my birthday. I have GOT TO GET THIS THING DONE.

But there was cake. My wife had stuck a candle in a piece of cherry cheesecake we bought the night before and brought to my desk as I worked, along with a nice cup of irish cream coffee. It was quite sweet of her.

But honestly, the best present I got tonight was really being able to spend time with my wife. I cherish every minute I have with her. It's always a party and a celebration when I'm around her, and I'm so very lucky to have that, and her. She's amazing.

Oh, I did watch a movie tonight. I got a bit of writer's block and I decided to scroll through Netflix Instant Watch to see what was on. Ya know, I understand people being up in arms about Netflix's new prices, but I'm so fascinated by how I'm able to scroll through a database of movies with my remote, hit a button, and watch something crystal clear on my large screen TV. I mean wow. We've come a long way from watching grainy video tapes you'd have to pick up from the store and watch on your square picture smooshing television.

I mean I'd love it if they could widen their streaming selection, but hey, I refuse to complain (too much) when I have a great wife, a roof over my head, and the technology at my finger tips that enables me to both watch and or create movies. I find it truly amazing and an utter blessing.

And you know what else is amazing? Gareth Edward's MONSTERS.


It's the movie I watched tonight. I heard alot of buzz about this last year. Now I know why. It's a brilliant movie. Now to be honest, this barely qualifies as a horror film, and just barely makes it in as a Monster Movie. The heart of this is a road trip movie, where two people grow closer as they experience the unexpected. It more closely resembles a love story and a character study then that of a full on creature feature. Not to say their weren't moments of eeriness. There were definitely some solid Giant Monster moments, very creepy stuff. But if you're expecting hardcore action like Cloverfield or ID4, you might find yourself bored. Me? I loved it. Great filmmaking, great ending, and as a fan of practical visual fx I thought it was brilliant. So many scenes you wouldn't think would have visual fx in it or recognize any kind of effect, and that's what makes it work so well.

One of the reasons I sought out a movie to watch, and was glad to have selected that movie, was because my brain is thinking about the visual fx for my own projects. I'm going to be trying to pull off some pretty neat and complex stuff before the year is out, and I'm trying to workout some of the best ways I can accomplish this. That means it's research time. Time to start looking at videos that stimulate my brain on the subject.

A few videos that have got me thinking about visual fx. Both for Monster Cops and for Redd. These are just the ones I happened to have perused this fine evening.


Ben 10: Alien Swarm VFX Behind the Scenes



Sweeney Todd - visual effects (behind the scenes)



Time Freeze Shootout - Behind the Scenes



Dead Land (VISUAL FX BREAKDOWN)



VFX Breakdown



Terminator Salvation Breakdown Video



The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) - SuperRune VFX Shot Breakdowns

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thinking About A Monster

We've got major shooting to do for REDD, but now it's time to also turn my attention to Monster Cops and some of the new Monsters that they'll be hunting.

Again, I find myself researching monster costume techniques. Here are a few of the videos I'm finding inspiration from.

I'm looking to build something HUGE!!!


Krampus



4 Legged Stilt Costumes - Handmade



Demon Werewolf Costume



Freakenstein



QUAD STILT SUIT test 5



QUAD STILT SUIT TEST #6



And thinking about the giant pumpkin guy for REDD


Unpainted hand carved pumpkin head for oversize costume



Hand carved pumpkin head for oversize costume



Backyard FX: Halloween Pumpkin King Costume, Monsters : BFX

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You Are A Moneytrasher

CVS was awesome enough to buy the spot I made. They are currently using it on their YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.  Features Chris Plouffe blowing his nose on a twenty (not really), and my nifty little voice over.





Check it out here as well to see it in action on their FACEBOOK PAGE, along with 4 of my other Poptent Brethren's creations.

My 2011 Demo Reel (First Cut)




I plan to have much more to add to this in the next few months.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It.

I've made a total of 4 ads this past month for Poptent. Why? Because I'm addicted.

Here are the 4 ads I've created for Poptent and the brands that have hired them to get folks like me to make ads for them.


Client: CVS
Asignment Name: MONEYTRASHERS
Their creative brief was very specific. Make two segments, one that shows how people waste money, and the second that shows how people waste money by throwing out their CVS receipts. Apparently many CVS receipts can be used like cash on your next visit. I had no idea. But now I know, and after watching my as you should know as well.




Client: VIZIO
Assignment Name: ENTERTAINMENT FREEDOM FOR ALL
The objective, to create a video that would give the viewers a sense of urgency, a sense of emotion, to help drive them to see Vizio as more than just a brand, to see Vizio as a revolution. This is actually not completely what I had in mind originally, but the final product came out better than I imagined. I actually really busted my ass on this one. The editing and sound editing were a killer.




Client: BUILD-A-BEAR
Assignment Name: SMALLFRYS
Buildabear needed ads to announce the arrival of their new product called Smallfrys. They sent me a sample to use in the ad. It was a Penguin and it actually comes in a FRY BOX. How cute is that? I went in search of a cute kid to help me sell this ad, and I lucked out when I found Reagan Spiegel. Adorable, energetic, and the right amount of cheese.




Client: POPTENT
Assignment Name: GO GREEN
Poptent has started up this great idea. Have the creators make videos and ads based on one subject, select the best ones, and put them all together in smoething called the VIDEO MART, where companies can shop for ready made ads they can use. Here the topic is Go Green. And immediately I came up with an idea. Paid off too, this video was selected to go in the Video Mart. Got paid for it too.



I log on to my Poptent Profile, I peruse the assignments, I pick out which ones I click with and or have time for, I download the assets, look over the creative brief to see what the brand wants, and then I go to work on a tailor made video for specific brands.


It almost feels like I work for the Impossible Missions Force. I get a brief with mission instructions, I choose to accept the mission, and I execute said mission. Speaking of Mission Impossible, I AM SO VERY EXCITED ABOUT MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4.

Look I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, but I do love JJ Abrams, and I REALLY love Brad Bird. JJ is producing, Brad is directing. I immediately assume it's going to be amazing. The trailer certainly seems like it is.



Ok, hopefully there will be a big enough break from making ads, long enough for me to get the rest of REDD casted, raise the money, and finish it in September. Also got Monster Cops episodes, and that new short film Firelight, which I'm honestly starting to re-think the title. We'll see.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rule #7


Shoot first ask questions later.

It's a good idea when you shoot to keep editing in mind, but don't get bogged down by how something may or may not work in editing. When you're shooting, concentrate on shooting. Just get all the shots, even ones you think may not work in editing. Better to have it later as an option than not have it at all.





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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If you do what you've always done ...

you'll get what you've always gotten.

I say that alot. Both out loud and to myself.

Today's pic is a poster from the movie Labyrinth. Why? Because I like it, that's why.

Makes me think of the kinds of movies that influenced me. The kinds of movies I'd like to make. And where I'm at right now.  I guess you could say I'm in sort of a Labyrinth. I know where I need to get too, but there are so many ways to get there it can be overwhelming. You never know what may lie around each corner you turn. Maybe you'll find a long passage that gets you further, maybe you'll reach a dead end, and sometimes you turn the corner and you find yourself stumbling into a pit of despair.

Technically I just described a maze.





For alot of folks Mazes and Labyrinths are interchangeable. But there is actually a difference between the two. Mazes have options, you have choices as to which way to go. Labyrinths usually rely on one true path. Nothing to solve really you just gotta keep walking.

I guess you could ask yourself weather you see life as a maze or a labyrinth. For some they feel like they have a destiny, and as long as they continue on this one path, they will reach their destination.

Others see life as a maze, with many options to choose from. Choose wisely, or you could spend much of your life trying to work your way out of an oubliette.

How do I see it? To be honest, I believe life to be much more complex and simple all at once. It's an odd creature this life, can't define it with one explanation, which allows me to give this answer.

It's both.

For me anyhow. My life is both a maze and a labyrinth. Both has twists and turns, both can seem complex, both can be fun, and agonizing at the same time. Such is life.

But do I choose my path, or is my path chosen for me?

For my life I believe I have but one destination, but as I said earlier, there is more than one way to get there, at least it seems. But I believe that choice is the path. A maze may lead you elsewhere, but as long as you never give up, as long as you keep trying, keep choosing, and make the choice to keep walking, there really only is one destination and one path to it. For my life at least.

Too many people don't choose, they stand still. Whether they're in a maze or a labyrinth, they refuse to choose, or to walk. And yet they complain about being stuck.

In my life I've found that choosing to walk, and to continue to make choices is the only path for me. I only lose the destination if I do nothing.

So what about you. Whether your life is a maze or a labyrinth, you must choose a path and you must walk a path.

Or you can continue to do what you've always done.

Monday, June 13, 2011

If I blog about it, maybe it will happen


It's a short film I've been thinking about for a while now. I'm going to commit myself to saying that I'll do this later this year.  Yes my plate is full, but something is telling me that I really need to do this one.

We'll see what happens.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Dallas Mavericks


"This series proves that a TEAM is much bigger than individuals.” – Magic Johnson
The Dallas Mavericks have won their franchise's first NBA Championship
by beating the Miami Heat, 105-95.

Photo from Reuters



I am so very proud to be from Dallas right now.

I really miss my brother.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shine a Light

The second feature film I've ever made is also the first installment of the MONSTER COPS franchise.

MONSTER COPS: THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL is back on DVD.

You can buy it on DVD for $12 or you can download or rent it to watch on your PC, HDTV, Bluray, XBOX, or Roku through Amazon Instant Watch.

And remember, $1 from every DVD sold will go to the American Cancer Society.

Click here to find out more about THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL.




It was originally on DVD back in 2007. In 2009 I pulled it off shelves because I intended to re-edit it and put out a newer version. Then I realized that I was being a bit too George Lucasy. The movie is perfectly fine the way it is. Recently I had been messaged by a few folks about how they could get a copy.  So here it is back on DVD. In all it's No-Budget glory.

It was the first step towards what I wanted Monster Cops to be. It lacked the kind of FX we have now, and it really could've used more Monsters. But I think it's good nonetheless. It's endearing, it's creative, and I'm very proud of the writing and the performances. And it still cracks me up how frickin funny it is.

With the newer episodes I had created (Shadow Company and Monsters Vs. Cops) I would get closer and closer to that full vision of what I wanted Monster Cops to be.  I'm hoping by late this year I can fully execute that vision with the newer episodes of Monster cops, and put that out on DVD in a Series 1 volume of episodes.

Redd is our other production, as you may know. Plugging along nicely I might add, but with my schedule getting fuller, we may need to extend shooting into Fall.

A winter release will probably be more likely.

I really can't wait to finish this one. It's going to be a great one.

If you haven't yet, check out the fight clip below.


April Crum as Redd fighting Bryan Sloyer as The Monk.



I'm extremely impressed with everyone's performances so far. It's been a blast to shoot. Still need to do a bit more fundraising for it, but I think we'll be fine.

I'm proud to say that the first 4 minutes of REDD on Youtube have reached well over 50,000 views. Hey, maybe it's not 1 million like I wanted, but at least it's alot, and the majority of the comments are positive, so YAY!

If you get a chance check out the front page at REDDMOVIE.COM, look for the comment box towards the bottom, and leave a nice comment about how excited you are to see the movie. Go on, DO IT!

The Yamaha Ad I made, NO ORDINARY PAPER BOAT, was top ten finalist for Yamaha. Earned me a Poptent medal. Quite proud.

Aside from the occasional breakdowns (ala last post) things are good.  And now I work to make them better and even better.

Today's lesson boys and girls? Keep moving forward. Don't dwell on your past accomplishments, move on to bigger and better ones.

Just keep swimming.

Further

It was bad last night. The thought that my brother was gone really hit me. Although he'd been gone for over a week now, the reality of it didn't truly hit me until last night.

I lost it.

I'm ok. I really am. It's just been a roller coaster of emotions. That combined with all the normal irritations that have been bothering me, and my tendency to look at all that depresses me when I'm already depressed. I'm not in a great place right now.

Alot of other things have been happening. And although it's taking it's toll on me, I think it's necessary. It's all forcing me to really look at what needs to be done, who I associate with, and how I go about things personally and professionally.

I was already in a very driven and determined state. I was already motivated to work towards my dreams and goals. I thought I couldn't push myself any further.

I was wrong. I don't think I've ever been here before. This feels different somehow. As vulnerable as I feel, as weak as I am right now, on some level I also kinda feel invincible.

Like nothing can stop me. Like if I can go through this kind of pain, and burn in this kind of fire, then what else could hurt me. I have nothing left to lose.

I don't know if this makes any sense. I don't know. Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass.

I do know that I am so very happy that I have my wife. I love her so much. I couldn't possibly go through any of this without her.

I have to work on this video slideshow featuring pictures of my brother Robert. But I can't bring myself to finish it yet. I can't look at all those pics just yet. Especially those old pics of me and Robert as kids. It's too hard right now.

I'm pushing forward though. Creatively and professionally. Still gotta work.

And so I push forward. With a heavy heart. I push forward.

I'm tired. Otherwise I'd continue to type about The Dallas Mavericks and why I'm really pushing for them to win the NBA Finals.

Another post perhaps.

Thank you, all of you, who've shown your support, given your condolences, and blessed me and my family with love, caring, and positive energy. I and we truly appreciate it.

.