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UNIVERSAL PERSPECTIVE


Referring back to my blog on June 6th, The Distance Between Us, here is a visual perspective I found all over the Internet in various stages. I don’t know who began this, I do know the full creation has been a group effort (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan communities or both).

Then some goof added the lame last stage, a cosmic yet local punchline to it all (probably thanks to either the Reddit or 4Chan…)perspective

COMEDY –

I used to work in Comedy. I went pro and got as far as Feature comic (middle between Opener and Headliner) before I gave it up for marriage. I preferred sleeping in a bed with my wife to sleeping in the same room with a bunch of young faux-worldly semi-psychos, vigorously pursuing various addictions to see which one agreed with them, and all crammed together in a Roach & Rat infested Comedy Condo.

As I pursued this path, aging Headliners who never quite got a TV or movie gig (but were sagely comfy with the addiction their youthful fool-self found for them), would scare up a few extra bucks by teaching method comedy to the rest of us. Everything from setting up the punchline, callbacks, to something as seemingly simple (but unbelievably important) as Microphone Etiquette.

Seriously, to people who have never performed professionally with a microphone onstage? You have no idea how simple a thing as the way you hold your mike throughout a performance can enhance – OR – torpedo your act.

Depending on the headliners that month, I’d scrounge to pay my $50 per class at least once a month, sometimes twice. I was serious about the clown craft.

That punchline up there? That would get silence. Crickets would chirp.

Perhaps a few self-styled posturing atheists in the crowd would laugh uproariously because they secretly believed in a God, but were calling themselves atheist because they were Mad at “him” and thought disavowal would hurt “his” feelings.

Huh! God has cheesed me off! Well I’ll show HIM!

Anyone in the crowd who was a god believer and had more than a cursory knowledge of the New Testament might openly scoff.

You can misquote someone and make it work, but it has to be a misquote that still defines or encapsulates what they would say or how they talk.

Tina Fey misquoted Sarah Palin for laughs and it worked, not because Sarah actually said “I Can See Russia from My House”, but because the carefully molded media narrative of the time made it seem like that was something Palin would say.

NEW TESTAMENT –

“Don’t masturbate” doesn’t remotely seem like something Jesus would say. The New Testament pretty much smashes the Old Testament. Throughout the NT, Jesus, while surrounded by all manner of sinners Guy *and* Gal, is constantly revising the ancient laws and confounding all who confront him or try to trip him up with the old text.

Whether or not you believe in the Bible (and I don’t care one way or the other), the New Testament gives readers a clear-eyed view of those who pretend to be Christian, yet gleefully deny him to spout contradictory OT whenever the gospel of JC doesn’t suit them. Particularly for unbelievers, the NT is a step by step method of spotting the self-righteous phonies who come at you.

The image above has a wonderful setup, but a flop punchline.

END


wb2016If you believe you enjoy my writing, buy my book,
WILLOW BLUE.
It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Enthused for more? Buy
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection.
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Have you become a fan?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


IF SOMEONE HAS MORE…


If A PERSON HAS MORE

Satire on the “If Someone Has More Than Me” meme-

If A Man has a House Stacked to the Ceiling with Newspapers, We Call Him Crazy

If A Woman has a Trailer House full of Cats, We Call Her Nuts

When People Pathologically Hoard so much Cash that they Impoverish Others, We put them on the cover of Fortune Magazine and pretend they are Role Models

If Someone has a House Stacked to the Ceiling with Books, Ok, Where ever this is going, I Think I’m Being Insulted!


THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US


SpaceMapPlanets

I’d like to take a moment to mention scale. See that NASA approved map of our solar system? Lots of kids buy that at NASA in Florida, Alabama, Houston, and hang it on their wall.

Now you and I know it’s not to scale. Hell, we ALL know it’s not to scale. But damn, how many people appreciate just how far off the chart this map really is?

Wildly Inaccurate doesn’t begin to describe it.

By scale I mean, in this case, sizes and distance. People see posters of our solar system like the NASA approved one above and may read the fine print that accurately tells them the sizes and distances, but they still don’t have a clear frame of reference.

You tell them of the miles each planet is from the sun and they nod. Then you later find out they didn’t really Get It. Then they go off and make “intelligent” movies like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, where movie critics say, “Gosh! That’s smart science fiction!”

NO! No it is not.MichaelRennieOn that NASA approved poster, the visual scale of both planet size and distance is so grossly exaggerated to an astronomical scale that most folks don’t understand just HOW horribly exaggerated it really is.

The mistakes of distance and scale of our solar system, even to people who write Science Fiction, dominate literature and cinema.

So I want to talk scale in regards to size and distance. Planet sizes in the following images are rounded up to the nearest pixel.GroupDISTANCE-

I’m talking approximate distance, averaged out, since the planets (except for Mercury) are on a long elliptical, not basically circular, orbits around Sol (even our moon travels an elliptical orbit around earth). Also, some orbits are more elongated than others.

Earth40pxEarth is approx. 98 million miles from the sun. 98 Million Freaking Miles. If you could launch from the surface of the sun and were traveling as fast as the International Space Station, 5 miles a second or 17,150 miles an hour, it would take you the better part of a year, a little over 238 days or approximately 7 months, to reach the earth. That 98 million miles from Sol puts us around 30,760,000 miles from Venus and 43,100,000 miles from –

Mars22pxMars, at nearly half the size of earth, is 141,100,00 miles from the sun. We’re closer to Mars than our own sun.

Jupiter448pxJupiter at 483 million miles from Sol, and 2.5 times more massive than all of our other planets combined, is about 4 times farther from earth – 385 million miles – than we are from the Sun, and close to three times farther from Mars than Mars is from the sun.

Okay, so now we’re in the realm of Jovian planets, and this bears repeating: all solar system maps I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen plenty – are visually inaccurate to a fantastic degree. They all give the proper numbers in distance, but we should really understand the distances here.

Saturn225pxlSaturn, Jupiter’s closest Jovian neighbor, is slightly more than half the size of Jupiter (not counting rings, of course) and over 888 million miles from the sun.

The distance I’m talking here means that Jupiter is closer to earth (385 million miles) than it is to Saturn (405 million miles).

Uranus160pxlNext is Uranus, which is 1.784 billion miles from Sol, making it farther from Saturn (896 million miles), than Saturn is from the sun.

Let me repeat and bold a few things here.
Saturn is about 888 million miles from the sun and Uranus is 896 million miles from Saturn.
Not only is Jupiter closer to earth than it is to Saturn, even Saturn is closer to the sun than Uranus is to Saturn.

You’ve likely read or heard that planets Mercury through Mars are the “inner” planets. That’s true enough but now we clearly understand “inner planets” doesn’t visually paint the whole picture in context, when far flung Saturn is closer to Sol than the very next planet beyond it – Uranus.

It took the straight shot of the Voyager crafts (1 & 2) about 1 year and 3 months to reach Saturn. They reached a maximum traveling velocity of approximately 38,000 miles an hour, they flew 24/7 non-stop, that entire time, and it took a year and three months.

Neptune159pxFinally there is Neptune, which is 2.795 billion miles from the sun. Making Neptune farther from it’s closest Jovian neighbor, Uranus, than Uranus is from Saturn which, again, is closer to the sun than it is to Uranus.

The relative distances between all of the planets of Mercury through Saturn, can fit with plenty of room to spare between the orbits of Uranus and Neptune.

To put that another way, if Uranus was the sun, Neptune would be farther from Uranus/sun (over 1 billion miles) than Saturn actually is from Sol.

Those poster maps of our solar system aren’t even close!

TAKE A TRIP!

How long would it take you to reach Pluto if you could travel twice the speed of light?

Find out at Josh Worth’s award winning webpage,

moonpixel2

REFERENCES –

There are many known planets beyond our solar system, xkcd offers their relative sizes compared to our own.

All space images from NASA archives, used in accordance with NASA’s Media Usage Guidelines.

The Day The Earth Stood Still, 20th Century Fox.
Pandorum, Constantin Film and Impact Pictures

TOOLS –
https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

END


pb300Do you personally wish there was some way you could thank me for this blog?
Lucky for you, there is! Buy my book,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
Is a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Do you have too much change left over from that $20?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Do you have a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Would you also like to read more of my non-fiction?

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


SYNDROME IS A CREEP


Syndrome02

I’ve accused you of being what I am for so long…

Heh! Heh! Heh! Everyone believes me!

#SyndromeIsACreep


Musical Neighbors


3AM

Ah… this brings back memories.

I once lived in an apartment below a group of musicians. I too was a musician and was sharing the monthly costs, with my bandmates, for a storeroom where we could practice.

But these guys, who were a House band for a club on the other end of town, would come back from a gig at 2 or 3am on a Saturday, Sunday, & Monday morning, and start partying with the groupies.

I was polite the first four times.

I was stern the fifth time.

On the sixth time, I got out of bed, went straight up to their apartment without getting dressed first (which means I was naked), banged loudly on the door, and heard the idiots inside loudly, Stonedly, telling each other “Sh! Sh! Sh!”

My neighbor opened the door with the expression and posture of one who is faking both sober and innocent. Then he realized what he was seeing and his posture fell apart.

Brad: “JESUS CHRIST, MAN!”

Me: “Brad, I have no problem letting my band come over -”

Brad: “Holy FUCK! You’re naked!?! What the FUCK?!?

Me: “Shut up. I have no problem letting my band come over and practice while you are trying to sleep before a gig.”

I stepped into his apartment. Everybody was silent.

Brad: “What’s WRONG with you, dude? Get some fucking clothes-“

Me: “Shut up. So now I AM going to practice full blast while you are trying to sleep before your weekend gigs.”

Brad: “Put some fucking clothes on, man!”

Me: “Unless I too have a gig that night, I am going to practice full blast during the day while you are trying to sleep for every god damn night of your gigs. Our neighbors will be enjoying their weekend during the day while my band and I practice. So who do you think they will complain about? Me or you?”

Brad: “I’m fucking reporting you to the fucking manager!”

Me: “Well you should do that right now, Brad! Because she’s up! You woke her! I know! She was coming out of her apartment when she saw me and dodged right back in!

Brad: “. . .”

Me: “She’s probably already called the cops.”

Brad: “. . .!”

Me: “With this fog of pot in here, you should probably fumigate your place down with Lysol! Why? Because Lysol will Really make the cops CRAZY suspicious when they talk to you. See if you can talk while holding your breath, too! Good luck keeping your House gig at Wild Wild West.”

I left, and everybody hustled out of there to parts unknown. The cops did come and the property manager let them into Brad’s place.

They knocked on my door,
“No, I’ve no idea where they went.
Now that you mention it, I think I Did smell marijuana.
Have I been smoking marijuana (nice long deep breath of air at their face) Nope.
Did I go up to their apartment naked? I’m not sure. I’m a sleepwalker.”

A moving truck came for his shit, but I never saw Brad again.

Now then –

Different folks have a different reaction to my story (depending on who they sympathize with), but even when I recall it now, I fall in love with myself all over again!

END


pb300Fall in love with my work,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Books are like albums, so you’ll want to celebrate my whole catalog!

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Sometimes I get together with other bands,

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Addressing the Ghost in the Room


I don’t want to pick on George Dvorsky as he certainly isn’t the only one who believes this way. But I have to start with someone or else this post will come off as a Strawman and I’m left arguing with air.

AndromedaSG

The Andromeda Galaxy! Coming soon to a galaxy near you!

First, his 2013 article at io9,
11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

I’m not going to address his 11 Weirdest Solutions, as they are a fun read and I’m a man who enjoys a fun read even if it’s Terry Pratchett fantasy (and I’m a man who enjoys Terry Pratchett fantasy).

Instead I’m going to address the initial false conjecture, which is based entirely upon Taking Things for Granted at a galactic scale.+

The launch supposition,
“Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now.”

Is gargantuan-ly incorrect*. Our galaxy is so old and YET so expansive (100,000 to 180,000 light years from end to end. The writer *really* needs to let that sink in.) that every part of it couldn’t possibly have been visited within the space of 9.5 billion years. Imagine the life forms that possibly rose, gained intelligence plus technological advancement, turned their technological advancement to other systems, and had the ability to visit those other systems across a galaxy (assumed to be spiral barrel shaped like the Andromeda Galaxy~) that is – to be stressed – 100,000 to 180,000 light years diameter and over 20,000 light years deep. We still don’t know if our galaxy is 100,000 light years across or double that.

Such monumental travel is something we have not begun, though we’ve had the initial capability since the 1950s. Now add the optimistically broad assumption that all went so well for said Aliens that they advanced to the next stage beyond us.

Well just how far is that?

We have no idea.

Ray Kurzweil posits that the next stage is Singularity and that means anything from centuries added to our lives and becoming Super Beings to the Robot take-over to humanity becoming beings of energy. In other words, the next watershed event in humanity could take us to the point that who we are now would and/or could not recognize ourselves as life forms, any more than amoebas could recognize a whole human being as a technologically advanced single life form.

This is a logical progression when you account for the fact that our solar system didn’t form until about 10 Billion years after our galaxy formed (our sun is the progeny of other stars that were born, existed, died, and exploded). The first billion years of the Sol system, as we’ve come to regard it, didn’t have its planets form until after about the first billion years of our sun’s existence: our sun is about 4.5 billion years old.

Even if we said that our area of the galaxy may have been visited many times over during the first 10 billion years, the overwhelming result of that would have been aliens looking at a primordial, gaseous cloud, in turn possibly containing planets: uninhabitable and so devoid of life.

In the last 2 billion years? Maybe one of the smallest planets, dangerously close to its star, developed simple life forms. Then that planet got wiped out by another planet.

A few hundred million years later, this now hybrid planet showed single celled life forms again.

They wiped themselves out by polluting their atmosphere with oxygen.

Billions of years later, less than half of our sun’s age,  Prokaryotic single cells appeared (first cells, no nucleus). This generously occurred about 2.1 billion years ago.

Actual multicellular animal life forms rose about 600 million years ago and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on an epic scale never seen before or since. Eventually the age of the dinosaurs ceased forever – when the earth no longer had enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support such land-based megafauna – and then came the age of the mammal.

And then it happened all over again. Entire species rose and fell, rose and fell: mass extinctions on a smaller scale yet still epic enough by comparison to never be seen since.

To any of the multitudes of passing aliens keeping track over the course of their species’ lifetime – and let’s make the fantastical assumption that they found and translated long dead historical transcripts of other long dead ancient planetary species that had come and gone into singularity in the multi-billions of years that had gone before – earth must have looked like one hellishly inhospitable place!

The earliest stage of true human, you and me, Cro-Magnon, didn’t appear until about 43 thousand years ago and we didn’t become technologically advanced (I’m being so very liberal with this concept) until about 5,000 years ago – the Bronze Age.

Humanity couldn’t attempt communication with possible alien life (transmit and receive a recognizable communication) until less than half a century ago. Once analog is completely gone from our modern tech – gone the way of punch card and punch tape computers – it will be impossible to find any analog xenoform signals.

And! AND! AND!  This is entirely under a STUPIFYINGLY obtuse concept, which is:

“Well Of course Intelligent Aliens would communicate across the Vast Gulfs of space using a Weak Analog Radio Signal;
Virtually Indistinguishable from the massively powerful random analog radio signals being spewed out by their own Star AND Every Single Star along the route –
ALL within this Strictly Narrow slice of ALL radio spectrums;
In Turn within this Strictly Narrow slice of the sky we are looking at;
Using a technology that was Old when we created Big Ear in 1956;
That’s been receiving signals ever since that We Still Can’t Comprehend using Strictly Narrow parameters
WE Created for understanding Alien Communication in the First Place –
A
nd On Top Of All That
Within the Strictly Narrow confines of a language that we can recognize!

DUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”

Triple-facePalmWe can’t even use a digital receiver to recognize a digital signal – our OWN digital signals – from the rest of the universal clutter or “static” unless we first have the codec/software to translate it.

Analog receivers are blind to digital. That’s under the Facepalm preposterous idea that technologically advanced aliens would – naturally – be using 19th Century analog or 20th Century digital radio signals to communicate! The only aliens we stand a chance of communicating with would have to exactly match OUR level of technological advancement.

Oh, I forgot still another thing – they have to be within 1,000 light years of us. Outside of that, you know, the other 199,000 light years across and 19,000 light years depth of our galaxy alone, we’ve got nothing. No way to hear anything.

So the “Great Silence” that covers less than a 1,000 light year freckle of our galaxy and a 50 year molecule worth of time out of our system’s existence – is nothing to a life form so technologically advanced that galaxy hopping Faster Than Light (FTL)  is a snap.

With all of that stacked against us, how can anyone reasonably entertain the preposterous notion that intelligent life does not exist on other planets … Because WE haven’t found it?

END

+ Just look at how people, perhaps you, take things for granted at a mere Solar system scale. Check out Josh Worth’s If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel.moonpixel2

~ FUN FACT: Our Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with the Andromeda galaxy. Theoretically the collision/merging/tearing asunder may have already begun (we’ve no true idea of how wide our galaxy is. We can’t see that far from our point of view). We’ll know for certain anywhere in up to the next 100,000 to 180,000 years. In any case, since we’re in the outer arm spiral of the Milky Way, it’s possible that our solar system may be ripped out of our current galaxy long before our star is set to expire.

I say current because it is within the realm of possibility that our solar system was captured by the Milky Way in the first place – possibly (again) from a prior collision – instead of being born here. A whole hell of a lot can happen to a universe in 14 or so billion years.

*Again, this is based on one widely accepted initial concept which Dvorsky is postulating upon and not at all on George’s list of wild theories. George wrote an enjoyable read, backed by real-world suppositions from actual scientists and it’s worth checking out. I could have picked someone other than George as my starting point, but their articles are all rather dry.^

^Which is not to say that George’s article is all wet. I’m not new to the ‘Net. I know how some folks love to look for a safe keyboard courage fight, you scurrilous bastards.


pb300The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (and it’s not 42 – Please forgive me, I’m sorry I had to say that) can be found in
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Looking to burn a whole $20 and maybe buy a sucrose infused torus?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Then go buy the doughnut.

Got a gift card to empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Martin Scorsese You Ain’t


ShutterIsland300IF there is one constant rule among all Indie filmmakers I’ve ever personally met, it’s that they don’t have a fundamental understanding of how business works. And because they don’t have an understanding of how the movie business in particular works (and often don’t want it – some weird superstition about the very knowledge will kill their “art”), they have no idea when they Are and are Not getting screwed until it’s way too late to do a damn thing about it.

So today I’m going to explain for the n00bs how the movie business works, and believe me, this is a blade thin slice of the biz I’m talking about.

As an illustrative example, I’ll use an Oscar winning A-List Director and an Oscar winning A-List Actor as a point of reference.

Except in special cases where a director or actor or even a movie franchise has a proven track record, the box office take for any given theatrical released film is half the box office in the U.S. If the movie survives 4 weeks at the BO, the theater generally starts taking a slightly bigger cut. Add to that is the fact that every 1000 screens is roughly equal to an additional $10 million dollars in the film reels and shipping to those screens. These are distributor costs and distributors get their money back plus profit – first – before the Money Back meter starts running for the film company. If the distributor also paid for advertising (usually $1 million minimum), then add that in also.*

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese both have their built in audience and for good reason. The problem is, they don’t have a profitable audience for the budgets they demand.

The Scorsese Caprio duo made Gangs of New York for $100 million and it returned $77.8 million. Which is a good return on a movie that cost $30 million.

The Aviator made $102.6 million on a film that cost $110 million. Ouch.

The Departed cost $90 million and brought in $132.4 million. Remember, the film company gets half the box office receipts after distribution costs.

SHUTTER ISLAND cleared around $125 million on an $80 million dollar budget.

Every one of these movies, with the exception of SHUTTER ISLAND, I think were good movies. Every one of these movies were also inordinately long movies that all suffered from scene and story padding.

Read any number of reviews (at least 5 different ones) from whoever you like and you’ll generally come away with the following.

Gangs of New York took 2 hours and 40 minutes to tell a 2 hour story.

The Aviator took 2 hours and 48 minutes to tell a 2 hour story.

The Departed took 2 hours and 30 minutes to tell a 2 hour story.

SHUTTER ISLAND took 2 hours and 18 minutes to tell a 90 minute story.

For the indie film makers reading this? Imagine how much money could have been saved from the budget if Martin Scorsese didn’t insist on having every single DiCaprio movie be a sprawling epic. Especially stories like SHUTTER ISLAND which were never written as epics sprawling or otherwise. SHUTTER ISLAND in both novel and graphic novel was written as a personal human drama that takes place on a very small island.

And this isn’t some half-assed schlub making these movies, this is Martin freaking Scorsese! Now I have no idea who is reading this, but among the thousands of people who do read my website and Facebook and the hundreds of you who may be indie film makers? I’m going to take a wild guess here and say, you sure as shit ain’t no Martin Scorsese! Not even close!

Now that any possible over-indulged – yet unproven ego – is out of the way…

It’s important to bear in mind, when it comes to budget and run time, that if Martin Scorsese can’t pull off a solid profitable movie – 4 straight times in a row – even with the likes of Oscar winning performances by Danial Day Lewis, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, and Leonardo DiCaprio, then maybe you should just pare your own little epic down to a more reasonable cost that matches your talent (and by talent I ain’t just talking about your actors) and keep the time to 90 minutes Or Less! The minutes cost money.

I recently spoke to an Indie film maker who told me they had considered going with Amazon.com to distribute the downloads of their movie, but Amazon wants 50% of the sales price, so they said “Whatta rip-off! No way!”.

This, they felt, was unfair.

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Heh! (wiping the tears of mocking laughter from my eyes) Okay “Mr. Cameron”! I look forward to seeing YOUR business model. Go ahead and pay a fortune to press your own discs, print sleeves, buy cases, and see if you can somehow LUCK into having Best Buy or Target or WalMart sell them off the shelves. See how much Ka-Ching of the profit THEY’LL give you on retail!

Hey! Take your show on the road to Netflix and see what your percent is! HA!

Hey, maybe you should just pay for your own dedicated servers and T1 lines and build the security and payment software yourself and then market your movie up to the point where it will draw as much attention on YOUR site as it would at amazon! Prices at decent hosting sites that can handle the heavy streaming you require, start at a mere, $1,059 a month (that’s without firewall, virus protection or other security. It’s also without a database. You’ll need all of those things).

Yeah, you Gofrit!

*An edit of this originally appeared as my post at Facebook in 2010.


pb300Like what I have to say? Buy my book,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Need more for your bookcase?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Horror 201: The Silver ScreamAre your shelves still too empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Not nearly filled enough?

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Congratulations!


boots

Friend: “I just got married!”

Me: “Congratulations! The first five years are the rockiest, so prepare for that.”

Friend: “Can’t you say something positive for me?”

Me: “I am being positive for you, and you need to stay positive to sail through the next five years.”

Friend: “This is you being negative.”

Me: “What you’re doing right now? Drop that shit. Right now you’re all about the fiery passion and how wonderful it feels for you and that’s great, but it’s also exhausting. And because it’s exhausting it doesn’t last.

So stop calling oblivious positive, because the second that Fire becomes an Afterglow you’ll start telling yourself that it’s all falling apart.

The Afterglow is fan-fucking-tastic! But you’ll be too damn busy fixating on the fire being gone that you’ll go nuts trying to artificially stoke it again: you’ll miss the warm afterglow while you’re freaking out over a problem that doesn’t exist. That fire comes and goes but it’s those warm embers that can last a lifetime, if you let it.

So just accept that the first 5 years of marriage are rocky while the both of you sort all of this out, and you won’t Do or Say something stupid to fuck it all up.

Friend: “Yeah. Yeah, okay. That makes a kind of sense. Thanks.”

Me: “You’re welcome. Have a great life.”

Friend: “Any other advice?”

Me: ” Yes, buy my books.”

Friend: “Wait. What? Oh, you just SU-“


pb300Make a new start with my book
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Burning for more?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Thumbtack’s 10 Best Photo booth Rentals In Houston


Photo booths at parties? They haven’t replaced what we used to have at parties, like say, how DJs largely replaced live bands.

Instead, they’ve become an enjoyable addition to parties. Like Photographers and then videographers.

Not every party wants clowns, magicians, balloon animals, or face paintings, but images of a good time are intrinsic to a party, and the Photo booth niche adds value to the party by increasing the Fun Factor: Like bartenders and caterers.

So I Googled Best Photo Booths in Houston and a website called Thumbtack came up. Thumbtack announces their 10 Best Photo booth Rentals in Houston.

Well I live in Houston, so that’s exactly what I’m looking for. After all, I have some friends and family doing this as a main business or sideline, I’d like to see if they make the cut.

What is Thumbtack’s 10 Best Photo Booth Rentals In Houston?

I click the link, the homepage comes up, and then a block box (one of those menu boxes that block you from exploring the site until you answer questions – like a paywall only more cloy and intrusive).

*Before we show you our Top Ten Photo Booths, are you here for (Check One)

Photo Booth Rental or
Video Booth Rental?*
 
Photo Booth Rental, Duh!
 
*NEXT*
 

*We’re asking you a few questions so we can bring you the right pros.*

The Right Pros? So by that statement there are actually More than 10 Best or does it mean that I’ll get less than 10 results?
 
*NEXT*
 

*What type of event are you hosting? (Check One)*

 
My type of event isn’t listed so I check, *Special Occasion*.
At this point, if there are seven different options of Top Ten. This then, is a Top 70 list.
 
*NEXT*
 

*Which of the following best describes your role? (Check One)*

5 options this time, which means Thumbtack has a 120 Best Photo Booths in the city of Houston alone. And you know, that’s a considerable dilution factor right there.
 
I check *Party Host*
 
*NEXT*
 

*Is your event indoors or outdoors? *

 
Finally, a relevant question for a city with frequent storms.
 
I check Indoors (add 10 more “Best” to the 120)
 
*NEXT*
 

*What kind of booth do you need?*

 
What Kind of Photo BOOTH do I need? A Photo Booth! I’m here for the 10 Best Photo Booths!
They give me three options and here is the thing. Now the 10 Best is up to 160 Best but you know what? Photo Booths are an exceedingly thin slice of a city’s event entertainment industry, which in itself is a luxury and so a thin slice of any city’s industry. After all, there are plenty of Hotels, Party Halls, Theaters, Nightclubs, Restaurants, Theme Parks, even plain old Bars that will rent suites, rooms, space, upstairs, the basement, back patio, or their entire operation with all extras covered, for a party. Freelancers assembled piece-meal for a stand-alone event are a minute fraction of a fraction here.
So if this this much drill-down minutia is required to find a 10 best list to suit me, Thumbtack really has nothing to offer. It’s like buying into a franchise Photo Booth operation. What’s the point? There’s not a Photo Booth franchise operation out there that has established a national or even state-wide reputation that makes a difference to potential customers.There’s no established, reputable Photo Booth franchise equivalent to, say, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING or ILOVEKICKBOXING.
Out of curiosity though, I click the middle choice.
 
*Camera With Backdrop*
 
I must admit, I’m wondering what kind of bizarre Photo Booth company turns away potential clients who don’t want a backdrop?
 
*NEXT*
 

*What kind of pictures would you like?*

 
Oh you’ve got to be kidding me! Three choices! Now up to 190 Best In Houston. Two of them are print or digital.
 
Print OR Digital?!?
 
In this digital age there are Photo booths that cannot or will not do both? Seriously?!?
 
Again, out of sheer curiosity and a rapidly falling opinion of Thumbtack, I choose the middle one. Print.
 
*NEXT*
 

*Would you like props provided?*

 
200 Best Photobooths in Houston now. Thumbtack’s  Bright Red 10 Best is now a pastel pink 200 Best. My tank for putting up with this nonsense is now empty. Stubbornly driving on the fumes of curiosity I pick,
 
*Yes*
 
*NEXT*
 

*How many guests are you expecting at your event?*

 
5 more options. We are now at the 250 Best Photo Booth Rentals in Houston, mark. Damn! The city of Houston has So Much More than 250 freaking Photobooth companies that a list of the 250 Best is possible? How many more Photo Booths didn’t make the cut because they are merely Great but not The Best?
 
On the last drop of trusting anything Thumbtack has to offer, I choose the middle one again.
 
*NEXT*
 

*How old are your guests?* (5 more choices)

 

THAT’S IT!*. I refuse to believe that there are so many thousands of Photo booths in Houston that anyone could cull a 300 Best. Moreover, I refuse to believe (and I certainly don’t want to deal with), Photo Booth companies that draw the line over customers who do OR don’t want a backdrop, customers who do OR don’t want props, and customers who may have more OR less than, 100 guests!

In fact, I don’t want to deal with any luxury company that is so uncomfortable  with establishing a relationship with a client, that they would use an entity like Thumbtack to have potentials fill out an online-style medical form.

F U THUMBTACK!

*But really that wasn’t it. I drilled through four more menus (15 – count ’em – 15 menus with no end in sight) before I finally quit.

Addendum:

Don’t want to fill out Thumbtack’s exhaustive Client Application?

Fine then! No 2017 10 Best for you!

You have to settle for Thumbtack’s 2016 9 best.

Here it is.

Thumbtack’s 9 Best of 2016 Photo Booth Rentals in Houston

Best of 2016


pb300Here’s a Best Of for you,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
A trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Need more for your bookcase?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Are your shelves still too empty?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Not nearly filled enough?

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Obi Wan Can’t Remember


SWLukeNObiOne

Use the Force, Larry!


pb300Don’t get down to your last hope. Buy my book,
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
A trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

There’s still more hope for us!

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

I hope you have more room

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Hoping for still more?

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.