Beatbox Giant Productions

The producers of Kinzai Ninjas, a new animated web series.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


It's been a rough week. Stress is compounding. I came home, blew off some steam, went out and bought a $5 bottle of shiraz. And I've been watching the Apprentice. I'm zoning and letting reality tv wash over me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mundane Details

For the last few weeks Douglas and I have been doing the mundane details of laying the proper foundation for our project. Getting deal memos in place with the distributor and the subcontractors. Deciding where we'll locate our business for tax purposes. Deciding on a name. All important things, but we can only get so much done at a time.

In the middle of all this, we got our first round of notes. We were nervous before we got them, because we haven't shown the scripts to anyone. So when we got the feedback, it was generally positive, but there were some major changes requested.

Now you'll see on Project Greenlight, or see some fictionalized accounts of what happens when a writer is asked to change his work. Great huffing and puffing -- how dare those philistines question my work.

But this was different. There were some minor issues about the tone of the piece, which we generally agreed with, and there were requests to have mroe fun with the idea within the environment. Which we thought were cool.

But the best note we got, was to eliminate a whole character. I could tell that when they gave us the note, they were a little skeptical about how we'd react, but when they said it, it made so much sense. This character was a problem to write for in every single situation. She didn't really serve any purpose except as a setup in the beginning of the story.

It was such a weight lifted from the narrative, and I don't think Doug and I would have seen it because we were too close to the material.

That's not to say there aren't asshats out there that don't know what they are talking about, but if you do get a good note, screw your own ego and run with it.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Wizard Con

I went to Wizard Con at the Long Beach Convention center. First sort of comic book convention I've been too. It was funny all the different type of people and the stuff you can buy.

Seth Green was wandering around the floor with the big guy from ER. He's Christina Ricci tiny.

Other impressions. There are two distinct sections at the back, signings, and autographs. The signings are for Comic celebrities, like Stan Lee, and the autographs area is for the celebrities that time forgot. Kate Jackson timidly eating a salad while her kids play in the booth. The guy who wore a hockey mask in Road Warrior. Daisy Duke.

Every few minutes there is a public address announcement directing the attendees to new signings and events. It was like Star Tours.

There were a lot of lines waiting for things and people I didn't know about.

There was a hot chick dressed as an Empire Admiral from Star Wars. I don't know if I was attracted to her, or the costume, or both.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Christina Ricci is tiny

I was getting an espresso today and I saw Christina Ricci. She is microscopic. I think she was with some other twenty-something famous chick, but I couldn't place her.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Magnificent Seven

Watching this movie right now. It's a classic and all, but it's a little ruined because it's so based on Seven Samurai that I can't help but see the similarities. And also because Three Amigos is too close a parody. Also Elmer Bernstein who wrote the score also wrote the Three Amigos score, and I like the Amigos score better.

So right now, the movie is playing and I'm visiting my folks. All of us are napping and zoning in and out of the flick. Oh the exciting life of a indie filmmaker.

I did some great research today and last night. My sister through a birthday party for her BF and there was a lot of great people and conversation. We played a lot of Marry, Fuck, Kill. Where your friend names three people and you decide who to marry, fuck, and kill. Good times.

Went to the mall and it was really crowded. became clued into the Brand Hollister. Also Volcom. Actually the Volcom thing happended at the party. A guy had a Volcom t-Shirt. And I asked him in front of everyone, "what's Volcom?"

Everyone just stopped and stared at me. I never heard or saw that brand before, but everyone in the room was intimately familiar. It was shocking, and cool, and embarrassing, and great.

I also kicked around my high school and poked around this arts and craft fair they were having.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cheerleading Competition

My friend's sister is involved in a Cheerleading competition this weekend and I'm bravely going to attend in the name of research.

What I do for my craft.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rebel Without A Crew

I've been rereading this great book recently. Well not actually rereading the whole thing -- I pick it up for five minutes at a time and read a few pages in a random spot in the book.

A few impressions -- yes he's right. Film school will be the creativity out of you and will stick you with a huge bill. The film industry does not reward education. They don't care if you have a Masters in Screenwriting from USC. They only care if you have a script, or if you can direct. That's it.

And he's also wrong. I mean Robert Rodriguez is one talented and lucky bastard. The chances that you are aas talented and lucky as he is are small -- very small. He was a guy that was making movies for 15 years before he got 'discovered'. You should do that too, and don't expect to make it big when you're 24 unless you have already done your homework.

But still the book works as a fantasy fulfillment for me. Here is a guy who gets all of the good shit his first time out. And he sort of stumbled into it. It's a great read and inspiring. He never come across as being a smarty pants or undeserving.

And secretly I hope that I'm as talented and lucky.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Too Much Coffee

Yesterday I made me this really strong pot of Coffee. I'm talking black tar.

I drink my first cup and get a strong buzz going. I go in for round two, then round three. When Doug came over he needed to peel me off the ceiling. I couldn't fall asleep until 7AM.

Don't drink so much coffee.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Pulling The Trigger

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy is trying to get the grail to save his father.

He spells out Christ's name in some ancient language, he rolls and misses the huge blades and then he reaches this huge chasm.

He needs to get across this insurmountable gap in order to save his dad and get the cup of christ. His bullwhip won't reach and there is nothing else available to help.

This is where I'm at right now. For the last five years I've done my homework. I've worked really hard getting better as a filmmaker and storyteller, but now I'm at the chasm. I wouldn't even be here without all of that groundwork, but still I'm here looking at an almost impossible task.

What did Indy do? He took a strong and bold step into the abyss and was rewarded. I am about to do the same, hopefully with equal results.

Well, not equal I guess. My dad isn't gutshot in the middle of the desert, needing the Holy Grail to save his life. And I wouldn't even know ho wto use a bullwhip without hurting myself or others.

But the basic analogy stands. Except for being chased by the Nazis. And the fear of snakes.


So Douglas and I were writing again tonight and we pounded out another really good effort.

Our process is basically outlining a story together. We come up with a few key bits and jokes based on the characters and the overall story.

Once we have a solid page and a half of outline, Doug takes it and goes away and writes the episode's dialogue. We then get back together and read the whole thing outloud.

At this point the episode is very rough. There are some good jokes there, but it basically gives us something to work off of -- we both remember the outline we did together and then we tweak and coax the script so that it is tighter and more economical.

Tonight we took a sloppy 10 page script and made it into a tight 8 page script. About 40% of new or improved material was added and we made some deep cuts.

It's a good process too, because we both will fight for our ideas. We both feel strongly about something, we'll take the other's idea and try to incorporate it into our own until something and better is formed.

I have a great time during these sessions, because Doug is someone I trust. He knows what;s funny and how to communicate that to an audience.

Anywho, check this shit out.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I spent the weekend doing research for my writing.

The research involved buying a few DVDs and watching several hours of animation. I got my sister to TiVo a few hours of other shows too.

While watching the stuff with my sister, we talked about our childhood and what we remembered from it. What we did in elementary and high school, etc.

It was fun to look back and think about how we grew up. Her boyfriend was there too -- he grew up in the same city but had a remarkably different life than us. A little rougher, a little poorer.

I am very lucky to have a family that loves and supports me and my pursuits unconditionally. They have always stuck by me, even when it seemed like I had royally screwed things up. That's a rare and treasured gift.

Anyway, we saw this show and it blew our minds. We hadn't ever seen anything like it. Quite fun.