Archive for Slinger’s Notes

Remake Notes: The Hitcher

I’m not much for the recent trend of Hollywood remakes, but I’m definitely up to reading about anything the original creators have to say about the trend. Aside from King Kong and a few others, I’ve rarely felt a movie really could benefit from a remake. Unless the theme is connected somehow to timelessness, its really hard to see a new era making an old statement with old ideas. I mean, would it ever make sense if anyone ever did an Easy Rider remake? God forbid I just inspired someone.

Well, over at Arrow in the Head, a GREAT site for anyone who is a horror/genre/action film fan with over 800 reviews brilliantly written by Arrow, there’s an interview with the original author of the 1986 genre classic The Hitcher. Now I’m not going to steal this guy’s interview- chances are if I did he’d hunt me down and break a bottle of JD over my head, so I’m just going to give my readers an excerpt with the link. This excerpt, by the way, is probably one of the best-written comments on the remake craze currently shaking (and possibly breaking) the industry. Here it is, from Eric Red:

The word that comes to mind about this horror remake trend is “cannibalistic.” It reminds me of the cannibalism Indians and serial killers practiced by eating the heart and flesh of an adversary to supposedly absorb and gain his strength. The remake guys think that by remaking a film, they somehow gain, through perception or box office, creative ownership of a brand name that was established by other people who took the risk to do something original and do it well.

and he follows up by saying:

But it’s cool getting a film remade. Any way you cut it, it means there’s something enduring in my original script that has stood the test of time to be redone for a new audience. Screenwriters never get the chance to have scripts made twice, and although compromised, the script to “THE HITCHER” has basically been made twice.

I get to see two sensational actors play the best bad guy I’ve written so far. Playwrights get multiple productions of their work all the time, but never screenwriters. It’s a unique experience. I had it only once before years ago with a short film script called “TELEPHONE” that was filmed several different times by different people, including me.

Is “THE HITCHER” remake going to be as good as the original? Hell no. Is the remake my script? Basically. Is the remake going to be a wild ride for the audience with some great scenes? Probably. The bottom line for me is it’s an undeniable thrill to see the billboards, bus ads, TV trailers of a film that started with me all those years ago as a kid in Texas. With “THE HITCHER” & John Ryder, I have created a horror icon that’s gone the distance, and I’m proud as hell of it.

Check out Arrow in the Head for more great horror-related news and reviews!


Now, I myself have never been the biggest fan of Indiana Jones, though at one point in my life I’m sure I was diving through my parent’s closet to find a fedora and leather jacket (God help me if I found a whip), but I must say the third film was probably my absolute favorite.

Ford’s sidekick was much more fine-tuned than a crazy Latina-esque chick or a tiny, crazy Asian boy who sounded like Fuu Man Chuu or whatever. The chemistry of the characters was just stronger, and that definitely boosted the feeling of “adventure.”

Well, everyone’s been waiting for the news, and a few weeks ago it was announced that yes, in fact, Indiana “Henry” Jones will be making a return, starring the much…much aged Harrison Ford. Oh dear…did anyone even SEE Firewall ? I didn’t…and I really don’t think I was missing much.

Seriously, I’m going to find that clip from Robot Chicken and put it up soon…

In any case, an OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE has been put up for the film from HNR.

Here’s an excerpt with a link to the full page:

The World’s Favorite Action Hero is Back!

Indiana Jones to Start Production in 2007.

In a long-awaited announcement, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg revealed today that the fourth installment of Indiana Jones will begin production in June 2007. Harrison Ford returns in his role as the daring Dr. Jones for the new adventure. The film will be produced by Lucasfilm Ltd., directed by Steven Spielberg and released by Paramount Pictures throughout the world in May 2008.

I’d like to see what they decide to do with the franchise, I think it could be really interesting…but still wasn’t Indy immortal at the end of Crusade? So shouldn’t he still look 30 or whatever?

I dunno, someone explain this to me. Or maybe I just don’t care enough. Sequels are for video games, and I thought Crusade was a GREAT ending to the series. What are your thoughts ?

Hey everybody, your local crazy filmmaker here once again, reminding you to STRIKE A POSE!!! for all your favorite things!

Or you know, whatever gets you up in the morning.

For me, one of my favorite activities is editing video, primarily using Sony Vegas – something I approve of much higher than the convoluted Adobe Premier. I really hate sounding like I’m “pimping” something out, but in all honesty I wouldn’t be where I am (or at least where I’m getting to) without this program. I plan on purchasing the next version sometime in the near future.

I’ve been using it for nearly a year now and I can say it really pays off- just look at what I’ve been able to make using footage from the video game DEVIL MAY CRY 3 and the song “Had Enough” by the alternative rock band, Breaking Benjamin. Using my newly gained knowledge of moving the frame, adding lighting effects and blurs, I’ve come across some new techniques for fantastic visuals, some of which will be used in the upcoming CLASH OF STUFF edit from the Salisbury Film club.

Here’s the video:

I’m really proud of the moment when Vergil (the guy in blue) cuts the Reaper monster in half. I blurred the image so it blur around everything but his sword, as if that’s the last thing the Reaper monster sees before he explodes. For the explosion, I increaded the brightness to impact more on the moment in a way the game engine really couldn’t have done. The video is really only half done, as I didn’t do the whole song yet, but its definitely going somewhere. Might submit it to Otakon or something, seeing as its one of the more professional AMVs I’ve seen myself (I have over 50 on my Hard Drive alone). AMVS (anime based music videos) are one of the best ways to practice editing hands down, and I’ve only made one before this. And that was mostly in the juevenille Windows Movie Maker. Vegas is a whole other monster.

Anyways hope you guys enjoyed, and just so you know, yeah, DMC3 is one of the main places from which I got the idea for the title STRIKE A POSE!!!

Well, well, well…

Your trusty blogger and President has been away for quite some time now.
Sorry, busy New Years, hope everyone’s went well. It seemed to go pretty good for the film industry, with a hugely successful financial weekend bringing Ben Stiller’s family vehicle, Night at the Museum (a very good move in his career since his comedy is rarely anything higher than juvenile anyways) up past the 100 million dollar mark. Runner ups were feel-good films Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls, Charlotte’s Web, and the surprisingly critically-loved Rocky Balboa.

It seems like even the film industry got into the holiday spirit, gracing viewers with some of the most quality films of the year in the last few months. Many websites and critics agree. I suppose that Casino Royale could prove to be the turning point for a critically despot year in which the box-office was ruled by super heroes and pirates. I personally love escapism films as long as they have a point, and thankfully the crappy ones have seemed to have faded out in a year where we have been stuffed to the point of vomiting with absolute crap. Flimsy flicks like Eragon have quickly fallen off the radar, and all is well.

The crap we have to look forward to next year? A Ghost Rider adaptation starring Nic Cage that has yet to inspire any life outside of a hunt for director Mark Steven Johnson’s (Daredevil) head, Hannibal Rising which could be either crafty horror-revenge humor a’la the first two Hopkins films, or a tacky joke like Red Dragon (which I liked, but found very pale and shallow)…

You know what, I just looked through the first four months or so of films being released to theaters, and I can’t say I’m very disappointed. Things seem to be going in a better direction than I assumed. It seems like things won’t die down for the industry at least until April, when that won’t be a problem anyways because the Tarantino gore-fest Grindhouse will come out and obviously dominate box offices like every Tarantino movie. Ever.

IN OTHER NEWS: It seems that the general Internet press was wrong about the Silent Hill 2 News and that until further notice from the man himself, Neil Gaimen has nothing to do with it. You can see for yourself at This is VERY disappointing news.

Multiple projects have gone under way, but so far only one has been sucessful this season: Joe Belivitz in: CAR TROUBLE met with plenty of good film to edit and seems to be one of the best works we’ve produced so far. The PEREGRINE SAGA short, In the Darkest Places is in the writing process and should hopefully come to fruition in the next few weeks with some scenes at least planned if not filmed for a summer 2007 shoot. Sam Anderson’s swing-oriented action movie, The King of Swing (tentatively title) is still in the writing process. Please check the forums if you’re interested in either of those two movies!

Meanwhile I’ve been working with Sony Vegas and learning new editing techniques. I almost wish I could blast the muzzle flash demo from memory, as now I have way cooler effects to work with that are proving to create much more professional looking film.

A demo of my new-learned techniques will be up soon with a Devil May Cry 3 AMV: Dante’s Had Enough with music from Breaking Benjamin.

So let’s see some COMMENTS! I want to know what you guys think is up! Reviews requested? Film plans in search of? Anyone wanna act? This is going to be the best year YET for STRIKE A POSE!!! Films, so stay tuned!

Hey everyone! I was in a really James Bond mood (I watched the opening credits like 8 times on google video), so I decided I wanted to try something new.

One thing that’s constantly eluded my projects is the famous gunfights I have going on in my head. What’s the point of doing a gunfight if your gun doesn’t look like it’s shooting? Well, after looking around the internet a LOT I found the most amateur way to do this possible:

Step 1: Record your video, and when you “fire” the gun, don’t make too much of a movement.

Step 2: Take a still image from the video (your player should be able to do this) of when you think it would be appropriate for the bullet to be fired. Try timing it with a “clicking” sound if your gun makes one. It helps because the audio bar will make a pop to help you pinpoint the right moment.]

Step 3: Using MS Paint or Photoshop, simply crop an image of a muzzle flash (there are image packs all over the net, I suggest…I think…I’ll get the link back later after I talk to him) and place it over the gun barrel. You can do this from multiple directions depending on what your shot looks like.

Step 4: Save the image file and paste it into the video over the clip of you firing the bullet.

Step 5: Lower opacity of the video to a darker tone, then keep the opacity of the gunshot area up as high as possible. This will make it appear as if the lighting has filled the room not just the area around the gun barrel.

So there ya go folks! A simple, easy way to make a cheap muzzle flash, even if you don’t have a special effects program or Adobe Premier and Photoshop.

Here’s the James Bond-esque video of me as a super-spy: