"I can't try to guess what a million people will like. It's hard enough to know what I like" - John Huston
(April 2014) "THERE'S ALWAYS A WAY" -
CELEBRATING OUR 3RD YEAR, AND BIRTH OF A NETWORK. SO MUCH IN SUCH A SHORT TIME!
"The General"? Nah! Scratched a cornea, but
much better now. So no more pirate jokes!
MUSINGS: DAYS OF PAST FUTURE
It’s neat and funny (funny "interesting"; not funny “ha
ha”) that this week marks not only my own birthday but the third anniversary of the creation of the GullCottage / Sandlot. Now, as I don't yet have children I'm sure there's some deep Freudian thing at work in there somewhere about how upon three years ago officially racking up another year on the life clock (LOGAN'S RUN reference there) one felt the need to "procreate"; to leave something behind by which to be remembered. But I really don't have the time to examine it. Or did I just do that? Anyway, ...
Now three years into this I realize back then I referred to this as “the GullCottage / Sandlot Film Blog / Online Library”, which
is what you’re gonna find if you do a typical Google-type search. But
over the last year or so I find myself more accurately calling this
now ever-snowballing enterprise the “Gull Cottage / Sandlot Network”. And before you get that look on your face, NO!, this isn’t pretension or “C’mon dude, we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here, aren’t we?”
jumping-the-gun-ism, but an apt and succinct description of what
things have evolved into over the last 36 months. Which is not to say
it's been hunky-dory easy.
D.P. Matt Fore, Dir./Writer/Prod. Craig Jamison, Soundman
Brett Pipkin. The L.A. crew of the GullCottage / Flying Bear
docu STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES
In previous “Celebrating Our ‘such and such’
installments we dove into the background stuff. Recap: a lover of
film and film history since childhood, one day I noticed a growing
collection had turned into a bonafied library of over 9,000 films, a
thousand or so film score soundtracks and dozens of thousands of books,
periodicals and other media - mostly centered around cinema and
it‘s various facets and offshoots. With a couple of thousand
documentaries on film craft among them (many recorded from one-time
airings and now
considered rarities) I began burning disc copies to send gratis to
like-minded friends, till eventually realizing the expense (in time
burning those discs as well as shipping them) was becoming increasingly
THE GRINDHOUSE: WITH CRAIG & JIM podcast show on BlogTalk Radio / THE GRINDHOUSE on Facebook
Hmmm? A personal stubborn life motto has
always been "There' always a way". And I think any creative
person will attest to this truth. It's deep-seated
within our human natures, don't you think? Whatever's truly important to us, we
always find a way of getting it done. Whether it's an addict needing a
fix, a destitute single parent needing food and diapers for their
children, or a screenwriter or painter needing to meet an impossible
deadline ... there's always a way.
THE GRINDHOUSE: WITH CRAIG & JIM trailer
Filming of THE MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES at the Sherman Oaks, LA home of Juliet Rozsa
Around this same time Hollywood was in the midst of a years-long damn near moratorium
on purchasing new spec scripts (those written by writers on their own
without being commissioned to do so by a studio or production company).
“A writer is someone who writes” says the axiom, and I believe that. It's not someone who does dinner parties and post pithy postings of other people's posting's on social media and who talks about writing. It's someone who sits down and bangs the keys.
As such, while still working on scripts, I
began banging out numerous articles, opinion pieces and other verbose
esoterica which eventually found a home in the GullCottage /Sandlot
website. Notice I didn’t just use the word “blog” there, but
“website”. Because from the git-go the intent was to not just post
articles now and then. But to actually also have a section or channel in which to post some of those rare
documentaries on film craft. Also to make available to those studying film writing actual produced
screenplays for (yes, entirely legal) download. To establish pages dedicated to
film art - be it film posters, pre-production concept work, character
design or others; pages for film music - making available suites of
scores as well as links to concert footage; departments for costume design,
stunt work (our “Unsung Heroes” section), as well guest blogs and more.
Okay, problem solved.
The friends and colleges now had access to some
of that rare documentary and other material, and a new personal creative outlet had
been created to "keep me from going bonkers" while riding out the industry-wide cutback in
purchased screenplays. But just like with that damned pesky Hydra
organization, you cut off one problem and two more rise up to take it's
* Film Clips / Excerpts from STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES on YouTube /
* STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES on Facebook
STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES documentary film trailer
AND NUMBERS MULTIPLIED
After more than a few irritating (but educational) technical
corporate snafus over the first year and a half of the Sandlot's online
existence (and don’t eeeeeeven get me started on how since the
merging of YouTube and Google, along with the intercoursing of other
telecommunications giants, the concept of an Internet with free and open
access to information is quickly becoming a dream of the past) that
frustration made it necessary and practical for us to (once again) find a way
to begin developing our own original content.
Keep in mind, in the
same way we had to spend months teaching ourselves web design, we now
had to begin a self education regimen to learn audio and video
production and editing. There's always a trial and error learning curve
fraught with (and I'm paraphrasing Thomas Edison, "Not 1000 failures,
but rather the learning of 1000 ways that won't work"). But if one is bullheaded enough, or I guess I should say "Ram headed" enough,
as I'm an April Aries, you take the "1000 ways" as a combination of a challenge and education.
it as such, less than a year ago we finally launched our podcast series
THE GRINDHOUSE: WITH CRAIG & JIM, which, in that short period of
time, has managed to score (as of this writing) over 28,000 hits /
listens. And yeah, that’s 28 thousand! and not 28 hundred!
And yeah, that surprised even us. Combine that total with the three quarters of a million worldwide hits our already
existing 3 YouTube channels (launched the year prior, and dedicated
respectively to film music, film craft documentaries, and short film
subjects & esoterica - the later two presently being rebooted into
newer renditions) and we had to sit back and say, "Wow! I think we’re maybe / kinda / sorta doing
something a little right around here, and it's growing pretty fast". But wouldn't you know, once again
the "Hydra factor" reared it's multi-headed ass.
MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES Pennsylvania crew (L TO R):
RYAN FARBER (sound), CAMERON MITCHELL (D.P. / with interviewee Tom Savini),
CHARLES BOURIL (sound), Tom Wills (Steadicam)
AND BE CAREFUL WHAT
YOU WISH FOR ...
Okay, domestic home-owner / resident / older person-type stuff here.
Those not inclined can skip down to the next paragraph. But you WILL
be missing a nifty allegory. I leave it to you. I fondly remember
apartment life. While it was great to not
have to be responsible for cleaning up a yard, leaves, shoveling snow
and a dozen other daily domestic concerns, after a while it DID however
become, well ... sort of stagnantly boring. In the same way a child
a pair of pants and eventually needs a larger pair, at certain intervals
in our maturation into adults we feel we've
outgrown our current life and need a bigger one with more
responsibilities and challenges. But there's of course the "be careful
what you wish
The opportunity to move into a house (which needed a
little work here and there) eventually presented itself, I snagged
the opportunity and found grown up creative satisfaction in having an
ongoing creative project of another sort in which to indulge one's
self. In time I'd learn however that it came with that wonderful MONEY
PIT-like quandry of "there's always something
waiting to break and cost you mucho bucks and time ... which you don't
always ... or seldom ... have". In the apartment if something breaks or
springs a leak
you make a phone call and it (hopefully) eventually gets done. If
you're in a house, yeah, there are times a plumber or whomever will take
care of it, but for the most part you, Home Depot and Lowes develop a
hot and heavy menage a trois.
However, you ironically at the same time find there IS something truly
satisfying about knowing you yourself
addressed a problem and (mammoth or small) addressed, fixed and solved
it. END OF FLASHBACK.
being grateful to current "online landlords" such as GoDaddy
(for providing the magnificent software to build this site), YouTube
(for making the posting of videos and music suites so user friendly) and
BlogTalk Radio for providing the "Virtual Studio and Sound Board"
necessary to pull off the podcast show, we began feeling that itch; that
"need for a bigger pair of pants" so to speak.
And it came to a head
after the posting of part 2 of our energetic (and wonderfully at times
slightly off color) podcast interview with Dale Launer - screenwriter /
MY COUSIN VINNY, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, RUTHLESS PEOPLE and more.
Over the years our endeavors began to both catch the attention and
respect of a number of industry professionals. And after the Dale
Launer posting we noticed how some of the ad spots playing before it
changed - going from simple 15 - 30 second ads to (on one night)
an entire 2 1/2 minute trailer for the film DIVERGENT.
imagine how much it must have cost to have that trailer played before
our show, we COULD however imagine the fact that our various "landlords" - on the website,
YouTube, and the podcast network respectively were (to put it plain) "making serious
bank" on our burning-the-midnight-oil efforts. Which, hey!, is fair. They provided the tools for us
to build, and this was the trade-off. But as Jay Mohr's high powered
sports agent, Bog
Sugar, says in JERRY MCGUIRE "It ain't show 'friends', it's show business!", we realized the time had come for us to take ourselves seriously as a
business and to now "find a way" to consolidate all of our enterprises under a single network umbrella which would alllow us to
reap the profits of our work instead of giving them away to other corporate entities.
MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES "Composer's Summit" - San Pedro, CA - featuring:
(Top) Gregg Nestor, Patrick Russ (Bottom) Erwin Vertlieb, Lee Holdridge, Steve Vertlieb, Mark McKenzie
MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES interviewee composer Lee Holdridge;
Principal Conductor - FIMUCITÉ 8, The Film Music Festival in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) July 2014
Filming MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES atop Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Bridge
MOVIES, MORE, ... AND A BONAFIED BROADCASTING NETWORK
The aforementioned "respect garnered within the industry" lead to our own
close relationship with film historian / journalist / educator /
archivist Steve Vertlieb, which then lead us to launch our first
feature length documentary film - STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO “SAVED”
THE MOVIES. Featuring a panoply of appearances by industry greats such
as composers Lee Holdridge and Mark McKenzie, director Philippe Mora,
genre actor faves Paul Clemens and Veronica Carlson; along with Juliet
Rozsa (daughter of Oscar winning BEN-HUR / DOUBLE INDEMNITY composer
Miklos Rozsa) and many more, we're now into early post-production
editing with an eye towards making the Winter 2014 / 2015 film festival
and convention circuit. And contacts and connections made during the
filming of our docu (new relationships with cinematographers,
Philadelphia's film making and distribution community, studio
owners, etc.) has now has lead us to "find a way" to lay the groundwork of a GullCottage Online TV network which, if all proceeds
according to plan, should be broadcasting it’s first episodes within the
next 12 - 18 months. Whew!
All of that from typing a
few opinions on a blank web page three years ago. Neat, huh? Oh, and
don't get the wrong idea. None of this has come easily or without great
sacrifice in conjunction with the proverbial (but true and literal)
blood, sweat and tears. More than once on the precipice of
psychological, physical and financial ruin, we’ve been constantly amazed at
how, when the smoke and debris clears how we’re still not only somehow miraculously in
tact, but have managed to move a few steps closer to the ultimate
goalpost, and even managed to (go figure) excite others into joining and supporting our efforts. Passion is
truly contagious. Combine that with the determination and belief that
"there's always a way", then stand back, watch out and / or get outta the way!
TUCKER (1988) - "Catching Dreams"
I’m heartily indebted to those who’ve “caught the creative contagion” with me. It's said “you choose your friends, but you’re stuck with your family”.
And, okay - fine! I’m overjoyed to be “stuck with” a family who since
childhood has always encouraged my most fanciful of germs ... I mean dreams. I’m even
more happy that most of us are all still around to see them start to
come to fruition. Special love and thanks to my mother, Priscilla
Lloyd, and my brother, Harold Jamison for constant support, belief and
encouragement. I honestly don’t know how others manage without that
rock solid foundation of a family who believes in you. In that respect
I’ve truly been blessed with the greatest of gifts.
Learn more about MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES: watch clips, peruse our Mission Statement,
Huge thanks to my “extended family” as well, who are just as close
and important to me as those related by actual blood. Adam Hughes and
Carl Scott, I’ve known you two longer than anyone else outside my
biological family. And far as I‘m concerned you two are biological
family! Bob Cho, Jim Delaney and especially Steve Vertlieb, I haven’t
known you as long as the others. But in the short years we have known one another you’ve proven to also be that family I’m more than happy to be “stuck” with.
Prepare for and watch what happens over the next year. Gonna be a good show. Those out there maybe reading this who aren't yet part of
our "fam", we hope you’ll not only be a spectator but come along with us
for the ride. It won't always be easy, ... but we ALWAYS find a way!
Happy Birthday GullCottage / Sandlot.
CEJ - April 2014
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Click Image to go to the film's Official Web Pages
(APRIL 2012) CELEBRATING OUR 1ST YEAR!!!
"WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL! And Yippie ki-yay , MUTHA ... !!!"
... Though I don't know if "celebrate" is the most apropos of words as this weekend has been anything but. Y' see, as we've rounded that "one year up and running" bend in the road, we really wanted to take things up a notch. Those who've been checking in from time to time will now notice quite a bit more embedded video/film material within the context of our articles as well as the addition of more "recurring" series (MALTIN ON MOVIES, LIFE AFTER FILM SCHOOL, INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO, POST MORTEM WITH MICK GARRIS, etc.), and even feature documentaries such as HASKELL WEXLER: WHO NEEDS SLEEP? and the enjoyable 50s sci fi retrospective WATCH THE SKIES! to our library roster. Nowadays libraries aren't only devoted to the printed word, but to all forms of information media retrieval, and we'd like to keep up with that - growing one "byte" at a time into what it surely will be no exaggeration to call a "mini online network".
To this end, it is our goal by the close of 2012 to feature a "library roster" of original content media as well: short films, music, illustration, fiction, design work and more by YOU, the aspiring artist. We want the work of the new generation of rising "Young Turks" (perhaps yet to be discovered by the mainstream) to be featured equally alongside the work of those already occupying space in/on our GALLERIES, TIMEWASTERS, THE WRITE STUFF and other departments. It's difficult to hone one's craft, make a living doing the "day job" and also find the time (as well as means) to get one's creative work before the eyes of those who can make a difference. It's our intent to be a conduit making that just a wee bit easier.
The technicalities and legalities involved in inching towards "mini network"-hood are, of course, many and challenging. Getting the "vision" from brain to site is no mean feat. Just this weekend in fact the attempt to post too much updated multi-media material at once resulted in a system "crash" and subsequent need to restore the entire site while combing through "dropped" images/material to restore them one by one as well. Hence the "not a lot of celebrating just yet".
There's a huge difference however in "burning the midnight" oil (and throwing one's back out of alignment spending too much time in a non ergonomically designed office chair) because of a burning love, rather than in doing so because you "have to". And few things compare to the love (a glee born in childhood - "See, Mom and Dad, you shouldn't have taken us to the drive-in so much; you created a monster!") of wading within the pool of the cinema arts.
The intent from the "git go" was to share that love with others. And for the opportunity to do so, I thank those who have been very supportive over these past twelve months ... even if they didn't realize they were. Among them Bob Cho, Jim Delaney, Adam Hughes, and of course my family who, since childhood, have been a sounding board for all manner of "off the wall" ideas/concepts binging about my brain and sometimes leaking and ricocheting into the "normal" world.
For all, I'll continue to endeavor to make this place something of which will be worthy of you to return.
CEJ - April 2012
The library isn't all it's cracked up to be for Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith) in the
TWILIGHT ZONE episode TIME ENOUGH AT LAST (CBS, orig. airdate 11/20/59)
(APRIL 2011) WELCOME TO THE GULLCOTTAGE / SANDLOT …
BUILDING A LIBRARY ... “ONE BITE (BYTE) AT A TIME”
“ I was born in the Cinema … almost” - Sergio Leone
Welcome to our site. A library - or more accurately a library in the making. I love books (remember those?); love 'em. Always have from the earliest age. Love libraries. They, bookstores and movie theaters have always been second homes for me.
A strange child, at the age of ten I was reading novels like THE GODFATHER, THE EXORCIST and everything I could get my hands on by the likes of Agatha Christie, Alistair MacLean, Ian Fleming, Michael Crichton, Donald E. Westlake, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ira Levin, … you name ‘em. And as I’d always had parents who enjoyed going to the movies, it wasn’t long before I put the two together and knew I wanted to be a screenwriter.
I’d drift from screenwriting for a short time (as we sometimes tend to do when searching for ourselves in our late teens) but return to it with a greater love than ever; and return to it with a love for all facets of film and not just writing. Residing near the South St. section of Philadelphia (which back "in the day" was our mini Greenwich Village / Georgetown-like enclave of artists) and living and working with friends who were photographers, architectural and fashion designers, musicians, actors, painters and the like, they’d help me broaden my horizons to see film as truly the most collaborative of art forms: the single medium to incorporate EVERY other art form in one way or another.