Friday, December 11, 2009

A Roll in The Snow - Underwear Rally

Dec 5th I participated in this year's Underwear Bike Rally, in which bikers suit up in cold DC Metro weather and ride for charity donating unused and unopened underwear that go to the local homeless shelters.

Last year they had around 75 riders, so I figured this year I would ride and give something back.

Trouble is it SNOWED.

I started out at 9am as the event start 40 miles away from where I live. I am currently riding on a '92 Harley Fatboy which is a great ride.

I figured I am in for this event, rain or shine.. I should have thought about snow.

Right off the bat going down the highway my helmet visor fogs and ices up, so visibility is really poor.. very poor, plus it's freezing cold. I have to ride with my helmet visor cracked up letting in the freezing wind and ice. I figure. "It's snowing but it's just wet and not sticking. It will let up"

I get to the starting location, Coleman PowerSports, and after some coffee and time warming up I am good to GO. Problem is that the snow keeps coming and is piling up. NOT GOOD.

We were scheduled to ride out at noon, but with the conditions we wisely decided to roll early. The smart people came in cars and trucks to ride and support the charity. The others like me rode their bikes... Let's just call them crazy. There were about 12 of us total, and a few begged off once we got on our rides. Then there were 10.

Right off the bat we could hardly get out of the parking lot due to the ice and snow. We had to get a running start, or be pushed to just get on the main, UNPLOUGHED roads.

I have driven in bad conditions, but "this is nuts!"I am thinking. Two bikes go down right in front of me trying to stop on a sloped hill at a light. My tail-end is also sliding out behind me as I just try and keep the Fatboy straight and on two wheels as I slide past the downed riders.
(then there were 8)

Those still up get separated from the leaders and not sure where to go and visibility is really bad. Ice and slush has collected on my running boards and my boots are covered frozen. It's cold and getting worst. Bikes have little traction with just two wheels.

Just me and two other rides go on together. I am familiar enough with the area in which I can get us to the drop off point, Patriot Harley in Fairfax, VA, and boy are we glad to see it. One of the sales managers looks at me and says "I might be ugly, but I am not stupid! Even I have enough sense not to ride in that"

We got in safe, and the guys who fell were collected and taken take of, no injuries other then some scratched bikes and pride. I dropped my drawers as it were adding to a great collection of unused underwear.

So with some warm coffee and good company, we tell our stories laugh and help a great cause. We rode in some bad conditions but the sad part is that some people have to live in it.
Help each other out and GIVE as ya can. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What's the DECISION? Great new release! Check it out

I have to give the ups and a huge support to my fellow Stage 9 Filmmakers at Handsome Donkey. They just released with Sony's crackle.com with their latest new online series called "Decisions, Decisions" and I really have to say this is some fun stuff!

Here is the Trailer:

From Crackle: Trailer

Decisions, Decisions follows Roger Ponders (Brendan Countee) and Patrick Shruggs (Adam Countee) as they fight off the tedium of the average workday by playing a hypothetical game of questions and answers.

The writing is really solid and smooth. Good editing as I know they worked hard on it. I love the moron/smart wit and the real brilliant ideas Handsome Donkey pulls out. These guys have always had the goods, and they just keep getting better. "Decisions, Decisions" is the perfect example of it. The acting is spot on for all the casting. From camera to production value and the stellar work of Brandon and Adam Countee.. Damn these guys are fun to watch!

My biggest thought on this work, and I do not say this often ... I want more!!

Here are some of my favorite bits, but you have to watch all of them as they are all really ALL GREAT.. no joke. Great job guys! I am a fan!


From Crackle: Tinman or Studio Audience?
Would you rather have to dress like the Tinman OR live your entire life in front of a live studio audience?



From Crackle: Chuck Norris or Pink Dildo?
Would you rather only be able to open doors by kicking them in like Chuck Norris OR have to carry a bright pink dildo with you everywhere you go?



From Crackle: Salty Old Sea Captain or Doc Holliday?
Would you rather have all of your e-mails read to you by a salty old sea captain OR whenever you play poker you become Doc Holliday?

These are just a few. Go watch all 15 episodes at Crackle.com and share the news.
My favorite line? "I am going to go get your purse.. you get naked" LOL
Great stuff!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

X-ile Pictures - Super Bowl Commercial up!

Hey gang, if you have been reading lately you would know I have been working on a commercial product. Well I am happy to say it is done and now on line for you to view here:
http://www.crashthesuperbowl.com/#/video/1134


Please note that the link will take you to the main site first, then click "skip intro" in the bottom right, and finally it will take you directly to our entry titled
"Doritos - Enjoy the Adventure".
You can also search for the commercial by Director: xilepictures

So here is the deal. On September 10th I get an email from my good friend Zafe who has worked with me since "Revelations." He half jokingly asks "Hey you feel like making a commercial for fun and potential super bowl air time?"

Now I have still been trying to recoup since finishing Trenches and dealing with all that. Creatively I have been dry, but Zafe's email lit a spark. That spark took and lit a blaze once I pitched an idea to Zafe. he liked it and together we developed what you see as the finished product online. I produced and coordinated the ambitious effort with my wife Dawn's help. Not bad for coming up with the idea, shooting in two days, and then 3 weeks for post with just Zafe and I, and Geoff helped on one shot too :)

The commercial stars my good friend Matt Mickelson who has worked with me since being the lead Executive on "Pitching Lucas", to then being a pilot for me in "Trenches".
Matt has that perfect Harrison Ford/Hero/Bond type look and he is just a blast to work with! Thanks Matt for playing again.
I also brought in another familiar face, Kelley Slagle, who was the lead role of Boyens in Trenches. Kelley plays was my mysterious ninja wielding villain. Type casting :) Kelley is always a pro and a fun treat to have on the set!

A new face on the commercial you will see is a very amazing talent named Gia Mora. I came across Gia when I was casting for Trenches and filed her photo and resume away if I ever had need for her look and skill. When this commercial came up I first though of her as my ending lead joke to the piece. Gia is cute, attractive, very funny and has excellent timing. A true gem! You can also catch Gia's funny short web series called:
"The show where you tell me what's wrong with your life, and I tell you what's wrong with you!"

So, all said and done, a month and a half, while still working our regular jobs, family, and doing the commercial on the side. Not bad at all for the craziness that happens in 30secs!

We shot the whole thing in Richmond, and I have to give a HUGE, HUGE thanks once again to the Virginia Film office, you guys have always been there for us film makers. Remarkable. And a huge thank you, BIG time to the City of Richmond.. man what a film friendly town!
(no joke)

We shut down streets to do the car chases, went on roof tops to do the helicopter chase, got on fire escapes, brought in 15 ninjas.. normal X-ile Pictures silliness, and we couldn't have been able to do it without the huge allowance and help of the VA office, the city and state of Richmond, Virginia! Thanks so much guys. Andy, Mary Kathryn, Kat, Scott.. you guys rock and more!
So here is the deal on the commercial guy. It's a contest, so yes, I took a chance and a gamble to go out and make something fun on my own dime again. But here is the neat part, Doritos is hosting the crashthesuperbowl contest in which they will pick 6 finalists out of all the entries (over 600 so far), then Come January 5th (my birthday) Doritos will post for public voting the 6 finalists. The top 3 will be aired at the super bowl!! Plus, if the ad comes in 1st in the USA Ad meter then the winning commercial, get this, win a million dollars! Seems impossible? Last year it happen to two out of work brothers, and they took all the top prizes in their great ad!

Is mine good enough to go that far? (shrug)
I don't know. I like to think so.
All I do know is I had fun making this commercial, this short form is a blast. I continue to take a shot, live the dream and aim high.
I had a great time on the set of this one and really enjoy working with creative friends, plus making new ones. I am proud of this one, and hope you have fun watching it.
So go check it out and see what you think. Share it with your friends and we appreciate any support :) Hopefully we will make it as a finalist and you can vote to have us shown at the big show! One can dream.. one can dream.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trooping for Scouts - Pack 1383

Just a fun little post tonight guys. My son, Ian (age 8) is in the cub scouts and I always enjoyed it when I was a kid. Plus with all I do and my schedule, it gives me and my son time together and to teach as well as learn from each other, and have some fun.. even if the Pack Leader is crazy.. you know who you are Bill :)

Anyway.. tonight was Halloween night for the Pack so I dusted off my old Trooper regalia. I have not suited up in about 2-3 years I am shamed to say, and I am even a member of the proud 501st Legion: Vader's Fist , Garrison Tyranus, (or was till they read this maybe) I am on inactive duty/ stand-by in case the empire needs me ..OK!

The 501st does some great charity for children and events. The guys go and visit sick kids in hospitals as well as raise awareness and funds to support. Like the Make a Wish foundation for one. Plus there are a great group of people who know how to have some great fun!! If you want there is sure to be a local 501st Garrison in your area. You don,t have to be a trooper but any and all Imperials or Bounty Hunters :) Join, support, and have fun!

But I was very pleased I could still suit up. I had to suck it in a little, and yes still short for a stormtrooper, but still looking good! (picture is blurry.. thanks to cell phone)

Now bear in mind folks this is the original trooper suit I built and worn in Revelations. That was in 2002 ladies and gentleman!

I later wore that same suit again in Pitching Lucas as I was the Trooper who get's flipped by one of the fem troopers. No one wanted to do it in their suit, and I do not blame them, as I broke one of my shoulder bell doing the stunt and also one of the screws in my helmet punctured my head when I flipped and hit the mat .. I still did one more take of the shot just to be sure, blood and all (the things we do for movies)

This trooper suit and I have history together, so it was nostalgic to pull it out and suit up.

Anyway.. It still fits gang! So the old man in original classic trooper armor and the son in clone trooper regalia .. oh life is good. Happy Halloween.

Also if you want to support pack 1383 and my son, the Scouts are selling their Popcorn to do their yearly fund raiser. 70% of the money raised goes right to the pack to help pay for uniforms, activities, camp, books and so forth.

You can purchase online supporting my son Ian and Pack 1383.. He get's prizes and awards the more he sells, plus it's popcorn and snacks!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Help me, Help you, Help me - Own History

I liked the title.. I thought I was being pretty witty..

OK, so here is the deal gang. Times are getting tighter and with the completion of my last commercial project I just shot last weekend, I had to spend a few bones I didn't have. It costs to pay for car rentals, hotel rooms, food, gas, cast, crew..

Yes further debt.. but I feel strong about this current project I am working on that it is worth the risk and investment. I think you will enjoy it. Here is where the "Help me, help you" part comes in.

I am selling off some of my film props and collections on Ebay.

Yep.. original film screen used props from my first film "Star Wars Revelations" as well as a few from "Pitching Lucas". A lot of these props I made with my own two hands so perhaps you will get some of my own blood, sweat, and tears along with your winning bid. Just think of the value of that! .. OK don't think of the value of that come to think of it.. but think of the piece of history you will own!

You can say.. "I was there, and bought a piece of sh@#! to remember it all!" OK.. I am just being funny as the props really are not sh@#!, but kind of cool.

So if you want to help out and own some of my props here is your chance. I am selling original screen use Ligtsaber props from the film " Gina,, if you want yours get it now!" costumes, patches, props, a little of this and that as I find and pull it out of storage, even my camera at some point the Sony FX1

Help me, help you, help me .. pay for my film debt and feed my family :) CHECK OUT THE AUCTION

Monday, October 12, 2009

X-ile Shoots Again - the latest project

Put away wet, tired, sore and ..well tired, this weekend saw some action in Richmond, VA as X-ile Pictures rolled into town Friday and started their latest project .. and why am I writing in 3rd person?

Yes. still recovering but WoW what a fun busy weekend, I got out and filmed my latest new project and I have to thank all the amazing talent from the cast and crew that was apart of this weekends adventure! Great team.

Also a huge HUGE thanks to the Virginia Film Office, as you guys Rock, especially you Kat and Andy. Also a big thank you to the city of Richmond, Capital City Police and mnay others. We couldn't have done it without you and not half as smoothly.
So car chase, ninja alleys, roof top chopper chase, jumping through glass windows .. just another weekend for X-ile Pictures :)

I am very please with what we got in the two days we were in town as the footage looks great. I can not really release just yet what I am doing, but it's kind of fun, action packed as always, short and sweet and just a little small something that I can share with you come November (yes I have to get this one done fast!)
Enjoy a few shots from the shoot. More to come as I can, but I have to start editing :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trenches Closes Deal !

Here is some fun news. My weekly status check in with the studio hits pay dirt today!

My contact says to me " Perfect timing! I just got off the phone and we have closed the deal for Trenches!"

Congrats and awesome! It's taken some doing with the economy change and changing of the guard at Disney and ABC, but Trenches is still a product they are very proud of and have been pushing.

So good news and congrats to the team out there!

Trenches has a buyer, closes the deal, and now goes through the process of when and where the buyer wants to release online. I am not sure if I have permission to release the name of where Trenches will reside and who bought it, but I can say it is another big studio with a good product and branding image and they have a site I think Trenches will fit very nicely in and shake things up a bit maybe :) I feel it is a good match and proud to have them supporting Trenches.

So good positive news out there. It looks like Trenches will release in December is what they are talking about. I will share more official news with you as I can, but till now consider yourself plugged in and informed gray market style ;)

So if your still out there and wanting some "Trenches" then stay tuned.

IN OTHER NEWS
While I wait for Trenches, I actually am gearing up to shoot a fun action commercial. Car chases, ninjas, helicopter roof top chase.. you know... the norm for me :)

All for a 30sec spot! I got the spark again thanks to my good friend Zafe, and Marc so they are to blame for it all! I am going for it and see what happens. I will let you know more when I have something to show you, but it should be fun. Here we go again!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Way Behind - Summer Sum Up!

OK.. I have a lot of excuses for not updating but no one cares about that so let me get us up to date.. wow since July.. that is a lot. So here is a cliff notes summary

Happy Birthday Dawn

My wife turned the big 40 and to celebrate I did the theme
"you are only as old as you feel.. young at heart"

I got a babysitter for the evening, rented a Dodge Viper for my wife, gave her the keys to tool around in for 24hrs!

We went to a lovely dinner and drove around in the Viper as the sun set, the radio played and Dawn smiled. The next day I took her and the kids to King's Dominion as Dawn loves the coasters!Happy Birthday!

Summer Break - HOT FUN

We got a chance to visit family over the summer and that means HOT Texas fun! Yep, August in Texas is always a blast 102 in the shade. But we still had fun as we went fishing, played at the beach, went to the aquarium, the boardwalk, so much in a short time and visited with much needed family I truly miss! The boys got to see the grandparents and all the spoiling and over stimulation indulgence that goes with that, and yes and of course pappy let's the boys drive the boat! I wish we lived closer to them all.

The Boys of Summer -

The boys and I got one last hooray in before they started school. So while Dawn went off to DragonCon for a week, me and the boys went into the Shandadoah Mountains and put in the hours of Summer to do some fishing, kayaking, swimming, hot dog/ marshmallow roasting, campfire watching, & hiking. We even went to the drive-in. Once back home we did some putt-putt golf, Chuck E Cheese, video games and ice Cream. All in 3 days! Ahh summers all but gone and back to the books.

Speaking of which Ian started 3rd grade and Brennan starts his academic jump to Kindergarten. here is a picture of the two for the first day of school. Big brother helps little brother.

Thunder Rolls By - The Sound of Freedom

Finally, finally I got the stress reliever I have been wanting for a long time. Instead of spending time and money on my back on a couch talking to a stranger, I am off and rolling down the road the wind in my face and my trouble blown behind. Try and catch me!
Yes indeed. I finally pickup up a bike again. it has been about 10years or more, but I finally got back on two wheel.

You see I have been riding since I was a kid. It started with pop - pop mini bikes, dirt bikes, the street bikes and by the time I was in High School I was riding my 600 Yamaha while my friends still rode the bus.

All through most of college I rode a 1200 Goldwing up to a 1500 year round, and that was the last time I rode, because after that it was off to NY, work, and empty dreams.

Ten years or more later I finally get back on the road and could not be happier.. well I could always be happier as I am only on an 800 Suzuki Volusia. It was all I could afford for now, but thanks to Patriot Harley Davidson and especially Bobby Ross, I am rolling again.

Someday I hope to get that Harley Heritage Softail Classic I have been eyeing... someday.

I could use a bigger bike and more torque, but for now I can make my 800 metric bike work.
A little chrome, throw a hyper charger on it with a stinger air trap, a bit of dress, and she is begging to be a softail, or the best a poor man can do for one.

Ahh
yes. If your not into bikes I understand, but there is no greater freedom and it will save you years off a therapist's couch. Try it, be safe, and live free!

And in the Movies?
Well as you can see "in the movies" wise I have been taking a break. Do you see a pattern? Working and spending the summer with the family. But deals are moving within the studio and if I have not stated before, we might very well be looking at a December release. That would be a present I would like to see under my tree. How about you??

In the meantime here are a few pictures from the summer to make you smile and make up for the serious lack of blogging I have not been doing.. but hey it is/was summer!!

Fishing, amusement parks, hot dogs, the beach, kayaking, movies, BB guns, baseball games, camping, pizza eating, video games, boating, so much so fast!


Enjoy the moments you can, as it can all go by or go away before you know it or before you are ready.

Be good to each other would ya, and watch my damn films :)

- Shane

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Get your Jedi On - watch now!

It's that time again folks. The annual Star Wars Atom Film contest! For us it's kind of like the Academy Awards for Star Wars film makers and it's a lot of fun. It gives young film makers a chance to show their work and perhaps shine.

The Atom film contest is one of the things that got me making my first film "Revelations" and eventually then making "Pitching Lucas" which won the George Lucas Selects and Audience choice award. Still a great honor to me.

You can watch Pitching Lucas from HERE at Atom Films as well as Star Wars Revelations which has been broken into 5 parts. Watch the full film from HERE.

If you are really into it and want to go back in time here is a clip from my award speech at Comic Con 2006.

Sanctioned by Lucas Film, the Star Wars film contest winners will be awarded at this year's Comic-Con 2009 and I hope to be there to see the winners.

But in order to do that, YOU need to go and VOTE for the one you think deems the honor and award. Got watch some funny short Star Wars Fan Films, support and VOTE!



IN OTHER NEWS
A few new articles have come out with the beginning of the Star Wars film contest. One of which is an old well written article from our friend Tish Wells titled "A Star Wars Fan Film is Born"
I find it interesting and curious as to why the newsobserver.com would dig up and use of this old article, but fun to read. Thanks again Tish!

and a mention in this article Lucasfilm announces Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge finalists

On the Trenches front, I have spoken with the studio and they have a meeting to see about closing a deal this week which is looking pretty good. I should know more by next week hopefully.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Fun, Movie & Updates

Starting off I need to thank a lot of you out there who have reached out and offered your kindness and support. Much appreciated!

I have to say I was amazed at the amount of response, as I thought only about 10 of you read this blog .. OK 11 as I know now my wife reads my blog to keep better tabs on me :)

She really wanted to know what my "Show me a Nipple" post was about in December . Innocent fun. Note to self - clear adult site cache files from system.

All kidding aside, thanks so much! A lot of you send some good advise, heart warming thoughts. Let me say this, there are some really good people out there. When the chips are down, family and friends are always there! Thank you for that!!

The Future is Bright -
Things are looking up right now and I am getting my sea legs back.

The studio is very close to actually closing a deal for Trenches and I am very excited about the possibilities.

There have been some delays as you guys know but it looks like something big is going to happen and turn around.

The studio is very busy working on thier end and involving me in the process, which is great. That said, I am being advised we should see a Summer Trenches release!

There is talk of a possible Comic Con showing/ Release - that would be stellar!

I can say this, when trenches does come out I am going to need all your help to make as much noise about it as you can!!

I am also currently in discussions with a development / production company that just approached me, and they have some very interesting ideas I hope to possibly share with you soon. I am also starting to get the itch again some, so I am starting to feel better.


In Other News -
I have been spending some great recharge time with the family. Each weekend we seem to be doing something big and it has been great. Thus far we have been to Smith Mountain Lake for the best father's day I have ever had.

We rented a pontoon boat and did some fishing, tubing and cruising around the lake with the family. Awesome living, and I could get use to that life style, oh to have a boat! (someday) We played putt-putt golf, fed the fish popcorn, had ice-cream. A great weekend!

This past weekend I gave my wife a break and took all the boys to the Shenandoah River. We rented a stunning home on the river bank which I got a deal on, and we went fishing, shot BB guns (yes I am from Texas) went to an old drive in theater to watch "Up".

We had hotdogs, and some good summer fun. I am afraid my kids are going to say "so what are we doing next weekend!?

So family wise it has been great, but tiring of course, as we have already done a lot, plus we are going to Texas to visit family in August.

Till then, things are good and I am hoping you are all well and the summer is warm and bright. Stay tuned as things are heating up!

- Shane

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Return of Travels- Get some Seoul

The latest.. but a bit behind.. I recently had to do some more traveling for my job and this time it took me to Seoul for a few week.

I have to say Korea was a great trip and I really enjoyed Seoul. It's like NY, but the buildings are not quite as high, it's cleaner, safer, and you can't read any of the signs. I love the food in Korea as well as the culture, I should know as my wife is half Korean and I speak the language more then she does .. thanks to my mother-in-law.

But if you ever get a chance in the the east I recommend Seoul.

A wonderful place of stunning culture, food and even fun. From sight seeing such as the many palaces, traditional areas, folk villages, tons of shopping from way expensive Prada style to outdoor fleamarket deals. Gambling, bar hopping, clubbing.. like I said, Seoul is like NY in a way but with it's own flavor that I enjoy.

I liked to pretend I was in Blade Runner at nights as I roamed the alley/street of the business district of Seoul. Very cool and surreal in a way.

The other thing I will say is wow the ladies in Korea like to show off their legs.. man they all wear short skirts and it was cold when I was there, but wasn't complaining :)

The main reason I enjoyed my Seoul trip so much was the company. I usually have to travel by myself when I go on these business trips and as exciting as some of it might sound, eating and drinking by yourself is just no damn fun at all. It's the company, the stories and sharing the experiences that makes a trip all the more fun and this time I had two co-workers with me Ian and Warner to hang out with.

We had a blast! Here are some pictures from the gang courtesy of Warner.. or as we like to call Mr B!

I did learn a valuable lesson on this trip and one I should know better about, and that is I am not as young as I think, wish or thought I was, and I should not try and out drink or out pace the younger crowd.

I paid the price for it and my friend Ian taught me a lesson I will remember.. I simply can not drink that much.. oh gods was I sick, but it was worth it and we laughed the night away.
Mr. B literally caught on fire at one bar as he brushed his shirt sleeve too close to a candle when cool and harmless fire trails ran over his shirt burning off lint of fuzz I think. It was cool to see, and we had quite a few by then :)

So we made it all safe, had a great trip, some great company and met some wonderful people. The food was excellent and I am now back home where I belong back to the 9-5 and family.
Travel is all fine and good but anything over two weeks and I miss my family and being home. nothing beats home.