•June 27, 2009 • 2 Comments

APG Poster 131K

About 6 weeks away from the release of “A Perfect Getaway.”  Been keeping busy checking the 30-second TV spots that will start running in a few weeks — they range from the exciting to the hackneyed.   But a couple winners in the bunch.

Trailers will play on front of PELHAM, PROPOSAL, BRUNO, among others.  Now if you go to see these movies, you aren’t guaranteed to see the APG trailer, because they give you 30-40-50% “penetration” on these movies.  So you’re chances are probably 50-50 (or less) that you’ll actually see the trailer in any given theater.  But let me know when you do so I can tell if we’re getting the screens we need.

Also busy doing a “Director’s Cut” of APG for DVD market.  I put that in quotes because, since I’m pretty happy with the theatrical cut, this particular version of the movie is really kind of an “Extended Cut” thing:  I’ll probably drop 10 minutes of footage back into the movie.   The theatrical version is rated “R,” and the Director’s Cut will be unrated, as these things usually are.


•May 18, 2009 • 3 Comments

So we’re now locked in to this date. I’ve been looking at trailers that Universal has been sending over.  Always interesting when someone distills your 110-minute movie into 2.5 minutes – and the liberties they take to get the job done.  But I think we finally have a trailer that reflects both the fun and horror of the movie.  Look for the APG trailer on the front of DRAG ME TO HELL, among others.   (You can tell me where else you see it.)

And to Chris Hemsworth:  Good on ya, mate.  Chris played “Kale” for me in A PERFECT GETAWAY, and just this week he landed lead roles in both THOR and RED DAWN, assuming negotiations work out.  You already know Chris as Kirk’s father in the latest STAR TREK.


Chris Hemsworth as Kale, APG


•March 8, 2009 • 6 Comments


So no, the new movie won’t be released March 14 as I’d suggested earlier.  Which is a bad news/good news tale – with an emphasis on the latter.

See, once upon a time, APG was going to be an MGM release, and March 14 was the date that worked for that studio’s release schedule.  But recently Universal saw the movie, liked its upside, and made a successful bid to cherry-pick it away from MGM.  Which is fine by me, since I’ve done two releases with the folks at Uni — PITCH BLACK and RIDDICK.  It’s a good team they have in place, led by Adam Fogelson, and they know their shit.  Waiting a few extra months for them to get their marketing materials together is a small price to pay for having a major like Uni release your movie.      

Anyway, the date that works for Uni schedule is now sometime in August, possibly August 14.  And I’ll even caveat that, if only because movies frequently change release dates these days.  Sometimes it’s a reflection of the movie itself, sometimes it’s simply about the musical chairs that all studios play with their releases.   So don’t get too hung up about it.  I don’t.

Including pix of my two leading ladies, Milla Jovovich and Kiele Sanchez.  Gentlemen, start your engines.





•November 5, 2008 • 6 Comments

Microsoft just upgraded my email service, giving me all kinds of new colors and panes and stuff — but neglected to include the ability to “reply to” a given message.   So blame Bill Gates if you didn’t get a response to your latest query.  

Re “APG,” working on trailers now and eyeing a mid-March release.  Beware that release dates are always provisional with films — another big picture can land on your date, crowd the weekend, and then suddenly you’re eyeing a new date in May.  But March looks pretty solid, at least from the vantage of November. 

The trailer will likely play on the front of MGM’s “Valkyrie,” but I’ll let you know when it’s avail on-line.

And how fucking fantastic was Obama last night?


APG versus AVP

•July 6, 2008 • 12 Comments
On the set of \
On the set of “APG”

Finally back in L.A. after wrapping A PERFECT GETAWAY (henceforth, “APG”). Took 40 days to shoot it, including a couple in Jamaica to cover a critical sea cave sequence. After a 100% stage show like RIDDICK, I wanted to do something outdoors, maybe get to see things like, oh, “the sun” and “seasons.” So I got what I wished for, anyway, since APG wound up being 95% exteriors. I’d forgotten just how much the elements can fuck with you on a shoot like this — you get rain when you need sun, you get sun when you’re creating rain. I know, I know — “Just shoot the sun when you get it, DT, then shoot the real rain whenever you get that.” Well, it ain’t that easy, layfolk, what with actors’ schedules, location avails, and The Master Schedule that needs to be shown at least a modicum of respect.

This is my third week in the editing room. BTW, here’s a heads up for you novice directors: When you first see an editor’s assembly of your movie? Don’t put a .45 slug into your occipital lobe even when you want to. And you will want to. Because little-to-nothing will work in your movie without sound fx and music and a sense of pace. This ain’t a knock on editors; it’s just one of the immutable truths of the universe.

So I don’t watch the assembly. I just dive in on any damn scene I want, honing it, figuring out the VFX needs, trying music against picture, all the while cutting out the fat. And I just build the movie slowly like that. Because really, what’s the point of watching your movie before you can see it on the screen the way you saw it in your head when you shot the damn thing?

Now on to ALIEN VERSUS PREDATOR. Apparently there’s a petition floating around the internet that seeks to draft me as director of the next installment of the series. (It seems my old ALIEN 3 script figures into this master plan, too, in ways that aren’t entirely clear to me.) My reaction is “Hmm.” Flattering? Sure. Realistic? Not so much. See, if I’m going to spend a year of my life (and more if I write it) on the third installment of a science-fiction series, well, why wouldn’t I just do the third installment of my own science-fiction series?

Catch my drift?


•April 27, 2008 • 1 Comment

Well, there’s a reason I haven’t been returning many emails lately, and that’s because I’m bouncing back and forth between Puerto Rico and Hawaii filming A PERFECT GETAWAY.  It’s a twisted little honeymoon thriller that I wrote from scratch.  We’re shooting the movie fast, only 37 days of filming, but that’s how I wanted to try working this time – fewer setups, let the camera roll longer, allow the actors to run a scene from beginning to end without interruption so they can find their groove.  Fortunately I have a cast willing to work fast with me — Milla Jojovich, Steve Zahn, Tim Olyphant, and Kiele Sanchez.  They’re all funny and inventive and pretty amazing to work with.  A loose set is usually a creative set, and that’s clearly the case on A PERFECT GETAWAY. 


More to come.

New Strike Video

•January 18, 2008 • 1 Comment


We’re now 10 weeks into Writers’ Guild strike against the AMPTP.  And what have I been doing?  

Well, not writing, appropriately enough, not work-for-hire anyway.  But I did manage to script and shoot a five-minute strike video, satirical and noir and disrespectful — if I’ve done my job right, anyway.  

Thanks to Camille and Tracy and Joe and all the others who helped pull it together.

Check it out and pass it on, amigos.



So here we are, now in the second week of The Strike of ’07.  In case you haven’t been keeping up on Hollywood’s affairs, contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP, the studios and networks) have broken down after five months. The reasons are manifold – writers got stuck with a lousy percentage of the DVD market when it first took off and we now seek to correct that error…the producers don’t want to pay writers for an internet download of a TV show or movie – even though they’ve already monetized those downloads with commercials…and pisser of pissers, they’re trying to make us all fly coach.  The godless bastards!  The day I heard that is the day I knew I’d vote for the strike.  We all have our limits. In seriousness, the internet thing – collectively referred to as “New Media” – will be such a financial dynamo for the industry that it can’t be overlooked, can’t be dismissed, can’t be delayed.  The producers’ ploy is something like, “Just let us study the situation for three years, then we’ll know what our business model is and get back to you on that point.”  Well, we don’t need to study for this one.  We’re ready to take the test.  
So on November 5 of this year, 12,000 of us hit the picket line.  Will it be a long strike or short one?  It’s still early, of course, but solidarity among writers runs high. The only frame-of-reference I have is the Strike of ’88 – which lasted a whopping five months and hurt a lot of people in the business, both writers and others.  But today’s Guild is a more unified one than the ’88 crowd, better managed and better informed, too.  That alone augurs from something less than five months.
Writer’<p>s Strike
Okay, okay, now on to the really important stuff like “What the fuck is happening with RIDDICK?”  Yes, I get your emails demanding another movie; yes, I keep bumping into you guys in airports and at conventions and I take your pleas to heart.  All I can say now is “We’re talking about it.”  The DVD numbers were really good – we know that, and some potential financiers know that.  But if another movie surfaces, it probably won’t be a Universal movie and probably will be an independent movie.  Which means we’ll have to make it for substantially less than the last installment.  But that’s okay.  PITCH BLACK was $22 million all in.  Maybe it’s time to go back to our roots – as we go on to The UnderVerse.

Just wanted to give a little year-end/year-start nod to all of you who have contacted me via this site, fans and critics alike.  While I can’t answer all email that comes my way, I do stay after it and wind up responding to most, I’d say.  (Okay, “half.”)
Sometimes it’s a Darwinian decision as to which emails get answered.  I  find myself asking things like, “How intelligent is this guy?”  “Why does this email look like it was written with two wounded thumbs?” “Does the 16-year-old kid who’s asking me to buy him a new car really warrant a reply?”  So I’ve encountered a lot of new people via the site, some clueless but most cool.  Here are a few that stuck on the flypaper of my brain…
Darren Cook in England who somehow procured a lot of Necromonger armor from CHRONICLES and, together with his rabid buddies, goes to conventions dressed as the Legion Vast, facing off against the storm-troopers from STAR WARS and anyone else foolish enough to cross their path.  See evidence at…
Necro VS Stormtrooper

Russ Shinkle 



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