I would like to work at this place

This is the kind of place I'd love to work at. In many ways this is a lot like working on web projects - heavy constraints, trying to solve real world problems in new ways, trying to make the outcome scale to many people and situations, and all while trying to make it beautiful as well as functional as well as easy to use.

The nice thing about this is that the result is much more tangible.

This is the first book trailer I think I've seen. And it rocks.

This came out in March, so it's more than a few months old and I'm not breaking any news here. I'm also sure there are other book trailers out there, but it is the first time I've seen something like this.

The movie/book relationship has been around forever - but usually one exists before the other and the trailer existed to promote the movie, not the book (there is no film version for this book). After seeing the trailer, it seems like an obvious way to boost readership for a series who's target demographic is likely to be motivated by visuals of zombies, ninjas and hot young women.

I've been intrigued by Pride & Prejudice & Zombies for quite a while now (solely on the book cover and title), but this trailer just convinced me to get the books (the trailer is for the prequel book - exploring how Elizabeth Bennett became such a great zombie hunter).

The genius behind this series of books (as well as Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Android Karenina, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter) is publisher Quick Classics.

It makes sense that a company that is reinventing old literary classics is reinventing the way that books are marketed.

Clips from Sam Rockwell's screen test for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

However bizarre, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was a great movie. I've previously mentioned that Sam Rockwell is becoming one of my favorite actors around, and it started with this movie. These clips make me all the more impressed (George Clooney makes an appearance at the end). I'm definitely going to make time and watch that film again.

I thought Rockwell was great in the role of Chuck Barris, even though I didn't know much about Barris aside from being the host of The Gong Show. Here's Barris in action:

GQ with Bill Murray on Ghostbusters 3, Garfield, SxSW, among other things

Bill Murray has to be one of my favorite actors of all time. Not because he's a great actor (which he is), but he's a great personality - on camera, or off (when I say 'off' I mean in interviews, etc.). He's not always happy or chirpy. In fact he's rarely "on" in the same way that many comedic actors of his time seem to be (see: Robin Williams, Martin Short, Jim Carrey) which makes him more real and more likeable.

The above pic is taken from a scene in Kingpin, where he played Ernie McCracken, one of my favorite Bill Murray characters.

I love when people of power and/or celebrity give honest, frank interviews even though it may rub some people the wrong way, including their friends. This is well worth the read - it's great to hear him talk about stuff like Harold Ramis' Year One being among the worst movies every made, wondering who wrote the piece of shit that was Garfield and realizing it was Joel Cohen & not Joel Coen (of the Coen brothers), doing movies that he thinks won't have a chance, and copping to the fact that he barely ever watches any popular TV & movies. I mean - who hasn't seen Seinfeld!

Here's a snippet:

Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What's the story with that?

It's all a bunch of crock. It's a crock. There was a story—and I gotta be careful here, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. When I hurt someone's feelings, I really want to hurt them. [laughs] Harold Ramis said, Oh, I've got these guys, they write on The Office, and they're really funny. They're going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie that he had directed.

Year One.

Year One. Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives. So that dream just vaporized. That was gone. But it's the studio that really wants this thing. It's a franchise. It's a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters.

Oh, sure, I remember. The soundtrack. The lunchboxes. The action figures.

Right. And it's still one of the biggest movies of all time. And ever since that story broke, everywhere I go people are like, "So are you gonna make that movie?" I was down in Austin at South by Southwest, and you go at it hard down there—fun but, man, you need to sleep for days afterwards. Anyhow, I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing.

Read the whole thing at GQ Magazine.

GQ is really putting out some great articles lately. If they get an iPad version of their magazine, I might have to start buying it.

EDIT: GQ DOES have an iPad app. Kudos GQ, I will be downloading and purchasing your contents.

Really pushing this band: Fanfarlo

I've been pumping the tires of this band since I discovered them this spring, and they are likely my favorite musical-act-of-the-moment.

I got a bit of validation a couple of weeks ago when I was at a party in Austin. I met a writer for Soundcheck Magazine and when I mentioned I'd gone to SxSW we began comparing some of our favorite acts from the festival. There were a couple of bands I'd never heard of before, but I felt that I was able to keep up for the most part. I have to say I was pretty envious of his insider knowledge - he had access to a lot of bands that didn't start making a name for themselves until or after SxSW. I was most curious about who he felt I should keep my eyes on (of course the ones I remember are the ones that I already know, such as Freelance Whales).

Later in the evening he came up to me and said that the band that I absolutely needed to look in to was Fanfarlo, he had just come back from Bonnaroo and had the opportunity to interview and hang out with them a bit. He felt they were going to be huge but nobody knew who they were yet. Well I knew, and I must say I was/am hugely impressed with myself (I realize that this makes me a huge nerd).

I love to pump up music that I have an appreciation for, but also has a quality that could give it mass appeal. Sometimes it works out for me (I pushed Oasis huge in '94), other times it didn't (Kula Shaker in '95)... now that I've been validated I will definitely be increasing my PR efforts. I've had a couple of people tell me that they think the band is just 'ok' (IDIOTS!) so we'll see how it goes.

I apologize to any real life friends or acquaintances who will be annoyed with my pushing.