Hi all. My unusually busy period in my freelance career is still going strong, which explains the dearth of new Lists of 9. I was hoping to put this up a few weeks ago, when the calendar still read 2011. Oh well, in any event, this list sheds some light on what life in West Hollywood, California, is like. Halloween.… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "personal" (most recent at top)
These days, it's cool for everybody to talk about how geeky they are. (How many times have you heard entirely non-dorky people say, smilingly, "I'm such a dork"?) It seems like almost everybody you talk to these days will claim that they were a nerd in high school. Which is blatantly untrue. If it were true, then jocks would never… read more!
I'm not exactly a renaissance man, but to varying degrees of success, I can write, direct, produce, edit, act, animate, paint, draw, design, and sculpt. Hooray for me! But if I can perform any of these tasks slightly better than the average person, it is at the detriment of the following routine activities, which hundreds of millions or even billions… read more!
I'm sure you've all started reading books that, for whatever reason, you didn't complete. Usually I'm pretty good about finishing, even when I don't care for the book (which is the same reason why I have only once walked out of a bad movie), but here are nine cases where I gave up. DUNE, Frank Herbert. In 1984, when I… read more!
Although I've fraternized with dozens of would-be filmmakers over the last two decades, an astonishingly small number of them ever went on to actually direct a feature. Having done so twice myself, I can tell you that it's not that hard to do, if you really want it. So what I'm saying is that few aspiring directors really want it.… read more!
I recently wrote the script for one of those 48 Hour Film Project competitions. (We won the Audience Award, hooray.) At the beginning of those crazy weekends, each filmmaking team picks a genre out of a hat: comedy, horror, science fiction, etc. The genre we chose this year was "Film de Femme", which isn't a genre as much as it… read more!
Years ago, I read an essay by humorist Dave Barry - not someone I particularly admire, but whatever - in which he reflected on all the things he learned by his fiftieth birthday. I only remember one of them, but I remember it vividly: A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice… read more!
Like many people, I've been affected by this "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude which has permeated American culture an an intense level for the last few years. I'm not here to put the blame on any political party, Internet message board or news outlet, but I do think we could all do with a dose of humility. Starting with me.… read more!
Not many people talk about fine art anymore, unfortunately. But I still get excited about it, and I think everybody should have a favorite artist. Here are my nine favorites, the artists whose work I will always make a beeline towards in museums. If you don't recognize their names or their work, I encourage you to look them up. JOSEPH… read more!
It's my birthday tomorrow, and as birthdays do, it's gotten me to think about all the time that's gone by and how I have changed throughout the years. One topic that came up was food. Now, I'm married to a vegan - which isn't as awful as you'd think, provided said vegan knows how to cook really well, as my… read more!
In these trying economic times, when both jobs and solid investment opportunities are scarce, even the most hardened realist may dream about winning easy money in a lottery. Why, all you need to do is guess six or seven numbers, and you could win millions! I only buy lottery tickets once or twice a year, and of course I've never… read more!
In these bleak economic times, when companies are losing billions and unemployment is on the rise, I can't help but wonder how so many businesses keep going even in a good economy. Sure, we all need food, shelter and transportation. But how do tanning salons, travel agents, expensive boutiques and pet therapists make any money? Who uses them? Who needs… read more!
I've been thinking about the past a lot lately. Mainly because my 20-year high school reunion is coming up, but also because I had recently put most of my old CalArts films online, which took me back to 1992. That was the year I graduated college, moved into the city of Los Angeles, and started spending most Saturday afternoons watching matinees (while I… read more!
Although the rest of the world loves to hate Los Angeles, we still get hordes of tourists every year, most hoping to see a movie star in real life. These tourists book expensive meals at The Ivy and Spago and mostly only see each other. Meanwhile, West Hollywood's vegan restaurant Real Food Daily is often packed with health-conscious celebrities. My… read more!
There's not much point in writing this list, but I do hope it will inspire you to go out to the movies when you are on vacation. I really enjoy doing this, even though it seems counter-intuitive to the whole point of traveling, since you can see the same movie back home... right? Well, maybe, but seeing a film in… read more!
Recently I was having a chat with my composer Christopher Farrell about film length. He had mentioned one filmmaker whose films tended to be a little long. I joked that my own films seem to turn out much shorter than I had intended (namely Claustrophobia). It got me thinking about the longest movies I'd ever seen. Here they are, from… read more!
I know it's not cool to like the Oscars. Hollywood's out of touch with America, it's just a bunch of phonies congratulating each other, blah blah blah. I write this one day after the 80th Academy Awards and already the event's been forgotten. Look, I won't defend the show. But I've watched it every year since I was six or… read more!
The game of "What historical figures would you have over for dinner?" has been played for ages. The predictable answers are Joan of Arc, Jesus, Gandhi, and so on. Thank you, but I'm limiting my fantasy guest list to still-living people who all speak English, so they can understand each other and so I can follow what's being discussed. If… read more!
It's that spooky time of the season again, and frankly I'm surprised that, after having written these Lists of 9 for nearly ten years(!) now, I haven't taken advantage of the late October period to list some of the Halloween costumes I have worn in the past. Sadly, the memories are fading, but I still recall the following outfits: Han… read more!
As a filmmaker and a film fan, I should agree with the American Film Institute as to which 100 American films (read: Hollywood features) are the greatest, right? Wrong. But that's part of the fun of these lists: disagreeing with them. Now, there are quite a few films on AFI's updated 2007 list that I never saw, and a few… read more!