Shoom Zone’s One Year Anniversary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this little project going online.  Can you believe it’s been a year already?  Wow, where did the time go?  This is a good time for me to catch everyone up on the latest happenings. 

Film Project Update

A week and a half ago was a nice little milestone.  The writer turned in the first draft of the treatment.  I looked it over and, overall, I have to say I like it.  Now, first drafts are never perfect and this one will probably have to go through several edits before it’s ready to show to the cast, but there were some really good scenes in it and it has a lot of promise.

Classes and More Classes

The last few weeks have been especially hectic for me.  Besides doing a lot of homework for my Story Analysis and Screenplay Development class, I have also taken a couple of film budgeting classes. 

One class was an overview of all the various film budgeting programs available on the market and their various applications.  The other class was an introductory budgeting class.  It’s funny, I would have never thought of budgeting as being a creative endeavour, but film budgeting is actually quite creative.  Did you know that a budget describes the fundamental look, feel and style of a film?  Yep, budgeters have to be able to take a scene in the script and have a point of view about it.  They have to imagine how they would shoot or direct the scene.  Now the director might have a totally different point of view on how a scene should be played, but if a director isn’t available yet, the budgeter has to make a best-guess estimate based on his or her own vision.  Every excruciating detail of each scene must be budgeted for:  every prop, every actor, every light, every vehicle, every piece of wardrobe, every camera.  And it’s just not what’s on the set that must be budgeted for.  A budget has to allow for how you’re going to feed the crew, how the actors are going to get to the set and how they are going to get home, how you’re going to get the equipment to the set, who’s going to build the set.  It can seem endless.  Needless to say, budgets are incredibly detailed documents.  Screenplays are often described as the blueprint of a film, but, interestingly, budgets are also blueprints of a film.  It’s really all very fascinating.

Saturday was a really busy and exciting day for me.  In the morning, I had my weekly Story Analysis and Script Development class.  In the afternoon, I met the writer of the treatment.  She had flown out from the east coast and we had a really enjoyable meeting over a seafood dinner at the wharf in San Francisco.  We hit it off and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her on this project.  She’s just as excited about it as I am.  In the evening, we both headed up to Marin County, north of San Francisco, to attend a shortened writer’s workshop given by writer/producer James Hirsch.  I say shortened because, originally, the workshop was supposed to be all weekend, but the LA fires put a crimp in those plans.  Cheech Marin was supposed to be a special guest the first night, but because his home was in the middle of the fire area, he was busy hosing down his house and yard.  Thankfully, Cheech’s home is safe.  Because of all this, James Hirsch decided to give a “sneak preview” of the workshop instead.  It was a great mini class and James is a really nice guy.  I’m looking forward to attending the full workshop, which will be rescheduled in the future.    

Whoa…I just felt some tremors.  As I’m typing this I’m wondering if that is it or if they are just a precursor to a bigger jolt.  Well, so far, so good.  Let’s continue and wish for the best.

Website Updates

Between everything else in my insanely busy schedule, I’ve managed to get a few much-needed updates done to the website.

First off, the Blog Info page has been updated to more accurately reflect the various ways that readers can get news from this blog. 

There is still the mailing list, of course, and I’ve updated the mailing list subscription page with some info that subscribers might find useful.  For example, while the mailing list has a digest option, I don’t recommend it.  There’s a couple of reasons why:  For one, I rarely blog more than once per day.  Secondly, digests are usually sent the day after the blog has been posted, which often delays the receiving of time sensitive information.  Of course, the digest is still there if you want it and you are free to choose the options you prefer for this mailing list.  If you want to change your options, PLEASE DON’T EMAIL ME.  Simply go the mailing list subscription page, scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address.  You will be then be prompted for your password.  Enter your password to make the changes to your options.  Forget your password?  Scroll further down the page and you’ll see where you can have it emailed to you.

If you prefer the convenience of a blog feed, a feed for both posts and comments is available for your convenience.  Simply scroll down to the Meta section of the sidebar (available from any page of the blog) and click on “Entries RSS” and/or “Comments RSS”. 

For you Live Journal users, a syndicated feed is available for your convenience.  I want to give a big shout out of thanks to Sheera for setting this up.  To add the feed to your friends list, simply go to and click on the “add this journal to your friends list” link. 

Lastly, if you have a MySpace page, you can subscribe to the blog via the Shoom Zone Productions MySpace page.  Just click on “Subscribe to this Blog” and you’ll be notified whenever new items are posted to the blog.

Available on the front page of the blog, which you can get to from any blog page by simply clicking on the header, is a section for the online petitions.  Just because I’m not actively pursuing an I-Man project right now, doesn’t mean that they should be ignored.  I might be able to use those petitions to help sell my current project with the I-Man cast so, please, if you haven’t signed them yet, please do so.  We all benefit by getting to see the cast together again.

If you haven’t checked out Shoom Zone’s home page in a while, you’ll see that it looks quite different.  Well, I’m playing around with a new look when I can squeeze out the time and, as you can tell, it’s not done yet.  The logo there is simply a placeholder for now.  I’m going to be getting a new one designed in the near future.  Eventually, the whole website will have a new look. 

Fans Worldwide

Without you, fans from around the world, this project wouldn’t mean much.  Without an audience, films would be worthless.  So whenever I go and look at my website statistics, I am very encouraged by what I see.  It’s obvious that there are a lot of you who want to see the cast together again just as much as I do.  In the past year, the number of visitors to this site has more than quadrupled.  Fans from 55 countries around the world regularly visit this site.

I thought it would be fun to see what countries we hail from, so following is a list of all 55 countries in alphabetical order.

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzogovina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam
  • Yugoslavia

Wow.  I want to thank each and every one of you and I know the cast appreciates your support too.  It’s this kind of increasing awareness that will help to make this film a success.  Thank you and I look forward to another productive year as the film project moves forward.  I can’t wait to see Vince, Paul, Eddie, Shannon and Mike together again on the screen!

Another Invisible Man Series?

Well, it looks like Fox is considering a new Invisible Man series.  The drama, entitled Invisible, “tells the story of a criminal at rock bottom who is given a second chance at life when a chemical compound makes him invisible.”  Hmm…now doesn’t that sound vagely similiar to a certain show we all know and love?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project has “landed at Fox with a script commitment.”  What this means is that Fox has asked for a pilot script to be developed.  Now that doesn’t guarantee that the pilot will actually get made.  Networks can have anywhere from 100 to 150 pilot scripts ordered each season.  From those, only about 20 to 30 pilots will actually be produced.  And from those, only a handful get picked up.  It depends on how many slots they need to fill in their schedule.  So this series is far from being a sure thing at this point.  Time will tell if we see another Invisible Man series on our TV screens.

Frankly, I think it’s a risky move for any network to put an Invisible Man story on air.  Invisibility stories have been notorious for being flops.  Anybody remember The Invisible Man with David McCallum?  Or Gemini Man with Ben Murphy?  The problem with invisibility is that film is a visual medium and invisibility is…well, not visual.

Now our Invisible Man was the rare show that did it right.  That’s because invisibility wasn’t the main focus of the show.  Sure, it was very cleverly done and there were a bunch of cool invisibility tricks and all.  But the focus was more on the characters and relationships.  There was humor, there was drama, there was action.  Heck, there’s way too much to list that the show did right.  But all the elements came together to create a show that could have had a much larger audience if it was given half a chance.

Personally, I’m with Tony Whitt of If Magazine who wrote:  “No, it’s not the SCI FI Channel show that aired some years back that’s returning to our screens – though wouldn’t it rock if it did?”

Austin Film Festival

Here’s a quick heads up to any fans in Texas.  Two of Paul Ben-Victor’s films are scheduled to be shown at the Austin Film Festival within the next week.

On The Doll will be shown twice.  Once on Friday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Monday, October 15, at 9:30 p.m. 

Randy and the Mob will be shown on Saturday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m.

The Austin Film Festival starts tomorrow, October 11, and runs through October 18.  For information on passes, badges, venue locations, etc., visit the Austin Film Festival website.

Paul Guest Stars in “Shark”

I’m always disappointed when I find out news about the cast or crew after the fact and, unfortunately, that’s what happened here.  Yep, Paul Ben-Victor was a guest star on Shark last week.  But even though this bit of news slipped by me, there is a silver lining.

Thanks to the fact that Shark episodes are being streamed online, we still get to watch the episode!  So go to the official Shark website, scroll down a bit to “Watch Full Episodes of Shark,” and click the “View Now” button.  Choose the “For Whom the Skel Rolls” episode and sit back and enjoy Paul’s performance.

“Randy and the Mob” National Film Tour (Updated)

Paul Ben-VictorPaul Ben-Victor’s film Randy and the Mob is continuing its national tour in the southern states.  Those of you who live in the south and want to see Paul’s film, make note of the following dates and locations.  The rest of us…well, we’ll just have to wait.

October 5

  • Little Rock, AR
  • Fayetteville, AR

October 12

  • Columbia, SC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Carey, NC
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Oklahoma City, OK

October 19

  • Austin, TX
  • Macon, GA
  • Athens, GA

October 26

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Greensboro, NC

November 2

  • Charlottesville, VA

November 9

  • Asheville, NC

Check out the Randy and the Mob website for a complete list of locations and times, as well as any additional listings in the future. 

Official Randy & the Mob Website