Wednesday, December 15, 2004

my head is like a cathedral

How does that sound to you?

Actually, the sheer EMPTINESS is what is creating that cathedral like reverb inside my noggin. Nothing grand about it at all. Purely empty depression. Oh, not the kind that makes you wonder if the world is worth anything, if our country's going to hell in a hand basket, or will the sun ever come out again. Actually, I haven't wondered about that since I moved from PA.

No, the depression I'm currently undergoing is the type when you're doing nothing. I'm attempting to, but that damn cursor is just blinking blinking blinking...

Just watched a movie tonight called "Love Object". I guy I met, Robert Parigi, made it.
That was depressing. Depressing because it was a good movie, and dammit... I need to make good movies.

Lest I let you'all too deep into my head, I'll change the tune.

As I sit in front of the computer working on one of several screenplays (see paragraph above on blinking cursor), I doodle around on the internet. Way too much. I've taken to turning offf the wireless card on my laptop in order to force myself to work. Of course I turn it on again soon after. Today the router decided to help me out. My once wireless router is now refusing to show that it has any kind of way of transmitting a signal. So - one tech support call later haha, I have an RMA number. The packing slip also lists as needed, a copy of the proof of purchase. Uh - should'nt the registration I made with the company suffice? I don't have the receipt. Sorry.

We'll see how this goes.

I think what really annoyed me the most was that I started really early today with the intent of knocking out a couple great pages. Figuring out that the router was physically (not mentally) dead, blew half the day.
Of course, you see the circular patter here, don't you?

Traffic is beginning to lighten up in L.A. as we approach the holidays. Really makes you realize what a town of transplants it is. Everybody goes "home" for the holidays. Makes you wish there were more holidays.

Tomorrow. I promise not to procrastinate. I promise not to procrastinate.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ho Ho Hollywood

Okay, I didn't die during Thanksgiving, but the dinner did go eleven hours. I was fooling myself that I'd write anything after the fact.

Good food, hope yours was too.

So, a few of us decided to go to the Hollywood Blvd Christmas parade. We'd emailed about it, I was thinking about skipping it - then thought - why the heck not?

I'm glad I did it. First, I got to experience the subway system of Los Angeles. Ha! I bet you didn't even know Los Angeles had a subway system. But we do. It's a real pretty one too. If you live in town and have never tried it, you should. Every stop has a different, really excessive theme to it. It's like a Universal Studios Park ride.
Too bad it doesn't really go anywhere useful. However, for the parade, we were able to drive about five minutes from our place, hop on (at Vermont and Beverly for those of you really curious) and get off at Hollywood and Vine. That stop, if you haven't guessed, is completely MOVIES MOVIES MOVIES related. It's done in an "Egyptian" type style, something that was quite popular for the old movie palaces of the twenties. But wait, there's more - the ceiling is completely covered -- in empty Film Reels; the old ones used for projection back before platter systems.
It's nuts.
I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or laugh at the sheer audacious, gaudiness. I finally decided to laugh with awe.

Also, I can't really figure out if you have to pay to ride the subway. We bought the 1.25 cent subway tickets to the parade, but as their weren't any turn styles, ticket takers, or anything else of identifiable nature, we didn't bother buying them to go home. We just - went to the station, got on the train, and rode. Far as I could tell, so did everybody else.
The subway cars themselves look just like the NYC subway. Probably designed that way to make faking a New York subway easier for movies. The stops however were nothing like NYC, so somewhere there must be a special stop that looks like Manhattan.

The Parade.

Going down Hollywood Blvd, there's all kinds of decoration stretching across the blvd. It's shiny, glittery and only comes up around this time of year, so far as I can tell, it's supposed to be Christmas decoration. However, there's nothing to indicate that, or any other holiday. It's more film reels, and film strips. It's the one religion everybody in this town can agree on, I suppose.

Please note: Saying Ho HO HO on Hollywood Blvd. can lead to unknown results.

So, the parade... it was the greatest cavalcade of B and C list actors, and people you never heard of. We made a game of trying to come up with the most irritating things to cheer at them as they passed. Examples: Marion Ross got a big "Mrs. Partridge!!!!". Eric Estrada got "Caged Fury Rules!!!" (check IMDB if you never heard of THAT)

Best was the absurd Papier Mache Godzilla. Seeing Japanese tourists yelling and pointing at Godzilla was priceless.

And then it was over... the hoses and the trucks came in and HO HO HOsed down the sidewalks.
The large Musco lights, and the wet streets made for a Hollywood style Hollywood Blvd.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

a quick Pre-Thanksgiving note

Marianne is preparing a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. The smells are driving me nuts.
I'm finishing a third draft on an article I'm writing for Moviemaker magazine.

Soon, we'll be heading down the hill for the traditional Thanksgiving extravaganza. The record was three years ago, with a 12 hour dinner. 2nd place was a 10 hour fest of debauchery.
Let's see how long this one goes.
Lou and Keith are away in London. They wrapped production on their new movie "Brothers of the Head", and are moving into post. We all got an email from Keith bemoaning the fact that they weren't going to be on the hill this year, and worse, that England is a tough place to find the fixins for an 'away thanksgiving'.

Yeah, but your new movie is in the can.

In this time, like New Years, it's natural to reflect on the past year. It's been very good, and I do feel incredibly fortunate.

How about you?

Anyway, have a Happy Thanksgiving and if you can't be with the ones you love...
Yeah, Baby!

If I'm in any condition, I'll report again after the meal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A good life is not necessarily a creative one

A blog entry means that it’s procrastination time…

Picture this moment:
I’m sitting on the couch in my living room. In front of me, a beautiful fire is burning in the fireplace. A glass of wine sits at my feet, as I type this on my laptop. The smells of a wonderful salmon dinner are wafting in from the kitchen as Marianne finishes the final stages of cooking one of her specialties. This is my life on the evening of Nov 23rd. I pinch myself frequently, so don’t think I’ve gotten used to it.

Maybe later tonight, we’ll fire up the hot tub.
If you’ve seen the movie, you can picture the scene I’ve just laid out perfectly.

If you care to email me about this preceding image, the subject line “I hate you” will suffice.


Okay, fun time over, guilt time next. Excepting for a few looping sessions, I’m done with “Headhunter”. I haven’t started any kind of rewrite on “Diamond Road” and am currently a blank in terms of what to do with it or any other movie ideas. What the heck kind of a storyteller do I think I am? I’m a big fat fake.
I did a few interviews in the last couple days, which has created a certain “rest on your laurels” sensation, which I better kick in the butt in the next twenty-four hours.

It’s comes to this – I’m about to write about the weather of Los Angeles. The last couple days haven’t been cool, they’ve been downright cold! I don’t think we broke sixty twho degrees for the last three days. Night time has been falling into the low fifties, even high forties!! Frigid. With a little rain(!), the climate’s been veritably winter like. Northeasters need not respond; I know how silly it sounds. I admit it, my blood has thinned out since living on the west coast.
Anyway, this weather should theoretically make for some good writing. Gray skies and all. Worked for a lot of other writers, didn’t it? Instead, today I decided I needed to expand the range of the wireless network. Marianne needs access in the bedroom (internet) so it’s not officially procrastination. Just the hours of research on the internet deciding which high gain antenna, or power amp would be best are.
But – because of this research, I helped the economy (namely Compusa and Hawkings technology) with a purchase of a wifi power booster and – well – you read the beginning of all of this – I can now comfortably write this rather pathetic entry from in front of the fire with a glass of wine… and upload it too.

And full circle we’ve come in this blog. I apologize for the waste of bandwidth and your precious time.

Soon, perhaps very soon, I will write things of great import.

Hmmm… noticed my battery is running down quickly. I guess I should research any potential solutions to that.

(Of course, I could just plug the power supply into the wall socket that’s five feet away from me.)

I close this entry with a couple extremely clever photos I recently shot.
(Actually you can take the exact same pictures on a walking trail at Griffith Observatory)

The Road to Hollywood -- get it?


Sunday, November 14, 2004

don't hit the "Edit Posts" button

Note to self... save the blog before doing anything else.

If you see a change in the software I'm using for this (ug) blogging, it'll be because it pissed me off too much. I was well into writing when, I simply wanted to hyperlink to something. Should be easy, right?

Suffice to say I was reminded to always save as you work. All I wanted to do was link someones name. Well, I figured it out, but it's like going back to 1996. I don't want to have to relearn HTML, for crying out loud. To the programmers of this blog software... do something so that I can highlight a word, click on a box and add a link. Thank you very much!

Okay, a quick correction... Seems as though all of the things I want to do, and more ARE available with this most excellent blogging program. Seems as though, ahem, I had to upgrade my current version of IE. I had wanted to avoid that as I had problems with it on this laptop... but I think maybe the problems have been worked out, overall.

Okay - I'm the dumbass.

Now, what did I write about that I lost? Oh yes - AFM.

AFM, The American Film Market, is a crazy, seedy time. The entire film world, every country, gets together at the Leows in Santa Monica, and buy and sells their wares. Wares being movies. For a week, the place feels like the international terminals at LAX.

People were expecting and hoping this to be a hot market. It recently switched from February, and with the move to November, and essentially killing another market in Milan - blah blah blah... it was supposed to be good.
It wasn't all that great though. In hindsight, everyone said - "ah yes, it's because there were two AFM markets this year.
Hindsight is always 20/20, especially in the movie business.

Still, I had a decent enough time. Saw some old friends, met some new ones. (This is about where my last try at writing this went wrong... see, I'm about to add a bunch of hyperlinks to this blog)
In from Atlanta, were Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley. They are close filmmaking friends of ours who are in post on what I think is going to be a very very cool Horror movie. They also have the same agent as myself for their current movie, Dead Still -- Ghost of the Needle in the U.S.
Also, I met a writer/director named Jeff Burr. Jeff knows a lot of people and is a great host, so that met meeting a lot of other people - fun was had. Thanks Jeff.
So, here is my strange AFM story.
I'm going to use a couple dates, not for boring accuracy sake, but so you see the weirdness of the situation.
I met Jeff on Thursday the 4th. We shot the shit, had some drinks, etc.
On Friday the 5th, I see Jeff again. He tells me about a story in the Thursday the 4th edition Variety magazine where I'm credited with being the writer/director of a movie called Straight into Darkness. Cool, I'm in Variety. Trouble is... I didn' direct that movie. I didn't have anything to do with that movie. I didn't see the movie. Guess who did direct that movie?

Jeff Burr.

Now - what makes the story even stranger is that for a story to be in the Thursday edition, it has to have gotten to the 'desk' at Variety by 3:00 pm the previous day.
Which means, the story went into the paper on Wednesday the 3rd -- before I ever met Jeff Burr.

Now kids, Hollywood isn't a big town, but it ain't that small either. I mean, they could have screwed up with any one of a thousand people. Heck, it would have made sense if the screw up happened with someone who was in the next story.
But no.

Anyway, I'm real glad that Jeff is an established and rather well known director. Otherwise, instead of laughing about it, he could have been pretty sore. I know I would have been.

I also got a chance to see the movie. It's really good. I'm glad because if I'm going to be miscredited, I don't want the movie to be a piece of junk. haha

Now, if we can just figure out who sent that story in. Jeff and his agents have no idea.

Well, it looks like my landlord may have backed off for a little while. He's thinking about selling our place, which is why I was looking at having to move. Incidentally, for those of you who so kindly wish me to stay in Los Angeles - never fear. The move would be within the LA area. I admit it, I love it here, and have no intention of leaving.

So, for the moment I don't have to add moving to the list of stressful things in life. I think my landlord would love for us to buy the house - as would we - but it's sooo expensive. It would take a real miracle of video-rentals of Ghosts of Edendale for that thought to even be entertained.

Couple thoughts on that coming right up...

But first - a little Outlook message just popped up reminding me that Clu Guluger's birthday is coming up. Clu's a good friend who used to live on "the hill" with us. Helped us a bit on Ghosts. His son John is directing the new Project Greenlight movie Feast, and Clu plays a bartender in it.
Happy Birthday, Clu.

Okay - back to the program.

A couple of things -- Ghosts of Edendale is a very small movie. For those of you who bought it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Renters too. Thanks so much!
So, it really pains me when I see that you can download it at bittorrent sites. I don't want to go off on the whole copyright/piracy thing, but stealing from a huge company is one thing. And you shouldn't do it... but stealing from a small company really sucks. Sonic Foundry - they made Sound Forge, which is an awesome piece of software - which everyone bootlegged - went out of business. They had to sell to Sony. So now we, the public are the losers.

I guess I'm asking - please don't steal my movie. It's only 3 bucks to rent it or 16 to buy it (or less) If you all steal it, I won't be able to pay all the people I owe money to, which means they won't work with me on another movie - which means, no more movies.

Also, for those of you who don't like it... Hey, you can't please everyone. Sorry. Maybe you'll like my next movie.
For those of you who don't like it and have a real mean streak...
There are plenty of websites where you can let the world know how you feel about the movie. Too many, in fact. And you know what? Chances are, I will read your comments and either think you're an idiot and be really bummed and hurt or I might agree and still be bummed and hurt. But do you really need to find me on the internet, and email me telling me that I suck? Why get so personal?

Okay, getthing close to the end of this entry... pretty exciting, eh?
I'm wrapping up sound design on Paul Tarantino's new movie, Headhunter. I'm also excited to finally be back on track with my next project. Romantic Action movie? or Horror?

Stay tuned for more details...

I close with a picture taken at a recent DVD signing event at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, Ca.

L-R - Me (Stefan Avalos), Paula Ficara, Marianne Connor, Stephen Wastell, Maureen Davis

Monday, November 01, 2004

I'm back - a mere two months and change later

Well, I have no idea if anyone is bothering to read this whatsoever.
If someone is, it's more than I deserve. Really.

I'm sure I would rank as a most pathetic 'blogger'.
ya know, I see this whole 'blog' word as being about done. It's a dumb word, attempting to coin an idea which is very very old. Older even then frickin Gutenburg's press.

Come on, I'm writing something and you're reading it. Anne Frank anyone?

Lots and lots of stuff has happened since my last 'blog' (ug) some time in August.
Oct 19th has come and gone. It was an important date for Marianne and myself - the date our little baby, Ghosts of Edendale, would finally be thrown from the nest. Hopefully to fly, and not hit the ground with a wet splat.
Well, it's flying. Better than some birds, not as good as others. I am actually very happy with it. On that Tuesday, we went out to various video stores to see if it was available. It was. We went to retail stores. It was there.
At BestBuy, we found ten odd copies in the horror section. Marianne moved five of them to the new releases, right next to Star Wars.
It's called end capping, we call it pro-active work.

Amazement of all amazements - we're in Walmart! How about that?

Flash forward to present though future blogs will go backwards again. Call it non linear daily or thereabouts blogging.

So, here I am on Halloween night, finally writing a new blog. There is more. Always more to write about. But the buzz of the wine will last only so long. Best to write only what counts most right now.

Please vote on Nov 2nd. I guess that counts most now. I hope you vote the way I am (which is Kerry), but if not, please vote. Otherwise, what's the point of saying you live in a democracy? Doesn't really matter, does it?

What else? Oh yeah - think we may have to move pretty soon - as in pack up your life and move. Funny, the movie gets done and out there, and instead of being able to sleep in late - we're looking at having to start all over again. Isn't that interesting? Ha fucking ha.

Having come from a rather rural part (I realize now) of the east coast, I was used to a place where things didn't change too rapidly. There's something really nice about that - stagnant - feeling. A little sarcasm? Less then you think. There is something nice about it.

Marianne and I have taken to calling L.A. "Dark City". For those of you who haven't seen the movie, "Dark City" is a place that changes from day to day. Nobody sees it but the protaganist. It's a great movie (the good arty version of "The Matrix"). In reality, it's a bit disconcerting. From day to day, we see friends, places, homes, etc. simply vanish.
A mere four years in one place, and we're the old timers.

And now, it seems, is our turn to walk into the tundra.

Went to a 'hill' Halloween party. If you've seen "Ghosts of Edendale" then you know about the 'hill' parties.
Lots of the usual suspects - always great to hang with. Met a new couple Samantha and Johnny. Samantha is a writer. Johnny was a scrappy dude who looked like he'd just been in a fight. He had, it turns out - with Ice Cube. Johnny's an actor. Just wrapped "xxx state of the union" with Willem Dafoe, Sam Jackson, et al.
Hey, check him out -
Johnny is the bad guy, it seems.

AFM (the American Film Market) starts this week, right after the election. It's the most important market for film, along with Cannes... So, for a week, Santa Monica will be more of a snake pit then usual. Time to don the gear and jump in.

Maybe I'll have some super cool news to tell you afterwards, or even during.

Till then...
Over an out.

Psst - actually, I promise that I will have a couple good AFM stories. I guarantee it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

They're heeerrre

Yes, the DVD's have finally arrived!
Warner was taking forever to ship boxes of them to us, which was freaking us out - since we have to send them to reviewers, and such.
Seeing them, boxes of them, is an incredible experience. Years of work, finally, for honest god, really happening.
And they are beautiful. I'm not just saying that because I'm the proud Pappa either. It really is a good looking box, as is the disc.

Oh, boy I hope people like it. We've worked so hard on it... though that alone doesn't mean anything in the end.

Also got new sandals (teva, thank you very much) and a replacement keyboard for this laptop - which I was able to replace in about 3 minutes. Ah, thanks for easy things once in a while, Sony.

Now, I go back to work on poster signing and promotion of our movie.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Rolling our own

Packaging posters, that's what Friday nights are all about.
Marianne and I are fulfilling poster requests for the movie. We've figures we can fit about twenty in one tube. So everything is in twenties. If somebody requested 30 - hey - they'll probably get 40.

It's cool to be cutting into the stack of posters. It also makes you realize what the numbers are really like. A number, like 40 or 50 means a lot more when each of those posters has to be signed.

The keyboard on this computer is behaving oddly. It's a laptop, means expensive keyboard. I ordered a new one today. Of course, once I did, the problems went away.
Hope it's not a viral thang of some sort. 6666666666 yup, the six works now. ---------- as does the dash. They weren't earlier on.

Hey, have you told your friends about my movie yet? You haven't? Well, what are you waiting for. It's "The Ghosts of Edendale" and it's coming out on October 19th.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

life and death

Had a party this past weekend for my birthday. Lots of fun with only the closest of friends.
Daniel and Laura (new friends met in Vegas) and I ended up talking about people we know, plans, the future, dreams.
They were telling me about how they're going to produce several moves with Neal Fredericks. The guy is a D.P. - biggest credit was Blair Witch (ugh) but was really busting butt making a name for himself. Nice guy on all accounts.
Marianne and I are talking at an "indieclub" meeting in the next week, and supposedly Neal would be back from the Keys, where he's shooting. I messaged boarded with him a bit last week.

Past tense, present tense, future tense. They all get mixed up in a situation like this.

Got word this morning that Neal went down in an airplane while shooting. Crew got out, he didn't. He was tightly strapped in, with the camera.

He was dead when Dan and Laura and I were talking about those plans. Just, nobody knew it quite yet - hadn't recovered his body yet. Murky water due to Hurricane Charley and all.

You just don't know what to do. It's unfortunately the third person I know of (closely) that went down in a small airplane. All of them in "the biz", two of them camera men.

What can you say?
Life is fragile.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Damn it!

Ghosts of Edendale is rated a 4.2!??! on In spite of the fact that the movie has a majority of scores over 6, including a bunch of tens, three, count them 3 bad scores has driven the movie into the ground?

How is this possible? What kind of a "Weighting" system are they using? This is really killing me, because it could directly affect my bottom line. It's no mere trivial game. This is my life!

So, if you read this - even if you HAVEN't seen my movie, please help me out. Hey, after you see it, if you hate it, you can change the score... but at least you'll have a better chance of actually seeing it.

Thanks from a frustrated Stefan Avalos

Friday, August 06, 2004

No quake - HA!

So, "Ha" says I. "HA"

No quake as I dreamt, which proves, uh, nothing that hasn't been proven a million times before.

Got a comment from a previous thought! wow, cool. Somebody is actually reading this.
Thanks James!

He brings up just what I think a lot of film people (who tend to be democrats) think: "If I want to be scared, I'll go to the movies. This damn government is taking the fun out of horror".

The whole Tom Ridge, Bush, Cheney thing has really made 'Dr. Strangelove' seem kinda quaint. I liked Peter Sellers better than anyone, and even George C Scott, with all his crazy evilness, didn't seem half as evil as Cheney.

Strangelove was B/W. This is all sorts of shades of color. Too bad though there are still no shades of gray.

Movie promo talk: Our contest is coming together. We're about to go online with it, which means that the next couple weeks will be all about promoting a "Win a trip to Haunted Hollywood" contest.
It will be cool, and whoever wins will have a good time. We just want to make sure that the contest translates into rentals/buys of our DVD. Afterall, that is the point.
So - no purchase nesessary but it would help you out a whole lot more if you can pore through the DVD in great detail. Ha. Gotcha!

The has a funny story about how the CIA is unhappy with George Bush's personal blog. Seems he's giving up too many national secrets.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

imagine that - old data

The furor is how Tom Ridge tried to scare everyone with old data. I wonder how many people were scared. This whole orange yellow color thing is so old, so tired, so - 2001.

That said, what next? Going to work on the ad for Video Store magazine. Last ad we can afford. We are tapped. I'm really wondering how effective that mass mailing was. God, so much money. Let's hope it pays out so that this blog has a happy ending.

Off to sleep.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

quick dopey "gotta put this down on paper"

Okay, I'm an atheist. In case you didn't know and but somehow cared.

That said -- I had a dream about two months ago, that stuck.

Earthquake in Los Angeles on August 4th.
I had to write this down before the day cause - well, if something did happen, I could point to this and say a HA!

And, if nothing happens, then I can point to this and say A HA!

It's been said. So let it be.

Over and out.

I am a geek and I can't beat it

So, I'm going all over the www trying to promote the movie in whatever way possible. A stop at's message board has me going back and forth with somebody about the merits of one video camera vs another.

And I'm getting into it. Jesus, Marianne better get back soon. I'm reverting to irc style warring all over again -- about -- whether 24p is better than 30.

God help me. I'm a geek.

But I am right.

In other news - the Warner machine has begun rolling. Good, finally. When it goes though, not much will stop it, I'm guessing. I am over the star struckness of the whole thing. They are just another distributor. It is completely amazing though to see it go into action.

Gotta get another movie in the pipe.

Monday, August 02, 2004

A sea of Blog

I just checked on the ten most recent Blog posts... uh... I guess most of us are just writing to ourselves.

Gotta sleep. I'm doing an interview with Fangoria Magazine tomorrow morning.
Cool! Promotion for the movie.

my very first blog

So, now I'm a "blogger" too. Will I be cooler than I was? It seems that I was doing this in 1995 on a "10 megs free with your account" website.

Well, I have no idea whether anyone will ever read this, so what the hell. Than again...

October 19th has become a very important day. It's the day when all the work, all the thinking, planning, etc. will focus into a release - the North American Home video release of my movie.
See, I made this movie called "The Ghosts of Edendale". It's been done for quite a while now, and we've been through quite an adventure. Maybe I'll tell you about it. The culmination of this adventure thus far is that Warner Brothers picked it up for home video. Now that's a really HUGE deal in the film world, in case you didn't figure out on your own. Yup, pretty darn cool. Only thing is that we are still putting lots o bills on our credit cards as we go promoting the release of said flick on said distribution Giant's label.

Lots of fires to put out and to try getting started.
So, I think this will be what my blog thingie will be about.

Oh and if anyone does actually see this: check out the official website for "The Ghosts of Edendale" at

Hey, how about that Orange Alert? I guess Bush's ratings must have dropped somewhere.