Podcast Episode 013: Son Of Monsterpalooza 2014 Statues!

Monsterpalooza 2014

[ Clockwise from Top Right: Demon by Anthony Watkins, Bride of Frankenstein by Blackheart Models, Creature by Monster Caeser, and Sideshow Collectibles. ]

Son of Monsterpalooza 2014

[ Clockwise from Top Right: Andrew Martin of Monster Caesar Studios, Nathan Mansfield of Sideshow Collectibles, Anthony Watkins, and George Stephenson of Blackheart Enterprises. ]

I visited Son of Monsterpalooza 2014 in Burbank, CA and interviewed sculptors: George Stephenson of Blackheart Enterprises, Andrew Martin of Monster Caesar Studios, Anthony Watkins of AW Sculpture, Nathan Mansfield of Sideshow Collectibles.


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Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Saw Guardians of the Galaxy last night and loved it. Hey, here’s a numbered list (don’t worry, no spoilers) :

1.) Congratulations to Marvel / Disney for their huge success with a film that isn’t a “remake.” (Even though it is technically based on pre-existing characters from an old comic book that mainstream audiences have never heard of.) What I mean is, it’s not a remake of an ’80s movie updated with forced “gansta culture” and an obnoxious rap soundtrack.
2.) Speaking of the Soundtrack: it was totally “out of left field” — who would think to put a bunch of ’70s soft rock ballads in a sci-fi adventure movie? It was a brave choice, and worked well!
3.) The humor was awkward and tense, just the sort of thing I like.
4.) It’s easy to impress me with exotic characters in body paint, because I’m a sucker for saturation.
5.) I’m a camera geek, but I was so sucked into the story that I don’t remember anything about the cinematography. (Except for that shot of young Star-Lord in the field, towards the beginning of the movie. Nice!) I suppose this is a good thing?
6.) I will probably see it in the theater a second time.
7.) I own Disney stock, so this all works out well for me!


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Morgan Ågren Blu-Ray Update

Morgan Ågren Blu-Ray

Hello! Carl King here.

1.) I wanted to let all you backers know that I am — right now — working on authoring the Blu-Ray of Morgan Ågren’s Conundrum. I’m in the process of adding all the chapter markers, etc. After that, I will do some final testing on various platforms and order them. I had been delaying the authoring because I was worried about my master files not looking appropriate for an HD release, and considered re-grading them. That turned into a bunch of extra work and trying to get the files out of FCP7 and into Premiere and re-applying all my filters from scratch, and fixing any weird translation errors, and needing to worry about lots of little things. But after a bunch of back and forth, I decided to go with the same grade I used on the DVD. So — same exact edit / master files, but exporting full-resolution instead of 480i. Blah, blah, blah.

2.) We now have THREE HOURS of deleted scenes edited, but they WILL NOT appear on the Blu-Ray. They’ll be available as a separate download for purchase through Vimeo-On-Demand. HOWEVER, if you pledged for the Blu-Ray version, you’ll get that extra download (in HD) for FREE, because you were probably expecting all that material to be included. If we were to include that footage on the Blu-Ray along with the movie, it would just compress the material too much — and I’d prefer to save that bandwidth for higher quality.

3.) For those geeks who care, the Blu-Ray will be in 24p — instead of the original 30p that appeared on the DVD. 30p looks weird to me these days, so I converted it. I think there is one long panning shot that looks jumpy, due to the loss of frames. But that’s OK!

4.) Kickstarter T-Shirts will be shipping around the same time as the Blu-Rays.

5.) I just ordered the James Pitts Autographed Headshots today. Those will ship out along with the complete Carl King Care Package (books, et cetera) as soon as I get the autographs back from James Pitts himself.

6.) If you pledged for a DVD and have not received it, please send a message — and either I or Morgan will ship you one, depending on which continent you inhabit.

7.) The final bit of good news is that Morgan and I are, as of last month, finally making a profit on the movie. It’s small, but we’re in the black. We actually spent more than the Kickstarter funds on producing the movie, so it took a while to earn that back. I’ll actually be sending Morgan his first check for DVD / Vimeo Sales very soon — so hopefully Alvin is still young enough to enjoy a mountain of Legos by then.

Thank you very much for your continued support of this movie, and be sure to follow Morgan’s new musical projects. (morganagren.com)

Carl King

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Project Management, Personality Types, And Peter Pan Syndrome

Peter Pan Syndrome

[ Image by julesrizz ]

This isn’t going to be a scientific exploration of various Myers-Briggs results and how they correlate to workplace productivity. This is a handy list of “filters” I use to avoid Bad People. (Bad People are the ones that use up all my energy that I could spend on Good People. Good People are, in this case, people I want to work with.) And yes, you might end up throwing away some Good People, too, but it’s worth it!

1.) Avoid people who don’t write things down. Example: a show-off waiter who thinks he can commit your order to his short-term memory. He’s too cool for school, bro. Surprise! Your order comes back wrong. Now imagine that same guy trying to produce a movie. No thanks…

2.) Avoid people who prefer to talk on the god damned phone. It means they didn’t write things down. If they did, they could email it to you, couldn’t they? (Text messages don’t count, and are annoying.)

3.) Avoid people who respond to business emails from their iPhone. Example: you send four very specific questions in a numbered list regarding an active project and they reply with a single sentence fragment containing no punctuation. They couldn’t even type a period at the end. And of course, none of the questions have been answered.

4.) Avoid people who are afraid of “real world, adult responsibilities.” It’s a sign that they don’t have much experience with really making things work. Beware those who don’t have some sort of “tether” (kids, marriage, house, pets, bank accounts, long-term job). They most likely don’t understand the concept of “I want to do that but I CAN’T.”

5.) Avoid people who refuse to accept the limitations of their “personality types.” I’ll be honest: I’m no good at math. I think I have some sort of learning disability. Failed Algebra 3 times. My mind doesn’t want to go to and stay in “the math place.” I easily get confused when it comes to numerals — it’s like I have some kind of number dyslexia. 9 may as well be 4 or 7. That’s why I use spreadsheets every day, for keeping track of things that I’d otherwise screw up. I let my wife do the personal bookkeeping, and I have an accountant AND a bookkeeper for my business. I pay them, but it’s cheaper than the financial disaster I’d cause. Beware of those “right brained idiots” who are always late, always lost, always broke, and don’t even have enough sense to say “PLEASE take over and keep me from RUINING this.”

Of course, this kind of nonsense permeates the Entertainment Industry. But most people don’t get into the Entertainment Industry because they want to work and be organized, do they?


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Thoughts On Anger

Alex Jones

[ Above photo / text by unknown. I found it online somewhere. ]

I could write a whole book about my experience with anger. It’s the emotion most accessible to me, and it’s safe to bet I’ve felt it more than anything else in my life. Much of my “creative career” was motivated by it. (While a lot of my Sir Millard Mulch music seemed very “goofy” I assure you I was not in a good mood while making it. At one point I remember calling that process “Artistic Fury.”)

I’m almost 39 years old now — and even though the specific number doesn’t matter — it’s a reminder that I’ve been around for while, and that I might want to re-evaluate my behavior.

On a mechanical level it seems anger is a response to threat — a survival mechanism. With that in mind, I must feel threatened by people who darken their car windows, add custom black rims, and park backwards. (Those three elements tend to group themselves together in parking lots, if you haven’t noticed.) I’ve called it “The Holy Trinity of The Lower Class” and also “Batmanism.” I’ve spent some time giggling and collecting photographs of this phenomenon.

While the relationship between a dude and his cheap car has no direct impact on my life (the car isn’t physically attacking me), I DO feel threatened. It’s my old friend, social alienation. The feeling that “he belongs here and I don’t.” It’s a reminder that I’ve always leaned towards Autism. There are so many behaviors in other people that I just don’t “get.” And as I said, a lot of my creative process of making music was a self-administered (and sometimes) therapeutic method to express that. But often it only made me feel worse.

People wonder why I stopped making music, and my answer is pretty much: “It made me unhappy.”

This is also why I got rid of my Facebook profile, and why I’ve stopped reading comments.

Being pissed-off might not seem like a big deal when you’re a teenager or mid-20s — and if you’re pretending to be a mysterious artist / musician you can make the excuse that it somehow helps. But anger is just not physically healthy in the long term. Stress takes its toll, and when you’re past 30 it’s a killer. (When your organs suddenly stop working, don’t be surprised.)

Anyway, alienation has always been a problem for me. In Kindergarten, when “playtime” started, I’d run to the teacher and cry: “No one wants to play with me!” Never failed. Boo-hoo. And here I am, 35-ish years later, and feeling like that every time I go out in public. It’s not that I don’t have good friends (mostly online, unfortunately) — it’s just that I look around and am overwhelmed with how much I don’t relate. The organism is threatened!

And then the fear becomes anger. But it’s not a strength, it’s just covering a weakness.

Same thing my dog does: she barks when a stranger comes in the house. She’s just afraid. Fight or Flight, eh? In my case, this mechanism is hyperactive. I can manage to turn most daily situations into some sort of inappropriate fight or flight.

I’ve only recently developed some skills for coping with this:

1.) Don’t look at / listen to stuff that makes me mad. The world is a big enough place that I can avoid most of the things that bother me if I just ignore them. I’m not talking about real problems that I can potentially address and solve. I mean, for example, the awful journalism on the CNN website. The events themselves don’t bother me (the death, the violence, the disasters) — it’s the way they’re reported. I could devote a parallel-universe-career dissecting the logical fallacies in those articles. It pushes my buttons, and I can’t resist. The problem is, I don’t think it would do any good (I probably wouldn’t defeat CNN), and I’d just be more angry. So, I try to stick to problems I CAN solve, like cleaning up after my pets.

2.) Accept that I live in a world full of people that are not only motivated primarily by emotions, but are also anti-intellectual! Hollywood (which has several good vegan restaurants), with its delusional promise of “being in the right place at the right time” is a place that attracts the irrational: those “dreamers” who don’t bother to get their shit together, and bumble through life expecting everything to work out (while someone else fixes their mistakes). According to Myers-Briggs (the third continuum) those people would be the “F” or Feeling element vs. “T” or Thinking. I am an INTJ, which basically means I shouldn’t go to lunch in Hollywood unless I want to be in a bad mood. But if I do, I can do my best to remember the T/F continuum.

As simple and obvious as these are, they’re not easy for me to put into practice. My trained reaction is to explode (I mean raising my voice and complaining and banging my hands on a horizontal surface like Alex Jones) — but that’s getting old, and it annoys my wife.

So: I will go forward and attempt to apply these two ideas. Best of luck to me!


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New Marco Minnemann CD is HERE!

EEPS Cover

I declare: Marco is the strangest of the virtuoso drummers — a studied master of percussion on every level, yet he’s not afraid to record and orchestrate whatever weird sound he wants — and this is his latest CD for 2014! (It’s called “EEPS” for some reason.)

The first 10 orders through my shop will also receive a free Autographed Marco Minnemann Glow-In-The-Dark Flying Saucer.

Listen To A Song And Order The CD Now!

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Rent “Apocalypse Later” Documentary On iTunes

Harold Camping Poster


Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Apocalypse Later


Harold Camping sounded the alarm. May 21, 2011 was to be Judgment Day, God’s intervention into our worldly affairs. The Bible guaranteed it! For most Americans, these are the Last Days. Fully 79% of Americans believe Jesus will return to earth someday. Forty percent believe Jesus will return before 2050! Apocalypse Later traces the roots of end times proclamations back to the Book of Daniel, on to the historical Jesus, and lastly Paul, the greatest of the Apostles. The same excitement that Harold tapped into for his May 21st prediction is the same excitement that helped birth a world religion 2000 years ago.


“There is no possibility that it will not happen!” Christian radio evangelist Harold Camping sounded the alarm. May 21, 2011 was to be Judgment Day, God’s intervention into our worldly affairs. The billboards declared, “The Bible guarantees it!” From where does this Apocalyptic excitement originate? Apocalypse Later traces the roots of end times predictions from the Book of Daniel to the historical Jesus and lastly to Paul, the greatest of the Apostles. The same excitement that Harold tapped into for his May 21st prediction is the same excitement that helped birth a world religion 2000 years ago. For two weeks leading up to May 21st, filmmaker Zeke Piestrup was granted full access as the only journalist to speak daily with Harold Camping. The up close portrait is juxtaposed with commentary from three giants of biblical scholarship: Bart Ehrman, John Collins, and Loren Stuckenbruck. From Mark 9:1 to May 21, the end is coming right now! Or, perhaps a little later. Synopsis: Harold Camping sounded the alarm. May 21, 2011 was to be Judgment Day, God’s intervention into our worldly affairs. The Bible guaranteed it! For most Americans, these are the Last Days. Fully 79% of Americans believe Jesus will return to earth someday. Forty percent believe Jesus will return before 2050! Apocalypse Later traces the roots of end times proclamations back to the Book of Daniel, on to the historical Jesus, and lastly Paul, the greatest of the Apostles. The same excitement that Harold tapped into for his May 21st prediction is the same excitement that helped birth a world religion 2000 years ago. 

Notable Cast: Harold Camping, John J. Collins, Bart D. Ehrman, Peter Lillback

Producer: Carl King & Zeke Piestrup

Director: Zeke Piestrup

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Big Drum Bonanza 2014 Commercial

My new commercial for Thomas Lang’s Big Drum Bonanza 2014. Clips of previous instructors Virgil Donati, Dave Elitch, Kenny Aronoff, etc.

I shot most of this over a long weekend at last year’s event. A lot of my favorite shots in this actually came from my 5Dmk3, even though I also shot a lot with the C100. They’re both great cameras. I’ll be at this year’s event, too.

Sign up at www.bigdrumbonanza.com.


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New Documentary Begins!

New Documentary

Last week I began shooting a new documentary.

My plan is to shoot it entirely on RED cameras in 4K HD (yes, I think 4K HD is a stupid term as well, because 4K is one thing and HD is another… but it’s also called Ultra HD, or 3840 x 2160. So it’s slightly lower resolution than 4K, but close enough). I could have shot it in a higher resolution, but I wanted to release the movie in the 16:9 aspect ratio and most likely in 1080p (and someday when 4K becomes the standard, it can be released in that resolution, too). Anyway, I decided to give RED a try and now I can’t go back. It’s not just the resolution (which is nice to have) but the color depth of REDCODE RAW. 16-bit video frames are just incredible to me. I’m spoiled. Working with any other video footage now feels like the equivalent of trying to create full-page print advertisements with stretched-out, aliased, compressed-to-shit jpg files in my pre-press days).

Anyway, I conducted the first interview for the movie at a recording studio in Hollywood last week. I was very skeptical that I’d even get that initial interview shot, because without it, there’d be no movie (as this person was the star). I don’t want to say what the documentary is about yet, because I need to work out some legal details first. I’m undecided about doing a Kickstarter for it. But I’m hoping I can start bragging about it in the next month. We shall see.

P.S. I’m almost done with the Morgan Agren Movie BluRay Special Features, so I should probably focus on that!


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StOrk: Paper Angels (Music Video)

Paper Angels

Here’s a music video I recently shot and edited for drummer Thomas Lang and his original band, StOrk.

I got together with the band just over a month ago at DrumChannel.com, and this is the first of two music videos we worked on that day. Some additional spooky storyline footage appearing here was shot with some local kids.

The tragic side to this story: Shane Gibson, the StOrk guitarist (best known for his work with Korn) passed away before we could get the video edited and released. R.I.P.



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