Darwin's Fincher

Alien 3, Seven, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl.  These are the 10 feature films from acclaimed film director David Fincher.  If you have any taste for movies, you already know this.  

In their totality, one can easily see the hallmarks of a Fincher movie – dark color palettes, methodical camera work, stories of the macabre, and a pristine polish in every scene.  While these are rarely mentioned and taken for granted, one could find endless discussions on his films, whether its ranking them based off of their quality, their influence on other films or even how they’ve affected the culture at large.  Panic Room is largely forgotten as a film of Fincher’s while Fight Club continues to surface as one of the most culturally significant movies in the last 20 years.  My personal favorite is Zodiac, but even that is without contention as I might swap it for Seven, given my mood.  In other words, when it comes to Fincher’s movies, there’s always something worth evaluating.

I find this clinical dissection of his films compelling.  What is it about Fight Club, for example, that continues to reverberate with audiences decades after its release?  Why is The Social Network particularly affecting, yet – even to the admission of Fincher himself – it is a movie in which the worst thing that happens to someone is they *only* make $50 million dollars?  What did we lose when he wasn’t given free reign by the studio to make Alien 3?  While all of these topics are fascinating in their own right, my attention is being drawn away from these familiar grounds to something that is often not discussed – what do we *not* talk about when it comes to Fincher’s movies.

For starters, what we don’t talk about is their humor.  Looking at all of these films, I can only recollect about a half dozen laughs between them.  This isn’t a criticism per se as the tone of a movie often doesn’t allow for laughs.  Is there humor to be found the retelling of the Zodiac murders?  But while not a criticism, it is an acknowledgment as to the range of human emotions in which Fincher feels comfortable exploring.  Perhaps one would argue that he *could* do a comedy,  perhaps a dark comedy, but that it just doesn’t fit his sensibilities – that acknowledging his lack of humorous content reflects stylistic choices, not a creative vacuum.  But even Kubrick, probably the most cerebral of directors, still found room for jokes in Dr. Strangelove.

I think it is fair to evoke Kubrick when talking about Fincher.  Both filmmakers are cold and methodical, even to a fault, when exploring the themes of their films.  However, where Kubrick allows the camera to remain a distant observer to the horrors on the screen, Fincher leans into them.  This results in Kubrick’s films allowing the audience to be self-reflective while Fincher’s are more visceral experiences – while both exhibit copious amount of violence.  I’m not sure I want to say one approach is better than the other, but I would like to ask whether we remember Kubrick’s films because they are culturally pivotal, or because of their craft?  Is Fincher’s legacy tied to the timing of his movies and their ability to tap into the zeitgeist, of for their quality alone?  In Kubrick’s films, they have outlived whatever cultural significance they may have enjoyed at the time of release.  Fincher’s films need more time to be sure.

Looking past the differences between Kubrick and Fincher, I want to return to Fincher by acknowledging something both of these directors share.  Neither of them are particularly interested in elevating their audience.  Think about the endings to these films.  Alien 3, Ripley dies.  Seven, murder of Mill’s wife.  Social Network – destruction of a friendship.  Gone Girl and Zodiac, the killer gets away with it.  I may have dodged the endings to Panic Room and Dragon Tattoo, but make no mistake that Fincher is more interested in the torment of its heroines, than in their glorious vindications.

Fincher lacks either the desire, interest or, dare I say, talent, to lift the spirits of its audience.  There isn’t a moment in any of his films that aims for the gut to compel the audience to fight back tears.  This is despite the sincere and serious approach of tackling many devastatingly violent and dark scenarios.  The closest he's come to these ends is in Benjamin Button, which an unusually hollow affair.

Fincher and Kubrick both sidestep this element of storytelling.  Kubrick, I believe, understood this limitation of his, which is why he encouraged Spielberg to make A.I., instead of himself.  Spielberg was able to find those gut-wrenching notes in the film’s final sequence that so many people assumed had been added by him (it wasn’t, it was in Kubrick’s draft).  Like Kubrick, Fincher is similarly flawed.

Positing that Fincher is a flawed director is sure to elicit a response.  Indeed, saying any of his films are good, bad or that one be otherwise indifferent towards them, are equally likely to spark a conversation.  Fincher, if he were to have faults, does not struggle to make films that are compelling.    He may have a limited range of emotions in which he can play, but the discussions about his films are limitless.

No Guts, All Glory

After a dozen movies now available in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the latest, Captian America: Civil War, has now solidified for me something I've believed for a long time - Marvel has a lot of heart, but no guts.

Consider for a moment the title of the last big movie in the franchise, Age of Ultron.  The name suggests a long storied ordeal featuring the titular nemesis.  It suggests that history will be divided between an era before and after Ultron - a new age of mankind so to speak.  However, creating such a pivotal and consequential story would require committing to a series of events so devastating as to undermine our heroes and forever alter the "present" world in which the franchise exists.  The movie clearly shows love for its characters and even spotlights a few of the members of the B team (sorry Hawkeye, that's what you are), but having the cajones to tell an earth shattering story it has not.  Indeed, the "Age" of Ulton lasts the better part of a week, seemingly wrapped up with few long term consequences (sorry Fast Kick-Ass, I can't even be bothered to remember your name).

Captain America: Civil War truly was the demarcation line as to whether or not Marvel ever intends on making a movie of serious inquiry.  All of the peices are there - betrayal, friends divided, revenge, anger, authority and freedom.  That is to say, the script is smart enough to surround itself and its characters with situations that cannot be defeated with Iron suits or vibranium shields.  It pits our heroes against age-old condundrums that have been around since the age of man - Who has authority, who keeps them in check, and what is to be done with those with whom you disagree?  Addressing these issues is not only the source of history's great tragedies, but also its greatest triumphs as the difference between civilization and ruin hangs in the balance.

Evidence for the clear dividing line as to how Marvel intends on moving forward with such dramatic depths is found in the film's biggest set peice, in which Iron Man and Captain America square off against one another, each with a team of heroes committed to their line of thinking.  There is wonder and spectacle galore here.  While cheap in it's setting as an open airport leaves little of anything interesting in the environment for this action to occur, it does make it easier for a sense of space to exist as well over a dozen heroes of various size and skill battle among themselves.  However, where the tone of the sequence should have been one of soberness and regret, it is light hearted and comical.  The shoehorned addition of Spiderman (though arguably the best portrayal of the hero ever) goes a long way to undermine whatever seriousness could be at stake.  By the time Antman makes his noticeable contribution, all sense of danger and consequence is lost forever.

Civil Wars themselves are often uniquely horrifying. During the American Civil War, for example, there are many stories of divided families that resulted in brothers killing brothers on the battlefield.  These are not wars in which people clash with conflicting cultures, histories and languages.  They are often the clash between those who are much more difficult to dehumanize, as they share so many similarities as one's self.  In other words, a Civil War pits friends against friends, and each death is a loss for the victors.

The airport set piece was Marvel's opportunity to present this tragedy to the screen.  It was their chance to have each hero reluctantly, but thoroughly defeat their friends and colleagues and experience the paradoxical loss that comes with such a victory.  It was their chance to not just show superheros punching each other in the gut, but the audience as well.  It didn't take that chance, and likely never will.

Leaving (Fear and Loathing) Las Vegas

Watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the other night has had a lingering effect.  Not because the movie is particularly affecting or, to be blunt, good.  It's that it has so many elements that should make it affecting and (again, to be blunt) good that the fact that it isn't, warrants consideration.

Societies, cultures, even civilizations themselves, do not sprout up overnight.  The overwhelming network of human influence upon one another, eventually leading to shared beliefs and values, enough of which to find solidarity and safety in a stranger's company, is so complex as to become a field of study on its own.  Fear and Loathing, on its surface level, appears to be about a man challenging the culmination of these beliefs that have become specific to America.  He is glorified in rebelling against these perceived values as he and his partner in crime (not just a figure of speech here), run amok through an assortment of Las Vegas hotels and locales.  For the briefest of moments, the film seems to understand that these men are hopelessly wrong in their efforts - but because the movie's focus is kept on the eye of their hurricane of chaos, and not on the destruction it has caused, it misses its opportunity to find an empathic bond with the audience.

The two leads, played by Johnny Depp and Benecio Del Toro, as well as all of the incidental cast including Tobey Maquire, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci, John Hamm, Gary Busey (shout out to the GBTM fans!) and even Penn Jillete, are superbly performed here - each bringing an iconic flavor to the screen.  This, along with the gloriously maddening camera work and direction of Terry Gilliam, highlight that the problem of the movie doesn't lie in its production, but in the script itself.

I don't want to get into the history of Hunter S. Thompson, his legacy, gonzo journalism, his lawyer and all the historicity around Fear and Loathing itself.  You can read up on the subject by people more informed than myself.  Moreover, I don't want to go into great detail about how the movie is an endless loop of Depp and Del Toro taking an inordinate amount drugs, nearly getting sober and then taking more, ad infinitum.  Not only should these be common knowledge to you dear reader, but as the great Ebert once said, "A movie isn't what it's about, it's how it's about it." 

What this necessitates is an examination of the script and how it approaches the drug-induced odyssey of Depp and Del Toro.  It presents their drug use with not only whimsy and abandon, but as righteous.  While the escapism of chronic drug use is almost uniformly tied to escaping ones own demons and traumas, the righteousness presented here is that they are escaping the demons of Americanism.

And what is Americanism?  Here it is represented in the crass consumerism of Las Vegas, authority figures, moral indignation of drug use and even a blonde bombshell.  Whether it's throwing change on the floor of a dwarf waiter politely requesting his tip, entering a live performance only to be so disruptive as to be thrown out moments later or otherwise terrifying those in the service industry who have the unfortunate luck to cross their paths, the script continues to focus on their narcissistic scorn for their surroundings - allegedly critiquing all things American.

However, because the script is just as narcissistic as the characters themselves, this allegory is only evident upon analysis and not in the film itself.  The script never takes a step back to analyze whether or not these characters are right - it assumes it.  This assumption ignores their moral fallibility, but more importantly, ignores the plight of the dwarf waiter who had his change callously thrown to the ground, the patrons who had their Debbie Reynolds show ruined and all of those who had to tolerate their rudeness and clean up after them. 

There is, admittedly, one exception.

In a scene that underscores what a missed opportunity this script really is (earlier referred to as the briefest of moments), Depp and Del Toro enter a diner and are the sole customers to a washed out 30 something waitress played by Ellen Barkin.  Del Toro, in a fit of controlled rage, terrifies the waitress with such mounting dread that it's on par with any scene featuring Chigurh in the Coen's film, No Country for Old Men.  For the first and only time in the movie, the film seriously questions whether these men should be held in high regard.  The camera turns to the destruction they have callously wrought, but doesn't stay long enough to learn its lesson.

And what lesson is that? Well, I allow me to diverge for a moment.

Jack Abbot is an author.  He was recognized as such by Norman Mailer, an author as well but whose prominence made his expertise expand beyond literature, into human character itself.  The story goes that after Mailer won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Executioner's Song (which chronicles the murders of, and ultimate execution of, Gary Gilmore), Jack Abbot sent Mailer his chronicle of what it's like to live in prison titled, "In the Belly of the Beast."  So profound was its prose that Mailer ultimately led a campaign to get Abbot released - as it was clear to him that a writer of this magnitude was too precious to be living a lifetime behind bars.  Mailer was successful, and six weeks after his release, Abbot murdered a waiter in cold blood.

Mailer, reinforced by the praise directed at his works, blinded himself to the obvious dangers of releasing a man like Abbot.  His self-aggrandizing belief that being a great writer made him a great person extended into his understanding of Abbot - that there was some equivalence between being a great writer and a being a great moralist.  He was so disastrously wrong, that it culminated in the murder of an innocent.  Did Mailer ever learn this lesson?  When questioned about his role in releasing Abbot, his response was that it was just, "another episode in my life in which I can find nothing to cheer about or nothing to take pride in."

Such a response begs the interpretation that his remorse was nothing more than fleeting.  Indeed, this mirrors Fear and Loathing's scene with the waitress, insofar as it was a fleeting acknowledgment that maybe something isn't right, but not an in-depth look as to what is really wrong.  Like the morale clout given upon Mailer due to his writing abilities which helped release a murderer, we have granted Hunter S. Thompson (through his Depp proxy) an equal level of latitude, allowing his drug fueled rampage through Las Vegas to be interpreted as a deep and penetrating cultural allegory instead of for what it really was - a narcissistic child's tantrums.

If only the script had this much depth and understanding of itself, we might have had a movie that was full of nuance, introspection and insight.  But this film doesn't have perspective.  It's locked into the one dimensional eyes of its supposed protagonists taking their wisdom for granted, not with scrutiny.  Indeed, the film falls victim to the same trappings that Mailer did by assuming Thompson was righteous because of his proficiency as a writer.  Think of it this way - if Thompson wasn't associated with this story, would anybody care about this character?  Because right now, the only person worth caring about, is the waitress.  

Blazed and Bemused

Dazed and Confused did for the 70's what American Graffiti did for the 50's - capture the whimsy of American youthfulness on the crest of adulthood by following a group of high school graduates over the course of a single evening.  While technically the students in Dazed aren't all high school graduates, it is the first day when school lets out and the transitory process of upgrading to a freshmen, or to a senior, is just as indicative of entering a new, more adult, life phase.  Writer/Director Richard Linklater has also just released Everybody Wants Some, which appears to return to the same concept except it follows a group of kids entering their first day of college in the 80's.  Admittedly, I haven't seen this film yet, so, this posting is not going to be a comparison between these three generational films.

What I am interested in discussing, however, is some of the interesting facets of Dazed and Confused that came to mind upon re-watching it last night.

I am a firm believer that when it comes to American cinema, particularly in the analysis thereof, there will be clear distinction between pre 9/11 and post 9/11 movies.  The first clear delineation came to my attention when, after that dreadful day, news began circulating that the Twin Towers were going to be digitally removed from the posters of Spiderman 2.  This was followed by discussion on whether or not to re-title the second Lord of the Rings from something other than The Two Towers.  Political correctness and unnecessarily cautious sensitivity, which may have always been there, was now blanketing our Hollywood media.

Along with this, our world view expanded into the horrors of barbarity across the world.  Our inability to find any solution in addressing it has become internally traumatic.  Post 9/11, there has been a gravity and grit to all of our mainstream entertainment.  Seriousness is now no longer an approach to a movie, but an ingredient.  Our fascination with post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult stories, our re-telling of classic fairy tales and our comic book adaptations have all shown a post 9/11 trend towards darkness - figuratively and literally.  Even Harry Potter, whose early books predated 9/11 and later issues came after, follow this exact same formula.  Indeed, our entertainment is following a similar pattern that occurred in post-WW2 Japan.  It's not a coincidence that their biggest movie franchise features a city-destroying monster.

With this in mind, when I was watching Dazed and Confused last night I couldn't help but realize how much of a time-capsule the film was.  The movie was released in 1993 about an era that preceded it by nearly two decades.  It was, without question, nostalgic, as Linklater himself graduated high school right about time Dazed is set.  But nostalgia alone doesn't account for the whimsy of the movie.  The fact that it was created in a pre 9/11 world does.

There are two dramatic fulcrums in Dazed that propel the film.  One is the initiation of the younger class through various forms of hazing by the older class.  Through our modern PC lens, the hazing is nothing short of abuse.  I cannot fathom this existing in a movie coming out today.  The message in Dazed is that hazing is a way of life, the more you can show it doesn’t bother you, the better.  Should this appear in a modern movie, it is without question in my mind that those doing the hazing would be ostracized and perhaps physically assaulted themselves for their perceived barbarity.  How unusual it is to see a film that doesn’t bat an eye in seeing the act as nothing more than a rite of passage – indeed even a preferable one than being ignored altogether.

The second crux of the movie is centered on a pledge that the football coach has requested his players to sign, declaring that they will refrain from drug use throughout their high school stay.  The star quarterback eventually stands his ground in rebellion in the final moments of the movie by throwing the pledge back in the coach’s face.  This act symbolically represents the character’s maturation by defying authority.  I can’t imagine a modern movie using this as a plot device without delving into the tangential moral and political implications of such a pledge.  In particular, imagine how the coach himself would be treated in a modern setting.  Isn’t it easy to imagine the coach being outed by the students with the full support of the Principal and other administrators, locking arms to demand he show sensitivity by not imposing his anti-drug sentiments on the children?  Moreover, I could easily imagine a reveal in the third act of a star football player who uses marijuana medicinally so that he can actually play, just to hammer a point of how wrong the coach is.  This is all to say that Dazed and Confused uses the coach in a one-dimensional manner – as an authority figure - whereas a modern film couldn’t resist making him a political adversary as well.

Contained within the film itself is the irony that both of these plot machinations stand in opposition to one another without realizing it.  The older kids rebuke the old and backward ways of the parental authority figures, establishing themselves as the true enlightened ones.  Yet, their power and prestige is tied to their position of power over the freshmen, who are forced to act under the same authoritarian oppression that they themselves are rebelling.  Their perceived maturation and enlightenment, indeed the entire lesson of the movie, is illusory.  The characters won’t know this for years to come, when adulthood gives them perspective and wisdom.

It’s in this realization that we find ourselves in the present.  The characters in Dazed are no more adults than they were at the end of the film than at the beginning, though they perceive themselves to be.  9/11 was no less a symbolic demarcation line of maturity for us as well.  And while we take things more seriously, adding grit to our comic book movies and the like, are we really more mature?  Or are we just perpetuating the illusion that the old generation doesn't know what they're talking about and the younger just need to follow our lead? 

What's in a name?

10 Cloverfield Lane has entered your local multiplex under the radar and perhaps under disguise.  Following critical acclaim, I was compelled to see it.  Not that I knew anything about it - I didn't - and not to spoil anything for you dear reader - I won't - my allure in seeing the film was precisely because it had no presence in the ether of movie buzz.  Considering the names associated with it, primarily Cloverfield itself, this seemed too paradoxical to miss.

The best way to watch this movie is exactly how the marketing intended, without any preconceived notions.  This is, of course, the best way to experience just about any movie.  The give and take between generating interest in a film without negatively affecting an audience's experience is a balancing game few studios are willing to play.  BvS: Dawn of Justice, for example, had released so much footage hyping the movie prior to release that it left only a smidgen of surprises for those fanboys who were eagerly anticipating their favorite comic match up.  As they were the ones who were likely to see the movie first, write reviews, record vlogs and discuss endlessly about it on forums, the studio's mismanaging of their expectations turned an army of would-be advocates for the movie into an army of haters.  In effect, their efforts paid to get people to not see the movie.

10 Cloverfield Lane leans in the opposite direction and is right to do so.  It certainly doesn't have a nine figure budget like BvS, warranting studio heads to "play it safe," but The Force Awakens did, yet it managed to create hype without resorting to plot spoilers.  In fact, the hiding of the plot of The Force Awakens went very far in creating more buzz for the film.  Through this lens, it’s the marketing strategy of BvS that seems paradoxical.

Linking The Force Awakens and 10 Cloverfield Lane is their producer, JJ Abrams.  He was also the producer for this movie's namesake, 2008's Cloverfield.  If you remember, Cloverfield was shrouded in secrecy before its release.  Little was known about it except for its conceit - a found footage Godzilla movie.  Again, audiences were able to have a raw experience during the film and it went on to have critical and financial success.

One thing that remained elusive in 2008 was why the film was titled Cloverfield.  No character uses the name, no character has the name and there doesn't seem to be a location with the name.  Cloverfield itself became a bit of a marketing touch - one more surprise for audiences to unravel.  In doing so, a question came to my mind - what should this movie be titled?  The movie lacks the kind of hook that necessitates a specific title making Cloverfield just as good as a name as any other featureless noun - it's a placeholder.

In this sense, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a spiritual successor to 2008's Cloverfield, but not a sequel in the conventional sense of the word.  Cloverfield is simply a word on the poster that says, "If you enjoyed watching Cloverfield without knowing what you were getting into, you should watch this too."  And, to its credit, you should.

Turning good men...cruel.

Film criticism is cruel.  Criticism in general is harsh, but film criticism is uniquely barbed.  A novelist has complete control of their words, a painter controls his brush, and only a single musician can play the instrument or sing the notes.  When critiquing them, a critic's words can be laser focused on the exact moment of artistry between the creator and the created.  Responsibility is clear.

The medium of film doesn't have this precision.  When an actor's words fail, who is responsible?  The actor, for performing the line inadequately?  The director, for not sufficiently priming the actor?  The writer, for not providing the words needed for its effect?  The editor, for not using the best line read?  The casting agent, for putting the wrong talent in the role?  Or was it the producer, who was unable to fund another day's worth of re-shoots?  Responsibility is diffused among many creators making any criticism hit like a broadsword, not a scalpel.

Even when responsibility can be attributed to a single solitary error in judgment, the effects can often pollute the efforts of so many other creatives who did not falter in their responsibilities.  For example, the amateurish performances of the Hmong actors are ruinous to Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino.  Blame for that rests at the feet of Eastwood himself, who insisted on casting authentic Hmong ethnic people, rather than trained actors.  But acknowledging this doesn't stop it from undermining the writer's efforts to create real characters, the cinematographer's efforts to visually convey a story, and even Eastwood himself and his efforts to keep the audience engaged with his performance.  A two star review of the movie would have a blistering sting on those whose contributions to the movie were nothing short of exemplary.

However, more often than not, the challenges with a movie are never so singularly obvious as they are with Gran Torino.  A movie's failure to connect with an audience is often hidden in actions ranging from the initial decision making process in greenlighting the film to the marketing of the film, coloring audience expectations before they even enter the theater.  Accurately accessing what works, what doesn't, what should have been done and, perhaps most importantly, what could have been done, is often an exercise in futility.  For any other medium, critiquing the art is connected to critiquing the artist.  In film, this isn't so.

While this could quickly devolve into an essay as to the importance of film and criticism itself, I'll save that for another blog.  What's important to note is that film criticism, when broad in scope, will undoubtedly attack the undeserving.  It is only with the precision of constructive feedback can responsibility for inadequate artistic choices be accurately assessed, and hopefully reassessed, by its artists.  However, such criticism is almost uniformly missing, which means in the flailing arms of the critics, their broadswords will chop off the heads of the undeserving.  It is cruel indeed.

Day, Mesa Day-O

It's one of the great experiences when watching a movie to come across a scene that has no business being written, shot, acted or not left on the cutting room floor, yet all of the crazy factors which should make it so quick to dismiss, just work.  I had this experience last night when watching the much lauded, but perhaps still underrated, Beetlejuice from 1988.

The scene to which I am referring happens near the end of the first act.  Beetlejuice lives the in the model city - literally a model, although its quaint demeanor should be duplicated - built by Alec Baldwin's character in his attic.  The camera follows a fly, giant among the small buildings, as it lands on the polyurethane make-shift grass.  Beetlejuice calls out to the fly from below the surface, enticing it to come closer.  His final bribe to lure the fly to within his grasp is pulling out a giant, still wrapped, Zagnut bar.  This is enough for him to grab the fly and take it down below the surface, presumably upon which to feast.

I was just dumbfounded by this scene, watching it as an adult.  As a kid, it was just a fleeting gag.  But as an adult, the process by which this was brought to life astounds me.  Who wrote that thinking it would work?  A giant fly?  Beetlejuice enticing a bug to capture and eat?  A Zagnut bar?  This was written down, approved by a producer, sent to props to create, cost probably a day or two worth of filming, was professionally acted by grown men, lit, cut and put in the final product of a big budget movie.  Yet, there isn't the slightest hint that the film should present us with anything different.

While I'd have to revisit his oeuvre to be sure, this is probably the best mix of all of the great elements Tim Burton can bring to a film - stylized visuals, zany characters and the sense of wonderment while staying internally consistent.  My sense is that Burton has had misgivings in his later career about getting these elements just so, and has relied heavily on the animated medium, where his vision and all of the oddities that entails can be swallowed more easily.  

But here, the macabre world of the dead allows Burton to playfully build his castles in the sand.  And he does so with such effectiveness that when we see this ridiculous, implausible, laugh out loud, absurd moment of a fly being captured by a giant Zagnut bar, it feels so natural that we forget the process and think, "Of course, that's exactly how that would be."

It's Alive!


Yes, yes.  This blog has been little more than a space filler.  No content, no updates - a worthless allotment of precious ones and zeroes.  

But today, like JC of Nazareth and Dr. Frankenstein, I hereby now resurrect and bring to life this fledgling blog - hopefully forgetting not to feed it and keep it alive in days, weeks, and months to come.

First order of business is a brief status report.  To the amusement of my inner demons, this podcast has managed to stay active for over a year.  Credit is not entirely due to yours truly as the good folks (don't believe the media's lies!) over at Gary Buseytown Massacre are as much to thank (or is it blame?).

Greek philosopher Herachlitus once said, "fluxum est," which sounds a lot like, "All is flux," in the Queen's English.  Meaning, changes are a coming - no less indicated by the existence of this post.  Some of the changes expected to unfold are the following:

More new episodes.  Yup, more and more content.  For the first year, the release of Feature This episodes were available in tandem with episodes from the GBTM.  Because it takes more time to create those episodes, it acted as sort of a governor on the amount of content Feature This could release - else the podcast would be imbalanced in content.  The new strategy is to start building a unique Feature This stream while also having multiple Feature This / GBTM crossover episodes each month - in which the good folks (again, don't believe the media's lies) over at GBTM will participate in our disseminating of fanedits.  Which highlights upcoming change number two...

New podcast stream.  Feature This will soon enough have its own dedicated Podcast stream, available through iTunes and various other platforms.  This is a work in progress and once complete, will certainly warrant another blog posting.  For the time being, continue to subscribe to the GBTM podcast to get our joint-effort episodes as well as enjoy their content.  Visit this site on the regular to catch new - Feature This exclusive - episodes.  Eventually, GBTM and Feature This will be under an umbrella network of podcasts - named Body Tape for the time being.  What's to become of this network is very exciting and is a giant WIP.  More to come on this later.

New stuff in general.  I have a lot of ideas I want to explore throughout this fiscal year.  Social media integration, merchandising, legal means by which to attain the fanedits discussed, exclusive content for VIP listeners (all two of you), video content, more integration with the fanedit community at large, a forum and a few other super secret ideas.  ETA on all of this is TBD.

Like Kirk Cameron realizing his Left Behind movie is garbage, this podcast and this site is going to experience some growing pains.  Along the way, if you have an idea of what you'd like to see and hear from these developments, email me at FeatureThisPodcast@gmail.com.  All ideas are taken into consideration and feedback is not just tossed into the digital recycle bin in the top left hand corner of my background.

Thank you for your support and here's to year number two!

The Site Awakens

Due to some links popping up on fanedit.org, I've gone ahead and made the site live.  There are still aesthetic and technical issues I'm working on, but the episodes are available to listen which is all that is important.

We now have five episodes recorded that are awaiting some post work before making them available.

Away We Go

This is blog numero uno.  It's more or less a placeholder until this this thing goes live.  5 'sodes are posted, 3 more have been recorded and are awaiting some post work.  I'll be heading to Dallas this weekend to record at least 2 more 'sodes with my buddy Greg.