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Silent Night - The lovely Kim sweetly demands silence while waiting for Santa's Surprises

Silent Night - The lovely Kim sweetly demands silence while waiting for Santa's Surprises

Back on December 23rd when I was planning my travels for the past two months I wrote an article called Christmas Time and Quiet Temptations.

In making my plans for travel I had the opportunity to talk to folks that work in the entertainment industry that have worked on action, adventure, horror, thrillers, Sci Fi movies, books, games, anime and such in amazing works including some of the Transformers movies, the Star Trek franchise, the SyFy channel, Dungeons and Dragons and other games and, well, if I gave each persons resume I wouldn’t have time for all the wonderful new information!

In January I travelled to Hollywood to visit the Magic Castle with Pop Haydn and to visit my friend Robert “Lord Zedd” Axelrod.

Todd Haberkorn at the Katsu Con 2011 Full Metal Alchemist Panel

Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn at the Katsu Con 2011 Full Metal Alchemist Panel

While in Hollywood I caught up with Todd Haberkorn at the Farmer’s Market and had a chat with him and presented him The Weird Review’s voice actor of the year 2011 award – the Cookie! (yes, I know, last year when Robert Axelrod won the award he received a cake but with the “The Cake is a lie/the cake is a pie” controversy we chose to go with a big cookie this year.  Besides what else would you expect to receive from a website?)

Todd is a handsome young fellow who makes the ladies stand up and take notice and an awesome voice actor who I expect to be a regular on the big and small screens before long.

Todd celebrating with his partner at Greggo's Password Panel at Anime St. Louis

Todd celebrating with his partner at Greggo's Password Panel at Anime St. Louis

He is also a great panelist and speaker, being captivatingly intriguing or just plain hilarious as the situation merits.

Todd mentioned a couple projects I found interesting.

The first was Fairy Tail about a guild of wizards which was his most recent big anime production and it sounds like loads of fun.

If the series makes it to the 100th episode Todd plans to get the Fairy Tails guild symbol tattoo, which will be his first, and I suspect his followers at Teamhaberkorn.com will love that!

Todd also mentioned an audio drama that will have “6 episodes featuring some of your favorite voice actors that will tie into the Dark Knight Rises.”

From a chat I had with the Transmedia Producer, George Strayton, who worked on Transformers I and II, and the most recent Star Trek movie, this sounds like a transmedia production that will lead up to the release of the movie much like George did web videos that led up to a Transformers movie.

Todd also mentioned he was going to be doing some work with Vic Mignogna related to the fan based Star Trek Series – Starship Farragut – that Vic has been involved with for several years.

At Wizard World in New Orleans while I was gearing up to shoot Mardi Gras, the air was buzzing with Star Trek news.

hile I was trying to catch a photo of them this fellow was talking and kept stepping into the picture.  I think it is that William Shatner guy from Priceline! :-)

One of my favorite Filk bands – Five Year Mission (their’s and other music streams on my site 24/7!) – played.

While Five Year Mission played Vic Mignogna was watching in the sidelines.

I found Vic "Mr. Star Trek" Mignonga lurking off to the side during the Five Year Mission concert

I found Vic "Mr. Star Trek" Mignogna lurking off to the side during the Five Year Mission concert

Vic has been involved in the Starship Farragut Webseries and will be directing their fifth live action feature “The Price of Anything” as well as doing the Star Trek Continues.

Acording to the Starship Farragut website, even now they are assembling the world’s largest (9600 square feet!) studio of Star Trek sets in Kingsland, Ga. replicating all the original sets from the 1960s Star Trek series.

Vic Mignonga and a couple fans at Wizard World New Orleans

Vic Mignonga and a couple fans at Wizard World New Orleans

While I didn’t have the opportunity to chat with Vic other than briefly in passing a couple times, he did speak at the conference and I believe the Star Trek Continues series is going to be great.

It will be picking up where the 60’s series left off and using the replications of the original set.

The Starship Farragut site doesn’t yet list the cast for Star Trek Continues but I don’t think anyone with any knowledge of the characters and actors really had doubts as to who was playing Kirk or Spock.

Vic will make a wonderful Captain Kirk and Todd certainly would be the logical choice for his Vulcan sidekick.

I am looking forward to see what the future holds for these two talented gentlemen as Star Trek Continues!

 

Blake Northcott - Author of Vs. Reality and a truly brilliant and beautiful lady

Blake Northcott - Author of Vs. Reality and a truly brilliant and beautiful lady

During the interview with actor/writer/producer John Ceallach back at Shriekfest last year I found out that Blake Northcott would be working on his Luna series.

Since then I have been going back and forth with Ms. Northcott on getting an interview.

Unfortunately we have never been able to get our schedules to coordinate.

Even so I have been keeping in contact with Mr. Ceallach and Ms. Northcott and I think that interview will happen very soon.

In the meantime, let me give you a bit of an update on this interesting lady.

First of all, Ms. Northcott is now offically a part of Ceallach’s Retribution Pictures.

As a part of Retribution Pictures Blake and Kiri Callaghan are co-authoring the book Luna to go with the Luna Television series Mr. Ceallach talked about in our Shriekfest interview.

This is no surprise, but merely a reminder to those readers of the Weird Review that may have forgotten.

The back cover of Relapse, book two in the Vs. Reality series with the lovely model Maria Angelopoulou

The back cover of Relapse, book two in the Vs. Reality series with the lovely model Maria Angelopoulou

More interesting to those who are waiting impatiently for her next book is that the Vs. Reality sequel, Relapse, is scheduled to be released and available through the Amazon Kindle store on May 1, 2012, with volume 3 tentatively scheduled for late summer.

I asked Blake if she could give me any hints about whats in store and she said, “The only plot hints I can reveal is that we are going to learn a lot more about Dia and her powers, as well. There will also be a game changer at the end.  This is definitely the Empire Strikes Back middle chapter of the trilogy, and there will definitely not be a happy ending.”

When I saw the back cover I couldn’t resist asking if the image was of her, but no, it is the lovely model Maria Angelopoulou from Chicago.

Genie or Princess, Blake Northcott is the subject of many wishes!

Genie or Princess, Blake Northcott is the subject of many wishes!

While the information I have already mentioned is quite exciting news for us fans, this is not the big news that has had Blake nearly bubbling over with excitement.

I picked up on that excitement and I asked her point blank if I was correct in my understanding of the situation, which she confirmed.

While Mr. Ceallach  says Retribution is not yet ready to release production schedules for the newly formed company, it was quite clear that Vs. Reality is in the film production queue and will likely go into production in 2013.

Retribution Pictures upcoming Luna

Retribution Pictures upcoming Luna

Speaking of Mr. Ceallach, I remember meeting him in Hollywood and, at the time he was accompanying Producer/Director Tammy Sutton who I interviewed about 20 minutes before she won Shriekfest’s Best Thriller award.

At the time he was just along for support with Tammy Sutton and didn’t have anything in the festival but I picked up that there was more going on with the fellow than was obvious and got him aside for a chat.

Since then I have been following him and those he associates with to keep an eye on what has been happening.

At Shriekfest he told me about his pet project Luna and a couple other projects.

He said that Blake Northcott and Randy Goodwin were going to be working on that.

Katie a movie coming soon from Retribution Pictures

Katie a movie coming soon from Retribution Pictures

Sam Dei Lune is currently working on another project called Katie, which is a supernatural thriller based on Mr. Ceallach’s own family history and IMDB shows it slated for production this year.

In recent weeks the online profiles of Sam and Blake have now officially added that they are working for Retribution Pictures and IMDB Pro lists John Ceallach as the CEO.

As I was about to put this article to bed I put in an email to Mr. Ceallach and asked for an update on the location of Retribution Studios and such.

He indicated that they are not yet ready to put out a press release on the corporate locations yet but said that they would be locating in Hollywood and in the New Orleans, Louisiana area and expanding from there.

I couldn’t go into the full details of what I am piecing together from these interesting folks but it looks like Mr. Ceallach’s newly founded company is going to be moving in several different directions very soon and with this much going on so close to the surface, I imagine that there is much more that is happening further behind the scenes.

 

George Strayton and The Gygax Project!

George Strayton and The Gygax Project!

As I mentioned, I met with George Strayton for an interview during my travels in January.

In part 3 of my interview with George Strayton I asked him about one of my major curiousities, the Gary Gygax movie.

I have to say that originally I was a bit surprised when he said that the Gygax movie was going to be, in part, an action movie.

I didn’t really think of Gary Gygax as an action adventurer and he had also mentioned that it would also show the creation of the Dungeons and Dragons universe in the movie so I figured it would be akin to the Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Gary portrayed in both worlds.

In the interview George dispelled this thought and told me that no, Gary was actually a bit of an adventurer himself and a tall (well, 5′ 10′ which is tall to me at 5′ 7″!) and brawny man.

This put my thoughts on the movie in a bit of a tailspin and I had to revise my previous impression of the movie.

While George hasn’t let on who they are negotiating with to direct or star in the movie, my previous thoughts went out the window.

I had been thinking of Gary in terms of what many of his following are (myself included) which is gamer geeks that are more likely to be the “red shirts” category in a real adventure.

Previously I had commented that George’s tweets from previous months had mentioned meeting with two stars on different projects he was working on, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

I had immediately dismissed Vin Diesel as a potential candidate for playing Gary Gygax as not at all fitting the gamer geek mould and figured it was Bradley Cooper they were considering.

After hearing what George had to say in the interview I had to revise my thoughts on Mr. Diesel and do some research.

In the interview George mentioned that the studio head and the producer that are looking at producing the film are both Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Gamers and he mentions that there is someone who is interested in the Gary Gygax role.

If most folks have the same thoughts on Gary, pegging him as a wimpy gamer geek, it may take the likes of Vin Diesel to portray him as the man he really was as opposed to the stereotype that his followers might give him.

According to IMDB, Vin Diesel is a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons and has been playing for 24 years.

When I found out that Vin Diesel is a long time player of Dungeons and Dragons I couldn’t come to any other conclusion than that he really is considering the part.

When I have mentioned the idea of Vin Diesel playing Gary Gygax to my gamer geek friends the response has universally been “Really?” with that high pitched squeak of incredulousness at the end.

When I have told them what George told me about Gary their faces have lit up with delight and their responses have varied from “Cool!” and “WOW!” to “AWESOME!”

So, at this point I am actually thinking Vin Diesel is a great choice for playing Gary Gygax and I have to say that it is going to take someone like him to pull off showing the world the amazing side of Gary Gygax that we never knew.

By the way, if Mr. Vin Diesel happens to read this, I would love to sit down with him and George to play a session of Dungeons and Dragons or Secret Fire at Gen Con this year.

Oh, and bring the Producer and the Studio President and we will celebrate 45 years of Gen Con together!

Check out The Weird Review Interview with George Strayton and let me know what you think!

Toxie Greets guests with the welcoming message, "No Parking Please"

Toxie Greets guests with the welcoming message, "No Parking Please"

Last but not least I have to mention my recent visit to Troma Entertainment  where I saw the home of The Toxic Avenger and the folks of Troma who have been making independent movies for almost 40 years.

The Lovely Jeana showed me around Troma Studios in lieu of Lloyd

The Lovely Jeana showed me around Troma Studios in lieu of Lloyd

An email had informed me prior to my visit that, due to schedule conflicts, Lloyd had fled, er, left the country just before I visited, and so the lovely Jeana showed me around the place instead.

The Masters Room at Troma

The Masters Room at Troma

When Jeana offered to show me the Masters room I was shocked and dismayed that Lloyd would make her call him that but to my relief she took me to the room where they store the master copies of the videos they distribute.

Lloyd's Partner, Michael Herz, smiles that friendly "Who the heck are you and why are you in my office?" smile as I wander into his office unannounced.

Lloyd's Partner, Michael Herz, smiles that friendly "Who the heck are you and why are you in my office?" smile as I wander into his office unannounced.

While Lloyd was away his partner, Michael Herz, the brains of the company (Lloyd’s brain was consumed by zombie chickens long ago) was keeping things running smoothly.

Lloyd's desk is rumored to be buried beneath a treasure house of Troma memorabilia

Lloyd's desk is rumored to be buried beneath a treasure house of Troma memorabilia

While Jeana said Lloyd was out of the country and unavailable, she did let me take a peek in his office and, had it been a clear day, I might have seen his desk.  We heard a bit of a moaning noise as we headed towards the entrance to his office and Jeana trotted ahead to make sure nothing was amiss.  I heard a few thudding noises but everything was quiet when I arrived to find Jeana behind the desk giving me an “I didn’t just kick Lloyd in the head and knock him unconscious again” smile as she pointed to the manikin and said, “Look! a Manikin!”

 

Travis Campbell at his desk editing the PETA PSA

Travis Campbell at his desk editing the PETA PSA

From Lloyd’s office Jeana took me to meet Travis Campbell who was editing Lloyd’s new video PSA for PETA.

On a more serious note, as previously mentioned, The Weird Review has been giving out our _____ of the Year awards and last week sent one to Lloyd celebrating him as the Indie Inspiration of the year 2011.

I would like to thank Lloyd for all the books he has written on making and selling indie movies, for being in all the indie movies he has supported, for encouraging indie producers, directors, and actors to keep making movies and most of all, for the encouragement and inspiration that he has been to me.

When Lloyd received the award he shot me an email and said, ”

The Troma Team and Toxie really enjoyed the Giant Cookie you sent us.Thanks so much!

Pls post this somewhere.  Here is my Tromatic PETA PSA against factory farming.

So I will go you one better, Lloyd.

A drum roll please?

It rude, lewd, crude, and definitely not for my mom, but with a very powerful message – The Tromatic PETA PSA!

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