Not a Blog

Howard Times Two

April 25, 2024 at 8:12 am
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If you missed seeing our adaptation of Howard Waldrop’s classic short NIGHT OF THE COOTERS when it was out on the film festival circuit, I’m pleased to say that you have another chance.   This year’s Balticon will be featuring a program of short films, and COOTERS will be one of the movies they are showing.

Balticon will be held over Memorial Day weekend (May 27-31),  in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Meantime, our second Waldrop short, Steven Paul Judd’s adaptation of MARY-MARGARET ROAD-GRADER, has just been accepted for the deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City.

https://deadcenterfilm.org/

MARY-MARGARET is on submission to half a dozen other film festivals, around the country and the world.   Watch this space for details as to when and where it will be showing.

THE UGLY CHICKENS is coming soon as well, and after that, FRIENDS FOREVER.   Dates and details to come.

Howard Waldrop was one of the great ones.   We’ve tried to do justice to his genius with these short films… but no one can match H’ard itself.   Come see the shorts, if you have a chance.   And read the stories.

 

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

Come to the Pulls

February 3, 2024 at 3:04 pm
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Howard Waldrop had a new book out last year:  H’ARD STARTS: THE EARLY WALDROP, from Subterranean Press.   Brad Denton and I put it together.  It was a collection of Howard’s earliest work — the stories he wrote for comic book fanzines in the 60s and early 70s, some plays from college, con reports, articles from CRAWDADDY, a sketch he wrote for Red Skelton (Red passed), sword and sorcery in the mode of Robert E. Howard, science fiction in the mode of Cordwainer Smith, and his earliest pro work, including his first sale, one of the last stories bought by John W. Campbell Jr.  Plus the never-published “Davy Crockett Shoots the Moon,” a story purely in the mode of Howard Waldrop.  All of it tied together by a series of interviews done by Brad Denton, wherein H’ard told the stories behind the stories, and how all this came to be.

It’s a swell book, if I do say so myself.   Howard liked it too.  If you missed it, you can still grab a copy from SubPress, autographed by me, Brad, and Howard himself.

https://subterraneanpress.com/hstew/

Howard also had a movie out last year… well, actually the year before, but overlapping.   NIGHT OF THE COOTERS, an adaptation of his novelette of the same name, debuted at the LA Shorts Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Sci-Fi.  Scripted by Joe Lansdale, directed and starring Vincent d’Onofrio, produced by the sfx wizards at Trioscope, it spent most of the year on the festival circuit, screening at the Atlanta Film Festival, the Dubuque Film Festival,  FilmQuest in Provo, Utah, the New York Shorts Film Festival, Midwest WeirdFest in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and the Santa Fe International Film Festival, winning several additional awards along the way.

Howard liked it too.

COOTERS was just the beginning, though.  Only the first of a series of short films — and one full-length feature, we hope — we have been making, based on some of Howard’s astonishing, and unique, stories.   He wrote so many, it was hard to know where to start, but start we did, and I am pleased to say that we have three more Waldrop movies filmed and in the can, in various stages of post production.   Some of you — the lucky ones — will get a chance to see them this year, at a film festival near you.  As with COOTERS, we’re taking them out on the festival circuit.

First one out of the chute will be MARY-MARGARET ROAD GRADER.   We were able to screen a rough cut for Howard just a few days before his death.  I am so so so glad we did.   And I am thrilled to be able to report that he loved it.

We can’t show it to the world yet.   But here’s a trailer, to give you all a taste.

MARY-MARGARET was adapted and directed by Steven Paul Judd, and features an all-indigenous cast, with Crystal Lightning as Mary-Margaret and  Martin Sensemeier as Billy-Bob Chevrolet.  The tractors are all by our friends at Trioscope.

I will be sure to let you know where the movie will be appearing just as soon as we hear back from some of those film festivals.

And there’s more coming after that.  Next up will be THE UGLY CHICKENS, Howard’s most famous story, which won the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award (and should have won the Hugo too, if you ask me).   That one is almost done, and I hope to have a trailer for you soon.   Further down the pike is the film we’re calling FRIENDS FOREVER (that will not be the final title), which should be ready in another four-five months.

And after that, we hope we hope, will come the feature, a full length adaptation of A DOZEN TOUGH JOBS.   Have not started filming on that yet, but the deals are in place.   The amazing Joe Lansdale adapted the novella, and Howard loved the script.

I wish he was here to see the movies.  To see all the movies.

Howard’s gone.   But his genius lives on.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

A Rocket from Wisconsin

October 17, 2023 at 1:32 pm
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Back in March, we showed our short film NIGHT OF THE COOTERS at the Midwest Weirdfest festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and won the award for Best Science Fiction Short.

The trophy was not ready at the time, but it is now, and the good folks in Eau Claire were kind enough to send it to us.

 

It’s very cool, and we’re pleased to add it to the awards shelf.

NIGHT OF THE COOTERS had a good run on the festival circuit.   We exhibited the film at LA Shorts and NY Shorts, Genreblast (Provo, Utah), Midwest Weirdfest (Eau Claire), Atlanta Film Festival, Santa Fe International Film Festival, Dubuque Film Festival, and took home five awards.   At this point, though, COOTERS is retiring from the festival circuit for the time being, while we try to put together a distribution deal.  Meanwhile, we have two more Howard Waldrop shorts almost ready to go.  Watch this space.   When we have some details on times and showings, I will be glad to share them here.

NIGHT OF THE COOTERS was based on Howard Waldrop’s short story of the same title, with a screenplay by Joe Lansdale.   Vincent d’Onofrio directed, and also starred as Sheriff Lindley of Pachuco, Texas.

 

 

Current Mood: happy happy

Cooters In Atlanta

May 19, 2023 at 7:17 pm
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This year’s Atlanta Film Festival was held April 20-25 in Atlanta (natch), Georgia.   I was on hand, along with some friends, minions, associates, and, of course, our cooters, to present a special screening of our short film, NIGHT OF THE COOTERS, based on Howard Waldrop’s classic short story.

The film was very well received, I am pleased to report.  (I do wish Howard had been on hand to enjoy the applause, but alas, he’s still in Texas and not able to travel for the present).  Vincent d’Onofrio, who directed the short and starred as Sheriff Lindley, took a short break from playing the Kingpin and flew down from New York to join us.

I don’t think I have been back to Atlanta since worldcon went there, many years ago.   It was great to be back.  The weather was perfect.  We got to enjoy a Braves game from one of the owner’s boxes, and they brought me out onto the field to the sound of the GAME OF THRONES theme to start the game by shouting “Play Ball.”  (I was tempted to shout “Let’s Go Mets” instead, but (a) the Mets were not playing, and (b) the Braves fans might have stoned me to death).   It was a great day for the Braves, fwiw:  they won 11-0, with five home runs, and the pitcher had a no-hitter going for seven innings or so.

We stayed at the historic Clermont Hotel.   The festival folk were wonderfully hospitable, and we got to visit some great old movie theatres… I have a soft spot for old movie palaces.   A ballroom at the historic Fox theatre was the site of the festival’s awards presentation.  Very cool.

Vincent and I were honored with a couple of awards from the festival:  his was the Phoenix, and mine the Originator.   We were in great company.   Jimmy Carter was also presented with an award, accepted for him by one of his grandsons and Francis Ford Coppola.

Baseball games and awards are wonderful, of course, but the real highlight of the visit was getting to have dinner with Francis Ford Coppola, one of the greatest directors of this, or any other, age.   A fascinating guy, and I loved our conversation.   He spoke with such passion about the film he is now making that I can’t wait to see it.

 

 

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

Cooters on the Road

April 18, 2023 at 2:35 pm
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Them dosh-garned cooters are spreading out, despite the best efforts of Sheriff Lindley, his deputy Sweets, them miscreants, and the other good people of Pachuco, Texas.   If this keeps up, they’ll be everywhere.

Not quite yet, though.   This month, we have it on good authority that they plan to attack Atlanta, Georgia and Dubuque, Iowa.

So if you’ve had a hankering to check out our award-winning short film NIGHT OF THE COOTERS, based on the classic award-losing short story by Howard Waldrop, that national treasure, you can catch it at the ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL

https://www.atlantafilmfestival.com/

Cooters will be screening on APRIL 22, 8:00pm, at the Rialto Center.   I will be on hand to introduce the film, along with our star and director, Vincent d’Onofrio (Sheriff Lindley himself), that guy DeSpain, and the good folks from Atlanta’s own Trioscope.

We’ll be doing a panel afterwards too.   The festival will be screening all sorts of other amazing new features and shorts as well, so if you’re in Georgia or nearby, do swing by.

That’s not the end, though.   After Atlanta, the cooters and I will be headed up to Dubuque, Iowa (where, as it happens, I lived from 1976-1979, teaching journalism at Clarke College) for the JULIEN DUBUQUE FILM FESTIVAL.

https://julienfilmfest.com/

I am told we have two screenings of NIGHT OF THE COOTERS scheduled for Dubuque: on APRIL 26 and again on APRIL 27.   There will be lots of other cool films to see as well… and in between movies, if you are so inclined, you can take a ride on a steamboat,  ascend to the top of the bluffs on the Fenelon Place Elevator, and check out the historic river town where I first got the idea for FEVRE DREAM.

But watch out for them cooters.

See you in Georgia… or maybe Iowa.

 

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

Cooters Take Wisconsin

March 15, 2023 at 7:47 pm
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VERY pleased to announce that NIGHT OF THE COOTERS kicked ass and took names at this year’s Midwest Weirdfest in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, winning the festival laurel as the Best Short.

It’s the third victory for our little movie since we hit the festival circuit.   COOTERS was also named Best Sci-Fi at the LA Shorts Film Festival back in November, and again at the New York Shorts earlier this year.

NIGHT OF THE COOTERS is based on the short story by the one and only Howard Waldrop, adapted for the screen by Joe R. Lansdale, directed by and starring Vincent d’Onofrio, produced by Trioscope and Lumenscape.    The film is not in general release yet, but we’re out on the circuit, so look for it at a film fest near you.   Next up on our calendar, looks like, will be Atlanta.   See you there.

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

SNOW… and Other Stuff

June 23, 2022 at 1:59 pm
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These Not A Blog updates all seem to be turning into giant grab bags.   Things pile up, and I am way too busy to blog more often, so I find myself with a lot to cover every time I have a spare moment.

I don’t really have a spare moment today, truth be told, but I am making one, since the news has broken about the Jon Snow development and I am being deluged with requests for comment.   So….

Yes, there is a Jon Snow show in development.   The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER story was largely correct.   And I would expect no less from James Hibberd.   I have dealt with a lot of reporters over the past few years, and Hibberd is one of the very best, an actual journalist who does all the things journalists are supposed to do (getting the facts right, talking to sources, respecting requests for “background only” and “off the record,” etc) that most of the clickbait sites never bother with.

Our working title for the show is SNOW.

There are four live-action successor shows in development at HBO.   Word got out about three of them some time ago.   TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, the Nymeria show, helmed by Amanda Segel.   SEA SNAKE, aka NINE VOYAGES, with Bruno Heller.   And the Dunk & Egg show, THE HEDGE KNIGHT or KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, with Steve Conrad writing.   I think some of these were officially announced; in other cases, news leaked out.   (These things always seem to leak.   There are so many people involved, writers, producers, agents, and everyone has assistants, and there is always the guy who runs the xerox machine, and reporters have sources, and people gossip, so… )  SNOW has been in development almost as long as the other three, but for whatever reason it was never announced and it never leaked… until now.

But, yes, it is true.   This was not an official announcement from HBO, so it seems there was another leak.   I did a long interview with James Hibberd last week, for the big HOUSE OF THE DRAGON story that HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is planning.   At the end of the call, he asked a few questions about the spinoffs.   “Is it possible one of the spinoffs is a sequel rather than a prequel?” he asked.   I answered “No comment.”   Then he asked “Is it possible a member of the original cast is attached?”  And again I answered “No comment.”   And that was all.   But plainly he found someone more forthcoming than me.   Who?   I don’t know, and suspect I never will.   A good journalist protects his sources.

There’s not much more I can tell you, not until HBO gives me a green light.

It seems as though Emilia Clarke has already mentioned that SNOW was Kit’s idea in a recent interview.   So that part is out.  Yes, it was Kit Harrington who brought the idea to us.   I cannot tell you the names of the writers/ showrunners, since that has not been cleared for release yet… but Kit brought them in too, his own team, and they are terrific.

Various rumors are floating around about my involvement, or lack of same.   I am involved, just as I am with THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SEA SNAKE and TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, and all the animated shows.   Kit’s team have visited me here in Santa Fe and worked with me and my own team of brilliant, talented writer/ consultants to hammer out the show.

All four of these successor shows are still in the script stage.   Outlines and treatments have been written and approved, scripts have been written, notes have been given, second and third drafts have been written.   So far, that’s all.   This is the way television works.   Please note: nothing has been green lit yet, and there is no guarantee when or if it will be… on any of these shows.   The likelihood of all four series getting on the air… well, I’d love it, but that’s not the way it works, usually.

There are all sorts of reasons pilots never get picked up to series, all sorts of reasons scripts never got shot as pilots, all sorts of reasons great treatments never get sent to script.  That’s the way the business works.    I learned that a long time ago, during my first go-round in television.   BLACK CLUSTER.   STARPORT.   THE SURVIVORS.  DOORWAYS.   FADEOUT.    Those were just a few of my stillborn children from those years.   I mourn them still.   This is a new day, though, so… here is hoping one or two or three or all four of the GOT spinoffs make it to air.

That’s all I can tell you about SNOW just now.   If HBO says I can tell you more, I will…

On other fronts…

If I may permitted a moment of snark, damn, but those clickbait websites and podcasts annoy me.   I did a long interview with THE INDEPENDENT in connection with the recent Santa Fe Literary Festival (which was a great success, by the way), in the course of which I remarked that the whole “battle of the fantasy giants” stories about HOUSE OF THE DRAGON and RINGS OF POWER being in competition was wrong, that there was plenty of room for both shows to succeed, plenty of room for more fantasy and SF on television.   Somehow three-quarters of the clickbait sites out there, ignoring the entire thrust of my comments, twisted my words on their head into headlines about how much I want to beat the Tolkien show.

Sigh.

Let me clarify.   I have a competitive nature, sure.   When I watch the Jets or the Giants or the Mets, I want them to win.   When I am nominated for a Hugo or a Nebula or an Emmy, I want to win that too… but I know that just being nominated is a huge honor.   Hey, I have won my share of awards, but I have lost a LOT more than I ever won.   It was your truly, back in 1976, who founded the Hugo Losers Party with my friend Gardner Dozois, and coined our slogan, “It is a proud and lonely thing to be a Hugo loser.”   I try to keep this all in proportion.    I expect I will be watching RINGS OF POWER when it premieres.   I want it to be great.   I want it to run for many years, to win Emmys and Golden Globes.   And I want the same for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.   Regardless of awards, I want both shows to find an appreciative audience, and give them great television.   Great fantasy.   The more fantasy hits we have, the more great fantasy we are likely to get.    I want to see Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser on television.   I want someone to film that Conan pilot that Ryan Condal wrote.   I want a DYING EARTH show based on the works of the Jack Vance, I want Roger Zelazny’s NINE PRINCES IN AMBER to be faithfully adapted, I want Jirel of Joiry, I want MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN, I want a Joe Abercrombie show.   I want lots more… and lots more science fiction too.

But we don’t get any of that unless some of the fantasy series now in development prove to be hits.

What else?   Hey, our wonderful Howard Waldrop short NIGHT OF THE COOTERS has been officially accepted into two film festivals.   Can’t tell you which yet, but I will soon, when they announce their slates.   And more to come.

And our second Waldrop short, FRIENDS FOREVER, has wrapped filming and is now in post.

And our third Waldrop short has just begun pre-production.

Meanwhile, over at AMC, DARK WINDS has been picked up for a second season.   The reviews were amazing, and the numbers were very strong; we hope to be bringing Tony Hillerman’s stories to television for many years to come.   My congratulations to our directors Chris Eyre and Sanford Bookstaver, to Graham Roland and the rest of our amazing writers, to Robert Redford and his decades of determination, to the incredible tireless Tina Elmo, and to Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, and a supporting cast as good as any I have ever worked with.    If you have not seen DARK WINDS yet, check it out… on AMC, or streaming on AMC +.    I am proud to have helped this one going.

Yes, WINDS OF WINTER.   No, have not forgotten.   I was back with Tyrion this past week.

There’s more going on, but that’s all the time I have for today.

 

 

Current Mood: busy busy