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26 Feb 2012 10:23 am

My Picks for the Oscars 2012

I know... aren't there more important things in the world than picking the winners of this year's Academy Awards. Who cares who wins?

I do.

I'm very competitive in certain things in life, and this is one of them. I go to friends' Oscars parties every year, and there is always one guy who wins... again and again. I've never actually won one, but like the Chicago Cubs in baseball I am always optimistic about the future.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my picks for this year's Academy Awards.

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: the guy who directed The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist dude)
Best Actress: Viola Davis (The Help)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Supporting Actress: Ocatvia Spencer (The Help)
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Foreign Filme: A Separation
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Descendants
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Costume Design: Hugo
Best Original Song: The Muppets
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3
Best Documentary Short: Saving Face
Best Cinematography: Tree of Life
Best Film Editing: The Artist
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Sound Editing: Hugo
Best Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Visual EFX: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Best Short Animated: Fantastic Flying Books
Best Short Live Action: Tuba Atlantic

JR

11 Jan 2012 04:58 pm

Canvases

No, I didn't leave these as a tip to my server.



JR

10 Jan 2012 01:35 pm

Comic Con vs Trey Songz

For those of you who don't know, the character of OJ in this comic is based on a real person named... OJ (duh). OJ is a really good friend that I've known for a long time. Now even though OJ (alongside me) is one of the stars of this comic, he doesn't write it. I usually don't work with others; I'm a prima donna that way.

Well, today is OJ's birthday, so I thought that I would illustrate a story that he wrote. Happy Birthday, dude.

JR

01 Jan 2012 05:51 pm

2012: The End of Movie Theatres?

The year 2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar, and lots of people have used that occurrence to say that a cataclysmic or transformative event will happen. Unless the Mayans were big into going to their local cinemas, that remains dubious.

The movie theatre industry has been undergoing a transformative revolution in the last few years. Theatres have been converting from film presentations to digital performances of movies, and like any other revolution there has been collateral damage.

A film projector would cost a theatre around $50,000, and last thirty or forty years. New digital projectors cost upwards to $150,000, and will probably not last more than ten years... if that. Converting to digital is obviously very expensive, so financing programs have been set up to help theatres with the costs.

This conversion is being egged on by the movie studios, who will save bucket loads of cash in the process. Under the old film system, studios would strike several high quality film prints from the original negative and thousands of lower grade prints. An average print would cost around $3,000; multiply that cost for every screen for every movie that is released in any given year and you get a lot. I've heard that each studio will save 600 million dollars each year. Enough money to make several Adam Sandler films.

To help with the conversion, studios are giving some these savings to exhibitors, but will only do so for ten years... enough time for the current digital projectors to no longer work. Also, starting in 2012, some studios have set a deadline to the theatres to convert to digital. Other studios have said that they will start to charge more to the theatres if they continue to play film.

All of this weighs heavily on independent theatres. Unless they come up with the cash to go digital, the studios will essentially put them out of business.

But the big theatre chains aren't going to be safe either. Digital installation and maintenance are expensive. These costs will unfortunately be passed onto the customers with higher ticket prices and more expensive concession items. Supposedly, the average ticket price to see a movie is around eight dollars

Expect these prices to go up... way up.

I'm thinking around twenty bucks or more.

Personally, I don't want to spend a dollar for the latest Roland Emmerich film let alone twenty bucks. And I know that I'm not alone. Expect more people to stay home and watch films in the comfort of their own homes. Incidentally, movie studios have also been working on deals to make new movies available for home viewing upon theatrical release.

2011 was not a good year for movie theatre box offices. Some say that it was a bad year for movies. Maybe. 2012 looks like a good year though, with lots of high profile movies coming out.

Can the Avengers or Batman save us? Only time will tell.

JR

05 Mar 2010 09:18 pm

Peanut Butter and Oscar Time!

As I said in my post last year (read it here), I want to win my friend's Oscar winners contest. Whoever picks the most Academy Award winners wins something.

I don't care what I win; I just want to win!

So this is my predictions for this year's Oscars.

Actor: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"
Cinematography: The White Ribbon
Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Sound Editing: Avatar
Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz in "Ingloriuos Basterds"
Costume Design: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus
Makeup: Star Trek
Sound Mixing: Avatar
Actress: Sandra Bollock in "The Blind Side"
Directing: The Hurt Locker
Original Score: Up
Visual Effects: Avatar (I'm sure this is a no-brainer)
Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique in "Precious"
Documentary Feature: Burma VJ
Original Song: The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)
Screenplay Adapted: Up in the Air
Animated Feature: Up (Pixar seems to have a lock on this award)
Documentary Short: China's Unnatural Disaster
Short Film Animated: French Toast
Screenplay Original: The Hurt Locker
Art Direction: Avatar
Film Editing: The Hurt Locker
Short Film Live Action: The Door
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

And there you go. Marvel at my amazing powers of prediction. I'm too awesome for words (my imaginary friends tell me so).

JR

14 Jan 2010 03:39 pm

Goodbye Cynthia

On New Year's Eve, a very dear friend and my boss passed away. Her life influenced so many people, and her untimely passing has affected all of us. She would always give me sound career advice, and her office always had candy. Even though she was from Chicago, she embraced the L.A. sports scene but her favorite team wasn't the Dodgers or the Lakers or the Angles... it was the lowly Clippers.

Goodbye Cynthia. A friend who is no longer with us is still a friend. Love you and miss you,

your friend,
JR

17 Aug 2009 11:50 am

Behind the Magic (or Behind the Suckiness That is This Comic... You Decide)

I thought that it would be interesting to see a behind the scenes of how I did today's comic.

Usually, I do very tight pencil drawings in my sketchbook before scanning them into my computer. However, today I did a very loose sketch.


After I scanned this thumbnail sketch, I inked the picture in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet.


After I've got the picture inked, I then arranged and re-sized the elements and put whatever extra stuff that I need for the panel. Finally I get this (before coloring, natch).


And there you go.

JR

27 Jul 2009 10:55 am

Comic Con Day Four

Sorry for the late Comic Con picture update. I have just now revived from my coma. Comic Con is a bully. It beats you up, and takes all your money.

Anyway... I don't have many pictures from today, but my camera and I were both anxious to get back to the real world (and now that we are back in the real world, sadly, we long for the corridors of the San Diego Convention Center).

This came as a shock. Did you know that Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, and Super Girl were dating?



The last day of the con being a Sunday you knew Jesus had to show up...



And finally, I learned something down at this convention that I never really understood before. The picture down below is of a statue behind the convention center called The Flame of Friendship, and it made me realize what Comic Con is REALLY about. Comic Con isn't about finding that rare back issue, cool new toy, seeing the advanced preview of next year's blockbuster, getting a job, promoting your comic or even hooking up with Elektra. Comic Con is about hanging out with friends...



Actually, Elektra's boyfriend was a huge Klingon and threatened me with some bizarre, pointy object.

JR

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