Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lazy, Video Game Playing Men Are In BIIIG Trouble

Uh oh... some wife/ mother/ Home Economics teacher has had a genius brainstorm with this one!
Those of you who know (or live with) people who neglect housework for their World of Warcraft/ Lineage/ Dungeons & Dragons Online/ City of Heroes etc "XP Grinding" can see the beauty of this little online game... though I can also see how it could be nefariously abused, as well.
But, what the hell... if it gets those obsessed with "reaching that next level" to do a little laundry too... why not?

Friday, July 20, 2007

If The Funk Don't Come To You, Go To The Funk

Remember these guys? You may not remember listening to their music (though, if you haven't, you've missed out), but you probably remember seeing their photos in your parents' record collection.

Ok, ok... sigh... from your grandparents record collection?

Either way, Earth Wind and Fire's influence can still be heard in today's r&b songs, and their music really stands the test of time.

This is my last birthday present for Trish this year. EWF is still going strong, and they're going to be at the Spirit Mountain Casino tonight and tomorrow night, so we're heading west in a couple of hours to go see the show. They're going to leave the funky 70's costumes behind, I'm sure (they're looking more like this these days)... but the funky bass and Maurice and Phillip's vocals are still going to be there. We actually saw them down in Salem, OR a few years back, and they sounded just as good as they did on their Greatest Hits album.

So, even if you're not going to join us at the show (they, tickets are still available!) take a moment and remember that great 70's sound that EWF exemplified. Pop in that Kool and the Gang CD, dust off The Comodores album that's been sitting in your garage... or just click here and listen to a little radio station I put together. It'll put a bounce back in your step for the weekend :)

Remember, "You're a shining star/ No matter who you are/ Shining bright to see/ what you can truly be (what you can truly be!)"


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Warmed-over Coffee Tastes Pretty Good In The Morning

Hey folks
It's been one of those weeks... lots of running around to and fro for the day-job, recovering from last weekend's Sum of the Parts premier, getting ready for the weekend... I've been so busy I haven't had time to lay down some of my random thoughts about what's been going on. Since my beloved children (I really must get some photos of Amber and put them up there...) got me up at 6:15 this morning to feed them, though, I figured I'd spend some time on the blog and get caught up.

First off, I really want to thank the people who showed up for the Sum Of The Parts premier on Saturday. This was my biggest public premier of a film I'm in, and I felt a little nervous driving up to the Hollywood Theater Saturday night. Aside from the usual promotional efforts we all engaged in (emailing our friends, press releases to the papers), Director/ Producer Raymond Steers also ran radio ads on AM 970 during the Rick Emerson show, and we had no idea how big the audience might be.

As we pulled into Portland's Hollywood District and drove by the theatre, looking for a place to park, I was pretty overwhelmed by the crowd outside waiting to get in (there were probably about fifty people). All told we probably had over 100 people see the film; I sat in the back with Trish mostly listened to the crowd reaction. For the most part I think people liked this new cut of the film (it runs 113 minutes, much shorter than the original cut screened for a test audience last September).

Eventually I'll get some copies of the photos Ray had taken at the premier (he also had a documentarian there catching the crowd exiting the theater on video... I'm assuming that footage will go into the press packets that get sent out to the festivals, and into the DVD extras once the film gets distribution). Ray and the gang went out to Thatch after the screening, but Trish and I were pretty bushed and decided to call it a night and hit the sack.

See, the premier was actually our second movie of the day... Saturday was Trish's birthday, so we went out in the afternoon and saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX 3-D at Bridgeport Village. Might I just say, ladies and gentlemen... it ROCKED!!!! The film itself (if you haven't already seen it) is tight and well made... yes, you fans of the books are going to be ticked off that the longest entry in the series (what, like, 875 pages?) is also the shortest movie - lots of stuff is cut out of the film. As a film, though, it holds up; the screenwriter and director did a good job of distilling the story and the important plot points into a fast-paced film. And if you get to see it in IMAX 3-D like we did... jump at it. The climactic battle in the Ministry of Magic is amazing in 3-D.

Overall I think Trish had a decent birthday (even if she did have to waste a good three hours of it on my premier). We kind of spread her big day out a little bit... we got an early birthday present for her (and a late anniversary present for me) a couple of weeks ago - two Schwinn bikes (thanks for the advice, Dad). We've been talking about getting bikes for a couple of years now, and with our upcoming trip to Europe we figured now would be a good time - it's a good way to get fit for all the walking we're likely to be doing.
And Portland is a great bicycle city. Not only do we have bike lanes on city streets and bike-friendly public transportation... there are lots of shops to keep the bikes maintained and bicyclists to help us out and give us advice. Plus, we're just a couple of blocks away from the Springwater bike trail, part of a 40 mile loop that goes into Downtown Portland and out east towards Boring. Since getting the bikes, Trish and I have have done about five miles on the trail, and it's gorgeous. It's a great way for us to get out in the fresh air, spend some time together, and get into shape (both for the upcoming trip and in general).
Speaking of our upcoming European Tour, we've just about gotten all the arrangements taken care of... our travel agent Cindy Passanante helped us put together the itinerary and made the airline arrangements... now all that's left is to figure out our accommodations and we'll be set. More on that later.
Well, that's pretty much what I've got time for this morning... time to head out for my first appointment of the day. I'm going to try and spend a little time each morning on the blog, though, so you'll be hearing a lot more from me... I really do feel like it gets my day started right when I can collect my thoughts about what's going on and put them down in some kind of narrative form. Helps build perspective, ya know...
Anyway, I'm out the door. Hope you're all doing well...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sum of the Parts Premiers This Saturday!

Hey folks

At long last, the time has come...

Ten years in the making, Sum of the Parts will finally have its world premier on Saturday, July 14th at Portland's Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97212) at 9:30 pm. After the film there will be a brief Question and Answer session with director Raymond Steers (and maybe a couple of the actors... you never know...)

The synopsis, for those of you who don't know the story, runs thus:

"Batty Krieg never knew much about his father, but he idolized him as the deceased war hero he was said to be. When he finds himself with a murdered best friend and a mysterious device that people seem willing to kill for, he must dig into his past and become the man his father was…literally."

My part in the film came nearly ten years after principal photography wrapped. Steers had just finished his first rough cut of the film, and realized that the ending he'd scripted wasn't working, so he wrote a new ending that included a flashback scene. Batty's father (who never appeared in the original script) was needed for the flashback... and I was lucky enough to get cast in the part. Over the course of shooting the flashback sequence Steers and I found several other parts in the film that Jules, Batty's father, could appear in.

The film itself is an innovative head trip, which plays with reality and pushes the boundaries of what many consider "action cinema." Those who saw a test-screening last September were quite taken with it. One word of warning, though - even though the film isn't rated, there is plenty of violence and language; I'd consider it a PG-13, and probably not appropriate for young kids.

If you have Saturday evening free, please come on by the Hollywood and take in the film. I and many of the other actors who appear in it will be on hand, and I know that Ray would love to pack the house for this opening night.

Hope I see you there...


A Heck of a Month

Hi folks

Well, it's been quite a while since I posted anything up here... not to worry, Trish and I aren't "dead in a ditch" somewhere, just way busy.

The first item I have to share with you is a little too big for a catch-up post like this one... it deserves a post all to itself. Of course, if you started reading at the top of the page you've already seen the Sum Of The Parts premier announcement... but if not you can just click here to read it.

So... as I said above it's been a mighty busy month.

>> Soon after my last post I journeyed up to the wilds of Vancouver, WA to shoot a commercial for Grover Electric and Plumbing Supply, a Northwest hardward store chain. Visitors to my Myspace profile have already gotten a sneak-peak of my "look" for the commercial (that's Kyle Vahan standing next to me - he's going to look even worse in the spot, if a little cleaner). Because we were shooting in the Grover store we didn't get the ball rolling until 6pm, and it was midnight before I'd shot my scenes and was on my way back to Portland. It's going to be a very funny spot, though - it was written by Pat Cashman, who you Seattleites might remember from the Emerald City's own little sketch comedy show Almost Live (he's a great guy, by the way; very mellow and very professional on the set).

Unfortunately, unless you live in Southwest Washington you probably won't see the spot run when it starts playing in early September. Later in the month more Northwesterners will see the spot when it airs on ESPN during the Portland Trailblazers games... but just in case you want to see it, I'll be sure to post it on when I get a copy.

>> Something you will be seeing a lot of in the coming weeks is Trish's Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield commercial. We started getting calls from friends and family a couple of weeks ago, telling us that Trish and her big yellow lab were appearing during Network show breaks. We've even seen it ourselves a couple times (which, given how often we watch television these days, is a wonder). No idea how long the spot is going to air, but keep an eye out for it. Hopefully we'll get a copy that we can post on (when I get around to actually fleshing out that site's content).

>> Remember that guy Kyle Vahan I mentioned above? He put director Scott Cummins in touch with me soon after we wrapped the Grover shoot. For you Trekkies out there, Scott directed an episode of the fan-generated Star Trek TOS (that's "The Old Show," for you uninitiated) web series Star Ship Exeter. He and his company, Riverscape Pictures, are competing in this year's 48 Hour Film Competition, and he's asked me to join the cast for his piece.

Of course, there's no guarantee that I'll actually be in Scott's film... he has no idea yet if there's going to be a part in it for me. You see, he won't know what the subject of the film is going to be until Friday evening, August 10th. Once he and the other filmmakers competing get the topic of their films, they have 48 hours to write the script, shoot their footage, and edit it together before the showing on Sunday, August 12. This promises to be quite the endurance test, if I actually end up being in the film. Of course, I'll have it easy... I'm just going to be in the scenes that get shot. Scott and his crew are the ones who have to edit it together in time. I'll keep you posted on things as the competition gets closer, but plan on showing up at the Hollywood Theater at 7:00 pm on Sunday August 12th to see Scott's film (and the other competitors). I've talked to a lot of people who've done the 48 Hour Film Competition in the past, and they say it's a blast... I'm really looking forward to it.

>> I don't necessarily hold with the old show-biz adage that "it's not what you know, it's who you know..." but sometimes the people you know can open doors for you, and get you a shot to show someone what you know. Obviously, Kyle Vahan helped me get this 48 Hour Film gig I just mentioned... Trish's association with IFCC Creative Director Adrienne Flagg also helped her get a voice audition, which she just booked!

Adrienne passed Trish's name on to Ilana Sol, a documentary director who was looking for someone with a mature, confident voice for her documentary on the Japanese Baloon Bombs of World War II.

Ever heard of the Japanese Baloon Bombs? Trish and I certainly hadn't. It seems that in the 1940's, the Japanese had been able to chart the path of the Pacific jet stream. They created thousands of bombs and attached them to baloons that they sent up into the jet stream towards the united states. Many of those bombs made it to the United States, but only six people were killed by them - a group of people in Southern Oregon who found an unexploded bomb. When the women who build the bombs in Japan learned of these people's deaths, they sent 1000 origami swans to the town they lived in, and started a dialogue with the people of Oregon that grew into a long-standing relationship.

Ilana was researching another documentary she was working on when she came across this story, and was so taken with it that she turned her efforts towards making a documentary on THAT topic. After the film was finished she did the narration in her own voice, but decided it wasn't quite right... and that's where Trish comes in. She's going to rehearse with the narration in the next week, and will actually record the voice track for the film sometime this month. No word yet on when the film will be released, but we'll keep you posted.

>> And finally, the last bit of big big news... I've just been cast in a new project produced by Mark Roush, Greg Demchak and Wasteland Films called Lady Wasteland. It's a post-apocalyptic action/adventure webisode series that's still in heavy development; I'll share more about the project as things come together.

Anyway... that's the latest. Just figured I'd check in... Hope you're all doing well!