Trish and Harold's Weblog

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meanwhile, Some GOOD News: The Outbreak Is BACK!

Hey folks

Thanks very much for all the kind words I've received in the wake of my release from Wake Before I Die; I've been overwhelmed by the messages of support that have come in in the past few days - and I mean overwhelmed! I've received so many emails and Facebook messages and phone calls that I've had a hard time responding to all of them... if I haven't gotten back to you as yet, please know I'm very appreciative of all your kind words.

That being said... the only thing to do is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on moving forward. I had a great audition for an industrial yesterday, and I've got a few more things on the books in coming weeks...

I did want to let you all know about some great news from the crew at SilkTricky, the producers of last year's interactive zombie movie hit The Oubreak. Fans of the film were dismayed to find that SilkTricky had taken the full interactive experience off the the official web site; the movie was so popular that bandwidth costs were getting out of hand - a testament to how many people kept visiting - and returning to -!

To help pave the way for the release of their new project Bank Run, though, the folks at SilkTricky have brought The Outbreak back for a limited time. So, if you've missed killing me in a myriad of different ways, head on over to and run me through the zombie apocalypse again... do it quickly though, before the film gets taken down again!

And remember to visit to find out more about SilkTricky's new project - you know it's going to be great!

Hope you're all doing well...


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And... That's The Biz, Sweetheart.

(Side-note: did you know that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year? Really! It's a scientifically proven fact!)

So... you remember this post from last month, wherein I spoke about some of the realities of this business we call show? Where I hearkened back to professional assassin Remo Williams' favorite little phrase, "That's the biz, sweetheart?"

Here's another phrase that's been rattling around my head this morning, from a pop culture icon not quite as niche-oriented as Murphy and Sapir's Destroyer book series. You might have heard this one a little more often - spoken by a young Al Pacino in a little movie from the '70's...

"It's not personal. It's business."

So... (may as well just rip the band-aid off instead of picking at it any more)... I had a meeting with the producers and directors of Wake Before I Die last night, and I've been released from my role in the film.

It was a business decision, pure and simple - look, WBID isn't some little movie a bunch of friends got together to make in their spare time that will hopefully play at a film festival or two and might get picked up by some distributor so everyone involved might get paid... some day. It's a major, full-length feature with real money behind it and a solid distribution plan. Since we started working on this
this project last year, Todd, Jason and I agreed that we were going to make this film the right way... and as Robert Blanche came on board as producer and Todd Robinson joined us as Assistant Director, they've held to that principal. SAG paperwork is in place, insurance has been paid in full, the OPIF application is on file, a payroll company has been contracted... everything to make a truly professional movie is in place.

There's another side to that coin, though... this film is a business venture. No matter what business you're in, hard decisions have to be made on the way to providing your customers (or, in this case, your audience) with the best possible product. You've got to do everything you can to make your product saleable; that's the only way you and your investors can recoup the money that's been put into the project, turn a profit, and then reinvest that profit in the creation of a new product (or, in this case film).

When I started working with Todd and Jason on WBID, there was no script. They'd written some scenes based on their father Dale's book My Soul To Take. We shot them on spec, and they took those scenes to the people who eventually became the film's Executive Producers. Once funding was in place, then they wrote the script. As that process went on, the lead character changed. He wasn't the same guy they'd written for the investor scenes... he'd grown into someone new - someone who, apparently, wasn't me. This wasn't an easy decision for them to make (believe me, we talked about it a lot at the Morrison Hotel last night - over many a drink). Over the past couple days of shooting, however, they saw that they needed someone else in the role. It was nothing personal... it was just business. They need someone else to anchor the film, to make it the best possible product to put before the distributors and the audience.

Here's another phrase, much older than either The Godfather or The Destroyer: "The play's the thing." That's what it comes down to, in the final analysis. When all is said and done, it's got to be about making the best movie possible... even if that means I'm not the guy playing the lead in it.

I'm not going to lie to you - I'm pretty devastated (in fact, I initially thought about putting this image at the top of this post... or, maybe this one). I have to acknowledge the position that Todd, Jason, and the producers are in, though... There's a lot riding on this film - not just for them, but for all of us here in the Portland film industry. As I said above, they're making this movie the right way - they're doing everything they can to show the world and we in the local industry that a film can be made with all the necessary provisions in place - here in Portland - and that it can be a huge success. Part of doing that, though, is making the hard choices... and people are going to get stung along the way.

So... that's the deal. Don't worry about me - I've got other projects in the works for this year (in fact, I may even still have a different part in WBID... Todd, Jason, and the gang talked about a fun little way for me to appear in the film in a completely different way. I'll keep you posted on that). It's not the first time someone's been released from a project, and it certainly won't be the last. The point of this post isn't to throw a pity-party for myself and trawl for sympathy... it's to point out yet another reality of "The Biz -" one that we we don't often think about here in our little Portland, Oregon market.
That's the thing, though... we want our market to grow. We want the film business here in Stumptown to thrive and prosper for our local producers and directors... and part of that growth has to include treating our productions like business. Some times business decisions hurt, but they're not personal.

They're just business.

Hope you're all doing well...


Monday, January 18, 2010

Want A Peanut? How About Tomorrow Night?

See? I told you I'd be trying to keep you updated more!

I forgot to mention in my last post that Walter Ate A Peanut, a short film I'm in, will be playing at Portland's Bagdad Theater And Pub tomorrow night at 7:00 PM as part of Northwest Filmmakers Night II.

If you're in Portland and looking for something to do tomorrow night, pop by the Bagdad and take in the show! You'll get to see Walter and a bunch of other Northwest-produced short films - and ballots will be handed out asking the audience to vote on the best of them. Make your voice heard!

If you haven't seen Walter yet and aren't in Portland (or can't get down to the Bagdad tomorrow night), don't fret - you can still see the film. Just visit the Store section on

But... lets face it. Nothing can replace seeing a movie in a theater - especially when you can enjoy the flick with a pint of Ruby Red or Terminator Stout. I hope you can make it down tomorrow night!


Just WHERE Have You Been, Young Man?

(Well, not SUCH a young man... I did have a birthday between my last post and this one. I'm one year closer to 40...)

So... it's been a while, huh folks? Sorry about that... I didn't mean to drop off the face of the Earth (and, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you probably noticed that I didn't, exactly...) but I have been pretty busy over the past couple weeks, and haven't had a nice long stretch to sit down and record my thoughts.

And, I'll be honest... I just wasn't in the the right frame of mind. Don't take that the wrong way, I love sitting down and getting all meditative, or sharing my little insights, or updating you on what's going on... but lets tell the truth. Doing so requires a certain focus, and I didn't really do much focusing over the holidays... and after the holidays? Well, I was a little TOO focused - but not on blogging.

So, anyway, let me give you all the quick run-down of the past few weeks:

The 24th through the 29th were really devoted to family time and relaxation. We headed down to Salem on Christmas morning to see Trish's sister and brother, and then the day after we headed up to the Bellingham area to see my parents, my brother James and his family. We hung out up north for a few days (celebrating my birthday on the 28th by seeing Avatar (yes, it really is as good as everyone says it is - Golden-Globe-for-Best-Picture good? I'll let the critics hash that out. I enjoyed the heck out of it... Give yourself a treat and see it in 3-D).

We drove through a surprise snow storm on the way home... no one expected it (in fact, there was no mention of snow in the morning forecasts) but it ended up locking up the highways from Chehalis, WA to Portland. Now, you Alaskans and Minnesotans reading this are going to chuckle when you see how much snow dropped on Portland - a whole 4 inches!! Woooo... but keep in mind that people out here don't generally put studs on their tires, since it doesn't snow that often. It does seem like we've gotten more snow over the past few years than we have in the entire time I've been here, though... so Oregonians may need to start paying attention to their winter tires in the future.

Once we got back home, Trish and I tried to make the most our time off before she went into rehearsals for her next show, Dirty Bomb (Which opens this Friday, the 22nd - get your tickets soon!) and before I started shooting my next film Wake Before I Die (we start shooting this Thursday, the 21st!). We did a little loafing around the house, checked in with that World we call Warcraft, messed around with my other favorite online obsession, had a wonderful new year's eve with our friends Rick and Francesca...

But, alas, it was all over too quickly. Before we knew it we were at the 4th of January - and the year started off with a bang. Auditions and callbacks started coming in, my computer clients started calling, and there was work to be done. So, for the past couple weeks, we've been back on the treadmill...

It's especially important that I get my "day-job" life in order, since I'll be pretty unavailable to my clients over the next couple of months. As I mentioned above, Wake Before I Die begins shooting on Thursday, and I'll be needed for most of the 20 shoot days. Once the shoot wraps (well, technically, before the shoot wraps) I'll also be traveling to Tucson and Pittsburgh for the National Institute on Drug Abuse - one of those traveling gigs I've talked about in the past. So, it's going to be a little hard for me to give them a lot of attention. Thankfully, my clients know that my "real job" takes priority, and they understand when I need to take leaves of absence like this...

With that being said, I'm going to try not to disappear from the blog during this busy period. You know how it goes, though... when focus is pointed in another direction, the blogging suffers. My best advice would be to follow me on Twitter - since I can quickly update my Twitter stream from my phone, I'm more likely to post updates that way.

So, stay tuned... I'll check back in when I can. And, as always, I hope you're all doing well...