The cover of your book is a piece of shit. An inspirational blog post by yours truly.


This is specifically for writers – people who are planning to (or are in the process of ) writing a comic book, e-book, or novel.

If you’re not one of these people you can keep reading along if you like. ;-)

Strap in, people…you’re in for a wild ride.

A few weeks ago I was facing a long car ride. Alone. Although I relished the opportunity to have some desperately-needed “me time”, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the prospect of a 3 hours drive – especially down a highway where the landscape is wallpapered with nothing but old farms and bails of hay. Hell, the last time I drove it I wasn’t even lucky enough to see a cow.

So this time, I was going to be prepared: I signed up for an Audible.com account and searched for an audio book to download.

I had NO idea where to start. I was searching random authors and subjects until I came across an awesome cover that stopped my hyperactive clicking finger in its tracks: a Storm Trooper helmet hanging on a hook, covered in blood.

Whoa!

A Star Wars bloodbath? Hook me up!

Huh? What? Within the confines of a PG-rated galaxy, it was beyond my comprehension that a Star Wars story could contain this level of carnage and bloodshed. How was this even possible? Instantly I clicked on the cover…

The book, ‘Star Wars: Death Troopers’ had a number of glowing reviews, specifically praising the narrator and the overall production value. It was only 6 hours long and was unabridged.

SOLD.

Listening to the audio book (which was really great, BTW) I found my mind wandering a little around hour 2…I realized something: I LITERALLY judged a book by its cover. Am I one of ‘those people’?

It was hard to say…yes, the reviews, the book summary, and of course the subject matter drew me in, but it was the cover that initially caught my eye, and resulted in the actual sale.

Taking an iconic image and doing something daring with it was all it took to hook me. If the cover had been generic – like a painting of a couple Storm Troopers, or a space ship flying through the galaxy, would I have passed it by? Probably.

So how important is the cover of a book, e-book or comic?

VERY. Let’s face it: if you’re creating a book – and reading this article – there is a 99.9999% chance that you’re not a million-selling author. Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer have the luxury of throwing whatever piece of lame art they want on the covers of their books because their names alone will do the selling.

But you probably don’t have that luxury (yet).

You need to wow someone at a glance, and that’s nearly as difficult as writing an amazing book itself.

If you’re an artist, focus more on what you draw, rather than how you draw it (a tip I stole from comic book creator/genius Scott McCloud). If you’re hiring someone, get a clear picture in your mind of what you want, and give them explicit direction.

And if you’re planning to use photography, make it compelling. Nothing is worse than a lame picture that has little or nothing to do with the story.

The bottom line: Go pro. If you’re not an artist or a wizard with Photoshop, hire someone who is. Deviant Art is packed with talented people who are willing to create your dream cover for a reasonable fee.

If you’re serious about getting noticed, you shouldn’t be sweating over a hundred dollars on an art commission – it will be worth every penny in the longrun. The difference between an excellent cover and a boring one could be the difference between stagnant sales figures, and standing out in a sea of thousands of other titles.

I hope you enjoyed my first writing-related blog post in a while…I will try to keep them coming on a more consistent basis.

I love you guys (but you probably already know that…)
Blake xoxox

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It’s hammer time! Check out my non-spoiler review of Thor.


I finally got a chance to see Thor! Here is my non-spoiler review:

History has a way of repeating itself. Around a year ago I was sitting in a movie theatre wearing a pair of uncomfortable 3D glasses, watching some talented actors deliver some equally uncomfortable performances. Liam Neeson missing the mark as Zeus, Ralph Feinnes hamming it up as Hades, and Sam Worthington looking lost and confused without the direction of James Cameron.

The visuals fell flat, the dialogue was dreadful, and the costumes were laugh-out-loud bad.

With Clash of the Titans a faded memory, this weekend I once again donned the plastic spectacles to watch a tale of gods quarreling amongst each other, and the mayhem that ensues when their conflicts spill over to earth.

Bracing myself for an epic fail

I have to admit that when I heard Thor was coming to the big screen I was more than a little skeptical. Bringing the fantastic world of Asgard to life is a daunting task in itself, but populating that world with gods dressed in some pretty strange looking costumes, and giving them a compelling story, could be nearly impossible.

I was pleasantly surprised that Thor went way beyond all my expectations, and worked for me on every level. This is one of those rare comic book adaptations where everything just fell into place. Like Jon Favreau deftly did with the Iron Man franchise, director Kenneth Branagh struck a near-perfect balance between action, humor, and drama.

The good

Everything.

Seamless special effects. Incredible art direction. Well-directed action. Costumes that were true to the source material but actually came across well on the screen. The list goes on and on…

And of course plenty of creatures getting smashed with a huge hammer.

The casting was spot-on. Playing Odin, Anthony Hopkins turned in a crackling performance that was larger than life when necessary, but just restrained enough to avoid going over-the-top. Natalie Portman breathed life into the non-descript physicist Jane Foster, giving her some much needed texture. And Tom Hiddleston was creepy, yet masterfully understated as Thor’s conniving brother Loki.

But relatively unknown Aussie Chris Hemsworth stole the show for me, and held the film together as Thor. Much less experienced than many of his on screen counterparts, Hemsworth was able to navigate a difficult character with multiple layers – crafting a convincing transition between a brash entitled jerk, to a lovably clueless outsider, to a hero searching for redemption.

The bad

Thor gets knocked out one too many times in a comedic manner, which was just a tad more humorous that it needed to be – especially given the tone of the rest of the film. This, however, is a minor quibble, and it’s completely forgivable.

The Baffling

If you’re not a hardcore Marvel fan, you will likely be scratching your head at the ‘bonus content’ that appears after the credits roll. But stick around anyway…it will get you pumped for The Avengers in 2012.

Should you see it?

Yes. Hell yes. This was the most purely entertaining film I’ve seen since Iron Man 2 over a year ago, and I would recommend it to comic fans and non-comic fans alike.

Thanks for reading!

As always, I love you guys…
- Blake xox

PS: Are we friends on Facebook yet? If not, +1 me and let’s be BFFs! And if we’re not following each other on Twitter, click here and let’s do it!

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I review the movie Scream 4, as well as Hayden Panettiere’s haircut.


Sometimes an event happens in a movie that’s so unique, so cool, or so visually amazing that a franchise can’t get back on track after they pass that tipping point.

The first time a dinosaur was revealed in Jurassic Park it was mind blowing. But once the sequel rolled around we’ve all become accustomed to the sight of people interacting realistically with enormous computer generated lizards.

When Neo swallowed the pill and went down the rabbit hole, the explanation Morpheus gave about the machines taking over humanity was an incredible revelation. But two sequels later we never received another idea that was anywhere near as exciting or original as the concept they started with.

In 1996, Scream had one of those moments.

Billed as the main character, Drew Barrymore appeared in the opening scene. She spoke with a stranger on a phone for several minutes as tension built, and before long she ended up in a fight for her life – ultimately being hanged from her front yard tree with entrails dangling from her stomach. NO ONE saw this coming, and everyone sitting in the theatre knew that were in for a different kind of horror experience.

Two sequels later (which I enjoyed) they were never quite able to recapture the magic from that first movie.

11 years later they’re giving it a try.

Scream 4 (or SCRE4M) takes place in a different world. The Internet, smart phones and streaming video are part of every day life. Writer Kevin Williamson tries to take the ‘meta’ concept even further, and again, lets us in on the joke (even toying with the premise that horror movies become silly once they’re in to the 4th, 5th and 6th sequels).

What’s good about it?

They legitimately went for something unique, although I don’t know how successful they were in driving their points home. I loved the ending, but it could have been foreshadowed just a little bit more to ‘connect the dots’.

Emma Roberts was good. Neve Campbell is always great. Courtney Cox and David Arquette as Dewey and Gale seemed more subdued compared to their previous outings, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

And of course, there are some great scenes of a guy in a Halloween costume stabbing helpless victims with a hunting knife.

What’s not so good?

The new cast of beautiful, articulate teenagers that are acutely aware that they’re living out a slasher movie are somewhat disappointing. Their performances were a little flat, and they really weren’t given much to say.

In past Scream movies we got cameos and supporting performances from Sarah Michelle Gellar, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Lance Henrikson…now we get Shenae Grimes and Marielle Jaffe. I’ll wait while you IMDB them because I know you’re scratching your head right now.

Yes, Scream 4 has a brief appearance from True Blood’s Anna Paquin and Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell, but they were given far too small a role.

What was surprising?

It was violent, but not overly-so. We get plenty of stabbings, as you might imagine, as well as tons of bloodshed. And there is even a scene of entrails spilled out onto a floor for old time’s sake.

But it definitely didn’t go as far as Saw or many of the more disturbing modern-day ventures into torture-porn that we’ve seen in recent years.

What was baffling?

That a very confused Hayden Panettiere must have thought she was filming a remake of Basic Instinct, because she was sporting a super-short, 80’s style haircut that was so out of place it was nearly distracting (or was this actually paying homage to Sharon Stone?)

Should you see it?

If you never saw the originals, you probably won’t be interested. And if you weren’t that thrilled with Scream 2 and 3, definitely don’t see this one.

But if you’re like me and loved the originals, then yes, go for it.

Scream 4 isn’t overly bloody, overly funny or overly suspenseful – it’s a blend of everything – and to that end it does work as a movie…albeit not nearly as seamlessly as it did over a decade ago.

I hope you liked the non-spoiler rundown of Scream 4. Leave your feedback below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

These movie reviews are going so well I might make them a semi-regular thing!

I love you guys,
Blake xox

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When it comes to art, is it possible to ‘cheat’? (From Shakespeare to Ashlee Simpson)


In sports, the line is pretty clearly drawn: you inject a banned substance into your body – expanding your biceps but shrinking your genitals – and bang, you’re cheating. There is little debate about this either way.

The media goes into fake-outrage mode, fans follow suit, and the culprit is branded a cheater for the rest of his career (or what’s left of it).

But can an author, singer, or artist of any kind actually cheat? What is their equivalent of an anabolic steroid?

You can’t blame this one on the rain, dudes…

Back in the 80’s there was a pop duo called Milli Vanilli. Google them and you’ll no doubt laugh out loud – if not at their music, at their multi-colored jackets with terrifyingly-large shoulder pads.

This was a very popular act for a while, and they had some big pop hits circa 1989 (even winning three American Music Awards) but one fateful day the cat got out of the bag: it was revealed that on their albums they weren’t really the ones singing. Fab and Rob were just puppets – lip-synching on stage, and pretending they were the ones with the talent in the studio.

Six months and 27 lawsuits later they faded into obscurity, and their legacy became nothing more than a punch-line for late-night television hosts.

A more recent example of a high profile lip-synching disaster is Ashlee Simpson. Jessica’s little sister was on the fast-track to fame: moving millions of albums, selling out concert venues, and appearing on every mainstream outlet you can imagine.

Until one fateful evening in October of 2004, when she was performing with her band on Saturday Night Live.

Jude Law introduced her, she came out, and lip synched…to the wrong song. She stood on stage like a deer caught in headlights as her voice came from the speakers.

Awkwaaard!

She inexplicably Irish-jigged off stage, and ultimately off the public radar.

You are not an artist, you’re a fraud…I think!

These aren’t artists…they’re phonies! They’re filthy cheaters! Right?

They’re completely illegitimate and should be ostracized from society. In fact, they should be banished to an island and forced to fend for themselves with nothing more than a tent and a bag of rice (hey, that would make for an interesting reality show…)

But what happened to their art? What they produced? Surely at least some of the people who purchased their CDs enjoyed them at the time. So what changed?

The sound coming out the speakers didn’t change. The authenticity did.

The artists are so intertwined with the art that we have a hard time making a separation in our minds. And if we don’t believe in the artist – if we feel like they’ve taken a shortcut – we don’t believe in their art.

Milli Vanilli? Ashlee Simpson? But these people are jokes!

True. But let’s take this concept a little farther. What if someone of massive historical significance was not who he, or she, said they were?

There has long been a conspiracy theory that William Shakespeare was not responsible for his own work – or at the very least has some assistance with a number of his works. This will likely never be conclusively proven one way or another, but for the moment let’s assume it was.

Would you tear up your copy of Romeo & Juliet? Would 12th Night and The Tempest no longer be relevant works?

Should educational institutions stop teaching his work?

After all, someone wrote this stuff. It’s been loved, and studied, and has inspired people for centuries – would the revelation that it was someone other than Shakespeare himself behind the quill be all that damaging? And what would it actually change?

If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

Let’s face it, art is an illusion.

A professionally-produced song can be the result of 200+ takes and a lot of digital editing.

Even the best novelists have ghost-writers, multiple editors and script doctors.

And I know of a very successful comic book artist who pays talented people to craft the layouts, character designs and rough pencils before he even picks up his Wacom pen (and then does the finishes and takes all the credit).

Yet we read books, listen to songs and watch movies, often unaware of the real artists behind the art we’re enjoying.

And let’s face it, millions of people are willing to look the other way if they feel connected enough to the artist, even though they know that they’re ‘cheating’ in some way. What would Ke$ha have sounded like in the pre-auto-tune era? What would Hollywood stars look like if it weren’t for Photoshop and cosmetic surgeons? What would an unedited book read like? (If you’re wondering you can pick up one of the Twilight novels)

Every form of art has an available shortcut of some kind, especially when you have the money to afford one – but what’s acceptable, what’s not, and what constitutes cheating?

The end of this post isn’t going to be written by me – it’s up to you. Comment below and let the flame war begin. ;-)

I love you guys…
Blake xox

PS: Are we Facebook friends yet? If not, get on it and +1 me! And follow me on Twitter if you’re not already.

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My first (and probably only) moview review of 2011: Sucker Punch


I don’t typically do movie reviews, but I’ve had some requests to write a non-spoiler rundown of Sucker Punch. And who am I to disappoint both my fans?

This movie is almost impossible to review without giving away critical plot points, so instead I’ll help manage your expectations and give my overall thoughts.

So here we go…

Sucker Punch is a mutated combination of the video game American McGee’s Alice, the movie Brazil, and some other random video game where you punch, shoot and stab things (so basically almost any game released in the last decade). Throw in a dash of Inception, a dollop of Scott Pilgrim and a hint of Japanese anime, and you have…something.

Love it or hate it, this movie is nothing if not original.

It’s a Zack Snyder film, so do we get tons of blood and boobies?

Surprisingly no.

Don’t get me wrong, Sucker Punch is plenty violent, but It’s certainly not the bloodbath that 300 was, or as needlessly carnage-filled as The Watchmen.

Many of the really gory parts happen off-screen, which suits the film just fine. I’m sure Zack would have loved to treat us with some exploding heads and flying severed limbs, but in the spirit of achieving a PG-13 rating he dialed back the bloodlust and showed some much-needed restraint.

And if you were hoping to see some skin, you’ll definitely be disappointed. There isn’t so much as a single side-boob or up-skirt in the entire film.

What is the biggest surprise?

A breakout performance from Guatemalan-born actor Oscar Isaac, who portrays the sinister Blue Jones. I’ve never seen Isaac before, but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

What is the least surprising thing?

A lot of slow-motion. I lost count of how many times the camera zoomed in on Baby Doll’s fake eyelashes, batting in slow-mo as a raindrop or snowflake floated by.

If you’ve seen any of Snyder’s previous films you already know he’s a big fan of the slow-mo, but in Sucker Punch he uses this technique a LOT – even John Woo would raise an eyebrow at the number of times a scantily-clad mental patient was suspended in mid-air wielding a sword or machine gun. Halfway through the movie I actually expected a flock of doves to fly by in the background.

Should I see it?

Yes.

Based on reviews I’ve read online this morning, this movie seems very polarizing. The combination of love and vitriol reminds me of last summer’s flame wars when Scott Pilgrim vs. The World hit theaters.

As most reviews seems to swing far to one side, I’m currently sitting somewhere in the middle. I loved the look and feel, but wasn’t completely sold on the story…I felt similar when walking out of Tron a few months ago – not completely enamored, but definitely glad I experienced it.

Hope you enjoyed my little rundown (and I hope I didn’t spoil anything?)

Comment below, or on Facebook!

Are we friends on Facebook? If not, what the hell are you waiting for? +1 me!

I love you guys,
Blake xox

PS: WOW…I kept this review to around 500 words. Any time I can ramble for less than 1000 it’s a good post.

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Is publishing going to end up like the music industry? And is that a bad thing? And what is Bon Jovi whining about?


Bon Jovi recently complained that Steve Jobs – the founder of Apple – killed the music industry.

He reminisces about a magical time when someone would go to the record store and buy an album without knowing what any of the songs were, among other things. Here is the exact quote:

“Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.”

I’m not really sure what his primary complaint is here, or even how it relates to Steve Jobs and Apple. So he’s upset that we can buy songs individually on iTunes for .99 cents instead of being forced to purchase an entire album?

Is he angry that we’re not physically holding the CD case and looking at the artwork while we listen to the songs?

That’s we’re not closing our eyes and ‘imagining’ stuff as we listen?

Shot to the heart, and you’re to blame! You give logic a bad name!

Whatever his complaints are – and I’m not sure I understand any of them – Bon Jovi doesn’t seem to understand how the music industry works in 2011.

He can’t possibly be complaining about the lack of incoming revenue – especially when he looks at his own bank account. In 2010, Bon Jovi was the top-earning concert tour in the world. His act earned $201.1 million dollars in 2010.

So why the whining?

Clearly things have changed since the time when straight men wore leather vests with no shirts underneath, and permed mullets were socially acceptable. But he must be angry about something…

So if Apple ‘killed’ the music industry, who are the big losers?

The bottom-feeders. If anyone is taking a hit, it’s the music industry’s big producers. And that’s for one reason and one reason only: they’re interchangeable middle-men.

Without the need to promote and distribute physical CDs, why are they even necessary?

If you’re an artist, why create CDs at all? Digital downloads are still making plenty of money for their creators: Apple recently celebrated their 10 BILLIONTH (that’s not a typo) download. So there is definitely enough money to go around, and people willing to pay for your songs.

Want to promote a concert? You don’t need a music producer for that. You can use blogs and social media to promote yourself, free of charge.

Want to sell merchandise? You can have virtually anything created with your logo on it, and sell it on the web or at live events.

So it looks like the only big losers are the multi-millionaires who feed off the artists and take a big slice of the profits.

So who is winning? (not in the Charlie Sheen sense…but ACTUALLY winning)

The consumers. We get more of what we want for less money. We can buy individual songs or whole albums, and preview the songs in advance. And while we’re doing it, we know that a large percentage of every dollar is going into the pocket of the artist, and not a greedy middle-man.

And everyone else benefits from our discovery. If we like what we hear we can tell 10, 100, or 1,000 like-minded friends almost instantly.

The artists. Higher profit margins, more options, and the chance to have their music heard online by millions of people around the world.

So are publishers interchangeable middle-men as well?

For the most part, yes, but they’re currently handling the change in technology better than the music industry did. The Nook, Kobo, Kindle and iPad are offering easy and affordable platforms to download books for a very reasonable price.

But what’s even better are the benefits for the independent writers.

Anyone can put their book on these platforms and set their own pricing – as low as .99 cents – making their work accessible to a growing audience of tens of millions of people. And best of all they can enter the market it in an affordable way that can compete with any established publisher.

This technology is what the Internet can – and should – be doing for businesses all the time: leveling the playing field. No politics or jockeying for position when it comes to shelf space. No multi-million dollar ad campaigns. Just the best work going viral, and the artists enjoying the rewards.

Take Amanda Hocking, who became a millionaire within a year, selling only independently published books on digital platforms. No publisher, no middle-men.

And with the current system in place, there will be many more success stories like this in the future.

The future looks bright (even if Bon Jovi doesn’t think so).

Artists will always make money because we – the consumers – love art.

We want music and movies and books that we connect with on a personal level, and we don’t care who the middle-man is (or if one even exists at all).

The music industry had a chance back in the infancy of Napster to facilitate that connection, but they blew their chance. Now things have changed and they’re never changing back. Book publishers are doing a much better job (so far) but that may change as well.

In the end, the music ‘industry’ (the factory that cranks out physical CDs) WILL die. That’s inevitable. But music itself is impossible to kill because people will always be around to create it. Times change, technology shifts, and the way we enjoy, purchase and share art is always a moving target – but the existence of the art, much like Bon Jovi’s haircut, will never change.

PHEW! That was exhasiting…if I could keep my rants to under 1,000 words I’d probably crank out more of these. THANK YOU for reading, and I hope you drop me a comment below. I’ll be back sooner than later…

I love you guys,

Blake xox

PS: Are we hooked up on Facebook yet? If not click here, and we’ll instantly become BFFs. It’s like magic.

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Why does Warner Brothers hate Joss Whedon, and you? The baffling tale of Buffy’s resurrection on the big screen.


A few years ago I saw a movie called Oldboy. It’s a twisted South Korean film that is far too complicated to describe in one paragraph, but the gist of it is that someone goes to unbelievable lengths – considerable time, effort and expense over the course of several years – in order to exact revenge on his nemesis.

You’d have to really, really hate someone to want this kind of revenge.

Episode 1 type of hate.

And although it might seem hyperbolic, I feel like this is happening to Joss Whedon right now, at the hands of the Warner Brothers studio executives.

But I feel like WB is not just trying to torture Joss, but all faithful Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, myself included.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is being rebooted as a movie – and Warner Brothers wants us to hate it

I’m not sure what we, the faithful Buffy followers, did to deserve this form of horrible punishment?

We’re actually some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the world: we watched the show for seven years, we bought DVDs by the millions, we read the best-selling Season 8 comic (which is the top-selling comic in the world without a Marvel or DC logo on the cover)…I’m not sure what else we could do to show our unwavering love and affection for the Buffyverse?

But despite our best efforts, Warner Brothers seems to hate us.

Like millions of fans worldwide, I have been waiting for the revival of the Buffy franchise on either the small or the big screen. After all, vampires are back, right? Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries…why not resurrect the series that inspired them all? Surely the fans would be back, and with any luck there would be a new audience as well.

And WB, no doubt smelling green like a succubus smells blood, decided to do just that. They proudly announced that one of the most rabid fan-bases on the planet would be satiated, because finally, Buffy was back, and on the big screen no less!

Step #1 in bringing back the magic: tell Joss Whedon to fuck off!

It’s possible that there is no writer more intertwined with their pop-culture creation than Joss is with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Throughout seven seasons (and five seasons of the equally great Angel) we’ve enjoyed a sense of continuity and cohesive storytelling that is not only rare among long-running television series’ – it’s non-existent.

While creators are famous for dumping successful shows and moving on to the newest shiny object, leaving their story full of gaping holes and head-scratching plot turns (have you seen X-Files? Lost?)  Joss stuck by Buffy with the same fervour as one of his die-hard fans.

When Warner Brothers immediately announced they wanted to elbow Joss out of the equation, they sent two very loud, very clear messages to Buffy fans: 1) this movie is not for you, and 2) we know absolutely nothing about what makes this franchise great.

Step #2: decide to completely re-cast!

If a reboot or a sequel comes years (or decades) after the original, no one is going to complain about some fresh faces on the screen. After all, no one wants to see a geriatric Sean Connery hobble through a fight scene as James Bond, or a 60-something Carrie Fisher dust off Jabba’s revealing slave-girl outfit.

But the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all very young – hell, the show just ended in 2003! A quick Google search will reveal that every main character looks nearly identical after just 7 years, and stranger still, many have even expressed interest in participating in a movie.

Why further alienate fans by recasting? This seems like a combination of cost-cutting and pure ignorance.

The recent Sex & the City films were a huge financial success – could you imagine if just a few years after the series ended, the studio announced they were going to cast younger, sexier versions of Carrie Bradshaw and the girls? Or if the once-rumoured Friends movie went ahead with a completely different group of coffee-shop dwelling urbanites?

Step #3: hire a novice screenwriter!

Enter novice scribe Whit Anderson, who’s IMDB profile reveals three acting credits, and zero writing credits.
Yes, you read that correctly. Zero. None. Nada. If Anderson has written anything more prolific than a high school book report in her 29 years, it is not documented anywhere on the Interwebs as far as I could tell.

This decision, again, screams of cost-cutting – the WB feels like the Buffy name alone will bring in the fans, so why bother hiring an experienced writer?

Save some cash, throw a script together and no one will know the difference.

The numbers don’t lie – screw over the nerds and they’ll get their revenge

If one thing has been proven at the box office, it’s that a fanbase demands authenticity. The more rabid the fanbase, the more authentic the movie needs to be.

The success of Iron Man, Harry Potter, Kick-Ass and Lord of the Rings came far before their opening weekends – positive word of mouth spread like wildfire when the loyal fans got the sense that their franchise was being handled with care – taken seriously.

That the people helming these projects cared just as much as they did about making a true, meaningful transition from the page to the screen.

And we’ve seen the opposite – when Daredevil, The Punisher, Hulk, Catwoman and Aeon Flux hit the screen with absolutely no care or consideration for the source material, it resulted in poor performance, dismal reviews, and no hope to turn the series into a franchise.

And the ultimate disaster is when an extremely popular franchise gets mangled beyond repair due to ignorance and neglect: anyone remember Batman & Robin, a sequel that was so ridiculously bad it stopped a billion-dollar franchise in its tracks? (maybe not surprisingly, this was a Warner Bros. movie)

Or when George Lucas decided to launch the first Star Wars prequel with Darth Vader as a sassy toddler and a farting alien as a bumbling sidekick – a mistake that angered loyal fans to such a degree that many have left and never looked back?

The Buffy reboot is on track to be this type of disaster.

Blood is in the water, and Buffy fans can smell it. This entire project already reeks of its complete disregard for our loyalty, and casting rumors of Megan Fox and Heather Morris (the deadpan cheerleader on TV’s ‘Glee’) are simply a slap in the face.

In conclusion: Warner Brothers, don’t be idiots.

At this point you have to realize that advertising dollars don’t sell movies anymore – WE DO.

Look back at the massive failures of the past, and realize what a huge disaster this could become once you’ve pissed off legions of Buffy fans worldwide.

Better yet, rethink this process, and imagine the financial windfall if this project were treated with just a small modicum of care.

Apologize to Joss. Beg him to write and direct. Get the original cast back. All of them. Loosen the purse strings and give us a reasonable budget. And before you know it, you’ll have millions of fans working as your marketing team (for free, no less) trumpeting your project 24/7 with genuine enthusiasm.

And I will be leading the charge, stake in hand.

Rant over.

Love you guys,

Blake xo

PS: Comments are open – flame away.

PPS: Getting over a massive cold/fever/flu that has lasted way too long – with any luck I’ll be blogging far more regularly in 2011!

PPPS: Happy New Years!

PPPPS: In case you’re interested, here is what some of the cast thinks of the Buffy reboot:

Eliza Dushku (‘Faith’) was more blunt: “Joss [Whedon] made the Buffster [and without] him… I just don’t trust the girl. Or the world.”

Amber Benson (‘Tara’) jokes “Apparently, they’re rebooting ‘Buffy‘ [without] Joss Whedon: I told him that asking to play the title role would frighten the Studio Execs.”

Actress Emma Caulfield (‘Anya’) reacted to the news simply: “ahahahhaha..”

Anthony Stewart Head (‘Giles’) addressed the issue directly: “The bottom line is if a movie was ever to be made, it should be made with Joss Whedon, whether it’s a retrospective or not. But it would be madness to do it without him. [The Kazuis] have the rights to because they have the rights to the original movie, but it should be interesting to see. It may be a bit like watching a car wreck.”

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