Scott Saslow is a terrific graphic designer who followed Film Score Monthly for years as a passionate soundtrack collector. When I was making my short film, Sky Fighter, he very kindly reached out and volunteered to create graphics for the production design (a la one of our mutual heroes, Mike Okuda on Star Trek). We worked on them a bit and ended up with a really neat set of decals, like this one: He also created patches for the costumes: It’s the nature of the beast that th
Hanukah is when Jewish kids learn they’re not like the other kids. No Christmas! We do Hanukah. But it is eight nights, which is fun. It’s early this year. This year I got a cigarette lighter—I was tired of matches. I feel lucky we’re in a tolerant area, and while there don’t seem to be a lot of other Jewish families around, there are a few. Our twin girls are having the experience of being the only ones in their class to light the menorah—I know the feeling—but their teacher
I am almost finished watching season one of Cowboy Bebop on Netflix. Sorry to say, I am having a lot of problems with it. I have a policy on this blog that I do not say anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to the person’s face (if they asked). So I don’t want to belabor any of this. I don’t know the Cowboy Bebop Netflix creators—and it’s bad for my career to lay down a paper trail of dumping on people’s work when, in truth, I would give my right arm to have anywhe
Arne Starr is a comic book inker—and a very good one—and also an actor, which I didn’t realize until I just looked him up: IMDB, Memory Alpha, Twitter. In the late 1980s I went to a handful of Star Trek conventions in New England. They were produced by Creation and I quickly tired of their cookie-cutter format and emphasis on merchandising. I don’t remember if I wrote about Creation before—I’m sure I’ll start repeating myself on here soon, if I haven’t already—but I truly wen
Here I am on Wednesday after my Covid booster shot. I got a flu shot in the other arm at the same time. They gave me the cool red Walgreens band-aids. Fortunately I have not had more than a sore arm from any of the vaccination shots. My wife had had her ass kicked by the Moderna shots; I got Pfizer. This comes as there is news of a terrifying new variant detected in South Africa. Good grief, we can’t possibly have to do this all over again...can we? This is my blog, so it is
Yesterday was November 23rd. And it fell on a Tuesday. This rang a bell because it was on a Tuesday, November 23, 1993—28 years prior—Arista Records released the 4CD Star Wars Anthology box set, for which I wrote the track-by-track liner notes. To say this was the highlight of my life would be an understatement. It was like being invited up onto Mount Olympus to work with the Gods themselves. Star Wars was my everything, and the unreleased music was the holiest of holies. (I
Last night I picked up dinner from a very good Indian restaurant here in South Pasadena, Radhika—which happens to be across the street from the above structure. You may recognize it more looking like this: Yes, that’s Michael Myers’ childhood home in the original 1978 Halloween. It was moved from its original location (down the street) some time in the 1980s, I believe. Quite a bit of the original Halloween was filmed in South Pasadena, read more about it here. In fact, the r
I love this demented show. I love the cast, the glamour, the sick humor. I actually didn’t watch it at first. It looked annoying. Done by dummies, it would have been insufferable. But it is oh-so-smart. It’s really just The Godfather—which was King Lear—starring Rupert Murdoch. It’s a palace show, with the family bonds giving emotional weight to the business scheming. It seems very Jewish, and it’s amazing how much empathy it generates for people who are, by their own admissi
Hi folks, don’t be alarmed, but apparently our neighborhood squirrels have learned how to pick a slice of pizza out of the trash and carry it up into a tree, to devour like a leopard with its prey. This was, I should point out, at a public park—we don’t throw slices of pizza in the trash! I had an even better video, but turns out I didn’t properly hit the record button—I hate it when that happens. Other than this, wildlife is just fine, I think.
I have been looking forward to the new Cowboy Bebop live-action series possibly more than any other show in recent memory. I love the anime, and have rewatched it more than once. It is a masterpiece—but a slippery one that works its magic like a ninja. I remember following the development of a feature film maybe 10–15 years ago that would have starred Keanu Reeves, thinking, “Oh no, they’ll mess it up.” Now, with this live-action series starring John Cho—did they mess it up?
Yesterday I wrote about The Split (Quincy Jones) being down to the last ten (now eight) copies. It is very strange to be talking about the FSM catalog in...2021?!? Soon to be 2022? Somehow it makes me feel like it’s still 1998. Where did the time go?!? In truth, our entire catalog is now technically out-of-print. We’re just selling off stock, to the extent the studio kindly allow it. Here’s what’s left at Screen Archives. If you look at the page of CD releases on the FSM site
One of the coolest scores we ever released at Film Score Monthly is down to the last 10 copies at Screen Archives. If you love 1960s/’70s jazz-funk-action scores, you can’t miss this one! Check out a sample (seeing as how everything is on YouTube nowadays): SAE also has the Warner Archive DVD for sale, by the way. Can’t say I found this heist thriller all that engaging, but it has a fabulous cast—and the score is primo Quincy. Our FSM packages were labors of love as far as th
Just a quick shout-out today to one of my favorite YouTube channels, Enzo Music, for his lovingly crafted remixes of 1980s film and TV themes (most from the synth–pop side of things). Here’s the newest one, from David Shire’s Short Circuit score. He’s also done Knight Rider, Airwolf, Blue Thunder, Street Hawk—way more than I can list. Bravo, and check them out.
One of the earliest FSM albums that I remember putting special attention into was the first CD we did from I Spy, the groundbreaking 1960s action–espionage show. Most of the CDs we had done to that point (2002) had been licensed from Fox, MGM or Turner Entertainment (soon to be absorbed into Warner Bros.). So they came with a certain template for licensing and production. I Spy was independently owned, however, so I had to invent that process from scratch. And TV series are a
There’s no dignified way to write a begging letter. And I should know, I’ve written a lot of them! Here’s my best attempt from a Screen Archives Entertainment sales flier that just went out. Basically, having pressed up my short film on Blu-ray (with the soundtrack CD), now we’re sitting on a ton of them, and I’d love to sell some, at a price so low it’s just barely covering costs: Over 30 years ago, I started the tiny newsletter that became Film Score Monthly, the magazine,
I’ve reached the point of watching so much Narcos that I feel like I can speak fluent Spanish, even though I barely understand a word. Season three, episode three of Narcos Mexico features a great action shootout at a party. I made the mistake this season of skipping the opening recap so I don’t even know all the character names. It’s Chapo’s group dressed as cops trying to kill Benjamin’s group at Benjamin’s 40th birthday. And most of it unfolds under this catchy 1988 Italia
I guess this is as good a time as any to see if anybody wants to watch these silly home movies that my brothers and I made circa 1989–91. Yeah, they’re alarmingly violent. Statute of limitations, I hope? I was 15–17, my brother Tyler 13–15, and our younger brother Davis 6–8. My mom had a job working for the early childhood development office where they had a video camera on hand to document families in need of services. On weekends my mom would bring the camera home and we’d
In the 1980s, somehow or other I stumbled across some interesting small-press books about Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises. I don’t remember how or where. Maybe at a bookstore during a trip? I think I got the above book before I was going to conventions or aware of the stuff you could get through the mail order solicitations in Starlog. There was an author named James Van Hise who published a bunch of these unauthorized making-of books—and this looks like one of those, b
I was looking for something “from the archives” to post and it was slow going...until I found a folder of “Pukas” cartoons by Altomari (full name withheld to protect the innocent, or the guilty, as the case may be). This is a series of Calvin and Hobbes-ish comic strips that were done TOTALLY UNSOLICITED (I can’t stress this enough—I never asked for this!) starring “Pukas” (me) and his pal “Candy” (based on my pal Andy Dursin) coping with the stresses of being soundtrack afic