Yucking Up “The Walking Dead” to a Few More Emmys: Comic Tips from Three Great Dramas–“Justified,” “The Wire,” and “Breaking Bad”

Granted it’s a zombie apocalypse; granted it’s exhausting peeking around every corner; granted Atlanta in the summer without air-conditioning is brutal.  But come on, let’s have a little levity. There’s a fine line between tragedy and comedy.  Shakespeare knew this as he preceded the haunted and soon to be hysterical Hamlet in the graveyard with a pun-contest with a local gravedigger.  Even Mercutio, after he was stabbed, found time to squeeze out a groaner:  “Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.” And what works for the Bard, certainly bears true for three of my favorite dramas. Justified (FX) In Justified, Timothy Oliphant is sentenced to his home town of Kentucky after going all Dirty Harry in the opening scene of the opening episode.  He is forced to not only deal with his childhood buddy and current supremacist outlaw Boyd Crowder, the most verbose, eloquent, polite and delightful psychopath… Read More…

Former Students, Facebook Afterlife and Heartwarming Gore with “Deadheads”

It’s not every zombie film that you can share with a12 year-old daughter and 80 year-old mother in-law and have them exclaim they loved it.  Until Facebook, every June was like a funeral.  The likelihood that I would ever see or hear from the 300 or so graduating seniors was small–aside from an occasional homecoming game or trip to the mall.  But I finally dropped down the Facebook rabbit-hole and discovered what these folks had done with their lives.  Some might even meet up for a beer–if it wasn’t too awkward for the  41 year-old father of four to meet with his 46 year-old teacher–even if dropping the “Mr.” was too much to ask. They are dentists, funeral directors, roadies, teachers, doctors, store-owners and a few had found their way to Hollywood in various capacities.  Dan Casey, a 2000 graduate is a screenwriter and attended the Sundance Writer’s Workshop after… Read More…

Free Trip to Hollywood this Saturday–Join Talented Young Filmmakers at the Michigan Student Film and Video Festival

You know their work.  And they all started right here in Michigan. If you’ve seen the Star Wars prequel trilogy you’ve seen one–Oscar-Winner, Doug Chiang If you’ve seen the recent Oz the Great and Powerful you’ve seen one–Aaron Lebovic One worked on Iron Man 3 this past summer–Kale Davidoff Two of them wrote and directed the cult zombie/comedy/road-trip/buddy Deadheads that’s been doing great on Netflix right now–Brett and Drew Pierce One works for the gaming division of a prestigious LA Agency–Blake Rochkind One of them just sold a screenplay after being selected by Robert Redford to attend his Sundance Writers Workshop–Dan Casey This Summer, one of them from Clawson, Dan Scanlon, has directed the May’s Monsters University from Pixar and you can meet him at a special benefit screening This Saturday, for free at the DIA’s gorgeous Detroit Film Theatre, you’ll have a chance to welcome more students into the ranks of… Read More…