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Posts from the ‘Film and TV’ Category

A ‘YEAR IN REVIEW’ meets ‘The Saddest Day of 2015’

January 5, 2016

brookeburgess

I gotta say it, folks — 2015 was quite the whirl around the burning ball in the sky for BROOKE M. BURGESS (Mumford? Moriarty? MA$E? Let the pointless speculation continue!)

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In January of last year, necessity brought me back to Vancouver, where I slipped into the ol’ prostitution pants like I never took ’em off and pimped my junk with newfound aplomb (A dope global IP-turned-action-RPG, TBA this month!). And then, as I chipped away at a veiny slab of debt in Sisyphean style, I had the chance to reconnect with some dear old friends, engage in further whoring (Another hush-hush mobile narrative coming this summer!) and spend a month Skype-surfing the velvet-throated waves of voiceover king (and Deep Cove Theatre homie for life!) DAVID KAYE for this spring’s audiobook release:

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THE 10 MUST-SEE FILMS OF 2015

January 1, 2016

brookeburgess

Happy 2016, faithful readers! With a new year shifting into gear, it seems like the blogosphere gets compelled to crank out ‘Best of‘ lists. And honestly? I’m no different. It’s just that mine tend to focus on stories.

That said, I’ve got some sticky truths I need to own up to from 2015: 1) I’ve been too swamped to read enough books (proofing your own ad nauseum doesn’t count), 2) I’m way too biased to share my fav TV (Mr Robot and Rick & Morty would sweep, son!), and 3) I’m too damn ‘fiscally challenged’ to rate any interactive stuff besides free Android apps (I love you, Piano Tiles 2!)

So…that leaves movies. Thankfully, the past year has been a stellar one.

Some points before cueing the drumroll:

  • POST-OSCAR: I’m only counting flicks that were not up for 2015 Academy consideration, even if they were release after Jan 1.
  • YET-TO-SEE: I still need to screen Carol, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Macbeth, The Danish Girl, and a few outliers. I’m sure they’re all fine films, and will consider updating if one or more knock my flip-flops off.
  • ‘BETTER AS DOCS’: I left out a pair of strong films – The Big Short and The Walk – because Oscar-winning documentaries on the exact same material (The Inside Job and Man on Wire respectively) were already rocking your Netflix queue.
  • CRITERIA: I tend to rate flicks on the strength of the script, performance quality, direction skill, overall production…AND, most importantly, whether something ‘gives me the feels’. I shift this a little for non-fiction docs, but the structure remains pretty much the same.

Alrighty then…drumroll, please!!!

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…

December 7, 2014

brookeburgess

Happy December, kittens and cats!

With the Holy-days in full swing, it felt like high time for a wee creative break from all things bookish…you know…at least until the Boxing Day deals kick in.

I’ve been a fan of spoken word pieces for a few years now — good storytelling is good storytelling, and it ain’t useful being a slave to format or genre.  But truthfully?  I’ve never had to guts to perform one live.  Live audiences can be insanely hard to impress, particularly when you have a world champion spitting hot truth in your backyard.

Still, the itch remained.

Yup.

I’ve been quietly nurturing a vid channel for a while now; mostly it’s for short films and animations, trailers, and the odd caffeinated rant, and subscribers seem to dig it.  But now, thanks to some solitude, a little tech, WWW image searches, and a pair of mirrored shades..?

It time to get slammy.

There are currently three pieces live.  I hope to post a new one monthly throughout 2015.  Sure…I won’t be approaching Epic Rap Battle’s turf anytime soon…but, if this thing catches on, I’ll (eagerly) begin taking topic requests.  Huzzah.

Peace on Earth, and goodwill to Men…and Women…and furred and feathered friends.

BB

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IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! 7 Must-haves for the TWIN PEAKS Revival on Showtime

October 7, 2014

brookeburgess

(by Brooke Burgess)

I am full of secrets. It’s true. But there’s one thing about my journey as a storyteller that has never been a mystery:

Twin Peaks was (and is) one of my biggest creative influences. Ever.

 

You want proof?  These things I tell you will be true:

  • I watched the whole series when it aired. Live. Yes…yes I am dating myself, but this old Owl is not what he seems.
  • I saw the feature film – the much maligned, yet now overwhelmingly respected slice of suburban horror, Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) – six (6) times in the theatre. At least one of those viewings was sober. Honest.
  • I’ve since owned every available edition of the pilot, collected series, and film (except for Japanese laserdisc. I know, I know…slacker).
  • The TWIN PEAKS Entire Mystery BluRay is on my Christmas list. If Santa doesn’t love me, I will steal a player just to see the 90min of delected scenes from FWWM, which I have signed four petitions to help bring to life.
  • I wrote an award-winning Fringe Festival play in 1996 whose climax paid direct homage to a scene from the film. People gasped in horror. There was weeping, and much gnashing of teeth. I was happy.
  • David Lynch’s obsession with creating mood and tension and surreal ‘hyper-reality’ states with audio became my own. I did my darnedest to slip some of his tricks into early game work at Electronic Arts.  Maybe you should try hunting down one of these
  • I attended the 1998 Twin Peaks Fan Festival in North Bend, WA. I had donuts, cherry pie, and many a mug of coffee. Oh…and I spent a whole night with this man from another place, learning to speak backwards.
  • BROKEN SAINTS, in many ways, was a 10-hr homage to Mark Frost’s serialized storytelling chops, and Lynch’s A/V style. If you think that’s an exaggeration, then you haven’t seen the intro to this.
  • My new children’s fiction books – THE SHADOWLAND SAGA – are structured like a limited run TV series peppered with quirky characters, absurd humour, a layered mystery, and chilling otherworldly dreamscapes. The first book (The Cat’s Maw) has no fewer than three nods to Peaks dialogue. And yes..there will be a contest.

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WORDSMITHS: 5 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR EDIT

January 7, 2014

brookeburgess

I’m about to edit a book. Seems like a straightforward mission statement, right? But for me, the prose editing process generates a special, singular kind of fear. I’ll get to that in a second.

When you’re launching an initial assault on the blank page, there’s a leap-into-the-void, roll-the-goddamn-dice, what’s-the-worst-that-can-happen? kinda quality to the whole thing. That’s why I actually enjoyed the NaNoWriMo exercise – you show up, put your head down, and commit to your daily word count. That’s it. So, if your outline was strong enough, and your characters were clearly defined, and you respected your narrative roadmap (no matter how many shortcuts or off-road excursions you indulged in along the way), you’re gonna end up with something. And, unless you’re a complete tool, said thing will resemble an actual ‘story’, with words and paragraphs and dialogue and chapters and a beginning, middle, and end. Groovy.

But then comes the hard part. You see, in keeping with my oft-stated transmedia philosophy, Storytelling (on singular or multiple platforms) is akin to the mining, cutting, and polishing of a precious gem. Writing in prose has only reaffirmed that for me. The story outline is where one surveys the land and takes soil samples. The first draft is digging and sifting until you find the raw stone. Which makes the hardest part – the detailed cutting and polishing phases, which give the stone its unique beauty and shine — the edit.

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ECKHART TOLLE FILM GETTING A ‘KICKSTART’

September 30, 2013

brookeburgess

As featured in this project post, my friends and collaborators at Hulo Films in Vancouver have been working with acclaimed producer/director Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) and celebrated spiritual author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) to bring the inspirational children’s book Milton’s Secret  to life as a live-action feature.

I was honoured to be brought in during the early phases to help shape their transmedia strategy, contribute to branding (‘When life gets heavy, find a better way to carry it’), and offer story notes.  Now, with the script receiving kudos from all corners, the project securing support from the Harold Greenberg Fund, and Hollywood legend Peter Fonda signing on to star, the next phase can now be revealed.

In a little over a week, the official INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN for Milton’s Secret has already raised in excess of $100,000!  The goal in the next 30 days is to raise the $1M necessary to match gov’t and tax credit contributions, allowing this special work to be completely independent of the studio system.

Check out the following short for the straight skinny from Barnet Bain, Hulo producer Stephen Huszar, and Eckhart himself.

There are heaps of great incentives for all levels of contribution — limited edition scripts and videos, mindfulness tools, and even red carpet events — so please consider ‘kicking something into the kitty’ to help bring this inspirational story to eyes and minds around the world!

SPOILERS. AND SYMPATHIES. AND DAMN FINE STORYTELLING.

June 3, 2013

brookeburgess

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The Red Wedding hurts because it’s real.

We know what should happen.  The Hero’s Journey archetypes have conditioned us into comfort and expectation.

Yet our lives have shown us, too many times, what will happen.

We see the evil in men’s hearts.

We learn that ‘good guys’ rarely win.  That honour no longer holds sway in the world at large.

We face the heavy truth that Love is ill-equipped to ‘conquer all’.

And yet..?

We endure.  We accept.  We transform.

Bad things happen every day.  Terrible things.  And all that we hold dear is eventually taken from us.  Parents.  Lovers.  Friends.  Children.  Beloved pets.  Each are destroyed by the selfish, frightened, power-mad hands of another.  Or the ravages of Time.

It’s how we react to these tragedies that defines us.  How we are shaped by them.  Bettered by them.  Like I’ve said a thousand times, if I’ve said it once:

We are taken to the forge, battered and burned and beaten some more…thrust in the flames to the point of dissolution…

…until we become a Sword.

Do not weep for the Starks on this day.

Do not curse the gods, or abandon all hope in the unseen engines of Fate.

Instead?  Say a prayer for the survivors.  Send them strength, so that they may emerge from their pits of suffering and sadness. With fire in their bellies, courage in their hearts, and minds sharpened like unholy razors.

Winter is coming.

And, may the Seven have mercy on any soul who has been marked for Her wrath.

IN DEVELOPMENT: Dance of the White Tiger!

January 24, 2013

brookeburgess

A belated Happy 2013, one and all!  Another year brings a firm resolve, fresh inspiration, and exciting new projects to share.  I’ve been teasing feature film developments for what seems like an age, and with the challenges inherent to raising capital in the world of indie film, it’s high time to attempt a more traditional narrative.  Something with multi-quadrant audience appeal, international market support, and potential franchiseabilityOne of those rare industry blips where the rewards clearly outweigh the risks.  And, it should go without saying by now, something with multiplatform aspirations carved into its atomic structure from conception.

A little over two years ago, I committed to a ‘work vacation’.  It was to be an exotic change of scene, with the hopes of finishing the first draft of a Telefilm-funded screenplay I had pitched, and getting my physical health in line after years of late nights, table-sized Canadian portions, and ungodly levels of caffeine and sugar.

I would end up choosing Thailand.  And, for two incredible months, I would write…and learn the ways of Muay Thai. 

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‘RISEN’ : A Transmedia Strategy Overview

November 21, 2012

brookeburgess

Apologies for the stretch of incommunicado, folks – I blame it on a frenzied mix of travel, research, and project launches – but I wanted to keep you posted on what’s baking in the transmedia oven.

You might’ve noticed a feature I have in development in the PROJECTS section called Risen.  Well, it’s still very much alive;  there’s a third draft of the screenplay nearing completion, a graphic novel ‘package’ with artist attached, and cross-platform strategizing fully in progress.   And now, you can peer behind the proverbial curtain and see some of the lever and pulley action that goes into prepping an original IP for the transmedia stage.

IP LOGLINE

At a remote mountain sanctuary, a disabled orphan receives a revolutionary implant to restore his health.  But when the young man finds himself able to manipulate the digital world with his mind?  Then it’s a race for answers – and for civilization itself – against rogue military, an obsessed scientist, and the terrifying Consciousness awakening within him.

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‘BECOMING’

WORK

TIMELINE:  AVAILABLE NOW!

PLATFORM:  Graphic Novel (96 pages)

GENRE:  Psychological Thriller / Horror

CLIENT:  In-House IP / Arcana Comics

Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry HitchbornBECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!

SYNOPSIS

When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death.  To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.  

TRAILER*

(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)

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