Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beyoncé and 360 Magazine at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City

On December 21, 2013, 360 Magazine's president, Vaughn Lowery, attended a private director's screening hosted by Beyoncé to showcase the 17 music videos accompanying her 14-song album, Beyoncé, which dropped unannounced December 13 at midnight.

Early morning sales of the surprise album temporarily crashed iTunes. During its first week, 617,000 units sold in the United States.

Beyoncé includes collaborations with her husband, Jay Z, Drake, Justin Timberlake and her daughter, Blue Ivy.

During the private screening held at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York, Beyoncé responded to fans' questions posted to Instagram, as you can see in the clip.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ryan Seacrest, Austin Mahone and Tegan and Sara Shout Out 360 Magazine at Z100 Jingle Ball 2013

The annual Z100 Jingle Ball took place last night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

360 Magazine was there, and you can see Ryan Seacrest give us a shout out in this video:

Here's Austin Mahone giving us a shout out:

And here are Tegan and Sara doing the same:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Crown on the Ground" by Sleigh Bells

Ever since I saw Sophia Coppola's film The Bling Ring at the Castro Theatre a few months back, I've been obsessed with its theme song, "Crown on the Ground," by Sleigh Bells.

The film is based on true crimes committed in Los Angeles by teenagers obsessed with celebrities and luxury brands.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Gorgeous Project

Los Angeles-based chanteuse, Camille Towe, recently brought to my attention The Gorgeous Project, which is a book project featuring some of today's hottest LGBTQ celebrity artists and performers, including Candis Cayne, Armen Ra, Leganja Estranja, Delta Work, Tammie Brown and Jimmy James.

Are You Gorgeous? by The Gorgeous Project

The Gorgeous Project is raising the money needed to complete the principal photography production of the book.

Armen Ra by The Gorgeous Project

The iconic portraits are by photographer, Rob Lebow, who has nearly a quarter century's worth of professional experience shooting commercial advertising and lifestyle portraiture. He has photographed campaigns for such clients as The Weinstein Company, 20th Century Fox Television and HBO.

Cake Moss by The Gorgeous Project

The book's creative director is Masha Kupets, both a fine artist and an award-winning commercial designer, who has worked with Bravo, HBO, FX and The Sundance Channel. She is the founder of Plastic PALMTREE, Inc. She also has extensive knowledge of book production and will supervise the design and printing process of the book.

Lebow and Kupets say their intention with The Gorgeous Project is to empower artists and audiences alike, questioning mainstream definitions of gender and standard visual expectations with every photograph.

Rob Lebow, Masha Kupets and Gang by The Gorgeous Project

The book's release is scheduled for early 2014 and will coincide with a gallery exhibition in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds from that event will benefit LGBTQ youth organizations.

I especially like that there are interviews accompanying the portraits of many of the artists and performers. I look forward to reading their personal stories while enjoying their gorgeous portraits.

Ernie Omega by The Gorgeous Project

To learn more about this project, connect with them on Facebook.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Avril Lavigne on the Cover of Volume 13 of 360 Magazine

I am thrilled Avril Lavigne is on the cover of Volume 13 of 360 Magazine now available on Blurb and Magzter.

Avril sits down with us and discusses the making of her latest, self-titled album, which is available for purchase on iTunes. She also reveals how the massive success of her first album affected her as an artist and person.

The videos for her new songs, "Let Me Go" (featuring Chad Kroeger) and "Rock N Roll," are proving to be hits.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Fiction" by The xx

"Fiction" by The xx has been stuck in my head for the last several days.

The video reminds me of ones made in the 1980's by bands like Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

VERONICA MARS' Kristen Bell and Me

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know I'm a screenwriter who loves to write stories with strong, smart female leads, and that I'm obsessed with films and television shows featuring such great characters.

So, it's no surprise I nearly fell out of my chair yesterday when Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell tweeted me.

I had just tweeted a photograph of me sporting a t-shirt sent to me for supporting Invisible Children - which I hope you will check out if you don't already know about this important non-profit.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Conquering Hollywood: The Screenwriter's Blueprint for Career Success by Gary W. Goldstein

I've been screenwriting for more than ten years, during which time I've certainly come across a plethora of websites, books and seminars claiming they can teach me "the craft" and "how to hone my talent."

So, I took notice when Gary W. Goldstein tweeted me earlier this year that he was launching a Kickstarter campaign to write a very different sort of book for screenwriters.

I donated to the campaign.

When I finished the book, I had no doubt I'd invested in my future.

Goldstein is a Hollywood film producer and manager for screenwriters. Among his films are Pretty Woman, Under Siege and The Mothman Prophecies. His projects have grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide.

His book is called Conquering Hollywood: The Screenwriter's Blueprint for Career Success and is available as an e-book, paperback and audio book at Amazon.

Conquering Hollywood is a practical guide for new and established screenwriters who want to take control of their careers and, ultimately, become financially successful as writers. It is written by a professional who certainly knows the business. Goldstein's book makes it clear there is no secret handshake or magic trick to success in Hollywood. The table of contents in both book versions makes it easy to jump to the step-by-step directions to succeed in the daily business of being a screenwriter.

After having read the book, I enjoy listening to the audio book, while blogging or tweeting about my writing projects. Goldstein talking in my ear reminds me which steps I've already taken toward controlling my career and which ones still require my attention.

There are lots of excellent books that teach screenwriting. I tell fellow writers to stick with the ones that resonate with them.

But every writer who wants his writing to go from a hobby to a professional career needs to read and put into practice the advice given by Goldstein in his book Conquering Hollywood: The Screenwriter's Blueprint for Career Success.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Stay" by Steve Grand

Steve Grand premiered his new single and music video, "Stay," an hour or so ago.

I have been playing the video over and over ever since.

You can purchase both versions of the single at iTunes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Canyons

Producer Braxton Pope (The Source Family) and director Paul Schrader (American Gigolo, Raging Bull) wisely selected Lindsay Lohan and porn-star James Deen to play the leads in The Canyons, written by Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than ZeroAmerican Psycho).

Months before the film simultaneously debuted in theaters and on video on demand (VOD), the media was tripping over itself to report the supposed on-set conflict between its stars, to lament with Schadenfreude-like passion Lohan's long, often court-ordered road to sobriety, and to discourse with titillated unease Deen's prolific work in the adult entertainment industry.

Of course, all of this was excellent publicity for the film, which has nothing to do with the actors' private lives or the commercial porn industry.

The Canyons is about what happens to people when they hand over control of their lives to others. The opening montage of abandoned movie houses underscores this theme: the more frequently studios make bad movies, the less revenue movie houses make, with artistic and financial bankruptcy the inevitable outcome.

My favorite moment in the film occurs in the first scene, when all but the single character who has yet to hand over the reigns of her life to another person act like caged animals arranged around a restaurant table. I was astonished when even the camera swooped away to race over the restaurant's bar, desperate for the waitress to return with the check and set the captives free, if only momentarily.

The Canyons is written by Ellis, so you know things do not end well. Most of the characters are entangled in Deen's character's machinations. It is foreboding that, in a city with a population of 3.8 million, he lives in isolation in a modern marvel of a house shipwrecked against a Malibu canyon wall.

I watched The Canyons twice on VOD its opening weekend. The helplessness, frustration and rage of its characters have stayed with me. Lohan's performance once more leaves no doubt she is the greatest actress of her generation. Deen displays real acting chops as a spoiled control freak writhing under the thumb of his father. Cinematographer John DeFazi brings to life this dystopic world.

Schrader and Ellis' collaboration left me wondering what happens next to the characters populating The Canyons: one apparently gets away with a senseless act of violence; while another, who had hitherto allowed others to control him, now adroitly manipulates another, but to what purpose?

Fans of Ellis' work know his stories link together in unexpected ways. I look forward to the next installment.

You can purchase The Canyons at iTunes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mark Tyler

I am happy I recently stumbled upon Mark Tyler on Twitter. I really enjoy his songs and voice.

You can learn more about him at his website, watch his YouTube playlist and purchase his album "Requiem of a Broken Heart" at iTunes.

I play his album on repeat while working at home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Robbie Rogers and the Quarry

I am petrified of heights, but more than suspect openly gay soccer player Robbie Rogers could talk me into cliff jumping.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Abby Linford and Her Imaginary Friend

Around the time I accidentally interviewed Matt Damon for ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, I met online Christopher J. Smith, who was also hanging out in the forums at Project Greenlight's website. We soon started emailing each other about screenwriting and his work at a talent management company.

Nearly a decade later, I happened on a tweet in which someone recommended a book to read this summer. I clicked on the photo included with the tweet and saw the cover of Christopher's book, Abby Linford and Her Imaginary Friend.

That's how I reconnected with Christopher and now have his book to read on foggy, cool days this summer in San Francisco.

So far, the story is a treat, though I suspect Abby is about to discover all is not well in her imaginary friend's world.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Young Love" by Eli Lieb

The other day, I stumbled upon Eli Lieb's YouTube channel and am now obsessed with his new single, "Young Love." I watch this video on Apple TV almost as much as I play the song.

Of course, I've already purchased the single at iTunes. I look forward to hearing more from this emerging artist, about whom you can read when you visit his website.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Carly Rae Jepsen on the Cover of Volume 12 of 360 Magazine

Here's a sneak peek at our Summer, Volume 12 issue featuring Carly Rae Jespen.

I'm so happy she's a part of our magazine. If you're already a huge fan, you know all about her website, where you can read about her music career and check out tour dates, photographs and videos, especially "Call Me Maybe," which she co-wrote and, as she says on her site, "never expected to take off quite like this."

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Official Veronica Mars CCSD Sneak Peek

On July 19, 2013, Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and other cast members of the Veronica Mars film participated in a Comic-Con Panel in San Diego, California.

This video was played for the audience and includes the first trailer for the film, as well as behind-the-scenes conversations with the cast and creator/writer/director, Rob Thomas.

My favorite scene involves the telephone call propelling Veronica back to Neptune, California.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Escape to Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey

I had lunch in June with Ballantines PR's Sarah Robarts and Dara Toulch at Cafe Flore in the Castro. It was a sunny, gorgeous day (rare in the summer in San Francisco). They introduced me to Janine Chicourrat, the general manager at Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California. It did not take long for Janine to convince me to visit this AAA-rated 4-Diamond hotel, one of but three TAG-approved hotels in Monterey.

I made this video as my partner Phil and I drove south on Highway 1. Calling this drive scenic is like describing Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call Me Maybe" as catchy. It felt like we'd driven into a movie.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is only steps away from the entrance to Monterey's wharf. Our room had this spectacular view of the wharf and wide bay.

We dined at the hotel's Jacks Restaurant, enjoyed breakfast room service and hung out in Peter B's, the bar on the side of the hotel nearest the wharf. After spending two evenings exploring Monterey's nightlife, Phil and I agreed it was the bar in town to see and be seen.

I shot this video as we walked along the wharf chock-full of restaurants, bars, retail stores, and fishing and whale-watching tour boats.

It is a leisurely stroll through Monterey's historic cannery row to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. (You might know John Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row after spending some time with the denizens here in the 1930's.) The Aquarium itself is spectacular and invites you to come and go as much as you like on the day you visit. It was really crowded at times.

Portola Hotel & Spa was the perfect place for Phil and me to relax, be pampered and celebrate our ninth anniversary. Monterey is a lovely town to which to escape the rat race and recharge.

With the recent United States Supreme Court decisions striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Prop. 8, the LGBTQ community can now marry in California – and, it seems, in more and more states every month. Portola Hotel & Spa would be an excellent setting for a wedding or honeymoon.

That's not a hint, Phil – though the idea of marriage did come up for the first time while we dined at Jacks Restaurant.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Robbie Rogers and The Trevor Project

This is an outstanding, candid interview with Robbie Rogers streamed live online and conducted by Google+ with The Trevor Project. Robbie discusses growing up very unhappily closeted in a conservative, Catholic family, his coming-out process and now playing soccer as the first openly gay male, professional sports player.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"All-American Boy" by Steve Grand

Two days ago, Twitter was ablaze only hours after openly gay singer/songwriter Steve Grand loaded to YouTube his music video, "All-American Boy," an anthem to unrequited love in small-town America.

Lance Bass tweeted this:

Steve says on Facebook: "I wrote the song during a drunken piano jam session at a party. I recorded the vocals in my parents' basement and worked with my friend Max Steger to record and mix the rest of the instruments."

He created the video with director Jason Knade and enlisted his friends to play bonfire partygoers. The song isn't currently available on iTunes, but can be downloaded here. Steve, who has been called by many the first "openly gay out the gate" male Country singer, says he doesn't yet have a manager or label.

His audience has certainly found him.

I've been playing the video over and over today, as illegal fireworks boomed over San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Bob Mizer Foundation + Anzevino

I received an anonymous text featuring this photograph of a poster now plastered all over New York.

It's an image of William Sexton aka Blue Max Hensley taken in the 1970's by the Athletic Model Guild. The poster announces the collaboration of the Bob Mizer Foundation with designer Anzevino, which has thus far resulted in a line of tee shirts and sweatshirts currently available at Opening Ceremony.

My favorite is the tee shirt featuring snakes on a nude model's lap, but I think I would wear every day the tee shirt with Blue Max Hensley's handsome mug on it.

As soon as I received the text, I congratulated Dennis Bell, the current owner of the Athletic Model Guild and founder of the Bob Mizer Foundation. I think it's great to see Bob Mizer's work appearing in new and exciting ways in this century.

Bell assured me there's much more to come.

You can help support the Bob Mizer Foundation by donating directly at its website. There you will find more information on Bob Mizer, the Athletic Model Guild and the Bob Mizer Foundation, including its mailing address for your donations and updates on gallery shows, screenings and lectures.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

43rd Annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

Today, my partner Phil and I marched with lots of friends in the Bay Times newspaper's contingent in the 43rd Annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.

I didn't make a video this year. Instead, I tweeted 6-second Vine clips, as I waved a huge rainbow flag over my shoulders.

Here we march past the grandstands. Later, I heard 1.5 million people came to San Francisco this weekend to celebrate gay pride. It definitely felt like all of them were spectators along the parade route.

After the parade, there was a VIP party in San Francisco's City Hall.

Four days earlier, I shot this video only hours after the United States Supreme Court struck down key components of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and dismissed California's Prop. 8 case, which had already been struck down by a lower court. These two decisions, of course, brought marriage equality to California. This issue of the Bay Times very nicely details what a historic week this is in the LGBTQ community's struggle for equality rights in the United States.

Later in the evening, there was a massive street celebration in the Castro, with a stage set up at 19th and Castro streets to showcase DJ's, live music and performances by drag queens.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

EVE on the Cover of Volume 11.1 of 360 Magazine

Earlier this month, 360 Magazine did a photo shoot in New York City with rapper EVE, who appears on the cover of our Volume 11.1 issue.

Her fourth solo album, Lip Lock, was released in the United States on May 14.

That same day, we released this video interview EVE made with Eiko Watanabe shortly after the 360 Magazine shoot wrapped.

Everyone at 360 Magazine was delighted when EVE tweeted a thank you to our team.

We look forward to her continued, fabulous success.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PlayGround Film Festival Starts Today

Late last month, I spent an afternoon in Oakland, California with Dances With Light 's Barry Stone, who's producing the 2nd Annual PlayGround Film Festival now playing at various San Francisco Bay Area theaters through the end of May.

The festival showcases six short films based on short plays produced by PlayGround Theater, plus a fun clip of each writer describing how they conceived of their original piece.

After I watched the festival screener, Barry and I discussed making a trailer.

Here's Barry recording the voice over of one version of the trailer we thought up.

I hope to see you at the festival.

It's a fun way to spend an evening while showing your support for the San Francisco Bay Area independent filmmaking community.

Check out these reviews by SF Weekly and Berkeleyside.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Officially a VERONICA MARS Fan Boy

UPDATED May 3, 2013: This fan boy's dream came true on April 12, 2013, when the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign successfully raised the funds needed to make the Veronica Mars movie.

Production begins in Los Angeles, California in June, 2013.

The campaign broke Kickstarter records for raising the fastest $1,000,000, for raising the fastest $2,000,000, for being the highest-funded project in its film category, for having the most backers, and for being the third highest-funded project in Kickstarter history.

When Rob Thomas, creator of the CW's cult television show, Veronica Mars, tweeted me near the start of the campaign, I knew I was officially a fan boy of the show.

The series ran from 2004 to 2007 and stars Kristen Bell as a high school detective.

Female lead + neo-noir thriller = must-see TV for me.

I very much look forward to the film due out summer, 2014.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Me and Antonio GO BACK

Last month, Antonio Toro and I teamed up to rewrite my Twilight Zone script Go Back into a feature-length supernatural thriller. (When you jump to this post on the blog, you can read about the original tv version.)

Antonio is a WGA screenwriter and professional animator. You can see samples of his animation on his site - The shark suit tester is my favorite. He looks deliriously happy with his job.

I very much like writing with a partner. The two of us can determine more quickly and efficiently what works and what doesn't. And, of course, we bring our own unique perspectives and ideas to the project. A consummate cinephile, Antonio says he's never seen on film what happens in Go Back (one reason this project hooked him). I am amazed at the twists and turns he's already brought to the story.

I took this photograph at our weekly meeting at Borderlands Cafe on Valencia, where we're hammering out the outline of the new version.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Airstream Driver" by Gomez

Lately, while blogging and preparing for a major overhaul of, I've had playing on repeat "Airstream Driver" by Gomez.

The video has a candid immediacy with Ian Ball staring into what is likely a web camera as he sings the song in one take.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Business Manager at 360 Magazine and 360FOCUS Festival

I'm now the business manager of 360 Magazine and the 360FOCUS Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The film festival takes place on September 12 and is presented by Red Bull in partnership with 360 Magazine and FocusGroup Entertainment.

The one-day festival will showcase a collection of 30-minute or shorter films and new media projects containing racial and sexual ambiguity.

Among the judges are Roy Campanella II (director of Knight Rider, Baywatch, Boston Public and The Company We Keep), Nick Lippman (manager of George Michael, Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas and Ryan Cabrera), Rosie Niku (owner of ) and Joe Moller (executive director of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk).

More updates to follow!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bob Mizer at Invisible Exports

Avid fans of the Athletic Model Guild already know Bob Mizer (1922 - 1992) took 10,000's of photographs in his youth and twenties on all sorts of subjects before becoming famous as a physique photographer.

He took these images in the 1940's at boardwalk beauty pageants on Venice Beach. These and many more photographs from his collection of more than 1.000.000 negatives, photographs, slides and films are on display at Invisible Exports from December 14, 2012 to January 27, 2013.

You can purchase very high-quality prints at the gallery, where I would certainly be every day if I lived in New York.

Holland Cotter writes an excellent article on Mizer and the exhibit in the New York Times.

When you jump to this post on the blog, you can read my interview with Dennis Bell, the current owner of the Athletic Model Guild and founder of the Bob Mizer Foundation.

You can help support the Bob Mizer Foundation by donating directly at its website. There you will find more information on Bob Mizer, the Athletic Model Guild and the Bob Mizer Foundation, including its mailing address for your donations and updates on gallery shows, screenings and lectures.