Saturday, April 11, 2015

The ups and downs of being Topical - Are GMOs now safe?

If  you've followed my movies at all you've probably noticed that my style travels back in time quite often.  Rubber monsters, film noir types of "mysteries" and special F/X that pre-date the first Star Wars movie.  The actual first Star Wars movie, that came out in 77, not the "Episode 1" Star Wars movie, although I guess they predate that too, by a LOT.

Anyway, Lumber vs Jack, which is premiering in Asheville, NC this week, is no different.  It's a throw back to the creature features of the drive-in era.  The 50s, 60s and 70s.  Like a 1950s monster movie, we tried to tackle a scientific question relevant to our time.  In place of the all creature mutating radiation from the 50s we used GMO manipulation as the questionable science which runs amok.

Back when I wrote the movie and while we were shooting it, all the way up until...well this past week or so it seems...GMOs have been the talk of the internet and the talk has been negative.  Even the smiling Bill Nye the Science Guy seemed driven to stamp out the "dangerous" manipulation of plants and food.

However, my luck being what it is and people being the fickle species we are, the past couple of weeks have seen the internet come to the defense of GMOs and the corporations that create them.  They are now being defended as good things suffering from bad propaganda.   Bill Nye has been talking up GMO plants.  The negative stories are being "outed as myths".  Everything we thought we knew is being addressed, explained or proven false.

Just days before Lumber vs Jack is publicly screened for the first time.



OK, I think it probably it is, but doesn't it seem more exciting that our little movie has the big biotech companies so scared that they moved to preemptively squash the discussions Lumber vs Jack would inevitably cause?

Truth is, I think the movie's message still stands.  Genetic Manipulation is not a science to be handled lightly.  Much like the warnings about radioactivity from the 1950s have become cliché as we've grown into a world that uses nuclear power every single day, GMOs will undoubtedly continue as a science and may do great amounts of good.  However, nuclear power has also given us 3 mile island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

All advances come with risk.  Advances driven solely by profit come with even greater dangers.  In order to remind the public that corporate driven science needs to be regulated and watched, we give them rubber monsters chasing women in the woods.

It's how Hocus Focus Productions does our part to keep the future safe.

If you're anywhere near Asheville this Thursday,  you should come see the movie.

If you're not, look out for the online premiere the following week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

101 signs that you spend too much time online.

1. You clicked the link to read this list.  Really, 101?  You were going to read a list of a 101 things that told you something you already know?  Who comes up with these lists? What ever happened to the "top ten"?  If you're ready to commit to reading 101 things that really wouldn't have meant anything anyway, you clearly spend too much time online, or you are willing to at any rate.

There is no number two.  I lied.  I spend too much time online as well, but not enough time to write another "100 signs" for this list.

Go play outside, write a letter, find a shorter list.

I'll see you later on Facebook or YouTube.

Or go watch a movie.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Cold Continues

I wish I had been more sure we would have this near week of snow.  It seemed like winter would end without it and so the movie I have been wanting to do with Ice Giants and Vikings was put off another year.  Then, boom, snow that has kept me from getting mail for three days.  Not because the whole area is snowed in.  Just the 70 or so households that live on top of the hill I live on.  About a third of us come and go in our 4x4s, but the rest of the folks just wait it out and the mail truck won't attempt the climb until the snow plows do.

That should leave me plenty of time to write, but I spent a lot of my energy clearing our driveway and trying to clear some space on the side of the road near our house for people to at least walk up and down the hill.  I did manage to get one more interview done over at the Cult Goddess Magazine blog with Serena Lorien and I wrote a movie review for the 1984 sci-fi zombie fest, MutantSo, you can read about the movie there and then watch it for free on our main site.  It was a pretty fun flick.

If you have a movie you'd like hosted on our site, please, contact me at and send a link to a streaming version of the movie.  We'll  need to be able to embed it from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo or the like.

Got lots of great gags planned out for Lumber vs Jack II: Jack vs Lanterns, but first we have to show that original movie and get more people talking about  it.  If you can't wait for the online screening you can buy a copy at

That's all for now. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday the 13th and Valentine's Day in the Same Weekend?

Our Valentine's Day Weekend and Friday the 13th gift to you: INDISCRETIONS

It's sort of a romantic movie.  I mean, a couple is trying to fix their relationship.  A guy falls in lust.  A beautiful damsel in distress needs rescuing, or does she?  This movie has it all, except a budget.

Watch it in the Free Cinema, in the dark with someone you love.  Or, watch it alone, with a pizza, while imagining that EX you're so glad is gone.  Works either way, really.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I sort of let this thing go.  Partly because of a move.  Partly because, while I am still doing films, I do them less often.  As I've aged other priorities and interests have taken more time.  Not "normal" priorities like kids.  My sisters both have wonderful, smart, talented children.  They raise `em, my wife and I visit and I get to keep my own toys.  I'm more of a dog person.  Lots of fun, easy to relate to, never ask for the keys to the car or to go to college and pretty self sufficient after the first year.

Recently, however, I've been getting back into the swing of the sci-fi horror stuff.  We have a movie premiering April 24th online and hopefully in a few live venues that week.  It's a retro sci-fi piece about killer trees.  It takes a very broad stab at the problems with GMOs.  Look for it at .

And just this week we brought back Cult Goddess Magazine.  We're doing it as a blog this time around, but when possible the pages will be still fully laid out and the blog space will be used for clickable links.  This brings with it some improvements over the PDF format I loved so much.  It makes the interviews more accessible across platforms like phones and tablets.  No loading of giant PDF files (even when compressed they were pretty big) and the past interviews are more easily accessible and archived.

Since we post them one at a time we don't have to compile 3-5 Cult Goddesses for an issue, so we can put out interviews more often.  This month we have Monique Parent talking to us about her return to acting full time, although with the list of movies she's done the past two years, I'm not sure you call it part time.

My next biggest task is figuring out my writing schedule.  Winter has about past and I haven't finished my writing projects.  Usually, now that I'm a bit further North, I like to write when the weather is bad and then do pre-production and production during the warmer months.  Winter wasn't so bad this year though, so I'm coming up on Spring with some nice memories of going out with Nancy and Chaya, but not of lot finished scripts.

Also, trying to decide if my next book should be a collection of short stories, like "Off the Rails" is, or a full out Novelette.  Still don't think I'm ready for a Novel.  Any opinions on that are welcome, so long as you don't get insulted if I ignore them.

Keep checking this space and see if I keep up with blogging more often.  I just might since it seems to be considered a pretty old fashioned medium right now.