Well, we rang in the New Year last night at a party with some friends. Again, this year, I’m not too into the Holiday spirit, but playing poker & chatting for a few hours with some people I genuinely like made a big difference. My Sexy Girlfriend Veronica ™ had to work this morning so we also had to bolt right away after Dick Clark miscounted down the seconds into the New Year. When we got home, I was obsessed with hearing Jimi Hendrix & the Band of Gypsies perform Auld Lang Syne from January 1st, 1970 & I did. I love that it started with the concert promoter playing a .45 of the song & Jimi not taking that well, so he performed the traditional song in his own inimitable way.

And now the semi-annual New Year Blog tradition…

Year End Stats for Sonnyboo:

40,000 hits a day average, 2,000 unique visitors a day average

shorts, trailers, and other videos combined from all sites hosting Sonnyboo movie had a combined # of views exceeding 275,000 in 2006 alone, which is an all time high for Sonnyboo.

Horrors of War played 20 cities across the U.S. + saw the North American DVD rights sold to Maverick Entertainment & the Japanese and several European DVD releases. This added many new passes and badges for the Tut-Ankh-Amon head I have on my book shelf collection of such things in the past 6 years.

The Boo is pleased, but not as interested in compiling stats beyond that.

So the editing on my new MOVIEMAKER TECHNIQUES videos goes well. They are short, under 3 minutes each videos that I’m making for a Canadian distributor who thinks he can get us funding to do a DVD series of these videos in this style for sale to educational institutions.

So far, I’m very happy with the videos. If I get to do them over again, I’ll probably keep the exact same footage for the examples, but re-shoot the intros as I’m still looking quite fat on camera. I wanted to use an actor as a “Host”, but I was talked out of it by a close friend who really liked the way I did the Q&A’s for Horrors of War.

There is nothing more painful than editing me on video. I can’t stand the way I look or how I sound, as this is a common thing for most people, but then again, they don’t have to spend hours staring at themselves poorly delivering scripted educational bits for complete noobs. I asked My Sexy Girlfriend Veronica ™ to do a preliminary edit of the intros so it would lessen the pain & she graciously accepted. This generous act made the videos get done.

I feel I’ve been slack on my promotions of late. This will be a shock to many, but I don’t think I’ve given it my all lately and I need to up my game in terms of promotion of the Sonnyboo product. Taking the more educational bent, I approached Channel 25, the Education Access station here in Columbus and submitted a show for airing. It takes a bunch of BEHIND THE SCENES clips, and MAKING OF docs, as well as INDIE FILM TECH TIPS from Scott Spears, and even now some of my new demo videos, and combined them to make 11 – 30 minute shows, and that’s just in 4 days of editing.

I miss Public Access. I liked having my movies and videos play on TV. I was getting my hair cut a year ago and the hairdresser started describing to me a show she saw on cable a few years before and she eloquently described my wretched movie NEW WORLD. I told her I made that movie and she freaked. It was a warm & fuzzy feeling. People are channel surfers and people stop for a second on a lot of programs. Might as well throw your hat in the ring. Since Public Access is illegally removed from the Columbus cable companies, the next best thing is EDUCATION ACCESS, channel 25. That means the material can’t really be short films alone, but if there is a true educational bent to showing HOW you made the movie, then it might be acceptable.

While dubbing out the master tapes of these many shows, I researched a few other outlets, and have joined DATV, the Dayton Public Access, and have reached out for Cleveland Public Access, and Cincinnati’s Education Access. This new show should be on at least 7 channels before the end of February statewide. I call the show “Making Movies in Ohio”. Only 2-3 people responded to my call for entries on material, but I imagine that will increase when the show starts to air and they want to know how to get on it.

In this New Year 2007, the world of Rossdonia has many projects lined up already. There is my dark comedy set now for an AUGUST shoot date, editing on a 16mm feature, making a series of WebDocs for another feature (not mine), and another possible feature this year, nonetheless the afore mentioned TV series and Educational Videos.

‘Twill be a most busy time in the world of Rossdonia. Part of my preparation was to use my Xmas gift cards to make ready for the new workflows & environment. I spent a considerable amount of money & time preparing the basement for an influx of INTERNS and PROJECTS. I’m going to hit up ever school with a media program and try to get at least 3-4 interns in a week to do editing on projects. I have AVID and ADOBE PREMIERE PRO 2.0 setup on both of my editing machines, a new 250 gig internal drive (already filling with 17 hours of raw footage as I type), a borrowed 250 gig portable drive, and the recent techie upgrades will soon be put to task.

As much as I love my 30″ widescreen monitor, I think for editing purposes, I’m going to make the switch to two 19″ widescreen monitors with a higher screen resolution. This means that the main editing station will remain in the living room of Rossdonia, but the 30″ and surround sound will migrate to the basement. That also means that Assistant Editors and Interns will be working on the beloved 30″ widescreen to edit. My Sexy Girlfriend ™ will be happier to have some more separation between the 5.1 surround mixes and her work room anyways…

There exists many more hours of HORRORS OF WAR Behind the Scenes footage, interviews, and B-Roll that has never seen the light of day and I would like it to. I’m too burned out on it, but I feel I owe it to the people who took time to film interviews, be interviewed, and helped out on the project to NOT see it find some kind of life, even if it is a Public Access show or Internet video. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for Interns who don’t want to be gofers at Mills-James that actually want to have a great deal of creative control and actually EDIT something, plus get class credit for it.


Cousette & “V” continue their ongoing geopolitical strife. The sectarian violence includes escape attempts by “V” hiding in my backpack when I try to leave. We had a hanging of the roach magistrate and this caused some celebrating and fear of reprisals that never came from the Shiite-led roach community.

One of the few Xmas presents I got that intrigued me was getting the “RIDDICK TRILOGY” starring Vin Diesel. I was not ever a huge fan of PITCH BLACK or CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, but I thought they were okay. I didn’t hate the movies enough to trade in the DVD’s either. I watched this, including the heretofore unseen DVD Anime Featurette called DARK FURY. I liked these movies a lot better this time, not only because it was free, but I just kicked back & enjoyed it. One of the recurring themes in popular culture that continues to fascinate me is these intermediate Medias like the ANIME Featurette.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really like the new way of creating additional material in one form or another to expand the fictional universes and storylines for the people who want something additional. We saw similar things with STAR WARS – CLONE WARS cartoons, more recently with the TV series 24 and their prequel videos on the bonus disk of DVD’s for the previous season released weeks before the new season and the multiple episode series of WEBISODES of Battlestar Galactica online that featured secondary characters and played out storylines in between the 2nd and 3rd season. Even the U.S. comedy THE OFFICE did the exact same thing with secondary characters & web videos (both THE OFFICE and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA are NBC-UNIVERSAL series). Unfortunately because of these being “alternate media”, they aren’t union gigs and the studios are not paying out to Directors, Actors, or Writers any residuals or standard rates for these jobs, thus making them less likely to continue until resolved.

Our weather is unusually warm, as in 60 degree weather in late December & early January in Ohio is very odd. This also puts a complete crimp in the plan to produce the short SNOWMAN for my long time friend and crewmember John Fromes. I’m no meteorologist, but I think the weather has to be colder in order for snow to occur. I’ll try to assuage his grief, but sometimes John is unreasonable.

I got several new pages from George Caleodis on his script and it’s coming along well. Another seed of a movie idea occurred to me a while ago, and it’s sprouting on its own. I’m letting it freeform in my trusty notepad and letting things just happen with it. It’s that whole fermenting process that’s happening with a script or story idea. As I’ve learned from harsh lessons, I will not shoot a movie until the script is done baking in my mind, hence the no new productions from Sonnyboo in 2006. I have elevated my expectations of quality from myself and will NOT shoot until I feel I’ve got the script/story at 100%.

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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