Cool Stuff: Shaun of Dead Inspired Bar

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One of Minneapolis most notorious bars, Stand Up Frank, was resurrected last week under new ownership, new name and an entirely different interior. Leslie Bock reopened the tiny bar with a new zombie theme under the name Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den.

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Cool Stuff: Dexter Drink Coasters

Dexter Drink Coasters

I don’t own a coffee table, nor do I care about my drinks leaving condensation on my glass work desk, so I really have no use for drink coasters. But my love for the Showtime series Dexter actually had me considering hitting the “Add To Cart” button.

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Cool Stuff: Star Wars Y-Wing-Themed Bedroom

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A father built this Star Wars themed bedroom for his son, complete with a Y-Wing loft-style bed which hangs above. The bedroom is one of three in the 2,532 square foot Visalia California house, which is currently for sale for $346,900. Not much more information about the bedroom is included in the listing.

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back to the future cake

In a 2007 edition of Cool Stuff, we profiled a wedding cake that featured the bride and groom on top of a DeLorean time machine. If you read the site regularly, you probably know I’m obsessed with Back to the Future. Yes, I own a hoverboard (don’t ask if it actually hovers), a flux capacitor, among many other geekarific tributes to the original film. I can’t imagine that many Brides would allow their Grooms to order a Back to the Future-inspired wedding cake. In fact, I thought the cake at the above link was going to be the only one I’d ever see. But another cake has emerged.

/Film reader Tony J got married a couple weeks ago, and his wedding featured a new Back to the Future-inspired wedding cake. But this time around, its not an edible DeLorean, but instead Hill Valley’s courthouse square. The cake was designed by Caryn’s Cakes in Atlanta, and the Clock Tower is made out of red velvet cake. More photos after the jump.

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williescreenToday, in the name of summer ’09, I purchased: ’70s-era paperbacks by late aquathriller master Peter Benchley, a coozie printed with dolphins and castles, and a tube of black Zinka. And while $11.99 is not recession-proof, for that exact price we can now be sunproof while laughing at Will Ferrell‘s bare ass all season long!

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variants

Screenwriter and director John August has made a detour into prose with his new short story The Variant. He says it “was and maybe still is supposed to be part of an anthology of short stories written by well-known screenwriters” but, in the meantime, you can purchase a copy from August directly for only 99 cents.

Of course, at that price I couldn’t resist and I immediately pumped in my card details and downloaded the pdf – all 25 pages, 156 kb or 7,176 words of it…

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Cool Stuff: Lasseter Family Wines

lasseter winery

Did you know: Academy Award winning animation director and Disney/Pixar cheif creative officer John Lasseter owns a Sonoma Valley winery? Lasseter bought the 27 acre Justi Creek Vinyard in 2002, embarking on a environmentally sensitive restoration the historic property and converting the vineyard exclusively to organic farming practices.

The Lasseter Family Winery is now open for business, offering three wines: Syrah Rose, Rhone Style Red Blend, and St. Emilion Red Blend. The Lasseter Family Winery logo features the character Wally B, which some of you animation nuts might remember from the 1984 LucasFilm computer animated short The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. Bottles range from $20 to $40, which isn’t that bad, and would certainly make a good gift for a hardcore Disney or Pixar fanatic.

I mean, who wouldn’t want a bottle of wine crafted by the guy that brought us Toy Story and returned hand drawn animation to Walt Disney Animation Studios?

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indiana jones raiders of the lost ark

Last year LucasFilm released this incredible book called The Complete Making of Indiana Jones (if you don’t have it and love the original trilogy, you must pick it up — its available on Amazon for around $23). It has all sorts of concept art, early script pages, notes, never seen production photos, its incredible.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a page which contains excerpts from the original story conference between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan in January 1978. It’s like being in the delivery room while Indiana Jones is born. For example, there is a conversation about if Indiana Jones should be afraid of anything, and if so what he should be afraid of. Spielberg suggests that the character should be afraid of snakes but it should be a surprise later on in the film, and Lucas suggests that you reveal that he’s afraid of snakes in the beginning of the movie and later play it for comedy when he opens the tomb “I can’t go down there. Why did it have to be snakes? Anything but snakes.” And later Lucas suggests the character’s name should be Indiana Smith, but thankfully later changes his mind to Indiana Jones because he likes that people can call him “Indy” or “Jones”. I’m not sure if it’s just the screenwriter hidden inside of me, but I find it extremely cool to read these conversations.

Unfortunately, the book I mentioned only contains a page or two of excerpts. I’ve always been really interested to read the full transcript. Well guess what? /Film reader Jackie R has pointed me to a site called mysterymanonfilm which links to a PDF document that contains all 126 pages of the Raiders of the Lost Ark story conference. It must have been made publicly available at some point, although I’ve never seen it myself. And for those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing, mysterymanonfilm has written a longish post (but very shortish compared to the 126-page document) compiling 10 screenwriting lessons he took away from the transcript. It’s a very interesting read, especially if you’re interested in the creative process.

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