Sci Fi Lab Radio Show Full Interview with James T. Warbington, Co-Director of The Black Earth

On October 25, 2012, the Sci Fi Lab Radio Show on Georgia Tech’s 91.1 FM in Atlanta aired my hour-long interview with James T. Warbington, co-director of the upcoming feature film The Black Earth, as its pre-Halloween, zombie-themed episode of the fall semester. Unfortunately, the interview was cut short on the radio due to a technical issue. Never fear, the Internet is here! You can listen to the full, uncut episode in mp3 format here or on YouTube here.

The Black Earth makes its world premiere on November 3, 2012, 9:30pm at the Plaza Theater on Ponce de Leon Ave (what better place for a Grindhouse-style zomcom?).

The Black Earth Feature Film On Track, You Pick the Real McKenzies Song for the Movie

James Warbington, writer and director of the short film The Black Earth, a movie about Johnny and Hank Ellis’ troubles with brain-eating zombies and an empty cooler, tells me that things are on track with the feature film version [read my extensive coverage of the film and an interview with James by clicking here].
He has some great music lined up for the feature film’s soundtrack, but he needs your help to pick the Real McKenzies tune from their new album that goes into the movie. Read James’ email below to find out how to vote:
Hey it’s me James from the Black Earth Feature Film/Short FIlm.


As we are chugging along getting ready to film the feature length The Black Earth- We want you to have some input-


We are asking everyone to vote for music- (this one is more legit than the Mojo Song, like record label knows about this one and is helping out)


The Real McKenzies are a Canadian Scottish Punk Band from Vancouver- Pretty well known, I’ve been listening to ’em for nearly 10 years or more.


Their New Album on Fat Wreckchords/Epitaph/Sony/Union Label Group




comes out on March 27th-


We get to choose one song from the album, and we’ve decided to leave it up to all the public, and since you folks are the people that have helped us get this far your opinion matters! Casue we loves you!


So go to…



There you can click on links to the Band’s Label and the Mp3 Samples on Amazon


click the links hear samples, but trust me wait to vote until you can hear the full songs on March 26th, either through Amazon, or Donwload them, or buy the CD, because the Short Snippets they play on Amazon don’t do the songs justice (Like for Example “The Tempest” sounds really slow in the sample, but the song kicks in extremely heavy midway through)


Also more info you can check out the movie blog site that also has info on how to gut a torso-



Once again thank you to all of you who have supported the film and helped us make it this far, I promise you will laugh yer butt off at the movie and if you don’t I will wear a dress and re-enact the flashdance dancing sequence and Carrie. Bucket O’ Blood.


Much Love-


James/Black Earff


P.S. the Intro Song Winner btw is…..”You Can’t Kill Me” Mojo Nixon


Maillardet Automaton and The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I have not yet had a chance to see Martin Scorsese’s Hugo or read the book that it is based on, the Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. However, I do want to see the film, because I am fascinated by automatons, the forebears of robots. The New York Times has an article about the inspiration of Hugo here: Maillardet Automaton Inspired Martin Scorsese’s Film ‘Hugo’.

Harry Morgan, Portrayed Sgt. Bible in Strategic Air Command, Has Passed Away

I was saddened to learn of Harry Morgan’s passing away, which was reported on The New York Times here. He is well known as Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H and Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet, but I like to think of him as the lowly Sgt. Bible in Strategic Air Command (According to this website, Morgan and Stewart were in eight movies together!). Notably, his character gives Jimmy Stewart’s Lt. Col. Robert “Dutch” Holland a tour of their B-36. Morgan will be missed.

*Thanks to Doug Davis for turning me on to this terrific Cold War film.

Brad Pitt in The New York Times Magazine Special on Hollywood Seems More Nance Than Lorre

According to A.O. Scott’s slideshow about Brad Pitt’s vignette for the Hollywood special issue of The New York Times Magazine, Pitts is reported to be channeling ‘‘Peter Lorre — with a dose of Kramer.’’ I thought this odd, certainly Lorre’s trace is there, but Alex Prager, the video’s director, obviously creates an homage to David Lynch’s Eraserhead with Pitt portraying Henry (Jack Nanse). Also, Prager’s videos are included in a section titled, “Touch of Evil.” I never thought of Henry as evil. He reacts to a world gone mad in the only way that he can. He is a product of that world. Perhaps this makes him crazy, or on the other hand, he is the only sane person surrounded by oppressing madness. Regardless of Pitt’s and Prager’s motivations and inspirations, Pitt’s approximately 45 second performance is amazing. It is the only time out of Pitt’s performances when I momentarily thought that this was someone new, a fictional construct, and not simply Pitt in a different disguise.

DRM Graveyard on, Content Consumers Demand Less Restrictions and More Respect

Ruth Suehle constructed a fantastic DRM graveyard: A brief history of digital rights management in music.

Digital rights management or DRM is a method for controlling access to various digital media including music, movies, and software. The “rights” being managed are those of content creators to a lesser extent and of content distributors to a greater extent. As Suehle’s timeline demonstrates, DRM systems often bite the dust, because users overwhelmingly demand their own rights to purchased media. One of the most important rights is transferability, or using media on a digital device or computer of one’s choosing. The trouble with many DRM systems is that transferability is difficult or impossible, because content controllers and distributors begin with the tacit assumption that all content consumers are not to be trusted. The assumption that most DRM systems are based on is that users will “steal” content or use purchased content in was unintended by the creators or distributors. This lack of respect and too much trouble imposed by most DRM systems lead consumers to find new channels for content distribution that are less restricting and more respectful.