Monday, February 26, 2007

Bava's Spirit Looms at Oscars

Mario Bava never got anywhere near an Academy Award in his lifetime of service to the Seventh Art. However, last night -- at the 79th annual Academy Awards ceremony -- his spirit loomed large with the honoring of DANGER: DIABOLIK composer Ennio Morricone (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Bava's devoted admirers Martin Scorsese (Best Director) and Guillermo del Toro (whose film PAN'S LABYRINTH was recognized for Best Cinematography, by Guillermo Navarro).

We at VIDEO WATCHDOG extend our heartiest congratulations to all three gentlemen -- especially to Marty, who's been an ardent supporter of VW since the very beginning and, as you may have noticed, penned the Introduction to the Bava book that he, like you, is eagerly awaiting. We're happy to know that we'll be finally presenting him with a copy of the book in what has become his Oscar year. And I'm doubly pleased to know that he's agreed to appear in Joe Dante's film of THE MAN WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES, the script I co-wrote with Charlie Largent, which we're all hoping will go before the cameras later this year.

For those of you who are curious about the book's progress, Donna and I had to take two weeks out of our gallop along the homestretch to produce VIDEO WATCHDOG #129 -- which is being mailed out later this week, which will claim a little more of our time. Nevertheless, I've done my final polishing and Donna tells me she has every expectation of finishing within the next week or two.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Finished... But Not Finished

It's now the start of a new month, and there is a sigh of relief to report -- but it's not THE sigh of relief.

Last night, shortly before midnight, Donna finished her final touches on the main body of the Book -- 1,113 pages. That's a great accomplishment, the biggest breakthrough since I finished writing it, three years ago... but it's not time for a party yet. There is still the front and back matter to finish.

Donna estimates that these sections include another 200 or so images, but not all of these image files need digital tweaking. She has been averaging 50+ images per day, so the remaining work shouldn't involve more than another 4-5 days. There are also some minor last minute changes that I need to add to the text -- updating the videography as best I can (including some new titles due this Spring), putting Tudor Gates' quotes into past tense, things like that. These can easily be done while Donna is finishing and won't require any extra time.

Donna is reluctant for me to say that next week will likely be our last week of work on the Book, but I do expect she'll be able to at least wrap up the Book's interior by the end of next week. After that, the hard cover and dust jacket still need designing (the book will have what is called a "French fold" dust jacket), and there may be other loose ends of which I'm not aware, but it's impending completion of the interior that readers of this blog are awaiting -- that, and the news that the book is entirely in the printer's hands. Those announcements will be soon forthcoming.