The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #321: Welcome Actress Catherine Mary Stewart As We Discuss Samurai Cowboy and More

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #321: Welcome Actress Catherine Mary Stewart As We Discuss Samurai Cowboy and More

https://archive.org/download/podcast-321/Podcast%20321.mp3

This week, we are welcoming actress Catherine Mary Stewart to the show! 

Thank You, Orange”: Catherine Mary Stewart on “The Last Starfighter,”  Harvey Weinstein, and Gratitude - Inside8®

You may know her from classic films such as Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter, and Weekend at Bernie’s.  Although those are some of my favorite films of all time (and we do touch on aspects of some of those movies in this episode –  I mean, how could you not?), I thought it’d be fun to highlight an underrated gem that is hard to find but still very worth your time – 1994’s Samurai Cowboy Here’s the premise …

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The film starts in Japan with Japanese subtitles.  We see legions of modern samurai (salarymen and women) commuting in jam-packed Tokyo subways …

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Our hero, Yutaka Sato (singer Hiromi Go) and his best friend, Goro (J. Max Kirishima), work and party hard, though the stressful life of a modern business samurai is not what Yukata desires.  He longs to be a cowboy in the Wild West.  I thought Hiromi Go did a great job in a role that was part serious, part comedic.  He also gets to showcase his vocals by singing karaoke at least once as well as “Home on the Range.”

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After tragedy makes it hard to stay in Japan, Yutaka decides to emigrate to the US and buys a Montana ranch sight unseen, hoping it will be the Ponderosa of his dreams.  Reality, however, is a bit harsher, just like the pile of cow caca that he is about to step in here.

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It also doesn’t take long for the small-mindedness of the locals to make itself known (this was filmed at a time of a fair amount of fear/resentment at Japan in the West).  Yutaka does start to find non-bigoted allies, though.  He teams up with an semi-retired cowboy, Gabe (Robert Conrad of The Wild, Wild West TV show) and an American Indian artist, Jack Eagle Eye (Byron Chief-Moon), he sticks up for soon after getting to town.

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It’s hard to capture breathtaking vistas like this on film and have it translate to the feeling of being there, but I thought they did a really nice job on the cinematography.  Maybe someone can chime in and correct me, but this landscape looks a lot like Glacier National Park to me.  The peak they refer to as the Indian Chief looking a lot like Grinnell Glacier. 

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One of the non-bigoted locals that Yutaka befriends is a local veterinarian, Dr. Jessie Collins (our guest, Catherine Mary Stewart), who has the enviable job of riding around the country to get to the animals she rounds on.  Here she is dispatching a cow who isn’t doing so great while Yutaka slips on the snow since he doesn’t have boots fit for the weather.

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What kind of Western would it be without six guns?  When Yutaka gets himself some clothes more appropriate for ranching, he spies a gaudy revolver in a case at the front of the store and can’t resist (though actually hitting anything is a different matter).

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The beginnings of a romance start to blossom between our samurai cowboy and Jessie.  I have to hand it to the filmmakers – it was pretty unusual at the time for Asian males to ever get to be the romantic lead in a Western-made film.  The only person I can think of is Brandon Lee, who I talked about on here before.  I’m sure there were others, but I’m struggling to come up with ones made in the West at the time that were not martial arts themed films.  Of course, Yutaka, being Japanese, naturally has to know martial arts (which, to be fair, he uses to good effect at various points in the film), but stereotypes aside, in some ways it makes sense – he calls his ranch “The Dojo Ranch” since he views it as a place of focus and betterment and given the title, you kind of expect that the guy would be able take care of himself as any modern Samurai should, right?

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Yutaka also recruits a black hip hop artist (Bradley Rapier) who gets stranded in town, offering him a job to help out on the Dojo Ranch, thus completing the team.

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Together, Yutaka and company take on a corrupt local land developer, Colt Wingate (Matt McCoy) who wants Yutaka’s ranch for his own scorched earth plans.  Yutaka ain’t selling, though …

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Despite Wingate’s attempt to make life difficult for Yutaka, he and his compatriots decide the best way to go forward is to actually do what Yutaka set out to be – a cowboy … meaning that he and his ranchers need to herd the Dojo Ranch cattle old school-style to a town some distance away to be sold, ensuring Yutaka will have enough money to not default on his ranch loan.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Western if there weren’t a dramatic showdown at the end.  The way they handled it, though, I thought was nice.

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And it wouldn’t be a Western without a few sunset vistas like this.  Breathtaking!

Unfortunately, although I’d highly recommend finding this movie to watch yourself, it’s not the easiest thing to do, even if you go the bootleg path.  Thankfully, eBay is your friend in this arena.

If you are unable to find a copy of the film or don’t have a VHS player to play it on, you can still get a sense of what the movie is like with the clips we discussed in the podcast.  As mentioned, you can actually watch them as well.  Please excuse the video quality, however, since the video is coming courtesy of the Zoom call I recorded, so it won’t be quite as smooth as it were playing in real time.  However, you’ll at least have some visuals for the commentary in case you want to watch along with the podcast.  

 
 
I interspersed the Samurai Cowboy movie clips with a little 6 question quiz we had fun playing that touches on some bits from The Thirteenth Hour and classics like The Last Starfighter and Night of the Comet that Catherine was in.  There are a few questions where it helps to have visuals, which you can find them in the compilation below: 
 

If you’re a Patreon member, you’ll find some “extended scenes,” so to speak, in the latest Patreon podcast episode (#10). 

Thanks to Catherine Mary Stewart for joining the show!  Learn more about her on:

IMDB (how I found Samurai Cowboy!)

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Lastly, since it’s now the month of October, I think I should get on that sequel to The Last Rocketeer I wrote last year mashing up The Last Starfighter and The Rocketeer (two of my favorite things!).  The story ends in a very Halloween specific way, so now that Halloween is approaching, I figure that if Cliff Secord from The Rocketeer and Centauri from The Last Starfighter are good, then adding someone who may or may not be Dracula must be better.  Is there a way Alex and Maggie from The Last Starfighter can make a cameo, too?  Hmm … looking forward to writing it!

Thanks for tuning in!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #319: Toymaking Updates and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 7

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #319: Toymaking Updates and Reading The Howard the Duck Movie Novelization Part 7

https://archive.org/download/podcast-319/Podcast%20319.mp3

This past week, I’ve made some toy progress: 1.) on my Alumilite resin experiment – just finished this translucent metallic blue Rocketeer (Pledge Floor Polish really helps to bring back the sheen after sanding), as well as 2.) with the 5 POA Kenner-style Logan and Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour.  Logan is basically ready to go.  Aurora needs a few more details but is about 80% complete.  Once these guys are done, it will be time for making the molds and casting the pieces.  The exciting part will be assembling the pieces to see how they all fit together.

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Also, I want to thank all of you who took the time to write in and leave reviews on Apple Podcasts.  The process of doing so should be easier than it actually is, especially for all the non-Apple users.  Don’t worry if you tried but it didn’t work.  Just posting it on social media and tagging me works great, too, and frankly, is probably a hell of lot easier.  Game developer Antonio Scacchetti, who left one of the reviews, was on the show twice before (see episode 123 and the 2 parter: 252 & 252).  Check out Dev9k for more info on their projects!

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And now, speaking of which, back to the duck!  The zaniness continues in this sixth reading of the movie novelization Ellis Weiner, based on the screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz.  This is the section of the story where Howard rage quits, gets in a bar fight, and reunites with Beverly. 

This week’s bit of 80s trivia comes in the form of inventor and entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair, who sadly passed away recently.  He was instrumental in developing the pocket calucator and personal computer for the masses.  He also happened to shar a last name with a certain actor in the 1991 film of The Rocketeer, so I used that as a way to throw in a bit of 80s trivia in the short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” which you can read here.  It always seemed to me that Cliff Secord would have liked video games if they’d been invented in his day, so I figured why shouldn’t he get to enjoy them in his golden years?  1983, to be exact.

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Lastly, all proceeds to The Thirteenth Hour Studio on Etsy over Sept will be donated to the Red Cross (RedCross.org) for Hurricane Ida Relief. Check the link below to support those affected, still in the midst of the pandemic, with 80s retro art (music-books-toys).  Your purchases help those in need get back on their feet!

 
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Stay tuned for more!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #309: Welcome Lance Guest to Discuss The Wizard of Loneliness Part 2 + Bonus Lea Thompson Segment

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #309: Welcome Lance Guest to Discuss The Wizard of Loneliness Part 2 + Bonus Lea Thompson Segment

https://archive.org/download/podcast-309/Podcast%20309.mp3

As with last week, I’m joined by actor Lance Guest (The Last Starfighter, Jaws 4, Halloween 2) to talk more about his favorite project, the 1988 film, The Wizard of Loneliness.  We wrap up talking about the film and also touch a bit on some other aspects of his life, including music and on a 2001 Disney Channel film Lance was in featuring a juvenile chimpanzee, The Jennie Project

If you missed the first part of the interview, you can find it here as well as catch a video segment that gives you visuals for the video clips we’re watching and commenting on together: 

Here’s a little clip from David Letterman where Lance (who is portraying Johnny Cash) performs with his bandmates in the show Million Dollar Quartet.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/The_Jennie_Project.jpg

There isn’t much out there on The Jennie Project, but here’s a little promo clip that I vaguely remember playing on The Disney Channel.  Interestingly enough, the movie itself is not on Disney+ last time I checked, though you can find it to buy on Youtube or as a part of Amazon Prime (again, like The Wizard of Loneliness, only if you have a subscription).  I don’t think it was ever released on DVD, though someone uploaded it here (you may have to sort through the three links to the right to find one that works, though; beware of popups). 

Speaking of not having much out there on Youtube, The Wizard of Loneliness has very little there.  There is a nice trailer, though, as well as a snippet someone uploaded on a scene with Sybil Oler (Lea Thompson) and Duffy Kahler (Dylan Baker).  The scene is very close to how it occurs in the novel of the same name by John Nichols, which was written in 1966.     

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Above is the cover of the novel, which, interestingly, features two different scenes from the film and merges them together in and outside the Oler house.  Unless I’m wrong and this was a deleted scene, not sure why they did that and didn’t just use the movie poster/VHS coverart made for the film (a portion below), though it’s a nice image that works well enough.  

Anyhow, thanks to the support of the fine folks on The Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon, I reached out to Lea Thompson on Cameo to ask about her work on The Wizard of Loneliness and if the novel was helpful in portraying Sybil.  I think she is a more complicated character in the film than she is in the book since they merged an additional character (that of the town librarian, Marty) into the on-screen version of Sybil. 

In both book and film, Sybil had a short relationship with Duffy, bore their child out of wedlock, married, then lost her husband in WW2.  But in the novel, the relationship with Duffy is portrayed as a not very serious adolescent fling, and Sybil’s husband’s death happens during a few brief paragraphs of exposition.  We don’t really see it as actively as we do in the film. 

In the book, the town librarian, Marty, is a lonely figure that finds a kind of awkward connection with Wendall over books and photography.  It’s hinted that there is a kind of mutual attraction there, though I don’t think it was meant to be sexual in nature (more just two lonely souls finding solace in their mutual misery).  However, I’m guessing the filmmakers probably felt it best to avoid material that would lead to questions about the age difference between Wendall and Marty, especially if the attraction – however platonic – was to someone of the same sex.  In the movie, you kind of get the sense that Wendall has a crush on his aunt (which, to be fair, is also kind of weird), but maybe they felt that was preferable to the former.   

In the book, it really is the whole community that helps Wendall come out of his shell, whereas in the film, though the family and community role is definitely there, it seemed like they were going for Sybil becoming kind of a surrogate mother figure for Wendall (even hinted at in the cover art below).  In any event, both versions are good, and it was great to get Lea Thompson’s take on the film.  Look for more on the novel in the last part of the podcast.

Watch Wizard of Loneliness, The | Prime Video 

Thanks to Lance and Lea for providing the guest spots for this episode and for the Patrons and all the listeners for their support.

In the coming weeks, we’ll get back to more 30th anniversary Rocketeer celebrating.  We still have a handful of Rocketeer cartoon episodes to discuss as well as a number of other guests and other fun activities in the works.

I know we didn’t talk much about The Last Starfighter here, but if you look for The Last Starfighter group on Facebook, you can find many more interviews and pictures from the film, including all those speculations about sequels and so forth.   (Just with like The Rocketeer, I will believe it when I see it! 🙂

Speaking of those two properties, if you every wondered what might have happened just prior to The Last Starfighter, should our hapless hero Cliff Secord (a.k.a. the Rocketeer) live to 1983, check out the shenanigans and misadventures that follow in the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer”!  

What would happen if The Rocketeer collided with The Last Starfighter? What would happen if Cliff Secord, our hapless hero from the 1991 film and the Dave Stevens comic from the 80s really did live in the 80s? Say, 1983? He’d be about 71. What if Centauri, the fast-talking game creator from the 1984 film, recruited Cliff for a special mission? What if, knowing Cliff’s luck, it all went bad? Will he reluctantly don his antiquated rocketpack and helmet for one last flight? Will his jodhpurs even fit after all these years? Read on and find out as world collide! Cliff’s back may not take the strain, but at least you can do so from the comfort of your favorite chair!

Thanks for tuning in!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #308: Welcome Lance Guest to Discuss The Wizard of Loneliness Part 1

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #308: Welcome Lance Guest to Discuss The Wizard of Loneliness Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast-308/Podcast%20308.mp3

Today, I’m joined by actor Lance Guest (who you may know as the lead character, Alex Rogan, of one of my favorite films, The Last Starfighter) to talk about his favorite project, the 1988 film, The Wizard of Loneliness.  It was a pleasure and an honor to talk with him about this bittersweet, slice-of-life film that I saw once as a child but didn’t quite understand at the time.  I wanted to see what it was like viewing it as an adult and am really glad I gave it a second chance!  This first part of the podcast will focus mostly on the film, and next week, we’ll talk about some aspects of the film’s enchanting score and some of Lance’s other projects as well as the book The Wizard of Loneliness was based on (after our conversation, I figured I should go and track down a copy of the novel to see if it answered some questions I still had about the film – the movie and the novel are really quite similar in some ways, though there are some key differences that we’ll talk about next week).  

A few screencaps from the film (I don’t think this movie was ever released on DVD; I ended up finding a copy on eBay and digitizing it).  Here is Lance’s character – auto mechanic John T Oler.

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John T lives with his elderly parents and older sister in a large, rural Vermont home.  He takes the main character, Wendall (played by Lukas Haas), under his wing and tries to help him discover some aspects of his childhood, like playing baseball and lighting fireworks on the Fourth of July. 

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Speaking of which, there’s a really fun little scene that ties in with Independence Day, which is why I tried to time this episode to the US’ birthday this week.  It was really interesting to learn that this part of the film was actually filmed in the late fall!

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As a former New Englander, this was one of my favorite scenes in the film, a motorcycle ride through the country throwing the beautiful Vermont countryside. 

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There is a video segment to this podcast which can be found here that gives you visuals for the video clips we’re watching together: 

If you’d like to watch the film in full, there are not that many places you can find it, unfortunately.  But if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can find it streaming there.  Otherwise, you may want to look on eBay, as I did, to see if you can find an old VHS copy (though they tend to go for somewhat high prices).  If you are lucky, you might be able to find one in your local Goodwill or Salvation Army for a fraction of the cost.

We’ll talk more about the characters in the novel next week, but in the book, John T was much more bitter and depressed.  Lance played him in a less aggressive, angry way (in fact, he reminded me a little of what Alex Rogan might have been like a few years after The Last Starfighter).

If, by chance, you’re interested in what might have happened just prior to The Last Starfighter, should our hapless hero Cliff Secord (a.k.a. the Rocketeer) live to 1983, check out the shenanigans and misadventures that follow in the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer”!  

What would happen if The Rocketeer collided with The Last Starfighter? What would happen if Cliff Secord, our hapless hero from the 1991 film and the Dave Stevens comic from the 80s really did live in the 80s? Say, 1983? He’d be about 71. What if Centauri, the fast-talking game creator from the 1984 film, recruited Cliff for a special mission? What if, knowing Cliff’s luck, it all went bad? Will he reluctantly don his antiquated rocketpack and helmet for one last flight? Will his jodhpurs even fit after all these years? Read on and find out as world collide! Cliff’s back may not take the strain, but at least you can do so from the comfort of your favorite chair!

Stay tuned for more next week!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #271 and Like a Hood Ornament 19: Welcome Nicole Dubuc, Executive Producer of the Rocketeer Animated Series

Episode #271 and Like a Hood Ornament 19: Welcome Nicole Dubuc, Executive Producer of the Rocketeer Animated Series

https://archive.org/download/podcast-271/Podcast%20271.mp3

This week, I’d like to welcome screenwriter, actress, and producer Nicole Dubuc to the show.  She is the executive producer of the Rocketeer cartoon that came out about a year ago (which, as of 10/16/20, is now also available on Disney+.)  She joins the show under another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment to discuss the creation of the series, the music, and some of the ideals she and her team brought to the cartoon.  It was especially great to see how they were able to take Dave Stevens’ and the 1991 film’s visions of the Rocketeer universe and turn it into something that young children could easily digest and fall in love with (as my kids did).

My own children started watching the show when it came out.  We don’t have cable, so I had no idea how to watch the episodes initially but eventually figured out that you could buy the episodes individually on iTunes (and then, ultimately, as a whole season on Amazon).  It’s been great to share my favorite movie with the kids in a form they can digest, and as I mentioned here before and on social media, we’ve done a bunch of things from that love of the show, like reading books about airplanes together, making a Halloween costume for my daughter (almost done, more on the first Patreon exclusive episode coming soon), and making little resin figurines.   I also have the Rocketeer comics to thank for helping to keep my three-year-old son on the potty long enough to, you know, take care of business.

If you haven’t seen the show, here is a clip of our favorite song, which has all the 80s pop glory of flying to the sound of synths and guitars.

Can you spot the original Rocketeer film/comic Easter Eggs?  Here are a few to get you started …

-recreation of the scene in the original comic and film of the Rocketeer saving a pilot in trouble at an airshow

-Butch the bulldog

Billy Campbell, the original Rocketeer in the 1991 film, who voices the pilot in trouble (the father of Kit, the new Rocketeer).

-gum in a white wrapper (a la Beeman’s) that saves the day

If you don’t have Disney+ or another streaming service with the show, you can, of course, buy episodes or the season individually like I did.

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However, you can also watch an episode for free (which has a nice cameo by the original Rocketeer) on Youtube:

Although I wasn’t able to get it to work since I think my phone is too old, there was a Rocketeer game with the same bright color palate the series has that used to be part of the Disney Now app.  I’m not sure it’s still available since I wasn’t able to find it this time around, but you can check out the gameplay below.   Looks like fun!  I hope it gets released to be more widely available!

If you want to listen to more of the music, you can find a playlist of the songs on Youtube Music.  Here a great one that has a great retro 80s feel with some iconic cloud chasing:

Thanks, Nicole, for coming on the show!  You can find out more about her on Twitter and Instagram.

Look for more Rocketeer cartoon content in future episodes, and if you’re a member of the Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon group, look for more updates on the costume we’re currently making.  Here’s a preview:

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As I mentioned last week, I wanted to finish the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” (which tells the story of what might happen if a 71-year-old Cliff from The Rocketeer met up with Centauri from The Last Starfighter) by Halloween since the story ends on Halloween, but also because, when writing it, I wanted to pay homage to the timeline the Rocketeer cartoon established for Cliff and Jenny later in life.  Although the IDW comics had stories that went up through World War 2 (and that was with Betty and the Dave Stevens version of the rocketpack), I don’t think there is anything that discussed what life was life for these characters after that.  That is, until the cartoon!  So, there are some cameos and mentions of Ambrose, Cliff’s son, and Dave, his grandson in “The Last Rocketeer.”  Here are a few of the illustrations, mostly done with the kids in daddy day care art time:

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By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see episode 268).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #262 and Like a Hood Ornament 17: Welcome Stunt Woman Jazzy Ellis to the Show!

Episode #262 and Like a Hood Ornament 17: Welcome Stunt Woman Jazzy Ellis to the Show!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-262/Podcast%20262.mp3

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This week, stunt performer Jazzy Ellis joins the show.  She is a Screen Actors Guild Award winner with many film and TV credits you may have seen or heard of, like Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Walking Dead, Bad Boys for Life, Chaos Walking, and more.  She is also a former teacher, ballet dancer, and a tireless crusader for equal representation for people of color in the stunt and film world.  It was great to have her on to discuss her circuitous journey to where she is now as well as how she prepares for stunts and keeps in shape for the very physical job she has.  We also had a chance to touch on issues of race in the film industry as well as the country at large and what she’d like to see for performers of color in the industry.

For the “Like a Hood Ornament” section of the show, we’re looking at this clip from The Rocketeer, where the Rocketeer takes off:

Coincidentally, the music  – a short version of the theme done I think with a French horn with chimes in the background – that plays right before, about 0:53 in, happens to be my favorite part of the entire soundtrack.  It has always seemed to me that it embodies the spirit of entire film, a little snippet of pre-war optimism for a better tomorrow where rocketpacks wouldn’t be experimental and flight would be commonplace.

In any event, Jazzy is giving her professional thoughts on the fall that the stunt man does around 1:20, where Peevy is tossed backwards by the force of the rocket’s blast.

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about Jazzy, check out the following clips:

… and on the web here:

Imdb

Twitter

Instagram

www.jazzyellis.com

Thanks, Jazzy, for coming on the show!

Also, the next segment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight) is up.

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from in episode 260: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

The next part of Chapter 4 is here: https://www.wattpad.com/934519790-the-last-rocketeer-4-in-which-the-proverbial

rocketeer night

More coming next week!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #261: Musical Interlude – The Making of “Once Upon a Dream” and Like a Hood Ornament 16: The Last Rocketeer and Kit Secord Rocketpack Updates

Episode #261: Musical Interlude – The Making of “Once Upon a Dream” and Like a Hood Ornament 16: The Last Rocketeer and Kit Secord Rocketpack Updates

https://archive.org/download/podcast-261/Podcast%20261.mp3

This week, I’m working on the title track from the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP, Once Upon a Dream.  I have the keyboard riffs and the lyrics mostly done and am now trying to figure out how they go together.  I’ve recorded a bare bones version here with just the vocals and the piano chords, which is how many of these songs start.  In the coming week’s, I’ll be refining the skeleton of the song as I figure out how the different riffs work into the song, where the backing beat will come in, how the solo will sound, etc.

In the Like a Hood Ornament segment, I’m talking a bit about how my kids and I have been working on a costume paper mache rocketpack for my daughter for Halloween (she’d like to be Kit Secord from the cartoon, who you can see at the bottom of these images below).

We still have to figure out how to attach straps, and I’m wondering if it might be fun to figure out how to light up the engines and/or attach the little banks of purple LEDs on the bottom that this version of the pack has.  Maybe we’ll make an electrical switch wired to the gloves, like in the movie.

Also, the next segment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight) is up.

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from in episode 260: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

The first part of Chapter 4 is here: https://www.wattpad.com/934519790-the-last-rocketeer-4-in-which-the-proverbial

More coming next week!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #260 and Like a Hood Ornament 15: Reading from Chapter 3 of the Last Rocketeer

Episode #260 and Like a Hood Ornament 15: Reading from Chapter 3 of the Last Rocketeer

https://archive.org/download/podcast-260/Podcast%20260.mp3

This week, I’m reading from the next installment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight).  He gets his chance in this tale!  But as usual with Cliff, it all goes south!  Find out what happens this week as the defecation starts to hit the proverbial ventilation!

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from today: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

Stay tuned for Chapter 4!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #259: Isolation, Multiculturalism, and Finding Your Place in the World and Like a Hood Ornament 14: Writing the Last Rocketeer Part 2

Episode #259: Isolation, Multiculturalism, and Finding Your Place in the World and Like a Hood Ornament 14: Writing the Last Rocketeer Part 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-259/Podcast%20259.mp3

This week, I’m talking about some ideas why the main characters in The Thirteenth Hour decide to leave the society they have grown up in and try to make their own place in the world.  I couldn’t have articulated the various reasons why that idea was compelling at the time, but over the last few years, it’s made more sense in terms of my family background, the way people in our society typically respond to racial ambiguity, idealistic (often unrealistic) American ideals, and a certain teenage optimism of my own.

In the Like a Hood Ornament section, I’m tying these ideas to the loneliness and isolation the elderly Cliff Secord experiences in the story.

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

Some pictures from this chapter.  These, by the way, all started life as quick sketches and watercolors done with my kids during our quarantine home schooling sessions. So, I don’t spend a ton of time on them but (maybe because of that) they’ve been fun to do!

game cabinetzandozan

Stay tuned for Chapter 3!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #258 and Like a Hood Ornament 13: What if Cliff Secord from The Rocketeer Were Alive in 1983 and Ends Up in The Last Starfighter?

Episode #258 and Like a Hood Ornament 13: What if Cliff Secord from The Rocketeer Were Alive in 1983 and Ends Up in The Last Starfighter?

https://archive.org/download/podcast-258/Podcast%20258.mp3

This week, I’m talking about a short story I’m writing for fun called “The Last Rocketeer.”

Here’s the premise:

Cliff Secord was a pilot who stumbled upon an experimental rocketpack and became a high flying reluctant hero, The Rocketeer.

That was in 1938.  But now it’s 1983.

Retirement is no longer an option.  The fate of the universe hangs in the balance! 

I got the idea from my daughter, who asked if we could tweak some of the lyrics of the song, “Superman” by Five for Fighting to be from the perspective of the Rocketeer.

I initially wasn’t sure it would work but the more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea of an older, jaded, Cliff Secord worn out physically and mentally by years of tough landings, crashes, altercations, and other traumatic events.  So I tweaked the lyrics a bit to fit that idea, recorded here:

I also really liked the idea of the bitter older man still grappling with his past.  The film The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is a great example of such a character – a man with a violent past trying to make sense of what he did decades later.  Mike from the book It by Stephen King had a similar feel, so much so that I used Mike as a model for another character, Alfred, in The Thirteenth Hour sequel.

lastrocketeer

Since I had to figure out a way to work the 80s in,  I figured what would happen if Cliff runs into Centauri from The Last Starfighter? What if Cliff were recruited to help Centauri and in the process, you know, save the world?  Ahem – the universe!

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Stay tuned for Chapter 2!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #257: Musical Interlude – Recording Vocals and Layered Synths for “The Last Dance”

Episode #257: Musical Interlude – Recording Vocals and Layered Synths for “The Last Dance”

On this week’s show, I’m continuing the recording process to a song I started a number of months ago, “The Last Dance,” last discussed on episodes 223, 224, 225, and 256.
We’re discussing the recording of the vocals as well as additional synth tracks, like a simple instrumental solo.
Speaking of which, I added a voiceover to a track that I recently finished, “The Land of Dreams” (see below for the video or here for the audio track) to make the animations match up with the part of the The Thirteenth Hour the track accompanies.

 

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #256: Musical Interlude – Laying the Backing Track for “The Last Dance”

Episode #256: Musical Interlude – Laying the Backing Track for “The Last Dance”

On this week’s show, I’m starting the formal recording process to a song I started a number of months ago, “The Last Dance,” last discussed on episodes 223, 224, and 225.
I got stuck for awhile since the original way I’d conceptualized the song was much slower.  It took awhile for it to evolve in my mind and to work out how to play certain parts and sing some sections within my vocal range more comfortably.
The song starts out without no accompanying beat, and although I knew I wanted to fold one in later in the song, the original tempo felt too slow, and I wasn’t sure how to make it work.  I eventually stumbled on the right speed (120 beats/min), which in may ways felt right, as it fit the 80s new wave songs that I’ve always liked.  (E.g. “If You Leave” by OMD from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack is also 120 bpm.)   The original, stripped down, slower version I had originally envisioned may still work but probably not with my vocals or this arrangement.  This speed probably also fits better with the other songs on the upcoming album this one will be on.
In the next few weeks, watch for the final iteration of this song once I record the vocals and a few other layers for the chorus and outro.  Once that’s done, I think it’d be fun to add a pixelart visual for it since there are no pictures of this part of The Thirteenth Hour, and it’d be a fun illustration, with lots of fantastical creatures (faeries, elves, griffins, unicorns, a backflipping chimp, and many other dancing animals) besides our protagonists, Logan and Aurora, awkwardly trying to navigate the beginnings of young love, with all its stops and starts, trials and tribulations, and bittersweet awkward moments familiar to anyone who’s been there and/or watched a teen movie.

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞