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Sunday
Dec102017

The Ten 

Hi all happy holidays! Have lots to tell you all about but that's going to have to wait for another day, 2017 was as bonkers as a year can possibly be, but good things did happen, and I wanted to make a list pf "ten things I hope you all check out" I may go over 10, but I like to think no one is really counting anyway, right? Let's get into it, in no particular order, just things I dug and hope you might dig too.
Frodham! Every view was gorgeous like this.
  
(Travel) Frodsham, United Kingdom: So I got into Frodsham a little bit, it's near Liverpool, it's near Manchester. It's this cool little trendy town, very diverse, very welcoming, if there's a spot in the States that's sort of similar, maybe Manayunk PA, maybe a quieter street in the Village in NYC? Now I covered a lot of ground in the UK, but was able to stop in a few pubs in Frodsham, and here's what made it great, there was a lot of karaoke going on a Saturday night there. And I was excited to see what "the go to" song was in Frodsham, so I stopped into one spot, and the first song sung was "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. Cool. Then I stopped into another place and someone was up there doing a full on karaoke I mean, eyes closed, singing their beautiful hearts out and THAT song? Well, it was also "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers. So on the way back, we stopped back at the original spot for a beer and guess what? This was 3 hours later and before we even got in, we could hear it "Jealousssssy turning saints into the sea". So, beautiful Frodsham, come for the fish and chips (which are the best on the planet) stay for the "Mr. Brightside".
(TV)"The Good Place": I stumbled upon this TV show this year, about a bad person who accidentally makes it into a heaven type place, and it blew my mind. Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and "Hi, I'm Janet", it's funny, it's weird and in the most delightful ways possible. I couldn't believe network TV did this one, it felt like a Netflix type show (shout out to NBC for letting this one happen) and for a 30 minute comedy, this thing has twists and turns like you'd see in a drama. It's halfway through season 2 and there are already episodes I re-watch like I do for so many classic comedies I hold in high regard (Parks and Recreation, Scrubs etc) so, if you're looking for a new show, you may enjoy this one.
(Music) Dave Hause "Bury Me In Philly": Dave is a Philly guy and in 2017, gave us "Bury Me In Philly", which is a very sincere rock and roll record. It's sort of a loud Springsteen hybrid sounding feeling (similar to Gaslight Anthem, if you like that sound, you may like this sound), and what Dave does similar to Bruce, is when they sing it, I believe it. Springsteen can sing a song about pumping gas in New Jersey, and make that sound so good we all want to do that too... and when Dave Hause sings "I need a friend right now, who reminds me of my home", I really really believe him. I hope this record sells, but also hope Dave does a record about pumping gas in Philly and makes all of us want to do it.
(Script) Santo Marabella "My Dad's First Dog": This wonderful piece came into my life by some really random coincidences, a fantastic actor I'd worked with on "Down With The Boogey" named Alan Mclintock knew Santo, and I was on the last few months of "The Other Ripken" festival tours, Alan was in Ohio, Santo was in Reading, PA and I was off in New York, and somehow, this all came together. After "Ripken" played the Reading Film Festival (this was a great little festival) Santo sent me this piece this year, a wonderful little story about a guy having a bit of a nervous breakdown...all narrated from a dog's point of view. It was funny, sweet and gut wrenching. Gave me tears in my eyes. Santo was going to do this as a stage play or film and asked me to be part of it, I have a feeling he realized how great it was and quickly replaced me with Ryan Gosling (it's okay, I don't blame him)
(Film) "Jim & Andy": This is a documentary, Jim Carrey was filming "Man On The Moon" and had lots of behind the scenes filmed. The documentary covers how deep Jim Carrey got into the Andy Kauffman character during the film. I worked on this film for a couple of days and towards the end of the finished film I pop up for about 2 seconds, and over the years when asked about it I said "I didn't meet Jim, I met Andy" and this film, sort of covers exactly what I was trying to explain. What made this filmmaking perfect, is there is this sort of "blurry" reality stretching feeling you get from watching it...and that feeling, was exactly what it felt like to be on the set of that film in real life. Jim was Andy, he never broke character, he was almost trance-like the entire time, then we're singing  "Happy Birthday" to Danny DeVito at 2 in the morning, all of a sudden Michael Stipe from REM appears there. It really was a very fun experience and nothing felt "real", this documentary brought that feeling 100% back to me. It's a great documentary for anyone interested in the filming, method acting process, but for me, felt like this blissfully weird little trip down memory lane.
(Music) Beck "Colors": I know, I know, Beck popped up on this list last year for "WOW" but that record, for some reason, didn't come out in 2016, it came out now in 2017, which is fine by me, we really needed this record in 2017. Beck returns to an early form, we all loved "Sea Change" and it won every award, but as a longtime Beck fan, I was happy to have a new bouncy, fun, dance-y Beck back, "I'm So Free" is the one I keep going back to on this one, but "Up All Night" is a good sample of what this record is:
(Sports) Alejandro Bedoya: Ale Bedoya plays soccer to the United States Men's National Team as well as with the Philadelphia Union, neither of those teams had a particularly remarkable 2017, however Ale has always been straight forward in interviews as well as on the field. He and I started shooting the breeze when he came to Philadelphia because of how charity-minded he was. The first thing he wanted to do when he got to Philly was donate to local charities. That's a good man who does that, new contract, new city to move his family and among the first things he did was look for what he could do and what he could give. You always sort of hope athletes when they come to town are like that, and Alejandro most definitely is. Weird side step, when the United States didn't qualify for the World Cup this year I sent him a quick "keep your head up" note, WHY did I do that, like Alejandro was like "man, what a tough setback OH thank goodness, a note from that idiot I saw in that Wendy's commercial one time, thanks, 'fresh salad guy'"...speaking of charity minded Philly athletes....
(Sports) Joel Embiid: New York City with the Steve Nash Foundation (we almost got Alejandro to this event too which would have been incredible) now, we were on a second year with Steve and his unbelievably wonderful crew of folks working for the cause, and low and behold who do we see coming in? Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76'ers and social media superstar. You can't miss Joel, even in New York City, and it was good of him to come out and bless the cause. Came out for charity, soccer and basketball, and those are 3 things I'm very fond of. Joel really is that big, I shook his hand and his hand completely covered mine. He's everywhere, as he has proven himself to be a superstar caliber athlete, but is also crossing over into other mediums, but among all of this, here's a guy who came out to a very hot day in NYC to help the cause. Proud to have Alejandro and Joel in the 215.
(Music) Kendrick Lamar "DAMN": The way I play music a lot, is when I have some time, I'll put the headphones in and play something from beginning to end, and when I spun "DAMN" I stopped. I sat. I let Kendrick just fill my head with these incredible stories and his writing seems so natural, lines like "Nobody pray for me, even a day for me" , I start to think "I've written, but I haven't KENDRICK written, I need to be much better at writing things". The production is thick and just rumbles, rumbles to the point if you're out on a run, this will keep you going, it's lively, and if I may get all "film geek" for a minute, the "DNA" video with Don Cheadle, it was just napalm. This a very poignant record for the world in 2017 not unlike when Dylan sang "Times They are a Changin". Also, I used some Kendrick lyrics off this record and spun it to fit my fantasy hoops team "Sit Down. Biyombo."
(Music) The Tom Petty Tributes. We lost Tom this year (we almost didn't, leave it to Tom Petty to have a storyline "Tom passed away, wait no, he didn't, he's fighting it") but what I felt, is everyone all across the boards came out to talk about what he'd meant to them. For me, I got in on his MTV videos, the "Don't Come Around Here No More" with the Alice in Wonderland thing (and the cake whatttt) and "Into The Great Wide Open" which had Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway it, but everyone seem to be connected to those songs, many social media posts like "I heard LAST DANCE WITH MARY JANE and then decided to go hear more", everyone was in on his music in some sort of way, I'm included, his line "most things I worry about never happen anyway" is kind of my mantra, It's something special when music means enough to us, that we can all commiserate together to mourn the passing. Those songs are great and they'll last us forever, I love a solid Petty "deep cut" try "Apartment Song" or "Straight Into Darkness", you won't be disappointed. Promise.
Lastly, you all were really especially beautiful this year, we lost our long time furry friend Miss Lucy and, wow, it was way worse than I'd expected. The notes and calls and texts were so overwhelmingly kind and beautiful. Thank you all so much for that. When I think of how sad that was, I also think about all of your beautiful messages. I wish you all a safe happy and hopefully restful holiday. Let's talk again soon. Love to you and yours, Tim
Sunday
Sep172017

"My Friend"

Dear Miss Lucy,
We met in the mid-00's, I was a newlywed and was living in a once-owned-by-Ryan Phillippe's-family townhouse. You were scared, anxious, and skinny. You were a stray, and we weren't sure how you got to that shelter. We adopted you to come live us. It seemed like you needed us.
Over the years, we've traveled together, shared holidays together, our family got bigger, and every single moment, you've been there. In every photo, you were never far behind. It'd become a bit of a game, "Where's Waldo?" nah, more like "Look For Lucy!" We'd watch TV or relax and you'd put your head on my lap and nap, that was called "the Lucy Special."
We said good bye this weekend, your last moment was with us, and you had your head on my lap. They said you had heart failure. I'm pretty sure maybe that's because you gave 100% of it to everyone you'd met and loved over the years. You know how at the beginning, you needed us? Now we needed you.
I currently sit here in an empty non-"Phillippe Family" house, right now, writing this. Looking at that empty foyer where you would sit so you could keep an eye on everything and everyone, and I'm thinking about what others would tell me when I'd tell them that you were a shelter pet "oh, you rescued her", but with you in my life, we'd walk in the mornings,, we'd find trails, jump in creeks and see so many things that I'd never have seen if you weren't there with me. "You rescued her"...no.
I'm pretty sure it was the other way around. 
I know you're in a more peaceful place, but we're going to miss you so much around here. I have no idea what I'm going to do during our 6am walk tomorrow. Love you, sweet girl, we will miss you.
Love,
Us

 

Saturday
Sep022017

"Word Forward"

Hi Friends!

I always mean to keep you all updated far more and make these more frequent rather than just do one biggie and barf details all over the place, but hope everyone had a few months of peace and solace in a weird strange little time for us all. I've been goofing off in New York playing Jared Kushner. The crazy thing about that, is that the world news is changing so fast, I'm sometimes writing jokes as the show is starting just to keep up. Thought of filming it all would be such a monumental task as we do this show in real time and there's the terrifying feeling of having everything outdated by the time we get that thing edited. The whole show has really been a great excercise in attempting to write fresh current event driven jokes and takes as it's all happening in real time.
The Bigger The Kushner The Sweeter The Pushner
All the while I'd been tinkering with this movie I'd been wanting to do. We played our last film festival for RIPKEN in April, and that film has played over the world, about 10,000 miles of geography and film screens, and in all of that, I'd had the chance to see this great little films, meet great people and see all of this great work all over the place. So when it was time, I wanted to do something big. Lots of story lots of actors, sort of something that would give the viewer the same feeling of me listening to a Wu Tang or Dropkick Murphy's record, where we think "this is so fun AND there are like 400 people on this track!" So I got to work. I'd always loved the way Jim Jarmusch did this film called "Coffee and Cigarettes":

  it was a feature film with all of these vignettes pieced together, almost like little short films and the connection is...well, coffee and cigarettes.Huge cast of wonderful actors, comedians, musicians, all working off each other. A highlight of the flick for me with RZA and GZA of Wu Tang.....and Bill Murray as himself...


"Are You A Bug, Bill Murray?"-RZA

Loved it, wanted to do something like that. So my way of taking it on, was to go through my idea notebooks (these things, all these fragments and lines and ideas pretty much look like the serial killer notebooks in SEVEN) and I'd had about 50-100 fragmented, half cooked ideas, so I had to make some sense of all of that madness. I wanted to bring the flavor of all the great talent I'd met on the RIPKEN tour and figure a way to incorporate as many people and as much diverse talent as I could. So I hit the road with these pages and this project, tentatively titled "Rum" and wrote pages of it while on the way to the United Kingdom (Hello Manchester, Liverpool, Frodsham and Wales!) in New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ohio, West Virginia, each time trying to capture that flavor of where I was, who I was meeting, what I was doing.

So after plenty of miles and wonderful, people, places and things, we got this thing finished, it's no longer called "Rum" and it's no longer strung together stories like "Coffee and Cigarettes" (though someday I really want to do that vignette piece), this just became it's own thing it'd evolved into, this narrative piece and it's called "Bartender's Song", and now comes the part where I start chasing actors down to ask hem to come be in this thing with me. We'll talk to agents about getting it made, but agent meetings are so "hurry up and wait", we can do this movie with or without 'em. But as soon as I finish talking to you all, I'm going to a rewrite/polish this piece up one more time before I get some other eyes on this thing (my sister Meg and my wife Jacci  are normally the ones who keep it the most real when reading these things, so fingers crossed Meg and Jacci like it!), and fortunately some great talent I've already talked to have committed to it (which I'm really excited about, really funny people and really dramatic actors you've all seen, have already said that they're "in" just on the pitch alone, so we're on a good foot already woooo hooooo!) So here it is and here we goooooooooooooooo, I'm proud of this and hope you all dig it when we get it out there:
So with a show, new movie in the works, with way too many black and white posters for them, and a ton of miles on the car and passport, wishing you all great love and peace as we head into another season with all sorts of new excitement, possibilities and  adventures. Now if you'll all kindly excuse me I have to go work on my begging of actors, producers and crew, do you all like a quick "Please?" or prefer a drawn out "Pleeeaseeeeeeeeee?" or prefer a sort of crying weeping "please...pretty please?" I'll likely be doing "CHOICE D: all of the above"!

Take care and be good. You'll never walk alone,

Tim

Saturday
Jun242017

"Heading out for the East Coast..."

Hi Friends! Just wanted to drop a quick note (anytime I say "quick note" that normally means "10 pages later") but had a pretty busy six day span I wanted to fill you all in on. Last week it all started, Thursday night I premiered a live show called "Jared Effing Kushner"at Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and before you think your pal Timmy went all political on you, this show basically takes this guy who seems to be involved in every news headline, but actually hasn't said a whole lot, so why not put some words into his mouth and see where it goes? We end up diving into headlines, Elmo, "The Doors", Danzig etc. The first show went great, lots of jokes, lots of funny, lots of interesting perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum (seriously political spectrum, we talk Elmo), so we get to keep going, which is always a positive. Let's face it, the world is bonkers, we can all maybe laugh a little. Plus Ivanka endorsed this!* (*she did not)


From that busy NYC time I headed into a mythical little place called Delaware. Here I was spending the morning of Father's Day at Emmanuel Dining Hall, in affiliation with No Kid Hungry, and wanted to get some bellies full that maybe needed to be filled. The way I saw it, I'm a dad and grateful to be one. Why not help some other dads, kids, moms, families a little bit on Father's Day as well? Was happy to do it, was happy to roll up my sleeves and really work hard to make sure that day was as special as possible for everyone. Also, in case any of you were looking to do something similar, this is the time of year where these facilities really could use some help/volunteering/anything, around the winter holidays they get plenty of help, it's these warmer months when they could use a little more help, if you can, please, if not, I understand that too, see previous paragraph, I know the world is real bonkers these days.

So THEN, Monday night I'm pretty much doing a combination of Thursday and Sunday and I was in NYC for a dinner with the Steve Nash Foundation. Steve Nash is a former NBA player and a darn good one as well, we were working together for his "Showdown" Event which happened that Wednesday. What it is, is a charity type function, all to help the children of the world. This year the foundation was helping with The Starting Five which is a really interesting program which studies indicated how young kids do react differently to their parents and how it can be beneficial to their development, this link sounds way way way smarter than I do if you'd like to know more. That Monday night though I also ran into Eddie Burns at Penn Station, funny how things work out, Brothers McMullen was one of those flicks where I saw and thought "you know maybe I could try and write a movie too", that "Clerks" and Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" and funny enough, my buddy JJ and Tai managed to get them all into a delightful film I had the pleasure of helping out on called "Film Hawk" which hit itunes this week! Lots of ways to watch that one, if you like (c'mon, you like)

Behind the scenes of "Film Hawk"! Left to right JJ, Kevin Smith, Bob Hawk, Tai and I think that's Mooby the Cow in the background. I'm not sure this "behind the scenes" pic has ever been shared? It's been shared now! See? Come here for a few jokes, leave here seeing some exclusive stuff! Fun right? Fun's what we do here.

Also since I mentioned Eddie Burns here, I'd love to share one of my favorite films of his, "Sidewalks of New York", funny, has some twists, great ending, and Stanley Tucci, how can you go wrong?

So Wednesday in Roosevelt Park, NYC, we all worked together for Steve Nash's foundation. I would have done this charity event anyway because it's a great cause, however I grew up watching Nash play and wrote this piece for SQ when Steve retired. Ready for this? One of the founders of SQ is Reuben Hampton, and who was in NYC helping with the cause that day? Reuben. See? Feels like we've been like Six Degrees of Separation on everything in this entire piece!

 

An all time great point guard right there smiling...with Steve Nash. OH OK FINE, STEVE'S THE GREAT POINT GUARD

So Wednesday went late, it actually went into Thursday morning where my tired self thought "Wait, Jared Effing Kushner premiered only 7 days ago?" Time flies, friends, it's almost midnight as I write this to you, and tomorrow after a massive writing binge (I'm knee deep writing a movie I'm excited to share with you all) and then off to the Garden State, New Jersey for more shenanigans (and Jersey pizza, don't sleep on New Jersey pizza, it's exceptional). It's kind of like that Bob Dylan lyric in "Tangled Up In Blue" "Me I am still on the road heading for another joint..." Maybe Bob has it all figured out....

Take care and be good,

Tim

Sunday
Apr302017

"I Suggest That Ya Drive On I95"

Hi All,

The last month or so has been a wild ride, and I'd been meaning to sit down and tell to you all about it, but it goes kinda like this.
I ended up in New York doing a "pay job", when you do indie stuff, sometimes you need to, well you know, pay bills and sometimes little indies about foul mouthed baseball cards don't pay what you'd like.
It doesn't pay much.
It actually doesn't pay.
At all.
Okay, it cost me my own money to make that film.
It made negative money.
So anyway, whatever, like always we just keep going and maybe a hit or two would be nice. But this story is already going long and I just started, while I was in New York, I get a call from Ms Peachy Deegan of WHOM YOU KNOW. I'd been a fan of WHOM YOU KNOW for a while, so it was a nice moment to be featured in it by Ms Deegan and here's our piece we did together, we talked a lot, life, love, indie film, and simply doing all you can to try and balance everything. It's right here, and I'm thankful for such an in depth piece... and if you get the chance to have a look, please let me know what you think!
That very night, I talked to my old friend Mr "Radio Dan" Dan Delgado about film, and I was beyond thrilled to hear that one of Dan's radio affiliates was in beautiful Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I have some history in that area, I got my driver's license there as a goofy teen, I went to college around there, I got pulled over on the way to Millserville PA one time (shout out to the Millersville Police Department but seriously, please put up speed limit signs, a fella can't read minds) so we get cooking around the 30 minute mark there, and this was my third time on the Radio Dan Show, I probably should buy him a present
From there, we got on 95 south and headed down to Hagerstown MD for the Maryland Film Festival Premiere of "The Other Ripken", thrilled to do this one, so many good folks involved with it including Joe Carnahan, who did the A Team big screen film version but for me, I really enjoyed a smaller film he did called "Narc". Moody piece with Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. This was a good one.

I was grateful for the showing as I always am, though that week, I'd heard there'd been a venue change and I didn't know why. Turns out, the story was one of the theater owners took exception to the language we used in the flick. To be honest, I'm surprised that was the first time we'd actually gotten that complaint. But you know, we have the freedom to make the flick, and theater owners have the right to not show something if they don't want to. Either way we screened well and everyone at that festival was warm and receptive and I was very glad to be there.

So with that, we started with Cinequest in San Jose, CA in March 2016 and luckily screened consistently all over the place, playing Maryland was a great stopping point for me in April 2017. As much as I love the screenings and festival tours, it was time to get it out to the world, or else I'd just keep going with it on some never ending tour like the Grateful Dead (I love the touring life so I'd have no problem with it) but there's much more to do, I'm knee deep in 2 full length screenplays and one I reeeeeaaaallly want to film even if I get an 8 dollar film budget for it, it just feels right, I just need to lock myself in a room, turn off the phone, turn on the coffee maker and just get it all done, so in order to do that, it's best that I release "The Other Ripken" for free for all, because Timmy loves ya.
Though I will be caffeinated and pounding away on the keyboard for the next week or two, there are a few smaller flicks I may try and sneak out really quickly, including a stab at a little documentary, maybe I'll even sneak out on the road with it, like that old Bob Dylan lyric "but me I am still on the road, headin' for another joint..."
So here it is, enjoy THE OTHER RIPKEN! Please let me know what you think.
Take care and be good,
Tim