Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I know this is gossip, but fuck it, I can't resist. In my opinion, this document proves two things. One. We pitched our show to HBO in October of 2006. Tolkien pitched his in January of 2007. Clearly when we passed on HBO and sold Sons of Anarchy to FX, they were pissed off and actively pursued the world with another writer. Two. HBO completely disrespected and disregarded Sonny Barger's contribution to the project. Tolkien had been developing a feature with Sonny for years. Everything Michael knew about the world was because of Sonny. I don't know the details of the deal or the nature of the relationship, but clearly Sonny got fucked. Maybe it's me, but burning Sonny is not only unfair... it ain't too bright either. Read and decide for yourself. Download the PDF: SBPvMT_complaint_filestamped.pdf


Ruv Draba said...

I have no opinion o the matter, Kurt and don't believe I'm entitled to one. But I run a company and work with other organisations all the time. My motto is: never ascribe to malice what incompetence or negligence can explain.

The business world is full of idiots, dumb ideas and dumb plans. It's not hard to imagine this being one of those.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Fuck em' Up, Sonny!!!

Legally or otherwise....


Please, don't Shoot Sons of Anarchy on anything but FILM...
(that way it could be a SAG show too).
When you shoot fast outdoors running and gunning like on "The Shield(or like Roger Corman in "Wild Angels")you're going to want to be shooting on film...No matter what some guy that shot "Damages"!? says, WFT would he know about the way we should shoot a California Biker thang anyway? Who needs some video tech hanging around, all his cables and shit....

I'm opinionated.

Film vs. Video : The Poster Theory by Steven Poster, ASC

(Cinematographer Steven Poster served as director of photography in 1990 on an experimental high definition television dramatic project for NHK titled Coastal Frames. The production was recorded with prototype Panavision/Sony 1125/60 HDTV equipment in Bodega Bay, CA. It was during this experience that Poster began to reconsider the widely-held notion that video should be made to look like film. Among Poster's 16 feature film credits are Someone To Watch Over Me, Life Stinks and Rocky V. He was also director of photography on Madonna's Like A Prayer video and such long form television projects as Testament and I'll Take Manhattan.)

Since the day video was invented, the question of how to make it look like film has come up repeatedly. I believe that film and video are two separate mediums and should be thought of as such. There is a need for both of these styles, and the two can definitely work side-by-side without one trying to dominate the other.

As I perceive it, there are productions that are best done on tape and there are productions best done on film.

News and sports, special events like variety shows and concerts, news-based and contemporary documentaries, industrials and educational programs are best done on tape. Anything that needs immediate presentation is obviously best done on tape. Soap operas, believe it or not, are best done on tape. I'll get into why I think that is true a little later.

Film, however, is best for any storytelling or narrative production. Historical documentaries, I think, are best done on film. Commercials are best done on film. Anything that is ""fantasy-based"" is best done on film. Why do I say this? Marshall McLuhan, the great media visionary, defined the difference between the hot medium and the cool medium as the audience's use of the imagination as opposed to the direct visual implant. I have a theory about this . . .

Film is shot at 24 frames per second. At that speed, there is a certain amount of blur in the images. There is also a brief time between the frames when there is no image at all and there is a little perception of flicker. Though this film process may sound technically flawed, in fact, these ""imperfections"" cause the audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks of the missing information.

Tape, as we know, is 30 frames per second or two interlaced fields resulting in 60 images a second. There is a technique called Showscan, invented by a genius named Douglas Trumbull, which involves filming at 60 frames per second and projecting at 60 frames per second. This number was not arbitrarily chosen. Trumbull did psychological and physiological tests on all kinds of audiences and determined that 60 images a second is the maximum visual information that can be transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain. Watching Showscan resulted in a direct visual implant without any perceivable blank spaces. If the rate is raised to more than 60 images a second, the audience won't get any improvement in image transference. So 60 frames is the cut-off. I believe a format like Showscan negates the use of the audience's imagination. This refresh rate of 60 images exactly relates to what is seen on a video screen. Therefore, when we see video images we're getting a direct implant of images; we are not having to use our imagination to fill in the blanks. This is little like the difference between radio drama and television. In radio drama, the audience has to completely imagine the setting and completely imagine what the people look like. Listeners must engage the imagination in the storytelling process. For this reason, I feel any fantasy-based or story-based information is best viewed on film. The 24 frame per second film imaging system does not give the audience all of the visual information. Audience members are engaged in the storytelling process because of the need to fill in the blanks with imagination.

Now, what about soap operas? Why do they work on video? Soap operas are made so that the audience can feel an immediate connection to the characters and feel that those characters are part of their daily lives. This is the reason that soap operas are best done on tape. It's best to visually implant that information directly so it feels like it's live and happening now.

There have been continuing attempts to make tape look like film. I think this is the wrong approach. Each medium should be used for what it does best.

Dr. Edwin Land, the inventor of instant photography, had the idea he was giving a new medium to the world. He wasn't just doing something old in a new way. I think that is the approach we should take with the video technology of today and with high definition video in the future.

As I just re-read this I realized that it is a simplified version of a speech that I gave for the High Vision Society in Japan in 1991 (about 300 people involved in the development of Hi Def). It of course raised a lot of eyebrows there. Many of the (Non- Sony) engineers and scientists and designers really got it.

PS - For those of you who don't understand the word Mishagass (however it's spelled) - Tough...

Steven Poster, ASC