Author Archives: Ian Robertson

12 Films In 12 Months Returns In 2013!

I’m very excited to announce that this year there will be a whole new 12 films in 12 months. In 2008, I launched the project to create a series of twelve short films based in different genres over the course of a full year; one film each month. Now, five years later, someone else is taking up the challenge to create a year-long series of short films.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Dan Coronado. He’s a photographer and filmmaker based in San Diego. He runs Dan Coronado Photo and San Diego Action Media; and is very involved in the San Diego cycling scene. In fact, cycling has become his muse for this project. Over the next year, he’ll be creating short documentaries focusing on a different San Diego cyclist each month. Dan’s collecting a diverse range of subjects and stories that he’s looking to tell; showcasing a variety of people in diverse careers and lives that are all connected by the common thread of cycling.

If you want to follow the process this year, Dan will be posting thoughts, updates, and final films here on this site and also at the 12 Films In 12 Months Facebook Page. He’ll be posting soon to share a little of his vision behind the project this year. I for one, am excited to watch the process unfold.

The clock starts, well…yesterday. So check back often to follow Dan’s progress throughout the year. 12 Films In 12 Months: 2013 should be a great year of filmmaking!

Remembering John Hughes

Let me start by saying that though I am a child of the 80’s, my early adolescence was not shaped by the films of John Hughes (after all, I was only four when The Breakfast Club first hit theaters) that are so often referenced as generation-defining films.  My childhood certainly was marked with films he wrote (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Uncle Buck, etc.) and I have had the opportunity in more recent years to see and fall in love with many of his classic, often iconic, always quotable films.

Since his passing a little over a week ago, there have been a number of tributes posted online in various forms.  I’ve decided that rather then try to write pages of memories and remembrances about where I was when I saw which film, I’d link to a few of the favorite tributes I’ve seen over the last week.

One of the best (and from what I can tell, one of the most referred to) tributes is “Sincerely, John Hughes“.  I’ve seen several links and references to it on different sites over the last few days.  It’s a wonderful recounting of a series of letters written between the author (while she was a teenager) and Hughes between the years 1985 and 1987.

Hughes wrote the film, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and (and this was something I didn’t even know until a couple days ago) it was based on a short story he originally wrote for the National Lampoon magazine called, “Vacation ’58”.  If you’re interested in reading the original short story (and I definitely recommend that you do – it had me laughing out loud at several points), you can find it here.

Eric Hynes gives a wonderful commentary on both Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and why the proliferation of VCR’s in the 80’s made it possible for teenagers to embrace and own (both physically and metaphorically) John Hughes’ films to an even greater extent.

The Mystery Man on Film has posted a list with links to five of John Hughes screenplays including National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone.

Finally, what tribute collection would be complete without a tribute video.  To that end I leave you with this: a 1991 tribute video made for Hughes when he was named Producer of the Year by the National Association of Movie Theater Owners (having just produced Home Alone).

We Need Your Help!

Christina and I are finalists in a contest for Lowes and we need your help (and votes) to win! This time the prize isn’t fame or glory, but rather something completely practical that we could definitely use: lawn equipment.

Here’s how it works: go to, click on “Vote”, find our video (you can watch it below), and give it a “thumbs up”. There doesn’t seem to be any limit on how often you can vote or how many times, so vote early and often!  Thanks!

Susan Boyle & Reordering the Measure of Beauty

If you haven’t seen Susan Boyle’s performance from a recent “Britain’s Got Talent”, I recommend clicking here to check it out.  It is a remarkable and stunning clip.

I absolutely love Lisa Schwarzbaum’s commentary on it over on the Entertainment Weekly PopWatch blog:

In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging — the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts — the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms. Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace. She pierced my defenses. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective from time to time.

Thank you Susan Boyle for reordering the measure of beauty for us this week.

The Beginning of Indiana Jones

This is fantastic.  Someone somewhere came across a 125 page transcript of the story meeting between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Laurence Kasdan when they first sat down to brainstorm and create “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the character of Indiana Jones.  That same someone then scanned it all to a pdf and posted a link to it here, so that the rest of us could enjoy it.

I’m still working my way through it, but it is wonderful to be a virtual fly on the wall as Lucas & Spielberg dream and plot their way through the characters and story ideas that would become “Raiders” (as well as a bunch of ideas that got cut from “Raiders” and then used in the later Indiana Jones films).

For a few highlights from the transcript and a great analysis of it from a screenwriters perspective, check out this post from the Mystery Man on Film blog.