Shakespeare and Star Trek partner

Who knew that Shakespeare was into Sci-Fi? One of the latest, and most fun Star Trek films released is Let Old Wrinkles Come, a film with none other than Vic Mignogna as Director of Photography.

And like Vic’s work with the Neutral Zone studio, this production has the genuine Star Trek lighting scheme that many of us enjoyed on the series Star Trek Continues.

But that’s not really why I’m writing today. Today, I just want to give you a heads up regarding this short film. It features an infamous Trek creature.

Care to take a guess? What is the creature and what episode of Star Trek aka TOS (The Original Series) did it appear in?

If you don’t know, you may find the answer by watching Star Trek on my TV-Apps, or pay close attention to the end credits here.

And before I go, one other thing. What is the connection to this show and Shakespeare? Care to give it a guess?

Answer: It’s a quote from Shakespeare “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” And I have to say, if you watch this show, I think you’ll find some “laughter” and quite a bit of “mirth” — whatever that is. 😉 Wink wink. (c) Dean Lachiusa 2020.

Film Festival Streams to over a million viewers, it’s cheap & free for trailers.

Announcing the next online film festival by Metro Film & TV Awards. It’s been running for 5 years, and this is the (6th) Season. Grab you spot for Free if you have a trailer/teaser — or submit for as little as $3 for Short films and $4 for web series.

Winners get a distribution deal (actually a streaming ‘broadcast’ deal.) This Fest is about getting exposure. You’d be hard pressed to get this kind of publicity or promotion for your movie or TV-show elsewhere. Okay, so that’s enough of the pitchy-sounding dialog. Here’s the link:

Oh bye the way, FilmFreeway is a free resource for filmmakers. I’d say it’s the best way to browse for film festivals. However, it does limit “online” festivals to listings that are not within it’s search engine – for some reason or another. (I mean, what other way can we do a film festival during this Pandemic?) So, like I say use the link above to go to Metro’s filmfreeway page. Here’s a snapshot of their page:

Goodluck — and don’t forget, if you have a Trailer or Teaser, then you may enter the Festival for free. And here’s an added plus that is not commonly known — Metro will put your trailer on their “Movies Plus” Android app for free — and there’s no commercials on any of their TV-Apps, so that means it’s a nice, fluid-experience for the audience. Please — Feel Free to share this on Facebook, Twitter – etc etc.

A little note about a big Trek film

Starship Exeter is a nicely made film by a group of filmmakers in Arkansas. The studio is a replica of the original Star Trek television series. And it’s not as well publicized as the Vic Mignogna or James Cawley Trek sets. But the film production’s that they produce are just as satisfying. The studios in Arkansas have moved and been rebuilt several times. And at this juncture there is no official branding — but that’s okay because this is NOT a commercial venture and it’s strictly a not-for-profit operation.

Although Exeter and the current films being shot in Arkansas are not affiliated with Star Trek Continues, I like their programs just as much. To differentiate — STC, a fan film series that was shot in Kingsland Georgia is now operated by the noncommercial studio, The Neutral Zone.

Also, Exeter is not associated with James Cawley’s New York based Star Trek studio, which produced some great fan films with former Star Trek actors. This Trek set is a museum, tour, and importantly — a Trek-movie-academy. The “academy” is a relatively new venture in which fans are invited to shoot a short Trek film. Here is a video from the location in Ticonderoga, NY.

As you can see, James Cawley is an Elvis fan. Moving on to Exeter. I personally don’t find the first Exeter episode to be as compelling as their second. So, I’ve placed the Exeter’s 2nd fan film on my noncommercial, free Roku channels. (See the TV-APPS link for Roku, or if you have an android, see my “Fan Films” app on Googleplay.) Here’s a few pics to wet your whistle…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short but sweet review. Please don’t forget that you can support my Free, Noncommercial Reviews and TV-APPS by visiting my Patreon page and donating whatever you can afford. Cheers – (c) Dean Lachiusa 2020.

Quatermass and the Pit on Roku and Fire TV

All six of the Classic British Television programs “Quatermass and the Pit” are now available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. It’s a terrific program that is rumored to have inspired George Romero to make Night of the Living Dead. But just to be clear, there are no Zombies or “ghouls” in this television thriller. Instead we have a threat from a Space ship…Is it from another planet? Can the ship infect us — is it dangerous?

We recently added all episodes of the circa 1958-59 series.

Quatermass has taken many different shapes over the years. This particular series is the original.

Says Wikipedia, it’s a “British television science-fiction serial transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January 1959. It was the third and last of the BBC’s Quatermass serials, although the chief character, Professor Bernard Quatermass, reappeared in a 1979 ITV production called Quatermass. Quatermass warns that if implanted psychic powers survive in the human race, there could also still be an ingrained compulsion to enact the “Wild Hunt” of a race purge, but the media event goes ahead regardless.Sounds familiar ehh?

In the Finale, Quatermass directs the camera to be weary of (Aliens?) …But you’ll have to tune in for all the details, because I won’t give the entire story away here, but you may watch it free on my TV-APPS. (Wink, wink.) Cheers! (c) Dean Lachiusa 2020.

Sing along with… Deadpool?

The hilarious and super-snarky Deadpool is on our Roku channels. If you haven’t seen these films, then you must. We’ve compiled (two) of the Deadpool films into one video, and both are Parody-Musicals…err Musical Parodies. Or well, actually you can call it what you like because these movies are nothing that can be placed into a simple Genre.

Laugh…Sing…etc? (c) dean lachiusa 2020

Nathan Fillion’s Uncharted and Sonic the Hedgehog

Now available on TMN and Movies Plus absolutely Free and Without-Commercial interruptions are two great short films. The game-based “Uncharted Live Action Film” with Nathan Fillion co-stars Stephen Lang as Sully. Nathan (playing Nathan) is as funny and snappy as he was in productions like the beloved Sci-Fi “Firefly” and Serenity. And you may be familiar with the Television show “Castle” and his most recent cop-show, “The Rookie.”

Adding to the film’s line up is Stephen Lang who is well known for his long career and performances on the TV-show Terra Nova, and the movie Avatar.

He plays a great Sully. I also enjoyed the brief but well played role of Elena by Mircea Monroe (Just Friends, Change Up.)

And and Geno Segers (Yellowstone) as Diego.

I just loved the Uncharted short movie, which is slated as a “fan film.” Like many fan-made productions, this one is stellar. The production quality and story is terrific, and gosh — I really shouldn’t have to go on about this because…Would Nathan Fillion do anything but a top-notch project? No. Does he participate in shows that are less than big, Network productions? Yes. Watch the Kickstarter funded web series “Con Man” if you want to get a laugh and see another non-network production with great performances by this actor and his cohorts.

While we’re talking about fan made films, I should direct you to another LIVE ACTION Uncharted movie that I enjoyed. This is a foreign language film with English sub-titles. If you would like to see this posted on my Roku channels, then please do let me know. Meanwhile, you may watch it here:

Back to Nathan Fillion’s Uncharted. The movie left me wanting for more. I just so wanted it to be a longer film. But, not to disappoint, the ‘inter-web scuttlebug’ does indicated that a full-length feature film is scheduled for 2021.

Here’s what IMDB and Wikipedia say:Uncharted is an upcoming American action adventure film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Serving as an origin story of Nathan Drake from the video games of the same name created by Naughty Dog, the film stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas.

Okay, so before I go today I need to remind you that I am streaming another great short film based on a game. Sonic the Hedgehog, the LIVE ACTION movie, with a CGI Hedgehog. This is a great film.

The snarky hedgehog helps out our human-heroes in a fun, and thrilling Sci-Fi film that you may watch Free and AD-Free on my TMN and Movies Plus Roku Channels, and also my Android TV-Apps. The CGI is spectacular and the acting is bang-on. Here’s a peak:

Cheers, and enjoy (c) Dean Lachiusa

Help me keep this blog and the FREE and AD-FREE TV channels going. Donate whatever you can…

New on Roku

Here’s a quick peak at the latest videos that I’ve posted on TMN and Movies Plus.

Leon Lush is a fun YouTuber who discusses some of the latest Viral Videos that are less than genuine. He’s really quite clever, funny, and edgy.
Alex is cute. Her bird is too. But she’s all business. And her advise is bang-on.
Jade operates a consulting business based upon her own success as an influencer.

[Updated and now available per June 18th]And coming up on my Roku channels very soon is a compilation video that is sponsored by It’s a great collection of 1950’s commercial advertisements. You’ll see everything from old automobile ads to dish washing soap and brands that you recall with fondness. Also, there is advertising for products that sound so-dang weird that they reek of “snake-oil.” Watch it on my TV-Apps or see the youtube video below.

If you’re an influencer, viral video or informational film producer you may have your video placed on Television for broadcast to over half a million subscribers. I also publish Movies Plus on Amazon Fire TV, and that platform will be available for broadcast lease and/or per individual video streaming too. Simply see the Fluential website for details or message me directly on Facebook or Twitter.

Influential video of the week

I’ve started a new service that is designed to help Vloggers, Influencers, and other Viral-Video producers. I’ve always streamed unique content on my TV channels, and now I am dedicating an entire category to content that is fun and informational. Below is a video that I WON’T BE STREAMING. However, I think it makes a great point no matter where you stand politically, so here goes.

If you’re wondering why I chose to post this video, then maybe you’re like many of the folks out there that don’t believe there is a Virus-Crisis. Well, for those of you who don’t think it’s happening. I say, nothing. I have harsh opinions mind you — but it’s not worth my breath to share them here. So I say nothing.

For those of you who are interested in the FUN side of informational videos. Check out my channels. Or perhaps you’re interested in putting your Youtube video in front of an audience of over 1,000,000 Television watchers? (That’s over a million) viewers on our Partner TV channels!

I have a success story that will back this up. Keep in mind please that feature films typically DO NOT GET AS MUCH ATTENTION AS VIRAL VIDEOS! That being said, here’s how a filmmaker, named Alex took advantage of this offer, and now he has a distribution deal with Green Apple Entertainment. This might seem like a shameless plug — but really for about 30 bucks Influencers, Vloggers, and Viral Video Producers can do the same…

Alexander Pimentel, Director of “Down River” streamed his feature film on our Partners connected TV channel, “Movies Plus” on Amazon Fire TV. After 6 months and 70,000 downloads, Alex shared the news with a Venture capitalist who agreed to finance Alex’s next feature film. [Remember I said that films do not enjoy the same number of plays as a short video — so if you have a viral video, it should do much better than Alex’s.] As a DIRECT RESULT Alex landed a deal with Green Apple Entertainment to distribute his movies on Hulu and other platforms. Here’s a news article about the filmmaker’s success on our Amazon Fire TV channel:

So you see, this is a very inexpensive way to promote yourself, build up your portfolio, and your Youtube Channel, etc. Simply message me care of my FB page: or see the website that is currently in (beta. It’s ) Cheers! (c) Dean Lachiusa

Will the next President fix our school loan system?

The following picture is a flashback…This is after shooting a few scenes in a Phoenix area TV studio. It happened as I was walking from one editing booth to another, and I just happened to walk right into a sliding glass door. The glass shattered, cutting four-tendons on my left hand.

This was just one of many fiasco’s that I endured while attending Scottsdale Community College. That place was a nightmare.
For example, the film department-head told us many times that we had to suffer through the small classroom size and editing rooms. BUT she never, ever let on that the film-department was being expanded into a full-size studio in the next year. (They built it during summer just after I graduated. – Damn!)

Now, what I have today is an enormous school loan debt. It was a simple Stafford Loan. Guaranteed by the Government. As it turns out, the guarantee has nothing to do with the Government regulating how the loan is administrated. No, the only guarantee is that the student (in need) will get the loan. And what does this say about the student loan system? Does it sound like an environment prime for predatory loan practices?

The loan that I received sure did bite me in the arse. And I’m quite sure that it has not improved much because I continue to hear horror stories from students who were desperate for school-money. Like me, they trusted that when their government says it “guarantees” a loan, that it surely must be an arrangement that is honest.

Let’s look at the banks angle. What savvy lender wouldn’t do this deal? Once you, the student accepts the loan, then there’s no negotiation with the lender. The borrower can’t claim bankruptcy — nope, that will not get you out of a public-school-loan like the Stafford.

And here’s the killer. If the bank decides to sell the loan, then it gets capitalized. And that’s to the lender’s advantage you see, because they get to amortize the debt.

And I should know, because my school loan was SOLD and then CAPITALIZED (3) times. And now the new (4rth) owner of the loan is threatening to do it again. The amount I now owe is TRIPLE the amount of the original loan. Do you have any idea how oppressive this dollar amount is? Let’s just say that I can’t afford to pay it off, and it’s so incredibly large that I’m too embarrassed to quote the sum.

Will the next President’s Administration take the power away from the Student Loan companies and give people a fighting chance to repair their credit? I don’t know. I do know that Sanders talked about doing something about it, and so did Elizabeth Warren. However, I think what they promised were free or low cost tuition programs for new students.

I don’t know if anyone in the States has a plan to address the problem that I and so many former students are suffering from. How about Joe Biden — do you think that he will help? Let us pray. Or even better yet — let’s come together and fight this thing.

Let’s start a petition or movement to get our Governor’s and Senator’s working on a fix. Care to join me? Please comment, share or write me care of my FB page: — Cheers to ya. (c) Dean Lachiusa

Corner Gas star Hiccups on TV

I love Corner Gas the Canadian made TV show, and I very much enjoy the Hiccups program that Brent Butt produced. I also watched the Corner Gas movie, but you won’t find any links to it here because it’s on the Amazon (Fire TV) channel “IMDB” — and, I don’t think it was quite as funny as the Corner Gas TV show or the Animated sequel — but that’s just me, please don’t be offended.

Okay, so this article is going to be short and sweet. There’s a clip here so that you can get acclimated with the series showrunner, and a link to add my FREE and ADFREE android app to watch the Hiccups TV program.

That’s Brent Butt, the series writer, a lead actor, and comic book illustrator. He’s married to Corner Gas costar Nancy Robertson, who plays the lead role of a children’s book author who ironically has a unpredictable, slightly mean hearted knee-jerk “no-filter” personality in the TV series, Hiccups.

Here’s the rest of the cast…

Pictured above is all Canadian talent: The very funny Nancy Robertson as Millie Upton, and standing to her right is Laura Soltis as Joyce Haddison, then we have David Ingram as Taylor Rymes, and next to him is Emily Perkins as Crystal Braywood — the receptionist/daddy’s-girl. Seated is Paula Rivera as Anna Dirko (Stan Dirko’s wife) — and of course the hilarious Brent Butt as “Life Coach” Stan Dirko

When and if I get the permission to stream this program or some of the clips on my channels, then you’ll hear about it on this blog — or simply stay tuned to my free, adfree connected TV channels. Here’s some links before I go. Brent’s Youtube site (not for his TV shows or movies) and his website (blog) Cheers for now. (c) Dean Lachiusa

Creativity and more may be suffering

Recently on Facebook, I tried to make a joke about the relationship between Boomers and Millennial’s — but it was misunderstood. So this makes me reflect upon my writing style lately. And this in turn effects everything I post on my streaming TV channels, including my custom edits like my recent video compilation about Star Trek Music.

I think I’m loosing my ability to write creatively, freely and with a naturally flowing “stream of consciousness.” And I think this is because I’ve been closed-up in a house just like so many of you during this virus-crisis.

So I may choose to take a break from writing for a while.

But before I do, I’d like to say a little something about why I think some people may want to lash-out at the political parties, and get-out of the house during a government lock-down.

Some of this may seem obvious, but bare with me please.

1.) You’re running a business and you’re suffering.

2.) You’re trying to make ends-meet and it’s pretty darn hard to make money if you can’t go to work.

3.) You may feel that Democrats are to blame and/or it’s another type of conspiracy.

4.) You may think “why should I listen to an order to stay home when I feel like my personal liberties are being violated.”

5.) Perhaps you have never lived through an epidemic or pandemic before. Or maybe you never learned about the 1918, 1957, or 1968 Influenza pandemic’s. Or you’ve never heard of the Yellow Fever, Tuberculosis, and Polio epidemic’s. And because of this, you feel that this current Virus-Emergency is a imposition on you personally, and the rest of society should follow or at least understand your train of thought.

Okay so those are a few reasons, and I’m sure you can think of many others. You may even have a neighbor like I do who is a senior citizen — and he or she has a few strange sounding warnings to share. Interesting enough, seniors do have a unique perspective. They may be old enough to tell you how people coped with hardships during the Depression and WWII.

The Boomer Generation and their forefathers lived through some pretty rough times compared to today.

I’m a little young to be a Boomer – but even I have worked in a factory building automobiles — and it was very hot and fast paced work. We didn’t have Robotics, we had sweat. The hydraulic press that I operated had a worn out brake, which meant at any moment it could send tons of steel down upon my hands. This was a recipe for crushed hands and missing digits — if my timing was not precise and very fast.

Our seniors may tell you that they stood in line during WWII with a “Ration-stamp” that allowed them to buy only 1LB of meat per week for their entire family — that is, when it was available at the local butcher. Pork and Beef were a luxury. Everything, including general goods like clothing was rationed by the government because the War was a priority. Therefore, folks could only purchase goods like Clothing and Shoes when/if they qualified for a clothing or shoe ration. They lived through it because they respected each other and they loved their country.

Let’s go back to the 1930’s. If you know a senior citizen in their 80’s or older, they may tell you about how they depended on “Government Relief.” During the Depression, many people existed on canned food that was shipped to the U.S. by Australia. It was unlabeled, and usually Mutton (3 year old sheep) or a Spam-like ham-product. Again, the U.S. struggled through it because we respected one another and loved our country. Good People didn’t put their energy into tearing each other down or rebelling.

I know these things because my mother lived through it, and I double-check her recall by reading historical books and watching documentary films. (Bye the way, I do stream military documentaries on my Roku channel Stars and Stripes.)

The boomers and their fathers and grandfathers built the U.S. infrastructure. They built the roads, bridges, and most buildings including the electrical and plumbing systems that we use today. I think it’s important to respect what they have to say.

But perhaps you feel as though the people who are saying these things are judging you or imposing their “old-timer” “boomer” mentality on you. So here’s my explanation, for what it’s worth…

“Young” folks may feel that “older” folks are putting them down or accusing them. However, the reason that an older person (may ) say these things is that they are concerned for the younger generation.

In most cases, older folks just want to protect the future generation — at least, that’s what I would prefer to take away from “boomer” statements, not the negative side of things.

I hope that you take away some positive reinforcement from this article, really I do. I’m especially concerned because I know that my current stress level is effecting my ability to write well. So forgive me please if this article seems disjointed, and feel free to comment if you like. Cheers. (c) Dean Lachiusa

Snowpiercer, War of the Worlds offer more Apocalypse

In this age of media-overload, why on earth do some folks find the need to be reminded of ongoing events? Are we so darn oversaturated with viral videos, movies, TV, and news broadcasts that we actually desire to watch programming that mirrors what is going on right now? I guess so, because despite the fact that we’re living in a Virus-Crisis, we have more and more entertainment that further explores the horror that our neighbors live with.

Horror and Sci-Fi programming War of the Worlds, the latest Epix network TV-Series adapted from the classic radio broadcast, and Snowpiercer — the TV-series spin-off of a feature film are now available.

I did enjoy a few of the War of the Worlds episodes, especially because the streaming was offered as part of a free preview with my Dish package. But I wouldn’t pay to watch the show, and it certainly didn’t encourage me to subscribe to Epix. The series was captivating at first because the situation was mysterious, and the creatures were quite frightening.

However, after a few episodes there was a scene that really disappointed me. We were given a glimpse of the alien-creatures early on in the show (don’t worry, this is really not a spoiler — unless you’re entirely new to the War of the Worlds story.)

A little history…In 1938 Orson Welles broadcast on radio an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds. Notably, then came the 1953 film (my favorite) and then the 2005 version by Steven Spielberg with Tom Cruise. (There also are many low budget productions available, including two by C. Thomas Howell. Although I really like this actor, I have tried to watch these, and I can’t in good faith recommend them.)

Here’s a very cool short documentary about the 50’s films, complete with detailed examples of effects — and if you haven’t yet seen the “creatures,” or the “spaceships” it’s a must see — but you may wish to hold off on seeing this video until you can catch the entire feature film.

Oh yes, back to my sort-of spoiler. The creatures in the Epix series firstly looked very scary to me, but in a few episodes later, there is a scene where Bill (Gabriel Byrne) encounters one of them:

SPOILER ALERT: The creature just plods up to Bill like a dog with three legs, Bill then grabs it and holds it at bay as it (attempts) to kill him. Not scary – the creature appears to be less than formidable. What a let down. And there’s other holes in the story, like the predictable scene wherein “Catherine” is looking for her missing sister, only to find a young girl who was hiding in a cave. Does Catherine ask the girl if she has seen her sister…perhaps hiding in the cave too? Nope. I found it just dumb and a tell. Would Catherine’s sister show up later in the show…and where was she hiding? The answer is predictable! 😉 😉

Moving on to less epic films based upon previous broadcasts, we have the Sci-Fi “Snowpiercer.” When I watched the feature film, I tired of it after the first half hour. I just didn’t find it plausible. But, apparently many folks have, because now we have a TV series based upon the feature.

Recently AXS TV showed a few Snowpiercer clips that did entice me. So I guess I may watch the TV series sometime after this virus-crisis. But for now, I’ve had enough dystopian programming. I just can’t watch any more dark, apocalyptic movies and TV. Right now, I need positive TV. So instead — I’ll watch my Movies Plus and TMN Roku or Fire TV channels.

[Update 5/19/2020 – Dish offered me a free preview of the series with one of my favorites, Jennifer Connelly. So I decided to break my rule early — I watched SnowPiercer, one episode of the series.

SPOILER ALERT! Sorry, but I’m still not convinced that a train is best place to go in the time of an Apocalyptic Ice-Age. SnowPiercer is a train that bye the way – apparently never stops. Think about it — I did, during the show. And that’s not good. You’re not supposed to be thinking about the plausibility of a premise during a movie or TV show. After you watch it, sure — it’s okay to reflect upon the show. But during it, suspension of disbelief is supposed to take hold. But they never answer the question of how.

How do they get fresh water or energy on a train that never stops? Just show me a darn solar panel (oops — no sun!) Or show me a snow-scooper thing-a-ma-jig that turns snow into drinkable water. Uggh! I’m done, I won’t be watching this show again, despite the fact that I love Sci-Fi. Also, they showed a preview of the next episode, and it featured a bunch of people rebelling, and a bloody massacre. Who needs it – I don’t! Sorry to be so harsh…]

I hope you carefully choose what you watch and to be positive too, please don’t let negative distractions bring you down. Cheers to ya – and I invite you to join me in the conversation – especially if you feel that I’ve been too harsh in my reviews. (c) Dean Lachiusa

National Eat Anything you want Food Day

Warning this is an article that has nothing to do with film and TV, and everything to do with going zonko during this virus crisis. I just heard (on TV) that it was “National Eat Anything you want Day.” And while it sounds kinda hokie to me, it did inspire me to think about the foods that I would eat (if) given the chance to eat anything I wanted (without) the side effects. In other words — what if God or Super Cool Aliens from Planet Wonko gave me the power to eat anything I liked with no concerns about salt, sugar, fat, or cholesterol?

So here goes, my list of foods that I would eat if given the chance at total immunity.

A Detroit coney island dog, with onions and mustard. In Detroit, the most infamous local coney restaurants are Lafayette and American — and they sit right next to each other in downtown Detroit, in our reborn city which at one time housed Onassis Coney, Vernors Ginger Ale, and J.L. Hudson’s Maurice salad. If you’re from the D, then you know the history of the Greek family who started a restaurant, and then decided to open rival Coney Island restaurants right next door to each other.

Their hot dog is similar to the East sides most famous chain of Coney restaurants, National Coney island, and the West sides Kerby Coney. These chains use dogs made of beef and pork. It’s a European-style Vienna sausage with a beef, pork, and sometimes lamb or sheep casing.

This is not to be confused with the New York style hot deli dog, which I love when it’s a Sabrett or a Hebrew National. These brands are available with a casing similar to the D’s recipe but with a different sauce. The NY sauce is called a “chili” but it’s not a Texas style chili. The NY chili is a relish sauce made with tomato, and regular or sweet Vidalia onions. You’ll find this kind of topping in Erie, PA and other places too.

When you bite into any kind of a top-quality Coney or “deli-dog” it “SNAPS.” The texture is wonderful and the flavor is just out of this world. There are other styles of dogs that I would put on my virtual plate of must eat comfort food, including coney’s from “Johnny’s Lunch” in Jamestown, NY and the “Varsity” in Atlanta, GA. Perhaps you have your favorite? Like the Cincinatti Chili dog?

Cincinatti is known for a breed of Chili unlike any other in the U.S or Canada. It’s beef without beans, and sometimes cinnamon, and always a bit of chocolate — and it’s NOT SWEET. You can get it at Skyline chili and other restaurants. Below is 4-way Cincinnati_chili. That means, a base of noodles, topped with Chili, onions, beans, and cheese.

If you’d like to experiment with ingredients from the traditional recipe made without beans try the following. 2 pounds lean ground beef. 1 quart water, or amount to cover 2 onions, finely chopped. 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce. 2 tablespoons vinegar and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. 4 cloves garlic, minced. ½ (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate. ¼ cup chili powder. 1 ½ teaspoons salt. 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper. 5 whole cloves. 5 whole allspice-berries. 1 bay leaf.

Virtually traveling around the Mid-East via my taste-buds reminds me of another New York favorite of mine, the Giant Salted street vendor Pretzel.

This is a unique animal. It’s not any old warm pretzel. The trick to finding the best pretzel is this: Look for a seasoned, experienced pretzel vendor, you can tell they know their business by their age, and they’ll likely be missing a leg or a few digits. (Weird but true!)

Secondly, make sure the vendor is selling roasted Chestnuts too. Not because you are required to order the nuts — no, it’s a seasoning thing. The nuts flavor the salt. So, when you order your Pretzel, ask him to grind the pretzel into the salt on the bottom of the nut/pretzel steamer. Now you can add mustard, and enjoy your carbs 😉

Okay, the next food that I’ll eat if I ever get into the situation where I can eat anything I want without regret is from down South.

The Carolina pulled pork sandwich. The trick here is to order a genuine southern style pit-roasted pork topped with homemade slaw and dressing. The slaw is unique and it is paired with a dressing that is important. It’s a vinegar based dressing — not a tomato/barbecue sauce topping.

A quick recipe for Carolina style pulled pork sauce…

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

My next choice is related to this, it’s the Kansas City style BBQ roast or sandwich. It’s made with KC/St. Louis style sauce, and this is what I find in my grocery store. I wish that I had my choice of Carolina dressing — but it’s just not available at local retailers. KC sauce is a sweet and delicious sauce that can be found in many different taste-combinations from Bourbon to Hot to Honey. I love barbecue, so I’d love to have a healthy heaping of Beef and Pork Ribs too. As long as I’m dreaming — pile it on!

On the side ,let’s go with some seasoned French fries, with some tater-tots, and a few onion rings and fried cheese sticks.

Ohh, let’s not forget my favorite, Buffalo style wing dings. I’ve sampled them from hundreds of restaurants and bars, and I have to tell you that they really are served best from Buffalo, NY area establishments. If you’re vacationing around Erie PA or Buffalo, NY — then visit Chautauqua County where you’ll find the Casino in Bemus Point, NY or my absolute favorite, BJ’s bar in Fredonia. BJ’s bar has a distinctive recipe — and it’s worth the 45 minute wait.

Why on earth would it take over a half hour to make a batch of wing dings…don’t they just fry ’em and coat them with sauce?

I’ve watched BJ’s cook their wings, and I can tell you what makes the difference is their (2) step cooking process. First, they fry the wings, then they baste/toss the wings with sauce just like any other place. But they’re not done yet. They then put the wings into the broiler, and zorch the sauce into the wings. Delicious!

And let’s not forget the most important part of any Wing Ding — right this down if you have to because this is the testament baby. BLUE CHEESE DRESSING. That’s right, you can dip your wings into Ranch dressing like most restaurants do, or you can do it the way the original Buffalo style Wing Ding was served. With chunky blue cheese dressing and a side of carrots and celery. Ahhh, Buffalo style wings are paradise! 😉

Lastly, I’d like to indulge in a slice of Chicago style pizza.

It’s similar to our Detroit style pizza, which is a thick square pizza made famous by Buddys Pizzeria, the Cloverleaf restaurant, and Mr. C’s deli on the East side of Detroit.

(Hey, if you’re shopping at Mr. C’s – grab an E&B tall-boy beer and have a swig of history ehh? — Kidding!) But speaking of beverages, I really would like an ice cold Faygo Red pop or their Cream Soda.

Aww, geez, it never ends — if I have a soda, then I need a bag of Ketchup flavored potato chips from Canada. Dill pickle chips are okay, and Chicken flavored are weird, but Ketchup or “catsup” is divine. I’m getting hungry for lunch – time to go… (c) Dean Lachiusa

Brake – a “brakedown” of the one location film

I really enjoyed watching the feature film BRAKE the other day. It reminded me of the kind of script that we dreamed of writing while in film school. The one location script. Back then, using one or two locations, and a minimal cast meant “low budget.” But I’d have to say that this film did not seem anything like a low budget film — at least it didn’t cross my mind while I was watching it. The story was very compelling, and I was never taken out of the film. The thoughts that I’m sharing with you today are in retrospect.

Today, I’m going to analyze the movie, and I have to warn you that I’m doing this based upon what I’ve seen on my TV, not on a director’s script breakdown or other production document. I’m writing this from my point of view, and I’m going to talk to you as if you and/or a film-buddy are considering producing a film, OR I expect that you’ve either watched Brake or you’ll possibly watch it on Showtime or online sometime. Here’s a peak…

I have no idea what the budget was for this film, but I would assume that the lead actor, Stephen Dorff would require some serious financial backing. And that monetary guesstimate is more than what the typical film student can drum up. Anyway, he did a wonderful job. But again, the cast, crew, and other production talent, is not what I’m breaking down today. Today, we’ll talk about some other elements in the movie. Let’s have some fun and “Brake” it down…

Can a Feature film be shot for $500?

Let’s look at the Script. While in film school, I imagined myself to be the kind of filmmaker who would come up with an idea that I thought was marketable, and then instead of writing it myself, I would go out and hire someone to write it. Low budget was my main interest. (Of course, because I had no money 😉

So, to shoot a film in one location, with minimal lights, cast, and crew was a major aspiration for me. 16mm film was expensive, and it required good lights and a crew that knew how to handle everything from sandbagging a reflector board to running cables to several outlets so we wouldn’t blow a fuse. I love the challenge of lighting a film. So let’s look at Cinematography.

When I look at Brake I don’t think the script called for sets that required allot of lighting. The first location, which is one set…runs for nearly the entire movie. Let’s analyze the lighting on the main set or scenery. The story is set in our time – we are not given any information that would indicate that this is a period piece, futuristic or anything else but a contemporary movie.

The main “set” requires the actor to be lying down. He will roll from side to side and change positions, but he doesn’t walk around. So there’s really no EST or “Establishing Shot” like you would (typically) see in the beginning sequence of a movie. Instead we ‘establish’ that he’s inside a small dark, enclosure. There’s direct lighting on our lead-man, and minimal lighting that hits the walls surrounding him. So, it’s an Interior shot -which means a sound studio or home studio. When you’re shooting with budget in mind, then this is sweet because there are no concerns about being rained out or losing your light.

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not yet watched the trailer…Soon we discover, he’s in a trunk of a car. Or I should say a constructed set that looks like the trunk of a car. Our lead-man, Stephen Dorff is trapped inside a coffin-like glass box, inside of a ‘car trunk.’

Stephen Dorff as Jeremy

So INT’s or “Interior Shots” are a plus when you’re scheduling a film shoot. Shooting indoors is sometimes preferable because anytime that you have to shoot outside you then have to schedule around acts of nature, and that can cause delays. A delay like running out of daylight, rain, or snow may require rescheduling. And it’s a nightmare when your cast/crew can’t show up for a makeup shoot. A filmmaker could even lose his leading man, and that could ruin the entire production.

To wrap up my comments about Cinematography…You may be wondering about shooting glass (or acrylic.) It typically reflects light, and sometimes the crew will “dull” reflective surfaces in order to eliminate a reflection on camera. In this movie, it appears that they didn’t have to shoot Dorf (through the glass box) for most of the shots. So from where I sit, reflections on the glass were not much of a concern.

Let’s talk about Sound. Sound is another factor that eliminated the need for all the talent to be on set or in the studio. Brakes used off-screen voices throughout the film. But these VO’s or “voice overs” were likely recorded later, after the shoot — in a sound studio. This is also where they would have recorded audio like Police sirens, road noise, phone-calls and CB-radio-conversations. So, I’m going to once again go out on a limb and assume that in this case the sound crew was minimal on the actual days of Principal shooting.

Tom Berenger, a Marqee Value Cameo

Oh, bye the way, do you mind if I reveal just a little about our leadman? His name is Jeremy Reins. That’s all I’ll say. Now, instead of saying “Dorf” — I’ll refer to him as “Jeremy.” Okay, moving on.

Props! Inside of the trunk was a CB radio, a digital clock, and a speaker that was taped to the glass box. There also was a old style flip-phone. So let’s see — that’s about 25 bucks in prop cost!

Let’s look more at the cost of things on the Set. Jeremy was in a car that was moving. This could have been simulated easily by manually pushing the car (aka box/trunk) from side to side, and rocking it up and down. There was one shot of him looking through a hole in the glass into the interior of the car. The audience sees a car-dash – no actor was revealed. So, that was a second-set that needed to be prepared for shooting. I could see the front windshield of the car, but no exteriors.

Later on in the movie there was a gunshot hole in the trunk. This allowed Jeremy to look through it – into an alley, the pinhole shot revealed one actor and a dog. Okay, so you might need a dog “wrangler” if you’re doing a film that features a dog in many scenes. But in this film, I’m guessing that one of the cast/crew brought their well-behaved fido in for a day of shooting. Similar to the POV (point of view) shot that I described prior to this, it could have been done inside a studio. The alley could easily have been a pseudo alley.

Chyler Leigh Potts is Jeremy’s wife.

There was another POV from inside of the trunk, and this is a third set-up worth mentioning. I could see that the “car” was moving, and the (trunk) popped open just a crack, and Jeremy could see a police car, ramming the trunk. So, a police-car grill, hood and lights would be required. Again, this could be fabricated — there would be no need to rent an expensive cop car. And this again could have been shot in a studio as long as the filmmaker was clever enough to emulate the back and forth motion of a moving cop-car.

Next, an interior of an ambulance. A filmmaker would need a truck and/or two swinging truck doors painted white with red stripes. Props needed: A hospital gurney or similar wheeled stretcher. An oxygen tank, accessories and various clutter. No equipment was really focused upon, and the set looked genuine.

A quick mention about Special Effects. Jeremy has been hurt, after all IF you’ve seen the movie or trailer, then you know there is a BEE scene. Okay, so that’s a special effect or practical effect to be reckoned with. I for one, would use a leaf blower or a powerful hair dryer and blow fake Bee’s into the trunk. (Maybe you have a better idea.) Moving on – from inside the moving Ambulance, the audience gets a quick glimpse of the Washington Monument outside. This was shot through the dusty-glass of the Ambulance back door, and easily could have been just a poster, OR a Special Effects shot done in post. (Note that when a filmmaker uses a green screen while shooting principal photography then they are forced to do composite work in post.)

Back to Set analysis. There is a “redressing” of the Alley shot used earlier. It’s an EXTERIOR shot that is not a POV taken from inside the car! A black Excalibur or similar vehicle pulls up and a CAMEO actor — Tom Berenger delivers a few lines.

Then there’s some minimal coverage of an action shot. This kind of coverage actually requires an EST, a three-quarters shot, and some close ups. And trust me, this is rare coverage for this film, remember most of this movie is about a guy in a car trunk. I won’t discuss how his connection to the outside world is done in detail because it’s part of the charm of the movie, and I don’t want to ruin it for you. There is one prop in this scene worth mentioning. A gun.

Let’s talk more about the talent. For those of you who know the actor Tom Berenger, I think you know that including him would add some considerable cost to this film. (Funny enough, the Showtime description of the movie did not credit him — and I for one think he’s what would be considered “Marquee Value” or “bankable talent.” We do see some extras in the background. We do meet Jeremy’s wife and she also has a few lines. And Jeremy’s partner is in the shot — we see a brief cameo with the actor, JR Bourne.

JR Bourne (David Bourne) of Fringe and Stargate SG-I.

And finally, while we’re talking about Marquee Value talent — let us not forget the lead man, Stephen Dorff. I’m quite sure he is the most expensive asset in the movie, and worth it. He just did a fantastic job, and this film is terrific. Consider hiring an actor like this when/if you ever shoot a film because it will make or “brake” your movie.

I wish I could afford to license Brake and stream it to you free on my channels, but that won’t happen right now. For those of you who have never worked on a film, or have not yet had the pleasure of seeing this particular film — I urge you to see this movie, or make a movie — and then return to this article to see how I’ve done in my “Brake-down.” And feel free to let me know your thoughts! Cheers. (c) Dean Lachiusa

Update June 2020: This is a reply from the Director of Brake, Gabe Torres!

Captain Z-Ro is not a zero!

Ahhh, the 50’s an innocent era of television where you if you actually owned a TV, the reception was so poor and limited that you were likely to tune in black and white static and fuzz. And on a good day or during “prime time” the programming was limited to slightly out of focus live Boxing matches or family-variety shows by talent like Joey Bishop and Red Skeleton.

Local channels started to capitalize upon the relatively new medium by producing shows that were sponsored by manufactures like Lucky Cigarettes and Lark Automobiles. Usually a television show featured the sponsors advertisement prior to the show, but in rare occasions there was no promotion at all — like the California production “Captain Z-Ro.”

Captain Z-Ro was a family friendly show that is actually very well done, especially for something that resembles a “KINO” production.

Kino was the process of filming a live production for the purposes of archiving a program, and it was usually done in black and white, 16mm film. The quality was typically low-contrast because the film-camera recorded directly from a Television camera monitor.

That being said, Captain Z-Ro is a very nice watch because the editing is incredibly precise, and the sets are pretty darn good. Especially if you consider the high cost of doing “period pieces.” Also, if you watch the show you’ll enjoy the Mod looking exterior of the Captain’s Space-Base, and the groovy space-aged laboratory inside.

Show creator and lead-man Captain Z-Ro is played by Roy Steffens. His young, trusty sidekick Bruce Haynes plays Jet.

Every episode is History oriented. It’s actually quite entertaining and informative, in it’s quaint way — I mean, in our day and age television is competitive and the production quality is usually excellent. So, when I look at an old show, I try to appreciate it for what it was back in the day.

Captain Z-Ro is a family show, each week our hero’s use their cool ‘time-machine’ to visit a new place in history, and they correct any wrong doings or impending errors to the timeline. (And we all know that our history books are perfectly accurate — so you can see how Captain Z-Ro can apply what is written in order to…”safeguard mankind and history from impending harm…” wink, wink, wink 😉

This fun show ran for 26 episodes from 1955 – 56, and was directed by David Butler. I really got a kick out of the first episode, and if you’d like to watch to see this and more, FREE and AD-FREE, then I hope you add my TV Channels, and donate what you can via my Patreon campaign to help me afford to add the complete series here’s the link:

That’s it for now, but please don’t hesitate to let me know (if) you’d like to see more episodes. Leave a comment or gift a buck or more on the Patreon site, and then I’ll post them here and on my Roku/Fire TV channels. Cheers! (c) Dean Lachiusa

U.S. you’re hired! China you’re fired?

I have confidence, confidence in the fact that our Government will act out with a gun shot reaction to this virus crisis. An action towards China. China has three (recent) strikes against them. SARS, Avian “Bird Flu” and now this dang Virus. But this kind of thing is not new to the world, really we’ve battled everything from Yellow Fever to Polio. But importantly, we should take note that China has a long history of being responsible for large scale infections including in 1957 the “Asian flu” , and in 1968 the “Hong Kong flu” and also 1977’s “Russian flu.” They have a history of spreading influenza, and now it’s a bad reputation. And because they don’t seem to learn a lesson, I think it’s about time we “fired” China.

But let’s not confuse who is at fault for the virus — it’s not the average Chinese citizen. They’re cogs in a great big wheel. And it certainly is NOT in any way the fault of your Chinese neighbor or the local Chinese restaurant.

It’s time, time to give the U.S. the opportunity to manufacture the products that we used to do so well. Do I sound like an economic expert? 😉 I don’t know a darn thing about how our economy works when compared to the experts out there.

But I do have the life experience to remind you — or tell you for the first time…that there was a day when the United States manufactured things like dishwashers and other household appliances. And these products performed in the American household for years and years without the need for repair. And when I say years…I mean 20 years or more. Imagine a dishwasher, like the one installed in my house 35 years ago. My old dishwasher was made by Kitchenaid. It ran for 30 years, until 5 years ago when it finally started to act funky. It didn’t completely stop working, but it started to make funny noises and it wasn’t cleaning the dishes well.

So, I made the mistake of replacing it with a new Kitchenaid. God only knows where this thing was really manufactured, because the repairman who fixed it just 5 months after I had it installed told me it was NOT anything like my old unit. He said it was “made in China, with parts from all over the place.” “…The computers in these things are lemons…” We discussed it a little further and he said that Kitchenaid is like Sears now…It’s just a brand name that relies on it’s old reputation – but it is not the same quality, it’s all made in China.

Sears was a cornerstone of American craftsmanship, including their Kit houses.

I’m sure you’ve heard this kind of talk before. It’s the “scuttlebug” that we’ve been churning out for years now. And in a large part it’s our fault, right. I mean, we love to save money, we love a deal. And how many of us shop at the dollar store on a regular basis? We all know that it’s cheaper to buy a new toaster or coffee machine than to repair one. And in the end — who doesn’t like a bargain?

But we need to break this model. We, the U.S. citizens need to understand that it might be difficult, but we have to find a way to break away from these cheap products, and instead make our own products again. Made by us, bought by us.

This may be a Utopian train of thought. Maybe it’s just too difficult to do this. But right now, we’re forced to be inventive. We have to find a way to manufacture medical masks, gloves, hand sanitizers. And we have to find a way to deliver locally made goods to each other. Because, we are each others customers. We have to learn to depend on each other, to trust each other like we did “back in day.”

I’d like to make this article feel complete by suggesting that I do believe that we’ll have a cure for this virus soon. I think that some laboratory will come up with a vaccine or at least a anti-virus cocktail that will prevent lung inflammation and Pneumonia. I have faith in this because I know that the company that comes up with a solution will make a ton of money. So there’s an incentive.

Meanwhile, if you want to make a nice chunk of change…come up with a solution for a need in your community. What needs are not being taking care of? It can be anything. Think about it.

For example, the other day I watched an advertisement by a Pizza company for their new solution to curbside pickup. A kiosk. Make the pizza, drop it in the kiosk, then the customer walks up to it, opens the Kiosk and takes home their pizza. Nice, but to really work safely it needs to be installed so the customer may access it from outside the building.

Hmmm, I hope all restaurants can do this kind of thing – – that would be full coverage of their curbside and “hands-off” idea. But only (if) the restaurant workers are doing their part inside and out of the business. And I won’t go into great detail, but obviously we have to trust that a manufacture of any product or good is wearing gloves and masks, and following all the safety guidelines.

Ohh, that’s a thought — do we have new food-safety guidelines for restaurants? Are we, the consumer depending on each business that we order from to implement a system that is safe? Hmmm. Call your governor? Or perhaps, start an organization that puts together the rules and guidelines for operating a business during a pandemic. Too much? Think about it in small steps. What would you like to see, what do you need, and how can you fill that need.

To put things into context with this website, I have made my Film Festival an Online Venue, and I support the fest and filmmakers by streaming the winning films on my connected TV channels (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android.) So you see, I’ve gone entirely virtual/digital in order to best service my audience and the filmmaker.

I hope that I’ve given you some optimistic thoughts and ideas here. I hope that I’ve brought you a little more hope. Blessing and Cheers to you!(c) Dean Lachiusa

Beautiful Outer Space Programs on Roku and Fire TV

I’m a big fan of space-nerd programs. I’ve been publishing content from Space agencies like ESO and NASA for years. My “Aurora” short film is one of my most popular connected TV videos. And after thousands of downloads it’s still in high demand because not only is it just filled with gorgeous visuals — it’s also very mellow and relaxing.

Just recently, I decided to ramp up the variety of programs that feature outer space themes for two reasons. For one, the spirit moved me…I love the beauty of outer space, and TV shows about space exploration inspire and uplift me. And reason two, is because I want to share the inspiring, and very relaxing feeling that I get from watching this programming with you.

So, today I’m announcing that I’ve added a few more documentary style programs. We have “The Eyes on the Skies” a 60 minute movie described by Germany’s ESO (European Southern Observatory:) It “explores the many facets of the telescope — the historical development, the scientific importance, the technological breakthroughs, and also the people behind this ground-breaking invention, their triumphs, and failures…” The program is presented by Dr. Joe Liske. I don’t Joe, but I feel like I do because he’s a very personable host — and I’ve been watching his videos for years on my Roku channel called “Space.”

We are also streaming Europe to the Stars — ESO’s first 50 years of exploring the southern sky. Per ESO: “The [60 minute movie] consists “of eight chapters each focusing on an essential aspect of an observatory, while putting things in perspective and offering a broader view on how astronomy is made. From site testing and explaining the best conditions for observing the sky to how telescopes are built and what mysteries of the Universe astronomers are revealing…” Boy that’s allot of “techy” sounding stuff — but please don’t let that throw you. The movie is a nice watch.

Next is the 30 minute movie called MUSE, The Cosmic Time Machine. About the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer installed at ESO’s Very Large Telescope. What’s a spectro…explorer? Hey, I may be a sci-fi nerd, but I can’t tell you any better than them. Watch the film free and ad-free (of course) on my channels.

And lastly we have “In the Shadow of the Black Hole.” Wherein a
a picture of a black hole is taken by the Event Horizon Telescope. (Sounds like a Hollywood Sci-Fi movie ehh?) This recording proves Einsteins theory about black holes. The picture was accomplished via a planet-wide array of eight telescopes. The film is an international collaboration accredited as an ESO production.

If you’d like to see a nice introduction to the fine films that I am streaming, please watch the following…

Just to be as clear as the night sky…You may watch these films on my Roku and Fire TV channels for free, and ad-free. And there are numerous other Documentaries by Nasa and other agencies. Plus of course I feature many Star Trek shows and indie-made films for you to enjoy. Regarding the content I posted today — I should be clear that space agencies (like ESO and ESA) and directors like Lars Lindberg Christensen deserve credit for making these films a reality. Please add my channels and donate to my patreon campaign if you like to see more in the future. – (c) Dean Lachiusa

Mr Ed streams on Roku for free

I’ve found three rare Mr. Ed television sitcoms, and two are currently streaming. One episode is a hilarious story about a Cat and a beneficiary. The other is a very RARE PILOT & PITCH that is a must see for fans of the show, as well as anyone who is interested in how shows were pitched, produced and sponsored by Ad Agencies and Advertisers like the manufacture of the LARK automobile. The Lark? Seriously?

Okay so as it turns out, it’s not a “lark.” Studebaker was making cars back in the late 50’s to early 60’s and this one was being sold as the main promotional ‘vehicle’ for an up and coming series.

The tentative series was called “The Wonderful World of Wilbur Pope” and this episode (the pilot) is called Wilbur Pope and Mister Ed. And it stars two actors who were cast specifically for the Pilot – but not the series. That’s interesting, ehh? I didn’t think it worked like that. Scott McKay played (Wilbur Pope.)

And his wife (Carlotta) was played by Sandra White. Both were replaced within this video. Ed stayed. (Wink wink.) Sound confusing? Well, I was certainly surprised. Let me run down how the video plays out so that you may better understand.

First we start with an advertising pitch-man. He’s a boring looking character, tooled up with a pointer, chalk-board graphics and well placed, but verbatim dialog. Did you know that the average household watches 3.5 hours of TV a night? Groovy. Okay, so then we move on to the show, and it runs a good half hour. But immediately afterwards we have a new spokesperson…

That’s George Burns. He talks about how Sitcoms typically fail because they have nothing to write-about after six episodes or so, but this series will be the exception because of “Ed.” And then he proceeds to tell us about how the new actors for this series are funny, experienced and importantly the lead man is a “clean cut fine looking young man who will make a great salesman for your product.” Then the new actor is introduced, and he’s darn funny. This is the new Wilbur, Wilbur Post played by Alan Young.

Young talks about how George Burns will be overseeing the writing on the show. Then he proceeds by delivering an example performance, and then he really shines when he plays next to his new wife “Carol” Carol Post, played by Connie Hines. And I have to say I really enjoyed the way they played out a ‘sample’ scene. It was very convincing and the two demonstrated nice chemistry. This is the beautiful Connie Hines…

The cool “sales pilot” and other classic shows like Petticoat Junction and Fireball XL5 are available on my Roku channels, free & adfree. Oh bye the way, I noticed something of a mystery. Within the pilot — they never gave away the name of Mr. Ed’s voice-actor. Interesting, maybe that’s part of the charm. Watch the two episodes now, and stay tuned for a third,* VERY RARE episode in which Wilbur sells United State Savings Bonds.

*ADDENDUM 4/20/2020 – the episode “Wilbur gets the Message” is now on all of our Roku and Fire TV channels. While it does have a few funny moments, it does require a little patience. You may be asking “since when does a sitcom require patience?” The answer is because it’s basically a special program designed to sell Bonds and inform folks about the virtue of “Payroll Savings.” It was produced on behalf of the US treasury. On the plus size we have our favorites — Alan Young (Wilbur), and Connie Hines (Carol), Mr Ed – the “Horse of course,” ‘PLUS’ the character-comedian George O’Hanlon – from The Jetsons. (c) Dean Lachiusa

Star Trek ‘continues’ with series on Roku

For many Star Trek lovers, the “Discovery” of Star Trek on Roku and other Connected TV devices is not entirely new. And for readers of this blog, you may already know what I think about the Star Trek Discovery series per my article last year. But this year, we have a new show to watch, and it features Patrick Stewart and other iconic actors from Star Trek’s Next Generation show.

I enjoyed the premiere episode, which (was) free on Youtube, and I am tempted to sign up for the entire series. Tempted, but not enough to pay them for it. Note: The following video is a SPOILER!

I did try to subscribe to CBS All-Access with what was advertised as the CBS “gift” code, but after giving CBS my name, email, DOB, and my first male child, the interface did not work, I didn’t get my free month — maybe the code expired, but it was only a week old. So I’m back to weighing the benefits of paying for CBS.

Based on my feelings for Discovery, and based on the things I’ve read about Picard on Facebook, I’ll have to pass. Why pay for it when CBS has operated as a Ad-Supported network for years, and now they expect me to change my viewing habits just for a few new shows – sorry, not enough.

I already pay for Hulu and others. I really wish CBS would reconsider their entire “all access” formula. Let’s talk about something a little more positive. Have you watched Star Trek Continues, Star Trek New Voyages, or the new shows from Tim Russ (of Star Trek Voyager) and his Atomic network? Here’s a full episode of Atomic’s “Renegades.”

I like Renegades, but I prefer the new Trek based series that they are working on. I’ll post episodes as soon as they are made public. I hope that they release the Atomic programs for free and ad-free because it’s the only way I operate. My Roku channels are noncommercial.

And I do this because I love the craft of filmmaking, and I enjoy supporting filmmakers, especially those who make programs out of pure passion for their subject matter. (You can help me support indie film here.)

And that folks is why you’ll find I write often on the subject of fan-made films. And it’s also why I showcase short films on my Free Film Festival and Free Roku Channels.

This is also why I stream great programs like “The Verse” — a Firefly short that just begs to be developed into a series. If only we fans could convince the owners of the franchise to allow fans to produce more noncommercial content. You may watch The Verse on my Roku channels, and of course it is free and advertising free like all my programming.

I’ll talk more about fan films and the regulations later in a adjunct article. This is an enormous area of controversy that I cannot discuss without going into details. But, I will say that for years, the makers of Continues and New Voyages were allowed to produce Trek programming as an homage, as long as the shows were never commercialized/monetized.

And the producers of those shows, along with the Farragut producers did respect the network’s rules that were set forth in “guidelines.” (PS: Farragut is a long-running series of fanfilms that do not get rated very positively on Youtube, so I don’t have a sample for you here.) BUT, I do stream (2) Starship Farragut animated episodes on my Roku Channels.

Something happened a few years ago. Another guy decided to make a Trek fan film, but not with fans. Instead, he hired professional crew and talent, and then he raised money — allot of money with the intention of releasing a professional (perhaps commercially viable) film. He threw it right in the Network’s face on Kickstarter and social media. In the end, according to reports – he openly defied CBS and Paramount in court. To make a long story short, now would be fan-film makers have new “fanfilm guidelines” that really put the “AXE” on how a fan made film can be produced. The films must be 15 minutes…The story-lines and characters may not be continued for more than (2) episodes, etc.

The actions of the “Axe” have effected every producer of Trek films, and I think that in turn may set the course for other franchises. And I stream them all – from Croft to Alien (see my free/adfree Android “Fan Films” app.) So, what I’m getting at here is that one selfish action may just be the thing that is effecting how the new owner, Disney handles requests to do Firefly/Serenity fanfilms. Like I say, there’s more details and I’ll do an entire article on this in the future. For now, I’ll leave you with a look at “The Verse.” — (c) Dean Lachiusa

Leave it to Beaver, pilot streams on Roku & Fire TV

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a real rarity, the Pilot episode for the original Leave it to Beaver program. It was a simple morality play, and I’ll give you a clue about the story.

Note, this sentence is sort-of a SPOILER: The boys get tricked into “earning” a gift for themselves, but then they end up returning the item, and then they get rewarded for being “good boys.

Here’s what IMDB says: And yes, this really is a SPOILER ALERT! “Sneaky Frankie Bennett tells Beaver that he can win a new bicycle by entering a popular television show’s Franklin Milk bottle cap contest; but Beaver and big brother, Wally, cause quite a commotion at the milk company’s office when no one there seems to know anything about a contest after the boys show up to claim their prize pulling a wagon loaded with a thousand bottle caps.”

Gee, it’s a swell story. Seriously, it’s cute and a nice way to remind yourself that there was indeed a day when life seemed simpler than today. I also found that watching this Pilot episode gave me the opportunity to play TV-Studio-Exec. Why did the network choose these actors, and why were some of them replaced?

Before Wally, there was Paul Sullivan. A clunky looking kid who is much taller than “the Beav.” His performance was believable enough, but he did not return in the series. Why? The scuttlebug is that Sullivan grew too much. He was too big to play Wally’s role. Okay, it happens.

Then we have Casey Adams who later in his career used the name Max Showalter. He seemed like a nice enough dad. His performance seemed convincing. He does have a nice satirical look about him. Maybe that’s why he didn’t return.

It’s hard to be objective when critiquing these actors. After all, the entire series was played by a guy who had obvious chemistry with June Cleaver for so many episodes. Yes, I’m talking about Ward Cleaver played by Hugh Beaumont…

And the beloved Barbara Billingsley is June Cleaver. Bye the way, did you ever think about their last name? Cleaver. I can hardly imagine an angel like “June” swinging a cleaver. Let’s move on 😉

What about Eddie (the hassler) Haskell? He’s not in the pilot – at least not by name. The kid that originally convinced the Beav to do what he does is Harry Shearer (Saturday Night Live.) He’s a Eddie Haskell type of smart-aleck. I think it’s safe to say that this character is developed later as the Eddie character.

The pilot can be seen in it’s entirety on TV.

The Cleavers (as seen in the rest of the series.)

I love that photo! Here’s what Jerry Mathers “the Beav” has to say about the Pilot’s name, the characters, cinematography, and how the show became a series in nearly 100 languages and countries. Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device.

Don’t forget to add my channels to watch the Pilot and other pilots like MR. ED! And meanwhile, I’d like to remind you that I depend on the support of folks like you. I have a Patreon page for my fund raising, please take a moment to lend your support of $1 or more. — (c) Dean Lachiusa