What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Giant Pictures, the digital film distribution division of Giant Interactive, has acquired North American digital rights for ANYAa sci-fi romance that tackles the ethics and consequences of powerful new genetics technologies. ANYA, a Taylor/Okada film under their First Encounter Productions banner, is the first narrative feature of filmmaking partners Jacob Akira Okada and Carylanna Taylor, PhD. The trailer for ANYA is now available!

Inspired by futuristic and sometimes chilling developments in the worlds of anthropology and genetics, ANYA is a contemporary sci-fi love story about a couple whose determination to have a child leads them to a cutting-edge geneticist, an ancient outlier community hiding in plain sight in New York City, and ultimately, a life-changing question: are they willing to have a gene-edited baby, no matter the cost?

ANYA stars Ali Ahn (Orange is the New Black, Supernatural), as ‘Libby,’ a Korean-American stringer journalist and workaholic who sees Marco as someone with whom she can build a family; Motell Foster (The God Committee, Marriage Story), as ‘Seymour,’ Libby’s ex and an evolutionary geneticist who chose research over Libby and is now trying hard to make it up to her; and Gil Perez-Abraham (POSE, The Farewell, Law & Order: SVU) as ‘Marco,’ who is torn between his new life with Libby and the enclave community he abandoned.

“As filmmakers, we assembled a fresh and inclusive cast to bring our story to life and designed a fluid and intimate shooting style that pulls the viewer into the moment. And as storytellers, we created a rich, comprehensive, and anthropologically sound history, culture, and language for the “Narval,” a genetically isolated and secretive people at risk of extinction,” said Taylor.

Giant Pictures will release ANYA on November 26, 2019 on all digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, Vudu, Xbox, plus DVD nationwideThe film will screen at numerous conventions, film festivals, and universities now and beyond the film’s release in November. The dates, and information on the filmmakers’ attendance, Q&A’s, and locations are available at the official film website:

ANYA is a timely, thought-provoking film and Giant Pictures is proud to be partnering with such innovative filmmakers on their digital release,” said Sarah Dawson of Giant Pictures.

In ANYA, a young couple’s personal quest to have a child becomes a provocative, yet utterly dramatic, exploration of some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today. Libby is a journalist who operates in the world of facts and first-hand observations, while her enigmatic husband, Marco, is the product of a mysterious culture he is forbidden to discuss. 

As they suffer through three miscarriages, Libby turns to science, hoping that fertility charts and thermometers will solve their problem. But Marco feels compelled to reveal something he has known his entire life: his culture, a forgotten people called the "Narval," who migrated from a remote Caribbean island, believes that anyone who marries outside the community, as he did, is cursed to never have children. 

Determined to disprove what is clearly a groundless superstition, Libby turns to an ex-boyfriend who is a rising star geneticist. A simple swab of the cheek, a startling DNA reading, and an encounter with Marco’s extended family, opens a Pandora’s box of consequences involving genetic testing, gene-editing, and invasion of privacy. Viewers are left asking: what does it mean to be human?

ANYA is not only a cautionary tale about the challenges presented by fast-moving science. The film is, at heart, an emotionally-involving drama about two people trying to create a family in a world where the definition of family is changing every day,” said Okada.

Blending drama with pressing contemporary issues, and folklore with science, ANYA affirms that we all belong to the same human family and deserve to be valued for our differences, as well as our similarities.


Go Behind the Scenes of Astronomicon in “Astronomicon The Making Of: A Pop Culture Convention,” Now Available via Amazon Prime

Astronomicon 3 Takes Place February 7-9, 2020 in Sterling Heights, MI
The minds behind Astronomicon, the Detroit area’s newest pop culture convention, have revealed a new documentary, entitled Astronomicon The Making Of: A Pop Culture Convention, available now via Amazon Prime.
Astronomicon The Making Of: A Pop Culture Convention takes viewers behind the scenes to experience what goes into the production and end result of a convention. Through incredible convention video footage and interviews with organizers Twiztid, the hard-working Astronomiconstaff, guests and fans, viewers will get a feel for the Astronomicon experience and learn why its dedicated fanbase has made it Metro Detroit’s fastest-growing convention.
“We’re here because of them,” beloved actor Sid Haig says of his longtime friends in Twiztid in the documentary.
 Astronomicon rocks!” says Pro skateboarder and reality star Bam Margera.
Watch the trailer for Astronomicon The Making Of: A Pop Culture Convention here:
Now entering its third year, Astronomicon will return to the Wyndham Garden in Sterling Heights, just outside of Detroit, the weekend of February 7-9, 2020. 
“As far as we can remember, we’ve always loved conventions,” says everyone’s favorite demented duo and Astronomicon organizers Twiztid“It’s in our DNA, it’s who we are as people. We would go together as kids all the time. This is something we’ve talked about doing all of our lives and to be in our third year of Astronomicon is a great feeling.”
Guests already announced for Astronomicon 3 include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman; actors James Jude Courtney (Halloween), Tom Atkins (Halloween IIILethal Weapon), Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds), Bill Moseley (Rob Zombie’s 3 From HellHouse of 1000 CorpsesThe Devils RejectsTexas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Charles Fleischer (Who Framed Roger RabbitNightmare on Elm StreetBack to the Future 2), CJ Graham (“Jason Voorhees” from Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives), Richard Brake (Game of ThronesRob Zombie’s 3 From Hell31), Walter Phelan (House of 1000 Corpses), Nathan Baesel (Leslie VernonCold CaseCSI: Miami), David Howard Thornton (Terrifier’s “Art the Clown”); creator of “Art the Clown” and director of horror phenomenon Terrifier Damien Leone; MTV VJ and Scary Movie franchise actor Simon Rex aka Dirty NastyTroma Entertainment co-founder and The Toxic Avenger actor Lloyd Kaufman ; rapper Blaze Ya Dead Homie; and Astronomicon masterminds Twiztid, with many more guests to come!

Astronomicon 3 promises to fulfill the pop culture cravings of fans attending from far and wide! The all ages event will not only feature appearances, signings and photo ops with pop culture icons, professional wrestling stars, horror film elite and beyond, but also many additional activities – including live music performances, Q&A panels, cosplay and tattoo contests, a free play video game room and tournaments, a scavenger hunt and trivia. Confirmed in-costume photo opportunities include CJ Graham dressed as Jason VoorheesWalter Phelan as Dr. SatanDavid Howard Thornton as Art the Clown and Bill Moseley as Chop Top.
Early bird tickets are on sale now at discounted rates. For weekend pass and daily ticket information, please visit
Stay tuned for more news coming soon from Astronomicon 3!
For more information, visit:


Holiday Party at Big Apple Comic Con’s New Home, The New Yorker Hotel

Celebrate Our Spectacular Holiday Party at Big Apple Christmas Con on December 14
Big Apple Comic Convention, New York City’s longest-running premier boutique comic books and popular culture show, is celebrating its move to the New Yorker Hotel with the Big Apple Christmas Con holiday party and convention on December 14, 2019.

For those looking to slip away from the holiday hoopla, the Big Apple Christmas Con will offer fans an escape to another universe, while those looking to immerse themselves in the season can bask in special holiday-themed events and unique gift-shopping opportunities. This special one-day event will include all the fixings of the annual Big Apple Comic Con, as well as free gifts (with a focus on those under the age of 14), fabulous prize giveaways, an exhibition of Christmas-themed comic books, an original comic artwork auction with all proceeds to going to Covenant House New York (which provides residential services to homeless, runaway and exploited youth), a holiday-themed cosplay contest and an extra special appearance by the one and only Christmas super-hero: Santaman!

Says Big Apple Comic Con founder Mike Carbonaro,“It’s very cool to think that what my buddies and I launched in a humble church basement all those many years ago has grown into the longest-running comic con in NYC! We’re so excited to be at The New Yorker that we’re throwing a thank-you party for our loyal fans, artists, and exhibitors! Come and join us!”

The New Yorker Hotel, an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1929 and recently renovated to its suggestively stylized splendor, will play host to future Big Apple Comic Cons, including the group’s annual two-day Spring extravaganza. Big Apple Comic Con is a convention with a truly unique NYC feel and a dedicated base of attendees from its 23-year history. The move to the New Yorker allows the established Big Apple Comic Con community to open its arms to even more attendees, who will enjoy top exhibitors, artists and celebrity guests.

Exhibitors will be selling original comic artwork and some of the most sought-after collectible comic books in history, and attendees can fulfill their holiday shopping lists with goodies from all aspects of pop culture including: science fiction, fantasy, film, television, cosplay, animation, anime, manga, toys, horror, collectible card games, video games, web comics, and fantasy and graphic novels. 

Big Apple Comic Con will feature appearances by dozens of artists, creators and independent publishers, and an Artist Alley filled with up-and-coming artists. Fans will also be able to participate in celebrity panels and programming with professionals from various fields. 

Confirmed celebrity guests include Sam J. Jones (Flash GordonThe Spirit), Peter Scolari (Bosom BuddiesGotham), Frank Romano (legendary Ben Cooper costume designer) and Cosplay Guest of Honor Barbie Chula; comic book creators Jim Steranko (S.H.I.E.L.DCaptain America), Joseph Michael Linsner (Cry For DawnConan), Larry Hama (G.I. JoeAvengers), Neal Adams (X-MenGreen Lantern/Green Arrow), Erica Schultz (DaredevilM3), Mark Texeira (Black PantherWolverine), Kristen Gudsnuk (HenchgirlModern Fantasy), Billy Tucci (A Child is BornShi), Paul Levitz (The VisitorBatman), Tom DeFalco (Spider-ManArchie), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Dawn & VampirellaSin Boldly), Bob Rozakis (‘Mazing ManJoker’s Daughter), Paul Kupperberg(SupergirlDoom Patrol), Michael Jan Friedman (Star Trek: The Next GenerationDarkstars), Peter Kuper (The New YorkerMAD Magazine), Russ Braun (The BoysBatman); and The Kubert SchoolHeidi MacDonaldParis Cullins, Gary Cohn, Larry StromanBrian KongZeea Adams, Bob WiacekMike DianaSteve SaffelSteve BuncheZorikh Lequidre, Robert J. SodaroJohn Orlando, and Dan Fogel, with more to be announced.

The New Yorker Hotel is located at 481 8th Avenue, New York, NY. Big Apple Comic Con runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. with VIP Early Admission at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Tickets are available at

Big Apple Comic Con online:


Toby Kebbell and Rupert Grint Developed a Bromance on "Servant"

True chemistry can't be faked. It's entirely evident that Toby Kebbell and Rupert Grint have precisely that when they sit down together to discuss their work on the new Apple TV+ series "Servant". After I tell Toby Kebbell that I said during the show's New York Comic Con panel that he is the most underrated actor in Hollywood, he expresses appreciation that the cast and crew on stage seemed to agree with the sentiment. Grint then jokes, "I was drinking a lot of wine, though." I joke back that I had assumed all the wine he was drinking on the stage was merely him being a method actor since his "Servant" character Julian Pearce drinks a significant amount of wine on the show as well. Kebbell doesn't miss a beat, responding in his best deadpan, "No, he's just a raging alcoholic."

Despite the heavy tone of this Apple TV+ series, Kebbell and Grint have developed an easy rapport with one another that translates incredibly well on screen. There are plenty of shared scenes between the two as Julian is Sean Turner's brother-in-law. Sean and Dorothy Turner lost a baby, though the exact circumstances are not revealed when the characters are introduced. Sean frequently confides in Julian about Dorothy's struggles to know what's real and what isn't, following this loss. They have used a new age therapy method where Dorothy treats a lifelike doll as a baby. The problem lies in the fact that Dorothy fails to understand that the doll isn't really her baby.

Sean is a renowned chef and his relationship with food and the various dishes that he prepares poses a strong presence in the story. With all the close-up shots on Kebbell's hands and forearms, it's impossible to miss the striking tattoos. He removes his coat to show that some of them are real and on the front side, but the ones on his inner forearms were added for the series by an artist called Mr. K.

Kebbell is coy when talking about the challenges he faced with different type of food preparations, though he surprisingly notes that doing spun sugar was easy. He is also full of praise for his colleagues.

"Working with Rupert was the hardest," jokes Kebbell. "We had the best time, honestly. He was my favourite person to work with. I've been sitting with Lauren and Lauren is obviously tremendous, but she's a phenomenal actress and I was like, 'Oh I'm gonna compete all the time, she's too good!' But with Rupert..." he pauses to laugh with Grint, who takes the joke in good stride. "No, we had a great time. It was so good."

Julian isn't a character who exists solely to be comedic relief or break up the tension, though he does offer a bit of both in the midst of all the serious dramatic content.

"He has a very different energy that comes into the house," says Grint. "He's very brash. He comes from the financial district so he thinks money can solve a lot of problems and he's developed all these different methods of manipulating people. He's one of these guys that always is like two steps ahead and knows what to do. He always has a plan. He's your only confidante in this," Grint says while looking to Kebbell.
"He is and he understands the situation I'm going through but is a real person, you know what I mean? That's how ludicrous it is that this financial, kind of brash dude is the real person in the whole thing whereas everything else is depicted as 'the crazy people.' [Julian] absolutely is the [confidante] and like... imagine having that as your brother-in-law for real. It'd be so good. He plays it fantastically. Brilliant character."

Kebbell struggles to narrow down any one particular moment between Sean and Julian as his favourite comedic moment. "I enjoyed Rupert's company so much that I was laughing all the time just as a human being and just hanging out. Scenes wise, it's been overthrown by how much joy we had."
"Yeah, we had a lot of clandestine conversations in the basement."
"I enjoyed our stuff in the basement!"
"Yeah, the basement, the wine cellar."
"That was the best stuff. I think that, because it was all one shot as well so we were allowed to just run it through. It was a lot of single shots so it was a lot like doing a play. It had that feeling and it just allowed us then to breathe out and be kind of greedy with our time."
"A lot of scenes as well with like, FaceTime, where I'm being kind of... we actually did that for real, didn't we?"
"Yeah, we did."
"I actually called you from a green room."
"He was off!" laughs Kebbell. "They called him in, poor dude, on his day off. He was like... 'Alright.' Yeah, it's hard work."

One of the more peculiar dishes that is presented on the show is a lobster ice cream, which Sean prepares and attempts to make work palatable for those unaccustomed to eccentric cuisine. Kebbell says he did try it.

"Was that what I had?" enquires Grint.
"No, we made you strawberry. What we did was, me and Drew DiTomo who is a phenomenal cook and was my partner-in-crime when it came to all of that, we would always take Tony's recipe which by the way was never a recipe. It was just like, 'They were eating this,' and it's like, 'How do we make that?' We would spend all of this time trying to figure out exactly what could go into it and then, Nell's a vegan. We'd have to figure out how to make everything a vegan version. What [Rupert] ate was actually delicious, vegan, strawberry ice cream made with oat milk. Drew's phenomenal. His Mrs. is an incredible pastry chef so whenever he was stuck he would just ask. We had such a good time figuring it all out but yeah, we made a lobster ice cream and it's like eating a dead guy. It's horrific. It's truly horrific. There is no purpose to it so don't make it at home. We made it and it's pungent. We made real haggis and everyone complained. 'It stinks in here!' Not disrespecting haggis but if you do it in a confined space it's a lot of odour to try and get rid of, so we just ended up making huge sausage with oat involved in it to try and give it that feel."

Kebbell has his fair share of gross things to do for the show, whether it's cooking or sampling unsavoury dishes or cleaning up pretend vomit. "The vomit was particularly awful because it was freezing cold in Philly and for some reason I had to be wearing espadrilles and shorts. I was like, 'Why am I in these summer clothes?' But that's acting, they say. You've got to pretend that it's hot when it's cold! Our life is so hard," he jokes before continuing, "It was oatmeal with a little egg in it or something to give it more strands or strings. It doesn't matter what the actual product is. It's the mammalian reflex of reaching into a gooey mass with tissue where your finger goes through it so yeah, it's not really gross is it? It was all easy... but it was pretty gross."

Julian has some of the most memorable one-liners of the show, with some being so strikingly funny that you can't help but burst out laughing when hearing them for the first time. I ask Grint whether this comedic delivery was something he tried to bring to the character or if it was more so the result of following the script.

"Yeah, he does have a way with words, Julian. I think it's the script. It's all credit to Tony. It was such a clear voice that that character had that it was very easy to jump into his skin and yeah, there's some good lines."
"His timing's brilliant, though, which is the performance part of it," adds Kebbell. "It's hard because we'll do fifteen takes because as I said, it's a continuous shot, but his timing is spot on so it's hard not to crack up. Every day he would have lines and he's just looking at me, I'm like, 'Don't do it. Don't look at me like that.'"
"Yeah, we did struggle with eye contact a little bit, didn't we?"
"A lot, dude, yeah! But it's good! That's the joy, because it's a stressful story to tell. It's a heavy story."

There's still a lot left to explore within the Turner/Pearce family dynamic moving into season two. The first meeting of Sean and Dorothy was never showed or explained and a lot of their familial relationships and character origins were omitted.

"Those are things we talked about," says Kebbell, "even things like who our parents or my parents are. Are my parents alive? [Are] there siblings? There's a lot of scope. I think what's incredible about that house is, I actually love being there. I know when you watch it, it starts to feel claustrophobic. Lauren would always say she wanted to get out of the house but I think that's how tremendous of an actress she is that you realise, obviously as you've seen it all, why she wants to get out of the house and hopefully you realise why Sean wants to stay in that house. For me, we're telling our own stories. For me, I love to be there. I want to be there. I want to make that house a home again. That's what's so nice about Julian coming over. It's the authenticity of it actually being, entertaining a guest and a guest who brings a bottle of wine and has some spurious story about why he's there. He's there when you're fixing something. It's that kinship you hope to get with a brother-in-law, that you hope to get with a brother. That's what we worked on, is like, 'Who is the family?'"

Grint says the experience of playing an American character is enjoyable. "The accent is something I've not done before. It's a funny one. There's a few words that do kind of trip you up. 'Aunt' springs to mind. I couldn't make up my mind how to say that."
"Because you guys say it two different ways, and it depends where you're from. Me, I have to stay in it and [Rupert] has this beautiful ability to go out. You try to stay [in it], 'Do I need to call you your character's name?' and he goes, 'No no, just Rupert.' I have to stay in it."
"I did try that. I tried."
"We tried that."
"Do you remember how awkward it was," says Kebbell to Grint, "We had another actor come in who plays the detective, the P.I. We were sitting and he was like, 'Where you from?' I was like, 'Newark', just because I'd been chatting with Rupert and I was just in my thing and I had my accent. I was like, 'Newark'. He was like, 'Oh yeah, I hear it in your accent,' but I had my American accent, but I'm actually from Newark in England. He was like, 'Whereabouts?' I was like, 'Boundary Road'. He was like, 'Oh yeah yeah, I know it.' I was like, 'This is such a fluke.' I'm giving all the right answers to a lie. I'd make a great spy. It is a struggle for us. It's a struggle. Some words are like... [unintelligible noises]. Your tongue gets three times the size, you're like, 'I can't get that word out,' especially cause he's an English writer."
"There were some words I had to be like, 'I can't say that. It's too English.' I'm not saying you're not erudite as a people. I just can't be English pretending to be American and say this super English word."
"I just did Drew DiTomo, who's from Philly. I was like, 'I'm Drew. That's it!' Talked with him the whole time."

The show also posed a unique challenge of alternating between shooting with the ultra realistic baby dolls and an actual baby. Kebbell shares about the eerie qualities of the doll. "It's a tricky thing because this baby has an anatomical correctness. It moves kind of real but no one hands it to you like it's a real baby. You know everyone hands you a baby like this and there's all this shuffling and you half hug each other and accept. People just hand you [the doll] like that and you're like 'Oooo...' and it's ice cold cause we're in Philly. The real baby's actually a blessing cause it comes in with it's mum and comes in with a nanny and it comes in with all these other people and there's the smell of a baby in the air and you're like, 'Ah, there's life.'"
"I actually have one of these dolls."
"Doesn't it have horns or something?"
"It's got fangs, yes, it's a vampire version. Yeah, it's the weirdest thing cause you wanna look after it cause [of] the weight and everything, the head, you want to support the head."
"It feels exactly right so you want to be tender, even with fangs."

The first three episodes of "Servant" will premiere on Apple TV+ November 28.

Watch our extended interview with Toby Kebbell and Rupert Grint here:


M. Night Shyamalan on Creating a Biblical Story for "Servant"

When promoting his new Apple TV+ series "Servant" at New York Comic Con, M. Night Shyamalan stated that this project has been the most creatively satisfying of his entire career. Shyamalan is also equal parts flattered and disappointed when joining our press session when the table full of reporters tells him that they enjoyed binge-watching the addictive series.

"Oh no, I didn't want you to binge it but I guess you had to. That's not how I wanted you guys to watch it. Take your time with it, take your time."

Indeed, interviewing him about the show would be far more difficult to do without having seen the rich material and story play out on screen. It's a series full of biblical motifts, including the baby being named Jericho and the new live-in Nanny Leanne being very religious in her upbringing, among other things.

"The idea of telling an almost biblical story but to[ do it in a contemporary setting in one location, and you're interpreting everything, I love that, that idea that we're in one home and we're telling a biblical story. Even when we think about that, I think about Exorcist and that story of humanity's soul versus the Devil's playing out in a bedroom in Georgetown. It's super powerful to me, big stories told in a very small canvas. I like that tension of it. It evokes in you as a viewer to participate in the storytelling, which is what I most want, because if you participate then it's very personalised and it stays with you. What we don't want is that kind of entertainment that is distracting, distracting, distracting, and numbing almost. You watch a lot of entertainment to be numbed. The thing I'm hesitant about [with] the format of what we used to call television, I don't know what we're calling it anymore, is that it was meant to distract you from your life and just kind of you numb you a little bit as opposed to it [becoming] a part of you. Those characters and that feeling become a part of you. The hope is that we can do that with this show."

"Servant" is the first time M. Night Shyamalan has worked extensively on content produced for television. His other works have been films, though he did make a cameo appearance on the NBC series "This Is Us". "Servant" however, was always made for television.

"Tony and Jason came with the pilot and the idea. The original thing had the premise of, a woman lost a child and was doing this therapy with a doll and you learn that in the pilot. That was the thing that stayed and we went from there. [There was] a super powerful conceit and I felt immediately like, 'I want to know how this story ends.' I felt very, very compelled for her and justified any and all the mania that the character was going through. It was super tragic, but yes, it was a long-form story."

Shyamalan continues on to share about the experience of how they shopped the series to different networks and platforms before deciding on Apple TV+. "We had three episodes, the first three written out. I wasn't quite there yet in terms of... the balance of this long-form storytelling as opposed to making movies is, I can completely map it out before I go to a buyer, but not in this case. I knew roughly where I wanted to go but I didn't really understand it yet so when we went out to the buyers we actually had more of an anthology idea for it. Each season would be slightly different and [that] immediately changed once we started writing four and five. As soon as we sold it, essentially, it switched into the format that it is now. Now we've spent a year and some, talking about it and really diving into it and we figured out the end, essentially. Now we know the movement of the entire piece. It's funny, you just reminded me of that. I didn't even remember that when we went out it was very different. I tried to convey that to the buyers that, 'Hey, just give me a beat here. This is our set-up and I'm gonna figure out the end. Just true me on this. We're gonna get an ending. I'm not gonna vamp here.' I said that to every buyer, that we'll find that ending. We went out and ultimately chose Apple for a bunch of reasons. One was, I wanted to be the thing that helps define a place the way David Fincher got to define Netflix. Even now when I think of Netflix I think of House of Cards. Even now, you start to think of Stranger Things a bit but still the base is House of Cards. 'Oh, that's what Netflix means. That's what it's aesthetics are. There were shows before House of Cards but that's what ended up being the definition for them."

Another unique trait of "Servant" is the half-hour running time for each episode. There's always a great element of creative freedom with streaming platform programming since the episodes don't have to make needless cuts or additions to be overly precise in chasing a particular length. Both on and off streaming platforms, dramas typically lean towards having hour-length episodes. With "Servant" keeping things at a half hour, there is no needless filler in the entire season.

"I don't think I would have done it if it was an hour. It's too much content. It doesn't go with the philosophy of what I do and want to do for the rest of my career. It allowed me to even consider doing this long-form, the half hour, we can do thirty minutes especially if it's very limited locations. That sounds like just a fun little tidbit but it's not. If it was ten locations like a normal show or something, it's impossible to do it at the quality [I want]. I have no idea how they did Game of Thrones for as long as they did. I have no idea how they could manage that. I think they almost thought of it as different movies. Each had their lane, each of their characters and their world had it, so you're making four shows essentially or five shows and then editing them together. [It's] super hard and you need that blueprint from the books to keep you steady and all of those things. It's a hard proposition. The half hour is what made this even possible. I'm really excited about that format and that play-like quality of half an hour allows it to be one location cause if it was an hour in one location every episode it would start to become like, 'Wow, I'm feeling this is small or tedious,' that kind of thing."

The most mysterious character is Leanne, whose actions and origins aren't often explained to the other characters or even the audience. Nell Tiger Free admitted to not always knowing what was going on when playing the role, and Shyamalan notes that some of the choices she made were ones he decided to direct her away from based on what he wanted the character to be.

"As she's performing it I'm going, 'That's not right,' and then me figuring out and talking to her and saying, 'That's not right because I believe she is coming from X.' Again, I had a blurry version of it. In fact, what now is definitively the end was, 'Hey, what do you think about this idea?' It was more like a suggestion. 'Maybe she's... [gestures hand], and this is what becomes of her,' and then I went, 'No, not maybe.' You put an idea out there, cause when you're writing or something, you put it out there and you go, 'I have a crazy idea,' and you usually do it like this, 'Oh this is a bad version of it,' and then you do the idea and they go, 'Wait, that's not so bad,' and you go, 'Oh yeah, it isn't so bad,' but in case it's bad you [can] go, 'I told you it was a bad idea!' You just put it out there, the idea, and it sits and it has resonance and you go, 'Oh wait a minute, this is strong.' As I became more confident in where I knew she was gonna go, I could guide her in that. We reshot a bunch as we were going so one of the great things about owning the show is I just reshot everything. I would call out in the morning and go, 'We didn't get it and this is why. Bring everybody in,' and go, 'I believe this is what happened.' There's no failure. There was, 'We didn't get it because of X,' and we learned something new because of it. For me, it's critical. The half hour, being in the same location, I would go, 'Hey, can you guys give me the set for an hour? I want to do something on that previous episode.' Having the ability to admit that we were blurry because we didn't know, and to keep on orienting it that way and learning, listening to it and learning is great. If we're constantly chasing content just to get it done as fast as you can, we're not doing the audience any service that way."

Though most shows pose many questions in that will be answered by the season finale, "Servant" leaves far more of its questions unanswered.

"It's a balancing act of how to end the season and let you wait one year to get to continue it. I wanted you to learn something really specific and orient you at the end of season one that made you understand Leanne's trajectory, at least as much as I want you to know right at that moment but 'Wow, I thought I was only going down this road,' but it actually starts aiming you in this new direction. Each season, we want to do that in terms of getting to this finish line here. What I love about the format is, it's a humbling format between, I'm trying to get better at negative capacity. Do you know what that means? That's a psychological term which means your ability to be okay with uncertainty. That muscle, the more you can grow that the happier you'll be in life. As an artist, that's where your strength comes from because what ends up happening is as an artist or an athlete or anything, you start to squeeze that, especially success starts squeezing that. You're not as comfortable with, 'Hey, the next one may fail, the next idea may fail.' You start to try to protect yourself. You want to keep widening that as much as possible. The great thing about this format is, you have to learn that muscle. The other part that I haven't seen enough in this format is to have a discipline about, 'Hey, this is our ending.' We have to do the work now to get a sense of where the ending is so that we're not taking audiences this way, that way, and then betraying them as you do that and finding unmotivated reasons for them to do that 180 to get you back to this. When you see shows like Breaking Bad, you see the architecture of the movement from beginning to end, it makes sense and there's integrity to it. There's not many shows like that where you can go from beginning to end. You're learning both muscles, to do the architecture and to be open in the moment. As we're learning ourselves, we're listening to the characters. The best writing and the best artistry is where you're listening. Don't jam it. Listen. Why is it saying that? It wants her to be this. It wants the characters to go this way, even though you want it to go that way. Listen to it for a second and see where it wants to go.

The lead character Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) experiences a recurring set of splinters that dig into various parts of his body. The show plays with the perception of whether there's a very practical explanation, some secret he's hiding perhaps, or if there's a supernatural force at play inflicting some sort of penance on him for his sins.

"The idea is, everything could be explained away. Is he just getting splinters cause the house is full of wood or is he now interpreting that as something biblical? Is that a plague of some kind? Is that something that's happening to him? It should always be on that line of, 'I can interpret it either way.' Sometimes the show will say, 'Absolutely supernatural!' and then it goes 'Wait a minute!' [and] you could explain it this way."

Shyamalan is hopeful that the audience will lean into this more proactive form of viewing that entails reflecting on the mysteries and interpreting everything with theories of their own.

"It's a healthier conversation. They say in art and even when I talk to the actors I'm like, if you just ask the right questions as an artist, as an actor, that's what we want. Don't give an answer, cause then it rings untrue. I'm sad. I have a loss. I don't know how to deal with this. Is there a God? Ask the question, properly, and I think it will resonate with us. In that same way, I hope we can get that balance right cause it's tricky."

Shyamalan not only acted as a producer of the series, but directed two of the episodes (1.01 and 1.09) as well. Shyamalan hopes to direct even more episodes in future seasons. "I really enjoyed directing [episode] nine, directing nine. That one, I was so excited. Every shot had movement, this kind of ticking clock feeling the entire time. It was fun to do."

The first three episodes of "Servant" will be available for streaming on Apple TV+ November 28.

Watch the extended cut of our video interview with M. Night Shyamalan here:


Funeral Service for Christopher Dennis aka Hollywood Superman



The Service is Open to the Public
Christopher Dennis, AKA Hollywood Boulevard Superman, will be laid to rest with a funeral service at the Old North Church on Saturday, December 7th at 12pm, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive. A benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, came forward with a generous gift to fulfill Dennis’s final wishes, and Chris will be buried in his costume. The service is open to the public.

“Chris and I spoke of his final wishes, as many friends do. He had expressed it was his wish to be buried, in his costume. His wife, Bonnie Finkenthal Dennis, and I hoped to be able to do so, but the cost was prohibitive for us, even with the crowdfunding campaign but we worked hard to make that happen and kept on hoping for a miracle," said director Vlad Kozlov.

"I was surprised, shocked, and delighted for Chris when an anonymous benefactor came forward to cover the majority of the funeral costs, and that, combined with the crowdfunding campaign donations, will enable Christopher to get the sendoff he hoped to have, and he will be buried in his Superman costume," added Kozlov.

Friends and family had originally launched a crowdfunding campaign two weeks ago to raise funds for a funeral service. Now, with the vast majority of the costs being covered, the crowdfunding campaign goal has been reduced to reflect only the funds needed for a few miscellaneous funeral expenses such as flowers, posters, food and etc.

Christopher Dennis tragically passed away November 2, 2019 at the age of 52. Chris had been homeless, off and on, for three years prior to his passing, sometimes sleeping in shelters. Family, friends, and fans who had helped him find lodgings over the years, helped to raise funds to give him a final resting place where he can be at peace for eternity. 
The GoFundMe page was created on behalf of Christopher’s widow, Bonnie Finkenthal Dennis, by Vladislav Kozlov, his long-time friend and director, who produced two short films starring Christopher, as himself, and film legend Franco Nero, called “The Kid” (2015), and “The Duel” (2019). Vlad has been filming with Christopher for a hybrid (narrative/documentary) feature about Christopher’s life, called "American Superman" since 2013 until his death. 
The news coverage of Chris’s untimely passing and reporting on his life and the mark he made in Hollywood have been a beautiful tribute to Christopher Dennis and his memory. The crowdfunding campaign was launched to help Hollywood Superman find his final rest in the Hollywood land to which he truly belongs.
June 10, 1991 was the date Chris first stepped foot on the boulevard as Hollywood Superman, according to his Instagram profile. Chris gave smiles to the millions of tourists from all over the world for over 25 years of his Hollywood Boulevard residency and there are countless thousands of photographs of Chris with visitors to Hollywood Boulevard online and in photo albums around the world. 
Hollywood Superman, along with the world-famous Hollywood sign, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, have been part of the Hollywood experience for millions of U.S. and international tourists in Hollywood for decades. Sadly, Hollywood Superman has taken his final bow on the boulevard.
People are invited to post their photos and videos and share good memories of Christopher and tag him on social media.
For more information about the crowdfunding campaign, please visit:
Christopher Lloyd Dennis
Christopher Lloyd Dennis AKA Hollywood Boulevard Superman was born on June 16, 1967. When he was 6, he was put into orphanage by his father. Chris spent his childhood in shelters and group homes. At the age of 18, Chris came to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. When he was waiting tables, numerous people told him that he resembled Christopher Reeve who famously portrayed Superman. Chris decided to dress as Superman and go out on the Hollywood Boulevard in the hopes of being noticed by studio producers. Eventually, Chris started coming to the strip every day since he found out that he was a huge hit with the tourists who wanted to take a picture with him as Hollywood Superman. 
This is how he became the first costume character on Hollywood Boulevard. Chris went on giving smiles to the millions of tourists from all over the world for over 25 years. He appeared on numerous episodes of Jimmy Kimmel show, was featured in a documentary "Confessions of a Superhero" and appeared in Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars music video “City of Angeles.”
Christopher married Bonnie, a fellow Superman fan, in 2006. They separated on 2011. In 2013 Chris began collaborating with a Los Angeles based director Vlad Kozlov on different indie projects and Chris starred as himself in Kozlov's short motion picture "The Kid" also starring the famous star Franco Nero. 
Chris and Vlad became close friends and they decided to make a movie about his life adventures. Vlad started documenting the story of the real-life Hollywood Superman, trying to discover his past and his inner self, for the film which they decided to call “American Superman.”
In 2016 Chris became homeless due to a chain of unfortunate events and was fighting to get off the streets. In 2017 two fundraisers were started to help Chris get out of the streets, but by that time he was beyond accepting help due to severe depression and substance abuse. Chris spent another two years in different shelters trying to eventually get into subsidized housing.
Sadly, on November 2nd, 2019 Christopher Dennis tragically passed away in Van Nuys, just 10 miles away from Hollywood Blvd. He will be remembered by those who loved him, and the countless people he met on Hollywood Blvd.


NostalgiaCon is Heading to Miami for its 2nd Annual ‘80s Pop Culture Convention, April 25 and 26

NostalgiaCon is Heading to Miami for its 2nd Annual ‘80s Pop Culture Convention, April 25 and 26
The beloved decade and city that gave us Marino, Bro Culture, Conga fever, and “Sabado Gigante” will be starring in an epic throwback pop culture celebration next Spring the likes of which the 305 – and the Eastern United States - has never seen.
Global decades fan conventions company NostalgiaCon, LLC announced today that it is taking its second annual ‘80s pop culture convention to Miami for an unprecedented, multicultural-themed, decade takeover show that will feature the music, icons, legends, and much more of the 1980s, April 25 and 26 at the MANA Convention Center.
With Wynwood as its canvas, the second annual “comic-con” of retro pop culture festivals will feature a jam-packed weekend of music acts representing all the genres of the ‘80s, film and TV show reunions, exhibitors and collectors, exclusive merchandise, panels, cosplay, arcade gaming, classic ‘80s cars, and other surprises. (Early bird passes to NostalgiaCon Miami can be purchased at now through Black Friday, November 29, while a limited run of discounted passes exists).
NostalgiaCon Miami represents a major return for company founder and CEO Manny Ruiz, who co-created and until last year produced the nationally renowned Hispanicize event for nine years, including seven consecutive years in the Magic City.
“I’ve been licking my chops to bring NostalgiaCon permanently to my hometown, the place where I also brought the Latino community together nationally for years,” said Ruiz. “NostalgiaCon Miami builds on this legacy and will be very diverse and dynamic base for us every Spring because throwback and ‘80s/’90s pop culture has never been more fun to celebrate across cultures, generations, and languages.”
Building on the NostalgiaCon ‘80s pilot show organizers held at the Anaheim Convention Center in September as well as their experience leading Hispanicize, NostalgiaCon Miami will feature brand sponsorships that are heavily integrated with social media influencers and media partners.
Said Angela Sustaita-Ruiz, co-founder of both NostalgiaCon and Hispanicize: “Our expertise in pioneering the Latino social media and marketing space will serve us particularly well with multicultural brand sponsors at NostalgiaCon Miami. NostalgiaCon Miami is set up to help brands generate major social media and earned media and our platform is ideal for sponsors who want to engage media and consumers around U.S. Hispanic, lifestyle, family, travel, fashion, and/or entertainment themes.”
An All-Inclusive Experience
All NostalgiaCon passes are all-inclusive of various experiences and exhibitions that prominently feature music concerts with original artists of representing different ‘80s genres. At NostalgiaCon’s pilot show, this included performances by ABC, The Motels, The Sugarhill Gang, Doug E Fresh, Tony Lewis of The Outfield, Dokken, and others. In addition to concerts, NostalgiaCon’s all-inclusive passes will also feature celebrity meet and greets and panels. In Anaheim, the first event included such ‘80s icons as Christopher Lloyd, Val Kilmer, Cary Elwes, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Catherine Bach, John Schneider, Claudia Wells, the original MTV VJs, and many more.
Passes and Sponsorship Information
To purchase a Saturday, Sunday or weekend pass, visit the show’s website at A Black Friday Sale is available today through Friday, November 29 or until the special badges run out. To sponsor or exhibit at the event, email
Follow NostalgiaCon Miami On Social Media
Fans of NostalgiaCon Miami may follow all of the events latest news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @NostalgiaCon80s. Fans can also subscribe to the event’s newsletter online on the NostalgiaCon Miami website.
About NostalgiaCon, LLC 
With offices in downtown Miami, NostalgiaCon is the global conventions and media company wholly devoted to the fans and pop culture icons, influencers, music, newsmakers, entertainers, shows, films, sports, fads, toys, foods and more, that fans feel the fondest of.
NostalgiaCon is the first platform ever created to fully scale and monetize the decades both in the United States and internationally through conventions, concerts, events, privately licensed entertainment, social media, and more.
On April 25 and 26, 2020, the MANA Convention Center will host NostalgiaCon Miami, the second NostalgiaCon show devoted to capturing the full glory and throwback fun of the 1980s.
NostalgiaCon is the brainchild of serial entrepreneurs Manny Ruiz, creator and producer of the nationally renowned Hispanicize event and the Mixed Reality Ventures, and Sean Wolfington, Chairman and CEO of The Wolfington Companies and chairman and CEO of CarSaver, Walmart’s exclusive auto buying platform.


Copyright © 2013 Something to Muse About and Blogger Templates - Anime OST.