Home of the Kaiju Fan Network.

Latest

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Hail To The King’ Documentary is Funded! Help Make it Even Better!

Evening, fandom! Jon @ UnCanny here with some very exciting news for all us Westerners, as well as an exclusive interview with our pal Kyle Yount of Kaijucast!

title

Kyle has been hard at work on his upcoming documentary Hail To The King! Recently, the project was fully funded on kickstarter – but this is such an amazing opportunity that we want to keep the ball rolling! If their secondary goal is met, not only will Kyle be filming a Godzilla documentary for all of us in Japan, but kaiju photographer extraordinaire David E. Dopko will be traveling with to photograph the incredible journey as well! Sound awesome? Thats because it is!

For those of you unaware of Kyle’s fantastic project, here’s the jist from the main kickstarter page:

displays2014 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Godzilla, the world’s most famous movie monster. Around the globe, people are celebrating this momentous occasion in many different ways, but no one honors Godzilla better than his homeland of Japan. The Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition will display original props, suits, production art and memorabilia in one centralized location – and it’s only on display in Tokyo for two weeks. Exhibits like these are rarely seen by westerners and only a small fraction of the English speaking world has ventured to the land of the rising sun to view them. They return home with tales and photos of movie history and have had them published in fan magazines and on websites for decades. But with recent advances in technology, we can now share these stories and images in beautiful high definition.

If successfully funded, Kyle Yount, the host of the Kaijucast will travel to Japan to document the Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition and interview key members from Godzilla’s sixty-year history. The images and footage collected will be edited into a feature length documentary that will be available on YouTube titled Hail to the King: 60 Years of Destruction. If we meet some stretch goals, this documentary could eventually be available through Video On Demand services.

Kyle’s killer campaign has reached its modest $8,000 dollar goal, and as of this article is at about $14.5k with a whole two weeks left! They’re close to doubling their initial target, and that can only mean more amazing content for us fans. To give you guys a better idea of what your donation will go toward, we had a one-on-one chat with our good pal – The ever awesome Kyle Yount!

Jon @ UnCanny: First off, Congrats on reaching your goal, and super early at that! Can you tell us a bit about what any further funding will go toward?

video_thumbKyle of Kaijucast: Thank you so much, we were doing quite well and then one extremely generous donation pushed us past our goal. I was simply ecstatic about this venture before this backer and now, I am just over the moon with excitement. The documentary, as we laid it out at the beginning of the campaign, was a modest concept – the money from our original goal covered my airfare and hotel, hiring a fantastic camera crew for two days, creating the backer perks and meagerly compensating my US-based team. Now that we have blasted past our original goal and with so much time left in the campaign, I get to set our sights a bit higher. The first thing I just had to get out of the way was hiring the camera crew for another day. That gives us 50% more footage to play around with while editing and more opportunities for interviews as well. I’m happy to report that with our current funding, we can check that box and move onto the next task, more interviews. While every Japanese actor I have ever met is extremely appreciative of their fans, they require a fee if they are going to be in any kind of production. I’m making a short list of Toho actors who I would love the opportunity to interview specifically for this documentary. If the funding continues to pour in and we double our goal, I would love to take a photographer with me to help document this documentary. I have a few more things in mind, but honestly haven’t had the opportunity to find out how achievable those goals actually are – this happened so quickly. I’ve always said that this is a scalable project, I am simply thrilled that we get to scale up!

Jon @ UnCanny: I think we all want to know, now that your adventure is surely a’go-go, what you are most looking forward to documenting upon arrival?

Kyle of Kaijucast: Since this documentary is about the King of the Monsters, the top priority is the Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition. It is, of course, the centerpiece of this entire project. The other two locations are the Kaiju Bar (an Ultra-kaiju themed watering hole) and the large Godzilla statue in Roppongi’s Tokyo Midtown Park. Because of the 60th anniversary, Tokyo is hosting several Godzilla displays – so my Tokyo based camera crew is scouting a few more locations that have a kaiju theme. Lastly, and this is for the collectors out there, part of the campaign’s perks involve picking up some kaiju toys for backers at a certain level. I’m absolutely going to be doing some kind of filming at the world-famous Mandarake. I just don’t know which one yet!

Well there you have it, fandom! The man has a plan and the plan is golden, I say! I absolutely cannot wait to see all of this. Hopefully, after reading this – you can’t either!

If you’re interested in backing this terrific project, please pay the kickstarter page a visit by clicking the banner at the top of this article, or simply by clicking these words here. Even something as small as $1 to $5 is generous, and certainly helps. You have twelve whole days left to donate.

Keep on doing what you’re doing, fandom. You guys rock. Thanks for reading and be sure to congratulate Kyle (and David!) on Facebook!

Until next time, true believers!

 

Jon @ UnCanny

Skreeonk.com’s Official G-Fest XXI Recap!

Greetings, fandom! Jon @ UnCanny here.

CAM01695

Jon’s lovely partner in crime, Brandee.

First things first – Even as a lifelong G-Fan I have to admit I was nervous for this convention. I’ve been in contact with many wonderful people for years now online (which makes this hobby infinitely more enjoyable)… But what was it really going to be like at G-Fest? For the past several years I’ve been ready to make it happen, then BAM! Something always jumps in the way last minute. This year for my birthday – waaaay back in February, my wonderful girlfriend bought us not only tickets to the Fest but a hotel room at the O’Hare as well. “Well now we have to go, right?” Right! And guys, let me tell you… My first G-Fest was a weekend that far, far exceeded expectations. It wasn’t just that the convention itself was wonderfully organized and orchestrated – or that all the special guests were absolutely incredible – or even that the dealer’s room was a treasure trove of vinyl goodness – It was the people.

If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone in this fandom, it is to branch out. Join our forums,  the many great Facebook groups, share your adventures in collecting with other collectors, post your art online, and above all – Come to G-Fest! Our beloved films are wonderful to watch at home, but nothing can touch the experience of truly sharing in this hobby with others that love it as much as you do. And in that sense, G-Fest is priceless – and justifies the fairly priced weekend ten-thousand-fold.

wpid-img_40277258824875.jpegWith that said, where do we begin? Brandee and I (my lovely girlfriend of many years for those of you keeping track) arrived Friday evening around 5pm. We drove in from Nashville, a solid eight hours south of the Windy City. After hellacious traffic and my semi-heart attack over thinking the dealer’s room was already closed for the night, we finally made it to the Crowne Plaze Chicago O’Hare hotel. This brings me to another major recommendation for the fest – Book early and book at the O’Hare! This is where the convention is held, and I will personally guarantee you that your experience will be 1,000% better if you stay at the hosting O’Hare, and not another close by. Anyway, where was I? Ahhh, yes. The Dealer’s Room.

Today, with the internet and what have you, if you have the money you can find and purchase just about any kaiju merchandise you want. I’ve heard quite a few fan’s remarks in the past years along the lines of “I can buy all of that stuff online, why spend all the money to travel to G-Fest?” Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Exhibit A:

CAM01749

CAM01634This is a humble little Bear Model Milky White Limited Edition vinyl. That alone being enough to make it awesome – here’s where the G-Fest difference really kicks in. This lovely vinyl was bought in person with my own two hands from a fandom great, the always lovely Goji-Girl. Nothing beats buying the collectibles we love in person. The joy of finding a Godzilla item in a local store? Amplify that by a million. Oh, and then there’s the signature – Something that would never have found its way onto this figure unless I had A.) Gone to  G-Fest XXI, or B.) Flown to Japan, tracked down Katsuhiko Sasaki myself, and forced him to sign a vinyl and photo for me. Now which one sounds like more fun and waaaay more legal to you? I think I know. All kidding aside, I now have an item signed by one of my film heroes and a Toho great, Katsuhiko Sasaki San, something I could never say if I hadn’t made this trip with Brandee. And for any one complaining that the autographs were $20 extra, I believe this paragraph justifies that pricing tenfold. I had spent hundreds of dollars in the dealer’s room, and then stopped – I could pay $20 to get an autograph that I’ll never be able to get anywhere else in my life – OR I could blow all my money on things I could eventually find online. I’m usually not an autograph collector – but now I plan to get an unpainted vinyl signed every year that I go back to G-Fest, and have no doubt that it will be the new center of my collection. 

What else did I buy in the dealer’s room, you ask? Well here, I’ll just show you:

CAM01884

Original ‘Destroy All Monsters’ tagged 8″ Bandai Anguirus, Mechagodzilla, Baragon, Mothra Larva, Minya, Godzilla 1964, and Rodan. Original tagged Bandai Moguera.

I wanted to ‘hunt’ something specific while at the fest, so I didn’t get all sporadic and buy too much random stuff. I’ve been replacing all of my Bandais with the tagged originals, just go give my collection another dose of “Oh lawdy thats nice!”. And it has worked. All of these classic beauts are rocking the original attached Destroy All Monsters tag, or their own respective version of that (Moguera being an example).

CAM01685

Jon and legendary science fiction/fantasy painter Bob Eggleton.

Enough about toys, what else was going on? For starters, I picked up two incredible signed prints from a lifelong hero of mine, Bob Eggleton. Bob is not only an outstanding guy, but a huge G-Fan at heart. I’ve admired this man’s work for as long as I can remember. We’ve been online acquaintances through the fandom for a year or so now, but to meet Sir Bob (as I refer to him) in person, shake his hand, pick up some of his art, and take a photo together was something else I’ll never forget. If you’re reading this Bob – Thanks for everything that you do for our fandom, and please keep up the phenomenal work. Cheers, my friend!

That brings us to the rest of G-Fest XXI’s incredible special guests. Among us in Chicago were legends like Tomoko Ai (Cyborg Katsura of Terror of Mechagodzilla fame), the aforementioned Bob Eggleton and Katsuhiko Sasaki (of Godzilla vs Megalon, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Biollante, etc), the ever-awesome Don Frye (Godzilla: Final Wars) and Robert “Scott” Field (Godzilla vs King Ghidorah), master kaiju sculptor Hiroshi Sagae, Shinpei Hayashiya (Director of Deep Sea Monster Reiga and Gamera 4: Truth), and guest of Honor Koichi Kawakita, the legend behind all of the Heisei era’s masterful designs and special effects. Other honorable attendees such as the fan-favorites and ridiculously talented Kyle Yount of Kaijucast and Matt Frank of IDW, among others, were present .It was, to say the least, a year of fantastic guest’s and incredible panels. Don Frye let us know during his panel that Godzilla is his favorite monster (“and should be everyone elses, too”) as well as King Kong being his second favorite “because he’s American”. Classic! Frye also told us  a hysterical story about having to convince Toho writers to change one of their english lines, as it required him to say “Here’s the G-Spot”. Hah! These sorts of wonderful interviews and tidbits took place with every single special guest, and it was all so wonderful and unique – Where else would you get to hear such things from the stars we admire so? Tomoko Ai, in particular, was so energetic and bubbly. She was truly appreciative of her fans and their love. I have to mention and thank Robert Scot Field as well. He’s been to every G-Fest for the past sixteen or so years, and does an incredible job of translating and hosting. He’s a hell of a guy and an integral part of the Fest.

CAM01879I’ve been writing all morning and this entire article so far is just the tip of the iceberg. I could spend another day writing about the fantastic Tokusatsu Room, or the Art Gallery (filled to the brim this year with incredible prints and originals), the screening of classic kaiju eiga at the Pickwick theatre, and all of the amazing exhibitions at the Fest. But everything keeps pulling me back to the people. I don’t want to throw names out into cyberspace – you all know who you are. Long nights of hanging out, drinking, deep dish pizza, sake, too many incredible times to name. But one name I will throw out, and have to, is one John DeSentis. What is Mr. DeSentis responsible for, you ask? Oh, just the single most mind-blowing thing any of us G-Fans could ever hope to experience. And that, my friends, is the Ifukube 100: Legacy of Monster Music.

Earlier this year, John and co. put a team together to organize a Kickstarter. This campaign was to bring a live orchestral event of legendary composer Akira Ifukube‘s music to the attendants of G-Fest, and the Chicago public – and obviously, they succeeded. The entire fandom pitched in (I wrote up and promoted an article for the concert here on Skreeonk during the height of the campaign) and John was able to bring his dream to life – something he’d been working on (and attempting) for many years. The timing was perfect, and we were all treated to something not a single one of us in attendance will ever be able to top or forget. The concert didnt just happen – it went off without a hitch. John masterfully conducted an orchestra of brilliant musicians who brought Ifukube’s music to fevering life. The music brought swells of joy and even tears to all our eyes. So again, if you’re reading this John, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. From all of us.

CAM01665

Jon with acclaimed Japanese actor Katsuhiko Sasaki (of Godzilla vs Megalon, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Biollante, etc)!

Now I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out, but I feel pretty confident in this recap. If you’re on the edge about making the trip to G-Fest, dont be. Just go. Do it. Make it happen. Save up all year and throw yourself into it. It is, for a lack of better words, so very worth it. This year’s was the biggest yet (with somewhere between a staggering 3 to 4,000 attendees) and its only going to keep growing. With the release of two more Legendary Godzilla films on the horizon, I foresee this fandom continuing the growth its experience these past few years, and that is a wonderful thing my friends.

I want to end this article by extending a personal thank you to J.D. Lees, Jeff Horne, and the countless other staff and volunteers who tirelessly make G-Fest happen, year after year. You gentlemen (and ladies) bring so much more to this fandom than we could ever thank you for. Cheers!

A lot of exciting things are happening for Skreeonk post G-Fest. I’m sure you’ll notice in the photos, but we sold a ton of limited edition Skreeonk T Shirts at the fest, and its amazing to see people enjoying them. We may do another run since these sold out quick and seem to still be in demand. And its been a long time coming, but expect to see me on FRESH VINYL LIVE with my good pals Rich Eso, Kyle Yount, and David E. Dopko as often as we can make it happen – more exciting news on that front in the near future. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend David E. Dopko for this phenomenal photo documentation of G-Fest XXI, which I will be posting a full gallery of here on the site. The original plan was to feature his photography here in this article, but its all so damn good I firmly believe it needs a gallery all its own. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that you’ll be seeing much more from David here on Skreeonk.com in the near future.

If you can’t tell, G-Fest 2014 was an immense success, and a weekend I will never forget. Most importantly to me, I not only had an incredible weekend – but so did Brandee. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, I dont know what else will. We’ve never felt so enthusiastically welcome somewhere before in our lives, and will be back next year, and every year after that if we can. I encourage each and every one of you to make it out next year. There is something for everyone, that I can guarantee. Above all, I’ve never felt so welcome in my entire life. I can’t say it enough – its the people. Its you guys. G-Fest firmly drove home what I’ve always said and truly meant – We are the best fandom on the planet. Period.

CAM01718You can view the superbly talented David E. Dopko’s G-Fest XXI Gallery below this article. Thank you all for your continued support of this site and all that we do. All of this means nothing without you. One last Cheers for you, fandom. And as always…

Until next time, true believers!

 

 

Jon @ UnCanny.

 

 

G-Fest XXI Gallery!

David1David E. Dopko is a dear friend and a clearly talented photographer. Below you can view his documentation of G-Fest XXI, and truly get a sense of how wonderful our weekend was!

He’s done a superb job of editing these photos for the fandom, and we are oh so very grateful. Be sure to thank David on Facebook and congratulate him on such fantastic photography!

Expect much, much more from David here on Skreeonk in the near future!

————————————————————————————-

Below is my own gallery of G-Fest images. Please enjoy!

Jon @ UnCanny

Lost In Translation? Update From G-Fest 2014

Earlier this evening Skreeonk’s Facebook page absolutely blew up Burning G style when a live post from G-Fest announced that a new Godzilla movie was coming from Japan.

image

(Crowd gathers for G-Fest XXI’s opening ceremony and introduction of this year’s incredible special guests)

The announcement was based off a video greeting recorded by Toho writer Wataru Mimura, and then roughly translated by a staff translator into english. The crowd erupted, but with just as much confusion as excitement. Did they really just do that? Did an acclaimed Toho writer really just announce a new G film from the motherland?

Unfortunately, we no longer think so.  After a LOT of networking I think we have all come to the conclusion that all of this fuss was over a mis-translated statement regarding the ‘new’ Legendary Godzilla film.

I wouldn’t rule out a new film from Toho, however. Given the U.S. film’s success here and overseas (estimated for a huge 30-40 million dollar opening in Japan!) It may only be a matter of time before the studio decides to cash in. And who could blame ‘em? We could use a good traditional Japanese G film to fill the gap while Edwards works on his upcoming Star Wars spinoff. Only time will tell.

Stick with us, we’ve got a ton of exciting stuff bursting from the seams of G-Fest. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for live updates, and more info as we have it!

Take care fandom, and we will keep you updated as always!

Jon @UnCanny

Limited Release SKREEONK T-Shirts are here! Just In Time For G-FEST!

Hey guys! Jon @ UnCanny here with some exciting merchandise!

CAM01537We’ve ordered a very limited run of Skreeonk.com T-Shirts, just in time for G-Fest! These guys are Fruit of the Loom and super soft! Sizes small (for the kids) all the way through XXL are accounted for. But thats not even the best part! One in every five people who buy a T-Shirt will be shipped a FREE official Legendary’s Godzilla Imax poster (14×20!) You read that right! Buy a T-Shirt and you’ve got a 1/5 chance of a sweet official cardstock poster being rolled up in your T-Shirt and arriving at your front door!

We’re selling these guys at only $15 a piece, and will ship them to you for $20 flat! I’m also guaranteeing that they will arrive well before you leave for G-Fest here in two weeks if you pay with Paypal, so no worries there.

Want one? Shoot me an email at jonatuncanny@gmail.com and let me know what size(s) you want! And yes, if you buy five T-Shirts all together I will most certainly be sending you a free poster!

 

Hope to see you all at G-Fest! Shoot me an email with any questions!

 

Jon @ UnCanny

jonatuncanny@gmail.com

EXCLUSIVE! Cinefex Covers Legendary’s GODZILLA!

138_SMHey all! Jon @ UnCanny here!

I recently received an email from the wonderful editors at Cinefex with exclusive content regarding their upcoming mid-June issue! They’ve got an excellent 14 page spread planned for the Big G (which includes interviews with visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron, among many others!), and its hitting just in time for G-Fest! Here’s our exclusive first look at their content, followed by the lowdown!

 

“The main challenge in creating Godzilla,” recalled MPC visual effects
supervisor Guillaume Rocheron, “was that this 350-foot-tall beast would be
seen from a human point of view, with extreme closeups on many parts of the
creature. Our modelers and texture artists had to add an incredible amount
of detail — and the result was one of the largest creature assets MPC has
ever built. We developed new in-house tools to make the skin slide over the
muscles in a particular way and better convey the size of the beast. The
tools incorporated sliding between the scales in selected areas and
transitions between the different skin thicknesses across the head and
body.” The look development, done in PrMan, used thousands of maps to drive
fine displacements and different skin qualities across the creature. Fully
ray-tracing the monster revealed even the finest of details, subtly varying
reflection and translucency qualities across the body and the face.

The character was rigged in Maya, with one continuous rigging spine that
curved downward from the head into the tail, enabling animators to pose
Godzilla in a more fluid, elegant way. The single spine rigging also helped
to differentiate the creature¹s anatomy from that of a man in a suit –
although the animation was designed very much around the physiology of an
upright creature, rather than a quadruped. “Godzilla doesn’t behave like a
T-rex or raptor,” said MPC animation supervisor Ferran Domenech. “At the
same time, it couldn’t be so upright that it looked like a guy in a suit. We
had to find a fine balance of character for it, more subtle in its motion.”

Great stuff! Further details, including order-information, are included below!

Fans of one of filmdom’s most iconic monsters won¹t want to miss the
upcoming summer issue of Cinefex, the quarterly film magazine that has been
covering the field of visual effects for 35 years. Due out in mid-June,
Issue #138 features a 14-page story on the making of “Godzilla,” including
in-depth interviews with key effects artists, plus 13 behind-the-scenes
photos and frame clips from the movie, many of them exclusive to Cinefex.
Other stories in this bigger-than-usual issue include “Captain America: The
Winter Soldier,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ and “Maleficent,” plus an
article on the legendary stop-motion animator Willis O¹Brien and his bitter
rivalry with producer Herbert M. Dawley.

With two fan-favorite blockbusters in release, and great imagery from each,
we¹re giving covers to both Spider-Man and Captain America, and you get to
choose which cover you want when you purchase your copy as a single back
issue direct from Cinefex.

Pre-order it now, and your issue will go out with our first mailing.

http://www.cinefex.com/backissues/issue138.htm

 

Huge thanks again to Cinefex for reaching out to us, and doing everything they do for the fans! Make sure and order your issue!

 

Jon @ UnCanny

G-FEST XXI Is Right Around The Corner!

Hey, all! Jon @ UnCanny here!

Our fandom is entering a nice little lull of calmness after the fever-rush of G’14 news. Us crazy hardcore fans are just getting started, however, as G-Fest is less than a month away! Who’s going!? I’ll 100% be there this year to represent Skreeonk.com and revel in the joy we’ve all shared in this 60th anniversary of the Big G! With the first new Godzilla film in 10 years and a slew of new merchandise to discuss, this is looking to be the best G-Fest yet! I for one cannot wait to meet up with some fandom pals in Chicago come July 11th! I’ve included their official website’s introductory info for the fest below, and make sure to click on over to their site for more info!

Recently one of the movies to be screened was switched from G vs Biollante to G vs Destroyah, and I’ve changed their blurb below to reflect this.

gfestxxiG-FEST XXI will be held from July 11th to July 13th, 2014, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare. Registration and hotel information is now available.

Special Guests appearing at G-FEST XXI are actors Tomoko Ai, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Yosuke Natsuki (live via Skype), Don Frye, Robert Scott Field, special effects director Koichi Kawakita, and sculptor/model maker Hiroshi Sagae.

Movies screening at G-FEST XXI are King Kong (1976), and King Kong Lives on Thursday afternoon, July 10th as part of the double double feature film festival. Yongary, Monster From the Deep and Gamera vs. Barugon will play on Thursday evening. Godzilla vs. Destroyah will be the feature film on Friday, July 11th, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah will be Saturday’s feature film, on the 12th. See the G-FEST XXI Movies page for additional details and times.

Additional details regarding special guests, movies, and schedules and schedules for G-FEST XXI will be posted when available. Explore past G-FESTs to see many of the exciting guests, movies and presentations that have featured at previous conventions.

 

Stay tuned for any updates on the fest, and any special announcements concerning Skreeonk for the fest!

 

Jon @ UnCanny