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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let the midnight special shine a light on me

The signs are everywhere and I can't ignore them. I've been reminded full force of things from the past and it gives me clarity when working on the future.

Credence Clearwater Revival's classic song "Midnight Special". I listened to it constantly when working on the first Monster Cops script, The Midnight Special.

It was this song and 2 others.

Whodini's Classic of Hip-Hop "The Freaks Come Out at Night"

And the one that really inspired me when working on Monster Cops (and still does to this day): The Hollies classic "Long Cool Woman"

It's these three songs I had put on a repeat over and over the entire time I worked on The Midnight Special. To me these songs captures a strong part of the spirit that is Monster Cops. CCR's Midnight Special had that down home rock and blues tone that you really don't associate too much with horror and monsters. Which is why I found it well suited for Monster Cops. It was the feel of how the Cops operated while under the strain of hunting creatures. Cool and groovy, a tone you wouldn't put with hammering stakes in to Vampire hearts. That's the tone of Monster Cops.

The Freaks Come Out at Night was a song that felt right over images of patrol cars looking for, well, freaks. Cops on patrol, investigating strange situations hunting zombies and ghouls. Like driving through neighborhood streets on Halloween Night, seeing costumed creatures roaming around. Plus it was an old school song that did remind me of that Halloween feel, only because it would always end up on someones Halloween music mixtape along with Thriller, The Halloween Theme, and Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.

And finally Long Cool Woman was always a favorite of mine. Definitely my fav song from The Hollies and in my top 10 of classic rock songs. This song always felt like great background narration for some undercover cop closing in for the arrest, or DEA agents on a bust. Desipte what it's lyrics may define it as, to me this was the action theme for Monster Cops. The bouncy rock rhythm and feel of CCR's Midnight Special but with a harder edge and faster pace. Rock and Blues for Cops on the move, and that's Monster Cops. Burnt out and blue on the job, cracking jokes about the bust, and all the while the Vampires burn and the Zombie heads explode.

Odd, strange, quirky, funny, and thrilling with monsters and guns thrown in.

All this means that I'm nowhere near done with Monster Cops. There is that specific feel and vision I'm going for and I feel like if I can really nail it, it will really be something great. Not that I wasn't already aiming for that, it's just tonight has been very motivating, and a little inspiring.

Still have many many other videos to work on of course. The video work never goes away, but I do hope to get on the ball with Monster Cops and get as much of my vision out there as possible, more shorts, more episodes, much, much more Monster Cops.

- Patrick

Friday, February 6, 2009

Zombies Ahead

10:54AM Thursday Feb 05, 2009
Jim Suhr

COLLINSVILLE, Illinois - Pranksters in at least three states are messing with electronic road signs meant to warn motorists of possible traffic problems by putting drivers on notice about Nazi zombies and raptors. And highway safety officials aren't amused.

The latest breach came on Tuesday during the morning rush hour near Collinsville, Illinois, where hackers changed a sign along southbound Interstate 255 to read, "DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES."

A day earlier in Indiana's Hamilton County, the electronic message on a board in Carmel's construction zone warned drivers of "RAPTORS AHEAD - CAUTION."

And signs in Austin, Texas, recently flashed: "NAZI ZOMBIES! RUN!!!" and "ZOMBIES IN AREA! RUN."

Officials in Illinois are concerned the rewritten signs distract motorists from heeding legitimate hazards down the road. The hacked sign on Tuesday originally warned drivers of crews replacing guardrails.

"We understood it was a hoax, but at the same time those boards are there for a reason," said Joe Gasaway, an Illinois Department of Transportation supervisory field engineer. "We don't want (drivers) being distracted by a funny sign."

Authorities haven't figured out how pranksters access the signs. Gasaway believes the Illinois sign was changed remotely, and Austin Public Works spokeswoman Sara Hartley suspected the hackers there cut a padlock to get into the signs' computers.

Some websites, such as, have published tutorials titled "How to Hack an Electronic Road Sign" as a way to alert security holes to traffic-safety officials. Jalopnik urges its readership of 2.6 million a month not to put its lesson to practice.

"Hacking generally is about showing where there are holes in security systems, and I think this is a great example of that," the site's editor-in-chief, Ray Wert, said. "I'm sure there are all sorts of ways to use that information in a way that's inappropriate, but we're trying to make clear this is an issue that needs to be confronted by traffic safety and transportation officials."

Wert said he had no immediate plans to take down Jalopnik's how-to guide.

In Illinois, tampering with an official traffic control device is a misdemeanour punishable by up to a US$250 fine - half what a culprit might have to pay in Texas if caught. If convicted in Indiana, a culprit faces up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines.

- AP

News Story Link 1

News Story Link 2