Friday, February 25, 2011

"Social" Obsession

In case it wasn't clear from my last post, I am going to use this blog like the cheap tawdry promotional tool it is to pump out so much self-serving tripe it will make Duffman - greatest spokeshero of all time - look like a anti-capitalist revolutionary.

In that spirit, I present a little something that's online today that is as much a shameless publicity grab as it is a labor of love - a trailer for "The Sin Bin" that rips off the trailer for "The Social Network" -

Sure, it might be good for the web series, but - let's be honest - this was just something I wanted to do, and it really has driven me to a very simple conclusion.


I was obsessed when I heard Sorkin was writing the script.

I was obsessed when I saw the trailer.

I was obsessed when I READ Sorkin's script.

I was even more obsessed with the trailer AFTER I read the script.

I was obsessed when I saw it opening night - midnight show!


And now its come to this: throwing together a trailer that mimics the one that captured my imagination all those months ago just two days before we find out if the Academy is going to give this film the BEST PICTURE award it so richly deserves.

For variety of reasons, I don't like to get into reviewing movies too much on the blog (mostly because I'd be embarrassed to reveal how few films I actually end up seeing....nothing like making movies to help you stop seeing movies...), but I want to lay down why I think I'm so drawn to this Sorkin/Fincher Masterwork.

I have a real soft spot for well-done TIMELY movies; films that get made that really tap into something of the "now". That's why I really liked 'Up in the Air' just felt so....2009.

Ironically, I think I have this fascination with "now" because I love history so much and I'm always wondering where I may fit in. There's something about being part of a time and place and a decade and a movement that I really like the idea of. And I don't even mean something political...just part of human progress. What's he point of living in 2011 if you live a life that could fit right in with 1986?

If I wanted to do that I'd just move to Nebraska.

Point is: I like cities, I like current events, I like NOW. And that's why I am obsessed with "The Social Network".

Even though my relationship with Facebook is becoming more distant and detached, divorce clouds certainly gathering on the horizon, there's no denying its amazing transformation of and integration into our world. That stupid social networking site has redefined what the internet is and can be...

"We don't know what it is, we don't know what it will be! What we do know is that its cool"

THE SOCIAL NETWORK not only taps into the creation of this revolutionary website, but I really think it says so much about who we are as a society right now.

The introverted, snarky aloofness of Zuckerberg wraps up America's youth in a nutshell. Been to a bar lately? Have any idea how hard it is to hit on a girl who texts all night?

Yeah, me neither....I'm too busy Tweeting...

Edwardo's naivete and betrayal feel like a just right analogy for the financial mess we're in. And if you want an insight into the entertainment industry look no farther than Timberlake's Sean Parker: smooth, seductive, full of grand promises...but also paranoid, shallow, and absolutely terrified of not coming up with the next big thing.

Plus, the whole idea of Zuckerberg "defeating" the Winklevoss twins...I mean, we live in the age where the smart have taken over...for better or worse. Obama, Zuckerberg, Jobs..etc. Tina Fey is the nerdy queen of comedy while a brainiac like Peyton Manning ( or Tom Brady playing the willing puppet to evil genius Belichick) is the new model for sports glory. Dumb only triumphs in Applebee's or Alabama.

Anyway...I could go on, but I can't imagine it'd be anything more than nonsensical gushing and preaching (of course, isn't that all this blog is?)...

I've made my case. This Sunday we'll see if the Academy voters recognize that there's a special type of brilliance in filmmaking that comes along with tapping into the zeitgiest of the times. Best Picture shouldn't just be about 'what's the best movie' like it is some paint-by-number exercise of GOOD SCRIPT + GOOD ACTING + GOOD EXECUTION, but instead what film speaks most to those watching it, and what film has the most interesting thing to say about who we are RIGHT NOW.

And who is that? A generation online and plugged in.

The internet is how we communicate and get entertainment.


...there's a really cool new web series...maybe you've heard of it?

Come MARCH 1ST we're hoping for twenty-two hundred views in two hours.

I'm sorry: THOUSAND. Twenty-two THOUSAND.


No, I was right the first time. I'll be very happy with twenty-two hundred views for the first episode.

Maybe we can even become a campus phenomenom....

"Sin Bin me"

Don't know what that would mean, exactly. Just as long as its cool.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Forgive Me, Father, for I have SIN BIN'd

Some EXCITING NEWS in the fast-paced world of technology has broken recently...

And I'm not talking about the new iPhone App that is designed to help Catholics prepare for Holy Confession. That is something I do have serious doubts about. For instance, don't you think that GOD would be on a better network than AT&T?

No, I'm talking about the official launch of the TRAILER and WEBSITE for the new internet-changing web series THE SIN BIN. This is going to be the best thing for the Internet since Facebook and Twitter joined forces to kill MySpace.

Okay, maybe not that exactly. But its still big news.

We actually launched a week ago but I've been so busy that I haven't been able to share the life-altering news with the blogworld until now.

You may remember me mentioning this little project, our hockey-horror-comedy webisode, in a few posts last fall. Needless to say it was a LOT of work. LOT, LOT of work. And we're still not quite 100% done yet.

But I'm so excited that this finished product is something I'll be able to share--instantly--with friends, family, strangers, bloggers, vloggers, weirdos, Craigslist killers, iReporters and Mark Zuckerberg.

Yes, unlike other USC projects which I've taken forever to finish and usually don't share b/c their never really quite done or by the time I'm back in CHI I've forgotten a copy, THIS project can not only be seen via the internet, its DESIGNED to be watched on the web.

Our amazing professor has helped us build our own complete "transmedia" show, meaning that the web show is not just something you watch, but can (hopefully) experience and interact with and have all sorts of fun that keeps you coming back to the website.

Why is coming back to website repeatedly important? Well, a website that people go to a lot can hold a lot of interest for certain entities. Most notably, ADVERTISER$.

Yes, we do love the show and loved making it but it'd be pretty stupid to go through all this if we didn't have our eyes on some kind of prize. In this case, our ultimate hope would be to get enough interest in the website to make some people with money say "I like that. Do that for me and __(insert product here)_. I will pay you."

Now, I'm not saying I want to spend all my days writing quippy one-liners for Clorox Bleach's laundry-based sitcom ....
"Can you hurry it up? I'm a little PRESSED for time...."

"I'd like to clear out HER lint trap...."

"Let's just say that after last night, I'm gonna need TWO rinse cycles!!!..."

Aaaaand cue the STUDIO AUDIENCE.

But, the web and getting paid to make web content can be a great way to get a foot in the door or a leg up in the business. Or some kind of body part going in somewhere. At the very least, its a way to tread water until a gig on real TV comes along.

But, I digress. Didn't I say there was going to be some excitement?

Well, you got it. 

Right here, for your viewing (and multiple, multiple re-viewing) pleasure, the "MARK'S GONE HOLLYWOOD" premiere of The SIN BIN Official TRAILER:


Yeah. Pretty good, isn't it?

Its not the "Pearl Harbor" trailer--my personal favorite trailer of all time--but I think its a fun watch and makes you want to know a bit more about the show.

Which you can do, O so easily, by visiting the website -

Please, click around it a bit. There's some funny stuff on every page and more will be posted every day to keep things fresh and interesting until the show finally has its world internet premiere on MARCH 1st.

But, in the meantime, guess what? You can still support the show!

If you're on Facebook, visit the Facebook page. Make sure to click "LIKE" to become a fan of the show.*

*Warning, FB friends, if in a few weeks time I don't see that you have "Liked" the Sin Bin on FB, I won't just de-friend you on FB, but in real life as well. I don't know excactly how to de-friend in real life, but I'm assuming it involves a lot of whiskey, an ex-girlfriend, and your dining room table.

Now, even if you're not on Facebook you can still support the show by going to our YouTube page and become a SUBSCRIBER to 'TheSinBinSeries'. That way you'll never miss our hilarious new vids coming out soon.

In fact, if you did all these things you would be a really good person. If you don't interact with the site or like it or subscribe at all, I won't be angry.

Just disappointed.

And that's worse.

Plus, I'll be angry.

I'll be very angry, actually, and reach through this computer and bang your head on your crumb-covered keyboard yelling "WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE?! WAS IT THAT HARD?! YOU'RE A MONSTER!"

And nobody wants that.

That's the big exciting news on The Sin Bin, or "ThSiBi" for short. More updates to come to the blog in weeks to come but please, get into it on FB or YouTube for now.

If you didn''d be a.......SIN? 


Ah, hahahahahaha.

Goodnight everybody!


Monday, February 7, 2011

In 'Code' We Trust

Well, the Packers are Superbowl Champions and I'm not too broken up about it...unlike the Packers themselves, most of whom are physically broken, injured, or waiting at death's door.

Actually, that's just Brett Favre.

No, I'm not too bummed about those Green and Yellow, Lambau-leaping Cheesebrains to the north winning it all because tonight is an event I've eagerly anticipated for months--the premiere of "The Chicago Code" on FOX.

Many who know me are aware that I've been pimping this show like a 1950's cigarette advertiser for the last couple of months, but I just want to lay down again why I'm more excited than Ben Roethlisberger after hearing the words "dropping the charges" about the debut tonight. It's a change of pace for me, because I usually run away from any show that is about doctors, cops, lawyers or Jim Belushi.

I'd actually heard about it a while ago when some friends at USC had seen the pilot in a class back when it was called "Ride-Along". They said A) that it was pretty good and B) that I'd like it because "its about Chicago cops and there's this one scene when this cop gives a guy shit for being a White Sox fan".


Then, I found out that it was written/show-run by Shawn Ryan, creator of "The Shield", who is also a native of the lovely town of ROCKFORD, IL.

Back when the fam used to take trips to Galena like it was going out of style, the Rockford oasis McDonald's was just that--the ultimate oasis of greasy food and a bleach-blasted bathroom--that helped split up the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Not to mention, the guy is a huge Chicago sports fan and obviously has passion for the city of Big, yeah, we'd get along. Plus, he is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, especially during big Chi-town sports events (my favorite was his keeping a close eye on the Miami Heat's "Race to 72 wins" long after ESPN mysteriously dropped the story).

So, good show, good showrunner- but now the best and most obvious reason I'm excited about this show:

It's filmed entirely in Chicago.

It's filmed entirely in Chicago! 

It's filmed entirely in Chicago!!! 

Now, why is this so great? Well, its more than me just getting my own John Hancock every time I see a shot of said tower on, this is great because its a quality show that is shot on location in CHI.

After trying to get interested and excited for years on mediocre comedies set in in the Windy City but shot in weatherless Burbank (here's looking at you, My Boys, According to Jim, and newcomer Mike and Molly), there's finally a show I can actually be proud of.

(Oh, and lets not forget the absolute abortion of a Chicago-set sitcom known as CURSED.)

But, better still, "The Chicago Code" spurns the blank slate of Hollywood backlots and green screens and actually shoots on location in its neighborhoods and 3-flats and decades-old L tracks that you really can't get anywhere else....sorry WB Lot.

And its ABOUT the city. They're not just setting something here because it'd fit the "feeling" of the show then slapping a postcard image of the city at the top of each scene and putting a Bears poster on the bar set (Again: here's looking at you, My BoysAccording to Jim..etc),

Its about the City of Chicago and its biggest problem: corruption. Its about the cops who work in a gritty, violent city that is also their hometown. Its about real pride about where you're from and who you root for. Its about "he pulls a knife; you pull a gun. He puts one of yours in the hospital; you put one of his in the morgue. THAT's the CHICAGO way."

Whoops, got a little excited and slipped into Jimmy Malone for a sec. But you get the idea.

Anyway, I'm just saying that it speaks to one of the things I've really come to realize recently, which is that despite the relative wealth of production that has come to the Second City, there are very few--none, really--that do a good job capturing what Chicago is really about. Its people, its attitude, its undefinable qualities that only come from standing at the corner of Washington and Dearborn and feeling a cold breeze from the Lake.

I mean, very few have ever captured the soul of our city the way Woody Allen and Scorcese got NYC or Michael Mann taps into L.A. or even now how Affleck just masterBostonates all over the screen.

Tapping into the sweet home Chgicago-ness in film is definitely something I hope to do one day, once I finish USC and start convincing people to give me money to make things.

But, in the meantime, I think "Chicago Code" has the chance to be the best insight into the true character of this city that we've seen on any screen in a long time.

At least I hope so.

PLUS, if the show's a hit, that means the entire film industry in Chicago will have a consistent job going that can grow our production capabilities even more, perhaps getting some new shows...

DOUBLE PLUS, if the shows' a hit, and I can somehow weasel my way into the writers' room as an assistant and -- gasp! --maybe even write for the show someday....I may actually be able to live out my dream of making movies by day and drinking 312s and Old Styles with friends and family by night.

But that might just be getting ahead of myself a LITTLE bit. Show's not even on the air yet.

It will be tonight though! So watch it! Monday nights are now officially clear of Bears' primetime failures for at LEAST 8 months (not counting pre-season) so you don't have anything else planned!

THE CHICAGO CODE on FOX: 8pm CST/ 9pm in Venice and the rest of PST.

I'll be watching.

*Oh, and here's the PROMO if you've lived in a shame-cave next to John Edwards and Christine O'Donell the past 5 months.

BEST PART - "You think you can change how things get done in CHI-CAH-GO?!"

From a film position....yeah; hopefully.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Run, Kosin, Run!

It's been an unusually busy week on this sleepy little blog--and that may not be such a bad thing.

Yes, like the dust-covered box of porn you pull from the closet when you finally get the place to yourself for a few days, this blog has been in some pretty regular usage this Jan-Feb of 2011.

Of course much of that had to do with the AMAZING FROSTATRONIC BLIZZTASTIC SNOWPOCAL-okay, I'll stop... the amazing snowstorm that pounded Chitown and cried out for commentary.

Its also the fact that after TWENTYTEN being a year of almost non-stop production on films, I am recommitting myself to writing this year. That also means I finally have a little bit more free time now that I'm not driving up to Valley Glen for a side-car bicycle or schlepping down to Gardena to get a hockey goal from Play-It-Again Sports. Nothing beats the glamor of producing!

Anyway, its all for the best because today, this shameless and often hypocritical display of self-promotion will be used for the forces of GOOD. And JUSTICE. And the AMERICAN WAY. It is forum for me to announce that I am going to run the San Diego Rock n' Roll Half-Marathon on June 5th in order to raise money for the mission to wipe out blood cancer.

Oh yeah, IT'S ON.

It's ON like motherf****n JAMES CAAN.

Short version of why/how: last summer when I was doing all that producing/schlepping I became friends with someone on the crew who was a huge marathoner*.

*Now, I don't know if its because I'm older and my friends are older or its just some new cultural thing, but running is really popular right now. Running has got to be like, #3 on the list of what's really "in" (#1 is the iPad and #2 is the phrase just sayin'). I'm already locked into one race this May with the Del Priores, who like to harass me constantly with their training updates. I look forward to doing the same soon enough.

Anyway, this friend told me that she has been involved with this organization called TEAM IN TRAINING which is a group that raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, while also training you to run a race. They meet on the weekends and you run as a group and there's coaches who know important things like how to stretch and what brand of scotch is best before a big race (none, it turns out).

So I looked it up, checked it out, and it all seemed pretty great--do something active and healthy while raising money for a really good cause. Its a win-win. Which is really EASY for me to say now since I haven't started the training/fund-raising yet. Still, how hard can it be to prepare to run 10 miles when I've never run more than a 4K while also trying to convince people to give up money in the middle of a recession? How hard is all that?!!!?

Oh, and a half-marathon is actually 13.1 miles??!?!!?!

No problem!!! Hahahaha!




*passes out*



*soils self*



Seriously, though. I know its not going to be easy, especially while I'm also getting ready to WORK and graduate and enter the real world. But, I feel like its just the right time to do this. And I think it will force me to become more disciplined and focused with my time. Which can be an issue for guy who usually thinks something will take just two minutes, then discovers it actually takes five......days....and still isn't done.

But that is the challenge ahead. In order to keep me motivated I'm employing YOU, my friends and family back home and random autobots posting refinancing ads in the comments section, to help KEEP ME HONEST.

There is a new feature to the blog ------>      (up a bit from here ^)

Just below the @mkosin Twitter feed, my own little fund-raising bar and 'DONATE' button.

Click and you will be taken to my TEAM IN TRAINING page which is sort of a blog like this, except the goal will be to make and raise money (unlike this one, which flushes money down the toilet).

There I'll keep a running/fund-raising journal and will also try and spread some awareness about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Aaaand that's it. And how about it? Bet you didn't see that coming!

Unless I told you about it already. But whatever. Now its official. Now its on the INTERNET. So you know its true.

All right, I have to go to bed now because I gotta wake up tomorrow to start training for this crazy thing. Just need a little motivation since I haven't officially started the Team in Training program yet.



Sprint, Kosin, sprint?  OR..... Jog, Kosin, jog? OR..... Make haste, Kosin, make haste!?

Bob Zemeckis, got anything?

Oh, yeah, of course......



Thursday, February 3, 2011



The snow-madness doesn't stop just because the snow has let up!

Either because people wanted my sympathy (they have it) or wanted to make me really jealous (they succeeded), I was sent a number of pictures and videos of the SNOWTASTROPHE.

Here's a pretty epic clip on Lake Shore Drive that looks like its something out of The Day After Tomorrow, minus the overblown budget and oddly preachy message....

Sweet Frosty's Ghost! Lake Shore is one of the most traversed roads in Chicago and they're strolling around like its rush hour in rural Canada. Its like I Am Legend meets Nanook of the North or something.

And what exactly happened with everyone driving around in the BLIZZATHALON in the first place?

I'm pretty curious to hear some stories from someone who was out driving and their dramatic (but not really dramatic) escape. Something like...

"Oh, it was just not moving at all! We were starting to run low on gas so we just left the car! We had to walk through all this snow and my feet were really cold and I thought we might not make it. I feared for my LIFE! Then we went to Arby's."

And then here's a pic of the ol' homestead care of dad-

 That is just a laughable amount of snow. Its like they were pouring out fake snow for a movie but then the "snow-dump" guy fell asleep or was tweeting and dumped just way too much. Or something like that.

Then there's a picture of buddy Nick, who is apparently trying to take credit away from the hardworking plow-drivers by letting us believe that he is responsible for the massive snow heap.

VERY IMPRESSIVE. But I'd wager dollars to donuts that you most likely spent 90% of the SNOWNADO in your apartment--pantsless--eating pasta and watching some movie on cable starring Nic Cage and/or John Travolta.

Am I wrong?

For the record, that is exactly what I would have done, so kudos to you, sir.

Well, I'm not going to share any more lame pictures of me being mopey in L.A. because I can't partake in any of the SNOTORIOUS B.I.G. That one from the internship was sad enough all ready.

To make things worse: we're having our own little cold spell in La-La.

Tomorrow: high of 64, low of 44.

That low is just 12 degrees away from freezing people!!!

I'm going to have to wear a light jacket or sweater or something. But it will be sunny so I may get hot...just sayin: we all got problems.

Enjoy the rest of SNOWPEARLHARBOR!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It is known by many names - SNOWPOCALYPSE, SNOWMAGEDDON, BLIZZNADO, BLIZZATHON, SNOWLOCAUST, SNOWTORIOUS B.I.G., KAYSER SNOWZE, SNOW-M-G, SNOWNAMI, and SNOWPEARLHARBOR just to name a few - but the bottom line is that in the past 24 hours boatloads of snow pummeled the streets of Chicago causing Lake Shore Drive to freeze up, parts of Wrigley to fly off, and the entire city to shut down for at least a day.


Of course, I have to enjoy all the snowmania vicariously, the same way I experience nearly everything cool that happens in CHI these days.

But I think I did okay, keeping a close eye on live feeds from local news and zooming around the Twitterverse and Facebookland for eyewitness reports and opinions.

Man, if I were in CHI right now I'd be chilling inside, a roaring fire next to me, watching Groundhog Day over and over and maybe even partake in some video game action. It's been a while since I've "answered the Call".

But instead, I'm keeping up on the biz at my internship while doing a little bit o' writing. Figure I should take one nostaligic look out the window and pretend that there's blowing snow whipping at the window instead of a light breeze, sun, and 70 degree temps....

Nope. Still sunny.

Oh well, I'll probably rifle through a few more pics online. Some great photos on Trib online. Have gotten a couple of gems txt'd to me. Anyone else got any good ones? I wonder if you can post them in the 'comments' section?

Maybe if I went for a jog on the beach I won't feel so bad about missing BLIZZARD '11, also known as BLIZZSNOWATHONMAGEDDONSTORMPOCALYPSEBOOMEXPLOSION.

Honestly, it didn't look THAT bad. Only the 3rd worst blizzard in Chicago's history.

Or, as weatherman Phil Connors says -

"What blizzard?.....It's a couple of flakes!"

DAMN, that's a great movie. Stupid snowless weather. What's gotta happen for a guy to get a day off out here?

Oh, right....


I guess I'm fine.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mark's Top 5 USC Film School Experiences

Now that da Bears are de-funct, can get back to film school and stuff.

Its funny (not the above joke, of course: that was terrible), but you may have noticed a bit of nostalgia and retrospectiveness permeating the blog recently. Okay, I may have even been crazy enough to be wanting to replay parts of the last three years in my head like a TV show. Well, its been a wild ride and this chapter is coming to a close, so of course I'm going to look back.

And I'm not the only one. The past month has been riddled with phrases like "Can you believe its been three years?", "Man, that was fast" and "Mark, you can't drink beer in class!"

Now, I'm 100% looking forward and focused on building myself a career for the future. Except, well, I'm like 99% looking forward and at least 1% looking back. Maybe 1.5%....

Film school is a pretty crazy, intense time. The stakes are higher than high school or college. A lot of my classmates gave up lucrative careers in something else, moved across the country or the world, and we've all gone into to nice bit of debt. So it has been a real hurricane of events, people and emotions. And it deserves at least a bit of retrospecticus.

So, I've decided--in the grand HIGH FIDELITY tradition--to look back and determine my TOP 5 moments from USC film school.

Now, two "rules": 1) A lot has happened in the last 3 years of me just moving out and living in L.A. and I'm focused on listing things that are specifically tied to my attendance at USC. Granted MOST of my life in L.A. is specifically tied to USC but whatever. Seeing Hurley from LOST at Best Buy doesn't count for that reason. 2) Looking at Top 5 moments, meaning a specific moment in time. There are tons of great things, classes... traditions.. general experiences..., that were awesome but happened over a few weeks or months. So, things like my class at CAA or producing a film were great but I'm trying to lock into very specific moments/events.

As you can see, I take my ridiculous and time-wasting unnecessary lists very seriously.

So that's it. The plan is to roll out my top five moments during the next few months, interspersed with regular bullsh*t posts about traffic, smog and my love/hate relationship with the ridiculous weather here, all while counting down 5-1 and finishing right around graduation. Gotta build suspense, right?

See, I've learned a thing or two at this money pit of an institution!

Hopefully roll out #5 pretty soon and go from there. Its going to be interesting, I don't even know what the top 5 moments would be...or do I?

Or, more importantly, does anybody care?

All these questions will be due time.