All posts by kentnichols

Kent is a filmmaker and geek living in Los Angeles and is the co-creator of AskANinja.com.

Born in Orange County, CA, Kent grew up a tall and creative child who wanted to make movies and tell stories.

In high school he was Senior Class President, star of the stage and an average student.

When he left Chico State in 2000, he put his heart and soul into learning how to be a filmmaker. He bought a digital camcorder and an iMac and taught himself everything he could about being a storyteller.

By 2003 Kent was called the "future of the industry" by Scott Billups in his book "Digital Moviemaking Second Edition". That year his film Baggage won the 48 Hour Film Project (Best Film of the Year, Best Film from Los Angeles, Best Writing from LA, and the Los Angeles audience award).

In 2005, Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine created the award-winning series Ask A Ninja. Since then, the series has been viewed over 80 million times, quoted on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, featured in the New York Times Magazine and endorsed on numerous blogs.

Recently, Ask A Ninja was voted the Best Series of 2006 at the YouTube Video Awards and The Ninja was the recipient of the Best Actor Award at the first ever Webby Film and Video Award Ceremony.

Kent also blogs at kentnichols.com and is a contributor to This Week in Media and he has spoken internationally on the topic of new media.

Frauenfelder’s Tarzana

Uberblogger, artist, and spikey-hair enthusiast Mark Frauenfelder has got a great write up of five fun places to visit in and around Tarzana.

From the article:

Nike Missile Launch Site

(17500 Mulholland Drive, Encino)
In the 1950s and 1960s, Los Angeles was home to 16 Nike-Ajax supersonic anti-aircraft missile launch sites. You can visit one of them in the hills overlooking the Valley at San Vicente Mountain Park.

(Another fun history of Tarzana was on Offramp last month.)

Patton Oswalt Goes to KFC

After winning his recent nerdfight with David Cross, Patton Oswalt, comedian, geek, food critic, writes of eating his first KFC Famous bowl.

First off, when I went looking for a KFC in Los Angeles, I realized I hadn’t been in a KFC in decades. I remember, as a kid, how fun they were, with the corn on the cob on a stick, and the way KFC chicken tastes so goddamn awesome the next day after spending the night in the fridge.

The franchise I visited, on Hollywood Boulevard near my old apartment, looked like it had withstood assault by bullets, flamethrowers, Baseball Furies, and a hundred hook-handed whores. Everything inside the store–including the employees and customers–looked like it had been rubbed with sad ham.

It’s an awesome. Read the whole thing at the AVClub.

Cocaine Vaccine In The Works

Science is busy trying to destroy a pillar of the Los Angeles lifestyle — cocaine.

From the AP
:

“For people who have a desire to stop using, the vaccine should be very useful,” said Dr. Tom Kosten, a psychiatry professor who is being assisted in the research by his wife, Therese, a psychologist and neuroscientist. “At some point, most users will give in to temptation and relapse, but those for whom the vaccine is effective won’t get high and will lose interest.”

This is not only going to destroy the underground economy, but also the above ground businesses that are dependent on cocaine here in the Southland. Places like rehab and night club toilet tank cleaners.

Cat(alytic) Burglers

The LA Times is reporting that your catalytic converters are the target of platinum-loving thieves.

This holiday season has seen an explosion in thefts of expensive, platinum-laced catalytic converters from parked cars, and authorities report that high-clearance sport utility vehicles are the targets of choice for thieves.

With a common socket wrench and 90 seconds, they leave drivers stuck with cars that sound like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and facing repair bills topping $1,000.

“It’s an epidemic. It’s everywhere,” said Lt. Bob Turnbull of the El Segundo Police Department.

Happy New Year!

Leaving My Bubble

Just got back from housesitting with my new special lady friend. The house she was watching is basically across the street from an ex and down the street from another ex.

I don’t go to that neighborhood a whole heck of a lot anymore, but I know it quite well.

LA is so ghetto-ized, in that I generally live in a four square mile bubble that I never leave. And I know that many friends are the same way — Valley people stay in the Valley, etc.

That makes it easy to avoid people you don’t want to run into, but makes it harder to find new people to meet and make connections.

So when I was walking around this familiar neighborhood, I felt like I was trespassing. Like I was violating some unwritten agreement and I was on the verge of being busted by the bubble police. “This is not your area, please return to your zone.”

Thankfully the housesitting gig is over, the bubble police never came, and I’m safely ensconced in my apartment.

No Liver, No Peace

What: March on CIGNA
When: Thursday, Dec. 20, 11:00 am
Where: CIGNA Headquarters, Glendale
400 N Brand Blvd, St. 400, Glendale, CA 91203

Fucking health insurance. Grr. I just spent the entire day in a hospital yesterday supporting my dad who had his gallbladder removed (he did fine and is already home). The feelings of stress and concern for a loved are hard enough before thinking about money and if this procedure will bankrupt you and your family.

Nataline Sarkisyan is 17. She’s laying in UCLA’s ICU and she will die without a liver transplant.

CIGNA is her insurance company and has denied the procedure. Asshats.

Full Press Release After The Jump.
Continue reading No Liver, No Peace

Please Drive Carefully, RIP Sam and Rhiannon

I’m trying to write a euology for an acquaintance that died over the weekend.

Sam Cassel was killed with Rhiannon Meier early Saturday morning by an allegedly drunk driver at Sunset and Gower. They died instantly when the driver ran a red light.

Sam was a friend of a friend. He was a bright guy who knew his stuff and had a bright career ahead of him.

It’s hard to know what to write without resorting to lofty, empty phrases. They were too young, too smart, too beautiful to deserve such a fate.

But then again, no one deserves such a random and brutal end. No family deserves to get that phone call.

Driving around in our crumple-zone infested, air-bagged cars, it’s easy to forget the inherent dangers of driving around multi-ton vehicles in close proximity to each other. We weave in and out of traffic, impatient to get around slow people and hurrying along in our lives.

But it is dangerous, and it does kill a lot of people every year.

Don’t drink and drive, and don’t speed and drive recklessly even if you’re sober. You’re playing a game not only with your won life, but the lives of everyone around you.

And so it has begun…

Nikki Finke is reporting that the WGA has declared a strike at their LA Convention Center confab.

I want to say something pithy and deep, with a hint of cynicism, but nothing seems appropriate.

Here’s hoping to a future where no one loses their house because of this strike, where writers get a little more respect in the system, and where the bright future of the internet isn’t dimmed too quickly because of bad contracts negotiated too soon.

Strikepocalypse: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Video On Net

I’ve been reading up relentlessly on the Strike these last few weeks.

Nikki Finke, The Artful Writer, United Hollywood and Variety have the best coverage.

If and when the writers go on strike and paralyze this town, it will be over four cents.

Four Cents. Four CENTS! That’s how much a the writer of a Hollywood Movie gets on the sale of a DVD. And that’s how much the producers want to pay the writers for online purchased copies (i.e., iTunes).

The writers want an increase in this rate. Who can blame them when DVDs cost 20ish bucks and they are making only four fricken cents.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Strikepocalypse: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Video On Net