Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Losing Money I Never Had

In 2005 I was told that I needed to exercise a portion of my ePrize stock options due to some financial deal happening with the new Board of Directors. Being the good employee that I was, I checked to see what would be the optimal situation for my employers. Would it be better to exercise the minimum 25% or should I do more? The minimum was better for them so that's what I did. I sold 25% of my options and promptly forgot all about it until early 2006 when -- after having been fired a few weeks after the stock deal -- I got a call from Robb Lippitt telling me that there had been some kind of mix-up and that I would be required to pay taxes on my options.

I had $20,000 in options and owed ePrize $10,000. Having just been fired, I was in no financial situation to pay ePrize any money. The simple solution seemed that they should send me my $20,000 and I'd pay them out of that.

"Oh, no. That's not the way it works."

Not trusting the incredible Mr. Lippitt at all (after having been betrayed by ePrize), I told him that I needed all of the paperwork and proof of this transaction and amount due. I got this a few weeks later and was told that the money would stay in escrow until the taxes were paid off.

In 2007 I received a statement telling me that roughly $1,000 had been paid on the taxes out of the escrow interest on the base $20,000. The same thing happened in 2009, 2010, 2011. Each year I would get closer and closer to having that $10,000 in taxes paid off.

Things changed in 2012 when I got a statement not from ePrize but from "Crackerjack Holdings LLC" which stated that, instead of my base $20,000 that now I had $50,000 and still owed $8,000 in taxes... at least that's how I read it.

ePrize had been sold off at some point and it seemed that $50,000 was my pay out for the other 75% of my options (along with the original 25%, I assumed). It seemed that my options had depreciated significantly if 75% of them only netted $30,000 as opposed to the $20,000 that 25% of them netted in 2005. I could see why the former employees engaged in a lawsuit against ePrize were indignant.

I sent all of the paperwork to my accountant this year in hopes of getting things worked out. Alas, he was as confused as I was when he tried to sort everything out.

"You owe $8,000 on $50,000 that you haven't even seen yet? Is this some kind of Nigerian Prince scheme?"

I finally got in touch with someone at "Crackerjack Holdings LLC" who would take the five minutes to explain things to me.

No, I didn't owe $8,000. I didn't owe anything to anyone. At the same time, however, I wasn't owed anything. There was no money headed my way at all. No $50,000. No wonder my former co-workers were mad and this makes me even more upset that their lawsuit was dismissed.


What about the $20,000 I originally had in escrow somewhere? That has yet to be found. I talked to the lawyer who helped with the brokering of everything.

In related news, it's no big surprise that the "Crackerjack Holdings LLC" paperwork came from rbequity.com which is owned by Dan Gilbert, the same guy who bought out ePrize and the same guy who was on the board back in 2005 when this whole stock thing went down.

I came up in an era of the "dot bomb" when companies went boom or bust. I heard tales of those who owned Microsoft stock options becoming instant millionaires when the stock had it's IPO. I also heard that many options weren't worth the paper on which they were printed. I thought maybe ePrize's would fall somewhere between the two. For the years I worked at ePrize all I ever heard was how good the company was doing so when I made my peanuts but got options as holiday bonuses, I was okay.

"Some day," I thought, "this will all pay off."

The cold hard truth is that it didn't. The options ended up being both a carrot and a stick. I hope they find my original $20,000 somewhere because I really could use it. I'd like to know that somewhere along the line, my hard work and dedication paid off.

In hindsight, I should have sold 100% of those options back in 2005 so somewhere there'd be $100,000 that I'd owe $50,000 in taxes that couldn't be found instead.



I just heard from the lawyer in charge of the stock deal and found out that the original 25% that I sold, that $20,000 I thought I had coming to me, was devalued over the years and -- poof -- went away in 2012.

That wasn't $1,000 a year being paid in taxes from the escrow... it was the value of the escrow depreciating, allegedly.

After all these years it's rather a shock to find out that I'm not getting anything at all from either the original exercise of my options or the selling of the company. I don't know what would have happened had I paid that mysterious $10,000 in taxes that Robb Lippitt told me that I owed back in 2006. Would I have been paying taxes on something that I would never get?

To say that I'm upset right now doesn't even begin to touch how I'm feeling. Over the last few weeks I've had imagine sums snatched away from me, including one that's been in my head since 2006 as a nice little payday for all the hours I put in at ePrize. Now, it's all gone.

Vested Options 120,000
New Options 0
Total Exercisable Options 120,000
Percentage of Options Exercised 100.00%
Number of Options Exercised 120,000
Percentage of Options Sold 25.00%
Number of Options Sold 30,000
Number of Options Rolled 90,000
Strike Price / Vested Option Exercised 0
Ordinary Income Recognized 64,309
Total Cash due at Closing (Pre W/H) 14,845
Cash Attrib. to Option Units 14,845
Cash Attrib. to Existing Units 0
Stock kept 49,464
Escrow 1,277
W/H Calc'd on Cash Rec from Sale $ 2,420
"Phantom" W/H Calc'd on Stock kept $ 20,739
TOTAL TO BE W/H $ 23,158
Net Pay Calc'd $ (8,313)
Net Pay Actual (DD + 401k) $ 2,227
Amount owed to ePrize$ (10,540)


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

New Book Champions Cult TV Show


Shirley Temple possessed by demons? Danny Kaye singing like Michael Jackson? Are the characters in Night of the Living Dead planning a party?

There’s nothing wrong with your television set. It’s "Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection", the television show that ran from 1985-1989 in the wee hours of the night. Founded in 1977, The L.A. Connection is still going strong with sketch comedy, improv and “mock dubbing” of movies and television.

BearManor Media is proud to present Mad Movies with The LA Connection. Author Mike White (Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection) looks at the history of The L.A. Connection and their many projects from Flicke of the Night to Reefer Madness II, to Blobermouth, and beyond.

The 132 page book features interviews with Barbara Goodson, April Winchell, Terry Thoren, Randy Ridges, Craig Mitchell, Randy Nogg, Jim Riffel, Straw Weisman, Andrew Leavold, Charles Kaufman, Kurt Gardner, Jeff Nimoy, Steve Pinto, Bob Buchholz, Connie Sue Cook, and Kent Skov.

Pop some corn and settle in for the maddest of movies...

Published by: BearManor Media
Date published: 11/04/2014
ISBN: 978-1593937775
Available in Ebook Paperback
Visit the Mad Movies site: http://madmoviesonline.com/

Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection is available via online booksellers and BearManor Media, http://www.bearmanormedia.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Message to a Friend

Recently, a friend of mine passed on a little bit of a rant of which I was the subject but that I was not privy to see. I found this incredibly amusing so I wanted to share it.

To provide a little context, if you've followed this blog you've seen a few posts about the Wolf Pack Podcast and the kind of cuckoo shenanigans of host Eric Morse AKA William Pattison. He has quite a vendetta against the directors Jen & Sylvia Soska. He has delivered the same rant about them several times with the first possible appearance on his "Hatchet Show", A Message to Some Friends (You can jump to 6:46 if you don't want to sit through the opening song).

Recently, Rob St. Mary and I interviewed the Soska Sisters for our Projection Booth episode about their film, American Mary. As we were talking primarily about the Soskas and, secondarily, about gender in horror, we thought it'd be funny to counter our rather open-minded discussion (along with Badasses, Boobs & Bodycounts' co-host, Iris) with the rather stunted, wholesale dismissal of the Soska sisters, female directors, and Women in Horror month.

I think we did this rather hilariously in the podcast but, apparently, not everyone was amused:

Hey People, I honestly have to say I feel sorry for Jen and Sylvia Soska. The thing is on Wednesday the Twisted Twins were on Mike White's Projection Booth podcast for a fifteen minute interview.

While I'm one of the hosts of the show, I feel uncomfortable when people call The Projection Booth my show. I would like to think that Rob St. Mary feels ownership in the show as we share much of the work and, thus, should share much of the "glory."

Oh, and the interview with the Soska sisters ended up around 45-minutes long, not 15.

Unfortunately what the girls didn't realize was that during the entire show leading up to the interview Mike trashed them and talked smack about them. He actually used sound clips he pieced together from my podcasts and electronically changed them to do a smack talking "Robo Host".

While the Soska sisters are definitely female, I have an issue with calling women over 18 years old "girls". I find this rather dismissive.

Also, Robohost utilized not only quotes from various Wolf Pack shows but comments left on this blog. I would say that these are more of a 50/50 split.

Shit, people, Mike started the show by ripping apart American Mary, which in my opinion was easy to do.

I'll let others judge but I really don't think that I ripped apart American Mary. The discussion we had about the film was a lot of fun. I had some critiques of the film -- nothing out of line and nothing outside of the realm of film criticism.

But, my point is that it takes a royal low life to invite people onto his podcast and go out of this way to trash them and then interview them without them knowing.

There was no trashing of neither Jen nor Sylvia. They're big girls (irony intended) and can take people discussing their films. We don't practice "gotcha journalism" and I am completely comfortable with the episode. When we're done with episodes, we always send them to the people that we interviewed (in hopes that they will enjoy and share the episode). Wouldn't I have felt like an asshole to "trash" Jen and Sylvia and then send them the show?

That is complete and utter bullshit. Honestly, I heard all this from a friend who actually listen to that whining retard Mike White's show.

Oh, this explains things. Mr. Pattison/Morse didn't even listen to the show. Apparently his source was to blame for misconstruing the facts. Oh, okay, nevermind. I guess everything is fine between Mr. Pattison/Morse and the show. He's just misinformed.

The truth is this friend felt sorry for the sisters, yet he did describe them from the interview as "foul mouth disgusting whores."

Wow. That's quite a reaction! And not very nice!

Not a very good representation for representatives of the WWE, but still not worthy of the treatment Mike White treated them to. And the reason for all this you ask? Because Mike wanted to take swipes and me and decided it would be funny to use the sisters to do that. Really funny. Well, now White is posting links to this all over twitter and the internet on Soska fan sites.

If there any Soska fan sites, I'd love to know about them. Again, I'm very happy with the episode and think that fans of the Soska sisters would be happy to hear an insightful discussion and two terrific interviews (it was a blast talking to both the "Twisted Twins" and to Tristan Risk).

I hope fans and friends of Jen and Sylvia realize what Mike White is pulling and closes this shit down. I also suggest Jen and Sylvia's PR department is going on full damage control because this is honestly a complete and utter clusterfuck for them.

I would invite friends and fans of Jen and Sylvia to weigh in on this as I honestly don't see me "pulling" anything.

I know it is amusing that the person that people consider Soska Hater #1 is saying all this. The truth is I don't hate the twins, I'm disappointed in them. There is a big difference there. As I've said I've even been the one holding out the olive leaf but they are the ones not accepting. Still, I don't care who it is this kind of setup bullshit is wrong. I know how that is after that bullshit with Lucas Marlone bringing on my haters last year onto his show when I was on to talk about the end of Artists in Horror Month. These actions by Mike White are unconscionable and just plain wrong.

I further want to tell Geek Juice, who Mike White uses as a host and archive resource for his podcast that they need to deal with this as well. This does not look well on your organization, I don't think a slander suit or having Vince McMahon's legal department breathing down your necks are a good things.

Just to clarify, Geek Juice Media does not physically host any of The Projection Booth's files. We are one of many shows that are under the Geek Juice umbrella of free, quality entertainment.

Again... Does anyone find our episode slanderous or simply informative and entertaining?

You can read and hear more of Pattison/Morse's obsession with the Soskas here:

(It's rather ironic that Pattison/Morse talks about blocking people from Facebook when, apparently, I'm blocked from seeing his posts while he continues to post about me).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Noircon 2014 Program Announced!

NOIRCON 2014, a biennial tribute to all things noir from literature to film to art and poetry, will take place from October 30 thru November 2, 2014. This conference is produced and headquartered at Society Hill Playhouse.

Program includes panels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, parties, movie showings, an awards banquet on the banks of the Delaware, Thursday evening at MOCA, the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, and a Sunday visit to Philadelphia’s Port Richmond Books. Farley Books of New Hope will be on site at the Playhouse throughout the weekend, the official book seller for NOIRCON.

Among the featured guests are:

Fuminori Nakamura of Tokyo, Japan, who will receive the David Goodis Award for excellence in writing. Nakamura has won many prizes for his novels including Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize . Two of his books have been translated into English, The Thief and Evil and the Mask, both published by Soho Press. Tom Nolan, of the Wall Street Journal will do a one on one interview with this outstanding young writer on Saturday.

Bronwen Hruska, Soho Publishing, is being recognized as an outstanding publisher in the crime fiction with the Jay and Deen Kogan award, last given to Otto Penzler of Mysterious Books. She has led the way in translation publishing and opened many doors for women in the field.

Eddie Muller, called the Czar of Noir, will accept the Anne Friedberg Award for contribution to Noir Education and Preservation, as well as introduce a special showing of the film, THE PROWLER, (written by Dalton Trumbo and first released in 1951) at 1PM Thursday, October 30 at The International House A novelist from San Francisco, many of his books relate to and examine Film Noir.

Scheduled panels include: The Black Dahlia, Jewish Noir, Existential Noir, The Politics of Noir, A Ross MacDonald Examination, Veering Off the Highway: How Springsteen’s Music Shapes Crime Fiction and Three Minutes of Terror, when every attending writer gets three minutes to share his work or ideas. Among the program participants are: Joseph Samuel Starnes, William Lashner, Joan Schenker, Stuart Neville, Jean Cash, Jonathan Woods, Robert Polito, Vicki Hendricks, Steve Hodel, Carole Mallory, Sigrid Sarda, Buffy Hastings, Jeff Wong, Duane Swierczynski, Tom Nolan, Alan Gordon, Megan Abbott and keynote speaker, Eric Miles Williamson.

For further information call 215-923-0210 or check the website: www.noircon.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Messing with the Lion

Back in October 2013, I messed with "the lion", William Pattison AKA Eric Morse. I wrote a bit about a podcast Mr. Pattison hosts -- The Wolf Pack Podcast -- and an episode that really troubled me. It was ostensibly about the Lianne Spiderbaby story and an incorrect "unveiling" of the source of the story. The show also reveled in some sexism about female directors and even meandered into the Chris Alexander "controversy" where Alexander used a nom de plume when writing for Fangoria. The irony of William Pattison AKA Eric Morse having problems with someone using a nom de plume seemed lost on the host and his crew.

As Mr. Pattison warned in a comment on the October piece, "Dont (sic) fuck with the lion unless you want the claws." I messed the with lion and found that the claws include a lot of internet grousing in the form of podcasts, Tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook updates, and blog posts -- the armaments of the internet.

In the comments to my original post, I swore to "Anonymous" (Wolf Pack podcast co-host Derek Young) that I would not be listening to the Wolf Pack any longer. Alas, my car crash curiosity got the best of me and I continued to listen to the show so I could "enjoy" the deficient ramblings of Mr. Pattison and experience the breadth and depth of his talents. I managed to turn on several other new listeners to The Wolf Pack. They found Mr. Pattison to be as fascinating as I did. For every few shows that Mr. Pattison scheduled about UFOlogy, paranormal research, and film discussions, he would also indulge in a "Hatchet" show or a "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" show. Those were the most enjoyable as they often proved to be more freeform and often addressed matters that truly bothered Mr. Pattison. His unfettered passion would flow through the airwaves.

Mr. Pattison felt that his character was being disparaged though the same means as listed above. In order to quell this stream of negativity, he choose to address his detractors via his podcast platform in one of his "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" shows on 3/21/2014. Here are the results:



Apparently, the hatchet was not buried with this broadcast as there was an episode of the Keep It Reel podcast that became something of an extension of the same conversation.



The host of Keep It Reel, Lucas Marlone, did an admirable job of trying to manage the circus that the show became. He had to deal with crying babies, horrible audio quality, and up to six fervent callers talking all at once. This is a marathon three hour session that's not for the faint of heart. Things really get intense in the last half hour when one of the callers, Josh Hadley, requests that Mr. Pattison speak for himself rather than allowing Mr. Young to speak for him.

What I find to be somewhat amusing (and a little unsettling) is that my name gets bandied about throughout this whole mess. I called out Mr. Pattison for the one show and highlighted a few other shows yet, I've been vilified for being the source of consternation rather than being a source of internet traffic and new listeners for the Wolf Pack podcast.

Am I playing the victim? No, not without my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. Rather than messing with "the lion" (the lyin'?), I seem to have stirred up a hornets' nest of people who take themselves far too seriously. I try not to. I'm "honored" to be the topic of conversation but find the whole thing to be a tempest in a teapot. These shows have devolved into something akin to listening to a party line at a trailer park.

I will continue to listen to Mr. Pattison but I probably won't post any more about him on this blog unless I continue to be a topic of conversation.

Keep listening to good podcasts...

Addendum:

Here's another fun podcast from Mr. Tom Gulley. I'm not that familiar with Tom but he sounds like the reasonable version of Hart Fisher.



Addendum 2 (4/20/2014):
It seems that Mr. Pattison has gone 'round the bend with his latest "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" show. Without Derek Young to try and quell Mr. Pattison's rantings, we get to hear nearly 90-minutes (minus the full-length songs that bookend episode) of him telling off the world. We learn about his past and how he lost the loves of his life to "socials", to "horror socials" and to the cousin of Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez.

Mr. Pattison also indulges in quit a lot of hate speech, calling his detractors "faggots" and threatening to "fucking torch" at least one of the "horror socials" who he feels has wronged him.

It really doesn't get any more entertaining than this.



Well, let me clear this up. In California we call everyone faggots, just like we call everyone bitches. The way I was using it was to in other words call them low life cowards and asshole. We simply say "faggots". It is not a sexual orientation slur it is just the way we are in California. The fact that three of the people I blasted are gay has nothing to do with my choice of words, it was habit and culture...So get over it.

This is a very surprising to me. Could someone please verify if all Californians throw around "bitches" and "faggots" like Mr. Pattison claims Californians do?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cashiers du Cinemart 18 - Now Available

Cashiers du Cinemart #18 marks the 20th anniversary issue of the infamous Detroit film zine. Featuring reviews, interviews, and essays on films from the sublime to the obscure.

Regular contributors Skizz Cyzyk, Rich Osmond, Mike Malloy, Mike Sullivan, and I are back. Jim Donahue, Calum Syers, Scott Lefebvre, Andrew Leavold and Joshua Gravel have returned. This issue also features articles by first-time contributors Jay A. Gertzman, Heather Drain, Greg Goodsell, Marisa Young, Mike Dereniewski, Ryan Sarnowski, Jared Case, Joe "Woodyanders" Wawrzyniak, and David Bertrand.

This new issue features interviews with Eddie Romero, Anthony Matthews, and Earl Owensby along with essays on Thundercrack, The Killing, They're a Weird Mob, Tenderness of the Wolves, Eye of the Tiger, Fruits of Passion. Corrupt, The World's Greatest Sinner, Belladonna of Sadness, Dick Tracy, Lianne Spiderbaby, Patty Duke, and Harry Crews as well pieces about casting choices that almost were and "mock dubs" films.

Available in paperback and eBook formats via:
Lulu
Amazon
iBookStore


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Brag Me to Hell

I don't get too many opportunities to brag but, since I have a few, here goes:

Fangoria 332/333:
I was asked to pen a piece for Fangoria magazine after the episode that Rob St. Mary, Jeffrey Schwarz and I did about William Friedkin's Cruising on The Projection Booth.

The piece will run in two parts -- the first in issue 332 which is now available and the second, a transcription of an interview with Randy Jurgenson, will be in issue 333.

Order Fangoria 332
Listen to the Cruising Podcast

The Search for Weng Weng
If you've never heard of Weng Weng, you're missing out. And, if you've never heard Andrew Leavold wax poetically about Weng Weng, your life is not complete. Leavold is the director of The Search for Weng Weng, a documentary about the 2'9" action star from the Philippines. I'm very proud to be listed amongst the producers of the film which is heading towards its European premiere.

Keep up with the film via its official site.

The Projection Booth
We've got some really fun podcasts coming up this year. We've got our shows schedule out until December along with special episodes that will drop as they're available including interviews with director John Badham and producer Stephen Scarlatta.

We're still working on locking down some guests for this year. Here's hoping!
See everything we have planned so far.

Beard-Os and Badasses:
I've been invited to be a part of the upcoming documentary Beard-Os and Badasses: The Punks Who Took Film News Underground. For this one I'll be in front of the camera as an interview subject. To keep up with the film, like it on Facebook.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Twelfth Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Nominees

The Projection Booth has been nominated again for a Rondo Hatton Award. Would you do me a kindness and vote for us this year?

Here's all the pertinent details:

One vote per person, please. Every email must include your name to be counted.

Simply copy this ballot and send an email with your picks to David Colton at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, May 4, 2014.

Here are some suggested categories/votes:

8. BEST DOCUMENTARY: REWIND THIS! directed by Josh Johnson. How the VHS culture changed horror and the movies.

13. BEST ARTICLE: 'Who Does Your Girlfriend Think She’s Fooling,' by Mike White, Impossible Funky Productions. How Lianne Spiderbaby buffaloed the industry which she claimed to adore.

23. BEST MULTIMEDIA HORROR: THE PROJECTION BOOTH Podcast targets genre films and more.

To see the full list of nominees visit http://rondoaward.com/rondoaward.com/blog/?p=32