Thursday, April 22, 2010

This video is AMAZING.

We rarely put up links and such, but we had to pass this along. It's the greatest internet video we've ever seen. Enjoy:


Friday, April 10, 2009

I have come so far....or have I?

So I'm at home in St. Louis for a few days before heading to New York and my mom just brought out a very old piece of writing of mine. It may, in fact, be my first story. And I think it's rather awesome. It's got a Charlie Kaufman-esqueness to it, if I do say so myself. If anyone would like to option it, you can contact me via this blog. Here it is, exactly as I wrote it so many years ago (typos and all):


Whon day a boy was riteing a story about monsters.
He made a mistake so he went to get a eraser.
When he came back the monsters wher a live
They grabed him under the desk.
And tered his face off.
And then a nother boy made a story about a hero.
And he made a mistake so he went to get a eraser.
When he came back the hero was alive and he cilled the boy.
And the monsters. Then the hero wnt out side.
Then evry body screamed and went to a nother planet.



YEAR 1986

Age 7 ½

Four people in family

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Humboldt County" available on iTunes!!!

Hey guys,

Soon, Darren and I will be heading to NYC to do a little script research on the next project. Exciting. Every time I go to New York, I feel life flow through me. Not only will it be a blast, but it will also be incredibly helpful to be in the city in which our script takes place. I remember every time we would go up to Humboldt while we were writing that script, I would come back filled with hundreds of little ideas to improve the story. Something about being immersed in a place does that to you and in New York, it's easy to get immersed.

And in Humboldt news, the film is finally available for rent and purchase on iTunes!!! Click HERE
So go on, buy or rent and also rate it highly!!!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Turning Thirty

Today I turn 30 years old.

Wow. It's a shocking number for a lot of reasons. My mother was 30 when I was born, for one. And I am nowhere near having a child. So there's that. Darren and I had always said we would make a film before we turned 30 and we achieved that goal. But on the negative side, we were lamenting today that were were on set for "Humboldt County," shooting our first feature, back in October of 2006. Yikes. That's way too long to not be shooting, I think. Though, in looking back, it's not like we've been slacking off. It was simply that releasing an independent film takes a lot of time and it delayed our work on our next feature. And now our next feature script is simply taking time to take shape. Sigh. I would have liked to have made another feature by now to be sure. We've always admired blue-collar filmmakers like Woody Allen and Sydney Lumet more than the current crop of filming superstars like P.T. Anderson or David Fincher because no matter what, Woody and Sydney made film after film after film.

Perhaps Darren and I aren't quick enough writers, I don't know. Maybe we'll get quicker as we gain more experience, I don't know. But a year ago, at this time, we were gearing up to premiere "Humboldt County" to the world at SXSW 2008. It was a heady time. And, looking back, things could hardly have gone better for us from there. We sold the film to Magnolia, released it theatrically and now appear to be building a sizable audience on DVD. Still, sometimes I feel like an aging rockstar reveling in past hits. I feel much more comfortable focusing on what's next. And what's next for me is my thirties, and hopefully, many more films.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Writing and Moving...

When some of my friends move, they say "I bet it won't be as bad this time." Not me. Every time I move, my inner monologue goes something like this:

"This is going to suck. It's going to suck harder than I can even imagine. Prepare yourself, Darren, for complete suckage. Prepare yourself and maybe it will not suck as hard."

And yet no matter how much I prepare myself for said suckage, I inevitably reach a moment -- where I'm sweaty and my arms are sore and there's still WAY more stuff that needs to be moved than has already been moved -- and the whole escapade has fully exceeded my suck-expectations and made me regret moving. I always end up deciding that I will never move again, and I condemn my idiot self for not adequately preparing for this level of sucky-ness.

And that, my dear LCLs, is the writing process. Or, at least, the writing process as it pertains to Danny and me. You see, we always go into a script (or even a rewrite within a particular script) trying to be fully prepared -- it's going to suck, it's going to be so hard, we're going to plunge into the depths of despair and depression -- and then we inevitably fall DEEPER into depression and reach GREATER depths of despair than we ever imagined.

We've always (so far at least) somehow maneuvered our way through the dark times, but we're constantly overwhelmed with the fear that each new challenge will be the one that finally bests us.

And I think, frankly, that that's how it's always going to be. There might even be some small comfort in that. Because if a script (or a move) was somehow less challenging than I thought it was going to be, it would probably mean that I was coasting, or at least that I'm not trying to get better. And if I'm not trying to get better, then I'm probably just getting worse. So I think I've finally come to a place of being OK with the roller coaster, a place of self-awareness that these dark times are an important (and positive) part of my process.

Unfortunately, being OK and self-aware doesn't mean I forgive myself for not preparing more for these damn dark TIMES.


p.s. I'm thinking of moving. I bet it won't be as bad this time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Open Letter to Mr. Tom Charity of CNN....

Dear Tom Charity,

My name is Danny Jacobs and I am one of the writer/directors of “Humboldt County” – a film you recently reviewed over at I am writing today because I recently read your article, “Whys some films go straight to DVD” and I felt compelled to make a few things clear.

First of all, “Humboldt County” opened on significantly more than nine screens, as you mention in your article. In fact, the film opened in over fifteen major cities including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Austin. When I first read that error, I was dismayed that such an estimable publication such as CNN would not have done some simple fact checks, even on a piece written for the entertainment section. The more I read of the article, however, the more I realized that my problem with your work was far more systemic than a simple factual discrepancy.

In order to explain this problem, let me go back a bit. When Darren and I made “Humboldt County,” we knew we were making a film with a 70s sensibility. We knew we were making a film that worked, consciously, against the quick cut, fast paced nature of plots in many modern movies. And we did so with the fervent hope that everything everyone was saying about modern audiences was untrue. We didn’t believe that they were ADD riddled media schizophrenics who couldn't hold their attention on something for longer than thirty seconds. We believed that the content being provided to audiences had changed, but that audiences themselves had not. In the absence of full characters and fleshed out worlds, of course attention wanders. But if the product is good, our hope was that audiences would follow. And the funny thing is, we were right. The audiences that have seen the film have, more or less, really enjoyed it. Of course, for some, the pacing was too slow and narrative wasn't their style, but the vast majority was able to fall into the universe on screen.

What we didn't expect was a fundamental shift that had occurred in the world of the nation's film critics that you, unfortunately, have exemplified in your article of February, 27th 2009. And that is that a growing number of today’s film critics are not the purveyors of the medium they once were. The number of excellent critics that truly contribute, in the vein of Pauline Kael, to the discussion of film in this country is dwindling. Sadly, the true ADD riddled, mass media consuming, attention span deficient movie watchers are critics like you.

I say this after reading your “review.” I put that word in quotations because, in reality, it is nothing more than a plot summary told with a dollop of sarcasm. The only real comment you provide about the film is that you were “underwhelmed” and “nothing much happens -- slowly.” Now, let me be clear, my issue with your review is not at all that you disliked the film. “Humboldt County,” though generally liked by critics across the country, has certainly received its share of bad reviews (some much more critical than yours) and every critic has every right to dislike a film. Your “review,” however, stood out for it’s ironic, detached, sarcastic and ultimately, empty tone. And that is the true tragedy of film criticism today. Your readership doesn’t ask that you like every film. What it asks of critics, however, is that no matter how you felt, explain yourselves. Develop arguments, provide insights and give the regular moviegoer a thesis of some depth and intelligence. Speaking as a moviegoer and not a filmmaker, I can tell you that we are screaming for that, hoping fervently that like our new president, we could be graced with film critics that do not treat us like children and give audiences the respect they deserve.

The real irony of your article, Mr. Charity, is that you chose to review three films on DVD to avoid having to review the new Jonas Brothers film and ended up reviewing the DVD films in the same superficially pithy way one might view a concert picture about three teenyboppers in 3D - with a contempt for the audience and a lack of trust that the audience can handle an actual perspective.

Talk to us like adults, Mr. Charity. We can handle it. I promise.

Danny Jacobs
Writer/director “Humboldt County”

P.S. To review Mr. Charity's piece, click HERE.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Confessions of a filmaholic.

This afternoon, I went to the movie theater. I saw "Confessions of a Shopaholic." By myself. And I had a ton of fun - not because the movie was particularly amazing (it wasn't) but because I was in a movie theater. You see, I love going to movies. It almost doesn't matter which one as long as I'm sitting there, Diet Coke in hand, watching pictures dance across the screen. In that space, I'm golden. My "film friends" wonder how it is I am able to sit through the likes of "Friday the 13th" or "Princess Diaries" and they call me disparaging names when I tell them that I actually enjoyed myself. Still, I know the truth - that when I'm sitting there, watching a film, and feeling the emotions of the audience bouncing back against the screen, I feel alive. I feel a part of a community. It's the closest thing I can think of to what I imagine it was like thousands of years ago when our ancestors sat around the campfire and told each other stories. The stories weren't always good and they didn't always move the listeners, but they always brought the community together for a shared experience. And that's why I'll never stop going to the theater, no matter what dreg is put up on the screen before me.

In other news, "Humboldt County" has moved up a notch in the instant movies program on Netflix! Last week, we clocked in at #6. This week, we moved ahead of "Superbad" and stole its spot at #5. Come on, LCLs, let's keep the rise going!

My name is Danny. And I'm a filmaholic.