An actor portraying a vampire raises his hands and smiles
An actor portraying a vampire raises his hands and smiles
“Bela Lugosi” by twm1340 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Let me say upfront that I am not an NBC Universal employee, nor do the thoughts and opinions I express in this article reflect the views of the company itself.

Peacock

When NBC Universal launched its streaming service last summer, it seemed like an also-ran compared with all the streamers that movie corporations have launched direct-to-consumer.

Disney+ was the big pre-COVID premiere. HBO Max dropped in the middle of quarantine.

Then this service arrives. It checks the streaming boxes: nostalgic favorites, a flagship original series, etc.

The distinguishing feature is the tiered membership. …


Two feet propped on a coffee table in a point-of-view shot of watching Netflix on TV
Two feet propped on a coffee table in a point-of-view shot of watching Netflix on TV
Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

You are The Rembrandts. They are putting words in your mouth.

During the original run of Friends, forever and always in syndication, currently on streaming, the song is telling you one thing:

You’ll be there for them.

By process of repetition, the song shapes your behavior and cements your beliefs. In this case, it cements your relationship with the characters.

Let me explain, line by line.

“So no one told you life was gonna be this way…”

Pretty straightforward. Everyone can agree life fails to meet expectations. It’s a give-in.

This could refer either to you the viewer or they the characters.

Whether you are the author of your own real…


A camera operator sits on a stepladder against a blue night sky
A camera operator sits on a stepladder against a blue night sky
Photo by Lorenzo Belassen on Unsplash

We learn so many unexpected lessons when making movies.

Case in point…

March 2014

It’s a freezing cold midnight in skid row of downtown Los Angeles.

I’m standing in the gated loading dock of The Warehaas, current home to Love Nail Tree, who has given us temporary shelter to lens the short film we’ve been working on since the previous December, an action-fantasy-comedy called Hotwire.

My wife Erin Brown Thomas is directing. She’s currently perched up on the warehouse roof with her director of photography Beth Napoli and two professional stuntmen who are dressed as ninjas.

It’s my fault they’re dressed as…


An action figure of Superman flies through the air in front of a green tree
An action figure of Superman flies through the air in front of a green tree
Yogi Purnama, Unsplash

May 2007

I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. For the last four months, I’ve spent endless hours working on student films and group projects. I’m going on three days with no sleep, but the deadlines are done.

The war is won. It’s finally time to fly home.

On the final night of film school, I walk through the Park La Brea complex where students live. Two-story townhouses and apartment towers line the streets. Beyond them both: the Hollywood hills.

I’m surrounded by a metropolis. Traffic horns. Sparkling lights. Skyscrapers. Compared to my hometown, it’s vast.

Home…


Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

The linens in the valley of the People of the Pebbles were a-drying in the wind upon a bright n’ sunny day,

When suddenly and utterly, a thrusty gust so blustery a-blew the linen sheets off linen lines and all away.

They blew into the trees upon the busybody breeze, and then they blew right through the houses of the People all around.

The puzzled Pebble People of the valley grew a-frightened as the fleeing sheets of linen flew across the dirty ground.

Pebble People live in such a funny situation that an explanation must be given just for you…

Jake Thomas

Relentless reader | Storyteller | Filmmaker | Finding my voice in my nerdy thirties. See my work at jakethomasmakesmovies.com

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