Martin Anaya's Posts (32)

48 Hour Filmmaker Featured on Good Day!


Filmmaker Brad Durante was featured on Good Day Sacramento today! His new film is about a subject everyone living through 

the Corona pandemic can relate to, a toilet paper shortage. In the film, a special angel is required to make "Special Deliveries".


Watch Brad's new film, along with 30 others at the 48 Hours Sacramento,  this  Saturday, May 30th, 2020 RIGHT HERE on the California Film Channel.

The program is the opening show of the Sacramento International Film Festival 2020, celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year.  As a

special gift, we invite you to stream the show FOR FREE @

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Dear filmmakers, surveillance capitalism is your friend.

Like every other thing we purchase nowadays, movies have been subsumed into the new digital economy, where behavioral data, influence campaigns and social media marketing are an integral part of doing business. Morally, you might have a problem with Mark Zuckerberg’s corporate practices, but there’s no getting around the fact that Facebook and Instagram hold some of the most powerful tools to reach people and manipulate their decision-making—including their choice of which movie to see on a given weekend.

“It’s definitely been a help for smaller filmmakers,” says Stephen Metzger, director of marketing at Operam, the “data-driven” company that strategized digital campaigns for The Witch and Moonlight, among others. “They don’t have to buy a Super Bowl spot to market a movie. You can make a couple thousand dollars go a long way.”

According to Metzger, studios nowadays spend as much on digital marketing as traditional ad buys, with digital and social becoming even more important when it comes to reaching younger audiences who don’t interact with traditional media like print, radio and television. “It’s all about knowing the demographics for your film and finding the best platform to reach those people,” says Metzger, whether it’s Facebook (for older audiences) or Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or whatever new platform is on the rise. For example, “If you’re trying to reach younger teens,” he says, “TikTok is a successful new tool for that audience.”


“Every single company is doing it,” agrees filmmaker Jim Cummings, director of Thunder Road and a producer on the 2020 Sundance NEXT selection Beast Beast. “And the reason why there’s no tutorial is you have to call Facebook and ask them how to do it.”

When Cummings chose to self-distribute his SXSW-winning feature Thunder Road with the help of the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship, he dumped the entire $33,000 Fellowship funding straight into social media marketing and quickly familiarized himself with Facebook’s Ad Manager. “I had a Facebook Genius appointment—two sessions, one hour each—with [a consultant], and she was wonderful,” says Cummings.

Cummings learned that he could put his money toward a few different campaigns, each with their own price point. Campaign goals ranged from “awareness,” which focuses on sparking general interest; “consideration,” which targets people seeking more information; and “conversion,” which is aimed at people who might actually buy tickets. If you just want to get your marketing material in front of more passive Facebook users, that awareness campaign will cost less than one targeting those who will watch videos or click on links. “Facebook knows a lot about how people will behave,” says Matt Delman, head of indie digital marketing company 3rd Impression (3i).

The big takeaway for Cummings was the realization that he could connect with potential audiences and bypass traditional forms of gatekeeping. “Let’s say you’re having a hard time getting a Variety review. Now, you can just target people on Facebook who like Variety, and it’s the equivalent of getting press in Variety,” he explains. “By spending money on this or that platform, you’re able to hijack an outlet that wouldn’t let you have access without them having anything to do with it.”

Indeed, Facebook’s Ad Manager not only can identify who reads Variety, it also can get as specific as identifying “politically liberal” “foodies” who commute to work. WordStream, an online advertising site, breaks down all the myriad ways Facebook can target users. For instance, you can market to French- and English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade-school kids, plan to travel to Spain, and on and on. Old models are falling away: Say goodbye to four-quadrant movie marketing and hello to far more diverse groupings.

With the marketing campaign for Moonlight, for example, Operam focused exclusively—and separately—on three distinct campaigns, targeted at African Americans, the LGBT community and cineastes, each of which had their own specifically tailored messaging, which was also always evolving and being refined. Forget the consistent key art image: Online campaigns often employ so-called A/B testing—showing two versions of a campaign to different audiences and quickly pivoting to the more successful one—or going back to groups with additional material based on what has worked previously. This nimble method of marketing is especially useful for independent films, which may be more challenging to promote than a Marvel movie. As Metzger says, “You always have to optimize—if you see an anomaly [in the data], you need to address it and capitalize on it.”

Using the statistics that come out of one campaign, filmmakers and marketers can then build on it for the next one. If, for instance, Facebook identified people who watched 50% of a movie’s trailer, they can then create and build “look-alike audiences” in the millions based on the interest and behavior of those engaged people. Then, they target that new, larger look-alike group for the next campaign.

Geotargeting audiences—focusing on people in a specific area—can also be fairly efficient, according to 3i’s Delman. While working on the 2019 advocacy documentary Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook, Delman explains it wasn’t that difficult or expensive to alert people about public screenings, particularly “if you’re targeting a small city, and then you’re already starting with a small sample size.” 

Delman has worked on a number of documentary campaigns and typically follows the same strategy—for costs as little as $10,000 to $20,000—by first identifying and isolating particular audience demographics for a film and putting them into different “buckets.” Then, he moves from “awareness” to “consideration” to call-to-action “conversion” campaigns around theatrical screenings and digital launches. 

Efficient manipulation can also simply come down to a creative campaign and clever assets that are attention grabbing and sell the movie well—check out the Instagram feeds for The Last Black Man in San FranciscoBooksmart and Sorry to Bother You, for example.

According to a report published by Facebook Business, there are simple tricks of the trade for online video assets: “Include the title throughout, or at least in the first five seconds”; “prioritize close-ups over wide shots”; “use text overlay for all dialogue”; “build either for square (1:1) or vertical aspect ratio (9:16)” (this is a big one, with mobile a high priority); “use fast motion and quick cuts throughout” and “include a call-to-action.”

Controversy is also effective. “Embedding promotional material in a controversy helps conceal the more ordinary objective of making a memorable impression in the mind of the audience, not to mention driving engagement through shares, retweets,” says J. Reed, a lecturer in the department of English at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee who studies disinformation threats and has advised media companies on promotional campaigns and brand strategy. Reed points to the release of Joker. “I don’t think the Joker team created the controversy,” he says, “but the choices [the studio] did make, in terms of how they chose to respond with their official statements and engagement with the press, furthered the frequency and reach of those conversation points.”

Experts agree that such “organic” and “viral” elements around a pop culture product are hard to plan for and come by. Operam’s Metzger says “the weird viral stuff” can be orchestrated, but “it’s a larger and more expensive undertaking,” while Delman says it’s very difficult to have organic reach on the more tightly controlled platform of Facebook, whereas it’s more possible on Instagram.

But when it hits—like Pepe the Frog or Distracted Boyfriend memes—and when filmmakers and marketers are quick and savvy enough to harness it, the results can be breathtaking. Thunder Road’s Cummings spent $100 on ads on Reddit “before I realized it was bullshit,” he says. “[Reddit readers] don’t like ads. We posted the trailer a month before and nobody watched it.” But when Cummings posted a goofy photo of himself next to his film’s poster at a random screening in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Reddit (“I was wearing sandals, jeans, a mustache and looked half-drunk,” quips Cummings), the upvotes and comments began to fly. A Reddit user named “itsamberbitch” posted the comment, “This guy is like Tommy Wiseau without the awful acting,” to which Cummings replied, “This is going on the poster now.” Within minutes, another user created a mock-up of the poster with “itsamberbitch”’s pullquote, which spurred another round of upvotes and was seen more than 12,000 times. Cummings wrote on the thread, “I fucking love you, and I fucking love the internet.”

There is a darker side to online behavior, of course. Trolls and negative comments can just as easily attack and undermine a movie. Message boards such as Reddit, 4chan and, in particular, the more nefarious 8kun, can traffic copious amounts of racist, sexist and anti-Semitic chatter. It’s usually targeted at larger pop culture film properties, whether Star Wars or Marvel. Some independent actors (i.e., Sarah Silverman) can generate particular amounts of hate, which arguably can spread outward and influence more mainstream sites and popular opinion. 

But Cummings, for one, is dedicated to harnessing the digital economy for good. “I’m never turning back,” says the filmmaker. “We have all this data now. We can specifically engage with the people who liked our movie, and we don’t need anybody anymore—and that’s an incredible feeling.”



by Anthony Kaufman

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Hello friends. Above is a live video I recorded to let everyone know about the launch of the 48 Hours 2020 AND 

the launch of the Sacramento Film Festival 2020 and some of the changes. It is brief. Just wait for a second to begin

as my live video was a tad lagging here. More updates to come soon! Stay tuned!





48 Hours Sac FaceBook Group Chat

48 Hours Sac CFF Group

Please join both!




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Joker,” an R-rated blockbuster, topped the list of Oscar nominations on Monday, becoming the rare comic book film to resonate with awards voters. The best picture contender earned a leading 11 nominations, but the story of the morning will be the lack of diversity among the leading nominees and the exclusion of female filmmakers.

Joker” will vie for top honors at the 92nd Academy Awards with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” and “1917,” all of which earned 10 nominations. There are nine best picture contenders in total — a group that also includes “Ford v Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story” and “Parasite.”


In the major categories, it was a list of mostly white nominees, one that will likely inspire outrage, frustration, and pushback. Only one person of color, Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet,” was nominated in the acting categories. Female directors such as Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”), Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”), and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) were also overlooked. Only five women have ever been nominated for director, and only one, Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) has ever won the prize. Issa Rae, who had been enlisted to read off the nominees, made a biting nod to their exclusion after the directing contenders were unveiled. “Congratulations to those men,” she said. Perhaps anticipating the storm to come, press notes shared by the Oscars took pains to note that “a record 62 women were nominated, [representing] almost one third of this year’s nominees.”


“Joker,” which has earned over $1 billion at the global box office, was recognized for Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as a failed comic who turns to crime and for Todd Phillips’ directing. It is only the second comic-book movie to ever score a best picture nod, joining “Black Panther.” Though superhero movies have dominated the box office for over a decade, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, has been slower to embrace the genre. In 2009, it snubbed “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s hugely influential Batman epic. The controversy over that move influenced the Oscars to expand the list of best picture nominees from five to a possible 10, with the goal of introducing more populist fare into the proceedings.

“Joker’s” dominance is also notable because comic book and superhero movies have been a subject of fierce debate this awards season. In a series of interviews, Martin Scorsese decried their cinematic merits, dismissing Marvel films as “theme park rides” and admitting he only saw “clips” of “Joker,” a film that plays like a homage to “Taxi Driver.”

Among the other major contenders, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s look at the last gasp of the golden age of movies, earned nominations for its screenplay, direction, and for the performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film, had a very robust showing, picking up 20 nominations in total, including nods for “Little Women,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “Pain and Glory.”


1917,” a searing World War I drama that unfolds in one continuous shot, picked up nods for Sam Mendes’ direction and screenplay, as well as for Roger Deakins’ cinematography. The film is riding high after winning the Golden Globe for best drama and debuting in wide release to a mighty $36.5 million over the weekend.

“The Irishman,” Scorsese’s crackling gangster epic, earned nods for direction, screenplay, and for the supporting performances of Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. However, Robert De Niro, the star of the film, was shut out. With Monday’s nod, Scorsese is now the second-most honored director with nine nominations, behind only William Wyler.

“Parasite,” the critically acclaimed thriller about a family of grifters, made history, becoming the first South Korean movie to earn a best picture and best international feature film nomination. Bong Joon Ho also nabbed director and original screenplay nods and the film picked up six nominations in total. “Parasite’s” strong showing is a significant achievement for Neon, the upstart distributor behind the film. At a time when many indie studios are faltering, Neon, which was only founded three years ago, picked up an impressive eight Oscar nominations. It also scored best international feature and best documentary feature nods for “Honeyland,” the story of a Macedonian beekeeper.

Netflix has invested considerable resources into generating awards buzz in recent years, hiring awards sage Lisa Taback and backing films from auteurs such as Scorsese and Alfonso Cuaron. Last year, the streaming giant fell just short of its goal of nabbing a best picture statue, though it did earn a best director prize for “Roma’s” Cuaron.” This year, the bet appeared to pay off. Netflix picked up 24 nominations, the most of any entertainment company, and fielded best picture contenders such as “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.”

Phoenix, having picked up a Golden Globe, is widely seen as the front-runner in the lead actor category. He will face off against DiCaprio’s aging TV star in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Jonathan Pryce’s chameleonic work as Pope Francis in “The Two Popes,” Antonio Banderas as a director in decline in “Pain and Glory” and Adam Driver as a man entangled in a messy divorce in “Marriage Story.”


In a bit of self-promotion, John Cho and Rae announced the nominations from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a costly, oft-delayed look at movie history that is still under construction and carries a reported $388 million budget. It is scheduled to open to the public this year, three years after it was originally supposed to be unveiled.

It’s unclear what the fallout will be from the lack of diversity among top acting nominees. In 2015 and 2016, the Academy fielded back-to-back years of all-white acting nominees, triggering viral  #OscarsSoWhite protests. In response, then-Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced sweeping changes to membership and voting rules, in a push to get more women and people of color into Academy membership. In the process, the number of people of color within the group doubled from 8% in 2015 to 16% in 2019.

The 2020 Oscars will go host-less for the second time in a row. That may be partly out of necessity. It’s become increasingly difficult to attract A-list emcees. Social media reactions have made the gig a thankless task. In 2019, the Academy tapped Kevin Hart to host, but he stepped down after his past homophobic jokes on Twitter inspired a backlash. ABC will air the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.

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The film is called Apparition. It opens wide Friday, Dec. 27th and only CFF has the exclusive interview with one of the film's producers. For years many Northern Californians have know Mark S. Allen as a beloved DJ and TV host. What many do NOT know is that Mark has become quite an accomplished filmmaker with at least 4 titles under his belt and a newly minted membership in theProducer's Guild of America. A few years ago CFF honored Mark as a member of our California Film Hall of Fame. The following year we honored his co-producer, Howard Burd.
Now, with their latest production, Apparition set to open wide today (December 27th), we caught up with Mark to talk about his amazing journey.
CFF: Mark, watching your transformation from accomplished TV host to accomplished producer has been truly awe-inspiring. When did you 1st become interested in filmmaking and how?
MARK: When I was 7 years old I saw a news segment on how stop-go-animation was created and immediately grabbed my dad’s 8mm camera (yes this was even before super8mm) and began making movies.  One frame at a time.  Countless hours to get 50 feet, three minutes of film.  At 12 I made a friend who was also making stop-go and we transitioned to live action.   I landed a job in radio while I was in high school and ended up launching that direction....never dreaming that my love of making movies would be on the table again.My broadcast career interestingly enough always leaned toward movies.   Most of my syndicated coverage was about movies, and I’d have none of the Emmy Awards- if not for movie based tv shows.

CFF: This looks like a truly thrilling film for horror fans. Tell us How this film came to be? We at CFF know Howard Burd as an amazing Producer. What was the genesis of your producing relationship?  
MARK: Howard was on the roll out of MOTHERS DAY with Jennifer Aniston/Julia Roberts (and what ended up being the late Gary Marshall’s final film.).  At the time he was in early pre-production with another producer on a really great MMA inspirational drama called Notorious Nick (based on the true story of Nick Newell) but the film was tremendously ambitious and taking its time to go green, so I pitched the idea of a smaller, almost single location shoot, at the site of a spectacular single location: THE PRESTON SCHOOL of industry.  This is one of the supposed most haunted places in America.  A 19th century castle in Ione with a built in story.   I pitched Howard with a call from the castle and before I reached his house he called me back to say WE ARE DOING THIS!!! Less than a year later we were wrapped, in post production and Notorious Nick was now green lit.   Fast forward to now, we have 6 films, one released two secured into distribution and 3 in final post.   I’m so grateful for the friendship and producing  partnership I have with Howard- he is a driving force of nature. 
CFF: That is amazing how things can go from red to GREEN in the blink of an eye. There are some truly big talents associated with this project. Kevin Pollak. Mena Suvari. How were you able to procure these amazing people and how do you feel their specific talents were uniquely suited to this film?
MARK: We had the dream cast, from Mena and Kevin all the way down to the smallest role.  Our locals were wrangled by Sally Forcier who also acted as  co-producer the film with Kelly Benedict and our primary casting agent was Gary Zuckerbrod- fantastic casting director of Pulp Fiction and a long list of what I’m sure are your favorite movies.    The young millennial cast he pulled together were amazing Annalisa Cochrane (Cobra-Kai Karate Kid), Grayson Russell (Diary Of A Wimpy Kid/Taladega Nights) addition to Kevin Pollak and Mena Suvari made for a perfect ensemble.   Kevin actually replaced other names of complexity opposite types that kept falling out because of scheduling conflicts and in fact didn’t lock until 8 days before filming.   Howard had to talk me in off the ledge many times that week.  “We didn’t lock Julia Roberts until 2 days before we began shooting Mothers Day,” he would tell me as comfort.
              CFF: Wow! What are your hopes going forward? For this film? Future projects? 
              MARK: 2020 will be a great year as we have BALLBUSTER the Jerry O Connel basketball comedy headed to theaters as                well as the VERY original horror comedy FearPharm.   It’s sequel is in post and Notorious Nick and a high concept thriller                  616 WIlford Lane (that i co-directed) are 99.9% compete.    This year Howard and his wife have a really hot Hollywood                      commodity script that we’ll be producing together (unless it gets made as a studio film) and we have another suspense                      serial killer  thriller in early pre right now.  I really enjoyed directing on 616, and am 100% that I’ll be back at that within the                next 18 months.   
CFF: Mark, thank you KINDLY for sitting down with us. Folks at home, Don't miss Apparition playing Nationwide at select theaters and EVERY streaming and VOD carrier “now showing!” 
Support Northern California filmmakers and don't spill that popcorn.
You're going to be jumping out of your seat a lot!
Charter / Time Warner
Apple TV
Amazon Video
Google Play
Microsoft Movies & TV
Redbox On Demand
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Sac Film Apparition takes Flight



Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights from Voltage Pictures for the upcoming horror film Apparition, starring Mena Suvari (American BeautyAmerican Horror Story) and Kevin Pollak (The Usual SuspectsThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

The film — based on true events about former correctional facility the Preston School of Industry — follows a group of millennials who find themselves at an abandoned castle, experimenting with a spiritually guided app that connects the living with the dead. This ominous, historic site of murder and torture is linked to each of them in ways they will soon discover.

Produced by Howard Burd (Mother's DayCriminal Activities) and Mark S. Allen (Notorious NickBallbuster), Apparition was directed by Waymon Boone from a script by Rob Rose, Allen, Burd and Boone. Mike Baddley, Howard Gilden, James Hanzalik and Jim Hanzalik executive produced the film, which was produced by Make the Movie. Dante Yore served as cinematographer, with Jean Fox as production designer, Boone and Yore as editors and Ben Worley as composer.

The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector from Vertical with Jonathan Deckter, president and COO for Voltage Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

Suvari is repped by Innovative Artists, Management Production Entertainment and 42West. Pollak is repped by The Gersh Agency.

Vertical plans to release the pic in U.S. theaters and on VOD on Dec. 27.

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Seeking Woman editor for serious art film.

Well known Art Film Maker seeking a woman editor in the Sacramento area. We're working on the cut of the "Yellow Wallpaper" and trying to decide if we want to bring on an outside editor or handle in house. Let me know if you know of anyone. Pay will be low (D.O.E.) but experience priceless. Contact CFF for details: 916.524.5138

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Lady Bird Casting Director visits CFF

Once in awhile a person stops in and gives of themselves in a way that you can tell is GENUINE and sincere. Going into today's ACTORS INITIATIVE session, I had a lot of questions. The type of questions that deal with process, technicalities and "how-tos". And certainly, Toni addressed those.



CFF's Celestial starts the meeting with introductions of all attendees.


The biggest take-away that I got from today had NOTHING, however, to do with any technique or process. Is it important to understand HOW to audition? Of course. Is it important to understand WHAT to do? Certainly. But here is the nugget, the single nugget that Toni spent MOST of her time addressing: being of service...Having an attitude of gratitude...doing WHATEVER it takes to support the production. You see, Toni broke it down from the Producer's perspective. She indicated that EVERY moment on a set was costing SOMEONE a bunch of money. She indicated that spending days on a set with folks would be a LOT easier of, at the end of it, you STILL wanted to spend time with those people. So she spent the bulk of her talk today, discussing attitude and helpfulness.

3432615296?profile=RESIZE_710xToni addresses a packed house at the CFF meeting

As Toni put it, you may not know how to do everything exactly right. But the people who do the little things, who offer their help, who stay late..THOSE folks are the ones that will be remembered. THOSE folks are the ones who will be asked BACK to the NEXT shoot! I for one was glad to have the reminder: Ask NOT what your production can do for you. Ask what YOU can do for your production. THAT is the way! That is the SECRET sauce. Thank you, Toni, for exemplifying that! Thank you for showing us how an attitude of gratitude can go such a long way in this industry.

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Sacramento Film Festival 2019


The Sacramento International Film Festival just came off of our MOST amazing year to date! More films, more celebrity participants and more excitement than ever!


































In Memorial To Stan Lee













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Good bye Stan-the-man, We will miss you!

By Martin Anaya

Who would have ever thought that a guy who published comic books would ever preside over a movie empire? Well, I'd be lying if I said me, but I can say this: Both me and all my comic head friends wished for it.

Yes, in 1975 when I 1st started buying comic books, we'd thrill to the adventures of Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. We always imagined them as movies. of course in those days, very few of the screen (big or small) adaptations were ever satisfactory. They were usually vey cheaply made groaners that were less than impressive. Still, we lapped them up, hoping one day, a big screen adaptation would finally come around and change the game.

That day finally happened, when, in 1978, Warner Brothers made Superman, the Movie. Now, of course, we know Stan the man had nothing to do with that film but, he did have a LOT to do with the creation of many of the most iconic comic book characters ever seen, including the aforementioned Spidey and the Hulkster. And when Superman hit, it ushered in a whole new era for Hollywood. It wouldn't be long before another  DC character, Batman, broke through and then eventually a slew of Marvel characters, most created by our guy, Stan.  Now we have huge summer, winter and fall films devoted to characters like Venom, The Guardians of The Galaxy and a whole host of Marvel creations, many of them, Stan's.

I had the pleasure of meeting Stan at Comiccon about 7 years ago for an interview. You knew he was, even in his late 80s still a kid. He still had that wonderment in his eyes..most specifically because my female companion wore a period piece costume that was quite, shall we say, prodigious in the upper half. Stan, CLEARLY took delight in that interview! But he also took delight in the comic-turned-movie empire he had created.

As one little kid who grew up loving those creations, I must say thank you. Thanks Stan-the-man for Black Panther, the Fantastic 4, Spiderman, the Avengers and SOOO many other comics that eventually lept to life on the big screen. I hope I can have half the fun in my creative life that you clearly had in yours!

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