Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of Year Project News!!

Starting work on a documentary hybrid, Dogma-style:
"Three Days"-- Actors and other persons gather to perform a radio-version of Hamlet, in three days. Stories ensue.

And we have the go-ahead for:
"My Year With Yang" by AJ Montecinos with Art Spander, an inspirational chronicling of an unlikely story; a journeyman Korean pro-golfer joins forces with a former college star player and stun the golf world with an unforgettable year.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Soboba Springs Rental House

There is a home for rent at the Country Club Soboba Springs at Soboba Springs, and it makes a great seasonal rental. For "snowbirds" wanting to escape the Northern colds and play great economical golf at a course "fit for the pros", Soboba is worth considering. It is available per week or per month, or longer if need be. This week it is home to Tjaart Van der Walt, who opened with 69 (-2) and is two strokes out of the lead after round one of the Soboba Classic (Nationwide Tour, see The Golf Channel), held in part by his housemate Craig Bowden who birdied the par-5 18th hole to post 67, 4 under. Good playing guys. I am glad you are staying at my Soboba house, may it be lucky to you. The house will be available starting next week for interested amateurs everywhere. Please let me know if you want it! Email: tigerlight@roadrunner.com

Nationwide Soboba Classic:Pro-Am

Wed. Sept. 30, 2009: The Country Club at Soboba Springs hosts the Nationwide Tour this week . Played with pals Johnny Bench, Kurt Bevaqua and Jerry Howse in the Pro-Am with Aussie Adam Bland, currently 30th on the money list (top 25 get their PGA Card for next year, so this week is a big one). Purse: $1,000,000. Had a good day. Thanks to Jesse Ortiz and Bobby Jones Golf for the Hybrid's and Pelz Wedges, thanks to Chris Stevens at Keurig. They made good pro-am gifts. Had a few laughs out there with the boys, Craig and Adam (the caddie/pro) didn't know what hit them. Of course, they had no idea the Johnny was The Big Red Machines #5 Captain but they got the hang of it. Having not played since May, i was happy to make two 30 foot birdies, proving to Johnny that i am a long time member of Soboba (after much play that did, however, doubt that fact.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

AHW in West Wing

This clip from NBC's long-running political drama West Wing features Alex confronting White House communications director Toby Zeigler (Emmy winner Richard Schiff) during their visit to Orange County, California. Originally aired in 2005. Filmed on the Warner's lot.

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AHW as Gen. Burnside

In this clip Alex portrays Brigidier Gen. Ambrose Burnside in Warner Brother's Civil War epic Gods and Generals. Burnside was the Commander of the Union Army during the Winter campaigns of 1862-63. This scene finds Burnside revealing tactics to his Division commanders leading up to the fateful battle of Fredericksburg, which resulted in a huge defeat for the Union and a great morale boosting victory for the Confederates, commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall). The battle of Fredericksburg is also noteworthy as the first urban battle in U.S. history as the town, later looted by the victors, was situated very close to the battlefields.

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AHW as Mahoney

In this clip Alex plays the character of television political pundit Jack Mahoney, who bookends the independent drama "Reflecting Pool."

Running Time: 1 min. 20 sec.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

In London for a week




At the Park Lane Hotel. For the first time in 9 years, we are London bound. We'll do the Tower, Thames cruise to the Greenwich Union for a pub lunch, Millenium Eye, Cheshire Cheese.




Cashed in the AA Miles and Starwood Points for a great trip. Will be our vacation, as Ghost Ranch was a gig albeit a great one we hope to repeat.

Cowboy Up-Robbing the Train



July 26th, 2009--
Robbing the Trian: Cumbres and Toltec Narrow Gauge, Chama New Mexico.
We had fun Cowboying Up with Bill McKay, Curtis Green, Smiling Charlie, Pete and Che.
If you're in Northwestern New Mexico, check out Chama and dine at the High Country Restaurant--tell Che that Punch sent you.

Website Back UP!

Thanks to Gio at Oklop and Christian at McCartney---My WEBSITE is back online! Hooray!
Was out in the wilds of New Mexico, where the internet and cellphones don't play.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Heights of Chimney Rock: Video

On Tuesday June 23, 2009 a group of young hikers, led by Paisley Guerinot and Zack Hill, scaled the Heights of Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch (14 miles NW of old Abiquiu), NM. This is their four-minute memory video. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as they did hiking it.
We miss you kids, AHW---Punch

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

GR Chronicle: Hard-Chargers Return to town...

















Ranch News: June 17, NW of Abiquiu, NM















This is land where western culture, specifically southwestern culture, lives on. The land of the Navajo pueblos, ruins from centuries ago as well as small casino’s along Hwy 84; the land of enormous sandstone mineral sculptures marking the territory as some sort of otherworldly Badlands, equally potent as pictures from Mars may seem to the first-time viewer; the land where time moves more slowly simply because there is more to experience, which is the wonderful bonus, the dichotomy, from and about being here (here as we are for the whole summer, working the ranch). The ten weeks will go quickly, I know that, yet the day moves at the languid pace of a French feast, or a pontoon at Hyde Park’s Serpentine, or a great round of golf. Already, after only one full week as a family (me having preceded by one week in order to orient), we have become proficient horsemen, lousy fisherman, dead-eye shots with the Daisy Buck BB Rifle, most tolerant of the bugs, beetles and ants that belong here even more than we, kitchen clean-up, siesta taking veterans of life on the frontier. One can easily imagine a life where time spent regularly here works like an Epsom salt bath for the soul, adding the precious life-strengthening minerals to help replenish what we don’t even realize we are depleting; effects relative to time, space, inner life, purpose, influence, risk and danger. For this is, indeed, a place for forgiving people; in, however, a most unforgiving land. It is simply beautiful here. And being here, in this most honorable way and for this most glorious length of time is the rarest of experiences and opportunities. The reader may feel here that I am searching for superlatives; suffice please to say that we have settled in nicely and, having removed the capstone seal, are peering in to the limitless past and future so prevalent in this country, and find that living in the present here is so very easy to do and comes with great reward.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Burros and Chimney Rock hike













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Early this morning we were visited by the 5-pack of wild burros that populate the ranch. The food here is fresh and plentiful and today was Benji the cook's birthday. The first couple of days here i had a few mild headaches, most likely due to high altitude. Drinking water helps acclimate. Got certified in CPR/First Aid yesterday. Ended today with a fine hike of 1.5 miles and 600 ft. higher to a place called Chimney Rock.

Ghost Ranch Reader: Entry 1




After a few days at Ghost Ranch, and having completed the orientation, the College Staff are ready to start their jobs and have a day off. Hopefully that will be Sunday. However, due to the arrival of a large Quaker contingent of 400, they may be drafted to supplement the housekeeping staff. Morale is high for this crew of 24 wonderful young folk, and they are forming a nice bond with one another. Many of them have spent much time here, in the high mesas of Northwestern New Mexico, and others like myself are first-timers. Met with Willie today, a veteran staffer at GR. You can take him out of New York, but you can't take New York out of him. He met with the group wearing his Yankee cap. Luckily i was wearing my First Pres Yankees long-sleeve baseball practice shirt which has the NY logo on it. We got along great. He has a tv, which out here means alot. He told me that Matsui homered yesterday. Must have been a good day in the outside world, at least for some. Pic on right is of Kitchen Mesa, the view from our front porch. More later....Punch

Friday, May 29, 2009

Todd Scherr's First Olympics Cast Card

Thanks for Todd Scherr for letting me post this cast card from NBC's The First Olympics:Athens 1896 miniseries that we made in 1983. Good stuff, look at the cast!

Angels and Demons

Great final scene: Worth the wait, really, as the film seems unsure how much of the Theosophical/Science debate to feature. The macguffin is the “genie” in the bottle, which shows its destructive power with a flourish, at the end. Nice seeing Roma, certainly. It’s a good thriller, with the internal Vatican espionage plots providing plenty of storytelling. While certainly not as absorbing as DaVinci Code, this film is interesting nonetheless for the bits of art history as well as a tour of the Vatican archives. Readers of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and/or anyone who spent time in England during the mid 1980’s will find the story Illuminating. (Remember Roberto Calvi, found hanging off Blackfriars Bridge, presumed killed for his role in the Vatican banking scandal.) The untimely death of a popular new pope echoes the conspiracy talk that surrounded Pope John Paul I. Story resonated with me in the same way now as it did then in the mid-80’s. I was re-motivated to take another look at my only original screenplay Dimensions, written in 1987 and inspired by similar events to craft a “religious thriller.”

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009 Northern Trust Open: Los Angeles, Riviera C.C.

The Thursday and Friday rounds at Riviera offered both player and spectator alike a fair chance at gratification and excitement. With the predominant ocean breeze more of a factor on Day One, how remarkable was the chance of Hole 4, the redan-style classical Par 3, yielding any two's, let alone the three in two groups seen when Harrington flagged it with his hybrid, followed by Mickelson inside it with his four-iron. Immelmen's twenty footer completed the hat trick. The new stands behind the green held loose 70 or so souls, rewarded with "giveaway" cards for birdies on 4. Once redeemed, in the last tent before the exit, the patient spectator chose a swag item: water bottle, cloth bag, sunglass clip or notepad.

Retief Goosen looks fit and if he can shake the broom may be poised for a return-to-form year.

Luke Donald is a fine iron player but is out length-end at Riviera. If he was stronger he would win a lot.

Ryo Ishikawa is a 17 year old Asian tour two-time winner, ranked in the top 70 in the world. Hello! His exemptions so far this season on the PGA Tour include here, Bay Hill and The Master's, Augusta National's Easter blessing. He had a large gallery following him, before packing up on Friday night.

There is no more interesting player to watch than Podraig Harrington for his attention to the inner game manifest in his movements thru the course of play, on the course of the day. Seemingly innocuous to any outcome, he displays an obviously graceful respect for the game, and seemingly by extension, the manner of life he lives because of it. Harrison Ford displays the same quality, rarely excepted, in his acting. Tommy Armour III is tearing it up, his grandfather finished 2nd to Macdonald Smith at the first Los Angeles Open, in 1929 at Riviera. Bobby Jones filmed here; Ben Hogan drew and rolled his way to golfdom's highest peak here. Golf grew a thicker skin because of Riviera. It's not particularly long but the terrain's elevation changes challenge the unfit, and the grabby nature of Poa Annua and Ziosa (sic) grasses brought by Will Rogers to populate the nearby mountain meadow Polo Fields have turned the land into a living tapestry of unexpectedness.

I once had a round of a lifetime in my grasp, under par most of the day needing pars on 17 and 18 to stay there. It not the place to chicken count; for when my safe hybrid, instead of iron, popped up from fairway left's first cut and a missed put counted double-bogey 6 on the eighteenth, my 73 felt more spiked than smooth.

The round at Riviera leads you, the player. Every hole has a mainstream, and woe is the merchant traveler who doesn't take it at the flood.

Phil Mickelson shot a third-round 66 last year that belongs in an Art Museum. Effortless, technically marvelous and brutal was the way he lunged and parried. He is therefore this year's defending champion. The previous year he almost won it, some blaming the Rancho Santa Fe commute on his dulled few final holes. He shot 63, minus 8, on Friday. That's eight birdies. His gallery growing larger by the minute, he did me a nice favor by stiffing it on 7 allowing me to move on, staying ahead of the crowd. I fancied as much of Harrington, Johnson (Zach), and Goosen as I could get, and they were always one hole in front. Phil is very strong. He gets the best equipment, and is skilled at tinkering. When he achieves the correct alchemy he is the best in the game. He doesn't have Tiger's, or Jack's, will force which makes them Immortalis Moderne, but he is one of the greatest ever we will see at conjuring up his imagination's perfect solution. He must hit it close to the hole to dominate. When he does, he does.


 

Note: this article was written and posted after completion Saturday's third round and, as it is reportage of the two previous day's play, makes no mention of Mickelson's 62 which puts him four shots ahead moving into Sunday. Weather-permitting, good viewing is on offer with a good man conducting his own symphony.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My 50th Birthday-- **** January 30th, 2009

What a nice day! Turned 50 years old. The morning started with a pancake breakfast then off to school next door, where i had my scheduled Friday visit to Mrs. Reid's (and Jack's) Second grade class. We are gearing up for a Shakespeare reading exercise, starting next week. We have been working with words and random associations, and today each child went home with a Kennedy 50 cent coin, as a momento and of course a random association story!

After watching a nice race from Santa Anita online, i licked my wounds with a pub lunch at
Ye Olde King's Head in downtown Santa Monica where my friend, and fellow actor, Raul Dourado (a Irish Spaniard) tends bar. I gave him one of the Kennedy half-dollars. The gals next door at the Store gave me a UK/US lapel pin for my birthday, thanks very much, then i rolled home for a coffee. After loading the family in the van, we headed south to Playa Vista for a 4:30 set visit and final prep for Tintin.

What an interesting, cool, stage. It's a big room, the size of a small high school gymnasium. On the floor is the set: actors, props, cameras. Courtside is the village-- and about 20 cameras all synched to the director's (Steven S.) handheld console. I don't understand how but, seemingly, all the angles are routed, in real time, to a single control and what appears on the monitor is an animated (enhanced) version of what the cameras see. For example, a cage holding black-suited actors Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Cary Elwes becomes a biplane with full suited characters.

My camera helmet was fitted, and my facemask marked with the motion capture dots which the camera recognizes and adjusts from--it's really the most marvellous technology, with all the digital information rendered as it goes by a bank of computer "engineers" sitting, looking thru the plexiglass to the set. At first glance, the places look is part sports competition and part bond trading floor. They wrapped around 5:30 with Steven saying "why don't we stop here." He drew the Friday night raffle prize of almost $600 which went to our greeter and minder, Cochet. That was a bit of luck, allright and kind of neat that he was the first guy we met on set. I gave him one of the Kennedy half-dollars. As Steven was leaving, i greeted him, thanked him and introduced Jack and Shelly to him. He was most warm and welcoming. Saw a couple of friends, Andrew the Stills Photographer (who commented that "this was a really big thing to be a part of" which was nice, and Larissa the sparky. An added treat was meeting Peter Jackson, Steven's partner on the project, who was flying back to New Zealand .

We were there until almost 7pm, when we joined our friends Elisa and Alec Rose for dinner at Casablanca. What a great family, friends and movie day. Thank you. Punch

NY Post: Page Six

January 30, 2009 THAT Andrew Giuliani and other golf pros will play miniature golf against amateurs tonight on 27 holes set up at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Societies . . . THAT Alex Hyde-White - who worked with Steven Spielberg in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) and "Catch Me If You Can" (2003) - will appear in Spielberg's "Tintin," filming in LA . . . THAT Armani Exchange ordered a quarter-million condoms to use in window displays nationwide for its "Get Your Heart On" Valentine's Day campaign.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tintin: Molding

Jan 27, 2009: Had a silicone mold cast today for the helmet, which acts as a camera dolly on the day. Below picture tells the story of the 6 minutes one sits while the gel hardens, creating a mold of the head. This is the work helmet, with the mold acting as a shock absorber. On picture days, a small camera is mounted on the helmet front, capturing the actor's face. The character is then built digitally, as is the background. All information that eventually appears on screen, other than the actor's "motion captured" face, is created digitally. How, or even if, the actors body factors in to the performance remains to be seen, as this is my first encounter with this magnificent technology. For while this manner of film-making even exists is entirely a marvel of science and technical mastery of many brilliant minds, it is the human element: the skillful hands of the 1) helmet farrier and special effects puppeteer -a S.A.G. category- in creating the mold, 2) wardrobe and tailor measuring and altering the black, Spyder like- wet suit; 3) the Trailer of Capture engineer, and finally the range of facial (e)motions captured by the camera that together deliver the information used to tell the story.

The Trailer of Capture (also pictured) is where the 3D facial scan, a procedure similar to that of Lasix Surgery except that you can drive home, renders almost instantly the (my) face, glowingly opaque; a Disneyland Haunted Mansion ghost. Met with my friend Nickolai Stoilov, a fine London-trained Bulgarian actor who appeared in our production of Yeat's The Resurrection last Spring for a coffee and cigar. Had a good actor's day; hope yours was good, too.







Friday, January 23, 2009

"Steven Wants You"

A rainy day at home here, with Mom sick in bed and with little to do except help out at the school next door... After which, while watching the Bob Hope Desert Classic on TV and nodding off, my cellphone rang. My friend of over twenty years, and agent for seven or so, Richard was on the line. "Well, Punch" he said, "Steven wants you for a role in Tin Tin." Happy news for this actor, as it will be my third time with the master of American film. In a career spanning just over thirty years (thirty-one in May) i found myself immediately celebratory by saying, "So my agent is calling me to offer me a role in a Spielberg's next film." "Yes i am," he said.

Back on Line: Musings for the New Year and Time






All sorts of things:



My personal website has down for over a month due to a few letters on a server address, for one. Glad that it is not further evidence of our infrastructure needing critical care, just an example of having too many web-chefs. Am with a very inexpensive yet attentive group for webhosting and server, Oklop. I recommend them highly. For any re-design work and larger corporate needs try old friend Ruth's outfit at McCartney Marketing, in Playa Del Rey.



Cashed in our lone Christmas present of 3 Phantom tickets and spent a beautiful afternoon at the Pantages Theatre yesterday (Jan. 22) for the first matinee of the six-week run. Must see for fans of the show, which i first saw in NYC mid-80's. Spent a couple of months in 1999 shooting a horror version in Budapest.....



Have enjoyed seeing many of our friends and much of the photographed Nation celebrate the assumption to power of the new Obama administration. Was chagrined in the moment of handoff when the oath fumble occurred and, as a showman, lamented that perhaps they hadn't bothered to rehearse that part—which really is the only necessary business of the day. In the end though, seeing and hearing such re-affirmation of faith in our American Spirit is heartening and long-overdue. With the majority of sentiment gathered in this direction I hope for three things: 1) No terrorist attacks on our soil, 2) Credit relief for individuals, 3) Clear-thinking when it comes to such terribly important matters as State Government such private-sector health services as the Motion Picture Country House, which is threatening closing it's most needed long-term critical care wing and displacing over 100 patients and almost 300 employees. My Dad, Wilfrid, spent his last few years there before dying in relative peace in 1991 and I remain grateful to so many of the nurses who enjoyed his wit and great character. Even then, there was an emphasis on "ability-to-pay" that may have felt at odds with their we take care of our own motto. If there can be a way to close the $10 Million annual gap and keep this service to our aged industry veteran, it would be a wonderful step in the new age of Can do, Must do.



Some good news on the creative front: am creating the role of Thomas Jefferson in Franklin and Jefferson written by James Gabler, of Palm Beach and Vic Bardack, of Beverly Hills. We started Spring 2008 with a one-night read in NYC, at the Coffee House in mid-town and have now committed to Feb./Mar./Apr. dates at Greystone Manor just off Doheny and Sunset. It's a new play about two fact-based meetings between the irascible Franklin and the complicated Jefferson, with plenty of wine, innuendo and free-thinking. As any new play, it's forming each time it's is played but, it does have the feel of something that can travel long and well and I am certainly enjoying being in on the founding of it. For a Georgetown boy (who left at age 17) with intimate knowledge of Harper's Ferry's "Jefferson Rock" it's feels like a triumph.



With best wishes for a graceful time I remain sincerely yours, and am turning 50 on Jan. 30.