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Viktor the Vampire: What Bill Nighy said about Filming Underworld

Starring in a movie as the toughest Vampire elder around sounds like lots of fun. That’s if you can bear the strenuous process of getting into character. Actor Bill Nighy, who plays Viktor in the Underworld series, told BBC that the makeup department spent six hours doing “medieval, terrible things” to make him look like he’s been sleeping for centuries. After contact lenses were added and fangs fitted, nobody on the set would eat lunch with Nighy. Later at Comic-Con, this genre film lover doubted whether he would’ve ever taken the Viktor role if he knew about the prosthetics involved.

V is for Viktor


Given the physical demands of some movie roles, do YOU consider acting to be a sport?

*If you are visiting from the A-to-Z Challenge, my blog post for Letter W will be posted later today.


Unorthodox Parental Advice from the Father in Underworld

Viktor, the father in Underworld played by actor Bill NighyViktor, a Vampire Elder in the action fantasy film series Underworld, isn’t exactly the ideal image of parental excellence. He values legacy, domination and the preservation of age old traditions over all else – including family ties. However, there are a few practices he follows that you may want to consider when raising your own children.

Replace the Child You Regret with a the Kid of Your Dreams

Viktor took Selene in as a surrogate daughter, after her entire family was murdered. While this may seem noble of him, it was basically an attempt at a do-over since he treated his own daughter Sonja like she was a major disappointment. Sonja was rebellious while Selene looked up to Viktor for guidance, so it’s no surprise that he gave care and attention to the one who hung around enough to play by his rules. In some sad twisted way, a lot of parents already behave just like Viktor – it’s just called favoritism and their in denial about it.

So if you have children, why not just go all the way and literally devote all of your time to the one that shows more promise in becoming the person you’d be proud to call your own?! Even if you are a parent to just one child, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from Viktor’s ways. Just modify it to fit into your situation by adopting another kid and doting on him or her. Don’t want to adopt? That’s fine. Show more interest in the neighbor’s child or someone at your son or daughter’s school who appears to be lacking in quality, or even basic, parental care.

Viktor, the father in Underworld with his biological daughter Sonja, played by actress Rhona Mitra.I once had a conversation with a man who told me he has eight children (hats off to the mother! Wowza!). When my response was something like “that must be overwhelming,” he said something along the lines of “Not all of them will be winners; somebody’s gotta make it.”

Now, I’m not telling you this as a suggestion that you go off on some kind of baby-making spree, building your lineage so large people start mistaking you as the Duggar family. The bottom line is to spend your parenting efforts on kids that are a joy to have under your wing.

Don’t Believe Anything Your Kid Tells You

Selene showed Viktor images of a conspiracy between the Lycans and Vampire leader while also explaining her case. However, Viktor still wasn’t buying any of her claims – especially when he realizes that she has the hots for a member of an opposing species. Make them show you proof. That will teach them researching skills while also improving their ability to back up their words with action. It will also show you how much something means to them, given that their willingness to put in the work necessary, or not, indicates whether a topic of interest really matters.

Reprimand Your Child for Waking You up Earlier than Expected

Viktor informs Selene that she’s in deep trouble for awakening him an entire century ahead of schedule. In an angry rage due to Selene’s disrespect of the coven’s hierarchy, Viktor assures her that these reckless acts will be judged by the vampire council. Although Kraven, a vampire regent, warns Selene that her life is at stake, you need not go this far. Just make sure that whatever the consequences are for waking you up are harsh enough that your son or daughter thinks twice before doing it again (regarding non-emergencies, of course!).

U is for UnorthodoxOf course any sane person knows to take these practices by the father in Underworld with a grain of salt. I mean let’s be real; we’re talking about a guy who is in favor of honor killings. Plus anyone who seeks their parenting advice from vampires has bigger issues to address than how to control his or her children. Ha!

Which of the movie characters in Underworld would YOU hire to babysit YOUR kid(s) for a weekend?

Do YOU know of any unorthodox parenting practices that are effective in the real world?


Retrospective Thoughts on the Time I Played to an (Almost) Empty Movie Theater

Once upon a time, I rented a tiny movie theater to show some short films – one being my documentary about movie piracy. The theater had less than 40 seats, so you’d think that filling it should’ve been a piece of cake, right?! Me too. Sadly, I failed to sell even one single ticket for this one-time event. In retrospect, it was one of the most daunting business mistakes that taught me a few lessons.

Master the Art of Shameless Self-Promotion

Aside from attending a community event (and ended up running into my high school English teacher) in hopes of selling tickets to the show and spreading the word about this one-time movie screening, I didn’t tell many people about it. So, my lack of promoting affected ticket sales. Scheduling an event and marking it on the calendar isn’t enough. Once that screening date is confirmed, everyone and their mother should know about the when, what and where of how this thing is going down.

These details should also be listed in the “events” sections of local publications, arts organization newsletters and community websites – especially if the film playing has a limited release, as it’s even more dependent on as much attention as it can garner from traditional and new media outlets. Reaching out to bloggers is also a must even if that means a few tickets have to be given away, for the possibility of getting some quotable movie reviews.

T is for ThoughtsDon’t Spend What You Don’t Have

The expenses for this movie screening were relatively low, so I thought my profit margins would be high. None of this matters when you’re not bringing in any sales whatsoever, so it’s important to have clear projections for three things -- how much you want to make, how you’re going to make it and how much you can afford to spend on every part of this process.

The costs associated with my documentary film screening were spent on credit that wasn’t easy to repay since my (extremely) limited theatrical event was a box office bomb. So operating with a reality-based budget that includes what is actually available to spend can help prevent situations in where one single event costs you much more than what you bargained for, considering your financial losses due to not selling any tickets.

Leverage What You Have to Salvage What You Can

A lack of willpower may be the reason why I lost out on revenue but a lack of creativity in figuring out ways to make such an undesirable situation work for me is what led to such a disappointing venture. Quick action and resourceful thinking can turn things around to pack an event if you adjust your goals. Two people showed up to watch the films I was playing at the theater – my mom, accompanied by my aunt. I invited them at the last minute to make sure the time slot I paid for in the theater rental agreement was put to good use. Now I realize that it would be best to not stop at two people.

Unsold tickets can be turned into invitations for customers who frequent nearby shops, area tourists looking for something to do, media journalists, friends, friends of friends and their family, neighbors, co-workers and almost anyone with a beating heart who doesn’t mind watching a few indie movies they never heard about. At the end of the day, this approach helps to get a packed house while providing the ability to create buzz from the audience response – all of which could be used on my blog or website to promote the film, and possibly a future screening that attracted more interest.

How good are YOU at planning events?

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