Jul 8 2022

WELCOME

CLICK HERE FOR TRAILERS of all my feature film projects.

Or if you’d like to read my blog, listen to my podcast, visit my Youtube comedy channel, then stay a while. This is my secret headquarters for all things creative.


Jul 4 2022

Recent Podcasts

7CDBE216-4E42-413B-A445-B9C5170CE1E0That’s right! Since I was one of the last 15 people in America who didn’t have a podcast, I thought I’d start one! New shows post every Friday, always with a special guest, always talking with creative people about the hurdles they have to jump through to have not-so-normal careers. I interview musicians, writers, actors, editors — if it’s creative, I want to talk about it.

Listen on SPOTIFY or ITUNES now.


May 31 2022

Obi-Wanderful

Yes, the new “Obi-Wan Kenobi“ series on Disney+ is really good… So good that I’ve dedicated my podcast to talking about it for the next five weeks. Hop aboard, give a listen!


Mar 3 2022

The Cost

Craig-filmingI’ll admit, when I’m at a social event and someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” I enjoy giving my answer. Because it’s one of the most unexpected and cool answers: “I make movies.” But there are a lot of strange reactions after that. The longer I have a conversation with anyone outside of the business, the more I realize that people with “regular jobs” or steady careers don’t really understand a creature like me. They can’t really wrap their mind around the tumultuous, high-risk, gypsy life that I and my family have had to navigate. For such a sexy career title, it’s one of the least sexy lives you can lead. And if I can drill a little deeper, I think people who love to create as a hobby are VERY different than people who create as a career. Lots of us are creative. Lots of us dabble in the arts. But to someone in real estate, retail sales or finance, I seem like someone raised by wolves. At least that’s the impression that I get.

Anyone who works a 9 to 5 job is baffled by the life of someone in the arts. And rightly so — it’s an industry that doesn’t make a lot of sense on paper. Most of it involves high risk gambles over long periods of time. The investments made are investments in time, effort and focus, not dollars. Those investments are not built on any stats, but on instinct and subjective ideas. And the sacrifices required to make any popular art form are not comfortable or convenient. My family has had to move several times in the past five years, God bless them. Sometimes we have to plan our vacations around when my project will start or end… or finally get funding. The shifting sands of my life have forced those I love to be very flexible, to live or go to school somewhere they didn’t plan on. I will always be grateful for that. Some days I work 18 hours, or I fly to Vancouver with one day’s notice. Other days I just do a lot of laundry and stare at my laptop in pajamas. And to many people, that seems… ridiculous. How can that be a “job?”

I’ll admit, sometimes I become jealous of those with consistent, financially stable careers. There are careers where a certain amount of training, certification and longevity are predictably rewarded. There is no “feast and famine,” only steady growth and a controllable outcome. The details of my crazy day-to-day existence can be downright laughable. But I want to ask those consistent, stable people, “Did you like Free Guy?” Because that was a script that got rejected for years, a movie that was delayed a year due to the pandemic, and starring a guy who failed at being a leading man for about ten years.

Do you love Harry Potter? Because that empire of content all came from a book written by a single mom at a coffee shop while she was deep in debt. It was misunderstood and rejected by most of the major publishers.

Do you like Queen? U2? You like listening to Radiohead or Lady Gaga on the way to work? Well those artists all lived like circus people to make that music. They slept in their cars, they leveraged all their savings, they were ostracized by family, they suffered failures for a long time to generate the art you enjoy on your Spotify playlist. Many of them sweated the details for years in their garage, with nobody cheering them on or understanding what they were trying to do. I’ll always remember my brother telling me about a documentary that followed Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. In it, he’s getting up at 5 am every morning to drive 30 minutes across the freezing English countryside to a little cottage studio, every morning, over and over, to get the next album right. Nothing sexy about that. And this was after he’d become a world famous rockstar.Thom Yorke BTS

I’ll also never forget a recent photo of Steven Spielberg on a set, lying on the ground with a lens, trying to find his shot. The man is a timeless icon and 75 YEARS OLD, but he is still making the early call time, sweating the details, lying on the ground. His years of risk have been paid back 1000 times, but he still wants to pay the cost of what the next piece of art requires.Spielberg BTSThe artists we love became iconic at a cost. They were driven by an itch they couldn’t scratch — something intangible that demanded foolish risks. That is not easy for everyone to understand. And it’s a cost that is hard to quantify, or put into words. If you’re an artist and driven to create, I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take. I can’t tell you if what you’re making will be successful. And contrary to what any producer may tell you, there is no way to predict the box office or return on investment, no matter how big or micro the budget is. Creatives are in the business of mining intangibles, unearthing strange and unpredictable stuff that rides on the emotional reactions of strangers. The cost is long and hard and unpredictable.

That’s why you’ve got to love it. You’ve got to be so driven by your creative vision that you can SEE it as reality. Most of the time, no one else will see it but you. You may experience failure over and over and people in those stable jobs will say, “It’s not worth it, I told you so.” And then they’ll go listen to another song by Radiohead.

The painful truth is that great art comes from great suffering. And in the film business, even attaining some kind of modest success is a “long game.” It is not for the meek. But that is the cost.

I write this not to scare young creatives, but to prepare them. Gird your loins! Armor up! And take a break if you need to. Learn your craft as a hobby before throwing your life savings at it. Those around you may never understand the cost. But if YOU do, and you still love it, you should keep going.


Oct 30 2021

Be An Audience

I’m a filmmaker… but I’m also a guy who loves watching movies. Those are two different things. Because enjoying someone else’s art requires a different part of your brain than putting your own stuff out there. This has me thinking about how we ALL consume art these days. There’s been an unsettling change in the past ten years and I think I’ve finally crystalized it:

We’ve forgotten how to be an audience.

AudienceI could easily blame this on social media or even as far back as iTunes. But it’s a groundswell of numerous factors. About 15 years ago, the biggest media corporations in the world (Yes you, Apple) started catering to our sense of SELF. Technology made it possible to cater to all of our unique, singular, microscopic choices and opinions. Your point of view and YOURS ALONE became the target — not just a wide demographic. You no longer had to buy a whole album. You could make your OWN album of just the five songs YOU liked from that artist. The artist no longer decided what 12 tracks you should listen to, or in what order, to take you from the beginning of that album’s experience to the end. Nope. It’s up to the listener. Hey, you don’t even need a radio station to tell you what the “hit singles” are. You ARE the radio station. You’re the DJ who decides what playlists are playing in your car or headphones. It went beyond making a mixtape. iTunes and Spotify changed our philosophy on how we even consider music. An “a la carte” mentality prizes the individual’s tastes above the general consensus of trends, age groups, social groups, etc. It’s all about YOU and what YOU want.

As consumers, this sounded great to us! And it’s created a wonderful buffet of art and media for everyone. We pick and choose. We take only what we want, nothing more. And not only that, we gained the ability share right back to each other what we chose and why. We could now evaluate each other’s opinions. YouTube and social media came along to allow each and every one of us to have our own “TV Channel,” so to speak. Every single one of us could post to the ENTIRE WORLD what we thought of a show or movie, seconds after we’d seen it. And we got feedback from others just as instantly. WE were the critics now, with our reviews instantly published.

Phone reviewIt felt so good to be heard and validated! If we love something, now we’ve been told it’s good that we love it by lots of others! But the weird thing we also discovered is that, in a sick way, we kind of like arguing with people who don’t like our choices. Sparring in the dusty arena of Twitter and Reddit can be addictive. If someone punches back, it releases a similar rush of dopamine, and makes us dig deeper into our opinions.

So now here we are, a couple decades into this new mentality… a mentality that says that if an artist presents us with art, our immediate response is to evaluate it. To be a critic. To instantly respond with the thought, “Would I have done it that way?” “Is that the best choice for me? For my sensibilities?” “How does this art serve me?

We have forgotten how to be an audience. We’ve forgotten that another way to respond to art is to just… take it in. Listen. Watch. To sit before the storyteller at the fire and say, “What do you have for me today?” Whatever the artist wants to show us, we can receive it as the choice that artist decided to make, even if it is surprising or weird to us, or not at all the choice we would make in that story.

If we cannot accept the contract between artist and audience anymore, we are rarely satisfied. We are disappointed that the artist did not “do what we wanted.”

“That’s not my Luke Skywalker.” “That’s not my James Bond.” “How dare they ruin my childhood with this version of Ghostbusters!”

Dune Scene **This all hit me again as I left the IMAX theater from seeing “Dune.” Denis Villeneuve’s version of this tale feels slightly foreign and strange and off the beaten path from my own instincts. So many moments of the film were entirely at odds with my own sensibilities. He did things I would not have done with this story. And it was great! I sat there saying, “Whatta you got for me, Denis? Hit me.”

Dune DirectorThat’s how I watched “The Last Jedi.” That’s how I went into the last episode of “Lost.” Things happened that I was not expecting or even satisfied with. But I accepted that this particular storyteller wanted to tell me this particular story in this particular way. This is how they wanted it. I am the audience. I am getting hit with this artistic expression solely as a receiver. It’s making me feel things, think things I never expected.

It’s actually a hard shift to make in yourself, especially now. We’ve had this new indoctrination of “catered self” thrust upon us. But try it. Next time you watch a new thing, or listen to a new song, make the conscious choice to BE THE AUDIENCE. Tell yourself, “It’s not my job to be a critic. It’s not my job to weigh this art against my version of it. I am not the artist here. I am the audience.” Allow for the surprise and even alarming reactions that a contrary choice creates in you.

You don’t have to love Rian Johnson’s choices, but respect that they were his to make. Discuss your thoughts on Twitter, sure. But do it as someone completely outside of the decision makers. Take away the smug layer of “He did it wrong” and step into the discussion with “It made me feel ____,” “It made me think ____,” or even “I wonder why the director did _____.”

StorytellerNews flash: Art is not created to cater to your whims or serve you. It’s there to shock and move and surprise you. It might even be there to offend you. And if you didn’t like it, you can certainly walk away from it saying “Not for me.” But try consuming it the old fashioned way… as a pure “audience member.”

As an artist, I am always hoping to have such an open and willing audience before me. And as an audience member myself, I think I’m having a better time at the theater.


Oct 5 2021

Demo Song from “Fe@rleSS”: “I AM THE MASTER”

Here’s another demo for a song that never made it into the Netflix movie “Fe@rleSS.” Once again, lyrics and vocals by me. This was to be a theme song for the villain of the movie, a real diabolical world-destroyer. So I had a lot of fun with lots of sci-fi tropes and writing from his evil, ego-maniacal point of view. I also got to flex my “Rage Against The Machine” muscles. Fun.

Once again, high hopes for a big artist to record this, but alas, not meant to be. But wow, I sure had fun making this.

Open your ear holes, Earthlings, and prepare for “I AM THE MASTER.


Oct 4 2021

Demo Song from “Fe@rleSS”: “NEW GAME”

That’s right, here is an unreleased song for the Netflix movie I wrote and directed, “Fe@rleSS.” Lyrics and vocals by me! I had this wild idea to write a rap song for the end credits. I must emphasize this is a DEMO, so while I’m using Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” for the hook, I knew I’d never be able to use it in the final version… but it’s a demo, baby! And it was the vibe I was going for. And while I am living out my rap fantasies here, my plan was to snag a known artist to perform this.

My hope was for this to be recorded by one of the RocNation artists we were gathering for the soundtrack but… it was not meant to be. So I thought it would be fun to listen to here.

It’s all about the main character Reid and his journey to finally get off the couch and live life in a meaningful, adventurous way.

Feast your ears on “NEW GAME.”


Jun 18 2021

CORY GETS FUNNY

I’ve taken the plunge and started a YouTube channel. This is mainly for my weird comedy ideas. Some are very small sketches, some are pop culture rants. Hopefully they make you laugh on a weekly basis.

Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.55.25 AMTake a gander at the comedy buffet, here. If you like them, please subscribe!


Aug 25 2020

Animation Magazine Interview

Some great new press from Animation Magazine.

I dive a little deeper into the making of “Fearless” and techniques used for other animated films. Enjoy!

Fearless - Couch


Jul 23 2020

NEW PROJECTS: NETFLIX AND BEYOND

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 12.43.30 AMI’m finally able to share exciting news on not one, but two projects! This is a crazy business where many things I work on for a long time I have to keep secret. Well now two big secrets are out! While Deadline Hollywood broke the news yesterday, I can give you a lot more details here.

FEARLESS

Fearless Netflix PicMy recently-completed animated feature, Fearless will be premiering on Netflix, August 14. This is the project I moved my whole family to Montreal for, and it was quite a life experience. The film is about a teenage gamer who has never gotten off the couch, until he mistakenly opens a portal that brings the game characters into his backyard. He has to protect super-powered babies from a super villain who’s chasing them. It’s got a really cool look and some big fun superhero/sci-fi action sequences. It’s really amazing to see it out in the world now because, to be honest, it was one of the most challenging productions I’ve ever been on. The budget and script changed drastically several times throughout production, and the final film ended up very different from the film I originally set out to make. But is it fun? Yes!

The voice cast includes Susan Sarandon, Yara Shahidi, Miles Robbins, and rapper Jadakiss. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation produced the soundtrack, which is also very cool. The characters were designed by legendary artist Peter DeSeve (Ice Age, A Bug’s Life, Mulan) and my production designer was Kevin Conran, The guy who basically designed every single thing in Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, a favorite film of mine. Cinesite animation was the studio that created everything from start to finish, and were a pleasure to work with. If you love babies throwing tanks, angry floating robots and goofy alien sidekicks, this is a good one for you!

SC 7Every project is a growing experience that sets you up for your next project. Every film teaches you something about yourself as a creator and what you want to do better next time. That’s why, as difficult as this last film was to finish, it makes my second announcement all the sweeter…

DOOMSTAR JANITORIAL

My next film is a real labor of love, something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. It’s a sci-fi comedy that is basically a love letter to 80’s science-fiction and touchstone comedies like Ghostbusters, and Galaxy Quest. It’s a movie about the kind of guys that never get their moment; blue-collar workers who are usually invisible in a Star Wars kind of world. They aren’t bounty hunters or freedom fighters… they’re janitors. This is Doomstar Janitorial.

Doomstar PosterThe story is about Gabe, who mops the floors and changes the lightbulbs of a very powerful space station. When he finds out its planet-killing weapon is targeting his own home planet, he rallies the rest of his janitorial crew to sabotage the whole place. I’ve been working on the script for years. It was originally planned as a live action project, but when I realized I had a better chance of getting it made as an animated movie, I added a lot more funny robots and aliens and animation-friendly jokes. It’s truly one of the funniest things I’ve written and I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve got a fantastic team behind me on this one. Executive Producers are John Williams of Vanguard Animation (Shrek), Tom Jacomb of DNEG Animation (Puss In Boots, Rise Of The Guardians) and Peter Seaman (Who wrote a little Academy Award-winning film called Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Characters are already being designed by another legendary artist, Carter Goodrich (Despicable Me, Finding Nemo, Coco).

The poster displayed above is based on some “work in progress” versions of the characters, but they’re close. Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 12.58.57 AMEven the poster itself is a realization of a long-time dream of mine: to create a Drew Struzan-style movie poster for the film. If you don’t know who Drew Struzan is, look him up! He’s basically the master of 80s and 90s movie posters. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, he’s done them all. The artists at DNEG worked very hard to refine the brushstroke style of Struzan, and it’s pretty cool to see.

The next big hurdle is locking in the remaining financing and moving into the all-important greenlight for production. We are also currently casting, out to some pretty big names — names I will be very excited to share if they say yes! Bottom line, I want to fill this cast with the funniest people I can and really let them play when they get on the mic. Spontaneous comedy from actors is hard to capture in animation, especially improv and funny moments between two people that you usually get on a live action set. But I’m going to try… This film will center on the performances first and build from whatever crazy alchemy we get in the studio.

So tune in to Netflix on August 14 and enjoy Fearless, and I’ll give as many updates as I can about Doomstar, right here on this blog. It will be my joy to share as much as I can.


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