About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.
15 years ago, Ain't It Cool News posted a story about an "investment trailer" being shot for a movie called 5-25-77 - a film later touted as being "From the Producers of STAR WARS and LOST IN TRANSLATION." That 2002 news item was sourced from an assistant camera operator... yours truly. In the years since, I've written a few times about the semi-autobiographical tale from filmmaker Patrick Read Johnson, both on this site (here's one from 2012) and at one point, a feature for STARLOG Magazine that ran on 5-25-09. Now, after numerous false-starts and premature announcements, this film about Star Wars' "Fan #1" is finally, really coming out... just in-time for the 5/25/17 40th Anniversary of Star Wars. Starring John Francis Daley, Coleen Camp, Neil Flynn, Austin Pendleton and my late friend, Justin Mentell, 5-25-77 will be hitting theaters via Filmio Original Pictures. A new trailer debuted earlier today, appropriately back at AICN with some words from Mr. Harry Knowles. Check this out...
A lot of bands both current and past have had beers brewed in their honor of late, and I've sort of developed an affection for those limited-edition drinks. In fact, I have some Megadeth and Iron Maiden beers just a few feet from me here in the office at Rock Father HQ as I type these words about the latest brew to be inspired by MOTÖRHEAD. It's not the first beer to be licensed by the band, but the first in a series from Amplified Ale Works. The MOTÖRHEAD Born to Lose IPA is described as "a boldly aggressive West Coast-style IPA, befitting of the band's loud, aggressive style."
With Arbor Day marking the mid-point of spring, there's a focus on urban/suburban forestry and the importance of planting trees. Here at Rock Father HQ, we have two trees in our yard - the biggest of which is directly in the center of our front yard. That tree was pretty small when we moved here seven years ago, and with care (I prune it regularly and have fertilized it), it's now taller than our house. Planting a tree is a pretty easy way to revamp a yard, and it can add value to your home - but there should be some planning involved. My friends at Davey Tree have put together a helpful guide to assist homeowners in planting the right tree in the right spot.
As someone who writes about toys often (both here at The Rock Father™ Magazine and also over at The Toy Insider), I see a lot of new stuff. With that, I've been digging ABC's THE TOY BOX, in which independent toy creators find themselves vying for the attention of the judges in hopes of being crowned champion. At the end of the 8-week series, the winning toy will be produced by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. Check out a preview of the week four toys below...
You may have already seen the headlines - an unusually large boom in ticks throughout the Midwest this year, all due in large part thanks to a relatively mild winter. The lack of a solid deep-freeze kept the tick population from dying off during their dormant state, and warm, wet conditions this spring are bringing them back en masse. We've lived in this house for seven years, and while I'd found the occasional tick while doing yard work (never bitten), we've never had an issue until now - and we've got kids and dogs. Two weeks, two daughters, two different species of tick - and last night we had an ER visit.
Over the past few years, I've had the good fortune to have been invited to some fairly magical places that most of the general public will never have the chance to experience first-hand. Thanks to my friends at The Walt Disney Company, I've been able to go beyond the gates of several legendary facilities, including the famous lot of The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios and ABC. While I've spent a decent amount of time at all of those places in Southern California (even dropping by the Animation Research Library and the former Imagineering center), there's a couple spots further up the coast that I've always wanted to visit, and I finally crossed one of those off the list with my recent adventure inside Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. As part of the promotional ramp-up to the theatrical release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, I was able to get a look at the campus where some of the most iconic animated films of the past few decades have been created.