James and Jackie get caught up in the estate sale mania that is going on in reality TV and spend two weekends experiencing it.   And they learned a few things on why it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Well, for the last few weeks, Jackie & I have been hitting estate sales here in Central and Northern New Jersey.   This is a new thing for us as we have never even really hit garage or yard sales since moving to NJ from the Bronx in 1993.   We just didn’t think it was what respectable people did.

Well, reality TV changed all that for us.  Every pawn shop and antiques reality show had these stories of people finding tremendous deals at estate sales. Even one of our new favorite shows – Kevin Smith’s “Comic Book Men” showed the main characters finding big scores at garage sales and the Collingwood Flea Market.  So Jackie and I decided to check out this suburban phenomena.  And we lived to tell the tale.

We started our expeditions at the Collingwood Flea Market Mall in Farmingdale, NJ after seeing it on Comic Book Men.  The characters on the show said that “the people who went to this mall were not allowed in regular malls” – and that was enough to pique our curiosity.   And after asking around, we found it was a “ghetto mall” (which are usually awesome) where you could find “anything” – from brass knuckles, swords, and grappling hooks (seriously), to Nazi paraphernalia (we think – we didnt go in that section as it looked too shady). This is the type of mall where you could find the million-dollar Read more

The Barn

So back in September,2011, my wonderful niece Heather Guglielmo (who is an aspiring actress) sent me a link to a Kickstarter project for a movie called “The Barn” that she was going to be in with her Portland, Maine film-making director friend Corey Norman from Bonfire Films.  I had seen a bunch of their previous stuff and I was impressed on how good they were for being self-funded projects, but I was impressed to see they were going the Kickstarter route and taking their productions to a whole new level…  So of course I donated to the cause – Sure, I think they are very talented, but lets face it – if my niece is a part of it, I’m absolutely donating…

As a sign of how good these guys had gotten, they were asking for $500 to cover their basic production costs, and by their Kickstarter end-date of October 2nd, they almost-quadrupled that with $1,975!   Which meant they were going to add some real production value to this movie!   I was excited to see what they’d do with the extra money because they have pulled off some impressive movies with no funding…

So once they got the money they got to work right away – like setting up locations, building props (like coffins), etc.   And Heather would tell me all about the shooting, etc…   Within weeks after they started, they got all their principal photography done, and the film was in the editing room…

A few weeks after that, they are announcing their release date of December 5th, 2011 at the Nickelodeon Cinema in Portland!   I just want to note it was Read more

Summary:  Author, film-maker and costumer James Hannon takes you through the first 3 videos in a series showing how to put on various Star Wars costumes from the 501st Legion’s NorthEast Remnant (NER) Garrison.    Designed to show people all the intricacies that these costumes have that make them look as tho the wearer has just walked off the movie screen and into reality.  Covering the Sandtrooper (TD), BikerScout (TB), and TIE Pilot costumes in these videos with more to come shortly.


Back in 2009, I joined the 501st Legion. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a volunteer fan organization where its members dress in screen-accurate Star Wars “bad guy” costumes and go out to various comic conventions, charity and corporate events to promote Star Wars.  Lucasfilm gave us permission to do this, and have regularly used us for various events over the years.

Much more detailed info can be found on the 501st Legion website and the Wikipedia entry for the group.

Here in New Jersey, my local group is the 501st NorthEast Remnant Garrison.  I’m currently the Garrison Public Relations Officer (GPR) and I’m tasked with helping to promote the group – which is easy because the group does some great work with charity organizations.

One of the things we decided to do is create a series of videos to show how to put on various Star Wars costumes. Some of the costumes we have are pretty complicated to put on, and these videos were designed as a look behind-the-scenes and see how everything fits together. Many times in the dressing rooms Read more