2005: A Year Of Highs and Lows
2005 is almost at an end, and what a year it was. A year that had a potential to be a great one but had tons of disappointments. But they were lots of good moments that happen in '05 and of course some bad ones. Here's a month by month review of the year. We'll talk about what was going on with ICON, the film scenes, and events that changed the world.

JANUARY: The new year started off with the aftermath of the Tsunami, that hit Southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka the last week of 2004. Over 155,000 people died in the disaster. Late Night King and former host of The Tonight Show Johnny Carson passes away. Other Side Cinema's Mark Terry and Vito Trabucco meet and interview cult filmmakers Ray Dennis Steckler and Arch Hall, Jr. for Crazedfanboy.com's Pop Culture Review. The TamBay Film and Video Festival announce they won't be having any festivals anymore in the future. The Coffeehouse Film Review turns 1 year old. The event is run by Pete and Paul Guzzo and is held at Romeo's Studio 1515 Coffeehouse in Ybor City. Local band Brother Christopher debuts in the area. And in ICON news, at the start of the new year they are 10 members in the ICON family. Along with heads Chris Woods and Simon Lynx, the crew includes Luis Matos, Jorge Gimenez, Craig Leitschuh, Rob Bennett, Chris Polidoro, Shelby V. McIntyre, Zach Short, and Charley Cioffero. Also ICON premieres it's newest film Sever at CFR. Sever stars Jereme Badger and Natali Ragan. This is a special screening of the film. The grand movie premiere happened the following month at CFR.

FEBRUARY: At Super Bowl XXXIX The New England Patriots win back to back Super Bowls by beating The Philadelphia Eagles. Big winners at this years Academy Awards. Million Dollar Baby wins best picture, best director; Clint Eastwood, best actress; Hilary Swank, and best supporting actor; Mogran Freeman. Jamie Fox wins best actor for Ray and Cate Blanchett wins best supporting actress for The Aviator. ICON has a standing room only premiere for Sever at CFR. Also a new talent is discovered at that same event. High School Student Ben Waller debuts with his short film Edward and Amelia. Waller has tons of potential to be a great filmmaker. The following month he plays another film Above which stars Jereme Badger and Robert Elfstrom. ICON alumni Monica May debuts a new Power Rangers S.P.D. The show is aired worldwide on ABC and ABC Family on Saturday mornings. Monica has been featured in ICON's short films To Live Is To Die and Broken Tomorrow. MegaCon rolled into Orlando and ICON was a part of the big event. Both Woods and Lynx were at the event selling ICON DVDs for the first time ever. Also at the event fellow filmmakers Andy Lalino, Greg Rivera, and Jason Liquori, who shared a table with the ICON boys. The con also had many big stars and ICON was there to meet them. Classic stars such as Lou Ferrigno and Troma head Lloyd Kaufman. We also met actress Debbie Rochon who was also at our table with Jason Liquori and actress Nichole Peterson was at the table as well with Greg Rivera. Effects Artist Brian Angeloff who did effects for Andy Lalino's Filthy and make-up for ICON's POP was also with us as well. We also ran into friends Nolan Canova, ICON's Chris Polidoro, Katherine Leis and XZanthia.

MARCH: The bay area and the world follow the story of a woman, Terri Shiavo who has been kept alive through a feeding tube for the past 15 years. A bitter battle between the husband and the parents go on for years. The husband wins the battle when the judge rules to remove the tube because Terri has been brain damaged for years and will never recover. Shiavo passes away and our area becomes a media frenzy. Also passing away in March is Johnny Cochan who is the famous lawyer from the O.J. Trial. Another media frenzy is started when a nine year girl, Jessica Lunsford is missing in the bay area. The search comes to a sad end when Lunsford is found dead close to her home. John Couey is arrested for the kidnapping and murder of the little girl. Two big announcements from Nolan Canova, Pop Culture Review turns 5 years old and NolanCon is announce. The event is to be the con for the Crazedfan and it is schedule to happen in August the weekend of Nolan's 50th birthday. ICON releases DVDs of their films on their web site which marks the first time that any ICON film is released on DVD. ICON's Chris Woods meets former pro-wrestler Brian Knobs of the tag team The Nasty Boys. The two start discussing plans to make a documentary on wrestling. Also Knobs introduces Woods to his friend, wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.

APRIL: Another girl in the bay area, Sara Lunde is missing and is found dead. Her killer is caught. Pope John Paul II passes away and a new Pope is appointed, former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger takes the name Pope Benedict XVI. ICON takes a little break for the summer from film production but still is hard at work on their web site and side projects. Sever is screened at The Ybor Film Festival, but the festival is poorly advertised even with their line up of films, so bad that ICON's Woods and Lynx didn't even know the film was playing until days after the festival.

MAY: The force is with us, when the final Star Wars film Episode III: Revenge of the Sith debuts in theaters. Deep Throat is finally revealed as 91 year old former FBI man Mark Felt. Deep Throat was the man who gave information to Washington Times reporters Woodward and Bernstein on Watergate during the Nixon era. The deaths of stars Frank Gorshin (The Riddler from The Batman series), Eddie Albert, and Ann Bancroft happen in May. ICON gets a new look. They change their logo and change up their web site. Other Side Cinema wrap production on their new film Hooligan's Valley which they shot in L.A. and The Guzzos start production on their new feature 99. Bay News 9 covers The Coffeehouse Film Review.

JUNE: A month of big movie premieres, Batman Begins, Spielberg's version of War of The Worlds, and George Romero's long awaited forth installment of the dead series, Land of The Dead is released. The Michael Jackson Trial end when Jackson is found not guilty on all counts of child molestation. The San Antonio Spurs beat The Detroit Pistons in The NBA Finals. Actress Amanda Beck creates nonprofit group, Charity Chicks. ICON's Simon Lynx was part of a charity event as well in June, when he bowled for Rhinos to help raise money for them. ICON inc. is born, when ICON Film Studios offer services in post production editing, web design, and graphics. ICON started pre production on a short film, Flight 111 written by Carl Blake but the production was cut short when Blake moved to Austin, TX and the story went with them. The film was to star Jereme Badger and Joel Wynkoop and was to be directed by Chris Woods. The story was about the armed forces monitoring air traffic when they suspect that one of the planes is being taken over by terrorist when it goes off course.

JULY: Hurricanes are upon Florida and the rest of the Gulf of Mexico. Hogan Knows Best debuts on VH-1. Fantastic Four and The Devils Rejects hit the big screen. 20 years after Live Aid, Live 8 happens to raise money for Africa, but Live 8 is not as good as it's original. James Doohan who played Scotty on the original Star Trek passes away. Other Side Cinema's Night Demons wins Crystal Reel Award. Some sad and disappointing news comes when NolanCon is canceled. This was going to big one of the biggest events of the summer and would of been a the greatest Con for the crazed fan. But due to lack of money, lack of support from the community, and the main sponsor bailing out at the last minute leaving Nolan no choice but to call the Con off. ICON's Chris Woods was helping out with making a commercial for the event and was going to be part of the big weekend in August. ICON puts out a special two part tribute to Nolan Canova and Pop Culture Review which is a part of Crazedfanboy.com.

AUGUST: Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans destroying the city. Lives are lost, damages are beyond repair, and our country and president are slow to help out those in need. Today the city is still feeling the aftermath of the category 5 storm. Space Shuttle Discovery touches down safely. Discovery is the first shuttle to go back into space after The Space Shuttle Columbia exploded when it was about to touchdown two and a half years ago. August has more sad happens when longtime ABC news anchor Peter Jennings passes away and more closer to home, local filmmaker Sondra J. Overholser dies of cancer. Sondra had made several films in the area over the years and many were featured at festivals in Tampa Bay. NolanAid kicks off, which was the party for Nolan Canova's 50th Birthday which was going to be the weekend of NolanCon, but weeks later Nolan is hospitalized for a severe leg infection. He is in the hospital for a few days that quickly recovers to be at the helm of PCR. ICON also puts out Part 2 of their tribute to Nolan and Crazedfanboy.com, this part focuses on the many different writers of PCR. And a star is born when singer songwriter Chase (Chrissy Stalikas) explodes into the Tampa Bay music by headlining plenty of gigs, including one for Charity Chicks, making TV appearances, and even showing up in the pages of FHM. This is a woman to look out for.

SEPTEMBER: More hurricanes hit the southeastern states throughout the month. TV greats Bob Denver of Gilligan's Island and Don Adams of Get Smart pass away. ICON's Sever is a part of IFF: Independent Filmmaker Festival which aired on The Education Channel. Other Side Cinema's Hooligan's Valley was also a part of it as well. ICON adds a new section to their site, a TRIBUTES page which includes pictures created by Simon Lynx of celebrities that have passed on. At September's CFR a selection of Sondra Overholser films are shown to pay tribute to her memory. Pete and Paul Guzzo shown us a sneak peek at their new film, 99, and a new talented is discovered when filmmaker Melissa Webb screens her film The Unconscious Disease. ICON and Other Side Cinema member, Shelby V. McIntyre launches his own web site. Texas metal band Freak 13 provide the music for some of the flash intros on ICON's web site. And Simon Lynx meets the rock band Cold.

OCTOBER: The hurricanes are not over yet when Hurricane Wilma hits the south east of Florida. The NHL finally returns after a lockout that lasted a year. Rosa Parks who made an impact on Civil Rights during the 1950s passes away. Actor and Filmmaker Joe Davison returns to states and the bay area and creates Pop Gun Pictures. Chris Woods meets another wrestling legend Jimmy Hart. ICON post another new section on their site which shows all their awards and a list of all the festivals their films have played. The Horror Channel makes a come back and tries to launch on a Turner based network, The Men's Channel. Andy Lalino and Chris Woods become involve with the launch show. But unfortunately it never happens. The Halloween Horror Picture Show resurfaces for 2005 but it has a disappointing turnout due to a bad location, no advertising, and not enough people to help out. The event was headed up by Rick Danford with some help from Chris Woods. The event had a good line up of films except the open film which was Web of Darkness, a film Danford made five years ago and he keeps clinging on to and he won't let it die. The guest on the other hand were great, all of them were wonderful. Cult favorites like Brinke Stevens, Denise Duff, Debbie Rochon, Amy Lynn Best, and others were among the guest list. The huge guest of the night, Ron Jeremy was a no show. His film Andre The Butcher was playing as the closing film of the night. Tons of familiar faces were there, like Nolan Canova, Greg Rivera, Nichole Peterson. Jason Liquori, Andy Lalino, and Sheri Lawrence. Plus lots of new ones and new talent like Taylor M. Dooley, Aaliyah Madyun, and Ann Poonkasem who was with Chris Passinault of Passinault Entertainment. Woods' friend Dan Goncalves was there helping out also ICON's Jorge Gimenez was there as well. And on a sad note Walter Romeo owner of Studio 1515 Coffeehouse closes up shop. The coffeehouse was the location for The Coffeehouse Film Review. Now the Guzzo brothers look for a new spot for CFR. But for the last two years some of the best films that were made in the bay area came out of Walter's coffeehouse.

NOVEMBER: Some tragic news in the world of wrestling, when WWE superstar Eddie Guerrero passes away. Guerrero was with the other WWE wrestlers at a hotel in Minneapolis where they were to wrestle the next night. They found Eddie dead the next morning from heart failure. At the time, Guerrero was a main event star at the peek of his career. The follow night on WWE's Monday Night RAW, his fellow wrestlers paid tribute to their late great friend. Also some sad news hits close to home in the ICON family, when good friend Ray Secor looses his battle with cancer. Ray lived in Utica, NY and was a longtime friend to Simon Lynx. The Secor family and Simon's were very close for many years. In The World Series, The Chicago White Sox beat The Houston Astros. The Horror Channel lives yet again. When they announce that they'll launch the channel on line. Lalino and Woods continue to work with the channel to get it up and running. THC does a soft launch when they show the classic film Night of the Living Dead. The official launch will take place in December. CFR gets a new location at the International Bazaar in Ybor City. The next showing of CFR will be in January. And ICON's site reaches 10,000 on their hit counter.

DECEMBER: Former USF professor Sami Al-Arian was found Not Guilty of charges relating to conspiracy to fund Palestinian Islamic Jihad actions. The Horror Channel is set for their official launch on line by the end of December. Other Side Cinema's Mark Terry starts a column on Crazedfanboy.com's PCR called My Middle Toe is Longer Than Yours. And ICON gets two new members, Steve DeGrace and Dan Goncalves.

So, that was 2005. Now a new year is upon us. We ask the same question from last year...Will the new year be better than last year. Will ICON get its break. Will the film scene become more supportive of each other. Will their be more film festivals in the bay area. And who will be break out stars of the new year. See you in 2006.


(Some resources gathered from Crazedfanboy.com)

Scene from Sever
Monica May in Power Rangers S.P.D.
Chris and Simon with Lou Ferrigno
Woods meets Hulk Hogan and Brian Knobs
Bleed DVD cover.
ICON gets a new look
Simon bowls for the rhinos
In the center Nolan Canova with Joel D. Wynkoop and Cathy Holseybrook
Sondra J. Overholser
Metal band Freak 13
The Icon Boys with Walter Romeo
The crew at Halloween Horror Picture Show
Tribute to Ray Secor
Eddie Guerrero
The Horror Channel debuts

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