Wednesday, June 29, 2005

on the road again...

Speaking of On the Road, I'd love to be involved in making that book into a film. There are a couple of other Kerouac books that I'd absolutely be thrilled with adapting into a two hour misadventure but this in not the reason to add to the rants and raves page today. I will be taking my own mad adventures back to San Francisco for a few days with a stop off at Tucson before hand. You see, when you have a girl friend that you spend a great deal of time with, eventually you'll have to do something to make a birthday more exciting than the previous year. This year I'm traveling to go see her family and friends for a 10 day stint across the desert, mountains, and bay-- through a maze of airports, screaming kids, and no sleep.
In the meantime I'll be missing a great concert here in Memphis... see Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson are playing at the ballpark on Friday. This may be my last chance to see either one of them... but I can't make it... love conquers all (and then doesn't let go because there is democracy but no freedom). However, this old boy has had to scale down his midnight craziness... for with growing years comes the price of tougher rebounds. Those recuperation hours drag on into days... and I'm getting too old to deal with it.
If I had some time, money, and a camera I would start my cross-country documentary (which I'll not give any more information about because I would hate for some kid that has time and unlimited resources to steal my idea and take it to the festivals to win award after award and contract after winning contract). It unfortunately they don't really like it too much when you've got a video camera out on a plane... it's always a bad omen and the start of a terrible made for TV movies about the tragic plane flight that never made it. I'm not ready for that bend around the corner... there's still some fight in this old dog and I plan to give it to each and every scrappy bastard in the neighborhood.
On this trip, there might be a chance to go see a couple of films. Unfortunately, as I've mentioned days earlier in the blog all of the films we're being force fed this summer are re-makes. So, I'll suck up the hype and go see War of the Worlds. I'm a little frightened that it's going to suck because all of the publicity that "The Cruise" has done for the film has either involved proclamations of a strange new love, threats to psychology, threats to post-pardem depression, ridilin, being a scientologist, and every other little tid-bit that you could ever imagine Tom Cruise would go madly insane about... everything except for the film that he just finished. Therefore, I'm a little skeptical of going to see this film. Oh, and I've heard that Bewitched is "charming" but a little bland.
Anyway, I'll be out of town for a while. I don't know if I'll get to post from out West... so don't count on it. Maybe if you buy me a beer when I get back I'll let you in on all of the secrets.


Monday, June 27, 2005

the answers are coming...

There are those of you that are interested in hearing whether or not you'll be "Acting" in the next Rusted Sun Films project. The word should be going out (hopefully) this week. The decisions are made. There will also be some open spots for extras and featured extras that we will need to fill for certain scenes as they come up... those still interested in the project should keep a close contact with Brad and Christine. Anthony and I will be focusing on a couple of other elements of the film making process. Brad and Christine will be sending out e-mails, phone calls, and other means of communication to let everyone know about their involvement and keep everyone in contact with us. The announcement will be on the Official Rusted Sun Films sight, . Look under the news section (if I can get it done before Thursday morning).

Friday, June 24, 2005

reinventing the flat tire... (your weekend update)

Much like the music industry, the film industry has fallen prey to the razor sharp slashes that eventually bleeds an idea to a slow and painful death. Both the RIA (Recording Industry of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) are climbing through the fragged and tarnished frontlines of illegal downloading, pirating, and over-zealous fines directed toward whomever is unlucky enough to be caught in the crosshairs. Children are being forced to dole out thousands of dollars for something that we can all "admit" to have taken part in at one point or another. The unfortunate part of the equation (that makes me twist my face as though I had just eaten a chunk of sour milk) is that most of this illegal activity focuses around a bunch of material that is unoriginal, non-creative, and simply "sucks the big one."

We'll stick with the music analogy for a few moments. Music has only so many tones and sounds that can be recorded, emanate, or manipulated. There are no new sounds in the world. The sounds can be twisted and rearranged in particular orders so that they are more pleasing... or less pleasing... or some mashed tones and drones piled upon copious amounts of percussion that course through copper wiring at such high frequencies they'll eventually melt away the cheap plastic cones of your Wal-Mart speakers. It kind of reminds me of the scene in SPIES LIKE US, when the nuclear missile that threatens to start World War Three hits the MTV Satellite and blows up the television that has been hypnotically mezmerizing the black and neon clad girl in braces that quickly responds, "Wicked" once the boob tube dies in an explosion of sparks and smoke. Those moments are the ones that we're still looking for.

You see, films fall under the same theory... there are no new ideas. You can only place the pieces, characters, and relationships in different places to tell a mildly different account of the same story. I can only assume that these are the reasons that "re-makes" of older films and television series have become so "ultra-hip" these days. For the most part, they're fairly successful in their attempt to reinvent or recreate an older idea. We hold a saccarine sweet nostalgic place in our hearts for the Original Versions of these films and shows because they remind us of our youth... simpler, better times when going to the movies or watching a Sunday Kung-Fu matinee stretched a smile across your face large enough to birth a full-grown Dalmation. Growing up sucks for the most part. Our memories of the simple childhood joys are given another chance to have a small amount of life breathed back into them... usually through some 60 million dollar pet project of an MTV generation director that has had no more experience behind the camera than playing the role of an Assistant Director on a failed Limp Bizkit video. They do it for fun (so they'll say) but it's really about the money. Bewitched, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Honeymooners, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, The Longest Yard, Herbie: Fully Loaded, George Romero's Land of the Dead, The Bad News Bears, The Pink Panther... RING A BELL?!? That's because they'll all re-makes or reinventions of some thing that has already had some fair amount of success within the last few decades. Plus, all of these re-makes came out within the last month or coming months (yeah, I'm not kidding... all within a three month time span). Sure, lets bring it back out with a couple of new effects and fuck up everything we thought was pure so that these unoriginal assholes with bloated salaries can ruin a good thing for generations to come.

I can only hope that within the next few years, these indie film makers around the country (or internationally) that are out there busting their asses for free, will finally be recognized for original ideas, talent, and not allowing themselves to be manipulated by suits waving around imaginary digits that are supposed to represent a bank account or net worth percentage dividends from ticket sales and merchandising. There was once hope for such a fiery rebellion against those bloated bastards that control the film industry. I remember a time when Pulp Fiction was considered original or at the least a break from the standard bullshit that we were being fed every weekend at the movie theater. Pulp Fiction was nothing more than a rehash of Pulp Comics, 70's violence, and a cannon load of witty dialogue right out of a hipster's poetry notebook, daddy-o... It wasn't original but at least it was a FRESH look at something.

Okay, Shakespeare is a good thing... but even that gets old after a while. Instead, it's replaced by a theater production of ON GOLDEN POND, starring James Earl Jones that no one wants to see anymore because he's bowed out "sick." A great "known" actor playing that role would sell theater tickets (at least that's the mentality)... the problem is that people are proving that type of thought pattern to be correct. If Harrison Ford were doing it... people would probably go see it too... And that my feathered fellows is the Hollywood mentality behind this flush of re-makes. Put some notable faces in the roles of well established characters and let them vomit all over the celluloid while the production team jumps cars 70 feet into the air and blows shit up.... Oh, and make Ralph Kramden an urban black man... because our African American audience loved watching the Honeymooners in the 50's... God forbid they attempt a crack at making Sanford and Son into a movie starring Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle (shit, I have to get the rights to that an make a trillion dollars).

Did you know that they were in talks to make a Dynasty movie?! Who gives a fuck? Rambo IV is also in the makings?!? The Six Million Dollar Man is going to be made into a film?!? I'm now taking names for volunteers that are ready and willing to travel to Hollywood and crack each and every one of these senseless movie mogul bastards over the head with a ballpin hammer. We'll pillage the movie sets, production houses, and watch the whole industry go up in flames.... Oh shit, didn't they do something like that in Escape from L.A.? So much for new ideas, lets hire Ashton Kutcher and make a Knight Rider movie... David Hasselhoff can be the voice of the car.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

there has to be another way...

Okay, a few weeks ago somewhere in LaLaWood California, a marketing schlub scraped away the midnight hours in a dark little room filled with RedBull, Doughnuts, Frito Lay products, highlighters, a lap top, and the hope that he could find a new idea to get people to go to movies. "We've got to stop this theater slump... we've got to somehow convince people to go to these big summer blockbuster movies like they did back in 1989," they thought to themself (or screamed out loud in painfully frustrating agony). The carpet was worn thin from hours of pacing wall to wall... the air crackled with static electricity and caffeine overdosed shaky surges threatened to tear the room apart with one final blast of frustrated fury. The marketing idea-person started to sweat bullets... an entire 6 hours had been burned without a single good idea (or at least that didn't include Taco Bell). The ideas had made "him" great. The ideas propelled new celebrity into realms previously unknown. His father had done if for Chuck Norris in the 80s. The current task at hand was supposed to be fairly simple. This STAR had already been established by years of over acting. Suddenly, the spark started to ignite a maniacal fire inside the crammed confines of his skull. The celebrity magazines strewn out across the floor and table of the tiny "Think Tank" began to take form. There, stretched out from cover to cover was that perfect smile... the smile that took a year of braces to form an even more sparkling perfection for those close up covers of celebrity magazine.
The pitch-man thought aloud, "Let's put these two together and throw every bit of their little love trainwreck on television and magazines... let's saturate every bit of the human senses with their smiles and crazy love soaked eyes... take away the sunglasses... put them in 'everyday' apparel so that the masses will connect with something simple and 'normal'... but still keep them tied to that celebrity sparkle. They have to be constantly adored by the screaming, senseless public. Get every detail of their celebrity love-fest leaked to the press, so that they'll chum the frenzied waters with this shit! People will eat it alive! We'll put it on talk shows... Letterman... Oprah... maybe Dr. Phil... wait, fuck, what am I thinking? Not Dr. Phil... okay... Not only that, it will give our client a younger image that will inevitably prolong his immortality for another 10 years or so. Look, if Katie Holmes will go for it, then Tom Cruise can LIVE FOREVER! Mmmwaahahahahahahaaaa....."

Seriously folks, that's how these twisted minds work. See, have you heard anything lately from the Brad and Angelina camp after the opening of Mr. and Mrs. Smith? No. But it sure as hell plastered their faces across the entire continent long enough for every single human eye to have seen them at least once... or have heard about it... The only safe souls that could have escaped such a wide swath of attack would be Arkansas or those enrolled in the Peace Corps. The movie failed to save the box office slump this summer. I often wonder if their 'love' would still be splattered across the airwaves and magazine covers if the movie had raised even more money for the box office?

Why are we still seeing all of this Tom and Katie shit? Hasn't Batman Begins opened? Yes... but it was never about Katie. It was always about Tom. Was K-Ho (funny... it worked for Jennifer Lopez... J-Lo) seen jumping and flailing about the Oprah couches? No, mostly because until Tom Cruise happened to fall "madly in love with her" most of the idiotic American Eye had no idea who the fuck Katie Holmes was... with the obvious exception that she was on Dawson's Creek (which I remembered after writing this little rant). Back to the point, we're still getting the 'Ol media flush because War of the Worlds hasn't hit theaters yet. However, they've scaled the mad-hot love affair back because the Money Men behind the studio behind the movie are starting to get creeped out... and that might be what the American public is feeling... and that might affect the movie turn out. God, we can't have that?! "How do we fix this problem?" they asked themselves... "Have them get married, so people will take them seriously... yeah, that's the ticket."

Anyone buying that ticket? I'm sure as hell not. However, I'll probably see the damn movie. Just please, for the love of God, please leave these f-ing relationships out of the public flood. Most of us don't give a shit... but I guess, for the rest of America, those that needs to be led around by the nose, it will sell the shit out of some magazines.

Monday, June 20, 2005

the ZERO dollar question

I didn't get to count how many times I was asked, "So, have you guys made any decisions on casting for your next movie?" I didn't really count because it was coming from all directions and all sorts of different times during the day... and previous week. That seems to be the biggest query on some of the minds of actors and film makers alike for the time being. I'm ready to get moving on this project too. I don't want to make all of the decisions by myself, however. There has to be a group decision on this project because it has to have everyone on the same page in order to work the way that I want it to work. A lot of people have offered assistance as well as feigned some sort of interest in the up and coming project that seems to be stuck somewhere in pre-production.
I could make excuses and pull this little game of no answers on forever... but as I was told this weekend, "There are a few things up in the air." So... we're still figuring a couple of the details out. We do have some people locked into verbal agreements for parts... those are the easy decisions and the parts that were written for specific actors. Some of the other parts have been agreed upon, yet not expressed to the actors yet (assuming that they still want them). All in all, it's come to the point where it's up to "us" to make the first move, the big announcement, and get this ball rolling into production meetings and eventually the "FIRST BIG SHOOT."
That's a fun day... to start your own production. It's also frightening as hell because once you jump in that rocket, you're not allowed to come back home until the mission is over. I've got some great ideas, some fun places to start, and some locations to still lock down.
To tell you the truth, we've all been a little distracted lately with "other stuff." Some of it may be jobs, some of it may be other productions, some of it may be producing shows... We took a couple of different directions and kind of pushed a few papers off of the coffee table for a while. Those things happen. Right now, I'm looking for those papers again because they need another good look. We should announce something very soon. The ZERO (no budget, remember?) dollar question will be answered shortly.
I wrapped up a minor acting role this Sunday. I think that there may be another little shot or two in the near future... but there are no lines, nothing to rehearse, etc. etc. Next will be a little guest-directing stint on Third Wheel Date and shooting more with Robert Saba. However, I'm going to grab the reigns on Divine Manipulation of the Threads and start moving the buggy into the horizon. Happy Trails to you....

Thursday, June 16, 2005

theater etiquette 101

I went to see Batman Begins last night. First off, it was a great film. Christopher Nolan was very imaginative with the visuals, creative with elements of the story line, and stuck to actual "Special Effects" rather than Visual Effects (the difference is actually blowing shit up instead of a computer generated explosion). Bravo Mr. Nolan... well played.
Now... having gone to the theater twice this week to catch up on some well deserved movie enjoyment, I find it a dire necessity to inform the various peoples of this fine city that there will be bloody-bashing acts of vengeful violence played out across the staggered rows of theater seats if some things do not change swiftly. Things have gotten out of control. So, I'll make a little list for those of you that may have forgotten how to behave in a movie theater.

1. If at all possible, arrive to the theater a little early.
I know realize that all issues of time delays and constraints are not always in our control. I have a girlfriend that takes FOREVER to get ready. She does her best to be on time for me, I do my best not to lose my head when I'm late. Now that there are commercials before the previews actually start, there is some time to still arrive at the theater and get all of your things in order.

2. Purchase your snacks and go to the bathroom before hand.
You can do these things before you go into the theater. Look, if you want to buy a soda and popcorn at the theater and spend 13 dollars for it, feel free. I don't... so I usually sneak in something to drink, if I need it. Admittedly there are times where I'll have a beer or two before a movie so that I can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Now, if you've had too much to drink and the film is somewhere around 2 and 1/2 hours long, I can understand having to get up to go to the restroom. However, these acts of getting up and stomping through the isles disrupts everyone in the theater. Stay seated, please.

3. Sit down and shut the fuck up.
Once you've found your perfect seat, open your candy and what not and get all of your little hushed conversations out before the previews end. I'll give you the time to talk and joke a bit during the previews. I'll even excuse the cellophane crinkles during the beginning of the movie. But under no circumstances should you ever talk during the film. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT HOW CONFUSED YOU ARE OR HOW YOU THINK THAT SCENE IS FUNNY OR SCARY... Do NOT talk to the screen! Don't talk to the people around you. I'll repeat, SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I can't tell you how many times I had to turn around and actually scream, "Quiet" yesterday. Hell, I moved seats in the theater after the film started because two ladies with a kid sat down near me and the kid just started talking away. He's a kid... I'll forgive him for that. However, the parents or guardians should have been WHISPERING to the kid saying something along the lines of, "Shhhhh, Honey, people are trying to watch the movie. Talking is rude." Which brings me to another rule.

4. Don't bring children to adult movies.
I don't give a crap if you think the kid can handle it. Odds are if the film is rated PG-13 there is a reason for it. If the kid is under 11 years old, don't take him into that kind of movie. I don't want to hear your babies screaming and crying, scared shitless because they saw something that they couldn't handle... like someone being shot in the face... or their parents being beaten about the head and neck for knowingly bringing a fucking kid into a movie that was too mature for them. If you can't get a babysitter... stay home. Don't bring a 5 year old kid to a movie that starts after 9PM. Kids have bed times. This was a Wednesday night. Go see a matinee.

5. Turn your fucking cell phone OFF!!!!
There is no excuse for that shit. I paid to see the film, not listen to your phone ring 8 times during the film. If you want to talk, go outside or go home. If you are on call and can't turn your phone off... I'm pretty sure you can turn it on silent. God help you if you answer the phone in the theater...

I have to actually go to matinees these days to enjoy a film. Why? Because no one will have to die by my hands... because the people at the matinee are sick and tired of dealing with all of these incosiderate assholes. I remember the days when you would be escorted out of the theater for disturbing those who paid good money to see the films. I think that we should bring these rules back. If you want to act like a stupid shit... you don't get to watch the movie... in fact... you don't get to come back to this theater for a month. If you do come back and do this again, you'll be arrested for trespassing... next time you will be shot in the kneecap... next time we'll cut off your ear... the next time the audience will be given razors so that they may have the satisfaction of slicing you to shreds.
There is no excuse for screaming at the screen, taking laser pointers, talking, cell phones, or breaking liquor bottles in the theater. If you can't abide by these rules, don't go to the theater. I pay a lot of dough to go see these films at my convenience. If you're ruining the experience, you're basically stealing my money. In some countries people lose hands for stealing. Perhaps we should adopt these cultural exchanges... I'll be watching you....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

general understanding, bats, and screwy friends

Okay, as I'm working on casting for Rusted Sun Films next project titled, Divine Manipulation of the Threads, I'm running into a few heartwrenching problems. There are a lot of people that we will need for this project. Not all of them will be starring or featured parts. Not everyone will be able to have a great amount of screen time, but I can say that certain people will have some. I want to include as many of these great actors and great friends in this project... however, I'm not able to squeeze all of them in and keep to the integrity of what I think will be a great film. Okay, it's a comedy... Okay, it's a misleading heist film... Okay, I should write more female parts...
I can promise to put certain people in scenes. It may not be the part they read for... it may not be as involved as they would like. All I can add to resolve some of those thoughts would be-- "Don't waste my time with attitude problems." Everyone is doing this free... for the love of the game. None of us have time to deal with prima donnas, glory hogs, or bitchy little actors/actresses that feel that their (free) talents are better than a couple of lines. Those that decide to work with us will be taking on a task that will become a great indie film. They will grow to be part of the family that is Rusted Sun Films. Most indie films have merely a handful of roles. We've jumped to 30 plus roles. That's a feat all unto itself... just casting those roles is a huge pain in the ass. Some people may want to help out as background or even crew. I hope that people will be interested enough in our little film group to do that and not just "play actor" in front of a camera. I'm don't want to hurt people's feelings. I know that eventually it's going to come down to that... pride will get bruised (including my own)... some people may drop out leaving the doors open for another talented and eager individual to take their place...
One hard lesson to learn in this game is that you can "always be replaced." So, when you get a position that you like... work hard to keep it.
On another note, I'm glad to see that my friends have been keeping themselves amused long enough to taunt me... Or maybe they really hate me... (together now) "That's What Friends are For"... They keep you grounded and full of shit at the same time.
So, I've got to go see Batman Begins tonight. I'm hearing great reviews. I expect it to be just as exciting as the 1989 version of Batman. Of course, I was a wee bit younger then, and I didn't have great expectations... but Jack Nicholson kicked mucho ass portraying The Joker. Rumor has it that Mark "Skywalker" Hammill might be getting a shake at the wild smiling villian this time around. That might actually spark another career great for the guy. I wish him all of the best... I mean, he kind of gets type cast with the Star Wars thing. Maybe now that the last three (prequel) films have blown bantha poodoo he will finally be able to slip out from under the cloud that is George Lucas. Harrison Ford did it, why not 'ole Luke... I mean... Mark... damn.
Film schedules are getting shifted here and there. It's finally dawned on me that there are a lot of indie projects going on this summer. I'm going to have to get moving on DMoftheT if we're going to make it before the end of the year. Time to start crackin'.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

sometime Monday I became a mentor?

A friend of mine started asking for film advice. So, now I'm being given credit as a mentor. I find it interesting that someone might take my advice or even listen to what I might have to say about shooting, editing, lighting, directing, acting, etc... I don't know if I've even had the "experience" to be considered someone of which to gain useful information. I don't know... it's just funny, I can' t even get my girlfriend to listen to me. Well, if I'm asked for advice I'll give it... Hopefully it will sound like I know what I'm talking about. I do shoot tape and edit for somewhere around eight hours a day, five to six days a week (and that's just the paycheck... that's not even the 'film hobby'). That might be able to transfer as "experience."
I did go see Mr. and Mrs. Smith last night. I needed a fun little escape. The movie served it's purpose... it was entertaining... laughable... pretty to look at. It just reminds me that Doug Liman usually needs someone to come in and save the film. I've read a couple of articles about his last few films. Apparently, Mr. Liman is a terror on set and one of those people that don't convey their vision to others well. I've seen directors that don't really express the things they want or envision correctly. Sometimes they're so overpowering that they're allowed to run free with all of this film, equipment, actors, time, and burn away days of shoots and re-shoots. However, when you throw the factor of $90 million dollars into a film project, someone is going to take notice that things aren't working they way that they're supposed to... and something is going to have to be done to pull the choke chain back on this little doggie. It's apparent in Mr. and Mrs. Smith that someone had to come in and save the film.
Towards the end of the movie there is a big shoot out in a Home Depot-like department store. At the big 'turn and burn' finale of bullets zinging and stylish 'gun-fu,' I noticed something. The action sequences were the same action run through as the previous 'turn and shoot.' They didn't shoot enough footage to keep the action sequence different (or that interesting for that matter). With a scenario of 2 vs. Infinite baddies, you would think that Mr. and Mrs. Smith might have been shot more than twice. Take a moment and think about the final shoot out in the film The Way of the Gun. Everyone was bloody, shot up, and barely able to move. It was realistic (to a sense)... or at the least, more believable than the finale of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. You see, once Mr. and Mrs. Smith were through shooting up all of the baddies... the scene fades to black...
This is a prime example of a shoot not being finished... or an editor desperately struggling to make chicken cordon bleu out of chicken shit. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining film... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are extremely charming on screen. Doug Liman should have to go through the ringer of directing an entire television series to prove that he can still cut the mustard. Television is much less forgiving of a medium. If people think the show sucks... they don't watch it. Most of all, films shouldn't have all of these millions of dollars attached to a project so that people can just throw money at a problem. People just don't make good movies when the money people get deeply involved in the process. Big budgets have a tendency to ruin films. I guess I'll never be hired to work on one of those. Hollywood is extremely screwed up right now anyway... the age of digital cinema is upon us, think about it.
In the 50's we had the film noir movement.
In the 60's was all of the French Neu-Wave Style.
In the 70's we had the birth of Pulp violence.
In the 80's the family film took hold.
In the 90's the Independent Film movement broke through the dirt.
In the 00's we will deal with the rise of digital film.
None of the rules apply anymore. We may actually see the film medium die (or at the least, become a minority). The market place will be flooded. People rarely go to the theaters anymore. They're all buying DVDs and downloading movies from the internet. The digital age makes the accessibility extremely easy. Hell, there are 13 year-old kids out there that can hack into the Microsoft mainframe, much less steal an entire catalog of MGMs films. We're headed for a cliff, my friends... we either jump or go back home to eat Ramen Noodles in a dark corner of the house... Jump. Learn how to fly on the way down.


Friday, June 10, 2005

an A-lister, in my dreams...

So, I guess Brad Pitt was actually pissed off about that "Brangelina" crack I made... because he showed up in my dream last night. We were just kind of hanging out at a beach house with a small group of people. I was very cautious not to agitate him because he was already mad about the comment I made on my blog... I know?! What the hell is that about? To make it even weirder, a few nights back I had a dream that I was hanging out with Brad Pitt in an airport.
I mean, it might make sense that every where you look these days "The Pitt" is all over magazines, television, movie posters, etc. etc... so much that I'm hanging out with him in my dreams. So, I can be an A-lister one day... or at least night...
Did I mention that I have this power to dream things and then they actually come to life? Yeah, it's kind of like deja vu but not exactly. Ask Christine or my brothers, it happens, it's weird and now I get to hang out with Brad Pitt somewhere down the road... but not tonight... unless he wants to be an extra in Robert Saba's film.
We're shooting in Robert's cramped kitchen this evening. We're re-shooting and changing locations on certain scenes that should piece together in editing somewhere down the line. Again, it's fun to just be acting for a change. I make suggestions and comments from a directors' point of view and they're usually ignored (laugh a little, Robert)... but I just get to sit back and act for a short time. Problem is, I don't know if I'm any good at it... I'll just try to give them what I think that they might want, or what I would do in that situation. Acting is acting... directing is complicated, frustrating, and at the end of the day you're not really sure what just happened... but something is on tape (or film). So, that's my Friday night plan... I guess I'll have to wait until later to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Maybe BP can bring some other A-listers to hang out with... like Clooney or Johnny Depp... we'll sit on a patio, drink rum and talk about Rock Music... then promise to do a film together. Which reminds me....
I need to write an open letter to Paul Newman. This will be the first time that I publicly beg for money that I don't deserve. I wish that some how, some way, Mr. Newman would find it in his heart of hearts to throw a little bit of money my way so that I might make a great Indie Film on the cheap. It won't take much at all. We've made a great film (A Cowboy's Silver Lining) on no money what so ever. Just imagine what 20 grand would do... hell, 10 grand. Rusted Sun Films has never made a dime on anything that we've ever done. Anthony has probably gone 10 thousand dollars in the hole from buying bits and pieces of equipment and hardware to build all of this home-made stuff. I think that he would appreciate the kind of drive and vision that we have... that we want to change the way people look at films... change the way films are made...
I'm a fan of his Ranch dressing... could he be a fan of my films? Maybe I'll talk to dreamland Brad Pitt to see if we can arrange a meeting.
Not getting enough sleep is making me crazy.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The plan so far... prepare for plan B

Last night we had a quick shoot on Of Sinners and Saints that enabled me to get to bed at a decent hour, yet I still didn't get a fair night's sleep. I tossed and turned all night or at least what I thought was all night... until I cracked an eye open and saw that the alarm clock only read 3AM. It was laughing at me, silently. I think that it's all stress induced... but that's all personal stuff and has nothing to do with film and everything to do with money, family, and mental asylums.
Here's what we've got psuedo planned for the weekend... Friday night is another scene for Robert's film. Saturday, Arnold Edwards starts filming at 1AM (he's crazy but you do what you gots to do). Saturday will also entail getting up early for some casting decisions on Divine Manipulation of the Threads. We should know within the next week of who we've decided on... and will make the announcements accordingly.
The following week looks very, very busy. I'm okay with that. I look forward to working on all of this stuff. I remained stagnant for too long and the filming processes really get the juices going again. Hell, my stuff at the News Station has been looking better. It's funny, I just start to see things differently again (and yes, that's without any mind altering substances, you bastards)... I think differently and my whole demeanor changes. I think it's all for the better, you'll have to ask those that surround me if that's actually the case, they're most likely the best judges of my manic personality.
Anyway, we'll be busy, I'll get back to all of this ranting and love messages when I can... don't be so clingy... damn, can I have a moment of peace for myself? Next thing you know I'll be fielding questions about my relationship with Angelina Jolie... oh, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that... Brad is going to be pissed...
(do we really give a rat shit about Branjelina? )

Monday, June 06, 2005

diffr'nt strokes for diffr'nt folks...

Well, there was an interesting weekend of filming for various projects and different film makers this weekend here in Memphis. David Lee started his first day of shooting on Saturday, Robert Saba continued through the days and nights of filming as well this weekend, there were production meetings for Arnold Edwards' "Third Wheel Date," and apparently my friend Forrest "Stoney Joe" Pruett has managed to land an acting role in his 6th simultaneous production. I thought that I had it rough... 6 Forrest? 6?
I'm enjoying the acting process again. It's a little different when you get to act as opposed to directing, writing, shooting, producing, and acting. I just got to sit there and play a character for a change. I guess I find watching the process from another angle more than entertaining. I get to see what I was going through when making my film... all of the insecurities and laughter... all of the different methods to the madness. I don't know how David Lee can sit down in shorts on the steaming hot pavement while filming a shot... but that's just me. Robert got the giggles for a while too... we had to take a break after six aborted attempts at filming a shot. Sometimes things are just funnier than others when you're working on no sleep.
Christine has surprised me this weekend. She has insisted that if I'm going to be working on films that she has a role to fill as well. She is now helping produce three different films. I found it amusing that she had to get up and play "movie maker" this Sunday while I got to sleep in a little bit. I don't want it to sound like I'm lazy and didn't get up to help her... I just needed sleep.
Anthony, Christine, Brad, and I should start production on Charles' project sometime in the near future... and we haven't made any hard decisions on casting for Divine Manipulation of the Threads as of yet, so Jason... calm the hell down. We'll let people know when we make the choices. As a matter of fact, there will probably be a list here and then Forrest will add some information to his little internet calendar and everyone will be happy.
On another note, I talked to Jamey Tucker this weekend. I'm trying to stay on him about his Raindog script. Hopefully, some time within the next year we will be working with Jamey on his first feature film production. It's a helluva script and it should mark another great "style" turn for Rusted Sun Films. More likely than not, it will be our first "romantic comedy" but we've still got a way to go on many fronts. We still haven't even started production on DMoftheT.
Sorry if this isn't as crazy as the past couple of days. I'm sure that as this week presses on that things will get worse. We've got some filming dates, we need some production time... I've got to have a moment of calm thought in order to schedule some things for our "little" movie that calls for at least 30 named and featured characters.
Cinderella Man was great. If we can only keep Russell Crowe from throwing phones at people.