Friday, July 29, 2005

day one: dancing in the streets...

It's not quite midnight and we've wrapped up the first day of shooting on Divine Manipulation of the Threads. I got to wear a three piece suit, filmed a lot of great exteriors downtown, and managed to get questioned by Federal police about what the hell we were doing. In this state of emergency and constant awareness, I'm not surprised that the "powers that be" wanted to know what we're up to. It probably helped that all of our IDs were very local. We're also very lucky that our tape wasn't confiscated... because along with a myriad of other rights and freedoms we've given up with the Homeland Security Act, the Federal police have a right to take you into questioning for just about any reason. With that out of the way... the new camera (DVX100) looks f-ing amazing. What a fantastic piece of gear! The pictures look like film. Just amazing... Or how about AWESOME (and I haven't used AWESOME in like... ten years, bro).
I'm very pleased with what we captured tonight. I think we're on the right road. Next time we'll try to avoid being arrested.

Monday, July 25, 2005

the land of the boiling sun...

I bitched about the heat in Tucson. I mildly complained about the Memphis simmering summer before I went on vacation a few weeks ago. But holy crap has it been hot this week! I know that it's been hot enough in some of these areas around the country to kill people. That's got to be a rough way to go. So, there's my small talk.
Here's the real news:
On Sunday, Rusted Sun Films held their first cast and crew meeting for the feature film Divine Manipulation of the Threads. It went off very well (if I do say so). I believe that everyone was entertained by the script. I promised them that it would be a comedy... and the laughs definitely reassured me. We welcomed some new faces to the Rusted Sun Films family and had a good time. Some people couldn't make the meeting due to conflicts and they were missed. However, there were those that said that they would be there, didn't show, didn't get in touch with us, and didn't return messages. That's a big no-no.
There are great opportunities that are made and lost with projects such as this. I'm not saying that we're going to make a movie deal worth millions of dollars that will get everyone involved with the project instant Hollywood fame... but I'm also not saying that the idea is an impossibility. I don't like wasting people's time as I equally don't like having my time wasted. Every bit of time we have to work on this project is important. Those who have worked on various indie films previously know the ropes and know that there are hard working people giving their all.... usually for free. No one likes being jerked around.
Anyway, the ball is rolling. We'll most likely start production this week and into the weekend. We've got a lot of things to shoot, edit, etc. etc. Time to start a'crackin'.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

creeping closer...

I received a free copy of moviemaker magazine yesterday in the mail. I might have signed up for a free subscription or something at some point within the last few months (I can't really remember) but the free stuff is kind of cool nonetheless. I began flipping through the pages of precisely directed advertising... photos with kids in film programs or film universities, etc. etc. Then there are the articles with filmmakers that simply tell people like me to go out and "do it." The best advice that I've seen through any of these magazines are "go make a film." Here's why:
1.) You can go to film school, get a degree, and still not know a damn thing about how to make a film.
--It's a trial and error process. You learn an amazing amount of things to do and to not do when you go through the ringer of making your own film.
2.) You don't necessarily need money to get a film finished.
--If you've got some friends that you can convince to help you out, then you might be on your way to winning a film award already. The film community loves encouraging teenagers to do this sort of stuff.
3.) It doesn't matter if it's stupid or doesn't necessarily make sense.
-- You've gone through the process of making a film. Most people just talk about it.

I guess after all of that I should actually try to put something together for a submission article. But then again, I remember that I don't actually give a crap about all of the guidelines and "how to make it in hollywood" bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I would love to "make it" and do this filmmaking thing for a living... but I've got to keep making films to get to that point. There are still people out there looking for fresh talent and new ideas. So, I'm making another feature film with Rusted Sun Films.
We will have our cast and crew together this weekend for a meet and greet production meeting this weekend. It should be interesting... and exciting. I'm ready to get this puppy rolling and after this weekend, the boulder will get a little push. The following weekend could be our first bit of production since September of 2004. I miss it dearly. If we look at it from the stand point of last year's production schedule... we started in March of 2004... so we would be five months behind (most of it is my fault). However, in that time we've purchased some new gear, made some new connections and are ready to get this bitch together. That's all for now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

back to the grind...

On Friday (7-15) I was reminded again of my wonderful extended vacation in San Francisco. I thought to myself, "You know, this time last week I was enjoying a nighttime bonfire on the beach. It was foggy, the beer had sand all over it, the sound of the tide slurshed and slammed, and although it had it's pros and cons I really enjoyed every little second of it. Now I'm back at work." Coming back from vacation is always a little depressing... but we always have to come back. I might have been coming back to Memphis and having to go back to work to pay the bills... but I'm also coming back to make some damn fine films.

I was involved with two production meetings this weekend. The first was with Anthony, Christine, and Brad. The idea was to get everything together so that we can have the first cast and crew meet and greet for our next film Divine Manipulation of the Threads. We will be setting things to film very shortly afterwards. I also got to take a look at our new toy-- The DVX100. What a great little camera! The 24p mode is simply amazing. I'm really looking forward to playing with that camera. The second meeting was for an improv project that will take place in the near future. It's an interesting concept (I still need to read the script).

The initial date for getting all of this film stuff done is Christmas (Dec. 25th). If you don't make a deadline for yourself, then you can stretch it out forever with excuses and all the like. So, everything will be finished by Christmas if not sooner. Look for the signs! I would really like to have Sushi for dinner. Sekisui is by far the best I've had in Memphis. The only other comparable establishment I've found in my travels is Osome' in San Francisco. I've had Sushi in a lot of big cities. The Darth Vader roll and the Lava roll are absolutely gluttonous. Check it out when you get the chance (I think it's on Fillmore). Peace!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

back from the west

I just flew in from the west coast and boy are my arms tired... mainly because I wanted to strangle all of the dumb som'bitches that now inhabit airports. Perhaps I'm flying more often and becoming a little more familiar with the services now rendered by these flying Greyhound buses but I'm beginning to believe that if you don't have a shirt with sleeves you shouldn't be able to get on an airplane. If you can't buy a seat or a muzzle for a screaming child under the age of 10, leave the kid at home, or give him a valium and keep the kid sedated for somewhere around the 4 hours that it takes to get from one hop to another. If you can't follow the rules of security be prepared to be stopped and don't bitch about it. The London bombings just happened, how the hell do you think that the airports are going to react... but I shall leave those rants for another day all together. Now that I've gotten that out of my system lets share a little bit of fun.

Tucson was a good time. San Fran was a blast (aside from that nasty little bit with having the car towed... but I'll leave that for the narrative memoir that will hopefully one day get me out of debt). We spent some time at the beach, we took a lot of pictures, and had a lot of memorable moments with a few very good friends. I feel quite lucky to know such entertaining people. It's good stuff. Amazingly enough, Christine actually took some decent photos of me this time around... I kind of miss it already.

San Francisco is the kind of town that makes you work hard for your money... and the price of living is expensive. If one could be individually wealthy and enjoy living in the tiny digs that the city normally has to offer... I could see it as being amazingly enjoyable. The key things are having a garage or taking public transportation or walking the length of the city (because there is virtually no where to park)-- having a washer and dryer in your building or apartment is a luxury-- never keep change in your pockets because the bums can smell it-- get used to eating on the cheap-- make sure you have a good jacket and a backpack-- invest in an iPod-- having a dog at the beach may be one of the single best things in the world. I love the city but I'm not sure if I would want to work in the city. It seems like having to actually work there would be an immense pain in the ass. But on the other hand, there are a lot of freelancers out there that kind of get to work when they want to. I would certainly suggest finding a job with some kind of security. Owning real estate is probably the best bet...
I'll write more about it as I become more wanton to return. There's nothing like spending time at the beach, a good cafe, a bottle of wine in the park, mistakenly buying a large chunk of butter instead of a chunk of cheese (it's basically the same thing)... just sitting back and enjoying life. I even came up with some great T-shirt ideas while out there... maybe I can just sell t-shirts in Chinatown.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

leaving on a jet plane...

I hate that song, someone in an airport bar got it stuck in my head. However, all of this traveling through stale and weathered airports to rocket fueled people missiles crammed with screaming babies and blathering idiots all in the grand idea to spend a birthday party with family and friends for the span of 10 or so days is kind of worth all of the trouble. I won't complain too much, the vacation time is well worth all of the bitchy discomfort that is otherwise known as the "work week." Though, as I sat cramped in my glorified pontoon boat chair I imagined what it would be like if some disaster had been sparked in the cabin of the plane. I imagined everyone drenched in white hot panic rushing towards an exit of some sort... overweight people moving in lightning fast knee jerk reaction from fear of death. Imagine about 157 hamsters being forced through a flaming papertowel tube at the same time. When one hampster freaks out and gets jammed up through the exit, passes out from smoke inhalation, and then kills the rest of the furry little rodents. I guess that I'd just have to sit back in my velcro covered seat and wait for the inevitable blow of death.
It's a little morbid but at least I'm having a great vacation so far... even with the sunburn that the state of Arizona had bestowed upon me in an early morning fury... and if you thought that Memphis was hot just take a moment to bake in the massive oven that is Tucson (110 degrees in the shade).
So now, Christine and I are having a great time in San Fran... having gotten excessively inebriated, ordered 80 dollars worth of Indian food, had a couple more people watch A Cowboy's Silver Lining and somewhere in the middle managed to catch a fireworks show. Having watched the film again, I now realize how amazingly dark that little film is. I'm quite proud of it now that I realized that we've made a film that really screws with people's minds. Hopefully the next one will make people laugh... We'll work on that when I get back from vacation. Good things are on the way kids... good things.