Friday, January 5, 2007

Just Keep Swimming

I didn't even really realize it, but I had been knocked on my ass. I knew we all suffered an emotional blow. After my mother in law passed away, I knew it knocked the wind out of everyone. I knew it would affect me, but I didn't realize how much it would affect me. I was trying to put my own feelings aside so I could be a rock for my wife and her family. And in doing that it only prolonged the pain. I felt close to her too after all. I was right there watching her slowly fade away day after day, right up until the cancer finally decided to take her completely. My heart broke watching my wife's agony in losing her mother. The helplessness of not being able to do anything, and then the punishing regret of feeling like you didn't do enough. Then the focus becomes in worrying about my wife. Knowing the best thing I could ever do for her was just be there. Trying to hide my own feelings to keep my strength in holding her up. It took some time for me to let out how I was feeling, to deal with it, and to really take a good look at it. I've never watched someone close to me die before.

That was a little over two months ago. And now it's a New Year.

Through the holidays there's been some rough road, but nothing that couldn't be handled. Some scares, some emotional turmoil, some doubts about the past, and worries about the future. But that's what comes with being married, dealing with a recent death, and trying to get back to aiming high at those goals. 5 Days in to the New Year and I've gotten so much done. Of course the over achiever in me isn't quite satisfied with that, but I've still got time before the first week of the year is done with. Just wanna be able to get a head start on what needs to be done, and a good start on everything else.

And now that I have clearer eyes, and a stronger focus I see that there is so much that needs to be done. So much I need to catch up on. And little tiny bit more I need to rethink.

What sucks about me having a blog is that often I subscribe to the idea that if I speak of something it won't happen. It's the birthday wish syndrome. Ya know, you blow out all the candles and make a wish, but if you tell anyone the wish it won't come true. And because of this I have to find a creative way to describe what's going on without really giving it away. So pardon me if I ever get cryptic and confusing, but these are things I need to make note of, even if it makes no sense to you.

Cryptic Note #1:
The Ultimate Origami. Perhaps it's because I'm just dying to take my fascination with paper art and engineering too far. In the coming months you will see me create something insanely huge and complex out of paper. Perhaps a giant pop-up book. Maybe even a giant paper crane the size of a car. Whatever it is, it's actually necessary for an upcoming production. And it may not all be paper, but the base of it, the heart, the structure will most definitely lie in paper engineering.

Cryptic Note #2:
The machine. Some of you know what the machine is. Some of you may even have been interviewed about the machine. Originally the machine was going to debut on Halloween, but now it seems it's going to be modified to be more of a year round machine, and will make it's debut online hopefully before March. Once again for another production for a very necessary and very curious experiment.

Cryptic Note #3:
Merchants in the Nineteenth Century would build grand sailing ships, hire a crew, secure provisions, and send these ships out to the East Indies and other foreign ports to trade for goods, jewels, gold, etc. There was no communication to these ships once they set out to sail, and often these ships would take months, even years to return with the Merchants' profit. So the return of one of these ships after a long journey was always call for excitement. This is where the expression "Your ship has come in" comes from. Someone would run to the Merchants yelling this as the ship actually did come in. The key to steady business and profit was to send out more than one ship. The more ships you send out, the more chance for profit you have as they return.

I've got more than one ship out. ;)

Ok, ok, enough of that. No more Cryptic Notes.

Sent some packages out today. More DVD screeners out to two fests and two reviewers. But as always, you send em out and then forget about them. Maybe check up on em in a few weeks, but for the most part, let the screener do the work for ya.

The possibility of a North Carolina screening is pending, but I'm not really worried about that right now.

Some people will soon be getting a the official bootleg copy of THE MIDINIGHT SPECIAL, which includes a whole other disc of extras, including the gag reel.

Found the basic location for the ZOMBIE Episode of Monster Cops. Of course what I was aiming for was 5 minutes, but it may be more like 10. Just depends. I've been going back and forth on working on the Untitled Detective Short and the Monster Cops Episode, and now it looks like Monster Cops may be it for the next few months.

Ok, time for some sleep, so I can attempt to be up the same time the sun is. Ignore the following. It's only a test.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Paper

I don't really believe in resolutions, but I guess the closest thing to a resolution for me for this year you would be to learn to make more things out of paper.

I've always loved Origami and paper crafts. I like the idea of making something out of next to nothing. Ya think paper and you think about how weak and easy to tear it is. So taking something like paper and making something substantial out of it really intrigues me. Everything from paper cranes to pop up books, I've always had a fascination with paper art and paper engineering.

Here are a few videos I made on how to create the 3 main things I usually end up making when I have napkins or a sheet of paper.

The Paper Rose / Napkin Rose

Paper Rose - video powered by Metacafe

Paper Stairs Part 1

Make Paper Stairs Part 1 - video powered by Metacafe

Paper Stairs Part 2

Paper Stairs Part 2 - video powered by Metacafe

I've got a Video Blog coming up on the creation of my pop up press kit for THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten

New Years once again. I know I've changed alot over the past few years, but I'd have to say that I've probably changed the most this past year, and definitely in the past 6 months, and in ways I didn't know I could change. I've grown up alot, and that's saying alot, because I felt grown up before. My views on things that have always been static, are now turned around. Nothing too major. I don't believe much in Bigfoot anymore, I don't think the Lochness Monster exists, and I'm pretty sure Oswald acted alone. Shocking news to my fellow Conspiracy Theorists, I apologize. I still love the conspiracies, but I hold them in a different regard and are now mainly for my amusement.

The feelings I thought would never change have changed completely. The feelings I feared would change have only been strengthened. And with all that myself and this family have had to go through, with all the pain, and anguish, I find myself in awe of the power of Love and family. Ok, enough of that. That's really for another post and one I'm certainly not ready for just yet. What I'm really trying to get at is the idea that now more than ever, I'm ready to get back to work at making this new year even more productive then the last. So let's get to it.

As of right now I'm working on:

1) Zombie Episode of Monster Cops. 5 minutes.
2) Untitled Detective Short Film. 5 Minutes.
Which will supplement ...
3) Untitled Detective Screenplay.
4) Misc Vids and Shorts:
- Dinosaur Killers Episodes
- Video Blogs
- Metacafe Vids
- The Super Secret Project 1*
- The Super Secret Project 2
5) Vampire Episode of Monster Cops.
6) Continued Marketing of The Midnight Special.
7) M&(&#$ C@&%#*$ (which is still questionable)*

The zombie episode won't be a problem. I've got a quarter of the footage I need. The rest won't really be a problem to shoot as long as I can secure some minor casting. FX tests pending. One location down, but I may need another one. Also it would be helpful if someone from the cast (or more than one) of TMS came down. I know Terry expressed interest. That would be a huge help in keeping in many of the same characters from the movie.

For the detective short, there is a problem with lighting in the location I have. It takes place in one room, during the day, with plenty of sunlight. My location has no windows. So I'll be rewriting that bit. Plus there are a few items in this location that I cannot move, and the room has to be completely empty. So some improvising is in order. The minor FX in this one are covered as well.

But as for other upcoming projects, I'm going to need assitance from a professional FX company. Been talking to a couple of em. One in L.A. and another in Canada. A little bit too pricey for what I have, but definitely folks I'd like to keep in contact with once we have a real budget to work with.

As for where the funding is coming from for this, well for the most part, these are all no budget productions, as always. But I'm in the midst of working out a deal with a company for a small bit of funding for the other projects. This is not to mention what may be brewing with our little indie film THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. It's going to be an interesting next few months. Until then we work no budget, as usual, and keep hittin that day job. And of course I'll be posting the little behind the scenes tricks on all these productions and more.

Also some interesting developments at the day job. Digital technology is really picking up within the movie theatre industry. This past year UltraStar Theatres in Southern Cali went 100 percent digital. Carmike Theatres are in the process of going the same route. I've been working as a projection tech for several years now and I'm blown away each day I work with the digital equipment. I find it odd how often I actually have to use a computer to fix a problem in the projection booth. In the past it was always a splicer and tape. Now if you don't have a familiarity with computers to go along with projection experience, you're pretty much useless. Thank god I've been doing both for a while now.

We're only a few years away from having a complete digital system replacing these old 35mm projectors in almost every theatre across the country. It's scary this equipment I get to work with. The things that these computers and digital projectors are capable of are mind blowing. I swear to God the other day the main server booted up, took a deep Darth Vader breath, and in this deep Dr. Claw voice, told me to Fuck off. Seriously. The system is filled with glitches, of course, but the speed at which they are being fixed is phenomenal.

I have to say though, as much as I love 35mm film projectors, this new digital technology will really help out indie moviemakers even more so then it previously has. No need to bust out 3 to 4 grand to transfer your movie to film. Now you can keep your movie digital, film look it if you want to, have it loaded into a portable hard drive and ingested in to the main LMS, or just simply burn a high quality DVD, or even hook up your laptop or camera. Screening DVDs through a digital projector is how we've done screenings in the past, but now the ease at how this can be done and then projected at such great quality, it really is mind blowing.

It's an interesting time to be a movie maker and a projectionist. I'm having a blast being both.

Happy New Year! God I miss being in Texas with a house full of Filipinos singing bad karaoke on New Years Eve. Wherever you are, I hope this will be an amazing new year for all of us.