Saturday, March 20, 2010

Drink in hand, watching the sun go down. Happy to be breathing. Excited about the future.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Time to indulge in Brazen Gazing

bra·zen (brzn)
1. Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity. See Synonyms at shameless.
2. Having a loud, usually harsh, resonant sound: "sudden brazen clashes of the soldiers' band" (James Joyce).
3. Made of brass.
4. Resembling brass, as in color or strength.
tr.v. bra·zened, bra·zen·ing, bra·zens
To face or undergo with bold self-assurance: brazened out the crisis.

gaze (gz)
intr.v. gazed, gaz·ing, gaz·es
To look steadily, intently, and with fixed attention.
A steady, fixed look.

I don't really feel like holding back anymore. But is it wiser for me to hold back when my instincts think it is necessary, or perhaps to indulge flagrantly. I'll just have to play it by ear. In the mean time, I feel like picking a fight with fate.

Now if only I wasn't so damn sleepy. This project is about done. Two more to work on, then I can give my feature film the full attention it deserves. Purchased the domain name for the movie, but I haven't put much up on it yet. I'll put the word out once I have my shit together.

In the meantime I've been instructed to indulge in some brazen gazing. And it sounds like a great idea.

EDIT: 1:16 am. DONE! This super secret Birthday Video is done.

Yes that's what I've been working on. It's my wife's 30th Birthday today (Friday March 19th) and I made her a super special Birthday Video. I'm rendering it now and I will show it to her hopefully in the next hour.

Whew. I'll post more details later, but now, I'm going to faint.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me...

I wasn't really a HUGE John Mayer fan. My wife is the big John Mayer freak. It was my fault because back before anyone knew who he was I was jamming to Why Georgia. Since then my wife really took off with it. Went to one concert of his a couple years back. Really great show, but I wasn't yet a true fan.

I didn't even want to go to this one tonight. But my wife bought the tickets months ago, and it is her birthday, and the only reason I was dragging my feet at all is because my mind is completely on making this feature and trying to save as much money as possible. Which means if I have a day off from work it's going to be working towards doing this movie.

 But it's her birthday. She's excited about it, I knew she'd love it, and she deserves all things great for her. And I knew deep down that I was going to enjoy it. How can any decent open minded human being not enjoy any kind of live professional performance? I get inspiration from everything, and the last time I say John Mayer I got a bit of inspiration from those first few opening blues riffs. Throw in the light show, and the overall energy of a good excited crowd, and you have no choice but to be inspired.

And I was right. Tonight was amazing. I feel sorry for anyone that has never been to any kind of live performance. And I mean anything. I've been to Broadway shows, comedy shows, seen garage bands play, even sporting events. Never underestimate the power of a crowd of like minded individuals united in the want and need to be entertained, and the spirit that rises when they get that need filled.

 John Mayer in general is an amazing guitarist, and his last few albums I've really gotten a more adult bluesy vibe. One of his latest singles "Assassin" is one of my favorites. The song really feels like it came from the end credits of a late 80's action spy flick starring Burt Reynolds or even Wings Hauser. Yes that's right, I just mentioned Wings "Mother Effin" Hauser. Bet you never read that name in blog, bet you don't even know who he is!


I was blown away by the great music of course. I could write volumes about the amazing sounds, what it all meant to me, what I feel like God and The Universe was communicating to me through the energy and feel of the moment on a powerful transcendental state of euphoric mind bullets and some shit, but I digress. It was really amazing stuff. But as always, as a former techie/grip, I truly appreciate all the stage theatrics and lighting.

What an amazing setup. Some great ideas with video projection. The lighting was phenomenal. I was especially taken with the setup for Assassin. A graphic and video background of house layouts, cross hairs, gun sight scopes, very Mission Impossible. All of it matching the very bluesy rock groove of the song. If Jason Bourne was live and in concert this is what it would've felt like.

Here's a sample of that performance I took with my little panasonic 6.0. Note the great light cues and cool background.

(John Mayer. Live. Greensboro, NC. 3/15/2010)

I think it's safe to say that I'm a pretty big John Mayer fan now. I don't really give a shit about any personal crap I hear about in the news. I don't read US Weekly. I'm not into gossip or entertainment buzz. All I know is, this guy really knows how to bring it in a live show.

I also want to point out the drummer. STEVE JORDAN. What an amazing performance. I've seen some truly great drumming, but this guy blew my mind. Seriously on his solo my mouth was open the whole time. I really felt his performance. What an amazing drummer. Even got to talk to him for a bit after the show, let him know how amazing he was. It was really awesome for him to even acknowledge me. He really let me know he appreciated it.

And of course the movie maker in me not only noticed the number of camera phones, but also the high number of DSLR's. Many of them equipped with mics, led lights, and LCD screens. Alot of high quality HD footage was caught tonight, and as many people were screaming at John Mayer, I was drooling over the HD gear. Can't wait to play with a DSLR.

I wish I could go into more detail about everything that blew my mind, but I'm so tired. I will mention that he did play Say What You Need To Say. A song that really speaks to me for some reason. It actually made me tear up a bit. The words of that song always feel like some power up there in the heavens are communicating with me, telling me it'll be ok. Saying not to worry, you'll get there, you'll make your movie, and you'll get your chance to really say what you need to say. Hearing it live, it was like the mouth of God was speaking directly to me. As many times as I've heard that song and felt what it was saying to me, tonight, live, it was being burned into my brain, my soul.

"Say what you need to say." I needed to hear it, to feel it.

Also John Mayer covered a song that has always inspired me, always driven me, and has always come on right when I needed to hear it. Journey's Don't Stop Believin. That song hits me like nothing else. You hear of people getting caught up in the spirit at church, or even seen people possessed by the beat of a song at a club. This song hits me like that. It always has. It brings me to tears, because those words don't just speak to my ears, it speaks to my soul.

And that's what we all sort of look for in those large auditorium experiences, at church, at a comedy show, at a theatrical performance, at a concert, and even at the movies. We need to stand in a room full of strangers and feel something that is bigger than us, speak to our souls to remind us, we're all in this together. We're all just shadows searching in the night, searching for something to recognize the pain in us all.

And that's the kind of movies I hope to make. Sure they may sound like amusing B movie throwaways. Monster Cops is about soldiers that make jokes and kill monsters. The log line for Creep is: "A gun slinging super detective, a young blonde escape artist, and a guy in a giant teddy bear outfit have to solve an ancient mystery and fight vampires." It all sounds ridiculous, like some sort of direct to DVD piece of crap, but somewhere in there, I hope to create something that speaks to your soul. Something that not only recognizes your pain, but reminds you that greatness, great storytelling, enlightenment, and inspiration can come from anywhere and most often from where you least expect.

Tonight I stood with a crowd of people and experienced an amazing show, where we felt the things we were all hoping to feel and had our souls ID'd by the powers that be, to remind us of the greatness that is humans being human. I needed it. I needed to be reminded what it is I am working towards.

To make something amazing.

So back to work on making that something amazing. Got rehearsals coming up this Wednesday, so one of the first VLOGS for Creep should be coming up soon.

Oh and I have to say, the opening act was this amazing group. MICHAEL FRANTI and SPEARHEAD.

WOW! What an amazing performance! It's truly great when you can see someone new and get a show that really makes you want to buy their album. I was truly impressed, check them out here:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Michael Franti is amazing. Its the closest ill ever get to a Michael Jackson/Nirvana concert.
In line at John Mayer. Observing the madness of large crowds.
First time at Smokey Bones. Quite nice. About to test the Bbq. John Mayer in 2 hours.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Dog Days Are Over

First off I want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes about my brother. He's doing fine.

Second I want to thank Marcellus Suber for helping me out with some post production problems I've been having. Thank you sir everything is working out nicely.

Also want to thank Brandon White for allowing me to use his Canon HF20. That's the camera I've been testing out, and the video above is comprised entirely of all that test footage. It's completely capable of delivering the kind of quality I need to shoot this next feature, and I'm grateful his allowing me to use it.

The video above was shot on Brandon's Canon Vixia HF20. I occasionally used my Kenko Wide Lens. I shot on 30 progressive and then cut and rendered in Sony Vegas Pro 9 to 24p. Tried out Vegas 9's masking tools at the end where I tried to clone both Deanna Kelly and Sarah Vroom. You'll see alot of shaky shots, quick zooms, etc. Wanted to really push the movement, see how it would all look. No scanlines, maybe a small bit of ghosting, but nothing you can't fix in post. Overall I'd probably use this camera to cover alot of static shots. But we shall see. Great camera though.

Technically the Dog Days haven't even begun. Dog Days usually refers to the hottest days in the summer. But the phrase "Dog Days Are Over" usually refers to getting through the toughest phase of something. It's the name of the song I used in the above video, performed by Florence and The Machines. I used it because I thought it went nicely with the first bits of HD footage I was shooting. I had no idea that it would end up really meaning something.

Slowly, carefully we put the pieces together to get to making this movie. I'm in the middle of re-writes. I'll have the official CREEP web site up soon, and I start rehearsals for one of the scenes this week. So things are going smoothly.

For now, I've set up a quick page on my site until the official site launches. Find out more about the plot and our progress there.

Here's a quick log line for the movie: "A gun slinging super sleuth, a cute blonde escape artist, and a guy in a giant teddy bear costume have to solve an ancient mystery and fight vampires."

Sounds like a heck of a plot. I know I'd wanna watch it. ;)