Saturday, July 10, 2010

Early Bday celebration. Hibachi, buffet, sushi, and World Cup is on the flat screen. This place is awesome.


Sample vids made with the Canon Rebel T2i (550D)

Short Film: The Encounter

by Marlon Torres

Friday, July 9, 2010

While I wait

for my computer to finish backing up to the hard drive. For some reason I am reminded of a Bible verse.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
–Matthew 6:25-27
 I read it just a while ago. Seems I needed to read it. Felt like a message from God.  Which like most messages I get, are almost always from God. And I needed it.  Let me also include another quote from the Prophet Cube, Ice Cube.

Life ain't nothin but bitches and money.
So true.

I'm patiently awaiting this back up to be done with so I can edit these files. Got an acting reel to finish up, started a timeline for a new episode and the next feature. This new project is almost writing itself. I have an outline instead of a script, and alot of this movie will be molded around a single plot line, and filled in by a bit of improv, and what kind of personalities the cast has.  Casting has already begun. And I need to get on the ball with some script pages for RV as well as MC and get them sent out to a few folks.

And now I must make an FX scene outline. But on a final note:
"And When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." Hans Gruber, DIE HARD.
- Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

That's what a ship is, what it really is

Elizabeth and Jack : [singing and dancing around a fire] We're devils and black sheep and really bad eggs. Drink up me 'hearties yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for me.
Jack : I love this song! Really bad eggs! Ooh. [falls] When I get the Pearl back, I'm gonna teach it to the whole crew, and we'll sing it all the time!
Elizabeth : And you?ll be positively the most fearsome pirate in the Spanish Main .
Jack : Not just the Spanish Main , love. The entire ocean. The entire world. Wherever we want to go, we'll go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails that's what a ship needs, but what a ship is, what the Black Pearl really is, is freedom.
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl

I've got my computer back. They only had to replace the motherboard, so the hard drive remained intact, everything is right where I left it. I was without my computer for a little over 2 weeks, and although I was able to use my wife's laptop, it was very hard. She needed it for her own projects, sharing it with her, meant I had less time to work on things that needed to be worked on, and my computer is a little more powerful, where I felt like alot of the video editing I was doing on hers was going to break the damn thing.

Also I missed my set up. My monitor is bigger, the way I have my desk positioned, and my entire workflow was missing. To finally get it back meant an overwhelming sigh of relief as I feel I am back in full form, able to do things I couldn't for a while. All because, for some reason, my video out put was burned out.

But I believe such mishaps may be necessary. Helps put things in perspective.

When my wife and I first got married, we didn't have much of anything. I had my old Gateway desktop, but it was dying, and we eventually sold it. So now we had nothing, and I dreamed of eventually getting one, and being able to edit video.  Thanks to a friend I was able borrow their mac and use Final Cut Pro to do the last and final cut to my feature Vampire Killer so I could finally put it out on DVD.

Somehow we managed to scrape together about $400 and we bought a desktop from Walmart. 256mb Ram, 8gb HD, and a very average AMD Processor. I called this computer The Black Pearl. In the first Pirates Of The Caribbean, the title The Curse Of The Black Pearl referred to the curse of the Pirates on that ship, how they would remain undead and zombified as long as they had kept the gold coins away from the cursed treasure. In reality their curse was related to the treasure itself.  In truth I always felt that The Curse Of The Black Pearl referred to Jack Sparrow's curse. How his destiny was to always be the captain of the Black Pearl, and how fate would always keep him away from it.

Captain Jack yearned for his freedom to sail the ocean. Freedom was signified by The Black Pearl. For me I yearned to make movies, and for a while it was signified by a decent computer to edit on. The computer would be my Black Pearl.

This would be the computer I would learn to use Sony Vegas on (back then it was Sonic Foundry's Vegas). I edited the first and last of the Living Dead Girl's episodes, and build the first WTW DVD featuring Vampire Killer. This would be the same computer I would edit an entire feature film on. Monster Cops: The Midnight Special. I took this computer with me to NC. Along with the ginormously heavy monitor. I learned Final Draft on it, would get a taste of After Effects and 3D Studio Max, and build the first of many websites and blogs on it. I pushed it too it's limits, and sailed it til it just couldn't sail anymore.

One of the last projects I ever made with that computer would be my contest entry into Harold And Kumar 2's Video Contest. I won that contest, and the money I got from that, I would use to buy the next incarnation of my Black Pearl. My current computer. HP, 4gb Ram, 500gb HD, Intel Pen Dual Core Processor. I rarely had a problem with it. It was a monster, is a monster. No stalling, no crashing, and super fast.

I've only had it for a year and a half, when it finally experienced it's first real problem two weeks ago. That's when I sent it in to be repaired. And in those two weeks I learned to really appreciate what I had, or rather didn't have. Made me remember a time when I swore I would make great things if I had a machine like this. Well, now I have it back. And I will make great things with it, I feel I've already begun. I really love that last Monster Cops episode, and now I work to create more great things, even better things, and help me get to the next level in my evolution in moviemaking.

What a ship is, is freedom, and I have that freedom. I've had that freedom for a while now. I think I just needed to remember I had it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tabula rasa

  I don't like being put in a position where I am basically begging.  Part of the reason why I haven't really been blogging in a while.  I've found myself looking for opportunity instead of creating my own.

I was teased with the prospect of what crowd-funding might bring, and although I knew it was a possibility nothing would happen, I was pushed to hoping something would due to my current situation.

Money's been tight, work has been slow, and for a while there things weren't looking good. Mainly because I chose to look through helpless eyes.

I chose to.  My choice. My situation, my responsibility and no one else's.

My situation is of my own creation. Yes, maybe some things may have happened that I have no control over, but in the end you do have full control of how you react to those situations.  I chose to react with despair. Why? Because that's what human's need to do every once in a while. When you get knocked down, you have to pause for a second while you're on the ground, really look at your situation, feel it out, so when you rise, you have a better understanding of what you're rising for.

Things are better. Although much of my situation is not resolved, there is hope, but there's always hope.  I can't rely on hope.  I can only rely on me, and what I'M capable of doing, if I get help along the way, or if certain opportunities make themselves available, then great, but I still have to rely on what I can do, and with what I've got.

I've often blogged about doing the best with what you can. But in all honesty, I have to aim hire than that. I have to do something amazing with what I have. That way if I miss the target slightly I'll at least have something at a higher level.

One pledge today (Thank You Marcellus).  I'm working on one editing job that may lead to more, but again, I can't hold my breath on it. And I'm working towards putting together Monster Cops on DVD, getting it out to screenings, as well as working on a new project which I can hopefully get out to audiences later this year.

Re-focused on what I need to do. Want to help? There are a number of things you can do.

Of course, we would love your pledge. New perks, including a DVD's, T-Shirts, as well as ways to actually participate in episodes.  Click here and check it out:

You can also help spread the link around. Tell everyone you know about Monster Cops. Get folks to check out the site

Also, the entire episode MONSTERS Vs. COPS, is up at Big Star's Short Film Contest. Please visit the link, give us a high rating (you'll be directed to register, but it doesn't take long) then please forward it to everyone.