This past weekend I attended the Indie Gathering in Cleveland. Friday night, John Whitney and I screened Horrors of War to a decent sized crowd. On Saturday, we had a table and sold some DVD’s of our short films. John Whitney’s SOLVE FOR X outsold me, but that shouldn’t be a shock. It’s a killer short film (now on YOUTUBE itself).
We started off on a panel on the “Director’s Role on a Film”, and that was fun. Johnny Wu, John Whitney, and I had a fun time. Later in the day I moderated a “writing the modern screenplay” panel, even though I’m not much of a screenwriter. I did tell a story about something you shouldn’t do in a screenplay. I saw a short film where they had a girl floating on a lake. These arms reached up and grabbed her, and pulled her down. Then they cut to a girl waking up from a dream. She goes downstairs and she says,” Mom, I just had the most horrible dream. I was floating on a lake, and these arms pulled me down…” I’m so glad she said those lines because, gee, I was so confused as to which dream she was talking about, Captain Obvious. Films are a SHOW ME medium, not a TELL ME medium. This story got many laughs.
Since I’m describing this same filmmaker, let me just say that we enter into the realm of local movie world insanity. On a blog not unlike this one, a local filmmaker I like to call FADE INTO OBLIVION, tried to out as many as 7 local filmmakers & their productions. The ravings of this madman went so far as to say the basically out of every interaction he’s had with local filmmakers, every single one of them went bad, and every single one of these was not his fault. As someone infamous once said, when you have a string of bad relationships, they all have something in common – YOU.
Now my own dealings with this nut job are well chronicled on this blog, but what is amazing are the new stories that have emerged and the breadth of FADE INTO OBLIVION’s interactions. It turns out there’s a recurring theme to his Adventures in Storytelling. He says he has all kinds of experience, works on a movie, usually for a maximum of 1-2 days, then bails, after leaving a trail of disappointment because his abilities did not equal the promise.
The reality is that FADE INTO OBLIVION is not a bad person per se, nor is everything his fault. He just has a serious problem with reality. When he writes a blog, he condescends to everyone, and specifically bashes on them for just being DV filmmakers with the experience of listening to commentary tracks, but guess what? That’s all he’s got. We’re not even going to get into the blatant lies about his jobs and history in the mid 1990’s when he would have been a teenager.
It’s just another drama unfolding in the local film community. If anyone in the actual film industry pays attention, then it’s pretty obvious they are more bored than anyone in the Midwest. They could also stand to spend a little more time ranting & raving about their own issues.
I’ve self published my first pressing of my book. Thanks to a few reminders and also the blatant idiocy around me at times and I’ve got revisions to make. It’s going to end up at around 200 pages, although I’m hoping to interview someone for the book in a few weeks. It helps to have the real book in my hands. Touching it has broken one level of writer’s block, just not for the script.
I’ve got a solid outline. There’s plots, subplots, individual jokes, several lines, and yet… no script. I can’t do it. I’m not a writer. It’s starting to get testy in my realm. I want to scream and kick, but then I just get online & kill some Nazi ass with ENEMY TERRITORY and then I feel better, but no script.
On the darkest side of my soul, I feel the creepy crawlies as I see the world in the Middle East crumble. I’ve never been to Israel, but I spent time in Middle East, unlike most Americans. I have the highest regard & respect for the Islamic faith. It’s the only religion that has rigorously maintained its integrity by saying “You may not change a word!”, whereas a Christian bible from 1980 varies greatly from one printed in 2006.
I love the Jon Stewart. As my great friend Maurice taught me, it’s better to get the facts filtered in a humorous way. Now even then I have seen things that made me cringe at the same time too. I saw a debate between Gov. George Bush circa 2000 debate President Bush circa 2003-2006, and the contradictions (as in complete lies) and it was enlightening. Then seeing something I thought was brand new, horrifying news, wound up being from March and no one seems to care. Bush met with Tony Blair several months before the war & discussed the start date whether there were Weapons of Mass Destruction or not. That makes everything done in the war so far a lie and the truest motives are despicable. The latest in the long list of lies is the canceling of Stem cell Research saying its murder and that every life is precious, but then to keep the killing spree in Iraq on high for low moral reasons. I guess the only lives that matter are white Christians.
My Sexy Veronica ™ will be most proud of my public proclamations in the political arena, but the world is changing and it’s going into a very dark place. I’m feeling melancholy, I’m feeling concern, and I felt compelled to say something today.
-Peter John Ross