The strangest thing happened to me at the gym today. I was swimming in the outdoor pool, which I have been doing a lot this summer. Iím extremely pale, so this is the most sun Iíve had since my family lived in El Paso, Texas in the 1980ís. Iím still very pale, just a slightly warmer shade of white. All that history aside, I had an epiphany while swimming. I started to count my strokes which bored me and I tried to make my mind stop focusing on that. In an instant, everything disappeared and a new short film came to me fully formed.
Iíve been asked to speak at FilmDayton later this month. Iím prepping a presentation with powerpoint and videos. I did something similar in Cleveland a couple months ago, specifically on directing. Iím going to come up with something different, but hopefully interesting. I like these speaking engagements, although I havenít been doing them that often lately.
This is unusual. I have more paid projects than I have time for. Directing live shows, shooting a webvideo for a client, and producing more greenscreen for pay. Sleep is not exactly in abundance for a bit until I can get caught up. Still finding time for the gym though. Swimming and getting a little bit of sun has to be a priority. I honestly need the vitamin D from the UV rays and the physical activity of doing laps will keep me healthy, which I am not.
Since last I updated, I have been both busy and bored. Shooting all over the state, editing for a few different companies, and when not doing any of that, working on my own stuff. Still no narrative filmmaking on the immediate horizon, just things that occupy my mind and easy to do, like the latest Sonnyboo Podcast, and redoing more greenscreen of the past year or so. Aside from that, I have been enjoying some movie time, chilling with the cats, and swimming like a shark.
Got four more greenscreen items shot in 4K. Using the Blackmagic Ursa Mini for a bit. Two places I freelance for now use this camera. The Ursa Mini does some pretty nice images. It requires a decent amount of color grading to get any kind of look out of it. There isnít really a great ďout of the boxĒ image. Many people prefer this control in post. I have no strong feeling either way.
In my last blog, I made mention that I was tinkering a little with a new greenscreen keying technique. Since that time, I have re-rerendered and remastered over 20 videos from the past 2-3 years. I voraciously attacked these old edits, mostly because I meticulously keep all my raw footage on external drives, drives in the plural because I have at least one offsite backup.
I had a vendor table and did some panels at last weekendís HORROR HOTEL convention/film festival. Worked right up until I left, and went right back to work as soon as I got back home. Today was supposed to be my first day of relaxation and it turned into another work day. I like working. I also like to chill every now and then.
These Framelines Interactive Tutorial started as a fluke. I had raw footage and just threw it out there. Now weíre doing several more for the next year. The original project started from raw footage of what became the basis of FRAMELINES, shot in 2007. I went and shot a new GREENSCREEN intro for this to make it all official and formal.
So I had a near panic. On one of my sidelined projects, the Movie Clichť series, I had outlined and shot the greenscreen portion for over 30 of these and only produced around 10 of them. The greenscreen host segments were mostly edited, but the hard part, the examples, were not even shot yet for the rest. I put it aside because I did not feel I was getting the examples right. So the lackluster response unmotivated me. Still, the Movie Clichť project still might come to life later if I could lick the problem I had as both a writer and director.
Tomorrow night we screen the 3 short films from local filmmakers and some clips from FRAMELINES at the Gateway Film Center. ColumbusUnderground.com did a story on it and interviewed me. The only thing of mine screening is the promo and tech tip for the Interactive Project. I want this to be about the other filmmakers since they are the ones getting celebrated.
Life remains a mysterious swirl of good and bad, happy and sad, with a side order of inspirational. Had one of my parties this past Friday. Good times, ended earlier than the usual sun-up overstays, but I liked that. I donít want to be up all night like that anymore. I value my rest as I get older.
Progress. Some progress. Even a little bit makes a difference. Auditions yesterday went well. I saw some really great talent and it shows that Columbus has a ton of good actors. I wonít lie to myself, in that I am a little nervous to get back in the saddle. Not so nervous that I wonít make the movie.
Gotten back on track with a few things. Health issues have abated, at least mostly. I just lost a day or two entirely to the trance of creation. The world just disappeared as I worked on two new books coming out in the next couple weeks. First is the FRAMELINES book on film tips, using some articles and other material. The next one was taking three of my nearly two decade old screenplays and putting them out as a book.
The death of Prince has me distraught. From 1982, the first time I heard 1999, I was hooked. It was the 1992-1996 period that was particularly interesting to me, as I was a musician at the time and Prince was getting into some really interesting phases. I was at Kevin Smithís gig at Kent State when he told the Prince story - you can even see my on the other mic for the next question after that. What I learned most though was that doing art because you love it is more important than money. Most celebrity deaths donít get to me, Princeís death does.
Well that escalated quickly. My shoot has just gotten way more complex in a good way. From some heavy weight casting to key players, things just real and mighty quick. This has caused a delay in shooting as in we were supposed to start next Monday but one week is not enough time. Normally a delay scares me but in this case I was terrified I would not be able to do what I need to do in the time allowed.
Got so many balls in the air right now. This old dog learns new tricks. Trying to form new patterns, new habits. So far, so good. Working out at the gym every other day or so, especially when I donít feel like it. Same with going out, like to a concert. I hadnít been to the Newport in about 20 years, and it was great to see a band when that was the last thing I felt like doing at the moment. Now, with editing. When I donít feel like it, I start cutting on scenes or segments of what is in the queue, even if only for 20 minutes, getting a little bit done all the time.
Got to another Sonnyboo Podcast last night. I donít have a lot left in the old queue of stuff shot and not edited. Been trying to make sure I didnít miss anything. Whenever we get on the greenscreen, I try to shoot a bunch of things so I have stuff shot and ready to get cut when things slow down or when the mood strikes me. This last one was tacked on to the shoot for the two FRAMELINES Interactive Editing Tutorials from a few months ago.
Done deal. Shoot dates are set for my next short film. I will be starting casting in a short while, and I will do rehearsals before the shoot, as I always do for films (not necessarily the FRAMELINES sample scenes, which I really should anyways).
Today, a huge amount of progress was made towards getting my next film made. Locations selected, producers ďhiredĒ, and dates were set for shooting. My goal to keep the aims higher will be met. This will be my crown jewel achievement as a director. Iím calling it now.
I am not a graphic artist. I have no formal training, and I do not believe I am very good at graphic design or art direction. Sometimes, I stumble on something I like. I have two books on my desk, both at home and at the office, which are collections of the BLUE NOTE RECORDS album covers. The design aesthetics are so amazing and simple. The color choices, the framing, and even the negative space (I donít know fully if I am using that term correctly).