Not only did I get the shot, but I went through hell motion tracking a title into it. Argh! The latest Cell Phone Monologue is complete. I danced the ceremonial Dance of the Finished Edit as required by the editorial gods along with a ritual sacrifice of Peanut Butter Capín Crunch. Now at long last, I can cut my Film Festival supercut of 3 monologues together!
We finally got the opening shot to the last Cell Phone Monologue last night. The sun shined, the rain stopped, the dolly worked, and we nailed it. My gout had passed (after taking Colchicine 3 times, and a few percocet for pain). I tried to motion track my titles in and I keep hitting a wall. I can crack it, this just takes time. Maybe soon Iíll be able to knock that out.
I tried to explain something to a student the other day. I wanted to see her try to put her heart and soul into a video project. Thereís that state of mind, almost a trance, where nothing else in the world exists except for the creation of whatever you have in your head as a substantial piece that others can watch and see your intent clearly.
Clearly, I did not win an Emmy. It was such a great night, though. To see so many of my friends win, that was worth it all right there. I have no bitter grapes over the experience. To be with people I like, having such fun, makes for a memorable time. I know that this was good because after those first couple minutes of disappointment, I never really thought about it much after that. I spent all day Sunday alone, doing little, and it never entered my mind.
Here it is. The Emmyísô. I got my tickets, a suit, a haircut, and a lovely young woman to attend with me in lieu of my co-creator. Yesterday at lunch at Pei Mei, my fortune cookie clearly stated that I will soon receive something I covet. So either thatís the Emmyô or a slice of really good chocolate cake. Fortune cookie aside, I have to dissuade myself from thinking Iím going to win. Itís my first submission ever. I just need to soak in the experience as it is regardless of a likely loss.
Ideas ferment over time. I think writing in a group simply expedites that process. I have had a feature film script that I havenít written a single page for, but have been mulling over for years now. If I donít collaborate with other writers, the ideas simply have to ferment like a wine in my own head.
Ridley Scott was 42 when he directed ALIEN in 1979. Robert Altman was 43 when he directed M*A*S*H. Richard Donner was 48 years old when he directed SUPERMAN in 1978. I had built up in my head that I was too old to make a feature film. I was only going to make ACCIDENTAL ART and quit, at least features. I donít feel like that right now. I will keep making movies for the rest of my life.
Every single day a new challenge (or 6) presents itself to me. Life tests me. I just made this vow, you know. I said I wanted to be a better man, and the universe sees fit to put that up against tidal wave after wave. Iím still standing. If I havenít hit my limit yet, my lord Iím finding out how much I can take.
On occasion, I do get random emails about the first feature film HORRORS OF WAR, aka NAZI ZOMBIES aka DEADMAN SOLDIERS aka ZOMBIES OF WAR, and possibly WORLD WAR ZOMBIES. I keep finding out about new releases, VOD screenings, and DVD art from people online - please note, NOT from our sales agent. Not the best way to find out about your own movie that you conceived of, co-wrote, produced, co-directed, and co-edited.
Some days my patience is tried to its very limits. I hate dealing with the irrational and idiotic of this world. I get so frustrated, trying as hard as I can to do the right thing, to be a better man, only to have my efforts tossed aside in favor of unjustified malice and stupidity. Want to know what saves the day - EVERY SINGLE TIME? Love. Something so simple, so beautiful. I love my cats. I love what I do for a living. I love my friends. Even with all of its flaws I love life.
Last night at karaoke, I was approached by someone I had never met, who had been an avid reader of this blog. Talk about a surreal experience. Nice person she was, but I keep forgetting that ANYONE can read this. I write for an audience of under 7 people that I know well. I would think this is either the most techie boring blog that ever existed or itís the most insider-donít have a clue thing for an outsider to read. Why are you reading this now? My allegedly witty solicitations that NEVER EVER match the content?
Another GOOD habit reforming in my realm. Iím starting to help on other peoples projects. Whether volunteering to edit or do colour correction, giving a place to edit or shoot, getting back to the more generous side of things remains important to me. Iíve been in hibernation so long that I need to get back to doing this kind of pay it forward mindset.
Damn, I am failing in my mission to watch more movies. It is important to watch classic movies to see the styles of the past, and current films to experience what connects to the audiences of today. Iíve been way more into television shows. From THE WIRE to DEXTER to FUTURAMA, the broad range of effective TV just has a bit more bang, plus Iím not as particular about my surround sound and theatrical experience for shows.
Years ago, at the rise of the Internet as it appears today, I was something of a promotional whore. The double edged sword was that it alienated some people and brought awareness to many for the projects. The misconception permeated that I was arrogant, which isnít entirely untrue, but my main goal was always to get the work seen by as many people as possible. Today I am trying to return to form sans the ego.
Season Two of FRAMELINES has already started to ramp up. A few new stories have come up, a whole lotta Tech Tips in the works, and I already have skeleton timelines of 7 new episodes started. I find it motivating to have real tangible deadlines, and with airdates looming; I got tighter deadlines than normal.
I am really hoping to get back to this documentary I was working on. The story is the most compelling, most important subject matter I ever got near. Itís about a holocaust survivor we interviewed a few years ago. Since the interviews are all shot and even a rough cut exists, this is one of those projects begging to be finished. I hate hate hate leaving stones unturned, so I want to see this one to the goal line. Iíve tried to pick it back up a few times, but this is different. I have a limited amount of time and doors have opened up to do something special for distribution.
Hmmm, tried to pick up this shot last night. The slider dolly, although really cool, cannot get the shot I want. That means going back to get this shot again with a real dolly on track. I do not want to compromise. ďGood EnoughĒ are not words I want to live by. Who really aspires to ďGood EnoughĒ? When you order a meal or watch a movie, are you really looking for ďGood EnoughĒ? Iíve accepted ďGood EnoughĒ far too many times and it is reflected in the work when I did.
Shoot got rained out this morning. Disappointing, but not devastating. I really wanted to finish this short today. Alas, it was not meant to be. Luckily, I have such a mountain of work before me that if work is to be a distraction from woes, I may never have time to lament unless I choose to. I choose work.
In Poland at Aushwitz I remember seeing this sign over the gates, a most horrifying lie, but in the context of my own life it rings true - WORK SHALL SET YOU FREE. Sometimes I feel like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, a magician manipulating colors and pictures and sound into something special. Iím editing on the 4th of July. What I want to do most in life is make movies.
Sound mix is done on the next Cell Phone Monologue! Magnetic Studios kicked in and did an amazing job sweetening the audio and bringing out the best. George Lucasí oft used quote ďSound is 50% of the experience of any filmĒ rings true for me on every movie I make. Now, having a true professionals work on the last 2 Cell Phone Monologues has taught me a lot about great sound and makes me feel more amateurish in my feeble attempts.