So that last 2 days have been 13-14 shoot days at the Ohio state finals for track & field. Last year when I did this, I ruined a brand new pair of VANS. This year I wore the ruined shoes and again this year, rain poured on us both days. Sadly, this did not stop my skin from burning to the point of having blisters. I wore my faithful Sonnyboo hat, but that didn’t stop the nose, my most susceptible part of my body to sunburn, from frying red. Your faithful narrator sits in pain at the keyboard, slathered in Aloe. I found that keeping the aloe in the refrigerator does make it incredibly wonderful when you slap that stuff all over. 

I’ve been so busy; I have had no time for blogs, or much of anything. Going from edits to shoots, and graphics work has kept me afloat, which is timing out well since Brandy is sans income since she severely sprained her foot at a softball game. She can barely walk and it’s been over 2 weeks. I have been the sole breadwinner and luckily there has been work for me so I can provide for us. This is an occasional role reversal in our relationship, but that’s where the strength in numbers comes from. Our little fling has lasted 5+ years and I still fall in love with her sometimes. There are days when getting a call and talking to her on the phone make me giddy like I’m in the 8th grade again.

So the great and powerful TV series ON THE LOT has come to air on television. I attempted to watch the first episode, even sans commercials, and I was so bored by minute 16, I started to skip forward. It didn’t get any better. I hate reality shows. The manufactured drama and overly melodramatic music just makes for a queasy, disingenuous show. Some of the moments were so contrived and fake that I just decided this is not a show I can get into. At least on PROJECT GREENLIGHT, the situations, even when manufactured, resemble real life situations that happen on sets everyday. There was something to learn there. ON THE LOT is just a game show in the guise of being a reality show. I’d rather watch the PRICE IS RIGHT; it’s more honest in its approach, nonetheless entertaining.

Sadly, I then got the BLOG OF THE DAY on the ON THE LOT site. What timing! I am grateful to the site for that opportunity, and even for the other goings on that happen on the site itself. It says something about me working on a war documentary, which is untrue, I am working on a documentary about the making of the film HORRORS OF WAR. Jesus, they didn’t even really read my blog.

It’s the show that isn’t very entertaining or good. I don’t feel that not being on the show has any effect on my opinion. I entered PROJECT GREENLIGHT (the first season), and watched all subsequent seasons because it was a good show. OTL ain’t cutting it. Strangely, I am in tune with most American TV audiences because their ratings are plummeting. It’s just another generic reality show, and the filmmaking aspects just seemed like “insert random genre here”, and so all the things that make film a unique art form, and the creation of these pieces of art so entertaining – all of that is lost and not focused on with the show. That’s why it’s failing in my opinion. All the fun AND the drama. That would be entertaining.

So the aforementioned edits I have been working on were for a cable/satellite TV series. They aren’t the sexiest things to be working on, but I’m making a decent living doing exactly what I love to do, so I shan’t complain. Edits here at the house continue on Goodnight Cleveland. The movie is past the 1 hour 43 minute mark. That’s good. Our goal is to eventually get it down to about 90 minutes, so that means we will be able to trim some fat. I prefer to have more to work with and be able to trim it down to the most efficient movie possible. My work on the film hasn’t really started yet.

In the past 7 years, I have diligently worked on making shows for public access TV, even in cities where I don’t live. I love the exposure of public access. It’s always the channel no one watches, but everyone sees. As I have said many times, people are channel surfers and they get glimpses of everything, and if something on that obscure channel catches the eye, they stop & check it out. Most cable access channels still use the archaic ¾” U-matic tape decks. Back in 2000 when I started working at Tavares Teleproductions, Mike Tavares had a few extra ¾” decks lying around and gave 2 of them to me as a gift. They weren’t being used in his business, plus he had kept 2 working decks for himself.

I produced a lot of cable access shows, but I still only needed one deck, so I sold one off. Sadly, the people I sold this to would become one of the many banes of my world for years to come, and that is how I met them. Equally sad, after I sold them 1 of my 2 decks, my deck died. Shortly after that, Columbus Public Access went off the air, so it was less important to own a deck. The Derek acquired a ¾” deck, a nice one, from Ohio State as they were throwing them out, which happens a lot to ancient video and electronics. He brought it over to see if it worked. It did…for about 10 minutes, and then it ate my tape and died. I threw out my non-working deck in favor of getting this nicer one repaired if I ever needed to.

Last week I was given a working ¾” deck that was smaller, nicer, and best yet, it worked. I tested it out and I brought it home and hooked it into my non-linear edit system so I could go straight from my computer’s timeline to the ¾” deck for my current crop of shows. Cincinnati cable access is still up and running, plus they use ¾” decks so I have a need for the deck. I laid out two 30-minute shows to tape and it was great. On the 3rd show, it ate my tape and would not eject it. That means I’ve killed 5 ¾” machines in 7 years. Scott Spears, who imparted the ¾” deck to me graciously, gave me another one since he has approx 14 of them lying around his new studio. Let’s hope it survives more than a few minutes.

So I started work on another educational webdoc for HORRORS OF WAR on M&E tracks. I even got so far as to record a voice over I wrote for it (I don’t want appear on camera as much anymore). I haven’t done squat with it since because of my workload, but hopefully this coming week I can shoot the screenshots and b-roll I need one day & get ‘er done, then put it online.

Friday night after the shoot, I needed to de-compress and I have had 3 features on DVD from Netflix sitting on my desk unwatched. It’s actually been a while since I watched a movie, aside from Spider-man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 at the theatre. I fired up Arronofsky’s THE FOUNTAIN. I tried and tried to make time to see this at the theatre, but never could find it. I loved it. It’s not a standard narrative and not everything and it’s meaning are spelled out and spoon fed to the audience. Much like PI, you have to do some work as the audience. Next up is CHILDREN OF MEN, which took 7 weeks in my cue to get here from Netflix. After that is PAN’S LABYRINTH, then I’ll start looking to watch more movies again. I do have THE SHIELD season 5, but I may put it off in favor of some more features.

12 million views on GROUPER.COM and climbing. That’s astounding and beautiful. I hope they keep going up because it’s nice to know there are some people digging on the movies still.

That’s it for now. More info and updates after I get some other personal items checked off. This week looks lighter, but then again, each week started off light and got busy busy busy.

Peace and love and good happiness stuff,

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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