Seven years ago this month, my life changed. I met one of my idols, Richard Linklater ([i]dir: School of Rock, Slacker, Dazed & Confused, A Scanner Darkly[/i]). I went from wanting to be a filmmaker to actually making movies within 2 weeks of that January night. Now I am a full time filmmaker because of meeting Rick and the things he said to me, one on one. [url=http://community.thelot.com/profiles/profile.aspx?un=sonnyboo][img]http://www.sonnyboo.com/images1/blog/jan07/linklater.jpg[/img][/url]
Another year has come & gone. I have grown older miraculously by acquiring grey hair and gaining weight. I’m not too sentimental for birthdays. They don’t mean much to me. I’ve taken to heart a lesson learned from a fictional character, FBI special agent Dale Cooper when he told Harry S. Truman “[i]Every day give yourself a present. It could be a new shirt from the men’s store, it could be a catnap in the office, or a fresh cup of coffee, but every day give yourself a present.[/i]” Ever since 1990, I found the logic in this to be more and more important. There’s a little bit of Xmas in every day now. No need for a special occasion to treat yourself right.
I treated myself to changing over my whole edit systems in the house. I am now editing on two 19″ widescreen monitors and moved the precious 30″ monitor/HDTV into the basement with full 5.1 Dolby Surround ™ where movie & television watching is less bothersome to the neighbors and to My Sexy Girlfriend Veronica™. Rossdonia cooks with finger grease now. I’ve got Premiere/Avid keyboards on both editing systems. There’s 2 features editing on my machines for the next 2 months as well as an epic documentary project for another feature length movie, plus my cable show, so Rossdonia also is overbooked and kicking with work. I started off January worried about no work on the horizon, now I’m inundated, but it’s good. I prefer to stay busy.
Micah started doing more work on the long, almost forgotten feature from a few years ago. I’ll withhold the title until we at least have a rough cut done. Many eyes seek to know about that project, but until there’s substantial progress, it’s better left unsaid.
My Sexy Girlfriend Veronica ™ wanted a change in Rossdonia, so we re-arranged the entire place. Since the basement was such a success, we moved around the spare bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, and even closets. Since I’m stuck here more often of late, it’s better to re-invent the environment and keep things fresh. By moving all my TV/Movie watching into the basement, I surf the web a lot less, subsequently I’m sitting on my ass less since I’m always going up and down 2 flights of stairs all day, as opposed to having it all in one room and I can just roll a chair and do everything.
I even switched desks for my laptop/internet computer. I find that with a laptop, I prefer a flat desk with no hutch, plus a wider, empty desk space to work on. Since I had a spare monitor lying around, I put it to use as a 2nd monitor on the laptop. It will be hard to ever go back to a single. I have my email open on the left, Internet on the right. When using Adobe Photoshop ©, it’s on the left and thumbnails are on the right. God it’s more convenient. I love to multitask so the 2 monitor setup really works for me.
Last night I went to dinner with a few friends. Since My Sexy Girlfriend Veronica ™ and I were moving furniture all day, and I got the coveted all night spooning session I’ve waited to get for years which yielded a night of uncomfortable positions and limbs falling asleep – I was not 100% “on”. It was still a good time.
The dark comedy script is holding steady. I’m happy but still tweaking & paying a little bit at a time. It’s set for an August shoot at this point, but that’s okay. Time to raise money and do things with a bigger name cast always take more.
There’s another script idea fermenting in my head and has made its way to 3×5 cards. I had never used those before the dark comedy, and now I see that they work great for communicating with other people. I don’t really want to be a screenwriter at all, but more a producer/director that originates a [b]story[/b] but collaborates with writers. I think the best work comes from working with other people. My favorite two cohorts on a movie are the Director of Photography and the actors. This is where I like to give more control to other people. In the script & story, I am more domineering, but I guess I want something more specific. I’m recalling a great quote of one of my heroes Stanly Kubrick to Matthew Modine on Full Metal Jacket – “[i]There is no such thing as bad ideas, only better ones.[/i]”
I will rip through 99 suggestions waiting for the 100th (or more) one that is “right”. No clue what that is until I hear/read it sometimes. This makes for tough collaboration sometimes. A lot of writers are just not prepared to hear “No” and “That’s not right” for 2-3 days until something lights up as the right fit. Especially not unpaid writers. I’m not in a position where I can pay a writer for spec projects. The one thing I can offer is that if I say it’s going to happen, it most likely will. My track record is very good for completing projects I set out to do. I’m not 100%, but if I set my mind to it, say it will happen, far more often than not, it does get done. Then I think it’s safe to say I’ll promote the hell out of said project. Anyone interested in being a screenwriter should take note that a produced screenplay is the key to opening the door to future work & sales of additional material.
The Mighty “V” dominates poor Cousette. His fur matches his personality. He’s mostly black & dark with a white underside. He attacks relentlessly, knocks stuff down, breaks things, claws at feet, bites skin, chews on cables, and then he gets a little tired and becomes the sweetest, most affectionate creature on the planet. He’s a conundrum, but I love the little guy. Cousette seems pretty miserable, and yet doesn’t cry as much as she used to, even when her brother Spaz was alive. I’m not sure what goes on in the mind of the felines, but I know that these terrorist insurgencies must end some time. Our new congress in Rossdonia perhaps can make some headway and give something to the people in these United States of Awesome.
Well, my little break from editing is coming to a close. I’m in the midst of a fine cut on a feature film. I agree with the great & powerful Walter Murch that you have to have the kind of mindset that likes minutiae to be an editor. It’s the tedious and repetitive nature of looking at shots and frames and finding the sculpture within the marble.
Large & In Charge,
Peter John Ross