After my previous depressing post, I figured I’d take a swing back into the more positive realms. Tonight, the ice cracked enough that I got some real writing done. Knowing my actor buddy is coming back to Ohio from LA got me a bit excited about shooting something, an idea hit, and the wellspring gushed forth. I got 5-6 new ideas and when it rains it pours. 

Knowing I have a bluescreen stage and HD cameras at my fingertips means I can get a lot done on short notice with minimal crew. We have the bluescreen pre-lit with the overhead lighting grid, so I unfettered by restraints and unable to come up with any procrastinations or obstacles. Making something with what you’ve got sure helps when you work at a production company with a studio, lighting grid, and plenty of C-stands and flags.

I bought a $10 antenna and I can now watch TV in full HD. It’s staggering the difference in image. I can even tolerate commercials. I haven’t seen a TV show whilst it was broadcast in nearly 4 years. In 2004 we gave up cable TV and I have had no regrets. I usually watch a show on the Internet or rent the DVD’s when the whole season comes out. Now, with this $10 ancient antenna and an ATSC tuner, I can get digital high definition versions of the local channels. I bought a $3 extension for the coaxial cable to run the antenna from on top of the bookshelves upstairs, but hot damn does the picture look sweeeeeeeeet.

As for a long awaited ROSSDONIA report, I have bad news. My little terrorist “V” caused quite a problem. The little bastard knocked down my 750 gig portable hard drive. It only contained EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE. Yes, it primarily acted as a backup, but there are many irreplaceable files and videos of my stuff. I learned my lesson a long time ago, so I do have tape backups of everything, but it becomes a horrible inconvenience to re-digitize everything and organize it all in folders, etc. and the frames won’t 100% match in existing timelines, etc. I was quite irate concerning the little guy, but by the next day, we were pals again. I have a hard time staying mad at the little bugger. He’s my baby boy. Cousette is another matter. She’s pure evil. Furry evil. She sheds on my clothes and I think she’s working on a plot to have me sent to the gallows.

HD-DVD is dead. All in one week Netflix, Best Buy, and Walmart have all gone BLU-RAY exclusive. What sucks is that the cheapest player is still $399. That’s too expensive. I don’t want to have to shell out that much for a freakin’ player, although the Fiancé wouldn’t mind a PlayStation 3. We’ll see. I have $100 in gift cards for Best Buy, but even $300 for a player is way too much. My HD-DVD player is now more like a high definition version of my laserdisc player.

I saw the new INDIANA JONES trailer. It doesn’t look great to me. The style seems to be a geriatric version of LARA CROFT and that’s in no way a good thing. I am not a fan of THE LAST CRUSADE, the previous INDY adventure. I love Sean Connery and there are some amazing moments in the film, but overall, it was more joke and no plausibility. The magic of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was the subtlety of the FX and the supernatural elements throughout, so that the big FX ending was more “realistic” or at the very least plausible. The fact that this movie ** SPOILER ALERT** is about aliens and Area 51 sucks. I’m ready to believe a 64 year old Indiana Jones can still swing on a whip; I’m willing to accept certain quasi-religious, physics defying objects can do something unrealistic; But I am not prepared to get into a form of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and flying saucers to be mixed with an Indiana Jones movie. That’s just too much. The FX in the 2 LARA CROFT/TOMB RAIDER movies was so over the top, unrealistic, that they made me near vomit in the theatre. The sole saving grace was the gravity defying breasts in tight outfits of Angelina Jolie Mrs. Pitt. The Indiana Jones one liners aren’t helping too much either. This will be a great movie to see once, at a midnight show with a packed audience, then soon forgotten. That’s my prediction.

Airline tickets are purchased. Cameras scheduled. Hotel and rental cars reserved. In May, I’m helping to shoot a documentary with a Holocaust survivor. This project represents a shift in my normal modes of interest as a filmmaker, but sometimes you are moved by a story and have to do something. I will give this project everything I’ve got. The Fiancé has put in years of research on this and we’re set to take care of business. I’m going to really throw down for her and make her project as good as it can be. This will take every ounce of skill I have acquired as a shooter and an editor, but maybe that’s why things have happened the way they have. I am prepared to do exactly this, so it’s as if fate intervenes and puts you on a path.

My 2nd Videomaker Magazine article is out and this time I was able to get a hard copy. I dig it. They are treating me well and I am proud to be writing for this mag. This gig has now lead to a few other side jobs, but it has really helped with sales of the book on so everybody wins.

The writer’s strike is over. 24, which had 8 completed episodes, is one hold until Jan 2009. Whether they scrap what they’ve shot and start over, or try to continue is in the air. Exec Producer Joel Surnow, the most republican producer in Hollywood, has left the show. As long as Jon Cassar is still with them, they have a chance. LOST has returned and they really do appear to have the next 3 seasons mapped out with a plan. The reveals, and flash-forwards are a rejuvenating experience compared to the inconsistencies of the earlier seasons as they tried to really figure out what they were doing. THE OFFICE looks to return in about 5-6 weeks. The writers got an increase for a bigger piece of the “new media” profits, and everything seems to be resolved. Like a trains slowly restarting after a respite, the industry may be able to correct itself. In June, I doubt SAG will strike. This was too painful as it was. That’s my prediction there.

Well my fellow conscripts, the master control program demands we get on our light cycles and out run the tanks.

End of Line.

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

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


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