Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In A Funk

Man, dunno what it is but I feel like doing NOTHING lately. Playing video games and doing NOTHING.

And I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether to do Ttory 2. It's just going to be so much WORK...

Plus years of my time. Most of the money I've earned from the first Ttory.

Do I wanna do that? What's the up side?

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I've been trying to think up a new idea for a Ttory segment, because there's a better than average chance that I'm not going to use the other guy's segment in my piece. I read it, and I like it, but tonally it's just SO different than the rest of the flick. It also features title cards at the end, which seems out of place when the segments are stories that someone is telling.

So I think we could either put his segment in part 3, or possibly even do it and release it as a stand-alone short on Am-zon. It feels sort of stand alone anyway...

And Luke's getting worried that maybe his script isn't as good with the modifications he's written to it to make it a segment rather than a wrap-story.

Taking stock, I have my wrap which is probably going to be like 35 minutes. My other segment is like 18 minutes. 

That means that I should probably have another three segments that add another 35 minutes or so, but I had THIS thought while trying to think out of the box:

There's really no requirement for this to be feature length. I don't plan to pursue traditional distribution, so if this thing was only 65 minutes total...do I really give a shit? Sure, it means less minutes streamed, assuming everybody who streams the movie watches the whole thing.

But story-wise, I could cut out the "Here's a story" segues and knock it down to whatever I want.

Either way, I need another segment at the least. And I've been drawing a big fat blank.

I was thinking that maybe I've just used up all my ideas. It's easy enough to come up with some new killer stalking people in the woods, but with the first one I definitely took the time to create stories with twists. Anyone can put a killer in the woods and have them kill a bunch of kids.

So I searched my notes and come to find out that I had the germ of an idea a while back that I'd forgotten about. Now that I'm thinking about, I'm going to let it percolate a bit and see if my subconscious runs with it.

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These old magazines covers crack me up.

Went to the movies to see A Monster Calls. Heard it was good. It was okay. Bit of a downer, and didn't feel like there was all that much story to it.

Not sure how this guy got the job for the next Jurassic World movie. It's not that it's not well done; I just don't know how the powers that be assign these projects. Hell, the guy who did the first JW hadn't had any big experience, so I'm real curious how these guys get the job.

I sort of wish there were more movies out that I'd like to see. I have gift certificates from Xmas to use, but nothing I really want to see...

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I mentioned I ordered a drone, right? Can't remember.

Am-zon sent an email saying it's taking longer than they thought to fill the order. I went and looked, and a lot of people are on Am-zon complaining about ordering it and not getting it months later.

So finally I canceled it and ordered it through the drone company's web site. They claim they ship within 5-7 business days after a processed payment. What they don't tell you is that just because you order it, doesn't mean they've processed it.

I ordered it Thursday, and as of today they've sent two emails but both of them remind me that the payment hasn't been processed yet...


Monday, January 09, 2017

Fun as Expected

Got back from L.A.

Flight out was no problem. We did nothing the first day. Next day we set up, and my brother and I watched the room until security came--that way we didn't have to go meet the people and hang out with them.

First day was fine if a little slow for them. My back started hurting though. Like a sharp pain in the muscles of the back, not the spine like normal.

Second day it was even worse. I was popping Advil like it was going out of style. But made it through it even though it was REALLY long. Was down there from 10am until 7:30pm without a break. Like, literally.

Auction's over and I've gone upstairs to change for the loadout. (I don't do any loading in my suit--it's the only suit I own)

I start getting calls from the douchebag of the company--basically #2 in the company. I call him back. He says there's a HUGE problem. One of the lots that sold for like $60K is showing as PASSED in the history.

We sold it there(rather than online) so it's not big deal in reality. But he's wigging out. All the people online will believe the doll didn't sell. People would be calling to buy it. Other people who don't like the company will be spreading rumors about not being able to sell the doll.

Etc Etc Etc

I tell him I'll see what I can do, but since I closed the auction it's not fixable in an easy way. I go in and try to reconcile the invoice to change that lot but it says we're blocked.

The douche comes down and I explain the problem: It's the online auction broker's fault. WE can see what we sold it for, so it's not my fault. But nobody's at the online auction broker's company because it's like 10:30pm on a Sunday night.

The douche is getting angry. The lady who owns the company(his mom) comes down, as well as the douche's brother, and they both tell him it's not a big deal. It's a computer glitch, and it's not our fault.

He fucking WIGS. Starts yelling shit about 'Are you fucking kidding me? There's too many hands in the kitchen!"(couldn't even get the saying correct). Then he storms out, yelling "PUSSIES!"

I'm not joking. He yelled that to all of us, including his mother.

It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Only wish I'd videotaped it.

Anyway, my back's fucking killing me again. I been popping every painkiller I've got but it's not doing much.

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Today(Monday) we flew back. One of the bumpiest air rides I've ever taken. The kind where the plane is bumping and rocking so much people are gasping audibly in alarm.

Back still killing. I have taken more Oxy/Hydro/Tramadol this weekend than I did in the previous 3 months.

Thought I was gonna do a post without some sexy lady? Come on...

While in L.A., my brother and I watched the first couple of episodes of Death in Paradise. It's not bad. It's UK, and is stand-alone mystery episodes. I'm not sure how long that will keep me interested nowadays...

Then watched the first two episodes of The Mick. It's okay. Nowhere near as funny as Sunny, but I'll stick with it for a while.

Watched Dude Bro Party Massacre 3, which is actually pretty funny. A lot of jokes miss, but enough hit that I'd recommend it, especially if you're stoned.

Finally watched Autopsy of Jane Doe. Pretty well done and interesting, even if the main mystery was fairly predictable. Weird ending, but definitely cool.

Going to bed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

2016: Good Fucking Riddance. 2017: Shape Up Fast

A new fucking year. Let me tell you though, 2016 is seeping into 2017.

I detailed this on FB, but here's the even more in-depth boring story. If you read it, you may wanna skip to the next section below.

Getting ready to go out to dinner New Year's Eve. The wife's taking a shower and I go downstairs and hear water splashing. The roof of the basement is leaking, and water is coming out of the pipe below it.

I make her stop showering. Our pipes are all backed up.

(FAST backstory--about a year ago we had a back up, and roto rooter came out and put a camera in the pipes and saw a small root had busted through the pipe--they drilled through it and we were good to go, but they said the root could cause problems in the future)

We go out, have a decent New Year's, come back to not being able to shower or go the bathroom. We put some draino down the pipe.

New Year's Day

My dad wakes me up cuz he always shows up when there's a problem to be fixed. Guy is nuts, in a good way. We take a look at what we can, the drainage out front, no idea. He wants to call roto rooter again, but I know that's a minimum of like $400 for them to come out. I'm like, let's go rent a big drain cleaner from Home Depot for like $70.

We do that. I put the cable in, run in down and after quite a ways it seems to hit something, keeps going, but then the cable starts knotting up, twisting, getting dangerous. We try to pull it out but it's stuck.

We spend an hour trying to get it out. We can't retract the cable into the machine and we can't straighten it out either.

My dad unhooks the cable from the machine in an attempt to get it to straighten out, but it's knotted, and with one end stuck in the drain, it won't untangle.

My dad goes to Home Depot to see if they have anything to get this cable unstuck but I'm thinking "We have no idea what it's stuck on...we're screwed..."

So I start pulling it again, jerking it(cue the lewd jokes) as hard as I can, and after 15 minutes of killing myself I feel it give. Start pulling. Still has resistance.

THIS is what came out of the pipe attached to the cable. You may not be able to tell scale, but that's a large bucket. It's like a foot of roots and vines.

I'm guessing that the pipe in our yard is fully broken now, so these roots are just going to grow through and the only way to fix it is to dig up the yard and replace the pipe. And we're going to have to get roto rooter out here anyway so they can pinpoint exactly where the pipe is in the yard for us to dig...

So we drag the cable outside and stretch it into the yard. It's like 8pm at this point and I haven't eaten anything but a pack of peanut butter crackers since my dad woke me up. I'm starving.

We re-attach the cable and try to rewind it. It won't retract. We can't figure it out. It looks like it's impossible that it won't retract. We mess around with it, twisting and turning dials, trying reverse and fast forward. Nothing.

Finally go look online and find a Youtube video that shows exactly how it works, and we get it wound back on. My dad says he'll be back at 10am the next morning and we'll think about trying to run it through the pipe again, though we're both scared shitless about getting it stuck in the pipe again.

NEXT DAY

I tried to go to bed early knowing my dad was coming over at 10am, but it didn't take. Fell asleep about 4am.

My dog starts barking at 9am, so I jump up and see how early it is, and feel how unbelievably sore my arms and back are from the pulling of the cable. My dad comes in and is like "Roto Rooter's gonna be here in 15 minutes."

I'm dazed and confused. He says he didn't want to take the chance on getting the thing stuck, and he wants to see what the Roto camera will show.

The same guy who was here barely over a year ago comes in, remembers us. Puts the big cable in, drills through everything twice. Says he encountered some resistance.

The camera guy shows up, same guy as before. He takes a look with his camera--the pipe is clear right now but the problem appears to be that the county, at some point way before we bought the house, dug up the pipe in our front yard and replaced a section with pipe and just butted the ends together.

Didn't attach them. So those two pipes are now slightly apart, and roots are growing through the seam, gradually pushing the pipes farther apart.

He says they can fix it. For about $5200. They have to dig up our yard and replace the pipe.

Otherwise, he says they can just come out whenever it gets clogged and clear it again, but that's $500 a pop.

Honestly, I'd just rather move to another state than pay $5200 for fucking plumbing.

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Meanwhile--remember, I'm going to L.A. on Thursday and am supposed to have this banquet video done. The one they didn't give me a lot of notice on anyway, and now I've had to deal with this other shit for three days.

Got them done, and I think they're probably a little better than last year's in terms of visual quality. As far as funny...dunno. The drunk doll people will let us know.

The funny part is that after telling me last minute they need the video, they actually texted me Monday night to ask if I could add the best of last year's vids INTO this year's vids. Like...why not just wait 'til I'm on the plane. Or in LA, I'll just do it in my hotel room. Man, piling the stuff on last minute. I'm gonna pile some last minute charges to the bill...

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T-tory 2. Think it's probably going to happen. Am waiting for Am-zon to pay us so I can schedule a meet with the other guys, take 'em some money, and sit down to get them to sign the papers.

I've done a slight revision on the wrap story and am happy with it, so may start working on the shooting script a little. (not too much, because once I know exactly what segments are IN it I can tailor some of the dialogue.

As is, I've finished one segment's script and done a few passes on that.

Am going to use something Luke wrote for a segment. Still have not gotten a script from the other guy who I met with months ago about it. At this point I almost just wanna tell him...your segment can go in Ttory 3.

Have a new idea for a segment that I'm fleshing out in my head. In a perfect world it would involve the burying someone under the ground with only their head/neck/feet showing and making a fake body on the ground to get all messed up.

Imagine it may be tough in the woods where there's roots under the ground.

Also am going to start working on Halloween volume 2. Sort of my happy place. I will also confide in you that I published another book on Amazon under a pseudonym, and the weird part is that it's selling. It's cheap--$6.95--but still...makes you wonder how people find stuff. (oddly, it's selling better in Europe than here...)

So may do another book like that. 

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Very not looking forward to this trip.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nothing Much

So...Xmas eve morning.

Not a lot to report. Saw the new Star Wars movie. Kinda disappointed.

The characters, with the exception of the robot, were some of the worst characters that have been in a SW movie. Like, ever.

Not saying the movie was terrible, but definitely a step down. It does feature one awesome scene toward the end of the movie. I won't spoil it, but it's amazing.

In fantasy football news...again, I'm a Yahoo stud. I've been in the superbowl three out of the last four years. This year, in there once again. And my team's pretty weak due to injuries right now.

Here's what the league looks like:
I'm pretty glad I don't have to go against the grapplers in the superbowl...he's clearly got the best team in the league, but they didn't play well last week.

In my other league, not so much. It's a new league I joined last year, and it has some weird scoring. Not used to it. Not used to needing a punter on my team either...

Just barely didn't make it into the playoffs. I was 8-6, and so was another team--they got into the playoffs because they scored more points than I did total.

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On the AmZn video front...man, it's dead. People are not watching much horror on there in December, I can tell you that. Will be interesting to see if there's any resurgence on any of them. If not, I may turn them back to pay only.

PS: Japan apparently doesn't pay. We did about $3.30 in July for Japan. I know, big money, right?

And Am-Zn noted that it was in the process of paying me as of  October. At the end of the month, all the other payments had come through. But no Japan.

As of last night, it was still "in process".

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Anyway, Merry Xmas, in case I don't get around to it before then.







Monday, December 19, 2016

WORK!

Ha, bet that pic won't distract you.

End of the year means shooting the big dolls videos for the LA auction. As usual, they're getting longer and they want them up fast, so I shot them on Thursday. Couldn't start working on them until late Friday, but spent the entire weekend, like 12 hour days, editing them, exporting them, and uploading them.

The bigger problem is that they definitely want that January banquet video too.

I asked them at the beginning of December if they'd need it, because if so I wanted to start working on it. Not only was last year's rushed, but this year's auction is a week earlier.

They said no, they were going to do something different this year. Cool, I thought. I get a breather this holiday season.

Last week they tell me they need one. It can be shorter, they say, but they definitely want it.

Now I'm gonna be slammed doing this thing. It's all After Effects work, which is the time-intensive shit. So will be working pretty steadily over the holidays...

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Gonna go out and see the new Star Wars tomorrow. Have managed to dodge all the trailers other than the first, but my friends are working hard to spoil it.



Thursday, December 08, 2016

Them Clowns...

Did I mention that, between my writing, I'm still working on FOC1? Holy shit. If you had any idea of the difficulties in getting a new HD version of that...

I think I mentioned that I originally exported the whole movie and it was like 2 hours long. (well, my first cut was like 3 hours, but less said about that the better)

I can't remember exactly why I did it, but the way I originally put the movie together was to export each scene individually, then reimport them all and piece them together with whatever transition I wanted.
(in retrospect, I probably did it because nested timelines wasn't a thing back then, and trying to import the entire movie into one project would have dragged down my computer)

The problem arose when I decided to trim more in the movie, and what I did was just trim things in the timeline in each scene. And now, since I don't have the original premiere file, I gotta try to reconstruct this Frankenstein.

So I ripped the LGF file of the video of FOC, which was actually kinda problematic because of the copy protection on it. Got some weird errors, but did it.

Now I've laid that into the timeline above the new version of FOC I'm working on. Trying to trim where I trimmed before. Keep it all lined up so I can make sure the music(which was a separate file, as was the MnE and dialogue tracks) lines up.

And what a fucking trash heap this movie is. I look at it and remember how prepared I thought I was, and it's just...sad. Don't get me wrong; I wasn't confident. I was scared shitless. Spending a bunch of dough that wasn't entirely mine, working with new actors I'd never worked with.

But still...I had done so much prep that I thought I was ready.

Looking at it now, it's discouraging. If I directed this movie today, with the same exact resources, the movie wouldn't be half as embarrassing.

So not only is the work brutally tedious, but on top of it I get to continually look at my failures as a director.

It's rough.

Let's look at this and try not to think about it anymore...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

End of the Year? Fuuuuuuuuuuck....

That is an awesome poster, btw.

So...presented the idea to Mark. He seemed hesitant, as expected. Basically it puts him in the driver's seat on Ttory 3, which means--if he runs it the way he did Ttory1 before I got there--that it won't get done. Hopefully he understands he's got a lot of work to do if he accepts.

A few days later he got back to me and said he's excited about it, so it seems like he's going to.

That means, once I get the SOLID yes, and we put all the terms on paper that I spoke to him about so there's definitely no confusion, that I will really start putting the pedal to the metal.

If I could--no saying I could--I would try to schedule all the segments into May/June/July. Edit them as we go too, and have a solid cut by August 1st. Have it completely done in time to premiere it on September 1st, 2017.

This is HIGHLY unlikely to happen for so many reasons that we might as well call it a fantasy.

Better odds that it gets done by the end of next year. Then I have to decide whether to premiere it in an "off" month, or wait to premiere it in September so it gets big views for 2 straight months.

I'm simultaneously working on scripts for the stand-alone anthology. Wouldn't it be funny if there was some way to get it done also? Again, fantasy.

So I spend a lot of time fantasizing, is what I guess I'm saying.