Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Quick update

Okay, after a disastrous first day we really hit a groove and got some nice stuff. We also almost blew up someone, but that wasn't my fault. I'll tell you more about it later.

For the first few pics from the shoot go to www.kangaskahnfilms.com and click on Forum, then FOC 2.

More when I get back! This is the first time I've been able to hit the web in a week.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Did I say last one?

Yeah, maybe I did. But how was I to know today was going to be such a fuckin spectacularly blogtastic day?

For those who don't know...in the credits at the end of my films I thank people who have been instrumental in helping me get the film done. That section starts with "The Director Wishes to Thank..."

But I also have a section that says "The Director Does NOT Wish to Thank..." and I list the nimrods who pissed me off during the creation.

Today, we have our second candidate for the listing in FOC2. Enter U-Haul.

See, we're going to burn my old car in the film. The car doesn't run at all, but it LOOKS sweet. It's a sports coupe. I still get people asking whether it's for sale since it's been sitting in my driveway for 2 years.

But I need to get it towed 50 miles to where we're filming. I haven't had too much luck, so I finally figured we'd tow the bitch ourselves with one of the crew's trucks.

Tuesday I stopped by U-Haul to ask about reserving a tow bar for the car. They told me they couldn't do anything. I had to call the main office which would give me the location and time I could pick it up.

So Wednesday I call the main office. They say they can't reserve it until the day before I want to tow. Call back tomorrow if I want it Friday.

So I call back Thursday. I wait another 10 minutes on hold and then tell the person I need to reserve a tow. The person says they don't have a lot of options open. I should have called earlier in the week to reserve it, because a lot of people reserve the tow bars for weekend towing.

I'm still pretty calm about it. I explain nicely what the other pinhead--I mean, representative--said about not being able to reserve it until today. This new rep sets me up and says okay, someone will call back before the end of the day to tell me where and when I can pick up the bar.

And oh yeah--this guy says I can't tow my specific car with the two-wheels-off-the- ground tow bar. My car is so low that it will drag the car's back end. I have to use the tow bar that picks up all 4 wheels. It's $10 more a day. I say, fine, whatever. They ask what I'm towing the car with and I tell them the truck we're using. Fine, fine.

No one calls me that day. Friday comes around and I call them when I wake up at 2pm(I went to sleep about 7am). After waiting--I kid you not--15 minutes for a rep, they tell me I can pick up the tow bar at the U-haul. In Baltimore.

Now...there are 3 effing U-Hauls closer than the one in Baltimore. Driving into Baltimore is also a nightmare. They're working on the main road into Baltimore right now, and it's closed down to 1 lane. So this not cool.

I tell the guy, in very clear and concise 4 letter words what I think of this. I explain that I've had nothing but problems with his shitty company, and this is one more pile of shit he's thrown in. He says Hold On, he'll transfer me to a supervisor.

Instead, he hangs up on me. Rather than call back and wait 20 minutes to try to talk to a rep I just call the Baltimore Office. I tell him I have a reservation for the tow bar and give him my name.

He tells me, very accusatory, "You were supposed to pick it up at noon." I say, and I quote: "If you fucking pinheads had called me yesterday like you were supposed to then maybe I could have done that." Then I gave him the short version of the crap I had put up with so far from his company.

His attitude turned fast. He said I could pick it up anytime up til 8pm. I said thanks.

And I thought it was all over. A done deal. Couldn't get any worse.

Then I get the call. The guy picking up the tow has been told he cannot take it because they say his truck doesn't have the proper hitch on it. He tells them he's pulled the largest truck U-Haul has to offer with that truck, but they won't budge. They will not let him take the tow.

So here I am--with 2 days to get this fucking car across 50 miles to the location, and I'm not sure how to do it. Two tow truck companies turned me down last week--they don't want to tow that far, especially across the Bay Bridge. That's why I was going with the U-Haul option.

Now I have to get up early and make a lot of calls to see just how expensive it's gonna get. I'm sure SOMEONE will do it--the question becomes a matter of price.

Man, I know I say it everytime, but this is the LAST MOVIE I'M SHOOTING...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Last Blog For A While

So read it E X T R A S L O W. . . .

ADDICTED

Yes. I'm an addict. But since they say the first step in beating your addiction is to acknowledge you have a problem...well, I'm gonna tell you my addictions. In no particular order.

7-11 Pizza: It's two bucks for a small slice, but I swear to God if it's fresh then it's worth every penny. Whenever I go in for my other addiction(Slurpee) and see a fresh pizza, I have to buy a slice even if I'm not hungry. I'm not kidding--they had fresh pizza this morning when I stopped by at 5:30am for the paper, and I bought a piece.

Slurpees: Cola. I was up to one a day there for about a year. I've cut it down to about one every other day. Love 'em.

Xbox 360: Specifically, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Battlefield Modern Combat. These things suck up so much of my time it's a wonder I get anything done. I've taken to rewarding myself for doing work by giving myself a little time on the box.

Deal or No Deal: The premise for this game is so ridiculously simple that I laughed when someone told me about it. Then one night it was the only thing on so I watched it. And couldn't STOP watching it. Call it a guilty-pleasure addiction.

Reality TV: My addication began with Cops all those years ago, and it's still there. Only now I've added The Surreal Life, Dog: The Bounty Hunter, Breaking Bonaduce, Deadliest Catch, Ultimate Fighter, and I'm sure there's a couple more I'm forgetting. Between TV and Xbox...I really need about 40 hours in my day.


So I'm gonna work on my addictions. Now go tell me yours.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Draw Inside The Lines

My kid, Logan, is in some special school for autistic kids. I think I told you that.

I've never been there, super parent that I am. But I get reports from my wife. She came home the other day and mentioned that the teachers would like us to encourage Logan to use one hand or the other. Because, while he favors his right hand, he still uses his left a lot also.

And I have to wonder--should I? Is this like those "You must draw within the lines" kind of tasks they taught us in school? The kind of tasks that you later find out actually discourage you from being creative in art techniques--hard to explore form when you're so stuck with "staying in the lines".

So should I simply encourage him to use both hands, to be ambidextrous, or should I go with what I assume is their attempt to get him to concentrate on one hand so it will be come his dominant hand?

Not sure.

In other news, the shoot barrels at me full speed. We're having trouble figuring out where we're gonna put everybody for the night--we have more people staying than we thought. Some people I thought would head home in between their shooting days are planning on staying, and quite frankly, the hotels in the area are out of their mind.

We're trying to rent a house or something. Meanwhile I have to get this non-driving car to the eastern shore so we can burn it, pickup the van we're renting for gear, and prepare for David Mun(the Director of Photographer) to get into town on Saturday.

And oh yeah, prepare myself so I'm ready to direct the movie. It's the little things.

Friday, May 12, 2006

T-Minus 9 Days

Yeah, only 9 more days and back into the breach. It's rushing at me too fast.

We still have a lot of people we haven't rehearsed, a lot of props still to be prepared, and stupid crap to be done. (The car we're going to light on fire needs to be towed to the Eastern Shore--it doesn't drive by itself but it LOOKS pretty as hell)

My biggest whoops so far seems to be my props estimate in the budget. I had it budgeted for around $500--it was just a guess. I really had no idea how much stuff we'd need until I broke down the script.

It's actually at about $2000 now, so that's rough. I'm actually kind of wondering if I'm going to run out of money near the end of the shoot--that wouldn't be too cool. I'm known for ALWAYS paying what I say I'm going to pay WHEN I say I'm going to pay it. It's one of the things that seems to distinguish me from many of the other local filmmakers.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ah...Horrortalk

I have fun over on Horrortalk. It's one of the only online boards I semi-regularly participate in. Today I got an email that I got a private message. I check it, and here it is.

I just LOVE when people who don't know the language try to speak it. Is that mean-spirited?

He seems like a nice guy, but I'm not sure what he wants.

For a long time wanted to write to you, but has gathered only recently.


Some info about me:
I the writer/director from the Far East of Russia. I did Nails, Visions of suffering and my upcoming movie Philosophy of a knife.

Both movie coming soon on DVD from Unearthed films.
http://www.unearthedfilms.com/

Reviews here

http://www.horrortalk.com/reviews/Nails/nails.html

http://www.horrortalk.com/reviews/Visions/visions.htm

http://www.carnivalofthegrotesque.co.uk/andreyiskanov.html


My space

http://www.myspace.com/iskanov


My new film Philosophy of a knife about medical and bacteriological experiments on people during the second world war in Japanese Unit 731. This film is based on the real facts and it half recreation and on half documentary with the story of the eyewitness personally knowing many doctors from Unit 731. I finish editing this film and I hope it will be soon release in USA by Unearthed films

Some stills from film Philosophy of a knife you can see in

http://lair.nm.ru/reviews/philosophy_knife/promo.html

Production stills in

http://www.horrortalk.com/reviews/731/731Stills.htm


My some photoworks and few old projects here

http://home.kht.ru/spectrum-of-fantasy/epitaph-eng.win

I shall be glad, if it will seem to you interesting.


And also---I upload my Visions of suffering for some my friends and you can download its parts from here

http://www.sendspace.com/file/meujgc
http://www.sendspace.com/file/ty7n17
http://www.sendspace.com/file/e8m822
http://www.sendspace.com/file/hz3yo8
http://www.sendspace.com/file/hbtl3h
http://www.sendspace.com/file/qludm1
http://www.sendspace.com/file/h21oge
http://www.sendspace.com/file/yoghjr
http://www.sendspace.com/file/g22a52
http://www.sendspace.com/file/5ehsr3
http://www.sendspace.com/file/mdhylc
http://www.sendspace.com/file/zny8n0

To big my regret, I still had only version without subtitles, but chatter it not the basic part of my film. I hope, my movie will be pleasant to you.



Good luck to you!

Andrey

Defending Your Movie, Part 2

Ok, so I found out that it's NOT the guy I thought it was. It's the OTHER guy who offered to work on the film for free. He's from California and had told my producer that if we flew him out here and had a place for him to stay, he'd work on the film for free.

See, he's just looking to get something behind him. Right now it's all BS and unproduced films. His resume was nice though, because he had some assistant director creds. An AD doesn't actually direct--he's pretty much the guy who works the shooting schedule, keeps people doing what they need to do. He's suppose to keep us on schedule.

So I could use one of those.

This guy was totally on board. Very excited. So excited that he asked if he can mention it to Fangoria in an interview online. I say, whatever. The interview shows up a week later and yep, there's the mention of him working on FOC2.

Then we don't hear from him anymore. Nothing. Not a "Hey, I'm not interested anymore" or anything. Just...silence. Very professional way of doing things.

And now he's on the board saying that after he saw the film and the "final pay quote" he decided not to be a part of it. Final pay quote? It was always ZERO dollars. That's what cracks me up. That's why there's the confusion.

There's only one guy who was offered money to work on the film who is NOT working on the film. Everyone else is on board.

But this guy...like I said...a wannabe filmmaker. He shot a movie like 2 years ago, so I'm very anxious to see the movie so I can post my very own comment on HIS film's message board.

Guess I have to wait until he actually GETS distribution though.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Defending Your Movie

So...anyone seen the fun I've been having on the imdb message boards? Just search for FOC and then click on Message Board.

You see...how the internet works is, anyone who has an opinion is now a professional critic. They can click SEND and now they're published! On the internet.

And that's how we get a lot of know-it-alls posting about things they really don't know.

Don't get me wrong...my movies have PLENTY of problems. If you were to say on those boards, "I hate your movie because it was boring and the story didn't make much sense," I probably wouldn't say anything to you. It's your opinion. You're totally entitled to it.

But when you say stuff like "poorly-edited", "bad cinematography", "bad script"--then you need to explain how you're qualified to judge that.

Now most of the comments on that board are easy to figure out. They're people who would like to be where I am but don't want to put in the work and effort to do what I'm doing. So it's much easier to rag on a film that actually MAKE one.

And then there's the new guy who came in recently and basically quoted verbatim stuff that's in your film 101 textbooks. He tried to come off all high and mighty and act like he knows what he's doing and could do it all SO much better.

I found out last night that this guy is a DP/Grip that I didn't hire for FOC2
. We really only wanted him because he owns a TON of equipment(like, over $100,000 worth). I mentioned this guy in one of my blogs--he turned us down when I offered him roughly 1/6 of our entire budget just to Grip and lend us equipment.

And if you saw the stuff he's worked on you would laugh your ass off. He's DP'd some really bad movies, and the one movie he wrote and directed himself has no distribution. (I've never seen it, but have heard some not favorable things from people who have)

And to top it off, this guy makes his living shooting wedding videos. I'm being critiqued by a wedding videographer!

Really. I mean...I'm not famous but I can certainly see why most of the filmmakers today avoid any kind of interaction online. You simply can't win.

So I'm probably just going to leave my posts up there long enough for that assfish to read them, then take them all down and stop posting.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dumb question

It occurred to me tonight--I heard someone mention a university.

Towson State University.

And it struck me as odd, because...well, there is no Towson State. It's a city.

And I know of lots of other universities that add State after their name. Why is that?

I mean, even if you said it like this: Towson. State University. That still doesn't make a lot of sense.

As in, Towson, a state university. As opposed to what? A country university? A city university? Wouldn't Towson University cover it?

So how come they're all adding State in their names? Just struck me as strange.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Unexpectedly Good Flick

A couple of months ago I happened to be flipping channels and I came across a movie featuring an actor I recognized--except he's like 50 years old now, but on the screen he looked 30. So I knew the movie was from the 80's.

I watched about 5 minutes of it--but I was hooked. I hate coming in late to movies though, so I turned the channel, went to imdb and looked up the movie's name, and then I threw it on my Netflix list.

Forgot to move it up the list though, so it was surprising to have it arrive in my mailbox two months later. Instant "Oh yeah, I forgot about that!"

The actor in question was Stacy Keach, Mike Hammer himself. The movie is called "Road Games", and it's an Australian flick also featuring Jamie Lee Curtis in a very small but important role.

The movie is very reminiscent of Spielberg's first flick, "Duel", but with a bit of a Hitchcock twist in it(ala "Rear Window").

Ten minutes into the movie and you'll be hooked. It's not a perfect movie, not by a long shot, but it's very entertaining for a movie you've never heard of. Check it out. It's more suspense than horror, regardless of how they tried to sell it.