Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wow, fewest blog-post month...


Like, 5 total? I guess shit has been pretty nuts for me lately.

Went to the beach for a few days with the wife and kid. Even swam in a pool. I was surprised I didn't explode--it's the first time my skin has seen sun in a year. Still, got no tan or burn.

Met up with an old buddy named Vance who moved to Delaware years ago. He comes back for my movie premieres every time, so we went out to dinner with his family.

Then later I convinced my wife to take my kid to see Turbo while Vance and me went to the preview of Wolverine. I'll just say this: For about 80% of the movie I was enjoying it, but the last 20% is so bad I'm giving it a thumbs down.

It's better than the other solo Wolverine movie, but that ending...holy shit. And the "actress" who plays the Viper woman...Jesus is she bad. Horrible.

That was last week. This week I went to DC for a big auction--you know, the shit that pays the bills since movies certainly don't do it. Company took us out to a nice dinner at a ritzy restaurant where the bill for the group of twelve was $996. Youch.

But the auction went VERY well for the company so I think they're ok. All I know is, the chair I was in looked comfortable but turned out to be horrible and my back feels like shit. We worked a 16 hour day, so it was sort of like filming a movie.



Then today I get a call from Jared, the D.P. of my last two movies. He wants to know if I can come D.P. a short they're shooting this Friday.

I know, right?

I'm thinking, first, it's been quite a while since I shot anything on The Red and even when I did I always had a D.P., so why is my name even being tossed about? He tells me he's directing it and he really doesn't wanna D.P. it himself. But he says I'll be more of a "watching" D.P., you know, make sure the shots look good and the frame sides are correct. I'm not sure if that means he's got a camera operator or not.

He also says they'll have a 40 foot jimmy jib. That sounds like fun.

But I'd have to be in Bel Air by like 7am. Means I'd be leaving here like 6am and probably fighting traffic through the tunnel. I don't like mornings, and I like traffic even less. Also, I'd have to get someone to watch the kid since the wife is working.

Am torn. Sounds like fun once I get there, but the morning sucks and also did I mention it's a comedy?

If it was horror I'd be in for sure, but comedy...? We'll see. Told him I'd call him today and let him know.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Suddenly busy




I went from doing nothing for a week to getting busy all of a sudden.

First out of the blue my lead actor from GOH calls me and asks if I can master his dvd so he can fulfill the perks from his campaign to do season 2 of his UFO soap opera. No, I can't tell you really what a UFO soap opera is but you can see for yourself here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Thefastwalkerseries

It's the one I did a few minor CGI effects for(I gave some people alien eyes and put them on the inside of a spaceship in episodes 11&12). Very quick shots.

Yeah, I'm a sucker for a sob story. He doesn't know anybody else who can do it. So I say get me the files, I'll make it. He starts uploading, I start downloading, takes forever. Finally I say fuck it, drop off a dvd with the files.

He does, I get them, dvd made. Only, for some bizarre reason the first run of dvds I did look too small when playing. Like, seems the right aspect ratio but I would have to zoom my TV a couple of times to get it to fill the picture.

I double check my export settings in premiere. I kept the native 1.0 pixel aspect ratio of the footage(they shot on a 5D), which is normally the safe bet. Exported to the .mpg format of an NTSC DVD.

Been a while since I burned a dvd--been doing blu rays for a while now. Well let me give you a quick tip--for some bizarre reason you need to export your file with a pixel aspect ratio of 1.212(16X9). Then it worked fine.

Man, this shit is riveting for you non-tech people, right?



Also--saw Pacific Rim. Twice. First time in regular. Liked it quite a bit. Sure, it's light as air with minimal character development but it was fucking fun, man. Like Ultraman Vs. Godzilla and crew, but with SERIOUSLY cool effects.

So I took my kid to it a few days later. Imax 3D. And fuck did it look and sound spectacular.

---

On the work-for-pay front, it was time for me to go in and shoot some more videos for a big upcoming auction. My sleep schedule is messed, so I actually didn't sleep before heading down to shoot. I do a 2-camera shoot with only me. I do one wide and then I do the close-ups where I pan and follow whatever she's talking about.

First thing I notice is that the sound is acting weird. I'm using lav mics plugged into my t2i. Not getting good audio(I think), but I can only listen from the lav receiver, not the camera. I check the card in the computer and it doesn't sound great but I think it's usable.

It's not. I get home and all the footage's audio is FUCKED.  I end up trying to fix the fucked audio and then I combine it with the other camera's on-cam mic. It still sounds terrible but at least it audible.

The other problem is I'm shooting telephoto to get extreme close ups of the dolls, and the woman doing the presentation keeps picking them up and moving them as she talks. It's impossible to keep anything in frame, much less in-focus.

And she ends up talking more than an hour...so the video turns out to be 4 videos, an hour long. I have to cut in and out during the out-of-focus shit. It's super tedious editing. They have to provide me with titles, and I'll put it all together, re-export it all again.

Then we got another video today, followed by an actual auction, for which I do the computer side of it. Then I came home to work on the new video. Good news--the audio is fine. I have no idea what happened last week. I wonder if maybe a cable wasn't plugged in all the way somewhere or something.

I'll try to wrap it all up tomorrow, but I got preview passes to The Conjuring so I'm taking the wife to dinner and there.

Random blurb: Downloaded a free app on my iphone called Hollywood Camera Work Shot Designer. Somebody mentioned it was a cool app and it was free, so I figured what the hell? When I get around to using it I'll let you know. Or you can go download it and let me know. That works better for me.




Went by my parent's house for dinner. Got news that my grandfather was near death, rushed to the hospital but demanded to leave. Didn't want to die there. After keeping him a couple of days they released him. But the man's a bull. Former navy guy. He came home and is apparently being quite a pain to his wife(not my grandmother, who's been dead for years). At a certain point he called her an asshole, so now she called her daughter and left him. Crazy shit. We talked to him on the phone for a while but he's getting fairly senile I think.

I was in my parents' basement and look what I saw--didn't even know they still had it! It's my grandmother's typewriter she gave me--I was 11 and it was old then. But I first started typing my short stories on this thing, and man did I feel like a writer then!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

More Movie Weekend



I decided to just keep watching whatever movies I wanted. Fun movies.

Friday night went like this: Ghostbusters, Goonies, Just One Of The Guys(some of the best PG13 nudity ever), Critters, Frequency

Then last night was Fright Night(original, of course) followed by Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.

There were others I wanted to watch, but got caught up in doing some other stuff too.

Some others I wanted to watch but don't have them on Blu Ray yet, so don't want to watch them on dvd and then get the Blu in the next year. Will wait it out.

Great, fun movies. It occurs to me that many of these are movies I just don't want to watch with people who don't love them like I do. Some of my friends just don't...so why bother?

Also, if you haven't gone and rated the new piece of shit Man of Steel a 1(as in terrible) on imdb, go do it, will you? It's got a 7.8 rating right now--over 40,000 people have given that turd a 10. It's rated higher than Lost Boys, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, 300 and a host more. So go fix that and rate it a 1 like me.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Weirds

Did absolutely zero on J4. I went to Burger King for dinner. Wasn't even sure they'd be open.

Not only were they open, they were pretty busy...

Grabbed my burger, went to my car and was eating my fries and thinking. Quick aside--I used to do SO much of my writing in the car while eating fast food. So many ideas...

Anyway, some dude gets out of his car and walks over to me, motions for me to roll down my window. He's a FAT dude. I think maybe he needs a jumpstart on his car. Instead he asks, "Can you spare a couple of bucks so I can get something to eat?"

I applaud myself, because I almost said, "Do you really think you need anything to eat?" Instead I just gave him that You're A Piece Of Shit look and said No. He stood outside the BK, got rejected a couple of times by other people, then went to back to his car and drove off. I notice he had a woman in the car, so I don't know what to make of the whole thing.

Anyway, later on I went to the snowball stand. There was one big long line, but two windows open. It was a case of the next person goes to whichever window becomes available. That way, the person who's been waiting the longest is next.

Easy, right? Then some fucking woman walks over with her baby, circumvents the line that has 20 people in it, and goes to wait behind the person being served at the other window. Like, unfucking believable.

More people drive into the lot, and I say fuck it. I tell the dudes in front of me I'm moving to the shorter line and they're welcome to go ahead of me. They don't.

So, the stupid woman is ordering. She wants one small snowball, but can the girl put it in two cups so she can give a separate cup to the kid? Girl's nice, says sure and makes it. Puts some in another cup.

The woman then asks if she could add some more ice to each cup. I'm like speechless. Basically, the woman's getting 2 snowballs for the price of one because she's a FUCKING CUNT. Took forever too. She turned and apologized to me for the wait. I didn't even hide the look of disgust on my face.

Anyway, came back and threw in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Takes place on the 4th, right? Been a long time since I saw it. Damn those girls were hot. Jennifer Love and Buffy.

Wasn't sure what movie to go with next, so I just said I was gonna start going through the dvds and first movie that appealed to me was going in.

Turned out to be the original Dawn of the Dead. Still love it. But I notice more and more some of the bad extras--some of the dudes being attacked by zombies are smiling the whole time.

Next movie...Doc Hollywood. I got a crazy soft spot for that movie. And had forgotten that Grandpa from Lost Boys was in it--weird connection #1 of the weekend. Can't pinpoint why the movie really catches my fancy when so many rom-coms fail.

Putting that disc back I saw a stack of dvds I had pulled aside like a year ago. Grabbed one--Can't Hardly Wait. I'm in a weird mood, whattaya gonna do?

And hey, starts playing and it's the return of Jennifer Love...and also a SHIT TON of now-famous people in tiny roles. Donald Faison, Jason Segel, Clea Duvall, Eric Balfour, Selma Blair, Amber Benson. Who the hell cast this movie?

Still a lot of fun. Probably go back to the horror or action tomorrow. Am trying hard to bust the nut on this clown script's breakdown. I mean, if we could get the skeleton cracked, I could probably write this in a week.

Which means we could potentially shoot in in October. Otherwise it's next year. Obviously I'd prefer sooner to later.

PS: Someone emailed me this. Weird.


Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fourth of July Fun


The wife took the kid to the beach to hang with her parents and brother.  You know what that means, right?

Movies for me. Blu Rays with the surround sound and sound bar cranked.

First up was my brand new Back To The Future set. I was going to watch all three in one sitting, but there's some new features on each disc. So what happened was, I popped some popcorn in my machine and watched part 1, then the extras.

The next night I watched Part 2, the extras, then part 3 and the extras. Great trilogy. Part one is incredibly written--flawless, really, as far as script goes. Near flawless otherwise.

The others have some minor issues, but still...fun movies.

Then tonight I went over Luke's. First--I had made a note a while back about this girl who bad-mouthed me in an interview. Made a movie, she said, because of how terrible my movie FOC was--so she knew she could do better.

You can see the link and the interview here:  http://www.planetfury.com/content/dorothy-booraem-interview
Start reading right below the movie's poster where it says "What movies inspired you to make it?"

The movie's on Netflix now. Told Luke the story and he's like--we have GOT to watch it.

Well, we tried. Knowing my low opinion of FOC, I was prepared to say "Hey, I inspired a girl to make a better movie than my own."

No way. This is a giant piece of shit. Giant, giant, piece of shit. For all of FOC's failings, at least shit happens in it. If FOC is boring for the first half hour, this is boring for its entire 1hr 52 minute running time. And then...my favorite part...she seems to basically steal the end of The Blair Witch Project(which she talks about admiring in the interview above)

Horrible DP--everything's static, shot from eye-level. So I was a little happier to say "Yeah, guess the bitch learned a lesson...it's not as easy as you thought it was..."

We fast forwarded through much of it. Cuz we really wanted to move on to...

The Lost Boys. Can't profess my love for this movie enough. Takes me back. Still great, with possibly the best soundtrack of any movie ever. (not the score, the soundtrack...remember when movies had those?)

Then we followed that up with Terminator 1&2.

I know? Like, I'm not even sure what to watch next...

Also, am doing my final fixing of FOC2--the color correction and up-scaling so I can finally finish the Blu Ray and do something with it. What that is, not sure.

Happy 4th!