Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Good Stuff



Ben sent me a 90% done score for all of Pumpkin Trail. It's REALLY good. I'm so glad, because it's the segment I'm a little embarrassed about. Now it's not so bad.

I had some minor tweaks for Ben to do, but I can't wait to get it back and finished.

I finalized the front and end credits since I have all the names and everything's shot. Rendered them out. Exported a new version of my end logo.

Began the final pass on the trailer, inserting Fountain footage. I'm kind of digging it, even if the music is basically the BWAAAAAM Batman trailer music.

Monday's weather's looking decent for the pickups. All goes right, that'll be the last footage and last foley that I do for Ttory 2.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Fountain Edit Update


Have an assembly edit of 95% of the Fountain. Here's my main problems right now:

There are some rough cuts--the lead actor, as good as he was, was not very consistent. For instance, in one scene he hands the girl a penny. In the wide, he used his left hand. In the close up he used his right hand. There are other takes where he stands different during certain lines so it's near impossible to make it line up, especially if I didn't do any separate one-shots of the other person.

He also fucked up in that after I put the lav mic on him, I buttoned one more button on his shirt to hide the mic. For some reason--probably he was hot--he unbuttoned it. That means I can see the fucking mic on some shots. This pisses me off--he SAW me button it up. Did he think I was doing that for fun?

Some night shots have things in the background we couldn't frame out. In one shot there are blinking lights way in the distance. You wouldn't see them during the day, but at night...they're there. Those are pretty easy to take out.

Other shots there's a house and a tractor that need to come out. A little tougher, but still doable.

On the actual FX stuff...the story features a person coming out of another person, and we just couldn't get the actual moment of emerging. So I have the before, part of during, and we'll have to sell it with the audio as one person watches in horror. It's not too bad, but I have some audio work to do.

Speaking of, there's something that happens in the movie that needs an audio effect, but I have no idea WHAT audio effect to create. Like, I don't know what noise you'd hear, so how can I create it?

I need a sunset shot over the trees. I shot one last fall when we thought we were going to shoot this segment, but it doesn't fit now. All the trees are green in the footage, then we cut to a sunset over nothing but orange trees. Doesn't work. Too bad too, cuz it was a nice shot.

My lead actress' mic apparently cut out during one entire scene. It's one of the only scenes I didn't use my shotgun mic as a backup, because the camera was on a tripod and the mic is attached to my rig, which doesn't go on the tripod very well.

So I either use the lead actor's mic, which picked it up so so, or I loop her. I don't want to loop her.

That's all I remember now. More later, I'm sure.

Here's a pic of the special FX guy who filled in for Mark--his name's TJ, and he's super cool to work with.



------------

I haven't mentioned, but the weight has been coming off, slowly but surely. I'm back under 200. I actually hard-core cheated for a week, and figured I'd have gone back up to 203. Turns out I'd lost another pound somehow, and am at 198.

At this point, I figure I'll keep at it and see if I can make it into the 180's.

-------

Watched Pacific Rim 2 with my kid. It was decent. Better than it looked from the trailers.

Saw Solo also, by myself. It was also okay, if a little long and unnecessary. Considering it was written by Kasdan, it's a little disappointing.

Snuck out today and saw Upgrade by myself also. Jesus, I'm seeing a lot of movies by myself. It was very cool. Upgrade and Deadpool 2 are my favorites of the past few months, maybe of the year so far.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Picture Wrapped. Insane.






btw--how is it that I've never seen these pics of Barbara Crampton? Man, she was amazingly hot. (and still looks pretty good)

So, finally I set a date for Fountain and was going to shoot it no matter what.

Couple of days early, my brother and I went over to the outside location and set up the fountain. It wasn't as easy as I'd hoped it was, but we got it set up.

The next night my kid had a concert. I packed up everything and double checked the prop list. The gear list.

Last minute stuff.

On Sunday we shot from about 11am to 4:30am. Yeah. Long day. I'll talk more about it later.

The weather was going to be sweet on Thursday(the next day we could all do it), so I told everybody that we'd do the final day then. I had to extend the camera rental also.

Thursday we met up at 11am and finished shooting by 7pm. We met Malfi at a local restaurant and I treated everybody to dinner, since craft services was basically non-existent.

The bottom line is, it's all shot. I'm cutting the audio now, and will immediately start editing it when I do.

But by Crom, it's done. I wasn't sure it was going to happen.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Holy. Mother. Of. God.



So in case you were keeping track, here's some of the setbacks I've encountered in trying to shoot a little 12 page segment for Ttory 2:

Tried to shoot in the fall. The weather kept screwing us. The naked actress I had in mind for one of the roles kept being unavailable after I pushed the shoot dates due to the weather.

Then when we were finally ready to for-sure shoot, the lead actress stopped talking to us. A week ahead of the shoot. No response to calls or emails.

So I had to cancel the shoot at the last minute. Which caused me to lose my lead actor--I guess he had enough, and I don't blame him.

Pushed the shoot to Spring. Have been trying to shoot it for over a month now. Weather not cooperating. Recast all roles.

The store we were going to use for the interiors was completely MOVED to a new location. It doesn't work out as well as the other location. Had to go back over and figure out a new shot list.

Everybody's vegan. So that makes meal times tougher.

Today I found out that the store we were using for exterior shots--the store I'd talked to back in September about shooting there, and they were cool with it--it's now permanently closed. I found out by looking on FB. I don't know if it LOOKS permanently closed, or if some of the signs are still up.

It's like 2 hours away from me, so I can't exactly go check it out. I still was able to contact the owners, and they still don't care if I come out and shoot there, but they didn't answer any of my questions about whether it still looks like it could be open.

Thunderstorms are like EVERY DAY this week. It doesn't matter, I've now moved stuff and we're shooting on Sunday regardless of what happens. If I can at least get the parts with the NY actress done, the rest will be easier.

But we'll be shooting way out of order, and it slipped my mind that the actress is going to need two different outfits because the one gets wrecked. The actress responds that nobody talked to her about wardrobe(pretty sure that's wrong), and she's having car issues and may have to get a new car this week, so she can't go out and get doubles(even though we'd pay for it).

I am so done with all of this.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Nightmare


I don't really have nightmares any more. It's probably been 15 years since I last had one(that I can remember).

Until now.

The other day I only got three hours of sleep for some reason. Then went out and did stuff, came home. The wife and kid weren't home. So I laid down to try to catch an hour nap.

Had a hard time getting to sleep but when I did--

--my family had rented some sort of house in NJ. (Yeah, it figures the nightmare would involve the worst state in the nation). It was a vacation for all of us--a very big house.

For some reason my wife and I were given the biggest bedroom. At some point my dad even showed me a pic of when we came here to NJ as kids to go camping, and I swear to God I can still see that pic in my mind and it feels like it really happened. I asked my mom about it later that day, and she says we never went camping in NJ...

Anyway, in the dream, my brother and his family were packing up a day early to leave, so my parents were like, "You can go stay in that bedroom cuz we're taking the big bedroom", so the wife and I moved into this bedroom, which immediately felt weird to me. It didn't feel right.

So we're sleeping(in the dream) and I wake up and my wife is lying down, face away from me. There are two people in bed on either side of her not moving, covered in some sort of shroud. I'm confused. I lean over to the wife, but she's not actually sleeping.

She's staring wide eyed at the figure lying next to her, and I whisper, "What's going on?" and she shakes her head violently, whispering, "Don't say anything!"

But then the figures next to her start to move, and I don't exactly know why but I am terrified--which is an emotion I just do have EVER. I'm so terrified I actually start hyperventilating, like almost whimpering.

That's how I woke up--to the sound of me sort of whimpering, trying to scream. It was SUPER freaky. I've only ever had one nightmare that bad, which I think I mentioned at one point--it was back in my 20's, and my girlfriend at the time woke me up because the nightmare was so bad.

Dunno. I guess what I'm saying is, stay out of NJ. It's just bad, for even more reasons than I previously thought.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Why Won't The Brain Stop?



Started a new screenplay. WHY? I have no idea. I can't shut the brain off when it gets excited about an idea. Sure, I have like 6 incomplete screenplays that I'd love to get around to finishing.

But this was an idea I had a while back but hadn't done anything with it. Then I saw A Quiet Place and realized that simple movies CAN work. This script is VERY simple--so simple I could probably shoot it(but I mean, I only have the general idea, so it may go places that I couldn't afford to shoot).

So I'll keep working on it whenever. It's funny that it shares some big similarities to my other script Wounded Creature, at least visually.  The two don't have any relation though other than that.

---

Saw Bad Samaritan for the hell of it. It was okay. Harkens back to the 90's movies where they put big talent in mediocre but fun movies, like Sleeping With The Enemy, Single White Female, Pacific Heights and more.

It's not like you have to rush out and see it, but if it's on Netflix or Red box, definitely worth a look. (and Don't Breathe could learn a thing or two about how you make your protagonist likeable from this flick)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Another Shoot Looms. The Last...?



So I'm prepping the final segment for Ttory 2. Hoping to shoot the 19th, FINALLY.

Of course, the weather keeps telling me there's a possibility of thunderstorms. Why not? I've only been trying to shoot this segment for 6 months.

Will this be the last thing I shoot? Who knows. It certainly feels like it might unless we get some real money for this book I'm adapting.

The head lady at the place I work freelance has suggested pretty strongly that they'd love me to come work for them full time. I don't know what they'd pay, and it would certainly tie up much of my free time, but there WOULD be a regular paycheck...

Dunno. Haven't had a regular job in so long that I'm just not sure whether I could hack it unless the pay was GREAT.

---

Can't remember if I mentioned it--and don't see it in the recent posts--but some dude bought literally every movie I sell from me on Amazon. All copies of them.

I only keep a couple in general in stock because people are far more likely to buy if they see there's "Only 2 Copies Left" than if it says "10 Copies Left".

So this guy in Utah buys two GOH blu, four FOC2 Blu, 2 FOC2 DVD, 3 Ttory DVD, and pays the full shipping. Then I freak out when I can only find one GOH blu--I knew I was running out. I find one other copy with a price tag on it--it's the display copy at the cons, but it's unopened, so I pull off the sticker and send that.

I just can't figure out WHY this guy wanted them all and paid full price plus shipping. If he's a dealer, he overpaid. Only way I can see it working to his advantage is if he owns a video rental place. More power to him if he does.

I threw in a couple of freebies and a note saying if he needs more to contact me directly and I can hook him up wholesale. (but the GOH's are GONE)

Which leads me to wonder...should I do a GOH DVD? I never intended to, but over the years people keep asking. And as I've mentioned before, the FOC2 DVDs have still FAR oustold the blu's...

So I took a couple of days and made a dvd fairly fast. Then I think..."Man, with the new color correction tools, I could probably make this flick look better..."

What do you think? I won't tell you which is which, but tell me which frame looks better to you.





It's subtle in most places, but when I play it on the screen it definitely looks better. You like the first version or the 2nd version better? Make sure you blow them up to see the diff.

I didn't think I could fit anything other than the movie on the dvd, but with some work I managed to get the Making Of and the commentary on there. So when I get some time/money, I'll probably do a run of 100 just to see how fast it sells. It's pretty cheap nowadays, so worth a try.

-----

That actress/model who's going to be in Ttory 2 has now gone from like 40K followers on Instag to a quarter million. I feel like she'll be quite a catch to be in the flick, which is one more reason why I really can't afford to NOT do it.

----

Did I mention that my brother and I have been trying to watch the Star Trek Discovery show with my dad? It's been less than interesting. So much so that I told them that if the mid-season finale(episode 9) wasn't better than we could just give up on it.

They were all cool with it. Episode 9 was pretty mediocre, but at the end they get thrown off course by a wormhole, and don't know where they are.

Whatever. I told them we were done, that I'd watch the rest in the background while I worked and let them know if it got interesting.

Well, episode 10 finally did. (which is a pretty shitty track record...)

Turns out they got thrown into the mirror universe, and a semi-main character gets killed. We get to see some alternate versions of the characters. Still not endorsing the series, but at least it's gotten a little better.

Finished Counterpart, a Starz series. Very good, and worth watching if you like realistic sci-fi. A more grounded Fringe, really.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Web Site Designing For Phones Can Suck My Dick



Man, I swear to Christ that if I could go back in time and kill either Hitler or Steve Jobs as a baby, it would be Steve Jobs. Sure, a lot of people died because of Hitler, but the world ended up changing in a better way because of it.

Can't say the same for Jobs, can you? People are more anti-social. They can't put the fucking phones down, whether it's while they're watching a movie in a theater or even driving, for fuck's sake.

And now, on top of it all, I have to design my web site so it looks fine no matter if their phone is an old iphone(small) or a new Samsung(large). It's fucking insane.

After looking into a while, I figure I'm going to do the "easier" thing, which is to simply check what the person hitting my site is using, and if it's a mobile device, I'll direct them to a SUPER simple version of my site that will work on any mobile device. It's gonna basically suck, but I don't have time to fuck with this.

(and yeah, Stewie, I looked into Wordpress, and I guess the biggest problem with it is that they want to charge me a monthly fee to use it--$18 a month. I'm not paying a monthly fee--I already do that for my domain space)

I would love to just, you know, make movies. Write/direct. But instead I gotta be a web designer, a dvd/blu ray designer, a social media guru, a gigolo(okay, that's on me), a graphic designer, and more.

It's tiring. I am literally too old for this shit.

---

My wife's aunt died a couple of days ago, and because there are so few of them left in decent shape, I not only had to go to the funeral but I had to be a pall bearer also.

I don't do funerals. I don't do churches, period. The insanity of people all pretending that their made-up deity is real, while scoffing at the absurdity of the other people's deities...man, the hypocritical nature of it all gets to me.

The people that wrote their holy book would have shit their pants and bowed down to me if I showed them a stun gun. Hell, maybe even just a cigarette lighter.

So I'm there amidst a bunch of religious people as they do their prayers--responsive prayers, which just feels cult-like. You know, the pastor's like "The Lord Keep You" and all of a sudden the rest of the people in church are like "AND ALSO YOU". It's hard to keep a straight face.

I liked the lady(her aunt). She was a bit talky, like most of that family, but she was nice enough. But hey, she was 98 years old. Even her son was ready for her to go--she was in rough shape the last year.

I dunno. Can you tell my mood is just not fucking good?

Not helping--tonight I drink my last Coke Zero. Yes, the 100+ two-liters are now gone. I'm not gonna drink that new shit they put out; it tastes like ass. I'm also not going to buy any Coke products any more(except the Slurpee, but that can't be helped)

Gotta find a replacement. I drink so much water that I just NEED something different around 2am at night. Something fizzy.

---

Was going to continue work on the 2nd Halloween book, but then I'm like, "Why bother?" I make so little money on them that I'm not sure it's worth it. The first one I did because I wanted to, and it was fun to immerse myself in Halloween all year long.

But now that I've been working on the new one a bit, I remember just HOW MUCH work it was. And I can do all that work while Amazon collects 80% of the money that comes in? Fuck, man.

I gotta go out and blow off some steam somehow. At this point it's not going to take much to finally push me over the edge.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Bored of This


btw--why can't we get a good Critters 1&2 Blu Ray? Shout Factory keeps releasing mostly garbage--how about hit this up?

So anyway, I'm kinda tired of doing the blog. It's been a fuckton of year, but it gets to the point where it just seems like I'm saying the same thing. On occasion I got something to put up, but really this was always just sort of a journal I was keeping for myself.

It helps me keep dates clear, cuz if I don't remember what year something happened, I just search the blog for whatever it is and I can find when it happened.

Not much lately. Pushed Fountain again. The weather won't get above 49 at night. My next shot will be May 12th. If it's still fucking cold then, I may just say fuck it. I've already spent around $500 on it and not shot a frame.

Got some music from the wrap. Putting music on a movie is always a highlight for me, because really--until that movie has music, it never REALLY feels like a movie. Once there's music going...yeah, man.

It's sounding good. It's just the opening titles and the next 3 minutes, but it sets the mood well. Goes nicely with the picture. Terry's doing this and one other section.

I sent the Pumpkin Trail to Ben, the other composer. He'll be doing the synth stuff. Called him a couple of days later to chat. I didn't want to give him an inkling of my feelings until I'd spoken to him. I asked him what he thought. He seemed to enjoy it, and had some ideas about it.

So I said, "Hey, I'm open to hear whatever you think works", and then I told him how campy I thought it was. I said I didn't want to steer him one way or the other as far as campy vs serious/scary stuff. I think he's going to go with serious/scary stuff with some slightly lighter stuff when there's joking.

----

The DP from FOC1 and 2 was in town doing some work for my DP on GOH. (that's a lot of acronyms) I went up to visit him since they'd be wrapped by 7pm. (these slackers finish on time)

Watched them shoot some PSAs and then went over to watch a gigantic bonfire that can't be legal in Jared's backyard. Saw some footage and chatted for a while. I don't get to hang out with the people I actually like all that much, so it was nice.

This was our mini FOC2 reunion pic:

Mun's finger doesn't seem to be growing back very fast. I mentioned it to him and he said he was noticing that.

The best part was Jared telling me if I needed someone to get weed from, give him a call. I laughed and showed him my card. I'm like, "I'm okay..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FML



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Friday, April 06, 2018

A Special Little Treat For Ya



I'm gonna let ya see some un-color corrected, not final footage from Ttory 2. So you can feel my pain too.

First off is this clip. I'd like you to Full Screen it and watch it, and let me know if you notice the problem. Watch it a second time if you don't spot it. If you still don't spot it, good.


The problem, which I really can't fix at this point, is that the guy in the rear is wearing glasses in two of these shots when he's not supposed to be wearing them at all. The actor has a hard time seeing without them, and kept putting them on between takes, and forgetting to take them back off.

Without a continuity person on set--cuz seriously, we had a crew of two if you don't count me--it was hard to catch on long shots. I'm shooting, and with a small monitor, so I didn't notice sometimes. On the 2nd shot, where they're coming toward us, I DID notice--and we did it again, but the takes aren't as good.

I sent the clip to Zig a while back to see if he noticed, and he didn't. I figure when it's on the big screen for the premiere you'll see it, but otherwise it should be passable. Fuck it.

Also take a look at that first shot of Phil's face--did I mention that he had a staph infection that day? (unknown to everyone at the time) His face is FUCKED, and day two looks kinda swollen.

It's all part of my luck.

Next up--this is one of the pieces I've been bitching about working on in AE. I think it's about as good as I can make it. The first shot looks WAY better than it used to, I can tell you that. Still looks very CGI-ish, but what are you gonna do?


----

In other news, Premiere got an update that's pretty cool. They used to have this thing in speed grade where you could color match clips. But speed grade was a piece of shit designed by a madman.

They've now got it integrated into the color system built into the program under color wheels. And it's SWEET. I have a couple of shots in the film that don't match that great, and I've done my best to match them by eye--but I went ahead and tried their color match and it looks WAY better than my try. And you can tweak the settings after it takes its shot too.

-----------

Fuck sake, the last segment is SOOOOOO cursed. No matter what I do, nobody can work the same days. The weather continues to be fucked. Also, I need some dead birds.

I know, right? I've been contemplating going out and shooting some with a bb gun like I used to do in high school. I'm sure some people will find that barbaric and blah blah blah, but I would reply back with "ART".

I need them for a scene. Technically I could composite some in for far-off shots, but I definitely need a couple for reals to sell it. I've seen some fake birds I could MAYBE make work. MAYBE. But it would be a lot more work than, you know, just shooting some.

:)


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Yeah, Still Cold



Okay, technically we're 17 days out from shooting the last segment of Ttory 2. The weather's not warming up much. My forecast for next week still shows the 40s at night. I'm prolly gonna have to push it at least another week.

We found an actress for the naked role. She's got a pretty big following--over 30,000 on FB. She wanted to talk to me before she took the role, so I let her call me. She seems nice, seems eager, but managed to call herself a "scream queen" which made me shake my head.

Not that she "wanted to be", but that she WAS. She's done like 4 shorts and two features you never heard of. No biggie. She's done nudity in film and photo.

But she's asking questions like "So is if full nudity, or just breast and butt?" after I've told her all the details. I explain it again on the phone, and she seems cool with it.

Then I speak to someone who knows her that said she'd been signed up for a photographer workshop, where photogs pay to take pictures of naked women. She got flown in, then decided not to do any naked photos.

So you can see why all of a sudden I'm getting queasy.

She's also vegan, which is a pain in the dick on having food on set, and she apparently keeps her hair very short and just wears wigs. That means we're gonna have to soak a wig in fake blood, which will probably ruin it.

Did I mention I was gonna replace the one actor with Frank, from FOC1 and FOC2? As a sheriff, would be a cool little return role for him. Well, his job has him now working that weekend. So I recast AGAIN.

Still gotta get the main guy role replaced. Had a local actor in mind, FB chatted him up and he said he's interested, call him in the evening. I did, left a message. Heard nothing. Called again, got his machine again. It's been a week. Not sure what the fuck goes on with people around here who pretend they're looking for roles.

And still have a lot of little props to get, gotta go to one of the locations to double check my shooting script since it was set at the old location before the guy sold it and moved.

I CAN NOT WAIT to be done this segment.  It's dangerous, cuz parts of me wanna half-ass this whole thing to get it done, but I really want the segment to be good. Must push the inner half ass back inside.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can winter just fucking give up now. Please?



This is some fucking bullshit. First day of spring and we get like 6 inches of snow on the ground. I took the drone out and got some footage just for fun. Took the kid with me too.

Parked in an empty parking lot, put the drone down and launched it about 4 feet in the air. Started fiddling with the controls on the remote to get the settings I want, and some fucking tool in a car almost drives right into the drone.

I barely had time to lift the drone into the air to dodge the car. The fucking douchebag looks at me as he drives by me--he's talking on the fucking phone to his ear. He's got all this fucking space in the parking lot, but he's decided to drive right next to me.

Seriously, people are just the fucking worst.

Here's a random clip of me taking it up over near my house.


I FINALLY made some headway into the AE work on the scene I've been fucking with. It's now to the point where I am not completely embarrassed by it. Took a lot of trial and error, and like 18 individual streams of particle-effects.

Rendering times are LONG.

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The A-zon stats have sunk back to their terrible lows. Part of it is that I took our best-watched flick at the moment--the making of GOH--and made it pay-only. The interesting part is that over 100 people have now paid for that, which translates into probably about the same as it would have earned if it had been free, but with far less people watching it.

A-zon has frozen their earning metrics though, so you can't see just how much you're getting paid for the minutes at this point. They still show you the actual minutes, but you'll have to do the math yourself for now. All of March is blank for earnings.

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If all goes right, a month from now I'll have the final segment for Ttory 2 shot. Of course, why should all go right when nothing's gone right yet, concerning that segment?



Monday, March 19, 2018

Back From FL



Went to Florida for an auction. NICE weather, man. Like 80's, mid 70's at night. It was at a nice resort, too. Here's some pics I took.


 This one was the flattened panorama shot from my balcony. I took the kindle out there one evening and read. Man, fuck winter in its fucking face.

The auction was pretty easy, which was nice. Only issue was the major fog when we were supposed to leave. The plane was already there, but the pilots who were flying in got diverted to another airport. Our flight was pushed back, then pushed back again, then AGAIN to 10:20am(originally scheduled to leave at 8:35am).

Luke, who is neurotic, was like--there's another flight to Baltimore that leaves at 10:15am. He wants to get on that, because he thinks our flight is going to continue to get pushed.

So I say--sure, let's see how much it is to get on. It's no charge, but we'd get C53 and C54 so we'd have shitty seats. Luke says fuck it, and charges us so we can A10 and A11--it's $40 apiece, but I think Luke likes our system--which is he takes a window seat and I take the aisle, and we puff out like puffer fish so nobody sits between us.

It worked on the way out, but this flight was fuller--apparently only two seats not sold. Well, nobody took our middle seat. Worked again.

------

Time for the serious Ttory 2 push. I have to go foley the entire final scene as soon as I can. I'm not sure if I can do it at the actual location, as it's close to a road PLUS has so many lookie-loos, which is why we didn't get the audio when we originally shot the scene--people chatting, wandering in constantly.

If I can't make it work there then I have to find a backup location.

I took an afternoon nap and then went back to work on the AE work. I'm getting somewhere, but man is it slow work. Lot of trial and error.

Took some more whacks at the Mad Gathering segment. I'm going to export it for the composer soon and get it to him soon.

-----

My kid's not going to school tomorrow.

Shit--lemme back up. I just looked and I guess I didn't mention this on the blog. (Did I mention my 14 year old son has gotten way more interested in girls lately?)

I walked in on my kid and he's on his ipad. He clicks it off with what can only be described as a mortified look on his face. Normally he acts all weird and never wants us to see what he's looking at--when I check it's always some music video.

This time I pull it away from him--and he STRUGGLES with me--but I take a look. He's google image searched "naked women". There are a lot of pictures of naked women, cuz I never turned on safesearch.

This.
Is.
Awkward.

I don't shame him. I just tell him--"Hey bud, it's normal to be curious about this at your age, but you shouldn't be looking at this stuff right now." He sort of blamed it on google, which I found funny but after he left...

I checked out his browser history. The whole thing started about a week earlier with him searching for "girls in underwear". So who knows? Maybe google started suggesting stuff to him after that. The funny part is that at one point he googled "two girls naked kissing".

Now I'm stuck with trying to figure out how to explain sex to an autistic kid who isn't really all that communicative. (I also turned safesearch on)

Anyway, last night--since he's not going to school tomorrow due to some ridiculous testing that makes most students come in 3.5 hours late so we're just not sending him in--I was like, wanna watch a movie? He's always up for that.

So I opened up my Shout Factory Teen Wolf and we watched it. He REALLY liked it. You can never tell what he's going to like, but he was super excited for the van surfing and then that scene comes up where the girl drops her towel and she's only wearing a bra and underwear, and then she drops the bra so you see her naked back.

I think he liked that part too.

When the movie was over he wanted to know if the movie was "ours", meaning--can he take it and watch it? I said no, it's a blu ray(which he doesn't have a player) and besides that--he ain't taking any of my Shout Factory discs.

Movie's still a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Neighbor Issues Again


Bad news...I'm gonna get a new neighbor again.

This is all about the drunk neighbor that would come over at night and knock on our door, or sometimes wait for us to come home, then come out and slur at us. He was funny, mildly annoying at times, but perfectly decent as a neighbor.

I mentioned before how his wife just left one day, taking his two kids. He told us, at the time, that she was going to Pennsylvania to stay with her sick mom for a while.

That while turned into years, so it wasn't hard to figure out that they were done. Eventually he started bringing girls home--and that was the last story I told, about his girlfriend asked me for a ride home.

Last week he tells my wife some story about how his (now) ex-wife hasn't been paying the mortgage, even though he's been sending her money for it and child support. He has to be out in a couple of days.

Also, he suddenly has no electricity and asks if he can run an extension cord from our house just for a small heater. (He asked this of my wife, and she said yes. I think we know what I would have said)

The whole story is nonsense. The only reason your power would be off is if you didn't pay the bill. And there's no way he didn't get a notice about the mortgage not being paid, even if she WAS still paying for it from PA, which is bullshit I'm sure anyway.

Well, he emptied out the house, putting so much garbage on the curb that I'm surprised they took it all. Last night he stopped by to say see ya later--he's moving into an apartment not that far away.

And the new waiting begins. Will the new neighbors, whenever the house is sold, suck? Will they be nosy, or noisy? Will they have a shitty dog that barks non-stop, and forces me to consider options to kill it covertly?

Man...
----------
We went over to continue watching that new Star Trek TV show with my dad. We'd watched the first four very-mediocre episodes a couple of months ago, but never had time to continue.

I took another three over there. My dad kept making faces, because the show is just not getting better. I'm not sure how its RT score is so high(82%)--though the audience score is only 56%.

There's really NO characters you give much of a shit about. The character they keep trying to paint as the hero is pretty crappy--they keep disobeying orders non-stop, which strains credulity as why the fuck would Starfleet continue to put up with it? (she is literally court-martialed in the first episode for mutiny)

The Orville is so much a better Trek show that it's insane.

My dad doing rehab, but his speech is still pretty bad. The more concerning thing is some personality changes that we're not sure what to make of.

For instance, he seems cranky a lot. He was always pretty mellow. We could chalk this up to maybe being frustrated at not being able to speak right, but my mom says he's also not doing things he used to do--like, he made coffee every day before the stroke. Now he doesn't, even though he's fully capable.

He used to eat certain things, but now he's not interested in them, and when my mom says, "You used to love so and so", he frowns like she's crazy.

Dunno. Gave me an idea for a story about a person who has a stroke and turns into a completely different person, but then I'm wondering if that's what that movie Regarding Henry was about. I can't remember.

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Back at AE for the Ttory 2 segment. I'm ready to commit suicide.

So, I mean, it's going great.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Happy Anniversary


I always forget to pay myself on the back, but tomorrow is the 13th year of me doing this blog. Nutty, right? Like, on a regular basis, even...

Like always, I refuse to quit anything.

You can send me cake and flowers if you want.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Could I Be Busier?



Wow--you know, I have this folder full of funny/sexy pics that I add to whenever I see one that amuses me or is hot. I post them in this blog, and then move them to another POSTED folder so I don't re-use them.

Apparently I'm not great at that. I just saw that I used the same photo twice in the span of 2 weeks...I'm gonna blame the pot.

Been slammed the past couple of weeks. Did I mention that I'm re-doing my biz web site? It hasn't been updated(other than the News section) since roughly 2003. It looks like it...so I mean if you're missing the early 2000's, just go visit my site and it'll take you BACK, man.

I'm not much of a designer though. The "look" and whatnot isn't something I'm great at. Like, if I saw a web site I liked, I could totally reproduce it--the programming isn't a problem.

So I looked at that company that everybody is using. Rhymes with the band Kix.

I took its "design a site" for a spin, and actually came up with a decent-looking site. I mean, it's fairly routine in how many sites look nowadays, but it certainly looks more modern. But then I looked at what they charge to simply put this site on MY web server--it's like $15 a month!

That's more than I fucking pay for the actual domain AND web space that I have. It's insane.

I thought...fuck, man. I have the entire Adobe Suite at my disposal. I can just re-create the site with Dreamweaver. Then I took a look, and oddly enough Adobe has TWO programs that create web sites. Muse is the other one.

I don't know why they both exist. Muse is newer, so I went ahead and learned how it works. It's powerful, but fuck is it retarded in many respects. For instance--no backup saving. None. Not available.

Is that a problem? Let me tell you--if you're clicking in elements on the page, and you're not on the element you THINK you're on(and it's REAL easy for this to happen if you're not watching the Layers menu on the right)), you may hit the delete key and nothing happens.

You THOUGHT.

Then later you figure out you deleted an entire layer of shit from a different page in the web site, and you ain't getting it back. And there's no backup to load up.

This happened to me. Pretty fucking irritating. But I re-created the page almost exactly after a couple of days of work. Then I export as an html, and get some crazy CSS missing shit when I try to load it in a web page.

Apparently this is a known issue--people are talking about it.

Fucking pisses me off. Get your shit together, Adobe. I'm paying for this stuff.

Doesn't make a huge deal YET, as I'm not ready to debut the site because it has the poster for Ttory2 on it, and I don't want to show that until I'm ready to reveal it.

---------

Continuing work on the adaptation. On page 37. Chapter 11 in the book. Condensing a little bit, but continuing on the "include everything" plan. If I get to page 90 and I'm not near the end though, I'm gonna start really figuring out what can go.

I still plan to do a 2nd version. That version will have a little more of "me" in it. This version is mostly straight out of the book, only veering when I need to figure out a way to include backstory.

It will be VERY challenging to do all this with $250K. There's a lot of locations. And we gotta find some run-down towns that we can sort of make look subtle apocalyptic. Like, not Mad Max kind of apocalyptic--what I love about the book is how realistic this end-of-the-world seems to be. Frankly, it could be happening right now with the way the world and people's health problems are. (hell, I HAVE some of the symptoms of the disease killing people off...)

---

Had a paid video to shoot and edit. They hit me up last minute on it, but I don't turn down money jobs. So I went, shot it, edited it and uploaded them within 2 days.

Next week we go to Florida for an auction. Not looking forward to it. These things are pretty physically draining for me.

-----

Ttory 2 work continues. My brother, who's working on the most complicated CGI effect sent me a rough test, and now I'm worried. It's okay, but it defiintely looks CGI and isn't exactly the way I envisioned it.

I'm not blaming him--frankly, this is some ILM level shit I need for it to really work.

So I'm back to doing some tests on my own--basically trying to use actual physical elements instead of whole-sale Cinema 4D stuff. The problem is that I had to shoot those elements(which are dozens of pieces of paper falling to the ground) on location. No green screen.

Which means I now have to rotoscope them one by one, frame by frame.It took me 4 hours to do THREE pieces of paper falling. And I'm not even sure this is gonna work.

Composer has the wrap minus the end. I guess he's working on stuff. Haven't heard back after the first couple of emails. Not sure what that means. Like, does he not like it? He has no questions? Or--because I told him he has plenty of time--maybe he's just fooling around with themes and sounds.

I may have gotten the end-credit music. I'm excited about that. It's a fucking GREAT song by a great synth group who does a ton of great stuff. It's actually hard to pick which song by them that I wanted.

They said yes, I've sent them the contract, so if they sign then we're all good. I really wish I could make Turbokid kind of movie so I could just fill it with all the great synth shit out there now. There are some incredible amateurs working out there now, mostly in Europe.

----

Watching Absentia on Am-zon. It's NOT the movie and it has nothing to do with it. It's got the chick from Castle in it, and it's pretty good. Probably could have been 8 episodes rather than 10, but worth a watch.

Also got out to see Annihilation. Decent. Not Ex Machina great, but still entertaining with some neat stuff in it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Doings


Took two solid days and re-read the book I'm gonna try to adapt, making chapter summaries. I told Malfi I'm going to write a script too, just to get even more familiar with the story, and we can compare scripts and mash the best parts of both.

He's like fuck it, you write the script. I think he wanted me to anyway, so no biggie.

There's some serious challenges in it--namely all the exposition that comes courtesy of our main character thinking about things that have happened or things he knows.

For instance, there's something called "Worlders" in the book. The first time it's brought up, the invisible narrator tells us what they are. About 100 pages later someone else also explains it. So my choices are, when it's asked the first time, ignore it and leave the audience wondering for 30 minutes. Or have someone else ask "What's a Worlder?", and then it gets answered there for the audience.

The other option is to go with voice-over narration. I know, calm down.You've seen Adaptation or read a book that told you that it's a lazy story-telling device.

I assure you that is only so if you do it in a boring way. Frankly, there are some stories that can't be told without it.

And if you wanna name some lazy, bad movies that have it then I guess you'd be talking Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, Big Lebowski, Citizen Kane, Fight Club, and more. Trash movies, right?

Last night I started working on the script. The non-voiceover way. It's running long already. I'm 11 pages in, and only on chapter 4(of 66 chapters). I don't want this script coming in over 100 pages, so things have to start getting streamlined soon, or I may just put it all in and then start going in and chopping.

Then I'll probably do another draft with the voice-over instead, and give 'em both to Malfi and see which one he likes best.

------

My dad's getting set up with a speech therapist this week. He had the added problem that the week of his stroke, he had a temporary crown put in one of his front teeth. It was bothering him the night before his stroke--he told my mom on the phone that he was calling the dentist in the morning to have them take a look.

One of the ways we know what time my dad had the stroke that Friday morning is because he called the dentist that morning about 8:15am to set up an appointment that afternoon--an appointment he never kept.

Well, the tooth came out a couple of days ago. Now when he smiles, he looks goofy and he knows it.

He's still having issues saying things right. Like, on occasion he'll get a lot of a sentence out but there will be one or two words that just don't make sense, so it's hard to parse the whole sentence.

He'll get it.

------

Hey, the wife is taking the kid to Disney because his high school band is going to play there. They'll be gone from Wednesday to Saturday, so vacation time for me!

------

The diet continues, though slowly, and with lots of cheating. I've only lost about 12 pounds in a month or so. But I'm not killing myself. As long as it keeps going, I can keep this up no problem.


Friday, February 23, 2018

A Post. Crazy Times.



They brought my dad home on Monday evening. (or was it Tuesday? It's all a blur)

Went over to see him. It's nothing short of amazing how much progress he's made in only a couple of days. He's dressed normally and walking very close to regular. The only time you can really tell that something has happened is if he tries to talk. It's mumbled words that don't make sense.

And when he tries to do something with his hands, it gets dicey. But face it--this was him on Friday:
And then this is him at home on (checking) Tuesday at home with one of his newest grandkids:
It's insane, in a good way. They're working on getting a speech therapist for him, so we're all hoping that within 6 months this can all be just a very bad memory.

--------

Sent the Ttory2 wrap to the composer. I keep second-guessing myself. Even after watching it with Zig, I keep seeing things I feel like maybe I should cut a little tighter.

-------

Maybe I buried the lead a bit. Tonight I went out with Malfi again. Met him at a restaurant he knows the owner of not that far from me. Super nice guy(the owner, not that sonuvabitch Malfi)--says he owns like 3 acres of land, all woods, if we wanna shoot something there, or shoot in the restaurant if we want.

Malfi had asked me if I was interested in shooting the music video for his band's first release, which would be cool, but nowhere near as cool as the next thing he dropped later.

He's like, "Hey, remember we talked about (name of my favorite book he's written)?" and I'm like, "Yeah." He's says, "Not sure if you were serious, but what do you think if I write the script and we try to raise the money, and you direct it?"

And I'm like, Fuck. Yeah.

So he's gonna write it in the next couple of weeks and shoot it to me. I'll make any little changes I think are necessary, then break it down so we can figure out if we can possibly do it justice on a budget of around $250K.

By far my largest budget, but right in the ballpark where I think we have a shot at making real money.

It'll be a lot of pressure on me, because as much as I don't like to fail on my own stuff, I DEFINITELY don't wanna let him down, and turn his great story into a piece of shit.

I think I'll go into fully believing--and not just cuz it may be true--that this will be the last film I direct, so I'm gonna put everything I have into it. Leave it all on the field, as they say.

Pretty exciting, though.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Bad Couple of Days

Not looking forward to this post, and I'm foregoing the usual T&A meme because I don't want to make light of it.

My wife never shakes me awake. She just calls out my name and I'll wake up eventually.

Only time she'd ever woke me up by shaking me was on 9/11.

Until Friday afternoon. I awoke to her shaking me, still groggy from a few hours of sleep, and said, "What?"

"Your dad's had a massive stroke!" she said in a panicked voice. "You have to get to the hospital now."

Quick backstory cuz I just searched, and I guess I never went into it, but about 10 years ago my dad had a heart attack. They had to do a quadruple bi-pass on him. When I went to the hospital to see him, it was insane how old and frail he suddenly looked.

He was taking something for his high blood pressure, but had stopped because when he smoked(which he wasn't supposed to be doing) it made him sick...so naturally he stopped taking the drug rather than stop the smoking.

Swore up and down he was done with smoking, that this was the wake up call, that he'd almost died and that was it.

Anyway, months later he took up the smoking again in secret, but if you're a non-smoker then you know how easy it is to tell when a smoker gets near you. He regained his strength and look for the most part, and you'd never know he had the heart attack.

Back to me waking up groggy. I throw clothes on and bolt to the emergency room--which luckily is the nearest hospital to me. I get there, get a visitor bracelet and head in and here's the fucked up part. I honestly don't remember who in my family was in the room with my dad at the time, or what was said, or anything.

Other than how my dad looked again. Not only old and frail, but the right part of his face sagged unnaturally, very disturbingly. A doctor or nurse or somebody asked him if he knew where he was, and gibberish came out. Like, actual words, but none of them made sense, and all with only half a mouth because the right side of his face just drooped.

(and my thought is along the lines, "Oh Jesus, he's like insanely smart, the smartest person I know, please don't tell me he's brain damaged now...")

They asked him the date. More nonsense. They asked him his name. More nonsense, and a desperate look in his eye because he couldn't say what he wanted to say. They started asking him if his name was Bob--he shook his head. Was his name Mary? He shook his head. Was his name Paul? He nodded.

At some point my memory comes back. They'd only let two of us in the room at a time, but it's not like you really wanted to stay there. He couldn't communicate with you, and it was hard to put on a brave face and smile.

I went out in the hall to talk with my sister in law, then found out the scoop from my younger brother.

My mom is out of town visiting my sisters in Wisconsin, and helping one of them out because they have a new baby.  My aunt--the one with cancer who's been living at the house for a couple years now while my dad basically takes care of her--she was admitted to the hospital a few days earlier because she's having pain and mind-addled issues.

That's a whole other story(and she's literally in the same hospital a few floors up from him when he's brought in. Someone went upstairs and told her, "Your brother in law had a massive stroke and is on the way to the hospital", and she says, "Can you tell him to bring my pajamas?"  And this is the fucked up part about how she's been since my parents took her in--we're not sure if she said that because her brain is addled, or that's just how self-obsessed she is)

Friday morning--coincidentally my mother's birthday--she gets a call from my dad, but he hangs up immediately. She calls him back, and the phone just rings and rings, and finally he picks up. But he's making no sense talking to her.

She hangs up and calls my brother Mike who lives 5 minutes away. "Call an ambulance and get over to the house--your dad's in trouble."

He calls an ambulance and jumps in his car, and is surprised to find the ambulance at his house BEFORE him.(nobody else had called them) The paramedics are outside looking for a way in, so Mike lets them in.

My dad is sitting on the floor, his back against the wall behind his recliner. The two dogs are standing in front of him, barking ferociously at the paramedics, who wouldn't approach my dad until the dogs were gone. Apparently they even growled and snapped at my brother, who they know because he's always over there.

My brother got the dogs away and the paramedics checked him and rushed him off. My mom booked the first flight home, which wouldn't arrive until 9pm that night, and she was bringing my sisters.

Back to hospital time. The doctor comes out to talk to all of us. My dad has had a massive stroke, and there's a clot in his brain. They think he's a candidate for a procedure they do at the university in Baltimore where they will insert some sort of device into his crotch, take it all the way up into the brain, grab the clot, and pull it out.

Sounds insane to me, but the doctor says it's actually a procedure with an extremely high success rate, and on top he tells us that a high percentage of the patients will literally walk out of the hospital the next day, and you might not even know they had a stroke.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

The doctor says they're just waiting for the university to approve him as a patient for the procedure, and if so, they'll rush him off in an ambulance to Baltimore.

He gets approved. We're all going to meet at the university. I go home and grab a shower and a bite to eat, figuring I'm probably going to be up there for a while and I literally haven't eaten anything in ten hours. I get to the hospital pretty quick to find my brothers in the waiting room eating pizza.

My older brother says that he went in when they originally got there and there was a doctor testing my dad. He said that the doctor tested my dad's right hand and it moved some, which they found strange.

There's no word on what's going on yet. The doctor's going to come out soon and tell us something, and damn if he doesn't. He's Indian, and looks like he's twenty. He purses his lips oddly.

He says the clot has been breaking up on its own, and it's now too small to operate on--this is bad news. Because again--if they could get it out, perhaps 100% recovery. The doctor also says they can definitely see the stroke damage on the left side of his brain--hence, the sagging and non-movement on the right side of his body.

He gives us this news in a peculiar way. Like, if you took your dying mother to the hospital and the doctor came out and said, "Well, she's not dead but we had to cut off both legs and both arms. But she's not dead." Like, I guess we should be happy?

He says right now they're going to try to get him in a room a few floors lower(we were in the ICU but we'd be going to MICU which is medium intensive care unit I think).

We wait. And wait. We exchange turns going in the room to hang out with our dad, who mostly just sleeps. On the occasions he opens his eyes and stares at you, it's bad. You can see the frustration behind his eyes. He tries to say something and out comes nonsense, and he just grimaces and shakes his head.

They keep telling us the room is getting ready, and soon they'll take him up. Mike tells me the ambulance driver on the way over said that they would tell us that he'd be moved to a room, and they'd keep saying it, but they'd never move him. They said be prepared for that.

Dudes weren't far off. They moved my dad into a room on the fourth floor around 9pm that night. Weird part is that the sag in his face wasn't as noticeable by that point. He also had surprised the doctors by moving his right arm, holding it up for 10 seconds, and also moving his right leg.

My older brother told the story of this other Indian doctor who came in, thinking my dad couldn't move the right side of his body. He said to my dad, "Hold your right arm up." and my dad would hold his right arm up.

The doctor spun his head to my brother with an astonished look. Back to my dad. "Raise your right leg." and my dad did it, and the doctor spun to my brother again, like, "See what I did! I told him to do it, and he was suddenly able to!"

Anyway, my dad can't stand so they keep having to put a catheter in him to drain his bladder. He also can't swallow, so they tried to put a feeding tube into him twice. They failed both times, and I watched one of them, and let me tell you--you do not want a feeding tube put in you while you're awake. The sight, and the sound of him choking as they tried to jam a plastic tube down his throat is not something you're getting out of your head any time soon.

My mom eventually showed up. They were finishing up a catheter, and they pulled the curtain aside, and she strolled in and started singing, "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me." My dad looked at her and grimaced, and I said, "Want me to put her back on the plane for you?"

He smiled on one side of his face then shook his head, so that was good to see. But then my mom starts whispering to him about what happened that morning, and she says, "I don't know how you answered the phone. God was with you that morning. That was God working."

Now don't get me started on that fucking notion. Like, you're saying God was there to push the answer button on his phone? Man, fucking shame he couldn't have been there when, you know, my dad had a fucking stroke. I mean, obviously God GAVE him the stroke in the first place, right?

But all I say is, in a half-kidding voice, "Or it was a triumph of the human spirit. You know, an amazing will to live."

She got pissed at me.

I left around 10:30pm. My mom was spending the night. I said I'd be back the next day.

----

Saturday

Got to the hospital in the afternoon. I go into the room and am instantly surprised--pleasantly--at how my dad looks. There's definitely more life in him. He's sitting up, for one. (he didn't have the strength for that the previous day) His face isn't sagging as much. If his mouth didn't bend down on the right side, you wouldn't know anything was different.

Still nothing but gibberish for the most part, but at one point that night Paul(my older brother) asked him if he could go the bathroom on his own or if the nurse helped him, and he said, "I can't go the bathroom on my own."

We were both like, "Woah..."

Paul said he was trying to see what my dad could understand. He held up the remote control for the TV and said, "What's this?" My dad said, "Phone." So my brother held up his phone and said, "What's this?" My dad said, "Phone." My brother held both of them out and said, "This is a phone?" and my dad nodded. He held up the remote again. "And this is a phone?" My dad nodded.

But then he held up the remote and asked my dad, "What's this do?" and my dad pointed at the TV. It was weird, he said.

We took shifts. Paul left after a while and I stayed with him by myself until Mike showed up. I had my laptop, so I streamed some Netflix for him. We watched a couple of original Star Treks(he's the one who got me into it when I was like 6). Watched a couple Flash episodes. (he's never seen the show, but loved the comic as a kid)

He can answer yes and no questions. Everything else he simply can't reply to correctly.

My mom spends the night again.

--------

Sunday

Went back today. My sisters were there, and they're a whole 'nother brand of ridiculousness. They'd been there for hours, so they took off after I got there. My dad looked about the same, but apparently he'd gone to the bathroom on his own. Standing and walking already(though the walking is with assistance) was a good thing.

My brother Mike showed up, so we watched another two Star Treks. During the break, my dad stood up and shuffled into the bathroom to piss. Shuffled back out and got in bed on his own, though really slowly.

The nurses don't know much, and there are no doctors around. (they come in every couple of hours to test him or inject him with something or take a blood sample, and he's attached to one of those machines by like 8 wires.

What we hear is that the doctors come in tomorrow, and they're hopeful that my dad can get into rehab by Tuesday or Wednesday. Though we don't know if that's a place he stays all the time, or he goes home and we take him there during the week. We think probably the first, since he's still in very rough shape.

But it's encouraging to see how much progress he's made in only two days. I told him my AC unit is going to need some work done on it soon, so he needs to get better, and he chuckled and shook his head.

More later. But if I go MIA for a while, this is why.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Another Week



Man, was a busy week. Got another hard drive. Formatted it. Partitioned it. Started copying everything from my current hard drive to it.

Then started installing all the programs I use on a daily basis. Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Office. Adobe Suite. (the old CS5 one--I really only use photoshop on this computer) Moviemagic.

Then logging into the million emails/web sites I log in to, figuring out which password I used, and saving it to my computer.

Had a boatload of stuff to pack for eBay. I've been selling actual LOTS of comics to try to get some of them out of my house, and they've actually been selling.

Went back to looking at the Ttory 2 stuff. Tweaking. I'm gonna deliver the wrap to the composer late this week or early next week so he can get started. Then I may send the Pump Trail to the other composer as soon as I'm okay with that. (and the short section with Stewie, since that style fits here better than the other, classical composer)

Saturday went over and watched the fights, and then Molly's Game. A pretty solid feature--very entertaining and well written. Hell, it's Sorkin so you'd expect it.

Tonight I went up and saw Malfi playing guitar, then also singing, in a studio as the mixer worked. It was pretty interesting. My kid would love it there.

Then after we went and drank some beers at some place called Hellas.

Gotta figure out when I'm getting out for V-Day with the wife. We never go ON the day, cuz it's insane. I usually like going the Monday or Tuesday either before it or right after it.

Things I've seen recently:
Tragedy Girls--finally a movie on everybody's best-of list that's not bad. It's not GREAT, but certainly entertaining and well done. With some weird parts for semi-big actors that you wouldn't expect to see in a movie this low budget.

Most of Phillip K. Dick's Electric Dreams--Most of them are pretty good. A couple are definitely in the Black Mirror league.

The current season of Vikings--well, the big question was would this show survive the death of one of its main characters, and the answer is a definite yes. This year was excellent. Was sad to see the final episode, because I would have kept watching. Now I have to wait until next year.

The new Cloverfield movie. It was okay. Interesting enough, but pretty clear that all the monster stuff was jammed in just to make it a Cfield movie.




Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Great News! (He said sarcastically)



I have mentioned that I use two computers regularly, besides my edit computer, right?

I have my old internet computer that's mostly used to log into my business A-zon accounts, and to print labels from eBay(because it has the printer attached), and I stream stuff to my Xbox from this computer.

Tonight, that computer's hard drive died. Whole computer froze, and when I rebooted it...there's no boot disk any more.

For me to use this computer again, I had to re-install Windows, then all the drivers for everything on the computer...but I can't remember which one of these CDs goes to this computer. (I've built three of the machines I have)

And the ethernet is one of the things no working right off the bat, so I can't even use the internet to find drivers for stuff.

Then I have to try to re-install all the programs I use on a daily basis--Photoshop, VLC, winzip, winrar, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc. Then try to revisit all my sites and enter in the passwords.

Lot of fucking work.

I'm hoping I didn't lose much on the actual hard drive that went down. It was the old, original Bounty edit hard drive. I had backed it up on another hard drive, so I think the only thing I probably lost were some Word files because Word would always naturally save to the documents folder on the boot drive.

It lasted about 10 years, so I can't complain about the HD life. But now I have to waste what's left of my A-zon credit on another hard drive. (when one goes down, you always order another and start backing up the hard drive you backed the collapsed hard drive on. Always have two copies somewhere...)

But it's really time consuming too. (and I really wanted to order some of the horror blu's that have been on my wish list for a year or more...)

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Asylum Trip 2



My brother Mike and I went back to the abandoned asylum, and this time we took our other brother, who also is getting back into photography. You can find some pics plus some of the details at this blog entry of mine:

http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

We spent about five hours total, because I'd made plans with my dad to go see Hostiles at 3:45pm.

We showed my older brother the building you go through to get to the main building. It's big, and has lots of shit to photograph. Then we took him to the main building(and we located the morgue this time, but it's pretty unimpressive--VERY small, and there's just one cadaver table.)

Then we made our way to the church, which none of us had been to. It's interesting, but not as much cool shit to shoot.

Then we made a bit of a hike to the furthest building. There was a bus there, so I climbed in for some pics:

On the way--which I didn't mention in the other blog post--we came across a building with barbed wire running fencing all around it, and big tunnels of it on the ground around it. And the barb wire looked BRAND SPANKING NEW. Like, shiny silver.

But the building's door were all busted out, so it's not like they'd be using it for anything. It looked like this:

I looked into it when I got home, and apparently they tried to retro-fit this as one building to house troubled girls or something. This was like 15 years ago or so. It didn't work out, obviously.

I wanted to go look, as I figure there might be stuff in there not as busted up, but we just didn't have time.

I didn't mention, but I also took my drone this time. Not to fly, but I wanted to walk it through one of the hallways to see if I could get anything interesting. (Because the drone, even without flying, has its gimbal--so it's basically a steadicam. Here, this is what I shot, and I didn't try to be steady--and the floor was very rough, with shit on it, so I actually stumbled during this:)


https://youtu.be/xRR_TeclBwo

----

On the Ttory front, have been testing different coloring schemes on the wrap to see what my starting basis will be. (Once I see a "look" I like, I can tweak everything from there for all the scenes. I've found one that I kind of like, so I'll probably go with it.)

---

Met up with my local author buddy again for beers and chat. I think we offended some of the people near us with some of our talk. (apparently loud talk about masturbation isn't acceptable in today's society. To think.)

We also brainstormed some ideas. I may have talked him into letting me adapt Night Parade into a film. I wouldn't wanna try it unless I could get a six figure budget(even if if was $100K). It's a great book, with a great story--and an AMAZING scene.

But he's definitely open to it. Like I told him--really the only reason he's not selling the massive books of the horror giants is lack of exposure. He's definitely getting out there, but he should be much bigger than he is. He's that talented.

He told me the story of the year he was nominated for the Stoker, and how he lost to a book that was a little less worthy than his.

We talked about a way to get Dante some money to direct another flick, but more importantly, we'd be able to drink beers and hang out with Dante since we'd be producers.

Talked about a lot of stuff. He really wants me to come split a table with him at STC--that convention I used to go to before the drive back through traffic drove me insane. I know it would be hella fun, and I'd probably meet up with some of the other authors he hangs out with.

I gotta keep my eye on this Ttory 2 ball. GET. IT. DONE.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When it Rains It Pours Acid



A-zon has reduced their pay rates to moviemakers by 60%.

I wrote a blog about it here so feel free to check that out first:
http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

So it appears that my having to push Ttory 2 back is going to hurt me very significantly in the wallet. To think that if I duplicate the performance of the first film--which is certainly not guaranteed--then I'm going to make 40% of what we made there?

I could very easily lose money on the movie, which is hard to believe when we made it as cheap as we did.

It's gratifying yet sour that my instincts regarding A-zon sooner-or-later changing were true. Hence my rush to get Ttory 2 done within a year of the first film.

I am very reactionary, and always looking forward so I'm considering my options. The one I'm thinking about most seriously is getting an aggregator and trying to get the flick out to other venues like Netflix.

Problem is, you're not guaranteed to get accepted there, and they can take up to 90 days to make that decision after you've delivered the film to the aggregator. This means that I need to deliver the film to the aggregator by mid-June. That way if they decline, I'm still ready to launch on A-zon on October 1st.

See, Netflix won't take it if it's playing on Prime, so I can't do both.

Other slight problem is that it'll cost me a grand just to submit to Netflix, and more if I want to submit to other venues.

All this means I have to really push forward to finish the film ASAP. I need to film the remaining segment as soon as the weather is okay outside. Get the pieces to the composers. Work on the trailer. Work on all the art. (you have to deliver 3 different sizes to the aggregator, so I have to fix the poster so it fits those.

Lot of work to do. Lot. Of. Work.