Saturday, August 17, 2019

Stuff



So...yeah, I failed miserably to get to the page I wanted in this new screenplay I might shoot come November. I'm at page 56 right now. I sort of know what's going to happen in the other 15 or so pages, but I'd like to spice it up a bit--which is very hard to do when you're not sure of the exact location.

Whether I'm actually going to shoot this thing is really dependent on so many things coming together that it's more probably it won't happen.


  • I have to make a lot of money at this convention I'm a guest at in two weeks.
  • All of the actors who said they were in, back when I asked, have to be able to get off at the same time so we can do it. 
  • When I break this script down, I have to be confident we can shoot it in about 8 days.
  • I have to know we can do the FX well. 
  • I have to get a costume for the "monster" made, as well as some other props.

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Watched The Boys on Amazon. Lotta fun. Blew through it in two days.

Am rewatching Breaking Bad while I do stuff.

Got asked to do an interview for a book on killer clown movies. Also found that Shivers is featured as one of the top 20 scariest clowns in two different lists--one from Variety magazine. Links here:
https://variety.com/gallery/the-20-creepiest-clowns-in-movies-and-tv/fear-of-clowns/

https://www.tvovermind.com/top-20-time-scary-clowns-movies/

Kinda cool, but Variety bags on the movie. Then again, so do I.

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Began exposing my kid to some more movies I love. First was The Lost Boys, which he liked.

Next night was Predator. He seemed to like it, though he jumped pretty bad when they first discover the bodies in the jungle. And he thought there was some gross parts.

But then I asked him if he wanted to watch another movie right after, and he asked, "Another long movie?"

I say, "Do you think that was long?" and he says Yes.

I'm thinking...Avengers is fucking 3 hours long, and he watches that shit over and over. So I say "Hey, we can watch another movie or you can go do your thing, whatever you wanna do."

He says "I'm good" and goes upstairs. So there's no way to tell what he's really thinking. Too bad for him, I was gonna show him the original Clash of the Titans and there's boobs in that.


Friday, August 02, 2019

Let The Shaming Begin -- and BUNCHES of new stuff



Okay--things came up, so I only got to page 45. Not great, but I'm continuing at a steady pace now.

We decided to finally bite the bullet and go to the asylum to check it out at night, see if we'd get arrested. We decided to head out about 6pm, figuring we'd be setup and shooting by 7:30pm. I could get some dusk shots and whatnot, then move into the building and do some other tests.

We get to the asylum road and see some bad news RIGHT AWAY--the place we parked across the street, just some parking lot to nothing, is now blocked off. They're doing construction over there now.

Our only other option is a bar that claims you'll get towed, or the actual road by the asylum that has signs every 10 feet that say GOVERNMENT PROPERTY - TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.

I park there and we mull it over. Can they legally tow me from the shoulder there? It's a public road. I'm not sure. But after a minute I'm like, fuck it, we're here. (even though inside I'm thinking, it would be so much easier to go home...)

We grab the equipment and head into the woods. It's like 95 degrees with tons of humidity. I had totally forgotten that it was July, and that going into the woods in July is fucking STUPID.

And the trail, which is normally clear, is completely overgrown. We have to sort of duck and crawl like 50 feet at one point, and I'm dragging a bag full of lights and equipment, plus my tripod and camera bag.

I'm already regretting this entire trip, and we're not even to the asylum yet. We get to the road that borders the asylum buildings, and see people walking along the road. Lookie-loos, acting like they're not trespassing. Just out for a stroll.

We head over when they aren't looking and into the building we use to get to the main building. And we find some weird shit. Someone has started cleaning up some of the hallways, sweeping shit to the side. Other stuff has been moved, like a crib and a piano.

What's going on here? This is worrisome.
We get through and head to the main building where we find a huge tree has fallen over in front of the building. Oh, hey, I have pictures.

Inside we set up the cameras and begin testing. I test my slider, and honestly, it's not great. I think you really need a heavier-duty tripod to use it on a tripod, and that's a problem because I'm not lugging my big tripod through the woods for this shoot.

Then we do some other tests I can't really go into without revealing stuff in my script. But hey, here's a pic that doesn't show much.


Then I pull out the road flares. See, I got some cool scenes in mind where my main guy is lighting up these flares and throwing them down the hall to illuminate it. So I got some cheap ones at Walmart--they only last 15 minutes apiece. Even the expensive ones only last 30 minutes, so how many shots am I gonna get done before that flare goes out?

The shots look cool as shit.


btw--look at my shirt. That's sweat. My entire shirt is sweated through. And my jeans get soaked with sweat, and I'm crouching a lot, so of course they fucking rip right down my crotch. Good times.

So I toss the flare to see what that looks like. The flare hits the ground and snuffs out immediately. I'm like...that's weird. They don't do that in the movies.

I light another flare, shoot some slow mo video with my brother which I'll eventually show you, and then we throw that flare. It goes out the second it touches the ground. So that shot is gonna have to be stitched together because whatever's burning in the flare just completely falls out when it hits the ground.

Also, more stupid kids came by and got freaked out by us. Always funny.

We're there until like 10pm, and finding our way back is tough. It's PITCH BLACK, and we have to find the entrance to the trail in the woods. We get a little lost, but then we find it, drag our asses back up the trail(it's up hill on the way back)--with me stopping three times. I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack at one point.

We get back to the car and it's still there. I'm feeling very leery about trying to shoot 7-8 days at the asylum. Seems like it could be very tough to do.

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Funny story. I go into my freelance job and the lady who owns the company comes to me and says "Hey, can I talk to you for a second?" I follow her into her office where she shuts the door.

I'm thinking, "Uh oh..."

She says, "I don't think you're racist." I'm immediately like, "What the fuck is going on?"

She continues: "But in Tennessee at dinner, some things were said that got people upset." I can't think of what she's talking about, but then again after auctions we are brain dead and ready to drop. Then I remember what she's probably talking about.

At dinner, everybody's food was brought out except for Gerald's. He's a black guy from Jamaica that I've known for like ten years. I've joked with him in racist ways--he knows I don't mean it, and he laughs at them. So in this case I say, "Maybe this is a whites-only establishment."

Everybody at the table laughed, at least I thought they did. But two of the people at the table are people we don't usually hang around with.

Now, the head honcho continues: "Gerald was very upset. I talked to him about it, and he was embarrassed about it." And I'm thinking...no way does this sound like Gerald at all. She asks me to go talk to Gerald. She's not saying I have to apologize but maybe it would be nice.

I can tell she's tapdancing. She knows she can't order me to do anything, because I'd quit. I really can't afford to, and they can't afford to lose me, so we're both in this game of "Let's not upset the other person". But fuck if they're going to tell me how to behave when I'm not on their dime.

Gerald isn't actually there, so I don't get to talk to him. But I hear that another person at the table got scolded for talking about tits, and also for wearing a hat. I don't remember a convo about tits, and I can't believe they'd try to tell him he can't wear a hat at a non-company dinner. But this is where I realized that it wasn't Gerald at all...it was those other two people.

So life is gonna get pretty tough for those two people. They have to deal with me, not vice versa. Frankly, I've helped the lady of the duo out a couple of times, but that's done. Any favors she wants from me is gonna net her some harsh words. Nobody at the company other than the top dog even likes her.

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Went to the carnival tonight. Took my new camera plus my new iphone that I still have. I only took my kit lens because I didn't want to carry around a bunch of stuff.

After shooting some of the same shots with each camera, I'm going to go on record as saying that the iphone shoots better STILLS than the A7III with a kit lens. Hands down. Like, if I spent enough time in lightroom or photoshop, the A7's are comparable...but the iphone needs no work.

Video is still nice on the iphone, but nowhere near the A7's.

My kid rides ALL the rides. He's fearless. I wouldn't go up on those things that flip over upside down and spin...you kidding? Also, whenever he's near a cute girl he tries to talk to her. He's terrible at talking though, so it never really goes very far even though they all seem to find him cute.

A group of two girls and one guy even invited him to go on rides with him. Unfortunately we didn't know that, so we beckoned him to come to us and he didn't tell us for five minutes that that's what happened. We're like, next time just tell them you need to tell us, and we'll let you go hang out with other kids.

Hell, we're dying for him to get real friends that he can hang out with. He spends too much time by himself. He's popular at school, and everyone stops and says hi to him(he saw like 5 people from his school at the carnival just tonight), but nobody invites him to hangout or go to birthday parties or anything.

Anyway, here's me and him about to get on the Scrambler. That's an iphone photo, yeah.

Man, his head looks big here. I got some video on the ferris wheel from both cameras. The iphone's is still impressive as shit.

As long as all you need to shoot are wides...






Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fun Little Story




Remember I mentioned that place where I was thinking about offering my freelance trailer editing skills?

So I went through the rigamarole of setting up the thing. It only lets me submit one video, then a couple of stills. I don't know how you demonstrate samples of your trailer editing skills with one video...

I put up the trailer I cut for that indie movie with L. Henriksen, and then put some posters of my movies to show I'm legit.

I submit it without making it "live"--it says the video is processing and will be approved within 24 hours.

Three weeks later, it still says the same thing when I check it. So I hit up the support staff to tell them they haven't approved my video, and some idiot says "Oh yeah, we did it, and by the way, you have to fix your gig. Your artwork isn't original."

Right off the bat he's lying, cuz they didn't approve my video until after I got his response.

I get pretty pissed off. I send this guy an email that says, "I own all the artwork. It's copyrighted to me. It shows I'm legit, and besides, I'm not selling poster-creation services, so it's not deceptive."

Same form-letter response except this time he says I can't use "random horror images" for my thing. So I reply with some choice words. No response that time. Then I get a note that they'll consider the ticket closed if I don't respond. I respond AGAIN. Next thing I know, my ticket is closed.

Now I'm REALLY pissed. So I open a new ticket and here's the actual message I sent them:

Hey, don't give me Josey as a customer service rep because he's an idiot who doesn't respond, then closes tickets without responding to emails. He makes your company look bad, which isn't that hard at this point.

I submitted a VIDEO CREATION gig over a month ago. I submitted a video of the work I would be doing, plus two images FROM MY MOVIES THAT I OWN to show that I'm legit. Weeks later the video gig hadn't been improved and still showed that the video might take up to 24 hours to be approved. 

I contacted customer service and the idiot Josey told me that "Thank you for highlighting this for us, we already reviewed the issue for you." This was a lie, as I'd re-logged in a couple of times that week and it still showed the video not approved.

Then he told me that I have to submit "Original" pictures. He claimed I can't just put "random horror movie" pictures up. AFTER I TOLD HIM THAT I OWNED THE IMAGES, and had WRITTEN AND DIRECTED AND EDITED the movies' pictures. Further, I'm not selling a poster-creation gig so it shouldn't even matter. If you let me submit more video samples of my work, then I wouldn't have to submit pictures at all. 

So either Josey doesn't speak English natively, or he's flat out retarded, in which case I compliment you on helping the special needs people of the nation, but could you please direct me to someone who isn't special needs? Also, he ignored my last two emails--I got no response, then a warning that the ticket would be closed if I didn't respond soon, so I immediately replied AGAIN--next thing I know the ticket is closed. No responses.

I get why you want these safeguards, but if you're going to have them in place then you have to do due diligence. Don't tell me my images are "random horror movie" images when you can literally CLICK ON IMDB, type in my name, and find out that I own those movies. 

You have a ton of foreign sellers on your site, and I've even seen some using posters that they didn't create to sell poster images. So how I'm being harassed for using images I own the copyrights to...it's crazy...and I'm not selling poster images so nobody's being deceived. I'm an actual professional, and an American, which I'd think your site would want.

So can someone look into this--ACTUALLY look into it? If not, whatever. I'd fire Josey either way--he's crap.


Got a message from another customer service rep the next day saying simply "Your gig has been approved."

So there's that. Not sure when I'll actually offer it though. Kinda busy right now.

I think we're going to the asylum Monday night to see if we get arrested when we light the place up for a few hours. (or get killed by homeless people)

Whatever.

----

Also, the wife went to the beach with the kid until Wednesday. I'm on page 35 of the script, and I want you to SHAME ME like that Game of Thrones chick if I'm not on page 60 by Wednesday. I gotta pick up this pace if I'm going to have any shot at doing this come November.

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Went for more drinks and fun with Malfi. Our conversations are fucking crazy, man. From fun stuff to deep writing stuff and more. Got a decent buzz and had some awesome crab dip.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Growing Tired Of Blogging


Dunno, may give this up. I'm sure you've noticed that I'm not blogging much. Every day seems pretty similar and depressing, so why keep reinforcing it by putting it here?

Anyway, saw Spidey with the kid. Was fun. Not as great as everyone says, but just what I want in a summer movie. And the best after-credit sequence they've ever had. Do yourself a favor and go in without reading about it, cuz it's amazing.

Then it turned out my lead actor from Ttory 2 and GOH was coming to town unexpectedly. I immediately try to organize so we can do that commentary and I can get these discs pressed so they're definitely done in time for the convention.

Cutting(the actor) comes down and my brother subs in for Zig who's out of town. We watch Brutal Massacre as a warm up--which is a great movie if you've ever been involved in making a low budget movie. Then we did GOH. I'm not sure how entertaining it is, cuz I'm barely buzzed.

Then on to Ttory 2. This one seems to have a bit more energy, at least from me, then about halfway through we hear some REALLY heaving breathing. No...it's snoring. Cutting has fallen asleep in the middle of the movie he's STARRING in, and it's all on the commentary.

I say "Cutting, are you snoring during the movie you're in?" and he's like "No, no." and then does it a couple more times.

It's priceless.

The next day I interviewed him for the Making of Ttory 2 that I'm slowly working on. I haven't gotten it all organized yet, so I'm not sure I asked him questions that I'll need answers to. All of my making of's are basically mini-documentaries, not fluff pieces like most studio movies make.

And to do that, there's a lot of work beforehand, figuring out what I have footage of, what do I want other people to talk about so I don't have to be the only person on the damn thing.

----

Couple days later finished up the dvds and the artwork. A couple of hours ago I uploaded them to the manufacturer, so now I just have to push the button and get them to work. (but I need some money to do so...)

Money is becoming a bad, bad time.

I'm actually combing the online wanted ads regarding editors and whatnot. Most of the jobs in this area are in SUCKY cities where I'm gonna be sitting in traffic for all day if I get the job, and most of the jobs want an editor/photographer/after effects/colorist and sometimes sound guy.

It's insane. I can do most of that, but they're not PAYING anywhere near what they need to. Hell, I saw one post that was paying $15 an hour. Are you fucking kidding me? To be a videographer and editor, and also do some after effects work?


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Happenings



I mentioned that I want to make a limited DVD for GOH and T2, right?

Well I've been killing myself trying to get a date where #1) My wife and kid are out of town at the same time as #2) Cutting can come down from CT and Zig can come.

It's not going to happen. So I'd sort of resigned myself to the fact that I'd have Cutting and my brother Mike come over on July 26th. However, that's not a lot of time for me to make sure the DVDs are authored and working, uploaded to the duplicator, and completed in time for the convention the first week of Sept.

Find out Cutting is coming to town this Tuesday, so I scramble. Zig still can't do it, so I got Mike to do it even though he's busy moving out of his temporary residence since they're rebuilding house after the fire.

(they haven't finished his old house, but even if they had, he's not moving back in--him and his gf are moving back in with my mom until their rebuilt place sells, then moving elsewhere. There's talk of Delaware, and I can assure you that if he moves there, I'm done making films as he's pretty much the only guy I can count on to show up and help)

So the plan is to get the commentaries done on Tuesday night. I'll bust my ass to finish these dvds--most of the authoring is done, but still have some graphics to finish--then upload that shit. That'll be one thing off my plate.

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Work still continues on the script I'm still considering shooting in October, or maybe November. Cutting REALLY wants to do this. I've told him a little bit about the character he'd be playing and he's dying to do it. The character, named Walter, is pretty great.

I've ironed out a couple of things that were nagging me regarding the plot.

But most of me REALLY doesn't want to shoot it. Why? Besides how much work it'll be to find actors and an FX guy who will work for next to nothing, there's the actual WORK WORK involved.

I'm already dreading the trek in to the location carrying tons of equipment. Then even worse will be the trek out everyday after we're all dead tired from shooting for 10-13 hours.

----

Something I'm considering...maybe offering my services as a trailer editor on one of those freelance services like one that rhymes with diverr. I wouldn't be THAT cheap(like $400-$600 for a trailer, which is cheap for that kind of work, but not compared to much of the stuff on their site)--but they actually have a section for professionals where THEY have to approve you.

I'm sure I'd get approved--it's pretty clear I'm legit. I'm just trying to decide whether it's worth the hassle. They're pretty customer oriented, even if the customer is wrong so I'm worried that if I go take all this time, make a good trailer, but the person says "I don't like it", the company will refund their money--and the person still gets to keep and use my trailer if they want.

That might make me finally snap and go kill a lot of people.

But I could use the money for sure. I'm rapidly coming to a point where I'm gonna run short every month on my car payment and whatnot, unless I start making some money elsewhere. A-zon ain't cutting it--I tend to get a check for between $100-$300 a month for EVERYTHING I've got there, movies and books. It's nice, being passive income, but it's not enough to bridge the gap between what I make on the auction gigs(which are only about 4 days a month).

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Got my tix for the new Spidey movie on Monday night. Since my kid is going to the beach with my wife on Tuesday, I gotta make sure we get to see it before he goes away. Haven't seen a single trailer, so I'm looking forward to it.

That kid really is probably the most perfect high school Spidey we've ever had in TV or movies.

Anyway, that's the skinny on what's been going on lately.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Paranoia!


I don't make a secret that I eat a pot brownie every night before I go to sleep, do I?

Well, it takes a while to kick in so I work and stuff while it hits.

It hit the other night, but I kept working. And getting higher and higher. Finally went upstairs to brush my teeth and go to bed.

I do that, then take a look at my chin to see if I can see this ingrown hair that's been bugging me. Nope, but then I stare into my eyes...

...transfixed...but I get the feeling that that guy in the mirror who looks just like me...IS NOT ME.

And I don't want to blink because I'm afraid that if I do, he WON'T blink, and then he'll know that I know that he's not me.

I don't know how long I stood there with my eyes open. But eventually I slid out of the bathroom without looking away, turning the light off.

And then went to bed and slept like a goddamn baby.

Monday, June 10, 2019

There's Too Much TV


Spending way too much time watching TV. Shows I'm enjoying:

In The Dark - Some CW show about a blind girl. Surprisingly good.
Doom Patrol - I'm 3 episodes into this quirky show, and it's entertain AF.
Barry - Just started this. Had heard it was good, and yeah, it is. Henry Winkler is amazingly funny.
Cobra Kai season 2 was just as good as season 1
Naked and Afraid is as good as always. Love this show.
Brooklyn 99 is another show that makes me smile a lot. Sure, I'm high most of the time, but whatever, man.
Billions - New season is turning out to be another winner.
Love Island - started again. The wife and I dig this show a lot. Stupid TV, but so fun.
Deadwood Movie - Man, it's amazing to see how these guys took a 10 year break and then came back and killed it. My only gripe is that it didn't feel like it had a real ending...but does that mean they hope to do another movie? Please do.

Watched Waterworld with my kid. He enjoyed it. I forgot the awkward moments in the movie--like when a hot Jeanne Triplehorn drops her dress and offers sex to Kevin Costner. Then later Costner sells her like a whore to a passing boater.

Also took him to see the new Godzilla. It's not a great movie, per se, but it's a lot of fun. Exactly why I go to the theater in the summer.

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Writing continues on the new script. May have broken a plot point that had me stymied. Still feels like it'll be such a huge undertaking to shoot for so cheap that I shouldn't attempt it.

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Went out and shot some more photos with my brother. Set up this new free phone with its camera to see how it would look side by side, and jesus...it's scary. On the wide shot it's almost identical, possibly better straight out of phone, ungraded, than the real camera.

Sure, the issue still remains that you can't zoom well with it, and you can't change lenses--adapters aren't lenses--and it's dogshit in low light. So I'm not planning on shooting any movies with it but they are definitely making huge strides.

For the record, it will record all of these formats:
720P HD at 30fps
1080 HD at 30fps
1080p HD at 60fps
4K at 24 and 30 and 60 fps
Slow mo speeds:
1080P at 120fps(HOLY SHIT!)
720P at 240fps(WHAT?)
1080P HD at 240fps(Crazy)

This is an uncolorcorrected shot with the camera. I have others but for some reason my computer doesn't recognize the phone, even if I tell the phone to trust it. So I'm having to dropbox all these files from my phone, and for some reason it's taking forever even if I'm sitting right next to the router.