Sunday, January 19, 2020

My best of last year


Better post this before I forget. These are the movies I enjoyed the most last year:

Joker
Spider-man Far From Home
Doctor Sleep
Godzilla King of Monsters
Zombieland Double Tap
Hellboy
Shazam
Brightburn
Ready or not?
Anna and the Apocalypse(prolly from 2018, but I just saw it--a new Xmas favorite)
Jojo Rabbit
Ready or Not
Ford V Ferrari

I didn't see Parasite, but I hear it's very good.

Here are the movies that you could pay me to watch again:
Us(it astounds me how many people are putting this on their best of list--the premise is as ludicrous as it gets)
Mandy - So, so boring.
It 2 - First 20 minutes are pretty good, and then it goes off the rails
Glass - Man, this was a giant mis-step from Shyamalan.

Best TV shows
The Boys
House on Haunted Hill
Stranger Things
Witcher was fun

Those are off the top of my head, so I prolly missed some.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Went Back To Cali


That company I work freelance for hit me up last minute and said, "Wanna go to Santa Barbara and film this auction? Make a video of it all?"

I REALLY didn't want to. It would be a nightmare trip. I'd have to carry my camera and gear through the airport. There were no direct flights, so the flight I would take would go via Austin and take 9 hours total--and would drop me at LAX. I'd still have to take a 2.5 hour bus drive to get to Santa Barbara.

But can't really turn down the money so I did it. That bus ride ended up taking 3.5 hours due to traffic, so I was travelling about 13 hours that day.

The auction was fine. I ran around shooting video of everything. They didn't exactly tell me WHAT they want this video to look like, so hopefully I got something they like. The days were very long and I didn't get much sleep, and the final night my legs hurt so much I limped like an old man all the way to my villa. (this hotel, the Ritz Carlton, has a main building, and then like 20 "villas"--it was weird)

When I got home Sunday night, my feet and hands were swollen. I have no idea what that's about, as it's never happened to me before.

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Saw 1917 today. Technically amazing. Visually great--as expected from Roger Deakins. Wasn't phenomenal as far as a movie goes. I think the reliance on the "no cut" stuff hurt it a bit, cuz there's a fuckton of walking.

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Gotta get back to FOC.
Gotta finish an actor's reel for Cutting.
Gotta get on this new video.
Gotta finish that Ttory short script and decide if I wanna shoot it. (I like to be able to shoot these in a weekend, but I don't think that'll be possible here because of how many locations there are)
Those are my priorities. (still have a lot of job applications out, but not hearing much still...)

Thursday, January 02, 2020

A New Year -- Can it be worse than last year?


Christmas was the usual. Hit my parents' house--but this year they didn't have turkey. Then to the in-laws, and THEY didn't have turkey. How the fuck can you have Christmas with no turkey?

I was tired as shit, so came home a little earlier than the wife and kid. They stayed and played games.

Hey, did I mention that FINALLY the whole Sprint phone thing is done with? They had referred me to a collection agency, and when I disputed that they owed me the amount, they sent me an invoice as proof that I owed them the amount.

So I went to the Federal Trade Commission online AND the MD Consumer Protection Agency. Filed against both Sprint and the collection agency. Left a detailed account on both--the FTC will actually file with the company and demand a response, which is pretty cool.

Well, a couple of days later I got a response from Sprint Fraud Management. They want me to send them a bunch of shit about the incident. I send them a pretty strongly-worded letter detailing the incident and citing legal statutes about why they can't possibly collect any money or the phones from me.

Took 'em a little while, but they sent me a letter back. It said that they have confirmed that I was a victim of identity fraud. That made me laugh. I am not the victim of identity fraud--Sprint is. They're the idiots that sent almost $2000 worth of phones to an address without a credit card or confirmation about the whole thing.

I just can't figure out WHY somebody did it. Were they going to steal the phones off my porch? Because they could have. The phones weren't signed for, and were left on my porch for about 3 hours.

Anyway, they've closed the whole thing and told the collection agency to clear it.

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Here's a picture of what the cookies look like, Stewie. (I don't put those little nasty wafer candies on them--those are gross. I put red hots or silver balls or the tiny sugar balls. I'd post a pic of my cookies, but I ate them all. I'm now 20 pounds heavier.)


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I finished one story I was writing. It's a bleak thing. I think I mentioned I'm going to try to get published this year. Is it good enough? Who knows. I'm not even sure what genre it is. It doesn't exactly feel like horror, but then again, I read a bunch of short stories in "Best Of" anthologies, and many of them didn't feel like what I'd consider horror.

I'm working on that Ttory script. Also working on finishing some of the other scripts that I've been working on for YEARS. Like, one of them for nearly 15 years.

Still have to get some sort of job. Clearly, movies aren't going to pay for anything any more. I've noticed more and more of my filmmaking friends giving up the dream. There's just no money in it. I've always been good enough to make money, even when they couldn't, but I don't see a viable way any more unless you can get your hands on $250K.

I am actually making more money selling books on A-zon than I am streaming my films. (at $.01 per hour streamed. ) I've taken both Ttorys off of the free list.

I've let go of my imdbpro account, and my Adobe sub is about to go away. Cutting all the fat away...


Monday, December 23, 2019

Xmas 2019


Been trying to watch some Xmas stuff. Saw the Joe Bob thing, which was fun. He did Black Christmas, Jack Frost(what a shitty movie though) and Silent Night Deadly Night 2.

Tried to watch something called Unholy Night. Quit after about 30 minutes.

Watched Slay Belles. Pretty mediocre.

There's a movie called Let It Snow on Netflix--not horror, but the wife wanted to watch it and it didn't look as bad as the other Hallmark movies she watches. Turns out, not bad at all.

Watched Good Tidings right now. Seemed like Clownhouse but with a Xmas slant. Has some interesting shots and decent FX at the front but eventually gets too repetitious.

Started watching Anna and the Apocalypse--it's on now, so will let ya know.

I'm gonna do a best of/worst of list soon, I think.

Got no big plans for Xmas. Made cookies for the family--the kind we had as kids. They're a giant pain to make, so nobody makes them any more. I made them last year, and they went over big, so since I can't really afford to buy any real presents this year, cookies it is.

Took me 3.5 hours of baking. So honestly I wish I just had the money to buy gift certificates...

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The job hunt goes nowhere. Not sure what the deal is. Am I overqualified? Do people look at my resume and think...why is this guy looking to do regular jobs? He's a movie director...

So maybe I take the director job off the resume? Make it seem like I'm just an editor?

I'm still doing the video work for the auction company but it's sporadic. I'll get a decent check in January, but it's just gonna go to catching me up--and won't bridge the gap in what I've missed.

I posted that gig on that web site I mentioned a while back. The one where I'd edit a movie trailer for anyone's movie. Got two inquiries pretty fast--one from a guy who had a movie that had Ed Asner in it. He was very vague in what he wanted and wouldn't answer my questions directly. So I blew him off.

Other one wanted a trailer for his short but wanted to "pick my brain" before he ordered the gig. No thanks. People just want free stuff. I give out enough of that shit on my 100 blogs.

Anyway, Merry freakin' Xmas.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

FOC Work Continues


Man, is it slow going. There are a lot of places where I cut and pushed shit together, and then it moves a dissolve. That dissolve is something I can't replicate now without going to find the original takes on both sides of it. So I've been doing that.

Did I mention that apparently I now grind my teeth in my sleep?

I was chewing popcorn about a month ago and felt a hard kernel in my mouth...but it turned out it was a crown of mine that came off. About a week later, a crown on the other side cracked. I had suspicions that I was grinding my teeth, because I'd wake up with my jaw clenched a lot.

So anyway, don't have the money to go get either fixed, so they've just been like that. Sure, I have insurance, but it's still probably going to cost at least a hundred bucks. Frankly, I'm behind on my actual bills so there's ZERO money for anything else.

Getting pretty frustrated on the job thing. I've submitted to probably 15 places. Some of them I wasn't keen to get, but figured I'd put up with the job for a year or something just to get something else on the resume, maybe get some leads elsewhere.

All these money problems are probably what's causing the stress that's causing me to grind my teeth at night.

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Had a fun night the other night. I went over to Stewie's to do the other commentary track for when I eventually put out the T1 and T2 blu ray. Malfi came over and I interviewed both of them for the making of, then we started drinking.

Watched a couple warm-up flicks--The Hidden first, and I was pretty shocked that neither of them had ever seen it. Then Just One Of The Guys, which is one of those movies that always makes me feel good.

Hell, by the time we got to T2, I was pretty drunk. Kept drinking anyway.

I don't remember much of what was said during the movie. Afterward we chatted a bit, and then the guys tried really hard to get me to not drive the 3 miles to my parents' house to sober up. Didn't work. Went over there and played video games with my brother for a few hours, then drove home...on the way, I can tell ya I was second-guessing that decision.

Crashed as soon as I got home at about 4:30am. Woke up at 1pm, still buzzed. Climbed back into bed and didn't wake up until 7pm. Haven't been that drunk in a long time, but really needed some R&R.

This week is Friday fun at Zig's, then a UFC fight at Luke's.

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Been writing. Still thinking about that T3 segment, but having a hard time cracking it. Like, it's SUCH a departure from everything I've done on the other segments that I'm not sure that the people who like the others will like this one.

It's nearly 100% psychological horror. Almost no gore. It might work if it was inside the whole movie, but if I plan on releasing it in segments first, not sure.
(and did I mention that A-zon has once again revised their payments come January 202 so that we may only get paid ONE CENT per hour? Depending on how popular your stuff is...it's crazy)

Don't know, man. There was a time when I thought I knew what bleak looked like, but all that shit's getting redefined.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Long Absence



Wow, almost a month since my last update! Haven't been in the mood much to update.

Have continued to hunt for freelance or contract jobs. No joy yet, so it was a tight November. Starting to fall behind in bills. Not fun.

Finished that script adaptation of my buddy's book. It's officially the longest script I've ever written--170 pages. Too long. Every page is more money, and if we want to shoot this, we'll  be killing ourselves over how long it takes to shoot that.

We're going to sit down soon after he reads it, and see if we can't figure out what to cut. It's VERY faithful to the book. I'm thinking about doing a slightly different version.

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Also, figured I'm gonna let my Creative Suite lapse once the year is over. Can save myself some money, and just use an older version of Premiere to edit stuff.

Problem is, I gotta get the redo of FOC done before that happens, since I started working on it with the suite. (and I won't be able to edit any newer Premiere files with the older Premiere program)

Dove into it. Man, it's painful to watch the first 70 minutes of it. So many problems. So many mismatched eyelines that I can't fix now. (sometimes you can flip the pic horizontal on one side, and they'll be looking right--but only if the person is symmetrical--which Shivers is not)

Things are all weird, in that some audio goes out of sync--and the movie, as put together, is like 11 minutes longer than the Lionsgate cut. So I'm trying to figure out where I cut by figuring out where they go back into sync

Then I'm missing a couple of pieces of music. That sucks. I had to literally rip the dvd and pull a section of audio from it for one short scene. It's really not noticeable unless you have an incredible sound system.

I've had to redo the end credits from scratch, cuz when they're blown up to HD, they go fuzzy. So I retyped every name and title.

I managed to get everything together, but it's still like 9 minutes longer than the release. I'm going to have to lay the entire Lionsgate version on top of the timeline, and then go through cut by cut. That will take some time.

Been catching up on a lot of TV, and some movies. (It2 -- so, so bad after the first 20 minutes.)


Saturday, November 09, 2019

The suck


Man...so, if we'd been shooting, today or tomorrow would have been the last day of shooting. We'd be done.

So that's depressing.

Anyway, went out with the wife the weekend before Halloween to a Stranger Things 80's themed party at a bar with the Malf and his wife. Drank some beers, chit chatted. Malfi and his wife left around midnight--she doesn't seem to be much of a night owl--so we stayed and danced a little.

But the ad said they'd be spinning 80's tunes all night long, but by midnight they were playing whatever they wanted--a lot of new shit.

But there were some cool costumes. One guy was Jack Burton, and he had an Asian friend and two girls dressed in those intricate geisha costumes from Big Trouble In Little China. I got a little video of them. I wish I'd gotten a pic.

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The Joe Bob thing was great, as usual. Weirdly, my wife came down that night and was like "Do you want to watch something?" and I said sure, just let me see what Joe Bob is putting on. It was the first Halloween movie.

The wife ended up watching that with me. She'd never seen Joe Bob at all. I think she enjoyed it. She hadn't seen Halloween in like 15 years.

On actual Halloween, it was rainy and cold. Not a lot of trick or treaters.

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Now here we are in November. I'm still writing shit. Still mulling over the Ttory short.

The idea that I've liked and been thinking about on and off for the last couple of years(it's already on the map) is a pretty technically-complicated thing. I have a special effect that features prominently in the short--and it's going to be real tough to do without a motion-controlled crane that can repeat a shot exactly.

I definitely have to go out and do some tests to see if I can make it work.

The short would be quite a departure, I think, from the other segments in that a lot of it takes place outside of the Ttory. I'm still zeroing in on the characters and how I want to tackle it. (linear vs. non)

But I think I mentioned I also had an idea for a segment for S. Jack. It's just, I know if I do it that means countless hours in front of the computer taking out eye-holes and hollowing out the pumpkin head. It's literally torture. Yes, LITERALLY.

Gotta keep thinking about it. Whatever it is, I'd like to get it done over three days. (Friday, Sat, Sun), probably in early April. That won't give me a lot of time to finish it, but I'll have to work fast.