Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Using It Too Much

I discovered that I say something too often yesterday.

My kid--you know, the autistic five year old--he was drawing in his room and I poked my head in and asked him what he was doing. He said, "Ok, Ok, shut the door."

He doesn't exactly answer every question, but I guess he wanted to be left alone. I was tired and a bit irritable, and not really thinking, I shut the door as I muttered under my breath, "Douchebag."

Yeah. Called my kid a douchebag. Sure, wasn't really thinking about it. Apparently, I call a lot of people douchebag.

But still...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cool Band

So I heard a song by this band that was really cool. Had an 80's heavy metal kinda vibe to it. Like 80's Alice Cooper with a Rammstein voice.

Looked into them. They're a Finnish band that dresses up in horrific costumes kind of like Gwar, but these guys actually have musical talent. I downloaded their album, expecting that the album probably wouldn't be that good...

...turned out to be very good. It's horror-themed, with songs like "Girls Go Chopping" and "The Doctor Is In(God Help Us)".

Anyway, check 'em out. Their name is Lordi. They have a lot of catchy hooks, but the guy's voice definitely takes getting used to. Here's the first song that got me hooked, followed by another favorite. The rest you can download off of Amazon for like $.99 a song, or the whole album for $9.99



Monday, January 19, 2009

Pickup Shot Pt. 2

Go read part 1 below if you haven't already. Up to speed? Super.

While I'm freezing my ass off, the trooper gets chatty with me. I put on the charm, and after about five minutes she's become kind of sympathetic, and she likes me.

No county cop has shown up, and then I get a phone call. It's the 911 dispatch telling me she spoke to her sergeant and he says we can't shoot on private property. Also, if we shoot video of anybody we need releases. Like, thanks.

She gives me the sergeant's number. The trooper looks a little guilty now that she's the cause of us not being able to shoot this literally ONE SHOT. She apologizes, but adds, "You gotta understand where I'm coming from."

I get in the car and give John and Zig the bad news. We drive to a nearby parking lot. I figure we'll wait a couple of minutes, then shoot at another apartment complex. But I also call the sergeant anyway.

He's a HUGE dick. Major attitude. He tells me we can't shoot in the county without a permit. I disagree--I tell him I've spoken with the county executive and the permits guy. Sarge doesn't like being told he's wrong. He tells me he's gonna put me on the phone with the top man in the Eastern division.

He does. This guy's a slightly less huge dick. I explain what we're trying to do. I mention how we just need ONE shot, and we're done. He thinks it's funny that we're trying to do it in 8 degree weather.

After a minute he says, "If you can promise me this won't take longer than 15 minutes, I'll send an officer out." I agree. So he sends an officer out to meet us.

He pulls in the parking lot, and HE'S a huge dick. He takes my driver's license, writes a bunch of shit, and then tells me why they're all being such huge dicks: It's Friday night. He shows me his laptop screen that shows all the calls they're getting, and he says they've got four cars coming this way, and HE has to babysit us.

So we drive over to the complex. We shoot fast. The first take, John runs around the corner and slides on the icy grass, goes down hard. Blown take. We do another take. It's not bad, but there's some visible breath.

I think we got it though, so we tell the officer we're done. We do it in 8 minutes all together.

All of that hassle...when we could have done it in 8 minutes. We celebrate by going to get Slurpees. No shit.

A couple of us watched some of the rough cut. They seem to like it a lot. I still am underwhelmed. We'll see if music and/or sound design can help it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pickup Shot Pt. 1

So we had a pickup shot to do. We shot the original scene in the fall, and now we're shooting in eight degree weather.

The actor in the scene came up from North Carolina. We went out to get something to eat, then did some looping that I might need. Might as well get it while he's here.

Then we headed out to the scene. It's an apartment complex outside. My guy is dressed like a bounty hunter. Included in his outfit is a blank-firing pistol, and a real shotgun.

I'm not worried because we shot this same stuff back in October and got hassled on occasion(see earlier blogs), but this shot is literally going to take 15 minutes to get. Get out of the car, shoot it a couple of times, and take off.

We pull in. The actor, John, pulls on his outfit, then puts some ice chips in his mouth(to try to get rid of the white plume every time he breathes), and we walk around the side of the building.

The ice isn't working. It's just too cold. So John's gonna have to hold his breath as we walk around the back of the building. Then I'll tell him to take a breath, and then call action again and I basically will chase him around to the front of the building.

We do a take, but it's not good. And then there's an unmarked cop car pulling up.

We walk over, and this thick black lady in a parka gets out. She's a state trooper, and she asks us(with visible attitude) what the hell we think we are doing. I give her my normal spiel about shooting something--we shot here a few months ago--and we just need to get a quick shot and we're gone.

She's pissed, way out of proportion. She says she almost shot us because John is carrying a shotgun. I ask, a little incredulously, if she saw that I had a camera. (it had a big light on top of it). She says yes--I clearly should have been on my knees apologizing--and then says, "You wanna go to jail?"

I ask why. She says that John's carrying a weapon with no permit. I say that you don't need a permit to walk around with a shotgun. I was pretty sure this is true, and apparently I was right, because she points at John's pistol in his vest.

I tell her it's fake gun. John takes it out and she examines it, but the thing is it works and looks exactly like a real gun unless you look at the tip of the barrel. And as much as I asked her to, she wouldn't look at that.

She takes a good minute figuring out to get the magazine out(which is weird because it's just like a regular gun), and looks at it when she gets it. She jacks the slide, which works just like a regular slide. I keep saying--look at the tip of the barrel. It's filled in.

She wouldn't. I tell her that when we shot here earlier in the fall we'd call the 911 dispatch and let them know where we'd be, and they'd let their officers know. She asks if I did that tonight. I tell her no.

"Well why not?" she asks. I say because we only needed the one shot, and we'd only be there like 15 minutes.

Meanwhile it's 8 freaking degrees out, and we would have been done by now had she not stopped us.

So then she asks, "Well, you were wrong then, weren't you?" Which clearly she had been looking for from the beginning. She wanted an apology, and for me to say that I was in the wrong.

I don't like people who try to exert authority. Always had a problem with it. So it took me longer than it should have to go, "Well, yeah." Then I add, "I can call them now."

She bristles again. Tells me to do that, she'd like to see how they're going to give me permission to film on private property.

I still have the number in my phone to the 911 dispatch, so I call it. I tell them we're shooting a video and give them an address. I tell them my guy's dressed like a bail enforcement agent. The dispatch person begins typing it in and doesn't seem to care.

I'm about to thank her and hang up when the trooper lady demands to speak to her. I hand her the phone. The trooper says, "Do you realize they're shooting on private property, and they have a shotgun?" These are things I neglected to mention.

To my surprise, the 911 operator doesn't seem to care. She says they'll send out a county officer to supervise. This doesn't sit well with the state trooper, but she doesn't have any answer.

I get the phone back, and we wait for the county officer to show. I'm freezing my balls off. Trooper in the parka doesn't look too cold.

Wow, this story is longer than I thought. To Be Continued...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Weather Report

For reasons I won't go into, I was up this morning when I should have been sleeping. Had the TV on for background noise while I attempted for the third day to wipe out a virus that's trying to cripple my computer.

Anyway, the weather report comes on for The Today show. They show a map with different sections of the country, and I kid you not it said this: "Gorgeous"(over California), "Very Nice" just north of there. "Bone Chillingly Cold" over the east coast where I am.

Whatever happened to actual temperature readings? That might help some.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rough Cut Done

Finished a rough cut of my new flick the other night, and am now going through it on pass two for fixes. We're going to try to shoot the only pickup this week, but I hear there's gonna be flurries.

That's won't work. So we'll see.

Don't know whether the movie will be entertaining or not. It was an experiment, and as with every film, there are things I'm happy with and things I'm not happy with. Story of my life.

Anyway, here's a funny link I borrowed from another blog. It's to a review of that crappy Secret book, but the review is VERY funny.


Also, saw Gran Torino the other night. It's good, but it's not the new Dirty Harry flick you kind of hope it is. It's funny though, I'll tell you that.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Been watching those Simon & Simon episodes. It's funny, because though they have listed that you can watch the entire season 1, the last two episodes say "On DVD only". Which is okay, because I have them.

But for ease of use I've been watching them on the Xbox Netflix thing. I'm on the episode titled Matchmaker, and who appears on the screen? Colonel Wilma Deering herself(and she gets billed as Special Guest Star), Erin Gray.

What a hottie! Can't forget her in that shiny skin-tight suit from Buck Rogers...

Anyway, I'm also surprised that I didn't realize that their familiar theme song(the cool guitar riff) was not the original song for the show. What's weirder is that it's the opener for like episode 4, and that's it so far.

Like, why do you use another song for all but episode 4, and then switch to the new one somewhere later? (I guess season 2 maybe?) Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Also, had a discussion about what Jim Carrey's funniest movie is. For me it's gotta be Dumb and Dumber, followed closely by Ace Ventura. D&D wins because it's still one of the funniest movie's I've ever seen.

Whattaya think?