Sunday, August 25, 2019

More Movie Watching



The kid and I sat down to watch the original Clash of the Titans. I hadn't watched this flick in probably 15 years.

It was THE staple of viewing for my brother and I when we were in high school. They played this on a loop back when there was only four movie stations, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and The Movie Channel.

We loved anything sword and sorcery, and this had the added bonus of TWO shots of nudity--and it was rated PG! Harryhausen monsters AND nudity? We probably watched this thing 200 times.

Watching it now brings a lot of that back. The Harryhausen work is pretty amazing still. Some of the optical shots are pretty dated, but it's still a fun movie. I'll be honest though--all of the Gods performances seem pretty phoned in. Like they all thought they were working on something beneath them, but a paycheck's a paycheck.

The kid seemed to enjoy it.

A couple of nights later I put on Demolition Man for him. I haven't seen this one in probably 10 years. Still enjoyable, but here's some thoughts I had:

The movie starts in the "future" of 1996. Why do filmmakers set future movies so close to actual time? Like, I love Escape From New York, but every time it opens with that 1997 thing now...kinda pulls you out.

There are other movies like that. Put that shit 100 years in the future, or don't bother telling me what year it is.

Stallone is in top form here physically. A lot of his acting reminds me big time of his character Ray in Tango and Cash.

I did not realize that Jesse Ventura was even IN this movie...

The Schwarzenegger as president joke is pretty great, especially since this movie was well before he became interested in politics.

Are they saying you use the seashells to scoop the poop out of your butt?

This movie said it was rated R for language and violence. But there's a topless shot of some lady on a video conference. The kid always perks up at that stuff. Crazy, huh?



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...