Saturday, November 26, 2011

BORING DVD ART: Sparky Edition

Coming soon to a theater/DVD player/Blu-Ray player/digital file format player near you: SPARKS! They seem to have become the poster creator's favorite new element. Sometimes it makes sense, but most of the time it looks like they're trying to make us think we're about to step into the sequel for Backdraft that never was.

Drive Angry? Okay. Nicolas Cage is try to escape Hell, so one should expect a certain firey element there. Transformers? Um . . . sure. There's a lot of metal grinding on metal in that movie, so I'm sure there's going to be some sparking. But The Dark Knight? "Maybe it's symbolic of the impending doom and chaos that's about to engulf Gotham?" "Yes! Use it for Harry Potter, too! Just switch 'Gotham' for 'Hogwarts!'"

But one can only assume that there's a scene in the new Conan movie where Conan the Barbarian literally tries to put out a fire with his sword.

Sparks: The art department's cowbell.

Never mind. I take it all back. That's friggin' bad ass.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Movies You Should Love

Considering my extensive relationship with the iTunes Store and after reading the Steve Jobs biography, it's very surreal to be able to find me in the iTunes Store. Yet, there I am. For all the world to hear.

It's Movies You Should Love, a podcast that frequent partner-in-crime Loren Small and I cooked up and have been recording for the past couple of months. Loren built a gorgeous site for it, with me contributing the title aesthetic and the faces by John J Salomone (who you can commission to pixelate your face).

Basically Loren and I sit down and examine classic films (specifically AFI's Top 100 list) and try to figure out what makes them so special. It's something we do anyway, often staying up into the wee hours -- we thought we might as well record it and share it with the world. We're definitely enjoying ourselves and we really hope others do, too.

If you enjoy my ramblings here, you might enjoy my ramblings there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

at the mercy of technology

Last Friday we filmed the final scene of episode 5 (not the final scene to be filmed, but the final one the audience will see). I was not in a good place when filming began and I hope I didn't take it out on anybody.

The computer started acting up on Thursday. Thankfully, not the editing computer. But my desktop plays a very vital role in all of this (including, but not limited to storing my 200 GB of music). I had just enough time to transfer the pictures and the scripts off the computer before it completely crashed.

There's few things that will sour my day so instantly as the resolute feeling of powerlessness. There was nothing I could do. The computer was gone. I called Dell, told them the error code I was receiving, and the guy on the other end said, "oh yeah, that's a hard drive that's dying. And it looks like your warranty ran out back in 2010, so we won't be able to replace it for you, but you can buy one from us!"

This was the second hard drive Dell had sent me in the four years that I've been paying off my computer. I'm still paying it off and the thing's already failing. "No thanks, Dell. I'll shop around." It's so wildly frustrating -- actually, there's a word for "wildly frustrating" and it's INFURIATING. I tried to not bring that energy to the set, but I'm sure everyone could feel it.

I sent out a text to all my computer-savvy friends and Loren swung in to the rescue and recommended a good hard drive and hard drive dock, that I might save some of my files. I ordered it that night and come Monday, I was back up and running. In the grand scheme of the things, was it a big deal? No.

But I am powerless without electricity. I am at the mercy of technology. If anything refuses to work, or decides to crap out on me, what can I do? My computer has become an extension of me. Everything I'm doing and everything I'm trying to relies completely on it. As grateful as I am for its existence, I kind of resent it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Humble Brag

Is it bragging to notice how much you've grown? I hope it isn't, but if it is, I don't care. Because as I sit here editing together episodes 4 and 5 of The Ruffians, I can't help but feel immense pride. Seeing these scenes come together is absolutely thrilling and I really, really can't wait to share them with everybody.

As happy as I was with episodes 1-3, they really don't compare to 4 and 5. Ten months have passed since we began shooting and editing these. I've experimented, I've learned, I've committed to memory. And in those ten months, there have been other projects. Five episodes of You Being You, the live concert video of Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken, and two McKay commercials. It's quite possible that I've done more and grown more in these past 10 months than I did during all four years of film school. I definitely feel more pride over these past 10 months than most anything I did while in film school.

If I had a single piece of advice to any artist, it would be this: Stay busy.

You will not believe how much inspiration comes to you while you're working on something else. You will not believe how much you accomplish in such little time. For reasons unknown to me, the busier you, the more time multiplies. The more you relax and do nothing, the more time slips by you.