Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Meeting with Paulette

Yesterday, I met with Paulette, once again, at Kafe Bona. Paulette is our costume designer and seamstress for the production of Solid.

More fabric samples were acquired, and we reviewed the choices. I want two unique shades of orange, and two unique shades of green. As I explained to Paulette, I don't want a standard color, but I do not want a color that is way off in left field. My goal is to have colors that fit somewhere in between. I want two distinct shades of each, because the cloak will be orange and green, whereas the interior dress will be the inverse green and orange; I want the colors to be separate yet complimenting at the same time.

She agreed that more research is needed. I still do not have what I am looking for, with the exception of one sample that is over twenty dollars a yard. I honestly do not have the funds for this until January, so we have suspended construction until then. In the meantime, Paulette continues the search.

Another thing we established is the work time involved in this costume. We are allowing three weeks for construction time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Kind Words from My Crew

I wanted to post some of the comments from my crew. In regards to last Sunday, it is wonderful to see so many people who are excited about the magic of creating cinema. My hat is off to them all!

Was happy to help out captain! I thank you for the
oppertunity to not only learn, and develope more
skill, but also meet and work with all the pasionate
people on your set... Again thanx


Just happy to be there, man. When's the next shoot date by the way?



Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with
yourself and your talented crew. I had a great time
and walked away with some really great knowledge. You
provided and maintained a pleasant and enjoyable
working environment that was only exceeded by THAT
AMAZING TEA. (Fae's tea rules) You assembled an
impressive group of talented and passionate
individuals and created a fine-tuned, well-oiled
machine. For that... my hats off to you. I hope we
provided you with the tools to create your art in the
timeliest of manor.


Thank you for allowing me to bask in the glow of your
brilliance. It is rare to find an individual so
talented, yet so pleasant and easy to work with. I
have had the honor of working with some amazingly
talented DPs, to whom I felt it an honor to be in
their presence... until they opened there mouth(s).
(It's hard to learn through a cloud of arrogance and
self-gratification.) I look forward to seeing the
final product.

OMM Crew-

You guys are a credit to OMM. You made my job all too
easy. Captain would voice the need for something and
before I could turn to pass the word, there was a mass
convergence on that item from all directions on set.
I often found myself like the small lion in the pack,
fighting for a piece of the gazelle. (Least I didn't
say buck!) Jay, Ben, and Brian, you guys rule.


Turtle, my ass. You move fast. I enjoyed working
with you. Your work really looked great not to
mention was well thought out. I will definitely keep
in touch.

To the rest-

You guys rule. Each was a pleasure and a privilege to
work with and I look forward to doing it again.

Having kissed enough ass for this evening, I shall
retire to couch to watch NCIS with my chapstick in
hand and songs of a certain cellist in heart. Thank
you again for everything.


Captain, thanks for allowing me to be a part of your project, I am looking forward to working with you again, as long as I am invited. I only wish I knew how I could have helped more. Just let me know when the next shoot date is firm Peggy and I really enjoyed being of the crew.

Bret, thanks for letting me look over your shoulder, I hope I didn’t get in the way. You really have a gift for seeing another persons vision and setting up the shot. It was really nice working with you.

Captain and House, thank you for the kind words.

To all, it was very nice to meet and work with all of you. I hope we can work together again on other projects.


P.S. The professional attitudes made a very long day worth while.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The First Day - November 20th - "Solid"

...I had taken great effort to coordinate this event...with the help of Fae and so many others, it was very itinerary was written with specific times for various things...everyone was signed in and the schedule was adhered to and even, bagels, more coffee...we familiarized ourselves with our studio space...Jeff became our gaffer...the crew consisted of Fae, House, Jay, Jeff, Paulette, Cathy, Bret, Bill Cornelius and myself...Benjamin, John an others would join later...

...Bret assessed the situation, working with Jeff to find that perfect light (Nightingale has professional stage lighting, though a little dated)...Fae made coffee and looked after so many of the little details I missed (she is wonderful that way!)...Cathy and Paulette traded between grip and clapper...Jay was our boom mic man...House was my Line Producer, and though we did not clearly define the role in detail, he performed as he should have...Bill began the assembly of the doorways immediately (Bill had designed and constructed three doorways, painted white, and a single sheet of metal, painted blue, for our bluescreen...the blue is a special formula, and a can was borrowed from the Nightingale for just this purpose)...the bed was assembled as well...

...Corey and I did vocal tracks before we committed his image to film...several trains were heard in Jay's headphones, causing us to wait...the heater was turned off for sound considerations - everyone was cold...Corey performed the lines for the various senses, per the script...for "sound", Amanda Hardy drove in from her lunch break...she dressed in a black corset, black satin dress and opera gloves...she sat and played the cello...Corey was lit with studio lights, whereas Amanda was lit only with halogens...this created a candlelight effect...we finished with our morning schedule and began on part of the afternoon...we were finished with everything, save for the blue screen sequences, by lunch...we ordered pizza and made more coffee...

...the time saved became necessary...the blue screen technique required a lot of attention...two shots were captured of all three doorways on the left of the stage and on the right...this will become a composite shot, creating the six doorways depicted in the script...we planned to shoot only three of the six character would see and alternate form of himself, a different path, in each "mirror"...with Bret's idea and Cathy's metronome, we achieved a synchronous movement of the two characters...this required a rehearsal before each take, and my actions as the alternate character were performed in reverse...we used a fog machine for added effect...technically, the lighting was problematic, in that all shadows had to be removed from the blue screen, despite the fact that we were casting shadows all over...we would shoot the main character in front of the blue screen, remove the screen, and then I would change and play my opposite...this was the most time consuming part of the shoot, and it took us well into the afternoon...I had planned for a twelve hour day, and were half an hour shy of that mark...


...many thanx to my crew and to the Nightingale...this was a day full of confidence, achievement and success...I could not be happier with a beginning...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Principal Photography begins for Solid

Sunday, November 20th of 2005 marks the beginning of Solid, my first feature production, in which I will write, produce, direct and star. The shoot will take place at the Nightingale Theater in Tulsa, with a possibility to shoot again on the 18th of December.

This is our schedule for the day:

07:00am - Arrival/Breakfast

07:30am - Meeting/Familiarization/Set-Up

09:30am - Shoot begins: “Awareness”

11:30am - Break (15 min)

11:45am - Resume shoot.

01:30pm - Lunch (30 min)

02:00pm - Next shoot begins: “The Bed Scene”

02:30pm - Next shoot begins: “Hall of Mirrors”

04:30pm - Break (15 min)

04:45pm - Resume shoot.

06:30pm - End.

This is the crew list for today's shoot:

Captain Chambers

Assistant Director:
Fae Wiedenhoeft

Line Producer:
Scott Hillhouse

Bret Mix

Paulette Record/Cathy Woods

Set Manager (Designer):
Bill Cornelius

Gaffer (electrical):
Jeff Whitlatch

Best Boy:
Jon Cruncleton

Light Technician:
Fae Wiedenhoeft

Grip #1:
Paulette Record

Grip #2:
Cathy Woods

Grip #3:
Jay Botello

Grip #4:
Benjamin Matlock

Grip #5:
Fae Wiedenhoeft

Boom Operator:
Jay Botello

Hair & Make-Up:
Fae Wiedenhoeft

...stay tuned...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Paulette at Cafe Cubana: Fabric Samples

We met Paulette, we being Fae and I, at Cafe Cubana in order to review the first samples for the [Phoenix] costume. We arrived, tired as usual, and we ordered our coffee. Paulette loves Hancock Fabrics, and she did most of her shopping there. She acquired a number of different samples of green and orange variations. There were different textures and patterns, although I am not savvy on the latter. It is my desire to have bold, unique colors.

We looked over the fabric and decided, unanimously, that we liked one swatch of orange. The unfortunate thing is it costs over twenty-one dollars a yard. The cloak/cape will need in excess of five yards of fabric. It was at this point that I declared we need to cap the budget for this project at two hundred dollars. We agreed that this fabric costs too much at this time.

Fae was measured for her costume. This is an important step. The next decision was made, and Paulette will keep looking for fabric.

The final decision of the day, was what would be prominent color of the cloak? We all decided that orange should be the exterior, dominant color and green would be the interior. This will result in the dress underneath the cloak being primarily green with accents of orange.

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Solid" Update

Today, I ordered the MiniDV tape for the upcoming shoot. The purchase was acquired from ProFeel, the company where Bret bought his camera (Panasonic DVX100) and where he currently buys his professional grade tape stock. It is eighty dollars for ten tapes. In order for me to have it by Friday, I have the order expedited.

I also spoke with John Crucleton at the Nightingale Theater. We are confirmed for this Sunday.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Birthday: Easy Day with Good Friends

Fae had several ideas for my Birthday that included Bricktown in OKC with friends or a simple and secluded diversion in Eureka Springs. I wanted something simple and less expensive. My thought was that we could have a simple day with friends.

We met at Cafe Cubana with Bret, and Derick and Jes. We had coffee and wonderful conversation! We talked about the film, and many ideas were introduced.

Bret had the idea for a blue-screen effects sequence for the Hall of Mirrors chapter. He paced back and forth over a cigarette as he defined the logistics of the shoot. We would need a metronome. He was very excited.

Fae's idea was an action shot, involving camera technique to simulate the Phoenix, rising in flight. She has contributed other ideas as well; they will be defined later.

Derick was performing in the Drunkard that evening, so he had to leave, as did Jes. The remaining three closed the joint, and we reconvened outside and drank more coffee and smoked cigars. Fae played her beloved Starling, much to the delight of Bret and I.

Bret parted ways, and Fae and I found ourselves at the Wild Fork for dinner. Afterwards, we met up with Corey at Caz's. The night was filled with cigar smoke and the local color singing along, but not necessarily in time, to the Queen, Bad Company and Foreigner emanating from the juke box.

My only complaint was my inability to obtain even the slightest buzz, much less careening drunk! Dinner had left me with an uncomfortably full stomach, so the richness of drink and smoke was not easy.

The night was enjoyed by many...even an ex or two showed up to sit and grumble in their own little corner before leaving!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Seamstress: Meeting at Kafe Bona

I met with both Corey and Paulette at Kafe Bona on 81st near Memorial. We greeted each other and wasted no time getting down to business.

I offered sketches from Jay and Corey, and Corey had drawn additional variations on the theme. During the course of the meeting, Paulette had made sketches of her own. We defined a rough diagram depicting the cape, or cloak, and we defined the possibilities of this costume. In the end, the Phoenix design had traveled through a metamorphosis, from bird-like costume to the impression of a bird to an ornate costume with bird-like accents. Our main design involves a dress underneath the cloak with a "tail" that flares to the side.

I discussed her payment and flexibility. It appears we have someone on our side that understands the dynamics of this film; we have a seamstress!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Photos from the Festival

Todd Roberts of Start Pictures in Sand Springs, Oklahoma was kind enough to take some photographs at the Festival last weekend. He recently posted them to his site. Click below to see some of the magic that Tulsa missed...again!


Corey: Rehearsal

The first rehearsal was shaky. Since taking over the lead role of my film, the pressure has intensified. I am not an actor, or at least, not in the capacity which is required by this film. I wrote this with Matthew in mind. Now, it is up to me.

I approached this film as a poetic performance, a beat performance. I was quickly taught by Corey and Fae, that this is probably not the course of action this character requires. I was encouraged to focus on a more "human" element, creating a more realistic and natural performance. I tried.

We need more time, more rehearsal. I am extremely stressed by this new situation. I was very much looking forward to actually sitting behind the camera and directing! Now I am here, in this new mess.

I have two excellent teachers, who have taken the time to offer their advice and instruction. I have a long road ahead.

The coolest part of the evening, for me, was when, after rehearsing, I began to show Corey the sketches of the Phoenix by Jay Botello. Corey began to make sketches of his own, taking the design into different directions. I was very pleased with the ideas presented, and I asked if he knew of anyone who was a seamstress. I was half-way joking, yet he flipped open his phone and began dialing someone named Paulette.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ten O' Clock Rehearsal in a Towel

I am fresh out of the shower, walking around in a towel, reciting lines from my script. The Director who would be actor...

Rehearsal with Corey is Wednesday evening, although I will wear more than a towel at that point. Sigh.

Brian Parton Upcoming Showdates (Tulsa)

Thur., 10 - Tulsa, OK - Mercury Lounge - 18th and Boston - 9:30 pm
Tue., 15 - West Siloam Springs - Cherokee Casino - 6:30-10:30

Thur., 8 - Tulsa, OK - Mercury Lounge - 9:30pm
Fri., 23 - Little Rock, AR - Midtown - 1316 Main - 1:30-4:30am.

Each Tuesday in November, Brian will be performing at the Cherokee Casino in West Siloam Springs, OK, located on the north side of US 412. Showtime is 6:30-10:30pm. On November 1st, Brian will be on the bill with country music legend Johnny Rodriguez.

And, he will be appearing at Tulsa's 818 Club on these dates in November:
Thu., 3
Fri., 11
Sat., 19
Fri., 25

818 is downtown at 818 E. 3rd St...all shows 9:30-12:30.

Plus, Brian will appear at Tulsa's Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, November 9th. Showtime is 10pm. Tom Skinner welcomes Brian as his featured guest for the Tom Skinner Science Project, Wednesday, November 23rd at Boston's. That show is at 9pm and both Mercury and Boston's are at 18th and Boston.

Please direct all booking inquiries to Erika Schmidt at or call 918.378.6909

For any questions or comments:

Blue November MicroFilmFest - The Winners

Best Local Artist:

James Plumlee of Tulsa with "Biking in the Bible Belt"

Best Auteur:

Signe Baumane of New York with "The Dentist"

Best Picture - Feature Film:

Lindokuhle Mnyandu of New York with "Bridging the Gap"

Best Picture - Short Film:

Signe Baumane of New York with "The Dentist"

Awards were designed and constructed by Tulsan, Neil Cluck.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Matthew is OUT!

I thought I would see Matthew at the Fest...I thought he would make some attempt to contact me, but it now appears that I will take up the slack in a production where I wrote the story, will produce and direct, and where I will now star in the same.

It is probably for the best. Matthew has no phone or transportation...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

An Eerie Night on Lookout Mountain

Before my interview at Channel 8 on Thursday, I was told to bring a CD full of pictures from the past Festival. My life has been "on the run" as of late, and tonight was not any different. I left work, ran an errand or two and then stopped by the apartment. I made an attempt to relax, and then I began to notice the golden rays of sun playing with the leaves in the trees. I watched, in my child-like fascination, before I returned to the Phoenix and retrieved my Super 8 cam.

I had been shooting the last of this year's butterflies, continuing a project I began in Victoria, BC. I would shoot motion pictures of mischievous butterflies during my breaks at work in Claremore, so my camera was always nearby. Since my recent decision concerning Solid, I have enjoyed these small moments of shooting film.

I saw the golden sunlight, dancing across the bricks of the building opposite of mine...the corner was illuminated so well, that I could not help but notice. I used the automatic exposure setting, removed the lens cap and focused. I framed the shot with a tree forming a definite border on the left; the remaining shot was golden brick, brilliant like an idea bursting forth.

I know that my neighbors must have thought I was crazy or weird, but then again, this is Oklahoma! No one here has an imagination, because and imagination can not be bought.

I continued to shoot, capturing the different playgrounds of light and grey. One example was the tree tops I shot, whereas the very tip would be shining with natural yellow gold, and just below, the leaves would be drab, cast in gray.

I finished a cartridge of film, and then I went inside. I surveyed several pictures from last year's Fest, burning a few choice photos to CD. My next task was to drive to Lookout Mountain, home of KTUL Channel 8, and somewhere I have never been before.

I received directions earlier in the day, and I asked about the after hours situation, which I was told would be fine. I was informed that there is a gate. Okay.

I met Fae for lunch, and then drove toward I44 straight down Yale from Borders. I drove West on I44 until 33rd West Avenue, exiting and turning right...traveling North to 41st Street, turning right and driving to 29th...turn left. This street would eventually become Lookout Mountain Road, with its patchwork asphalt meandering back and forth like a runaway water hose.

I reached the top and I found the gate; no attendant...only a keypad and an intercom. I press the intercom button, and wait for ten minutes; nothing. I call. Nothing. I press it again, only this time a woman's voice ask me if I need assistance. I reply that I hold a very special CD full of beautiful pictures, and that I must deliver it...she says that I can come in , and someone would meet me out front...the gates magically open.

An L-shaped building is directly ahead, and that seems to be the most logical place, since the front door is right there! I pull in and I stand in the cold clutching my CD. Ten minutes later...nothing! I see a car leave from behind the building, returning a few minutes later, driving around the back. So I begin to walk.

Behind the building was as creepy as the front, despite the increased illumination. I see a receiving door, with another keypad and intercom. I walk up the stairs and peer inside the window; no one! I see there is only an intercom and a door buzzer. I try both...twice! No answer.

I walk back down the stairs, toward the East end of the building. As I round the corner, I see something that intrigues me, despite the cold: a breathtaking view of the City. I walk past the building, and stop at the edge to admire the scene.

I then return to my attempt at entering the building. At the end of the structure, I found a wooden deck. I walk up the stairs to find yet another door with an intercom! A camera is pointed in my direction. I press the button. After twenty seconds, a garbled voice tells me to they are "buzzing me in", and I try the door, which actually opens.

Now, you think all would be well, right? I step inside, where I see production suites at my right, equipment to my left and cubicles up people! I move forward and say "hello"...nothing. I step a little further, finally noticing a motion to my left; a woman walks by and smiles. It is then I hear a male voice approaching me. A young man in a shirt, tie and slacks asked a very stone-like "can I help you", as I explain the CD. He takes the prize and declares his intentions to deliver it...then he walks away! I am left alone, again. I turn and walk back toward the door.

As I prepare to leave, I attempt to open the door. It does not move. I am trying to activate the latch, but I can't budge the door. At this point, I am ready to leave, but I can't! Someone in the distance behind me yells, "press the red exit button". I look to my right, and there is the red exit button. It is pressed rather quickly, and I am finally free...of Lookout Mountain.