Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Costume Chosen

After reviewing additional choices, from my Mother's wardrobe, I have chosen the ensemble my Mother will wear as The Courier.

Cinematography and the DVX100

I have been shooting a lot of footage by myself lately, and I am still learning this new technology. Bret's camera is a Panasonic DVX100, and it has been dropped into the palm of my hands.

We have not been able to abide by the normal details of film production, in particular, cinematography. I had good intentions of using bounce boards, nor are we utilizing the vast array of techniques for lighting that are available to us. I know that we could be very in depth with the use of lighting, shadow and contrast. For the sake of argument, we are not done with the shoot, yet. The technique applied is simple: shoot with plenty of light, in the right amount, as governed by the camera's readout. In our defense, some amazing lightwork was done by House, with his Japanese lanterns and by the crew at Nightingale with the cello scene. The fog machine was a joy to work with as well. The point is, sometimes the object is too capture the scene for the best; all other considerations come second.

As I tried to capture little Baby Jack a few weeks ago, I did not understand why the picture was so overexposed. At the Hydro shoot, I found out why...neutral density filter! A switch on the side of the camera controls the selection of either on (two choices of various, darker degrees) or off. The off position was my problem outdoors, since I encountered it again at Hydro. After a minute of tinkering, I was able to adjust the camera to my needs.

Aperture control is easy with this camera. No light meter necessary. The display screen gives you an accurate depiction of what the footage will look like. A simple thumb wheel for the iris is all that is needed. The over exposed portions appear as fluctuating lines on screen, just dial the iris until they are either gone or minimized, depending on the effect you are going for.

"Awakening": The Courier

I have decide to cast both of my parents in this film. My Dad will play my older self in the chapter, "The Theater", whereas my Mother is The Courier, an enigmatic guide to where I will meet my next entourage in the unusual setting where the film takes place.

At first, I wanted to allow her to create her own character aesthetic. She is very creative and has her own style, and she also has some really great ideas. I left her to create the visual of her character.

After several stabs at finding the right combination, my Mother felt flustered. I decided to call upon other outfits she has worn before, such as the ensemble she wore at the After Party for the first Film Fest. In addition to that, we may have to go shopping. As much as I want the part to flow and feel real, I want my Mother to look good and feel proud.

I visit my parents tonight. We will, once again, pour over the ideas presented. This will determine where we need to go.

Another thing that has materialized in my head, is her enthusiasm for this role and opportunity dictates more character development. I am rolling a few ideas in my head as we speak.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Finally, the Hydro Shoot is complete!

Corey and I left later than usual, eight instead of seven, and we stopped at Merrit's for breakfast. We were underway, driving in my Mother's Chrysler Town and Country, cruising at 70 mph and listening to the Gorillaz, Bowling For Soup and Type O Negative.

We arrive in Hydro at nearly 11 am, and the first thing apparent to me are the changes to Lucille's, the historic abandoned gas station. The pumps are gone. The building has been painted (for the most part) white, and the entrance has fresh concrete. Not my original visual.

There is nothing I can do. I've tried this shoot several times since we first shot this scene over a year ago with Matthew. And now, we are here and behind schedule, so we are going to make this work.

Initially, I captured some static scenery, images to fill space and add depth. Whenever there is wind, you can make a still subject come to life, eerily, with only one small element commanded by the wind. Aside from that, I captured...myself! Not an easy task. I set up the camera and tripod, found a fixed spot on the ground, zoomed in and focused, then pulled back. It was then up to me to remember a reference point, a marker, on the ground. I could then take the shot. This gave Corey the chance to read a book.

Another thing to mention, since we have multiple tapes (and since we are on a budget!), I found two tapes that still had room; one tape had thirteen minutes, the other, twenty-six. I began to use these before opening the fresh tape...the last tape!

The wind was as ferocious as the wind we encountered at the Gloss Mountains. Fighting it every step of the way, we tried to consult the script, capture performance and stay hydrated. I watched the weather for Hydro for two days, as it climbed a little higher each time. It came to rest at eighty-nine degrees, and my character is wearing a sweatshirt and corduroy pants where Corey is wearing a full suit.

The opening performances went very well. We took multiple takes; I do not plan on a return visit! The interesting thing is, I did not know if we would be asked to leave. I thought, that if someone did own the property, they would show up at any moment and that would be that. This was not the case, yet we did have several visitors!

Truck after truck after truck pulled up beside us and asked about our adventure; a man and his son, an older gentleman with a striking resemblance to Chuck Yeager, Louise and Tom (Louise liked Corey’s tie!), a truck full of two young men and a girl who smelled of WD-40…and finally, a woman who asked if we were with the Oklahoma Gazette or something. Countless cars, from Alabama and Arkansas, stopped to take our picture in the presence of Lucille’s. We were interrupted continuously.

As with many or most film shoots, the script becomes a guideline, really. It succumbs to new ideas and realizations, or necessity, the mother of invention, if not complete desperation! We combined a few scenes, augmented others, but they are all complete. I was very happy with the framing of each shot. I always like to make it interesting, as much as possible. We moved from one point of view to another and back to the same, only this time, it is just a little different.

We left the peanut country for our more familiar realities and by eight o’ clock, Tulsa was in sight. I had captured the elusive footage of “Awareness” in Hydro! The tally showed that an hour and twenty-six minutes were used. I have ten minutes of footage left. Now, my next dilemma is to buy more tape.

Corey had fun. I had fun. I listened to Rush on the way home. Upon my arrival, Fae greeted me with a nice Earth Day feast of her design. Oh, and I acquired a dashing sunburn for my very own!

Looking Ahead

...possible meeting with Bret (tonight) to assess the film and coordinate time and efforts in May...reviewing costume choices (Wednesday) with my Mother, who will play The Courier in the chapter, "Awakening"...Fae will sing, live, at Starbucks (51st/Harvard) on Thursday at 7pm...possible meeting with Paulette on Friday to discuss money, fabric choices and accenting the capelet for the Phoenix costume...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Viva la Earth Day!!!

Someone's been getting their information from Fox News...

The hole in the ozone, is at the poles; that is why the ice is melting. There are organizations all over the world that has data on this, so this does not even make any sense at all! Yes, we as people, all over the world, and our machines put toxic elements into the environment. That is fact. Tapping into reserves in Alaska destroys a habitat that has been there for centuries; how many more species are we going to disrupt or kill on this planet? So that we can have cheap gas? And that is not why gas is high - who controls prices? The animals don't, I can assure you of that. Men and their governments...they have control - too much, but they have it as long as we let them; just ask the German people circa 1939. And it is CO that is harmful, not CO2. I will agree that CO2 is beneficial, however, CO (carbon MONoxide) is the pollution from our automobiles and [some] factories...and it is a problem that is recognized by the very government that should be taking more actions to prevent it. Hybrid vehicles are slowly being accepted into OUR society, for the better! Canada has been using Hydrogen and electric power for years in their public transportation, and SmartCars are prevalent there as well. People walk more and use bicycles; in America, particularly the Mid West, we are so lazy that we drive our ridiculous and unnecessary SUV to the corner to buy a newspaper! There are few sidewalks because no one uses them. Oh, and "a few tin cans and plastic bags" is grossly inaccurate! Just look at Oklahoma's streets, highways, lakes and can't see it speeding down the highway in your "safe" SUV, but try to stop and actually look alongside the road - it is more than a "few" cans and plastic bags. We are the largest and most overprivelaged, selfish nation in the world. We create trash by the hundreds of tons a day! It is a problem. Yes, the world has been here and will always be here; we are but mere parasites that are tolerated. Yes, the temp fluctuates through time. Still, there are significant effects of mankind and its pollutants. A marketing scam? New technology is always expensive at first, and unless it has support, it will stay that way. And what is expensive? A Toyota Prius, with good marks from consumers, gets 54 mpg and costs less than any Hummer, Expedition, 300 or Hemi. So what is the deal again? I'm afraid I missed that one....

And now to play the devil's advocate...this is America, there is a scam everywhere! Do you not remember the televangelists of the 80's?!?!? The point is, I am sure that there are some [green] scams out there, in fact, I would count on it. America is about money at all costs, so you can say, without a doubt, there are "green" scams. The majority, however, are people who believe in something just, and they stand for it! They believe in beauty, and nature and in people; they believe in harmony! And even if it was all rubbish, what is wrong with people promoting those ideals, trying to make the world better than it is? We live in Middle America, the most selfish and hateful place where no one cares about anything but their own self interests, the consummation of "things" and the acquisition of status. This is where rich little teenage girls go to a coffee shop because it is cool, ignoring the artist playing her heart out in the corner, and leaving when they get bored, escaping to the BMW their daddy bought for them, going to some party to validate their existence by looking like Brittany "Waste-of-Space" Spears...then get wasted and wake up the next morning to search for their clothes. Rich bastards with no manners (grown men!)people who are belligerent and rude - this is Tulsa. Those with a heart suffocate in this environment.

If you want cheap gas...make it! Or support GREEN. There are alternatives out there...we are just too lazy to look at them. We want the easy way out, and to lash out at the Green Community is ludicrous. And if you think that wind or solar power is "bad", then you need to rethink your place in the world!

Viva la Earth Day!!!


"Screw earth day. its all a sham.

All of it. It's just a marketing ploy to get you to buy "green". Don't believe the hype. It was made up by the founder of the EPA who admitted its all crap after he retired. There is no hole in the ozone. if there was, cosmic radiation would kill us all a few seconds after the hole started. and cfc's dont react with O3 in the atmosphere. only in lab tests. There's no global warming. the global survey group's latest report show's the average mean temperature of the planet has gone down for the past 5 years. In fact, global warming would be a plus for life, not a minus. Co2 in the air would aid plant life. which produces more O2. which means we all breath better and live longer. look up the milankovich cycle. all the climatic changes are part of a natural cycle that's been going on since the planet existed. and greenhouse gases my ass. the temperature is the SAME! so stuff that in your hybrid tailpipe. that reminds me, oil. its made by an abiotic process deep in the earth's crust. its renewing all the time. its not going to run out. ever. now drill the hell out of alaska so i can stop paying 3 damn dollars a gallon. screw saving the earth. its been through cosmic bombardment, mass extinctions, volcanoes, plagues, floods, earthquakes, crustal displacement and you think a few tin cans and plastic bags are a problem? its going to be fine. screw recycling. land fills make up less than 1/10 of 1% of the earth. there are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. bet you didnt know that did you. earth will still be here and be fine long after your gone. its just a marketing scam based on junk science. the head of propaganda for the nazi party said 'if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth." environmentalism, the repeated lie, made up to tax some industry, and sell some more expensive cars and ethanol and gawdy t shirts and hemp jewlery. screw earth day. its all a sham."

MySpace Girls

I passed a periodical rack and saw a men's magazine cover...Twila Tequila of MySpace fame is on the cover of this pseudo-intellectual rubbish for her download status, and for being the "sexiest/most beautiful girl" on the internet! WTF?!?!?! "25 million people can't be wrong," it says; yes they can! This bitch is fucking ugly! I find it amusing in the first place that so many girls, not just on MySpace, find the need to validate their existence by their appearance, and mainly, their perceived "fuckability". They lack any true talent, or ambition, so they use their body as the only factor that defines them. I also find it a pathetic circumstance that "sexy" and "beautiful" are only defined as how much a girl will bare and how she whores herself to the camera, the public, men, society and on and on. If a girl shows her body, she is instantly sexy in some degree or another. Twila, Tila or whatever this bimbo's name is, neither qualifies as sexy or beautiful. Why don't you look at someone like Maya Derren, Ani Difranco, Julia Butterfly Hill or Joni Mitchell. These are beautiful women, and as all women do, they have their own distinct sexuality that outshines the formulaic device employed by the wasted little girls of MySpace, countless magazine covers, runways and our television and movie screens.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Ritual

Before every shoot, the exact day before, I have a ritual before I go on camera. I shampoo my hair with Pantene and I trim my beard on setting number "9". My hair is long enough to reach the middle of my back in a pony tail, and it is, of course, longer when let down. The Pantene I use is not what I would buy, but it is what I had, and I started using it and I will finish with it. So what? I am trying for as much consistency as possible. If you still don't understand, then consider this: there are things great and small that are required in a film shoot. This is just another part of production!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Wind is Gone

The concert has been cancelled, mainly because they are still in Chicago with engine trouble! The evening has been one of restless fatigue, where lack of direction is present more so than the element of inspired mayhem! These are the times I dislike best, when time runs away and creativity rests in the shadows.

Saturday in Hydro

As I prepare for a great concert this evening at Torchy's, I am also prepping for Saturday's shoot in Hydro with Corey. I will pick up my Mother's van tomorrow after work. Only Corey and I will be going, and we are being as relaxed as possible about it. We will leave at 7am, acquire breakfast, and enjoy some music on the way down.

The weather check yesterday stated a high of 79, and today it reads as 85! We will be taking our time during the shoot, I in my sweatshirt and Corey in his tux jacket. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Trying to assemble thoughts...

So many much to do!

Tomorrow night - Deconstruct at Torchy's Two Bucks Saloon...Friday night - the opening of Peter Pan at the Spotlight Children's Theater, where our good friends will be performing...Saturday morn - Corey and I return to Hydro once more for the longest scene in "Solid" history...Friday and Saturday night also bring Down For Five to the stage, where I must, unfortunately pass...Saturday night - Brian Parton at Saffron...Fae will attend a craft fair with her family; her dad is showing his latest week is end of the month - only $400,000 more to ship...footage needs studies...writing...reading...plans to search for a roadworthy VW Beetle for little or no cash continues...I haven't updated this damn blog in far too long...MySpace is cool to a point, but it reminds too much of LiveJournal and the hopeless wasted freaks that think they are "cool" and somehow "significant"...I realize more and more that I am a singular constant...the PNW is calling...BOK are greedy fucking bastards and I hope they find bankruptcy in their immediate future and live like peasants, stuck in a mortgage from which they cannot escape (thanx KDP!)...[Oklahoman] people are generally and quite clearly beneath me...that film festival is underway - I hope the naive who are attending receive some benefit; I, however, am wondering why I bother with mine, since the public prefers the absurd to substance and heart...I am so glad I no longer hang with the friends I use's late.

Random Thought Reflection

Spoken word "artists" seldom have anything to say (or, I should say, very few actually do), a great many think they do [have something to say], while the majority just enjoy spoken word as yet another device in which to hear themselves speak!

The Choice to "Regroup"

Due to the complexities of the cast and crew's schedules, I have decided to vacate the month of April, save for a few shots here and there, and I am going to regroup in the month of May. My stance, although dedicated, will be more relaxed than previous engagements. I believe the film will take shape nicely!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Baby Jack

Despite the odds and the circumstance, I am trying to set up what little I can, in regards to film shoots. I have the shoot for "Memory" to think about, so I need all of the little clips (that will be shown on the television screen during the scene) complete and out of the way. I already have footage for the fight in the alley (see previous post), and now I need to complete the motel scene and the family in the park. I am hoping to shoot the motel scene tomorrow, if I receive the phone call I need.

So, what I decided to do today is shoot the scene with the baby that would represent me in the film. Once again, the Nightingale assisted me by forwarding one of my posts to someone they know, who, in turn, responded. I kept in touch, but only recently did I make any plans; this is where you have to take each and every feasible opportunity that comes your way.

I took my directions and drove out to the Western side of Downtown Tulsa. I met the Wilsons and we discussed what I needed. We found a nice clearing in their backyard, and they provide a table and their assistance.

All I needed was a shot of the baby, on a piece of black fabric. Since I am still learning this camera, I was seeing overexposure all over the place, where the sunlight was reflecting off of the baby's skin. I could not figure out the problem, so I asked Mr. Wilson to hold a blanket over the baby and out of camera view; when in doubt, dull the light source.

This seemed to do the trick. I rewound the footage and double-checked to make sure it was what I needed.

Once I had my signed release forms, I was on my way. The Wilson Family was quite pleasant and very helpful. Baby Jack was a star! He is such a happy baby, and I think this footage will be remarkable.

Many thanx to the Wilsons...and Baby Jack.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Cloak of the Phoenix

We, being Fae and I, met with Paulette for the first time in what I believe to be two months! I paid her again for her efforts, and drew up the remaining balance. She proceeded to display her work on the soon-to-be-finished cloak for the Phoenix costume. Spectacular! I feel the need to elongate this character, due to the sheer power possessed by Fae and this costume, though unfinished. The colors are striking and the costume will definitely be one of the finer points in production. Paulette compared her work to Fae's physique. Our discussion led to plans for our next meeting and what our topic of discussion will be: accents to the capelet, the contrast of fabric between the cape and the dress, costs of material for the Fear costume, and further payment!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I have been transferring footage to VHS over the past few days. I have one more complete minidv cassette to transfer. The result will be no less than eight hours of footage thus far!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The New [Scheduling] Dilemma

Bret is out of town April 15th and 16th, possibly the 17th...he is still working the same schedule...Derick and Jes are occupied with their own pursuits, as well as rehearsal for the upcoming production of Peter Pan, which opens on April 21st and runs all weekend for two consecutive weekends...Corey will only be available on the 22nd...April, for the most part, is hell!

April 3rd - Studio Shoot - "Solid"

The shoot was wonderful! I left work at 11am, stopped into that unmentionable corporate retail disease from Bentonville, Arkansas and there I bought paper for a scene that would be captured later in the day. Onward, I drove into Tulsa, stopping at Tally's Cafe for a bite to eat.

At 1pm, I am driving into the TPS parking lot where I call my good friend and colleague, Derick Snow. I arrive before Bret, and Derick and I begin shooting scenes for his first character, "Being". We play with light and some slight variations of the theme, and when we are done, we have finally finished the black background scenes for "Being". We had tried, twice now, to shoot these scenes, only to be interrupted by lack of film or by other considerations such as time. When we were on location at Red Rock Canyon State Park, we went ahead and shot the same scenes at the location. This gave us extra footage and more options than we would normally have.

Once we completed Derick's scenes, we moved on to another scene - the end of the "Identity" chapter. This was an interesting and challenging shoot. The idea was for me to rush into a scene, stop and turn suddenly where hundreds of sheets of paper would hit me all at once. Easy in theory, however, we were rather amused at our first two efforts: a small bundle of paper that dispersed before it even reached me, and the second try resulted in me being pelted by a sizeable brick of paper that did not disperse at all! The final solution was the brainchild of Mr. Derick Snow; he divided the mass into smaller groupings and placed them in between all of his fingers. With both hands full, he delivered them with an underhanded technique, and the paper was released in much the same manner as a shotgun blast. Two takes were taken and the scene is now complete!

Bret arrived and we were able to shoot a minute amount of footage as Derick made his leave and we awaited Conan's arrival. After hearing from Conan and Bret's growling stomach, he [Bret] left to acquire food and to pick up Conan. We engaged the black background scenes for "Awakening". The scenes went well, although Conan' admitted lack of emotion proved challenging. The composite shot where I am startled by the appearance of Awakening's giant, approaching head was achieved with us drawing the blue studio curtain into place, shooting my footage, and then replacing the blue curtain for black once more and shooting Conan, with a torso masked by a black t-shirt, and using a pan/zoom technique.

We opted against shooting the scene requiring me crouched on the floor; the studio floor was carpet and I would rather shoot on the Nightingale's floor. And the scene with the projector would be better suited for the Nightingale, with fog added for effect.


I am growing more and more tired of the "go vote" bullshit...I DO NOT VOTE for a reason!!!!

Do you REALLY think that any politician gives a shit about you?

Do you think that our Mayoral candidates (or Presidential, since that is unfortunately around the corner) care about anything other than themselves, people like themselves or interests that support the aforementioned two?!?!?

When given the poorest of choices, are we actually expected to pick the lesser of two evils?!?!? Just so we can say we voted?

And I have news for people with the idea that I don't have a voice because I choose not to voice does not EVER go away! The choice to vote is not just who to vote for, it is also a choice to vote or not to vote. If I have no confidence in the system or its participants, then I will not support it. Put somebody in front of me worth listening to, and you will see me at the polls! I have every right to speak my mind, and I have every right NOT to vote...both are choices, as I recall, and both are one of my MANY individual liberties!