Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mid-Week Review of the "Solid" Film Shoot

After completing the footage for Mother, I discussed the next opportunity for the Chapter of Memory with Derick. We decided on the early morn of June 10th. Paulette has returned from California, and we spoke about the length of the tunic which will become the character of Fear. The costume is to be fitted for someone about my height, although I don't know who will fill this role as of yet. I wanted Fear to be menacing, so I needed someone with my build at the very least. I was finally able to reach Toni Alley of the Spotlight Theater. After discussing the film and the possibility of a shoot, I agreed to offer advertisement for the theater in the credits, and I will provide her with a copy of the script for her review. Finally, I tried once more to contact James George to establish this Sunday's shoot at Cafe Cubana. We are, however, set for the studio shoot on Monday, where we will complete scenes with Conan, Corey, and Derick, as well as the sequences for the trailer.

Changes: Leaving Tulsa Behind, and Choosing Worthwhile People

Events are in motion that will carry Fae and I away from the greed and indifference, the belligerence, arrogance and the conservative fools that shape this capitalistic consumer environment known as Tulsa. There, we will be able to breathe.

I thought that, on more than one occasion, I might leave with another, unworthy person. Then again, my past relationships were never of any considerable value, as it were. I have wanted to leave this place, never belonging, for some time. I knew that one day I would leave, of my own accord, or with someone who truly matters.

Fae and I have struggled with the weight of the American debt dream. We have struggled with low spirits created by the dead in a city ripe with the pollution of its own people and the consequence of those people. People come to Tulsa to die, not literally in body, but in spirit. It is cheap to live here, and every obese, rude and lazy individual can afford their ozone-choking SUV's, their video games and fast food, or whatever their apathetic teenager wants.

Our world is changing...Seattle is on the horizon...Canada is right next door...the spirit awakens, good friends await and new horizons grotesquely unfamiliar to those who live in a "box".

In this age of change, I see the insignificance of people once again. I have tried to find decency, relevance and substance; instead, I find the very same reason Tulsa is worthless and unimportant, and why Oklahoma is the same...

...people here, actually think that Carrie Underwood is the greatest talent to rise from Oklahoma soil. The fact is, she is a talentless puppet of the entertainment media, brought to life by a television show that preys on the ignorant and mindless American consumer. She is shaped and molded into a money-making enterprise that, like Britney, will be washed into oblivion by next year. This troubles me greatly, since I can show you greater, unseen talent right here in everyone's backyard, that Oklahomans and Tulsans will never see...these artists have a soul, which is something Tulsa does not understand....

...a sea of Dodge trucks push and shove their way around mature and respectful motorists, and there answer would be "yes, I do own the road" asshole, you don't...

...teen girls can not seem to find an identity...I have stressed this issue on more than one occasion, and it is the only logical course: you are an television, magazine covers and your boyfriend are not the standard by which you should live...clothes are aesthetics, not a way of life...if you have to lose weight to attract the opposite sex, with the exception of obesity, then you really don't need him...augmenting your body to the point that you resemble plastic, means you need to change the way you look at yourself...if you have to sell your body by revealing most of it, this means you need to change the way you look at yourself...and for bloody sake, how many more blonde, tan, doe-eyed, giggling and half-naked bimbo fucking teens do we need in this world?!?!?!?!? At present, the population has rivaled China...have some fucking originality!!!!!!!!!!!

I see people in the film community that are good people, and then I see the pretentious, the opinionated fools and those who are causing injury to the very fabric that others have woven. filmmaker chooses to make immature remarks at another's expense, and he does so in a forum for the advance of others in the filmmaking realm...

...there are film festivals that do more injury than good, more insult than encouragement, and people are either indifferent or blind to this; that is why Oklahoma never achieves the status of the significant... festival portrays crude adolescent humor over anything artistic, and the other celebrates soft porn directors, or people with distribution, over accomplished artists...

...people are taking chances with those who are trying to be a part of an acting community; those who are trying, are at the mercy of sick people who are more interested in nudity, vulgarity and a lack of safety than with advancing the scene in their home state, which is their alleged mission...

...I see words without action...

I continue to see fewer people of notable value, so I have moved in an alternate direction, and now, the path is set. Fae and I are traveling to places where the magic happens, to where support exists in a tangible community. People will be left behind.

The amusing thing is, those I speak of will never see or understand my words. Their pride is larger than their abilities, and they will always remain here.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Fae, Mother and the Phoenix

I had planned to accomplish two Chapters today...alas, only one. The day was very productive, and we all obtained another notch in this movie's belt, and we did so with a professional work ethic and the fellowship of friends.

We left a little later than expected, which we always do! The car was packed, costumes adorned or stowed...batteries charged. Our journey was an hour and forty minutes away: Pawhuska and the Tallgrass Prairie.

As we made our way through the sleepy town, the Prairie gradually appeared and I began searching for the exact spot we would shoot. As we slowed to a stop alongside the road's edge, the reality of our location became apparent. Originally, I had seen this place during Winter. You could easily walk about the Prairie without any worries. Now, the grass was full and by all accounts, potentially snake filled! I will never put my crew or cast in harm's way, so I, once again, had to be creative.

We surveyed the edge of the grass near the road. This appeared safe enough, and we composed our shots in this manner: the shot was framed from above the ankle and up, the edge of the road and the ditch leading to the road was even further below the bottom most part of the scene, the camera was positioned about torso to waist level and the hills (where I had hoped to shoot) were positioned, along with sky, in the background.

The first character was Mother. Fae adorned a renaissance outfit, complete with skirt and a cloak that covered most of her face. Since we already knew that we did not have the time for Memory, we put the entirety of our effort into this one location.

Fae questioned the Celtic element in her costume, and how it fit into everything. I often confuse people with ideas such as this...the answer is part "I don't know" and part "it has meaning". Most people do not understand my mind. I see things very clearly, or at least I have definite impression of what I see. In regards to this particular instance, I believe it has vague meaning, and concrete meaning. I like the visual, for the most part. Another point of view is that the Celtic and Pagan history are rich with folklore of strong relevant women, a culture that recognizes the significance of a Mother. Unlike most of the people you will encounter in any creative process, you do not have to be concrete if you do not wish it!

I directed the scene quickly, due to the heat and the nature of the unbreathable fabrics being worn. I changed the procession, but the core of the scene remained consistent to the script.

Next we shot one scene, the first, in which the Phoenix came to life!

The wind was ferocious, and we were interrupted by the dust from truck after truck.

Finally, we shot the actual beginning scene of Awareness, just before I begin to walk toward the abandoned gas station.

We finished at Eleven, and we departed for Tulsa. After Fae was off to work, I scouted parks throughout the city. I stopped and walked about Woodward, and created a scene in my mind for my Mother's character in the Chapter of Awakening.

I met with Derick and Jes once more. We shot footage of the two of them, playing in a park. This will be one of the memories played on the television screen in that Chapter.

"Plastic Memorial"

Plastic flowers
strewn across cold ground
where the dead can not feel
and we care so little
that the Nation creates a day that forces us to remember
shed a tear
once a year
then your conscience
will be clear
the dead don't remember
or care
about your plastic memorial
your fake offerings
a wreath bought with hollow intent
at discount prices
the dead don't remember
the spirit
standing behind you
it remembers
watching your false display
until next year.

Copyright 2002-6 Captain Adam Shea Chambers

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Conan and the Puzzle

I have spoken with the owner of Cafe Cubana about shooting a scene in said establishment. Although the actual shoot is not set, I did take the initiative to complete one element required for that scene.

I met Conan at the cafe, digital camera in hand, and I set up the scene, against the wall with a table and chair, the way I wanted it to appear. This scene finds Adam in the cafe, where he finds this table and sits. He notices scattered puzzle pieces everywhere on the table. As he assembles each piece, the picture becomes clear, until he sees the picture of himself at that very same table...with an unusual character standing right behind him!

We established the shot, I set the timer and I took four photographs. I carefully placed two elements on the table that will be seen at the end of the film. There is a definite element of color in this film.

Walgreens will be able to transform my picture into the finished puzzle.

We were done in five minutes. I parted ways with Conan, and rushed down to meet Fae for lunch.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another Meeting

I met this last week, with Bret, Derick and Jes, to discuss the current situation of the film. We are in a very good situation considering the state and nature of events, as they are. My new schedule gives us a realistic outlook on the task ahead, while allowing for flexibility.

We met at the usual Starbuck's on 71st near Riverside. Bret has had so many misfortunes as of late, and today was no exception. Although, many new developments have opened doors in the optimistic spectrum, Bret was informed of new trouble brewing on the horizon, and his visit was cut short. I was able to offer him a script revision, and inform him of the new plans.

As Bret left, Derick and Jes arrived. I was able to speak with them about the same situation.

As of the middle of this last week, I have updated my Working Script, and I have created the Remaining Script. The latter is the remaining segments we have left to complete, with any black background studio shots emphasized in bold. Out of a fifty-seven page script, an astonishing thirty-five pages remain! It seems worse than it actually is. This new schedule and the urgency that follows it will carry us through. I have Derick's commitment as cinematographer, Jes' assistance on all levels, and the greatest film professionals, the likes of which Oklahoma film will never know, or understand.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Serious Events to Take Place: Knuckling Down and Making Plans with Derick Snow

Established as of now...the proposed warp date is now Sunday, June 11th, 2006.

After Mayfest, Fae and I joined Derick and Jes at the coolest coffeehouse in Tulsa, Saffron at the 11th and Harvard area. We sipped iced coffee drinks amidst music and a complete lack of drama. The reason for our meeting was simple: the film!

Bret is still unable to pursue much of his cinematography duties due to scheduling and personal issues, so that is where Derick has come in. I want and need this film's completion. With recent events, our exodus from the confines of Tulsa Hell may soon be over. I wanted to make plans and set things in motion, acquire dates and from that, make my schedule. Once again, Derick will act and become D.P. for portions of the film.

My new goal for Sunday evening? Write that schedule.

Late Afternoon on a Saturday: Final Fitting of the Phoenix

With Paulette leaving next week for California, I had established a couple of dates for the final fitting and delivery of the Phoenix costume. These dates, of course, have changed; they are: the final fitting was changed from yesterday, Friday, to today, and the delivery of the costume will be next Tuesday, the 23rd instead of Monday, the 22nd.

The Fear costume will wait until her return.

Fae and I drove mere minutes from our home to the TCC South Campus and to the Costume Shop. The dress portion is nearly complete and is currently in two pieces. Final fitting took place, whereas Fae asked questions and discussed things of a theatrical nature, from one theater pro to another. The skirt had to be slipped, carefully, over her head and the top was easily positioned over her front and secured by pins. I documented the progress with photographs.

The design is amazing, the craftsmanship is amazing and thus the visual of the Phoenix in this film...will be amazing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mayfest, Tony Romanello Rocks and the Popularity of the Stupid and the Absurd in Today's Youth

Saturday, May 20th

Fae and I attended Mayfest this evening with one goal in mind, and that was to see Tony Romanello perform for the first time since the break up of the original band. Tony also performed last night at Mercury Lounge, but we had to miss that show. Tony is this amazing cat, and seeing him on stage again was incredible. The line-up included a new rhythm section, Phillip Zoellner on Keys, and Andy Callis returning to rhythm guitar! Aside from the unbearable swelter of the Summer upon us, we had a great time!

Mayfest appeared to be in different form. An event that is supposedly a forum of art and community, lacked local artists for years. Slowly, they incorporated more local music acts, still, local artists were void from the exhibition. I was glad to hear that my good friend Neil Cluck had a tent on display. I guess they finally listened.

I discovered why art suffers in Tulsa. This evening, I discovered why. Tony is and always has been an artist, amazing musician with both skill and soul, a great person and a performer. Yet the crowds stayed in their seats.

The next band set-up on stage, two guys with microphones and one guy on Keys...they began their set, and before they even began, a crowd was forming near the stage, a crowd of modern "hip" youth types. The band began...imagine bad karaoke, imagine bastardized Atari new wave nerd, let's not imagine any further, this band sucked! The vocals were horrible, they were singing over melodies that were very familiar, it was unoriginal, absurd and stupid. Jumpsuits and hats with fuzzy animals, musical orchestration so blinding simple that the keyboardist just stood there...this is what made this band! The sad part? The crowd continued to grow. The so-called "hip" youth of the moment were dancing away like they had found their soul-touching musical messiahs, and they paid reverence to virtual pseudomusical idiots that reeked of their lack of talent. For those of you who have the audacity to tell me that they are tapping into that notion of knowing the audience or knowing the market, let me kindly remind you of Britney Spears and the other untalented musical insults that are marketable. The formula is this: stupid gimmick + regurgitated danceable 4/4 time beat + tapping into an older or retro sound and/or musical style = dozens, if not hundreds of ignorant Tulsa teens dancing to their ridiculous concept of "cool".

The talented and rich of heart and soul are passed by the trend of established mindlessness. Tony Romanello deserved the respect of a formidable audience...only, none was to be found.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Progression of Blue November Creations

This week has seen the establishment of the Blue November Creations MySpace Film Page, and the beginning of my film listings on the Internet Movie DataBase.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Shooting Scenes That Are Nowhere in the Script

Bret and I met at 71st and Lewis, on a day that reminded me of the trip Fae and I took to Colorado. I had little sleep the night before, and the light weighed heavy on my eyes.

We proceeded to 61st and Memorial. In a shopping center there, I pointed out a sublevel courtyard I found years ago. It is a place I wanted to utilize for a scifi film of some sort. It is unused, almost abandoned and out of sight.

Bret and I set up a shot near and on the stairwell leading down to the courtyard itself. On the spot, I created a doppleganger sequence, whereas I see myself, at the top of the stairs, staring down at me as I stand at the base of the stairs. We achieved a breathtaking shot of me at the top of the stairs, the buildings and structures framed perfectly on either side and the deep blue cloud-laden sky in the central background. One of my favorite cinematic techniques is to capture simple and natural movement in the surroundings at hand, such as clouds.

I also told Bret, that I wanted to employ a whip zoom effect, much like the technique used in many television shows and films of the Sixties and Seventies. Switching the camera zoom to Manual from Servo, we achieved just that!

Our next stop was the abandoned mall. The Food Court contained many interesting elements that created some fascinating shots...mirrors and water, Adam sitting alone at a room full of empty tables, walking the abandoned corridor...each scene offering a different insight into the journey of this character.

One scene involved Bret descending in an elevator, a poor man's [camera] crane if you will. As he performed the same scene in reverse, thus ascending, the elevator began to grind and shake violently. Bret left the ailing lift car in a hurry, and that was the last take we took!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Mall: A Scouting Day

While Fae is away in Victoria, I have been taking a leisurely stroll through the old Tulsa scene, visiting places I have not seen for some time. Since I am in the market for a good pair of boots, combat or western, I stopped in an army surplus store, a thrift store and Drysdale's. Another place I have not seen for a few years is an old mall in East Tulsa. It has declined tremendously over the years, and its current state is a site to behold.

The escalators have stopped, although the fountain is still running. Every shop, save for three or four, are closed and vacant. The major department stores are gone, and the halls are empty, with the exception of a few mall walkers. No security, no personnel.

Ideas are forming, as the film reels turn in my mind...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

On the Threshold: Meeting with Bret

Bret is not having a good day. In fact, his bad days have been multiplying. I scheduled some time off, Monday and Tuesday - two weeks in a row, so we could get together and shoot. He is off on those days, so I thought we would have some potential for progress. Unfortunately, this is not to be.

I did manage to sit down with my weary friend and discuss our situation. It was good to see my friend, and we discussed what we could accomplish.

Sometimes, all you can do is to simply do what you can!

We decided to make use of next Tuesday afternoon. That is all we can do!

Monday, May 08, 2006

North Yale Auto Salvage

I have always held a special corner in my inner self, a love for junk yards. I have many exciting visuals that continue to run through my imagination and daydream playgrounds. Visiting such a place for this film brought much joy into my day.

I had scouted this location almost a year ago. I contacted the owner and spoke with him about the possibility of shooting the scene for Identity. He seemed open to the idea then, and he seemed equally open the thought of it as I regained the line of communication. I set up a date, and today, I drove North on Highway 75 to meet with him.

He was quite busy. I was allowed to roam about, freely, and so I did. I brought the digital camera and I proceeded to document different angles and points of interest while dodging goats and deep rain puddles.

Although I really wanted more stacks of automobiles to walk between, I found a few areas that will work for the scene.

The problem factors for this shoot will be power for our lights, flying insects and weather. I may have to acquire a generator and several hundred feet of extension cord. The lights will attract every flying nuisance imagined, and if we can escape the rain for awhile, we will escape the knee-high puddles of water.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ending the Week and Beginning Anew

This past Monday, I met Paulette at the TCC Costume Shop. Amidst headless wigs, wall-to-wall costumes and anime soundtracks, I saw the magnitude of the Phoenix costume in its infancy. I cannot believe that she has spent only $170 thus far. We had set the cap at $200, and she has done remarkably well. The misfortune here is that I cannot pay her sufficiently for her work, so I will recommend her highly, yet not for that reason alone. Her work is exceptional! She is patient with me, and she listens well. Her ideas are as valuable as her skills with fabric. Now, I am faced with the fact that the Phoenix has very little screen time for such a costume; my goal is to expand and correct that mistake. This is where you need to be careful! Giving an element screen time for the sake of giving said element screen time is incorrect and done much to often. I want to create a legitimate reason for this character to be present, and at the same time, have fun with it as well. One idea I have already, is to have the Phoenix in the Chapter divisions on screen, meaning, I plan to have the titles of all the Chapters, from the script, as text on screen, and the Phoenix will be in the shot as well. Another idea involves a speaking role. The Phoenix, has greater purpose...