Thursday, December 28, 2006

Solid Film Shoot - On Location in Tulsa

With the move, job hunting and reintegration into the "work force", not to mention the establishment of MicroFilmFest Seattle, I have been rather busy! This means my beloved debut into the realm of feature length cinema has been on involuntary sabbatical. As the approach of our Tulsa trip came near, I took advantage of the situation, whereas a formerly incomplete scene would find its way.

I made this film for myself and my imagination, first and foremost. So critics, as usual, be damned! In that spirit, I decided to take another step towards where criticism may lie (such as the criticism I received for casting friends and untrained actors in my first two short films), and I cast both of my parents in two small roles. I am proud to have them in what will be my first feature film.

I tried, before our Seattle exodus, to shoot at a children's theater in Tulsa. I had supported this place many a time, and it was perfect for my needs. I called and called, finally gaining an audience. A request was made for a copy of my script, so I raced toward downtown and barely made it, delivered my script and then I waited. The time came near, and I received no follow up. The time drew even closer, and so I tried to answer. Eventually, it was too late. I had to abandon the attempt.

Fast-forward to last week...I am at work on my fifteen minute break, and I call Circle Cinema. Within mere minutes alone, I have an interested party, a date, approval and a location. The next step is to contact Bret, so that a camera may be present for the shoot! I have a back-up plan in place, should Bret be out of pocket: Derick Snow, and his television connections. Aside from that, I would be seriously screwed.

Luckily, Bret makes contact.

This is where I put words into action, having criticized a member of the OMM Group for supporting the corporate bastards at Wally Mart, and buying second-rate Halloween make-up as opposed to buying quality product from a knowledgeable staff at local, small business Top Hat Magic and Costumes. So, the situation is this: my Father is sixty-one years of age, and looks barely over forty! I need him to look much older since he is the older representation of my character [in the film]. The solution utilizes Fae's theatrical make-up talents, as she applies lines and contrast to his features, as well as graying his hair.

While Fae performs magic, I set up the camera on a weak and borrowed tripod, and shoot some establishing shots. Earlier that morning, I had to acquire a Professional Grade MiniDV tape from Video Revolution; they are not consistent in their knowledge, and they are not always the most organized, but if you know what you are looking for, then they are great. Otherwise, their eyes only light up when you're looking for a $5000 plasma-screen TV or home theater system, or so it would seem.

My Dad enters the theater and we begin. The scene is simple, and it was further simplified by myself, prior to shooting. I knew what I wanted and I shot on-the-fly accordingly. My Father was perfect! He listened well, performed even better, and was very patient as we ran through multiple takes and angles. I finished the shoot with additional background shots, and further takes of my initial entrance into the theater.

We had to wait for Clark to arrive, so we detoured to Tally's for breakfast. Once we returned, the location release was signed, and we supported the theater by buying t-shirts.

In additional "Solid" news, I acquired the location release from the owner of Fogue & Bates and Cafe Cubana, the latter being the location for part of the Chapter entitled "Awakening".

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

$$$ vs. Art

I just received an e-mail update from Nikki Sixx...I recently tried to update my IMDB page, and I just finished watching "American Movie". These things are combining in my mind, fortifying the assault wave for even more revelations in this systemic chaos controlled within - the storm bleedeth dry. I am moving...

My mind is in motion. I am an observer. I observe people, though most people think I may be staring, gawking or just plain stalking, I am merely observing. I observe surroundings, actions and consequences...I am aware of it all.

In recent episodes of myself in the 'everyday', I noticed myself writing text to my actions and behavior in response to those around me, as if I were writing the book around myself.

Yet, today, I bring you this: we are not here for integrity or knowledge or even wisdom, we are here for bloody fucking $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! No news here, of course, and I have been down this road many times and I have written the same message, many times. The Oklahoma Film Group promotes Wal Mart bargain bins instead of supporting their local knowledge base, such as Top Hat Costumes and Gifts. The city of Tulsa awards a chain as its "BEST" while decapitating the money-mongers primary competition, the small business owner...yes, we've been through that before! In fact...I get sick and fucking tired of talking about it.

The new development is in the artists and art groups themselves. Let's start with Nikki. The website sells all of the memorabilia from the tour, the Nikki's choker, buy the tour book, buy this lock of hair! IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) is not any different, although, upsetting to say the least. Fifty-four dollars to share your picture and resume, another thirty or forty dollars to upload a poster to your film's page...take, take, take. I can understand a film forum or group having membership dues and such, but there are ads on IMDB, so why does it have to cost at every turn? Fifteen twenty bucks...okay! I'd do that. I am angered and driven to action, once again.

"American Movie" was absolutely one of the most amazing documentaries I've seen in some time, and "Coven" was great. I use to see amazing shorts such as that, and I miss that; it was a much-missed breath of fresh air. The only thing that made me sad, was his (Mark's) longing for that 'American Dream', and the house with the car and the money. I miss Bohemia. I miss HIS existence! I miss the ragged metal and smoky bar underground, man! I look forward, not to wealth and luxury, but the state of being laid back and cool. The 'American Dream' is stepping on the is what keeps people like him held is what keeps the rich thriving in a country that is so fortunate, that every man, and especially woman and child should be fed and cared for medically; we should not have any homeless, and yet we do. We should not have sick and dying, but we do.

If you run yourself down to the bone, and people witness, then there is the doesn..t matter if you are paid or compensated, so long as someone is there to witness. We should not have people work so hard for their dreams only to be ignored...but we do.

"Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies..."