Monday, April 30, 2007

Set Into Motion

I am sitting here watching MySpace filmmakers from Seattle, trying to find potential colleagues and inspiration. I want to believe in a community, or at least a basis for common ground, and I am happy to be finding a shred of creative vision in the air, or, on the Net.

Today was better than the last three days of last week, the workweek. I am on the move, and I have my tasks laid out before me. I begin my phone calls.

I didn’t receive a first break, so at lunch, I eat and then I open the files. I begin by calling Kodak; I have not called them in some time, and it feels good to do so. Hoping to find a stash of the now discontinued Kodachrome 40, I am disappointed to find that is completely gone. On the other hand, the black and white reversal stock has gone down in price to $10.59 per roll, and the new Ektachrome 64T is only $14.00.

The next phone call…Dwayne’s Photo Lab in Parsons, Kansas. They process Kodachrome, and after a brief conversation, I discover they still do. They, too, are without K40, but they sell the new stock and they process it. For those of you who are new to this new stock, it uses Kodak’s E6 processing, which is used primarily for slide film.

I call Cinevic in Victoria, BC for my third call, and I have a wonderful conversation with Mark. It appears that I can, indeed, rent the Panasonic DVX100 from them for $100 per day. Although, filming the scene I want may take some clever production, or it will cost me $700 worth of insurance and permits.

I leave work at the usual time. I’m happy to be free, and I make my way North, toward downtown Bothell. As I am waiting for Fae, I make another phone call from the parked Buick. This time, I’m on the phone with Nicole of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. Pullman is one of my choices for “Asphalt Canvas”, after I discovered the area from the Washington State Tourism Guide that I purchased for the very reason of location scouting. Her information was informative, and I was very happy to discover that one of the nearby towns, Palouse, is where one of my favorite film scenes occurred, that of the opening of the movie “Toys”, which I just ordered online.

Tomorrow…I order film!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Decompression of the Soul...and Taffeta

I am looking at possible rentals for the Panasonic DVX100 in Victoria, BC. I have a few ideas for “Solid”, and there are several location possibilities in and around that city.

My light meter seems to be working, which is good. I bought it from a camera store that closed near 18th and Boston in Tulsa…paid only fifteen bucks for it. I have another Kalimar on the way from California; I won it on ebay for four dollars.

I dubbed my short films onto VHS today for Karl. I added “asc” and “History”, the two cinema pieces of Fae’s design. I am putting together another video compilation for the local newspaper film critic, as I prepare the press release for the June 22nd film screening at the Green Bean Coffeehouse.

Fae and I went to Lynnwood yesterday for coffee, forty-nine cent cassettes and stationery supplies. I spotted a fabric store across the way, and we spent a good hour and a half sifting through reams of fabric. I am still searching for my harlequin fabric for “Asphalt Canvas”. My mood was less than average; I always try to maintain my uniform state of natural bliss. The last few days of the workweek treaded heavily down, and I was unable to recover quickly. And now I am walking through colors, impressed upon fabric, and my childhood returns in an echo of color and memory…my sensibilities offer unto me a new offering, and there, in a chain fabric store, I find a bliss that only I could see.

It offers me ideas…for a new film, ideas on current things and now I have the desire to return to my eccentric fashionable roots, the kind of fashion that makes most people cringe, and I desire to make my own clothing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The New Short Film: Kurosawa Foundation

I have finished writing the script for this as-yet-untitled short film. It will be a combination of black and white as well as color Super 8mm reversal stock. I am unsure as to whether Kodachrome has been entirely extinguished. It may be interesting, but this could be my first use of the new Ektachrome 64T.

In this film, I plan on using some of the actors who have already responded to my unofficial call-for-entries for the feature "Asphalt Canvas". The film will star Fae as a representation of Mother Earth. For those of you unfamiliar with Mother Earth, she is the one being killed by Conservatives in Congress who think Global Warming is just a "hoax".

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Kurosawa Short Film

Still listening to 3121...that's where that purple party people be...3121. Now I'm listening to Slow, Deep and Hard, the first album from Type O Negative. My Danzig CD should be arriving soon...

On a recent trip to Uwajimaya, I found an index card for a film short contest from the Kurosawa Foundation. I am still trying to watch a number of his films that I have yet to see, but if you don't know who he is, at least, then start learning! At any rate, this contest focuses on various aspects of human life in the span of ten minutes, and it is due on or before June 30th! That gives me about two months to shoot, edit, transfer and master said film.

With that said, I have a vision! My concept involves the idea of tears and the caring of Mother Earth. I hope to employ possible candidates from the casting pool of Asphalt Canvas, the music and artwork of Fae, and the scenery of Victoria and Seattle both.

In other related news, I have spoken with Bret and we are finalizinf many aspects of Solid, in order to decide on the final shoot. I have attended my first class at the Northwest Film Forum on Super 8 Transfer.

The script is nearly complete for the new short film, and depending on the budget, I am considering an old friend for a role in the new feature...if it takes flight!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hi, I'm Chris Robinson.

...fae, at a gig with a microphone rep in a music, at the's celebrity night, and I'm it...evidently I'm Chris Robinson, of the Black Crowed, formerly known as Blessed Chloroform...I need a Kate is across the street and I'm eyeing the liquor like a hungry new best friend thinks I sing for a living...he is drunk, and on medication...a dental thing, I am told...he offers me Vicodin...pills and booze...might be a good night any other night, but I'm hot and tired and in need of air, wait...I am now immortalized digitally as a photograph in his cell phone...third one was the charm...he's happy...I leave...sorry, autograph from this pseudocelebrity rock star...peace...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prejudice and Fear in American Ethics

Virginia Tech…it's all over the news, and of course the media and the American public sensationalize the aftermath. I'm in the break room at work and some asshole walks in and declares "the shooter was a young Asian kid"...what fucking difference does it make?!?!? Age or race are not an issue...and people are dead! Let's divert the issue by pointing fingers at a minority and an age group...I'll give it three hours before they bring video games and Marilyn Manson into it all.

It should be taken into account that so-called respectable Caucasian males are capable of the same thing, and commit the act far more often than any minority. In America, they are called Conservatives, and they are overpaid.

Northwest Film Forum - Super 8 Transfer

...I made my first journey into the inner workings of Seattle's film scene...modest, yet significant... work at 3:30, drive toward Bothell and meet Fae...a quick hello, order some adequate teriyaki and gyoza, and then part ways for our respective buses...I am eating my dinner in rapid fashion as the local fuzz drives by giving me that "long hair, parked in a car must be up to no good" look...I gave him "fuck off, I'm eating" look and managed to finish my dinner before checking my gear and walking up to the bus stop...

...the usual suspects on the bus...people from all walks of life, the hurried drivers going home with only one person in the car, people fading with the daylight as others come alive, the go-go baristas at Best Friends Espresso in Kenmore are leaning over the counter in their short skirts to give the passers-by a show, and the bus winds well into the evening...

...I stop at 2nd and Seneca, walk, and then catch the 10 to Capital Hill...I stop at 12th and Pine just before 6, walk South past the Police Station, and into the front door of NWFF... is a very DIY place...the walls have a hope of color, but the place seems drab...many movies are shown there, and I am anxious to acquire my membership so I can become more active...I will be able to use facilities and equipment, here, and I can do so in the evenings and weekends...

...I meet Ron while waiting, and I forgot to make an appointment, but Dave, the instructor, allows me to, I pay my $35 and I am one of six people, five guys and one girl, and one of two Super 8 filmmakers...the device was built by the staff, and it is basically an optical printer with a regular 16mm gate and a Super 8 old rheostat and lamp house take care of the light...the image is advanced and captured (on a G4 Mac) by way of a custom-built sequencer made from a Commodore 64 and a 'clicker'...the process was pretty straight forward, but it was nice to see it anyhow...I can now use this equipment for $5 an hour...the only drawback is the transfer time of 2 minutes per hour...this means this will be for short films only...

...I look forward to using the facilities, and being able to venture downtown again...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Helicopter Aint Cheap

"Asphalt Canvas"...research continues...scouting missions to be had...unofficial casting going as planned...actual audition later this year...

I make films for very little money. That is the fact that many people may not understand. For the production of "Solid", I will be surprised if we break the five hundred dollar mark. You don't need a great deal of money to make a film...unless you want an overhead shot of a rural highway from several hundred feet in the air!

For this new film, I may spend up to a thousand or maybe even two, considering that I may have to purchase a vehicle for the shoot. Otherwise, it's film stock and developing...and food. The simple overhead shot that may take up a single minute in the entire film is going to cost me $3400. This is more than what I would spend on the entire film! It's either this or do without it. I don't have credit cards, and even if I did, I would not want to be in the situation of being in debt again. If I can do without the scene, then I will...if I can't, then I guess I'm saving my pennies!

Grindhouse and Sake

...saturday...jade garden + gary + fae + the captain = dim sum...catch a bus to the cinerama, a cool fuckin' theater...cinerama + three hours = grindhouse...

...curved screen...reclining blood-red plush seating...starlit ceiling...70's film vibe...covert drinking of a miniature bottle of sake...fucking awesome movie...chevy doesn't get any better...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ninety Percent of All Children Have Been Bullied - Thanks Conservative/Religious Testosterone-driven America!

I saw a recent article that stated over ninety percent of all children in school at some time or another have been bullied. Let us think back to that day in Columbine, when two kids were pushed too far and did the unthinkable...wait a fuckin' minute! Unthinkable?!?! What they did was far from right, but what is so unthinkable about a person being pushed and pushed and pushed to the limit, forcing them, especially if they are unstable, to act?!?!?! The jocks and the coaches played it off like they did nothing..."no...we didn't push them around!" Bull-fucking-shit!!! I was in high school. The only thing worse than the jocks are the coaches! Our religious conservative state of America dictates that men are strong and men rule, by force! If you are in doubt, look at our current foreign policy. Only the strong survive, right? Then when someone is pushed to the limits, and they act, it's the fault of the closest scapegoat - Marilyn Manson, movies, or video games. At least that's what the Bible Bangers let me explain this to you!

Listening to music doesn't make me violent, or angry, or depressed. It calms me, and it makes me happy. If you have someone in my face, pushing me around or hitting me...that makes me want to beat the shit of them! Do the math!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Asphalt Canvas"

I am creating monsters...

...I am my old self, tired and mad, but I am myself and that gives me the energy I need to manifest the demons of creativity. As I near the end of one cycle, a new one is beginning.

"Solid" is a few scenes away. The dilemma is that I have so many notes from so many variations to the script, interpretations if you will, that occurred during the course of shooting. I am toying with the idea of shooting in Victoria, BC as well as Seattle. The scenes are few, but the real challenge is to refine everything to the point that it will have the desired impact.

And now...we enter a new stage! I have reworked a few ideas on an older feature film script, and I am currently researching material for a film with the working title "Asphalt Canvas". This will be a Super 8 production from start to finish, it will be by-the-seat-of-the-pants all the way and it will feature an array of local (Tulsa and Seattle) unknown bands on the soundtrack, perhaps with a composer for the score. It will be a film of social and political importance, as well as being a kick-ass car movie! As I said, I am researching several different things right now, I'm trying to do some scouting and casting, and I plan to hold auditions in the months to come.

I am loosed upon frames, melting with the emulsion...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Solid" - Finishing a Feature Film

As I prepare to begin anew on another quest for the cinematic process, I must not forget the unfinished, "Solid", and my potential feature film debut. It had begun with a properly planned and well-executed shoot in November of '05, and the attempt at recreating the same scenario often failed. This is the reason that filmmakers like myself are a unique breed, and when other filmmakers want to clarify themselves as said "filmmakers" by talking through their ego about shot lists and production assistants and budgets and incentives and such, I just have to curl a smile and look them in the eye, shake my head and walk away - they have no idea!

The shoot is almost complete, about eighty-five percent complete I would say. We shot, on and off, for the next year leading up to just two days prior to our departure to Washington State. Another shoot did not take place until December of '06, when I shot the "Theater" scenes at Circle Cinema in Tulsa, during our X-Mas return.

Now, I have the drive and the platform for a unique film, and I am growing accustomed to what the Northwest has to offer. And, as I go forward, "Solid" becomes even more important.

I have to review the script, reacquaint myself, and decide if I will reshoot any scenes I didn't like or that I left out. Many people don't understand the balance between having a vision and applying said vision. Sometimes we have to alter the scene due to circumstance, or leave one out altogether. As long as we weigh the value of these sections of the story, and they can be altered or removed without detracting from the storyline, then we have options. These options save time and money.

So I am here, reading through a script I have not seen in about six months, and I continue to attempt the creation of magic!