Monday, October 29, 2007

Moped Bunnies, Accordions and the Zodiac

Sunday I make way for Ballard, trying to find more space for posters. I drive down to 24th (???) and park across from the dry docked "Starlight" and a public pier. I walk to and fro, finding the friendly ear in the usual few and limited places. I do manage to diminish my stock of posters.

I began walking the crosswalk with this cat that begins talking, in a cool way, and he tells me about crossing the street and how short the 'Walk' sign is and how he was harassed by some cop because it turned while he was in the middle of the street. The bunnies were riding mopeds...full, white fluffy suits of people with bunny-eared helmets riding Vespa ripoffs, and their anthem was the Skeet Ulrich impersonator in the French suit playing the accordion. Aside from that, it was any other day.

I always have a hard time judging the right place. Many businesses were closed, some were too busy and full of people, while others give you that 'vibe' of unfriendliness.

I couldn't pass up a chance to stop at the Lock Spot, and so I did. Alas, no beer for me. I did drop a poster, however. I love the locks and it was a magical day for this sea lovin' cat stranded on land! The main lock was brimming full of thirty boats or more, all returning from the sea. There were sailboats, pleasure boats and working boats. One boat captivated everyone's attention more than any of the others: the Zodiac! This beautiful two-masted 132 foot schooner was brilliant, and she stole the show. There must have been over 200 people, watching. When it came time for her Skipper to take her beyond the gates, she floated forward like liquid wind, with all the grace of a wise and aged whale.

My day was over, I was spent, and I had to land. Sigh....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yesterday and Today

I took time off yesterday. Originally, I planned to visit Salumi, and have fine meat products and stand in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain. Instead, I'm broke. My day becomes more of a long and productive day...did I mention long?

First, my visit to the Greenwood Senior Center to pay my rental fee, sign a rental agreement and learn the ropes as far as opening and closing the joint is concerned. Great people!

From there, I mosey down to the U-District, and I meet with Adam from the Advanced Propulsion Labs. If I didn't have enough to do or think about, I'm also designing a personal submersible. I jumped at the opportunity to speak with someone directly about the topic, and I learned a great many things from our conversation. Although my direction is a bit different from his, Adam is a great guy, and he was very patient and informative. I really enjoyed the tour of the Department of Oceanography.

My next stop was 911 Media Center. I really enjoyed the personable nature of both Ian and the staff at 911. I have been to other like establishments and they exhibit that "I'm an artist and I elevate myself above you" attitude, or the "I'm my own little universe" attitude that is unbecoming of artists anywhere. That was missing at 911 Media Center. I was given the tour and they accepted my poster with more enthusiasm than the other place I speak of (I may blog about this at a future date). The facility was more than pleasing, and I have chosen this location as my choice for renting cameras, editing and as an audition space.

I packed up and headed toward Capital Hill. I walked the stretch toward that "other media establishment", and then down to Broadway. I posted where I could and then I found myself around the corner from the Harvard Exit Theater, and one Mr. Karl Krogstad. I phoned, he answered and I was soon climbing five flights of stairs. Per our last conversation, I dubbed my first two short films onto a VHS tape for his viewing, and now I handed that tape to him in person. I left a poster. He gave a phone number of an Aussie with a camera. The Festival will be documented.

I eagerly left Seattle and its unseasonable mid-October heat. I vowed to take the bus in the future.

Today I received a phone call from the cameraman who will document the event. In addition, I had a date to keep.

I met with Hayden at the Green Bean to discuss the Fest and its inner workings. We established the layout, additional artwork placement, the placement of our featured artist, occupancy and noise levels. We even devised a Festival drink! I left shortly after our meeting, and I missed our young Anna by about twenty minutes. She called me while I was driving, so I pulled over and spoke with her. She is excited to be a part of this event, and we are honoured to have her.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Seattle at 7am, the Clipper, Pike Place, an empty Pioneer Square and No Money

I am broke. I am not penniless, but if I was missing "Bohemia", then this is it! It's all a part of the mindset. So, our trips to Victoria have been infrequent as of late. Fae's gal pal Melody came up with the scratch to afford the Clipper, the high-priced and only option for this time of year (I say high-priced, but I guess $50-60 one way is not all that bad!) for Fae, so she could see her friend and make some musical mayhem. I am happy to see Fae able to go, and I wanted nothing more than to accompany her to the ferry terminal.

It was a chilly morning. I took advantage of the situation and brought the essentials of "poster advertising": folder full of posters, stapler, clear tape and provisions. Let me give you a rundown on the postering scene, at least how I see it. In Tulsa, I spent an entire, chilling eve postering telephone poles along 11th Street and parts of Brookside. When I drove by the next day, all of them were gone. We went to a few businesses in Fremont last year, but I decided that I should do more this year. I also decided that posters on telephone polls and the like are not the way to go! I just feel it is a wasted effort that lends itself to polluting the already polluted, and if a business owner agrees to host your poster, then they can more properly dispose of it (hopefully, through recycling!). You can also choose those establishments that support what you do.

After the Clipper IV departed in choppy waters, I began walking back toward Pike Place. I arrived at La Paniere for coffee and a croissant. After my breakfast, I entered Pike Place and the main market area as people were setting up. It was barely after 8am. I maneuvered down into the lower levels, seeing a clean and empty underworld. The thing I like about it most, is that I could totally film scenes down there with no interruption. I brought the old digital camera to take photographs, only the battery doesn't hold its charge anymore and my images were cut short. I found an absence of posters in windows. I found one poster board that had an open slot, so I stapled a poster there.

Upon arriving at the surface again, I went for my favorite salmon piroshky, and wandered about looking for possibilities. You can kind of tell from the looks, the demeanor and the actions of people whether or not they are open to your solicitation. I am not a salesman; I am an artist and a humble soul. I finally decided another cup of java was in order, so I stopped at Local Color. It was there that I learned from a very kind woman that Pike Place has a rule about posters in windows due to its historic stature; fair enough! Despite the conflict of interest (a coffee house displaying a poster of another coffee house venue), she agreed to display the poster in the back. I finished my Americano and left. I decided against posters in any of the zillion Starbuck's locations; I don't even want to be associated with them. My travels took me to Lark in the Morning and Pike Place Brewery. I was very much in need of a pint, yet I refrained and saved my funds; I was surprised that they did not have a place for posters. I moved on down the hall to Lark in the morning, a fun little music store for the folk hipster. I missed Fae's phone call while talking to the owner; he agreed to post the flyer closer to November, and I moved down the hall to a bench to return Fae's call. As I moved toward the end of the hall, I passed the young man from Lark in the Morning step outside and throw something away; I hope it wasn't my poster. Outside, I stapled a poster to the dividing wall of a construction site.

Before I left, I walked a block or two east of the Market, looking for potential targets. I chose Swerve Music and Movies, despite their lack of posters. Although reluctant at first, he not only taped the Festival promotion to the glass, he also took Fae's gig poster for the 26th! I highly recommend checking them out! Check out the information below:

Local Color
1606 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-1717

Lark in the Morning
1411 1st Ave 1401
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 623-3440

Swerve Music & Movies Inc
1535 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 382-6151

I began the walk toward Pioneer Square. I thought I would find more potential here, alas it was not too far removed from the Market. I found Chris from Cuttysark both interested in the Festival and sharing my lament over not being able to attend the Work Boat Show at Lake Union. I searched the Square. I planted a flyer at Elliot Bay Books, Synapse 206 and Utilikilts. The idea is to find like minds and support them. I absolutely love Cuttysark, and I plan on buying a Utilikilt at some point. So, please check out these locations as well:

Cuttysark Nautical Antiques
320 First Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104-2506
(206) 262-1265

Synapse 206 Boutique
206 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 447-7731

Utilikilts Company LLC
Pioneer Square Store
620 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 282-4226

After this, my joints were in pain from the dampness of the rain and the chill; it was becoming difficult to walk. I made the decision to make my way back to Third and Union and thusly back to Bothell.

My future plans involve postering the University District on Tuesday, where I plan to meet an amateur submariner, and then on to Capital Hill. While in Capital Hill, I hope to meet up with Mr. Karl Krogstad, and maybe do a little window shopping at Metro Clothing. My original plans for Salumi have been canceled due to lack of funds.

As the weekend approaches, although I may be working, my plans are to pepper Greenwood, Fremont and Ballard with the last of the posters.

My evening concluded with aspirin and flipping channels between Mythbusters and Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Fae returns tomorrow, and I look forward to the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Five Years, No Tulsa: The Story of the Blue November MicroFilmFest (Abridged)

The more I think about it, this Festival began with taking negative energy and creating something positive. Despite dealing with one ass after another, we did and are still doing a good thing. I am proud to even have the opportunity to reflect on five years.

Many people do not know my reasons for starting a festival. I often mention it in some limited detail, but the truth is, it is much more than the stories I tell. I usually say it is my love for film, and it is. There were also many incidents that occurred as the bad examples I wanted to avoid. As with anything, there was opposition. Then there was the inevitable fact that remains relevant to this very day: Tulsa.

I have to say that I am happy about what was accomplished, and I am very grateful to those who assisted the dream. This is the story of the Blue November MicroFilmFest.

In 2003, I had just finished my first film, a short film, and I was ready to spread my art across the world, if I could. I was very excited. What cost me eleven dollars in the production was accumulating to nearly a hundred dollars worth of film fest entry fees and related expenses; I was not accepted to any of them. I did land a slot in a local festival that October in downtown Tulsa; it was there I would learn the wrong way to do things, what I stood for, and where my disbelief and discontent would mold into what would become my own film festival.

I had shown my support to what little of a cinematic entity we had in Oklahoma. I even attended the Overground, quite possibly the lamest yet most celebrated event in Tulsa. I literally watched integrity disintegrate before my eyes, as teenagers fell off trampolines, blew up trees with fireworks and flushed hot dogs down public toilets; they called it 'film'. There was little or no effort towards showing local artists. I stopped attending. I also supported a larger festival from Muskogee, and even worked side by side with the directors until I began to question their methods. I saw more emphasis being spent on their own personal standing, the misdirection of people's trust and their ethics regarding young women in film. It's hard to do something when you're too busy laying down red carpet and talking about how great you are instead of doing something to truly support the filmmaker.

I'll give you an example. I had just started dating this beautiful girl that would later become my Wife. At the screening of my first film [in October, 2003], she came out to support me with her mother and father, sister and about seven other people, including close friends. My editor was amongst this crowd, and we could finally see our efforts on a large screen for the true cinema experience! Alas, the sound system was not just unsatisfactory, it was unfit. The 'projectionist' didn't care to be there, so he didn't care about sound or the fact that the film began in the middle of the tape! There is a definite beginning and end, and this was anticlimactic at best. After I had him rewind my film, I swore I would never allow this to happen.

I developed a festival for the filmmaker, the auteur, and the director. I created a festival for the film, the musician and the artist, and thus I created a festival for the people. I was and still am not non-profit, which is to say that I do not have the funding which non-profit status provides. Despite this fact, I worked, so many worked to create a festival that was free for the filmmakers to enter, and free for the people to attend. Everyone was paid in fellowship and harmony. We continued on, with lackluster efforts and promises from others, and yet we still prevailed. We brought so many together, and though we had plenty in attendance, we still should have had more. Tulsa ignored its own.

I received decent press for the first couple of years, and when I say decent, I mean 'adequate'. A big "thanks" to Greg and Chuck at Z104.5, The Edge, and can you believe that I was on television all three years? Another "thanks" goes to the local network affiliates that offered their airtime.

Written press was a bit more 'interesting'. The local counter-culture alternative newspaper was poorly managed and too busy supporting itself and that self-absorbed Tulsa agenda to offer any of their time. The main newspaper reported on things that people could buy, sports, conservative politics and its own self-indulgence. John the Reporter showed support the first year, a little less the next year and then he verbally attacked me the last year (2005), when I challenged the press in Tulsa in a mass e-mail, asking "where is your support for the unseen artist?" He couldn't take the time to respond to my question, but he could take the time to be rude and express his opinion. Since, he has done a great job of promoting his own books and the untalented Carrie Underwood, yet he and his newspaper have clearly failed to recognize the hidden artistic treasures that can be found in Tulsa, underneath the pomp and circumstance received by those who are in the spotlight.

Bret kept the Tulsa festival alive one more year, while Fae and I left behind the heartlessness of Tulsa. I have friends who still love it there, and I respect that. As for me, it is a dead town. Moving to Seattle is still opening doors of wonder and amazement.

This year is the fifth year of the smallest, focused film festival, the Blue November MicroFilmFest, and it is our first year completely separated from Tulsa. I took my lessons from the behaviour and failure of those who are still poisoning any chance Oklahoma could have at a film community. I left behind people who are following the coattails of false idols and prophets. This experience led me towards a more enlightened path, and each year I celebrate even more.

I question the ethics of those who boast about their achievements, who speak and who lead when they are misleading those who are too blind to do anything other than follow. I question the dedication of those who claim they are dedicated, when they fail to show respect to those who have given them the gift of their art.

So, to recap this entire essay, avoid anything in Oklahoma that references 'boneheads' or 'a Tulsa Tradition' unless you like throwing your money away...or maybe flushing it down the toilet with a hot dog...or you can give it to me! I'll actually put it to good use.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Music Line-up for the Festival

Unfortunately, Mecca Normal will not be able to attend this year's Festival. We wish them the very best, and look forward to a possible collaboration next year! Their respective films (both Jean's and David's) will appear on the program.

The new music line-up is:

Friday, November 2nd -

John Morse

Static on Trial

Saturday, November 3rd -



Please check these people out! They are amazing and worth your time - support your local musician(s).

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Columbus Day, Bloody Columbus Day

I thought I would remind everyone, on this eve of an unfit "holiday", that this country's entire history began and moved forward, with the rape, murder and annihilation of entire tribes of native peoples. With another bloody holiday around the corner in the form of "Thanksgiving", you should remember this: go hug a Native American and say you're sorry!

Run to the Hills


White man came across the sea
He brought us pain and misery
He killed our tribes, he killed our creed
He took our game for his own need

We fought him hard we fought him well
Out on the plains we gave him hell
But many came too much for cree
Oh will we ever be set free?

Riding through dustclouds and barren wastes
Galloping hard on the plains
Chasing the redskins back to their holes
Fighting them at their own game
Murder for freedom a stab in the back
Women and children and cowards attack

Run to the hills run for your lives
Run to the hills run for your lives

Soldier blue on the barren wastes
Hunting and killing their game
Raping the women and wasting the men
The only good indians are tame
Selling them whisky and taking their gold
Enslaving the young and destroying the old

Run to the hills run for your lives

Helluva Good Day!

So, just as I am lamenting over the lack of substance in this world, particularly art, I get a jolt of the most welcome kind. I had been thinking back to chilly Autumn nights at the Tulsa State Fair, eating corn dogs and walking the sea of lights and sounds, and listening to "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard blast from a nearby ride. In Seattle, I am remembering the sounds of Grunge before the record industry dickheads got a hold of it and ruined it. I'm listening to "Hunger Strike", thinking to myself, "where did all this magic go?"

Through the course of last week, I have been in contact with several different people, converging on yesterday's meeting at Green Bean. There was John Morse, Eric, Rummy and Feleisha, and soon thereafter, Sabine. John is a super talent on acoustic guitar, and he has agreed to play the Fest this year. Eric and Rummy are the duo behind my new favorite band, Ghostship, also on this years bill. Sabine is head of the Essence Dance Company, which is our opening act. Static on Trial (formerly Tragedy Averted) are set to play, and Anna Zaytseva has agreed to exhibit her paintings. I am awaiting word from Mecca Normal as to whether they will be able to attend. Throughout the course of the meeting, my biggest concern was put to rest when my new colleagues offered other potential artist to the table, including Feleisha. The meeting was very successful.

Later that evening, I had the chance to be on the guest list for Ghostships show at the Bit Saloon in Ballard. I immediately felt at home. Many of the metal joints in the Midwest reflect a counterculture, grimy aesthetic that creates an unmistakable atmosphere. Moreover, it is just rock and roll bohemia when it comes down to it. The bar was rough around the edges and one of a kind. Good beer, Elvira pinball machine, makeshift patio, cigarette machines and an 80's pin-up on the bathroom wall rounded out the interior. The place actually had a computer wired for internet, and the computer looked like it was straight out of '93!

I had a blast hanging with new friends and making even more, and I love the Bit! I feel like music IS alive again, in the corner pocket of a Seattle suburb named Ballard.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Less than a month away...

Fae is prepping for the poster and the program, I'm watching movies and networking with musicians and artists, and we have almost everything secured and in place. Yesterday marked one month until we begin.

I wanted to offer a sneak peak into what lies ahead, or what you can look forward to. This year, we have plenty of music and even more possible. Fae returns for what I believe is her third year performing, we gain the bands Tragedy Averted and Ghostship, and other musical performers may include John, and Mecca Normal from Vancouver, BC.

Our artists are still in "negotiations", but we will post this information as soon as we get it.

The films are quite exciting! I am pleased to see the array of creation, and I may have an exhibition piece to display this year. It will be a challenge to fit all of the films I want into the program, but we have additional time with the addition of the Greenwood Senior Center as our alternate Saturday afternoon venue from Noon to 3pm.

We have also secured a 6' by 6' projection screen from Northwest Film Forum. We are adding little things here and there, but we have not lost our focus on being small and focused.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Colorswitch" - Super 8mm - 2005: Post is Complete!

My first Impressionist Film, "Colorswitch", has been completely finished in the final editing stage. I shot the film in early '05, and it has sat for some time, waiting for me and my Vernon 808 [editor] to begin cutting. It took a little under an hour to review, cut and splice the images together. The finished product was then reviewed, and I will watch the entire film again tomorrow before I am one-hundred percent satisfied.

I am using tape splices to secure the cuts, and I cut everything in a linear fashion, meaning I didn't move the images I cut out of sequence. I had shot them, more or less, the way I wanted them to be seen. Certain images did not convey what I wanted, so they were removed and bagged for future reference.

I call this film an Impressionist Film because it is a reflection of what I saw, felt and thought at the given moment I was inspired to create it.

My next task is to have the film cleaned and prepped here in Seattle, and then I will have the reel sent to Texas for transfer. I have decided against any music in this film.

October 23rd

I am taking another paid day from work (I love free time!) to do two things: visit 911 Media Center and to partake of beautiful meaty goodness stuffed in an animal's organ casing. That's right, I'm going to Salumi!

I need to find a space I can rent for the upcoming audition. I think I will have the audition in January or February, now, but I still need the space. 911 Media Center was recommended to me by several people, so I am choosing to support them. In addition to space, I need to view the facilities for editing and equipment rental needs.

Salumi was a local establishment visited by one Anthony Bourdain, a man I have learned to love. I am excited to try many things I have never tried before! Cheers!

Hot Wire Coffee and Model Mayhem

Unless you're one of the wasted inhuman bastards that care little about anyone other than themselves, then don't support Hotwire Coffee.

It's bad enough that so many so-called artists these days are posers. It's also sad to know that in shitholes like Tulsa, Oklahoma, venues actually require a band to pay them to play, and it's even more sad that some untalented puppet like Oklahoma's own Carrie Underwood or Bothell's Blake Whatshisfuckingname (why can't I escape this crap?!?!) receives more attention than the truly talented and overlooked musicians that are honest and true to their music. Another thing that angers when a venue rushes a performer out the door, rudely at that. It was bad enough that the venue was a cyber cafe; it could have been a decent coffee house if it were not for the multiple computers and the help behind the counter.

While sitting in this place I will never visit again, I noticed Miss Quick and Easy, or the young blonde with go-go boots, bleached out hair, a vacant look on her face and an easy-access skirt higher than most people's belt loops. I am always amazed at how people choose to be walking stereotypes.

So this got me to thinking. I recently began using the resource known as Model Mayhem, a website devoted to all things modeling, something I despise greatly. I think it is another form of exploitation, and at the same time, I realize there is an industry with respectable people doing what they love. There's always that Catch-22, eh?

So I have to use all available resources when you create the way I do, and it challenges your ethics at times. How many young girls are out there, right now, who wrap themselves around the idea that their tits and ass are the only thing they have going for them? Do their parents teach them any better? No! Their boyfriends surely don't, the media surely doesn't and the United States of America doesn't! So why would I want to be a part of such a thing? As I said, it is a resource to someone who, by working outside of the box, is limited in said resources. Another thing is that I try not to judge a book by its cover; there are many women who choose a variety of careers involving their bodies, from modeling to exotic dancing (which is a part of a certain counterculture, which I respect), and they are fascinating and respectable people. Who am I to judge, right?

The only reason why I decided to take a look is because Joe Downing, Sid, from my short film "Water from the Mountain" is a part of it, and I also liked the layout of the website. I find it interesting to see the overabundance of starry-eyed young girls wanting to be the next centerfold. It's sad, really. I would hope that they would have more to say for themselves than trying to validate their existence by being desirable, from a purely aesthetic point of view. However, I have been surprised by the number of unique individuals that have a creative flux to their persona that screams above the nature of the modeling industry. Had I not seen these people on this site, I believe that I would not have the opportunity to work with these same people in the future.

If you look in the right places, you find magic and sincerity. The human body is beautiful, and there are so many beautiful women in the world, many of whom do not see it, or they see it through twisted eyes. But if you keep looking, the people you may have overlooked are there doing something a bit different than what you would prefer, but they are there.