Monday, January 28, 2008

Proof of Accomplishment

I witnessed "Once" this evening, a film on the fringe of brilliant and equally exciting. It was all in the approach: no "actors", no excessive budget, loosely directed and produced, and a script that reads more like a guide than a set parameter. The behind-the-scenes was remarkable. I do, truly believe, that the wave of the new generation of film will originate from these [type of] people. A film without restriction, allowing the dream to flow. This renews my already optimistic hope.

I tried and did not shoot any footage today for a piece titled "Spring in Winter". I have been waiting for snow, yet it is very hard to get people together for such a feat. I doubt very seriously that tomorrow will be any different. This means that the film will be made without the stark white background I was hoping for. I think, much like striking the wrong note in a performance, you just have to keep playing.

I'm out of money, out of film and damn glad that I have the camcorder!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Final Shot: "The Pass"

As I said before, the final scene of the pencil leaning against the tree could be done anywhere and still remain relevant to the story, so I timed my daylight today and ventured into downtown Bothell. I thought of using the trees near the school or the library, but I wanted that piece of sidewalk in the shot.

My Sankyo took a beating yesterday with the weather and the cold. I didn't plan on shooting in the rain, yet Dylan and I endured to create art. My camera was soaked! The first shot was challenging, with large raindrops on the lens as I tilted the camera skyward. It was a matter of patience; still, the scenes were captured.

I was relieved to see my camera in working order this afternoon, with no ill effects of yesterday's journey through dampness and bohemian abandon. I walked along the North side of Main Street near Mill's. I wasn't happy with what I saw, so I found a moss-covered tree on the South side, and set up camp.

My light is diminishing and I am adjusting my tripod and checking my meter, when I spot two of the resident Jehovian Witnesses in their 1950's shirt and tie conformity, and they are walking my direction but on the opposite side of the street. I knew I was going to be paid a visit, as I must have looked to them as a bleeding gazelle must look to a hungry lion. I focused the shot.

I was able to squeeze off the last few rounds of celluloid loaded in my Sankyo. Hearing the motor run free, I shut it down and proceeded to snap a production still.

"How are you today?" The lion licks its chops.

I answered [without looking], "fine, how are you?"

"Would you like a picture of Jesus Christ?" (What?!?!)

The fangs have been shown. "No thank you, " I reply. I've been playing dead, and now, the predator feels my hoof mark on his jowls!

"Are you sure?" Retreat, regroup and attack again!

"Absolutely!" Another hoof to the head, and the lion runs away, defeated.

My film is done, the lions have been tamed, and the next adventure rests on the horizon like an old friend.

Ashes and Snow: One of the Most Beautiful Things You Will Ever See

This is the way the World should, and could be...seen through the eyes of beauty.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Short Film: "The Pass"

I made the decision [this year] to postpone a new feature film, finish the first, and with that the goal to create and produce six new films in '08. This is, of course, in addition to the current post-production projects ("Water From the Mountain", "This Way and That", "In the Corner of Myself", "Colorswitch") and the five-year anniversary DVD compilation celebrating my first short film, "Adam and Yvette". I have written several small shorts over the last two weeks, and have revised and resurrected some others. A few projects will be shot on 8mm video, while the others are being shot on Super 8mm and 8mm.

Last Saturday I was hanging at the Green Bean Coffee House, while Doug Hayman and Fae jammed together for Fae's upcoming gig on the 25th. I found myself writing on not one, but two distinct scripts, and one became a finished product. The Super 8 short, "The Pass", became a reality one week later, today.

Almost immediately, I began to plan for the production. I placed a casting call here, and then on Model Mayhem and finally, Performer's Callboard. I was discussing the main role with a gentleman on MySpace, but I never received the pictures I requested, nor did he respond after Wednesday. I had three other people respond to the ad on the Callboard. Two of them just didn't have the look. The third I liked very much, which made it hard to decide between this guy and the one on MySpace. There 'was' an extra role in the film, and I was going to decide this afternoon which of the two would be the lead. I wrote an e-mail to both actors stating my decision, and only one responded. That person is Dylan Clissold, who responded through the Performer's Callboard. The MySpace guy didn't like the indecision, I suppose.

It's funny, because I could hear the pedantic mumbling of the masses saying, "you have to have to be sure!" No you don't. I may not know certain details or information until I am confronted with it. Some people can't deal with this. If confronted with this, feel privileged; you are better off without their presence and their standards. Instead, find people who are relaxed and cool about things, someone who likes to have fun doing what it is that they are doing. There, you can create.

I made the decision to have both actors show, and I would decide on site. Dylan was cool with this, and I phoned him Friday night, just to touch base. We talked details, time and place. He had my number and I had his. He called when he was running late, and he came prepared. During our conversation, he asked questions and was respectful, cooperative and involved. He did not step out of bounds or over my head, and still he was able to offer suggestions. Enduring the cold, damp day in Greenwood, he never complained nor did he create or become conflict. Overall, I recommend him as an actor, and I will be casting him again.

"The Pass" is only a week old. It was shot with the new Ektachrome 64T, which uses the E6 processing for slide film. It will be about three minutes in length and will feature a score composed by both Doug Hayman and Fae Wiedenhoeft. It stars Dylan Clissold and Hayden Smith of the Green Bean Coffee House, where most of the scenes take place. Additional scenes were shot in the Greenwood neighborhood. Due to the low light level inside, the film will be processed with a two-stop push processing, which will overexpose the film by two f-stops. I would like to see this completed by the end of February, although that might be tricky with my involvement in this year's RPM Challenge.

All scenes were shot, save for the final scene of a pencil lying at the base of a tree. After some thought, I may shoot this tomorrow here in Bothell, since the tree could be anywhere and still be relevant. Stay tuned for the official posting of the handwritten script.

Check out the Green Bean Coffee House; don't support Starbucks! Support your community, dammit!!

Be sure to check out Dylan Clissold; he has my support.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Next Festival: Call For Entries - 2008

February is the month! I plan on establishing the dates of this year's Festival, some new parameters and locations and a new deadline. I will also open the call for entries next month as well. We made it through five years, and we did it in unusual circumstances and with the help of some amazing people.

I honestly felt that we have achieved our best here in Seattle. Despite the fact that we have not reached the magnitude of our success in Tulsa, I believe that with the Green Bean Coffee House and support of the Greenwood/Seattle community we have achieved so much more. Aside from the amazing artists and musicians in Tulsa, and with the exception of Circle Cinema, I felt we were pulling teeth more than being a part of any 'community'. It's funny to think of the irony, but the Greenwood here in Seattle is so much more accommodating than the Greenwood in Tulsa, in particular, the Greenwood Cultural Center who were kind enough to offer us a rental 'discount' for our after party, bringing the fee to only $900. Thanks Chuck! The venues were cooperative, but not without struggle. Despite our differences, the Gypsy Coffeehouse was the most gracious host in the Midwest, and the first year at OSU-Tulsa was fine, and then they felt the need for greed. Venue 216 was a joke; I'd like to say it was great, but it was a joke that we made into a success. My hat is off to Adam Tichenor for taking the reigns and setting the venue in line. The Hive was better, but they were used car salesmen trying to "give a little" for something else in return. I really miss Curly's, eh Tony? Seeing my second Tony Romanello show there was one of the best concert experiences I ever had. The people and the artists were fantastic every year in Tulsa and I am glad we were there, but I feel we are where we belong.

This year is the year we grow. I plan on more press, more films, more music, more venues and more art. We will grow simply based on the fact that we are going to be here until I freakin' die! How's that for a niche? Stay tuned and keep rollin'...we'll be watchin'!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Audition and Production of "Asphalt Canvas"

To all whom it concerns,

As you know, you all have responded to one of my many “unofficial” audition calls for my feature film, “Asphalt Canvas”. I am grateful for the response and enthusiasm, and you have endured my updates with patience. It is unfortunate that I have to write you all and explain my decision to delay until 2009/2010.

I am not a large company, nor am I wealthy. I do not seek outside funding for my films for a variety of reasons, most of which are personal. What that means to any production I undertake, is that as a starving artist, I have to weigh my finances carefully. Quite simply, life sometimes gets in the way. Aside from time, the funds are not there for this production in the New Year of 2008. I have confidence in the New Year for many other projects, and I look forward to beginning “Asphalt Canvas” in 2009.

This is true independent filmmaking. It is often on the fly, seat-of-your-pants and unpredictable. For some of you, this may be undesirable. I am told consistently by those thinking inside the box that I cannot think outside the box and be taken seriously, despite the cold hard fact that I have and continue to do so. I am aware that this may not be convenient to many of you, and I do understand. I do ask that you keep an open mind, and I hope that many of you remain interested. Next year, I will have developed the funds needed, the locations required and so the actual audition will take place; I hope to see most of you there.

I have spoken with many of you and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work with you in the future. In fact, I do not wish to limit our work relationship to this feature; I have many current projects slated for 2008 in the form of short films and music videos. I have already called upon two of you for a short film project, and I would like the chance to work with as many of you as possible. Please feel free to contact me at any time, and I will keep you posted on any new projects.

I wish all of you luck in the New Year, and please stay tuned. You can always check my blog for the latest news, and I thank you all!


Captain Chambers
Founder and Director of
Blue November Creations and the
Blue November MicroFilmFest