10 things you know Kerry is going, "I kinda wish I'd said that instead."

1) "Did I mention that I actually was in a war? You know, that thing that you declared for no good reason, so that other people could go and get killed? It's not like you invented that, you know."
2) "I couldn't agree more with the President that we are indeed fighting the White War...I mean, sorry, the Right War...at the White Time. Oops, I did it again."
3) "Could you please not use the phrase 'hard work' so much, considering we're both like, rich as Croesus?"
4) "I'm sorry I mumbled that last sentence, I was worried about appearing as insincere as the President when he does that 'talking down to your level' thing."
5) "Don't even LOOK at my daughters, you scummy old perv."
6) "I'll just take this time to again mention that I actually was in the armed services during Vietnam, which is an excellent way to learn about what happens in a war."
7) "I had prepared a nuanced retort to your lies, but rather than saying it out loud and confusing people, I'll just mention that it's all up at my website, johnkerry.com."
8) "What do you know about offense? Have you ever been shot at? That's when you have to play some D."
9) "I know you've said that you will never stop defending America. But do you foresee starting anytime in the near future?"
10) "If you even mention the word 'leadership' again I'm going to take command of the nearest swiftboat and run it aground upside your head."

working, ad nauseum

Today Mary said probably the nicest thing anyone could say to me at this point in my life, which was that TA91 is good enough that something will happen with it and I would probably be able to quit my other job soon. OH WOULD THAT BE A GREAT DAY. I'm going to work more now that the Sundance deadline's passed, in the hopes of getting the personal finances back in order. It's a nice reality check, except for the reality of the continuing problem that the customers keep finding ways to get to the casino without getting hit by speeding cars. Actually, the people who have been coming recently are better than usual, but that's not saying a whole lot.
....There are small thrills involved in the job, such as that every now and then some hotshot will come in who thinks he's royalty because he has a lot of money, demanding things and showing off at the table, treating the casino workers and everyone else like trash. This is only a thrill because when hotshot actually starts playing you can systematically goad him into betting ridiculously, and then take all his money and hopefully his livelihood, leaving him only with that pathetic stupid feeling that comes when you know that you are pathetic and stupid. This hasn't happened in a while, but it's very satisfying when it happens to the right person. If only it was so easy to deal with the incumbent administration of hotshots. I guess it's harder when they have an army.

Our leadership.

Since this is such an important election coming up, and the movie situation is a little more under control now, I'm going to devote most of my blogging over the next two months to political ranting. Not that I know Anything, but lack of knowledge doesn't stop anyone on the Fox News Channel from talking, I've noticed, and if the left is to win I think we should take on a similar enthusiasm for trumpeting our cause without worrying about the burden of backing it up. Fox News has been kind of an inspiration to me that way. I usually fear launching into debate because of worry that I won't be able to rattle off some relevant factoid at a key moment, but they really don't care about that stuff. They just rant, and occasionally quote from websites. When you think about it, it's truly freeing.
....So the problem seems to be, George Bush has a guy who is good at exploiting a political opponent's greatest strength until it becomes a liability. (I learned this from the alternative newspaper.) So now we can't even think about John Kerry's war record without associating it with fabrications. And the democrats don't have a strong counter, possibly because George Bush doesn't really have a strength to attack, he just has a lot of horrible crimes against humanity which are so well-established it's kind of boring hearing about them now. But let's not forget that all George Bush does is Help His Rich Buddies and Kill People, and just because he's consistent in that, doesn't mean he's a leader.
....OK let's just say for a second that Bush actually had leadership skills, how would we then attack this ostensible strength to make it a weakness, since I'm pretty sure it's the only thing he's riding on? We could point out that like many of the leading figures in our country he's basically a whiny rich boy, and, duh, not really too in touch with normal people. We could somehow seed into the public consciousness the awareness that the president doesn't actually do anything without first consulting eighty people, just like those scenes in the West Wing, and Bush has in fact been led around by corporate interests (who actually do know something about leadership for better of for worse). Or we could just toss the rational and come to the sudden revelation that George Bush is responsible for hurricanes. His Leadership, while a conceded factor in his presidency, is in fact SO awesome it has challenged God. God looks at this guy like, "Here's a bloke whose natural charisma could unseat me as Primordial Ruler of the Universe." So what does He do? Hurricanes. Plagues. Bad cell phone reception. Divine punishments that will assail us until George Bush's Leadership/Hubris is removed from the White House. Because God blesses America, and also fears it.
....Okay that probably would not go over well, but you know what I'm saying?

oh thank god

In the past 72 hours, I've been asleep for about 5. Today I turned in the current version of TA91 to Sundance, after the usual last-minute chaos of reading submission FAQs and conforming to those specifications. I boggled briefly over how to label the project status, since, although not finished, I didn't want to call it a "rough cut" since that sounds so tentative, but is it then a "temp print?" An "Avid cut?" (As if!) A "Final Cut Cut?" I don't think of it as rough cos the story is now at least 97% in the shape that the final product will take, minus some color correction and sound mixing. But anyway, so of course today the DVD-authoring software comes up with a whole new way to break down, as if to say, "I know I could've given you this problem much earlier in the week so you could've anticipated it, but I wanted to wait till this critical day to see if you were really serious about this whole submitting-to-Sundance thing." Computers are AWESOME that way. Due to having to re-export this and re-encode that, the whole thing was finished at about 4:50 pm, with the Sundance office closing at 5:30 pm.
All that said, the drive to the Sundance office was maybe the best ten-minute drive of my life so far. I was so high from lack of sleep, and I felt this falling sensation like I was at the end of the marathon approaching the finish line. The feeling of a sort-of completion, combined with the fact that I really like the movie now, made me sort of giddy and thankful for life. I don't really expect to get into the festival, but I am completely proud of the thing I submitted to them today, and proud of the last-minute changes I made to get the sucky parts to suck less. I think if I (and when I say "I" I mean We being Deb Jin James and everyone else who busted ass to get the stuff done) had done less and turned in a half-assed sort of thing that would be totally re-edited within six months, it wouldn't have been very satisfying. But it doesn't feel like that at all. It feels like the movie has a core now, and even if that core is "this weirdly oscillates between several genres," I think it does that with authority.
OK, going to hell of sleep now.

Hi, Sundance...

So...just submitted the first part of application to the Sundance Festival.

Don't have to turn in actual film until the 24th, however. This is exactly two weeks away.

There is now, officially, a REALLY cool website here. You are looking at it right now.


On this page, instead of this entry, is an amazing, tantalizing, graphically enticing yet functional web presence for a forthcoming feature film! It is right HERE. You just cannot see it because you are not cool enough.