We were able to shoot at a state facility in Van Nuys this weekend because a commercial for a PT Cruiser was shooting there and already paying for the monitors that the state requires, so another indie film shooting on the premises didn't make any diference to them. Of course, they wrapped before we had finished the first half of our day, but luckily the monitor was a cool guy and hung around so we could shoot some more. I was worried he'd be in a rush home to see the Oscars or somesuch, but all he really wanted was some pizza which luckily we had in abundance. So hopefully we may be allowed to shoot there again, because it is a really great, strange, space-age building with many open-air walkways and empty offices and stacks and stacks of boxes full of junk files that the state apparently can't pay anyone to destroy.
Yay! Our first actual press. And may I add the first article I've been mentioned in where I wasn't horribly misquoted.
The only funny part about personally loading and unloading the grip truck for your shoot is getting to say the words "beefy baby stand" a lot. To wit:
..."How many of the beefy babies do we need?"
..."Here are your beefy babies."
..."Stack the beefy babies against the wall there."
..."Are we missing a beefy baby?"
Just wanted to record that a package of instant rice and beans soup from Mom & Dad is the best possible thing to have waiting at home after two long days of shooting.
I swear there were three Asians following me at Ralph's today!
....They're here....then they're there....always in a trio, pretending to look for something, kinda happy looking...
....It's only paranoia if they AREN'T taking over the world!
Creative projects that I'm putting off while being obsessed with TA91 (just so I don't completely forget about them):

1) Finishing that Cali Casino action/gambling Kill-Bill-meets-Rounders epic with a heart of gold that I wanted to sell out with. (Get on this one, self! The current gambling craze can't last forever!)

2) Writing the sensitive nerdy late-blooming gay losers script that is so not going to sell out, or even be rented, by anybody.

3) Rewriting my first play "Look For Water" which I promised a friend I would do like six months ago so she could consider putting it on.

4) Rewriting the ERP neoclassic rock popera "Earth Verses," ostensibly to enter it into this concert, but also so that it is more intelligible to the rest of the human race and I can hear the songs again.

5) I had a good idea for a sci-fi novel based on a scary dream that I wrote about five pages of and then stopped, but plan to revisit when I remember how to use Microsoft Word (haha, aspiring screenwriter's almost-joke....never mind).

6) Finish my short "Sitter" with all the scary music and stuff! About time already! Carrie and Mary, who are both working on TA91, are in it, really good stuff (potentially).

7) A provocative satiric deconstruction of "The Last Samurai" and "The Last Emperor" entitled "The Last Piece of Sushi."

8) That play I was gonna write about Lazer Tag and lost youth and stuff with the really cool set. Yeah, that one.

9) My big Asian-American romantic movie so I can have one after Asian American movies are like, so early-mid-00's. On a side note, I saw a posting that some producer was specifically looking for an adaptation of the Chinese movie "Rouge," which is so ridiculous 'cos I wrote a script that stole shamelessly from huge parts of that movie! To think that I could've just stolen the whole thing! Now I have to see it again to remember what I DIDN'T lift.

10) A music video for my good friend MC Frontalot, and/or a reality show based on my other good friend Gaby's search for fulfillment. Something without a script.

OK, that's 10. I'm going to stop now....

I've got it! Sock puppets! Sock puppets never have Pilot Season! They don't even have jobs! Or a union! I'll finish the movie with Sock Puppets...
....No I'm kidding. I don't think any of the actors read this, but if they do, I'm kidding.
....The funny thing about working with this camera is that the images will look like 16mm film in some shots, and more like video in others. It's a weird liminal state between the two mediums that we're (so far) most used to watching in pop culture. What it most highly resembles on a consistent basis is the HD stuff that makes up a LOT of TV commercials right now, which is actually kind of cool in that it fits with the in-faux-merical theme of the movie. It'll be interesting to see if this look becomes a defining look for movies and TV of this period, whether the popular audience's eyes will adjust, or whether they'll just come out with some newer and cooler version of DV next year. I suppose that once they find out how to beam the movies and corresponding advertisements directly into our brains (as they sort-of do in our movie) it'll be all over for visual narrative entertainment anyway.
....I guess this is one of those blogs that makes a lot of pretentious sweeping statements. I'd be more anecdotal but since my friend's blog got suppressed by the establishment (see a couple of entries ago) I'm kind of wary of being too specific.
Just finished a wild weekend of shooting in Santa Monica. We shot out about 3/4 of the conference room scenes, which is one of the movie's major locations. The first day was especially nuts because we couldn't get into the space til 2 pm and had to start packing up by 10 pm, which is not a long day in movie-shoot terms. So we only got about half our shots and we started to panic. But somehow today we just whizzed along and got caught up, mainly because we discovered the joy, or rather gave into the necessity of, shooting all in one direction and covering only half of many many scenes at a time. Next weekend, ideally, we go back and do the other half of all those scenes, shooting in the opposite direction. It'll be heck making the scenes consistent, but hopefully our script supervisor will help make it happen. We also had some really outstandingly funny improvs today, which is always a minor miracle, but really encouraged me because I was worried that the story was becoming overly dour and serious. I also became slightly worried when the auto sprinkler system started showering over all our expensive lighting equipment. And I worry that at some point we'll run out of money and we'll have to end the movie with the world exploding. That is, cheaply. Hopefully out little budget will maintain us at least until the musical number. Right now I'm feeling that this is going to be a really good movie.
AAAARRRGGGH! 4-foot or 8-foot dolly track? Mattebox functionality? Where can I rent a frickin follow focus on Friday afternoon when every other indie movie in town has snarfed them all up? Why me? Why why why?
Someone said that the script incorporates ideas from Foucault's theory of the "panopticon." I don't know what the heck that is, but I'm sure it's post-something.
Taking a little break from the indie film self-absorption. My friend lost her substitute teaching job today because someone affiliated with the private school found her blog and decided that it talked about the kids too much. Apparently they used words like "libel" and "legal action." Now, she never ever used names, specific places, or even said anything negative about the kids, school, or anyone. She was just writing about interesting anecdotes from her day at work. But apparently the parents of these privileged kids thought their children were somehow threatened by the existence of these anecdotes, because some of them are celebrity's kids or kid actors in their own right, and someone could read the blog and deduce how to kidnap them blah blah blah.
...DID I MENTION THIS IS UTTER BULLSHIT? This is a direct hello to whoever it is that trolls the internet reading blogs, looking for someone to sue and put out of a job. HI. This Is Freedom of Speech Being Exercised. I am not naming names, giving out your phone number, or talking about your dog. I can and will write a book about whatever real person I want and change their names because that's what writing is. Or maybe I'll give them the same name and you won't know the difference because you have no idea who they are. The point is there is nothing you can do about it, mainly because you don't even exist, because who the hell even reads this blog, or my friend's blog, except maybe 10 of our personal acquaintences who don't give a farthing who you are, and wouldn't be able to figure it out even if they tried real hard because we don't mention full names and personal information, partially out of courtesy and partially because our blogs are not really about you or your sad-ass rich person paranoias?
...But oh look! Now my friend's lost a job. I suppose you won't mind if we blog about that, do you? Good, because even if you did I don't care.
...All this injustice in the name of protecting children. What can be done?
Another pretty smooth day of shooting yesterday. We finished 2 more commercials, an excellent end-of-the-world death scene with Keisuke, and some background footage of Nate and Cher. Went out afterwards to Versailles for some quality time with cast and crew, which was nice.
....Now we have 2 weeks to edit together the preshot stuff and prep for principal photography, or videography, as it were. We are still welcoming donations of money, crew, food, or locations. Or puppies. It would be nice to have a production puppy.