Thursday, June 29, 2006

Talia Shire falls down... hard

I'm watching John Frankenheimer's Prophesy as research for Arousal. It's similar in plot to Arousal—people threatened in the woods by infected animals.

There's a scene halfway through where Talia Shire's character and her character's husband are staying in the woods in a log cabin. They're being lovey-dovey when this animal makes a weird sound outside the cabin. At first, they ignore it. Then the husband gets up to see what it is.

Outside the front door is this raccoon, totally wigging out. You know when cats start running around the house, jumping on the furniture, then running away again? Imagine that, but for a raccoon—this little guy looks like he's either about to hurl or he's trying to drown out the sound in his head by screaming. Regardless, something is seriously fucking off with this raccoon.

Without warning, the raccoon attacks the husband. The husband struggles, the wife screams—and then somehow the raccoon has jumped over onto Talia Shire—

—Talia does what any person would do in this situation: she pulls back from the raccoon as fast as possible. I mean, this is a fucking rabid raccoon or some shit! She pulls back so hard that she backs up near a chair, which is placed about a foot away from the wall. She loses her balance and slides down into the foot-wide crevice, twisting face-first towards the wall. In the instant she falls, we see her terrified face, then her naked thigh... and then she's completely gone from view.

It's a miracle Talia Shire didn't break her neck.

The thing that impressed me most about this scene is that it's definitely Talia Shire who does this stunt. And because she does this stunt, and because everything happens so quickly (in retrospect, they might have sped up the film slightly), her fear and desperation look real. More importantly, it all feels real. So real I completely forgot I was watching a movie.

Prophesy is a not a bad horror film, given that it's as old as Star Wars. The beast in it is pretty lame, but there are tense moments in it with some unsettling story developments (foot-long tadpoles still give me the willies). Frankenheimer gave us the superb Ronin, among other films. He's a deft storyteller.

Anyway, now I know why actors doing their own stunts makes such a big difference. Seeing an actor in the action itself creates a visceral link between the story and the audience, which is the entire reason people go to the cinema. To sustain this link, to make it as vivid as possible for as long as possible...

So bad/good news for all my actors—you're all doing your own stunts! (If you're nice to me, I'll talk to the DP to see if I can speed up the film to make you look good.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


About a year ago, I finally made the switch from OS 9 to OS X. I still don't fully understand how OS X manages its files, and I'm fairly anal when it comes to organization (if I ever get around to it), so about 2 months ago, I tried moving stuff around and somehow deleted all my bookmarks, all my RSS feed sites on Newsburner... I still don't know exactly why.

About 3 days ago, I remembered I used to subscribe to Advertising for Peanuts. And today I remembered why I used to love loooking at that site: today's gem is really funny to me because I happened to know a guy who could flick beer bottles caps with fatal accuracy. How he learned that dubious talent insinuates a huge amount of his life was around beer. Mastering quarters is in that same league.

Thanks to AFP, I present you with Quarters... Click here to watch.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ikea meets The Matrix

Check out this killer Ikea web site. Found it through Advertising For Peanuts, which had this to say about it:

The site has been out for a while, but it's easily the most imaginative way to showcase kitchens and kitchen accessories that I've ever seen. And it's just a ton of fun to watch—absolutley mesmerizing. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Time to get Aroused!

Thanks to some awesome feedback from Meaghan, Kristen, Martha and Jena (and some stellar feedback I'm sure to get from Gaby), I'm putting the final pieces in place for Arousal's storyline. I've found it challenging to unearth innovative ways to really creep people out, so I thank you all for chipping in. The story, I hope, shall be greatly improved from all the insights everyone has given me.

Also, a big thank you goes to my doctorly wife for laying the realistic framework around my infectious disease (there's nothing more irritating than thinking a story is plausible only to have a doctor sitting next to you burst your bubble—and the irritation hose in this case isn't aimed at my wife, but at the filmmakers. Son of motherless goats!).

My next step is hammering out a viable treatment so I don't waste a year re-writing a 120+ page script. As JanieJane4 said recently, measure twice, cut once.

With the treatment done in the next 2 weeks or so, I'm aiming to start a 1st draft in mid-July and finish that draft by beginning of August, after which I'm slated to work on another feature as Script Super. Meaning, I'll be dead tired in August. Because we're filming outside. In Sacramento. In the heat.

Anyway, stay tuned—I may ask some of you for reader feedback at some point, but only if you're so inclined. And trust me, this story will be a page turner! If it ain't, I'll need you to whack me on the back of the head with a lead pipe.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's Just A Ride

I posted a missive recently citing Stephen Hawking's insistence that we explore the stars at our earliest convenience. I also mentioned I had a few more things to say about this.

For whatever obscure reason, stand-up comedian Bill Hicks comes to mind first. I've always found Hicks' stand-up as funny as Dennis Leary's (and certainly as irreverent), and if you've never seen or heard of Hicks, it's probably because he died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 33.

What made Hicks stand apart from most comedians was his sense of wonder about the world and the unique way he depicted his views of it. He sometimes described his act as "Chomsky with dick jokes". Hicks ended one of his last performances with a speech which Hawking would certainly have enjoyed hearing:

The world is like a ride at an amusement park and when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down and round and round, it has thrills and chills, it's very brightly colored and it's very loud and it's fun... for awhile.

Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, Is this real? Or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered and they come back to us and they say, Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever... because this is just a ride. And we... kill those people. Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This has to be real. It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try to tell us that—you ever notice that?—and let the demons run amok.

But it doesn't matter because... it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money—a choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear—once you put bigger locks on your door, buy guns—close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride: take all that money we spend on weapons and defence each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we can explore space, together—both inner and outer—forever, in peace.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

An Insurance Epiphany

It recently occurred to me that, if you drive a car in America, you are required by law to have insurance for your car. If you don't pay upwards of $100-200/month for car insurance, you could end up in jail.

In itself, this seems strange—perhaps even a little fascist when you realize there are no alternatives like not-for-profit or government-subsidized insurance companies—but then consider this: in America, you are also not required by law to have health insurance.

I'm not sure if that says how much we value our cars and how much we wish to counterbalance the disasters they cause... or how little we value our bodies and how small our desire is to counterbalance the disasters they cause (to us).

Don't get me wrong—I'm not a raving Socialist or anything. It simply strikes me as odd that America legally requires its citizens to have insurance for their cars, but not for their bodies. No?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hawking harks, "Spaceward Ho!"

Stephen Hawking, the greatest scientific mind since Einstein, has given us all a mission to travel to the stars. According to him, it's not a want, it's a need:

HONG KONG - The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.

The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years.

He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.

"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."

I have much, much more to say about this, but will comment about it later this week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pirate Wisdom

Terry Rossio.


How about Terry Rossio & Ted Elliot?

Still nothing?

Okay... how about The Mask of Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, Shrek, Alladin... rink any bells now? Terry & Ted are among Hollywood's most exceptional writers, penning all the above blockbuster hits. If any of their films bombed (Small Soldiers, Godzilla), or were received with dubious acclaim (The Puppet Masters, The Legend of Zorro), you can be sure it almost always wasn't their fault—as is common practice in Hollywood, someone either stepped in to fix a good thing or didn't listen to their story notes.

Terry & Ted are also responsible for starting up the phenomenal screenwriter website Wordplay almost ten years ago where you can expect to unearth a treasure chest of screenwriting goodies. Terry & Ted's Wordplay Columns ought to be mandatory reading for all aspiring screenwriters.

As it happens, Terry also has a blog on Myspace. He doesn't post frequently, but when he does, it's long... like, epic long. Because it's really just a day-by-day production diary, he'd do better (in my opinion) to break it into bite-sized chunks to maintain viewer interest over time. In this age of A.D.D. surfers, who has time anymore to read through a small novella of piecemeal anecdotes?

Evidently, I do.

Today I found a kernel of wisdom about the value of using test audiences:

Jerry [Bruckheimer] recalled the audience preview to Glory Road. Jerry had seen the film and liked it, the studio thought they were in trouble, turns out the test score was through the roof. Gore [Verbinski, the director of Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest] said he had the same thing happen in reverse with Mouse Hunt. They had a decent score from a previews screening, but the studio forced some changes and then the studio loved it, but Gore hated it. The new score was 22 points lower, thank goodness, and Gore got to put it back the way it was. Audience testing giveth and audience testing taketh away.

Gore put forth a theory on test audiences, that they put themselves under a sort of pressure, they want to be 'right' in test rooms, which is not the same experience as when they pay cash. Ted noted that audiences are forgiving for up to twenty minutes in real theaters—since they chose the film, it's like picking a horse in a horse race, they're rooting for it to do well. Jerry noted the key value in test screenings is the response that tells you exactly where you forced them to be confused. "You just can't believe you left out some key detail," he said, shaking his head.

What I like most about this quip is that it equates film viewers to gamblers. Adam Smith once wrote, "The seller assigns a price, but the buyer assigns a value." Just so, if you're reaching into your wallet to pay for a movie ticket, it's a gamble: you're betting that the value of the product is going to be worth more than the money you're buying it for. If not, you wouldn't buy it. And when you put money down, you are still hoping your horse wins, even if evidence is to the contrary for the first lap or so.

Another insight is how influential test audiences can be, even on the writers themselves. Anyone who's seen The Player will remember this amusing (or frightening, depending on your point of view) exchange:
Griffin Mill: It lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully.

June: What elements?

Griffin Mill: Suspense, laughter, violence. Hope, heart, nudity, sex. Happy endings. Mainly happy endings.

June: What about reality?

Storytellers want to tell a good story, and they want to please their audience... but at the end of the day, a storyteller who respects his ability to tell a good story might do better to remain true to his or her own internal story tuning fork. You tell a story you want to tell and get clear with what kind of audience is willing to hear it—happy ending or not. The Cohen brothers are so aware of how niche their audience is (so Tanya tells me) that they storyboard every frame of the film and only shoot what they storyboard.

Trying to save dimes, some filmmakers skip the storyboarding step because storyboarding ain't cheap, but the Cohen Brothers are extremely smart because the money spent on storyboarding in pre-production will save boatloads of money during production from no unused setups, which means more money made overall.

And that means, ultimately, you get invited back to the table to keep making films.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Great Movie Speeches: The Big Kahuna

If you've never seen The Big Kahuna, it's not bad. Not my favorite film of all time, but worth watching because of a very well-written speech at the end, clearly what the whole movie is leading up to.

The story is about three salesmen attending a sales conference. Their sole objective is to grab an audience with a major buyer so they can sell him their industrial lubricants, thus the title of the film. One of the three salesmen, the youngest, is a devout Christian and unexpectedly bumps into "The Big Kahuna" at an after-hours social party. Instead of using this golden opportunity to sell his industrial lubricants—as he must know the other two veteran salesmen would want him to—he chooses instead to talk to this man about Jesus.

Upon recounting this to the other men, it sends them into a fit of rage. One, played by Kevin Spacey, goes especially beserk. The young salesman desperately explains that he didn't feel "honest" talking to this man about industrial lubricants at a party and instead spoke about Jesus not because he wanted convert the man (so he says), but because "Jesus is important to me."

Spacey's character leaves in disgust and then De Vito's character calmly tells the young salesman that he'll one day regret his decision. "I haven't done anything yet that I regret," the young salesman retorts.

De Vito's character then says:

You've already done plenty of things to regret. You just don't know what they are. It's when you discover them. When you see the folly in something you've done and you wish that you had it to do over, but you know you can't because it's too late. So you pick that thing up and you carry it with you to remind you that life goes on, the world will spin without you. It really doesn't matter in the end. Then, you will attain character, because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself across your face.

It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down. That doesn't make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are—just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore; it's a pitch. And you're not a human being; you're a marketing rep.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Grammar Matters

Occasionally, I find I'm not alone about grammar and spelling. Check out this article I found through (and currently rated at over 1800 diggs, too):

10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid

Jody Gilbert
June 06, 2006, 16:00 BST

If you want to craft an error-free message that reflects your professionalism, be on the lookout for these common grammatical slip-ups

These days, we tend to communicate via the keyboard as much as we do verbally. Often, we're in a hurry, quickly dashing off emails with typos, grammatical shortcuts (I'm being kind here), and that breezy, e.e. cummings, no-caps look. It's expected. It's no big deal. But other times, we try to invest a little care, avoiding mistakes so that there's no confusion about what we're saying and so that we look professional and reasonably bright.

In general, we can slip up in a verbal conversation and get away with it. A colleague may be thinking, "Did she just say 'irregardless'?", but the words flow on, and our worst transgressions are carried away and with luck, forgotten.

That's not the case with written communications. When we commit a grammatical crime in emails, discussion posts, reports, memos, and other professional documents, there's no going back. We've just officially gone on record as being careless or clueless. And here's the worst thing. It's not necessary to be an editor or a language whiz or a spelling bee triathlete to spot such mistakes. They have a way of doing a little wiggle dance on the screen and then reaching out to grab the reader by the throat.

So here we are in the era of Word's red-underline "wrong spelling, dumb ass" feature and Outlook's Always Check Spelling Before Sending option, and still the mistakes proliferate. Catching typos is easy (although not everyone does it). It's the other stuff — correctly spelled but incorrectly wielded — that sneaks through and makes us look stupid. Here's a quick review of some of the big ones.

#1: Loose for lose
No: I always loose the product key.
Yes: I always lose the product key.

#2: It's for its (or god forbid, its')
No: Download the HTA, along with it's readme file.
Yes: Download the HTA, along with its readme file.
No: The laptop is overheating and its making that funny noise again.
Yes: The laptop is overheating and it's making that funny noise again.

#3: They're for their for there
No: The managers are in they're weekly planning meeting.
Yes: The managers are in their weekly planning meeting.
No: The techs have to check there cell phones at the door, and their not happy about it.
Yes: The techs have to check their cell phones at the door, and they're not happy about it.

#4: i.e. for e.g.
No: Use an anti-spyware program (i.e., Ad-Aware).
Yes: Use an anti-spyware program (e.g., Ad-Aware).
Note: The term i.e. means "that is"; e.g. means "for example". And a comma follows both of them.

#5: Effect for affect
No: The outage shouldn't effect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn't affect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn't have any effect on users.
Yes: We will effect several changes during the downtime.

Note: Impact is not a verb. Purists, at least, beg you to use affect instead:

No: The outage shouldn't impact any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn't affect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage should have no impact on users during work hours.

#6: You're for your
No: Remember to defrag you're machine on a regular basis.
Yes: Remember to defrag your machine on a regular basis.
No: Your right about the changes.
Yes: You're right about the changes.

#7: Different than for different from
No: This setup is different than the one at the main office.
Yes: This setup is different from the one at the main office.
Yes: This setup is better than the one at the main office.

#8 Lay for lie
No: I got dizzy and had to lay down.
Yes: I got dizzy and had to lie down.
Yes: Just lay those books over there.

#9: Then for than
No: The accounting department had more problems then we did.
Yes: The accounting department had more problems than we did.

Note: Here's a sub-peeve. When a sentence construction begins with If, you don't need a then. Then is implicit, so it's superfluous and wordy:

No: If you can't get Windows to boot, then you'll need to call Ted.
Yes: If you can't get Windows to boot, you'll need to call Ted.

#10: Could of, would of for could have, would have
No: I could of installed that app by mistake.
Yes: I could have installed that app by mistake.
No: I would of sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.
Yes: I would have sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.

Okay, now I'm going to do something slightly unorthodox. I'm pasting an email I received some time ago, printed verbatim, paragraph returns and all. It's a response to a job ad I posted on Craigslist; bear in mind, this person was responding to me, their* potential employer. (Please know that my intent here is not to be vindictive, but to illustrate how poor grammar can paint an devastatingly unflattering portrait. I'm reprinting this to learn from, not to make fun of.)

Boldface represents all their* errors, and my comments are in [ghosted brackets]. (All names have been changed, etc.):

To whom this may concern,

I hope your still looking for help. I have included a resume and cover letter, [conjunction missing] I believe I'm a great asset to cosider as I do have the ability to multi-task and. [What's this period doing here? Or maybe the "and" was a mistake?]
I am a makeup and fx artisit (forte horror / thriller) but I can do anything needed, with ease., [Why is that period there?] as well I do production crew,1st [missing space after comma] AD, and Art Department.
I have been freelance / contract employed in both media and film positions, [conjunction missing] I think I can be helpful with alot ["a lot" is two words] of the connections and knowledge in various areas of the media and entertainment industry.
If you'd like to talk I could meet you, we may find we can help eachother ["each other" is two words] very well.
Thank you for your time.

I hope to hear from you soon.

You all probably know how I feel about mislaid apostrophes and spelling errors. Thus, as you can imagine, this was an excruciatingly painful email to read.

Is the English language difficult to master? You bet. Do I get it wrong myself? Constantly.

Nevertheless, when you respond to a Craigslist job ad, what you write—and how you write it, i.e., with or without errors—is the first and often only thing your future employer has to get a first impression of you. So why aren't some people, at the barest minimum, running their missives through a spell check? Twenty years ago, I might have overlooked this brouhaha. Now, with so many superb online dictionaries and spell checkers available, there is really no excuse anymore to have spelling mistakes.

Door #2: Waste your time sending out resumes wondering why nobody calls you in for an interview.

I am a writer... so I'm too aware of how I hold myself to a higher grammatical standard than I should expect from everyone else, but I still feel it's reasonable to occasionally harp about such major blunders found in this email because getting grammar and spelling right is primarily about forming good habits that pay off later.

Why, for instance, do we always buckle our seat belts if we're only driving a half mile? Because it's a good habit we try to establish so that when we do get into an accident, we escape unharmed. Forcing yourself to use good grammar and proper spelling is like training yourself to wear a seat belt—when the accident comes, will you be prepared, or are you aiming for the windshield? One need only remember how fuzzy spelling jettisoned Dan Quale into a world of pain.

Good grammar and spelling is also like keeping a reasonable appearance with your clothes. Using bad grammar is like saying, "why should I care what you think about the way I dress? I'm not naked, am I?" You wouldn't go to a job interview with your mascara put on badly, right? You wouldn't meet a potential boss dressed in a tank top or with your fly down, would you? Right before you present yourself, you'd at least brush your hair or make sure you didn't have any bleeding shaving cuts or coffee stains on your tie, right?

It's worth mentioning here that I do have a dyslexic friend and am extremely sympathetic to those with dyslexia, so I constantly overlook my dyslexic friend's frequent grammar and spelling errors. Still, even dyslexics can use a grammar and spell check nowadays. To my understanding, poor grammar is not a symptom of dyslexia, only poor spelling. Can someone please reach out and tag me if I'm wrong about this?

There is a time and place, however, for drawing a line in the sand and not drawing a line in the sand. Though I often wince, I choose to overlook simple mistakes in emails and IMs because who really cares? It's not a printed book. Nor are honey-do lists or post-it reminders. An email to a potential employer... well, that's almost like a printed book, in my eyes.

The problem with overlooking simple mistakes in common discourse is that it's a slippery slope: if it gradually becomes acceptable to use "it's" instead of "its", then it should become acceptable to use a double negative, too, because after half of all English speakers are speaking with an improper usage, it becomes a "proper" usage. And then, 100 years from now, we'll all be speaking a mish-mash of English filled with incorrect grammar. (Not that grammar is intrinsically correct—it's not—but we all agreed on certain rules, so why can't we live by them? Is it really so hard?)

Here is an excerpt from an email I wrote my friend Hans about when to get my panties in a twist about grammar and spelling:


If I publish a book, I've put in a considerable amount of thought about it, getting it written and edited, refuted and corrected, checked and double-checked (in an ideal world). When the book is finally published, after numerous revisions—with countless eyes reviewing each step—that book is the finest and most accurate expression of my thoughts. It's in print. It will last. Making any grammatical or spelling mistakes here is really unforgivable.

One step removed might be a planned essay or a letter to a friend. This doesn't have as many people checking your ideas all the way through to their logical conclusion, so your thinking might not be as accurate or as insightful as a published book. Grammar & spelling mistakes here are tolerable, but frowned upon.

One step before that might be an email written in relative haste—not contemplated with the same amount of time as an essay, thereby inferring even less insight and accuracy. Though still technically the written word, incorrect spelling here should garner some playful jabbing, but nothing too harsh.

Finally—the first step in the process—would be the spoken word, which has a wide range of usage, from speeches in political forums to bar talk. However, according to the logic of this argument, the ephemeral nature of the spoken word does not always dictate we get things grammatically correct 100% of the time, even if we do spend our prep school years getting proper grammar drilled into us.

[There are other variations I have not addressed above, like instant messaging and the like, but you get the drift.]

Anyone who wants to brush up on their* grammar should read the immensely entertaining Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. Great book. Honest.

Post Scriptum: Just to show you all I sometimes live in a glass house, you'll be happy to know that I ran this post through a spell check and discovered I had misspelled "correctable", "dyslexics", "grammar", "slippery" and "misspelled". I misspelled "misspelled". Wow. Time to me to shut my trap, huh?

* Update 8/20/08: nibiyabi rightfully called me out on using "their" instead of his or her. I could correct the errors in this post, but it seems fitting to show the world even my own imperfections.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Something In The Clearing Premiere Pictures

It really feels like a premiere where there are people lined up outside to see a film!!!

Tanya, Rose, Aysha. What crazy/beautiful women. Sorry if my beat-up $84 continuity camera was a little out of focus...

Some pre-show entertainment. Bret Allen, our DP, leaned back to tell me that the picture there on the screen (at the catering table) was probably taken on the day everyone got sick. Half the crew was down for the next 2 days, including the director.

Executive Producer Gary Hamner on stage—a natural public speaker. He asked the four children from the film to get on stage. "Here's the message of the film. It's from Luke 17:2. 'It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck than to face the punishment in store for these little ones.' " It says something that Jesus thought it better for you to die or commit suicide than harm children. Um... amen!

Yep, that's the poster. And Mikey. He likes it. Pay close attention what I'm doing with my left hand.

Wait, are we doing the robot, or that fake awkward thing when men don't know if they're close enough to hug each other in public...

Something In The Clearing Premiere!

Sometimes all the blood, sweat, tears is worthwhile when you finally see the film you've worked on printed on a movie ticket. I dedicated 2 weeks in December last year and 2 weeks in January to making sure Something In The Clearing was not filled with major gaffes in set design, mismatched costumes, off-kilter eyelines, bad body movement... it's a mammoth task. As such, you need to have an elephant memory and be very trigger happy with a camera, so I guess it's no surprise that I snapped over 3,500 pictures during the shoot. More than once, a panicked person would come to me with a continuity disaster, and I can recall struggling to keep my calm while the terror of letting things spiral out of control was tantalizingly near. Sometimes the unrelenting mental exertion required was crushing; many nights towards the end of the shoot I simply drove home, fell into bed, and got up the next morning to immediately repeat the cycle. When you're that tired, you begin to question why you aren't charging $1000/hour...

...and then you buy the ticket, hold it in your hand, see Something In The Clearing's movie poster hanging next to other indie flicks... and you think, yeah, this rocks. Sure, I didn't write or direct this particular film, but I know it intimately, every frame. So in part, Something In The Clearing is my baby, too.

You can only imagine, then, how proud I was to receive the long-awaited premiere invitation in the mail. It's like getting an invite to a wedding, or a Christening. (Given that it's is a Christian film, it seems fitting to call it a Christening.) You know the date is coming, but you forget all about it... and then, wammo.

Truth be told, it's nerve-wracking to go to premieres. Way fun, but a lot like silly putty in the stomach. Still, I get to see my name on the screen as Script Supervisor, so life is good.

Premiere at 7PM tonight. After-party at 9PM. Pictures to come!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Far Out

The white speck in the sky? That's Earth. As seen from Mars.

(Click the image to enlarge it)