call the NRA

BRAIN: retarded
BRAIN: “ok poop coming out now
BRAIN: ustream!?
BRAIN: also, who doesn’t lock their door in SF?!
SHAC: are you supposed to?
BRAIN: what is your address again?

M FOSTER:the world is a sad
M FOSTER:  sad place
M FOSTER: Best part is where he talks about being out of TP
BRAIN: can you imagine not locking your door in SF?
M FOSTER: yeah no joke

M FOSTER: and then not calling the police in this situation….I was really hoping the last tweet would be something like.   “OMG he’s kicking down the door to my bedroom. The door just broke. He’s got a chainsaw. He’s sawing off my leg. It hurts so bad. Is that my torso? Oh noes! Don’t cut off my torso.

BRAIN: “ok – I’m bleeding all over the place.  I wonder if I should call an ambulance?”

New editing policies

Dude. I just saw the “final cut” of a music video I worked on, which let’s just say I will not be adding to my portfolio.

NEW RULES (mostly for unpaid projects):

  1. listen to the song before agreeing to edit a music video. Editing a song  you wouldn’t normally listen to is painful.
  2. do not edit work which will be re-edited afterwards. I just finished a music video, at one point working 26 hours on a week where I was also working my 40-hour-a-week day job.
    • When I was done, the DP got to it and put some stupid shit in the beginning, basically because it looked pretty. If he had asked me to do it, I could have at least sync’d it to the music
    • the DP also added a bunch of crossfades which make my cuts look messy and no longer sync to beats in the music. This is fucking bullshit. Now I look like a sloppy editor!
    • Many of my cuts are replaced with alternate clips, for what I can only assume are aesthetic decisions.  I have no idea.  I have the feeling they happened at the last minute, but at this point it was out of my hands.  The result is now my emphases on close-ups of the singer MOUTHING THE WORDS PERFECTLY IN SYNC THANK YOU are now gone!

What’s jacked is I complained to the director about these issues when I saw the new cut.  I even offered to cut it back to the more precise version.  The director said no, this is the way I want it.  He did, however, give me the option of removing my name from the video.  But this is a free gig.  So now I’ve put in something like 40 hours for no money, and now no credit.  That is lame.  I supposedly can’t even use it for my portfolio, since my cut is not the “official” cut.

Now what’s especially jacked is people warned me in advance against working with this DP for exactly these reasons.  Some of the local filmmakers I really respect actually refuse to work with him. I could deal with his attitude, but if it means he also messes with my work, that’s where I have to draw the line.  It’s not really personal, it’s self-preservation.

This is like when I directed a flailing short project with a producer everyone told me was insane. Her director had quit in preproduction. I figured it was just him being flaky. How bad could crazy producer be?

That turned out to be a major mistake.  A couple people on the crew ended up thinking I was not fun to work with because of that shoot.  The producer, whose name you will note I am not mentioning, slagged me to all her friends.  I ended up working with all of them later on other projects and made friends, even the crazy producer, but she is still crazy and I obviously won’t be working with her again.

I’m used to dealing with borderline personalities, so I guess I don’t really take people too seriously when they tell me to not work with certain people. Maybe I should listen up.

Then again maybe I should still rely on my personal judgement and experience.  I’m still building my network of filmmakers; I can’t really afford to decide not to work with people based on hearsay.  And most of the especially dysfunctional film crews end up self-destructing before the work is finished, so it’s not like there is much I’ve worked on out there that really, really sucks.

First Blush juice

I bought a few of these fancy shmancy grape juices called First Blush. They are in a glass bottle, grape juice from wine grapes.

The only disappointing one so far was when I got the “cabernet white” flavor– it has some white tea in it, and I can barely taste the grape juice.

At a few dollars a pop, they are a bit pricey. However, their cylindrical bottle is pretty, and uses a metal cap, instead of the plastic Voss water cap. This all-recyclable container is good enviro-karma. I’ve been using the bottles as water bottles for my night stand, since they wash in the dishwasher and have a screw cap so I don’t spill if I knock them over in the dark.

The labels are plastic, rather than printed on glass, so I guess they are not entirely recyclable. The wrapper comes off after a couple washings, which is part of the reason I bought them… We had a party and used a bottle for some incredibly strong herbal infusions we made with grain alcohol; a guest almost mistook the bottle’s contents for the original grape juice and took a giant gulp, which would have been Real Bad.

Buddha Machine 2

Strong temptation to buy the Buddha Machine 2.0 from FM3. It has new colors, new sounds, and even a pitch-shift dial that lets you change the pitch of the sound loops.

While it’s theoretically possible to build your own Buddha Machine, I think it’s a bit pointless, since the packaging is a lot of what makes these little guys fun… maybe if I made a wooden enclosure for it? That might be awesome.

There are also some remixes cropping up. Maybe I’ll have some on my ipod.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

I’m watching The Passion of Joan of Arc, durected by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It’s a silent movie from 1928 and obviously all in black and white.

St. Joan is pretty weird lookin in this one. Played by Maria Falconetti (aka Renée Jeanne Falconetti), she’s described as “haunting” in the dust jacket, and I’d have to go with that. Many of her shots are from below, and she has a giant round face. She has very short hair that makes her look like an androgynous man. Her eyes are glazed over with a manic, spacey look that makes her seem like a cult victim. Which I guess arguably she was. They eye-light every shot of her, which gives her eyes a glossy and watery look.

This film has a history – it was heavily censored, and then entirely lost, while the director was still alive. That must have been terrible. He died thinking his movie was gone forever; he tried to cut together another copy made from alternate takes, basically from scraps. Come to think of it, that would be pretty awesome to see also. It could be the lost lost film.

Anyway, recently in 1981 someone found a copy in a closet in a mental institution in Oslo. Uh yeah. The skeptic in me wonders whether this is really the original, since no one alive is around who could tell the diffference.

One nice thing about this release – it has a soundtrack, which is awesome, since obviously the original was lost. The one that comes with the movie is Richard Einhorn’s 1994 “Voices of Light”. However something that is kind of crazy: there are at least two other “soundtracks” for this movie, including two different versions by electronica groups “The Nursery” and “Ugress.” I’m not sure if they’d fit directly with the movie or not.

SimpleTech by Fabrik sucks

I just bought a 1TB external hard drive from SimpleTech / Fabrik, and it is the worst piece of garbage imaginable.

Firstly, the drive comes pre-formatted for PC, which ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem, but it’s formatted read-only, so to use it for ANYTHING I have to completely erase the drive.

Secondly, when attempting to erase the drive with Disk Utility, something about the drive makes the erase operation fail. I tried MS-DOS FAT, which seemed to work, before giving me an error upon trying to use it. Formatting to Mac Extended gives an error immediately.

I’m just considering myself fortunate that I don’t need this in the next few hours.

UPDATE: oddly, someone from SimpleTech saw my posting and sent me a personal email. She apologized for my experience and I sent her some notes. Apparently there is a separate product line that the same company makes which is meant for Mac called G-Technology.

I ended up getting something on special from Fry’s mail order, a 1TB “FreeAgent Pro” from Seagate. The funny thing about this one is it has a glowing bar on it that serves absolutely no purpose other than looking like a prop from a 1980’s sci-fi movie. It does not have a Firewire 800 interface (the SimpleTech one did), which is a bummer, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.

My files are copying now; it’s around 400GB which will take something like 6 hours to duplicate.

Z Channel notes

I saw “Z Channel – A Magnificent Obsession,” which was pretty cool. I wonder if there are copies of the magazine Z Channel used to put out, floating around on ebay?

Here’s a list of movies mentioned in “Z Channel” that sounded interesting.

  • A Safe Place (Jack Nicholson)
  • Images (Altman)
  • Welcome to LA (1976)
  • Madchen in Uniform (1931)
  • 400 Blows
  • Dance of the Vampires
  • Overlord (1975) – Stuart Cooper
  • Fingers (Harvey Keitel)
  • (Andrei Rublev)
  • Heaven’s Gate (1980)
  • Decline of Western Civilization
  • Bad Timing (1980)
  • The Important Thing Is to Love (Main thing?)
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  • Le Magnefique
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (it’s 12 hours!)
  • 1900 (5 1/2 hours!)
  • (director Sam Peckinpah)
  • (director Claude Chabrol)
  • Once Upon A Time In America
  • Wife Mistress
  • Lady on the Bus
  • Turkish Delight (Verhoven)
  • The 4th Man (Verhoven)
  • Soldier of Orange (Verhoven)
  • Flesh & Blood (Verhoven)
  • Spetters (Verhoven)
  • Katie Tippel (Verhoven – Kaetje?)
  • Salvadore (James Woods)
  • Something of Value (1957)

UPDATE: Looks like Wikipedia has a page with a more complete list

Enka 8-track Transcription

This 8-track tape belonged to my grandparents.
It’s Enka; I can’t really read it.
I ripped it to mp3, and transcribed the titles and artists for future analysis.

It’s titled

It was released by Nippon-Columbia – 8WY-1021





Truffault Makes Me Violent

I’m watching Day For Night and maybe it’s just too French for me. If someone asked me, earnestly and without irony, if “women are magic,” I think I’d have to punch him straight in the face.

BRAIN: What, dammit.
YOUNG ACTOR: Are women magic?

Pretentious emo fuckwit.

Also, while they are filming this giant movie, they haven’t even finished the script yet, which seems implausbibly irresponsible. Maybe I’m just naive.

Truffault himself is very inspiring, however: he started making films when he was 25, and set out to make 30 films before he retired. He averaged something like one film a year until he died from brain cancer at age 52, five short of his goal. He packed a lot of living into a short amount of time.