Saturday, October 21

48 Hour Film Challenge - That a Cajun Chicken Wrap with Ranch Dressing

Okay, we are done. The final shots of the night was my death scene. Which I nailed, thank you very much. Over the top. And watch the drink. Just watch it. I'm pretty proud of it. Especially since I managed to repeat the same death 5 times from one angle and 2 times from another. AND then my body drag... Oh, the skill that took. You won't see it on the film, but it took a particular way of being limp.

So they are all packing stuff up as I get ready to go to SNL. Maybe I won't fal asleep during My Chemical Romance. Maybe I will. We'll see. Hopefully I will be awake enough when I return to make one more post.

Bill now gets to go off and edit the darn thing. We'll see if he plans to post it to the world. (8 minutes fits nicely on the Tube of You.)

Fun day. I wouldn't do it again tomorrow. But next year? Sure.

Tomorrow I have to write 3 small sketches for TRS and a bunch of sketches for my sketch writing class.

Love ya' all. Yes, even the little people.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Back track

To catch up on the 3:30 - 6 time frame I didn't post during. There was a bunch of shots done on the roof. Basically my Oobleck in action. Worked fantastic, ILM couldn't have done it better. Okay, sure they could have, but not for the price of a box of corn starch and some food coloring. It was great fun watching even one experience Oobleck for the first time.

(post delayed as I was called away in the middle of it.)

48 Hour Film Challenge - Quick break and we're back

Because it was clear that we won't get all the shots in tonight, we did a tiny retooling. Simplified some shots, ditched a few, restructured my demise. That's okay. We lost some of my stuff, but considering we're rush because I need to get my butt to 30 Rock to see some stuff, I can't complain. No shower scene, sadly. (Yes, you can all cry now.)

We are very close but only have about an hour left.

Sharron, I will be there. I am going to call the moment I leave the house.

Thank the stars we only had one location. Thank the planets. Thank the dwarf planets.

48 Hour Film Challenge - No time

Sorry. No time to post. Rush rush rush. Move a long little doggies.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Why does it have to be so complicated?

We did the pre-drinking scene (why am a so fixated on that?). Went well, but was difficult because it was in the vestibule entrance, me inside and Peter (the Preacher) outside. So we had to get dual coverage: one shot from behind me, focused on him, and another from behind him, focused on me. Bunch of takes on both. I also kept forgetting which way to turn the latch on my own front door - clockwise to open, counter-clockwise to lock.

Somewhere along the way I managed to actually splash a little wine on the cuff of my robe. I don't think you'll be able to notice it. I dabbed it with some bleach. (Isn't film thrilling?)

Now they are getting another complicated shot on the stairs. My noisy, noisy stairs. I'm not watching but it sounds like they've fixed their light issues and getting the scene down.

Next will probably be the roof shots, which will be messy and special effects filled.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Eats, Shoots and Leaves

We ended up NOT shooting the scene right before the drinkin'. We did some scenes From the start of the film. Which meant I had to get out of my bathrobe, and back into my starting clothes. Darn, I was enjoying lounging around. That's fine. We are going t shot the other scene after lunch. So I decided to get back in the robe to eat. Just because. We all ate on the deck. It is a gorgeous fall day, leaves fall from the tress. (Yes, that last bit was forced to make the title work.)

They are still finishing. Everyone still seems in good spirit. We'll see how it goes as we get closer to deadline.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Trailer

I of course have it easy. The crew are the ones that not only have to be at attention but working constantly. Of even if they aren't working they have to be really really paying attention. I, on the other hand, am in my 'trailer' (read: bedroom), lounging in a robe over my other robe.

Note: I get way someone would want be a Star, capital 'S.' And don't even have staff to cater to my whim.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Drink, Dribble, Drink, Dribble

Finally shot that scene. Now they are doing the dragging... I'm not involved so I get a break. (Note: much like the army, film breaks mean you just have to stop paying attention for a bit. When not on break, an actor doresn't do a whole besides waiting for their 5 seconds.) This last scene involved my taking a sip on wine and dribbling it down my it down my chin. We did quite a few take. Sip, dribble, refill. Sip, dribble, refill (remember it is a little after noon). Yes, we could have used food coloring but you have to use a LOT of red to get red wine red. Almost solid food coloring. I didn't really want to drink that. So it was real wine.

Drink, dribble, refill.

I was getting real good at dribbling at the end.

After the dragging, we'll to the scene right before the dribble. We are definitely behind. I must, absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts, leave by 8pm (SNL! Yeah! Possible surprise appearance by Will F.! Woot!). Hopefully things will speed up. Not that I mind, but then again I am not the one who will have to edit tomorrow.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Continuity

I shot my first scene. Went quick but it wasn't complicated. Now we have our first two person scene and everything has crept to a halt while they plan the shot.

We are shooting out of order, which would be no problem, except that I am now in a bathrobe and there is a stain in this scene... which led to continuity issues. See, we haven't shot the scenes when it isn't stained. And we only have one robe. So we had to come up with some tricky solution dealing with my mannerisms to over the fact that the robe is stained.

I'm getting tired. Film is hard and often boring.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Wired

I'm wired for sound along with wired of the java. Finally ate some food. Feelin' much better. 9:30am and we are just starting to shoot... but not me. They're doing the exterior shots with the preacher. Of course I live on a one way street so they are going to have to drive around the block a few times. Bill seems to be getting a touch flustered but he is probably just antsy and responding to the fact that we all are asking him a new question every 30 seconds.

My wardrobe is fine... which was basically just what I threw on this morning.

Jessica went out and bought more corn starch and is having a fun time making Oobleck in the kitchen.

The band-aid hold the mic to my chest just started itching.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Hurry up and wait

I'm a bit jittery from all the coffee I've had. Crew is setting up lights, etc.. Not much for me to do. We've run lines, but there aren't a whole lot of them. So now I just get to wait. Wait wait wait. It's gonna be a long day. I'm thinking about all the shots we need to get and I'm thinking that it's gonna be tight.

Man, I'd like to nap.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Preschool to the rescue

Jessica, the production designer, was trying to create what the script refers to as PLUTONIAN BLOB. She was trying to work with Jello wrapped in cheese clothe with little success. And then Jello in plastic wrap. And it of course looked a lot like Jello in plastic wrap.

And then I flashed back to 1974. Oobleck. Corn starch + water + food coloring. So I whipped up a batch. Beautiful. Icky goo.

48 Hour Film Challenge - Crew shows

For the last 30 minutes the crew has been popping in. We unloaded the the equipment (lookin' good... massive dolly and tons of other stuff). Bill is running through shooting schedule. A little craziness. That's what I expected. Now I am just trying to stay out of their way.

It's very cool because Bill pulled the crew together from just random people. We're all sort of strangers (a little nerve racking being my house and all).

I was going to take pictures, but it appears that the batteries are dead. Maybe later I will find some more.

The rest of the cast arrives in an hour. I suppose I should study my lines.

48 Hour Film Challenge - The Script Arrives

I wake at 3:30am. Nerves, I guess. Always affects my sleep. So check the ol' email to see if there is any news. Ah, the script! Also news that the crew is arriving at 6am. I expected that.

So I print out the script. Now, I don't know if Bill just has confidence in me, or if he really liked my "monologue," or feels that since it's my house I should get a decent part. But I got some meat on my part. A little sci-fi/horror. Also, when you all see it, remember that I didn't write it. Not because it isn't good. I love it. But it could be considered analogous to my relationship to this house in ways that some might think odd. I got all of that out in last years novel.

It also has a fair amount of special effects. Not sure how Bill's going to do it, but I trust him. Don't really have much choice. Now I'm all atwitter.

Note: I'm a bit confused about the difference between the National Film Challenge and the 48 Hour Film Challenge. They are related to each other, maybe the same, I don't know. This is more of a 72 hour challenge. Whatever. Same dif.

Another note: You'll notice I've added labels to my posts. I'm not sure why. I just decided to do it. If anyone knows what that gets me, please leave me a note. I think I may be going a little crazy with them.

Show I wish I had seen: Pinter does Beckett

Oh man, oh man. How I would have loved to see this.
Harold Pinter performs Samuel Beckett's "Krapp's Last Tape."
I am a huge fan of both, having come into contact with there plays back in college. They were the one that taught me the power of silence. Heck, when I think of the 'twang of the void,' I think of the "pauses" in their scripts. How nothing can mean as much or more than words. And the thought of Pinter, whose health has been poor in the last few years, being on stage speaking those words.

(Gasping.) Went to sleep and fell off the pew. (Pause.) Sometimes wondered in the night if a last effort mightn't--(Pause.) Ah finish your booze now and get to your bed. Go on with this drivel in the morning. Or leave it at that. (Pause.) Leave it at that. (Pause.) Lie propped up in the dark--and wander. Be again in the dingle on a Christmas Eve, gathering holly, the red-berried. (Pause.) Be again on Croghan on a Sunday morning, in the haze, with the bitch, stop and listen to the bells. (Pause.) And so on. (Pause.) Be again, be again. (Pause.) All that old misery. (Pause.) Once wasn't enough for you. (Pause.) Lie down across her.


Friday, October 20

The Bard's Tale MMORPG

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from night to night,
To log on to a server with out lag;
And all our Hot Pockets have lighted noobs
The way to digital death. Out, out, brief sim!
Life's but a walking pixel; a poor graphic,
That blips and blink his hour upon the screen,
And then is heard no more: it is a quest
Told by an AI, full of beeps and fury,
Signifying blue screen.

48 Hour Film Challenge - The Elements

Drew emailed me the required elements:
  • GENRE: Sci-Fi
  • CHARCTER: Sam Pinkerton, Preacher
  • PROP: A Chalkboard
  • LINE OF DIALOGUE: "Throw cold water on it!"
So my 100 year old brownstone has been cast in a sci-fi film. Interesting.
I hope I get to play the preacher. Considering my acting skills, I doubt it.
Bill is off writing the script. I don't envy him. I will at least sleep tonight. Bill and Drew won't see much of their beds until sometime Monday.

Oh, and the other thing: I am going to go see Saturday Night Live Tomorrow night. Tomorrow is gonna be a long, entertaining day. I shall try to blog and take pictures when I can.

48 Hour Film Challenge Begins

So it has started.

First some background. A few days ago I responded to a post in a forum. A director was looking for actors for a film he was making for the 48 Hour Film Challenge. The basic run down is that you have one weekend to script, film, edit and toss in the mail a 4 to 8 minute film (in addition you may have 1 minute of credits). No stock footage. No one can be payed. A lot like NaNoWriMo... but even more condensed. And it is an actual contest. Some people do it with one video camera and not much else. Others to it with a full crew and trucks and etc.. (We are probably in the middle.) They also give you the genre and elements you must include: a prop, a character and a line of dialogue. These are emailed on Friday at 7pm.

So I met with the director (Bill) at Starbucks on Wednesday. We talked for a bit and I did a quick monologue for him so he could get a sense of my acting. (I'm tempted to put quotes around 'acting.' It has been years upon years since I have really acted. I of course had no monologues memorized so I took a small speech from last year's novel that I was familiar with (Dave's "How Dating is Like Eating Hot Pockets" analogy) and just improved that.) Bill mentioned some of the sites he thought he might use as locations. I casually mention the brownstone, seeing as it has lots of space and not furniture... something that is damn hard to find in NYC. I'm proud of this place and though it might be possible.

Yesterday Bill and the assistant director (Drew) popped by to check it out. It was fun (as it always is) to see the bit of wide-eyed look folks get when they step inside. Reminds me of when I first looked at the place. At one point Drew and I where chattering on the back deck, and I looked inside to see Bill pacing off camera shots, with his hands practically up in his face creating a frame. The stereotypical director thing. Made me grin. When Bill came outside he said he already had 7 pages of shots figured out in his head. Remember this is without a script or even a genre, and that 7 pages is about 7 minutes of film... on something that can be no longer than 8 minutes.

So I think Bill was sold.

Well, now it is set. The crew and cast has been emailed with my address and will be showing up tomorrow morning.

The Stringrays Are Pissed.

Apparently they all now have a taste for blood.
"This ray leaped into a boat that a gentleman was just cruising on the Intracoastal like every ordinary family does, and apparently he tried to remove it from his boat and it kind of latched onto him."

I'm sorry. I just can't process this.

So I get home from class/CageMatch/bar tonight (okay, I bit of stumble home), and what do I find on the ol' RSS feeds? Ahmet Zappa is writing a Fraggle Rock feature film.

Let me repeat that: Ahmet Zappa... is writing... a Fraggle Rock... feature film.

There is nothing about that sentence that is not magic. Beautiful amazing music. It is as if God himself reached down from Heaven and gave me a deep wet kiss with tongue. Yes, Muppet films haven't excelled in recent years. Yes, Ahmet is often referred to as "the lesser Zappa." Yes, it is the Fraggles in Outerspace (not outer Outerspace, just Out... oh, hell, you either understand what I am saying or you don't have an appreciation of the Rock).

But it is mother frakin' Fraggle Rock.

I shall sleep like a baby tonight.

P.S. - I shall probablt have some crazy crazy posts all day Saturday. Okay, maybe not all that crazy, but it could be an all day affair. Should know for sure tomorrow night. Stay tuned. What? You want a hint?

Thursday, October 19

The Happiest Google Maps Mash Up Ever!

Not really. Here is HEALTHmap, where you can track the latest outbreaks of about 50 diseases. Everything from E. coli (USA for the win with 57) to Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (Angola, it's all you, baby). It draws for a few sources. Some are reports by medical experts that are more accurate and cover in more detail but take a long time to report. But it also draws from Google News which is very quick, but will have inaccurate reporting and not cover certain things (like I doubt Canada and Ethiopia are the only places that have had Diarrhea in the last 30 day... and only 6 cases between them).

But, hey, it is a handy tool to plan your nest trip. Or send the link to your hypochondriac aunt. I had to look up Chikungunya. Now I feel sick.

(via Wired)

Wednesday, October 18

Kotaku Supports the Boycott Against Itself

Gamer sites/blogs are a lot like gamers themselves. They like to trash talk, they like to have fun, sometimes they take it too far, and sometimes they take things too seriously. Oh, how many roleplaying sessions I've been at were things are all fun and games and then suddenly someone feels their honor has been besmirched. Next think you know, 12-sided dice are being flung at faces and 2-liter Coke bottles are being wielded like clubs.

So I am quite amused by the Kotaku/Destructoid tiff. The details are better handled by going to those sites (and Faith Naked's blog). The main thing that I find entertaining is Kotaku's full support fr the boycott, even if they are doing it tongue firmly in cheek.

Tuesday, October 17

Monday, October 16

GPS Backseat Drivers

This is especially for Mama SixSider and Papa Sixsider.
Four GPS Navs all yelling at once.

(via Gizmodo)

Improv Around the World!

Just cruisin' the Next Blog button and game across IMPROVVISAZIONE TEATRALE . Clearly a blog about improv. At first I though Portuguise, but that's probably just because Papa SixSider has been emailing observations from Rio. But of course my language skills failer me again. Italian. One thing I learned is that companies or teams in Italy are called "squares." I like that.

And this quote appealed to me:
Perhaps two absolutely complementary schools and just from this alchemy are gushed the happened one of the show. High the qualitative level of all the actors but, since riproposto to me to signal an actor for every square, this week I would want to evidence the beautiful tests of Andrea Sambuchi for the square of Umbertide and Stefano Augeri for the square of Rome. For a reason or purpose informative, but with a successful show therefore it is truly a detail, you it marks it that the umbertidese square has adjudicated the evening prevailing itself for 26 to 23 and conquest therefore the first Victoria of the Etruscan Torneo.

Go umbertidese square! 26 to 23 victory! (I think.) And I love when "alchemy are gushed." (Alchemy are Gushed is now my #1 improv team ("square") name of choice.)

Sunday, October 15

A night of little sleep

A bit of the old insomnia last night. No reason really. I started with some emails and then a bit of forum posting. Then a bit of pre-NaNoWriMo-pipe-flushing writing, which led to going to those forums to ask a random question. And then I started checking out, which is basically a print-on-demand vanity press. Very very simple (except that you have to do all the formatting and it is a bit pricey... but there is no up front cost). So I got all wrapped up in that for a while. Made a cover, which was an interesting experience. See, my old copy of Adobe Illustrator doesn't work on my new mac. So I used the draw program in NeoOffice, a free open source MS Office type program. Worked out okay for what I was doing, just not very smooth. Again, I was just playing around.

Then I started to read about online worlds. You know, World of Warcraft, EVE, Second Life. I really appreciate these "games," I just can't play them. Way way to much time to devote to them, with little dramatic story. (I will write about my feeling on them in more detail later this week.) But I do love to read about what is going on in them.

I tried to write some sketches for next weeks podcast and failed. The theme is "Home" and I am just not getting a good idea. Blah. I am starting a sketch writing class on Wednesday at The Magnet. We'll see. I'm not a big fan of most writing classes. Too much "all ideas are god ideas" crap. Blah

Then I slept for a bit but woke up after 3 hours for no reason. So I blog-surfed for a while. And then I updated my links on this blog since they had all been flushed when I switched over to the Blogger 2.0 beta. Then I decided i didn't have enough links, so I searched for blogs by improvisors I like. Okay, right now it's mainly just folks who have taught me. (Improvisors are a bit of ass-kissers.) Then I played with some of the features in the Blogger 2.o and after an hour ended up basically were I started. (Changed my sub-title to better suit my current state of mind... that "from the edge" thing was pretty lame.)

Then I looked at sinks.

Now it is 8:30am and I have practice class at 12:30. I could sleep for another hour or two, but I know that won't happen. So I shall wrap this up, take a shower, do some laundry, go out for breakfast and the NYTimes and see how much coffee I can drink.

(Oh, I never said how Thursdays class went. Good. Still hard, I'm not actually over the hump, but I do really feel like I'm peaking of the top. I made some lame moves... or at least incomplete ones, but I also made some that I was proud of. And I'm not thinking about it as much. Looking forward to practice in 4 hours. Hopefully we'll have more people.)

Cool Sink

Really that is all this post is about: a cool bathroom sink.

Maybe New York IS out to get some people

This poor woman! While I realize that two events separated by nine year does not make a pattern, you do have to wonder. I mean, first she is attacked by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now, the Yankees fly a plane into her window.

Kathleen, it may be time to leave the city. But if you chose to stay, I recommend you avoid certain area.

- Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink: even though I know that it is not ice over unfrozen water, I think there is a good chance you would fall through the ice. If not that, I would seriously keep on eye on the zamboni.
- Times Square, especially on New Year's Eve: The Ball has a decent chance of falling on you.
- The Statue of Liberty: If she were ever to become animated ala Ghostbusters 2...
- Katz Deli: Who knows what horrors pastrami might be capable of.
- Guiliani: Don't go near him. Ever. I would also avoid Koch, Bloomberg, Woody Allen, and The Naked Cowboy. Hilary Clinton is probably safe.