20 June 2010


Writing a new script. Created a playlist to listen to while I write it.

1. Fugazi - "Cashout"
2. DOOM - "Ballskin"
3. TV on the Radio - "Staring at the Sun"
4. Radiohead - "The National Anthem"
5. Cannibal Ox - "Stress Rap"
6. TV on the Radio - "Wolf Like Me"
7. Gnarls Barkley - "Smiley Faces"
8. Fugazi - "Full Disclosure"
9. DOOM - "Batty Boyz"
10. TV on the Radio - "Tonight"
11. P.O.D. - "Without Jah, Nothin'"
12. TV on the Radio - "Mr. Grieves"
13. the pillows - "Crazy Sunshine"
14. Fugazi - "Argument"

This is going to be a weird movie. Too much TVotR?

EDIT: This is a feature length script.

06 June 2010

Bookstores are my third home.

I was finally read some of the book Directing Actors. I need to buy that book. I learned a lot watching directors while working on the 5 or 6 short films last semester. Watching them guide the actors to get a good performance out of them. I learned that result directing isn't very good directing.

Result directing is giving the actor non-specific advice on what to do in their performance. For example, George Lucas only gave one phrase as an adjustment for the actors in the original Star Wars movie, and that was "faster and more intense."

I've learned that this is the worse thing you can do for your actors. So far, all I know is that you give your actors imaginative adjustments, or giving the character an objective or goal to achieve in a certain scene. Apparently, a lot of young directors make the mistake of trying to tell the actors to feel a certain emotion. I can't explain very well why it's bad at the moment, but I just know it's bad.

03 June 2010

If I don't get a job soon....

...I will start to sell plasma, become a sperm donor, and maybe even try becoming a stripper.

Maybe not that last bit. I can't dance very well. I probably wouldn't do very well at pole dancing either.

Play some.

I'll be playing at church this weekend. Haven't done that since April. Listening to Jimi Hendrix to get me thinking to play like me.

I found that I truly shine when I get into my zone and just relax. When I sit in this week, I will relax, and I will be in my zone.

Today's gonna be pretty busy...guh.

24 May 2010

SALAD: I suck at naming things.

Honestly---I don't remember what movie made me decide that I wanted to make movies, but I've watched [more than] enough to justify wanting to make films myself. I'd always enjoyed watching how they made them, and it never occurred to me that I want to make them until about 7th or 8th grade. Up until then, I was dead set on being a comic book artist/writer. The idea was planted in my brain there...it hatched some years later. I began to write big epic sci-fi/fantasy stories inspired by the Star Wars trilogy, Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix, and several others.

Wait a tick.

Now that I think about it, Clerks is what really got me wanting to make films, because of how simple the concept is, and how Kevin Smith came to make it. He made the movie he wanted to make, and is now a pretty well respected filmmaker and has a great amount of fans. After I watched Clerks, I started to write things that would be no-budget films essentially. Robert Rodriguez also played a role in inspiring me making low-budget action flicks. Most of the things I wrote were Clerks/El Mariachi hybrids.

Now, my favorite director is Edgar Wright. Why? I love his style. The frantic pacing, the camerawork, the writing, everything. He tells a story the way I would. He does mostly comedies, but he makes the mundane seem exciting. He's also a great action director (see Hot Fuzz; my favorite movie; and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World this summer).

I still want to do epic level films, but outside of the Hollywood system. Being able to make the movie I want to make would be the fulfillment of a dream. Matthew Vaugn did that with Kick-Ass, and I plan on doing it that way all the time. That said, I don't want to be James Cameron.

I've begun watching more and more films, studying directors, seeing how they do things, the decisions they make, and the storytelling styles that they like the most. The two I've had an obsession with over the past couple months is the Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson. The Coen Bros. are masters of dark comedy (something I've been interested in for years), while Wes Anderson works with surreal characters, and deadpan humor. Both are acquired tastes. Not all of the Coen Bros films are comedies, mostly crime dramas spruced with some dark humor. The standout films (for me so far) are Fargo and The Darjeeling Limited.

Other filmmakers that inspire me include Christopher Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, Stephen Chow, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry---I could go on, but I have a feeling that I've bored all 2 of you that read this thing.

Well, I finished writing the script for a film that I would've made this summer, but since I didn't get a job on time enough to be able to get the camera I need (Canon Rebel T2i) to shoot the film on. So I'm going to start writing another script for me to shoot in July that'll be a bit smaller scale. The story: While on his way home from work, a vice-president is called by his assistant and is told terrible (and simultaneously wonderful) things. This time, I'm going to make it easier on myself and outline the story before I write the script.

And now, I'm going to pass out. I've got a crapload of drawings to do (I'm doing commissions), and I'm going to need bigger paper.

P.S. I'm going to an advance screening of Splice next Tuesday (with a plus one). If you're in DC and you read Film School Rejects, they have the link to get the free tickets.

23 May 2010

That's all I got.

this empire takes me by surprise
makes me see diamonds in my eyes
I'm not feeling fine
just tried my hand at shooting stars
instead I'm driving small toy cars
wanting more that can get me far
should I feel fine?
relay, relay, you've got a new message
relax, relax, no need to second guess it
I'm down, not out
and I'm feeling fine

21 May 2010

Freshman Year: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Loved the Film School

The first semester was an introduction to film. In this first semester, I watched more movies than I have when I'm at home. The only one that I really remember making an impact on me was Brick. Out of all the new movies I watched, Brick really stayed on my computer. That, and City Of God. In our first year, we have to produce a short film that's supposed to be 5 minutes long with a central theme (sacrifice, forgiveness, etc., etc.).

Anyway, I learned a lot about being a filmmaker: it's tough. If you're in it, you have to be dedicated. No half-assing on this one. Now that I've made the decision to do it, there's nothing else I want to do.

Second semester was hard. Not too hard, but it was tough. I was in trouble. In my original concept, I had difficulty chopping down the story to fit the time allotment (I had 8 pages in the script; 1 page=1 minute). In this original concept, a workaholic is forced to take a vacation and is taught how to have fun by a 10 year old with severe ADD. I decided to change it up to make it 5 minutes long (I kept the workaholic, but made it somewhat an action movie; a workaholic and his therapist attempt to stop an armed bank robber with ADD). When that didn't work, I finally came up with something simple that would work even better. In it, a young man on his way to class removes obstacles along the neighborhood, making obstacles for others around him. I intended it to be dialogue-less with the main character just tearing through the neighborhood (littering, breaking a window, making a car nearly crash, then blowing out a car tire). Weather and scheduling complications came up and I was nearly screwed. I was determined to get something made. My director suggested a clever concept, but that didn't come to fruition (it may in the future). THEN, one day, we were sitting in the editing lab, trying to figure out something...then Stephen Majors walked in. Our new short film fell right in our lap. I wrote it in 2 days, we shot it in 3 hours. So, here it is. My freshman project, "Oh Brother".