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Sunday, 30 September 2007
Starship P0rn
Topic: Cinema

The Castro Theater is currently holding a tribute to composer Jerry Goldsmith and running many films that he scored. Today was a double feature of Twilight Zone: The Movie, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  I only went to the latter.

Right off, something was wrong, I walked into the auditorium and heard Star Trek music playing...which would've been all fine and good had it been from any of the FIVE Trek films Jerry Goldsmith scored, but, instead, it was a clip of the horrid James Horner's theme from Star Trek II.  C'mon, it's a JERRY GOLDSMITH tribute and you're playing frakking James And The Generic Score Horner?!

That ignominity out of the way, I pop out my cell phone, call Andy Probert and promise to cheer his name when the end credits roll. He jokingly reminds me to pay close attention to the mention of "Commodore Probert" in the opening scenes. I assure him I will pay rapt attention.

The film gets rolling and right away I'm worried. The opening overture is missing.  The credits roll and I can tell it's not a good print. Plus, the projector setting isn't bright enough and the sound is kind murky.  Oh well, I suffer the technical flaws.

Here comes the Enterprise. Now, I've heard this film described as starship porn, what with its lengthy loving shots of all the space hardware, and seeing it on a big screen again, I can see that. The ship is beautiful, and the camera lingers on it, loves it, caresses it.

I find myself wondering if the warp drive effect might be considered the money shot.  I can't decide if this makes me some kind of high tech voyeur.

Anyway, 15 minutes into the film my heart sinks...there's a scene there that wasn't in the original theatrical release.  The volume fluctuates and the picture quality drops even more.  A few minutes later, another one of these.  Oh God, it looks like the bastardized "Longer" version made for TV.

I consider walking out and asking for my money back...this isn't what I expected. But I decide to stick it out...there are production details in this film that can't be made out on TV that I want to see, and who knows if I'll ever get a chance again.

To add insult to injury, about 70 minutes in, the film jams and the current frame melts.  While they're splicing it, I take the opportunity to point out to the guys in the lobby what print they appear to have. They say it was nearly impossible to find ANY print of this picture.  I shake my head.  This stupid movie made over $100 million in 1979'd think Paramount would have kept a few decent prints of it!

The movie's on again, and just as I'm bracing myself for the worst of the re-inserted cut scenes that I know is coming...suddenly, the film is not the Longer version.  The spacewalk sequence is the original form.  I scratch my head for a moment, then realize what must have happened...this print must be some compilation of reels from the Longer version and the Theatrical Version...a celluloid Frankenstein.

Then, as it's nearing the climax, I notice something...the audience is deadly silent during all the added stuff, but they laugh at the funny bits that were in the original cut. As I always suspected, nobody really cares about the extra crap that was wisely left on the cutting room floor in 1979.

Oh yeah, and 28 years later, McCoy still steals every scene he's in. He gets all the big laughs.

Then, it ends as the Enterprise goes to warp drive with a bang.  The money shot of starship porn, indeed! I feel like I should be smoking a cigarette in the afterglow.

Instead, I cheer the name of Andy Probert, as promised.

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 May 2009 1:09 AM PDT
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Make A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul
Topic: Music

They Might Be Giants are touring again.  After washing up after the "starship p0rn" earlier today, I meet Matt and Diana for dinner and drinks at Tommy's, then Diana drops us at the Fillmore.

Unlike last time I saw them, tonight they played some of their best known songs, hitting Anna Ng as the second number, later playing Birdhouse In Your Soul, and ending their second encore with their cover (better known than the original) of Istanbul (Not Constantinople).

I love this band. They're geeky as all get out, but they're clever songwriters. And the great thing about their songs, they're all short, so even if you're hearing one that you don't love, it's over in 2 or 3 minutes and you're on to the next thing.

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
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Friday, 7 September 2007
It's a Museum... OF THE FUTURE!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Vacation

In Seattle with family.

Finally going to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

No photography.  Rats!  I wanted a pic of me with the 6-foot Next Generation Enterprise that my buddy Andy Probert designed.  Alas.

Cool stuff abounds. Models and costumes and robots, oh my.  I particularly like Luke Skywalker's lightsaber suspended a few inches from his severed hand.

My hands-down favorite thing has to be the full size Blade Runner "Spinner" flying car.  I wanna ride!

Afterwards, it's a lunch for my brother in the Space Needle restaurant next door.  I'm reminded of the joke as to why the restaurant in the Space Needle is the best one in Seattle: because it's the only restaurant in Seattle from which you can't see the Space Needle!



Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007 8:22 PM PDT
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Thursday, 6 September 2007
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Vacation

On my drive to Portland, OR last month the upper portions of Mt. Shasta were lost in the clouds.  On the way back I did get a look at the mountain, but not as good a one as I'd have liked, as the view from I-5 is only okay.  Today I got the most unusual perspective on Shasta...from the air. My flight to Seattle passed just west of the mountain, and I was practically looking straight down at it from 30,000 feet.  You'd think it would look punier from so far above, but you'd be wrong.  The immensity of it and its origins as a volcano are all too apparent from above. Sure, it's dormant, but I couldn't help a fleeting thought of what its erupting would do to the little Alaska Air jet that bore me.

The remainder of the flight was almost as scenic. We flew just west of Crater Lake, and then near Mt. St. Helens.  Did I have my camera ready?  Nooooo...

Arrive in Seattle to meet my brother and family. After shoveling fast food into my face and checking into our hotel we make a beeline for the Museum of Flight.  It's a great museum, with a section devoted to old WWI era aircraft that I loved. The whole place is very comprehensive, with many fine examples; everything from an Italian Monoplane to a Lunar Module!

We walked through the Air Force One that served U.S. Presidents from Ike to Tricky Dick. I resisted the urge to spit where Nixon had parked his flabby arse...but just barely.

I love airplanes. I got into them in Jr. High School, partly through discovering building airplane model kits, and partly through a fascination I developed with the abandoned Boeing Supersonic Transport.  Sadly, since the Concordes've all been grounded, my liklihood of exceeding the speed of sound have been reduced to near nil!

I may never get to ride an SST, but at least I got to walk though one today, as the museum has a Concorde on display.  It's cool to see how tiny the windows are and how narrow the fuselage is, but my one disappointment is that they have plexiglassed off ALL of the seats.  I understand they don't want people sitting all over the place and ruining it, but it would've been nice had they left ONE row available so you could sit down and see if you though it was cramped. 

Then again, how concerned are you with elbow room when crossing the Atlantic in 2.5 hours?


Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:52 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Arrevederci cara madre!
Mood:  sad

Went to see the movie "Stardust" with the S.F. Moviebears group.

Found a voicemail from my sister when I emerged. From the tone of her voice, I knew what happened before she said it.

Mama's passed away.


Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007 1:40 PM PDT
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Return of the Native

Just back from my first trip to Portland, Oregon. It's the longest solo car trip I've taken by myself, as I tend to fly anywhere over a couple of hundred miles away. It's about 660 miles each way. I drove a straight shot back, which took about 10 hours (including a stop for gas, a stop to stretch my legs, and a stop to get dinner).

Lots to think about. I wanted to make time to work on films, and now I've done one.  The bug's definitely bitten me, and bitten hard.  The question: what next?

On the way I finally get a good look at Mt. Shasta, the upper elevations of which were lost in the clouds when I drove by last week.

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007 1:44 PM PDT
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Monday, 13 August 2007
Another 24 Hours
Topic: Vacation

Our film is to be screened Thursday night, but I feel like I need to get back and take care of some work, so, much as I'd like to hang out in Portland, I decide I need to head back tomorrow.

However, since Scott had takem the day off, we now have the whole day to hang out and decompress after the madness of the previous 48+ hours. We look at the film a couple of times, and both agree that it's better than what we expected for such a compressed shoot.  We discuss briefly how to make some adjustments to improve the film before submitting it elsewhere. In 48 hours there ain't much room to polish!

After breakfast at a Cameo Cafe, a local place famous for its pancakes, Scott suggests that we drive out to the number one tourist attraction outside of Portland: the Multnomah Falls, part of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It's a fairly short drive, and the falls are very pretty, and going at a good clip for August.  We decide to hike up to the top.  It's a long set of switchbacks, and my slightly bum right ankle forces me to pause a few times, but we make it.

Scott & I on the trail

Upon our return to Portland we get some shaved ice and stroll through the city's beautiful municipal rose gardens. Ahhh.

Afterwards we stop in a neighborhood that's home to a number of Portland's gay bars, but there doesn't seem to be a gay neighborhood like you'd find in San Francisco or Seattle. The hardest thing for me is that they still allow smoking in the bars there, which tends to make me want to finish my drink quickly and flee.

Next we meet Scott's friend Paul for dinner at an Ethiopian place called Queen of Sheeba that Scott really likes. Afterwards, we adjourn to a really cool venue called Ground Kontrol that is full of arcade video games, most old, and also has a bar. and Burgertime. That's the ticket!

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:53 PM PDT
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Sunday, 12 August 2007
48 Hours: Hours 28 to 48...and beyond!
Topic: Makin' Movies

Sunday (continued from Saturday's entry)

2-something a.m.: A knock at the door. Brendan delivers a hard drive with all the footage from yesterday’s shoot captured and catalogued.

Sleep resumes.

6 a.m.: Scott is up and starting to work on the rough cut.  He send the shot that needs a big visual effect to the effect house NEO f/x so they can get started. There’s no way I can really help at this point, so I bury my head under the blankets and sleep more.

12:30 p.m.: The rough cut is done and sent out for comment and review. Ben Jasmine down in Monterey, CA, will be doing music for the title and the opening action cue.

Sometime in the afternoon: Lots of tweaks. I hover nears Scott’s shoulder and make lots of suggestions about tweaking the edit.  The film has to be no more then 7 minutes long (minus credit roll), and the rough cut was about 8. Scott worries that we’ll have to whack a lot out. I suggest we just methodically go through it shot by shot and “let the air out” wherever possible, meaning tightening the edit, trimming pauses between lines, shortening reaction shots, etc. 10 frames here, 20 frames there, it all adds up.  Before long the edit is down to 6:58... 2 seconds to spare!

NEO f/x delivers the first version of the effect where Solar-Man and Ice Meister throw their powers at each other and the beams meet and cancel each other out.  The effect looks good, but it feels a little pasted on.  I tell Scott it needs a little interactive lighting, and suggest that the effects guys cast a glow on the ground below the beams, “as if there’s a neon pole between them, casting a glow on the sidewalk”.

2ish: I need to eat something, but Scott’s not about to take a break, so I take a walk, find a pub and get a big salad and some beer. I try to clear my head of everything that’s happened since Friday night so that when I return to Scott’s I’m looking at the film with fresh eyes and able to make suggestions that’ll really help.

3:30 p.m.: Kelly comes by and bring us donuts, to make sure we’ve eaten. Scott barely nibbles at his.  She laughs at the edit, which is encouraging. She comments on the line “Do you really think your henchmen are going to take you seriously once they find out you’re Sister <snap> Freeze? <snap>” and says we should have done “you’re an Ice <snap> Queen? <snap>” We get a laugh out of’s only that we were in such a hurry that we missed out on the joke that our leads are an Ice Queen (Ice Meister) and a Flaming Queen (Solar-Man). Still, I’m glad we got “Sister Freeze” in because it’s not an obvious a cliché. Plus it’s a play on a Batman villain’s name.

Late afternoon: NEO f/x delivers a revised version of the energy blast and it looks great. Not only did they get the glow on the ground that I requested, but they added a little explosive blast when the beams finish, followed by a drifting puff of smoke that forms a roughly heart shape as it rises. Scott and I both love it, and he says it’s too bad we can’t use the puff of smoke. I encourage him to tweak the edit to get it in there, because it’s the kind of little touch that buttons off the action in a way we need.  He does. It’s great.

Ben delivers a great action cue for the opening scene, but Scott is a little perplexed by the music. He said he asked for something that sounds Batman-esque, but I point out that Ben probably thought he meant Batman circa 1989 with the Danny Elfman score, not Batman circa 1966 with a jazzy Nelson Riddle score. We got the former, but it works fine. Ben also sends over music for the nightclub scenes. One piece is used as a loop in the first nightclub scene, and the longer one is played under a later scene. The first one sounds awkward when it loops, but by the time Ben delivers a revised non-looping version time’s running short and it’s dangerous to start monkeying with the soundtrack, so the looped version stays.

6:30 p.m.: Closing in on the deadline. I start pulling all the paperwork together, and then notice that not all of the forms are properly filled out. Each person on the set had to sign a liability waiver, and anyone who appeared on camera had to sign a release form, only I can’t account for them all.  It takes a while to sort this out.

Scott scrambles to get the credit roll done, and it’s sloppy and somewhat erroneous, but we’re out of time.

9:30 p.m.: I’d like to say we rushed out the door and delivered the film just in the nick of time (whoever "Nick" is), but we run into a snag. Scott can’t get the film to output back to the camera so it can be recorded on tape. He’s never tried this before with this camera (which shoots at 24 fps instead of 30), and it’s not working.  Ultimately, it turns out that the switch that puts the camera into VTR mode isn’t obvious, and Scott’s got a few settings wrong in the editing software, but it puts us into a position where it’s not going to be possible to get the film output in time to get it over to the competition by the 7:30 p.m. deadline. Scott burns a data DVD of the film instead, but it pushes us over the deadline. If we get the film in before 9:30 p.m. we’ll still qualify to be screened and have an opportunity to be voted on for an Audience Favorite award, but we won’t qualify for all the other awards for best directing, acting, screenplay, etc. 

Scott is devastated. He feels like he let everyone down. I remind him that a finished film can be entered in other festivals, so there will be other chances to be recognized.

The film is delivered, and it’s over.

Wow, I’m tired...but I can honestly say I haven’t had this much fun in...well, maybe ever.

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:53 PM PDT
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Saturday, 11 August 2007
48 Hours: Hours 4 to 28
Topic: Makin' Movies

Saturday (continued from Friday's entry)

Midnightish: Scott now asks me to write up all the notes and send them to Don, whom he has contacted about writing a script. I tell Scott that since it's my idea and I heard all the brainstorming, I'd like to take a stab at writing it, and then will send that to Don, and he can clean it up or totally rewrite it if he deems fit.

1 a.m.: I send Scott to bed in hopes he'll get some sleep. I face the blank page in Final Draft. I have to figure out what the characters should be based on the actors available, and we have two interior locations lined up, plus we can do a guerrilla shoot outdoors somewhere. The film has to be between 4 and 7 minutes. With these parameters in mind, I start writing.

3:05 a.m.: I finish my draft of what is called "Secret Identity". Wow am I tired. I can't even tell if it's funny!

3:30 a.m.: Finishing some notes about the script, I shoot it off to Don. I collapse onto the air mattress Scott set up for me.  I actually have a tough time going to sleep. The brain is still spinning.

6:45 a.m.: I'm blearily awake. Scott, who barely slept, has already received the script back from Don and emailed it out to the crew. Apparently, Don didn't totally rewrite it. I guess even at 3 a.m. I don't suck at writing. But the title's been changed to something better, now it's "Secret Identity Crisis".

8 a.m.: After picking up five gallons of coffee and two dozen pastries at Peets, we arrive with the grip truck to the first location: Casey's nightclub. Scott's plan is to shoot the scenes that take place in the bar first, then shoot the opening action sequence, then finish with an evening shoot at a house.

Our first monkey wrench: no one is there to unlock the location as promised, and Scott keeps leaving voice messages. Kelly and  Janet and I take a quick survey of the various bits of athletic gear and clothes that have been brought as possible super suit elements, then we hurry off to a local discount store that opens early. We find little shorts to be worn atop the tights, a great jacket we can adapt for our villain's tunic, gloves, and some odds and ends. We then stop at Janet's and grab some costuming bits she has, including a cheap Vegas-era Elvis costume.

9 a.m.: We return to find the crew has moved to a nearby park in front of an official looking structure. Since the nightclub location's still not opened, the plan is to shoot the action sequence first. As the camera crew sets up everything to shoot, we madly scramble to cobble together the super suits for our hero Solar-Man (Kyle) and his arch nemesis Ice Meister (Bill). We throw everything but the kitchen sink at the costumes. I'm using art tape and colored electric tape to add details, sticking rubber appliance feet (don't ask) over unwanted branding on Kyle's shirt, and fitting aluminum appliance knob covers to Bill's jacket chest and to cover the branding on the backs of the gardening gloves.  Kyle's arm covers are red socks we slice the feet from. Ka-razy!

Supervillains aren't born...they're made!

10 a.m.: Shooting is underway, but it's slow going. The early hour means the sun is shifting in such a way that the shadows from the building in the background are moving a lot, and the actors marks have to be cheated to keep them out of glare. We have to deal with gawkers driving by (sometimes in shot), and then there are funny little costuming problems. Kyle's goggles are constantly fogging up, and the silver discs on Bill's gloves tend to pop off mid-take during action!

Lunchtime: The nightclub location is finally open, so we hurry over there to set up.

Unfortunately, it's not soon enough for one of our actors, Illya, who has to depart with his scene unfilmed. Something will have to be figured out to get around this. 

The nightclub is fairly large, with an upstairs and a downstairs bar, a pool table near the door, and booths. Depending on how we set up, it could serve as a bar or a cafe or even a restaurant. Since the script calls for a bar, we haul the equipment downstairs to that bar and start figuring out how to set up. I'm technically the Property Master and well as the de facto Art Director, so I have to "dress" the set. I arrange bottles and glasses, set up the bottle and drinks for the action (loaded with water or iced tea). I convince Scott that one white wall is much too blank and that they need to break up the light on it with a "cookie". They do that, and also move an animated light fixture to project onto said wall. Someone brings down a gay pride flag, and I tape that to the wall. That finishes it!

After we all scarf down sections of a six foot sub Scott had delivered, we're back to business and the shoot resumes.

Jenny—who plays Sheila the bartender—has some trouble remembering her lines. She's also not quite getting the character as written. I wrote "pushy" and she's playing it too nice. There's a half dozen extras in the scene, in the background and walking through a few shots. Kelly is recruited to play the non-speaking role of the D.J. in the booth in the background, but as the afternoon progresses the black mesh on her outfit's top starts to tear, and we literally hold her outfit together with black gaffer tape!

Mid-afternoon: With the first bar scene wrapping up, Scott pulls me aside and tells me we have a problem. Since our morning shoot got all rearranged because the club wasn't available, we're behind schedule, and we're not even done at the bar, yet. He says it'll take at least an hour to repack all the gear in the grip truck, then the time to get to the next location and set up again. There are TWO setups required there (interior and exterior), plus costume and makeup changes. I also learn that we lose Bill (Ice Meister) at 9:20 tonight. Scott says that if we don't figure out a way to shoot the rest of the film at the bar, we're liable to not finish before we lose Bill! He basically drops it on my shoulders to figure out how to change the script.

After nearly snapping at our D.P. when he gets on me for getting the bar dressed for the next shots,  I put Scott's problem aside long enough to take care of the needs of the next scene. That done, I grab a copy of the script and go back to a corner and start rewriting. I have several problems that aren't easily solved, because a big reveal is tied to a costume gag that I now can't do.  I struggle with this, but in what seems like 15 minutes I have my rewrite. I try to preserve as much dialogue as was in the previous draft so as to minimize the memorization task for the actors.

This is also the first chance I've had all day to look at the script Don sent back. He hardly changed anything...just a few words here and there. One change I don't like so much, but it's not important enough to fight for.

Late afternoon: The script change requires that the final scene take place in the bar at closing time. As such, the set has to be redressed and the lighting changed. The extras aren't needed for the final scenes so they're all thanked and kicked out. While this occurs, one part of the crew sets up to do an insert shot of Solar-Man's goggles falling to the floor, while most of the crew grabs one light and goes upstairs to shoot Roy's entrance into the bar. This is done all with handheld camera work to speed things up. A big gag here involving the required balloon prop gets changed because we lost Illya, who had been willing to play the scene naked except for a strategically placed balloon, and the guy who is talked into taking the part isn't willing to go that far for his art.

Evening: The bar's been transformed for the final scene. A pile of bottles and glasses covers the bar where our principles are to be seated, and a Kino fluorescent light has been mounted against the ceiling overhead to stand in for non-existent house lights when the lights come up as the bar is closing.

Scott asks me if the actors have been running their lines, and I point out to him that he hasn't even read the new ending to see if it's what he wants to shoot. He grabs my shoulders and says "I trust you", so script supervisor Brandon and I talk, he makes handwritten copies of my changes, and Bill and Kyle retreat to the D.J. booth to rehearse for 20 minutes. Then it's back on set.

It becomes a bit of a blur after that. They run the dialogue and do a pretty good job at it given the last minute changes.

A new gag requires Ice Meister (in his alter ego) to freeze a glass, thus revealing his true identity to Solar-Man. There's no time to actually freeze a glass, so one idea is to use a fog machine in the club to drop vapor onto the glass. Great idea, but the machine won't work. Finally, someone goes to the grip truck and comes back with a chemical fire extinguisher which is used to shoot white powder into the glass with a resulting cloud that looks like vapor. It looks great, but after several test shots the bar is covered with gray dust and the air is suddenly atmospheric with something I don't think we want to be breathing.

Some final action weirdness. The animated disco light can't really be shut off when the lights come up, so it's necessary to drop a flag (black card) in front of it on cue. I volunteer to sit on the floor and do this. Then, as the action is rehearsed, we find the actors keep bumping into their barstools, so myself and another guy also take on the task of yanking the stools away when the actors stand up.  Here I am, sitting on the floor, blocking a light and then crawling over to pull a bar stool out from under a grown man. Glamorous ain't it?

Since all the extras were dismissed, Kelly is told to ad lib a good night as she—as the D.J.—exits, so now she has a line: "Sheila, I'm out!"

Oh, and Illya's back. There's no more speaking he gets a walk-on as the janitor sweeping up.

The last hurdle: The script calls for the two characters to embrace, and in rehearsals it's a hug, and it just doesn't work. The only way this works is if they kiss, but our two male leads are both straight. Scott talks to them, but they're both pros and express no problem doing it. Kelly cheers after each take. I guess she likes seeing men kissing.

Most of the Crew as we wrap (Kelly's taking the picture)

8:20 p.m. That's a wrap!  Photography hour before we'd lose Bill. The next hour or so is spent packing up all our gear and cleaning up the mess we made in the bar.  I daresay we may even have left it cleaner than we found it!

The end of the night: Goodbyes said, a few of us retire to find some food. After some pizza and beer we go back to Scott's to grab a little sleep while we can. Brendan's off capturing the video from the mini DV tapes to a hard drive, so there's nothing to be done until the footage arrives.


Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:54 PM PDT
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Friday, 10 August 2007
48 Hours: Hours 1 to 4
Topic: Makin' Movies


God's Country

A billboard on the roadside of I5 somewhere out of Grants Pass, OR features a man at one end, and then morphs him over several frames into a chimpanzee on the opposite side. The billboard reads, "Are they trying to make a monkey out of you?" as lists a website of

If that wasn't enough, surfing the radio gets me a whole lot of religious music stations...more than any other kind.

Clearly, Toto and I aren't in Kansas any more...or maybe we are and that's the problem.

But Back to where it started...

The 48 hours of the title of this and the following posts starts officially at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The day starts early as I leave my motel in Grants Pass and drive the final four hours or so to Portland. There I meet Scott Cummins at his apartment. We quickly hurry out to get lunch at the Widmer Gasthaus pub (home of Widmer Hefeweizen) and starts discussing strategies for the 48 Hour Film Project.

7:00 p.m.: Scott and I meet up with Bert, our Director of Photography (D.P.) and arrive for the kickoff of the 48 Hour Film Project. There are something like 53 teams signed up. I quickly see how this works. Teams are divided into groups, and then reps for each group are called forward to draw a genre out of a hat. There is only one instance of each of the 14 genres in the hat, so for each group only one team will end up with a given genre. I have a great idea for Buddy Picture, so I sort of want that one.  Scott, on the other hands would love to get Superhero, but has said previously that he knows he'll never get it.

Scott nearly explodes with delight when he draws our genre: Superhero!


7:30 p.m.: Next all the teams are given 3 elements they must include in their films, this to prevent people from submitting films they made previously. The elements are:

1. Character: Roy or Rachel Schwarz (no T), a Quality Control Expert

2. Prop: A Balloon

3. Line of Dialogue: "Do you smell what I smell?"

8:15 p.m.: We've relocated to the Kennedy School (an old school that is now a series of bars and restaurants to meet much of our team. Here I meet actors Kyle, Bill, Jenny, Illya and Harold, as well as our makeup tech Janet, location manager Kelly, and Script Supervisior Brendan. Scott anounces the genre and elements, and over dinner and drinks a lot of ideas are kicked around. The main idea that comes up is about a sort of DMV of superheroes, where Rachel Schwarz is rating heroes and failing them. Out of this come a couple of gags, including Bill's suggestion of the name Walter Ego.

Me with Kelly. Geek Girl Extraordinare!

Midnight: After a conference call with Dave in Minnesota—in which he suggests the villain have a line "Hello? Lawyer?" to describe how he's evil in his day job—we become concerned that the DMV of Superheroes gag is too obvious. Three different people on our team independently hit on the idea, and this worries us because of that many of our team hit on the idea, it's possible a team in one of the other groups did, too, and since we're in the last group, ours would be the last to be seen. We also kicked around ideas for a dramtic story, but nothing gelled. So, I make the case for the idea that struck me a week or so ago, in which two guys meet in a gay bar and hook up, not realizing that they are actually arch nemesis superhero and super villain in their alter egos. Scott agrees that it's unlikely anyone else will try it, so we agree to go that way.

Now, there's just the small matter of, oh, a screenplay...


Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:54 PM PDT
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