Sunday, July 29, 2007

The ABC'S of an Ignorant Liar Part 1

I'm going to clear the air for anybody that has the wrong idea about me. I have been being called stupid and ignorant from someone very close to me for a very long time and I have just now decided that I was going to share to the world including this person what I think of me being ignorant or stupid.

Number 1 - I am not incompetent. I am not a liar. And I'm not irresponsible or "flaky." I am either a frickin' miracle of modern science or I am certifiably insane.

You make the decision. In my defense on the 'certifiable' thing, I'm not a violent guy nor paranoid nor homicidal. I was never abused as a kid. In fact, I grew up in an upper class, typical family. Sure we had our things but what family doesn't. My great grandfather, grandfather and father were and are brilliant men. My father, along with being a city renowned dentist is also an established professional photographer. He devoted his life to his family and I've spent my life trying to make him proud.

OK, so enough about that. Through the years, my mother was certain I was "mentally awkward." I visited distinguished hospital after distinguished hospital to have tests run on me. I don't remember specifics but I do remember the doctors saying I had what they called 'Attention Deficit Disorder.' This was 25 years ago. It was back when the government and the medical industry realized how much money they could make hammering the American Public with all these new ailments and dysfunctions of the human body through books, propaganda, PSA's and billboards. Of course I was going to be ADD. Forget the fact that my IQ test at 10 revealed my score was 100. (*This was Above Average. Genius was up in the 130 range.) Yet I was still a 'kook' and my mother made sure everybody including myself knew that everyday of my life, because I didn't pay attention in class. When I did pay attention, I scored 98s like they were going out of style. The SAT [Psssstttt!] 990. (Granted, because I was "ADD" I got no time limit and a room to myself to do it in. I would have probably done better in a timed environment. Who knows?) My life thinking back with or without ADD ….. Fucking Achievement.

I was shooting music videos in my backyard, (directing my father on camera,) when I was eight. I was playing soccer by nine. When sixth grade came along, I was writing short stories and episodes about my group of friends being in Squaw Valley as Professional Snow Skiers, dealing with relationships, growing up and skiing competitions. By 14, I was a well skilled skateboarder while snow skiing in competitions for the Appalachian Junior Ski Team. By 15, I was shoved into Boarding School for 'Learning Disabled' kids. I would have schooled on the fucking equator if that is what would have kept me from any more doctor tests. In boarding school, I was a collegiate wrestler, (and fake wrestler as well,) lobbying for a ring, (to box and wrestle in,) to be put into our dorm room and through liabilities and other BS red tape… Got it. I invented my own Wrestling Federation and held tri monthly 'pay-per-views.' I also kept coming up with innovative ways to sneak into the girls' dorm… HA! (Just seeing if you are still with me.) I was listening to The Cult, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, Zeppelin. "Very unusual taste for a 15 year old," a teacher stated. Too bad they are all classic rock bands now, lady. When I wasn't in the dorm arena kicking ass or getting my ass kicked in, I was writing an 'underground' newspaper that touched on Student Opinions and my own thoughts of the rise of "authority" in schools and government in which they had gradually under the radar begun to take peoples' right to think for themselves away. Upon my parents deciding to give me my junior and senior year at public school on the advice of two of my teachers that said it was time for some real classes for me, boarding school and yet another group of great friends I had acquired at a school were gone.

In public school was where I began realizing I wasn't like other kids. I carried on my 'underground newspaper,' to the masses and it blew up like the Harry Potter books, (in Hickory High School anyway.) Once a week, a four page handwritten, hand drown and animated paper was distributed to lines of people in lunch wanting to read my garble. The first couple had a 30 copy run. By number seven, over 100. After the debacle which I will tell you about in a minute, I was pumping out 300 copies like it was boogers. On top of all of this I was still doing my work. Granted, I was only doing enough to get by, but doing it nonetheless. Then, my real encounter with the 'new authority' I spoke of would change my life and perspective of life all together. A kid was expelled from school for outrageous reasons. I won't get into specifics, but let's just say he was a less fortunate kid who had a food card. The public school and Booster Clubs didn't need him. His parents were never going to contribute to their cause. He came to school in the same clothes three days a week and occasionally was tardy because his parents were too drunk from the night before to drive him to school forcing him to walk three miles to the school on a very short notice. I didn't know him that well, but I wasn't your normal 'click' guy who didn't associate or acknowledge people outside of my "rich friend group." I knew and liked everybody equally. Well, I along with a few others felt the reason for expulsion was because the faculty felt he was one kid that didn't belong in the "prestigious" HHS and used a ridiculous excuse to get rid of him. Well Garrick decided that wasn't going to stand and again, being cool with everybody managed to get my hands on some documents that would at least put the expulsion in question. In Issue 12 I exposed the situation. It was probably not the Issue I should have also gotten into depth with sex and what teenagers were actually doing with their spare time in our high school. As many before it, this issue did not fly under the radar. It caused an up roar with the Administration and they impulsively suspended me for 10 days. (A 10 day suspension would inadvertently fail me for the semester.) My father as mad as he was at me was just as mad about the Freedom of Speech and Press theory being negated and it was. There was no slander. What I wrote was all true. I didn't point fingers or attack anyone. I just put it out there. Two days into my suspension, there were petitions, banners, protests and sit outs for the 'miscarriage in justice' bestowed on me. The punishment even made the majority of parents angry and although some did not agree with what I was writing, they did deem it unique and innovative. By the fifth day of my exile, I was back in school and pardoned. (*So was my expelled friend.) The agreement was I could do the paper, just couldn't distribute it on school grounds. I designed and wrote 96 of those papers before I left for Los Angeles.

Sound like an ignorant dumb ass, yet? Read part two for conclusion.

Here is just one of the covers to my "controversial" newspaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Set of Steak Knives

OK, so we didn’t win at the festival this past weekend. 95 shorts submitted and we were 1 of 10 they picked which is good, but no excuse to come home empty handed. We received some great reviews. The committee in fact said it was one of their favorites And I heard through somebody else that the decision came down to "Warlord"[winner] or our film. If this is true and they weren’t just fancying us,) we would have been Runner Up but the festival does not give out a ’Runner Up’award.There is only one winner per category. So... I guess a PG movie with a kid in it probably supersedes a movie with harsh language, opinions, and violence to the older ’big wigs’with the financial donations to the festival.It’s fine. We had a great time and everybody hosting the festival were really nice, generous and professional.

Filmmaking is an art. How people judge art probably has to do with the venue, geographics, and taste. You don’t put a Picasso, Van Gogh and Warhol next to each other and say, "Pick." Regardless whether you are Picasso or Joe Smo, art is an expression. It is also an overwhelming profession that will take over life, (during the duration of the piece,) and will mentally impair you. Anybody that does it take days off their life on every venture.

Point I am tryin to make is no matter if there are 5 people or 500 on a film crew; whether your movie is an aesthetic disaster or critically acclaimed masterpiece, those people that worked on it were inspired, and engulfed in this
particular piece of art forever how long it took to complete. They worked their ass off bleeding, sweating, and crying over that small hour and a half that is either forgotten or remembered for eternity. If you sit the credits at the end of a film you will see what it takes to make a movie.

That alone is why they do it. Awards are what you get when you see a theatre full of people and a part of you displays itself on the big screen above. I’ll take this honor and move on to the next one.

Although, I will say, the sets of steak knives are beginning to pile up.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

More than Meets the Eye.... Eye doubt it.

I’m only going to answer this question one more time. Here are the reasons I am not seeing Transformers.

1)Michael Bay
2)$200 plus budget rarely makes a good film
3)When Computer EFX take over the importance of sets, story and now acting duties, you’ve lost the word ’Cinema’ altogether completely, (which started the phenonmenon to begin with)
4) Again, Michael Bay

Yes, I’m old school. Yes, I am a prude when it comes to devoting time to watching films. Yes, I owned every Transformer that filled the toy store aisles back in the day. (Prowl was my favorite.)


If I were to spend $15.00 on a "Dreaded Summer Movie," Box Office Ticket... It would be... (WAIT I DID!!!!) Oceans Thirteen. --Wonderful by the way!!!- If I were to get two more choices, they would be:

Bruce, Kevin and this franchise they call Die Hard. They are saying it is the smartest of all the DH’s before it. If no "Yippy Kah Yah" then it would have to be "Bugger..." The Pirates World End. You are now saying what is the difference?

Two Things: One, I’m a huge ’Adventure’ movie buff, obviously and that movie the last time I checked, the Pirates movies still spent money on real sets. IE: Boats, Oceans, Swords and Two, It’s the final of the 3. I own the other two... Why wouldn’t I at least give the finale a day in court? With Indiana Jones 4 in production as of June 18th there is no room for no brainer EFX movies. Transformers is just that. The movie shot almost completely from the Autodesk Software Platform, this movie from what I’ve read and obviously seen has no substance. No story, (or one we consider halfway descent.) I hear everybody say, it’s great and yada, yada, but they are not saying it’s great as a piece for your collection of ’Cinema Storytelling.’ They are saying it is great because the filmmakers... Scratch that the Computer Effect Makers green screen a bus getting hit with a wrecking ball and then superimpose ’Rock Crusher’ in the wrecking ball’s place. Cool and all but I’ll pass. Robot movies have never been all that cool unless you have seen Short Circuit and hell, the cartoon for these ridiculus hunks of steel wasn’t all that good to begin with. You know why you haven’t seen a GI JOE movie? Because they realized after Dolph Lundgren effed up He Man, that these kinds of cartoons based on old school action figures don’t play well. This one will not either. Gimme’ Rum, Nakatomi Plaza, a Fedora or even then an R2-D2 Beep. The Transformer schtick should have stayed where it belongs... The discontinued item list at Toys R Us.

Prove me wrong.

**Good Old Fashioned Fantasy, Adventure, Action Driven Movies I am putting on my TO WATCH LIST.
***In Order

1)Indy 4
2)Sweeney Todd (Tim Burton)
3)Live Free/Die Hard
5)Pirates World End
6)Batman - The Dark Knight


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hold On A Little Longer...

So reality kicks in Monday night after I realize our wedding weekend is over and I’m twelve hours away from returning to a job I once adored, now I find it the only depressing element left in my life. I tried to hold onto every minute of memories from that Thursday where it began to now, but I find them now being shook off by the sinking feeling of still being incomplete, (career wise.) By this time, I should have been working at Charter doing what I love to do, but well.... That’s a different story... So going back to my job was as fun as a day of decathaters and doctors. I felt depressed again all of a sudden almost knowing, had I just or could find a job I can at least put up with while doing my other stuff, I would be completely content. All those thoughts managed to override the smiles, laughs, and hugs from the days before.

Then I got an email from the second film festival we applied to with Meter, and again, we had been accepted. Our little ’$500 movie that could’ had squeezed through 700 other submissions and ended up in the top 15 yet again. That made me feel a little better. I thought, if I could just hold on a little longer, all this misery may pay off... Just maybe.

This also meant ’Meter’ had won one award, and been accepted into two other festivals with not a single rejection yet. 3-0 record wasn’t bad for the odds. It was time to start taking this little film a little more seriously on my end. I almost felt bad for doubting the little bastard.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Demons Are Silenced

At the late ripe age of 33, I am officially married. I finally decided to take the big step from the big kid to well, bigger kid.

I was dead set that not much would change. Everybody kept asking, "are you nervous," and I kept replying with the same answer... "No. I’ve been with her five years, lived with her for around four, had a kid together-- Nothing would change but well, we’d be official."

Seconds before, I was to walk out the door into the chapel to DO IT, I found myself shaking and just the sight of Mandi’s beauty in her dress and the emotions surrounding us that weekend, I couldn’t help as the days pass, feel more complete. Sure, you have the ’cloud nine’ feeling because you had a great time and everybody was there, yada, yada, at first, but I seriously feel different. Like a new found love, responsibility, and respect for Mrs. Amanda Lane, which I intend to uphold more than I have before. I’ve made some childish, dumb, selfish choices along my long road of 33 years.... No More. I’m sitting on the plane to Vegas for our honeymoon while Mandi sleeps with her mouth wide open next to me.

I’m thinking dirty thoughts. I may have realized I had to grow up, quite a bit... But Some demons I will never be able to silence. -Wink,Wink-

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