Ok, yeah, I know, I’m a promise breaker, a deadbeat dad of blogging. It took me a week to to get this one to you. I apologize. But I only wanted to write about stuff when it was new and important. There have been some redundant things lately.
So, to start with, this was a our last week of “class.” Yes yes, we have reached the six week marker and it’s time to get down and dirty. This last week pretty much just hit on some last minute things we need to know for being on set. It seems as though the teachers are just having to pick and choose what to tell us because there is an overwhelming sense of there not being enough time…ever… for anything. Can you believe it’s October already?!
On Monday, we met with the Dean. Yeah man, the MAIN Dean about how the student body should represent itself with the administration. We elected class representatives for each track. My classmates were kind enough to nominate and elect me for track 2 and Clay for Track 1. That was quite a privalege, so, thank you, Track 2. That being said, Clay and I now have a special handshake, wear film school lapel pins, and earmark serious amounts of cash on the back end of production reports so that everyone gets paid.
The pool of scripts we have to pick our D1 shoots from was released last Friday. Everyone has been pretty stressed and consumed by what one they’ll pick. The second year writing students were commissioned to write 7 scripts each, each dealing with one of the seven deadly sins. Each script is supposedly written within a different genre. I’ll admit, some of them are not quite up to snuff. I think the writers themselves will admit that. But there are some with really interesting ideas and concepts. We, as the director, are allowed to contact the writer with requests and notes as a type of rewrite. We are not allowed to change the intentions of the writer or the essential qualities of the narrative thread. What we are allowed to change is dialogue and address the logistical concerns of the script (location, gender, etc). For instance, a script I like takes place in a grocery store, but I don’t see myself being able to secure that location any time soon, especially since most grocery stores are uptight and don’t really ever close. So, I have requested to change the location of the script. I emailed my writer…haven’t heard anything back. Of course.
We were assigned actors to be in our projects. I don’t if you remember, but a few weeks back I told you about the group of actors we met in our acting class. Yeah, it’s them. I’m very happy with the two actors that were assigned to me. I’m also happy that my D1 is scheduled on the second to last day of the cycle, so I essentially have 7 weeks before I shoot, which I will really hope to take advantage of.
Matt and I drove around the outskirts of town this past week to do some location scouting. It gets pretty rural pretty fast here in Tallahassee. We found a lot of nice old towny-type places about half an hour from downtown. We’re not allowed to have a location farther than 30 minutes away from the film school. He are some pics of the places we found.
Cool tree in the middle of a field... This thing seriously had like a 100ft. spread
Creepy abandoned Texas Chainsaw building
The “crew assignements” were just sent out to us on Thursday evening, about 7 days later than they were supposed to be, but no big deal, I suppose. A lot of us were freaking out at first, but I thikn everyone is in control now. It was just a little unnerving to not know when and with whom you’re shooting which would therefore determine the where and what you’re shooting. For your particular D1, you serve as the director. You have three other people who will be on your “Above the Line” team, meaning the creative forces behind your project. Everyone rotates through and gets a chance to fulfill every single role on set. For my D1, I have Kate as my producer (awesome), Akil as my production deisgner (awesome), and Brian as my director of photography (awesome). On the camera team, Brian will be heading up Clay as 1st Assistant Camera and Smitha as 2nd AC (Awesome, awesome). As producer, Kate will also serve as my 1st Assistant Director, so she will be in charge of the set. The one and only Dade Flavors will be my 2nd Assistant Director and will be in charge of the base camp, which is like way to much awesome in one place. All in all, it’s shaping up to be an, you guessed it, awesome Prodcuction.
I’m a little concerned as to my performance on other peoples’ projects. I guess being director of
An example of deep-ass focus from Citizen Kane... thanks a lot, JAYE
photography is a little scary. I’m Jaye’s DP, so, Jaye, if you’re reading this, I’m going to try and kick a lot of ass for you because I heard you want to do all deep focus Citizen Kane type stuff which means I’m going to light anything and everything to maintain that depth of field because I’m not Gregg Toland. That was one of the most film school kid statements I’ve ever made, and I apologize for that. Framing shots is no problem, but I am a little concerned about knowing when and what to light. But I refuse to be a negative Nancy, because that’s a girl name and I’m a guy. BUT, I do have Dade Flavors and Stephen as my camera crew, and that’s all I need for a bode of confidence. Together, with our powers combined, we’ll knock Jaye’s project out of the park, all whilst singing the smoothest R&B classics from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Trust me, Jaye, you’re going to have the smoothest set of all. I mean, Dade flavors! Good God, that’s smooth.
Matt Sanders’ birthday was today and we all went and grabbed BBQ and then bowled at the student center on campus. (I know, a bowling alley on campus. Who’d a thunk?) It was a blast. I went running last night and woke up this morning a sore foot. It’s weird, it’s not like my ankle or a tendon or anything. It’s the middle of the side of my right foot. It doesn’t hurt to touch it. It only hurts when I walk on it, like it’s bruised…but it’s not. By the end of the night tonight, I was hobbling. It also hurt my bowling game, because I didn’t even break 100. I at least usually bowl like a 105. I’m semi-pro.
I don’t know if anyone of you have ever seen this Dr. Horrible’s sing-a-long blog or not. It was created by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly) and it stars Neil Patrick Harris as a shitty super villain trying to complete his application into the League of Evil. It’s pretty funny. They sing a lot of songs and it’s pretty ridiculous. Anyway, Dan and Jacob LOVE IT. Turns out, Joss Whedon and co are holding a competition to find the best submissions for super villains to be included on the release of the DVD. They (Dan and Jacob, not Joss) asked me to be their super villain and we shot it today. Not gonna lie, things got a little out of hand. They have some really funny moments in the scripts, complete with props and such. They’re really into this. I won’t blow the surprise, because I’ll be posting the video soon, but my name is “Brainstorm” and I seek to destroy the movie industry from the inside by making really really crappy movie pitches. I rifled off a few for them and it was funny, my favorite idea being a Biblical Noir called Frankincense and Myrrhder. Yeah, I know, I’m pretty amazing. I also wear a green police light on my head (get it, greenlight?). Anyway, so look for that soon. Hopefully they’ll win. A good many of us in the MFA program were in it. Here’s the link if any of you are interested:
It also hit me here at the six week mark about how I’m not at home anymore. These past 7 weeks have been a tornado. I just started reaching my limit with school and stuff all week. I just couldn’t seem to muster the interest or the energy to really hit school hard. I have been going so strong since we started, but I’m definitely glad classes are over. I found myself staring out the window a lot, wondering what everyone back in Marietta was doing. Since I got a new iPhone (thanks again, Dad) I finally got a new pair of earphones. I can’t believe I left every pair in my desk back home. I started using my ipod again.
That really takes me out of it too. I mean, I’m not using it during class, but I do between classes. AFI’s album Decemberunderground has been top of my list recently. Not sure why. I used to think AFI was some stupid emo band, but their albums, especially this one, have a nice amount of depth to them. There is a relaxing amount of melancholy and nostalgia with this album. Something about it seems 90’s to me, kinda reminds me of middle school. So, if you’re looking for something to listen to, check that album out.
We start “crew drills” this coming week. That essentially means that we spend every day from 8AM-9PM doing test runs of how things will go on set. Every person has a chance to act as the director. Ideally, they want you to have your actual actors there to run through it, but, since actors can’t exactly skip classes and we didn’t know until tonight when our “drill” was, we might have to go with stand-ins. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find one. This whole process is really getting a little squirrely. But this certainly isn’t the forum for me to complain. I simply roll with it… like Steve Winwood.
I guess that’s all I got for now. This week should prove to be one giant circus, no doubt. Hope all is well in your land.
P.S.- Really getting done with Facebook. I’m tired of people using their status’ as some one-shot politcal platform, and pretty much just losing interest in it all together. I might consider deleting my account… Thoughts?