Monday, November 8, 2010

Job Hunting and Kevin Smith

In my last post I talked about possibly getting work on a short film. I did, but I don't know in which capacity(ies). Editor, composer, DP, I don't know. Problem is is that it doesn't shoot until January and I'm down to my last couple hundred bucks with bills coming up. I need to either get a job, or sell my camera this month, or I'm heading back to Oregon literally penniless.

I recently rediscovered and with how many applications I've filled out for boring normal work, I wouldn't be surprised if I got a job soon. I don't care about having to get a normal job at this point though. I just need any job to survive and that will allow me to stay down here and pay my bills.

On a happy note, i went to Smodcastle today as a member of s small group of people selected to be the first to witness the first screening of the teaser trailer for Kevin Smith's horror movie Red State.

Not going to talk about what I saw in the trailer. I don't want to spoil it, but I will say this: FUCKING. SHIT.

The flick looks awesome. Doesn't even look like a Kevin Smith film. It looks heavily atmospheric and gutting. People won't know what hit them. In terms of style and atmosphere, it reminded me of The Hills Have Eyes remake. Impressively, the teaser trailer itself was disturbing and it was only one minute long. I cannot wait to experience the other ninety-seven minutes.

Afterwards, he had us stay so we could give him our individual reactions. Yours truly was first and later last to go. He told us that he's going to keep my group together and bring us back for screenings of future trailers for the film and even possibly the film itself once all the technical aspects (sound, color timing, etc.) are completed.

As for my work, I have plenty. I am going to compose some music to try and convince Kevin to give Red State a score (hopefully composed by myself, but I doubt that'll happen), I have three editing projects under way (all of which I'm doing for free) and I have a great idea for a new dramatic short film. I'm very excited about this one as it will be extremely challenging to write because all the events and character development has to be extremely precise. No fat. The problem is, is that I write stream of conscious. Don't give me too much crap for it. Stallon, Nolan and Stephen King all do it too. I just can't do the index card method. I get too many visuals and ideas in my head that I have to type them out in the script before I forget. Index cards are supposed to have five to seven word descriptions of a scene and then you pin them up on a cork board in order of scene so you can see the flow of your film right in front of you. Last time I tried the index card method, I ended up filling up the things with notes and dialogue to the point that they were crammed full of tiny lettering that I could barely read.

I have to write the way I do not only because of my short-term memory problem, but also because it's more enjoyable that way. As Stephen King put it, it's like being an archeologist and as you're writing, you're discovering the story, much like an archeologist brushes away dirt to slowly reveal the completely skeleton and what it looks like.

Speaking of which -- I need to get to brushing the dirt before it gets too late.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Latest News

I've been mercilessly browsing craigslist and for work and it looks like may have paid off.

I finally got a response from a writer/director and it looks like I may be filming, editing and composing music for his short film with decent pay. Unfortunately, my funds have dwindled down to very low levels, so unless I sell my camera, or officially get this short film gig, I could be screwed.

I have resorted to job hunting. Tonight I have applied to work for a company that posts on YouTube. They have a "How To" channel as well as a Video Game Walkthrough channel. I applied for the video game job, recording myself playing video games and posting the videos on YouTube as walkthroughs. Not the most outstanding job in the world, but it pays $500 per week and that would be enough to not only support me, but also allow em to buy more filmmaking equipment and save up. I really hope I get it. Times are getting kind of desperate at the moment. I even asked my composer friend John if he knew of anybody looking for a personal assistant, or office person. He said he's going to ask around for me. What a cool guy.

I visited Oregon at the beginning of this month, but not under the happiest of circumstances. My grandfather is extremely ill and it looks like he may pass on soon. He just turned 86 on the 15th. It's hard, but not as hard as it could be. It's much different when you're expecting it than when it suddenly happens. It's still hard though. I've had nothing but good memories of him. 86 years is a long time though.

Since I couldn't afford to come back later in the month for my birthday, I celebrated it early with my mother, since it was her birthday as well.

It was nice. She bought me Iron Man 2 and American Beauty on blu-ray as well as the Clint Eastwood movie Heartbreak Ridge, co-starring Mario Van Peebles, whose new film I worked on back in August.

So it looks like I'll be celebrating my birthday down here. Still don't have too many friends down here, but Beth may have some of her friends, all of whom I like, over for a party. Just to spite her, I may make it a BBQ (she's a vegetarian), hahahahaha.

I still haven't made up my mind. I would like to go to the Fox and Hounds Pub over on Ventura. I hear it's an awesome British-style Pub. I would also like to get out and see a movie. Who knows. Any of those options would be fun.

Hopefully my next blog post will have better news.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Episode 1

So I moved out here on September 5th with the help of my brother-in-law Kermit.

Holed up in my apartment in Van Nuys, I've stayed glued to my computer screen looking at porn for work. and craigslist have become my default go-to websites for filmmaking work. Work which is not yet coming although I have had one response for some free editing work, but who knows if it will actually happen, or not.

I have scored some work through my friend Trish, editing a few comedic shorts in a series of shorts as well as paid work helping her edit her documentary. This, as well as shooting a web series (possibly editing and scoring as well) that she and my roommate have created, should help me get more paying work soon.

For now though, things are up in the air and so I'm taking all this free time to write more short films and compose music. Should be meeting my friend John Murphy soon, but that's up in the air as well, since he's a very busy guy.

It's nice being out here. I've moved on past being homesick and have found some fun things to do out here. The big, fancy theaters are not above showing some independent films and Kevin Smith's Smodcastle is out here, which is a blast to go to.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, I got to work on his horror film Red State yesterday. It was free work, but definitely worth it. It was incredible getting to stand next to the guy as he called out "action" and getting to actually geek out with him over a movie he showed at Smodcastle. Incredibly friendly guy and is not above talking to the lowest person on the food chain as long as the conversation includes talking about movies and/or comic books. He even took the time to thank us background actors. Nobody does that. I have two more dates that I work on the flick and I'm really hoping to talk to Kevin some more as well as meet John Goodman and Michael Parks (Sherriff Earl McGraw in the Kill Bill films as well as From Dusk Till Dawn).

So far I've learned some pros and cons to living out here.

Filmmakers who share the same passion for film that I do
Beautiful sights to see
Any cuisine you can think of
You get to meet stars and directors that you look up to
Collaborative "I help you, you help me" atmosphere
Kevin Smith. Seriously. I can't say enough good things about the guy.

Scientology and Tom Cruise

I wonder what else I'll learn once I get to working.