Thursday, December 21, 2006

The new camera is in!

I just received the brand spankin' new Canon GL-2, and used it on the evening of the "Blog Wars" screening we had. Click the link to see the details of the event.

Blog Wars airs on American television on the Sundance Channel on Dec. 28th at 10PM and on Dec. 30th at 7PM. The BBC will broadcast the show sometime in January, probably. Our friends in the UK can watch the Brook Lapping website for details.

(Photo by Caffeinated Geek Girl)

I haven't downloaded the video yet, and judging from how many warning lights were flashing on the LCD display while I was shooting, I probably had all the settings wrong and the output will look like crap.

Anyway, now that I've got the new camera, I can't wait to use it to annoy Joe Lieberman and other politicians who routinely betray the public trust.

And if I have time, I'll also make cool videos like this:

(Disclaimer: No bulls were harmed in the making of this video; but one of 'em got really pissed off about it!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Blog Wars" Screening in Milford

Today I received my screener's copy of "Blog Wars".

It's a lot of fun!

But boy, we bloggers need to do something about our potty mouths! (Tim and Keith!)

We're going to schedule a public screening next Tuesday so anyone who was involved in or simply followed the campaign can see it before it airs on "The Sundance Channel", on December 28th and rerun on the 30th. Details below.

CT Keith is the undeniable star of the show, and deservedly so.

There's no shortage of Connecticut Bob, either; I can't tell you how fucking relieved I am that they didn't use the majority of footage that shows me looking silly.

And there was a LOT of it!

You get to see Spazeboy's hair change colors repeatedly in the course of sixty minutes!

Here's how YOU can attend the special, RSVP-only screening of "Blog Wars":

RSVP Required for admittance. You may bring friends, but you have to list them. Email me at:

to get on the list; the room is limited to 100 people, and there are a lot of people who want to see this, so sign up and get there early to guarantee admittance.

Date: Tuesday, December 19th

Time: 7:00PM Pre-screening cocktail party (bring some cocktails)
8:00 Screening

Place: Howard Johnson Lodge, 1052 Boston Post Road, Milford

Directions: I-95 North or South to Milford Exit 39A - stay right, hotel driveway on right. The "Harbor Room" is in the 2nd Building, ground floor.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The year's best movies

This has been a real busy year for me, so I didn't have a lot of time to see all the movies I wanted to, but I did manage to catch a few. Here's my list of the five movies that I liked the most this year, in no particular order:

Baghdad ER - A harrowing documentary about the efforts of military surgeons in the Green Zone trying to keep people from dying. Brutal, but necessary.

An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore examines the inevitability of global consequences to an out of control species (humans). It's time to clean our own house.

Candy - Agonizing portrayal of a couple's decent into drug addiction, from the Luke Davies novel. With Heath Ledger, the always great Geoffrey Rush, and Abbie Cornish. Disturbing.

Scoop - Woody Allen's movie (and I'm not much of a fan of his work these days) starring Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and Woodrow. What can I say? I'm a regular guy. I lust for Scarlett. So sue me.

The Illusionist - Edward Norton and Jessica Biel, with Paul Giamatti in a mysterious and convoluted period piece set in 19th century Austria. Beautiful cinematography.

Less stellar movies:

Little Miss Sunshine - A quirky "road movie", with a great cast. Not a home run, but ultimately a fine story well-told.

The Departed - Scorcese missed on this attempt. Better than "Gangs of New York", but not in "Goodfellas" neighborhood.

Jackass 2 - I dunno, but I think I'm getting too old to cringe for 90 minutes non-stop. I think they're getting too old, too.

Clerks II - Yes, I'm a Kevin Smith fan. Reasonable follow-up 10 years later, even though the "donkey scene" was too long. Rosario Dawson dancing more than made up for it. Dante and Randal still have great slacker dialogue. A slew of cameos from Kevin's friends.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Fun comic-book concept, but a weak script and awful cast ruined it. Uma Thurman is getting too old for this stuff. Maybe it's time she starts looking for some Meryl Streep-type roles.

And the most anticipated movie of the year:

BLOG WARS - Yes, that's me in that image. This is the BBC/Sundance Channel production about the bloggers involved in Ned Lamont's campaign this year. Premieres on December 28th at 10PM on the Sundance Channel, with a repeat on December 30th at 7PM. It will be broadcast in the UK sometime early next year. Click here to see the Sundance Channel's description.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Time lapse Roofers

This was a fun little experiment.

Last week we had the roof replaced on our house. The boys did a fantastic job, and it came out great. Here's the house with the brand new roof:

While they were tearing off the old shingles, I set my camera up on a tripod across the street and taped them for an hour. Then I took the video, speeded it up about 100 times, set it to some rippin' rock & roll music, and now you can see how it looks here. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Getting closer to my next camera

I've owned a Panasonic GS-150 for nearly two years now, and while it's been a great camera in a lot of ways, I feel like it's time to move up a step and get something a little more professional. Now that the election is over, I've got some time to look at my financial situation and figure out which video camera I can afford.

My dream cameras are the Canon XL-2 or the Panasonic DVX-100B, but they both run around three thousand dollars, so it's unlikely I can justify spending that much for a while.

So, based on my financial constraints, I'm almost sure it's going to be the Canon GL2. It's around 2 grand, which is a bit out of my price range, but a little scrimping might put me over the top. Plus, Canon has a $250 rebate on the GL2 good until January 31st, so that's roughly 1/8 off the price.

It's a solid prosumer video camera, with some advanced features that will hopefully allow me to produce better videos.

We'll see how it goes...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

How CAN'T this be a great movie?

Bob Saget wrote and directed this movie. A slew of great actors and comedians do the voices. And it has PENGUINS!

Sounds like a sure winner to me.

"Farce of the Penguins", rated R (how do you make an R-rated PENGUIN movie?!?) "What happens in Antarctica, stays in Antarctica".

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My two camera interview

Yesterday I taped an interview of CT Senate Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger with Online Journalist Pat Carroll doing the interviewing honors.

This was my first properly set up two camera shoot. I chose the use the traditional dual "over-the-shoulder point of views".

I used my camera and mic on a mic stand, and I set up my two China lamps to provide additional light, then set up Spazeboy's camera and mic stand, wired both mics into a dual jack then plugged them into my camera, and started both cameras and let Online Journalist Pat Carroll take it away. (And she did a fantastic job!)

I edited the two tapes for a good seven hours last night before uploading it to Youtube. It was a learning experience on how to edit a two camera shoot. The important thing was to run both mics into the same camera, and use the "B-camera" only for video.

It helped that once I started both cameras, I let them both run non-stop for 55 minutes. Once it was synced on the editor, it stayed synced for the entire length.

I used Pinnacle Studio v9.43 for PC to edit it.

The technique for doing the two camera shoot is to put the main video with audio on the Overlay track, and the B-roll stuff on the Primary track (don't know their official names, that's what I call 'em) then lock the audio on the Overlay track, so when you snip the video out of that track for a cutaway to the B-roll, the audio is maintained.

Once I got the process down, it got easier. The main thing is to have the two cameras running non-stop, and use a clapper board (or clap your hands) to sync up the two tracks. I had to shave frames to get them perfectly aligned.

Here's the's 24-minutes long, but you will pretty much see in the first 2 minutes how it looks and sounds.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Video of the Senator about the Speaker

This one made some news. My question to Senator Lieberman about House Speaker Dennis Hastert. See this article, for instance.

I learned how to import wmv files into Pinnacle, and created a coherent narrative using freeze-frame images with text asides. The repeating use of video clips helps enhance the message also.

The media that was there, including Fox-TV and Swedish TV-4, finished their interviews and turned away when I started asking the senator my question, and they were immediately back to catch his reply. You can see the Senator turning to his right to better frame himself for the cameras.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I'm back to discussing movie making

I'm going to start posting my campaign videos here, since this blog is primarily a filmmaking site, and all of the elements of creating videos are addressed in the clips I produce. I'll keep the political banter to a minimum; check out Connecticut Bob for all the campaign talk. Here we'll discuss the actual creation of the videos.

Here's a fun little video I made yesterday to encourage people to volunteer for the campaign. Since I started working with video blogging about 6 months ago, I think my skills have gotten a lot better.

I now realize that I really enjoy working with music and time compression/expansion. The hallway scene looks especially theatrical (with an obvious nod to Quentin Tarantino) and I'm going to remember that location if I ever need a really cool looking hall.

Watch it and comment on it if you want.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I'm really happy with this video

Yeah, this is a campaign thing, but I really had a great time making it.

One result of my being so involved in Ned Lamont's campaign is that I'm really learning about video production and editing. Check it out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What I do when I'm NOT blogging

After an exhausting blogging campaign for Ned Lamont, Joyce & I took the following weekend off for a sailing getaway.

I wanted to put together a little video about it, and even though I put it together in under an hour, I think doesn't look too bad.

Here's the results:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's all about the Primary

If you're a Democrat, August 8th is the day to take some time and vote. Ned Lamont is battling an entrenched career politician, who has publicly stated that he will turn his back on the Democratic Party should he lose tomorrow rather than support the rightful winner of the Primary.

Is this the guy you want governing your state for the next six years?

And to follow the campaign with live blogging and video, check out "Connecticut Bob" on Primary Day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've set a personal record...

...with the number of people who have seen this video that I created yesterday and loaded on Youtube.

Here in Connecticut, we're in the midst of a major political battle. Except all the battle is coming from ONE party. Yeah, that's politics for ya!

Anyway, I managed to corner two United States Senators like a pair of surly possums, and made them answer some questions. And I was helped greatly by Maura, a fellow concerned citizen and a woman who knows no fear.

So, here's Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) along with Maura and myself. Since I posted the video (about 32 hours ago), it's been seen over 32,000 times! Right now it's the ninth most viewed video of the day on Youtube.

Which kind of saddens me, because I'm worried I'll never again make a video that has such an impact.

But then again, there's no telling what a determined blogger with a video camera and a bad attitude can accomplish!

And to you Brits reading this out there: the BBC is producing a documentary about the Lamont campaign, and I'm gonna be a part of it. You'll get to see the master at work on your very own tellys! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"Clerks II" July 21st

Kevin Smith's new movie, "Clerks II" is coming soon, and to promote it he appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The clip below features a funny but really gross story, which will literally have you on the edge of your seat (ha-ha-ha!)


Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Lucky Louie" on HBO

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything interesting. I think that with this post, the string will safely remain unbroken.

"The Sopranos" just ended it's season with a whimper, not a bang, and "Entourage" is looking more and more like "The O.C." with naughty language (although I immensely enjoy Jeremy Piven's characterization of a sleazy Hollywood agent), so I thought there'd be nothing interesting to watch on HBO for a while.

Then I caught the premiere of "Lucky Louie", the Louis C.K. vehicle that HBO just launched. It's wonderfully crude, raunchy, and foul-mouthed. Just the sort of thing that HBO lives for! Plus, it's got old-time, gritty "Honeymooners"-style sets, and is filmed with a live audience, which gives it a nostalgic, early TV feeling.

Jimmy Norton, as Louie's friend and a pot-dealer, is probably the creepiest looking character that's ever graced a sitcom, but then again, creepiness is part of Norton's charm. He has the off-putting look of a prepubescent serial killer, which makes Louie's character look quite respectable by comparison. And he gets to deliver the best lines (and by "best", I mean "most horribly offensive and hysterical").

I do have some minor complaints, though. The acting is of journeyman quality, and the writing can be punched up a bit, I think, but overall the effect is sort of like watching a bunch of talented amatuers put on their own show, and somehow manage to pull it off successfully!

Sundays on HBO.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Let's Rock the Boat here in Connecticut!

Sorry to go off-topic today. This is a short personal message. Please read it and let me know what you think. Thanks!

I don't know how you feel about this situation, but I think there is a growing problem in our country. George Bush's presidency is becoming more and more unilateral in it's actions, either ignoring or bypassing the checks and balances of the Constitution. The Republican majority dominated House and Senate, along with an increasingly conservative Supreme Court, make it easy for the Bush/Cheney administration to do anything they want.

What is even worse is that so-called moderate Democrats are siding with Bush on many important decisions, like the war in Iraq and appointing right-wing Supreme Court justices. Joseph Lieberman is one of these enablers.

For many years, Joe Lieberman was a true Democrat, who believed in the principles of our government and the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution. But something happened to the man over the last three terms, and he's become an active participant in the erosion of our rights and the good standing of our government. His endless support of Bush's war is just plain wrong, and 2,500 brave American military personnel have paid the ultimate price for what is increasingly becoming an unwinnable and immoral war.

I don't want this country to go from one extreme to the other, not by any means. I'd like to see our nation make reasonable decisions regarding our security and our economy. But it's important to realize that by supporting Bush and his deliberate misuse of the public trust, Joe Lieberman is complicit.

There is an alternative. His name is Ned Lamont.

Ned Lamont has watched the decay of our great nation's standing because of Bush/Cheney, and he decided that it was time to do something about it. Lamont has selflessly volunteered to challenge Joe Lieberman, and help get the nation back on a middle course. On August 8th, Connecticut registered Democrats will go to the polls and choose our next Senate candidate. And whoever wins, he will easily defeat the Republican challenger in November.

But Ned Lamont can't do this alone; he needs our help. Here's what you can do:

* Be sure you are a registered Democrat, and vote on August 8th.
* Please donate by clicking the sailboat graphic to the right of the page.
* Go to for more information.
* Volunteer at the website to help the campaign.
* Feel free to contact me to discuss the issues.
* Visit my political blog "Connecticut Bob" to see the latest news.

We can win this. We can turn our nation around and begin to fulfill the intentions of our founding fathers. We can ALL make America something to be proud of once again.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Learned a lot today

I'm so proud of myself...

Today I learned a bunch of stuff about video editing. Here's a list:

1) I can import .mov files (or almost ANY type of movie file) into DVD format using "DVD Santa" (thanks, Gazza!), then can upload it directly from the temporary directory to my Pinnacle video program, without having to burn a DVD first.

2) Learned how to split a clip, insert something else entirely, but keep the sound track of the original clip.

3) Inserted a video clip, and added old film-like effects and B&W movie look.

4) I can now make titles scroll from bottom to top of the screen.

Here's my video, entitled "Mr. Lamont Goes to Washington", with Ned Lamont being substituted for Jimmy Stewart's character in the original Frank Capra classic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington".

Monday, May 29, 2006

My new external drive is here!

I just received my new external drive.

You see, I do all my editing on a 2 year old Toshiba notebook, with a tiny little 40GB drive. Besides all the regular programs I have on it, I need some space for my video footage.

An hour of mini-DV tape usually takes up about 15GB, and on my best day, when I've dumped all the episodes of "The Sopranos" off of it, I rarely have more than 18GB available. So I ordered this new drive.

Isn't it sexy? A 250GB, 7200 rpm, combo Firewire and USB external drive; delivered from Torrence, CA got here in two days, for $159 total. I found it by Googling "external drive firewire", and by sifting throught the results I got that killer price on it.

(Gee, I wonder if anybody will notice the copy and paste construction of this post?)

Anyway, today I was trying to load DV footage, but it kept cutting off the file size at 4GB, which is about 18 minutes. I did a little research, and figured out that the drive was formatted for FAT32, which limits total file size to 4GB.

So I'm reformatting it with NTFS, which I hope will resolve the issue. I'll know later today, 'cause I'm going sailing right now. Wheee!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

At some point I'll get around to this

Things have been crazy busy for me lately...I'm heavily involved in the Ned Lamont campaign for U.S. Senate, and this coming weekend I'll be covering and taping the State Democratic Convention for the blogs, including "Connecticut Bob". But there's a project I've been wanting to get to for a while.

Milford, the town in which I live, has a long and interesting history, dating back to it's founding in 1639. Part of that history is documented in paintings, drawings, and photographs, many of which are included in the collections of local historical societies.

Some of the landmarks featured in the old pictures are still around, and I've been wanting to take my camera and capture modern pictures of them, from the same point of view as the original photo. Then I'd work that into a historical documentary about my town.

Here's an example:

This is the Memorial Bridge downtown, photographed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.

Here's the bridge from roughly the same perspective, this morning. The rushing water is a result of the record rainfall we've been having in New England this week. The sun came out today, so I detoured from an errand and took this photo.

I'm thinking of using maps, reproductions, the new and old photos, interviews with historians, and period music to tell the story. It's an idea that I'd really enjoy doing.

All I need to do this is a little research, an interview or two, and some spare time.

That last bit is the tricky part...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A quick video from last week

Here's a short (97 seconds, about 2.7MB) video clip showing the Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival, where Ned Lamont supporters Edward Anderson, Keith Crane, and myself turned out to help collect petition signatures, along with future Peabody Award-winner Spazeboy, who filled in as interviewer for our "man on the street" interviews, and did a fine job at that.

We stuck to a simple topic: Lieberman's support of the massive energy bill which gives oil companies huge tax breaks while they're making record profits. Check out the video, and remember if it starts playing choppy, hit the PAUSE button on the window and give it a minute to download.

I know this is all kinds of political and stuff, but it was fun to make, and was good experience for doing on-the-fly interviews. From one of my other blogs, "Connecticut Bob".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Our "Rail Trail" Documentary is online

As I discussed previously on this blog (HERE and HERE), we made a 13:45 documentary about the Air Line Rail Trail in upstate Connecticut. Joyce and I took a day off back in late October and brought our bikes and video camera to East Hampton, where we rode about 13 miles on the trail.

We taped a lot of very scenic fall foliage, with awesome views of the hills and rivers in the area. Then I collected the best footage, added titles, music, old photos, and archived films to create this documentary about the trail.

UPDATE: The entire 13:45 documentary is now in a single video. Remember, if the video gets choppy be sure to hit the pause button on the window and give it a minute or two to load, then hit play to continue.

UPDATE 2: I've recently (Sept. 2008) uploaded a higher resolution version of the video.

You can view the regular quality video below, or click on this Youtube Link and then immediately under the video player window you can click on the "full screen" button for an exceptional viewing experience (so says me!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How NOT to make a video

Now that I know how to upload videos, I've decided to go back into the FutureDV archives and find some relics to post here. I thought, hey, why not start with my very first (modern) video project?

So I went back to 18 months ago, when I had to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) as a sort of "final exam" for the Field Production Course that I took at the local Cable Access studio.

With the help of my buddy Antony Rodriguez, we put together a 22-second PSA to promote voter turnout (this was just days before the 2004 Presidential election, and we all know how well THAT turned out!) Here's the PSA itself:

OK, so it was very basic, but good enough for me to get my certificate. Antony's PSA on Drunk Driving (BTW, he's against it) was much better, and in fact he won a Tommie Award for it at the annual awards a while back.

After the three-hour taping session, I had a bunch of outtakes to sift through, so I put together an outtake reel. It runs about 2 minutes, and it shows just how hard it can be to tape a commercial. Enjoy!

Yeah, it WAS that awful! Just let me say I'm sorry for making you watch that.

Oh man, I finally figured out how to post videos!

This is gonna get ugly.

Don't blame me if you don't like ' asked for it!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The screenplay is coming along nicely...

I've been working on my "Mallrats/Porky's/insert-teen-movie-here" screenplay this weekend, and it's been a lot of fun.

Scene from "Mallrats"

I wrote my favorite scene already, and sketched out a bunch more. I'm sure I'll make changes here and there during the rewrites, but for now I'm enjoying visualizing the scenes I write.

Plus, today I did some taping for a Robert Greenwald-produced 30-minute campaign DVD for Ned Lamont. Tomorrow I'll have more details on my Connecticut Bob political blog. Without even knowing it when I volunteered to tape an interview, apparently just by showing up and turning the camera on I'm now a contractor to him, and some of my stuff might appear on this legend's video. Holy shit, will THAT look cool on my resume!

I wonder if I can get an industry union card for this?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Health Club update: Limping is cool!

So, I was at the health club about two weeks ago. I was totally getting into the routine of working out 3 to 4 times a week, and I was starting to feel really good about myself.

Then I, like the complete maniac I am, decided it was a good idea to put the pin into the bottom plate on the leg-lift machine. You know, the one that Russian weightlifters use to build up their massive thighs?

Well, I found out that my leg muscles are stronger than my knee joints by a factor of, oh, I dunno, a MILLION?

The fact that while I did ten reps before I noticed a funny sensation that closely resembled pain should say something about my lack of instinct for self-preservation. Because I struggled to finish the set, while repeating to myself that age-old lie about "No Pain, No Gain". I truly felt like I must have been gaining a lot.

Wrong-o you dummy! Because the next day I noticed a little swelling about the right knee. It didn't hurt much, it just felt tight as hell. In fact, I even spent a good amount of time shooting hoops in my driveway, although I was running a little funny to retrieve the basketball. Yeah, I'm smart.

By the middle of the next week I realized I'd fucked up my knee something serious. I started applying heat, ice, Ace bandages, and anything else I could think of to try and make it start healing. When those didn't provide immediate results, I liberally applied single-malt scotch in frequent doses. It didn't do shit for my knee, but I started not caring as much about it.

Today's Thursday; thirteen days since I wrecked it. My knee has finally stopped clicking when I walk, and the swelling only happens when I overdo the stairs or walking about. My floating kneecap has settled back into more or less it's original position. I'm thinking maybe another week or ten days and I'll be able to go back to the gym. And start from absolute fucking scratch.

But I'll be careful. Because if this happens again, I can only guess where my next stop would be:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jesus, not ANOTHER blog about politics?!?

Uhhhh....sure! Why not?

My new blog Connecticut Bob (spelled "") is now online. This way I'll be able to post all that political stuff over there, and keep this blog available for whatever stuff I usually put here.

I've also copied all the political blog entries from here, so you can go to CTBob for all the old posts. Starting tomorrow, I'll try to post something there nearly every day.

Check it out and leave a comment. And of course, "Let's Go Ned!"

"I haven't felt this good since '86..."

I know a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just say this one thing:

"Let's Go Mets!"

Monday, April 17, 2006

"An Amusing Rage"

Found a neat website while reading Fire Dog Lake recently, that automatically makes anagrams of any words you enter. An anagram is, of course, a re-arrangement of the letters of a word or words to create new word(s).

You go to this website, enter your name or whatever you want anagrammitized ( that a word?) and see what pops up.

I entered "Robert Adams", and was awarded with 'Drab maestro'. Hmmm...I guess I'll just forget composing music for the rest of my life. Actually, it's vaguely depressing in a way to find your name spells out something that can seem a little significant. Like reading your horoscope and finding out you're a lousy musician or something.

Even creepier is some of the anagrams generated when I entered the names of some of my friends. Like, weird creepy. Even weirder than "Drab maestro". But I'm not going to post them here.

Try famous people. Here's some examples:

George W. Bush = "He Grew Bogus"
Donald Rumsfeld = "Muddler of lands"
Joe Lieberman = "I Am Noble, Jeer!"
Albert Einstein = "Ten Elite Brains"

Is that cool or what? Go to Anagram Genius to try it out.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the title of this post? It's an anagram of "Anagram Genius", of course.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I can't believe I'm only starting this NOW!

Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing to see.

Today I was reading a blog, and several messages referred to those awful sugary concoctions known as Marshmellow Peeps. The mental image of "Peeps" suddenly triggered a long-ago memory in me.

Several weeks ago, I was reminiscing with an old friend about a place where we both worked many, many years before, and the subject of "Peeps" came up. We used to have a lot of laughs at that crummy job, and we started talking about the best stories we had from way back then. Some of the funniest stuff had to do with the "Peeps" and those Chocolate Easter Bunnies.

Before I knew it, my friend and I brought up a good eight or ten hilarious incidents that I'd almost forgotten. Some of the stories were so good, we had to stop for a bit just to let our laughing die down. It was fun talking about the good ol' days, but it didn't occur to me right then that there was anything noteworthy there.

So today when I read the thing about the "Peeps", I started forming an idea in my mind. Why not write down everything I can remember about the job, the adventures, and the people we worked with, and try to craft it into a coherent story?

I blinked a couple of times in my usual dumbfounded way, then darted to the den and fired up Microsoft Word. An hour later, I'd drafted a dozen true characters, a bunch of bizarre incidents, and a rough storyline that will work if I make a reasonable effort to polish it. I just re-read it, and see that it will fit in perfectly with a Porkies/Caddyshack/Mallrats demographic. And that's exactly the kind of movie I can see myself writing (and maybe even making).

I can't believe it never occurred to me before to write all this stuff down!

Yeah...great; now I've got to add "complete my screenplay" to my TODO I'm not busy enough right now!

But hey, when writing is this much fun, it hardly feels like work!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Christ, I have TWO blogs already...

...and it looks like I might have to create a third one. I'm starting to feel like a blog-bot...kinda like the guy in the picture below:

Actually, I rarely type while sitting at a desk; it's so ... I don't know, conventional? I prefer to recline comfortably in my La-Z-Boy chair, place the keyboard in my lap (right below where I rest the TV remote on my belly) and type this blogging magic for you to read.

And if that seems like more information than you'd like to process, I apologize.

Anyway, my recent interest in Connecticut politics, and specifically Ned Lamont's campaign, is starting to take up a lot of space in this blog. Which was, in fact, created for me to discuss my video-making exploits. I've spent a lot of time writing about sailing, which resulted in my Sail Full Tilt blog being born.

See? This is my boat, Full Tilt. I love sailing on it, but I talk about it over on that other blog, so as not to bore anyone who reads this blog for movie-making talk.

Anyway, I'm starting to feel that all this political talk belongs in it's own blog. They're so easy to set up that I'd be lying if I said it was too much trouble. But then again, having THREE blogs to update and maintain MIGHT be a pain in the ass.


If I can think of a sufficiently witty name (along the lines of My Left Nutmeg, for instance), I just might start one. Stay tuned for details...if this happens, it'll probably be within the next week or so...

"Train Wreck...The Making of Clerks II"

As you may have gathered from reading this blog (all five of you, I think), I'm a fan of the films of Kevin Smith. Ever since Clerks came out, I've enjoyed his weird take on life. Sure, he's not Kubrick or Scorcese (hell, he's barely a director at all), but his films are what they are.

You don't need a film-appreciation degree to figure out Kevin Smith's movies. They're funny, juvenile and unpolished. Like me. That is, except for Jersey Girl...and we forgive you for that one, Kevin.

12 years after Clerks, Smith has come full circle, and gone back to the well for another bucketfull of Clerks; the aptly titled Clerks II. It was previously called "The Passion of the Clerks", which was a lame joke even when it was relatively topical. But at least Clerks can HAVE a sequal; Mel Gibson didn't leave much room for a "Part II" with his flick. Sheesh, good thinking there Mel!

Smith is nothing if not a natural-born promoter, so he's got a great online video blog called Train Wreck...The Making of Clerks II. There are dozens of backstage videos posted, plus easy links to the Clerks II website and Kevin's scandalously honest personal blog My Boring-Ass Life (which is anything but boring, trust me!)



Dante and Randal are now in their thirties, and still clerking, only now they're at a fast-food place. That's about all you really need to know going in. Oh, and you can count on the usual raw humor that was so charming in Clerks.

This latest epic from the "Federico Fellini of dick-jokes" will open on August 18th.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An "Indie" isn't always a film

"Bush's favorite Democrat"

In this article in yesterday's Connecticut Post, Senator Lieberman hasn't ruled out a run as an independent candidate if he loses the Democratic primary.

"Win or lose the convention, Lieberman and Lamont will likely face off in a primary on Aug. 8.

The loser of that contest would have until 4 p.m. the next day to file a petition with the secretary of the state, including signatures from at least 7,500 registered voters, to have his name on the November ballot as an independent candidate."

This makes for an interesting situation...if Joe loses on August 8th, he has at most about 20 hours to get the requisite amount of signatures.

7,500 is a LOT of signatures...there's very little chance that the Senator's election staff can mobilize, collect, assemble and then turn in that many signatures in that amount of time. Which means it's likely that either Joe will sit out the 2006 election if he doesn't win the primary, or he will remain in the race as in independent with signatures that will likely have been collected while he was running as a Democrat!

In my opinion that would be unethical at the very least, and election fraud at most. Either way it would probably be fatal to Lieberman's election chances if publicized.

Or, Lieberman can cash in his chips right now, register as the Republican we all know he is, and make an appearance at the May 13th GOP convention. At least then I'd admire his honesty.

ADDITIONALLY: Does anyone know how to determine where Senator Lieberman's campaign contributions come from? I'm thinking along the lines of individual donors lists with political party affiliation details, and corporate/organization donors? It would be interesting to see how many individual and corporate Republican contributions our (current) Democratic Senator has received. Let me know.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Milford...the Movie?"

It says something about the non-coherence of the local filmmaking community when a movie about my hometown has been in production for over a year without my knowing about it! Oh well, it probably has as much to do with my own complacency as with the lack of communication between those of us who make movies.

(This is from their website:) "Milford, America 06460 is about your town and ours. In this feature-length documentary, Mike Stock and Liz Theis bring us on a tour of their swiftly-developing suburban hometown. Having little money to go elsewhere after college, Liz and Mike returned to the place they knew best--or so they think. The two watch as their once-quaint, historical seaside town becomes a cookie-cutter consumer mecca. The directors balance sarcastic humor with bleak and disheartening honesty as they guide us through the hometown they hate to hate. The two directors reveal conflicted feelings for Milford, sharing both hope and despair for their ever-changing home, which struggles with its own identity."

The New Haven Register has a good story in today's edition about the film (unfortunately, you have to register to read the story online...I guess that's why they call it the New Haven REGISTER! LOL! LMAO! OMG!!! WTF!!!)

(...and yes, I'm an ass)

I like the documentary's concept, and the trailer looks promising. It's a little strange to see all these landmarks from my hometown being shown in a movie; I can sort of understand how everybody left in Flint, Michigan felt when seeing "Roger & Me"...although Milford is far from being a community bankrupted by the closing of their main industry like Flint. (After all, we got Subway, and they ain't going nowhere!)

I'm hoping to see this movie completed, and I wish the filmmakers all the best. Mike & Liz, if you see this, drop me an email and let me know how it's going.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Be sure you're registered to vote!

As you probably know, I'm supporting Ned Lamont's challenge to beat Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Senate election. There will be a primary election on August 8th to determine which candidate will run as the Democratic choice. Connecticut has closed primaries, meaning you must belong to the party you're selecting a candidate for. In order for Ned Lamont to have a chance to become our next Senator, you have to be a registered Democrat to vote for him in the primary.

Here is a link to a voter registration form, with which you can mail in to register to vote in Connecticut, or change or enroll in a party. This is important to know, because according to the instructions, it can take up to THREE MONTHS for a change of party to take effect. In other words, if you're registered as a Republican (and I was until last month) you have to submit the form to change parties by MAY 8TH in order to vote in the Democratic primary on August 8th.

And if you never selected a party when you registered to vote, you need to enroll in the Democratic party. This should also be completed as soon as possible. To find out which party (if any) you're enrolled in, contact your town's Registrar of Voters office. Call your town hall and they can help you.

If you're unhappy with the way the war is going; if you think Senator Lieberman is too good a friend to President Bush; if you're dissatisfied with the current lack of direction of the sure you're properly registered to vote.

And vote for Ned Lamont. Tell your friends and family about his campaign. It's time to take back this country!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Get your EPU on!

Over at FireDogLake, a brilliantly written political blog widely known for it's relentless search for the truth in the Bush Administration scandals (pick any one of them; trust me, FDL's on the case), there is a curious phenomenon called "getting EPU'd".

This happens in the comments section, whenever an article is posted and anywhere from 50 to 200 messages typically are written, just about everyone leaves and goes to post on the new thread as soon as a new article is posted. Sometimes, a commenter may have crafted a fine response to something upthread, and posts it, only to find that everyone has moved on.

One longtime commenter ("Evil Parallel Universe") had a string of so many late messages that we began referring to the situation as "getting EPU'd". As in, "I'm reposting this comment in this new thread because I got EPU'd."

The other day a few commenters suggested marketing an FireDogLake t-shirt reflecting the phenomenon, which makes it as inside a political blog reference as has come down the pike in years. So, through the magic of Photoshop, here's my concept of the t-shirt:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An evening with Ned Lamont

Tonight Joyce and I went to Naples Pizza near Yale University in New Haven to see Senate candidate Ned Lamont speak at the monthly meeting of Democracy For America Link.

We got there about 45 minutes before Ned was scheduled to speak, so we
relaxed, ordered a pizza, and chatted with fellow democrats. It was really cool to talk to people who'd actually seen this blog! I'd like to give shout outs to Mike Slattery (a fan of, Sten Westgard (member of the Orange Democratic Committee), and Kelly Monaghan from My Left Nutmeg.

Over a white pizza with sliced tomatoes and garlic (but not too much...we're here to talk to people, not melt their faces off), we read some campaign literature and waited for Ned to speak. The back room of Naples Pizza is a comfy little place, with forest green walls scratched with graffiti, and neon beer signs scattered about. Here's Joyce enjoying the pizza and beer...see the classy graffiti on the wall?

The chairman of DFA Link New Haven introduced Ned, and then the man himself took the mic. He spoke with a clear strong voice, and in fact didn't use the mic for the most part. He started with a joke asking if any Yalies showed up in Bridgeport today to cheer on their favorite son (Bush, of course, is a Yale grad; proving once again that wealth and influence can overcome unbridled stupidity), then went on to quote Bridgeport Mayor Fabrizzi, "He's welcome in Bridgeport, but none of his policies are working in my town; what's he doing here?"

He then discussed how his campaign evolved from focusing mostly on the war in Iraq to issues such as jobs, health care costs, education, immigration, the environment, etc. He joked about how giving part of the $90 billion tax subsidy bill to companies like Exxon/Mobil to drill for oil was "like subsidizing fish to swim". He also addressed the giant LNG platform proposed for Long Island Sound and how we can fight it.

Ned seems to have a focus and clarity that so many politicians lack. He gives plain answers to complex problems, and while not promising to immediately solve all these problems, he at least has an idea where to start. And that's a lot more than people like Joe "Stay The Course" Lieberman have been offering us. He got a huge cheer with his closing statement, about how someone told him to not jeopardize a Senate seat, and he replied, "Connecticut is a progressive state. You're not going to lose a senator, you're going to gain a democrat!" Standing ovation and loud applause from the roughly 100 people crammed into the smallish room.

I recorded the entire speech on my MP3 player, and while it's not the greatest quality in the world, you can hear what he's saying and most of the questions he was asked. If anyone wants a copy of the Lamont_04-05-2006.wav file, email me at futuredv(at) and I'll attach it to an email. It's about 9MB and runs 38 minutes.

UPDATE: The Ned Lamont Resource at La Resistance has a compact .mp3 version of the speech; you can listen to it RIGHT HERE. The Q&A portion of the talk is located here. Thanks Beau! Please keep in mind that the audio quality of these clips are rather low, but if you crank up the volume you'll hear everything Ned discusses. UPDATE II - Go to the link at the bottom of this article for ConnecticutBLOG, where they have excellent video of the speech and Q&A. Good work guys!

Oddly, Ned was positioned almost directly beneath a neon Budweiser sign...I hope the press photos are properly framed and cropped, or he's going to look like he's shilling for Anheiser-Busch!

Ned then spent a good 20 minutes answering questions from the attendees. Afterwards, we got in line to talk to him. We met his campaign scheduler Kim, and then we introduced ourselves to Ned. I mentioned how much Firedoglake supports his campaign, and he said he's spoken to Jane and is very happy with the support she and the members of the blog have given his campaign.

Then I asked him if he'd promise to quit politics if people ever start calling him "Bush's favorite Democrat". He laughed and said, "I don't think there's any chance of that happening." I agreed with him on that.

A student came up to Ned and asked him to autograph his copy of "Crashing The Gate". Ned said that he'd never been asked to sign a book before. As he signed it I asked him if he read it, and he said he hadn't yet. Maybe someone can send him a copy? (Click on the link and buy a book for Ned!)

Click to enlarge image

I snapped this picture of him with Joyce, and afterwards she commented that he looked like a sailing guy, what with his Patagonia fleece vest and salty good looks. We asked Kim if he was a boater, and she said, "Oh yeah, he loves sailing." Joyce laughed and said, "I knew it!" She should know; we're both avid sailors on our J/30 "Full Tilt".

After we left, we discussed Lamont and his politics. We both feel certain he's the right guy for the job, and we're going to support his campaign. For more info on Ned Lamont, click on NedLamont.Com.

UPDATE - Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent has written a fine article about Lamont's appearance.

UPDATE II - CtBlogger has excellent video of both the speech and the Q&A session. Do yourself a favor and check out what Ned Lamont is going to do for the people of Connecticut, at ConnecticutBLOG

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Who's your daddy?"

/gloating mode ON

Wanna know who your daddy is? Huh? Do ya?

Do you want to know who won the NCAA Men's basketball pool, without correctly picking even a single Final Four team?

ME!!! That's who!

Yes sirree! I managed to win Joyce's boss's little Knights of Columbus bar pool by picking a shitload of teams to win the first two rounds, and then having the good fortune of none of the Number One seeds getting into the Championship semi's and finals. Which means it didn't matter who I picked, 'cause NOBODY picked the eventual winners.

Somehow, my absolute uncanny brilliance at selecting obscure teams to upset favorites got me enough points in the first couple rounds to allow me to coast in and win! It sure helped that UConn, Duke, Villanova and Memphis all sucked ass in the Elite Eight round! Thanks, suckers!

Oh yeah! Oh yeah! In your FACES KofC mofo's! I gots ALL yo' money now, chumps! Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh! I'm your DADDY, beeyotches!

Yes Losers, I WIN! You LOSE!
You get NOTHING!!!
Good day, sir!!!

/gloating mode OFF

(...uh, what the hell is wrong with me? Sorry about that little outburst. Who'da thunk Florida would win it all? Damn)