Friday, December 24, 2004

Twas the night before Xmas...

...and things are just great. The game's on TV, and I'm on beer number eight! HAHAHA! (hic!)

Actually, I'm comfortably ensconced in my home, watching a little Friday NFL action (Vikings/Green Bay; great game!)

Glad the holiday is finally here. I also finished taking my certification tests for work today, so I'm done with studying for a while.

We're in the development stage of our first short. Anthony was supposed to drop by yesterday for a preproduction meeting, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we're going to meet right after Xmas.

I honestly can't figure out why its taking so damned long for the TV studio to send me my certification. I'm starting to think these folks have a bright future in civil service! I've gotten better customer care at the DMV than I'm getting from them. It's frustrating as all hell.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should look into other options for doing the project. There's some significant pros and cons to this idea. To wit:

Pros: Having the equipment to both shoot and edit the project any time I want. Availability for test shoots any time, and having the luxury to learn the camera and it's capabilities at a leisurely pace.

Cons: Expense. Simple expense. At least $700-800 for a 3-CCD camera, another $500-1000 to build a computer with the necessary features to run NLE software; and the editing software itself, which can be anywhere from free to over $1000.

So, I guess I just have to dig up a couple thousand bucks and I'll be in business. Sure. Right. Looks like I'll keep plugging away at Soundview.

I just wish they'd return my damned calls! Time for brewski number nine...meh!

PS - Comments? Anyone? Bueller? Anybody out there, or am I just bloggin myself?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Some new stuff, and Merry Christmas!

I'm sorry, but I have to do this:

(rant mode ON)
Counting down to Xmas...only four more shopping days. Christ, I fucking HATE this time of year! I HATE that I have to be nice to people I would otherwise gladly skewer with a rusty fork; I HATE shopping, and the crowds of slack-jawed microcephalitics that get in my way; and I TOTALLY hate the traffic during the so-called "holiday" season! MY holiday starts AFTER Xmas, when the idiots retreat to their filthy hovels and quietly scheme for next year's Yuletide fun.
(rant mode OFF)

Boy, did THAT feel good! It's been building up for a while now, and I figured that a healthy hate-filled outburst right about now would be better than a horrific booze-fueled bloodbath later at the mall.

I'm fine now...


Merry Christmas!

Besides all this holiday fun, I've been working with Anthony via the phone on the script, and we've been discussing various details of the shoot. I'm also considering taking a class in "Journalism: Writing News and Feature Stories" at Housatonic Community College. It's located right next to Soundview TV, so I can take the class one night a week, then go over to the studio for an hour or two and use their editing stations.

I have to check to see when registration closes...the class runs for 10 weeks, from Feb. through April. By the end of the class Spring will be here so I'll start getting my boat in shape for the sailing season. It'll be nice to have something different to do over the Winter. It's been about 20 years since I went to school, so I'm looking forward to getting back into learning mode.

Today I tested my fog machine. I filled my den with fog in about 45 seconds, then took pictures with my digital camera. I think that the digital will see things a lot like a DV cam will. I also took shots of a flashlight beam in the fog, and a red laser. The laser looks totally cool, especially when the POV is near the line of the beam. Also, I used a mirror to reflect the laser, and the camera picks up the beam quite clearly in the mist. Any time I need to show a light in the dark, I'm gonna spray some mist into the scene first.

It looks like my special FX department is officially established! Cool.

(See? I managed to end this entry on an up note!)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Some more stuff...

I forgot a couple of things in yesterday's entry.

Regarding the bathroom for our project, we're going to shoot a short that features the Grim Reaper terrorizing a mortal in a public restroom. It's a simple script that shouldn't run much longer than 5 minutes or so, and require little in the way of actors and locations. Besides the bathroom, we'll need a couple of hallway shots and one street scene that we can film bandit-style during the morning rush hour. Should be fairly straighforward, although there's a few issues involved in filming inside a restroom and a stall. We'll need a wide angle lens for the camera; they're available for anywhere from $20-90 on the Internet. Not to mention that we're using a fog machine, so we'll want to make sure there aren't electronic smoke detectors in there that might be set off by the fog.

I forgot to mention a highlight of my flight home from St. Louis. I was on a jet that had a stop in Baltimore, where I was to remain on the plane. The stewardess made this announcement as we arrived at the gate:

"Please remain in your seats if you're going on to Hartford. We need to get an accurate count after all the other passengers deplane. Once we complete the count, feel free to spread your legs...(embarrassed pause)...uh, I mean STRETCH your legs!"

We had a good snicker at that one!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yet again with the waiting.

I'm finally over a brutal, totally-kicked-my-ass-but-good cold, which enhanced my first week at the new job. Things are going really well, though. This job rocks!

Here we go again...still waiting for my certification from SoundviewTV. Anthony finally turned in his PSA and Ashley told him that both our certifications will be mailed this week.


Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, Ant and me have discussed our project, and I guess we're officially in pre-production. First thing we need to do is get permission to film in studio's bathroom, then schedule a practice shoot to work out lighting, audio, and camera placement. Since the restroom is shared by the entire floor, we might have trouble getting the OK, but we'll most likely be shooting outside of normal work hours.

I've been putting together a po'-boy's lighting kit. So far I have a couple of scoop fixtures and a Home Depot twin 6' halogen light stand, which throws anything from 250 to 1000 watts.

That's it for now. More soon...not that anyone's actually READING this rambling series of textually incontinent verbosity. But it makes me feel good to write it all the same. Who cares if nobody's reading it?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Back from St. Lou-ee

Flew in last night from St. Louis, where I was training for my new job all week. I'm incubating a cold I think; when I woke up this morning I had a wicked sinus headache and a stuffy nose. Bummer. But it's nice to be home. Did I mention that I hate flying? No? 'Cause it does suck. Although with the proper application of alcohol it can be made somewhat bearable.

This new job is gonna ROCK! I'm so fucking happy that I managed to hook up with an organization this cool! Everyone I met was totally into being there, and I can see it's a well run place. I'm looking forward to starting on Monday!

Today I polished the script I've been working on, tentatively called DEATH KNOCKS. I think it's pretty much done; I just need to work out a few shots and it'll be ready to shoot. Then I'll storyboard it and start getting into pre-production.

I called Anthony today, and told him I'm going to fax him a copy on Monday. The script is structured fairly simply, with only two actors needed, and we have locations available. If Soundview EVER SENDS ME MY CERTIFICATION, I'll have cameras to shoot with and editing stations to do post upon. Gee, I wonder if their computers are still down? I left a message for Ash today letting her know I still haven't gotten it; she'll probably finally get something done about it next week. I hope.

Oh, and someone at Soundview deleted Anthony's PSA project off the Casablanca without backing it up. He lost about 12 hours of work, so he's a bit upset. Can't blame him, really, but I made sure to finish my PSA quickly and get it on tape because I was worried about something similar happening to me. This time around he's going to recut it, add voiceover, and finish it within a week or so. Then he'll have his certification and we'll be able to borrow two cameras at once for our flicks. Should be fun.