The video update below is about the competitions
I’ve participated in over the last year and about how nice it is to
have a weekend where you can stay in and knock out some serious work on
your video project.
I don’t know about you guys, but I got into all
of this because of how much I loved watching movies. Well, I am facing
the same conundrum that everyone who starts making content runs up
against: Doing can put a big dent in watching. Of course, watching can
also put a pretty big dent in doing. Obviously.
Unfortunately, I’ve recently discovered the
glory of the Chicago film screening scene. I’ve been traveling downtown
far more often these days, and two theaters are mainly responsible.
The Logan Theater in the Logan’s Square
neighborhood of Chicago has a selection of recent movies, but then they
have a monthly themed revival screening series. This is where I saw Chinatown and Fire Walk With Me on the big screen. This is where, during the month of October, I saw Poltergeist and Trick ‘r Treat on
the big screen for the first time. October is horror movies, of course,
February is romance movies, but then they also come up with their own
insane themes. The month of March has been Anderson vs. Anderson vs.
Anderson: screening works by Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, and
Paul W.S. Anderson. I’ve spent the last couple of Thursday nights seeing
Resident Evil and Event Horizon. Tonight, I get to once again revel in the magnificent and hypnotically depressing Magnolia. It’s awesome. And Thursday screenings are $5. Unbelievable.
The Music Box Theater is a glorious old movie
house. Huge, old school, vaulted ceiling auditorium of a movie house
with as tiny dollhouse-feeling second screen for the smaller titles.
They do midnight screenings of classics using old beat-up 35 millimeter
prints and are the main destination for the limited release flicks that
come through Chicago. This is where I saw an awesomely gritty print of Aliens
and heard Ripley’s voice echoing off of antique movie palace walls that
have been around long before theater walls were heavily padded for
sound dampening for optimal listening. It’s where I finally saw the
theatrical cut of Donnie Darko at a midnight screening and heard a
crowd of people cheer after the line, “Sometimes I doubt your
commitment to Sparkle Motion.”
So going to these screenings obviously cuts back
on the time that I spend at the computer building the show or my shorts
or any creative video output. And sitting at my computer hammering away
at the next link in my videography is time that I’m not consuming the
things that keep me excited. I think I’ve found a pretty good balance,
though. Just enough theater visits to keep me excited and motivated, and
enough desk time to keep me working on output.
I just wanted to tell you all about two of my favorite spots, I guess. Thanks for reading.
The video below concerns my recent re-edit of a
video we made last autumn. Since I was sending it out to fests, thought
I’d give it the once over. I changed a couple things and give my
reasons for doing so.
The modern filmmaker isn’t really a filmmaker
if their content goes online. They’re a content creator. I’ve spoken
before about the carnival barking nature of being an online content
creator, but here we go again, because I’m currently campaigning.
Content creators need three main things from people:
1. Their attention.
2. Their money.
3. Their votes.
I’m lucky enough to have gotten a good group of
people who are interested in the stuff we’re doing, so there’s 1. Every
time we fundraise for an episode, I’m so amazed and grateful that there
are people who put their money into PoPS, so there’s 2.
And then there’s 3. A lot of online
competitions have a voting element to them. The theory must be that if
someone can generate enough votes, their content must be at least a
certain quality. Theoretically, the better content and more ambitious
creators will automatically rise to the top. It’s a solid idea and I’ve
seen it work really well. I’ve also seen voting systems get thoroughly
hacked. Once I was in a competition against a dude who had the good will
backing of a 4chan board. They wrangled that guy’s numbers like
nobody’s business with some kind of hacked cyber voting system. There’s
no beating 4chan, you guys. But we put up a pretty good fight and raised
an impressive number of legitimate votes. Plus, the guy they were
backing is a really good YouTuber. I’m still subscribed to him.
This week I’m campaigning for votes to get into
the top ten of another competition. It’s for the 30-second horror short
we did that won the Studio360 #scaryshorts competition, …Jack. In order
to vote, people have to click the thumbs up icon that comes with the
official entry video. I wish they could use the one that’s been up for a
year; I’ve got a lot of good views and thumbs ups on that one. But
here’s the link to the video to thumbs up:
And since I feel like I’m always asking people
to vote for me in competitions, I thought I’d at least make a fun video
for the campaign this time:
Eliza and I shot that ourselves a couple nights
ago and it took me two evenings of editing to get the crank effect
rotoscoped out and everything color corrected. I had so much fun making
I hope you’ll vote for me if you have a minute
to do so, I love horror competitions and this time I could even win a
little money if I end up in the top three.
Thanks for reading.
CONGRATULATIONS to the QUARTER-FINALISTS for the 2014-2015 NexTV Writing & Pitch Competition.Note: This represents the top 30% of our field of submittersQUARTER-FINALISTSNino AbateMichael AcostaTalya AdamsLior Aiden ElhararByron AndersonBrian AndersonMargherita ArcoMichael BaleyGeorge BarnettJames BauerAndrew BeguinDavid BeshearsMark BetheaJason BingJean BlasiarLaura BloechlRose BochnerNoella BorieRuss BrandonMichelle BrezinskiTracy BrittonEdwin BrochinAlex BrodskyJoneia BrownDarmeLL BrownDerek BrownNicolas CaicoyaElodie CammarataAngelin CarkicDerek CarltonClint CarmichaelTom CavanaughSalvator CesaranoMatt CliffordTravon ClintonKatie CocquytLuis ColonTerry ConnellDwayne ConyersSidney CooperDavid CooperMegan CorderoSkylar CraigStuart CrequeThomas CrowelGavin CutterJennifer D'Angelo KircherCynthia DallasCecil DavisAllison DeanDarrell DennisJames Di GiacomoDarren DillmanFreya DoneyDenice DuffTara EasleyVickery EckhoffLauren ElaineImeh EsenDavid EskridgeAnne EstonJohn EverettSakina FakhriDavid Fein Kevin FintlandBrooke ForbesKevin GarciaEliza GardnerChristopher GlennonVeronica GonzalesRob GordenGene GordonShelli Jean GrantLinda GrassoShaine GreenwoodKevin Gregory Jeff HaberJ.M. HallJoanna HallKevin HannaMarcus HarmonRyan HawkinsSarah HeschDavid HillBill HillHollie HimmelmanDan HoldenHeather HolmbergOlga HoltzBradd HopkinsJonathan HoustonRuth Ann HowardGary HubbTim HurleyJon-Barrett IngelsWyatt IrmenHeather JacksSundae Jahant-OsbornYatouze JallohEdgardo JimenezAxel JohanssonTierra JohnsonSimon JohnstonSam JuergensTheresa JulianTerry JunJordan KalmsMarvin KaplanPiotr KaszubaChandler KauffmanJoseph KauschRachel KempfKeisha KingPaul KleimanCarolyn KrasRathan Kruegerscott KushmanSteve LaMontagneAlex LaneElizabeth LangenbergLynda LembergBill LevinsonDavid LevyStephanie LittleSara LohmanMarc LottWill LowellLynne LuedersDeanna MarkoffHoward Simon MarksChris Courtney MartinTracey MayeColeman McClaryTristan McIntoshLynne McMahonRonald McQueenBrad MillerMike Mitchell JrW. Reed MoranTimmy MorganMichael Mowder, Jr.Rosie NakamuraJason NeelyScott NewellTom NguyenKelsey Nicolle ScottKatia NizicRachel NollGarrett OakleyMitch OlsonTravis OpgenorthJohn OTooleElizabeth PadillaAdam PalcherRenee PalleggiKeith ParadiseLuisa ParnesEmily PaulAndrew Pemberton-FowlerGordon PhippsLamont PierréAdnerson Pierre-GillesNoah PohlRobert PotterViveka PrabaRohan PriceRoss RaffinShiva RamanathanJon RamseyJoe RanoiaLukas RaphaelCharles ReevesLee ReinholdManny ReyMalcolm RhameSal Richardscamille Righi-PolicieuxLiz RiveraM.G. RobinsonNatalie RodriguezChris RodriguezJerell RosalesOrgena RoseJoanne RoseGeorge RubinoLeigh RuddDaniel RuebesamHal RussekJustin SchoenfelderTim-Doug Scowden-WarrenJim SeaKevin SeefriedTim SextonAllen ShadowSteve SharonJonathan SiebelLuke SilverColin SimpsonR. Ian SimpsonDavid SkeeleVeronica SlatteryBob SlusarczykAdam SlutskyCorey SnowdenTheodore SoderbergMatthew SongerJoseph SpadaroRichard SpencerSamuel SpitaleAdam StangebyE. Andre StanleyJennifer StukinChristian ThomasAlan ThornburgIan TodaryChris TolleyKimberly TompkinsVartanoush TorossianJennifer TotoWilliam ToveyKelvin TranKonstantinos TsokalisKaleb TuttleMatiÂas ValenzuelaArthur VincieJaye VinerEdward ViveretteAnnaliese Ciel WalkerDavid WarfieldGreg WayneGary WhiteChristopher Whitfield, Jr.Martha WilliamsJohnny WinninghamJulien WojtasinskiKeaton WoodenWenona WynnLuke YankeeMitch YapkoFrank ZancaBernard Zeiger
The video update below has an extended rant about how YouTube creators like myself can become distracted by the numbers of YouTube and forget about what’s important. Eye-catchingly titled “Why YouTube is Discouraging” it’s been one of my more-viewed video updates in awhile.
This is one of problems of the social media age. Yes, it’s provided more creators with platforms for their stories, but it’s also given creators a platform for whining about creating.
Creating has always been a difficult enterprise. Filmmaking is a collaborative activity; it takes a lot of people and coordination. People are going to butt heads and compromise is constant and inevitable. Creators used to grouse about that privately, face-to-face, with peers, friends, and loved ones. The audience didn’t know anything about all the struggles. They just saw the end product. It looked so together and effortless. They didn’t think about what it could have been, what didn’t work out the way the creators wanted, none of that. Now, we know about every little conflict all of the time. Deals falling through, behind-the-scenes disagreements, whether the final edit is director-approved or not. The once-invincible creative mind now vents their insecurities out loud in public.
Maybe that’s good. Maybe we needed to humanize the people who crafted the national conversation. Maybe we needed to see that they’re all just people like us. But a lot of the intrigue and mystery has disappeared. We don’t get the chance to be impressed or filled with wonder very often anymore. We don’t have to wonder How did they do that? because we can click the annotation at the end of the video and be taken right to the behind-the-scenes.
I’ve brought up Donald Glover/Childish Gambino a couple times on this blog, because he’s a guy who’s maneuvered both the traditional and new media channels of creating and he always seems to be wrapped up in the subjects I’m thinking about. He did a very public airing of insecurities on Twitter awhile back. He wrote out a list of fears and concerns on hotel stationary, photographed them and uploaded them to Twitter. It caught a lot of attention. Some people wondered if it was a weird cry for help or social media suicide note. All it was, was someone feeling vulnerable. And they had an immediate portal available to them to broadcast their moment of weakness directly to the people who are most interested in what they’re producing. The thoughts expressed were real and human, but they seemed to exist in opposition to the public persona that Glover was in the midst of cultivating. (Which, frankly, was fine by me, because that persona was of a disinterested, apathetic, dead-eyed millennial and the act was a little standard and boring.) But since then, he’s gotten off Twitter for the most part and his very interesting, very strange music videos have no behind-the-scenes videos and no explanations. It makes them a billion times more intriguing and re-watchable, looking for clues to what the hell is going on exactly. There also seems to be some kind of other-worldly storyline playing out through them and it’s really fascinating. Especially because he doesn’t talk about the intention of the storyline or the events in the videos publicly. It’s all there for the audience to speculate on. I’m totally in.
Once again, a strong language warning on these two videos: But something very interesting happens in the middle and end of this video:
and the breakdown in the middle of this video blows my mind. This whole video is weird though, and I feel like it’s an elaboration on the video that came before:
Edgar Wright hasn’t Tweeted since January 1st of 2015. And that Tweet was simply: So my New Years resolution for 2015 is to spend less time on here. See you in a little while. Love you all.
I think we’re all getting a little tired of the distraction and the transparency.
The video update below contains my musings on the gender
stereotyping perpetrated by the performers of audio books. And I didn’t mention
it in the update, but my favorite audio book readers are probably Edward
Hermann reading Scott Turow books or Jim Dale reading the Harry Potters.
Hermione’s a little too whiney, but other than that, he does a smashing job.
As a young upstart, you think—I’ll just develop my skills as a storyteller. Writing and directing. If
I write and direct really well, someone will pay me to do it and take care of
the hard stuff like scheduling.
Then you get a little older. Well, I can’t show that I can write and direct unless I have something
I’ve written and directed to show people. I’ll just make something.
After trying that a couple times by just throwing things
together with a couple days notice and seeing who’s available this weekend—This all feels so slap-dash. I better figure
out how to actually schedule this thing. I hate scheduling… But nobody’s
volunteered to do it. Okay, let’s try this.
Now we live in the age of crowdfunding and my hobby has
sprouted a lot of paperwork to boot. When I was a kid, I never thought I’d be
saying—Man, I love making movies with my
friends! Except during tax season.
We forgot to send out 1099s to the people we paid over the
certain amount, and I guess we could face financial penalties or something? I’m
not really sure, but it’ll probably all work out. It’s just crazy to me how my
after-work hobby has given way to so many other responsibilities. When going to
work is more relaxing than going home, something has taken a turn.