December 31, 2010

2010 was one of the good ones. Next year I turn 30, make a feature film, and stay happy.

December 28, 2010

"Forget Me Not" accepted into the 17th annual Sedona Film Festival in Arizona, making it festival 10 for my little movie.

December 27, 2010

What's more exciting about the fancy new train cars in Chicago: A) the smoother/quieter ride, or B) the lack of pee and poop odors?

December 26, 2010

I messed up Facebook on my iPhone. If you need to find me, you'll have to use email, text, twitter, blogger, or a phone call. What a hassle.

December 16, 2010

A horn and a few
A horn and a few "hornlings" on Andrew Bird's stage. The acoustics are about as perfect as can be for live music.
A few
A few "hornlings" at the Andrew Bird show. There were about 30 total, and he said the eventual plan is 96!
Andrew Bird's stage at 4th Presbyterian in Chicago. The speaker in the center oscillates on command!
Andrew Bird's stage at 4th Presbyterian in Chicago. The speaker in the center oscillates on command!

December 15, 2010

The hardest part of standing in a line by yourself is choosing which conversation is best for eavesdropping.

December 14, 2010

Japanese students go Skydiving with Google Earth, and it's awesome: http://ping.fm/JZylo

December 9, 2010

Serving.

I like waiting tables. I like being a waiter.

I know that sounds crazy, because the word "waiter" for many people conjures images of some ragged half person/half zombie that served them Moons Over My-Hammy at Denny's a few years ago.  It also sounds crazy because all I've ever wanted to be in life was a filmmaker (I still have fantasies of being an evolutionary biologist, though).

It sounds crazy because it means staking your livelihood on the kindness of strangers, sometimes based on factors that are completely out of your control. It means every table is your boss, re-evaluating your performance every 20 seconds, and they get to determine how much your time is worth. Your income is dependent on whether or not they happen to like your haircut, or the way you describe the flourless chocolate cake, or whether the cook fucked up their egg-white frittata. If you can remember 99 things on a list of 100, they will penalize you for the 100th thing every single time. It sounds crazy because even in this day and age, in this economy, no one knows how to fucking tip.

It's not that crazy, though. It's going to take me years to become a working director. Or to be more specific: more years than the many years I've already spent trying. The reality is that I have a small mortgage's worth of student loan debt, and yet it's very likely that my first "big" project will somehow have to come out of my pocket. I need a day job. The reality is that I need to both work as a full-time filmmaker and a full-time something else at the same time. So why waiting tables?

To become a great director, I must direct films. There is no ladder to climb, so to speak, because there's only ever one director on a film. Sure, other roles can lead to valuable experience, but I've performed those roles for ten years now. I've held nearly every possible position on something like 130+ projects: short films, commercials, TV shows, and even a feature or two. What I need is time, money, flexibility, and practice, so that I can spend the rest of my time actually doing what I should be doing.

Or:
  1. Waiting tables means I can work 30 hours a week, feel like I just worked 60, but make 60+ hours of worth of money. It requires saintly levels of patience and fortitude, but the payoff is worth it. I don't have to take any work home with me. I'm an ordinary citizen the moment I clock out each day.
  2. Waiting tables means I am even more flexible than my poor, starving freelance-dependent friends. I always have work, my industry is recession proof, and I work as much or as little as I like. I can do this job in almost any city in the world, though Chicago just happens to be food-obsessed and therefore particularly worthwhile.
  3. Waiting tables means I get paid in cash, instantly. At my particular restaurant I also get a reliable schedule, retirement benefits, health insurance, and vacation pay.
  4. Waiting tables means I meet 60+ strangers a day, and have to convince them to like and/or respect me in seconds, even if they don't like my haircut. In fact, they are disinclined to like me, because liking me means they feel obligated to pay me more money. This is all more like directing than anything a grip, assistant director, or production designer does.
  5. Waiting tables at this particular place means that nearly every customer walking through the door makes more money than my parents ever did. They probably don't give a shit about art. It means they are rich, with rich friends, and are the exact sort of person with enough disposable income that I will hope either A) pay to see my movies, or B) give me lots and lots of money, as a risky investment into one of my movies. I need to learn what makes people like this tick.
I can't think of a single other job that will better prepare me for directing, which itself is a job where I have to sell myself, my ideas, and my stories to people who are inclined to not give a shit. Whether it's a detective story set in prohibition-era Detroit, or a sesame-crusted ahi tuna salad, I have to learn how to convince strangers to spend money. I often have to convince people who I don't even like to give me money, and it's not fucking easy!

(Though, I encounter far more interesting, nice, and cool people than I would have guessed originally)

After a year, I've also come to terms with the fact that I like waiting tables. I like meeting people every day. I like talking to strangers. I like it because I think I'm good at it, and I can't honestly say I'm good at lots of things. With any luck, that bodes well for my career in film. If nothing else, it's more interesting than retail?

December 8, 2010

Just started a 2 hour Trans-code on my latest project. time to finish the Red Riding Trilogy at long last. Netflix saves the day again!

December 7, 2010

Scientists have more fun than normal people: http://ping.fm/5fpG2

December 6, 2010

Going to a Repeal Day dinner! Beers by Two Brothers and Metropolitan, food pairings, and a special beer for the event called the Bismarck.

December 2, 2010

After a lull in submissions, the first 2011 Festival for "Forget Me Not" is here: the Macon Film Festival in Georgia, February 17th-20th!

December 1, 2010

Holy shit. If you haven't seen "Gasland," look it up and find it. It will inspire and enrage you, in the best ways possible. Go now.

November 30, 2010

Small Multiples #2
Small Multiples #2
On getting things for free: "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

November 28, 2010

Watched the Sundance Short Films at the Music Box. The best tended to be the shortest; Length of credits correlated directly to mediocrity.

November 27, 2010

Tonight? I'm pretty sure the DJ is going to have us falling in love. Again.
Home from Detroit. Impending cascade of pictures of my nephew Isaac sometime in the next 24 hours.

November 25, 2010

Doing the family rounds for thanksgiving. 10 year high school reunion tomorrow... That should be interesting?

November 24, 2010

At the Majestic Cafe for the first time in years, watching a rehearsal for the Thanksgiving Day parade. Also, The Gories play on Friday?!
At the Motown Museum in Detroit. Hitsville, USA!

November 23, 2010

Dee-vorce.

Life is funny. Today I had intended to make a post about Fibonacci Day, which is a non-existent holiday I decided to start celebrating to commemorate the date being 11-23. Instead, the bigger turn of events is that my divorce, two and a half years in the making, is finally official.

The Ex and I are each celebrating by purchasing lottery tickets. If you can't find in the humor in that, then you are probably in a doomed relationship.

I've spent awhile trying to summarize what this experience has been like...But I mean, how could I? Where to even begin? There's the trifecta of glory/hubris/shame inherent in an early marriage that should have worked, the eventual entropy, the denial, the self hate, the hate for others, the loss of trust, the constant confrontation of your own shortcomings and failures, and now (two and a half years after our separation) the legal right to begin from scratch.

Hopefully somewhere in there a person learns how to want to begin from scratch. I'm lucky enough to say that yes, I do believe in life after love. 

The process hasn't rendered me a complete cynic, but it's come dangerously close. To paraphrase Louis C.K. on being single after a long marriage:
"It's like having a bunch of money in the currency of a country that doesn't exist anymore. Like I found 500 million Prussian Francs."
He's got another take on divorce, albeit more cynical than mine, from his recent feature-length stand up film "Hilarious." I can't find the clip by itself, so skip ahead to the 3:30 mark for the meat and potatoes. Happy Divorce Day/Fibonacci Day, everyone.

November 20, 2010

Intermission during "The Seagull" at the Goodman. My pal Will Allan got bumped up to the role of Konstantine.

November 18, 2010

Shortlist for Best Doc, but sans the great "Steam of Life": http://ping.fm/KhbHd

November 17, 2010

Why do bags of baby carrots always freeze in the fridge? And why are they the only things that freeze in the fridge?
Small Multiples #1
Small Multiples #1

November 16, 2010

Second stop on my B-Day: Fountainhead for some yummy food and drink!
Second stop on my B-Day: Fountainhead for some yummy food and drink!
First stop on my B-Day: a visit to Half Acre for a few growlers.
First stop on my B-Day: a visit to Half Acre for a few growlers.
I've been 29 for at least two minutes now. Where's my pony?

November 15, 2010

Wrapped on Jack C. Newell's "Strange Attractors." Commencing the write-a-feature-film ordeal. If in 6 months you don't hear from me, call help.

November 14, 2010

Chicago Landlords are not known for their level-headedness...
Chicago Landlords are not known for their level-headedness...

November 13, 2010

Managed to get 20 bread bowls and soup for free today after cold-calling Soup Box and asking nicely. Thanks, Soup Box!

November 10, 2010

Sometimes sitting on an apple box is more comfortable than sitting in a chair, even at length. I don't know why, though?

November 9, 2010

Cats are more fun to look at than dogs.
Cats are more fun to look at than dogs.
Geocities will never die (and apparently that's good!): http://ping.fm/Uo1Uw

November 8, 2010

Here's a short story: "The barista noticed the lipstick on his ex-girlfriend's teeth when she smiled, but made her latte without comment."
Inception Animals: http://ping.fm/bvUw0

November 4, 2010

Just had a conversation with Principal Blackman about how we both own Nikon D70's.
Day One for "Strange Attractors," a feature built mostly on improv. I'm the 2nd AD, among other things. So far so good!

November 3, 2010

Just served breakfast to Rahm Emanuel. Two scrambled eggs, coffee, and a bowl of blueberries.

October 30, 2010

Any other way to celebrate Halloween is pretty much bullshit.
Any other way to celebrate Halloween is pretty much bullshit.

October 29, 2010

Tara stretching her hammies. Time to get in shape, girl!
Tara stretching her hammies. Time to get in shape, girl!

October 28, 2010

What good short story anthologies or compilations would you suggest I read? Annuals, one-offs, or even collections by a single author...

October 24, 2010

Spending time at the airport is more depressing/frustrating than an equal amount of time spent at the DMV.

October 21, 2010

Entering Autumn.

When I returned from Edmonton, I didn't have much "on the books," as they say. There are some festivals coming up with Forget Me Not, but I also don't have the money to attend any of them.

Fast forward a few weeks, to now!

My Producer, Chris Pluchar, is headed to the East Lansing Film Festival in Michigan this weekend to rep Forget Me Not in my place (it's in competition, so I'm hoping we take home a fancy award!). Meanwhile I'm headed to Fayetteville, Georgia for a wedding.

After returning, I've signed on as 2nd AD on an upcoming feature film directed by Jack Newell (who is now sending out his latest short film "Typing," into the world, after it's world premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival). After Jack's film (as yet untitled, though it's heavily improv-based and sounds like a lot of fun), I'll be production designing a music video directed by my pal Logan Futej, for a band called the Wiitala Brothers (one of which designed both of our websites!).

THEN, I get to finally visit the Detroit area and my family (girlfriend in tow), where I'll meet my three month old nephew, Isaac, see my Dad hopefully recovering from some horrible and debilitating knee replacement surgery (which could in fact end up being a full-blown amputation...), and attend my 10 year high school reunion.  

Wait a minute, I graduated high school ten fucking years ago?


After all that, I get to start thinking about my next film!

October 20, 2010

"Forget Me Not" nominated for "Best Short Film" at the Orlando Film Festival. Only 8 of 80 total short films nominated!

October 18, 2010

Enjoying the company of Rahm Emanuel at the Atwood Cafe this afternoon.

October 17, 2010

Checked out the painting studio of my pal Sarah Greenewalt today. I kind of want to buy this...
Checked out the painting studio of my pal Sarah Greenewalt today. I kind of want to buy this...

October 16, 2010

Solve the following analogy: "Qdoba is to mexican food as Quizno's is to sandwiches." (Answer: both are very shitty restaurants.)

October 13, 2010

Did you know that "soy milk" is a fancy name for bean juice and sugar?
"Cold Weather" was a great film, and an interesting take on mysteries in general. See it in 2011: http://ping.fm/89Tbi

October 12, 2010

Oct. 12th, 1582: Because of the slow implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

October 11, 2010

In honor of national coming out day I'll be excessively using the word "queer" in a Bostonian accent. Or maybe I just really liked The Town.

October 6, 2010

German tourists, while horrible tippers, are the most pleasant Europeans during a breakfast shift. Irish and French tourists after that.

October 4, 2010

Detroit.

I've always loved Detroit, for reasons I've never been able to fully explain. Even in the suburbs, where I spent the first 24 years of my life, you learn to recognize that something special happens despite all the bad mouthing, racism, decay, and stagnation. This 3-part movie helps explain it all better than I could, with the help of Johnny Knoxville.



Almost every single one of my peers in the Chicago film industry have moved to Los Angeles, and the few who haven't have gone to New York. 

I think if I leave Chicago any time soon, it'll be for Detroit.

More Festivals!

"Forget Me Not" has been accepted into this year's Orlando Film Festival in Orlando, Florida (Nov. 3 - Nov. 7), as well as the Flatland Film Festival in Lubbock, Texas (Oct. 15 - Oct. 17).

For those keeping score at home, that makes festivals #7 and #8 for a short film shot primarily in my very small Chicago apartment. Cuh-razy! Here's an updated poster to reflect all those fancy laurels...

October 2, 2010

"Never Let Me Go," "The Social Network," and "Let Me In." All worth the price of admission, unless you have bad taste in movies.

E.I.F.F. Recap

I'm a pop-culture nerd at heart, so I can't simply attend a film festival and not at least list the movies I was able to catch. Especially since a few of these may (unfortunately) never get released in the States. I'll try to capture what was best about these movies in a single sentence.

I already mentioned Let Me In, Score! A Hockey Musical, and Made In Dagenham, and I watched at least another four short film programs, so I'll be skipping those. The remaining three movies were each awesome documentaries.

STEAM OF LIFE TRAILER from OktoberFi on Vimeo.

Steam of Life - An incredibly beautiful and raw documentary comprised entirely of naked Finnish men revealing their greatest tragedies, mistakes, and moments of triumph while in various (and sometimes charmingly ramshackle) saunas. [Link]

The Rivals - A story of the rivalry between two very economically diverse high school football teams (the down-and-out but long time State Champions of a paper mill town called Rumford, and the stop-at-nothing wealthy community of Cape Elizabeth), and the pressure they feel to become state champions. [Link]

Inside Job - Matt Damon narrates an incredibly effective documentary about the lead up to the 2008 global financial crisis, and how the dozens of people responsible for it managed to escape unscathed. [Link]

October 1, 2010

Due to your votes, "Forget Me Not" is an official selection of the Ellensburg Film Festival in Washington. Thanks much guys!

Grey Area.

Memory is a bizarre thing, but especially when it's as fickle as mine. I'll forget something within seconds of hearing it, yet remember the slightest detail about something else for years.

Just now I ran into a guy at a coffee shop who seemed familiar to me. I spoke to him in order to jog my memory, as it was clear he didn't immediately recognize me. Within seconds I remembered that his name is Greg, and he worked with me during my time at Borders back in Troy, Michigan. He worked with periodicals, and I worked with music; we almost never directly interacted in a given shift. I never once conversed with him outside of the store, and we hardly knew each other even then. This was over 12 years ago.

How can I remember Greg, completely out of context, but neither of my own parents' birthdays?

Memory is a bizarre thing, but especially when it's as fickle as mine. Wait, what?

September 29, 2010

I'm back in Chicago, and the first thing I notice is that it smells. Oh, Canada...
There is seriously not a single cherry coke in all of Edmonton (aka Jerry coke).
"They took a SWORD, and they put it in my ELBOW." This video wins. http://ping.fm/mC5Jo

Edmonton Days 3 & 4

I just e-checked into my returning flight, which means home is near. With my trip to Edmonton and my work on Munger Road I've spent 35 of the last 40 days sleeping in a hotel.

I grew forgetful very quickly about taking pictures on this trip, mostly because an iPhone just isn't an ideal photo-taking device. In fact, it can be incredibly annoying. Still, a few random photos found their way onto my hard drive. Before those, I'd like to talk about the Forget Me Not screening, since that was the whole reason I came here.

The folks at EIFF have been downright incredible, and despite my reservations about a block of shorts screening at 12:10pm, the theatre had at least 200 eager guests. EIFF Festival Director Kerrie Long has a few brain children running loose at the festival, one of which is the "Lunchbox Shorts" hour during each week day. A 45 minute program of shorts at 12:10 to 12:55, plus a "bag lunch" of sandwiches, drinks, and dessert, for the downtown business crowd. Amazingly, it's popular and very lucrative for the festival. For that, I am grateful.

Today the Festival arranged to have me driven from my hotel to the screening, and as one of the few attending short filmmakers, gave me a 10 minute window prior to the films to yammer on about myself and the film. People's reactions were great both before, during, and after the film (the Edmonton Film Commissioner even had a few nice things to say), and as painfully expensive as this trip has been, I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, despite spending my youth openly mocking Canada as a whole, I'm pretty sure I love it now, and Edmonton in particular. The city is a bastion of artistic and intellectual integrity in what is casually referred to as "the Texas of Canada." They all deserve more visitors and supporters here.

I also met a fellow filmmaker named Amar Chebib, a Canadian/Kuwaiti who shot a short film in an arabic district of Paris called "La Boucher" ("The Butcher"). The movie was great, and we ended up spending most of the day watching movies and eating food together. In fact, due to scheduling crap there was no one to host the Q&A for his film, so I did it. We basically just conversed in front of people for ten minutes, because audience members are always bashful at those things.

Tomorrow, I'll give a little run-down of the films I saw (in addition to snapping a photo of Rexall Stadium for my hockey-loving cousin). For now, a few pictures:

A snack everyone in Edmonton pushed on me (but tastes like Shitty Cheetos)
 Albacore Tuna salad at Lazia, which doesn't hold a candle to the Ahi Tuna salad at the Atwood...
Hotel Room #2 at the Metterra on Whyte. It's quite fancy. Also, two bed again?
Hotel #2 has a full patio, just for me! Fancy Shmancy!
Fancy Bathroom at Hotel #2, with glass shower stall like in "The Specialist," minus naked Sly Stallone

September 28, 2010

Finally screened "Forget Me Not" at the EIFF. Response was even better than expected. They made room for an impromptu Q&A for me, hoorah!
Strange thing about Canada: I forgot they have $1 and $2 coins, and just now realized my "pocket change" equals $21.50.

September 27, 2010

Moved to Hotel #2 of my Edmonton trip, and eating a yummy lunch before watching a batch of Spanish shorts.

September 26, 2010

Should have packed a tie... I think I'm being interviewed tomorrow? Good thing I'm at the second largest shopping mall in the world!!!!!!
Just saw "The Rivals," pretty classic sports documentary, a little rough around the edges, but worth the watch. http://ping.fm/bdNYH

Edmonton Day Two.

Saturday was relatively quiet. I slept off a wine hangover from Friday's after-party, and realized that the first film I wanted to see didn't start until 5pm.
After party on Friday, where I know 0 people. I was also under dressed.
I spent the first part of Saturday afternoon in search of wireless internet, then the rest wandering around Edmonton's gigantic City Centre mall. As a visitor, I felt it was my duty. I could then say with reasonable authority that malls are in fact stupid, American or otherwise. Edmontonians don't seem particularly in love with the mall, either. It was mostly full of teenagers and people with no taste.

The rest of Saturday I spent watching movies and chatting with the folks who work for the film festival. In chronological order:

Kerrie Long: Festival coordinator, and lover of short films. She's been in charge for four years, and seems to share conceptual/programming responsibilities with a fellow named Guy Lavellee (The most French Canadian name I've ever heard, but he sounds like he's from Cleveland). I was using my laptop outside the Festival theatre area, and upon passing me, she invited me into the nearby Elephant & Castle (A sponsor of the fest, and general place for hanging out between shows). She apologized for not being able to "offer" more to short filmmakers who visit the festival, all while buying me a beer, letting me into any film I want free of charge, and putting me up in a swanky hotel for two of my five nights. I thought, "next year, it'd better be TWO beers."

Made In Dagenham: A surprise of a film, which had me misty eyed through the entire second half. Not in a Dancer In the Dark kind of way, but in a Mr. Holland's Opus kind of way. It's a great ensemble, but Sally Hawkins definitely had a chance to shine the most. It's the story of a group of female Ford factory workers in Britain in the late 60's, who are re-classified as "unskilled labor" in order to cut their wages. The result of which sparks a women's labor rights movement across most industrialized nations. It's a pretty cool story, though the trailer makes it look really cheese-ball. [Link]

Gisela: A very friendly volunteer at the festival, who chatted with me for awhile between shows. She also gets brownie points because she helped make room for my film's promotional post cards on the big "promo table." She is German-born, but spent several years in Ireland, and now travels across the world volunteering at film festivals. Her story sounds insane (in a charming way), but you can read about it in her own words at her blog: Life Is A Festival!

Let Me In: An understandably controversial remake of a very recent and successful European thriller (Let The Right One In). The original is probably one of my favorite thrillers of the last decade, so I went in skeptical, but not cynical. Honestly, it was incredibly good. No hint of American Twilight fever, no watering down of the two kids' darker sides, and no softening of the torment that the central characters endure on a daily basis. It made enough changes to satisfy my desire to see something "new," but keeps enough to capture every bit of spirit and tone from the original. In light of the rash of J-Horror remakes that were nearly all pointless and bad, consider this closer to The Ring than The Grudge. Remake or not, the cast, the attention to detail, and the script were all handled masterfully. The two lead kids alone make this movie unbelievably fun to watch. I found out later that the director (Matt Reeves) last helmed Cloverfield, which was a second surprise, because I didn't really care for that movie. Let Me In means I'll be keeping an eye out for whatever he does next. [Link]

September 25, 2010

Edmonton Day One

Now that I found a place with decent wireless (Thanks Healthfare!) I can post evidence of my travels.

It began with me missing my flight, of course. I've flown maybe 3 times in my life, and apparently never got the memo that when they say a flight departs at 10:02am, they mean 9:47. Rather, the flight sits there for 15 minutes while you watch it, unable to get on because they close the doors early. To nurse my sorrows, I ordered some mildly edible airport food.
Fake 1950's cuisine since 1986. Now available in Qatar! 
This was my plane, which I had to board from the ground (?), further illustrating that I was headed to a strange place. That place is called Canada by the locals.
Hop on board, eh?
I arrived, passed through customs, and realized that I had spent my entire trip-planning phase assuming I could use my iPhone to navigate. Wrong, wrong wrong. Data roaming costs $40 a megabyte. Without access to google, email, or a single useful phone number, I had to find a hotel who's name I had forgotten. My taxi driver was mercifully tolerant.

I resorted to asking strangers for directions. I managed to get 1) from the airport, 2) to the film festival production offices to pick up my badge:
My ticket to fancy parties
3) from one side of Edmonton to the other (about 4 or 5 miles- ahem, 8 kilometers) via this insanely beautiful river valley:
Edmonton has the largest park of any city in the world...
...yet all anyone knows about this place is the "big mall."
4) and then over to the hotel, where I have an extra bed for some reason.
Not pictured: full stove, full fridge, microwave, tea kettle, pots and pans, strainer. WTF?
It only took 6 hours.

I then watched the opening night film (Score! A Hockey Musical), which was actually really awesome despite the film's terrible poster art. It was kind of like Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog, but with Hockey. It was also really, really Canadian, but in a charming way.

Following that I got incredibly drunk on Malbec at the opening night gala, stumbled back to my hotel room, and slept for 12 hours. The End.

September 24, 2010

I'm restricted to wi-fi for pretty much the whole time in Canada, as roaming charges on an iPhone require one to be a millionaire.

September 23, 2010

Festival #6.

http://www.indieflix.com/festivalsonline/EFF2010/films/31638/

"Forget Me Not" is among 5 short films that may get a slot in this year's final selection at Ellensburg in Washington State.... The trick is, only the top voted film gets selected. They've set up an online screening option (here at Indieflix), where people have one week to watch the films and vote for their favorites...

It goes without saying that I want "Forget Me Not" to be selected, so I'll be begging, pleading, and annoying every person I know on earth to sign up at Indieflix and vote. For the lazy among us, signing up takes about 10 seconds and doesn't even require an email confirmation as far as I'm aware.

Plus, it's a chance for people to see the movie who haven't yet!

Please. Go. Vote.

September 22, 2010

This Must Be The Place.

At long last, my website is going live. This also coincides with the first public screenings of my film, "Forget Me Not." For the first time ever, many random strangers across North America will be subjected to stuff that I've made.

They may even stumble across this website. They may even revisit. But, as everyone knows, websites aren't legitimate until people have arguments in their comments section.

I would be lying If I said I fully understood how to utilize the internet as an artistic and commercial tool... and I don't like lying. I know that I like to talk to people, and this seems like a good way to go about it. Blogging is an uphill battle, though. Facebook and RSS feed aggregators are insidiously compelling outlets, but somewhere in this vast network, someone has to be generating actual content in their own space. Right? (Right?!)

Information and art appear more democratic to me in recent years, thanks to these glorious Tubes. Similar to the advent of the Blockbuster era in the 70's, the early 21st century is posing some interesting changes and problems for the film industry. All the while, my peers and I are trying to make a living at this. We'll see where the chips fall! In the mean time, I'll keep making things.

As a founding member of the Nintendo Generation, I hereby swear to start understanding Creative Commons licensing, Internet distribution, and global markets before my films die of asphyxiation.

Here goes nothing!

September 21, 2010

Business cards, plane ticket, hotel room, passport, film festival movie passes: check. I think I'm ready for Edmonton on Friday.

September 20, 2010

"Priest" (synopsis): Good actors sign on to a movie that looks even shittier than "Legion." http://ping.fm/j7Z6b

September 19, 2010

Doing returns and wrap out today for the "Munger Road" art department. It's like shopping in reverse!

September 18, 2010

Making movies is like going away to summer camp. This one even included Mosquitos.
Just wrapped "Munger Road," the first feature I've worked on from start to finish. All I can think about is sleeping.

September 17, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal 19: it's a little musty in the barn.
Munger Road Photo Journal 19: it's a little musty in the barn.

September 16, 2010

Today is gonna go better than yesterday. I know this because we're buying more dulling spray.

September 15, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal 18: hangin' out under a tarp with the Red. Mostly cooperative weather thus far.
Munger Road Photo Journal 18: hangin' out under a tarp with the Red. Mostly cooperative weather thus far.
Just heard that "Forget Me Not" was accepted into the Flint Film Festival in Michigan. That makes 5... Crazy!
Using Q-Tips and 20 minutes to make a fake handprint on a car window's fake fog. Result: what you can do in 2 seconds with real fog. FML.

September 14, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal 17: The barn. Not pictured: 20 year's worth of hay, dirt, spiders, and pig shit.
Munger Road Photo Journal 17: The barn. Not pictured: 20 year's worth of hay, dirt, spiders, and pig shit.

September 13, 2010

OkTrends is the best blog ever. This month's topic: racial stereotypes. http://ping.fm/2wKH5
Munger Road Photo Journal 16: all the bugs here are bigger, but this moth was the nicest
Munger Road Photo Journal 16: all the bugs here are bigger, but this moth was the nicest

September 12, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal 15: surprising amount of trial and error to make fake window fog
Munger Road Photo Journal 15: surprising amount of trial and error to make fake window fog

September 11, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal 14: laundry + red shop towel + white long underwear = pink long underwear
Munger Road Photo Journal 14: laundry + red shop towel + white long underwear = pink long underwear
Using a laundromat in St. Charles to get the grime and bug spray out of my clothes. It makes me miss the Fun Wash Lavandaria in Pilsen.

September 10, 2010

13
Munger Road Photo Journal 13: This spider web was the size of a postage stamp
12
Munger Road Photo Journal 12: scene inside a drug store

September 8, 2010

Spent yesterday and all morning making a fake tunnel look like it was 140 years old. Shooting there today.

September 7, 2010

Spent two days with my art crew sanitizing and prepping an abandoned farm house. We wore respirators and head lamps. Filming there today.

September 6, 2010

11
Munger Road Photo Journal 11: Ellie's Creepy Doll

September 4, 2010

10
Munger Road Photo Journal 10: Ball room at the Hotel Baker
Munger Road Photo Journal #9: Fun With Video Assist
Munger Road Photo Journal #9: Fun With Video Assist

September 3, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal #8: Armorer teaching the actors to load shotguns on set
Munger Road Photo Journal #8: Armorer teaching the actors to load shotguns on set

September 2, 2010

14 hour overnight, and the only thing open at 6am in St. Charles is IHOP. Coincidence, or Serendipity?

August 31, 2010

Not to brag, but I have some seriously amazing friends.

August 30, 2010

After three long years, "Forget Me Not" is playing tonight for the very first time.

August 29, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal #7
Munger Road Photo Journal #7

August 28, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal #6: Movie Magic (and probably not enough fake blood)
Munger Road Photo Journal #6: Movie Magic (and probably not enough fake blood)

August 27, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal #5: Jokes that write themselves
Munger Road Photo Journal #5: Jokes that write themselves
Munger Road Photo Journal #4: Prop Shopping!
Munger Road Photo Journal #4: Prop Shopping!

August 24, 2010

Munger Road Photo Journal #2
Munger Road Photo Journal #2
Munger Road Photo Journal #1
Munger Road Photo Journal #1

August 23, 2010

Picking up the Art Department truck for
Picking up the Art Department truck for "Munger Road." There's more wood paneling in this office than expected.

August 21, 2010

Taping the Windy City Rollers tonight, then I disappear on a feature film for a month. Yowza!
Taping the Windy City Rollers tonight, then I disappear on a feature film for a month. Yowza!

August 19, 2010

Bike to work fail. I didn't adjust my new seat, and it keeps sliding backwards. Not very comfy :(

August 18, 2010

Failed passport photos = MATT TIMES EIGHT! (ie, instant party)
Failed passport photos = MATT TIMES EIGHT! (ie, instant party)
One more step towards full-blown hipsterdom. It's not fixed gear, though. Baby steps.
One more step towards full-blown hipsterdom. It's not fixed gear, though. Baby steps.
A pile of dead phones in a storage room. Not sure why I find this Interesting, but I do!
A pile of dead phones in a storage room. Not sure why I find this Interesting, but I do!