September 29, 2011

Munger Road: Tonight

I finally get to see Munger Road tonight at midnight, which is (I think) the public premiere. For all the hard work that goes into making a film, it's still not very easy to get one released in theatres (sometimes even famous actors or crew aren't enough). Seeing one's own work on the big screen with an eager crowd is therefore kinda rare, even for some industry veterans. The few times I've had the experience with my short films have been absolutely unforgettable.

Also, Roger Ebert gave Munger Road 3 out of 4 stars. That's a bit surreal.

September 21, 2011

Top Chef Season 9: Meet Heather Terhune

I directed, shot, and edited the above video in early 2011 for Heather. It was literally the first project shot on my 7D, and had to be finished in the span of a day or two. I also had a major memory card error, which caused a full day's worth of food prep and interview footage to be lost. That meant we had to re-shoot a different dish in the midst of her simultaneously running her own restaurant.

It was a tense week, for one big reason: the video was her audition for Top Chef.

Lo and behold, she made the cut! If you go to Bravo's website, you can even watch chunks of my footage edited into their "Meet Heather Terhune" video. How nuts is that?

Almost two years ago I started working for her at the Atwood Cafe (my first restaurant job ever, back when she was the Executive Chef, and prior to Sable opening). She's now a friend, a client, and someone I'll be watching every week on a hugely popular TV show. What a strange convergence! In the mean time, anyone in Chicago can stop by Sable to check out her food for themselves.

September 17, 2011

James Vincent McMorrow

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I woke up on Thursday with a plan for the day, and by the time the day was over almost none of it matched what actually happened. This was a good thing, because it meant meeting, taping a tiny solo performance, and eating burritos with James Vincent McMorrow.

My pal Nick, on assignment from Consequence of Sound, needed a hand with the afternoon, and I'm glad I pitched in. Based on what I saw and heard I think James deserves to be Ireland's Next Big Thing. It's like, Mumford and who?

After bonding over Canon's quality line of digital SLR cameras with Emma, his tour documentariain/Media guru extraordinaire, they hooked me up with a ticket to his (sold out!) show at The Hideout, which was a much more exciting way to spend the evening than another marathon session of editing. I also made sure to take a few photos during the show.

September 9, 2011

Found Object: "TUB"

This one is a bit...disturbing? Unusual? I don't quite know what adjective to apply here that works as both a warning and a compliment. In some ways it's not safe for work, but not in a way you would generally apply that phrase...?

This film (Written & Directed by Bobby Miller) premiered at Sundance, went on to play a number of prestigious festivals, and garnered awards and representation. Not bad for 12 minutes! It bears close resemblance to a film by my pal Jon Steinhort ("Leftovers,"), and since I love both movies I probably have some kind of unhealthy fascination with ego-centric workaholics undergoing an identity crisis.

So far none of my projects have much in common with "TUB" or "Leftovers," but I'm definitely drawn to this kind of material. Maybe that means I'm overdue to make something that is equal parts unpleasant and fascinating? Here's to the future!

Found Object: "Quintetto"

This installation uses video cameras and software to track the vertical movement of five goldfish. The result is a series of musical faders, each corresponding to a different portion of a musical track that is "written" by the random and natural movement of the fish. Besides being a really fascinating idea, it sounds great!

This was created in 2009 by the Italian art collective Quiet Ensemble.

September 3, 2011

The UPS Customer Service and Twitter Saga of 2011.

It all started last Wednesday (a far more innocent time for me), when I placed a routine order at B&H for a few items needed for an upcoming job.

Since then, I've been consumed by a bureaucratic nightmare that feels like a deleted scene from "Brazil." The only consolation is that UPS hasn't imprisoned or tortured me (yet), they've simply wasted a boatload of my time and money, and possibly driven me insane.

LONG STORY SHORT: Bad UPS driver fails to deliver where his forebears at UPS have never had an issue, I spend 24+ hours attempting to solve the problem (as the items are needed for a job today), and only manage to get told 12 different things by 12 different UPS employees, all ranging from Chicago to Bangladesh to who-knows-where. When I finally realize my only recourse is to show up at the UPS Will Call center this morning to retrieve the thing in person, I'm told the package is "pretty much lost" in the box line (whatever that is), and that there's no way for anyone to get it prior to it's newly scheduled Tuesday delivery. GREAT.

While I'm still empty handed, my ranting on twitter caught the attention of UPS's twitter admins, and with any luck they'll be able to step in and help.


September 2, 2011

Found Object: "Going To The Store"

Words are meaningless here.

All I can say is that I'm so very happy this video exists, and that I was alive to see it.

September 1, 2011

Low Rider Festival

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Low Rider Festival 2011, a set on Flickr.

I had no idea such a festival existed, but it apparently happens in Pilsen (of course). I've added a few of these to my 2011 photo set as well.

And of course, thanks to Nancy and Oona for the invite, otherwise I would have spent this afternoon staring at my computer.