This last week was one of little sleep as I was juggling two major projects:
1. Post-Production supervisor on an irreverantly funny internet video about Santa Claus.
2. Assistant Camera on a Documentary about my Boss's Father and Step-mother.
So basically, my days were spent shooting this documentary on 16mm film, and my nights were spent advising on file-transfers, and trying to schedule people for delivery of this Santa Video to Atom Films. And only as I'm writing this, (having finally gotten some sleep,) do I realize that my days were all STEAMPUNK, and my nights were CYBERPUNK.
STEAMPUNK because 16mm is a film format. I haven't shot anything on actual film since film school, and now I remember why. It's partly because shooting film is SOOOO expensive, time-consuming, and void of error-checking, but also because it's just plain HEAVY.
We prepped and picked-up our camera package on Tuesday, at which point something became immediately apparent to me...if we had been shooting on any kind of digital format, we would've had 2 to 4 cases to walk out of there with. Instead, we had TWENTY-TWO. The camera package took up the entire van, and it weighted a ton. So, being the techie that I am, I had plenty of inner monologues about how useless film was nowadays and why the smart movie maker would shooting everything digital. But while we were on set, building these camera-rigs of metal, gears, servos, latches, screws and hinges, I suddenly became aware of how beautiful it all was. Even though today's film cameras run on electricity and have simple digital read-out on a small panel, they are still, in essence, a late 1800's victorian technology. I so rarely get a chance to touch the past in my life, but slapping a film magazine on the back of one of these heavy-as-shit mechanical cameras filled me with such a sense of history and respect for the craftsmanship.
Of course, Dion and I still had our quiet asides to one another like "If we were shooting on digital, we could play it back and see if it looked okay," or "If it were digital, we could shoot for longer than ten minutes at a time," but when all was said and done, it was the closest real-life Steampunk experience I've had.
CYBERPUNK was when the sun went down, and the heavy machinery was replaced by cell phones, laptops, flash-sticks, FTP sites, and Final Cut Pro. Saturday and Sunday night especially saw me driving around in my car in the middle of the night, running over to friends' houses, jumping on their computers, and trying to work through technical processes as fast as possible in oder to get this 4 minute video about Santa Claus ready to upload to the web.
It was Saturday night at about 3am when I drove through a deserted Hollywood neighborhood to drop a DVD off outside the gate to a friend's apartment building. I texted him from my iphone that the frames he needed for his VFX shot were waiting outside, and as I drove away, I felt like part of the god-damn digital video ILLUMINATI!
Sunday night I arrived at Ric and Jen's place in Burbank where my old College buddy Dave Barnaby had been working on the sound for the piece, and twenty minutes into the 8 o'clock hour, he leaned out of the room he was working in and said, "Man, this is just like bein' back in School! It's a lot of fun!" And I suddenly realized that I hadn't really done anything like this for a long time! I mean, I'm an editor for a living, but this was for somebody's personal project, and we were doing it late at night on our own equipment, bringing all of our experience and creative technical know-how to bear on it.
And then we wrapped at 5am, just in time for me to go home and sleep a few hours before going to work Monday morning...shades of my days on AMANDA HADES.
So overall, it was a fun, exhausting weekend of revelations for me. What the upshot is, I have no idea...but you'll be able to watch Aaron's Santa Biography on Atom films as soon as they post it, and you'll be able to see the 16mm documentary several years from now if you happen to be friends with the film makers.
Big night in Sean-world. I just finished Kraken on the latest draft of my gargantuan space-epic. This is a project I've been workin' on sporadically for 5 years now. My assignment this time around was to get the first script (yes, it's a trilogy,) down from 230 pages to a more manageable length.
You're probably asking yourself, "230 pages? Are you insane? The average screenplay is only supposed to be 90!" It's true, and normally I would never have written something this long, but it's an adaptation of a book. So, it started off with EVERYTHING in it. Now you're saying, "Dear God, Rourke...why are you wasting your time adapting a book when you don't own the rights to it?" Public Domain, baby.
I've managed to get the page count down from 230 to 173. So, its running time is now 3 hours instead of just under 4. BUT, I've managed to avoid going into that sad, sad territory of combining characters, truncating events, and changing the story in order to fit the time limit. I guess that'll be the next pass?
Anyway, the above image is a piece of concept art I did for it awhile ago. The model is Susan.
I love going back after a disaster and hearing what people were predicting. This is a compilation of news clips from one guy who saw all of this financial disaster on the horizon, and people just kept laughing at him on these pundit talk shows. It's a lot of fun to watch.
MF and I ducked into a Borders recently to kill some time before a movie. We were barely in the door when I spied a table in the main aisle, TOTALLY covered in Vampire Books!
This made me smile. The fact that Borders is pimping all this new Urban Gothic fare is wicked cool to a Vampire fanatic like me. And it isn't even Halloween!
Of course the reason why they're doing it is because of the new Stephanie Meyers book that just hit stands called "Breaking Dawn." It's the end of her 4 part Twilight series, the movie of which is due out at Xmas. I haven't read Twilight myself, but MF has, as well as a number of other folks who I've been bumping into lately. It seems to be one of those guilty pleasure books, especially for girls, since it deals with a high school love affair between a clumsy girl and a fantastically beautiful Vampire boy.
I'm not making fun. This is me standing in line outside Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago for Midnight Madness of the Breaking Dawn release.
The girl in pink is looking forward to the film, and thinks that all the actors are dreamy.
Yes, I was eavesdropping...I was by myself.
I got lots of points from MF the next morning when she found the book waiting on her chair.
I will, however, make fun of the fact that every girl who exited that bookstore with a new copy of Breaking Dawn had to scream at the top her lungs before running off into the night.
We talked about everything from Amanda Hades to the Midnight Men, and all sorts of stuff in between. The interview is broken into two parts, and each one runs for almost an hour, (yeah, they're audio.) If you're brave enough to listen, it's the knida thing you can stream and listen to while doing something else...like...the dishes...or Mah Jong.
So anyway. If ya happen to hear it, tell me what ya think.
Okay, I've never flown a remote-controlled plane before, but this just looks too badass.
It's a video camera that mounts onto an RC plane (or whatever you want,) and sends a real-time signal back to a set of VR Goggles that you wear, (which look very 80's in a totally Rad kinda way.)
Ya gotta watch the video. It'll make you think of mounting this camera on all kinds of stuff.
I was even thinking how sweet it would be to get some bad-ass aerial shots for a movie with this thing. It looks like the signal is NTSC, so it's probably no better than 720x486, but what a nice touch of production value you could add to a standard-def movie! Imagine an aeriel shot flying over two sword-fighting combatants on a ridge, ala Highlander!
(Just a quick piece of concept art. Anna Perilo's the model..from a shoot we did a couple years ago.)
So the cats from my Writers Group have been talking about handing-out writing assignments for a while now, and last week Dave made good on his threat. The parameters were these:
1.) There should be some mention or depiction of a case of mistaken identity.
2.) At some point, make use or mention of an annoying or aggressive animal. This could be a pet, a pest, or even an obnoxious picture on a bumper sticker, or tv ad. Or anything, just get him/her in there.
3.) Can not take place present day. Forwards or backwards in time by at least 20 years.
4.) Sentence - must use "I guess you just don't see that sort of thing coming."
What would be great is if along the way, a rag-tag band of smaller boats fell into line behind the cruise ship, and then at somepoint, a whole fleet of like a hundred guys on Jet-skis attacked, dressed-up as cylons, and everybody on the cruise had to hop on their own jet-skis, and Dirk and Richard have to lead the charge to protect the fleet!
It's actually not me that's being harrassed. Some poor guy in Belgrade has had 5 consecutive meteorites hit his house since November.
"Man 'targeted by aliens' ---------------------- A Bosnian man whose home has been hit an incredible five times by meteorites believes he is being targeted by aliens.
Experts at Belgrade University have confirmed that all the rocks Radivoje Lajic has handed over were meteorites.
They are now investigating local magnetic fields to try and work out what makes the property so attractive to the heavenly bodies.
But Mr Lajic, who has had a steel girder reinforced roof put on the house he owns in the northern village of Gornja Lamovite, has an alternative explanation.
He said: "I am obviously being targeted by extraterrestrials. I don't know what I have done to annoy them but there is no other explanation that makes sense. The chance of being hit by a meteorite is so small that getting hit five times has to be deliberate."
The first meteorite fell on his house in November last year and since then a further four have smashed into his home. The strikes always happen when it is raining heavily, never when there are clear skies.
He said: "I did not know what the strange-looking stones were at first but I have since had them all confirmed as meteorites by experts at Belgrade University.
"I am being targeted by aliens. They are playing games with me. I don't know why they are doing this. When it rains I can't sleep for worrying about another strike."
So, I had this weird thing happen to me last night...
When I checked my email, I saw that I had a Linked-In request from Sean Rourke.
I'm Sean Rourke.
Why would I send a Linked-In request to MYSELF?
I pondered all the possibilities in the the two seconds it took for me to open the email...this was some kinda clever spam, phishing tactic, identity theft, doppelganger, message from the future, etc. Regardless, I clicked on the link, and found this:
It's just a guy in Arizona with the same name. And ya know what? It WOULD be fun to be linked. So now we are. He also sent me a follow-up email:
I just want to take a moment to brag about my friend, Bridgitte.
Bridgitte is an AWESOME photographer. She's been taking pictures for as long as I've known her (since College,) but I hadn't really seen the full scope of what she was capable of until she sent me the link for her new website.
Her imagery is gorgeous, and I implore you to have a look.
The Trailer took my breath away. Looks like EXACTLY the kinda story I wanna see told.
This is the description that the creator has posted on his site:
"When the best five killers are hunted by the ultimate assassin:
3 Die. 2 Survive. 1 Lives... Forever.
Set in the high tech, high stakes world of espionage and global conspiracy, The Five Killers reunites the world’s greatest assassins years after their bitter retirement. One of them has been found murdered, and the message is clear: they’re next."
It's being made by Studio Gonzo, who are a BIG Anime Name these days. The cool thing is, the creator/producer and the writers are American.
A Giant Squid caught in the Deep Seas of New Zealand has been plasticized and hung in the French National Museum of Natural History. The thing was over 9 meters long when caught! (It has since shrunk to just over 6.)
From the BBC Article:
"The biologist who helped organise the donation said there should be a giant squid in the country of Jules Verne - the Frenchman who wrote the celebrated novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. That was an epic tale of struggles between sailors and tentacled monsters, featuring a giant squid that tried to engulf a submarine."
Did you know that of all the creatures we've discovered on the planet, the Giant Squid has the Largest EYE? Lookin' at the picture, you're like, "Well...yeah."
One of my favorite shirts from THREADLESS has been reprinted this week.
It's called "Loch Ness Imposter."
For those of you who don't know about THREADLESS.com, it's a t-shirt website where all of the designs are submitted by users. They release between 6-8 new t-shirts every week, and they are only printed in limited runs, so they sell-out fast.
I sat in the theater, rocking back and forth in my chair...never wanting the Trailer to end! The idea of DeNiro AND Pacino playing cop partners...that's the police force I'd wanna work on. Hell, just give them all the cases! How could you not catch every badguy out there with those two guys workin' the streets?
So I just picked-up this sweet book at Wizard World called "Visions of Bloodrayne." It collects the cover artwork from all the various Bloodrayne comics. This is awesome for 2 reasons.
1. I LOVE Bloodrayne.
2. The Covers were the ONLY good thing about the comic.
It may be unfair for me to make that second comment since I've only read about 3 or 4 issues, but they were DREADFULLY written. It confounds me how such a great character from such an awesome game can REPEATEDLY be 100% marginalized in every other form of media she appears in.
Bill will be happy to know that I've gotten several pages written this evening...but instead of talking about that, I thought we'd start off with an image.
Last week, we lost Gary Gygax...creator of Dungeons & Dragons. I'm still just coming to terms with how much his influence is felt in this world of pop-culture that we play and work in, and I'm realizing more and more just how much of my creative process I can trace back to that game.
In honor of Gary's memory, and to inaugurate the new Blog, I though I'd post a custom Game-card in the tradition of the Games that this man gave us.