Friday, October 13, 2006

extra reshoots and patterns for creativity

Lately I've been using bit time here and there to re-tool, re-edit, and do pickup shots for "Vangelis", my first 'fan film' based/spoofing the fantastic "Angel" tv series that was on the now-defunct dubya bee years ago.

That shoot, in brief, has been such an emotional rollercoaster in ways. I always thought it a slam-dunk for fans with low expectations of a fun fan film, but have come to realize that fans are just as critical of fan films as they are of blockbusters nowadays. Oy.

Anyhow, in spite of that, I'm also sitting on 40 HOURS of raw footage from a psychological melodrama that I shot more than a few years ago but have never edited due to all the frustrations with that particular shoot.

Not that I regret shooting any of the projects I've done.... each one is a new lesson learned- and one fascinating thing to me is how much each and every time that what you intend to shoot in your mind's eye is rarely what shows up on your computer monitor when editing at the end of the day.

In doing some pickup shots- what I find interesting is how ONE insert shot here and there can change things so much. The down side is that you can get carried away with the extra shots and frames and lose your objectivity in doing so- but if you can't trust your objectivity in creating anything... the implication that you can't trust your judgement in creating is incredibly frustrating.

Still... fairly normal to create anything late at night and feel excited about what you've made, only to go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and look at that thing you felt so great about the night before and think to yourself: "What the hell was I thinking???"

I've always believed the buddhist saying that "how you do small things is how you do big things"- but it's in how you apply that to work for you that I hope for in going back to the drawing board (literally and metaphorically). Sometimes it feels like it'll be an eternity before anything really turns out the way you want, but the hope is that invisibly over time one gets better, regardless of how frustrated one may be with where one is now.

Good god, this is a rambling mess. Back to work for now, and hoping that regardless of what I think, that I'm making some progress each time I go out and film or edit or draw. Or maybe it's not about what you feel about your own work, it's just doing it and shutting up. Hmp!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Weaning down on junk; Prepping for next year

As this year starts to wrap up, trying NOT to think about how much the world globally seems like it's headed down the toilet, environmentally. I'd visited China once several years ago, and in visiting it, was pretty horrified by how you could almost taste the pollution in the air (plus the humidity doesn't help) and the scary fact that even in the five star hotels that were part of our tour package, that you couldn't drink anything but bottled water, or you'd die.

Ugh... and the more details of course can make one feel so helpless that you'd never want to get out of bed.

Was impressed, looking at the Dark Horse trade paperback for CONCRETE volume 5, that environmental issues are tackled head-on in that comic... There's this gnawing feeling, but there's been this gnawing feeling since I was 8 years old on how the world would destroy itself through pollution, so how much energy can one devote to that before crawling into a fetal position and giving up?

What's the point of that?
Well, aside from all that making one feel like their life is small and insignificant, I guess it's good to take a perspective of the bottle half-full, regardless of how long/short one's life is.

The cliche 'every day is a gift' doesn't hold much weight unless one is threatened with a life-threatening situation that cuts deep.

Well, just like global warming seemed like a bit of a vague theory to many in the world years ago, so does the idea of not being able to see tommorrow's sunrise in your own life. Rather than wait for that concept to crash down one day, maybe it's good to see the truth in it right away: today may be the last day of your life, and live each day like that.

For me, that means weaning down on a lot of junk- and prepping for next year, with high hopes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Computer is here!

Got the new mac and new external drive- 1,000 theoretical gigabytes for video.
Yah!!! Finally, can start editing like crazy.

Wait, did I just say that I can do hours of editing.
Ough. ; p

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Prolonged Process of Making Any Fan Film

Yesterday eve, went searching through old webjournals and hardcover notebooks to assemble a 'timeline' for that fan film project that still languishes in postproduction.

In looking back and poring through some of the wild emotions whilst holding the last project together (which is more about being a manager/scheduler than a creative person it seems), I'm really glad that I kept a personal journal, because it's too easy to forget all the invisible strokes, fears, and pains that no one else sees when you ask what their opinion is of the final product.

On a fan film where you're not rich and everything is stacked like dominoes according to the charity of other people you may or may not know, it's easy to forget what a battle it is to just get everyone together at one time and have the camera not do strange malfunctiony things at each step of the way. (Or have a prop or a person or a set do strange malfunctiony things, for that matter.)

Not that it's that important for someone else to know, but it's always good to remember when you're doing a post-mortem on how to do the next project better.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Multiple Projects

Well...What AM I working on/ planning to?

In an ideal world, I'd GO to art school/ writing school/ film school, but this ain't an ideal world. Just gotta dive in and pay the bills at the same time. So-

* I'm in post production of "Vangelis", a "Buffy/ Angel" fan film parody.
Here's a link to a rough trailer I had to rush out to coincide with a news release:

Vangelis trailer:

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In the meantime, I also put up clips of an aborted 'prequel parody' I was working on:
"Muffin the Turtle Killer":

What's annoying (like drawing) is that no matter how far I feel like I get, there's always SOOO much more that one realizes one doesn't know.

Soon, I have to edit the 'making of's that I want to be totally honest on what it's like to create something with a mostly- one person crew and very little cash.


Other projects:
* Master of Kung Fu: the lost years..... I'm SOOO freaking excited about doing this, ever since Gulacy/ Moench made the 'five years later' miniseries (which was a giant disappointment sadly)--- but in a way, I'm glad that there won't be a 'reboot' completely due to Marvel not wanting to pay royalties to the Sax Rohmer estate for the rights to use FuManchu.

I have had so many ideas for fan comics for these.... and what a great op to write/draw (and get better hopefully) if I write/draw monthly episodes for a five year arc. Will it succeed? Personally, it might, and that's all I can really focus on. I never was good at inking, and I have not been drawing steadily. These will force me.

* A 'serious' Buffy fan comic in collaboration with another writer. Easy ... sorta. I still need to draw it all.

* A script to enter into Cinequest this year.

* Finishing post production on "Vangelis" for hopeful entry into San Diego for next year.

Ough. There aren't enough hours in a day.
But every day is a gift, yah?


Superman Too

I'm SOOOO freaking monkey crazy happy that the "Richard Donner Cut" of Superman 2 is coming out.

The first Superman Movie has a lot of memories associated with it, one of which is that it also was a first date movie, but was funny how, even though it was an imperfect movie (The Luthor as goofball always pissed me off--- though I NEVER thought that any comic creator designed Luthor well as Criminal mastermind to counter Superman. But that's another post)- I still loved the crap out of so many scenes that had some silly 'magic' to the way it was cast, shot, and edited, that I could many of those sequences over and over again.

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In fact, the more I saw the film, the more I grew to really love some sequences and ignore the crappy scenes, and was getting more and more excited about the sequel. If nothing else, there was also a sense of this being the FIRST superhero movie to go "all out" (and would be for awhile until "Batman" years later) budget wise and production wise, and I just ate it all up. I could only imagine how awesome the sequel would be.

WELL... then they canned the original director (Richard Donner) and threw out a lot of the great stuff and put in a lot of cheap and stupid crap in it. For awhile, I even was compelled to re-edit (using two vcrs) a better version to get a sense of how Donner's original version SHOULD have felt. (and even tortured some friends to view this 'harv cut' of the film).

But... because of litigation with Marlon Brando and no real incentive for Warner Bros. to revisit the film, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the movie would NEVER get recut and the original scenes never restored. I did obtain a copy of the 'original' script and it was pretty good--- so to have WB FINALLY recut this film is nothing short of parting the Red seas cinematically in my op.... though I'm already a little wary because the editor himself isn't the original editor and I'm a little scared from some footage already shown that look a little slapped together.

But. Still. Hell, it's finally coming out. And I can't wait.

In the meantime.... coincidentally taking on a challenge from an old friend... ; )
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First 'REAL'! Post

Hello again!
Due to some prompting by an old friend, am actually starting up this new blog at blogger... this time for 'real'!

Who am I?
I'm a crazy asian guy who is returning back to a life of creativity, and kinda really digging it.
I feel like Captain Kirk at the end of "Wrath of Khan" (by far the best Trek film of all time imo), where Shatner looks to the stars and says, "I feel....(dramatic pause) YOUNG. I feel young!"

Life hasn't exactly made creativity easy, in fact, it's stalled a lot of creative growth because family and job situations have taken me so far from anything creative that a lot of skills have gotten rusty or not used.

I used to draw (Or doodle). I used to write (Or come up with stuff). And I've made short films (ok, videos) that I have always learned a bit more and more on.

Now, I'm more committed. In recently years, I've faced a lot of mortality issues (I thought for awhile I didn't have long to live due to some mis-diagnosises) and rather than depressing me, I'm embracing the fact that life isn't forever and diving into taking out the ol' drawing board and writing pad and videocamera and diving in full force and loving a lot of it. If you're not diving into taking steps forward to your dreams, why wade through the difficult stuff in life? My op.

Currently, I've got quite a few pro-bono projects going on all at once. Would love it if it paid the bills, but if it's not, it's totally ok, because the more one does, the better one HAS to get.

Filmmaking guy Robert Rodriguez had a theory that everyone has to do about 100 rotten films and screenplays to do good.

That's pretty much what I'm working on, but throw in comic book work as well. I got a loooooong way to go. But that's ok.
This journal will focus on me sharing my work and my attempts to stick to my commitments of getting better.

So, let the games begin! :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This is just a test, don't panic

Just a first test.
Nothing to see yet.
Move along.
And have a nice day.
Crazy Asian Man